Trump presidency

When Trump nominated Stephen Moore to fill a position on the board of the Federal Reserve he picked his usual caliber of candidate —  one lacking in character. The Guardian (UK) newspaper obtained court records from Virginia which showed Moore owed his ex-wife $300,000 in alimony and child support.

When Moore continued to welsh on his obligations, the court ordered the sale of his house to pay his ex-wife. However, the court canceled the sale when she agreed to forgo one-third of what she was owed. And that would have been that — except the IRA claims that Moore owes them $75,000 in taxes.

Moore denies the claim and says it stems from “confusion over tax deductions relating to his child support and alimony payments”.  Being confused over taxes is not a great qualification for a position overseeing the nation’s money supply. 

Moore is also a hypocrite. On the one hand, he has been a vocal supporter of marriage — saying that intact families are a key to economic growth and marriage instills a “culture of virtue”. On the other hand, while married, Moore set up two accounts and had an affair with two women.

Moore is also close with Paul Erickson — the two of them founded a controversial attack group during the 2008 campaign. And Erickson’s girlfriend is Maria Butina, the infamous Russian agent sent to infiltrate conservative circles. (it’s a small world.) 

But immorality is no bar to a job in Trump World – and neither is inability. Moore is the economic co-architect, along with Arthur Laffer, of Reagan’s deficit-exploding, supply-side, tax cut plan. This ‘theory’ maintained that tax cuts for the rich would create wealth that would trickle down to the average citizen.

All it did was lead to ever-widening income inequality and an explosion of the National Debt. Unfortunately, this economic stupidity will not die — George Bush Sr. called it ‘voodoo economics’, it would be better named ‘zombie economics’. George Bush Jr. tried it and blew up the economy. Now Trump has tried it and the cracks are starting to show.

Leading conservative economists are dismayed by Moore’s nomination. William D. Cohen in Vanity Fair identifies two. Greg Mankiw, a Harvard professor who was chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under Bush, wrote in a blog post  “He does not have the intellectual gravitas for this important job” — adding “It is time for senators to do their job. Mr. Moore should not be confirmed”. And Bruce Barlett, another G.O.P. economist, tweeted that Moore knows “absolutely nothing about the Federal Reserve or monetary policy.”  

Moore has no Ph.D. or equivalent. But he does have a doctorate in ass-kissing, and that is Trump’s favorite qualification. As Cohen wrote: “Moore is a true believer, and that’s what Trump seems to need around him these days. Moore once—seriously—suggested that Trump deserved the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics and, again seriously, said he thought Trump looked like ‘a football player, in incredible, great shape’.” Oh please. 

Along with Laffer, Moore also authored a 2018 book “Trumpanomics” which lauded Trump’s economic chops. In it, they claimed that Trump’s 2017 tax plan would raise GDP growth to as much as 6% without increasing deficits. A claim derided as “snake-oil economics” by Mankiw.  

Moore has had problems with facts before. In a 2014 Kansas City Star op-ed he argued that job growth was better in low-tax states. His data was found to be flawed. He submitted more data – also faulty. Finally, Miriam Pepper, editorial page editor for the Star had had enough, announcing: “I won’t be running anything else from Stephen Moore”.

Moore has inflicted himself on other presidential candidates. He was Herman Cain’s economic advisor, and his lasting contribution to that short-lived campaign was Cain’s laughable 9-9-9 tax plan.

But Moore has GOP support. Alabama Senator, Richard Shelby, who has lived through every Republican recession since the Great Depression thinks that Moore’s intellectual limitations are Jim Dandy. His take? “I’ve always said they could use diversity, you don’t need to be a Nobel laureate or University of Chicago professor.” 

Republicans, like autocrats everywhere, think that knowing things is deeply suspect. 

Even Moore acknowledges he isn’t up for the job, saying on the news of his nomination “I’m kind of new to this game, frankly, so I’m going to be on a steep learning curve myself about how the Fed operates, how the Federal Reserve makes it decisions, and this is a real, exciting opportunity for me”

Let’s note that if Moore’s confirmed he’ll be in the position for 14 years. Trump will be gone, but his legacy of incompetence will be around for a long time.


Trump Axes Pelosi’s Plane to Afghanistan. But Flies Melania To Florida.

January 18, 2019

In a playground tit-for-tat, Trump told Nancy Pelosi that he was canceling her military transport for her ‘excursion’ to Belgium, Egypt, and Afghanistan. In a letter to the Speaker, he said: Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed. He then added […]

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Ninja Nancy Pelosi Is on a Roll. Her Letter to Trump Is more Proof.

January 18, 2019

Today Nancy Pelosi told Trump he could shove his State of the Union. Yesterday no Democrats attended Trump’s shutdown lunch summit/photo op. And this follows her sunglassed, James Bond style, ass-kicking of Trump in December’s “I’ll own the shutdown” whine-fest. She even alpha-dogged Schumer to show where the true center of the Democratic universe is. Two […]

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Man Kills Girlfriend, her Kids, and her Mother. The Reality of Gun Violence in the US

December 30, 2018

In St. Charles, Missouri, Richard Darren Emery shot and killed Zoe Kasten, 8; her brother, Jonathan Kasten, 10; their grandmother, Jane Moeckel, 61; and their mother, Emery’s girl-friend. After a shoot-out with the police, he abandoned an attempt to flee in his pickup and tried to carjack another vehicle. He stabbed the driver seven times before fleeing into the […]

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How to Tell a Conservative that Trump’s Border Wall is an Expensive and Pointless Folly.

December 30, 2018

 In Trump’s monomania about getting his wall funded, he has adopted the narrative strategy of professional wrestling. There are good guys (guess who) and the bad guys. The good guys want to save America like a modern day Superman, and the bad guys (the Democrats) are plotting her destruction. The plotlines are simplistic and easy […]

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Mattis’ Resignation Letter Tells Trump He Isn’t Keeping America Great.

December 20, 2018

Gen. James Mattis quit as Secretary of Defense. It is no surprise that a man as steeped in military tradition would resign rather than work for a man who formulates his capricious military policies on the fly – without consulting the men and women who have made the military their lifetime study.  The straw that broke the […]

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From Argentina to Twitter, Trump Shows Evidence of Mental Decline.

December 10, 2018

Trump did not have a good weekend at the G-20 in Buenos Aires. He appeared befuddled when he wandered off the stage after shaking hands with President Macri of Argentina instead of staying for the ‘family photo’. And a mic caught him telling the aide who chased him down “Get me out of here”. Vladimir Putin and Mohammed bin […]

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Trump’s Army of Whiny White Men.

October 21, 2018

There is no area of American life where white men are not entirely in charge —  executive suites, politics, professional sports, religion, the media, and the judiciary. And yet to listen to Trump, you would believe that white men are inches from being lined up against the wall and shot. The Kavanaugh unpleasantness has illuminated this pathetic, […]

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Trump Is no Hitler. So Which Autocrat Does He Most Closely Resemble?

October 21, 2018

Let’s play the dictator game. Trump‘s authoritarian tendencies have invited comparisons to autocrats across the centuries. So let’s ask which of these men — and they are invariably men — does Trump most resemble. I’ll leave out the Asian contingent as the cultural divide makes comparisons hard. Predictably the first name thrown around is ‘Hitler’. It’s a cheap […]

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