Category: Donald Trump
Elizabeth Warren Obliterates Trump For Rolling Back Obama-Era Student Debt Relief Rules

 

Elizabeth Warren Obliterates Trump For Rolling Back Obama-Era Student Debt Relief Rules

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The two rules being reworked by the administration help protect students from shady lending behavior and assist them in finding jobs after college that allow them to pay off their debt.


Elizabeth Warren Obliterates Trump For Rolling Back Obama-Era Student Debt Relief Rules

Responding to this week’s quiet announcement by the Trump administration that they plan to roll back two Obama-era rules that help students repay their burdensome debt, Elizabeth Warren obliterated Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

In a series of tweets, Warren said her and the administration’s decision to reconsider the protections makes it more likely for students to be “cheated” and less likely for them to get out from under massive student loan debt.

As The Hill noted today, the two rules being reworked by the administration are the borrower defense and gainful employment rules, which help protect students from shady lending behavior and assist them in finding jobs after college that allow them to pay off their debt.

As Warren said in a separate statement, the move by the Trump Department of Education would be an assault on the consumer protections of students.

“Students shouldn’t have the pause button hit on their consumer protections, and this isn’t the time for the Department of Education to step back from their responsibility to protect federal loan borrowers,” the Massachusetts senator said.

Reworking the rules in favor of for-profit institutions may benefit the moneyed interests that support this administration, but it’s certainly not helpful to millions of American students burdened with insurmountable debt.

Bernie Sanders Unleashes The Rage Of America In An Epic Chicago Destruction Of Trump

Bernie Sanders Unleashes The Rage Of America In An Epic Chicago Destruction Of Trump

At the People’s Summit in Chicago, Sen. Bernie Sanders crushed Donald Trump with the most comprehensive policy dismantling of his term so far.


Bernie Sanders Unleashes The Rage Of America In An Epic Chicago Destruction Of Trump

At the People’s Summit in Chicago, Sen. Bernie Sanders crushed Donald Trump with the most comprehensive policy dismantling of his term so far.

Sen. Sanders called Trump perhaps the worst and most dangerous president in the history of the country, and later said:

Let us be clear. Above and beyond every other concern that we have with President Trump, please do not forget that his economic policies are precisely what the extreme right wing billionaire Koch brothers have been pushing for decades. During his campaign, Trump posed as a friend of the working class. Not surprisingly, however, the budget and healthcare proposals that he has brought forth are the most destructive for working people in the modern history of our country.

Mr. Trump: Do not tell us that you are a friend of the working class when you throw 23 million Americans off of healthcare, and make devastating cuts to education, senior needs, nutrition, housing and environmental protection. Meanwhile, at the same time, you provide $3 trillion in tax breaks to the top 1 percent. Your proposals were written by the billionaire class, for the billionaire class. You have cynically and dishonesty turned your back on the pain and despair felt today by working class people across this country.

What Bernie Sanders laid out was the massive fraud that lies at the heart of the Trump presidency. Donald Trump isn’t a president for the people. A week after the election, Sens. Sanders and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) sounded the alarm that the Koch brothers had infiltrated Trump’s White House. Most working class voters did see through Trump’s BS in 2016, as election data reveals that only 25% of Trump’s support came from the working class. Hillary Clinton and Democrats won with the working class in 2016. The problem was that there weren’t enough of them out there voting to win a close election.

The left has so many areas that they can attack Trump on, but one of the most important is what Sen. Sanders was driving at. Donald Trump sold millions of Americans a bill of goods. Sanders hit on his many of his greatest hits while he addressed the adoring crowd, but there was a bigger message beside a rehash of his 2016 primary campaign.

Sanders delivered an epic takedown of Trump, and in case Republicans harbored any delusions about what 2018 is going to be all about, they got a hint in the person of Bernie Sanders.

2018 and 2020 are going to be all about the dangerous deceit and fraud of Donald Trump.

Sanders: Trump ‘proposals written by the billionaire class’

Sanders: Trump ‘proposals written by the billionaire class’

Sanders: Trump ‘proposals written by the billionaire class’
© Getty Images
Senator Bernie Sanders on Saturday will call Trump’s economic policies “precisely what the extreme right wing billionaire Koch brothers have been pushing for decades,” according to an excerpt of his planned speech for “The People’s Summit” in Chicago.
“Mr. Trump: do not tell us you are a friend of the working class,” Sanders continues in the excerpts. He particularly targets Trump’s  budget and healthcare proposals. “Your proposals were written by the billionaire class, for the billionaire class. You have cynically and dishonestly turned your back on the pain and despair felt today by the working class people across this country.”
Sanders goes on to share his vision for the Democratic Party, which “cannot continue to be a party of the East Coast and the West Coast.” The working people of “Mississippi and Wyoming… will support a progressive agenda – if we bring that agenda to them,” the speech reads.
These remarks emphasize many of the key issues of the senator’s widely-supported 2016 campaign for president, which emphasized the unequal taxation of America’s “billionaire class,” raising the minimum wage, and the need for heavy government investment in the job market and health care system.
The summit gathers progressive activists from across the country. Speakers include controversial Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour and CNN’s Van Jones.
Bernie Sanders Drops A Bombshell Report That Exposes Trump’s Infrastructure Scam

Bernie Sanders Drops A Bombshell Report That Exposes Trump’s Infrastructure Scam

As the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has released a report that exposes Trump’s infrastructure plan as a scam designed to benefit Wall Street.

Bernie Sanders Drops A Bombshell Report That Exposes Trump’s Infrastructure Scam

As the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has released a report that exposes Trump’s infrastructure plan as a scam designed to benefit Wall Street.

The report exposes how Trump’s infrastructure plan actually cuts infrastructure funding:

Under Trump’s proposal, billionaires on Wall Street, wealthy campaign contributors and even foreign governments would receive hundreds of billions in tax breaks to purchase our highways, airports and water treatment plants. They would then be allowed to impose huge new tolls and fees on the backs of American commuters and homeowners.

The reality is that Trump’s plan to sell off our nation’s highways, bridges and other vital infrastructure to Wall Street, private investors, and foreign governments is an old idea that does not work. Trump’s plan to rebuild America relies heavily on the use of public-private partnerships to finance infrastructure projects with private equity capital. Such financing, whether through private equity or traditional tax-exempt municipal bonds, is repaid by ordinary citizens through a combination of taxes
and user fees.

Private equity financing is markedly more expensive than traditional government financing, however – by as much as three to six times. Considering the scale of infrastructure development under consideration, that difference could be enormous. For example: the charge for a $100 million-dollar investment using traditional government bond financing (at 3 percent, over 30 years) is about $90 million. For private equity capital, at a 15 percent return, the total skyrockets to $450 million.

Trump’s infrastructure plan is to cut real infrastructure spending while giving tax cuts to corporations and billionaires so that they can buy the nation’s infrastructure and profit off of it with tolls and fees. Once the infrastructure is privatized, the new owners will be motivated to keep expenses down and profit up. The easiest way to accomplish this goal would be to spend less on the maintenance of roads and bridges while charging user fees to all.

Sen. Sanders said, “Donald Trump wants to hand over critical public infrastructure to private investors who will squeeze profits from the American people by putting up new tolls and exorbitant user fees. That is unacceptable. We shouldn’t be selling off our infrastructure to billionaires to make huge profits on the backs of working people.”

Trump’s plan is a con. Sen. Sanders and his report make an important point. While the Russia scandal consumes the bulk of the national spotlight, Trump is continuing his efforts to use the presidency to make the wealthiest Americans ever richer.

Bernie Sanders Just Got Trump Booed At A Commencement Address

Bernie Sanders Just Got Trump Booed At A Commencement Address

While giving the commencement address at Brooklyn College, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) got Trump and the Republican Party booed for their plans to cut assistance programs and throw 23 million people off health care while slashing taxes for the wealthiest Americans.

Bernie Sanders Just Got Trump Booed At A Commencement Address

While giving the commencement address at Brooklyn College, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) got Trump and the Republican Party booed for their plans to cut assistance programs and throw 23 million people off health care while slashing taxes for the wealthiest Americans.

All Sanders had to say was that the Republican agenda of cutting programs for the needy and health care while cutting taxes for the very wealthy was an example Citizens United funded oligarchy in action, and the crowd booed.

Trump and the Republicans can blame the media’s coverage of the Russia for their problems if they want, but it is the unpopular agenda of Trump and the Republican Party that is harming them most with the American people. The approval ratings of Republicans including Trump and Ryan didn’t nosedive to their current levels until after the American Health Care Act passed the House.

The Russia scandal has a long way to go until the all of the facts are known, but voters already know and understand what Republicans are trying to do to their health care, education assistance, and a wide variety of programs that are used by everyday Americans.

A Bernie Sanders commencement speech turned into a resistance address, as not even a graduation ceremony is friendly ground for Trump and the Republican agenda.

The Sun Setting on the Empire
| May 30, 2017 | 8:42 pm | Analysis, Donald Trump, Michael Parenti | No comments

The Sun Setting on the Empire

– from Zoltan Zigedy is available at:
http://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/

“History is full of examples of politico-economic elites who equate any challenge to their privileged social order as a challenge to all social order, an invitation to chaos and perdition…” The Assassination of Julius Caesar, Michael Parenti

For Donald Trump, Parenti’s insight is emphatically and relentlessly demonstrated. The months since Trump’s inauguration have brought a ceaseless attack from his political adversaries. More significantly, a broad section of the ruling class has unleashed the barking dogs of the media and pressed the military and the security services to guide Trump back to the aptly named ‘swamp,’ the morass of mainstream politics. The rulers saw “chaos and perdition” in the Trump electoral campaign and the first period of his administration.

Trump constituted a challenge for two reasons: first, he threatened to engage a neo-isolationist foreign policy that violates a broad consensus established since the demise of the Soviet Union, a consensus that unites US triumphalism (Reagan, the Bushes) with the “humanitarian” interventionism of the New Democrats (Clinton, Obama). Differences apart, both doctrines spring from the idea that, in the absence of a counterforce like the Soviet Union, the US claims the right or the duty to construct the world in its own image. Each political doctrine may draw upon a different set of guiding principles, but both come to the same conclusion. Both embrace the notion that the US is and must be the dominant and decisive global power. When the humbuggery is sheared away, both are committed to continuing the US position as the top imperialist power — by force, if necessary.

Trump presents a problem because he brings a businessman’s disposition to outwit an opponent with his cleverness and bluff. Lacking political experience and any abiding principles, President Trump saw foreign military entanglements and military alliances (NATO) as costly impediments to business arrangements. Capitalist Russia, for example, offers numerous business opportunities, especially in the energy sector. His Secretary of State, Tillerson, was desirous of these arrangements while leading Exxon. From a real estate developer’s perspective, the carefully constructed ideological apparatus of human rights, civil society, and US-approved democracy is simply unnecessary baggage. Instead, Trump saw every world leader, every government as a potential bargaining agent.

Of course, monopoly capital does not share the perspective of the petty bourgeois businessman, the boisterous, glad-handing developer. Corporate internationalism is the mindset of monopoly capital; isolation is the mindset of the small businessman.

Trump found himself on the wrong side of that fence.

Second, the US ruling class cares deeply for the image of the chief executive of the state. Protecting and preserving the mythology of the Presidency is a very high order of business. And tarnishing that image is not soon forgiven. Trump’s vulgarity and his utter contempt for long established patterns of acceptable behavior have brought forth a hailstorm of scorn and ridicule. Newsreaders and entertainers across the narrow political spectrum deride the haircut, the physical features, the body language, and all other conduct of President Trump. Trump, the celebrity, could be as tawdry as he liked; but Trump, the President, is, hypocritically, held to higher standards.

When Nixon went off the rails and discredited the Presidency, the same hailstorm befell him. After Gerald Ford bungled through Nixon’s post-resignation years, the ruling class found a gee-whiz peanut farmer, a born-again Southerner to whitewash the stained Presidency. Avuncular Jimmy Carter was the perfect answer to the Nixon criminality.

Similarly, the bungled wars and economic collapse plaguing the George W Bush administration required a fix. That fix was the youth, the vigor, the clean-image, and the originality of the first African American President, Barack Obama. The burnishing of the Presidential image was so successful that Barack Obama astonishingly received the Nobel Peace Prize less than ten months after his inauguration.

Trump threatens that image once again.
                                   Outfoxing Fox

The media campaign against Trump has reached hysterical proportions. With Fox News on the ropes from the loss or damaging of prominent hosts and with their leading lights caught in a cesspool of sexual harassment, their media competitors leaped at the chance to exploit Fox’s vulnerability. As the voice of the right, Fox News was compelled to mount a reluctant defense of the Trump Administration.

Virtually every competing monopoly media corporation saw an opportunity to gain in influence from Fox’s weakness, launching virulent and relentless attacks on Trump. Moreover, the security services fed the media appetizing and suggestive leaks which the media hungrily and uncritically passed on to the public. Daily stories– multiple stories– recounted Trumpian flaws, from etiquette to criminal plotting with Russians. Every day brings new innuendo, new sensationalism. Given that the media and the security services are speaking nearly entirely with one voice, given that little or no real evidence has been produced in support of any but the most trivial charge, many have characterized the campaign as a witch hunt.

Thanks to the anti-Trump blitz, Fox News has been put in its place. The mainstream or “liberal” media has enjoyed a ratings surge. MSNBC and its leading witch hunter, Rachel Maddow, have leaped forward dramatically. Lest someone believe that the corporate entertainment/news monopolies are trouncing Trump out of public service, he or she should be reminded of the revealing statement that CBS CEO Leslie Moonves said during the primary campaign: “It May Not Be Good for America, but It’s Damn Good for CBS.” It’s still about the money.

It’s a fascinating irony that Fox News is now being hoisted by its own petard. The competitive monopoly media are now engaging in the same scurrilous innuendo, sensationalism, and abuse of truth that enabled Fox News to arrive at the top of the media ladder. It was a President– Bill Clinton– whose peccadilloes served as the fodder for the rise of Fox News; it is still another President– Donald Trump– whose vulnerabilities are bringing it down. Whitewater, Vince Foster, Kenyan birth certificates, and now Russian infamy: no boundary exists between news and entertainment.

And the security services are feeding the frenzy, from the unconvincingly self-righteous FBI director Comey to the devious ex-CIA director Brennan. Once, during the era of the infamous J. Edgar Hoover and his CIA counterparts, leaks and political meddling were selective and surreptitious in order to maintain the shiny image of agencies free of politics and dedicated to collecting facts. Today’s security agencies leak like sieves and brazenly intervene in political life. Comey’s schizophrenia– vindicating Clinton, then accusing Clinton, and then stalking Trump– can only be interpreted as the moves of a consummate political opportunist seeking a prosecutorial home run. But the liberal pundits have elevated him to the level of a civil rights icon.

Should anyone think that the recent rebuff of the US security agencies by the UK government was simply over leaking details of the Manchester tragedy, think again. The UK government is registering its alarm over the promiscuous intelligence leakage in the US and its future threat to all aspects of confidentiality.

In some circles, the growth of interventions by the security agencies in political life has suggested the existence of a “deep state.” While this makes for a catchy, popular expression for their machinations, it is somewhat misleading, suggesting a group of renegade or rogue bureaucrats operating independently of entrenched power or wealth. In fact, the security agencies work in full agreement with the historic centers of power, the ruling class. They are, as they always have been, the vital arms of the ruling class. Certainly, there are no alarms coming from corporate centers, monopoly capital, or their hired intellectuals rejecting the meddling of the security agencies. The assault on Trump is an assault on Trump’s policies fully authorized by the ruling class and aimed at bringing him back onto the reservation.

La Trahison des Clercs Libérals

Ninety years ago, Julien Benda wrote a book, La Trahison des Clercs, excoriating the intellectuals of his day for their hypocrisy, their venality, and their spinelessness. Today’s liberal intellectuals fall below the low bar set by Benda. Russia-baiting and Putin-hating have become a national pastime with little or no reason to justify their toxic spread. With a few notable exceptions, no public intellectual with any important influence has challenged the relentless charges and rumors piling up. With a few notable exceptions, no public intellectual has acknowledged that most of the “suspicious” interactions or political interventions alleged of Russia are common with most of the US allies such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, or the UK; influence is the bourgeois lubricant for diplomacy. With a few notable exceptions, no public intellectual has noted that the US has, on numerous occasions, exercised massive, decisive influence over the political processes of other countries, from the first days of the CIA (the Italian elections of 1948) to the CIA intervention in the 2012 French elections or its role in the 2014 coup in Ukraine.

The silence of liberals in the midst of unsubstantiated allegations, rumors, and leaks attacking their political adversaries shatters their self-righteous embrace of fair play. The liberal virtues of suspended judgement and deliberate procedure apparently only apply when it is convenient. By failing to challenge the rampant leaks, liberals also fail to challenge the ubiquitous surveillance that could alone serve as the source for the information passed on by unnamed officials.

Reviewing books on Bill Clinton for The New York Review of Books (6-8-17), liberal professor Christopher Lehmann recalls the regrettable time when “Whitewater and what it led to was perfectly suited to several aspects of Washington culture, including Congress’s love of showy investigations, the rise of cable news, and conservative institutions’ need for a target…” It’s a pity that he and his liberal colleagues can’t see the parallel of endless Congressional fishing expeditions, a brutal cable television war, and the Democratic Party’s need for an easy target.

As in the Cold War, the spinelessness of the liberals opens the door to a new McCarthyism that distracts most US citizens from their real and worsening problems. Finding imaginary enemies, whether they are Reds under beds or inquisitive Russian diplomats, is an old, but trustworthy tactic to deflect attention from real and ominous issues.

“They have yet to consider that republicanism might largely be a cloak for oligarchic privilege… worn grudgingly by the elites as long as it proved serviceable to their interests.”
The Assassination of Julius Caesar, Michael Parenti

The Trump legitimacy crisis signals the continuing deterioration of the US political system. With every election, voter dissatisfaction expresses itself more dramatically and more desperately. Oligarchs try ardently to channel public anger and discontent toward acceptable targets. They seek to contrive diversionary issues; they manufacture fears; and they unveil fresh faces.

Obama was thrust into the breach precisely to contain the aftermath of an ineffective, inept Bush administration and dissipate the anger from endless wars and economic collapse.

In 2016, voters turned their backs on ruling class electoral machinations. They rejected the unappetizing Republican primary candidates preferred by the oligarchs and choose the renegade Trump. They also rejected the anointed Democratic Party candidate Clinton for social democrat Bernie Sanders, but the undemocratic leaders of the Democratic Party refused to accept that outcome. Nevertheless, candidate Clinton was defeated in the general election by Trump. Now the ruling class is trying to discipline Trump.

The “cloak” of US republicanism is now transparently a garment serving the interest of the ruling class. As the media and the security services scramble to legitimize the political system, more and more people are looking for new answers, answers that are outside of the usual two-party circus.

The capitalist US, like the Roman Empire chronicled by Michael Parenti, is entering its twilight phase, wracked by unwinnable wars, chronic economic crisis, and prosperity as a mere memory for many. The search for a new road has become urgent.

Zoltan Zigedy

zoltanzigedy@gmail.com

Bernie Sanders Takes Over Hearing And Obliterates Trump Budget Director On CBO Hypocrisy

Bernie Sanders Takes Over Hearing And Obliterates Trump Budget Director On CBO Hypocrisy

This is why Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer made Sen. Bernie Sanders the ranking member of the Budget Committee. Sanders took over the hearing with his first question and destroyed Trump Budget Director Mick Mulvaney for criticized the CBO Director that a member of the administration hand picked.

Bernie Sanders Takes Over Hearing And Obliterates Trump Budget Director On CBO Hypocrisy

This is why Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer made Sen. Bernie Sanders the ranking member of the Budget Committee. Sanders took over the hearing with his first question and destroyed Trump Budget Director Mick Mulvaney for criticized the CBO Director that a member of the administration hand picked.

Sanders mentioned in his first question that Mulvaney had made a remark about CBO Director.

Mulvaney answered, “I’ll see if I can handle each of those in reverse. Actually, let me deal with the CBO first. I can’t disparage who I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve ever disparaged the director of the CBO.”

Sanders, “You made a dismissive remark about him. Even the CBO, you guys appointed the director.”

Mulvaney, “Again, all I’m telling you is that the results are awful.”

Sanders, “But you appointed him, so let’s go with that.”

Mulvaney, “I measure performance by results, Mr. Sanders.”

Sanders, “Your opinion is that the results are terrible. I’m suggesting that it was a member of the Trump administration that appointed this gentleman, not some kind of radical Democrat.”

Mulvaney, “So, we can agree then that the CBO puts out bad data?”

Sanders, “No, we can’t. We can agree that you guys are beating up on a man that you appointed because you don’t like his results.”

Sen. Sanders was correct. The current CBO Director was handpicked by current Trump HHS Secretary Tom Price in 2015.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is the point person on the budgetary issues because he is the ranking Democratic member on the Senate Budget Committee. Exchanges like this are exactly he was given this important position.

Democrats wanted a member of their caucus who would push back and fight against Trump’s budget. Bernie Sanders is supposed to strongly, loudly, and forcefully call out the hypocrisy and lies behind the Trump budget.

Bernie Sanders did his job, and Mick Mulvaney got shredded by the Senator from Vermont.