During the 2012 presidential campaign, Republican nominee Mitt Romney made a not-so-bold promise about the stewardship he would provide for the American economy. “I can tell you,” he guaranteed, “after a period of four years, by virtue of the policies we'd put in place, we'd get the unemployment rate down to 6 percent—perhaps a little lower.” Romney’s pledge was greeted with a mixture of yawns and giggles, and with good reason. The overwhelming consensus of economists, including those from the Obama administration, private forecasters, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), was already predicting the jobless rate would drop to 6 percent by the end of 2016. As it turned out, President Barack Obama blew past those numbers, leaving office in January 2017 with an unemployment rate of just 4.7 percent. Now, six years after Mitt Romney tried to take credit in advance for Barack Obama’s upcoming second term, Donald Trump is pretending the Obama economic expansion that began in June 2009 never happened at all. Currently in its 111th month and featuring 97 consecutive months of private sector job creation, the Obama expansion cut unemployment in half, more than doubled the stock market, saved the U.S. auto industry, led to growing gross domestic product and rising consumer confidence, all while slashing annual budget deficits by almost two-thirds. With the exception of the mushrooming national debt on Trump’s watch, almost every trend already underway when he skulked into the White House has continued without interruption. Like Romney four years before, President Trump just needed to show up on Inauguration Day to laissez les bon temps rouler. Instead, Trump has repeatedly suggested history began on Jan. 20, 2017. That, after all, is the obvious, if unintended, meaning of Trump’s never-ending and never-true boasts that “we have the greatest economy in the history of our country.” The 800-pound donkey is the room is that since World War II, the economy grew faster, more jobs were created, and incomes rose more quickly under many presidents, almost all of them Democrats. When Trump bragged in July that “we’ve accomplished an economic turnaround of historic proportions,” his predecessor Barack Obama felt obligated to administer a healthy dose of the truth. As Obama put it in September: When you hear how great the economy’s doing right now, let’s just remember when this recovery started. I mean, I’m glad it’s continued, but when you hear about this economic miracle that’s been going on, when the job numbers come out, monthly job numbers, suddenly Republicans are saying it’s a miracle. I have to kind of remind them, actually, those job numbers are the same as they were in 2015 and 2016. The Washington Post wasn’t the only one dishing out the Pinocchios in response to Donald Trump’s fabrications.
With Republicans in control of both houses of Congress, Donald Trump has been able to operate as if he is above the law. Congressional committees tasked with oversight and protection of the balance of powers instead have served as Trump's personal protection racket. Even as Trump undermined national security, acting no differently than if he were an actual asset of a hostile foreign despot, Republicans but play-acted as if they cared, and in the end shrugged and abandoned even that pretense. They have supported his extremist agenda, and did nothing as he fomented every form of bigotry, even when it inspired murderous violence. But with Democrats soon to be in control of one house of Congress, things are about to change. And Republicans are going to have to make some choices. The Democrats just won a massive wave election. The depth and breadth of that wave has become more clear, day by day, but Democrats picked up more House seats than in any election since 1974, just a few months after Richard Nixon resigned the presidency in disgrace. Which may be a clue and a portent. As in this can get even worse for the Republicans. Democrats also flipped seven governorships, at least eight state legislative chambers and over three hundred state legislative seats, and now hold a majority of state attorneys general. Their overall national popular vote margin for the House rivals that of the largest Republican waves, with only unethical, undemocratic gerrymandering preventing their seat gain from being even larger. Even more ominously for Republicans, the usual national political battleground that is the suburbs swung hard for Democrats, and it's hard to see it swinging back even toward the middle anytime soon. This election was a referendum on Trump, and Trump failed. And in failing, Trump failed his Republican Party. And the Republican Party that has been Trump's protector, enabler, and lapdog failed at the polls because of its failure to stand up for democratic principles and basic human decency. And soon to be subject to legitimate congressional oversight, Trump is in deep trouble, and his next-level meltdown since the election suggests that he knows it. Even the supposed Republican consolation prize of having netted one or two Senate seats is much less than it seems, and is, in fact, yet another warning, particularly to those senators who will be up for re-election in two and four years. Democrats this year faced a brutal Senate map. They had incumbents trying to hold seats in numerous states Trump won, while Republicans only had one incumbent running in a state won by Hillary Clinton, none in a state considered reliably Democratic. Of the six Democratic incumbents running in solid Republican states, three lost, two won, and one race is in recount. And it's notable that the three Democrats who lost all voted against toxic Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, which in some of the races might have made the difference. It's therefore important to extend gratitude and respect to Senators Claire McCaskill, Heidi Heitkamp, and Joe Donnelly for standing up for principle, even if it cost them their Senate careers. The same goes for Senator Bill Nelson, who also stood up for principle, and may end up losing his seat, once all the votes are counted. And Senator Jon Tester joins them in deserving praise for also voting against Kavanaugh, and his race turned out to be closer than expected, but his Senate career survived. But in two and four years, Republicans are going to have to defend more Senate seats in states that are considered blue or purple, and that's where the real story lies.
I have never thought the word “deplorable” was strong enough to describe Donald Trump and his toadies, voters, and Republican enablers. If a “d” word is needed, “despicable” is more apt. This man is the president of the United States, sworn to protect our Constitution and citizenry. When he’s not golfing, he spends his time in office attacking citizens verbally via Twitter and his Klan-paign rallies. Those verbal attacks are more than just words. When they become policy, they result in deaths. How many U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria died (and continue to die) due to Trump/FEMA failures? The members of Congress who have given their fealty to Trump—and remained silent—have co-signed those deaths. This cannot be brushed off as simple “partisanship.” Puerto Ricans are members of both U.S. political parties. For over a year now we have watched Trump kick Puerto Rico and do worse than just toss paper towels and leave. Once again, he draws attention to his sociopathic madness. Bess Levin wrote “Area Sociopath Wants to Cut Relief Funding for Puerto Rico” for Vanity Fair: Donald Trump has never had a particularly good track record when it comes to Puerto Rico. After Hurricane Maria ravaged the island in September 2017, the president took nearly a week to even mention the catastrophe, and when he did, it was to scold the U.S. territory for owing Wall Street money. A short time later, he deemed it appropriate to publicly trash the mayor of San Juan, for the crime of requesting more relief funds. When he finally saw fit to visit the disaster zone, he told the locals that their hurricane wasn’t “a real catastrophe like Katrina.” In September, to commemorate Maria’s one-year anniversary, he smeared 3,000 dead Puerto Ricans by claiming that the death count was a hoax cooked up by Democrats to make him look bad. And now, he’s reportedly decided to really cement his legacy in the territory by trying to end relief funding, despite the fact that the situation remains dire. xTrump doesn't want to give Puerto Rico any more federal money for its Hurricane Maria recovery, per @jonathanvswan, because he claimsÃ¢ÂÂwithout evidence, natchÃ¢ÂÂthat the islandÃ¢ÂÂs government is using federal disaster relief money to pay off debt. This is evil. https://t.co/BZtfdQS9OgÃ¢ÂÂ Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) November 12, 2018 How long can we stand by and watch this happen?
Alex Stamos is the former chief security officer at Facebook, and still their chief excuse officer. Washington Post We must also remember that in the summer of 2016, every major media outlet rewarded the hackers of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) with thousands of collective stories drawn from the stolen emails of prominent Democrats. The sad truth is that blocking Russian propaganda would have required Facebook to ban stories from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and cable news — not to mention this very paper. Since the election of Donald Trump, print and television news organizations have staffed up and provided a critical service to Americans, but they have never adequately grappled with their culpability in empowering Russia’s election interference. In a sense this is absolutely true. It wasn’t just the Trump campaign that jumped onto WikiLeaks material and waved it in front of rallies — both newspapers and news channels leapt to publish information even though they knew that material had been stolen. This wasn’t the Pentagon Papers. It wasn’t secret CIA black sites engaged in torture. This was the internal email of private citizens and organizations engaged in no crime, whose positions—both personal and political—were deeply wounded by the way this material was published, sensationalized, and scoured for headlines. The media doing so knew the material was stolen. Knew the version of the information they were getting was incomplete. Knew they were being fed selective materials expressly for the purpose of generating controversy and division within the Democratic Party. And they ran with it big time. On the other hand, this whole piece from Stamos is a juvenile attempt to dodge responsibility for not just empowering the distribution of stolen material, but providing a platform for propaganda efforts of all types. That included knowingly assisting efforts to distribute information they knew to be false, ignoring warnings about the source of the propaganda efforts, and providing those efforts with sophisticated tools to maximize the damage to the electorate. There are no heroes in this piece. Both Facebook and more traditional media knowingly participated in the dissemination of propaganda, even when they were aware that they were doing as part of an effort deliberately designed to cause harm to the democratic process. Yes, those activities are protected by the First Amendment. But not everything that is legal is just, or moral, and it certainly wasn’t harmless. That both types of media can shrug and hide behind “the public’s right to know” fails to hide the truth: Both subverted the electoral process in exchange for profit. Still, Stamos’ lengthy “we only jumped off the same bridge as everyone else” editorial is far, far short of a confession to everything Facebook did—before and after—the election, that caused harm to the process. In this finger-pointing exercise. several more fingers should be pointed back at the author.
The holidays: a time of gift-giving, spending time with family and of course, making merry with your friends
Algae have appeared at alarming rates since the 2000s, killing plants, fish and straining water treatments
No need to wait until Thanksgiving -- some great Target deals are available in-store and online right now.
The commission had earlier issued a show cause notice to RBI Governor Urijit Patel for 'dishonouring' a Supreme Court judgment and CIC directive on disclosure of the list of wilful defaulters
Choksi has claimed that he cannot take a 41-hour flight to come to India due to a 'brain clot' and other medical conditions
The Russian capital has been recognized as the world’s sixth-best metropolis in a ranking of 100 big cities, compiled by a North American consulting company Resonance. Read Full Article at RT.com
An undulating ribbon of silver surprised divers near northern New Zealand in October — but not so much that they couldn't get it on video.
Two weeks from now, the Swahilipot Hub, a hackerspace / makerspace / center for techies and artists in Mombasa, Kenya, is hosting a Pwani Innovation Week, “to stimulate the innovation ecosystem in the Pwani Region.” Some of its organizers showed me around Mombasa’s cable landing site some years ago; they’re impressive people. The idea of […]
European online contact lens supplier Vision Direct has revealed a data breach which compromised full credit card details for a number of its customers, as well as personal information. Compromised data includes full name, billing address, email address, password, telephone number and payment card information, including card number, expiry date and CVV. It’s not yet […]
Brooks Rainwater Contributor Share on Twitter Brooks Rainwater is the director of the Center for City Solutions and Applied Research at the National League of Cities. More posts by this contributor As tasks wane, skills rise Blockchain technology could be the great equalizer for American cities Scott Andes Contributor Share on Twitter Scott Andes is […]
Microsoft announced plans to shut down HockeyApp and replace it with Visual Studio App Center. The company acquired the startup behind HockeyApp back in 2014. And if you’re still using HockeyApp, the service will officially shut down on November 16, 2019. HockeyApp was a service that let you distribute beta versions of your app, get […]
A steep and rapid rise in tourism has left behind a wake of economic and environmental damage in cities around the globe. In response, governments have been responding with policies that attempt to limit the number of visitors who come in. We’ve decided to spare you from any more Amazon HQ2 talk and instead focus […]
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - A Forest Service decision to cut down more than 1,300 trees that were more than 150 years old because of fears of an invasive parasitic plant is being criticized as breaking trust with backers of a thinning project. The Arizona Daily Sun reports that groups considered ...
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An interactive art experience modeled after Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has found a permanent home in Oklahoma City. Factory Obscura will have its first permanent location in a building known as The Womb, a project co-founded in 2011 by Flaming Lips frontman and ...
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Airbnb rentals generated more than half a million dollars in tax revenue in South Dakota during the first year of the state's tax deal with the company. Airbnb announced the vacation rental website remitted $568,000 in tax revenue through the first year of the agreement, ...
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma City Airport Trust has selected an Oklahoma City construction company to build a $61.9 million concourse at Will Rogers World Airport. The Oklahoman reports that Timberlake Construction Company will construct the airport's new east concourse with four gates, which will be occupied by Delta ...
The simulation genre has been a pillar of PC gaming for decades, as the robust control mechanisms of PC and mouse let players experience the thrill of flying planes, managing cities and more. […] The post The Weirdest Simulation Games of All Time appeared first on Geek.com.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - Romanian prosecutors are investigating whether a painting by Pablo Picasso that was snatched from a museum in the Netherlands six years ago has turned up in Romania. Four Romanians were convicted of stealing Picasso's «Tete d'Arlequin» and six other valuable paintings from the Kunsthal gallery in ...
Espargaro, who had his sights set on KTM's best MotoGP finish after qualifying sixth, was battling champion Marc Marquez for third place when he fell off his RC16. He pushed it out of the gravel and resumed the race in 18th, but began to scythe his way through the field despite riding with a destroyed windscreen. After a 40-minute red flag brought on by worsening conditions, he lined up ... Keep reading
Drew Brees is so good, he had to get the cartoon treatment.
The Latest: NASCAR believes it can weather its current decline and the best days for the sport are ahead
Teenage driver Sophia Floersch will undergo surgery for a spinal fracture after a spectacular airborne crash in the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix on Sunday
The Cleveland Browns are in the early stages of finding a new head coach for 2019 and beyond, and they are reportedly interested in speaking with a former United States Secretary of State about the job. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Browns want to interview Condoleezza Rice as part of their head coaching search. General manager John Dorsey said last week that the team is considering hiring a woman for the position, and Rice is one candidate they will consider. Rice would be the first woman to ever interview for an NFL head coaching job if she does sit down with the Browns. One team source referred to her as “an amazing person,” and it’s worth noting that the 64-year-old is a lifelong Browns who has been heavily involved with college football. She served on the College Football Playoff Committee from 2013 to 2016. Rice also sat on a commission that recommended major changes to college basketball that include doing away with the one-and-done rule, and she became one of the first female members to join
The Rams vs. Chiefs game in Week 11 was moved from Mexico to Los Angeles. Peter Schrager breaks down the reasons for the change.