Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Should All Americans Have the Right (Be Entitled) to Health Care?

Should All Americans
Have the Right (Be Entitled)
 to Health Care?
An authentic single-payer and universal health care system where every American would be required to have health insurance -- government or private -- is the only solution to the nation’s health care problem.

Adopting a single-payer health insurance system, a system in which government rather than private insurers pay for all health care costs would significantly reduce health care costs by eliminating a whole lot of expenses that aren’t related to providing medical care. That’s because such a system would not have to advertise its services, make a profit for investors, or reward its executives with multi-million-dollar compensation packages, as private insurers do.

A single-payer system is also a system where consumers could buy insurance on the open market. The insurance companies could still profit, but it would not force Americans to purchase health insurance they could not afford or force them into a situation of no health care at all.

Health care is a right that should be guaranteed for every American regardless of their financial circumstances.

“As the latest Republican attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act stalls in the Senate, we need to keep up the pressure,” says Robert Reich. “Our latest video explains why moving towards a Medicare for all system [a form of single-payer health care insurance, but not as good as a genuine single-payer system] would deliver better health care at a lower cost.

“Please watch and share:”

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

NY Times -- When Cutting Access to Health Care, There’s a Price to Pay

 By Eduardo Porter

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders:

The United States is the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. While the Republican "health care" plan will only make matters much worse, we should understand that we are currently way behind other major countries in terms of the health and we'll-being of our people. Sadly, we trail almost every other major country in terms of life expectancy, infant mortality, maternal mortality or early deaths. With 28 million uninsured, we are way behind most other countries in terms of primary care and easy access to the medical and dental care we need. Further, with one out of five Americans under 64 unable to afford the medications their doctors prescribe, we pay by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.

This week, our job is to defeat the horrendous Republican Senate proposal which would throw 22 million Americans off of the health insurance they currently have. Into the future, we must rally the American people in the fight to guarantee health care for all through a Medicare for All, single payer program.

Update: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will delay the vote on the Republican leadership's health care bill until after the July 4 recess.

“McConnell told GOP senators that he wants to make changes to the bill, get a new Congressional Budget Office score and have a vote after the holiday, two sources told CNN.”

LA Times -- How many people will die from the Republicans' Obamacare repeal bills? Tens of thousands per year

How many people will die from the Republicans'
 Obamacare repeal bills? Tens of thousands per year

“Bottom line: How many people will die if the Republicans succeed in their effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act?

“Estimates range from about 28,000 to nearly 100,000 a year. Most are poor or near poor, or disabled.

“In return, the richest Americans will get a tax cut of hundreds of billions of dollars.

Rarely has America been faced with such a stark moral choice. -- Robert Reich

How many people will die from the Republicans' Obamacare repeal bills? Tens of thousands per year

Trump’s Chaos is Covering for Stealth Escalation Overseas

“While Washington is fixated on President Trump’s tweets, antics, lies and Russiagate, the administration is ramping up a stealth escalation of our military involvement across the Middle East. As Naomi Klein warns, Trump’s “rolling shock of the chaos and spectacle” distracts from radical actions both at home and abroad. Across the Middle East, the administration drives the United States ever further into wars without end, increasing the dangers of direct military confrontation with Russia and Iran, with little awareness and no mandate from the American people. This is a recipe for calamity.”

Robert Reich’s reaction:

While he deflects our attention with endless lies and chaos, Trump is quietly taking America deeper into war:

1. The U.S. fired 23 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base in retaliation for alleged Syrian use of chemical weapons against civilians.

2. U.S. forces are bombing Iranian-supported militia forces moving forward in southern Syria, and shot down a Syrian jet flying over Syrian airspace.

3. The administration will dispatch 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan, plus 400 to Syria.

4. Russia has ended coordination with the U.S. to avoid air collisions, and announced that U.S. planes flying west of the Euphrates would be targeted.

5. Meanwhile, Trump is escalating support for the Saudi air assault on Yemen. Already 17 million Yemenis suffer lack of food, while a cholera epidemic there infects another child every 35 seconds.

6. And Trump has declared that China has failed to influence North Korea. His next move is anyone's guess.

Congress has given over foreign policy to Trump, and Trump has given it over to the generals -- a deadly and dangerous gamble.

Trump’s Chaos is Covering for Stealth Escalation Overseas
Published on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 by The Washington Post

By Katrina Vanden Heuvel

Monday, June 26, 2017

Washington Post -- Trump seeks sharp cuts to housing aid, except for program that brings him millions

It is clear that President Trump’s policy initiatives are meant to do two things: gut as many of former President Barack Obama’s policy initiatives as he can and to enhance his business empire’s bottom line.

One example of Trump’s policy initiatives that exploits his position as President to financially benefit himself and represents his continuing conflicts of interest problem is investigated by the Washington Post’s Shawn Boburg.

Here are a few paragraphs from his report:

“President Trump’s budget calls for sharply reducing funding for programs that shelter the poor and combat homelessness — with a notable exception: It leaves intact a type of federal housing subsidy that is paid directly to private landlords.

“One of those landlords is Trump himself, who earns millions of dollars each year as a part-owner of Starrett City, the nation’s largest subsidized housing complex. Trump’s 4 percent stake in the Brooklyn complex earned him at least $5 million between January of last year and April 15, according to his recent financial disclosure.

“Trump’s business empire intersects with government in countless ways, from taxation to permitting to the issuing of patents, but the housing subsidy is one of the clearest examples of the conflicts experts have predicted. While there is no indication that Trump himself was involved in the decision, it is nonetheless a stark illustration of how his financial interests can directly rise or fall on the policies of his administration.

"The federal government has paid the partnership that owns Starrett City more than $490 million in rent subsidies since May 2013, according to figures provided by a spokesman for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Nearly $38 million of that has come since Trump took office in January.

“That subsidy generates steady income for Trump and his siblings, each of whom inherited an interest in the property when their father died. Although it represents a small portion of his overall wealth, it is one of the few examples of money the president derives directly from the federal government he oversees.”

Trump seeks sharp cuts to housing aid, except for program that brings him millions

By Shawn Boburg

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Dean Heller Becomes the Fifth GOP Senator to Oppose Health Care Bill

From Robert Reich:

We need to keep up the pressure. Several key Republican Senators have balked at McConnell's bill to repeal and “replace” the Affordable Care Act.

Senator Dean Heller of Nevada -- who will likely face a tough reelection next year -- said he couldn't support the bill. Deep cuts to Medicaid could jeopardize health care for 600,000 Nevadans

Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski are also on the fence. They're rightfully concerned about a provision to defund Planned Parenthood.

Two others -- Rob Portman of Ohio and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia -- could go either way.

Meanwhile, four conservative senators led by Rand Paul oppose the bill because it's still not extreme enough for them.

McConnell can only afford to lose only 2 Republican senators.

We can still stop this travesty. Call your senators, organize, resist. Lives are literally on the line.

The Capitol switchboard is (202) 224-3121.

Dean Heller Becomes the Fifth GOP Senator to Oppose Health Care Bill

By Leigh Ann Caldwell

CNN Money -- Boeing factory where Trump delivered jobs speech to lay off 200 workers (VIDEO)

This week Boeing announced plans to cut 200 jobs at the factory in South Carolina where Trump rolled out his economic agenda. Robert Reich’s Inequality Media video explains why Trumponomics is pure fantasy.

The real way to make the American workforce more competitive is to invest more in the education and skills of Americans.

Boeing factory where Trump delivered jobs speech to lay off 200 workers

By Jackie Wattles, Chris Isidore and Jon Ostrower

CNN -- Trump: Obama 'did nothing' about Russia election meddling

President Donald Trump accused former President Barack Obama of not taking action against Russia's attempts to influence the 2016 election, suggesting that they were trying to help Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. “Well I just heard today for the first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election, and he did nothing about it,” Trump said. “But nobody wants to talk about that.” Questioning Obama’s inaction, Trump said, “Obama didn’t do enough to address the situation.”

Robert Reich reacts:

Accusations are mounting that instead of protecting America from Putin's future cyber-attacks on our elections -- such as occurred last fall when Putin helped Trump get elected -- Trump is doing everything he can to obstruct such defenses.

But to deflect such criticism, Trump is now attacking Obama for failing to defend America against Putin’s 2016 cyber-attack that helped Trump get elected.

"Well I just heard today for the first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election, and he did nothing about it," Trump said in an interview yesterday. “If he had the information, why didn't he do something about it? He should have done something about it. But you don't read that. It's quite sad."

Last night, Trump tweeted: “Just out: The Obama Administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. WHY?”

This is hypocritical nonsense.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that after the CIA concluded Putin had been directly involved, the Obama administration debated options for deterring or punishing Russia -- and issued several warnings to Moscow about its activities, including one delivered by Obama to Putin in September. But Obama didn't want to push Putin too hard or go public for fear of appearing to side with Hillary Clinton in the election.

Trump can't hide the fact he got elected with the direct help of Vladimir Putin -- the man he has continuously courted and complimented. And he refuses to take action to prevent Putin from helping Trump again. That's the real scandal.

Trump: Obama 'did nothing' about Russia election meddling

By Eugene Scott

Washington Post -- Which Republican senators will walk the plank for this terrible health-care bill?

Robert Reich’s comment:

Make no mistake: The Senate’s bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act is not a healthcare bill. It’s a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, paid for by a dramatic reduction in healthcare funding for approximately 23 million poor, disabled, and working middle class Americans. America’s wealthiest taxpayers (earning more than $200,000 a year, $250,000 for couples) would get a tax cut totaling $346 billion over 10 years.

If enacted, it would be one of the largest single transfers of wealth to the rich from the middle class and poor in American history, at a time when the rich already have a higher percentage of the nation’s wealth and income than in over a century.

Mitch McConnell – the Senate leader who refused to hold hearings on Obama’s Supreme Court pick and then pushed Neil Gorsuch through by changing the Senate rules on Supreme Court confirmations -- has scheduled no hearings on this bill. He has shut out not only his own Republican colleagues but also major hospitals, physician groups, consumer advocates and organizations representing millions of patients with heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other serious illnesses.

The core of the bill is a huge reduction in Medicaid – America’s healthcare program for the poor -- even beyond the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

Reducing the federal government’s share of Medicaid is not reform, by any sane person’s definition. It is an enormous cost shift to the states – many of whom will not make up the difference. Among the programs sure to be cut are state responses to the opioid addiction crisis, of which more than 40 percent of the cost has been covered by Medicaid.

If this shameful bill is enacted, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump -- as well as every Republican senator who signs on --will bear the burden of tens of thousands of deaths that could have been avoided were they not so determined to make rich Americans even richer.

“Groups representing pediatricians, cancer specialists, heart doctors and family physicians all agree: Both the House and the Senate offerings for fixing health care in the U.S. would make things worse, not better.

“Within hours of its release, groups representing medical professionals were denouncing the Senate version, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act or BCRA.

“ ‘The Senate draft health care bill is literally heartless,’ American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said.” -- NBC News

Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell in his memoir, “The Long Game,” writes how he overcame polio as a child with the help of polio treatment center set up by President Roosevelt. Now McConnell wants to take away government assistance from children who may be suffering from similar conditions. -- NPR

Which Republican senators will walk the plank for this terrible health-care bill?

By Jennifer Rubin

Thursday, June 22, 2017

BBC -- Phoenix flights cancelled because it's too hot for planes

“The weather forecast for the US city suggests temperatures could reach 120F (49C) on Tuesday.

“That is higher than the operating temperature of some planes.

“American Airlines announced it was cancelling dozens of flights scheduled to take off from Sky Harbor airport during the hottest part of the day.”

Senator Bernie Sanders writes:

In Phoenix, Arizona, yesterday, more than 40 flights have been cancelled — because it is too hot for the planes to fly. That is insane. But that is the reality of what we are seeing with our climate now. Of the 17 hottest years on record, 16 have occurred in the 21st century. Climate change is real and is caused by human activity. This planet and its people are in trouble. Unless we get our act together, we will see in years to come more record temperatures, more droughts, more floods and more extreme weather disturbances. If we do nothing to address climate change, the planet will heat up five to ten degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century. This isn’t just a problem for the future – the impacts of climate change are apparent here and now.

Phoenix flights cancelled because it's too hot for planes

Robert Reich: The Real Reason Republicans want to Pull the Plug on Obamacare (VIDEO)

“A draft copy of the secret Republican Senate bill that would overhaul Obamacare is expected to be released online at 11 a.m. ET Thursday, less than two hours after many GOP senators get to see if for the first time.

“Even some of the senators who were reportedly part of a group tasked with writing it, including Mike Lee of Utah, had not seen its details.”

GOP health bill due for Thursday morning release; here's a sneak peek By Dan Mangan

Robert Reich in this video presents the real reason why they keep pushing for repeal.

NPR -- U.S. Elections Systems Vulnerable, Lawmakers Told In Dueling Hearings

“If two nearly simultaneous hearings Wednesday by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees into Russia's meddling in last year's presidential election revealed anything, it's that U.S. officials saw what was going on but were all but powerless to stop it.”

Robert Reich points out some highlights:

1. Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told the House Intelligence Committee: "In 2016 the Russian government, at the direction of Vladimir Putin himself, orchestrated cyberattacks on our nation for the purpose of influencing our election — plain and simple. Now, the key question for the President and Congress is: What are we going to do to protect the American people and their democracy from this kind of thing in the future?"

2. Witnesses before the Senate Intelligence Committee, from the Department of Homeland Security and FBI, told lawmakers they expect the Russian cyber-threat against the U.S. to evolve into a larger threat in future elections. "I believe the Russians absolutely will continue to try to conduct influence operations in the U.S., which will include cyber operations," said Bill Priestap, assistant director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division.

3. Alex Halderman, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan who has inspected state elections systems, said “our highly computerized election infrastructure is vulnerable to sabotage, and even to cyberattacks that could change votes," and warned "these realities risk making our election results more difficult for the American people to trust. I know America's voting machines are vulnerable because my colleagues and I have hacked them."

4. Halderman and other experts urged states to replace "obsolete" paperless machines with optical-scan machines that count paper ballots; audit election results by examining paper ballots to "provide high assurance" that the election results are correct; and apply tougher cybersecurity safeguards to voting equipment and elections management.

But what are Trump and the White House doing about all this? Either ignoring Russia’s cyber-attack, denying it, or seeming to cover it up.

The president has a sworn duty to protect the United States and the Constitution. We have been attacked, folks. Trump is failing in his most fundamental responsibility.

Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary 
Jeh Johnson arrives to testify before the House Intelligence
Committee on Wednesday.

U.S. Elections Systems Vulnerable, Lawmakers Told In Dueling Hearings

By Brian Naylor

Bernie Sanders: Mr. President, I have some bad news for you (VIDEO)

Details of the Senate’s “draft” health care bill, which Republicans were set to unveil Thursday after weeks of secretive negotiations, have finally leaked—and from the sound of things, Mitch McConnell and his cohorts have written a morally appalling piece of legislation that many conservatives will nonetheless find deeply underwhelming. -- Slate

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders

Mr. President, I have some bad news for you. This pathetic health care bill is not getting through the Senate. We will throw this in the garbage and start from zero.

Top comments:

Kathleen Decker I hope so but I have lost all faith in our country. This is not my country, not where I grew up. I don't recognize it. And public servants....politicians....are not serving us any more. This administration is abhorent.
8 hrs

Michael Rabbe Stop wasting time and just have “Medicare for All.” Everything else is just a colossal waste of time and taxpayers' money. But, of course, the Idiot-in-Chief would veto it, so we're still screwed.
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8 hrs

Robyn Annala Why aren't we just asking Canada, for example, how THEY are making a universal healthcare system work? Why do we think we have to reinvent the wheel, when so many countries are already making this work?
8 hrs

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Hill -- GOP hits the gas on ObamaCare repeal

Mitch McConnell has promised Senate Republicans they’ll receive draft legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act Thursday, with a floor vote next week.

McConnell will first bring to the floor the House-passed American Health Care Act (which the Congressional Budget Office has found would eliminate health care for 23 million Americans), and then offer the Senate version as an amendment. The CBO will by then have estimated how many millions of people will lose coverage under the Senate version.

McConnell wants to move fast – getting a majority vote before the public has had a chance to learn what’s in the Senate version. It’s his only hope for passage.

Shame on him. Shame on anyone who wants to take health care away from the poor and sick, in order to give a tax cut to the rich.


John OReilly Republicans are doing exactly what they are paid to do, by their donors. Give them huge tax breaks at the expense of the middle class and poor. McConnell was calling them the "job creators" for years when in fact they don't create anything but more wealth for themselves by owning the Republican Congress. The Republican actions takes huge balls because their health care bill is nothing more than a tax cut for the top 1%. Actual health care means nothing to Republicans, they have great government health care which we pay for. Once again Trump has lied and failed to deliver on his promise of "great health care" for all. Total disgrace.

Mitch Saifert I'm a Canadian so maybe I don't understand completely..... everything the GOP and Trump has done this far is to a) reverse as anything Obama did.... because it was Obama.....and b) ensure the rich and Trump business are well taken care of.....yet every special election a Republicans win... This healthcare business cannot be legal? I'll stay on my side of the border thank you

By Alexander Bolton

Senator Bernie Sanders message to Republican Senators regarding their healthcare plan (VIDEO)

Before they think about cutting Medicaid by $800 billion behind closed doors, I want my Republican colleagues to listen to the stories of people like Ms. Weintraub, who relies on Medicaid to live an independent life. How do Republicans morally justify cutting her services while giving massive tax breaks to their wealthy donor friends?

Sen. Sanders On GOP Efforts To Replace Obamacare

A favored comment to Bernie's Facebook post:

David Mook Vincent from Canada: ”Healthcare is about caring for your community. It's about having a neighbor who can't pay their little daughter's cancer treatment bills and everyone in the community saying "hey man, guess what? We all came together and pitched in a few dollars each for your daughter. The rich paid more, the poor paid little (if any) and you just have to pitch in your part and the rest is all paid. Your daughter is safe now." it's about being a community and know that it would do the same for you. Anyone opposing health insurance, in my opinion, is either brainwashed by corrupt media or selfish. And actually it costs less when there is only one governmental healthcare instead of all the private ones, so these people can't even be considered selfish........ Just mislead."
According to my nephew, an Aetna Healthcare executive, the only thing blocking Universal Healthcare (like the all the rest of the developed world has) are the huge insurance company profits. Example: The CEO of my prescription insurance company raked in $66 million last year. $66 million - one man - one year. Healthcare is a right, multi-million dollar bonuses are not. 

Universal Healthcare is the only real solution to our healthcare crisis. A 2.2% payroll tax plus a small transaction fee on speculative Wall Street transactions could cover everyone, lower drug costs, lower total medical costs, and save most families thousands! All of your premiums, deductibles, co-pays go away!! Universal healthcare may not be free, but it is freeing: you are free to change jobs without the worry of losing healthcare, a parent is free to stay home a few years and raise children, free to go back to college, free to make life choices without sacrificing healthcare. Time to put real people and their needs before corporations and their profits. The rest of the developed world does it and the richest country in the world can too.

New Yorker -- Behind the Democrats’ Emoluments Lawsuit Against Trump

The Constitutions emolument clause states that “No Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them [the United States], shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

“The Emoluments Clause has apparently never been litigated, but it has been interpreted and enforced through a long series of opinions of the Attorneys General and by less-frequent opinions of the Comptrollers General. Congress has also exercised its power of "Consent" under the clause by enacting the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act, which authorizes federal employees to accept foreign governmental benefits of various kinds in specific circumstances.”

President Donald Trump has declined to cut ties with his foreign business interests. “Foreign countries, which want to ingratiate themselves with the new President, have flocked to Trump’s businesses, especially to the Trump International Hotel, in Washington, D.C., creating a modern version of the problem that the Framers tried to address.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal has “joined forces with the Constitutional Accountability Center and became the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against the President, last week, for violating the emoluments clause. Thirty other Senators and more than a hundred members of the House of Representatives, all Democrats, have joined as co-plaintiffs.”

The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin provides insight:

Senator Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut, 
has become the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against the President.
Photograph by Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call 
/ Getty

Behind the Democrats’ Emoluments Lawsuit Against Trump

By Jeffrey Toobin

Vanity Fair -- Sean Spicer’S Tortured Relationship With Trump Hits A New Low

Press Secretary Sean Spicer has taken the brunt of Trump’s frustrations. Supposedly, the President “watches his daily briefings like SportsCenter, barking critiques of Spicer’s performances at his television.”

Monday’s Press briefing was held off-camera, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s insulting reason: “Sean got fatter.”

“ . . . White House press secretary, Sean Spicer’s job is to effectively communicate with the White House press corp, a responsibility that might come as a surprise to anyone who has heard him speak. Among Spicer’s greatest hits since landing the West Wing gig are the time he said that ‘even Hitler’ wasn’t as bad as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, because he ‘didn’t sink to using chemical weapons,’ a gaffe Spicer topped off by referring to concentrations camps as ‘Holocaust centers’; the briefing in which he claimed that Mike Flynn was merely a ‘volunteer’ for the Trump campaign and that the hugely powerful Paul Manafort had served a limited role; and the time he hid ‘among’ some bushes before coming out to begrudgingly answer some questions about the abrupt firing of F.B.I. Director James Comey.

“To be fair, not all of Spicer’s worst moments have been his fault; some of them could be blamed on the fact that he works for a guy with the attention span of a gnat on speed, who cares more about looking all-powerful than embarrassing his communications team. It’s hard, after all, to stick to one’s talking points when serving a president who doesn’t hesitate to admit, on national television, that he fired the director of the F.B.I. because he was investigating ‘this Russia thing.’ “

Vanity Fair's Bess Levin concludes that. . .

“White House staffers are apparently wise to the difficulties of appeasing a notoriously fickle president, who has repeatedly claimed he is his own best spokesperson. The Washington Post reports that the aides have “considered deploying a rotating cast of briefers, in part to prevent the president, who has a short attention span, from growing bored or angry with his press secretary.” Distracting the president’s febrile mind, it seems, is a very real concern inside his West Wing. As Politico notes, Spicer and Sanders have “increasingly [been] conducting gaggles with reporters that include no cameras and no audio.” Perhaps that’s less about evading the American people than it is trying to stay out of Donald Trump’s cross-hairs.”

Sean Spicer’S Tortured Relationship With Trump Hits A New Low
The debasement of the press secretary will continue until Trump’s morale improves.

By Bess Levin

Vox -- The real reason Republicans can’t answer simple questions about their health care bill

Does everyone realize what's happening here? Please understand that healthcare, the ability to afford medicines that will keep many alive, or not, is being decided in secret. No hearings, no press conferences, no debate. It is beyond stunning. Remember the death panels? Ironic isn't it that GOP Senator McConnell and his staff, who are drafting the plan behind closed doors, have become the judge and jury over who lives. The Republicans hope they can sneak this through in the dark of night. They really hope you aren't watching. They suspect you don't care.-- News And Guts

Senator John Mccain says no one has seen the Republican healthcare bill, but I’m sure Russia has.

Photo by Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images

The real reason Republicans can’t answer simple questions about their health care bill
They know you won't like the answers.

By Ezra Klein

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Vox -- Persuasive proof that America is full of racist and selfish people

This is what millions of Google searches reveal about America’s racial attitudes. Although most of us didn’t need research to tell us what we already knew.

“Google is a digital truth serum,” Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, author of Everybody Lies, told me in a recent interview. ‘People tell Google things that they don't tell to possibly anybody else, things they might not tell to family members, friends, anonymous surveys, or doctors.’

“Stephens-Davidowitz was working on a Ph.D. in economics at Harvard when he became obsessed with Google Trends, a tool that tracks how frequently searches are made in a given area over a given time period.

“He spent five years combing through this data. The idea was that you could get far better real-time information about what people are thinking by looking at Google Trends data than you could through polls or some other survey device.

“It turns out he was right.

"As a barometer of our national consciousness, Google is as accurate (and predictive) as it gets. In 2016, when the Republican primaries were just beginning, most pundits and pollsters did not believe Trump could win. After all, he had insulted veterans, women, minorities, and countless other constituencies.

"But Stephens-Davidowitz saw clues in his Google research that suggested Trump was far more serious than many supposed. Searches containing racist epithets and jokes were spiking across the country during Trump’s primary run, and not merely in the South but in upstate New York, Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio, rural Illinois, West Virginia, and industrial Michigan.

"Stephens-Davidowitz saw in the Google Trends data a racially polarized electorate, and one primed to respond to the ethno-nationalist rhetoric of Trump.

"There were earlier signs, too. On Obama’s 2008 election night, Stephens-Davidowitz found that 'one in every hundred Google searches that included the word ‘Obama’ also included ‘KKK’' or the n-word. Searches for racist websites like Stormfront also spiked.

“There was a darkness and hatred that was hidden from traditional sources,' Stephens-Davidowitz says. 'Those searches are hard to reconcile with a society in which racism is a small factor.' "

Persuasive proof that America is full of racist and selfish people
What millions of Google searches reveal about our national psyche.

By Sean Illing

Robert Reich - The Case for Obstruction of Justice (VIDEO)

Robert Reich's new video:

Obstruction of justice is an impeachable offense. It was at the heart of Richard Nixon’s impeachment. The parallel between Nixon and Trump is almost exact. There's already more than enough evidence of probable cause to begin an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump. Our latest video explains.

Some top comments:

Dan Mccurdy It will never happen unless we win back the House. ...Which is entirely possible IF people get out and vote!

Impeachment proceedings start in the House. Clinton was impeached in the House because it was controlled by Republicans. He was not impeached 
in the Senate (which was controlled by Democrats). So he kept his job. 

Now, the Republicans hold the House so they're not going to start impeachment proceedings against their own party. 

Democrats must win back the House to get this nightmare out of office. Watch Georgia today and see if we win there. It's usually an uncontested seat because the Republicans have had a strong hold. But because of the Donald, it's a very tight race!

Hopefully Robert Reich will write a post explaining the process. Understanding that the proceedings are politically divided and start in the majority controlled House might actually get more people out to vote!

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1 hrEdited
Ziggy Nixon If there is even a shred of justice or decency left in our country, then we must see this to the end which will only be truly served with impeachment of 45, Pence and the jailing of any and all who's crimes go beyond just obstruction! Even though his legacy is already set - he will never escape his image as the dumbest CE nor the taint of his Russian owners - we must end this scourge!

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1 hr
Richard Chapkis Trump admitted that he fired Comey to stymie the Russian investigation. That is obstruction of justice. Trump should be impeached for obstruction (among other offenses, such as his violations of the Emoluments Clause and his failure to faithfully execute his oath of office).