America’s New Aristocracy.

America’s New Aristocracy.  My generation was supposed to raise up all Americans to a better opportunity.  Instead we rigged the system to protect ourselves as winners. Fifty years ago, the most talented baby boomers used their ingenuity to gain control of the economy.  They were smart, hungry strivers who achieved the best jobs and succeeded in an upward mobility system guided by merit.  Once in the driver’s seat, however, instead of reaffirming the benefits of meritocracy, this aristocracy of corporate nouveau riche began to consolidate their winnings, outsmart government controls, and close off the economic ladder so few could challenge their primacy. Reengineering the political landscape with battalions of lawyers, they watered down regulations and surrounded themselves with a “moat” of legal protection from accountability. Through use of due process guaranteed by the first amendment these achievers overpowered government officials, bought off legislators with funding, and wrote new laws that said corporations had a voice In government. Employing a 20 to 1 ratio of corporate lobbyists to every legislator, they watered down regulations, rewrote the new law recommendations and got them adopted, and buried the government opposition in legal paperwork. Meantime over the past fifty years, wages stagnated, manufacturing closed down, jobs fled overseas, and investment policy turned sharply inward to the short term returns.  Unprotected worker’s lost their confidence in government, unions, and traditional pathways of employment.  When the market fell in 2008, worker savings were devastated, mortgage equity dried up and unemployment mirrored the Great Depression. Meanwhile, the same corporations who’s excess risks caused the market downfall persuaded government that big banks could not afford to fail, that no was at fault and nobody went to jail. The result is a divided nation of those who don’t need government who sabotage recovery and safety because it diminishes profits, and which promotes the American ideal that everyone should fend for themselves. The winners were well protected and the workers left unprotected thus setting the stage of an angry nation and the election of Trump.  Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.

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Trump announces he is above the law.

Trump announces he is above the law.

On Saturday, June 2, 2018, the New York Times published information from a letter that had been sent by Trump’s attorneys to the Special Counsel’s (Mueller) Office. In the letter, Trump’s legal team asserted that Trump not only cannot be prosecuted for obstruction of justice, but that it’s impossible for Trump to obstruct.

And should Trump not act quickly enough to prevent the start of an investigation, he can always act retroactively by pardoning anyone caught up in its findings.

Trump need not even respond to a request for an interview by the Special Counsel. Or a subpoena from the grand jury. Or … anything at all.  Trump is utterly exempt from legal actions.

The letter focused on Trump’s ability to shrug off the Russia investigation. Trump’s latest public representative, Rudy Giuliani, went forth to clarify the limits of Trump’s legal authority. Giuliani made clear … there aren’t any limits of Trump’s legal authority.

Trump is not only immune from providing testimony, but Trump is completely above legal recourse. Trump can do anything he wants.

“In no case can he be subpoenaed or indicted,” claiming a president’s constitutional powers are that broad. I don’t know how you can indict while he’s in office. No matter what it is. Trump could have shot James Comey, rather than firing him, and it still couldn’t have led to an indictment.”

The published statement is a declaration of Trump’s lawyers is not just anti-American, but exceeds the authority of most monarch for centuries.

Trump isn’t quoting “originalist” perception of the power of the executive. Trump is comparing his friends Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, Recep Erdoğan of Turkey, Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un.  Like the world’s strongmen, Trump is declaring that he’s more than just a titular leader. His power is without bounds.

Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.

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Americans are dying to own a gun.

Americans are dying to own a gun.  US life expectancy has fallen over the past few years to the lowest among wealthy nations due to gun violence, drug use and disease, according reports from major researchers including the Center for Disease Control.  Not only do Americans live shorter lives than people in their peer countries, but they suffer more violent deaths.  Researchers say the violence is due to the widespread possession of firearms and the practice of storing them at home in unlocked places. Not since the flu epidemic in 1918 has life expectancy dropped so dramatically.  Among the major nations of the world, Americans have the lowest chance of surviving to age 50. The U.S. ranks 31st in life expectancy globally, behind Costa Rica. The National Rifle Association has not commented about the reports. Gun-rights advocates always fight any suggestion that firearms ownership has public health implications, and they continue to win cuts in the government’s budget despite the increasingly high cost to taxpayers of gun violence. At least one-quarter of the US life expectancy loss is due to homicides, involving firearms, and occurring among ages 15 to 24 years old.        Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.

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Immigration Reform is a Republican crumpled beer can.

Immigration Reform is a Republican crumpled beer can.  The Republican Party will never reform immigration. To Republican leaders IR is an electoral wedge issue to be used for political gain not change. There will be no Republican “reform” policy, not anything that resembles “reform,” regardless of any Republican promises­­––guaranteed. Last week a small group of Republicans—”Most representing swing districts with significant Latino constituencies, or retiring from the House,” —who seemed rebellious, casting for votes on the House floor on immigration reform. They were using a “discharge petition” parliamentary technique to get a majority to overrule the Speaker, seemingly to force a vote. Well, Paul Ryan would have none of it. “Having a spectacle that results in a veto solves no problem. We want to solve the DACA problem.”  But Ryan doesn’t. There may be some Republican lawmakers with some sympathy for young people brought here as children who have done everything right yet face deportation. Trump has even talked about how he’ll treat terrific kids with compassion. But Trump cancelled the DACA program. And Trump has complained of so many immigrants from “shithole countries,” arguing “we should have more people from Norway.” Trump chief of staff, John Kelly, says, “undocumented immigrants are not people that easily assimilate into the United States modern society.” A bigoted president and ignorant advisors prove Republicans will never reform immigration, even in return for the grand funding of Trump’s border wall for DREAMER protection.  After the 2012 election, the Party huddled. “We must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies. The Republican Party is one of tolerance and respect, and we need to ensure that our message is reflective of these core principles.” Then Donald Trump came along and the Republicans were back to kicking immigration reform down the street like a crumpled beer can.  In 2015 Republicans were dancing carefully around immigration.  The base didn’t like anything characterized as “amnesty” for illegal immigrants, but the Party needed to look reasonable and moderate for the general election.  Trump could see the rancid poison swirling about voters’ id. “Forget the broad electorate,” said Trump.  “The road to victory is paved with hate and fear.” Trump offered the Republican Party a leader of unadorned white nationalism. It got him the presidency. After that, do you think any Republican would be foolish enough to propose comprehensive immigration reform and expect to win over the party’s base?  Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.

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Food Stamps and Social Security work

Food Stamps and Social Security work:  Food Stamps, Social Security, and other “welfare” programs—demonized by ignorance as “handouts” ––are “effective at reducing poverty,” according to comprehensive studies by the prestigious University of Chicago. The UC studies showed major government anti-poverty programs were categorized as “effective” when evaluated using data gathered from administration sources and not just from annual audit surveys.  Past survey information available to Congress included substantial errors underestimating “welfare” programs.  On the other hand, SNAP-Food Stamps, SSI-Supplemental Security Income, TANF-Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, SS-Social Security, Housing Assistance, and EITC-Earned Income Tax Credit all showed “poverty levels reduced” when evaluated for “effectiveness” by examining administrative data. Taking single-parent families as an example. Social Security, SSI, and Public Assistance more than doubled their effectiveness in reducing the poverty rate when administrative data is analyzed, yet these families continue to be relatively underserved due to erroneous Census survey data. Respondents in Census surveys significantly under-report, failing to count 50% of public assistance dollars, 42% of SNAP dollars, and 16% for SSI. Census surveys also neglect by not asking about benefits and tax credits.  UC found that all programs defined as 50% below the poverty line, an income of $12,140 for an individual and $20,780 for a family of three, “sharply” reduced deep poverty. The only exception was for the EITC which has an even bigger impact for families around 150% below the poverty line, the “working poor.” CU identified tax credits and food stamps the “most effective” government welfare programs.  For the elderly, UC found Social Security benefits “single-handedly slashed poverty by 75%.” And overall Social Security was found to have the greatest effect on poverty and by far the largest poverty-reducer among all welfare programs. Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.

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Worker productivity has made California the world’s 5th largest economy.

Worker productivity has made California the world’s 5th largest economy.        California has surpassed that of the United Kingdom to become the world’s fifth largest economy. Only the US, China, Japan and Germany have larger economies. California’s gross domestic product rose by $127 billion from 2016 to 2017, surpassing $2.7 trillion.  California’s strong economic performance is driven by worker productivity. The United Kingdom has 25 million more people than California but now has a smaller GDP.  It appears California has the entrepreneurial spirit and that is what is attracting talent and money. Despite other states offering tax giveaways, immigration demands, higher taxes, and extensive government regulations, more business are moving and starting up in California.  All economic sectors except agriculture contributed to California’s higher GDP.  Financial services and real estate led the pack at $26 billion in growth, followed by the information sector, including technology companies, at $20 billion. Manufacturing was up $10 billion.  California has 12 percent of the U.S. population but contributed 16 percent of the country’s job growth between 2012 and 2017. Its share of the national economy also grew from 12.8 percent to 14.2 percent over that five-year period, according to state economists.  California last had the world’s fifth largest economy in 2002 but fell as low as 10th in 2012 following the Great Recession. Since then, the largest U.S. state has added 2 million jobs and grown its GDP by $700 billion. Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.

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American racism inspired Hitler and Hitler, now, inspiring American racism.

American racism inspired Hitler and Hitler now inspiring American racism.  In 1990, Vanity Fair reported Donald Trump kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bed. Trump replied, “If I had Hitler’s speeches, I would never read them.” Trump praises strong men like Putin, Duterte, and Erdogan. If Hitler were alive, might not Trump be praising Hitler? The Nazi’s admired American racial laws comparing German Lebensraum with Manifest Destiny.  While Americans of every race and creed fought the Nazis in WWII, American bigotry at home kept tens of thousands of Jews from immigrating to the US, facilitating the Holocaust deaths of millions, including Ann Frank and family. General George Patton termed Jewish displaced persons, “lower than animals.” FBI Director Hoover had secret lists of prominent American Jews watched for possible obstructionism. The California sterilization law of 1934 blueprinted Nazi sterilization programs. Nevada had the first gas chamber. Infamous, Zyclon-B used to gas millions of Jews to death in concentration camps was served up at El Paso to devirminze immigrants. Zyclon-B in pill form speed up US executions and was adopted by the Nazi’s to relieve death-camp guard stress. Hitler admired America’s knack for acting innocent of mass killing while blacks were hung with impunity throughout the South. Hitler reflected that while genocide was not in the US Constitution, Native Americans numbering in the millions were gunned down by American settlers to less than 200,000 in a few decades. President Jefferson had called for Native American extermination. General Phil Sheridan, in charge of the West followed a policy of annihilation and total destruction of Native Americans. German corporate conservatives made a huge mistake thinking they could use Hitler as a tool to rouse the public. American corporate conservatives plead no-contest at Trump’s disgusting behavior, but think Trump their tool to control legislation. Trump appears to emulate Hitler’s strategy of cultivating rivalry among underlings and providing cathartic rallies of racism and xenophobia. Millions of American watch of TV, immune to Trump propaganda, acquiescing to his constant prevarication and venomous rhetoric. In an atmosphere of degenerating fairness and decency, a young teenager watches a newly-colored YouTube video of Hitler-refurbished, and feels inspired to join a white supremacist group on Facebook. Hitler and Nazism did not happen overnight any more than Rome was built in one day. Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.

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