Category: Donald Trump
Some Recent ‘Tweets’ Summarizing Senate-House Tax Cut Proposals
| December 7, 2017 | 8:38 pm | Analysis, Donald Trump, Jack Rasmus | No comments

Some Recent ‘Tweets’ Summarizing Senate-House Tax Cut Proposals

Some Recent ‘Tweets’ Summarizing Senate-House Tax Cut Proposals

by Dr. Jack Rasmus,

Republicans will now ‘sharpen their knives’ to go after grandma and grandpa, to cut social security and medicare–and medicaid for single moms and disabled, to pay for $2T deficit (not $1 or $1.5T) in Trump tax cuts

Senate bill means beginning of the end of ACA healthcare Act: Ending individual mandate will raise premiums for all by minimum 10% in 2018 and more thereafter. 4 million will immediately drop; 13m will drop by 2027, per independent estimates.

Senate tax bill means 3200 of the richest 0.1% households no longer will pay inheritance tax whatsoever; the remaining 1800 will have new threshold of $22 million before paying. Fewer than 0.1% households will now pay Inheritance tax.

Senate version off Trump Tax cuts reshuffles the House bill: Corps still get $1.5T; pass thru business $476B;Multinational corps $500B + bigger loopholes for real estate, autos, oil, depreciation=$3T business cuts paid by $3T tax hikes for middle class.

Trump’s latest ‘big lie’: the tax cuts “will cost me millions”. Trump’s 2005 tax returns show he paid only paid taxes due to AMT; doubling AMT exemption will halve his taxes. Trump’s 500 ‘business income pass through’ companies also gain from rate cut from 39.6% to 25% (or less 23% in Senate)

Multinational US corps past history with 2005 repatriation tax windfall tax cut (from 35% to 5.25%) showed 90% of windfall was used for stock buyback, dividends, and financing mergers and acquisitions.

Trump Tax cut based on faulty economic theory: give business more disposable income & they will invest it short run, leading to jobs, wages, GDP. US businesses now sit on $2 trillion cash in US +$2.8T offshore. If they aren’t investing with $4.8T, why would they with another $3t?

Senate tax bill deficit of $1 trillion based on absurd assumptions of economic growth. Past historical GDP trend for next decade will at least double the $1 to $2 trillion deficit or more. Decade from now, US debt will exceed $30 trillion

Israeli and Palestinian communists denounce Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Israeli and Palestinian communists denounce Trump’s decision on Jerusalem
Israeli and Palestinian Communist Parties have reacted to U.S. President Donald Trump’s provocative decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Below you can read statements by parties such as Hadash, the CP of Israel, the Palestinian CP and the Palestinian Peoples’ Party.
Hadash / Communist Party of Israel (CPI)
According the official website of the Communist Party of Israel (CPI), the intention to transfer the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem “provoked reactions of outrage” among the ranks of the CPI, including the members from the Joint List of the Democracy Front for Peace and Equality (Hadash) in the parliamentary assembly of Israel, Knesset.
Trump is a crazy pyromaniac capable of setting the entire region ablaze with his madness,” stated the leader of the Joint List, Members of Knesset (MK) Ayman Odeh. “If there is one thing that the past few days have proved, it’s that the US shouldn’t remain the sponsor for discussions between Israel and the Palestinians,” Odeh added. “If the Israeli government wishes for the world to recognize West Jerusalem as the Israel’s capital, all it needs to do is recognize East Jerusalem as the capital city of Palestine.”
Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash) attacked the decision of US president Donald Trump to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. “The decision to move the embassy cripples the peace process and the chances of reaching a diplomatic agreement in the region,” Touma-Sliman said. “As long as Israel refers to Jerusalem as a ‘united’ city and occupies the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Trump’s decision will significantly harm the rights of the Palestinian people to liberty and self-determination in its future capital, East Jerusalem.”
Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas warned on Sunday, December 3, against US plans to relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, saying that such a move “would endanger the future of the political process in the region.” According to Palestine’s official news agency WAFA, Abbas expressed his outrage and concern in a meeting with a delegation from the Hadash in Ramallah. President Abbas added that Arab countries, including Palestine, and the international community would not recognize such a move by the US administration.
Earlier Sunday, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki called on the Arab League and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to convene to discuss the situation regarding Jerusalem. Al-Maliki warned that such a US move “would have grave consequences” and would “blow up the situation in the Palestinian territories and throughout the region.
Jerusalem remains at the core of the perennial Israel-Palestine conflict, as Palestinians want Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state of their own.
* * * 
Palestinian Communist Party (PCP)
The statement reminded that the historical Zionist occupation of Palestinian land would not have occurred without the support of British and American imperialism forming this usurper entity, which since its inception is confiscating the land and deporting the people of Palestine.
The Communist Party of Palestine named the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem as “a declaration of war” on the people of Palestine and its national cause. “This obliges us to unite and end the Palestinian division quickly and properly, the only viable option remaining before our people is massive resistance” said the statement.
It was observed that the American attack on the rights of the Palestinian people regarding its defeat “by the axis of resistance” in the region means that the arrogance of US policy is challanging the Palestinian people, free Arab nations and the world.
The statement underlined that the central focus in the face of the Trump attack is the masses of the Palestinian people, its national resistance. It said that this requires to draw a policy of confrontation including; 
– Unifying of all factions on the Palestinian arena and the restoration of the PLO on the basis of a revolutionary democracy. 
– Re-considering the Charter of the PLO and replacing the two-state solution with the one-state democratic solution, which requires a struggle by all means. 
– Meeting all the factions of the national action to prepare for a third uprising, led by the factions of resistance.
– Emphasizing the need to overcome regional agendas or commitments. 
– Giving a larger role for the masses through the people’s congresses, a General People’s Congress, in the homeland and among the diaspora, to draw a policy of confrontation. 
– Resisting to the division of the Palestinian party concerning the Oslo commitments based on the Decisions of the General People’s Congress. 
The Palestinian CP ended the statement with the slogans “Long live Jerusalem, the eternal capital of an independent Palestinian state”, “Freedom to the prisoners of the Palestinian Communist Party”. 
* * *
Palestinian Peoples’ Party (PPP) 
In a press statement, the PPP said that the implementation of the US administration’s decision would have serious repercussion on the security and stability of the region, cutting away the chances of “political settlement” of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The decision was assessed as a blatant attack on the Palestinian people in their struggle for a independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem being its capital. The PPP underlined that the shrewd policy pursued by the US will lead to further ignition of chaos in the Middle East, especially in light of its efforts to impose “solutions” that do not meet the minimum rights of the Palestinian people.
The PPP called not to succumb to Trump’s blackmail policy and his administrations efforts to force the Palestinian leadership to deal with his vision of reviving the “peace process”. Pointing out to Israel’s projects to undermine the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to an independent state on the occupied territories since 1967, Jerusalem being its capital, the PPP stated the need for the US administration to play a positive role.
In order to resist US efforts to diminish the rights of the Palestinian people stipulated in all charters and resolutions of international legitimacy, the PPP called to accelarate the process of ending the division among Palestinian political actors, restoring a comprehensive national unity and adopting a strategy based on further escalation of the struggle. According the statement of the PPP, in the forefront, the popular resistance should be based on the international recognition of the State of Palestine in 2012 with Jerusalem as its capital.
The KKE condemns Trump government’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The KKE condemns Trump government’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city

Regarding the announcement of U.S. President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city, the Press Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece issued the following statement of condemnation:

“The decision of the USA to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital shows the cynicism with which american imperialism actively participates in the crime that is being committed against the people of Palestine by Israel and its allies, primarily the USA, as well as the EU. The later, not only deepens constantly her relations with Israel, but also indentifies the perpetrator and the victim, proclaiming as “terrorism” the righteous struggle of the people of Palestine.

A result of this long-time policy is the continuation of the occupation of Palestine, the violence exercised by the state of Israel against the Palestinian people, the murders, the thousands political prisoners, the wall, the settlements, in a few words the torture of a whole people. 
Now, with their new decision the USA “adds fuel to the fire” which seeks to “burn” the solution of founding and recognition of a palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital, next to Israel. Moreover, such as act is definitely related with the broader developments in the region of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, in which the USA are planning and promote military conflicts, border changes, within the framework of the so-called “Big Middle East” plan, aiming to control the energy resources and the market shares, the roads of goods’ transporation. 

The SYRIZA-ANEL government has its own heavy responsibilities in this crime, not only because it  systematically exonerates and embellishes american imperialism, but also because it deeply develops the relations with Israel, even giving them a character of strategic importance thus involving the country deeper in the imperialist antagonisms. Furthermore, it is responsible for not moving straight towards the recognition of the palestinian state by applying the relevant decision of the Parliament on December 2015, something which the parliamentary group of the KKE recently submitted as a question to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

Once again, the KKE expresses its solidarity to the righteous struggle of the people of Palestine and condemns in the most decisive way the acts of the american imperialists and their allies.”

Source: / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
The Nauseating Hypocrisy of Liberal Anger at Trump Retweets
| December 1, 2017 | 8:20 pm | Analysis, Donald Trump | No comments

The Nauseating Hypocrisy of Liberal Anger at Trump Retweets

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks as US President Donald Trump listens during their joint news conference at the White House in Washington, US, January 27, 2017

The Nauseating Hypocrisy of Liberal Anger at Trump Retweets

© REUTERS/ Carlos Barria

Get short URL
John Wight

There is no more unedifying a sight than the sight of the Western liberal establishment rushing to seize the moral high ground. Like a pack of hungry dogs presented with food, Western liberals, desperate to bolster their misplaced sense of exceptionalism and virtue, become positively deranged whenever the opportunity to do so presents itself.

Thus we have the feeding frenzy in response to Trump retweeting anti-Muslim tweets sent out by the far right political organization Britain First in the UK.

Though they are a small marginal group in the scheme of things, Britain First is known for being clever in its use of social media, working to achieve a ubiquitous presence that far outweighs its size or support. As such, they will no doubt be delighted at having achieved the tacit endorsement of the President of the United States.

Who would ever have thought that a few retweets could spark such a political crisis though? Indeed some are even speculating that the backlash could damage the much vaunted ‘special relationship’ between London and Washington; what with the President taking UK Prime Minister Theresa May to task in a separate tweet for daring to denounce him.

READ MORE: Theresa, Is That You? Trump Tweets to Woman Who Isn’t UK Prime Minister

And who would ever think the US would be led by president who’s so far to the right he makes George W. Bush seem like Che Guevara?

But here’s where we come to the swamp of hypocrisy in which Trump’s liberal detractors are swimming. The sight of people who supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and NATO-backed regime change in Libya in 2011, involving the deaths and suffering of countless Muslims — men, women, and children — the sight of them excoriating Trump over retweeting the bile of an anti-Muslim hate group in the UK, is as nauseating as it gets.

It is more evidence of the parallel universe in which Western liberal leaders and their supporters exist. We are talking the same people whose championing of the anti-human free market neoliberal economic model, the fruits of which has been rampant inequality at home and war and regime change without end abroad — war and regime change that was responsible for Daesh — created the anger that got Donald Trump elected over the preferred establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton, in the first place.Similarly with Brexit in the UK, which arrived as another symptom of the collapse of neoliberalism and disdain for the liberal class with which neoliberalism is inextricably linked. That neither Trump’s election nor Brexit is the solution to the crisis of neoliberalism is (at least to me anyway) self-evident. But you cannot escape the righteous anger that ushered in both.

These people — these self-appointed liberal guardians of moral virtue — have the blood and despair of millions on their hands, yet still their hypocrisy and sense of moral virtue never ends.

In the UK the mainstream media recently went cock-a-hoop over Prince Harry’s engagement to Hollywood actress Meghan Markle; this at a time when 4 million of the country’s children are living in poverty, at a time when the country is shamed by one of the highest rates of pensioner poverty in Europe, and when thousands of families are facing a grim Christmas of foodbanks and homelessness, courtesy of the harshest austerity program of any advanced economy, one administered with the objective of breathing life back into the corpse of the aforesaid neoliberal model.

Not that I have anything against Prince Harry or the royal family. On the contrary, they are also victims of this anti-democratic, semi-feudal institution, forced to exist in a gilded cage and treated like exhibits in a veritable zoo, with their every gesture and word pored over by a baying media. The issue is that ostentation has its roots in poverty, which is why listening to UK politicians and commentators arguing against the evils of poverty out of one side of their affluent mouths, while at the same time fawning over the monarchy out of the other, is impossible to swallow without gagging.

Are we really to believe that this evermore facile and shallow liberal establishment holds the solutions to the crises they themselves have authored at home and abroad? Are we?

Our credulity only stretches so far.

Jean Jacques Rousseau once opined scathingly:

“The people of England regards itself as free; but it is grossly mistaken; it is free only during the election of members of parliament. As soon as they are elected, slavery overtakes it, and it is nothing.”

Though perhaps the eighteenth century French social theorist may be guilty of overstatement, he’s got a point when his words are applied figuratively to the UK in 2017.

For slaves to a liberal political and media establishment swimming in hypocrisy the British people most certainly are, condemned to be governed according to a set of economic, political and geopolitical nostrums that have benefited them and their lives not one whit.Anti-Muslim bigotry is poison. Lest we forget, it is Muslims who have borne the brunt of Western foreign policy in recent years; their lives upended first by the initial crime of military intervention, sold to them on the basis of ‘destroying their countries in order to save them’, and then by the emergence of the Salafi-jihadi barbarism of Daesh and other terrorist groups in the wake of the resulting chaos and societal collapse.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria: no amount of contrived anger and indignation over Trump’s retweets could ever come close to making up for what this Western liberal order has wreaked in the name of ‘democracy’.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Check out John’s Sputnik radio show, Hard Facts.


‘Hostility Between US and Russia Won’t End Until Trump Leaves Office’ – Analyst
| November 19, 2017 | 6:26 pm | Analysis, Donald Trump, Russia | No comments

‘Hostility Between US and Russia Won’t End Until Trump Leaves Office’ – Analyst

Official residence of the U.S. President, the White House in Washington D.C.

‘Hostility Between US and Russia Won’t End Until Trump Leaves Office’ – Analyst

© Sputnik/ Natalia Seliverstova

Get short URL

Russia’s State Duma has adopted in the third and final reading an amendment that allows it to mark media outlets funded by foreign countries as foreign agents, in response to US actions. Radio Sputnik has discussed the issue with Stephen Ebert, an independent political analyst.

Sputnik: Is there any likelihood that the US will change its hostile policy towards the Russian media and get a message that their step was wrong?

Stephen Ebert: I actually do not see that in the near future. I think at this point we have come across a bridge. I personally look at requirements depending on what the word “foreign agent” means, but I don’t find it terribly unusual. Having said that, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. So I take it from a broader picture, I see this globally. Countries have the right to track or keep track of foreign [media]. And Russia is a foreign country.

I don’t necessarily find it that horrible as long as we all play by the same rules, which to me is what Russia is now doing.

And I would say this: As long as Trump is in  office I guarantee you that any of that hostility, it just won’t end. There is just really a bad feeling in America and it tends to have a lot to do with Trump to be honest, so I think if and when it ends, it won’t end while Trump is president.

Sputnik: How will the ongoing tensions affect the work of journalists in both countries? What impact will it have on international journalism in general?

Stephen Ebert: I have to say and I am a bit embarrassed as I haven’t read into the details of the foreign agent’s requirements. I don’t see a lot of impact on the work of journalists here, but at the same time […] I am not so sure it’s the foreign agent’s law. The US journalistic community has been stunningly insensitive to the work of Russian journalists.

I think leading up to this foreign agents thing that’s particularly troublesome and the fact that almost every media outlet here, it’s not a fake news. But every media outlet tends to always say that if there is a Russian journalist, they work for state-controlled media. And they have been saying that forever and they have been treating them as such. They may not have run up on the street saying, “Hey we are going to take your microphone and camera away.” And I don’t think they will now. But they haven’t treated them as colleagues, they just haven’t. So I don’t think they will get perceivably worse for the work in any country. From what I have seen from Russia they have been more reactive in the last four, five years.

People like symmetrical answers and I don’t see Russia chasing down Western journalists in Moscow.

US STRATCOM Head Ready to Resist Possible Illegal Order to Use Nuclear Weapons
| November 18, 2017 | 8:37 pm | Donald Trump, DPRK, struggle against nuclear war | No comments
a giant nuclear-equipped USAF B-52 bomber lifts off from the snow covered RAF Fairford runway in Gloucestershire, England, en route to the Gulf

US STRATCOM Head Ready to Resist Possible Illegal Order to Use Nuclear Weapons

© AFP 2017/ Gerald Penny

Get short URL

Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of the US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) said on Saturday he was ready to disobey a possible presidential unlawful order to use nuclear weapons.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Air Force Gen. John Hyten said at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada that the law of armed conflict set a number of criteria to determine legality of a military action such as necessity, distinction, proportionality, unnecessary suffering and others.

“I provide advice to the president, he will tell me what to do… And if it’s illegal, guess what’s going to happen? I’m going to say, ‘Mr. President, that’s illegal.’ And guess what he’s going to do? He’s going to say, ‘What would be legal?’ And we’ll come up [with] options, with a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that’s the way it works. It’s not that complicated,” Hyten said, as quoted by the CBS News broadcaster.

“If you execute an unlawful order, you will go to jail. You could go to jail for the rest of your life,” he added.

Earlier this week, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee raised the issue of whether incumbent President Donald Trump should retain an authority to order a nuclear strike. The Senate focused on the problem after Trump’s harsh remarks about North Korea, which included the promise to to unleash “fire and fury” and to “totally destroy” the country if necessary.

US military leaders would reject illegal order for nuclear strike, senators told

US military leaders would reject illegal order for nuclear strike, senators told

As senators raise concerns about ‘unstable’ Donald Trump’s decision-making, former commander says military is ‘not obligated to follow illegal orders’

Robert Kehler, right, addresses the Senate foreign relations committee.

Robert Kehler, right, addresses the Senate foreign relations committee. Photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

As senators raise concerns about ‘unstable’ Donald Trump’s decision-making, former commander says military is ‘not obligated to follow illegal orders.

US military commanders would refuse a presidential order to carry out a nuclear first strike that they thought was illegal, senators were told on Tuesday.

Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the chamber’s foreign relations committee, has expressed fears that the president is taking the country “on the path to world war III”.

Separately CNN reported on Tuesday that a “Nato partner country” had raised concerns about Trump’s command of the US nuclear launch system, under which the president alone can order a launch.

Opening the hearing, Corker – who has recently been engaged in bitter exchanges with Trump over his fitness for office – noted that “the president has the sole authority to give that order, whether we are responding to a nuclear attack or not”.

“Once that order is given and verified, there is no way to revoke it,” the Tennessee senator said. “To be clear, I would not support changes that would reduce our deterrence of adversaries or reassurance of our allies. But I would like to explore, as our predecessors in the House did 41 years ago, the realities of this system.”

Chris Murphy, Democratic senator from Connecticut, said: “We are concerned that the president of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic, that he might order a nuclear weapons strike that is wildly out of step with US national security interests.”

Retired Gen Robert Kehler, commander of US Strategic Command (StratCom) from 2011 to 2013, told the Senate committee that he would have refused to carry out a nuclear first strike on presidential orders if he believed it did not meet the requirements of proportionality and necessity under the law of armed conflict.

“I would have said: I’m not ready to proceed,” Kehler said.

“Then what happens?” he was asked.

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Fortunately, these are all hypothetical scenarios. There is the human factor in our system. There is a human element to this.

“It would be a very interesting constitutional situation, I believe. The military is obligated to follow legal orders but is not obligated to follow illegal orders,” Kehler said, adding that he always made sure he had legal advisers at hand when he was at Strategic Command.

Ed Markey, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts who is sponsoring legislation that would limit the president’s authority to launch a first nuclear strike, said he was not reassured by Kehler’s arguments.

“I don’t have confidence that a military chain of command would reject an order by the president to launch nuclear weapons in a preventative nuclear war situation,” Markey told the Guardian after Tuesday’s hearing.

“I think that would be abdicating the responsibility of the US Congress to a group of generals who in many instances would have been appointed by the commander-in-chief, Donald Trump. That’s a very thin reed on which to have the fate of the planet being dependent.”

The president and his top officials have said repeatedly that North Korea would not be allowed to threaten the US with nuclear weapons, but as Pyongyang has persisted with its nuclear and missile tests, it has been unclear what the administration would do to stop the regime.

In August, the national security adviser, HR McMaster, raised the prospect of a “preventative war”, but many observers of the Korean standoff said any conflict was highly likely to quickly escalate into a nuclear exchange.

Under the US constitution, only Congress has the power to declare war, but the president, as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, has the authority to respond to an actual or imminent threat. Much of the Senate committee hearing was taken up by discussion of what constituted an imminent threat and who could make that determination.

Peter Feaver, a politics professor at Duke University and a specialist on presidential war powers, said: “I would say distinguish between scenarios where the military wake up the president versus scenarios where the presidents wake up the military.”

Feaver added: “In the context where the president is waking up the military in an extreme funk, saying ‘I’m angry and I want something done’, he would require a lot of people cooperating with him to make the strike happen. And they would be asking the questions that would slow down that process.”

Arms control experts however, expressed doubt that lawyers would always be involved in the decision.

“The system is designed entirely for speed, not deliberation,” said Stephen Young, a senior analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“Certainly in the case of responding to an incoming attack, the lawyers are not involved. It is not clear it would be any different for a nuclear first strike, despite Gen Kehler’s statements.”