I was recently in the mountains of Northern Georgia and around several bends in the road and tucked down in some holler there’d be a sort of enclave of broken down house trailers where people were eking out some kind of a life for themselves. There’s nothing unique about this, you can see the same thing in any state and any city, people barely getting along.
What caught my eye in Georgia however, were the occasional displays of rabbit support for Donald Trump. There would be weather-worn commercial MAGA flags and Trump signs along with crudely painted Trump signs made from whatever flat surface could be found.
As always I was stunned at the support given to a man who has no knowledge of or affinity towards these hidden Americans. Trump doesn’t know they exist and even if he does, he doesn’t care. He has made no effort to address the needs of poor Americans, in fact, just the contrary. His most recent budget proposal calls for drastic cuts into Medicaid and SNAP, both federal programs that often spell life or death for the poor.
Here are a few of today’s interesting factoids that are worth noting:
Trump signed an order to hire 15,000 new border agents two years ago. Customs and Border Protection paid $60.7 million to the consulting firm Accenture Federal Services to “recruit, vet and hire” 7,500 such officers over five years. The company has hired 33 such officers to date. (Los Angeles Times)
Roger Stone, President Trump’s longtime adviser, and sporter of a Richard Nixon back tattoo was arrested Friday by the FBI and indicted in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. That makes him the 34th person charged in the Mueller probe. (FiveThirtyEight)
Thanks to the recently-ended, record-long government shutdown, the Internal Revenue Service will need 12 to 18 months to recover. At least, that’s what the National Taxpayer Advocate, a government watchdog group, reported to lawmakers, (an anonymous House aide told The Washington Post. The IRS is apparently buried in millions of unanswered taxpayer letters, is weeks behind on training workers, and needs to hire thousands of new workers for tax season. (The Washington Post)
Seriously, I am just kidding, there’s nothing good about Trump and the GOP’s huge unfunded tax unless you’re a member of the super-duper jet club or America’s most exclusive country club crowd. If you’re just another working stiff in America, living from check to check and wondering how the hell your kids will be able to go to college without enslaving themselves in the life long debtors prison called student loans.
Whatever small gains you may experience from the tax cut will last for ten years or less. That’s because your cuts are temporary with a ten-year shelf life, after which, they expire. For that small percentage of America’s richest, the cuts are permanent and will just keep on giving. The new laws may make it easier for you to file but will do nothing to make it easier for you to meet your long-term obligations. Continue reading The Good & Bad of Trump’s Tax Cut→
THE TURNOVER in President Trump’s Cabinet has been unprecedented in recent history, my colleague Nathaniel Rakich writes. As of yesterday, there had been 12 staffing changes in his Cabinet. In second place at this point in his administration was Bill Clinton, with only six
STARBUCKS: Starbucks opened its first coffee shop in 1971. Today there are over 28,000 shops spanning the globe. As the fringe right likes to say, that’s a lot of soldiers in the war against Christmas!
ARMSTRONG: “A federal judge refused to throw out the U.S. government’s $100 million lawsuit against Lance Armstrong, meaning that the former cyclist will be going to court. Armstrong is being sued under the False Claims Act over his use of performance-enhancing drugs, which the government claims violated his contract with the Postal Service.”
FACTOID: As the new Congress feverishly works to undo Obamacare a recent study strongly suggest that the majority of Americans know little about the law. That is even more true of those who oppose it. The post-information era at its best.
OPIOIDS: A truly ridiculous amount of prescription opiates have been sent to West Virginia from 2007 to 2012: 555,808,292 doses of hydrocodone and 224,260,980 doses of oxycodone. That’s 433 pills for every person in the state over that time span.
UNINFORMED VOTER: According to Pew Research 54% of Americans know nothing, “about the alt-right white nationalist movement that gained prominence during Trump’s campaign for the presidency.” And 30% of the people who had heard about it weren’t sure what it was about.
WHAT’S THE PRICE: What does it cost to be nominated to a cabinet leader position in the Trump administration. Well, six of his current nominees contributed about $2 million each to help get Donald elected. Looks like power still goes to those who can buy it.
WASHINGTON BAD: Jeff Pence, the dude Trump is appointing to be the next US Attorney General is not a pot friendly person. He has said in public that, “good people don’t use marijuana.” Well in the state of Washington pot sales in the 2nd quarter of 2016 reached $212 million compared to $249 million for alcohol sales.
20 COUNTRIES: President elect Donald Trump has business interests in at least 20 different countries. These businesses could present conflicts of interest for the president and pose potential security threats.
$100,000: That’s the expected cost to NYC each time Trump goes home for a visit. Since he plans to go home every weekend it becomes major dollars. Plus, each visit means a significant gridlock as his motor brigade travels to and from airports. Maybe this is why he only carried 10% of the city’s vote.