Lifestyles of the rich and empathy-deprived

One of the things that the Trump shutdown made glaringly obvious is that the wealthy people around Trump have no idea what life is like for ordinary people. Wealthy people have no lack of sources who would give them credit and banks rush to lend them money. They seem to think that this is true for everyone, as evidenced by multi-millionaire commerce secretary Wilbur Ross expressing puzzlement as to why workers were going to food banks when they could just get a loan from a bank, or Trump’s economic advisor Larry Kudlow claiming that the furloughed workers were proud to volunteer for the government, as if doing their jobs was like the unpaid internships that rich people’s children do. Meanwhile, Trump thinks that shops will be more than willing to give credit to furloughed employees.
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Afterthought on the Trump capitulation

I wonder if Donald Trump capitulated to Nancy Pelosi and agreed to reopen the government because he wanted so badly to give the State of the Union speech originally scheduled for January 29 and then cancelled by Pelosi because of the shutdown.

It will be interesting to see what happens on that front now. If he asks about giving the speech, perhaps Pelosi should say that she needs time to properly prepare for the occasion and suggests a new date after February 15th, i.e., when the government needs to be funded again, on the condition that the government remains open. That would put Trump in yet another bind. In short, Pelosi would have reversed Trump’s hostage tactics, using the SOTU as a hostage to force Trump to keep the government open. The difference is that nobody gets hurt if there is no SOTU speech while plenty get hurt when the government shuts down.

Pelosi can keep this process going, dangling the SOTU speech in front of Trump like a carrot, hopefully making him capitulate again and again.

Trump caves to Pelosi, proposes end to the shutdown without wall funding

In a sudden move, Donald Trump has agreed to funding the government until February 15 without getting his money for the wall. So the can gets kicked down the road until February 15 and we get to go through this whole rigmarole again.

BREAKING NEWS: The House and Senate will vote on legislation to reopen the government until Feb. 15. During that period, lawmakers will discuss funds for border security and President Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion for the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The outcome was a win for Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who had insisted on no negotiations until the government was reopened.

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The Gender Games: Nancy Pelosi versus Donald Trump

I have been fascinated by the dynamic between Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump. Unlike with his other adversaries where Trump goes aggressively on the attack, calling them insulting names and ridiculing them at every opportunity, he has been remarkably restrained with Pelosi. It cannot be just a gender thing because Trump has been savage with Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, giving them both derisive nicknames. So what is the deal with Pelosi that finds him consistently wrong-footed and awkward?
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Snippets: Trump caves to Pelosi, journalist upset by rhetorical strategies

Donald Trump has backed down in the face of Nancy Pelosi’s opposition. First he said that he was going to deliver the State of the Union speech in Congress over her objections. She firmly told him again to get lost. Then in an attempt to save face, he said that he would give the speech at some other location next Tuesday. But then today he said that he was not going to do that either and will wait for the government to reopen.

One thing that observers have noticed is that while Trump gives his opponents insulting nicknames, he has not done so for Pelosi, referring to her as just ‘Nancy’. I wonder why. Perhaps he realizes that she now has real political power and is intimidated by her. Let’s see how his base likes seeing him being cowed by her.
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Shocker! Wealthy people do not like higher taxes

At this moment, some of world’s wealthiest people are gathering at a resort in Davos, Switzerland where they decide how best to rule the world because it is an established fact that having a lot of money makes you incredibly smart about pretty much everything. I am a bit surprised why they do not also solve the problems of dark matter, the origins of life, and human consciousness while they are at it. A few panel discussions among corporate CEOs should be sufficient. Many political leaders from around the world also attend this obscene spectacle because they like to pretend that they have some role in running the world and are not just puppets of the oligarchy.
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Oh man, can Donald Trump get any more pathetic?

When Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote to Donald Trump rescinding her earlier invitation to him to address a joint session of Congress to deliver the State of the Union on January 29, saying that it should be rescheduled once the government is re-opened, she knew that she was hitting him where it hurts, denying him the opportunity to be the center of attention at a big extravaganza that would be covered by all the TV networks and where he would have the ability to lambaste Democrats for not funding his stupid wall and castigate them for all manner of things right to their faces without interruption, accompanied by applause from the fawning Republicans.
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