Sep 05 2017

Pondering the Pundits

“Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

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Katrina vanden Heuvel: Trump’s tax-reform pitch is entirely divorced from reality

Having failed in their attempt to strip millions of health insurance by repealing Obamacare, President Trump and the Republican Congress are moving to their biggest priority: tax cuts for corporations and the rich. The plan is still being written, but Trump has already begun his push for it. And every part of the administration’s tax pitch is divorced from reality (a gentle way of saying it is a lie and a fraud).

The stated rationale for cutting corporate taxes, for example, is laughable. Republicans rail about our corporations paying the highest tax rates in the world. If the corporations have more cash, they assert, they will invest and create jobs. Trump adds his twist that lower taxes will get corporations to stop moving jobs abroad and start building things in the United States.

Leon E. Panetta: Let ‘dreamers’ live the American Dream

In October 1921, my Italian father arrived in the United States aboard the Providence, one of 1,800 third-class passengers searching for a better life in this country. At Ellis Island, he listed his total assets as $25 and his profession simply as “peasant.”

My parents became U.S. citizens, but my mother’s dad — my Nono — who had come from Italy to stay with us in Monterey, Calif., in the early 1940s, was not a citizen. In 1942, after Pearl Harbor, some 10,000 Italians living in California coastal areas were targeted for removal because it was suspected that they would be a threat to the country during wartime. The order did not apply to U.S. citizens, but it did apply to my Nono, and he was forced to leave us and move inland. I was only 4, but I can still remember my tears as I struggled to understand why my Nono had to leave our family.

Fast-forward almost exactly 75 years, and again America is contemplating removing people who, though not citizens, have been living in the United States lawfully, serving as productive members of our society. This time, however, the government is contemplating not temporary orders to “move inland” but outright deportation of individuals from the country. The targeted population are the “dreamers,” young men and women who were brought to the United States as children by their undocumented parents. They have attended school here, spoken English and grown up as Americans.

Dean Baker: Houston, Bangladesh and Global Warming

The pictures that came out of Houston and other areas that were hard hit by Hurricane Harvey were pretty awful. There were numerous photographs of people with young children and pets wading through high water in the hope of being rescued by boat or helicopter. There was also the picture of elderly people in a nursing home sitting in waist-high water waiting to be rescued. It was a pretty horrible story.

Because the United States is a wealthy country, we do have large numbers of boats and helicopters and trained rescue workers able to assist the victims of the storm. We also have places where we can take these people where they will have shelter, as well access to food and medical care. However bad the human toll will be from Harvey, it would be hugely worse without these resources.

Catherine Rampell: Ivanka Trump has learned well from her father’s cons

Ivanka Trump is for working women the way her father is for the working class: In both cases, the Trumps really just want their money.

President Trump’s daughter built her brand around women’s “empowerment,” by which I mean monetizing the anxieties and insecurities of stressed-out moms.

From the beginning, her stated goal was to help professional women dig deep down inside their souls and tap their inner purchasing power. She launched her jewelry line because the “concept of a self-purchasing female was lost among the traditional jewelers,” her website explains without apparent irony.

The company eventually expanded “into a solution-oriented lifestyle brand, dedicated to the mission of inspiring and empowering women to create the lives they want to lead.”

Pseudo-feminism became crucial to selling Ivanka Trump-branded books, handbags and heels. Hey, $135 leopard-print pumps can’t be frivolous if they help the sisterhood.

So what are Trump’s feminist bona fides, other than her throwaway #WomenWhoWork hashtaggery?

Hank Johnson: President Trump is giving police forces weapons of war. This is dangerous

Our Founders opposed using a standing army to patrol our streets, and for good reason. While most of America is rightfully focused on the destructive path left in the wake of tropical storm Harvey this week, Donald Trump lifted the ban on certain military-grade weapons and equipment available from the Pentagon to our local police forces across the nation.

Trump’s unwise and ill-considered executive order reopening the floodgates of free surplus military-grade weaponry (as reported on CNN) from war zones across the world straight onto the streets of American cities, towns and university campuses, is the fulfillment of a campaign promise to the law enforcement lobby.

It is not just bad policy – it’s dangerous.