Move along, nothing to see here: Daily Bullshit, December 2-3, 2017

So you clicked on this despite the headline. Sorry, this really is just catching up on bullshit I’ve been archiving that’s hardly worth mention. At least for now.


Updates

  1. Originally published, December 2, 11:48 am.
  2. December 3, 11:10 am:
      • Donald Trump may have just confessed to obstruction of justice.[1] And yeah, it’s time to acknowledge those many who thought Trump would do himself in with Twitter. (James Comey)
    • December 3, 10:33 pm:
      • The Guardian assembles more reaction to Donald Trump’s tweet. It’s more of the same, except with the wrinkle that one of Trump’s lawyers took responsibility for the tweet, which seems to unanimously strike observers as not credible.[2] (It only gets worse on Twitter.) It looks to me like the lawyer was simply trying to introduce reasonable doubt about any ‘confession’ but I don’t know how much protection that might really offer Trump. (James Comey)

Tax cut for the rich

Nonpartisan analyses show tax benefits flow mainly to the wealthy with reductions of $34,000 a year for the top 1% while lower-income households see $50 tax breaks.

And while the corporate cuts are permanent, the individual rates — under the Senate version — expire in 2025, meaning most middle-income taxpayers would face tax hikes in eight years.[3]

And, oh yeah, the bill is still expected to add $1 trillion to the deficit.[4]

Congress’s nonpartisan scorekeeper, the Joint Committee on Taxation, announced yesterday [November 30] that the Senate GOP tax plan would add $1 trillion to the deficit — even after accounting for the positive impact from economic growth. “The tax committee projected the bill would raise economic growth by only 0.8 percent over a decade, a small fraction of what Republicans had projected,” Heather Long reports. “Some Republicans argued that the tax committee’s report just couldn’t be correct. Yet outside experts were not surprised by the results, which align with the view of many mainstream economists and several independent analyses.”[5]

Because trickle-down, which hasn’t ever—not even once—worked.

To me, this is barely even news. Of course the rich are taking care of themselves and of course they are doing so at everyone else’s expense. That’s what they do. That’s functionalist conservatism. That’s why we have capitalism and neoliberalism. And it’s shameless because they really believe they’re entitled to it.

James Hohmann, with Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve, “In pursuit of a tax bill, Trump’s GOP keeps violating more governing norms,” Washington Post, December 1, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/12/01/daily-202-in-pursuit-of-a-tax-bill-trump-s-gop-keeps-violating-more-governingms/5a20305e30fb0469e883f945/

Lisa Mascaro and Jim Puzzanghera, “After last-minute deals, the Senate narrowly passes Republican tax plan,” Los Angeles Times, December 1, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-gop-tax-plan-20171201-story.html


James Comey

Jared Kushner looks like the next to fall.[6] But even this isn’t really news. Because the real target looks like Donald Trump himself,[7] which is almost certainly why core authoritarian populists are so mad.[8] And yeah, that forecast that he’ll be out of office within a year (that’d be up in August) is still on track:

President Trump’s tweet suggesting that he knew former national security adviser Michael Flynn had lied to the FBI at the time of his firing has prompted ethics experts and political observers to question whether Mueller could probe the president for obstruction of justice.

Walter Shaub, the former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, said Saturday that Trump’s tweet would have been enough to end past administrations.

And Richard Painter, the top ethics lawyer during former President George W. Bush’s administration, said that Trump “could be Tweeting himself into an obstruction of justice conviction.”

Trump implied that he knew about Flynn’s false statements in a tweet Saturday.

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies,” Trump tweeted.[9]

And that’s just what was pathetically easy—I suppose I could have just reproduced the entire fucking article—to copy and paste. The article has more experts saying essentially the same thing. And, um, not one saying anything else.[10]

Jonathan Easley, “Anger at Mueller burns hot on the right,” Hill, November 25, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/361610-anger-at-mueller-burns-hot-on-the-right

Dana Bash, Jim Sciutto, Gloria Borger, and Daniella Diaz, “Sources: Kushner was the ‘very senior’ transition member mentioned in court filing,” CNN, December 2, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/01/politics/jared-kushner-michael-flynn-russia/index.html

Jacqueline Thomsen, “Legal experts: Trump’s tweet could lead to obstruction of justice charges,” Hill, December 2, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/362964-ethics-experts-trumps-tweet-could-lead-to-obstruction-of-justice

Guardian, “‘Doesn’t make sense’: incredulity as Trump’s lawyer seeks to take blame for Flynn tweet,” December 3, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/04/doesnt-make-sense-incredulity-trumps-lawyer-john-dowd-take-blame-for-flynn-tweet

Jeffrey Toobin, “Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Sends Donald Trump’s Lawyers Scrambling,” New Yorker, December 11, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/12/11/michael-flynns-guilty-plea-sends-donald-trumps-lawyers-scrambling


  1. [1]Jacqueline Thomsen, “Legal experts: Trump’s tweet could lead to obstruction of justice charges,” Hill, December 2, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/362964-ethics-experts-trumps-tweet-could-lead-to-obstruction-of-justice
  2. [2]Guardian, “‘Doesn’t make sense’: incredulity as Trump’s lawyer seeks to take blame for Flynn tweet,” December 3, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/04/doesnt-make-sense-incredulity-trumps-lawyer-john-dowd-take-blame-for-flynn-tweet
  3. [3]Lisa Mascaro and Jim Puzzanghera, “After last-minute deals, the Senate narrowly passes Republican tax plan,” Los Angeles Times, December 1, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-gop-tax-plan-20171201-story.html
  4. [4]Lisa Mascaro and Jim Puzzanghera, “After last-minute deals, the Senate narrowly passes Republican tax plan,” Los Angeles Times, December 1, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-gop-tax-plan-20171201-story.html
  5. [5]James Hohmann, with Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve, “In pursuit of a tax bill, Trump’s GOP keeps violating more governing norms,” Washington Post, December 1, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/12/01/daily-202-in-pursuit-of-a-tax-bill-trump-s-gop-keeps-violating-more-governingms/5a20305e30fb0469e883f945/
  6. [6]Dana Bash, Jim Sciutto, Gloria Borger, and Daniella Diaz, “Sources: Kushner was the ‘very senior’ transition member mentioned in court filing,” CNN, December 2, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/01/politics/jared-kushner-michael-flynn-russia/index.html
  7. [7]Jeffrey Toobin, “Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Sends Donald Trump’s Lawyers Scrambling,” New Yorker, December 11, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/12/11/michael-flynns-guilty-plea-sends-donald-trumps-lawyers-scrambling
  8. [8]Jonathan Easley, “Anger at Mueller burns hot on the right,” Hill, November 25, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/361610-anger-at-mueller-burns-hot-on-the-right
  9. [9]Jacqueline Thomsen, “Legal experts: Trump’s tweet could lead to obstruction of justice charges,” Hill, December 2, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/362964-ethics-experts-trumps-tweet-could-lead-to-obstruction-of-justice
  10. [10]Jacqueline Thomsen, “Legal experts: Trump’s tweet could lead to obstruction of justice charges,” Hill, December 2, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/362964-ethics-experts-trumps-tweet-could-lead-to-obstruction-of-justice

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