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Trump Voters, The More They Know The More They Feel Misled

Tags: race trump class

Coal Miners Who Voted for Trump Are Now Terrified to Lose Obamacare

CNN recently told the story of miners and miners’ widows in eastern Kentucky. They all share three things in common:

They are all affected by black lung, either directly or indirectly.
They all voted for Donald Trump.
They all now fear what is going to happen if Trump follows through on his promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare).
All of the voters CNN speaks to said they were inclined to vote for Trump despite their fears, because he said he was going to bring coal-mining jobs back. And now that he won, and they have had time to process his message, they are afraid.

Whether the good people of rural, southern Appalachia knew it or not, many of them have reaped the benefits the ACA has provided them. This doesn’t just include insurance coverage where perhaps there had been no possibility before. No, those in coal country benefited another way, through easier access to substantial benefits for victims of black lung, a disease caused by the build-up of coal dust over years and years of exposure. Those with black lung suffer greatly from inflammation and fibrosis of the lungs. A diagnosis generally marks the end of a career and the beginning of a steady decline in health.

According to the US Department of Labor, the ACA restores benefits and entitlements to both victims and survivors of black lung:

The first amendment mandates a presumption of total disability or death caused by pneumoconiosis for coal miners who worked for at least 15 years in underground (or comparable surface) mining and who suffer or suffered from a totally disabling respiratory impairment. The second amendment provides automatic entitlement for eligible survivors of miners who were themselves entitled to receive benefits as a result of a lifetime claim.

The re-instated amendments are 30 United States Code 921(c)(4) and 30 U.S.C. 932(l); and they are contained in Section 1556 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and apply to claims filed after Jan. 1, 2005, that are pending on or after March 23, 2010.

The final rule addresses the automatic entitlement of certain survivors and the 15-year entitlement presumption as it applies to miners’ and their survivors’ claims. In addition, the rule eliminates several unnecessary or obsolete provisions in accordance with Executive Order 13563.

Stat News also tell the stories of black lung survivors who talk about just how impossible it was to receive benefits, ” ‘You couldn’t ever win back then,’ said Sue Toler, a coal miner’s widow in Huntsville, Tenn., of claims for black lung benefits. ‘It didn’t matter what kind of evidence you had.’ “ Phil Smith, a spokesperson for the United Coal Workers of America said it was “almost impossible . . . The vast majority of people were denied benefits. People would take these cases through the black lung court system and they would be denied because the companies could sow the shadow of a seed of a doubt.”

Stat News goes on to explain how the ACA changed things:

The Affordable Care Act changed that. Under “Miscellaneous Provisions” is a small section sponsored by a self-proclaimed “child of the Appalachian coalfields,” the late West Virginia Democratic Senator Robert Byrd.

The Byrd Amendments shifted the burden of proof from the miners onto the mining companies. If a miner has spent 15 years or more underground and can prove respiratory disability, then it is presumed to be black lung related to mine work, unless the company can prove otherwise.

“Often the person whose job it is to do the convincing loses,” said Evan Smith, a lawyer for the nonprofit Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center, who represents many miners affected by black lung. That change had a significant impact: In 2009, 19 percent of claims for black lung benefits were successful; in 2015, that percentage had jumped to 28.

And now, faced with the reality of Trump’s dangerous campaign rhetoric, at times at odds with itself, the coal miners of Appalachia are left wondering, “who really has my back?”

I think we all know who doesn’t. And unfortunately – in four years whether or not Trump scammed the hell out of them isn’t going to matter…

How many times must it be said?   You Get What You Vote For.   No republican ever protected the rights of a working man and conservatives are 10 times worse than regular republicans.   If you want to lose everything you have keep on voting for republicans, they will clean your clock.    Republicans throw gays and blacks in front of you and rob you while you are distracted and that's your fault.   You should be smarter.

Paul Ryan: Poor Kids Who Receive Free Lunch Have “Empty Souls”

 Just last week the current Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, gave a speech at the largest annual gathering of leaders and activists within the conservative movement at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). In this speech, he said one of the most disturbing things ever uttered in the name of politics.

Paul Ryan has become an outspoken critic of the War on Poverty, albeit with facts and figures that have been misrepresented, at best. But in this speech he took aim at the children at the very center of American poverty, those who are innocent and in situations well beyond the realm of their own control. According to Time Magazine, “free lunches provided to children by government programs give kids ‘a full stomach — and an empty soul.’ “

During his speech he recalls a story about a poor family in Wisconsin that was told to him: “She once met a young boy from a poor family. And every day at school, he would get a free lunch from a government program. But he told Eloise he didn’t want a free lunch. He wanted his own lunch — one in a brown-paper bag just like the other kids’. He wanted one, he said, because he knew a kid with a brown-paper bag had someone who cared for him.”

He goes on to say that “the Left” desires comfort while caring little for dignity. I guess to Republicans, dignity is more important than nourishment.

At one point a transcript of the speech could be found on the webpage of Prosperity Action, of which Paul Ryan is the Honorary Chairman. But all the speeches from this page have been removed. The link to the page is

Shame on them.

CBS Breaks Trump Tax-Fraud BOMBSHELL, Trump Stunned!

 CBS broke a damning story which reveals a pattern of illegal accounting changes, deceit and coverup, all revolving around one hotel in New York City.

IT ALL STARTS with a letter signed by Donald Trump on April 22, 1987, in which he approves a number of changes to the hotel’s accounting. This has since been proven by NYC auditors to have robbed close to $3,000,000.

Ten years earlier Trump was able to secure an arrangement where the hotel, The Grand Hyatt New York, would not have to pay taxes. The agreement instead guaranteed the city a share of profits which they call “rent.” In the years before 1987, that rent payment was generally in the area of $3-4 million. In 1986 the city received $3.7 million. In 1987, a year marked by record profits for the hotel, the payment was $667,155.

The next two years proved to be a fiasco of tax-evading proportions. City auditors were constantly and systematically stonewalled, stalled, and stalemated, as Trump, the Hyatt Corporation, and their legal team lied while presenting a picture of disorganization and sketchy-at-best accounting practices. A baffling amount of paperwork was unable to be produced, even from just the year before, including:

Seven of 12 monthly ledgers
Three of 12 detailed ledgers
25 of 87 income journals
One of five payroll cycles
26 of 84 expense vouchers

In 1989 state officials ordered the Hyatt Corporation to pay New York City about $2.9 million. A month later, in January 1990, a Trump Organization official signed for the ownership partners on a lawsuit against the city and state. The case was finally settled in 2004; the terms of the settlement are not available.

So here we are, thirty years later, with the offending party as the Republican nominee for president. He now claims he is currently under routine audit, presenting the American public that scenario as the reason he won’t release his tax returns.

So you think Trump is a great businessman?


The Invention of the White Working Class

The phrase is a dog whistle, not a demographic.
History warns us to be very, very careful when using the phrase "white working class." The reason has nothing to do with political correctness. Rather, it concerns the changing historical definitions of who is "wh

Eduardo Porter in the New York Times uses this construction to ask, "Did the white working class vote its economic interests?" He claims that current data shows white people losing out to blacks and Hispanics in getting their fair share of the new jobs created since 2007:
"Despite accounting for less than 15 percent of the labor force, Hispanics got more than half of the net additional jobs. Blacks and Asians also gained millions more jobs than they lost. But whites, who account for 78 percent of the labor force, lost more than 700,000 net jobs over the nine years."
Porter further argues this is happening because blacks and Hispanics live mostly in the thriving urban areas while most white people live in declining rural areas.
Only 472 counties voted for Hillary Clinton on Election Day. But ... they account for 64 percent of the nation’s economic activity. The 2,584 counties where Mr. Trump won, by contrast, generated only 36 percent of America’s prosperity.
Porter therefore believes that the white working class flocked to Trump as a way to protest their economic decline.
But this conclusion is flawed:
  • Neither the studies nor Porter provide a definition of "white working class." Is it all white people? Does it include management? Professionals? We're not told.
  • Nor do they provide any evidence that the actual work experiences of white and black working people are starkly different no matter how the class is defined.
  • Rural America, also, is not lily white. Hispanics and African Americans make up a total of 17.5% of rural and small town America.
  • Further, the research grounding my book Runaway Inequality shows that working people as a whole (defined as the 85 percent of us who are production and non-supervisory employees) have seen their real wages fall since the late 1970s—all shades, all colors.
  • Finally, most of the new jobs created are low-wage, part-time service sector jobs—jobs that often pay poverty wages. As the Wall Street Journal reported in 2015, "More than 40% of the jobs added in just the past year have come in generally lower-paying fields such as food service, retail and temporary help." So getting the lion's share of these jobs is not a pathway to prosperity.
Dog Whistle Whites
What these studies and reports do accomplish however is to sound the latest dog whistle about Race in America. They create an image in our minds of a coherent white working class, hunkered down in the declining manufacturing sector—white rural workers who have needs and interests different from black and brown urban workers. In doing so, this image feeds into a long history of white working class creationism that divides working people by race.
An early instance of this process took place in the aftermath of Bacon's rebellion (1675), during which Nathanial Bacon united black slaves, and white indentured servants into a rebellious army against Virginia planter elites. (It was less than a noble enterprise in that Bacon wanted more government attacks against Native Americans.) After the rebellion was put down, plantation owners gave special privileges to poor whites in order to drive a wedge between them and black slaves. It worked.
A dramatic redefinition of "white" took place during the late 19th and early 20th centuries as mass immigration and colonialization expanded. So called race scientists studied cranial size and shapes, skin color, and hair texture to create a biology of race. By 1911, the U.S. Immigration Commission published its Dictionary of Races or Peoples, that listed 29 separate races. The Southern Italian race, for example, is described as "excitable, impulsive, highly imaginative...having little adaptability to highly organized society."
Race science defined "white" as a narrow category that excluded virtually everyone who didn't come from northern Europe. By the First World War, U.S. immigration policy was informed by early IQ tests given to immigrants on Ellis Island thatsupposedly showed that "87% of Russians, 83% of Jews, 80% of Hungarians, and 79% of Italians were feeble-minded."
Management "Race Science"
These race scientists created a vast hierarchy of races seen in the chart below designed for a Pittsburgh steel company in 1926. It is based on the idea that each "race" by its intrinsic nature possesses certain skills and attributes that makes it suitable to certain work tasks.
This "science" provided the rationale for dividing the workforce by ethnic group which had the added virtue of weakening worker solidarity and keeping unions at bay. This became particularly acute after 4 million workers went on strike at the end of WWI. The largest strike involved 350,000 steel workers that finally collapsed after 14 weeks of pitched battles. It is highly likely that the skills chart was designed to prevent such a resurgence.
(One can only speculate why the Jewish "race" was placed at the bottom of the hierarchy. One reason may be because two of the largest unions in the country—the Amalgamated Clothing Workers and the International Ladies Garment Workers Union were Jewish led and contained hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrant workers. So if you hired Jewish workers into the steel industry, the odds were high they might be predisposed to unionism or be union plants.)
The Whitening of America
A confluence of events rapidly changed the definition of white in the1930s and 40s. The rise of American industrial unionism successfully organized "unskilled" immigrant workers, blacks and Hispanics into broad-based unions. So much for the race chart.
The mobilization for WWII further melded together all the "lower" ethnic groups except for black, brown and yellow. And after the atrocities at the Nazi death camps were revealed, the earlier race science industry was thoroughly discredited.
What causes the definition of race to change?
The definition of "white" and of "race" in general depends on the needs of the most powerful elements of society. To justify slavery and Jim Crow, race science gave Southern elites a justification for denying human rights to millions with darker skin colors.
The "science" of the early 1900s created finely grained racial hierarchies that conveniently justified immigration restrictions and colonialism. Colonial powers argued that since their "race" was at the top of the ladder, they had the right and the duty to rule lesser peoples and their countries.
To successfully mobilize America against the "master race" and the "yellow peril" during WWII, American leaders permitted "white" to be broadened to include most of what previously had been considered lesser races. (However, racist South Democrats and their lock-down control of Congress, made sure that black and brown people were denied New Deal benefits and therefore would continue to suffer as separate races. The Japanese interment camps further heightened the idea of a separate race of "Orientals.")
So what color is Obama?
White mother, black father means you are black? White? Half-black? Half white?
That kind of question leads us to think about race as a biological as well as a sociological category. Skin color is real biology isn't it? And what about sickle-cell anemia?
But folk science is not real science. One in 13 African-American babies is born with a sickle-cell trait. Sickle cell trait can also affect Hispanics, South Asians, Caucasians from southern Europe, and people from Middle Eastern countries.
Similarly, every effort to construct a black or white race through genetics has failed. No one yet has found a gene that signals a separate race.
Here's a fact of life that may startle you. Eighty-five percent of all genetic variation is among people within a population and only 15 percent of the variation among humans is between different populations and continents. This means that any two black people chosen at random will have far more genetic differences from each other than a randomly selected white and a black person. Biologically speaking the old cliché is true: There is only one race—the human race.
What is Race?
Over a century ago, W.E.B. Dubois put forth perhaps the clearest, most exact definition of race: "A Negro is a person who must ride Jim Crow in Georgia"
He understood, as should we, that race always is a social construction, a human invention used to create a hierarchy of power. It is not genetics. It is not biology. And in the case of the "white working class" it's not even accurate sociology.
When we invent the white working class, we whitewash an increasingly diverse manufacturing workforce. Take the workforce at Carrier, which is in the news because of Trump's effort to prevent its jobs from moving to Mexico. Isn't it a perfect example of a beleaguered and declining white working class in Indiana, looking to Trump for help?
No, the Carrier workforce is 50 percent African-American. Half of the assembly line workers are women. Burmese immigrants make up 10 percent of the employees.
Drop the dubious "white working class" construction and we'll see that Porter is asking the wrong question. It's not whether the imagined white working class voted for its own economic interests by voting for Trump.
Rather, the real question is this: Is it even possible for working people of all kinds to vote their economic interests given the corporate orientation of both parties?
What do you think?

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Why Donald Trump won't change

Winning the presidency didn't change Donald Trump -- and it's increasingly clear that actually being president won't change him either.
Dramas roiling the president-elect's transition process in recent days show him to be the same, mercurial, sometimes thin-skinned, gregarious, truth-challenged, media taunting and unpredictable figure who won a stunning election upset.

This post first appeared on ACVDN, please read the originial post: here

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Trump Voters, The More They Know The More They Feel Misled


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