Politics of Fear works for him…since their base has been mentally conditioned to believe those disingenuous scare tactics from Trump & his echo.  It does gin up his anti-immigration base, but could also energize Latinos to turn out & vote against the GOP.  But the longer the caravan leads the headlines every day, the more concerning it becomes over its potential impact on the midterms: trump-caravan-midterm-elections.  If the caravan holds together on foot, their long journey could last right up through the midterm elections.  Trump is playing it to the hilt by calling it a “national emergency,” which really gets his Trumpeter base all riled up: trump-migrant-caravan-central-america-military.  Getting their dander up even further, Trump claims without evidence there’s Middle Easterners, ISIS & MS-13ers mixed in.  That’s classic Trumpian politics of fear, otherwise known as lying.  Most migrants are really Hondurans & are not “hardened criminals” as Trump claims, but are desperate refugee families fleeing abject poverty & brutal violence in their home country with the world’s highest murder rates.  It’s a tough situation as these families are willing to risk everything for a chance at a better life, but obviously America & even Mexico can’t let everyone in who’d like to escape the horrible conditions they were living in.

When Trump blames the Dems for this “caravan,” it is patently absurd since the timing of this massive refugee march is perfectly timed to give the GOP ideal optics for energizing their voting base on this key issue for them: fox-news-host-dismantles-trumps-claim-that-democrats-are-behind-migrant-caravan.  So it’s disconcerting to me this caravan would be happening at this exact moment leading right into the midterms, helping to amp up the GOP base near the same levels the Dems are loaded for bear.  It’s also deflecting from the larger issues this election should be about.  Unfortunately, the Kavanaugh effect first got their attention & now that Trumpeter army is energized over that wave of migrants, reflected in very high numbers seemingly favoring the GOP for early voting in key Senate states: early-voting-2018-breaking-records & also will-a-surge-in-early-voting-help-or-hurt-republicans.  And polling shows the Dems enthusiasm gap advantage has narrowed.  With so many Trump rallies this month where he’s spewing his lies more than ever in riling up his base, all us rational voters wanting to preserve our democratic freedoms better all cast our votes, since the prez would view it as a mandate should this election allow the GOP to continue controlling Congress, so an unhinged Trump would be freed up/unleashed to do untold damage to our nation: midterm-elections-2018-predictions-house-poll-battleground.

Trump actually welcomes that moving caravan for the optics, who are still 1000 miles away in the blazing heat.  So rather than threatening those host countries with cutting off their aid & bombarding the American people with assorted lies as the prez is doing, knowing the politics of fear works with his base, why not coordinate with all the partner nations in this hemisphere to try coming up with permanent solutions to those core problems of poverty & violence these desperate families are fleeing?  See the song at the bottom we’ve related to this big caravan.  The ones who do make it as far as our borders, we need to do something, but that something doesn’t include stealing their children!  And instead of actually addressing the real issues, see how Trump is stoking fears through falsehoods & gaslighting as revealed inside these links:







And if you can access WaPo articles, look up these op-eds where this migrant caravan is allowing Trump to churn out the lies & ramp up the politics of fear for turning out his xenophobic voters:











Ironically, we actually need more immigrants

This article inside us-fertility-rates-collapse-finger-pointing-blame-follow raises the specter we may really need more immigration with fertility rates having declined so much.  Low wage jobs are becoming increasingly harder to fill, so we do need to find a lot more workers willing to do those jobs.  As to the contentious immigration issue overall, I can pin the blame squarely on Trump, the far-right echo, & that merry band of Trumpeters.  For years there has been no good reason not to strengthen border security as part of a larger deal to also pass a reasonable DACA deal, but the hardcore from the right wouldn’t allow it.  The tea party was vociferously against such a comprehensive deal during the Obama years.  Last year Trump verbally agreed to a DACA & border security/wall deal with Schumer & Pelosi, from which the prez reneged a day or two later after the echo had a hissy fit.  Of course, we’ve seen repeatedly how Trump’s word is mud.  And his invitation over the weekend telling Schumer & Pelosi to call him is just blowing smoke.  Dem leadership knows Trump’s bluster on immigration is just posturing & fear-mongering, so they’re anxious to change the conversation to the winning issue for them, healthcare & preexisting conditions, as seen in this article posted from trump-urges-dems-to-help-craft-new-immigration-laws-chuck-nancy:

President Trump on Saturday invited Democratic leaders to call him to discuss crafting new immigration laws, claiming Democrats are blocking new proposals. “If the Democrats would stop being obstructionists and come together, we could write up and agree to new immigration laws in less than one hour,” Trump tweeted. The president accused Democrats of causing “needless pain and suffering” while pointing to “horrors taking place on the Border.” He did not elaborate on what issues he was referring to. “Chuck & Nancy, call me!” Trump wrote, referring to Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Schumer and Pelosi issued a joint statement on Saturday afternoon pushing back on Trump’s tweet while accusing Republicans of “making a mess” of the U.S. health-care system. The Trump administration is currently arguing in court that ObamaCare’s pre-existing condition protections should be struck down, and the Democratic leaders said their members “will not be diverted” away from discussing health care. “The president is desperate to change the subject from health care to immigration because he knows that health care is the number one issue Americans care about,” Pelosi and Schumer said in the statement. “Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and Republicans in Washington are making a mess of our health care system, causing premiums to increase and care to decrease.”


Conservatives have grown increasingly worried that Trump and GOP leaders will strike a scaled-down immigration deal with Democrats in the lame-duck session if Democrats win control of the House next month. Some Republicans worry that Trump will be eager to offer protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants known as Dreamers in exchange for the requested $25 billion for his border wall. “[The wall] is the biggest symbol of Trump. It’s something he really, really wants,” Chris Chmielenski, deputy director for NumbersUSA, told The Hill this week. “And that’s our biggest fear, is that he’s going to give up amnesty to get a border wall.” Meanwhile, Trump has escalated his rhetoric on immigration in recent days while seeking to rally GOP voters in the final weeks heading into the November midterm elections. The president has repeatedly seized on a thousands-strong caravan of migrants pushing up through Central America toward the United States, demanding that Mexico stop the caravan. On Thursday, Trump blamed Democratic policies for facilitating the caravan and doubled down on his promise to send the military to the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent the group from entering. 

Preexisting Conditions

The GOP knows their real stance on preexisting conditions is horrible optics, so they’ve resorted to lying about it: 2018-midterm-elections-preexisting-conditions-obamacare.  The beginning to the next article midterms-gop-agenda-donors-lies-obamacare-preexisting-conditions shown below has a few different examples of things that are so wrong about the party of Trump.  Clicking on that link will go on to explain the GOP’s untenable position on health care:

In May of last year, congressional Republicans were trying to pass a historically unpopular plan for restructuring the American health care system. The stakes of this effort were so high — and the pushback against it so fierce — that the debate over Obamacare repeal eclipsed every other fight on Capitol Hill. And yet, a Republican was asking voters to elect him to the House of Representatives that month without knowing where he stood on the issue. For weeks, Greg Gianforte had insisted that he could not responsibly take a position on the latest version of Obamacare’s repeal until he saw the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of its effects. Then, on May 24 — the night before Montana’s special congressional election — the CBO published its findings. Among them: If passed, the Republican bill would increase the number of Americans without health insurance by 23 million over the coming decade.


That night, a reporter asked Gianforte what his position was on Obamacare repeal, now that he’d seen the data he’d been waiting for. Gianforte declined to answer. The reporter persisted, suggesting that the people of Montana deserved to know where he stood. The Republican candidate responded by grabbing the reporter, slamming him to the ground, and punching him repeatedly while yelling, “I’m sick and tired of you guys!” in front of several horrified witnesses. Last night, Donald Trump praised now-congressman Gianforte’s handling of that situation. “Any guy that can do a body-slam … he’s my guy,” the president told supporters at a rally in Big Sky Country. Trump went on to say that, while he was initially alarmed by news of the GOP candidate’s untimely assault, he subsequently thought, “‘I know Montana pretty well. I think it might help him.’ And it did!”


These remarks are, of course, illustrative of the president’s authoritarian contempt for the very concept of a free press. But they are also indicative of the Republican Party’s broader contempt for democratic governance; or, in simpler terms, for its own voters. None of the Republicans campaigning for Congress this year have broken a reporter’s glasses. But just about all of them have declined to let voters know what their (actual) positions on health-care policy are — or to provide them with any detailed information about what their party’s governing agenda will be, should it retain both chambers of Congress this fall. 


We need to straighten out the drug industry, starting with their selfish greed & exorbitant pricing.  Patched together in these excerpts from this link appropriately named pharmaceutical, see how the drug companies are taking advantage of us:

The global pharmaceutical industry is no longer innovating. Research shows that 78 percent of patents approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration correspond to medications already on the market, while those disease areas not considered growth markets are ignored. From 2000 to 2011, only 4 percent of newly-approved products globally were designed to treat neglected diseases that affect lower- and middle-income countries. Part of the problem is how pharmaceuticals use the patent system. Instead of creating new drugs, they extend existing patents beyond the initial 20-year protection set by the United States and use gimmicks, such as overly-wide patents, to block knowledge creation and issue patents for what is essentially the same drug. What’s more, while taxpayers are largely footing the bill for drug research, pharmaceuticals are reaping all the gains. 


The U.S. taxpayer has funded research for every single one of the 210 new drugs that the FDA approved between 2010-16. Yet the companies that have access to this research are increasingly viewing pharmaceuticals in the same way that banks view their financial product — opportunities for short-term returns. Large pharma companies spend more on share buybacks to boost share prices (and stock options — the main way that executives get paid) than on research and development. It is clear that the pharmaceutical business model is one that pursues profits rather than public health objectives. Profit-making has become so entrenched in the drug industry that it requires a fundamental transformation — one that compels it to deliver public value and spark genuine market-invigorating innovation. We can do this only if we begin to focus on what really matters: putting patients over profits. As the opioid crisis shows, breakdowns in this system can quickly become a national security issue. Let’s treat matters of health as such.


This article posted below from three-easy-fixes-to-social-security-and-medicare-that-republicans-do-not-want-you-to-know-about claims to have “easy fixes” for entitlements which are busting our federal budget.  Sure, people paid into these programs during their working years, but with lifespans being generally longer in recent decades where many are pulling out far more than they ever paid in, along with healthcare costs skyrocketing, programs like Social Security & Medicare are going bankrupt.  I don’t think the solutions here are as easy as claimed, but these ideas are certainly valid & even more needs done beyond the 3 mentioned.  I’ve always contended Social Security would be easy to fix if we’d just do it, but the Medicare numbers are totally beyond repair.

I had mixed emotions when Obamacare was forced through, but the more I see of America’s healthcare system with costs spiraling out of control, the more I think universal single-payer coverage is probably inevitable.  Although we do have some rather unique challenges, other countries have done it successfully while restraining costs.  It’s been shown many nations have systems working just fine at half the costs.  Budget shortfalls likely leave us no choice but to establish a system which can effectively constrain drug prices while also cutting out the middlemen (such as insurance companies).  So we may find the huge price tag being bantered about for single-payer might actually be less than what we’d pay otherwise.  The coverage may not overall be as good, but there’d be a robust separate marketplace for supplemental cadillac plans.  Here we see what might be a good starting place:

Republicans would love to get rid of Social Security and Medicare. But they can’t, because Social Security and Medicare are among the most popular of all federal programs. Besides, most Americans have been paying into them their whole working lives, and depend on them. So how will Republicans attempt to end these programs? By doing nothing to save Medicare and Social Security. The trustees for Medicare and Social Security — of which I used to be one — say Medicare will run out of money by 2026, three years sooner than last projected, and Social Security will run out in 2034. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are three easy fixes to Social Security and Medicare that Republicans don’t want you to know about. First: Raise the cap on income subject to Social Security payroll taxes. This year, that cap is $128,400, meaning that every dollar earned above $128,400 isn’t subject to Social Security taxes. So the typical CEO of a big company, who makes over $15 million, pays Social Security taxes on just $128,400 of his or her income, a tiny fraction. While the typical nurse practitioner, who takes home around $100,000, pays Social Security taxes on every dollar of his or her income. In this era of raging inequality, that’s not fair. And it’s not even logical. Raise the cap.


Second: To help rein in Medicare costs, allow the government to use its huge bargaining power to negotiate lower drug prices. Big Pharma has gotten legislation barring the government from negotiating lower drug prices. That legislation should be repealed. Big Pharma says this would mean less research on new drugs, but that’s baloney. Pharma already spends more on advertising, marketing, and lobbying than it does on research. Third: To deal with a basic reason why Social Security and Medicare are running out of money, allow more young immigrants into the U.S. The basic reason why Social Security and Medicare are running out of money is the American population continues to age and live longer – leaving a relatively smaller working population to pay into Social Security and Medicare. What to do? Allow in more young immigrants. Immigrants and their children are the fastest growing segment of the working population, already contributing billions in payroll taxes every year. Instead of shutting immigrants out, allowing more immigrants into the country will help secure the future of Social Security and Medicare. This isn’t rocket science, folks. Raise the cap, negotiate drug prices, and allow in more immigrants. Do these three things and you won’t have to worry about Social Security and Medicare not being there when you need it.

Yep, Single-Payer may be coming soon

Do a search if you’d like to read The Hill articles showing health care is a winning issue for Dems (along with the huge dislike for Trump), while the thought of universal health care is becoming increasingly popular among Americans in general:




Tax Cuts

As Yours Truly kept warning, trickle down is a myth.  Maybe Trump is acknowledging his tax cuts for the rich are very bad optics, so now he’s floating a middle class tax cut to introduce soon in order to buy votes, which has everyone confused: trump-new-tax-cut-midterms.  Isn’t it strange all these tax cuts are thrown out there with zero spending cut offsets?  We can only wonder if his irresponsible drunken sailor deficit spending is trying to push annual deficits far north of $1 Trillion.  But up till now Trump has engineered an economy just the way the GOP likes it, being beholden to giant international corporations while rewarding their large donors.  Some more accurate articles on how misguided & unpopular the tax cuts are can be seen in trumps-tax-cut-is-turning-1-and-its-not-a-happy-birthday & also the-republican-tax-cut-is-a-big-fat-failure & also these excerpts from Top-1-is-getting-its-highest-paydays-ever-thanks-to-the-war-on-workers:


Great news for the top 1%! This group of people who definitely needed more good news got their highest wages ever in 2017, averaging $719,000. The top one percent also got the satisfaction of knowing that their wages grew by 3.7 percent, much faster than the one percent growth that the bottom 90 percent of earners saw in the same time. Alas, news was more mixed for the top 0.1 percent. While their wage growth of eight percent was faster than any other income group, it still only left them at their second-highest wages ever—$2,757,000. Taking the long view: The top 1.0 percent of earners now earn by 157.3 percent more than they did in 1979. Even more impressive is that those in the top 0.1 percent had more than double that wage growth, up 343.2 percent since 1979. In contrast, wages for the bottom 90 percent only grew 22.2 percent in that time. The bottom 90 percent earned 69.8 percent of all earnings in 1979 but just 60.9 percent in 2017. In contrast the top 1.0 percent increased its share of earnings from 7.3 percent in 1979 to 13.4 percent in 2017, a near doubling. Never forget, this is the economy Republicans want.

Where we’re failing & what it’s all about!

This intro to the article we-need-economic-progress-for-more-americans sums up what our entire economic agenda should be focusing on.  It’s the one overriding issue which has been ignored far too long:

Our country’s history is interwoven with a continuous struggle toward equality. That’s not to suggest that we should all be the same, but that our hard work, our skills, and our talents should earn each of us a fair shot. At our founding, equality was only for white, male landowners. Today, though we still have a ways to go, we’ve moved closer to equality in social, legal, and economic settings than ever before. That movement — progress — has opened doors of opportunity for everyone. Unfortunately, economic progress shuddered to a stop in the 1970s as so-called “growth” policies began to help only top earners. Labor unions — major drivers of better wages across the board — were falsely targeted as the problem. We began to prioritize corporate profits through changes to the tax code. We ceased to regulate financial institutions in ways that would eventually lead to the Great Recession. The mantra of trickle-down economics was adopted, and the success of big business was paramount — avoiding overburdening them in the good times and propping them up in the bad. That mantra hasn’t worked. It created a whole class of working poor, people who don’t have health insurance, sick days, or retirement investment from their employers. It failed everyone but the top 1 percent, leaving wages and wealth stagnant for the vast majority of Americans. It has to change, and it’s time for Congress to lead the way.

Grieving the disappearance of the Mom & Pops

The big chains have taken over & along with that, America has lost a key component to a vibrant economy & entrepreneur spirit, seen in these excerpts from shop-local-jeremiah-moss.  It’s part of the larger American tragedy where small independent business owners struggle to stay afloat with big corporations having gained dominance & ruining their livelihoods:

Short-term leases arbitrated and approved by huge real estate monoliths is increasingly becoming the reality of retail. And throughout New York City’s transition from a place where a middle-class person could maybe make a living opening and running a business to a place where, well, good luck with that, there’s been one person chronicling it all: Jeremiah Moss. Moss is the author of the blog Vanishing New York (and the book of the same name), where since 2007 he’s been lamenting the death of mom-and-pop stores all over the city and engaging in activism to try to save them. Moss (a pseudonym; he revealed in a 2017 New Yorker profile that his real name is Griffin Hansbury and works primarily as a psychoanalyst) has been a staunch critic of this trend, which is certainly not limited to New York City. In fact, it’s become an inevitability in nearly all major US cities. The loudest message we seem to get in response, from politicians, from community leaders, and from each other is to “shop local.” Support independent businesses with your dollars rather than going to Walmart or Amazon, and your favorite record store or dive bar will never have to close.

Moss’s latest blog post, published Monday, takes aim at this idea. “The Trouble with Shop Local” doesn’t blame the act of shopping locally, which he stresses is important — it’s the way politicians use the phrase to deflect blame from the system and onto individual consumers. To be clear, we can and should be spending our dollars at independent businesses as much as possible, both to support our local communities and to avoid contributing to the massive wealth and terrible labor practices of retail megaliths. But buying a couple of extra items from the bookstore around the corner likely won’t save it — even if everyone in town does the same. I spoke with Moss over the phone about his piece, in which he criticizes the neoliberalism — the free-market, capitalist approach to governance — that permeated in New York in response to the city’s financial crisis in the late ’70s and ultimately spread globally. He argues that it’s because we’ve come to take the free market (which he says isn’t really “free” at all because of the tax breaks that cities give big businesses and developers) so much for granted that we don’t demand meaningful change where it really counts: in state and city policy. The following interview has been edited and condensed.

Caravan like a Convoy!

They’re very determined coming by foot, but along the way some are hitching a ride with big trucks.  As seen in this song, it’s like a convoy where these refugees are searching for better lives by pushing through Mexican police, while someday also hoping to avert the American border patrol & possibly even our military.  It’s a serious issue in search of answers as they’re escaping gang violence, which demands reasoned bipartisan solutions, not partisan posturing that appeals to GOP voters through the politics of fear.  And since it’s so important to contain Trump’s recklessness & demagoguery, all of us rational freedom-loving Americans had better form our own huge convoy to the voting booths so we can save our democracy: