Welcome, to This Is America, September 13th, 2018.
We have a special show today, as we will present an interview with Blue Ridge Autonomous Defense, a group of people that are gathering supplies as we speak and are heading out to the east coast to provide autonomous disaster relief in whatever chaos is brought by Hurricane Florence.
But first, let’s get to some headlines.
You might have seen the photo floating around social media, but according to the New York Post a massive stockpile of bottled water has been found almost a year after Hurricane Maria hit the island, leading to the deaths of at least 3,000 people. The article wrote:
Hundreds of thousands of water bottles meant for victims of Hurricane Maria are still sitting at a Puerto Rico airport — nearly a year after the deadly storm, according to a report.
A photo showing the bottles in boxes and covered in a blue tarp on a runway in Ceiba was shared widely on social media Tuesday evening.
Newly released documents show that this summer the Trump administration moved almost $10 million out of the supposed disaster support apparatus of FEMA into ICE, Eric Trump on Fox News dismissed the new Bob Woodward book as an attempt to get “shekles,” an anti-Semitic reference popular among the Alt-Right. Speaking of neo-Nazis, Republican Representative Steve King again shared white nationalist material on Twitter, this time, a tweet from Red Ice TV. This weekend in St. Louis, King, along with Turning Point USA, Alt-Lite Pizzagate talking heads like Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec, and “race realists” like Stefan Molyneux, will speak alongside neo-fascist far-Right parties from Germany and Poland, at a conference sponsored by the conspiracy website, The Gateway Pundit. In particular, the Alternative for Germany party, or AfD, has been instrumental in organizing mass far-Right rallies in recent weeks against migrants and refugees that have brought out thousands of neo-Nazis and led to violent attacks on people of color, antifascists, and anyone seen as “not German.” Local activists are asking people to call the St. Louis Marriott Hotel at: 314-423-9700 to voice their concerns.
As tree sits again go up in Appalachia against the Mountain Valley Pipeline, in rural Pennsylvania a pipeline recently exploded, leading to an evacuation of the area and the burning down of one home. The police chief was quoted as saying, “It lit this whole valley up. People looked out their window and thought the sun was up.”
The Trump Administration and DHS has put into motion a new rule that will go into effect after the mid-terms that will allow the government to hold migrant families in detention indefinitely, which in turn will make it easier for a backlogged system to deport families en mass. According to NBC News:
The Trump administration announced a new rule Thursday that would allow immigrant children with their parents to be held in detention indefinitely, upending a ban on indefinite detention that has been in place for 20 years.
The rule, proposed by the departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, goes into effect in 60 days and will allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to keep children with their mothers in detention facilities while their cases for asylum play out in court.
A DHS official said the average length of stay for adults with pending court cases is currently 39 days. However, court backlogs can drag out the time an immigrant must wait in detention for a court hearing.
Until now, children have been released with their parents after 20 days. Earlier this year, the Trump administration sought to get around that rule by separating parents from their children and holding parents in detention while children were placed in the care of HHS.
We want to turn now towards the economy. As anyone that watches news out of either media aligned with the current regime, like Fox, or outlets like CNN or MSNBC that align with the DNC, knows that we are being told over and over again that the economy is doing so well and that unemployment is down. But what this misses is that fundamentally the economy has been restructured, and more and more people are working multiple jobs, or are under-employed, and many who have stopped looking for work are not even being counted, and that moreover, the largest growth of jobs has come from the service sector. Thus, while many Americans are working, we are more and more working more hours, often in more precarious ways, than ever before, for less and less pay. Meanwhile, the wealth gap between rich and poor has never been bigger and the elites report record profits.
But there’s also signs that post-Trump tax cuts, things may be going from bad to worse. According to a new report in the The Hill which wrote:
The federal deficit hit $895 billion in the first 11 months of fiscal 2018, an increase of $222 billion, or 32 percent, over the same period the previous year, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Meaning, the government under Trump went more into the red the last year, with an increase of several hundred billion, after:
the Republican tax law and the bipartisan agreement to increase spending. As a result, revenue only rose 1 percent, failing to keep up with a 7 percent surge in spending, it added.
Meaning, the government brought in via taxes only 1% more than before, yet there was a 7% increase in spending. Remember that $717 billion gift to the Pentagon we keep talking about. But it gets worse, as:
Revenue from individual and payroll taxes was up some $105 billion, or 4 percent, while corporate taxes fell $71 billion, or 30 percent.
What this means is that despite all the crap we hear from MAGA muppets about how great the tax cuts are, our taxes actually went up by 4%. We paid into the system $105 billion more than before, while at the same time, taxes paid by corporations, which we make rich by giving our wages to, fell by $71 billion dollars. We should keep in mind, that this is supposed to be the “sweet period;” in the future, taxes on the poor and working/middle classes will increase, while further cuts to corporations and the rich will skyrocket. This reduction in tax revenue will then be used as a backdrop to cut much needed programs like medicare and Medicaid. Meanwhile:
…deficits [will] near $1 trillion in 2019 and surpass that amount the following year.
But this smash and loot system will have extreme consequences, as economist Howard Sherman recently pointed out:
Trump is terrible for the economy because his policies increase inequality, which reduces the demand from wages relative to the supply of goods on the market…the increasing levels of inequality produced as a result of Trumps policies have pushed the economy to its peak, and we are on the verge of a new recession. Indeed, because Trump and the Republicans have removed a large number of financial regulations, the banking and financial sectors are going wild, so the next economic downturn may actually become a major depression, which will drag down with it the rest of the global economy.
Sherman goes on to say:
In fact, it is now clear that the country will lose $2 trillion in the next 10 years, but $2 trillion of that money will end up in the already overstuffed pockets of the richest 1 percent. This is a very clear example of the type of policies implemented by the Trump administration and the GOP that will result in an astonishing jump in inequality of income and wealth in the United States.
One last story as we stare that reality in the face:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is aggressively lobbying for an additional $1 billion to boost deportations to their highest levels yet under President Trump, according to a budget document obtained by The Washington Post.
In the funding request, officials said they anticipated deporting more than 253,000 immigrants during the next fiscal year, which goes from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2019. That would be the government’s highest target since 2014, when the Obama administration expelled more than 300,000.
Without the extra money, officials warned in the request, they may be forced to suspend arrests and deportations of people deemed “threats to public safety” until Congress passes a full spending bill. Officials also said that thousands of immigrants detained in federal custody may suffer “reductions in services” if Congress denies the funding, though they did not provide specifics.
About 44 percent of those deported as of June 30 had no criminal records, according to data maintained by ICE.
That’s going to do it for us in terms of headlines, enjoy our interview with Blue Ridge Autonomous Defense, and feel free to support them here!