Posted by DanielS on Wednesday, 22 March 2017 09:54.
Reveal News, “White nationalist gets his money from cotton fields – and the government”, By Lance Williams 17 March 2017:
Two weeks after last year’s presidential election, white nationalist Richard Spencer held forth on a cable news show about how white people built America.
“White people ultimately don’t need other races in order to succeed,” he told the audience of the black-oriented program, “NewsOne Now.”
The exchange grew heated as host Roland Martin questioned Spencer’s rhetoric: Didn’t slaves help build America? Wasn’t the nation’s 19th-century economic boom propelled by the slave labor that produced the world’s cotton on Southern plantations?
America’s rise was “not through black people” and “has nothing to do with slavery,” Spencer retorted. “White people could have figured out another way to pick cotton,” he said. “We do it now.”
He is in a position to know. Spencer, along with his mother and sister, are absentee landlords of 5,200 acres of cotton and corn fields in an impoverished, largely African American region of Louisiana, according to records examined by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. The farms, controlled by multiple family-owned businesses, are worth millions: A 1,600-acre parcel sold for $4.3 million in 2012.
The Spencer family’s farms also are subsidized heavily by the federal government. From 2008 through 2015, the Spencers received $2 million in U.S. farm subsidy payments, according to federal data.
USDA farm subsidy payments to Spencer family companies, 2008-2015
Dickenhorst Farms $1,014,558
Spencer Farms $524,655
Dickenhorst Trust $201,460
Sher-Di-Je Land $165,029
Poor Richard Partnership $98,878
A-Renee Partnership $78,016
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture data compiled by the Environmental Working Group
Although Spencer has attracted extensive media attention as a leader of the so-called alt-right movement – particularly after he drew Nazi salutes at an event celebrating Donald Trump’s election – he never has explained publicly how he supports himself while actively promoting his agenda via conferences and media appearances. The finances of his nonprofit think tank, the National Policy Institute, are a mystery; the organization hasn’t filed a public report since 2013. On Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the IRS revoked the institute’s tax-exempt status.
Spencer, 38, is a dropout from a Duke University Ph.D. history program who emerged during the Trump campaign as one of the nation’s most visible white separatist agitators. In his writing, speeches and interviews, he has given an intellectualized explanation for how he came to advocate creating a whites-only “ethno state” in North America. While in graduate school, he has said, he was compelled by critiques of multiculturalism and political correctness and by demographic data indicating that whites are en route to minority status in the United States.
But the Spencer family’s business interests and geographic history suggest a different possible lineage for Richard Spencer’s racist politics. The family’s farm holdings are a legacy of its ties to the Jim Crow South, passed down by Spencer’s grandfather, who built the business during the turbulent civil rights era.
Spencer family land holdings in Louisiana
Farming company Parish Acreage
Dickenhorst Farms Tensas 1,888
Dickenhorst Farms East Carroll 967
Sher-Di-Je Land Tensas 1,186
A-Renee Partners Madison 753
Poor Richard Partnership Franklin 400
Spencer, Sherry Madison 90
Sources: Louisiana Tax Commission parish tax rolls; parish assessment records
Spencer declined in an interview this week to discuss how much money he personally receives from cotton farming and government subsidies and whether that income funds his political activities.
“I’m not involved in any direct day-to-day running of the business,” he said, later adding: “I’m going to navigate the world as it is, and I’m not going to be a pauper.”
One Spencer family farming company, which holds title to 400 acres of land, is called the Poor Richard Partnership.
In the interview, Spencer also downplayed his family’s influence on his political views, saying, “My parents are very mainstream Episcopalian Republicans in Dallas.”
Although Spencer grew up in an affluent neighborhood of Dallas and now splits his time between Montana and Washington, D.C., his family lived in the South for generations. Records show his mother attended segregated schools as a girl in the small northeast Louisiana city of Monroe. Later, Spencer’s mother inherited farms in northeast Louisiana from her late father. Today, her two children are her business partners.
Spencer’s mother did not respond to an email and voicemails seeking comment for this story. In the past, she has said she does not share her son’s views. In an open letter sent to their local newspaper in December, Spencer’s parents, Sherry and Rand, said that while they love their son, “we are not racists. We have never been racists. We do not endorse the idea of white nationalism.”
The region that is home to the Spencers’ farms has a history of slavery and racism. Through the civil rights era, the Klan targeted black residents there with lynchings, cross burnings and other violence. In Tensas Parish, where the Spencers own 3,000 acres of farmland, blacks didn’t win the right to vote until 1964, according to Elvadus Fields Jr., mayor of the town of St. Joseph.
White supremacist views typically run in the family, said writer and race relations expert Cleo Scott Brown. Feelings of racial superiority often are passed “from generation to generation, because that’s what they believe,” said Brown, whose father – a civil rights leader in East Carroll Parish, where the Spencers own 900 acres of farmland – was shot and wounded during a 1962 voter registration drive, allegedly by a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
Agribusiness in the region today is heavily mechanized and provides few jobs. In 2013, CNN reported that East Carroll Parish suffers from the worst income inequality in the nation: The richest 5 percent of residents earned an average of $611,000 per year, 90 times what the poorest 20 percent earned. The parish’s population is 67 percent black.
Ownership of Spencer family farming companies
Dickenhorst Farms Sherry Spencer, Richard Spencer and sister
Dickenhorst Trust Dickenhorst Farms (Sherry Spencer, Richard Spencer and sister)
Sher-Di-Je Land Dickenhorst Farms (Sherry Spencer, Richard Spencer and sister)
Spencer Farms Sherry Spencer
Poor Richard Partnership Sherry Spencer*
A-Renee Partners Sherry Spencer and daughter
*Records show that Richard Spencer has received subsidy income from the partnership but don’t identify him as an owner.
Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture data compiled by the Environmental Working Group; Louisiana secretary of state filings
Race relations have improved significantly in recent decades. But after Trump’s election, some white residents celebrated by draping their pickup trucks with Confederate flags and driving through the region’s towns, according to the Rev. Roosevelt Grant, head of the NAACP branch in Winnsboro, Franklin Parish, near another of the Spencers’ farms.
The Trump presidency, he said, “has caused people to pray more.”
Spencer’s maternal grandfather, Dr. R.W. Dickenhorst, established the family farming business. He was a radiologist who started a medical practice in Monroe in 1952 and became wealthy and socially prominent, according to local newspaper obituaries.
Racial segregation was a given in Monroe then. Blacks were barred from housing, schools and public facilities used by whites. White superiority “was the way of life; that was the way it was, and anyone challenging it was challenging God’s will,” said the Rev. Roosevelt Wright Jr., a local historian in Monroe.
Dickenhorst’s daughter, Sherry, who would grow up to be Richard Spencer’s mother, enrolled in all-white Neville High School in 1962, according to district records. In 1964, at the start of her junior year, integration of the school began, with a single African American student enrolling.
As Dickenhorst’s medical practice prospered, he bought farmland in northeast Louisiana on the Mississippi River’s west bank. He died decades later, in 2002, and his wife died the following year. By then, their only daughter was the wife of a wealthy Dallas eye surgeon and the mother of two grown children: Richard Spencer and his sister, who did not respond to an email and phone calls seeking comment.
Today, through Dickenhorst Farms and several related companies, Sherry Spencer, 68, and her two children jointly own most of the family farmland, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data compiled by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. Sherry Spencer is general partner of Dickenhorst Farms, and Richard Spencer and his sister are part owners, according to state and federal records. The family contracts out crop production to local farmers, a common practice in a region where corporations and absentee owners control much of the land.
The Spencer family’s farms are headquartered at a $3 million home in the ski town of Whitefish, Montana, where Sherry Spencer now lives. Also headquartered there: Richard Spencer’s think tank, his AltRight.com website and other white nationalist-related enterprises he controls, including a book publisher and web design outfit. Spencer also has lived in Whitefish in recent years – sometimes in his mother’s home, sometimes in a condominium she owns, according to documents and interviews.
The Spencers have received payments from two federal farm programs. One is the commodity subsidy program, intended to guarantee income for farmers who are helping to maintain supplies of certain crops deemed important by the government. The other is the conservation reserve program, which pays farmers for environmentally sound farming practices. Most of the $2 million paid to the Spencers has been in commodity subsidy payments for growing cotton.
Yet, Spencer has been bitterly critical of America and its government.
“This is a sick, disgusting society,” he declared in his speech at an alt-right gathering in Washington after the election, “run by the corrupt, defended by hysterics, drunk on self-hatred and degeneracy.”
Note: I have no necessary qualms with Spencer’s wealth (though ultimately, something like Bowery’s/ William Jennings Bryan’s progressive land taxation based on site value might be in order) nor do I have anything against his family’s alleged history of wanting to live separately from blacks. - DanielS
Posted by DanielS on Saturday, 21 January 2017 12:56.
Heavy, “Donald Trump Cabinet Picks List: All of the President-Elect’s Appointments” *18 Nov 2016:
The following is a list of everyone who has been appointed to work with Trump in the White House thus far, including members of the cabinet and advisers to the president.
The list of nominees is in accordance with Politico and The New York Times. Some candidates are awaiting confirmation. Triple parentheses ((())) indicate Jewish ancestry but not the only ones likely to be serving Jewish and complicit interests thereof.
20 Dec 2016: Terror around the world in the past few days…no thanks to these three ‘leaders.’
Pictures speak a thousand words….
How many of you remember that when Obama took office, Turkish President Erdogan was supposed to be his best (only!) friend among world leaders? Later, after she opened the gates to migrant Muslim invaders, Erdogan and Merkel became pals.
Austin, TX mayor works with White House to welcome Syrians against official state position.
Obama State Department approves 100 Syrian Muslims for West Virginia state capitol
Where were you WV Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito and Republican Rep. Alex Mooney? Only two choices!—either asleep-at-the-switch or in support of this move by a local ‘interfaith’ group to be named a federal subcontracting agency for the purpose of beginning a new refugee resettlement site in the state. (Charleston previously received a few refugees through Catholic Charities, but no where near this scale).
If Capito and Mooney had put up significant opposition, we would have heard about it and this decision might have turned out differently.
So why go ahead with this new site at the West Virginia state capitol?
For new readers we have followed the growing controversy in Charleston extensively for months, see here.
West Virginia is one of the Whitest (and poorest) states in The United States. It is also one of the most beautiful, at least where Massey Corporation has not strip-mined its mountain tops (and poisoned drinking water and given cancer to locals with that same operation).
21 Dec: 23 years after Black Hawk Down we admit Somali ‘refugees’ to US at highest rates ever
Here is the map of where they went (again these are the numbers for October 1, 2016 to December 10, 2016). This is the number for resettled refugees only:
Posted by DanielS on Thursday, 17 November 2016 05:01.
DAILYKENN.com—Donald Trump has promised to provide vouchers to inner city children, allowing them to attend high-quality private schools rather than being locked in to government schools dominated by teachers’ unions.
President-elect Donald Trump. (AP)
(CNSNews.com) - Trump’s Education Plan: School Choice for ‘Every Single Inner City Child in America”, 11 Nov 2016:
As presented on the campaign trail and detailed on the Trump-Pence website, President–elect Donald Trump wants to implement school choice programs in all 50 states that will allow students and their parents to pick the school that works best for them, and the money to pay for it will follow the student, not the school bureaucracy.
“If we can put a man on the moon, dig out the Panama Canal, and win two World Wars, then I have no doubt that we, as a nation, can provide school choice to every disadvantaged child in America,” said Trump in a Sept. 8 speech in Cleveland, Ohio.
The proposal calls for using $20 billion in federal funds to incentivize the states to start (or expand their existing) school choice programs.
From there, “if the states collectively contribute $110 billion of their own education budgets toward school choice,” said Trump, “on top of the $20 billion in federal dollars, that could provide $12,000 in school choice funds to every K-12 student who today lives in poverty.”
“The money will follow the student,” he said. “That means the student will be able to attend the public, private, charter, or magnet school of their choice – and each state will develop its own system that works for them.” Trump reportedly has added home schools to the proposal.
There are a some school choice programs in the United States, but they are limited and vary widely in terms of which schools a student may choose; who is eligible to participate; how many students may participate; and how much funding is available for each program.
For example, California does not offer private school choice, but it allows intra-district and inter-district open enrollment at its public schools, reports the Heritage Foundation. Texas offers the same as California. Virginia does not allow private school choice or public school choice and it has “weak charter school laws, reported Heritage.
In his speech, Trump emphasized the need to help American students in the inner cites to be offered the opportunity to pick their school, which will help them to get on the ladder to success.
“We are one nation, and when any part of our country hurts, our whole country hurts,” said Trump. “My goal as president will be to ensure that every child in the nation – African-American, Hispanic-American, all Americans – will be placed on the ladder of success: a great education, a great job.”
“The Democratic Party has trapped millions of African-American and Hispanic youth in failing government schools that deny them the opportunity to join the ladder of American success,” he said. “It is time to break up that monopoly.”
“I want every single inner-city child in America who is today trapped in a failing school to have the freedom – the civil right – to attend the school of their choice,” said Trump. “Our government spends more than enough money to easily pay for this initiative, with billions left over. It’s simply a matter of putting students first, not the education bureaucracy.”
He then explained that the United States, at the state and federal levels, spends approximately $620 billion on K-12 education each year. (The federal government kicks in $64 billion and states provide about $570 billion.) That averages to $12,296 for every student.
Chicago, for instance, spends about $11,976 per student, said Trump, and Los Angeles spends about $10,602. New York City spends $20,226 per student.
By offering $20 billion more in federal funds to encourage states to participate in school choice – to establish (or expand) their own programs for their citizens – “it would create a massive education market that is competitive and produces better outcomes,” said Trump. (Currently, only about $1.9 billion is spent on school choice programs nationwide.)
The $20 billion would be allocated to states that “have private school choice and charter laws, encouraging them to participate,” said Trump.
“These schools would then cater to the needs of the individual student and family, not the needs of the Teachers’ Union,” he said. “But the $20 billion is only the beginning,” said Trump. “As president, I will establish the national goal of providing school choice to every American child living in poverty…. Each state will develop its own formula, but we want the dollars to follow the student.”
“I will use the pulpit of the presidency to campaign for this in all 50 states,” he said, “and I will call upon the American people to elect officials at the city, state and federal level who support school choice.”
Way to go White Trump voters!
Trump, ever “the advocate of White working people,” has determined that it is teacher’s unions and the capacity for educators to be discriminatory (by the de facto means in this case, of pricing out the pattern) of black menace to White school children, that is the problem - not the blacks: Donald is all for this group of Americans: in fact, it is the only racial/ethnic group that he explicitly supports.
Posted by DanielS on Wednesday, 16 November 2016 07:24.
NPR, “Could Trump ‘Undermine The Legacy Of The Obama Presidency’ With The Stroke Of A Pen?” 15 Nov 2016:
New Yorker writer Evan Osnos talks about the executive orders and other actions that Trump can use to undo existing agreements on climate change, immigration and foreign policy.
DAVE DAVIES, BYLINE: Well, Evan Osnos, welcome back to FRESH AIR. How reliable are campaign promises as a predictor of a president’s agenda in office, and will Trump be different?
EVAN OSNOS: I assumed that, like, I think like a lot of Americans, that campaign promises are not very valuable in terms of actually predicting the course of a presidency. We - you know, we tend to remember when campaigns say things that they don’t then fulfill. But actually, the political science on this is pretty clear, and it tells a very different story, which is that if you go back over the history of the presidency, you find that presidents tend to achieve the majority - the overwhelming majority of the things that they set out to accomplish when they were candidates.
DAVIES: Now, when people look at Donald Trump, some would say it’s not clear that he has any deeply held political beliefs. I mean, he used to be pro-choice. He used to be a Democrat. He’s kind of been all over the place over the course of his business career, and a lot of what he says seems kind of improvised, but we have some clues. I mean, there are two big appointments just announced. The Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus, will be Trump’s chief of staff, and at the same time, his campaign CEO, Steve Bannon, who is from the right wing Breitbart News, will be a senior adviser with equal status to Reince Priebus. What does this tell us about Trump’s likely agenda?
OSNOS: Right. Well, I think a lot of us were very wary of the idea that Trump as president would actually do a lot of the things that he said as a candidate partly because he was, you know, obviously from way outside the mainstream and - of previous presidents. So perhaps the political science was useless. But there are a couple of things that I think are important to keep in mind. One is that the appointment of Steve Bannon as chief strategist and a counselor to the president is an extension of something that was very clear when this piece was written, which was that Donald Trump will move around on a lot of issues. He’s fluid, for instance, on what he would do on the technical basis of an H-1B visa, for instance, or whether or not he would allow school teachers to carry guns in the classroom.
But on three core ideas, he has stayed completely consistent. One of them is his belief that the United States is fundamentally being damaged by immigration. Number two is his belief that trade deals have done more damage to the United States than they have helped. And number three is his belief that the United States does too much for the world. As he said in 2015, I want to take back everything that the United States has given the world.
Steve Bannon, in his career at Breitbart, really transformed that organization into the principal exponent of those three ideas. So what you see today is Donald Trump is trying to balance the strategic objectives that his campaign road to victory in the form of Steve Bannon with the practical necessity of how do you actually operate within Washington. And for that, Reince Priebus, the new chief of staff, is the ultimate Washington professional. He has been here for his professional life. He has really risen to the top ranks of the Republican establishment, and he’s now in the position to be able to try to help Donald Trump achieve his objectives.
DAVIES: You know, there’s a point of view that says, yeah, ideologues can have their say, but it’s the chief of staff who controls the president’s schedule that really moves the levers of power. Do you have an opinion about whether one will be more important than the other?
OSNOS: I think if you look at the way that those two roles have been used in recent history, you find that they are both important, and in many ways, that’s the design here. Steve Bannon has called Breitbart, which was his media organization, quote, “the platform of the alt right,” unquote. And that is the previously fringe movement on the conservative far-right edge, which was founded by Richard Spencer who lives in Montana and believes in the separation of the races. And that has now moved sort of further into the mainstream as a result of Steve Bannon’s rise within the Trump campaign and now his installation in the White House. But in order to get those ideas accomplished, you need somebody who really is just as skilled as anyone in sort of managing the levers of inside power in Washington, and that’s where Reince Priebus comes in.
DAVIES: OK, I want to talk about some of the areas of policy that will matter here. And we’ll try and figure out, you know, what Trump has said, what he believes, what he is really committed to and what he can actually accomplish by himself and what he needs congressional action for. One thing that people have talked about is that President Obama has done a lot with executive orders because of the gridlock in Congress and that President Trump, once he is inaugurated, can immediately undo a bunch of stuff simply by signing executive orders, repealing President Obama’s initiatives. Is that true?
OSNOS: Yeah, that’s true, and that’s an explicit part of the incoming Trump administration’s plan. Campaign advisers described it to me as a first-day project, by which they meant that on the first day or within a few days Donald Trump would seek to sign as many as 25 executive orders, or uses of executive power in other forms, that would, in the words of one adviser, erase the Obama presidency.
I should point out that every president when they come in uses executive powers in one form or another. Barack Obama, for instance, signed nine executive orders in the first 10 days. Doing 25 would be ambitious. People who have been through transitions before tell me that’s not realistic. But he could do several things that would significantly undermine the legacy of the Obama presidency. His team has talked about this since Election Day, that one of the things that’s important to them is to restart exploration of the Keystone Pipeline.
They will significantly expand the pace and intensity of deportations. They will seek to, if not formally remove the United States from the Paris climate agreement, then they will be able to take steps that basically undermine it so they can make sure the United States is not enforcing restrictions on carbon output. They can restrict funding and so on. So they can do things right away with the stroke of a pen that would pretty significantly undermine the legacy of the Obama presidency.
DAVIES: Is there some fine print here? I mean, I believe I’ve read that when some executive orders have gone past the rulemaking stage…
OSNOS: That’s right.
DAVIES: ...There’s a process. What does that mean?
OSNOS: Yeah, that’s right. The hyperbole in saying that they would undermine the Obama presidency is that once an executive order has gone beyond what’s known as the rulemaking stage, then that means that in order to undo it there has to be, for instance, a period of public comment. There has to be other bureaucratic steps. And that can take as much as a year or more depending on how efficiently the bureaucracy goes about it. And that’s meaningful because I think the question of how civil servants will interpret efforts to try to undermine previous initiatives matters. But the relevant point is that by issuing the executive order the clock on that process begins.
DAVIES: OK. Well, let’s look at some specific policy areas and figure out what might happen. Let’s start with climate change. You just mentioned that. Do we - what do we know about his views on climate change and the extent to which he is committed to them based on his appointments so far?
OSNOS: Well, as a candidate and before, Donald Trump has expressed a lot of skepticism about climate change. He’s called it a hoax. At one point, he described it as a hoax that was perpetrated by the Chinese in order to try to undermine American competitiveness. He later said that was a joke. Since Election Day, some of the appointments that he’s made have made clear that he’s going to make good on his belief that American energy policy and attempts to combat climate change are going in the wrong direction. So, for instance, Donald Trump’s transition team for the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency is run by somebody named Myron Ebell who has been really one of the most outspoken skeptics of climate change, runs a program here called the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and it opposes regulation. It’s not clear exactly who funds it, but in the past, it was funded by fossil fuel companies including Exxon Mobil and others.
So this would be, I think, safe to say a radical change in the way the United States has talked and thought about climate change. One of the people that he has also indicated could be powerful in terms of shaping energy policy is Harold Hamm who was a billionaire who founded the shale oil company Continental Resources. He’s been a big contributor to the Koch brothers fundraising network, and there is so far no indication that Donald Trump did not mean what he said when he talked about climate change being a hoax that has damaged American competitiveness.
DAVIES: Are there some specific things President Trump could do immediately to change the direction of climate policy?
OSNOS: Yeah, he could. The Paris climate deal is a formal matter, requires four years to unwind. So in the interim, he could immediately suspend American payments to the deal in effect. These are the payments that the United States would make to U.N.-affiliated agencies that would be in charge of both implementing the deal and then also helping developing countries pay for making some of the concessions and transitions that are required in order to implement it.
DAVIES: You talk to some experienced people in immigration for your piece in The New Yorker about what it would take to affirmatively go out and find millions of undocumented workers and get them out of the country. You want to share a bit of that with us?
OSNOS: Yeah. I spoke to Julie Myers Wood, for instance, who was the head of Immigration Customs and Enforcement under George W. Bush, and she is opposed to Donald Trump-stated policies on immigration in many ways. But she also said that it’s a big mistake to assume that his ideas are so radical as to therefore be impossible, and that was her major point to me was that there are tools that are at the disposal of a president that would allow them to do this dramatic escalation of deportation. For instance, a president could give the IRS files to ICE, to Immigrations Customs Enforcement. So IRS files are considered to be the most reliable source of home addresses because a lot of undocumented immigrants who pay taxes, for instance, put in a reliable home address so that they can receive their refund.
If the president allowed it, that would then make it much easier for enforcement agents to be able to go out and find people. Another thing that would be at the disposal of a President is what’s known as 287-G of the Immigration Act which would allow the local and state agents, basically cops of one kind or another, to be enlisted in service of the deportation project. So that’s how you begin to see, for instance, local police being brought in for the purposes of raiding farms or factories and beginning to achieve the deportation numbers that he’s talked about.
But in order to do so, it would take a significant escalation of manpower and also of resources. But what came clear from my reporting on the subject was that it’s a big mistake to assume that it’s - this is binary that you either will have the system as it exists today or you would have some completely unimaginable system that Donald Trump has talked about. There is in fact a spectrum in between that Trump could move fairly substantially down the road to achieving his objectives on immigration.
DAVIES: Let’s talk about trade and the economy. You know, one of his core principles you said is the belief that trade deals have harmed America’s economy and killed jobs. What authority would he have immediately to remake or undo American trade policy?
OSNOS: The president has broad authority on trade. So, for instance, right away, the president could end American participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. I think it’s fair to assume that the TPP as it’s known is now dead. But beyond that, he could also force Canada and Mexico to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from it eventually.
There is a process in the case of NAFTA. He couldn’t just do it immediately. But when it comes to slapping tariffs, for instance, on other countries, there’s two ways to do it. One requires Congress and one doesn’t. If he goes after specific categories of goods - so if he says, for instance, that, you know, Chinese exports of one specific type, let’s call it, you know, chicken or tires or something like that, then he can use his own presidential power to do that sort of on an emergency basis. But if he’s going to try to impose a broad-based tariff against a country, that would actually require the consent of Congress.
But I think the important point is that he has the ability to change the tenor of the trade relationship with a country by talking about it in other ways. And as we all know, you know, he talked about China in very harsh terms during this campaign. My own sense based on talking to his trade advisers and his China specialists was that that was a kind of theater. I don’t believe that Donald Trump is prepared actually in any way to go to a trade war with China, I think, meaning that, you know, one of the things that his advisers said to me was that Donald Trump’s persona that he - you know, he’s confrontational, he says outrageous things, that that would have a chilling effect on the other side and that China would then fall in line. That’s their theory. They’re not actually prepared for the full economic consequences, which would be severe and profound, of a trade war with the world’s second-largest economy.
DAVIES: Well, this is an interesting and important question. And you can’t predict the future, but if, in fact, one of his core beliefs is that this is a big problem, we have to fix this to rebuild the American economy, what do the economists you talk to expect to happen? Are we going to have a trade war? What would it do?
OSNOS: A trade war could be a really dramatic turn in American economic history. If you talk to independent analysts, people who are not involved in either campaign, somebody - there’s a guy, for instance, named Mark Zandi, who’s an economist at Moody’s Analytics. And he’s worked for Republicans and he’s worked for Democrats in the past. And what he says is that Trump’s plan, if he actually did the things that he said he would and triggered a trade war with China that that would put probably somewhere around 4 million Americans out of work. And then over the ensuing recession that it would also cost the economy another 3 million jobs that would have been created otherwise.
Most economists broadly agree that a trade war would be hugely damaging to the United States.
DAVIES: One of the things he also says he wants to do is immediately cut the regulatory burdens on businesses on Wall Street. Can he do that himself?
OSNOS: He can. The president has authority, ultimate authority over 15 executive agencies. And he would be able to direct them to change the pace and spirit in which they are issuing regulations. He has said - I’m not clear on whether this is legally possible - that he wants to do a version of what Vice President-elect Mike Pence did in Indiana.
Pence created an agency that was dedicated to suspending the creation of all new regulations except for public health and safety.
DAVIES: He’s promised big tax cuts. Will they really happen?
OSNOS: That, I think, is one of his better bets. He’s got a Republican Congress on his side. And at this point, it’s hard to see them not doing it.
DAVIES: And what kind of tax cuts are we talking about? I mean, for those of us who haven’t carefully followed his campaign positions, are they upper income, middle income, everybody?
OSNOS: They provide the greatest relief to the upper stratum of the tax base, so the highest earners will do best. There is also tax relief for the sort of upper-middle-class. Then corporate tax rates will be substantially relieved.
DAVIES: Let’s talk about foreign and military policy. He’s criticized the deal with Iran. Can he scuttle that deal by himself?
OSNOS: Yes, he can. What he has said he wants to do is renegotiate the deal with Iran, and renegotiate is a sort of a flexible word. It’s not clear what he means entirely. But were he to try to reopen that deal, that could actually - that could really change the course of things more broadly beyond just the Iran deal because at that point what happens is that Iran - and Iran specialists told me as much months ago - would regard the United States seeking to renegotiate the deal as an abrogation of the deal.
At that point, they would say that the United States has basically not held up its end of the bargain, and they would have the right - the legal authority and the right - to restart the development of nuclear energy. So I think he’s going to find once he begins to get into the details of this that by simply announcing that he’s going to renegotiate that might not achieve the effect he has in mind. It might actually hasten the restart of the Iranian nuclear program.
DAVIES: When you wrote about Donald Trump and his policies towards the military and towards foreign affairs, the issue of temperament comes up. This is a loaded word. He hated being criticized for his temperament. But you have - you found a quote from his book “Think Like A Billionaire.” It can be smart to be shallow, that he has a penchant for making big decisions quickly, that he trusts his gut. Share what - some of what you learned about what that might mean from your conversations with military and intelligence officials.
OSNOS: Yeah. When you talk to a broad range of people who have been involved in the most sensitive national security questions, you know - these are the people who’ve been in the Situation Room at crucial moments particularly from Republican administrations what they’ll tell you is that the crucial ingredient is whether or not a president is impetuous, whether or not the president makes decisions before they have as much information and as many competing points of view as possible. And often as one - James Woolsey who is a former director of the CIA is now an adviser to the Trump administration - before he became an adviser to Trump, he said to me in an interview that very often the first information that a president receives is wrong. And we’ve seen that beginning all the way from Vietnam up to the present day. And part of the sort of crucial patience that’s required is the ability to both wait until you have a fuller picture and then also be prepared to act. But if you act on the basis of limited information, history suggests to us that we would have made a lot of catastrophic choices.
DAVIES: You know, last year, you wrote about white nationalist groups that have embraced Trump, and they feel he’s expanded their reach, given them some legitimacy and, of course, since the election there have been some very troubling cases of swastikas, racist graffiti, some assaults racist hate speech. You know, some would see this as just a fringe that is an embarrassment to most Republicans and conservatives I’m wondering what you make of this and what the impact will be of Trump being in the White House?
OSNOS: Well, in some ways, this was a storyline that I think people who generally covered politics didn’t initially embrace, you know, the idea that somehow the alt-right or the white nationalist world would be even talked about in a discussion of an incoming presidential. It was so ludicrous that we didn’t even really do it. And then it just became very clear early on in the Trump campaign that they were a part of this phenomenon. The neo-Nazi website endorsed him for president 12 days after he announced. And later you follow it all the way through 20 months later. He was endorsed by the newspaper the KKK. Steve Bannon has been - who is now chief strategist in the White House - has been really the sort of principal thinker in terms of how do you take ideas that exist way out on the far right and get them in front of people’s eyes that are more conventional readers?
And at Breitbart, that’s really what he did. He sort of - it became the platform for the alt-right. When I spoke on Election Day to a white nationalist leader named Matthew Heimbach as the sort of results became clear, I said, you know, how are you feeling? And he said vindicated. And what he said was that this campaign and that the victory of Donald Trump has shown that there is an appetite out there for his ideas, even if people can’t quite bring themselves to say so.
You know, I just have to say, I mean, this was so preposterous that we’d be talking about this a couple of years ago, that it’s a reminder of how much politics have changed and been changed by the candidacy of Donald Trump. Now, look, how that actually translates into a White House, we don’t yet know. But Steve Bannon is now a couple of steps from the Oval Office, and that’s - we’re in uncharted territory there.
DAVIES: Evan Osnos, thanks so much for speaking with us.
Posted by DanielS on Monday, 14 November 2016 11:12.
Former Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens as rival and US Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a presidential primary debate in Flint, Michigan, March 6, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)
That such a lame and Red Leftist candidate as (((Bernie Sanders))) could have been a viable candidate - viz., the issue being raised through one credible poll that he would have beaten Trump handily - goes to show that there could be popular support for a White Left platform. It further indicates that there was a game being played with Hillary-Sanders-Trump to preclude the emergence of the White Left.
“US Senator Bernie Sanders could have defeated Trump: Poll”, 13 Nov 2016:
Bernie Sanders would have defeated Donald Trump in the presidential election by a large margin if he had been the Democratic presidential nominee instead of Hillary Clinton, according to a pre-election poll.
Sanders, one of the 2016 Democratic presidential candidates, would have received 56 percent of the vote for the White House, while Trump would have won 44 percent, according to a national survey conducted by Gravis Marketing two days before the November 8 presidential election.
Moreover, independent voters, who made up about 30 percent of American voters this year, favored Sanders over Trump, 55 percent to 45 percent, the poll found.
Clinton, by contrast, lost independent voters to Trump by six percentage points, according to exit polls.
According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls from May 6 to June 5, Sanders was supported by 50 percent of voters, compared to Trump’s 39 percent, an 11-point advantage.
During an interview in May, Sanders acknowledged his advantage over Trump: “Right now, in every major poll, national poll and statewide poll done in the last month, six weeks, we are defeating Trump often by big numbers, and always at a larger margin than secretary Clinton is.”
Those polls were of course based on a hypothetical scenario, five months from Election Day. However, Sanders’ popularity among young and working-class voters might have led to an election victory; voters that Trump ultimately won.
Emails released by Wikileaks have revealed that officials from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) sought to undermine Sanders’ bid to win the party’s 2016 presidential nomination.
Sanders’ supporters argue that Clinton’s loss could be attributed to her reluctance to fully focus on America’s vast economic inequality and tougher regulations on US financial markets.
Sanders, 75, has not ruled out the possibility of another presidential bid.
Numerous polls taken before the presidential election showed that Clinton and Trump were deeply unpopular politicians, while Sanders enjoyed very high popularity.
Clinton, a former first lady, US senator and secretary of state, was viewed by many voters as a corrupt member of the elite Washington establishment