The Intellectulist: Since 1989, The Top 1% Gained $21T In Wealth. The Bottom 50% Lost $900B.

The following is an interesting article written by William James on The Intellectulist website on June 16, 2019 titled “Since 19889, The Top 1% Gained $21T In Wealth. The Bottom 50% Lost $900B.” and I quote:

“Since 1989, The Top 1% Gained $21T In Wealth. The Bottom 50% Lost $900B.”

William James

Jun 16, 2019

Data recently released by the Federal Reserve has shown inequality has greatly worsened since 1989.

data series recently released by the Federal Reserve has shown that over the past 30 years the top one percent of Americans have gained $21 trillion in assets while the bottom 50% have lost $900 billion.

Matt Bruenig, founder of the left-leaning think tank People’s Policy Project, asserted that the bottom 50%’s loss of wealth has left them mired in debt, according to an article from Common Dreams.

“the top one percent owns nearly $30 trillion of assets while the bottom half owns less than nothing, meaning they have more debts than they have assets,” said Bruenig.

Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, was dismayed at findings presented from the “Distributive Financial Accounts” data series.

“We have the worst inequality in this country since the 1920s…Three wealthiest people in America have as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent,” said Jayapal.

This newly released pool of data represents the current state of wealth inequality in America and the implications it has for future Americans as wealthy Americans continue to accrue assets and low net worth Americans continue to lose wealth.”


La Vern Isely, Progressive Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer, Public Citizen Member, USAF Veteran, and Lifetime VFW Member

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Daily Kos: New Report Connects Trump Organization With the Largest Fraud Case in New York City History

The following is an excellent article written by Walter Einenkel on the Daily Kos website on March 11, 2020 titled “New Report Connects Trump Organization With the Largest Tax Fraud Case in New York City History” and I quote:

New report connects Trump organization with the largest tax fraud case in New York City history

Walter EinenkelDaily Kos StaffWednesday March 11, 2020 · 3:46 PM CDT Recommend 304  Share  Tweet241 Comments 241 New

Developer Donald Trump (R) and his fiancee Marla Maples watch second round action at the US Open tennis tournament on August 28, 1991.   AFP PHOTO TIMOTHY A. CLARY        (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)



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The Trump Organization, not unlike the Trump administration, is rife with stories of corruption and grift, incompetence due to the cutting of corners, and general crapulence. ProPublica and New York Public Radio station WNYC have published a brand-new joint investigative story about how Trump’s business interests in 1980s-1990s New York City included the bribing of tax assessors in order to lower The Apprentice host’s property taxes. Speaking with five former city employees and one former Trump organization employee, the reporters heard testimony implicating Trump’s business interests more directly in connection with a real estate housing scam that came to light in 2002.

The five former city employees were among more than a dozen who had been indicted in 2002, in what The New York Times called the “largest tax fraud case in the history of New York City government.” Trump has always maintained that he was ignorant of any of this happening, including the claim that in “one instance, tax payments on property owned by Donald Trump were instead applied to the account of a corrupt property owner.”

The Trump Organization’s chief legal officer, Alan Garten said that the ProPublica report was old news, and that all previous investigations had cleared Donald Trump and the Trump Organization of any wrongdoing. Pointing out that “at no time did the Trump Organization or any of its employees or principals ever pay anyone for the purpose of unlawfully obtaining a lower tax valuation,” Garten called the report “reckless” and questioned the outlet’s journalistic ethics.

However, this is not simply a re-reporting of what happened before. ProPublica and WNYC report now that two of the former New York City employees say they took bribes themselves “from middlemen representing the Trump Organization to lower assessments on 40 Wall St. after Trump took over the skyscraper in 1995.” Frank Valvo, a former city assessor who served prison time for the fraud, says he remembers a co-worker telling him that the Trump Organization had agreed to pay bribes, saying there was elation between him and the other corrupt city worker.

According to the men ProPublica spoke with, the bribes came in the form of envelopes handed over to them. Once, upon receiving an envelope they thought was a little light, they were told that “Donald Trump thought the employee should be making the assessment changes for free.” This is amazing, pointing to Trump’s narcissistic belief that laws shouldn’t apply to him, and that he shouldn’t even have to pay into the rigged system he himself benefits the most from.

Moreover, according to the report, a former Trump Organization employee was able to say that he or she knew that Trump had a meeting arranged with Thomas McArdle. McArdle, his son Stephen E. McArdle, and a man named Joseph Marino were cited by all of the indicted and convicted assessors as the middlemen involved in the New York City scam in 2002. While Trump did not end up attending this reported meeting with McArdle, the former employee told ProPublica that that meeting did take place and that it included money and false information to hand over to the city’s assessors to lower the property evaluation.

Trump has denied knowing McArdle or ever using him as a consultant or in any other way. As ProPublica points out, Trump sued the city in 2002, saying, ”I’m getting ready to bring a major lawsuit against all the property owners whose taxes I was funding, because I was honest and used legal channels. The other people used illegal channels and got better results.” He received a $100 million tax break as part of an agreement involving a secondary lawsuit he launched against the city at the same time over building affordable housing.”

(It’s a good thing Republican President Donald Trump doesn’t have dictatorial rights over states, otherwise, us voters wouldn’t be able to get the TRUTH of what is going on with Donald Trump. I can see why Pres Trump
moved out of New York down to Florida. THE HEAT WAS ON. !!!!!!!!!.

La Vern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer, Public Citizen Member, USAF Veteran, and Lifetime VFW Member

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The Street: Biggest Stock Market Crashes Throughout History

The following is an excellent article written by Brian O’Connell on The Street website on February 29, 2020 titled “Biggest Stock Market Crashes Throughout History” and I quote:

“Biggest Stock Market Crashes Throughout History”

Stock market crashes happen on a fairly regular basis. That said, so do major market recoveries.BRIAN O’CONNELLUPDATED:FEB 29, 2020 8:45 AM ESTORIGINAL:FEB 28, 2020

The coronavirus outbreak and the fear that it could become a pandemic is crushing stocks. The Dow fell 1,000 points in back-to-back days in what it the worst week for stocks since the 2008 financial crisis, leading many to wonder if this could become a full-on stock market crash.

Stock market crashes are exactly what they sound like — short bursts of market downturns that often last as little as a single day, but can last much longer, and that routinely turn paper millionaires into bankrupt individuals living hand to mouth.

A stock market crash occurs when a high-profile market index, like the Standard & Poor’s 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Index, bottoms out, as investors turn from buyers into sellers in an instant. Any market day where stocks fall by 10% or more is considered a market crash, and they happen on a fairly frequent basis, historically.

Historians differ in tallying the actual number of stock market crashes throughout history, but in the U.S., there have been six major market collapses recorded, where the stock market lost over 10% of its value.

The First Recorded Stock Market Crash

Historically, records of stock market crashes date back to the year 1634, when the first speculative bubble, on Dutch tulips, created the first market crash. After it was first imported from the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey) to Europe, the rare, exotic beauty of the tulip created high demand among the Dutch elite, who saw the plant as a status symbol. Prices skyrocketed from 1634 to 1637, and soon speculators — even middle-class ones — began buying up all the tulips they could as prices soared. But as interest waned in tulips, prices cratered, bankrupting speculators who had assumed the run-up in the value of tulips would last forever.

The “ripple effect” from the tulip crash sent the Dutch economy into a depressionary tailspin from which it took years to recover.

4 U.S. Stock Market Crashes

There has been no shortage of major U.S. stock market crashes — all of which were followed by recoveries (although some took much longer to recover than others). Here’s a snapshot.

1. The Stock Market Crash of 1929

The first major U.S. stock market crash was in October 1929, when the decade-long “Roaring 20s” economy ran out of steam. With commodities like homes and autos selling like hotcakes, speculators ran wild in the stock markets. In doing so, many investors became over-leveraged (i.e., they borrowed too much money to purchase stocks) and when the market bubble popped, those same investors couldn’t meet their debt obligations, and slid into bankruptcy.

The toxic brew of inflated stock prices, high leverage, and borrowed money to buy securities would be a formula for more market busts in decades to come. In this instance, the stock market fell 12.82% on the fourth day of the crash (known as “Black Monday”) and it took 12 years for the U.S. economy to recover from the Great Depression that spread after the market crash. Ironically, the second-world war was a huge factor in the nation’s long-term recovery, as the country began to ramp up the manufacturing effort needed to win a global war Uncle Sam was fighting on two fronts.

2. The Stock Market Crash of 1987

Known as “Black Monday the 2nd,” the stock market crash of 1987 once again took place in October — and has gained notoriety as the largest single-day market loss in U.S. history. This crash also had its fair share of speculators and highly-leveraged borrowers, but it added a new twist to the bubble-popping mix — technology.

As highly-leveraged corporate takeovers and buyouts took center stage, and as companies leveraged questionable financing tools like junk bonds and margin accounts, share prices boomed leading up to Black Monday, October 19, 1987. On that day, the market turned on a dime and sellers began to dominate market trading. As more investors sold, more investors panicked and sold aggressively, as well. This cycle continued roiling through the trading day, as computer trading made it easier and faster to place sale orders.

When the smoke cleared, the stock market has lost 23% of its value and market gurus began taking the first steps to install circuit breakers into computer trading platforms that would literally allow market executives to “pull the plug” on trading, and give reeling stock markets a much-needed breather in future high-risk market trading days. Once the technology market stabilized, and more long-term success stories like Apple (AAPL) – Get Report , Microsoft (MSFT) – Get Report and Cisco (CSCO) – Get Report emerged, the stock market grew stronger and galloped off on another 12-year bull run.

3. The Bust of 1999-2000

Some stock market crashes occur in lightning fashion, just like the stock market crash of 1987 which saw the market lose 23% in a single day of trading. Other crashes take longer, as losses stack up after repeated trading sessions. That was the case in the market collapse of 1999-to-2000. In this scenario, technology was again front and center, as investor interest in internet stocks boomed over the course of the 1990s, and as “new economy” companies like AOL,,, GeoCities, and saw share prices rise substantially.

Perhaps the poster child of all stocks, was an initial public offering sensation, opening at $87 per share in first-day trading in 1998, although the original asking price was only $9 per share. raised $28 million in its IPO and had a market cap of $842 million. Yet only two years later,, like many companies, fell out of favor as investors fled highly-inflated tech stocks. Two years after its lights-out IPO, was trading under $1 per share, and was soon delisted by Nasdaq. With investors furiously shedding technology stocks like, the tech-oriented Nasdaq fell from 5,0000 in early 2001 to just 1,000 by 2002.

It only recovered after Wall Street began more accurately evaluating the real financial stability of high-tech companies — as investors grew more discerning and more conservative about which stocks and funds they purchased.

4. The “Great Recession” Stock Market Crash of 2008

Many Americans likely don’t know just how close the U.S. financial sector came to collapsing during the stock market crash of 2008 and 2009, as Wall Street banks’ high-risk trading practices nearly took down the greatest economy in the world.

The 2008 collapse was fueled by the widespread use of mortgage-backed securities, backed by the U.S. housing sector. These products — which were sold by financial institutions to investors, pension funds and to banks — declined in value as housing prices receded (a scenario that started in 2006). With fewer American homeowners able to meet their mortgage loan obligations, MBS values plummeted, sending financial institutions into bankruptcy. With investment risk in the stratosphere, investors were unwilling to provide much-needed liquidity in the nation’s financial markets.

Soon, the U.S. Congress approved a massive government funding project that, while stabilizing the markets, also bailed out “too big to fail” banks. Additionally, the Federal Reserve bought up languishing mortgage securities and steered interest rates toward zero percent. The strategy largely worked, as the stock market, after two years of jitters, began climbing again in late 2009 — and the economy began to recover, albeit at a glacial pace.

Lehman Brothers Role in the “Great Recession” Market Crash

Some economic observers point to the collapse of Lehman Brothers as a key trigger for the stock market meltdown. That’s partly true, as Lehman’s use of high-risk derivative products  — like repurchase agreements(“repos”) as collateral to borrow for short-term financing purposes — certainly exemplified the high-risk leverage Wall Street firms abused in the run-up to the Great Recession.

Yet Lehman took things to extremes in mid-2008.

When so-called “repo” loans fell out of favor, investors demanded other, more-stable forms of short-term loan collateral, and stopped approving repo agreements as collateral. Many also asked Lehman Brothers to repay its short-term debt obligations in full. Additionally, Lehman’s once-ample portfolio of mortgage-backed securities declined substantially in value. That left a highly-leveraged Lehman in the breach, with no way to cover its debts. Soon the investment banking giant slid into bankruptcy.

With few suitors to bail the company out, Lehman declared bankruptcy on September 15, 2008. Only 18 months earlier, the company’s stock price was trading at $86 per share, and the company had reported net income of $4.2 billion in 2007.”


La Vern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer, Public Citizen Member, USAF Veteran, and Lifetime VFW Member

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Daily Kos: Elizabeth Warren Predicted Impending Economic Crash Last Year, Her Warnings Weren’t Heeded

The following is an excellent article written by Kerry Eleveld on the Daily Kos website on March 9, 2020 titled ” Elizabeth Warren Predicted Impending Economic Crash Last Year. Her Warnings Weren’t Heeded.” and I quote:

Elizabeth Warren predicted impending economic crash last year. Her warnings weren’t heeded

Kerry EleveldDaily Kos StaffMonday March 09, 2020 · 12:35 PM CDT Recommend 301  Share  Tweet238 Comments 236 New

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 15:  Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during the Clark County Democrats Kick Off to Caucus Gala at Tropicana Las Vegas February 15, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The first time in the history, Nevadans have the option to vote early in the Democratic presidential caucuses that starts from today through the 18th, prior to the February 22nd caucus date.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)



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Years before the 2008 financial crisis, Elizabeth Warren was sounding the alarm bells on a vulnerable economy that would indeed come back to haunt Americans. The trends of “shady subprime lending, rising household debt, a mortgage market where lenders didn’t bear the risk of their loans—set the stage for the 2008 crisis,” Sen. Warren wrote in a Medium post last July in which she warned again that the economy was cruising toward yet another disaster.

“I see a manufacturing sector in recession. I see a precarious economy that is built on debt—both household debt and corporate debt—and that is vulnerable to shocks. And I see a number of serious shocks on the horizon that could cause our economy’s shaky foundation to crumble,” Warren said. “71 million American adults—more than 30% of the adults in the country—already have debts in collection,” she noted.

Warren pointed out that consumers were getting squeezed by “a generation of stagnant wages” and the rising costs of basic goods and services. So in order to boost their buying power, American households had taken on increased debt at historic levels in the form of student loans, credit card debt, auto loans.

On the business side of the equation, “systemic risk” was pulsating through the economy in the form of corporate debt. “Leveraged lending—lending to companies that are already seriously in debt—has jumped by 40% since Trump took office,” Warren wrote. Practically speaking, this leveraged debt posed a similar risk to the predatory lending to consumers that helped tank the economy last decade. Just like the pre-2008 subprime mortgages, the new corporate loans are “poorly-underwritten loans with minimal protections that are then packaged and sold to investors.”

In addition, America’s manufacturing sector was in recession for all of 2019 continuing into 2020. Much of that downturn can be directly linked to Trump’s trade wars, and now the coronavirus threatens to exacerbate the problem. As Warren noted in her post last year, “For the first time ever, the average hourly wage for manufacturing workers has dropped below the national average.”

Along with her warning, Warren also advanced proposals to help shore up the ailing economy by reducing household debt partly by canceling some debt and increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, enacting regulatory measures to reduce heavily leveraged corporate lending, and strengthening manufacturing by investing trillions into new environmental research, production, and exports. 

“Warning lights are flashing. Whether it’s this year or next year, the odds of another economic downturn are high—and growing,” Warren said. “Congress and regulators should act immediately to tamp down these threats before it’s too late.”

No one could have predicted the rise of a global pandemic, but the vulnerabilities of the U.S. economy were there for anyone who cared to see them and take action. The downturn Warren anticipated may well be upon us now, but the White House and GOP-led Senate did nothing to blunt its impact in advance. So here we are. “


La Vern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer, Public Citizen Member, USAF Veteran, and Lifetime VFW Member

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Washington Post: I’m a Depression Historian. The GOP Tax Bill in Straight Out of 1929.

The following is an interesting article written by Robert McElvaine on the Washington Post website on November 30, 2017 titled “I’m a Depression Historian, The GOP Tax Bill is Straight Out of 1929.” and I quote:

“I’m a Depression historian. The GOP tax bill is straight out of 1929.”

Republicans are again sprinting toward an economic cliff.

People gather on the subtreasury building steps across from the New York Stock Exchange in New York on “Black Thursday” on Oct. 24, 1929. The Great Depression followed thereafter. (AP)
People gather on the subtreasury building steps across from the New York Stock Exchange in New York on “Black Thursday” on Oct. 24, 1929. The Great Depression followed thereafter. (AP)

By Robert S. McElvaine Robert S. McElvaine teaches history at Millsaps College. He is at work on a book titled “‘F#*k You!’ – A Brief History of Sexism, from ‘Prehistory’ to Trump.”November 30, 2017 at 8:17 a.m. CST

“There are two ideas of government,” William Jennings Bryan declared in his 1896 “Cross of Gold” speech. “There are those who believe that if you will only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests upon them.”

That was more than three decades before the collapse of the economy in 1929. The crash followed a decade of Republican control of the federal government during which trickle-down policies, including massive tax cuts for the rich, produced the greatest concentration of income in the accounts of the richest 0.01 percent at any time between World War I and 2007 (when trickle-down economics, tax cuts for the hyper-rich, and deregulation again resulted in another economic collapse).

Yet the plain fact that the trickle-down approach has never worked leaves Republicans unfazed. The GOP has been singing from the Market-is-God hymnal for well over a century, telling us that deregulation, tax cuts for the rich, and the concentration of ever more wealth in the bloated accounts of the richest people will result in prosperity for the rest of us. The party is now trying to pass a scam that throws a few crumbs to the middle class (temporarily — millions of middle-class Americans will soon see a tax hike if the bill is enacted) while heaping benefits on the super-rich, multiplying the national debt and endangering the American economy.ADPost opinion writers Jonathan Capehart, Jo-Ann Armao and Ruth Marcus discuss the minimal benefits of the GOP tax plan for the middle class. (Adriana Usero/The Washington Post)

As a historian of the Great Depression, I can say: I’ve seen this show before.

In 1926, Calvin Coolidge’s treasury secretary, Andrew Mellon, one of the world’s richest men, pushed through a massive tax cut that would substantially contribute to the causes of the Great Depression. Republican Sen. George Norris of Nebraska said that Mellon himself would reap from the tax bill “a larger personal reduction [in taxes] than the aggregate of practically all the taxpayers in the state of Nebraska.” The same is true now of Donald Trump, the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson and other fabulously rich people.

During the 1920s, Republicans almost literally worshiped business. “The business of America,” Coolidge proclaimed, “is business.” Coolidge also remarked that, “The man who builds a factory builds a temple,” and “the man who works there worships there.” That faith in the Market as God has been the Republican religion ever since. A few months after he became president in 1981, Ronald Reagan praised Coolidge for cutting “taxes four times” and said “we had probably the greatest growth in prosperity that we’ve ever known.” Reagan said nothing about what happened to “Coolidge Prosperity” a few months after he left office.AD

In 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt called for “bold, persistent experimentation” and said: “It is common sense to take a method and try it; if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” The contrasting position of Republicans then and now is: Take the method and try it. If it fails, deny its failure and try it again. And again. And again.

When Bill Clinton proposed a modest increase in the top marginal tax rate in his 1993 budget, every Republican voted against it. Trickle-down economists proclaimed that it would lead to economic disaster. But the tax increase on the wealthy was followed by one of the greatest periods of prosperity in American history and resulted in a budget surplus. When the Republicans came back into power in 2001, the administration of George W. Bush pushed the opposite policies, which had invariably produced calamity in the past. Predictably, that happened again in 2008.

Just how disastrous would the proposed reincarnation of the failed Republican trickle-down policies of the past be for the American people and the future of the nation? A few ways:AD

  • Repealing the estate tax, or, as Republicans have dubbed it, the “death tax.” But the estate tax is not a tax on the dead; it is a tax on their heirs. Repeal would reverse an important aspect of the American Revolution and establish an American hereditary aristocracy. If your estate is not above $11 million, your benefits from this portion of the GOP’s tax cut will be a nice round number: zero.
  • Eliminating deductions for state and local taxes. The GOP has called these deductions favoritism for people who live in high-tax states. In fact, ending deductibility of state and local taxes would tax income that has already been taxed away from a taxpayer. It is, quite simply, double taxation.
  • Repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax, which assures that wealthy people who hire accountants to find all the obscure ways to avoid taxes cannot escape taxation altogether. Repealing it would save Trump millions.
  • Extending the “pass-through” provision to noncorporate businesses, including some 500 entities Trump owns. It would allow the owners of these businesses to pay taxes at 25 percent, instead of 39.9 percent. This provision would allow Wall Street fund managers, among other very wealthy people, to pay a lower tax rate than many middle-class Americans pay.
  • Ending the deductibility of large medical expenses.
  • Taxing waived tuition for college students, ending deductibility for student loan payments, and even disallowing teachers from deducting what they spend on school supplies for their students.
  • Ending the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which would cause 13 million Americans to lose health insurance and result in much higher premiums for those who do get insurance through the exchanges. The Congressional Budget Office has indicated that, if enacted, the Republican tax bill may force deep cuts in Medicare through a generally unknown budget rule that its deficits would trigger.

Fact Check: Would the GOP tax plan cost Trump money?In short, no. The president would benefit mightily from either version of the GOP tax bill. (Meg Kelly/The Washington Post)

The analysis of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that people making less than $100,000 a year (approximately 80 percent of American households) will have their taxes increased while the millionaires and billionaires will make off like bandits.

In the 1920s, Republicans were in full control of the federal government and used that power to pursue their objective to “make the well-to-do prosperous.” It didn’t “leak through on those below.” In that decade, the mass-production American economy became dependent on mass consumption. For it to work, the masses need a sufficient share of the national income to be able to consume what is being produced.

Republican policies in the ’20s instead pushed to concentrate more of the income at the top. Nine decades later, Republicans are rushing to do it again — and they are sprinting toward an economic cliff. Another round of Government of the People, by the Republicans, for the super-rich will be catastrophic. The American people must call a halt before it’s too late.0 CommentsHomeShare

Headshot of Robert S. McElvaine

Robert S. McElvaineRobert S. McElvaine teaches history at Millsaps College. He is at work on a book titled “‘F#*k You!’ – A Brief History of Sexism, from ‘Prehistory’ to Trump.”Follow


La Vern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed , Independent Middle Class Taxpayer, Public Citizen Member, USAF Veteran, and Lifetime VFW Member

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Daily Kos: As Trump Cuts Entitlements, Trump Denies Trump Will Cut Entitlements

The following is an sad article written by Joan McCarter on the Daily Kos website on March 6, 2020 titled “As Trump Cuts Entitlements, Trump Denies Trump Will Cut Entitlements” and I quote:

As Trump cuts entitlements, Trump denies Trump said Trump will cut entitlements

Joan McCarterDaily Kos StaffFriday March 06, 2020 · 2:09 PM CST Recommend 136  Share  Tweet68 Comments 68 New

BAKERSFIELD, CA - FEBRUARY 19: U.S. President Donald Trump concludes a legislation signing rally with local farmers on February 19, 2020 in Bakersfield, California. The presidential signing ushers in his administration's new rules altering how federal authorities decide who gets water and how much in California, sending more water to farmers despite predictions that the changes will further threaten endangered species in the fragile San Joaquin Delta.  (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)



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Well, look at this. Here’s impeached Donald Trump telling a Fox News Town Hall, “We will be cutting” entitlements, meaning Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare, and what is better termed social insurance. Oops. Does he know who the Fox News demographic is?

If he wasn’t cognizant enough to figure that out in the moment (who am I kidding, of course he wasn’t), someone explained it to him later, because this morning he was tweeting away to try to cover it up. “I will protect your Social Security and Medicare, just as I have for the past 3 years,” he tweeted. Hey, guess what. That’s a lie. Trump has been both proposing cuts to all these programs and making cuts through regulations and executive orders.

Just in the past six months, the Trump administration created regulations to cut people out of Social Security Disability Insurance. These are actual actions that will take benefits away from people who have worked to earn them. He has issued executive orders and taken actions that weaken Medicare and ultimately harm Medicare enrollees, raising their costs. When Medicare enrollees are paying more for their care but without a benefit increase, that’s a cut. 

From work requirements to block grants, the Trump administration’s war on Medicaid has already proven devastating. There are one million fewer young children who have health care because of Trump’s Medicaid cuts.

So yes, Trump will continue to cut these social insurance programs as well as the rest of the safety net—from food stamps to energy assistance.”


La Vern Isely, Progressive Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer, Public Citizen Member, USAF Veteran, and Lifetime VFW Member

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Daily Kos: Elizabeth Warren Has Been My Candidate Since Before Day One, and Now I’m Waiting For Her Next Step

The following is an excellent article written by Mark Sumner on the Daily Kos website on March 4, 2020 titled “Elizabeth Warren Has Been My Candidate Since Before Day One, and Now I’m Waiting for Her Next Step” and I quote:

Elizabeth Warren has been my candidate since before day one, and now I’m waiting for her next step

Mark SumnerDaily Kos StaffWednesday March 04, 2020 · 9:49 AM CST Recommend 644  Share  Tweet707 Comments 688 New

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 19:  Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is interviewed on MSNBC inside the spin room at Bally's Las Vegas Hotel & Casino after the Democratic presidential primary debate on February 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Six candidates qualified for the third Democratic presidential primary debate of 2020, which comes just days before the Nevada caucuses on February 22.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)



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Elizabeth Warren has been my candidate. She was not just the person I wanted to see win the primaries and the White House; she was also the person I was cheering for even before she entered the race. The reason for that was not her stance on health care, or her position on a wealth tax, or even her firm support for the Green New Deal. 

The reason was, and is, that Warren has the single quality that I always look for in a presidential candidate. It has nothing to do with beer drinking, stars twinkling, or even the eloquence required to make a moving inspirational speech. It’s not how she stirs a crowd. It’s not even that she agrees with my positions up and down the chart. The quality that I endorse above all others and that Elizabeth Warren has in spades is simply this: overwhelming competence.

For 40 years, my father was the city administrator for a small town in western Kentucky. I watched every day as he dealt with the water supply and the street repair, the police and the parks department. He raised the bonds that permitted things as uninspiring, but absolutely necessary, as a sewage lift station. At the same time, he also managed the construction of affordable housing and kept the local collection of KKK bastards from turning the July 4 parade into a racist display. He poured over the books every night, worked with regional and state authorities every day. He left behind no grand monuments, to himself or anyone else, other than a city that was clean and well-run, with good services and balanced books.

And that became the quality I looked for in a candidate, the quality that I believe Warren has above all others: simple competence, the dedication to do both her best and what she thinks is best, even if it’s not always expedient. To realize that building that sewage lift station is more damned important than adding more tennis courts in the park, or giving the police a new squad car, or any of a dozen other things that might be far more visible and easier to champion. 

I believed she would do what is needed to be done more than I believed this about anyone else. 

I still believe this, but then … this is an elegy of sorts. Not a very pretty one. The sewage lift station of elegies. An ode to the campaign for that person who would have sat up all night going over the numbers one more time. Someone who would always find a way to fund the thing that was necessary and not act out of anger, retaliation, or simple self-aggrandizement. 

Competence doesn’t mean just doing well what’s always been done. It means looking for new opportunities, a willingness to overturn outdated ideas, and a recognition that what was good enough then is not necessarily good enough now. Competence is hard work, collecting good information, making sound decisions. It’s being just and fair and innovative.

Competence is always progressive. Because conservative ideas are not supported by the evidence. Any evidence.

Warren is far from alone in being a good public servant. There are still such things, in Washington, and in state capitals, and in towns small and large everywhere. But when it comes to being competent, Warren shines. She’s the exemplar of someone who knows what she is talking about because she has put in the work to learn what she is talking about, and is willing to put in the work to make the best things happen.

There is no other quality more appealing to me, not in this election or any other. I honestly thought that quality would be appealing to most Americans, or at least to most Democratic voters. I was wrong about that. But I’m not wrong about Elizabeth Warren.

She hasn’t made the decision about what comes next after Tuesday night brought her campaign none of the victories she needed to remain a viable candidate. But I’m sure that whatever she does decide, there will be good reasons, and reasoning, behind it.”


La Vern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed Middle Class Taxpayer, Public Citizen Member, USAF Veteran, and Lifetime VFW Member

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Gentlemen’s Quarterly: Like Warren, I Had My Own Sexist Run-In With Chris Matthews – Part II

The following is the second half of the article written by Laura Bassett on the GQ website on February 28, 2020 titled “Like Warren, I Had My Own sexist Run-In With Chris Matthews” and I quote:

“Then there is the open secret of Matthews’s everyday behavior off camera with guests, which often creeps up to the line of sexual harassment without actually crossing it, so that women can never feel that it’s worth jeopardizing their own careers to complain. Many women in politics or media who have interacted with the bombastic host have some kind of story about him making them feel uncomfortable on the job. I have my own.

In 2017, I wrote a personal essay about a much older, married cable-news host who inappropriately flirted with me in the makeup room a few times before we went live on his show, making me noticeably uncomfortable on air. I was afraid to name him at the time for fear of retaliation from the network; I’m not anymore. It was Chris Matthews. In 2016, right before I had to go on his show and talk about sexual-assault allegations against Donald Trump, Matthews looked over at me in the makeup chair next to him and said, “Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?”

When I laughed nervously and said nothing, he followed up to the makeup artist. “Keep putting makeup on her, I’ll fall in love with her.”

Another time, he stood between me and the mirror and complimented the red dress I was wearing for the segment. “You going out tonight?” he asked.

I said I didn’t know, and he said—again to the makeup artist—“Make sure you wipe this off her face after the show. We don’t make her up so some guy at a bar can look at her like this.”

Again—Matthews was never my boss. I’m pretty sure that behavior doesn’t rise to the level of illegal sexual harassment. But it undermined my ability to do my job well. And after I published a story about it, even though I didn’t name him, dozens of people reached out to say they knew exactly who it was. Many had similar stories.

A fellow cable-news pundit, who doesn’t want to be named for professional reasons, said Matthews invited her on to talk about misogyny in the Republican Party, telling her that he planned to draw a comparison to the ’60s ad-men show Mad Men. Right before going on air, he turned to her and asked “whether Joan’s proportions are real,” referring to the body of a curvy character on the show, before seamlessly transitioning into a supposedly feminist segment. She was shaken, like I was. (At the time of publication, MSNBC had not yet responded to GQ with comment on either incident.)

In fact, Matthews’s whole modus operandi seems to be inviting smart women onto his show, flirting with them or otherwise making them uncomfortable before or while the camera rolls, asking them a question on air and then immediately interrupting them to tell them why they’re wrong. He repeated this playbook with Warren this week. The fact that this kind of behavior has not lost him his primetime cable-news show in the year 2020—even aside from his egregious “Bill Cosby pill” joke and the sexual-harassment allegation against him—speaks to how far the #MeToo movement still has to go to change the standards for what kind of attitudes toward women in the workplace are acceptable and even rewarded.

There is a worthy journalistic line of inquiry Matthews could take about nondisclosure agreements and the role they play in muzzling women and upholding abusive power structures. Instead of exploring that, Matthews attacked Warren’s clarity on whether she believes another woman’s corroborated testimony. He seems constitutionally incapable of probing these hyper-relevant topics with anything approaching intellectual curiosity or open-mindedness. In that way, he’s also unfit for his job.

Beyond the question of Matthews’s employment, there is the decision of keeping a man with this flagrant bias as the anchor of a major cable-news evening show. His position affords him the ability to affect public opinion, both sweeping away documented behavior of male presidential candidates and casting doubt on corroborated women’s accusations against those men. Having a news anchor who calls women “she-devil” and treats their assessments with infantilizing suspicion while conducting post-debate interviews builds in a major disadvantage for female candidates. And that’s downright irresponsible.

Laura Bassett is a GQ columnist, and a freelance journalist writing about politics, gender, and culture.”

La Vern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer, Public Citizen Member, USAF Veteran, and Lifetime VFW Member

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GQ: Like Warren, I Had My Own Sexist Run -In With Chris Matthews

The following is an excellent article written by Laura Bassett on the GQ website on February 28, 2020 titled “Like Warren, I Had My Own Sexist Run-In With Chris Matthews” and I quote:

“Like Warren, I Had My Own Sexist Run-In with Chris Matthews”

The Hardball anchor frequently demeans women guests with objectifying and belittling comments, both on and off air.

BY LAURA BASSETTFebruary 28, 2020

Chris Matthews has a history of off colored remarks towards women.
simon abranowicz

Update: On March 3rd, three days after this story was published, Chris Matthews retired from MSNBC on air.

MSNBC host Chris Matthews, whose long history of sexist comments and behavior have somehow not yet gotten him fired, tested the boundaries of his own misogyny again on Wednesday night. After the tenth Democratic presidential debate, the Hardball anchor grilled Elizabeth Warren about one of her lines of attack against Mike Bloomberg during the debate: that a pregnant female employee accused Bloomberg of telling her to “kill it.”

“You believe he’s lying?” Matthews asked Warren of Bloomberg’s denial.

“I believe the woman, which means he’s not telling the truth,” said Warren, who recently had to defend her own credible story of pregnancy discrimination.

“And why would he lie?” Matthews said. “Just to protect himself?”

“Yeah, and why would she lie?” Warren responded pointedly.

“I just wanna make sure you’re clear about this,” Matthews said. Right there on America’s purportedly liberal network, the anchor spoke to a 70-year-old United States senator who is running for president—and a renowned Harvard Law professor, no less—like she couldn’t possibly understand her own words, as if she were a child choosing between a snack now or dessert later.

The allegation that Matthews, a veteran journalist, was trying so hard to undermine was actually corroborated by a third party to The Washington Post earlier this month. There was no reason for him to harp on its veracity, except, perhaps, that he himself has made so many sexist comments over the years that he has a vested interest in Bloomberg being let off the hook.

Some of Matthews’s behavior has already been well-documented. Like Bloomberg, who frequently remarked “nice tits” and “I’d do her” at the office, Matthews has a pattern of making comments about women’s appearances in demeaning ways. The number of on-air incidents is long, exhausting, and creepy, including commenting to Erin Burnett, for example, “You’re a knockout…it’s all right getting bad news from you,” while telling her to move closer to the camera. Behind the scenes, one of Matthews’s former producers told The Daily Caller in 2017 that he allegedly rated his female guests on a numerical scale and would name a “hottest of the week,” like a “teenage boy.” In 1999, an assistant producer accused Matthews of sexual harassment, which CNBC, the show’s network at the time, investigated. They concluded that the comments were “inappropriate,” and Matthews received a “stern reprimand,” according to an MSNBC spokesperson.

This tendency to objectify women in his orbit has bled into his treatment of female politicians and candidates. He has repeatedly lusted over women in politics on air, including remarking in 2011 that there’s “something electric” and “very attractive” about the way former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin walks and moves, and noting in 2017 that acting attorney general Sally Yates is “attractive, obviously.” But he has reserved a particular contempt for the woman who made it closest to ascending the heights of American political power—Hillary Clinton—calling her “witchy,” “anti-male,” and “She-Devil.” The Cut obtained footage of him joking in early 2016, just before a live interview with then candidate Clinton, “where’s that Bill Cosby pill,” referring to the date-rape drug. In 2005, he openly wondered whether the troops would “take the orders” from a female president; after another interview, he pinched Clinton’s cheek; and in another, he suggested that she had only had so much political success because her husband had “messed around.” This evening anchor, in addition to everything else, has repeatedly challenged whether women are legitimate politicians or could be president at all. “I was thinking how hard it is for a woman to take on a job that’s always been held by men,” he said of Clinton in 2006.”


La Vern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed Independent Middle Class Taxpayer, Public Citizen, USAF Veteran, and Lifetime VFW Member

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Daily Kos: Data Shows Warren Has the Best Overall Voter Coalition to Beat Trump

The following is an excellent article written by greatlyconcerned on the Daily Kos website on March 2, 2020 titled “Data Shows Warren Has the Best Overall Voter Coalition to Beat Trump” and I quote:

Data Shows Warren Has the Best Overall Voter Coalition to Beat Trump

greatlyconcernedCommunity (This content is not subject to review by Daily Kos staff prior to publication.)Monday March 02, 2020 · 8:18 PM CST Recommend 180  Share  Tweet109 Comments 109 New

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks during a town hall meeting at the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 hosted by Unite Here, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in Las Vegas. (Yasmina Chavez/Las Vegas Sun via AP)



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On December 2019, President Obama said this:

If you look at the world and look at the problems it’s usually old people, usually old men, not getting out of the way…I’m absolutely confident… if every nation on earth was run by women, you would see a significant improvement.

IMHO, Obama was hinting at the old men getting out of the race.  That would leave Warren.

People are freaking out about Bernie Sanders getting the nomination, and hope Biden can stop him. However, Biden appeals to older voters while Sanders appeals to younger voters.  This is a problem.

The way to solve this is to vote for Warren.

Warren Appeals to a Large Cross Section of Voters

Like Obama, Warren actually appeals to a broad coalition of people.  Here is a great diagram that agrees with other data that I’ve seen.

G.Elliott Morris from The Economist magazine tweeted this out on Feb 26, 2020:


I took 2k responses to our polling on the Dem primary with YouGov and told my computer to place candidates in a 2-dimensional space depending on how likely they are to share voters.

It spit this out. Note Gabbard/Steyer’s extremity, Warren’s centrality.

Warren is at the cross section of voters.  Exactly who we need – someone whom voters can coalesce around.

Obama & the Moderates vs. Progressives

Back in 2008, people were trying to talk me into voting for Hillary because she was a woman, and Barack Obama would have more chances.  That was a terrible argument.  They also told me he couldn’t win.  I had faith and voted for the best candidate, Barack Obama.  That he would become the first Black president was a huge bonus.  And very important to so many of us.

Yes, I want to see a woman president, but Hillary was a centrist – a moderate.  Moderates, by definition want to keep the status quo with little to no big structural changes.  This is exactly a symptom of why we’ve gotten little done in this country over the past few decades and how we got Trump in the first place.  Moderates cozy up to corporations & the super-rich.  Hillary, Biden (tied to financial industry — he has harmed consumers in multiple ways, e.g.,“The first duty of any senator from Delaware is to do the bidding of the banks and large corporations”), and Bloomberg represent exactly what is wrong with this country, which I wrote about in my previous diary.   Elizabeth Warren Said We Have One Shot – It’s Not Just about Beating Trump.  

If you care about democracy and haven’t read my diary, please do because it talks about how Trump is just a symptom of much bigger problems that have spanned many decades.  In fact, he is overthrowing our democracy with his super-rich friends.  We can’t fix these problems together, unless we all understand how we got here.  Democracy means (power of the people), so we have to make our democracy work for us.  It won’t work if we are spectators.

Bloomberg and others bought offices for Republicans in Congress who support Trump and the overthrow of democracy.  Super-rich folks are antithetical to democracy because they have all the power.

Warren Follows in Obama’s Footsteps

Obama won because he brought hope and enthusiasm to voters of all ages, including Democrats and others across the political spectrum.  Fear, too, played a part.  The Republicans had crashed the economy, and people were scared and wanted change.  There’s the key to turning out large numbers of voters is (read The Anger Gap by Davin Phoenix)

Hope + Fear of something

Back then, it was fear of economic recession, loss of jobs, homes, etc.

Now, we have even more to fear: Trump, loss of democracy, climate crisis, coronavirus, economic crash (which is coming).

Dr. King Called for Progressive Reforms

There’s a reason why Dr. King called for progressive reforms.  He saw the status quo of society as a threat to achieving equality across the board for people of color.  In order to combat inequality, a major reason why we got Trump, we absolutely have to have major progressive reforms.

Warren’s Civil Rights Record

Now, we have a woman – Elizabeth Warren – who really does follow in Obama’s footsteps and is a progressive.  Warren has many of Obama’s traits of kindness, enthusiasm, hope, etc.  She’s intelligent, like Obama, and deeply cares about people.  Including people of color, who have traditionally been left out of the conversation.  In fact, The Root gave her the top score on her agenda for Black folks, which includes other people of color.  How many of us would sleep so much better at night with this type of president?

In fact, her civil rights record goes back decades.  As a law student in 1975, “Elizabeth Warren’s first law review article blasted an anti-busing court ruling.”  Among other things, the article says

The isolation of minorities in urban centers, Warren wrote, and a shrinking tax base to finance public education would lead to facilities that are inferior in “student-teacher ratios, and other educational advantages” for minority students. For Brown v. Board of Education to have meaning in northern urban centers, Warren said that “effectively separate schools, even if equal, and certainly if unequal, are condemned by the Constitution, regardless of the reason for the separation.”

In 2015, she also gave an amazing speech at the Kennedy Institute about systemic racism.  And she named names of Black men killed by police.

We Have One Shot & It’s More than Just about Trump

I’ve been saying we have one shot for several years (and I mean more than just Trump), so I was very happy to hear Elizabeth Warren say it at the debate.  Obviously, we have one shot to beat Trump. Otherwise, this country will be in full authoritarianism/fascism.  

However, let’s move beyond that.  Let’s say a Democrat wins.  If we don’t first control the corruption and ensure voting rights, we can’t do much of the really big stuff and make generational changes. That’s true regardless of whether we take back the Senate and maintain the House or not.  There are some things a president can do, at least, that don’t require the Senate or the House.  Attacking the climate crisis has to be the next priority.

Need to Combat Corruption & Implement Big Structural Changes Right Away

Here’s the one shot.  Democrats have to make big structural changes in the 1st year that make considerable differences in people’s lives.  That and tackle corruption.  Otherwise, we will lose in the midterms, just like Obama did, and democracy will be lost.  This is why Elizabeth Warren is right that we have to get rid of the filibuster.  It’s not part of the Constitution and is actually anti-democratic.

If we don’t make big structural changes right away (Including many within the first 100 days), people’s frustration will more easily boil over with each failure.  There are a lot of people in America who are actually experiencing life like they are in a terrible recession or depression.  Trickle-down economics doesn’t work.

The is only 1 candidate who has plans for combating corruption and implementing big structural, progressive changes.  Elizabeth Warren.  Without these, we’ve lost our democracy.  It really is this dire.

Warren Studied Why People Go Broke & Set Up a Federal Agency to Hold Businesses Accountable

Warren is the only one who sees how corruption is tied to everything and has plans to fix it.  Not only that, but also she’s studied this throughout her life and understands how dark money is tied into this.  She’s been working to help American families for most of her career.  In fact, she is the only candidate who has set up a federal agency.

On September 17, 2010, President Obama announced the appointment of Warren as Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to set up the new agency.

CFPB has returned over $12 billion to American consumers, as it fights the big banks that have cheated people.  This article is old (from 2017); the amount is more than the article states.  But it talks about the Republicans wanting to kill it.  By the way, there was another win for CFPB just the other day vs. Wells Fargo.

Republicans are dismantling the government as we speak and looting it, just like they did in Russia during the fall of the Soviet Union, creating the oligarchs.

A Winning Strategy – Overwhelm the Ballot Box

The worst thing to do is to vote out of fear.  Panicking people make lots of mistakes.  We will likely lose.  In FDR’s First Inaugural Address, he said (bolding is my emphasis):

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. And I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.

Have Faith in the Best Candidate

Have faith in Warren, the best candidate, like I do now and did with Barack Obama.

Otherwise, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  And we lose.

If you are waiting for any of these candidates to save us, we will lose.  They can’t do anything without our help.  Candidates have to generate enthusiasm, and we have to help them get out the vote. Otherwise, people just won’t come out to vote in the numbers we will need.

While Warren is the best candidate, none of these candidates is perfect.  No matter who wins the nomination, they won’t win without our help.  And we ALL have to vote for that person.  If we ALL vote for the nominee, we can win.  Keep in mind that 100 million people sat out the last election.

We literally are in the fight for our lives as all these hostile forces and the climate crisis bear down on us.  If we are all sitting home doing nothing, we will lose.

Democracy Is Not a Spectator Sport

Democracy is not a spectator sport, so get involved.  Help fund candidates, including down-ballot races, if you are able.  Get out the vote; make phone calls; text; talk to friends, family, and co-workers.  Those of us who have more have a moral responsibility to do more.  There are plenty of people who are just surviving in this country who need us to get in this fight and work extra hard because they can’t.

One more thing, demand change for the better for ALL of us.  Hold elected people accountable, even Republicans.  Many Indivisible people showed up at their offices repeatedly, and many of those Republicans quit.  We only can make positive change when we all work together toward a common vision.”


La Vern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer, Public Citizen Member, USAF Veteran, and Lifetime VFW Member

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