The Bob Cesca Show | News and Politics Podcast and Blog We Cover The World Sat, 26 Sep 2020 18:48:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 22972724 Fall Fundraiser, Last Day Sat, 26 Sep 2020 00:15:47 +0000 Hello, friends and readers. I don't enjoy asking, but I need your help.

Your donations help me cover basic costs of living like food and clothing and I cannot do this without your continued supported. I understand that many people have lost their jobs or income because of the coronavirus pandemic. I also appreciate that we're about six weeks away from the 2020 election and some of you have probably donated to a campaign of your choice. Every donation, even if it's a small one, will help me a great deal. And if you're unable to donate, thanks for sticking around even if we discuss more bad headlines than good.

In the interest of full disclosure, your donations may help me cover the cost of transition-related car from the pills I take to laser hair removal in the near future.

Thank you in advance.

I'm a little over four months into hormone replacement therapy now.

You can follow me on Twitter but I tweet about things other than politics.

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Legacy Fri, 25 Sep 2020 22:20:28 +0000
(Cartoonist - Chris Britt)

In other news, using data from the United Nations, the Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) estimates that as many as 1.2 billion people could be displaced by climate change in just the next 30 years. So, in the lifetime of most people reading this.

Meanwhile, the British government is predicting that under the most "reasonable worst case" scenario, lines of trucks up to 7,000 deep could pile up at trading borders because of the Brexit.

In a letter to Britain’s border industry, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said the flow of freight between Dover and Calais -- a vital trade artery -- could be reduced by as much as 80% from normal levels. The government’s worst-case assessment is that as many as 70% of trucks traveling to the EU may not be ready for new border controls, according to the letter.

And in related news, the Guardian editorial board is finally calling the Brexit a fraud.

The prospect of a Brexit-induced queue of 7,000 lorries at Dover, each one requiring a permit to enter the county of Kent, would once have been dismissed by leave campaigners as baseless fearmongering. Now it is the government’s “reasonable worst-case scenario” for the end of transitional arrangements with the EU on 31 December.

The grim scene was set out on Wednesday by Michael Gove, who told parliament that Britain did not yet have an operational border ready for the abrupt reintroduction of regulations and checks necessary to clear a new frontier with Europe’s customs union and single market. [...]

In a letter to cabinet colleagues, Mr Gove noted that problems at Channel ports will arise “irrespective of the outcome of negotiations”. In other words, the Brexit model that is expected to disrupt the passage of freight, increase the burden of bureaucracy, reduce the volume of trade and slow the economy is one chosen by Mr Johnson. The “reasonable worst case” that ministers warn about is not some accident or unintended consequence. It is a function of the plan they hailed last year as a triumph. And if no deal is done, even worse scenarios are feasible.

Mr Johnson is creating borders where there were none, inflicting cost where none was previously levied, erecting barriers, closing doors and calling it freedom. As the moment of implementation nears, the fraud inherent in the whole enterprise is getting harder to conceal.

I mean, yes, but also -- no shit? I swear we've been saying this for four years. Where the hell has the British media been?

If you're a regular reader, please consider donating during this week's fundraiser. Thank you so much to those who already donated. You're life savers.

I'm feeling determined and full of fight tonight. Finding strength and joy is a struggle every day under Trump.

Coronavirus cases are increasing again. Wear your masks and have a good weekend.

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Paycheck Protection Loan Forgiveness is a Shitshow Fri, 25 Sep 2020 20:00:37 +0000 The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) distributed funds in the form of forgivable loans that may be forgiven if applicants used most of the money to cover the cost of payroll during the coronavirus pandemic with a patchwork of ad-hoc rules and exceptions complicating the entire process.

Applicants who received PPP funds can now apply to have their loans forgiven, but that process is apparently broken as well. As of about two weeks ago, the Small Business Administration (SBA) had not processed a single application for forgiveness and some banks are now telling their clients not to bother.

The Government Accountability Office said in a report released Monday [September 21st] that the SBA had received roughly 56,000 applications as of Sept. 8. The GAO report did not mention any approvals, and other lenders said they know of no applications that have made their way through the review process.

“We’re not aware of any specific actions by SBA on submitted applications,” said Eric Asgeirsson, president and CEO of, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ business and technology arm. [...[

Still, some lenders are advising borrowers to delay their applications because of the lack of communication from the SBA.

First Choice, for instance, is no longer encouraging borrowers to apply as it awaits responses for the applications it has already submitted.

So, this is a problem, but it became even more staggering to consider when I remembered that the SBA approved literally millions of PPP loans and a significant number if not most of them are supposedly forgivable. The SBA has not acted on a single one yet out of just 56,000 applications and it's nearly October.

It's now easier to understand why Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is lobbying for automatic forgiveness for most loans; it's because if they aren't automatically forgiven the process could take years if not the entire next presidential term.

Loan recipients have until the end of the year to apply for forgiveness, but I find it difficult to believe that deadline will not be extended for a significant amount of time if not another year. This is a logistical nightmare and thousands if not tens of thousands of business owners are going to be on the hook one way or another. Some may end up wishing they had never applied.

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GOP Senators Intro Bill to Ban Transgender Kids From Sports Fri, 25 Sep 2020 18:30:52 +0000 House Democrats are preparing to actually do something about the state of our economy and the coronavirus pandemic by passing another stimulus bill, but Republicans have other plans.

While they're not busy gearing up to quickly confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the presidential election, a group of Republican apparently set aside the time they needed to write a bill that would mandate discrimination against transgender students.

Republicans led by Senate Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) are sponsoring a bill to punish school systems that allow transgender girls to participate in sports.

Under the proposed “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act,” schools that allow “biological males” to compete in girls athletics could lose federal funding, according to a statement Tuesday by Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., the bill’s lead sponsor.

“Title IX established a fair and equal chance for women and girls to compete, and sports should be no exception,” Loeffler stated, referring to the section of the Education Amendments of 1972 that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs.

“As someone who learned invaluable life lessons and built confidence playing sports throughout my life, I’m proud to lead this legislation to ensure girls of all ages can enjoy those same opportunities,” Loeffler continued. “This commonsense bill protects women and girls by safeguarding fairness and leveling the athletic field that Title IX guarantees.”

The language Loeffler uses to describe her bill is itself transphobic. She repeatedly refers to "women and girls," but it's inferred or implicit that transgender women and girls don't count as "women and girls" from her point of view.

It's ironic that Loeffler would invoke the Civil Rights Act to justify this attempt to make anti-transgender discriminate not only legal but required. The Supreme Court just recently ruled that "sex" includes gender identity and sexual orientation under the Civil Rights Act and that 6 to 3 decision was even written by conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch wrote that their ruling only applies to discrimination in the workplace, but there's no legal or even linguistic reason to think "sex" could mean one thing under one section of the law but not all sections. And don't take it from me; take it from federal appeals courts.

At the young age this legislation targets, there are significantly fewer biological differences between bodies dominated by either testosterone or estrogen and by calling for a ban on "biological males," Loeffler is more or less calling for requiring children to expose their genitals for inspection. Being transgender does not confer physical advantages (other than being extremely hot, right?) but even if it did it still wouldn't justify legal discrimination at school. Kids who are significantly larger or taller their than peers of their own gender are not discriminated against in sports and they have far more clear and significant advantages. Cisgender kids with physical advantages are encouraged to use them.

The purpose of introducing this legislation now just before the election is to scare voters into supporting Loeffler and other Republicans. The bill is explicitly aimed at transgender girls, not transgender boys who also exist. And this may be a bigger topic for another day, but what Loeffler is doing is exploiting her status as a cis white women to harm other women so she can maintain power under a patriarchy that places white women at the top of its social hierarchy. She is the 53 percent of white women who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 because white supremacy is still good for them.

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House Democrats Are Passing Another Stimulus Bill Fri, 25 Sep 2020 17:00:35 +0000 Need another reason for you, a friend, or family member to vote for Democrats in November?

Democrats are the only party that still governs in this country so even though they passed a stimulus bill back in May, they're going to pass another one next week.

In attempt to draw attention to the issue and restart negotiations with the Trump White House, Democrats are going to pass a $2.4 trillion bill.

The bill would include enhanced unemployment insurance, direct payments to Americans, Paycheck Protection Program small-business loan funding and aid to airlines, among other provisions, the person said. To reach the price tag, Democrats would chop roughly $1 trillion from their previous proposal for a fifth pandemic aid plan. [...]

Pelosi directed Democratic committee chairs to draft legislation, according to Politico, which first reported on plans to craft another bill. The House could vote on a bill as soon as next week, but Democrats have not yet decided on a plan, the outlet reported.

Senate Republicans couldn't even pass their small $300 billion bill so this will not become law, of course, but this is smart politics and prudent if not perfect policy.

Republicans are likely going to react by blasting the price tag, but that may be exactly what Democrats want. At least they're doing something while congressional Republicans devote all of their time and energy to quickly confirming a Supreme Court nominee before the election in a clear attempt to bring a ban on abortion closer to reality.

The coronavirus pandemic hasn't gone away and, in fact, we just crossed 7 million total infections in the United States and that's probably a significant undercount.

A lot of people are hurting physically, financially, and emotionally and hopefully that will translate into votes for the only party still interested in doing anything about it. Republicans wasted most of the year and the entire summer on nothing. It's nearly October and the last significant stimulus measures were passed in April. Most economists and the Federal Reserve chairman have been calling for more stimulus for months.

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Fall Fundraiser, Day Four Fri, 25 Sep 2020 00:15:15 +0000 Hello, friends and readers. I don't enjoy asking, but I need your help.

Your donations help me cover basic costs of living like food and clothing and I cannot do this without your continued supported. I understand that many people have lost their jobs or income because of the coronavirus pandemic. I also appreciate that we're about six weeks away from the 2020 election and some of you have probably donated to a campaign of your choice. Every donation, even if it's a small one, will help me a great deal. And if you're unable to donate, thanks for sticking around even if we discuss more bad headlines than good.

In the interest of full disclosure, your donations may help me cover the cost of transition-related car from the pills I take to laser hair removal in the near future.

Thank you in advance.

I'm a little over four months into hormone replacement therapy now.

You can follow me on Twitter but I tweet about things other than politics.

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Lies in State Thu, 24 Sep 2020 22:45:05 +0000
(Cartoonist - Stuart Carlson)

In other news, Britain just set a new record for daily coronavirus infections higher than the peak of the first wave earlier this year. So, yeah, looks like those new restrictions announced by Boris Johnson probably aren't going to be enough. And the Brexit is coming.

Meanwhile, the Trump regime is bring back their "public charge" or wealth test for immigrants. Anyone who might qualify for public benefits could be denied a green card even if they don't use any benefits.

Finally, a group of over 200 retired generals and admirals have endorsed Joe Biden. Some of them served under Trump.

Some of the officers who signed the letter supporting Biden had retired only in the past few years, including Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, who served as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Trump before he retired in August 2019; Vice Adm. Gardner Howe, a Navy SEAL leader who also retired last year; and retired Adm. Paul Zukunft, who oversaw the Coast Guard until 2018.

The list of signatories featured 22 retired four-star military officers, among them Navy Adm. Samuel Locklear, who oversaw all U.S. forces in the Pacific from 2012 to 2015, and Adm. Harry Ulrich, who commanded U.S. naval forces in Europe during President George W. Bush's administration.

The retired top brass signed the letter backing Biden along with nearly 300 other former national security officials and diplomats. William Webster, the former director of the CIA and the FBI, was among the signatories, along with five former defense secretaries: William Perry, William Cohen, Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta and Ash Carter.

This is comforting because it suggests the military would not support Trump in a coup which is unfortunately something we have to consider since he keeps talking about doing it.

If you're a regular reader, please consider donating during this week's fundraiser. Thank you in advance and thank you to everyone who has already donated. I love you all.

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The Bob Cesca Show Presented By 9/24/20 Thu, 24 Sep 2020 21:14:46 +0000

Captain Scary Pants -- [Explicit Content] Trump refuses to commit to a peaceful transfer of power; Brian Karem with the pivotal question; Bob is Captain Scary Pants; Trump's mask gesture; The hyperactive pig man; Trump might rig the Electoral College; Running out the clock; Protesters boo and mock Trump at the Supreme Court; The angry new song from Nick Lutsko; Brave Sir Donald Ran Away; Mary Trump news; Missouri's governor tested positive for COVID; Jody Hamilton and TRex David Ferguson are here; With music by Dave Molter and Shea Maloney; and more!

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Moodys: Biden Plans Better Than Trump’s Non-Existent Plans Thu, 24 Sep 2020 21:00:56 +0000 In a new study co-authored by Moody's chief economist Mark Zandi, the global ratings agency found that the best possible case for economic progress in America is to elect Joe Biden as president and a Democratic majority in both chambers of Congress.

Moodys' does not necessarily believe that's the most likely scenario which they believe is a Biden presidency with a divided Congress, but giving Democrats total control of the government would lead to significantly more growth, jobs, and overall progress than giving Trump another four years to do mostly bad things. And it's not even close.

Here's what they see happening under a Biden presidency and Democratic Congress that passes most of his policy proposals:

In this scenario, the economy is expected to create 18.6 million jobs during Biden’s term as president, and the economy returns to full employment, with unemployment of just over 4%, by the second half of 2022. During Biden’s presidency, the average American household’s real after-tax income increases by approximately $4,800, and the homeownership rate and house prices increase modestly. Stock prices also rise, but the gains are limited. This is because of high current market valuations that limit prospects for near-term gains and the pedestrian growth in corporate profits under Biden’s policies, as more of the benefits from the stronger economy under his policies go to workers.

Near-term economic growth is lifted by Biden’s aggressive government spending plans, which are deficit-financed in significant part. Stronger anticipated global trade and foreign immigration also contribute. His proposal calls for additional spending of $7.3 trillion over the next decade on a static basis on infrastructure, education, and the social safety net including everything from Social Security to housing and healthcare. The bulk of the spending is slated to happen during his term as president in an effort to generate more jobs to return the economy to full employment as quickly as possible.

While Biden’s spending plans are financed in part by higher taxes on corporations and the well-to-do that come to $4.1 trillion over the decade on a static basis, the net of these crosscurrents is to boost economic activity.

Moodys' analysis of Trump's plans is not as detailed because Trump and Republicans in general do not actually have any plans.

The study's authors write that calculating the impact of Trump's policies is complicated because of their "lack of transparency and specificity" which is a nice way of saying Trump either has no discernable plans or never follows through on any of them.

In any case, Moodys' assumes that Republicans would cut spending through austerity, not increase it, and they also assume as I do that Trump will dramatically escalate his trade war during a second term in office.

The economy suffers in Trump’s second term, as we expect he will double down on the foreign trade and immigration policies he pursued in his first term. This means a resumption of the tariff war with China that was put on hold late last year with the so called Phase One trade deal with that nation. While the pandemic would have complicated the implementation of even the best designed trade deal, there is little evidence that the Chinese had any intention to abide by the Phase One deal, other than where it was in China’s economic interest, such as by importing more U.S. agricultural products. When the dust settles after the pandemic, and it becomes clearer that Chinese behavior has not changed appreciably, the tariff wars are likely to heat up again. The significant increase in tariffs during Trump’s first term—from an effective tariff rate of 1.5% when he took office to a peak of more than 6% just prior to the Phase One deal—acted like a tax increase on the U.S. economy, hurting U.S. manufacturers, transportation companies, and farmers in particular. More of the same is expected in Trump’s second term.

The study also found that the labor force participation rate would literally never recover to pre-pandemic levels during a second Trump term.

Just over 11 million jobs would be created during Trump's second term; 7 million fewer than under Biden.

I don't think it could be any more clear just how much our future will diverge depending on what happens in November.

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Most States Haven’t Implemented Trump’s Fake Unemployment Program Thu, 24 Sep 2020 20:00:29 +0000 Congressional Republicans refused to pass or even talk about an adequate stimulus package that included an extension of the pandemic unemployment program, but the White House wanted to make it appear that they were doing something so Trump ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to distribute disaster relief funds as if it were an unemployment program.

Now, as you know, Trump's program ran out of money nearly four weeks ago because less than $44 billion had already been appropriated by Congress and FEMA is legally obligated to use the bulk of funding for actual disaster relief.

Today, almost two months after Republicans allowed the pandemic unemployment program to expire, fewer than half of states have implemented Trump's fake program that already expired almost one month ago.

The latest $44 billion Lost Wages program funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, rolled out haphazardly across the country, and workers have been left with drastically reduced state benefits wondering what kind of additional support they can expect, if any at all. [...]

Fewer than half of states have begun administering the Lost Wages supplement at all, leaving scores of jobless workers without federal aid for nearly two months. Aid has already ended in at least nine states, including Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Texas and Utah.

Workers must earn at least $100 per week in jobless benefits in order to qualify for the Lost Wages supplement. Trump administration officials said this rule is intended to curb fraudulent claims, but critics say the provision leaves out an estimated 1 million of the lowest-paid and most financially vulnerable workers.

I was under the impression that because the program has already expired, and because the benefits are backdated to August 1st, anyone who actually receives benefits would receive all of them at once in one single check.

That has been in the case in some states where people received a one-time check for $1,800 back-dated to August, but CNBC reports that some states are planning to structure the benefits as a weekly benefit even though the program has already technically expired.

I won't deny that this temporary program probably helped some people in genuine need, but it has already been two months. Some states won't implement it until nearly the presidential election! Anyone who was screwed in August won't be un-screwed by a weekly drip in mid to late October.

This is one reason why jobless claims are increasing and Federal Reserve officials are calling for more stimulus.

Time flies and it would be easy to forget, but the fact is congressional Republicans have not done anything since spring and it's now fall. The last stimulus bill is closer to the start of the pandemic than it is to our current time.

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