Donald Trump is loathsome even when giving away suitcases full of cash to people in need.  Read and watch it here.


Let Al Franken put it to him this way, in 20 seconds, as he did recently on the Senate floor.  Unfortunately, a wide majority of Republicans — including the new Republican chairman of the House subcommittee on the environment — still don’t get it.


Or whatever Part we’re up to — the Republican notion that we should NOT put people who desperately want work to work doing things that desperately need doing.  Things that will cost far more if we wait to do them (like repairing bridges after they’ve collapsed).   Things that can be funded by long-term bonds at historically low interest rates.


Their insistence that we not invest in our future is born of misplaced reverence for “austerity” and misunderstandings of economics.

(Misunderstanding #1: the federal government needs to run a balanced budget.  In fact, it needs only to grow the National Debt slower than the economy as a whole — which still leaves room for very-large-sounding deficits, and for even larger ones in times of severe economic contraction.  Misunderstanding #2: you can’t tax the wealthy; they’re the “job creators.”  How many times do I have to link to the Nick Hanauer clip?)

As previously reported, the misplaced Republican reverence for austerity rests largely on a study everyone now recognizes was faulty.

And here, from the latest issue of Foreign Affairs . . .

The Austerity Delusion
by Mark Blyth

The results of Europe’s experiment with austerity are in and they’re clear: it doesn’t work. Here’s how such a flawed idea became the West’s default response to financial crises. . . .


Jim Leff:  “SIGA has appointed Jeffrey B. Kindler, a former Pfizer CEO, to its board.  This could be seen as an overture to acquisition, but I doubt Ron Perelman would allow that.  It’s not his style.  More likely (and this would explain SIGA CEO Eric Rose’s enthusiasm in reporting the appointment in his recent conference call), Pfizer will partner with SIGA on its dengue drug, which, for technical reasons, is difficult to test in-house. This bodes well for the pipeline of drugs in development (which, due to the litigation, has been a complete black box), and thus for SIGA’s long term future.  Short term, there’s a ton of betting re: the binary result of the upcoming appeal decision. Wedbush is predicting a big shoot-up in stock price after that announcement, because current stock price reflects worst-case scenario. I don’t share that expectation. I’m expecting a sharp but brief spurt followed by enormous sell-the-news pressure….and then a gradual climb back up (as pent-up news is announced) peppered by brief setbacks (as shorts generate trumped-up political and media outrage).  I continue to look to the big picture: important and powerful people are clearly paying attention to SIGA – both in a positive way (their board keeps getting more impressive) and negative (lawsuits, accusations, shorting frenzies). If there wasn’t big substance and potential, none of this drama would be happening.  I.e. lots of people angling for a piece of a prospective pie is a big ‘tell’ that there’s prospective pie.”


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