Thursday, August 6, 2015

The GOP Debates Sponsored by Fox News and Facebook

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.”

Corporate puppets

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 Wednesday.

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 Chairman

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.


  1. Four Crazy Economic Ideas You Might Hear at Tonight’s GOP Primary Debate

    1. Cutting taxes on big corporations and top earners is the best way to grow the economy.
    2. Supply-side policies will make the economy grow at 4 percent and solve America’s economic problems.
    3. The United States is nearing a Greek-style debt crisis and needs more spending cuts.
    4. The Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank financial reform are crippling the economy and must be repealed.

  2. Is the C.E.O. of Walmart Worth More than Tom Brady?

    Last Daily Show with Jon Stewart Airs Tonight :(

    More Stalling Tactics from SEC Chair Mary Jo White on CEO-Worker Pay Ratio

  3. The Nation: American Democracy Has to Do Better Than This

    "On the right, sixteen wannabes are prancing around the paddock. On the left, the Clinton dynasty claims the throne as rightful inheritance of primogeniture ... According to newsies, Hillary Clinton has already won the Democratic nomination. But Hillary has to tiptoe through a minefield of doubt. She must make nice to her party’s skeptical lefties, but without disturbing the Wall Street money guys who finance Clinton campaigns. Her cautiously crafted statements of purpose sound like somebody watered her drink."

    The Nation: For a More Substantive Republican Debate, Ask Tougher Questions

    "The moderators are as scripted as the candidates. The questions are so ridiculously predictable that it would be a relief if a moderator demanded that the candidates identify their favorite rock songs...They don’t want to be accused of being too controlling or too directive, and so they err on the side of being too collaborative — tossing candidates questions that invite boiler-plate answers. It is drab stuff and that’s not likely to change unless the field of potential moderators is opened up. [Says some like Ralph Nader should moderate the debates.]

  4. According to Gretta on Fox News, Carly Fiorina won a whopping 83% of the vote as to who won the first (2nd tier) GOP debate on Fox News. The "big" debate with Donald Trump is next.

  5. Democrats primary-debate schedule:

    October 13: CNN—Nevada
    November 14: CBS/KCCI/Des Moines Register—Des Moines, Iowa
    December 19: ABC/WMUR—Manchester, New Hampshire
    January 17: NBC/Congressional Black Caucus Institute—Charleston, South Carolina
    February or March: Univision/Washington Post—Miami
    February or March: PBS—Wisconsin

    Per Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Chair of the Democratic National Committee:

    "All five of the announced Democratic candidates have been briefed on the debate schedule and agreed to participate in the DNC sanctioned debate process. If any additional Democratic candidates decide to enter the race, they will need to meet the same criteria for participation as the existing candidates: receiving at least 1% in three national polls, conducted by credible news organizations and polling organizations, in the six weeks prior to the debate."

    The Atlantic: "Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders are not pleased with the debate schedule: They want more debates, and they want a more open process for them. Sanders and O’Malley have a point. This year’s slate is unusually skimpy and starts unusually late. There were 19 Democratic debates during the 2008 cycle, plus other unofficial forums. There were 16 in 2004, and in both cases, the summits started much earlier, too. A shorter, later debate season is widely thought to benefit Clinton."

  6. hillary clinton is so full of shit... all our politicians except for Bernie Sanders are bought and paid for by the plutocrats ... i'm too old for hope and will again sit out another fucking pathetic election cycle.