How This All Happened 

If you’d asked me if this could be done in under 5,000 words while still remaining accurate, I would’ve quickly said NO WAY and then been very very wrong. Go read this. Set aside the few minutes it will take and go read this.

This is a short story about what happened to the U.S. economy since the end of World War II. That’s a lot to unpack in 5,000 words, but the short story of what happened over the last 73 years is simple: Things were very uncertain, then they were very good, then pretty bad, then really good, then really bad, and now here we are. And there is, I think, a narrative that links all those events together. Not a detailed account. But a story of how the details fit together….

The biggest difference between the economy of the 1945-1973 period and that of the 1982-2000 period was that the same amount of growth found its way into totally different pockets.

Source: How This All Happened · Collaborative Fund

The best way to reduce illegal immigration would be to focus on employers.

It doesn’t really matter how high a wall you build; so long as there’s no sanction on employers who hire undocumented workers, people will find a way to get here. That’s why immigration has always been a wedge issue for Republicans: business interests are on the opposite side of the issue from nativists and always will be.

And that’s what makes the eventual crackdown on the use of undocumented workers at Trump’s businesses so interesting. The nativists that should applaud it will have to come up with all kinds of silly arguments to explain why, well, you know, in this case we have to let it slide because liberal tears or some such.

But seriously: you want to really reduce the flow of workers across the southern border? Cracking down on this specific employer would send one hell of a signal. If Trump really were the strategic genius his fans think he is, he’d embrace this on the way to a real crackdown. It would be one of those “only Nixon can go to China” transformative moments.

He’s not, however, a genius, and he cares less about political success than he does about business. So….

talkingpointsmemo.com/news/fbi-new-jersey-attorney-general-immigration-crimes-undocumented-trump-golf-club-bedminster

They Don’t Care About Information Security

The behaviors that dominated the campaign continue deep into the administration. Because of course they do.

People who are genuinely concerned about these sorts of things will focus on the flaws in the underlying policies while also pursuing the misuse or misapplication of currently policy. They pursue a non-zero-sum both/and strategy rather than a zero-sum either/or one. I made this point over and over and over again during the campaign, and it appears now I’ll have to start making it over and over again here too:

The President and his TV lawyer continue to spin a contractor’s failure as an attempt on Mueller’s part to obstruct justice. Perhaps it’s time the focus shifted to the contractor who still continues to fail 10% of the time?

…The government contractor whose “bug” was responsible for the text messages that weren’t originally archived (but which were later recovered) still can’t ensure more than 90% of FBI’s texts are recovered

…If Trump really cared that FBI wasn’t archiving all its texts and continues to fail to do so, he should command Big Dick Toilet Salesman Matt Whitaker to ensure that FBI make purchasing decisions (perhaps starting by replacing the Samsungs with more secure iPhones) that will result in full archival records.

But he didn’t do that. Perhaps it’s time for journalists to start asking why he’s not demanding better of DOJ and FBI going forward?

Source: If Trump Is So Concerned that a DOJ Contractor Failed to Archive Texts, Why Not Hold the Contractor Accountable? | emptywheel

Imagine your boss lied to your face like this at a company meeting…

What would you think? How would you react? What would it make you think about him? And the company? And your role in it?

Speaking to members of the military during his surprise trip overseas this week, President Trump spoke about the raises they received.

“You haven’t gotten one in more than 10 years — more than 10 years,” he said Wednesday. “And we got you a big one. I got you a big one. I got you a big one.”

He continued:

“They said: ‘You know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3 percent. We could make it 2 percent. We could make it 4 percent.’ I said: ‘No. Make it 10 percent. Make it more than 10 percent.’ ”

The problem with those statements? They’re not true.

www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2018/12/27/trump-bragged-service-members-iraq-about-percent-raise-theyve-not-been-given/

Is it worse that he’s lying to the military? Sure. But set that aside and imagine it was your boss and your friends and the place where you work. How would it make you feel about your boss? And about the next set of things that he asked you to do?

Russian Agents Sought Secret US Treasury Records During 2016 Campaign

“Wouldn’t it be great if we could get along with Russia,” they said.

US Treasury Department officials used a Gmail back channel with the Russian government as the Kremlin sought sensitive financial information on its enemies in America and across the globe, according to documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News.

The extraordinary unofficial line of communication arose in the final year of the Obama administration — in the midst of what multiple US intelligence agencies have said was a secret campaign by the Kremlin to interfere in the US election. Russian agents ostensibly trying to track ISIS instead pressed their American counterparts for private financial documents on at least two dozen dissidents, academics, private investigators, and American citizens.

Most startlingly, Russia requested sensitive documents on Dirk, Edward, and Daniel Ziff, billionaire investors who had run afoul of the Kremlin. That request was made weeks before a Russian lawyer showed up at Trump Tower offering top campaign aides “dirt” on Hillary Clinton — including her supposed connection to the Ziff brothers.

Russia’s financial crimes agency, whose second-in-command is a former KGB officer and schoolmate of President Vladimir Putin, also asked the Americans for documents on executives from two prominent Jewish groups, the Anti-Defamation League and the National Council of Jewish Women, as well as Kremlin opponents living abroad in London and Kiev.

In an astonishing departure from protocol, documents show that at the same time the requests were being made, Treasury officials were using their government email accounts to send messages back and forth with a network of private Hotmail and Gmail accounts set up by the Russians, rather than communicating through the secure network usually used to exchange information with other countries.

Got a tip? You can email tips@buzzfeed.com. To learn how to reach us securely, go to tips.buzzfeed.com.
Analysts at an elite agency within Treasury first warned supervisors in 2016 that the Russians were “manipulating the system” to conduct “fishing expeditions.” And they raised fears that the Treasury’s internal systems could be compromised by viruses contained in emails from the unofficial Russian accounts. But staff continued using the Gmail back channel into 2017, despite repeated internal warnings that Russia could be trawling for sensitive financial records — including Social Security and bank account numbers — to spy on, endanger, or recruit targets in the West.
— Read on www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/anthonycormier/russian-agents-sought-us-treasury-records-on-clinton-backers

Roberts Sides with the Court’s Four Liberal Justices

As I said at the time Kavanaugh was confirmed, the manner in which that entire process was conducted virtually assured that Roberts would frequently join with the Court’s liberal wing in a series of high-profile 5-4 decision as part of his efforts to preserve the Court’s legitimacy. Whatever other agendas he has, none are more important to him than that one. And so, today…

Supreme Court Rejects Trump Ban On Asylum Claims At US-Mexico Border

Source: Supreme Court Rejects Trump Ban On Asylum Claims At US-Mexico Border – Talking Points Memo

One Year After the Passage of Tax Cuts…

And we’re into bear market territory.

“In this current crisis, government isn’t the solution to our problems; it is the problem.” That wasn’t a claim of a universal truth; it was explicitly situational. And that situation was one almost entirely unlike our own.

And that Laffer Curve? As I always says, it’s a curve. An upside-down parabola, more specifically. And since we’re to the left of the maximum, the theory itself tells us that tax cuts expand deficits and crowd out investment. Not my claim. Theirs!

So yeah, here we are at the end of the longest bull market in our history, with things unraveling just as their own theories would predict.

Guys. They are YOUR THEORIES. If youre going to advance them, could you at least do what they tell you to do? Please?

lifehacker.com/whats-a-bear-market-1831266565