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Until He’s Out Of Office, Trump Will Be Very Dangerous

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

America is entering a very dangerous time. For his next 11 weeks in office, Donald Trump will be in a position to exact revenge, a word that by his own account is his entire life philosophy. We should all hope that he goes into one of his down emotional periods for an extended time so that lethargy, not blind rage, dominates his behavior until Jan. 20.

Through phony charges of ballot-box stuffing, firing officials, issuing pardons to friends and family and other acts Trump can do great damage between now and Inauguration Day, when his shield against criminal prosecution vanishes. He can also hobble the transition to a Biden administration.

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Trump Claims Dictatorial Power Over Top Government Appointees

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

In a major power grab, Donald Trump signed an executive order on Oct. 21 that asserts he has vast new authority to punish federal employees with demotions or firing without cause. It's a Trumpian assertion of a right to cronyism and personal fealty to him.

This executive order purports to grant Trump dictatorial-like power over thousands of career federal managers and executives. They are now at risk of losing their jobs and careers unless they blindly follow Trump's agenda with abject loyalty to his whims.

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The Vital Questions Our Senators Neglected To Ask Judge Barrett

After three days of Kabuki theater, a television mini-series produced by the Senate Judiciary Committee, did you learn anything that Judge Amy Coney Barrett didn't want you to know?

Really, it's not hard to frame questions that produce informative answers, including when the response is a dodge. Let me show you, starting here:

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Short On Cash, Trump Campaign Loses Pace With Biden

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Donald Trump's campaign is so desperate to raise cash that it's begun offering deep discounts on the merch it sells. The campaign's Columbus Day "flash sale" came amid signs that the campaign could go broke before balloting ends Nov. 3.

"For a limited time, YOU can use code COLUMBUS to get 30 percent OFF your ENTIRE ORDER," screamed an email I received over the weekend, the latest in an endless stream of pitches offering Trump goods.

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Trump Economy Began Decline Even Before Pandemic

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

There's fresh evidence that the robust economy Donald Trump inherited from Barack Obama was faltering before the pandemic.

State personal consumption spending growth slowed sharply in 2019 compared to the year before, the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning. The growth rate plummeted by a fifth.

Personal expenditures grew in 2019 but by only 3.9 percent, down from 4.9 percent in the previous year.

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Why We Should Hope Trump Survives His Bout With Covid-19

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Donald Trump's late-night tweet that he and his wife have contracted COVID-19 brings to mind the word "hope" in four ways, all tests of the character of Americans.

We should hope that Trump and his much younger wife recover fully and are healthy again well before the last voting day of Nov. 3. America needs a clean referendum on Trump's presidency, not a vote about an ailing or even dead man.


Trump will lose the popular vote by at least 16 million ballots, hopefully by more than 20 million. Our democracy needs an unambiguous rejection of Trump. And voters need to disentangle themselves from his smack of moral jellyfish—the blind, spineless Republicans who abandoned principle and their oaths to defend our Constitution to toss themselves into his waves of political chaos.

Third, we should hope that Trump lives at least as long as his crooked father, who died at 93. The president should experience his just deserts for a life of white-collar crime capped by his efforts to destroy our democracy just to serve his insatiable lust for money and his pathetic need for adulation.

Fourth, we should hope that as Trump endures the coming humiliation that he so richly deserves the next administration doesn't let bygones be bygones. A Biden administration should offer leniency for those who confess fully and cooperate even as it vigorously prosecutes every single appointee who broke laws for Trump. Those criminal actions threaten our health, our safety and most of all our liberty.

Even if Trump dies, the next president should not shirk from his duty to hold these domestic evildoers to account. He should not make the awful political and policy mistake Barack Obama made when he let corrupt bankers who brought down our economy a dozen years ago continue on their way because he feared prosecution would interfere with restoring the economy.

No one should wish that Trump will, like his grandfather Frederick a century ago, become a pandemic victim. To think that way is to be as immoral as Donald. Don't lower yourself. Awful and damaging as Trump has been, follow the ancient wisdom in Luke 6:31. "Do to others as you would have them do to you."

That Trump never has lived the biblical Golden Rule speaks to his lack of character. Do not let his moral corruption infect your character. Be better. Be best.

Wishing death or illness on anyone conjures up the worst of human nature. We will not, we cannot ever make America what it could be—a society that ennobles free human spirit to become the best that our species can attain—until we cleanse our own souls.

For America to endure and prosper we must actively embrace only goodwill toward all, even the vile Donald Trump.

That does not mean that we tolerate Trump's criminal conduct as a private citizen or while in office. We should show with our votes that giving succor to white supremacists, abusing the children of asylum seekers, letting polluters endanger us all and signing a tax law that takes from the many to give to the rich few are un-American, indeed they are anti-American.

To live long and prosper as a nation, to live free, we must judge others as we would have them judge us. To do that we must develop both critical thinking skills and our moral character, a job that starts in the home and should continue in our schools, public and private. Then as citizens, we must apply our knowledge, always with caution because facts change, unlike principles.

We must hope that the ideas of the Enlightenment which inspired our revolution 244 years ago survive the manipulations by ideological marketing organizations that employ advertising techniques to sell us the political equivalent of fast food. We need reasoned and rational debate rooted in facts, not mindless chants like "lock her up" and attacks on journalists as enemies of the people.

We must hope that once we transition back to normality that we will not forget the nightmare Trump has created. We must begin to grow into a better America, both as an idea and as a society that will endure and inspire the whole world. Vigorous debate, hopefully civil, will separate the rash from the wise in our marketplace of ideas.

And we must begin a never-ending search for the best possible leaders, better than we have had in most of our history. We need women and men who we can trust to defend faithfully our Constitution, to at long last establish equal justice for all and to hold true to the principle that ours is a nation of laws, not men.

The Man Who Told Us About The Real Donald Trump, 40 Years Ago

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Of all the books about Donald Trump this year, the one that best explains the man, his rise to power and his inability to be president recalls the stellar work of a journalist who died almost four years ago.

The book is Without Compromise. a collection of columns by the late Wayne Barrett of The Village Voice, the first journalist to cover Trump seriously. Way back in 1979, when The New York Times was running puff pieces that helped propel Trump to national celebrity, Barrett revealed the real Trump with hard facts and moral clarity.

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House Republican Report On Workers Is Bursting With Lies About Labor Unions

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Ten House Republicans who fashion themselves policy wonks are out with their diagnosis of what ails the American worker. Their proposed cure is a future that would be brutish, nasty and short.

The Hobbesian, dog-eat-dog policies the Republican Study Group proposes would enhance the power of those born to privilege, just so long as nothing knocks them off their comfortable perch.

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How Tax Secrecy Protects Trump — And Hurts You

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

As Donald Trump fights to keep his tax and business records from Manhattan prosecutors it's time to alert Americans that tax returns used to be public. Congress could make them public again. If it did every honest taxpayer would benefit.

In 1924 how much the rich paid the taxman was front-page news. Newspapers back then published lists that revealed who was really rich (John D Rockefeller stands out) and those who were either poseurs claiming great wealth yet paying little tax or were likely tax cheats who failed to report their income fully.

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Surprise! Under Trump, Super-Rich Rake In Billions While You Get…A #MAGA Hat

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

If you are in the 99 percent here is how well you are faring under Trump policies compared to the 1 percent: for each dollar of increased income that you earned in 2018, each One-Percenter got $88 more income.

Huge as that ratio is, it's small change compared to the super-rich, the 0.01 percent of Americans with incomes of $10 million and up. That ratio is $1 for you and $2,215 for each super-rich American household. Let's call them the Platinum-Premiere-Point-Zero-One-Percenters.

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Cohen Book Hilariously Describes Trump Mocking And Deceiving Evangelical Leaders

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Michael Cohen's book about his years as Donald Trump's fixer is a clarion call to Christians to wake up and recognize that the man many of them revere as a heavenly agent is a religious fraud who loathes them and mocks their faith.

In Disloyal, published this week, Cohen shows how Trump is a master deceiver. He quotes Trump calling Christianity and its religious practices "bullshit," soon after he masterfully posed as a fervent believer. In truth, Cohen writes, Trump's religion is unbridled lust for money and power at any cost to others.


Cohen's insider stories add significant depth to my own documenting of Trump's repeated and public denouncements of Christians as "fools," "idiots," and "schmucks."

In extensive writing and speeches, Trump has declared that his life philosophy is "revenge." That stance is aggressively anti-Christian. So are Trump's often publicly expressed desires to violently attack others, mostly women, and his many remarks that he derives pleasure from ruining the lives of people over such minor matters as declining to do him a favor.

Cohen reinforces these facts with new anecdotes about Trump's utter disregard for other people and his contempt for religious belief. Cohen's words should shock the believers who were critical to his becoming president, provided they ever read them. By denouncing the book Trump has ensured that many of those he has tricked into believing he is a deeply religious man will never fulfill their Christian duty to be on the lookout for deceivers.

None of the evangelicals I have interviewed in the past five years knew that in writing Trump has denounced their beliefs and written of the communion host as "my little cracker."

Despite the irrefutable evidence that Trump detests Christianity and ridicules such core beliefs as the Golden Rule and turning the other cheek, America is filled with pastors who praise him to their flocks as a man of god. Trump himself has looked heavenward outside the White House to imply he was chosen by god.

Pastors who support Trump were scolded two years ago by Christianity Today, a magazine founded by Billy Graham, for not denouncing Trump as "profoundly immoral." Many evangelical pastors then attacked the magazine rather than following the Biblical incantation to examine their own souls.

Cohen writes that as a young man who grew up encountering Mafioso and other crooks at a country club he fell into the "trace like spell" of Trump, whom he describes as an utterly immoral, patriarchal mob boss and con man. Cohen says he was "an active oparticipant" in everything from Trump getting "golden showers" in Las Vegas to corrupt deals with Russian officials.

Trump is "consumed by the worldly lust for wealth and rewards," Cohen writes, which puts him at odds with the teaching of Jesus Christ about what constitutes a good life.

"Places of religious worship held absolutely no interest to him, and he possessed precisely zero personal piety in his life," Cohen writes.

Cohen explains that the only version of Christianity that could possibly interest Trump is the "prosperity gospel." That is a perverse belief that financial wealth is a sign of heavenly approval rooted in 19th Century occult beliefs that is anathema to Christian scripture.

Many actual Christians regard the prosperity gospel as evil. The evangelical magazine founded by Billy Graham, Christianity Today, calls it "an aberrant theology" promoted by such disgraced televangelists as Jimmy Swaggart and Jim and Tammy Baker.

Early in Trump's aborted 2012 presidential campaign, Cohen writes, he was ordered to reach out to faith communities. Soon Paula White, now the White House adviser on faith, proposed a meeting at Trump Tower with evangelical leaders. Cohen writes that Trump liked White because she was blonde and beautiful.

Cohen said that among those attending were Jerry Falwell Jr., who recently resigned in disgrace as head of Liberty University, and Creflo Dollar, who solicited donations for a $65 million corporate jet and who was criminally charged that year with choking his daughter. Dollar said those charges were the work of the devil.

Once the evangelical leaders took their seats, Cohen writes, Trump quickly and slickly portrayed himself as a man of deep faith. Cohen writes that this was nonsense

After soaking in Trump's deceptions, the leaders proposed laying hands on Trump, a religious affirmation of divine approval. Cohen was astounded when Trump, a germaphobe, eagerly accepted.

"If you knew Trump as I did, the vulgarian salivating over beauty contestants or mocking Roger Stone's" sexual proclivities, you would have a hard time keeping a straight face at the sight of him affecting the serious and pious mien of a man of faith. I knew I could hardly believe the performance or the fact that these folks were buying it," Cohen writes.

"Watching Trump I could see that he knew exactly how to appeal to the evangelicals' desires and vanities – who they wanted him to be, not who he really was. Everything he was telling them about himself was absolutely untrue."

To deceive the evangelicals, Cohen writes, Trump would "say whatever they wanted to hear."

Trump's ease at deception became for Cohen an epiphany, though a perverse one.

In that moment, Cohen writes, he realized the boss would someday become president because Trump "could lie directly to the faces of some of the most powerful religious leaders in the country and they believed him."

Later that day, Cohen writes, he met up with Trump in his office.

"Can you believe that bullshit," Trump said of the laying on of hands. "Can you believe that people believe that bullshit."

Cohen also writes about Trump's desire, expressed behind closed doors, to destroy those who offend him. Trump has said the same, though less vividly, in public.

"I love getting even," Trump declared in his book Think Big, espousing his anti-Christian philosophy. "Go for the jugular. Attack them in spades!"

He reiterated that philosophy this year at the National Prayer Breakfast. Holding up two newspapers with banner headlines reporting his Senate acquittal on impeachment charges, Trump said, "I don't like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say, 'I pray for you,' when they know that that's not so."

Trump spoke after Arthur Brooks, a prominent conservative, told the breakfast meeting that "contempt is ripping our country apart."

Mr. Brooks went on: "We're like a couple on the rocks in this country…Ask God to take political contempt from your heart. And sometimes, when it's too hard, ask God to help you fake it."

Everyone in the room rose to applaud Brooks except Trump, though he finally stood up as the applause died down, rose.

Taking the microphone, Trump said, "Arthur, I don't know if I agree with you… I don't know if Arthur is going to like what I'm going to say."

Trump then said he didn't believe in forgiveness. That is just as Cohen wrote: "Trump is not a forgiving person." Trump's words at the prayer breakfast made clear that he rejects the teaching of Jesus at Luke 6:27: "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you."

The question pastors should raise in their Sunday sermons, the question Cohen'sbook lays before them, is how can any Christian support a man who mocks Christianity, embraces revenge as his only life philosophy, and rejects that most basic Biblical teaching– forgiveness.

New Data: Rich Got Richer, But Most Americans Fared Worse Under Trump

The first data showing how all Americans are faring under Donald Trump reveal the poor and working classes sinking slightly, the middle class treading water, the upper-middle class growing and the richest, well, luxuriating in rising rivers of greenbacks.

More than half of Americans had to make ends meet in 2018 on less money than in 2016, my analysis of new income and tax data shows.

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Why The FBI Failed To Investigate Trump’s Kremlin Ties

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Donald Trump never was investigated to determine if he is a Russian agent or asset according to an explosive book published Tuesday by a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter.

In Trump v. The United States, Michael S. Schmidt reports Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III's team was barred from investigating whether Trump, who has many known connections to Russian criminals and who says he trusts Putin over American intelligence agencies, was a Russian agent.

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A Simple Way To Help The Millions Soon To Be Homeless

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

There's a relatively simple way you, your friends and neighbors can alleviate years of the needless hardship and pain that Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and thenSenate's Radical Republicans are about unleash.

Legions of Americans have been left broke by the coronavirus pandemic and government bungling or intentional malfeasance. Or worse…plain meanness.

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Why Bannon’s Arrest Has Trump Quaking In His Golf Shoes

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Thursday's arrest of Steve Bannon, the last manager of Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, carries powerful messages that strike fear in The Donald. The arrest of Bannon and three others on fraud charges grows from a pair of 2019 DCReport articles by Grant Stern.

If federal prosecutors can flip Bannon, a 66-year-old man ill-suited by health or personality to prison life, it would be devastating for Trump. Although the president enjoys immunity from federal indictment, that privilege ends the moment his presidency does.

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New Study Shows Trump Policies Drive Millions Of Seniors Into Poverty

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Donald Trump's inept handling of the coronavirus pandemic is condemning millions of older Americans to get by on much smaller incomes and forcing many into permanent poverty, a new study shows.

These people can anticipate shorter lives with less robust health, while taxpayers will bear the burden of care for many years of increased welfare benefits and subsidies.

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Trump And His Senate Enablers Push Economy Over A Cliff

Donald Trump & Co. have thrown already rapidly collapsing America off an economic cliff. Over the next few weeks, they will pound the wreckage, even set it afire, unless they get a lucrative new favor for Corporate America.

The Trumpians are actively ruining our economy because, in a perverse way, they share the belief of the Black Lives Matter protesters that the American justice system can't be trusted. Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) cruel recalcitrance on coronavirus relief and the Black Lives Matter demands are about accountability in the courts.

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