Skip navigation


One of the most clear histories of the American post civil war  South and beyond.MA.

Education
August 9, 20186:00 AM ET
Anya Kamenetz

Lies My Teacher Told Me
Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
by James W. Loewen
Paperback, 446 pages
When I was a high school junior in New Orleans taking AP American history, my teacher assigned us a paperback book. Slim in contrast to our hulking required textbook, it was a funny, compelling, even shocking read. Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James Loewen, explained how history textbooks got the story of America wrong, usually by soft-pedaling, oversimplifying and burying the thorny drama and uncertainties of the past under a blanket of dull, voice-of-God narration.
The book also taught a lot of history. It introduced me to concepts that still help me make sense of the world, like the “racial nadir” — the downturn in American race relations, starting after Reconstruction, that saw the rise of lynchings and the Ku Klux Klan. In doing so, Lies My Teacher Told Me overturned one assumption embedded in the history classes I’d been sitting through all my life: that the United States is constantly ascending from greatness to greatness.
The book has racked up many awards and sold around 2 million copies since it was first published in 1995. In a new edition out this summer, James Loewen — now professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Vermont — is championing the cause of critical thinking in the age of fake news.

He tells NPR, “I started out the new edition with the famous two photographs of the inaugural crowds of this guy named President Obama, his first inauguration, and this guy named President Trump, his first and maybe only inauguration. And you just look at those two photos and they’re completely different. There’s all kinds of grass and gaps that you see in the Trump photo. … What that does, I hope, is signal to every reader of the book: Yes, there are such things as facts here. You can see with your own eyes.”
The following conversation has been edited for clarity and length.
Can you take me back to the original inspiration for the book?
My first full-time teaching job was at a black college, Tougaloo College in Mississippi. I had 17 new students in my new second semester [freshman sociology] seminar and I didn’t want to do all the talking the first day of class so I asked them, “OK, what is Reconstruction? What comes to your mind from that period?”
And what happened to me was an aha experience, although you might better consider it an oh-no experience: 16 out of my 17 students said, “Well, Reconstruction was the period right after the Civil War when blacks took over the government of the Southern states. But they were too soon out of slavery and so they screwed up and white folks had to take control again.”

Why Schools Fail To Teach Slavery’s ‘Hard History’
My little heart sank. I mean, there’s at least three direct lies in that sentence.
Blacks never took over the government of the Southern states — all of the Southern states had white governors throughout the period. All but one had white legislative majorities.
Second, the Reconstruction governments did not screw up. Across the South without exception they built the best state constitutions that the Southern states have ever had. Mississippi, in particular, had better government during Reconstruction than at any later point in the 19th century.
A third lie would be, whites didn’t take control. It was white supremacist Democrats — indeed, it was the original Ku Klux Klan.
So I thought to myself, “My gosh, what must it do to you to believe that the one time your group was center stage in American history, they screwed up?”
So you set out to write your own textbook, didn’t you?
[Loewen, along with colleagues and students, co-wrote a new high school state history textbook called Mississippi: Conflict and Change. Despite high ratings from reviewers, the Mississippi State Textbook Purchasing Board rejected the book on the grounds that it was racially inflammatory. Loewen and his co-authors sued the board.]
The lawsuit had a “Perry Mason” moment — only your older listeners will understand what that is. Let’s say it had a dramatic moment, and that came when John Turnipseed [of the Mississippi State Textbook Purchasing Board] was on the stand.
The assistant attorney general for the state of Mississippi asked why he had voted against our book. And he had us turn to [a] page where there’s a photo of a lynching. Now, our textbook at that time was the only textbook in America that included a photo of a lynching. And ironically almost none do to this day.
Turnipseed is on the stand and he says: “Now, you know, some ninth-graders, especially black male ninth-graders, are pretty big, and I worried that teachers, especially white lady teachers, would have trouble controlling their classes with material like this in the book.”

The judge — who was an [older] white Mississippian, but a man of honor — took over the questioning, and he said, “But that happened, didn’t it? Didn’t Mississippi have more lynchings than any other state?” And Turnipseed said, and again I quote, “Well, yes, but that all happened so long ago. Why dwell on it now?” And the judge said, “Well, it is a history book.”
The U.S. District Court found for Loewen and the textbook was adopted for several years.
That whole escapade proved to me that history can be a weapon. And that it had been used against my students. And that’s what got me so interested in American history as a weapon.
The book is called Lies My Teacher Told Me. What’s the biggest lie in the book?
Usually when I’m asked, “What’s the biggest lie?” I put my hand out in front of me slanting upward and to the right. And what I mean by that is the overall theme of American history is we started out great and we’ve been getting better ever since kind of automatically. And the trouble with that is two things. First of all, it’s not always true. …
And the second part is what it does to the high school student. It says you don’t need to protest; you don’t need to write your congressman; you don’t need to do any of the things that citizens do, because everything’s getting better all the time.
So it encourages passivity.
Exactly.
And then the other part about it is the enormous textbooks. I mean, you talk about the way that they present history as being settled intellectually, too.

The Two-Way
New Evidence Suggests Humans Arrived In The Americas Far Earlier Than Thought
It’s so boring! If you think about it, the very first thing that happened in terms of American history is people came to the land that we now know as the United States. Now how did they get here?
Well, every single textbook that I looked at says that they came across the Bering Strait during an Ice Age. It turns out they might have. It also turns out they might not have. And what we should therefore do is let students in on the fact that we don’t know, that there’s a controversy here and invite them to go research it themselves. …
And that would be fascinating. That would get them thinking like a historian right from the beginning of a U.S. history course.
I feel like there is a tension in what you’re saying because we do want to debate and understand where there’s genuine uncertainty in history, but how do students discriminate among various sources of information? Especially in the age of the Internet and thousands of pages on any subject.
Well, I think there’s one key question to be asked of any source, and that is “Why do you find it credible?” Now, a KKK site on American history is perfectly credible if you’re asking the question “What does the KKK believe about the Civil War?” OK. If, on the other hand, you’re asking, “Why did the Southern states secede?” Maybe you don’t want to cite a KKK site.

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate

Advertisements

Making America great again efforts should go back 500 years or so. That’s when the first “foreigners” arrived in what is now America. The residents at that time were the now scattered and “sequestered” indigenous Peoples who respected the land and thrived. The modernity brought about on the heels of  gold rushes, land grabs and “Indian” wars have brought fewer gains than we think we  achieved. I am sure the Indigenous peoples at that time were not impressed by the odd folk who landed and attempted to “civilize” the natives who were thought to be savages. Think about how anyone would react to “invaders” who randomly killed without compunction. The history of America is written in “white” not Brown, Black or “Red” (as stated in many early reports on the Native Americans skin tone). Fast forward to now: would “savages” separate children from their parents?  Would “savages” impose tariffs on imports to the detriment of the population? Would “savages” cozy up to known enemies for personal gain? I wonder who are the savages?

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


Culture
By Prajwal Kulkarni
August 10, 2018
No other group—not Hispanics, Muslims, or anyone else—have faced what black Americans have. Race in America is not about people of color. It’s about black people.
David Marcus recently criticized the New York Times for promoting a racial double standard when they decided to stand by Sarah Jeong despite her history of racist tweets. According to Marcus, the Times has “no problem denigrating white people in a way they would not any other group” because they have implicitly embraced “privilege theory and its hierarchies of oppression.” Marcus rightly worries that this double standard does more harm than good and “is a dangerous road to a dark place.”
While Marcus’s analysis is largely correct, there is an even bigger problem with Jeong, white privilege theory (WPT), and leftist racial discourse in general: It is profoundly, deeply unfair, and not just to white Americans. The Left’s inordinate focus on whites is especially unfair to African-Americans.

The crux of race in America isn’t that white people have “hidden advantages.” It’s that African-Americans have, and always have had, obvious disadvantages. Rather than white privilege, we should be focusing on black suffering. If there is a racial double standard, it shouldn’t be about whites at all. It should be about black people, and only black people.
African-Americans Have a Unique History in America
Especially as America has transformed into a multi-racial rather than bi-racial democracy, it doesn’t make sense to continually harp on white people. It makes even less sense to lump the African-American experience along with that of other minorities.
Take the term “people of color” (POC). It implies that we can view race relations as white people on one side and all racial minorities on the other. But that framing is nonsense. POC didn’t experience 250 years of slavery. Black people did. POC didn’t get lynched almost 4,000 times. Black people did. And POC did not put up with decades of Jim Crow and formal housing discrimination. Black people did.
WPT glosses over these horrors that were perpetrated only on African-Americans. But this glossing over, this equating of blacks with all POC, is inevitable if you fixate on white people.

Ultimately the problem with white privilege theory isn’t its focus on privilege or white people. It’s that it minimizes what African-Americans endured. Yes, it’s true that some people might be treated with “more respect and dignity based on skin color.” But as far as race is concerned, only African-Americans have been uniquely harmed by such disrespect.
The Obsession with Whites Sidelines Blacks
So rather than WPT, it would be better to adopt a black-centered framework when discussing race. In this framework, the Jeong controversy would not exist—not because white people aren’t sometimes privileged, or white supremacy didn’t exist, but because any racial discussion would be viewed entirely through the lens of blacks. In this world, it would be bizarre for anyone to be so obsessed with whites. The common liberal trope that “America is based on white supremacy” would disappear from our vocabulary, and instead become something like: “America was built on black slavery.”
While the difference between those phrases may seem small, the second does something that our current discourse tragically does not: place African-Americans at the center of our racial narrative and treat their journey with the solemn reverence it deserves. However many races there are in America today, black and non-black are still the only two racial categories that matter. Privilege theory and the Left’s approach to race gets it completely backwards.
To meaningfully engage with race, conservatives should thus do a couple things. In terms of our public rhetoric, we should acknowledge, as I’ve argued previously, that racial identity is a meaningful concept. But we should simultaneously insist that African-Americans are special, and strongly denounce anyone who suggests otherwise.

In policies, we should as much as possible treat all groups equally, something Marcus has also called for. But we should also be open to making exceptions on a case by case basis. Only two groups should qualify for exceptions: African-Americans and Native Americans. Although discussing Native Americans is beyond the scope of this essay, they too have suffered uniquely. All Americans should place the experiences of these two groups on a pedestal and never compare them to anything else.
All Immigrants Are Closer to Whites than to Blacks
Placing black Americans in a racial category by themselves and reducing the salience of “white” could also build national cohesion because it would be easier to highlight the commonalities among all immigrant groups. Muslim-Americans could appreciate that while they surely face bigotry and are “people of color,” they have much in common with the Irish and Italians. Minority immigrants must logically be compared to other immigrant groups, not African-Americans. In America’s racial hierarchy, all immigrants are much closer to whites than we are to blacks.
This approach may also help the Sarah Jeongs of the world see that whites do not automatically have privilege over non-whites: it is lunacy to assert that their race alone makes white Appalachians privileged over many second-generation Asian-Americans, whose parents were given visas because they were among the most talented doctors, engineers, and scientists in their countries of origin.
I have been called racial slurs many times since I moved to the United States. I was once even punched in the face because I am a “f-cking foreigner.” But as traumatizing as such incidents may be to non-black racial minorities, it is grotesque to compare them to what happened to black people. Black people had—and have—it much, much worse. A black-centric approach would continually remind us of this fact.

It would also help us to make sense of the overwhelming data that economic immobility afflicts African-Americans, and especially African-American men, over every other group. Given our history, why would we expect anything else? Even though others face hardship, black people stand alone in this regard.
In a 1967 interview, Martin Luther King Jr. was asked why black Americans couldn’t progress like other immigrants. King’s response, said at a time when blacks were effectively our only minority group, is still relevant today: “No other ethnic group has been a slave on American soil. That is one thing that other immigrant groups haven’t had to face.”
No other group—not Hispanics, Muslims, women, LGBTQ people, or anyone else—have faced what black Americans have. Race in America is not about whites or people of color. It’s about black people. White privilege theory trivializes this crucial fact.
How You Look Doesn’t Tell Us Your History
How did such a wrong-headed theory gain so much prominence? I suspect it’s because WPT is the only theory that could succeed in a multi-racial America. America never really wanted to view African-Americans as special. For a while we had no choice. But the second Hispanics and we Asians started coming over in significant numbers, WPT came along to save the day.
After all, here’s an academic theory that effectively says to black people: “Don’t view your experience as special. Sure you’re the only ones who were enslaved and lynched. And sure some minorities are significantly better off than the average American, much less black people. But you really should just lump yourself in with all people of color.”
We’ve accepted this fraudulent reasoning without realizing how ahistorical and morally bankrupt it is. Simply because they both generally happen to have darker skin than some other people, WPT has made it okay to analogize any brown-skinned immigrant, regardless of wealth or education, with an African-American whose ancestors experienced slavery and lynching.
How is okay to make that comparison? What kind of country will we be if we continue doing so? Sadly, the country we have always been.
Prajwal Kulkarni works at a software company and lives in Denver, Colorado. He writes on his personal website and is on Twitter.

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


Trump’s trade war is already leading to layoffs and pain for American businesses
Bob Bryan 6 hrs ago

President Donald Trump’s tariffs on imports of steel, aluminum, and some Chinese products have started pushing up prices for many US companies that rely on those items to create final products, forcing many firms to make tough decisions about where to cut costs.
Many large companies have for now decided to pass on those costs to consumers or absorb the losses into their profit margins. But some smaller US businesses have been forced to cut labor costs to offset the higher amounts they’re paying for parts.
From Wisconsin to South Carolina, small businesses are starting to lay off employees, and they’re citing Trump’s tariffs. Many firms have warned that the worst is yet to come.
Some examples:
Mid-Continental Nail, the largest US nail producer, laid off 130 workers after steel prices jumped. One of its plant managers said the entire business could shut down over the next few months.
Element Electronics, a TV manufacturer, plans to lay off 127 workers from its South Carolina factory as “a result of the new tariffs that were recently and unexpectedly imposed on many goods imported from China.”
Brinly-Hardy, an Indiana-based maker of lawn-care equipment, laid off 75 workers. “We are collateral damage in this effort,” Jane Hardy, the company’s CEO, told The Washington Post.
The Tampa Bay Times said in April that it was forced to lay off 50 people because of a tariff on Canadian newsprint. Other newspapers in small communities, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan’s hometown paper in Janesville, Wisconsin, have also been forced to lay off staff.
Some businesses, such as Moog Music, which manufactures electronic musical instruments, have not taken action but have warned that the tariffs could eventually lead to layoffs. Other small businesses have furloughed workers or paused expansion plans while they wait and see how the trade fights play out. Small operators in industries from lobster fishing to metal shapers have curtailed workers’ hours.

While the tariffs are causing acute pain for some companies, more widespread labor-market issues have not yet appeared. Trump’s tariffs apply only to a concentrated number of industrial goods, and the total number of US imports hit with tariffs remains low.
The July jobs report showed a steady increase in employment and a strong labor market, but economists have warned that business concerns about tariffs could start to weigh on hiring growth if the trade battles continue to escalate.
According to a study by the Trade Partnership, a free-trade industry group, Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs will result in a net loss of more than 400,000 US jobs. Other estimates of the job losses are somewhat smaller.
Even more effects on jobs could come if Trump follows through on his threat to impose tariffs on imported cars and auto parts:
Volvo warned the administration that it could scrap 4,000 planned jobs in South Carolina if the tariff goes into place.
Other foreign manufacturers with plants in South Carolina, such as BMW, say they could also be forced to make layoffs.
A study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics found that a 25% auto tariff would lead to the loss of 195,000 US jobs over a three-year period.

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


AUGUST 9, 2018
Meyerson on TAP
$2 Trillion Here, $2 Trillion There, and Soon We’re Talking Real Money: I know you know that Republicans throw money at the rich. Doctrines may shift, Russia may go from bad guy to BFF, NATO may defend the free world one day and dilute our sovereignty the next, but tax cuts for the rich are the one True North of Republican cosmology. Without it, the party perishes, not only from diminished campaign contributions but from lack of raison d’être.
As to just how much money Republicans throw at the rich, the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economy Policy (ITEP) released a report last month that’s gone largely unremarked in the media but that makes starkly clear just how faithful a friend and lapdog the GOP has been to our wealthiest friends and neighbors. What ITEP did was to total up all the tax reductions to the rich enacted since George W. Bush became president in 2001, subtracting from that total the restoration of higher tax rates on the rich that went through under President Barack Obama.
Here are the numbers: Since 2001, the income tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent come to $1,366 billion. The estate tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent come to $838 billion. Subtract from these cuts the hikes on the wealthiest 1 percent enacted during the Obama intermission, and we have a grand total of $1,924 billion that the wealthiest have been able to pocket for their rainy day funds.
I think that’s close enough that we can round it up a bit to an even $2,000 billion—which, for those of you who’ve been counting the zeros, is actually $2 trillion.
And that doesn’t count, of course, the additional $100 billion in cuts to capital gains taxes that the administration now says it plans to implement administratively by changing how it calculates the initial value of investments. That $100 billion, too, would flow chiefly to that same 1 percent.
But back to that $2 trillion: By a curious coincidence, that was also the amount that the administration proposed to save in its (mercifully, not very enactable) 2019 budget by reducing spending on Medicaid ($1.4 trillion), Medicare ($530 billion) and Social Security ($25 billion)—which comes in at a cool $1.955 trillion. As with the tax cut to the 1 percent, let’s just round that to $2 trillion, too.
So: Republican presidents and congresses have cut the taxes of the 1 percent by $2 trillion over the past 17 years, and Trump has now proposed to cut spending on Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security by the same $2 trillion.
Democratic campaign consultants, do with this what you will. ~ HAROLD MEYERSON

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


What if the press stopped covering the White House? The response would be that the fake press won’t cover them or maybe not? The object of TOTUS’s tweets is to gain attention without attention and adoration this individual would be nothing more than a failed business executive with a line of toady’s at his beck and call. Looking at his entire life, the methodology has been to say or do something outrageous to get noticed then counter with more nonsense to fan the flames. This is the same method that he is using in this administration. His current toady’s actions have long range and potentially dire consequences for us all. We have yet to see the great things from the “Tax Reform”, the rolling back of clean air standards and the highly touted tariffs. Meanwhile the beginnings of the ill effects are creeping into the economy starting with the smaller companies (steel users) and farmers (food producers). I have seen and heard so many of these fast talking sycophants that it is hard to understand how even basic administrative work get done. It seems the only qualification to work in this administration is the ability to lie with impunity and with a straight face. Just sayin’ giving more than cursory attention to this administration is a mistake since what they put out is much like what is left in the litter box.

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


Rick Newman 14 hours ago

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for all” plan has gained traction among some mainstream Democrats, including possible presidential contenders such as Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris. And buried in the details of some recent analyses is an intriguing notion: American businesses, now the biggest source of health care coverage in the United States, could completely exit the business of providing health care, if national or even statewide single-payer coverage ever takes root. That could make American firms more competitive globally and leave a lot more money for employee raises and other benefits.
The United States is the only advanced economy where employers are the primary source of health care. Famed investor Warren Buffett has called employer-provided health care the “tapeworm of American competitiveness,” because it forces American firms to bear a costly bureaucratic burden their foreign competitors don’t have to deal with. As health care costs have soared during the last three decades, employers have set aside more and more for benefits, leaving less for raises. In theory, there are reasons for the business community to support a single-payer system that would relieve them of an onerous obligation completely unrelated to most companies’ business models.
The enormous cost
But first, the eye-popping price tag for Medicare for all. New analysis by Charles Blahous of the libertarian Mercatus Center at George Mason University found that single-payer health care for all Americans would cost at least $32.6 trillion during the first decade, or $3.3 trillion per year. Total federal spending now amounts to $4.2 trillion per year, so adding Medicare for all spending to that tally would nearly double federal outlays. Other analyses of Medicare for all have put the cost of the Sanders plan in the same ballpark.
That might seem outrageous, but it’s worth keeping in mind that a Sanders-style single-payer system would transfer all health care spending to the federal government. “I’m scoring the federal cost here, and it’s enormous,” Blahous told Yahoo Finance. “The other side of the coin is businesses, individuals, states and others are not going to be paying these costs. They’re going to be given to the federal government.”
On the whole, the Blahous analysis finds that total health spending would actually decline under the Sanders plan, compared with the status quo, with the feds paying a lot more, but everybody else paying nothing. And more people would get coverage, since everybody would be eligible. As the only buyer of health care, the government would have the power to demand deep discounts, and there would be lower overhead because there would only be one administrative structure. Of course, we’d all have to get care through the government, and deal with the pitfalls that would entail.
Still, the tradeoffs for businesses could be attractive. Federal tax revenue from individuals and businesses will total about $3 trillion this year. So taxes would need to more than double to cover a giant new health care plan. Doubling everybody’s taxes sounds like a death wish for politicians. But it might not be as crazy as it sounds.
Businesses now pay about $1.2 trillion in health care costs per year, which provides coverage for about 49% of the American population. Federal income tax payments for businesses will only total around $243 billion this year. So corporate America pays 5 times as much for health care benefits for employees as it pays in federal taxes. If you tripled or even quadrupled corporate income taxes, while eliminating all their spending on health care, it would still amount to a net savings for businesses.

Individuals pay about $365 billion per year for health care, with some paying their own insurance premiums and others paying out-of-pocket expenses not covered by insurance. Individual taxpayers are the biggest source of federal tax revenue, forking over an estimated $1.6 trillion this year. So you could raise individual income taxes by $365 billion, or roughly 23%, and leave consumers on average no worse off.
The math here is vastly oversimplified, and it doesn’t take account of the massive disruption that would occur were the nation to revamp a sector that accounts for about 18% of the U.S. economy. It’s also obvious that President Trump and his fellow Republicans, who just passed a huge tax cut, would never entertain the idea of giant tax hikes to finance a huge socialized medicine program.
State Medicare equivalents
But that doesn’t mean the idea is dead. Legislators in several states, including Massachusetts, New York and California, have proposed legislation that would create statewide equivalents of Medicare for all, and several Democratic candidates for governor are touting the idea in this year’s elections. New York asked the Rand research organization to analyze the prospect of a statewide single-payer system, and the results suggest a bit more bang for the buck if the state took over health care.
Under the New York plan, the state would have to hike taxes by 156% per year to offer health care to every resident. Right—sounds terrible. But nobody would pay premiums anymore, and out-of-pocket costs would be cut in half. On the whole, overall health spending would decline slightly, even as more people got access to care. Rand estimates that net health care costs, including new taxes, would fall for 90% of the state’s residents, while they’d rise for the top 10% of earners. There would be unpredictable consequences as businesses and workers debated whether to stay in the state or leave.
This sort of change would be an epic political fight. A whole swath of the insurance industry would face extinction and fight like mad for its survival. The government’s concentrated purchasing power would drive down doctor payments and many other fees, forcing the adoption of new business models. With new patients surging into the system, demand for services would soar, straining capacity at many providers.
We’re not ready for all that. But we’re also not happy with the status quo, and we shouldn’t be, since Americans pay the most for health care and generally get the worst outcomes among advanced nations. If business leaders ever come around to the idea that their firms would be better off shedding the obligation to provide health care, it could bring lobbying power to a cause gaining populist support. That could be a recipe for revolution. Someday.
Confidential tip line: rickjnewman@yahoo.com. Click here to get Rick’s stories by email.

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


By LINDA QIU 3 hrs ago

President Trump said his campaign rallies drew larger crowds than concerts for Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Bruce Springsteen. That was one of 15 inaccurate claims he made.
WHAT WAS SAID
“Highways would take 21 years to get approved. We have it down to two years, and it’s going to be one year very shortly.”
— President Trump, at a campaign rally on Thursday night in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
THE FACTS
This is exaggerated.
Mr. Trump has doubled a previously exaggerated claim about the permitting process for roads and infrastructure taking a decade. Average wait times for a permit ranged from three to six years from the fiscal years 1999 to 2016, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

In the 2017 fiscal year, the average wait time was three years and 10 months, almost double Mr. Trump’s claim of a two-year period. (Data for the 2018 fiscal year, which ends in September, is not yet available.)
WHAT WAS SAID
“Our first lottery winner — let’s see, he has seven convictions for theft. He’s killed nine people. And we’re getting him the hell out of our country and giving them to the stupid politicians that have been running the United States for many years.’”
THE FACTS
False.
Mr. Trump has previously said that other countries were not “giving us their best” through the diversity visa lottery program. He has now escalated that unsubstantiated — and vague — claim into a false one by suggesting that foreign governments are sending murderers through the program.
As The New York Times has previously explained, millions of individuals enter the lottery of their own volition, not because they were selected by a foreign government. A computer picks winners at random and, before receiving a visa, the people chosen must undergo a screening process that bars criminals.
WHAT WAS SAID
“Chain migration. And this was a Schumer deal. Schumer wanted this.”
THE FACTS
False.
Mr. Trump is likely confusing the diversity lottery program with “chain migration” or family-based immigration. Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the Senate minority leader, sponsored what became the diversity visa lottery in 1990, but family-based immigration has been a facet of American immigration policy long before Mr. Schumer’s political career began.
Family relationships have been a basis for admitting new immigrants since the 1920s, according to the Congressional Research Service, and the United States began promoting family reunification in 1952, which established a hierarchy that prioritized family members like spouses and children over siblings.
WHAT WAS SAID
Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Bruce Springsteen “were drawing crowds smaller than my crowds.”
THE FACTS
False.
This is not the first time that Mr. Trump has compared crowd size to Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s, though it appears to be the first time he has brought the Boss into the mix.
Mr. Trump has claimed 20,000 to 49,000 people attended his biggest rallies during the 2016 presidential campaign. Even taking Mr. Trump at his word, those figures pale in comparison to audiences that have assembled to hear Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Mr. Springsteen perform.
For example, Mr. Springsteen sold out a two-night show in May 2016 in Dublin, drawing an average of 80,000 people to each show. This June, Beyoncé and Jay-Z performed for a crowd of over 57,000 in Berlin. (In addition, it should be noted that fans purchase tickets to hear the musicians in question, while Mr. Trump’s rallies are free.)
OTHER CLAIMS
Mr. Trump also repeated several other claims The Times has previously debunked:
■ He falsely claimed the United States Steel Corporation “is opening up seven plants.” (It has not announced a single new plant.)
■ He falsely claimed “Russia is very unhappy that Trump won.” (Intelligence agencies have said — and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has confirmed — that he preferred Mr. Trump to Hillary Clinton.)
■ He mischaracterized NATO members as “delinquent” on payments to the alliance. (He is referring to a pledge each member set for spending on its own military.)
■ He falsely claimed “NATO funding was going down” before he raised the issue. (Military spending from members has been increasing since 2015.)
■ He claimed, with no evidence, that the man charged in the Manhattan truck attack in October brought in “22 relatives.” (This is not possible.)
■ He hyperbolically said immigrants arrested on suspicion of crossing the border illegally “never come back” for court dates. (Most do.)
■ He exaggerated the number of jobs the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines would bring, estimating 48,000 jobs. (A vast majority are temporary.)
■ He misleadingly claimed that “nobody would have believed” how many jobs have been added since his election. (The number added in a comparable period before his election was larger.)
■ He falsely claimed to have signed the “biggest tax cuts in the history of our country.” (Several were larger,)
■ He misleadingly claimed to have “saved our family farms from the estate tax.” (About 80 family farms and small businesses were affected.)
■ He took credit for passing the Veterans Choice Act, which he said other presidents had been trying to pass for 40 years. (It passed in 2014, though he did sign new overhauls,)
Source: Federal Highway Administration, Congressional Research Service, Billboard, The New York Times.

My take on other Trumpisms aka lies

Promise: “Build the wall and Mexico will pay for it”

Reality:  Wall will cost (or what is asked for) 20 Billion dollars- better use for that money Nationwide infrastructure repair. The wall would not do what he thinks it will do. There are no open borders and yes there are still some people coming across illegally but not getting beyond the border in the huge numbers touted.

Promise: Repeal and Replace Obamacare:

Reality: ACA (aka Obamacare) prices have risen pricing neediest out of the market due to insurance companies losing subsidies that were designed to assist these folks. Result is more of the needy have no or little medical care, this puts more of the financial weight on the people who pay for healthcare as no one can be denied medical assistance by law.

Promise: Tax Reform-will benefit the lowest earners:

Tax cuts for Corporations and High earners did not create jobs but provided a way to pay dividends to stock holders-this does not trickle down or create jobs. Essentially if you already are wealthy , you are now wealthier.

Pardons: Pardoning convicted criminals:

A distraction to bring focus on himself as a good administrator.

Jumps on any bandwagon that elevates him e.g. NFL Kneeling, immigration (separating parents from children), bringing coal back (unless natural gas is depleted, or the sun and wind cease to exist) this won’t happen especially since many mines have closed.

Collusion: much talked about but issue really is whether or not information was  received or given to foreign entities regarding our elections.

Lies to cover the lies that he lies about.

White house staff follow the lies ala Hitler and Goebbels. Currently National Conspirator and lie monger Steve Bannon planning a disruptive campaign in the midterm. We must be aware of these assaults on our Democracy from within and without.

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


 

Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect <info@prospect.org>

AUGUST 1, 2018
Kuttner on TAP
About that Capital Gains Scam. The Trump administration has come up with a shameless and probably illegal way to deliver hundreds of billions in further tax cuts to the richest Americans. Allow taxpayers to adjust capital gains for inflation, and thereby pay a far lower tax.
They plan to do this by administrative fiat if they can’t get Congress to bite.
The move was discussed by the Bush administration, and was rejected as probably illegal. Only Congress can revise the tax code. But with the current Supreme Court, you never know. Anything goes.
Here is a dirty little secret for progressives to consider. As we demonstrated in our special issue on the tax cut, virtually all of the provisions of that cut, which Republicans jammed through Congress on a straight party-line vote, are unpopular. Republicans simply got too greedy and delivered nearly all of the benefits to the rich.
But as much as I hate to say it, this capital gains scam might be popular with the upper middle class, including many Democrats. Why? Because your typical $100,000 income family has most of its net worth in the family house.
And because of the inadequacy of pension plans in this country, the typical retirement plan includes selling the family home and downsizing. Do the arithmetic. You bought a house in 1988 for $150,000. Thanks partly to the run-up in housing prices, it’s now worth $650,000. So you are stuck paying a capital gain on $500,000.
But adjust that for inflation, and the taxable gain is more like $200,000. Pretty tempting. Lots of $100,000 families are far from “rich,” and many are Democrats. The Republicans may have backed into something politically clever.
Here’s a better way. Before recent rounds of tax “reform,” the system used to provide that you only paid capital gains tax in the case of a house on the difference between the value of the old house and the value of the new one, if the new one was worth less. That’s far better policy.
It would provide even more of a break to downsizing longtime homeowners. It also has the virtue of just targeting housing, as opposed to giving the same inflation break to owners of stocks and bonds, the vast majority of whom really are rich.
Democrats take notice. Let’s hope the courts find the administration’s gambit illegal, but it’s a seductive idea that may come before Congress, and it might even peel off some Democratic votes unless Democrats have a better alternative. You can’t beat something with nothing. ~ ROBERT KUTTNER

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


JULY 31, 2018
Meyerson on TAP
In a characteristically well-argued essay that ran yesterday on Vox, Prospect alum (and, OK, also Vox’s founding editor) Ezra Klein demonstrated how the nation’s growing racial diversity, and the declining share of its white population, has been a major factor fueling the rise of white nationalism, racism, and backlash. He noted that Barack Obama’s election as president, far from signaling the triumph of a post-racial America, actually had the effect of spurring a more alarmed, alarmist, and virulent racism among sectors of the white population.
I’ve long argued that it was Obama’s misfortune to come to power at a time when the nation’s racial composition was in the flux that it was in. His election would have driven white racists crazy at any time, of course, but if we look at the politics of American cities, we can discern particular periods when it’s easier for minorities to govern. The first African Americans elected mayors of major cities came to power under two specific sets of circumstances. One group—Richard Hatcher in Gary, Indiana, and Carl Stokes in Cleveland, who were elected in 1967 and 1968, respectively—won their office in cities where, for the first time, a clear majority of the electorate was black. The second group—personified by Tom Bradley, who was elected mayor of Los Angeles in 1973—came to power in cities where blacks were a relatively small share of the population and clearly not destined to displace what was then a white majority. In 1973, LA was roughly 17 percent black, and it was Bradley’s ability to forge a coalition across racial lines, in which blacks and Jews were the largest constituencies, that led to his victory (and his four subsequent re-elections).
In other words, blacks broke through electorally when they had the numbers to constitute a majority unto themselves, or when they were a vibrant but small share of the overall population and thus didn’t threaten to displace the existing, white, majority. (Of course, if LA’s whites, and more particularly LA’s Jews, hadn’t been disproportionately liberal, Bradley would never have been elected.)
Obama came to power in a different set of circumstances—at a time when many whites’ fears of the erosion of white hegemony, of what they saw as the looming transformation of a normatively white, and just plain white, America into a (normatively and just plain) multiracial America were already rising. Like Bradley, of course, Obama could not have been elected and re-elected had there not been a major share of the white population that didn’t hold such views. But among many of the white Americans who did, his election was just one more sign that the nation was headed where they didn’t want it to go, and for many of them, their racist views became only more virulent and vicious.
The thought recently occurred to me that in this, Obama may have been following in the footsteps of Léon Blum—or more accurately, in moving from Obama to Trump, America may be following in the footsteps of France when it moved from Blum to Marshal Pétain. Following elections in 1936, in which all the French parties of the left and center-left, from the Communists to the Socialists to the Republicans, joined forces in the face of rising fascism to elect France’s first left-wing government, Socialist Léon Blum became the nation’s prime minister. During the year his coalition governed, Blum put through the landmark legislation establishing France’s welfare state, which exists to this day.
But Blum wasn’t merely France’s first socialist prime minister; he was also its first Jewish prime minister, in a nation where anti-Semitism was the very linchpin of the sizable far-right, in a nation that had almost split in two 30 years earlier over the Dreyfus affair, which had been fueled by the savage anti-Semitism of both the right and the military. That Blum, a Jew, could become prime minister was almost too much for the French right to bear (indeed, Blum was dragged out of a car and beaten by anti-Semites a few weeks before his election). The newly reinforced anti-Semitism festered until the Germans took France’s surrender in 1940, and then burst forth in the Vichy regime that the Nazis authorized. Headed by World War I hero Petain, Vichy willingly collaborated with the Nazis in sending French Jews to the death camps. Blum had refused to flee France when it fell; he was tried by Vichy on charges of treason, which he so convincingly refuted that the trial was abruptly stopped before reaching completion—though Vichy sent Blum to a German concentration camp anyway. The Nazis ordered his execution just days before they surrendered to the Allies; fortunately, local officials refused to carry it out.
So did Obama’s presidency, in fueling an intensified white racism, follow in the footsteps of Blum’s year in power, which raised the French right’s anti-Semitism to a boil? Seems that way. ~ HAROLD

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate

%d bloggers like this: