Trump's poised to crash the global economy and leave a Democrat holding the bag
LAS VEGAS NEVADA, DECEMBER 14, 2015: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at campaign event at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino the day before the CNN Republican Presidential Debate (Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock)

Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.


This week, The Daily Beast reported that our pioneering president*-- first Twitter troll to occupy the Oval Office--has "repeatedly shrugged off" his aides' warnings about the "looming deficit crisis," saying that it doesn't matter because he'll be long gone when it hits. This understates his chances of being re-elected, and is also the plot of an episode of The Simpsons.

The crunch to come will be the result of significant hikes in the kinds of federal spending that Republicans who claim to be "fiscal conservatives" love--military, intelligence, corporate subsidies--and the result of Trump's tax-scam.

Speaking of which, the Congressional Research Service issued a study this week which found that, according to New York Mag, "people who own businesses and other sources of concentrated wealth will have a lot more money, and the federal budget will have less…Growth has not increased above the pre-tax-cut trend. Neither have wages." So the windfall Trump promised the middle class hasn't trickled down. We hope you were sitting down for that shocker.

Meanwhile, Trump's latest move in his impetuous trade wars was a Tweeted threat to levy massive tariffs on Mexican goods if they don't magically fix our immigration problems. Even the reliably conservative Washington Examiner found this one to be "reckless and mindbogglingly stupid." According to Bloomberg, leading auto manufacturers lost $18 billion in market value as a result of tweet.

Remember that even before the near-Biblical flooding wreaked havoc on our agricultural sector, farmers' crops were rotting in warehouses as our trading partners sought producers from countries that aren't run by whackjobs who think "trade wars are good and easy to win."

The economy has so far shown a lot of resilience, but Fortune reports that a key indicator of economic trouble coming down the road looks a lot like it did before the Great Recession hit, and a recent survey of economists found that most of them predict a recession hitting the US by…2021, just when we hope the country will rid itself of this scourge and put a Democrat in office to take the blame. Which would be…so very familiar.

We don't usually put much stock in such predictions, but frankly we're surprised three years of erratic governance over one of the world's biggest economies hasn't yet brought about a global crash.

And on that cheery note, let's dive into this week's fresh Hell.

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Our first story hasn't exactly flown under the radar but we want to highlight it because it's quite significant.

When voting rights advocates subpoenaed some papers of a deceased Republican redistricting consultant they unearthed a treasure trove of internal communications. Among them were documents that explicit about the fact that the GOP's goal in fighting to insert a citizenship question into this year's census was to boost the voting power of "non-Hispanic whites." Slate's Mark Joseph Stern looked at why this is a real bombshell.

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We have dutifully tracked the Trump regime's endless attacks on the environment, but The New York Times reports that they're just getting started.

In the next few months, the White House will complete the rollback of the most significant federal effort to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, initiated during the Obama administration. It will expand its efforts to impose Mr. Trump’s hard-line views on other nations, building on his retreat from the Paris accord and his recent refusal to sign a communiqué to protect the rapidly melting Arctic region unless it was stripped of any references to climate change.

And, in what could be Mr. Trump’s most consequential action yet, his administration will seek to undermine the very science on which climate change policy rests.

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if you're sensing a pattern here, it must be because you've been paying attention.

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The State Department is planning to "launch a new panel to offer 'fresh thinking' on international human rights and 'natural law,' a move some activists fear is aimed at narrowing protections for women and members of the LGBT community," according to CNN.

Several human rights activists… said they worry that talk of the “nation’s founding principles” and “natural law” are coded signals of plans to focus less on protecting women and LGBT people.

The word “natural” in such context is often interpreted to mean “God-given,” a phrasing that is less common in modern human rights literature but which could signal a religious component, experts said.

Activists and former U.S. officials noted that the Trump administration’s record on human rights so far is spotty at best.

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Speaking of the regime's human rights record being "spotty at best," the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General conducted a surprise inspection of a Border Patrol processing facility in Texas that was built to hold 125 people and found that they had jammed up to 900 in the facility.

CNN:

"We also observed detainees standing on toilets in the cells to make room and gain breathing space, thus limiting access to the toilets," the report states.

A cell with a maximum capacity of 12 held 76 detainees, another with a maximum capacity of eight held 41, and another with a maximum capacity of 35 held 155, according to the report.

As always, we will note that the vast majority of such detainees have committed a misdemeanor, a civil code violation--like a parking ticket--or, in the case of asylum seekers who turn themselves in, haven't violated any law whatsoever. #Impeach

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As awful as everything is, we have to admit that the regime does provide some comic relief.

NYT: "‘Freedom Gas,’ the Next American Export"

As anyone who's taken a chemistry class surely knows, Freedom Gas is obviously made up of "Freedom Molecules."

And someone needs to stand up for freedom…

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Speaking of comic relief, after the regime faced mockery for ordering The Navy to keep Trump from flying into a narcissistic rage by throwing like a giant sheet over the USS John McCain and its crew, some goofball tried to help...

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Couple of items on the corruption beat.

Trump's massive and totally opaque slush inaugural fund got a $1 million donation from a deep-pocketed real estate developer who was trying to get regulatory approval to acquire a decommissioned nuclear power plant in Alabama. We like this story because, as the AP noted, his million bucks got federal investigators on his ass but he didn't get his deal.

The Feds also served a bunch of new subpoenas on Cindy Yang, the Florida massage parlor magnate, in their probe of whether she and her hazy network of companies and charities illegally funneled a bunch of Chinese money to Trump's re-election campaign. The Miami Herald has been all over this story.

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Not much good news to report this week.

Steve Bannon's attempt to turn an Italian monastery into a global hub for the far-right faces a "potentially fatal" roadblock after Italy evicted Bannon and his wingnut associates.

And William Barr doesn't care about his legacy because he will die.