The first Republican presidential primary debates of the 2016 election will air tonight at 9pm to 11pm EST on Fox News (moderated by Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, and Chris Wallace); and it will be co-sponsored by Facebook — whose co-founder renounced his U.S. citizenship to avoid paying income taxes. (links to story: Fox News, Bloomberg, Forbes, TIME). Facebook is also one of many large corporations (like Nike) that supports the TPP trade agreement.
* The "Happy Hour Debate" (with the losing GOP candidates) starts at 5 pm ET with moderators Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum on the Fox News Channel. (The minor league pundits hosting the minor league candidates?)
Comedian Jimmy Fallon on the Pros and Cons of watching the Republican debates at YouTube. (Spoiler alert: He could have ended it with "Bernie Sanders" instead of "Hillary Clinton".)
Keystone Progress created an easily-printable Bingo board for the debate (in pdf and jpg formats). "Invite some friends over, chose a candidate, and you’re ready to roll! Mark your spot when all the candidates spend an inordinate amount of time on Benghazi. High-five your friends when your candidate pledges to get rid of a department of the federal government. Fist-pounds all around when your candidate invokes Ronald Reagan."
Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, asked how candidates should respond if Trump attacks them: “Stay in your lane. Let Donald Trump go wherever Donald Trump is going to go. Do not get off the ramp and go off into the wilderness somewhere.”
Now, on to the news...
Top defense contractors spend millions to get billions: A suit-and-tie legion
in D.C. is pressing the case for much larger defense budgets
Boeing and GE cut off all political contributions to the No. 2 House
Republican (House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy) over his support for killing
the Export-Import Bank, which facilitates billions of dollars in low-interest
loans to U.S. exporters like Boeing and GE. [Mainstream "Third Way"
Democrats also support the Export-Import Bank and corporate welfare.]
Jesse Benton, who heads a super PAC supporting Rand Paul’s presidential
campaign and is a member of the Paul family by marriage, was indicted (the
full 20-page indictment) by a federal grand jury on charges that he
concealed payments made to an Iowa state senator during Ron Paul’s 2012
presidential campaign in order to win support, the Justice Department said
Liberty University, the conservative Christian school in Lynchburg, Va. that
was founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, and where Ted Cruz kicked off his
presidential nomination, has invited Senator Bernie Sanders to speak.
NASA is signing a $490 million contract with Russia to send Americans into
space. The new contract, running through 2019, means that NASA will continue to
depend on Russia to get its astronauts to space — even as tensions between
Washington and Moscow escalate.
Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley accused Democratic party leaders
of “circling the wagons" around frontrunner Hillary Rodham
Clinton...O'Malley and Bernie Sanders want more debates.
Hillary Clinton has added another posh Hamptons fundraiser to her August
vacation in the well-heeled beach enclave — this one catered by former Rep.
Anthony Weiner’s brother.
The IRS is facing a growing crush of political nonprofits raising millions of
dollars this election season, but is frozen by a hobbled budget and hostile
relationship with the committees that oversee it. [The GOP's plan to keep the
IRS from auditing super-rich tax dodgers.]
For more than seven years, nearly the length of his two gubernatorial terms,
Jeb Bush spent as much as half of his working hours advising Lehman and later
Barclays, which bought the collapsed investment bank’s U.S. business
The wife of a military member was approached in front of her home by two
Middle Eastern males. The men stated that she was the wife of a U.S.
interrogator. When she denied their claims, the men laughed. The two men left
the area in a dark-colored, four-door sedan with two other Middle Eastern males
in the vehicle.
Hillary Clinton Put on Southern Accent for the South Carolina Democratic
A new paper by economists at the Brookings Institution and the U.S. Federal Reserve looks at trends in wealth inequality from 1989 to 2013 (at the post-tax distribution of wealth before taxes) and
finds that the federal income tax system is doing significantly less to reduce wealth inequality than in the past. And there are signs that the federal tax system in recent years might actually be increasing wealth inequality.
Republicans using “dynamic scoring” to cut taxes (to decrease tax revenues, to force cuts in government spending).
When examining the "Total Employment Gap", just 9 states are at full employment today — but 20 states (40% of all states) remain 2 percentage points or more away. The reason being that there remain large labor force participation gaps and underemployment gaps in most states ... As such, the evidence does line up with the theory that in tighter labor markets firms must compete more [with higher wages) to attract and retain the best workers.
Wages for most workers have barely kept up with inflation, even though inflation has been very low since the recession, and even many experienced employees outside specialized fields have little bargaining power when it comes to securing raises ... Academic experts have suggested that for all the promise of the Internet and digital technology today, the current economic shift will not yield the kind of growth or job gains brought about by earlier industrial transformations. What is more, most mainstream economists concede that the bulk of the gains from the current expansion are going to wealthier Americans, especially those with large holdings of assets like stocks and real estate, rather than those simply earning salaries.