Trump Lies About the Russia Investigation

Donald Trump just can’t stop lying. I don’t mean lying in a way that is hard to discern, but lying in an obvious, blatant way that just doesn’t even make sense. This time (or it is “again”) he claimed that the investigation into Russian meddling and collusion on the part of the Trump administration members was just an excuse for the Democrats losing the 2016 election.

This is just ridiculous on its face, for several reasons, the most obvious of which is the fact that everyone expected Hillary Clinton to win the election – and the investigation into Russian meddling was already in progress since July 2016 – before anyone knew Trump had enough votes to win.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_interference_in_the_2016_United_States_elections

Trump supporters will, of course, ignore this fact and agree with the (dishonest) president.

I have No Confidence in Donald J. Trump

TrumpFinger

I do not trust Donald J. Trump to be a president for everyone in these United States – only for his supporters. He has embarrassed our nation and our people, he has damaged America’s reputation and standing in the world, he has provoked hostility and disrespected leadership of our allies, he has tried taking health care away from the nation’s most vulnerable (and everyone else except for the most affluent) – repeatedly, he has been blatantly dishonest and completely disrespects the rule of law, he has had involvement with Russians (that he lied about), he has fanned the flames of misogyny, racism, and intolerance, and he is, in my opinion, inept and incompetent and grossly unqualified to lead this great nation.

Trump actually had to be pressured into disavowing white supremacists and the violence they perpetrated. Then he turned around and defended the white supremacists and their behavior, even after a woman was killed by a sick white supremacist who ran his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, the majority of whom were peaceful.

_American-Dream-Dead

Trump has appointed a cabinet full of “swamp dwellers” despite campaigning on the premise of “Draining the Swamp.” He has appointed wholly unqualified people to run national departments such as Betsy DeVos to run the Department of Education for which she is obviously not qualified. He has appointed an anti-housing fanatic to head Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This appointment is especially egregious in view of the nation-wide housing crisis caused by skyrocketing rents and a dearth of affordable housing. Most people in metropolitan areas and bigger cities – especially in California and New York and others – pay up to and even more than half their wages for housing. The head to the EPA is an anti environment crusader. It is no secret that Trump appointed people to head America’s departments who are both unqualified and who are hostile to the functions of the departments they now head.

We-Need-Rent-Control-S

The only people who are really benefitting from a Trump presidency are not his supporters, is not the middle class and is certainly not the lower working class or the elderly and disabled. The ones benefitting from a Trump presidency – or from the Republican legislators who control the Senate and the House of Representatives – are the most wealthy, the one percent.

Most of Trump’s supporters don’t even bother to actually research the facts. Most are in denial of the harm Trump and this Republican congress are visiting on this country. Maybe after they lose their health care, continue to have stagnating wages, and end up continuing to blindly support the most unqualified person in U.S. history to ever hold the office of  President of the United States and “leader” of the free world driving this country ever closer to the brink of World War III, and only after great and grievous loss, maybe some of them will start to open their eyes.

The Republicans’ War Against the Poor

Republican Jesus

Reading the news lately is an excursion into frustration, anger, disbelief, shock, revulsion, and a major heaping of What the F**k???

The Trump administration elitist one-percenters want to really screw the poor. If the new budget were to pass as is, the cost in human services and even human life would be large. Trump and his gaggle of draconian gatekeepers and misfits want to gut the federal programs that provide help and subsistence to the elderly, the poor, the mentally ill, the unemployable and the homeless.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/16/opinions/worst-of-trump-budget-black-opinion/index.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/trump-presidential-budget-2018-proposal/?utm_term=.386b2c57c3f1

It very much seems like this new “administration” and the current Republican majorities in the House and Senate aren’t really all that concerned about “shrinking government” and increasing our nation’s defense capabilities so much as they are codifying their bigoted hatred of the poor while further lining the pockets of the already rich.

This is, in my opinion, the most disgusting, draconian, and morally and ethically bankrupt gaggle of excuses for “lawmakers” I’ve ever witnessed in my life.

Trump IS Damaging America

Trumps-Going-to-Hurt-America-Again

Aside from my initial comments in the early days of the 2016 Presidential Election and Donald Trump’s victory, I’ve been silent here for a little while. I was quite angry that we (Democrats) lost. It was a hard pill to swallow, but I’ve swallowed it and it’s time to move on.

Then November 2016 came and went, January 2017 came and went, and we are into February. I am even angrier now than I was upon learning that Trump won the election and became the President of the United States. But my anger now is no longer about Trump winning.

My anger now is about how the Republicans in Congress lost their backbones and jumped on the Trump bandwagon, and are now trying to fast-track confirmation of the most objectionable, unqualified and unsavory cabinet appointees I’ve seen in my lifetime. This bodes ill for the nation, since these folks are going to cause possibly irreparable harm to millions and millions of people.

As if that by itself wasn’t already bad enough, the continued petulant, pugnacious, truculent animosity of Trump supporters against anyone who hasn’t also jumped on their misguided bandwagon is appalling. This election cycle has incited alarming hostile divisiveness even between family members and friends. It is shocking – and all indications are that it is only going to get worse.

I’ve always been proud to be an American … but the hate and malice unleashed by Trump and the Republicans in the United States has caused serious damage to the fundamental ideal of what it is to be an American both at home and abroad.

The unending parade of headlines tells the story in a snapshot (parenthetical notes added by me) Go ahead, at least check them out. These are primarily from CNN over a couple days:

Trump falsely accuses senator of misrepresenting Gorsuch criticism

Sessions sworn in as AG (despite STRONG and Massive Opposition)

Borger: With Trump, the buck doesn’t stop here

Warriors’ Curry confronts Under Armour CEO over Trump

Sessions’ Senate replacement raises eyebrows in Alabama

Bergen: WH terrorism list undermines its own case

Washington’s new lows

Graham: Silencing Warren ‘long overdue’

Kellyanne Conway: ‘Go buy Ivanka’s stuff’ – Illegal promotion of a brand from a “White House Official”

Wikipedia bans citations of The Daily Mail

Mom’s detention in Arizona sparks protests

Spicer wants McCain to apologize for criticizing Yemen raid

http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2017/02/09/melania-trump-brand.cnnmoney/video/playlists/stories-worth-watching/ – Bad conflicts of interest –

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/10/politics/republican-town-halls-obamacare/index.html – Anger erupts against GOP Congressman over Obamacare.

These are just a tiny smattering of stories about the partisan, blatant thumbing of noses against not only Democrats, but EVERYONE in the U.S. who doesn’t kowtow to Donald Trump and his (Gaggle of Misfits) Cabinet.

First Amendment Violation–Or Responsible Action Re: Fake News Sites

FakeNewsInfoWars

Alex Jones of the InfoWars web site has posted a video claiming that the “government has announced they want to shut this site (InfoWars.com) down.” Other fake news sites are running similar articles, including one called “TheBostonTribune” claiming that President Obama signed an Executive Order to “shut down the alt right” and other “alternative media” sites. The article even posted an Executive Order 13749 (and even gave the link to a government page listing Executive Orders (https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders) where there was no Executive Order 13749 (as of this writing). So this “story” seems to be just more fake news.

The reason these sites exist at all in the U.S. is because of the First Amendment protections for freedom of speech and expression. Unfortunately, people who run these sites abuse their First Amendment rights by posting irresponsibly and dishonestly by spreading misinformation and personal and political bias and bigotry (and racism, sexism, xenophobia). Alex Jones is one of the more prominent purveyors of fake news and gross bias.

Perhaps, since these sites do not post truthful or reliable news, they should – instead of being shut down – be required by law to make a clearly and prominently visible statement to the effect of: “Articles published on this site are not vetted or sanctioned by any official U.S. news organization and are predominantly the authors’ subjective opinion, are spoofed or fake, and/or are satirical in nature and therefore can not considered as being 100% truthful or accurate.” This would be the responsible action.

How fake news sites work: They take truths and weave false stories around them to make it appear as if it was a legitimate piece of news. But it is dishonest and pernicious. As several mainstream news articles have been reporting, “fake news has real world effects” – and those effects are potentially dangerous (like the person who took a firearm into a pizza restaurant in Washington D.C.).

Many of the political fake news sites serve to promote often exaggerated right wing (Republican) ideals and even far right wing fanaticism, and to bash the left wing and “Liberals” – both of whom they often call inflammatory names like “libtards” and other derogatory pejoratives – and tell usually false and inaccurate pseudo-news that mischaracterizes and condemns the left (Democrats). And people keep falling for this crap! Even after all the media attention regarding fake news sites, people still fall for this stuff, and even defend it. The sites that post fake news call their sites “alternative media” – which is misleading. This “alternative media” is usually posted by people with an agenda – to promote their bias and bigotry and to make money off of advertisers who advertise through these outlets and off of begging for donations.

A tech author and writer, Bob Rankin, (often featured on the PC Pitstop web site), wrote an article to help identify fake news sites:

“Fake news is spread mainly ON Facebook and Twitter. Both social media platforms have pledged to do more to identify fake news and stop its spread. But fake news is not spread BY Facebook or Twitter. It’s spread by the human users of these services. Check out these tips to help you discern spot the bogus stories.

Avoid sites whose names end with “lo” such as “Politicalo” or “Newslo.” They all belong to a network of sites that inject false “facts” and misleading interpretations into true stories, then distribute the poisoned fruits.

Domain names that end in “.com.co” are usually masquerading as legitimate sources. The same goes for “.com.cc” or any other “.com” name that has additional letters at its end.

If mainstream media is not reporting a story, it’s more likely that there is no story, than that the MSM does not want to report it. Be suspicious of any story that complains, “MAINSTREAM MEDIA IS IGNORING THIS!”

That’s Outrageous!

Beware of headlines and body text that use lots of capitalized words. All-caps text stirs up angry, anxious emotions in readers, making them more inclined to share without thinking.

If a story is written in a tone of outrage, it is likely to make you very angry too. Take a deep breath and check the story’s claims via Google before sharing it.

The lack of a date, location, or author’s name in an article should move your BS-detector’s needle. If your BS-detector is missing or faulty, try the B.S. Detector browser plugin. It checks every page you visit, comparing the domain names to a database of domains belonging to unreliable or questionable news sources, and will alert you with a banner across the top of the page if what you’re reading is potentially bogus. Links are categorized as Fake News, Satire, Extreme Bias, Conspiracy Theory, Rumor Mill, Junk Science, Hate Group, Clickbait, and Proceed With Caution (sources that may be reliable but require further verification).

Check the comments left on a story, if any are available. You may find someone has already debunked or verified the story.

A picture has more emotional impact than 1,000 words, and pictures can be faked too. I detailed several ways to evaluate the authenticity of images in my article, Is That Picture Real? Google Image Search is your best tool for learning where else a given picture appears.”

(Read the whole article here.)

Fake news (“Alternative Media” or “Alternative News”) has grown into a major problem, and many believe it has unfairly influenced the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. It is believed that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government has been a promoter of fake news with the intent to interfere in the 2016 American electoral process and, has possibly done so since as far back as 2008.

Fake news is bad news. Please check your sources before you re-post any “news” stories – on Facebook or Twitter or other social media site – or in your blog – especially if they seem a bit hard to believe, or if they anger you or raise your blood pressure … don’t fall for the lies and misinformation.

Let Them See, Those Who Have Eyes …

 

20140319_zaf_k03_008.jpg

The members of the Electoral College need to be made aware (if they’re not already) that Donald Trump is a genuine menace and a potentially great danger to our great nation. In his own environment (business) he may be very successful and with his family, he may be a great father. I suspect he may be a good friend to many, as well. But as a President of the United States … he is terrifying.

He may be the President-elect, but already he is saying and doing things that are causing serious divisiveness and disruption – not only within the United States but in the global community as well. As just one example, recently, his phone call with the Taiwanese leader represents a major diplomatic faux pas, and has angered China and may have damaged our relations with China. As you know, China is considered the second largest economy and the second largest military in the world. China combined with Russia could form a collaboration of countries that would represent an extremely formidable super power. Add North Korea, and the volatility of its brash, leader Kim Jong Un, and you have three nuclear powers that, between themselves, have considerably more nuclear weapons than the United States.

As you also know, US relations with China are strained, US relations with Russia are often being referred to as another “Cold War” and relations with North Korea are almost as bad as they’ve ever been. With a Donald Trump as president, with consideration of his “shoot from the hip” style, his lack of finesse, his naïveté with regard to the workings of politics from the perspective of a world leader, and his penchant for taking things personally (as indicated in his 3 AM tweets) and you have an extremely volatile mix.

Then, let’s consider another alarming factor: Donald Trump has a penchant for believing and perpetuating, and even originating, conspiracy theories. It is believed that Trump listens to, and takes seriously, websites like Breitbart news, Info Wars, (etc) – and many other fake news that have been proliferating throughout the Internet and social media as of late. Donald Trump was a major figure in the “Birther Movement” against Pres. Obama, and has repeated information suggesting that he has bought into a number of conspiracy theories regarding Hillary Clinton and even Bill Clinton.

Trump claimed he was going to “drain the swamp” – but is now surrounding himself with people who actually represent the swamp. His selection of Steve Bannon, formerly of Breitbart news, as an advisor alone should give people pause. Bannon is a former Goldman Sachs banker who has been known to either create our perpetuate fake news stories, is a divisive far right-wing pundit, has been linked to white supremacy groups, and, under his leadership, Breitbart news has promoted racism, anti-Semitism, bigotry, xenophobia, and other inflammatory, derisive views of people and groups he, and Breitbart news, has taken aim at. Trump chose, to head the EPA, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt – a move that signals Trump’s intent to undo President Obama’s work to curb climate change. Then there is the CEO of Hardee’s/Wendy’s restaurants, who opposes the $15.00 per hour minimum wage, and opposes paying overtime to salaried people who make less than 47,500 a year.

Then, as his Treasury Secretary, Trump has selected a former Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin, who profited from the housing meltdown.

He has named Rep. Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Price is an outspoken critic of Obama care, and wants to privatize Medicare, is a member of the Tea Party, and is a very scary choice for all those millions of people who depend on the federal Medicare health program. These people now stand in fear of their health benefits being reduced, made more costly, or lost altogether.

He has selected Sen. Jeff sessions from Alabama as his new attorney general. Sessions has been reported as making racially insensitive comments to a former colleague, Thomas Figures, ad African-American. Sessions told him to be careful what he said about “white folks” and “made a comment sympathetic to the KKK.”

As of this writing, the remaining cabinet positions have not been decided yet, but the kind of people Trump is surrounding himself with sends a very scary message about Trump, and about the pain and hardship he intends to inflict upon the American people. Trump and his cabinet are all members of the “one percent” and they represent what I think of as perpetrators of “the war against the poor.”

No Electoral College members have ever voted significantly against the candidate with the most pledged votes. Despite the fact that Hillary Clinton won nearly two and a half million more popular votes than Trump, the Electoral College system will vote the candidate with significantly fewer actual votes. To me, that represents a slap in the face to the voters, and an abandonment of what “majority vote” stands for. It is un-democratic.

It has been proven again and again throughout recent history that if enough people stand up against unfairness from the government, it can cause changes to happen. The most recent example it the Dakota Pipeline protest: at least for now, the pipeline construction has been delayed – and may be reevaluated and another path taken for the land the pipeline is built across, saving the potential for poisoning of groundwater and impingement of sacred Indian land.

I wonder … if enough people stood against the Electoral College, if the right thing might be accomplished – and elect the person who actually won the popular vote.

The Election is Over. Now What?

I make no secret of the fact that I strongly distrust Donald Trump. Nor do I make a secret that I believe a huge number of people who voted for Trump were lied to and manipulated into voting as they did. I believe there was a lot of influence from fake news the has proliferated over the Internet and on social media, and I’m frankly surprised that so many people actually fell for it.

I also believe that – if not Trump himself – many who supported Trump on the inside (Trump’s PR people, campaign workers, etc.) either fed into the fake news, or turned a blind eye to it since so much of it favored their candidate. Do I have proof of this? No, I don’t. It is just my opinion. But for those who are aware of the fake news sites and the influence they can (and did) have, think about it. I will talk about fake news more in-depth in another post.

No-Trump

Now that the election is concluded, and Trump has won the Electoral College majority, it’s time to brace for (and prepare for) potentially the worst four years in the history of post WWII America. We have to be very aware of the following, and very determined to stand against Trump and the Republican-led Senate and House of Representatives. We have to call up our internal “”Elizabeth Warrens’ and Bernie Sanders’ and stand strong against Trump and the GOP every time they try to institute legislation or policy or engage in practices that are antithetical to the progress that has been made thus far.

Democrats remember all of the obstructionist tactics that Republicans used to block their agenda during the Obama years and come January 2017; it’s payback time. Republicans won the election, and they may control both the House and the Senate, but they do not have the 60 votes needed to pass legislation in the Senate.

Not My President

Donald Trump is all about Donald Trump. But besides himself, Donald Trump is all about money and wealth and being rich and being a “one-per center” and helping other one-per centers. As has been discussed in the news from CNN to FOX to local T.V. news and radio stations and on (legitimate) news outlets on the Internet … look for the rich to get even richer, the middle class to continue to stagnate, and the poor to slide even further into poverty. Look for medical care to become harder to get, more expensive, and those with pre-existing conditions find it very hard (and excessively expensive) to get or maintain health insurance.

If you are average middle class, don’t expect any really noticeable changes. You might see a slight reduction in your payroll tax, but it won’t amount to anything significant. You will probably pay higher premiums and deductibles for your health insurance. Your pay will not increase because Trump is now in the White House. That will be solely up to your boss/management.

Remember Reagan’s “Trickle-Down Economics?” Do you remember how well that worked? (It didn’t). Reagan felt that reducing tax burdens on big companies and corporations would result in more money so they would hire more people and be able to increase wages for employees. But what happened when taxes were reduced for the wealthy, by and large, they just kept the money and got even more filthy rich.

Trump’s tax reduction plan and proposed new tax code will, of course, favor the rich, again. It will cut taxes for the middle class, which will tremendously reduce federal government revenue and weaken government programs. Local governments will need to pick up the slack, so local taxes are likely to increase: sales tax, state and county income taxes, anywhere they can figure out legal ways to take more of your money.

For those at the lower end of the working income scale … times are going to get tough(er). Your income will slightly decrease because Trump’s tax plan will increase your taxes a little.

If you are disabled, elderly, unemployed or below the poverty level … things are going to get even harder than they already are. People who are employed, and the rich folks look down on you like you are a blight on society. While they pay lip service to “Oh, I’ve had financial hard times, and I just picked myself up by the bootstraps and got going again” – they have never had genuinely hard times. The greatest majority had some kind of edge or advantage: a well-to-do family member to hire them; they lived in an area where their skills were in enough demand that getting a job wasn’t all that hard; they had been able to earn a Bachelor (or higher) degree and thus are more employable; they had friends or family to put in a good word for them to help get them hired – or they had been raised in an environment where they were effectively “groomed” to be able to find and maintain employment. Some has some kind of advantage that allowed them to start their own businesses and while I’m sure these people all worked quite hard and put in the time and effort … they still had some kind of advantage, or leg up. They are able-bodied and able-minded.

Not so for folks who are disabled. Just having a disability automatically closes many doors for employment or starting/running a business. No one will admit it (because it’s illegal) but there is serious and pervasive discrimination against the disabled when it comes to hiring them. “Well, I’m not sure my insurance would cover you” or, “I’m just not convinced you could actually handle the job” or, “I just can’t afford to go making all kinds of reasonable accommodations  for all you disabled folksor the felt, but unstated, “I don’t want people working for me who are physically or mentally messed up because I’m afraid they’ll just get in the way or need too much extra attention – or I just don’t like them.” They might be afraid someone with a mental disability will one day “go postal” and start shooting people! I could write many posts just on this topic alone.

You can’t make employers hire you. If you are low-income, chances are you’ll never qualify for large enough loans to get any viable business off the ground. And believe it or not, it’s even harder for disabled folks whose disability is not visible. Surprisingly, many people actually think people with invisible disabilities “are faking it.” For the sake of brevity, I won’t list invisible disabilities here, but here is a link to a site that discusses and details invisible disabilities: https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/invisible/

The elderly have most of the problems that disabled folks have, and they are discriminated against because “you’re just too old. We want young, vibrant, attractive people working here.”

But I digress.

Trump, buttressed by a Republican Congress and Senate – and the appointment of a U.S. Supreme Courts Justice who will rule in support of the right-wing agenda, will have the power to really screw this country up badly. The GOP has been chomping at the bit to cut taxes, cut government spending, undo everything they can that was put in place by democrats (ObamaCare, Clean Energy, Environmental protections, subsidies for the most vulnerable and needy in America, etc.).

Santa Rosa Enacts Rent Control

By a vote of 4-2, Santa City Council voted to enact rent control in Santa Rosa, California, one of the latest cities to enact rent control, as reported in the CBS SF Ba Area News web site here:

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/08/31/santa-rosa-enacts-rent-control-after-city-council-votes-4-2/

However, according to Santa Rosa’s Press Democrat newspaper web site, it was supposed to go into effect Friday, Sept 30th. Because of pressure from a powerful SIG, the California Apartment Association – and landlords, rent control has been delayed:

Opponents of Santa Rosa’s new rent control law appear to have submitted enough signatures to suspend the law and put the issue before voters.

A local property manager aligned with the California Apartment Association, which advocates for landlords statewide, turned in five boxes of petitions apparently bearing 12,543 signatures at City Hall Monday morning, Santa Rosa City Clerk Daisy Gomez said.

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/6131861-181/landlords-submit-anti-rent-control-petition

The CAA is a wealthy organization that takes in millions of dollars in contributions. Money that is being used to meddle in the affairs of cities across the state to corrupt the political process, and fight back against any reasonable renter protection proposals throughout California. The CAA has handed out $2,161,312 from 2004 to 2012 to politicians and their campaigns, according to Follow The Money.

[…]

“The Press Democrat has reported that many people are complaining already that they have been tricked into signing the petition to over-turn renter protections, and how people can have their name removed from the petition in Santa Rosa.

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2016/09/09/18791038.php

Obviously, the rich landlords are scared of a reduction in anticipated profits … they clearly don’t care about the hardships they are imposing on renters, many of whom pay over half their incomes for rent. It’s probably safe to assume that these landlords (the great majority of them) live in homes they own, homes that are nice, many are upscale.

They want to fight rent control because they fear rent control will force some of them to curtail their practice of gouging renters, charging far more than the properties are even worth, and from unfairly evicting renters.

The person who owns the apartments I live in makes many multimillions of dollars per year, bending renters over the barrel. He lives a pretty rich life, owns several businesses (his father already had a fortune in real estate, and his son was brought up with a silver spoon in his mouth and walked right into the family business and never had to struggle to get by. He has even made prejudiced statements maligning “poor people”). By contrast, I am disabled, struggling to get by on my limited, low-income, Social Security Disability benefits. And he’s raised my rent 66% in the last three years. People in Santa Rosa are facing comparable increases – some even greater. And while I don’t live in Santa Rosa, I live in the next city south of and connected to Santa Rosa, so what happens in Santa Rosa will likely have an impact in Rohnert Park, as well. Housing and rental prices are skyrocketing all over California – and even across the nation – and it’s damned unfair to renters. These greedy vultures are taking big advantage of the lack of housing stock to gouge and extort renters mercilessly.

UPDATE: Santa Rosa Takes A Big Step in the Right Direction!

UPDATE:

Santa Rosa City Council Members Deserve Big Kudos For Doing The Right Thing!SR-Rent-Control-Votes-

In a previous post in my other blog , I talked about the hostile rent environment in Santa Rosa, illustrating a need for the City Council to enact rent control and renter’s protections. According to KSRO.com, and the Press Democrat Newspaper the Santa Rosa City Council “voted 4-3 to  to approve a move that will set rent control into play in Santa Rosa …with an annual cap on rent hikes for apartments built before 1995 … as well as unfair eviction protections.”

It takes courage to stand against rich investment property owners, management companies and landlords in order to enact laws that actually protect some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. The Santa Rosa City Council members who voted in favor of the measure are to be commended for being responsive to the plight of the people in their city.

In my opinion … this is a major step in the right direction in that it indicates that the (major) problem of runaway unfair rental prices, and the lack of affordable housing, is actually reaching our government leaders and  they are actually starting to respond. 

Rent control, however, is only a part of the solution: many more affordable units need to be built in order to  better meet the housing needs of growing populations in our cities and counties (and states).

In an ideal world … there would be enough housing units available that property owners actually compete for tenants. In such a case, rental rates would become far more affordable. As it is, property owners are literally gouging renters and stoking class discrimination.

Organizations like the California Apartment Association and investment property owners (and even individual home-owner/landlords) love it when there are so many more people in need of housing than there are units available because it allows them to charge – literally – the maximum amounts that the the market (read: the wealthiest renters) can afford.  Those of us who are not wealthy … are clearly not any concern of theirs.

History has shown that when the “haves” can gouge those of lesser means – they will indeed do so, usually without conscience or care for the people they hurt in the process.

You Can’t Appeal to Their Compassion: They Have None

Greed drives them. Greed rules their actions. They really couldn’t care less about their tenants, and many of them don’t even care about keeping their buildings safe and in good repair (In the article below, one image shows that property management painted over mold growing in the wall). And if kicking old tenants out can get them more money from newer, more affluent tenants,  the old tenants are shit out of luck.

From the Sonoma County Press Democrat:

 SR-Evictions

Santa Rosa evictions trigger new fight over rights of tenants and landlords

A cluster of seven apartments off Todd Road has become the latest focal point in a legal — and increasingly political ­— battle over evictions in Sonoma County’s tight housing market.


Compare-IPOs-with-Renters

Investment Property Owners (IPOs) Have Renters “Over a Barrel”

Greedy Real Estate Investors: More money. Let’s manipulate the market so that making higher and higher profits is the only possible outcome. We have the power: we are investment property owners, and we have organizations lobbying to have cities and counties and the state legislate in our favor. The more money we make, the more power and influence we have over people on all levels. And if you don’t have enough money, we will boot your ass out. If you can’t make us richer, you’re an unworthy human being. Renters have some petty protections, but not really that many. We can take advantage of that. In California, on rental properties – as long as we give 60 days notice – we can charge any amount of rent we like! Better yet, we can boot old tenants, make cosmetic improvements (lipstick on a pig), hike the rent, and get more affluent renters.

They work through greedy real estate agents who are living it up at the expense of cash-strapped individual homeowners going through foreclosure. They make a killing on re-sales to investment property companies. It’s a win-win for IPOs and a “screw you” to the “little guys (i.e., renters).”

http://www.propertywire.com/news/features/us-foreclosure-property-misery-200904082843.html

In the Sonoma County Rental Market (as in many places around the nation), the abysmally low supply of rental units (averaging around 1%) creates an environment where rental property owners can jack up the rents endlessly, and renters have no choice but to pay – or go elsewhere.  For many, “go elsewhere” is not an option. Lesser income Seniors and disabled people have even less choice than most, and are disproportionately harmed by this hostile rental environment.

Government leaders need to either get significantly more rental units built to handle the demand and keep rents as reasonable as possible, or we need to institute rent control/rent stabilization laws. Renters (and individual property owners, too, since the greed is hurting them, as well)  need to stand up against these greedy real estate predators and stop them. Otherwise, more people are going to be displaced, homeless, financially ruined, or worse.

Yes, it’s THAT bad.