FYI

 

From the Atlantic:

A President’s Self-Evaluation: In his Time interview, Trump brushed aside criticism that he doesn’t always adhere to facts and evidence: “I’m a very instinctual person, but my instinct turns out to be right.”

Donald has yet, and likely has never corrected his own error because he believes in all sincerity he has never made an error nor apologized for defaming someone with false accusations. If pressed, he blames someone else – like all of America’s military brass for the failure of the raid in Yemen that was on hold until he authorized it. – mariner

What Are Work Requirements For?: Politicians have long debated “the practical and moral utility of requiring people to work in order to receive government benefits.” Now, a last-minute provision added to the GOP health-care bill would impose these requirements on Medicaid enrollees. (Vann R. Newkirk II)

Every form of media and education is loaded with debate about a soon approaching future where there literally will be far fewer jobs than there are people who want to work.

Both political parties are comparable to hoodlum street gangs. There was a time when the citizen could at least believe that politicians were honorable statesmen responsive to the needs of the citizens and the nation. – mariner

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From Food and Water Watch:

By Mary Grant

01.25.17

The Trump administration has declared war on the environment and the safety of our drinking water. His team put together an aggressive action plan for the EPA, stripping away public protections and critical resources. 

According to a memo leaked on Monday, Trump’s team has proposed cutting $513 million from EPA’s “states and tribal assistance grants.” These grants support a range of projects to protect our air and water resources – from protecting wetlands and beaches to preventing radon-related lung cancer. It includes the Public Water Supervision Program that supports states every year to help enforce drinking water regulations. For example, Arkansas’s Department of Health received a $947,000 grant for fiscal year 2016 and $180,000 for fiscal year 2017 so far. Ohio’s environmental agency has received nearly $500,000 for fiscal year 2017 so far from this one grant program alone.

The State and Tribal Assistance Grants also form the backbone of the State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs, the primary source of federal funding for our water and sewer systems. Every single state relies on funding from these programs to assist community water and sewer projects – from helping the small town of Edgerton, Wyo. remove bacteria from its water supply to helping St. Bernard Parish, La., replace its old, deteriorated water lines. 

And:

While gutting these vital water funding programs, Trump’s team is also advancing a proposal to let Wall Street take over our public infrastructure. Trump’s policy advisors have outlined a scheme to give massive tax breaks to Wall Street firms that take over infrastructure projects. It would give Wall Street a tax credit of $0.82 for every $1 of equity invested into a project. 

This privatization scam will benefit only Wall Street. Widespread privatization of water systems would lead to large rate hikes, loss of local control, loss of transparency and accountability, loss of jobs and deterioration of customer service quality. Water bills would skyrocket to allow Wall Street to profit, leading to unaffordable bills and more water shutoffs. 

Privatization will not help Flint or other communities address their water problems. Private investors will not put money into replacing water lines in low-income cities. They would cherry-pick service areas to avoid cash-strapped neighborhoods where households can’t afford to pay the cost of privatized service. 

And, despite claims to the contrary, the tax-credit scheme will cost taxpayers a lot of money. The plan would not pay for itself. Wall Street players would just shift their investments to infrastructure and not necessarily increase the amount of money invested in the economy overall. There would be no increased revenue from income taxes on investor profits. 

Trump’s plans amount to a massive windfall for Wall Street, and combined with his proposed cuts, they endanger our public water systems.

See more at

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/news/trump-attacks-safety-our-drinking-water

The mariner could go on… and on… and on. Using a quote he has used before and likely will use again:

Remember Bob Edwards? He said one of mariner’s favorites:

Now I know what a statesman is; he’s a dead politician. We need more statesmen.

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At this moment mariner is consciously fearful of authoritarianism. The US Congress is antiquated both in age and culture. The “establishment” is broken and useless. We have forgotten how energetic, positive, and problem-solving this Congress was in the 1970’s and 80’s. Congressmen were young then, full of vison, in the midst of the culture they knew. The computer age left them behind – old in years, fragile in wisdom, not functional in the high speed, international world of a new culture, a new age. The Congress is defunct. Big money is taking over and will prefer oligarchy, authoritarianism, and even sharper, unfeeling capitalism.

 It is an ignorant, uneducated electorate who must save a democracy they do not understand in the midst of an alien and dangerous new world.

 Mariner is afraid.

 

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