DECEMBER 4, 2019 BY MICHAEL STONE
Merry Christmas: In yet another act of gratuitous cruelty the Trump administration has issued new rules that will take food stamps away from nearly 700,000 unemployed Americans.
Bloomberg News reports
The Trump administration announced a plan Wednesday to end food-stamp benefits for about 700,000 Americans, issuing a new regulation that makes it harder for states to gain waivers from a requirement that beneficiaries work or participate in a vocational training program.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue explained the deplorable action to reporters, declaring:
We’re taking action to reform our SNAP program in order to restore the dignity of work to a sizable segment of our population and be respectful of the taxpayers who fund the program. Americans are generous people who believe it is their responsibility to help their fellow citizens when they encounter a difficult stretch. That’s the commitment behind SNAP, but, like other welfare programs, it was never intended to be a way of life.
Because nothing restores “the dignity of work” like going hungry.
The move is despicable, but not surprising. Republicans have always wanted to cut food stamps for the poor and unemployed. Last year House Republicans tried to impose similar restrictions, but were stopped by Democrats in the Senate.
Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat from Michigan, and the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, railed against the new rule, declaring:
This Administration is out of touch with families who are struggling to make ends meet by working seasonal jobs or part time jobs with unreliable hours. Seasonal holiday workers, workers in Northern Michigan’s tourism industry, and workers with unreliable hours like waiters and waitresses are the kinds of workers hurt by this proposal.
Senator Stabenow was not the only one to criticize the cruel new Trump administration policy. The following is a sample of reactions via Twitter:
The Trump Administration is driving the vulnerable into hunger just as the Christmas season approaches.
It is heartless.
It is cruel.
And it exposes a deep and shameful hypocrisy in @realDonaldTrump’s administration.https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/04/us/politics/food-stamps.html …Hundreds of Thousands Are Losing Access to Food StampsThe Agriculture Department gave its final approval to the first of three rules that are ultimately expected to cut more than three million from the food stamp rolls.nytimes.com4,4134:09 PM – Dec 4, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy2,846 people are talking about this
Taking food away from hundreds of thousands of Americans—many of whom already struggle to find work or make ends meet—would do little to end hardship and hunger. It’s counterproductive, shortsighted, and cruel. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/nearly-700-000-will-lose-food-stamps-usda-work-requirement-n1095726?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma …Nearly 700,000 will lose food stamps with USDA work requirement changeThe Trump administration’s rule change would limit states’ abilities to provide residents access to food stamps.nbcnews.com5985:39 PM – Dec 4, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy217 people are talking about this
No family should have to struggle to put food on the table & no child should have to go to bed hungry. SNAP is a lifeline for millions of Americans in MA & across the country. We should be expanding this program – not tearing it apart. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/04/us/politics/food-stamps.html …Hundreds of Thousands Are Losing Access to Food StampsThe Agriculture Department gave its final approval to the first of three rules that are ultimately expected to cut more than three million from the food stamp rolls.nytimes.com3,5615:50 PM – Dec 4, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy1,180 people are talking about this
New USDA rule will slash SNAP benefits for 700,000 Americans, increasing hunger & poverty. Once again we have proof this admin’s heartlessness knows no bounds. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/nearly-700-000-will-lose-food-stamps-usda-work-requirement-n1095726?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma …Nearly 700,000 will lose food stamps with USDA work requirement changeThe Trump administration’s rule change would limit states’ abilities to provide residents access to food stamps.nbcnews.com3126:24 PM – Dec 4, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy290 people are talking about this
Every Democratic candidate should try to raise this issue at the December debate.
Trump and the Republicans gave FedEx a $1 billion tax cut and then gutted food stamps for millions right before the holidays. https://twitter.com/samstein/status/1202273191747637249 …Sam Stein✔@samsteinIn usual times, cutting millions off of food stamps during the holiday season would be more than a 15 min news cycle. (If this is even that) https://twitter.com/alexwagner/status/1202270886319009792 …9,7792:44 PM – Dec 4, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy4,126 people are talking about this
People often ask who in the Trump admin is connected to #TheFamily. One is Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue, a vocal Christian who owes his career to fundamentalist dirty trickster Ralph Reed & who today kicked as many as 700,000 people off food stamps to “restore the dignity of work.” https://t.co/5BG1HIJb6I
— Jeff Sharlet (@JeffSharlet) December 5, 2019
Bottom line: In yet another act of gratuitous cruelty the Trump administration has issued new rules that will take food stamps away from nearly 700,000 unemployed Americans.
Can you feel the Christian love?
Robert FarleyJanuary 1, 2020, 5:00 AM EST
Key point: Along with the two Queen Elizabeth–class aircraft carriers, the Astutes represent the core of the Royal Navy’s offensive capabilities.
Since the commissioning of HMS Dreadnought in 1963, the Royal Navy has maintained a formidable force of nuclear attack submarines. Indeed, HMS Conqueror is the only nuclear attack submarine (SSN) to ever sink an enemy warship in anger. But the Royal Navy has undergone a transformational crisis over the past decade, shrinking in size and changing in composition. The latest nuclear attack subs, the Astute class, have become a critical component of the future of the Royal Navy—but, given Russia’s resurgence, are they enough?
The Royal Navy operated nineteen nuclear attack submarines across the course of the Cold War. As in the United States, the fall of the Soviet Union changed the requirements for the Royal Navy’s submarine fleet. The UK initially expected to build what amounted to Trafalgar Mark II boats: subs focused on antisubmarine warfare, expected to defeat Soviet submarines in the North Atlantic and the Arctic. But the collapse of the Soviet Union dramatically reduced the Russian sub threat, and created new requirements. The RN took a design pause, and eventually produced a larger submarine—one more suited to multipurpose operations, including land attack.
HMS Astute was laid down in 2001, ten years after the completion of the last Trafalgar boat and three years after the launching of HMS Vengeance, the last of the Vanguard-class SSBNs. Unfortunately, the gap had led to the atrophy of key design and production capabilities, resulting in delays and cost overruns that continue to harry the program today. Basic drafting and engineering skills had deteriorated as the submarine construction work force had retired or moved on, forcing British Aerospace (which had taken over the program) to redevelop many key capabilities. Other problems emerged around the sophisticated drafting software used to design the class. This took time, pushing back the construction of the first boats, and pushing up overall costs.
Lower taxes didn’t american pay more in tax….
Did that fool say social government
The face of true evil Trump
The White House on Thursday said President Trump was “just riffing” when he suggested at a Michigan rally that Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell’s late husband, Rep. John Dingell, was in hell, “looking up.”
“It was a very, very supportive and wild crowd,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “And he was just riffing on some of the things that had been happening the past few days.”
Grisham described Trump as a “counter-puncher” who is “under attack.” During his campaign and since taking office, Trump has made many inflammatory statements that he or his press secretaries explained away as jokes.
John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history, died in February at age 92.
At a rally in Battle Creek, Mich., on Wednesday night, Trump brought up the late congressman and his widow, who now holds his seat and voted, along with almost all the House Democrats, for impeachment.
“Debbie Dingell, that’s a real beauty,” Trump said, noting he was watching her on television during the impeachment proceedings.
The president said he gave the Dingell family the “A-plus treatment” after John Dingell’s death, falsely claiming he allowed him to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda. Trump then depicted an emotional phone call with Debbie Dingell, with her thanking him for his consideration and telling him that her husband was “thrilled” looking down from heaven.
“Maybe he’s looking up,” Trump said, drawing some moans from the crowd in Michigan, a state Dingell represented for more than 59 years, although his district was in another part of the state.
Debbie Dingell responded on Twitter.
“Mr. President, let’s set politics aside,” she tweeted. “My husband earned all his accolades after a lifetime of service. I’m preparing for the first holiday season without the man I love. You brought me down in a way you can never imagine and your hurtful words just made my healing much harder.”
In an interview with CNN, she maintained her above-the-fray stance.
“I’ve never taken a personal shot at this president. I think his family is off limits,” Debbie Dingell said.
She said John Dingell’s brother, her brother-in-law, is currently in hospice care.
“We need more civility in this country,” the congresswoman continued. “The rhetoric, the bullying, the viciousness isn’t OK. And there are too many people across the country that are beginning to think it is OK.”
Dingell’s Republican colleague Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., called on the president to apologize.
“I’ve always looked up to John Dingell,” Upton tweeted. “My good friend and a great Michigan legend. There was no need to ‘dis’ him in a crass political way. Most unfortunate and an apology is due.”
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, also offered Debbie Dingell his support.
“Merry Christmas Debbie, you deserve to be able to heal in peace,” Crenshaw tweeted. “Those comments were totally unnecessary.”
When asked if she wanted an apology from the president, Debbie Dingell demurred.
“I don’t want to politicize my husband,” she said. “I don’t want to politicize my husband’s death. It is still something that I am really grieving over. This Thanksgiving was really hard and Christmas is harder.”
At her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked about Trump’s disparaging comment.
“Let us pray. Let us pray for the president,” Pelosi said. “The president is clearly insecure when it comes to statespersons, whether it was John McCain — think of what he said about John McCain, and his supporters just overlooked that. John McCain? Now John Dingell.
“What the president misunderstands is that cruelty is not wit,” she added. “Just because he gets a laugh for saying the cruel things that he says doesn’t mean he’s funny. It’s not funny at all. It’s very sad.”
Cindy McCain, John McCain’s widow, tweeted a message of support to Debbie Dingell.
“I’m terribly sorry,” she tweeted. “Please know I am thinking about you.”
In October 2016, after Trump said he “wouldn’t want to be in a foxhole” with John McCain, John Dingell, a fellow war veteran, tweeted: “On behalf of so many of my fellow veterans: Please take two running jumps and go to hell, Mr. Trump.”
At the Oval Office Thursday afternoon, Trump was asked by a reporter if he planned to apologize to Debbie Dingell for his remark.
The president did not respond to the question.
For those who don’t know this term, “flying monkeys” are people that a narcissist uses to do their bidding. Sometimes, a narcissist will not attack you publicly in any way–which makes them look good–but they are privately telling carefully chosen people how evil and awful you are. They select these people the same way they chose you. They are experts at reading people and realizing who will make an easy target and a puppet. They also know who won’t, so they avoid the people they can’t easily use. Narcissists usually choose other, lesser, narcissists who will enjoy attacking you, or they choose very empathetic people who believe their stories and honestly believe they are supporting an innocent person. These flying monkeys then proceed to stalk you and report back to the narcissist–again, either to be mean or because they think they are helping the wronged party. Or, the worst flying monkeys will spread the lies the narcissist tells them privately by taking them public. The lies don’t come from the narcissist’s mouth, so they can claim they are “taking the high road,” but the words the flying monkeys spread are *exactly* what they heard from the narc. They do the narcissist’s evil, but make it seem like the narcissist isn’t really involved. They have no idea they are being used. The term comes from the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz since the wicked witch sends them to carry out her attacks. Most of the time, the narcissist has convinced the monkeys that the narcissist is the victim and the real victim is the abuser, so the monkeys go after the real victim and treat the real victim like the abuser. Although, I have seen some cases where the monkeys know who is the real abuser and who is the real victim, but just want to jump in on the attack on the victim. (Scary.)
Some of my ex narcopath’s flying monkeys include: an extreme busy-body gossip who sends private messages telling other women how bad I am. In turn, some of those other women are horrified by the lies they hear and either avoid me or abuse me with the stories they think are true. (And wow, I have heard some invented stories about myself!) There is another woman who has very poor boundaries and is nasty to nearly everyone because she is so insecure with herself. She tries to build herself up by beating others down. Another is a woman who had a narcissistic mother and fully believes every word the narcopath tells her. She attacks me to defend his “innocence.” There are others, but anyone who is paying attention can easily tell why these women were chosen. The gossip has spread his story with great determination. She is infamous for not minding her own business–a perfect tool for spreading lies! The nasty woman makes an easy target because she has no self-esteem. When I was with the narc, he tried to convince me that I was a horrible person and no one else liked me. He told me I needed him because he could help me be more popular. He’s probably playing her the same way. The third woman, I don’t know about. She’s gone so far as to spread hateful lies about me. She might truly be an empathetic person. But, since she’s a survivor of narcissistic abuse, she’s sensitive to others who claim to be the same. It’s not unusual for predators to tell their invented sob stories to other survivors to get support.
Two things these women have in common:
They believe in their cause and are extremely devoted to tearing down the target.
They are often willing to viciously abuse and stalk someone they have NEVER met because a man they don’t really know told them stories.
Some flying monkeys are more passive. They believe what they are told and secretly think the target is a horrible person. They might avoid or shun the target, but they don’t aggressively bully.
I have been used as a flying monkey twice that I know of. Once I dated a man who was not allowed to see his daughter because his ex-wife claimed he had raped his daughter. Of course, he told me this was a complete lie. Of course I beleived it. I dated him for years and while I did not stalk and abuse his ex-wife, I certainly thought she was a horrible person. But get this: I learned after I broke up with him that the reason he didn’t see his daughter was because he CONFESSED and agreed to give up his rights to avoid jail. Wow. I had hated his ex-wife on his behalf and I was wrong.
The second time I was used as a flying monkey was by my ex- narcopath. When I first started dating him, multiple women warned me to avoid him. He convinced me they were just mean women who were out to get him. I believed it! I didn’t go attacking these women, but I did start avoiding them socially because I thought they were bad news. I was mislead and I was wrong.
So, how do you know if you are being used by a narcissist to be a flying monkey?
I have a few clues I’ve observed while going through my ex narcopath’s flying monkey attacks!
1. You find yourself very angry on behalf of someone else who has told you a very emotional and convincing story…even though you really don’t have proof the story is true.
2. You find yourself overly invested in this person’s problems, and their enemies become your enemies…again, without real proof. (In my opinion, if you have obvious proof, it’s only natural to be angry about an abuser. But then again, if there is proof, then you aren’t being mislead to be a flying monkey. You are just being a normal, empathetic person.)
3. You find yourself using the same words and terms the alleged victim said to you. You are repeating what you are told but not really analyzing if it makes sense.
4. You are so caught up in the story and how awful it is, that you don’t question it.
So how do you avoid being used as a flying monkey?
It’s normal for a nice, thoughtful person to be upset at an accused abuser. That’s exactly what a narcissist is counting on! They want to take advantage of your feelings and your empathy so they can use you as a tool to destroy the real victim. I have a feeling many of us have been used in this way; however, I hope that most of us would not take it to the point where we are outright stalking and attacking people. That’s getting into crazy land! So all we can do is our best, but consider the following:
1. Unless you are absolutely sure that the person telling you stories is telling the truth, (such as, they have police reports or other proof,) don’t take a side.
2. Think critically. Do the stories you are hearing match up? Do they match the alleged victim’s behavior? For example, if the person tells you they have been abused and are having a hard time, but they are out having a good time every Friday night, something isn’t adding up!
3. Consider if the “victim” has a story that sounds realistic and doesn’t change. Or, are they just telling you the other person is “bad” and “crazy” without having any real reason why? (This step isn’t fool-proof because narcissists often tell very convincing stories, but it is one to think about because often the narcissist doesn’t really have a story.)
4. And quite frankly, mind your own business if you don’t have cold, hard proof.
Too many victims have been further abused by flying monkeys–some of whom are nasty narcissists themselves, but some of whom are just normal people who were fooled. Do you really want to be the person who picks the wrong story and further traumatizes a victim? I know I don’t!
Right-wing terror is real, and it’s a problem.
When it comes to domestic terrorism in America, the numbers don’t lie: Far-right extremists are behind far more plots and attacks than Islamist extremists.
There were almost twice as many terrorist incidents by right-wing extremists as by Islamist extremists in the U.S. from 2008 to 2016, according to a new report from The Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund and The Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal.REAL LIFE. REAL NEWS. REAL VOICES.Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.Become a founding member
Looking at both plots and attacks carried out, the group tracked 201 terrorist incidents on U.S. soil from January 2008 to the end of 2016. The database shows 115 cases by right-wing extremists ― from white supremacists to militias to “sovereign citizens” ― compared to 63 cases by Islamist extremists.Incidents from left-wing extremists, which include ecoterrorists and animal rights militants, were comparatively rare, with 19 incidents.
When it comes to right-wing extremism, attackers are also ‘mostly men’ and ‘almost purely white.’Reporter David Neiwert
While the database makes a point of distinguishing between different groups within right-wing extremism, lead reporter David Neiwert told HuffPost that “those are all gradations of white supremacy, variations on the same thing.” When it comes to right-wing extremism, attackers are also “mostly men” and “almost purely white,” Neiwert said.
Attacks by right-wing extremists were also more often deadly, with nearly a third of right-wing extremist incidents resulting in deaths compared with 13 percent of Islamist extremist cases resulting in deaths. However, the sheer number of people killed by Islamist extremists ― a total of 90 people killed ― was higher than the death toll at the hands of right-wing extremists ― 79 people killed.
“As with a lot of things related to Trump and the Islamophobic right, the reality is viewed through an upside-down looking glass,” Neiwert said. “The reality is the most significant domestic terror threat we have is right-wing extremism.”
The Investigative Fund’s findings reflect those of previous studies of domestic terrorism. The New America Foundation, for instance, which has been tracking deadly terror incidents on U.S. soil since the Sept. 11 attacks, also finds an almost two-to-one ratio of attacks by far-right extremists to Islamist extremists, with 21 deadly attacks by far-right extremists, compared to 11 by Islamist extremists.
Despite the facts, many Americans still associate terror attacks with Islamist extremists rather than far-right extremists, Neiwart noted.
“I think the larger perception in the public ― and this includes many progressives and liberals ― is the inversion of the reality: that the greatest threat we face is Islamist radicals,” Neiwert said. “And it’s reflected in the way the press report upon various kinds of domestic terror attacks: When it’s a white domestic terrorist, they underplay it, write it off to mental illness.”
The reality is the most significant domestic terror threat we have is right-wing extremism.Reporter David Neiwert
The media has a long history of double standards when it comes to covering terrorism ― starting with how slow mainstream media is to label attacks by white perpetrators as “terrorism,” and quick to label them as such when attackers are perceived as nonwhite or “other” ― and specifically, Muslim.
Part of problem is the complex nature of how officials choose to categorize attacks as terrorism. The FBI has specific criteria its uses to classify terrorist incidents ― but the public doesn’t always agree with officials’ labels. For instance, many people condemned the government for not labeling Dylann Roof a terrorist after he killed nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, even though he specifically said he was there “to shoot black people,” according to witnesses.
“There’s actually a debate over whether what Dylann Roof did was domestic terrorism, when it so plainly is domestic terrorism,” Neiwert told HuffPost. “A lot of this has to do with embedded judgements about where these threats come from ― and that has to do with fear-mongering around Islamophobia.”
The solution, according to Neiwert, lies with the government first acknowledging the scale of the problem of far-right extremism, and then dedicating resources to fighting it.
So far Trump has shown a clear double standard in his response to terrorism: After Islamist extremists attacked London on June 3, for instance, Trump condemned the violence on Twitter the same day ― but after an attack in Portland, Oregon, by a white supremacist on May 26, Trump waited more than two days before tweeting about it. After the London attack, Trump also called on the courts to reinstate his travel ban on certain Muslim-majority countries ― which was roundly criticized. After the Portland attack, Trump made no calls to change policy to prevent future attacks.
The Trump administration also reportedly just dropped funding for nonprofit Life After Hate, a group that helps people leave the white supremacist movement.
Trump administration has dropped funding for a group dedicated to de-radicalizing neo-Nazis and stopping white extremism. via @playbookplus
But it’s not just Trump that’s the problem. The Fund’s database goes back to 2008 and shows clearly how government resources have been disproportionately dedicated to tackling Islamist extremism over right-wing extremism. The government succeeded in interrupting the vast majority of Islamist extremist terror cases since 2008, for instance: 76 percent of incidents tracked were “foiled plots,” which the group noted showed “a significant investment of law enforcement resources.” When it came to right-wing extremism, only about a third of incidents were interrupted ― 35 percent ― and the majority of the cases included acts of violence that led to deaths, injuries or damaged property.
At the end of the day, it’s not only on the government to acknowledge the reality of the growing threat of far-right extremism, according to Neiwert, it’s on everyone from members of the media to average Americans.
“First thing we need to do is recognize that it’s there, it’s a problem, it’s a threat ― as great a threat as Islamists,” Neiwert said. “And it needs to be taken seriously.”
Once President Trump signs the budget deal that was passed by the House on Thursday and is expected to be approved by the Senate in a few days, he will have added $4.1 trillion to the national debt, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. The total national debt surpassed $22 trillion in February.
This will mark the third time that a major piece of deficit-financed legislation will get Trump’s stamp of approval. Legislation Trump has so far signed since 2017 has added $2.4 trillion to the national debt through 2029, according to CRFB, a nonpartisan public policy group.
Many investors are worried about the ballooning national debt, with 54% naming the political environment and 47% viewing national debt as their top concerns, according to a UBS second-quarter investor sentiment survey. Tax and spending policy are the main reasons for the national debt expansion from 2017 to 2029, according to CRFB.
The biggest contributor to the $4.1 trillion that will be added to the national debt through 2029 is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This signature tax cut legislation signed by Trump in 2017 single-handedly increased the debt by $1.8 trillion, according to CRFB.
“If you were to extend all the expiring provisions from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, it would be about a trillion more on top of that, so it’s hugely expensive,” says CRFB’s senior vice president Marc Goldwein. “Some of this is done on a partisan basis, some of this is done on a bipartisan basis. But it’s all part of a culture of no longer worrying about how we’re going to pay for things and just assuming that future generations are going to cover the bill.”
The budget deal that was passed last year added $445 billion to the national debt. And when he signs the 2019 Bipartisan Budget Act after it goes to the Senate next week, Trump will make spending increases in the legislation permanent, growing the national debt by $1.7 trillion through 2029.
The remaining $155 billion of debt added during Trump’s first term comes from other legislation, including disaster relief, emergency spending bills, and delays in three Affordable Care Act taxes, according to CRFB.
Impact to GDP
U.S. GDP growth fell to 2.1% in the second quarter. CRFB estimates that the new budget deal will bring debt to 97% of GDP in 2029 once that $4.1 trillion figure is added to the existing $16.2 trillion in debt and $9.8 trillion projected to be borrowed over the next 10 years.
“We are the most powerful economy in the world and we’re the world’s reserve currency and we borrow at our own currency. And for those three reasons we’re not going to default on our debt, but that doesn’t mean that we can borrow without consequences,” says Goldwein.
The ballooning national debt will cause GDP growth to slow down further, he says. “The more we borrow, the more we have to count on capital from abroad, or else no capital at all to fund our investments and the slower growth is going to be over time. We’re already headed towards 2% growth on the current basis, and the higher our debt is, the lower that will be.”