US Trade Deficit Hits Record $73.3 Billion in August

It never gets better. Just worse. And along with trade deficits come the loss of good jobs. But U.S. corporations don’t care about that. They are reeking big profits by moving operations abroad to take advantage of cheap, repressed labor abroad:

The U.S. trade deficit increased to a record $73.3 billion in August as a small gain in exports was swamped by a much larger increase in imports.

The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the monthly trade deficit increased 4.2% in August, rising to an all-time high, surpassing the previous record of $73.2 billion set in June. The trade deficit represents the gap between what the country exports to the rest of the world and the imports it purchases from other countries.

In August, exports rose 0.5% to $213.7 billion, reflecting revived overseas demand. But imports, even with all the supply chain problems at ports, were up an even stronger 1.4% to $287 billion.

The politically sensitive deficit with China surged 10.8% to $31.7 billion.

Even a pro-business outlet like CNBC has to admit that trade deficits are a bad for the U.S.:

China trade deficit has cost the US 3.7 million jobs this century, report says

The U.S. has lost 3.7 million jobs since 2001 due to its trade imbalance with China, with most of the damage done to manufacturing, according to a report released Thursday.

As the deficit has continued to swell, American workers have suffered, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C., generally considered to be left leaning.

The facts speaks for themselves. Trade deficits began to appear in 1976. At around the same period manufacturing jobs in the U.S. began to decline. In the 1978 the number of manufacturing jobs peaked (month of December) at 19.3 million jobs (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics). They’ve been declining ever since then. Today about 7 million jobs are in manufacturing. Manufacturing is what built the American middle class.

There is clearly a connection between trade deficits and the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs.

Kyrsten Sinema Upset Protesters Followed Her to Bathroom

Sinema is fond of mocking her critics. Now she’s upset that she’s being held to account for her betrayal of Democratic voters:

Senator Kyrsten Sinema is firing back at protesters’ "unacceptable behavior" after they followed her into a bathroom at Arizona State University over the weekend.

Videos posted to social media Sunday showed a group of people trail the Democratic lawmaker through a campus hallway. The group continued to berate Sinema as she entered a bathroom stall.

​Remember this? I do.

Deaf man sues after police officers arrested him for not complying with commands he couldn’t hear

Another example of the lack of training and brutality of law enforcement officers. Non-compliance to commands is grounds for getting the stuffing beat out of you. And it doesn’t matter that the arrestee is handicapped or mentality disabled:

A deaf man who was arrested and jailed following a traffic stop in 2019 is now suing the officers involved, alleging use of excessive force, unlawful arrest and malicious prosecution.

Brady Mistic, who is deaf in both ears and uses American Sign Language to communicate, was walking up to a laundry mat in Idaho Springs, Colorado when a police patrol car pulled up with its emergency lights on. Officers Nicholas Hanning and Ellie Summers had followed him after Mistic allegedly ran a stop sign near the laundry mat.

The officers gave commands for Mistic to get back into his car and weren’t aware at the time that he is deaf, according to a statement from the Idaho Springs Police Department.

The officers then forced Mistic to the ground and used a stun gun on him twice, during which he told the officers “No ears,” according to the lawsuit filed on Sept. 17, exactly two years after the initial incident occurred.

Ex-NJ sheriff’s officer indicted for recording sexual assaults of women

How was someone like this hired in the first place?

A former New Jersey sheriff’s officer has been indicted on charges he videotaped himself sexually assaulting three unconscious women, authorities said Monday.

Joshua Padilla, a 36-year-old ex-cop for the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office, was indicted Friday on eight counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault and other charges following his February 2019 arrest, Monmouth County prosecutors said Monday.

Padilla, who was being investigated at the time by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, was found in possession of numerous videos showing himself performing sex acts on women who were “clearly unconscious and unresponsive,” according to a statement by Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey.

Padilla, who was accused of assaulting his victims in Middlesex County and at his Eatontown home, also allegedly recorded himself having sex with a 17-year-old girl in Pennsylvania and later uploaded footage online, Linskey said.

America’s richest 400 families pay a lower tax rate than ‘average’ taxpayer

The wealthy are turning America into their personal possession. And they don’t care one bit if the 99 percent rot. But it would not be happening without the politicians who make the tax laws. Both parties have sold their souls to wealthy special interests so that they can keep power:

The wealthiest 400 American families paid an 8.2% average rate on their federal individual income taxes from 2010 to 2018, according to a White House analysis published Thursday.

Those richest 400 families represent the top 0.0002% of all taxpayers, according to the White House report.

Their estimated tax rate, paid on $1.8 trillion of income over the nine-year period, is "low" relative to other taxpayers, according to the report, which was authored by economists in the Council of Economic Advisers and Office of Management and Budget.

By comparison, Americans paid an average 13.3% tax rate on their income in 2018, according to a Tax Foundation analysis. (This figure includes all taxpayers, including the wealthiest.)

Is the Republican Party a #GOPPedoRing?

Continue reading “Is the Republican Party a #GOPPedoRing?”

Judge Explains to MAGA Insurrectionist what is Patriotism

Members of the MAGA cult (including members of Congress) have a problem distinguishing between loyalty to Trump and loyalty to the constitution. They are not the same. It doesn’t help that the leader of the cult has no loyalty to anything but himself:

A federal judge rejected the argument that US Capitol rioters held in jail are being prosecuted for their political views and disavowed attempts to downplay the magnitude of the deadly insurrection during a sentencing on Wednesday.

"You called yourself and everyone else patriots, but that’s not patriotism," Judge Amy Berman Jackson said of defendant Karl Dresch. "Patriotism is loyalty to country, loyalty to the Constitution, not loyalty to a head of state. That is the tyranny we rejected on July 4."

Jackson, known for her sharp criticism of the Trump administration’s moves, called Dresch an "enthusiastic participant" in the effort "to subvert democracy, to stop the will of the people and replace it with the will of the mob."

AOC calls Democrats “Cowards” for not Extending Rent Moratorium

And she is right. They put their vacation plans above saving fellow Americans from being thrown out of their homes without a roof over their heads:

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is calling fellow Washington Democrats “cowards” for failing to extend a moratorium on evicting Americans during the pandemic, which after roughly 8 months of protection has put a reported 11 million Americans in jeopardy of losing shelter.

“The House and House leadership had the opportunity to vote to extend the moratorium and there was, frankly, a handful of conservative Democrats in the House that threatened to get on planes rather than hold this vote,” Cortez said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We have to call a spade a spade. We cannot in good faith blame the Republican Party when House Democrats have a majority.”

Today Biden announced a new moratorium. Why did it take him 5 days? Well, it took Cori Bush and AOC’s strong words and actions to make him do the right thing. Because on his own Biden won’t ever do the right thing:

Meghan McCain Slams Jeff Bezos for Going to Space While Amazon Employees ‘Have to Pee in Water Bottles’

Don’t like McCain. But she is right on this one. Bezos wants to buy a reputation like most retired billionaires whom build a fortune by exploiting their labor. Bezos is no different:

Though Amazon scion and billionaire Jeff Bezos’ excursion into space was a cause for excitement for some, soon-to-be-former "The View" co-host Meghan McCain had some questions after retweeting a Mashable article highlighting the indignities Amazon employees were forced to endure.

"I know this space tourism is really exciting for some," McCain tweeted. "But I just keep thinking about how Jeff Bezos employees have to pee in water bottles because they don’t get bathroom breaks and where all this money could have gone for 7 minutes of an ego stroke."

Can America save itself? The outlook is grim

The World is headed for disaster. For many reasons. But in America, in particular, the two-party system has ceased to do anything remotely right. Therefore we cannot provide leadership to any other country:

Between COVID and the climate, you have to wonder if humankind is capable of saving itself. I am not convinced. We’re getting too much fresh evidence that people — enough of them, anyway — will go out of their way to avoid solving the very challenging problems that face us. The outlook is grim.

So how are we in this mess?

What climate skepticism and vaccine hesitancy have in common, to a great extent, is that they both deny reality — about the nature of an urgent problem in the former case, about the possibility of a solution in the latter. Both are also largely (but not exclusively) phenomena of the right.

If one chooses to be sympathetic and squint a bit, climate denial can seem a bit understandable: The consequences of warming seemed decades away, something to be dealt with later rather than make any sacrifices or big changes right now. (Collectively, it seems our species probably would fail the Stanford marshmallow experiment.) The incentives for the advocates of denial were also easy to comprehend: Energy companies have spent untold sums of money over the years to block action and seed doubts about the reality of climate change. There were plenty of folks happy to take the check.