Saturday, February 3, 2018

¶ What voters need to know - David Cay Johnston - 2018

Time to turn away from Americans for Prosperity for a moment and think about ourselves and what to do with such information.  Where can concerned progressives and enlightened individuals go from here?  {One suggestion: Durango's - check out their Facebook page:}  David Cay Johnston gives a good talk about confronting the radical libertarian take over, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into this afternoon when I started listening to his video.

See, I’m a self taught kinda guy, and thanks to the internet age, I’ve come quite a ways since the days when helpful Research Librarians were amongst my favorite patron saints.  These days thanks to the internet, I can sit in our cabin, listen to a talk, be it science, or history, or politics and when something catches my curiosity, I stop the show.  Open up a new window and go off to do some judicious cyber-surfing for further information.

In this talk, David refers to many things worth understanding in more detail, those folds within folds of cumulative complexity.  That’s why as I was listening and taking notes, I found myself going off many times to see what I could find regarding the rest of the story.  

Considering this isn’t about me, it’s about sharing as much important information as I can and hoping others will find it and digest it for themselves.  Perhaps in emulation of those wonderfully helpful Reference Librarians back in my younger days, I decided to keep track of my various excursions with links to the best of those articles (some 35 in all) along with many highlights of David Johnston's interesting talk itself.

Politics and Prose  |  Published on Jan 27, 2018  |  48:17 min
David Cay Johnston discusses his book, "It's Even Worse Than You Think  - What the Trump Administration is doing to America” at Politics and Prose on 1/24/18.


David Cay Johnston:  Good evening thank you for coming.  I  promise you I'm gonna leave you with some hope and positive message not just the downer stuff …
(Johnston acknowledges Michael Wolf’s book “Fire and Fury” and points out that it verifies the stuff in his own previous effort, “The Making of Donald Trump." Then he makes clear that that’s not the story that matters.  
Fascinating perhaps, but it misdirects our attention from the big story, the one that matters.  The story Johnston was going to speak on.)
03:55  -  it’s not Donald personally doing this.  Donald's a lazy guy, we all know he works about four hours a day 

04:12  -  it’s the people he brought in.  Steve Bannon put it best, he said I'm a Leninist that is I’m someone who wants to destroy the existing order.

Many of these people although they certainly wouldn't put it in these terms hate the United States of America they hate it they hate the ( in particular USA’s ‘pluralism’ and diversity)

05:45 - “as part of Russia's efforts to help” 

06:02  -  Donald Trump has been involved with the Russians back to 1983 ...
he has worked very hard to suppress a lawsuit about a quarter billion dollar tax fraud which he authorized in fact DC report org the nonprofit News Service that my friends and I started as a volunteer project and we're trying to raise money for DC report is in court trying to get access to some of the documents in this case that had been sealed because Trump has been incredibly successful in hiding the record of his conduct

06:55  -  team Trump and in the federal agencies it's not just the incompetent unqualified anti to their oath of office cabinet secretaries who matter it's not just Scott Pruitt wants to destroy the EPA and Betsy DeVos who's completely unqualified.  
It’s the people that came with them that I call political termites and they have been loosed into the structure of our government and they are damaging our government for example (Labor Department) have stopped posting notices of worker deaths …

09:05  -  when Donald Trump took the oath of office to faithfully execute the laws and to be loyal to the United States of America he then got in a motorcade to go to the White House … (The telling inauguration day stop in front of the Trump International Hotel.)

11:00  -  … Donald Trump's administration is turning America into what the ancient Greeks called a kakocracy ...
Welcome to Trump's Kakocracy

(It’s Even Worse Than You Think) tells you what has either not been in the news or been in it glancingly, about what they're doing to our government and that affects your safety, your income, your future.  Show of hands how many people have heard of a trade pact called the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership)

13:07  -  … well we needed to fix the TPP but Donald killed it and did nothing to replace it, nothing.  That creates a vacuum and into that vacuum stepped (China’s) President Xi Jinping, the RCEP is the regional comprehensive economic partnership led by Beijing it’s 15 Pacific Rim countries, not us …
In the economic power struggle for Asia, Trump and Xi Jinping are switching policies
Giovanni Di Lieto  |  January 17, 2018 
Agreeing on RCEP — China’s favorite trade deal — set to drag into 2018
BY Rosalind Mathieson  |  November 14, 2017

RCEP the grand blueprint of Xi Jinping’s world trade game
By Giovanni Di LietoI September 28, 2017

13:57  -   they were all saying that Australia is going to have to reorient its trade policies towards Beijing because there's no American leadership and it would be foolish to not get with the program …

14:10  -  One of the purposes of the Trans-Pacific Partnership was to contain China you know China is very expansionist …

14:45  -  Japan signs a trade deal with the European Union last summer in Brussels Donald Trump is 800 miles to the east in Poland (with another dictator in the making, Jarosław Kaczyński.)

Poland: Authoritarian, not patriotic
Jarosław Kaczyński is building a state apparatus that will do whatever it takes .…
By Maciej Kisilowski 11/28/17

15:50  |  Trump always said Mexico is gonna pay for the wall and all thinking people went - how would you make a sovereign nation pay for a wall they don't want I have? ...

16:00  -  Remember what his plan was when he came into office, I'm gonna put a tariff on Mexican goods.  It’s a guy with an economics degree who doesn't know that a tariff on imported Mexican goods and services means we pay for the wall, through higher prices.  The man doesn’t know anything, he appoints as his commerce secretary one of the leading vulture capitalists in America Wilbur Ross ... 
‘Vulture’ or ‘Phoenix’? Wilbur Ross, Risk-Taker, Is Eyed for Commerce Post
By Matthew Goldstein  |  November 25, 2016


Meet Wilbur Ross, who once bailed out Trump in Atlantic City and is now his pick for Commerce secretary
By Chris Megerian  |  December 08, 2016


Wilbur Ross: Corrupt Accounting or Old-Fashioned Vulture Capitalism?
Scott Martin  |  November 12, 2017


16:45  -  Wilbur Ross goes with Donald Trump to Riyadh where Donald Trump praises the Saudis for leading the fight against terrorism.  You know the biggest funders of terrorism in the world …

Fighting, While Funding, Extremists
By the Editorial Board  |  June 19, 2017


‘We Misled You’: How the Saudis Are Coming Clean on Funding Terrorism
On his latest trip, a former senior U.S. official finds a new attitude in Riyadh. But will it stick?
By ZALMAY KHALILZAD September 14, 2016


Saudis and Extremism: ‘Both the Arsonists and the Firefighters’
By Scott Shane  |  August 25, 2016


By FPI Associate Analyst Danielle Ellison  |  February 25, 2016

Saudi Arabia funds and exports Islamic extremism: The truth behind the toxic U.S. relationship with the theocratic monarchy
The little-told history of the U.S.-Saudi “special relationship” is a story of blood, oil & violent fundamentalism
Ben Norton  |  January 6, 2016


What is Wahhabism? The reactionary branch of Islam from Saudi Arabia said to be 'the main source of global terrorism’
Telegraph Reporters  |  May 19, 2017 


18:06 -  and it's sort of fun but what affects your life is going to be you want to see you want to raise profits in the oil industry and the gas industry … easy, cut regulations.  (But first, consider some cascading consequences.)

A Running List of How Trump Is Changing the Environment
The Trump administration has promised vast changes to U.S. science and environmental policy—and we’re tracking them here as they happen.


67 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump


18:56  |  Okay let's go to the student loan industry 
Trump policy halts loan relief for thousands of students
By Victoria McGrane GLOBE STAFF  OCTOBER 02, 2017


Winners and losers in President Trump’s student loan plan
Jason Delisle and Alexander Holt  |  Thursday, August 3, 2017


20:50  -  family values (hypocracy)

21:26  -  Donald’s deep entanglement with a major international cocaine trafficker ...

A Panama tower carries Trump’s name and ties to organized crime
by Aggelos Petropoulos and Richard Engel  |  NOV 17 2017,


22:06  -  what matters is that we get a new Congress
Donald Trump ran for president based on economic policies 
Bloodiest thing the world has seen”: 
David Cay Johnston on inequality’s looming disaster 
Pulitzer Prize winner David Cay Johnston tells Salon how America’s economic story could end — and it isn’t prettyELIAS ISQUITH  |  May 22, 2014 
Johnston's newest release, "Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality," is a different kind of inequality book. … Johnston's book is a collection of essays, speeches and excerpts — a kind of inequality reader. 
What inspired you to create this book? 
I had done a trilogy on hidden aspects of the American economy, “Perfectly Legal,” which was about how the rich benefit from taxes, “Free Lunch,” about all the subsidies people didn’t know about that go to rich people and corporations, and “The Fine Print,” which was about restraint of trade and monopolies.
23:32  -  Trump promised, I have a tax plan here the best tax experts in America …
15 Ways the GOP Tax Plan Makes the Average American Pay More
Eric Schaal  |  December 11, 2017


Here's how the final GOP tax bill would hit your wallet
John W. Schoen  |  December 19, 2017


The Trump Tax Plan Has Failed the Average American
Alan Taffel  |  January 19, 2018


26: 00  |  Learn about it, tell other people, have the facts! 
Persuade them to understand what’s wrong now the Democrats who have not paid attention to their knitting for 40 years, while the Republicans have been building Bench strength, passing laws to suppress votes, coming up with laws to throw out votes, ...

Trump’s voter fraud commission is dead. 
But the GOP voter suppression effort is just getting started.
By Paul Waldman  |  January 4, 2018


Trump Blows the GOP's Cover on Voter Suppression Efforts
By Bridgette Dunlap  |  July 7, 2017


Republicans were wildly successful at suppressing voters in 2016

Alice Miranda Ollstein, Kira Lerner  |  November 15, 2016

Five ways Republicans Are Threatening Voting Rights
Anna North  |  November. 7, 2016


26:55  -  you’ve got to find and develop real candidates, people have to get registered to vote, people have to be driven to the polls on Election Day, …

27:26  -  the end of the day our votes, that's what matters ...

27:30  -  Become informed, insist on rational debate about real issues and we then get people to the polls.  We can get a different Congress.  We can get rid of this presidency, and we can have a bright future.  There's damage that will last forever, but the longer he's in office is a clear and present danger to all the world ...

28:00  Question and Answer.

28:49  -  Question:  why aren't the Democrats talking the way you're talking?

28:55  -  I think that's the problem of the campaign finance system ...

29:50  -  Question: What about Pence, some people say that Pence would be worse? 

31:17  -  … of course, Pence believes that God put him where he is, ...  

31:26  -  Question: Sir you set out Trump had connections with cocaine dealers?

31:30  -  A major international cocaine trafficker and it's all in court records, ...

Trump's Panama tower used for money laundering by condo owners, reports say
Rory Carroll  |  November 18, 2017

Trump Made Millions of Dollars From Drug Money Laundering in Panama: Report
BY Cristina MazaON 11/17/17

The Drug Trafficker Donald Trump Risked His Casino Empire to Protect

31:40  -  Question: Why the hell didn’t Hillary exploit that?  Why didn't the Democrats know? 

31:45  -  I’m gonna recommend to you another book Donna Brazil's book HACKs which was written by someone I trained to be a journalist Danelle Morton …

Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC
By DONNA BRAZILE November 02, 2017

Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns 
that Put Donald Trump in the White House


32:41  -  Crisis of information …

33:21  -  Question: what do we do about this this lack of information?  First of all you know we essentially don't teach civics anymore.  I'll bet most of you had to sit through seventh and eighth grade lectures you may have hated about here is how a bill becomes law and it's not, ... 

34:16  -  need to teach critical thinking skills

34:57  -  In the short run we need to get people to stop watching the the car accident on the other side of the freeway that Donald has created along, ... 

35:14  -  Question: I have concerns because I'm not sure if getting everyone to vote is the Silver Bullet …

35:55   -  First of all yes we need to educate people about what the issues are and that's one of the reasons I want people to read the book.  I wanted to change the level of the conversation …

36:29  -  What the survey data shows is that if everybody voted we wouldn't have all those right-wingers in Congress …

36:40  -  But if you don't get people out to vote there’s exactly zero hope this will change …

37:05  -  Question: What would you recommend to people in terms of being able to understand the difference between opinions and facts?

37:12  -  There’s a couple of very short simple books about this Bruce Bartlett who is the chairman of the board of DC report often called every liberals favorite Republican because he's principled …

The Truth Matters 
Bruce Bartlett explains how to find the truth amid a cacophony of news sources.
Listen to Episode No. 182 at Politics and Prose

Bruce Bartlett: Trump "keeps asserting that truth is a lie, because his followers will believe it"
Video ››› October 26, 2017 ››› Media Matters Staff


GOP Tax Cuts Won’t Pass This Year — Or Maybe Even Next
In Part 1 of a two-part interview, former Reagan economic adviser Bruce Bartlett says Trump is lying about tax reform: it will benefit the super rich and hurt everyone else.
By Michael Winship | October 31, 2017


Bruce Bartlett on Stopping Fake News in Its Tracks
In Part 2 of our conversation, the Trump foe and former Reagan adviser discusses his new book, The Truth Matters.
By Michael Winship | November 1, 2017


38:00  -  Question: Unions, …?

39:00  -  … and clearly I don't believe that Tucker Carlson or Sean Hannity has the courage to have me on for a 15-minute segment that isn't taped in advance so they can edit it because they're not fair and balanced, and I don’t think they have the courage to have me on at all.

39:30  -  Question: You sound like a cold warrior?

39:35  -  Well ,because the Vladimir Putin has said in his own writings and his own interviews that democracy is a joke and that he wants to undermine democracy and he is a clear and present enemy of the United States of America …

40:15  -  Question: How would you say Trump's rhetoric has evolved?

42:06  -  Question: How should we direct our resources …

42:16  -  When you gerrymander what you try to do is create districts that are about 53 4 or 5% your party and then you Corral people so that you get 60 80 if you can 90% the other party in the district.  Well a 54% margin can be overcome by turning out the vote.  That’s why it really matters …

43:00  -  Question:  yes my question should we in this community redirect our resources to those areas that could be flipped?  


43:20  -  Question: How can we reach not just these corporation directors but the directors who control the money? 

43:30  -  You know corporations were created to serve us.  We want corporations corporations encourage risk-taking they're very important they're a efficient vehicles for wealth but what we're doing is we've given them property rights which makes sense, because their property.

But then we gave them political rights and a series of decisions leading up to Citizens United and in Hobby Lobby we literally gave corporations religious rights …

45:43  -  Question: I'm a junior at Georgetown University I was just wondering what you think how you think students can get more involved? 

45:57  -  You know college students have played a very important role in changing America.  The real reforms in America come from the bottom up …

46:28  -  The techniques of marketing and persuasion to get people to come along …


Politics and Prose  |  Published on Jan 27, 2018

David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, has been covering Trump since 1988. In June 2015, he was the first national journalist to write about a possible Trump presidency and in his 2016 bestselling The Making of Donald Trump he gave a comprehensive account of Trump’s business practices, associates, and family background. Now Johnston follows up that profile with a detailed analysis of the Trump administration’s first one hundred days. He shows how Trump’s policies are affecting ordinary people’s jobs, finances, and security, explains the federal agencies charged with carrying out Trump’s executive actions, and illuminates places where the system can hide what’s really going on.

Founded by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade in 1984, Politics and Prose Bookstore is Washington, D.C.'s premier independent bookstore and cultural hub, a gathering place for people interested in reading and discussing books. Politics and Prose offers superior service, unusual book choices, and a haven for book lovers in the store and online. Visit them on the web at

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