Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Trump's racist policy keeps getting worse - babies and toddlers now in 'tender age' concentration camps

Scriber needs a day off but first I want to point you to today’s post by AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona concerning the Trump policy of separating children, even babies, from their parents: The Trump administration’s defense of the indefensible goes off the rails (updated). At the end he provides an update.

Before that I’ve got another observation. Last night at the very end of the Rachel Maddow show (MSNBC), as she was preparing to hand it over to Lawrence O’Donnell (The Last Word), she got a “just in” note and she started to report on it. She could not finish. She choked up. In tears. And turned away from the camera unable to speak. Lawrence stepped up and started his show a couple of minutes early.

That’s a first. Rachel is one tough lady accustomed to reporting on some of the most gruesome events. So what would trigger that emotional response? The just-in was a report on the Trump administration facilities for babies and toddlers taken from their mothers at the border. HUNDREDS of them sequestered in camps now rebranded by the administration as “tender age”. See her subsequent tweets here and a video of it here.

It keeps getting worse.

UPDATE: The Washington Post editorial board correctly notes The Trump administration created this awful border policy. It doesn’t need Congress to fix it.

[I]t is simply not correct, as Ms. Nielsen suggested Monday, that Congress must act before the crisis of families being separated can be solved. As Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C) said: “President Trump could stop this policy with a phone call . . . If you don’t like families being separated, you can tell [Homeland Security], ‘Stop doing it.’ ”

Instead, CNBC reports Trump told the National Federation of Independent Businesses’ 75th anniversary event in Washington today:

“We want to end the border crisis by finally giving us the legal authorities and the resources to detain and remove illegal immigrant families altogether and bring them back to their country.”

Trump has defined the GOP as the “mass deportation party.” His policies also oppose legal immigration.

“Now think of all that aid that we give to some of these countries,” he said. “Well, I’m going to go very shortly for authorization that when countries abuse us by sending their people up — not their best — we’re not going to give any more aid to those countries.”

That last one was a head banger. The day before on MSNBC former Homeland Security head Jeh Johnson noted that the way to stop asylum seekers is to fix the problems in those countries. And now we have the president doing exactly the opposite, making matters worse by withholding aid. And you know what else? In response to his threat the room erupted in cheers.

The Blue Meanie wrote about Trump “This is a racist consumed by his hatred.”

Scriber extends that charge to the NFIB: “These are racists consumed by Trump’s hatred.”

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Ripping families apart by Trump and his totalitarians is 'an affront to the American people'

Quotes of the Day:
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” - Jesus (quoted by Michael Gerson).
“They look so innocent. They’re not innocent.” - Donald Trump.

Last night (06/18/18 09:00PM), Rachel Maddow reported that Trump accelerates rate of taking migrant kids from parents. “Rachel Maddow reports on the growing outrage over the Donald Trump administration’s policy of forcibly removing children from their parents when they seek asylum in The United States, and notes that the rate at which children are being removed and placed in camps increased from an average of 43 [perday] last month to 67 as of this month.

The outrage and the push-back against Trump’s separation policy that rips families apart grows. Laura Bush Shames Donald Trump and the Republican Party Over Border Policy. So do all other living former and present (!!!) first ladies. ABC News has that story in All 5 first ladies speak out against family-separation immigration policy. Perhaps not surprisingly, Sen. John McCain takes exception to the Trump policy and demands it stop - right now: Immigrant family separations against US values.

The Trump administration’s current family separation policy is “an affront to the decency of the American people” and contrary to principles and values upon which the nation was founded, Republican Sen. John McCain says.

McCain tweeted Monday night that the administration has the power to rescind this policy and “should do so now.”

However, Trump is defending that policy while (falsely) blaming Democrats for it. And the head of Homeland Security doubles down on law enforcement without mercy but with a load of hypocrisy and even heresy.

The Daily Star’s front page feature reports that “Immigration outrage rises, but Trump won’t back down” (at tucson.com as Trump defiant despite rising outrage over border separations).

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said, “We will not apologize for the job we do or for the job law enforcement does, for doing the job that the American people expect us to do.”

In an appearance before the National Sheriffs’ Association in New Orleans, Nielsen said: “Illegal actions have and must have consequences. No more free passes, no more get out of jail free cards.”

That last one is highlighted by Michael Gerson (Washington Post) in Trump administration defends border cruelty with heresy (reprinted in the Daily Star this morning).

This policy debate has also demonstrated the broad streak of extremism at the center of the Trump administration. “It was a simple decision by the administration,” explained presidential adviser Stephen Miller, “to have a zero-tolerance policy for illegal entry.” Simple. Simple if you are untroubled by nagging empathy. Simple if you are hardened against the temptation of mercy. Simple if you have lost the ability to feel anger when abused children weep. One gets the impression that Miller, Trump and White House chief of staff John Kelly regard the anguish of migrant children as evidence of a good day’s work.

This is a contagion. In a recent poll, a strong plurality of Republicans (46 percent) supported the policy of family separation at the border. They have been given permission for their worst instincts by the leader of their party — a party whose right flank is now held by the neo-Confederate protesters at Charlottesville.

Dehumanization has a natural progression. It starts by defining a whole race or ethnicity by its worst members — say, rapists or criminals. It moves on to enforce generally applicable laws and rules that especially hurt a target group. Then, as the public becomes desensitized, the group can be singled out for hatred and harm. It is the descent, step by step, into a moral abyss.

And the head of Homeland Security chose to walk right into that abyss.

Those were some of the themes in the reporting today. Following are excerpts from reports expanding on those themes.

David Brooks reports on The Rise of the Amnesty Thugs

Ripping children away from their parents is the most cinematically cruel part of the Trump immigration policy, but it is not the most telling part. The most telling part is what happened to Ludvin Franco.

Franco was an unauthorized immigrant who had been working in this country for over a decade. His wife, Anne, is from a Pennsylvania Dutch family that has been in this country for generations. They were married in 2013 and have three American children, Max, Javier and Valentina.

In the spring of 2017, Franco got in a minor traffic accident near his Pennsylvania home. A few weeks later as he was leaving for work, agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement swarmed him, took him away and deported him to Guatemala. He watched the delivery of his third child through the screen of his cellphone, 3,200 miles away.

This is an example of ICE going after a perfectly productive member of society. I got the anecdote from a series of reports that Deborah Sontag and Dale Russakoff did for ProPublica and The Philadelphia Inquirer. They found that 64 percent of the immigrants arrested by ICE in the agency’s Philadelphia region had no prior criminal conviction.

Sontag and Russakoff capture the fabric of immigration enforcement today: a van-load of men coming back from an Alcoholics Anonymous gathering detained by a state trooper after a routine traffic stop; a magisterial district judge in Camp Hill, Pa., pre-empting a Tajik wedding by calling ICE on the groom and best man, who were led away in handcuffs; work sites raided, with the Latinos separated from everybody else and lined up face to the wall; police officers who ticket Hispanics at a rate of twice or even five times their share of the population.

There are 11 million unauthorized immigrants in this country. Every past administration has used some discretion in targeting whom to deport. They targeted those who were destroying society, not building it. They tried to take account of particular contexts, and they tried to show some sense of basic humanity.

But today, discretion and humanity are being stamped out. The Trump administration has embraced a “zero tolerance” policy. In practice that means that all complexity has to be reduced to uniformity. Compassion is replaced by a blind obedience to regulations. Context is irrelevant. Arrests are indiscriminate. All that matters is that the arrest numbers go up, so human beings in the system are reduced to numbers.

What’s most significant is this: The Trump administration immigration officials have become exactly the kind of monsters that conservatism has always warned against.

BTW - I’ve long maintained that the Republican party is not truly conservative. We can have a conversation, a debate, over conservatism. But we cannot have a conversation about conservatism with Trumpists because their policies are autocratic and hence anti-conservative. Brooks continues.

For centuries, conservatives have repeated a specific critique against state power. Statism, conservatives have argued, has a tendency to become brutalist and inhumane because a bureaucracy can’t see or account for the complexity of reality. It tries to impose uniform rules on the organic intricacy of human relationships. Statist social engineering projects cause horrific suffering because in the mind of statists, the abstract rule is more important than the human being in front of them. The person must be crushed for the sake of the abstraction.

This is exactly what the Trump immigration policies are doing. Families are ripped apart and children are left weeping by the fences constructed by government officials blindly following a regulation.

This illustrates something crucial about this administration. It is not populated by conservatives. It is populated by anti-liberal trolls. There’s a difference.

People like Stephen Miller are not steeped in conservative thinking and do not operate with a conservative disposition. They were formed by their rebellion against the stifling conformity they found at liberal universities. Their primary orientation is not to conservative governance but to owning the libs. In power they take the worst excesses of statism and flip them for anti-liberal ends.

Here’s how you can detect the anti-liberal trolls in the immigration debate: Watch how they use the word “amnesty.” Immigration is a complex issue. Any serious reform has to grapple with tangled realities, and any real conservative has an appreciation for that complexity. But if you try to account for that complexity before an anti-immigration troll, he or she will shout one word: Amnesty!

Maybe we should find some arrangement for the Dreamers? Amnesty! The so-called moderate House immigration bill? Amnesty! Keeping families together? Amnesty!

This is what George Orwell noticed about the authoritarian brutalists: They don’t use words to illuminate the complexity of reality; they use words to eradicate the complexity of reality.

Look at how the Republican candidates for the G.O.P. Senate nomination in Arizona answered questions about a provision to keep families together at the border. They responded with inhumane abstractions: “I try not to get swayed by what the emotions are or the pressure,” Martha McSally said. “Compromising on the rule of law to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants is the wrong path to take,” Kelli Ward replied.

“Amnesty” has become a club the trolls use in their attempt to stamp a rigid steel boot on the neck of the immigration debate. It’s the sign of a party slowly losing its humanity.

And the thing is that the inhumane group of Republicans are the only demographic group to support Trump’s policy of ripping families apart. AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona documents the divide in Senate Republicans are complicit in Trump’s evil.

Holding children as hostages is evil, and Republicans are complicit in his evil.

Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to this immoral, cruel and inhumane family-separation policy, except for one distinct group of Americans — you guessed it — members of the personality cult of Donald Trump. The GOP backs Trump on separating families at the border — which is all he cares about.

Two-thirds of Americans oppose Trump’s family-separation policy:

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows that the policy is unpopular among Americans — with one big exception.

GOP supports Trump's policy
Republicans support trump's separation policy,
but no one else does

Two-thirds of the country, 66 percent, oppose Trump’s policy, according to the poll. That includes 6 in 10 men and 7 in 10 women.

As is often the case, though, there’s a wide split by party. A majority of Republicans approve of the policy, while 6 in 10 independents and 9 in 10 Democrats oppose it.

Republicans are the only group broken out in Quinnipiac’s polling to support the policy. But other demographic groups that are central to Trump’s base show stronger support for the move. Whites without college degrees, for example, are 11 points more likely to support it than whites with degrees. White men are 13 points more likely to support it than white women. …

Immigrant advocates have long said that the children, primarily from Central America, are fleeing violence in their home countries and seeking safe harbor in the United States. But the Trump administration has used their plight to justify cracking down on [asylum] policies that allow these migrants to be released and obtain hearings before immigration judges, rather than being deported immediately. Trump warns against admitting unaccompanied migrant children: ‘They’re not innocent’ (April 2018).

“We have the worst immigration laws of any country, anywhere in the world,” Trump said at the roundtable held at the Morrelly Homeland Security Center. “They exploited the loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors.”

Trump added: “They look so innocent. They’re not innocent.”

If Republicans can support such evil against young children, what other atrocities are they willing to accept and support from their Dear Leader?

We have a dangerous element in this country, and it is not immigrants. It is the members of the personality cult of Donald Trump.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Illustrated News Flash - 4 in 5 Republicans have joined The Cult of Trump

Trump's cult
GOP bows to Trump

We’ll get to the Mournday Mourning Illustrated News in a moment. First, let’s reflect on The Cult of Trump.

Back in January I asked, and answered, Will America ever be great again? Not so long as the Grand Obstruction Party holds power.

Will America ever be great again?

It certainly won’t be after another three years of Trump. Ann McFeatters in Friday morning’s Daily Star details what Trump already has done to us in just one year, Taking the measure of Trump.

Many Americans have regarded Donald Trump as a buffoon or a bankruptcy-prone business guy with a flair for reality TV who ultimately would do little harm. Many now think he is the most dangerous president in U.S. history.

McFeatters provides a list (that I’ve condensed) of reasons to have such a fear:

Trump disparages the rule of law, is systematically ruining Americans’ vital respect for the integrity of institutions, made the country a laughingstock among former allies, taunts North Korea’s unstable dictator, is unpatriotic, is undermining the role of the federal government, is using the presidency to make millions, has declared war on the First Amendment, does not know what he is doing, is still trying to ban and deport immigrants because of their religion, is stacking the courts with people who are loyal to him, and he believes he is above the law, is widening the gap between rich and poor, and is about to complete one year of a four-year term.

And all that was before he trashed the G7 and embraced a murderous dictator (Kim) and dumped military readiness exercises on the advice of another enemy of the U.S. (Putin). So will the GOP finally wake up and reign in Trump?

Trump is unpopular, more than just about any other president the polls tell us. He is reviled by progressives and held in low regard by independents. However, most Republican voters still support him. The Gallup poll, Presidential Approval Ratings – Donald Trump, from the last week of 2017 has the numbers. Overall Trump’s approval stands at 39%. (The average approval for other presidents at this point in their term is 64%. Trump’s approval is the lowest by far of any of the last nine presidents.) However, when party affiliation is considered we get a different picture. Only 9% of Democrats approve of Trump, and only 34% of independents approve. But a whopping 82% of Republicans approve of Trump.

So I suspect that the Republican leaders in Congress continue to suck up to Trump because they know their base. As long as Trump goes along with the GOP agenda, Republicans will not turn on him no matter what the evidence says about his character and no matter how much more damage Trump will do to our nation. The question then becomes whether the much-anticipated 2018 blue wave will be powerful enough and durable enough to overcome the Republican advantages mentioned by Krugman.

What this means, among other things, is that expecting the GOP to exercise any oversight or constrain Trump in any way is just foolish at this point. Massive electoral defeat – massive enough to overwhelm gerrymandering and other structural advantages of the right – is the only way out.

Like other cult leaders, Trump demands and receives absolute loyalty by meting out punishments to those critics seen to be disloyal. Read the report by Jonathan Tamari of The Philadelphia Inquirer: Primary results show the GOP is all in on Trump (reprinted in the Arizona Daily Star, June 17, 2018).

In the election of 2018, don’t count on congressional Republicans to do anything to reign in Trump.

Now on to today’s Illustrated News from the AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona.

The horror of the Trump 'zero tolerance' policy. Will parents and children ever be reunited?

Trump's child abuse policy
Trump's zero tolerance policy is institutionalized child abuse

This Heartbreaking photo of crying 2yo captures horror of Trump border policy was featured at the web site, newshub.co.nz.

A heart-breaking photo of a two-year-old Honduran asylum seeker crying as her mother is taken into custody has captured the horror of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance policy” towards undocumented immigrants.

The White House announced the policy in April. Any adults who have been referred to Homeland Security for illegal entry into the US now have their children take from them while their cases are adjudicated, a process that can take months or years.

The extraordinary picture was taken by John Moore, a Pulitzer Prize winner and Getty photographer. (Photo credit: Getty)

“As a father myself, this photograph was especially difficult for me to take,” Mr Moore said on Instagram.

“The mother told me they had been traveling for a full month and were exhausted.”

The woman and her daughter had just crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico and were being transported to a US Customs and Border Protection processing centre.

“She was told to set the child down while she was searched. The little girl immediately started crying,” Mr Moore told Getty photography website Foto.

He said the woman and her daughter were taken into custody with a group of about 20 others, mostly women and children.

"I could see on their faces that they had no idea what was about to happen.

“I doubt many of these families knew about the Trump administration’s recent policy on separating parents from children at the border.”

US officials have confirmed that over a six-week period, 1995 children were separated from their parents or legal guardians under its new ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy.

That number equates to 46 children a day.

US President Donald Trump has claimed the family separations are the fault of the opposition Democrats. Numerous news outlets in the US have called this false, including CNN, the New York Times and Pulitzer-winning fact-checking site Politifact.

And before we move on, I’ll bet you didn’t notice my source for the above snippets and photo. The web address ends in “NZ”. That’s New Zealand, folks. Trump keeps racking up the overseas PR points.

What happens once the kids are separated from their parents? Who knows? This is not an administration that practices foresight.

In Tucson court, immigrant parents still left guessing about kids’ whereabouts reports the Daily Star’s Curt Prendergast (titled “Progress lacking in effort to join kids, parents” in the June 17 print version).

The really sad story of the Trump “zero tolerance” keeps getting worse. Under Trump’s policy, children are forcibly removed from their parents. Now we learn that those parents cannot learn the whereabouts of their children. The government either cannot or will not find out where the kids are.

For the 51st time in the last month, a parent wanted to know the whereabouts of her child. And for the 51st time, the authorities in federal court in Tucson did not tell her.

Flor Berillos de Lopez pleaded guilty to crossing the border illegally June 10 near Lukeville with her 15-year-old daughter, who was taken from her by the Border Patrol hours before Berillos’ June 12 hearing at U.S. District Court in Tucson.

“They were separated this morning and she does not know where her child is,” defense lawyer Joe Machado told Magistrate Judge Bernardo P. Velasco during an Operation Streamline hearing, a fast-track prosecution program for illegal border crossers.

The exchange came a week after Magistrate Judge Bruce G. MacDonald told federal prosecutor Christopher Lewis to call the agency responsible for the children and report back with a way for parents to know where their children are.

On June 6, U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Cosme Lopez said prosecutors in Tucson were working with law enforcement and the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which places children split from their parents in foster care or with family members, to develop a “mechanism” to keep parents informed about their children.

A week later, Lopez said he was “unsure” what was happening with the mechanism.

The Daily Star’s editors have a thing or two to say about the Trump policy and what it says about America in Sunday’s editorial: Trump family separation plan reeks of his failure.

Almost 2,000 children. That is the ongoing human toll of suffering the United States is wreaking on children ripped from their parents because our Congress and president are too feckless to come up with a decent, humane and workable immigration policy.

The cost of our American leaders’ incompetence is being paid in the cries of toddlers taken from their parents and warehoused in federal custody because their families made the desperate calcuation that the real risk of violence, murder or destitution at home was higher than the dangerous journey north from Central America or Mexico.

Is this the United States we want? We say loudly and firmly: No.

President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and anyone who tries to whitewash, downplay or defend this inhumane action is complicit in this outrage.

The estimate is now almost 2,000 children have been separated from their parents by immigration officials and placed in federal custody since the policy started in April. They are housed in large facilities, such as a converted Walmart building, without knowing what’s happening or where their parents are — and their parents don’t know where their children have been taken.

Immigration as a campaign issue, and the demonization of immigrants, are hallmarks of the Trump administration.

And this, traumatizing young children and prosecuting their parents on a federal immigration misdemeanor, if they’re first-time crossers, is their solution.

Read that again: Institutionalized child abuse is the best they could come up with.

Sessions, who has turned to the Bible to justify the policy, has said that any blame to be had for separating families falls on the parents who brought their children into the U.S.

Immigrating is a life-or-death decision for a parent trying to survive and protect their children. Sessions acts as if the parents’ decision was to bring their rowdy kids along to a dinner party uninvited.

Even Trump on Friday tried to pretend his administration’s family separation policy isn’t of its own making, and blamed Democrats.

Trump and Sessions are not the only owners of this humanitarian travesty. The GOP itself is complicit. It demands of itself absolute loyalty to Trump, the cult leader, and now performs political executions on its own members who dare to call out Trump and his minions for what they are.

To get up to date on the punishments meted out to the less Trumpian Republicans, read the report by Jonathan Tamari of The Philadelphia Inquirer: Primary results show the GOP is all in on Trump (reprinted in the Arizona Daily Star, June 17, 2018).

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Absent economic progressivism, workers' wages slip while the rich get richer

The United States is the most economically unequal of industrialized countries. It’s not getting any better. American workers are losing ground even though the economy is roaring. So where does the wealth go? To the already wealthy reports the Washington Post, For the biggest group of American workers, wages aren’t just flat. They’re falling.

The average hourly wage paid to a key group of American workers has fallen from last year when accounting for inflation, as an economy that appears strong by several measures continues to fail to create bigger paychecks, the federal government said Tuesday.

For workers in “production and nonsupervisory” positions, the value of the average paycheck has declined in the past year. For those workers, average “real wages” — a measure of pay that takes inflation into account — fell from $22.62 in May 2017 to $22.59 in May 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

This pool of workers includes those in manufacturing and construction jobs, as well as all “nonsupervisory” workers in service industries such health care or fast food. The group accounts for about four-fifths of the privately employed workers in America, according to BLS.

The fall in those wages has alarmed some economists, who say paychecks should be getting fatter at a time when unemployment is low and businesses are hiring.

“This is odd and remarkable,” said Steven Kyle, an economist at Cornell University. “You would not normally see this kind of thing unless there were some kind of external shock, like a bad hurricane season, but we haven’t had that.”

Falling wages
Declining worker share of corporate income

The falling wages promise to exacerbate historic levels of U.S. inequality. Within the labor force, it means workers who were already making less are falling further behind. And if private laborers as a whole are seeing their earnings flatten while the economy as a whole grows at an annual rate of more than 2 percent, that means the gains are going almost exclusively to people already at the top of the economic ladder, economists say.

"The extra growth we are seeing in the economy is going somewhere: to capital owners and people at the top of the income distribution,” said Heidi Shierholz, director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute and a former chief economist at the Labor Department, noting workers’ share of corporate income remained relatively low as of January. “And what we’ve seen is in recent period a much higher share of total income earned going to owners of capital.”

Economics of Progressivism

At its general membership meeting this last Friday (June 15th), alliance4action hosted Alison Jones whose research talk was titled “The Economics of Progressivism.” The video is on YouTube. Progressive policies, she argued, are good for the economy because they encourage recirculation of money especially by those who buy things. Trickle-up (my word, not hers) economics does the opposite, effectively sequestering money among the rich.

The gangbuster video of Jones’ talk is about 30 minutes. Replete with shocking data made simple by cool explanatory graphics, it’s a good investment of your time.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

WH admits to no empathy for children torn from parents at border

Question of the Day: "Come on Sarah. You’re a parent. Don’t you have any empathy…?” - Brian Karem asked of Sarah Huckabee Sanders in WH press briefing.

Answer of the Day: No! - Scriber.

Jen Hayden at Daily Kos reports on that amazing press briefing in which Sarah Suckabee Handers defended the Trump administration ripping children from their parents. Sparks flew in the press briefing room as heartless White House defended imprisoning border kids.

"You’re a parent, Sarah, come on!” Sarah Huckabee Sanders took a brief (and I mean very brief) couple of minutes to take questions from the White House press corps. Amid widespread reports of breastfeeding babies being taken from their mother’s arms and infants and young children being held indefinitely in prison-like conditions, reporters hammered Sarah Sanders for answers. All they got was deflection, lies and an astonishing reference to the Bible. Yes, Sarah Sanders said taking children from their parents and locking them up in cages inside a former Walmart is just what the Bible ordered.

First, CBS reporter Paula Reid asked Sanders about the administration’s decision to tear families apart, pointing out this is a policy put in place by the Trump administration, and that there is no law requiring families be ripped apart and separately incarcerated. Sanders tried to swat her away, but Reid kept at it. As Sanders again tried to change the subject, Playboy Magazine reporter Brian Karem interjected to press even harder.

The question was in response to a speech made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier in the day. Seriously, you have to watch this evil, evil use of the Bible to justify tearing families apart.

And Sarah Huckabee Sanders, daughter of a so-called Christian minister, also wielded the Bible in defense of questions from the White House press corps. It’s just sick. When CNN’s Jim Acosta tries to dig deeper, she calls him “dumb.”

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: When the history of America is told, this will indeed be one of the darkest chapters. Pure evil.

We really are living America’s darkest hours.

You need to go to Hayden’s report at Daily Kos to view the video. They are indeed a “must watch.”

Washing machine prices tell the story on the dotard's trade war

Washing machine prices increase
Effect of Trump tariff on washing machines

Catherine Rampell, columnist for the Washington Post, reports the history of global washing machine competition to explain why Trump’s tariffs are already backfiring. (h/t Jana Eaton)

Often a graph tells the whole story, or at least most of it. That spike on the right hand side is the net effect of Trump’s one-man trade war.

Rampell reports from Clyde, Ohio, home of the world’s largest washing machine factory - and part of a county that voted for Trump by 23 points.

Before steel and aluminum tariffs alienated our allies, before President Trump suggested car imports threatened our “national security,” before that 1,000-plus-item list of Chinese goods targeted for new tariffs, there were washing machines.

Yes, washing machines.

It seems almost quaint today, but the U.S. washer industry was one of the first sectors that Trump decided to rescue through an aggressive, no-holds-barred tariff. And now that a few months have passed, the industry offers a useful preview for how Trump’s tough-on-trade strategy can backfire for many of the U.S. companies, consumers and workers he wants to help.

You can read the history of the washing machine’s role in the Trump Trade War after the break. Rampell concludes:

This spring, laundry equipment prices skyrocketed 17 percent, the biggest increase on record. It’s hard to see how higher prices expand shoppers’ choices.

When you aggregate all those price increases across the 10 million washers sold annually in the United States, consumers will collectively pay hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for each job supposedly created or saved. Which is many multiples of what factory workers typically earn.

And it’s not even clear how safe their jobs are at this point, given the rest of Trump’s trade agenda. After all, his tariffs didn’t stop with washing machines.

Those metal tariffs have left steel prices more than 50 percent higher in the United States than they are in China or Europe. This is bad news for U.S. companies that purchase steel — including to manufacture washing machines, which are essentially big steel boxes.

Perhaps worse, our furious trading partners are now striking back by placing new tariffs on U.S. goods. Among the products that both the European Union and Canada have targeted for retaliation?

You guessed it: U.S.-made washing machines.

But more is on the way.

The Guardian reports that US-China trade tensions escalate as Trump approves $50bn of tariffs - as it happened.

US President Donald Trump is pressing ahead with plans to impose 25% tariffs on $50bn of Chinese imports, raising the prospect of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
* Markets falter as Trump’s escalates trade tensions
* China vows to match US tariffs but warns both parties will be hurt

If you want to know how badly this will go for the U. S. workers and economy, take the case of the washing machine as a harbinger.

Sorry, Clyde, Ohio. You don’t get a do-over for the 2016 election.