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          Does Obama Motivate Democrats Anymore? Or Just Republicans? – FiveThirtyEight      Cache   Translate Page      
FiveThirtyEightAnd Sanders is good at evoking it. Obama made history, and it’s hard to not like that if you’re a Democratic voter — and also, to Perry’s point, he doesn’t have personal problems that will tarnish him. And he’s young and will be a force in the party …The Limits of Obama’s LegacySlate Magazine all […]
          What If Lindsey Graham Isn't Compromised, What If He's Just LIKE THAT?      Cache   Translate Page      


Bob Woodward's book Fear was released Tuesday so someone should get around to reading it to Donald Trump next week (Sarah Huckabee Sanders calls "not it!"). It exposes a great deal of dysfunction within the White House but also reveals the corruption that has seeped out of it like a failed sewer line into other branches of government. Perhaps there's no better or more disappointing example than Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Graham, of all the Vichy Republicans who capitulated to President Trump, was the loudest Cassandra about candidate Trump. He scathingly summed up Trump in 2015 as a "race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot ... who doesn't have a clue about anything." Trump didn't spend 2016 at Clue! Academy. He actually ramped up the race-baiting and overall bigotry. Trump's election should've propelled Graham to the front lines of the NeverTrump conservative resistance with Evan McMullin, the guy he actually voted for, but instead he shifted course literally on election night, tweeting that Trump "defied laws about accepting aid from a hostile foreign power the odds and overcame many obstacles to win a stunning victory." Dude, this is the presidency. You're acting like Trump won the 2016 World Series.


Woodward's book describes Graham as playing a "starring role" in the Trump White House, practically "moving in" and attempting to exert his influence because, I dunno, maybe in this "race-baiting, xenophobic" administration he can get the trains to run on time. Collaboration with Trump has become the new "patriotism" and Graham is such a model collaborator, he should strut his stuff on a Paris runway.

Graham quickly wormed his way into Trump's good graces. He flattered him with a bunch of bare-ass lies about how only Trump, "the ultimate deal maker," could "right the ship" in Congress. Yeah, asshole's been divorced twice and sued literally thousands of times, but he'll resolve all the partisan rancor in Washington. This shameless self-abasement was enough to win Graham some golf dates with the putter-in-chief, and Trump pressed him relentlessly on why he wasn't his number one guy.

Trump wanted Graham's "100 percent" support instead of the "82 percent" he believed Graham was putting out (top off but bra still on, etc.). I'm not sure how Trump was getting these figures -- probably Ivanka and a slide rule. Graham massaged the issue, telling him he was a "good commander-in-chief" and that he was "cleaning up" Obama's mess. This satisfied Trump so he later offered Graham an ambassadorship to Pakistan. Graham shrewdly turned this down because he knew what's just where you send away the mistress so she'll stop asking you to leave your wife. He wanted to stay close and push Trump toward his own "hawkish view of foreign policy." Idiots claimed during the election that Trump was less "hawkish" than Hillary Clinton, and even if they were right (idiots usually aren't, though), Graham was actively working to undermine Trump's possibly one good idea. Trump even wondered when we might get around to ending the war in Afghanistan and Graham insisted NEVER! because the "good vs. evil never ends." Yo Joe!

Last September, Graham reportedly advised Trump to "encourage" China to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and replace him with a general "they control." That's gangster shit and is also precisely why so many other nations hate us. Graham isn't even Tom Hagen to Trump's Sonny Corleone. He's like Connie Corleone in The Godfather Part III. If I'm gonna live in a gangster movie, I want it to at least be a good one.

But this doozy Woodward drops regarding Graham and the late John McCain is really sickening.

Torn between his longtime friendship with the late U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and his efforts to influence Trump, Graham worked to repair the relationship between them by arranging a dinner with Trump, McCain and McCain's wife Cindy.

Graham tried to trade his supposed friend's soul for some Groupon promo codes. That's just low. Trump also offered to buy off the McCains by making Cindy an "ambassador focused on human trafficking," which she already does pretty well without him.

Graham later boasted of "managing" McCain so the GOP could screw poor people without the senator's whispers of conscience getting in the way.

Graham said his “chief job is to keep John McCain happy," to keep the senator from bucking his party's leadership," Graham said.

One of the few "good Republican" things about Graham was that he bucked the hardliners in his party on immigration. He was involved in the "Gang of Eight" immigration bill, which wasn't enough to get past the GOP-controlled House. Despite becoming BFFs with repulsive racist Steve Bannon (they spoke "every day" before Bannon left the White House), Graham still tried to promote sane immigration policies, which mostly failed and only resulted in Trump insulting people and eventually jailing immigrant children.

I confess I hoped that Putin had a file a foot deep on Graham, and his whiplash-inducing about-face was a clear indication he was compromised somehow. But Fear raises the very real possibility that Graham just thought he could control the mad king. The New York Times op-ed revealed that a lot of people believe they can use Trump to their advantage. "Fear" isn't strong enough to describe how it feels to learn that people like Graham are willing to look evil in the face, shrug, and say, "Maybe we can cut a deal?"

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          Trump touts strong economy as Obama pushes back [Video]      Cache   Translate Page      

Forbes Media Chairman Steve Forbes discusses how former President Barack Obama took partial credit for the growth of the U.S. economy and the anonymous op-ed put out by the New York Times.
          Political Roundup: Obama’s Address, and the Anonymous Op-Ed      Cache   Translate Page      
The Houston Matters experts discuss the latest national, state, and local political stories with an eye for how they might affect Houston and Texas.
          Review: Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh hates lies - Charleston Post Courier      Cache   Translate Page      

Charleston Post Courier

Review: Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh hates lies
Charleston Post Courier
Seymour Hersh is the honey badger of investigative journalism, the digger who uncovered the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, exposed abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and, more recently, claimed the Obama administration lied about how Osama bin ...


          Re: People Are “Fighting For Food” As Authorities Warn Florence “Could Produce A Disaster Comparable To 2005’s Hurricane Katrina”      Cache   Translate Page      

President Trump is a fine President and a true American Patriot. And Ovomit is just the opposite..........A TRAITOR AND LAWLESS SCUMBAG

Ovomit's
Acts of Treason:

1.Perpetrating acts of fraud, perjury and conspiracy in his refusal to confirm
his lawful eligibility to serve as president under the U.S. Constitution
Article II, Section 1, constituting impeachable offenses of high crimes and misdemeanors
adumbrated in U.S. Constitution Article II, Section 4;

2. Surrendering sovereign U.S. war-making to foreign powers and international
authorities by attacking Libya without consulting Congress, in violation of U.S. Constitution Article 1, Section 8 and U.S. Code Title 50, Chapter33:1541-1548;

3. Accepting foreign title and office while acting as U.S. President and without consulting Congress when in 2009, Obama assumed the Chairmanship of the UN Security
Council, the international body responsible for declaring war on behalf of the UN, in violation of U.S. Constitution Article I, Section 9;

4. Making
bribery attempts in word and in deed, as Obama administration offered bribes to
at least three Federal candidates for office: Joe Sestak, Andrew Romanoff and
Jim Matheson, in violation of U.S. Code Title 18, Section 201;

5. Defying a
Federal Court Order by refusing to halt the unconstitutional implementation of
the "Patient Healthcare and Affordable Care Act of 2010, popularly known
as "ObamaCare", in violation of U.S. Constitution Article II, Section
3, and Article III, Sections 1 & 2;

6. Defying a
Federal Court Order by refusing to grant lawful deep water drilling permits, in
violation of U.S. Constitution Article II, Section 3, and Article III, Sections
1 & 2;

7. Executive
Branch creation and implementation of regulations asserting unconstitutional
force of Federal law on matters explicitly rejected by or contrary to the will
and intent of Congress, specifically the EPA implementation of Cap and Trade,
in violation of U.S. Constitution Article I, Section 1 and Section 8;

8. Refusing
to secure our broken borders from illegal alien invasion, international
criminal incursion, and terrorist cadre penetration, in violation of U.S.
Constitution, Article III, Section 3 and Article IV, Section 4;

9. Executive
Branch malfeasance and impeding the administration of justice by preventing the
U.S. Department of Justice from investigating crimes committed for the direct
benefit of the President by presidential associates including: voter
intimidation at the hands of the New Black Panthers and ACORN election fraud,
in violation of U.S. Constitution Article II, Section 3, and U.S. Criminal Code
Section 135, (Comp. St. § 10305);

10. Direct
mobilizing and funding of mob violence, sedition and insurrection, as witnessed
in Wisconsin, by the President's own reelection campaign group Organizing for
America, and including open statements of incitement to the insurrection by the
President himself, in violation of U.S.Penal Code, Chapter 115, Section 2383;

11.
Executive Branch usurpation of lawmaking powers voiding duly enacted
legislation of Congress by improperly preventing the U.S. Department of Justice
from defending established Federal law – specifically the Defense of Marriage
Act, in violation of U.S. Constitution Article II, Section 3;

12. Adhering
to the enemies of the United States, giving them aid and comfort, as witnessed
by consorting with, supporting and installing to powerful Federal positions
persons who in writing, word and deed have called for and promoted the
overthrow of America's constitutionally guaranteed Republican form of
government, and the overthrow of the United States Constitution; including but
not limited to William Ayers, Bernadette Dohrn, Cass Sunstein, John Holdren,
Van Jones, Dalia Mogahed, Harold Koh, and Eric Holder, in violation of U.S.
Constitution, Article III, Section IV and U.S. Penal Code, Section 2385.

, according to Bill Gertz in the Washington Times, “the U.S. government has traced some of the
$1.7 billion released to Iran by the Obama administration to Iranian-backed
terrorists in the two years since the cash was transferred.”

There is a law that applies to this situation.
U.S. Code 2381 says: “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies
war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort
within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer
death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this
title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office
under the United States.”

But there is one thing Barack Obama has on all
competitors: treason.

He showered hundreds of billions of dollars on
the Islamic Republic of Iran. There are those who say, “It was their money. It
belonged to the Iranian government but was frozen and not paid since 1979.”
Indeed, and there was a reason for that: not even Jimmy Carter, who made the
Islamic Republic of Iran possible, thought that money, which had been paid by
the Shah’s government in a canceled arms deal, belonged to the mullahs who
overthrew the Shah. Likewise Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, and George W.
Bush all thought that the Islamic Republic was not due money that was owed to
the Shah.

Only Barack Obama did.

The definition of treason is giving aid and
comfort to the enemy. The leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran order their
people to chant “Death to America” in mosques every Friday, and repeatedly vow
that they will ultimately destroy the United States of America and the state of
Israel. How was giving them billions and helping them skirt sanctions applied
by the U.S. government not treason?

A List of Obama’s Constitutional
Violations

Ovomit took the
Presidential Oath, swearing to “.. preserve, protect and defend the
Constitution of the United States” but has:

§ Used Executive Action in direct opposition
to the law, and unilaterally changes the law for at least five million illegal
aliens; Article 1 Section 1, ALL Legislative power held by Congress; “he shall
take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” Article II Section 3; Article
I Section 8

§ In direct violation of ACA Law ( Section 36B
) ordered subsidies be paid under Federal Exchange. Article. I. Section. 1;
Article II, Section 3.

§ *Entered Treaty Agreement with Iran without
Advice & Consent of the Senate. No agreement (including one with the UN) is
valid without 2/3 Senate approval. Article II Section 2.

§ Operation Choke Point program – Direct
infringement on 2nd Amendment.

§ Violated statute on “Material Support of
Terrorism” by returning top terrorists back to terrorist organizations. Article
II Section 3; Dereliction of Duty Article II Section 4

§ Violated Appropriations Act (DOD Section
8111) – GAO report; Article II Section 3

§ Ignored law that requires Congress be
notified prior to any detainees being moved from Guantanamo. “he shall take
Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” Article II Section 3

§ Using EPA to “legislate” over States,
Congress, and Federal Court; Article II Section 3; Article I Section 8; Direct
violation of Presidential Oath.

§ Appointed 24+ Federal agency czars without
advice and consent of the Senate; Violation of Article II Section 2

§ Used Executive Privilege in regards to Fast
& Furious gun running scandal. When Government misconduct is the concern
Executive privilege is negated.

§ 23 Executive Orders on gun control –
infringement of the 2nd Amendment

§ Exposed identity and methods of operation of
a Navy SEALs team – Illegal for a President to reveal classified military
secrets. Article II Section 3

§ 2 Executive actions mandating private health
information on patients be turned over to NICS – Violation of HIPPA law.

§ Executive Order bypassing Congress on
immigration – Article 1 Section 1, ALL Legislative power held by Congress;
Article II Section 3; Article I Section 8

§ Unilaterally issued new exemptions to
immigration restrictions law that bars certain asylum-seekers and refugees who
provided “limited material support” to t

errorists. – Article 1 Section 1; Article I
Section 8 Congress shall have the Power..to establish an uniform Rule of
Naturalization.

§ Issued directive instructing ICE to NOT
enforce immigration laws in certain cases. Article 1 Section 1, ALL Legislative
power held by Congress; “he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully
executed,” Article II Section 3; Article I Section 8

§ Release of convicted illegal aliens ordered
in direct opposition to law-Article II Section 3

§ Expanded executive action for amnesty to
illegal immigrant relatives of DREAM Act beneficiaries. Article 1 Section 1,
ALL Legislative power held by Congress; “he shall take Care that the Laws be
faithfully executed,” Article II Section 3; Article I Section 8

§ Executive action directing DHS that almost
all immigration offenses were unenforceable absent a separate criminal conviction.
Article 1 Section 1, ALL Legislative power held by Congress; “he shall take
Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” Article II Section 3; Article I
Section 8

§ Ignoring Law (2006 Secure Fence Act) “he
shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” Article II Section 3

§ Used DOJ to ignore section 8 of the Voting
Rights Act. ” he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” Article
II Section 3

§ Used DOJ to prevent Arizona and Alabama from
enforcing immigration laws. – 10th Amendment

§ Information memorandum telling states that
they can waive the work requirement for welfare recipients, thereby altering
the 1996 welfare reform law. – Article 1 Section 1, ALL Legislative power held
by Congress.

§ Used NLRB to dictate to a business where
they can do business. (Boeing Dreamliner Plant). No Constitutional authority to
do so.

§ NDAA – Section 1021. Due process Rights
negated. Violation of 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Amendments.

§ Executive Order 13603 NDRP – Government can
seize anything

§ Executive Order 13524 – Gives INTERPOL
jurisdiction on American soil beyond law enforcement agencies, including the
FBI.

§ Executive Order 13636 Infrastructure
Cybersecurity – Bypassing Congress Article 1 Section 1, ALL Legislative power
held by Congress

§ Attempt to tax political contributions – 1st
Amendment

§ DOMA Law – Obama directed DOJ to ignore the
Constitution and separation of powers and not enforce the law. ” he shall take
Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” Article II Section 3

§ Dodd-Frank – Due process and separation of
powers. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau writing and interpreting law.
Article. I. Section. 1

§ Drone strikes on American Citizens – 5th
Amendment Due process Rights negated

§ Bypassed Congress and gave EPA power to
advance Cap-n-Trade

§ Attempt for Graphic tobacco warnings (under
appeal) – 1st Amendment

§ Four Exec. appointments – Senate was NOT in
recess (Court has ruled unconstitutional yet the appointees still remain)

§ Obama took Chairmanship of UN Security
Council – Violation of Section 9.

§ ACA (Obamacare) mandate – SCOTUS rewrote
legislation and made it a tax because there is no Constitutional authority for
Congress to force Americans to engage in commerce. SCOTUS has no authority to
Legislate or lay taxes. Article I Section 1 & 8.

§ Contraceptive, abortifacients mandate
violation of First Ammendment

§ Healthcare waivers – No president has
dispensing powers

§ Refuses to acknowledge state’s 10th
Amendment rights to nullify Obamacare

§ Going after states (AZ lawsuit) for
upholding Federal law (immigration) -10th Amendment.

§ Chrysler Bailout -TARP – violated creditors
rights and bankruptcy law, as well as Takings and Due Process Clauses – 5th
Amendment (G.W. Bush also illegally used TARP funds for bailouts)

§ The Independent Payment Advisory Board
(appointees by the president). Any decisions by IPAB will instantly become law
starting in 2014 – Separation of Powers, Article 1 Section 1.

§ Congress did not approve Obama’s war in
Libya. Article I, Section 8, First illegal war U.S. has engaged in. Impeachable
under Article II, Section 4; War Powers Act – Article II Section 3.

§ Obama falsely claims UN can usurp
Congressional war powers.

§ Obama has acted outside the constitutional
power given him – this in itself is unconstitutional.

§ Bribery of Senator Ben Nelson and Senator
Mary Landrey. (Cornhusker Kickback and Louisiana Purchase) Article II, Section
4.

§ With the approval of Obama, the NSA and the
FBI are tapping directly into the servers of 9 internet companies to gain
access to emails, video/audio, photos, documents, etc. This program is code
named PRISM. NSA also collecting data on all phone calls in U.S. – Violation of
4th Amendment.

§ Directed signing of U.N. Firearms treaty –
2nd Amendment.

§ The Senate/Obama immigration bill (approved
by both) raises revenue – Section 7. All Bills for raising Revenue shall
originate in the House of Representatives

§ Obama altered law – (A president has no
authority to alter law) Delayed upholding the Employer Mandate Law (ACA) until
2015 – Individual Mandate will be enforced. A President does not have that
authority – Article. I. Section. 1. All legislative Powersherein granted shall
be vested in a Congress of the United States; The president “shall take care
that the laws be faithfully executed” -Article II, Section 3; Equal Protection
Clause -14th Amendment.

§ Obama altered law – ACA Medicare cuts
delayed until 2015. Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3.

§ Obama altered law – Enforcement of
eligibility requirements for ACA delayed until 2015. Article. I. Section. 1;
Article II, Section 3.

§ Obama wavered ACA Income Verification
Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3.

§ Obama altered law – Delayed ACA caps on out
of pocket expenses until 2015. (when implemented premiums will skyrocket)
Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3.

§ Obama ignored judicial order to fulfill
legal obligation regarding Yucca Mountain waste. Article II, Section 3

§ Waived Federal provision that prevents U.S.
From arming terrorist groups – Article I. Section 1; Impeachable under Article
III, Section 3.

§ Directed State Department HS to ignore law
barring entry to U.S. those giving political or charitable aid to known
terrorist groups. Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3.

§ Obama shelves part of the ACA Law for
Insurers, extending the life of non-qualifying (according to ACA) plans until
Jan. 1, 2015. Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3. Violation of the
Take Care Clause, Separation of Powers.

§ Obama waved ACA individual mandate for those
that lost their insurance. Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3.
Violation of the Take Care Clause, Separation of Powers.

§ Obama alters ACA law and exempts companies
employing between 50-100 full-time workers from business mandate until 2016.
Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3.

§ In total, Obama has unilaterally altered ACA
24 times. Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3. Violation of the Take
Care Clause, Separation of Powers.


          Re: Wednesday: News and the open line      Cache   Translate Page      
"I can't imagine what it's like to be in the path of a killer hurricane knowing the president of the United States will congratulate himself if you die."--LOLGOP

"Trump Rolls Back Obama-era Pronunciation of Anonymous--Andy Borowitz

"Diverting funds from hurricane relief to pay for separating immigrant children from their parents is the most Republican thing ever."--Middle Age Riot
Posted by NeverVoteRepublican
          Re: People Are “Fighting For Food” As Authorities Warn Florence “Could Produce A Disaster Comparable To 2005’s Hurricane Katrina”      Cache   Translate Page      

Wars are good for the economy. Wars do NOT cause economic down turns..........liberals DO!!!!!!!!!

THE REASON FOR THE CRASH

Do liberals ever have a clue? Do they ever know facts? Do you know why the crashed happened? Do you have any clue? Have you ever heard of sub-prime mortgage? The Left created and institutionalized the sub-prime mortgage, and it started in Chicago where ACORN pioneered the concept and shook down area banks for risky minority loans with protests and harassment. Clinton signed a revision to the CRA and the rest is history. Banks didn't want to give those shaky loans and anyone with more than a few brain cells would know that. They were pushed into doing it by the government.
0lair was an advisor to the Communist ACORN at the time they were testing the sub-prime strategy in Chicago.
Dodd-Frank was the uber ironic legislation that moronically passed through Congress and is now destroying small and mid-sized banks. Chris Dodd and Barney Frank were the heads of their respective oversight committees and neither did anything to prevent Fannie and Freddie from churning out hundreds of billions in bad loans and worthless mortgage backed securities. It was TOTALLY the fault of the Commies, posing as Democrats. The banks are hardly perfect, but they didn't cause the collapse.
Banks are where capital comes from. Without capital, capitalism stalls, just like the Commies wanted. The sub-prime loan scheme, followed by the ridiculously restrictive over-reaction of Frank-Dodd has locked up a huge amount of desperately needed capital. The whole thing was planned and was intentional, per the Cloward-Piven strategy to bankrupt the economy as a way to destroy capitalism and usher in socialism.
Europe has been doing the same thing Obama wants to do, only for far longer. Socialism doesn't work. Capitalism does, but Europe hasn't been capitalistic, in the true sense of the word, in a long time.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012...


          Re: People Are “Fighting For Food” As Authorities Warn Florence “Could Produce A Disaster Comparable To 2005’s Hurricane Katrina”      Cache   Translate Page      

Both of these TRAITORS belong in PRISON!!!!

Obama and Hillary FIRED Benghazi heroes in Germany after 13-hour assault
The National Sentinel ^ | 9/12/18 | USA Features

New Details: On Tuesday, some Americans remembered a lesser-known ‘9/11’ anniversary — the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead including our ambassador, Christopher Stevens.

Tuesday night, former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, went on Sean Hannity’s program to provide new details about the night after the attack, which came in two waves and lasted some 13 hours.

What he told Hannity about the way President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton treated the U.S. security contractor heroes who tried to defend American soil that night should enrage everyone who hears the story.

(Excerpt) Read more at thenationalsentinel.com ...


          Re: People Are “Fighting For Food” As Authorities Warn Florence “Could Produce A Disaster Comparable To 2005’s Hurricane Katrina”      Cache   Translate Page      

BUSH and his madness led to Obama.
AFGHANISTAN WAR-longest American war in US history
longer than WW2...….
BUSH spent the money
GOOGLE
pallets of US DOLLARS flown into Afghanistan on US military planes, then the money disappeared and was stolen...
GOOGLE IT
if you don't believe me
GOOGLE IT
check for yourself


          Becoming: An Intimate Conversation With Michelle Obama To Make Special Limited Run Across The U.S. This Fall      Cache   Translate Page      

Click to view a price quote on LYV.

Click to research the Media industry.

          Jerry Brown Is Right. Trump’s Methane-Rule Rollback “Borders on Criminality.”      Cache   Translate Page      
“This is insane – it borders on criminality,” said California Gov. Jerry Brown yesterday about President Trump’s proposed revisions to Obama administration regulations on methane emissions from oil and gas wells. Brown has authority to speak, and not just because on Monday he signed SB (California Senate Bill) 100, which commits the Golden State to […]
          #VoteBlueNoMatterWho? #NoCanDo      Cache   Translate Page      
#AnyBlueJustWon'tDo for me.


As DWT posted a few weeks ago, it's almost nostril-pinching time for some.

Beto, as many of you know, is on Colbert tonight.  Panties and money will be thrown.

As I mentioned last week, he will have enough caysh to win.  Lack of name recognition should be no excuse for his losing, either.  That leaves only one thing: Latin@ turnoutSeveral media outlets have already mentioned it as key to Bob's victory, so I'll just refer you to Stace, who -- as referenced in Monday's Wrangle -- seems to be using the recent NALEO poll for excusing low turnout well in advance of the election.  Let's hope I'm just misunderstanding him, but ...

... frankly, if Trump and ICE and separating children from their parents and holding kids in cages, and policies like this, and Democrats like Lupe Valdez and Sylvia Garcia and Veronica Escobar and Lina Hidalgo and Adrian Garcia and a shit-ton of others on the ballot aren't enough to motivate turnout, then maybe turnout is impervious to motivation.  Exactly how much fucking worse must it get for La Raza in this country before they do something about it?

If I remember history rightly, black people have been tortured, murdered, lynched, dragged, burned, and hanged just for trying to vote.  And then they were poll-taxed.  And they're still pretty well kept from voting by any means Republicans deem necessary to this day.  Maybe I have a blind spot, but I just don't recall Latinxs having to put up with as much bullshit through the years as that.

If Latin@s (and maybe this should be read as 'Mexicans') are waiting for their engraved invitation to a banquet where all of their wishes, hopes, and dreams will be granted ahead of their citizen participation in selecting our leaders ... then somebody needs to take them aside and explain that politics doesn't work that way.

Power concedes nothing without a demand, said Frederick Douglass.  And the way that looks, hermanos y hermanas, is: first you show up, then you demand.  Your demand correspondingly includes withholding your future support if your prior demands are not met.  Maybe try something different besides doing nothing this year, see what happens.

On the bright side for Beto, my shero Sema is on board.


She's made a pragmatic political calculation here, to Gadfly's irritation.  She plans on challenging Cornyn in 2020, and there's simply no way that her harsh criticisms of the Democratic Party establishment -- published as an op-ed in the Chronic in late July-- would be forgiven if she did what I'm doing and went "bah-fungoo" at O'Rourke.

I'm gonna cut her some slack.  Part of this is inherently being DSA; if you're running on their ballot line, you're inside their party.  You are expected to fall in line in November.  She may have simply given in to Beto's most obvious charm: his empathy.  He listens well.

Let's also be clear that Poop Cruz, whoever it is Tweeting for him, his comms team generally, and the Texas GOP at large are the gifts that keep on giving to O'Rourke.  They are doing everything they possibly can to lose this race for the Zodiac Killer.  Beto has also been blessed with the most favorable media coverage ever.  For the life of me I cannot understand how he dances through these continuously blooming meadows of lilies, gilded and not.


There's no reason he should get special recognition for this.  He's already sworn off corporate money and PAC money (allegedly), right?  I find plaudits from McKibben here the equivalent of whooping for a 7-year old who successfully completes his first unattended poop, or a 14-year old who has managed to tie both his shoelaces.  It's very typical of the Congressman's national media coverage.  Read all of this, with the excerpt being the last sentence.

If O’Rourke really does have a chance to win this November, then he’s going to have to prove to be the political rock star all those profiles keep making him out to be. 

No Beto for me, but Mrs. Diddie will give him a vote.  Same for Elizabeth Fletcher (why does a corporate attorney go by such a childish, childhood name?), whom I find charisma-impaired on top of her more recent Labor Day hypocrisy.


Wasn't exactly her firm's position in 2016.  (Your vehement protests against personal characterization as a janitors' union buster have been duly noted, Lizzie.)

Her vanquished primary opponent, Laura Moser, has been graceful and hard-working in support of Ds of all stripes since March.  Both Sema and Laura are just better Democrats than me. 

While Moser would be more accurately called a Berniecrat and Sema DSA, I personally am more of a hybrid when you consider my affinity for the Greens, or any independent candidate running to the left of the Donks.  I like DSA and their inside strategy, but I'm also more than willing to part company when certain right-leaning Democrats -- Henry Cuellar, anyone?  Bueller?  -- fall too far outside tolerance limits, as they do for me with Beto and Lizzie.  YMMV, and this is not what the vast majority of Texas Democrats are accustomed to doing, as we all know.

I have a few more Dems I won't be voting for, and a list of those that I will, which may surprise some of you reading this far.  I'll try to get that posted before the weekend.

          Comment on Primary Season's Last Lap by Michale      Cache   Translate Page      
Thanks, Obama! Barack Obama reminds us why Donald Trump is president By David Harsanyi SEPTEMBER 10, 2018 “How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad,” former President Barack Obama asked a crowd in Illinois over the weekend. Well, probably no harder than saying the words “radical Islam,” I imagine. Or maybe it’s slightly less difficult than not sending billions of dollars to Holocaust-denying terror regimes that have both the means and intent to murder Jews—in 2018, not 1942. And it’s definitely a lot easier than not meeting, posing, then smiling for a picture with Louis Farrakhan. But thanks for the lecture. Obama may well find the presence of a few hundred pathetic white supremacists more perilous than a deadly worldwide ideological movement with millions of adherents. But just as Obama’s sins do not excuse President Trump’s inexplicable answer to the Charlottesville riot, Trump’s words don’t excuse the most divisive modern president, a man whose unilateralism and contempt for the process and the Constitution helped create the environment America now find itself in. While Obama’s self-reverential speech was crammed with revisionism, the most jaw-dropping contention from the former president was probably a defense of his record on free speech: “I complained plenty about Fox News,” the scandal-ridden Obama explained, “but you never heard me threaten to shut them down, or call them ‘enemies of the people.’” That’s the thing. We often hear Trump’s hyperbolic, and sometimes destructive, attacks on the press. Thankfully, as of yet the president hasn’t applied the power of the state to inhibit anyone’s free expression. And this is no thanks to liberals’ eight-year efforts to empower the executive branch when that was useful to them. It’s worth remembering that it was Obama who called out the Supreme Court during a State of the Union speech for defending the First Amendment in the Citizens United case, and his allies who still argue that state should be able to ban political documentaries — and, yes, books. Let’s also not forget Obama’s Internal Revenue Service admitted then apologized for cracking down on conservative political groups. It was the Obama administration that blamed the Benghazi attack on free speech, apologizing to tyrannies for the excesses of free expression, and then, for good measure, threw the amateurish videomaker behind “The Innocence of Muslims” into jail. Most of all, let’s not forget that Obama did a lot more than complain about Fox News. The administration was so preoccupied with the cable news network (the only major station that could reasonably be seen as the opposition) that top-ranking administration officials like Anita Dunn, Rahm Emanuel, and David Axelrod all engaged in a concerted effort to openly delegitimize its coverage. That was unprecedented, but okay. Less okay, though, was that not long after that effort, Attorney General Eric Holder decided to spy on a Fox journalist—shopping his case to three separate judges, until he found one who let him name reporter James Rosen as a co-conspirator in a crime of reporting the news. 8/13 https://thefederalist.com/2018/09/10/barack-obama-reminds-us-why-donald-trump-is-president/ Once again, if ANYONE wants to thank someone for giving us President Trump... There is the one to thank.... Barack Odumbo...
          Comment on Primary Season's Last Lap by Michale      Cache   Translate Page      
Party loyalty? Do you even know what party I belong to? Of course you don't! I don't belong to a party, I've never registered with one, and I've never voted a straight party ticket. I've supported both Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama in presidential elections and before his retirement, I consistently supported Libertarian Ron Paul as my congressman. I support ideas, actions, and people, not parties. Your actions have been repugnant and your ideas objectionable, and while I do not know you personally, I'm not inclined to believe that I'd like you much either, so you do not have my support. I suspect that many others around here feel similarly. It's not an issue of party allegiance, it's simply that people who go out of their way to irritate (or worse) other people should not be surprised when those other people don't go out of their way to stick up for them. We're only human after all. Here is why I simply can't believe your sincerity, Bleyd.. You go on and on about MY actions and COMPLETELY ignore the FACT of Victoria's gross and perverse attacks on my family.. I have asked you about it SEVERAL times but you ignore it.. THAT proves to me that you don't really care about vile and disgusting attacks, unless it's someone who you politically disagree with, who is making the attacks.. Until you can be FAIR about things, this discussion is pointless because you are bigoted against those who don't toe your Party line.. This is what the FACTS prove beyond any doubt..
          Comment on Primary Season's Last Lap by Bleyd      Cache   Translate Page      
M51 Party loyalty? Do you even know what party I belong to? Of course you don't! I don't belong to a party, I've never registered with one, and I've never voted a straight party ticket. I've supported both Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama in presidential elections and before his retirement, I consistently supported Libertarian Ron Paul as my congressman. I support ideas, actions, and people, not parties. Your actions have been repugnant and your ideas objectionable, and while I do not know you personally, I'm not inclined to believe that I'd like you much either, so you do not have my support. I suspect that many others around here feel similarly. It's not an issue of party allegiance, it's simply that people who go out of their way to irritate (or worse) other people should not be surprised when those other people don't go out of their way to stick up for them. We're only human after all.
          Шефът на Пентагона отрича да е критикувал Тръмп      Cache   Translate Page      

Американският министър на отбраната Джим Матис се озовава против волята си под светлината на прожекторите: новата книга на Боб Удуърд, която излиза днес по книжарниците, му приписва изключително критични изказвания по адрес на Доналд Тръмп и това го поставя в трудно положение.

В книгата със заглавие "Страх: Тръмп в Белия дом" спечелилият световна слава заради разкриването заедно с Карл Бърнстейн на аферата "Уотъргейт" (принудила президента Ричард Никсън да подаде оставка) разследващ журналист цитира изказване на Матис, според което американският президент има равнище на разбиране колкото 10 или 11-годишно дете. Цитатът е от публикувани миналата седмица от "Вашингтон пост" откъси от книгата. Матис веднага отрече:

"Презрителните думи по адрес на президента, които са ми приписани в книгата на Удуърд, никога не са били изричани нито от мен, нито в мое присъствие", посочи той в изявление.

Въпреки признанието си, че изготвянето на всяка политика е "по същината си хаотичен" процес, Матис нарече разследването на Боб Удуърд "измислица" и каза, че позоваването на анонимни източници намалява достоверността му.

Тръмп сякаш остана доволен от изявлението на своя министър на отбраната, като сподели в Туитър целия му текст и го цитира след това няколко пъти.

Това обаче не е първият път, когато доста критични изказвания по адрес на Тръмп са приписвани на високопоставен представител на правителството му. Американски медии разпространиха информация, че бившият държавен секретар Рекс Тилърсън е нарекъл президента "дебил". Няколко месеца по-късно той бе уволнен.

Боб Удуърд застана зад твърденията си и вчера по телевизия Ен Би Си обвини Матис, че "не казва истината", за да запази поста си.

Нови опровержения

Матис "не е правил подобни коментари. По тази причина няма и да поеме отговорност за тези думи", заяви говорителят на Пентагона полковник Роб Манинг на пресконференция.

"Самата мисъл, че той може да говори презрително по адрес на избрания върховен главнокомандващ, е абсурдна".

Пенсионираният генерал от морската пехота Матис като военен стриктно спазва дискретност и мрази да говори пред камера. Той даде досега само четири излъчвани по телевизията пресконференции и отказва интервюта, но охотно разговаря с акредитираните към Пентагона журналисти.

В тези разговори Матис избягва всякакво обсъждане на политически въпроси или на отношенията си с Тръмп и не се колебае да порицае журналистите, които споменават проявилите се с течение на месеците разногласия с американския президент - например по иранското ядрено споразумение, от което Тръмп се отказа през май, а Матис искаше да бъде съхранено или за създаването на Космически сили, на което Матис се противопостави, но за което Тръмп настоя.

Според Боб Удуърд Тръмп попитал на едно от заседанията на екипа си по националната сигурност в Белия дом защо САЩ продължават да поддържат военно присъствие на Корейския полуостров.

"За да бъде избегната Трета световна война", отговорил Матис.

Раздразнен, той казал пред приближени по-късно, че президентът се държи като "дете на 10 или 11 години".

Удуърд твърди също, че след химическата атака през април 2017 г., приписана на режима на Башар ал Асад, Тръмп се обадил на Матис и му казал, че иска сирийският президент да бъде убит.

"Да убием кучия син! Давайте! Да ги атакуваме и да ги избием", наредил Тръмп. След края на разговора Матис се обърнал към един от съветниците си и казал: "Няма да правим нищо подобно. Ще бъдем много по-сдържани".

До този момент Матис успя да запази солидния си образ начело на Пентагона и често именно към него се обръщат съюзниците, когато президентът заплашва, че ще излезе от международни споразумения или военни алианси.

През последните месеци обаче, след като начело на Държавния департамент застана бившият ръководител на ЦРУ Майк Помпео и след назначаването на "ястреба" Джон Болтън за съветник по националната сигурност на Тръмп, Матис бе изтласкан на втори план.

Остава да се види какво влияние ще окаже книгата на Боб Удуърд върху съдбата му.


          Former first lady Michelle Obama bring her ‘Becoming’ book tour to the Forum in November      Cache   Translate Page      
Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, Sept. 21.
          Former first lady Michelle Obama bring her ‘Becoming’ book tour to the Forum in November      Cache   Translate Page      
Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, Sept. 21.
          Re: Tuesday Toon: Presidential Polygraph      Cache   Translate Page      
What a bunch of fukin cry babies that are so stupid thinking Obama had anything to do with the economy. the ones that should be tested are Robert Mueller and the top FBI people that have leaked material to the press and still haven't shown any collusion except that the Clintons had a good hand in this BS so far.
Posted by Clifford Breidenfeld
          Re: Tuesday Toon: Presidential Polygraph      Cache   Translate Page      
It would really add to his credibility if Obama were able to explain just how he did it. But we all know that he can't because he didn't.

GREAT AGAIN: Middle-class income hit all-time high of $61,372...
Posted by Hope Against Successes
          Re: Tuesday Toon: Presidential Polygraph      Cache   Translate Page      
No, Hope Against Successes. The Obama recovery will continue with or without Trump.
Posted by elbeso
           Michelle Obama to visit 10 cities for 'Becoming' book tour       Cache   Translate Page      
NEW YORK (AP) - Michelle Obama will visit 10 cities to promote her memoir "Becoming," a tour featuring arenas and other performing centers to accommodate...
          Analysts Debunk the White House's Myth of the Booming 'Trump Economy'       Cache   Translate Page      
Trump thinks he's created a booming economy all on his own.

President Donald Trump frequently lies when he boasts about the performance of the economy under his presidency, just as he lied when claimed the positive economic data under President Barack Obama was "phony."

But on Monday, Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Kevin Hassett offered a much more thorough and systematic approach to defending the claim that the Trump administration has led to a booming economy. (Hassett also acknowledged that Trump's recent boast about the economy on Twitter was off by an order of magnitude.)

However, as multiple responses to Hassett's claims have revealed, even this more sophisticated argument fails to make the case for a Trump-induced boom.

Writing for the Washington Post, Matt O'Brien explained:

During President Barack Obama’s last 19 months in office, the economy added an average of 208,000 jobs a month; during President Trump’s first 19 months in office, it’s added an average of 189,000 jobs a month.

During Obama’s last 19 months, the share of 25- to-54-year olds who have a job rose 1.1 percentage points; during Trump’s first 19 months, it rose 0.9 percentage points.

During Obama’s last 19 months, wage growth went up 0.3 percentage points; during Trump’s first 19 months, wage growth went up 0.2 percentage points.

These are the facts that the Trump administration seems to think it can transform into evidence that it’s made the recovery better than it was before.

He explained that, despite Hassett's efforts to squint at the data and see a major impact after the 2016 elections, the trends tell basically one story: the economy under Trump has essentially been a continuation of the economy under Obama.

Some of the changes the White House attributes to Trump, he continued, are more plausibly attributable to other factors.

"The Trump administration likes to think that investment has gone up because of the magic of the Republicans' big corporate tax cuts. But the reality is a lot more mundane: It’s oil," he wrote. "Drilling, you see, makes up a big part of business investment, so it should be no surprise that it flatlined after oil prices collapsed in 2014 and then rebounded after prices went up in 2016. It’s possible that the tax cuts will eventually increase investment, but they haven’t so far."

Jordan Weissman, writing for Slate, similarly found Hassett unconvincing.

"One of the most baffling parts of Hassett’s presentation was his attempt to show that the job market had vastly improved, using the employment rate among 25- to 54-year-olds," explained Weissman. "If you take a longer view, and use the actual employment rate rather than a rolling average, it’s hard to see any noticeable change in the trend after November 2016."

Yet even if the White House's claims about Trump's near-term impact on the economy were true, it wouldn't answer some of the most essential questions about his policies. Are massive tax cuts for the wealthy, financed by deficit spending, and a reckless deregulatory push in the environmental and financial realms a recipe for the long-term economic health and wellbeing of the nation?

Almost certainly not — but Republicans prefer not to have this conversation.

Weissman does argue that some of what Trump and the Republicans have done may have given the economy a boost in recent months (rather than the post-election bump Hassett argued for.) By cutting taxes and increasing spending, the GOP has essentially given the economy modest stimulus, which President Barack Obama had constantly pushed for in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

"The White House economic team does not actually want to admit that it has juiced growth through fiscal stimulus, because most dedicated conservatives still insist that stimulus doesn’t really work," wrote Weissman. "Instead, it wants to credit deregulation and the effects of tax cuts on business investment rather than their impact on household spending. That’s why, even if the administration deserves some acknowledgment for its actual economic policies, it’s still important to debunk its economic arguments."

 

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          A top Democrat just laid out their plan to probe Trump if they win back control — including looking at his personal finances      Cache   Translate Page      

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 11: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks while meeting with FEMA Administrator Brock Long and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in the Oval Office September 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump and Long warned coastal residents of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia to adhere to evacuation orders as Hurricane Florence approaches the east coast of the United States. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • Democrats plan to mount countless investigations into President Donald Trump if they take back the House majority in the November midterm elections.
  • The areas Democrats want to probe is vast, which could bring the Republican policy agenda to a grinding halt.
  • A top Democrat in the House also said probing Trump's personal finances is on the table.

WASHINGTON — Democrats plan to dramatically increase their oversight role if they take back the House majority in the midterm elections this November. The investigations into President Donald Trump's administration, which could bring the White House's policy agenda to a standstill, will cover a sizable amount of the executive branch.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer listed several of the areas Democrats would prioritize if they take back the House and mount a series of investigations, most of which involved the administration's economic and health care agendas.

The committees on the Budget, Ways and Means, and Financial Services would probe Trump's handling of the US economy and budgetary process, while others would look into botched natural disaster responses. Among the highest priorities for Democrats would be the Trump administration's dismantling of former President Barack Obama's signature policy, the Affordable Care Act.

"In terms of oversight, we’ll be looking at what they’re doing administratively to undermine the operations of the Affordable Care Act and what consequences they may have caused to literally millions of people," Hoyer said in a meeting with reporters on Wednesday.

The oversight would involve everything from records requests to hauling in administration officials to testify in committee hearings.

An area that could be particularly stressful for Trump is the probing of his personal finances and benefits his properties and companies may or may not be receiving during his presidency.

"I think we’ll try to focus on issues which undermine the American people," Hoyer added. "Also I think we want to focus on the integrity of the interests of the president in terms of what interests he has and is he pursuing policies that are in the public’s interest or in the Trump investment interest."

While Hoyer hammered in that they would not want any investigations to be politically motivated, the accusations would likely come no matter what. When Republicans constantly probed officials and agencies during the Obama administration, many were called political witch hunts.

During the first two years of the Trump administration, House Republicans have avoided many of the heavy-handed investigations like the ones they wielded during Obama's tenure.

The House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections concluded long before the Senate's similar probe, which is ongoing. House Intelligence Committee members, including some Republicans, condemned the process as a failure.

Republican Rep. Tom Rooney of Florida, who is retiring at the end of the year, said the investigation has "lost all credibility" and "gone completely off the rails."

And Democrats on the committee called the investigation incomplete, suggesting a Democratic-controlled Congress could renew such efforts.

"On a whole host of investigative threads, our work is fundamentally incomplete, some issues partially investigated, others, like that involving credible allegations of Russian money laundering, remain barely touched," said Rep. Adam Schiff, the Intelligence Committee's ranking Democrat. "If the Russians do have leverage over the president of the United States, the majority has simply decided it would rather not know."

The pledge by Democrats to pursue countless investigations into the Trump administration could put a serious hindrance on Republicans' agenda — and create dozens of nightmare scenarios for the president.

SEE ALSO: Democrats in red states have started using guns in campaign ads

Join the conversation about this story »

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          For the first time since Obamacare passed, the number of Americans without health insurance did not fall      Cache   Translate Page      

obama trump

  • The percentage of Americans without health insurance remained steady at 8.8% in 2017, according to the Census Bureau.
  • The flat rate was the first time since 2010 that the number of uninsured did not fall since the Affordable Care Act's passage in 2010.
  • The Census also showed a growing divide between states that took advantage of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion and those that declined the expansion.

The percentage of Americans without health insurance did not decline on 2017, marking the first time since the passage of the Affordable Care Act that the uninsured rate held steady.

According to the Census Bureau28.5 million Americans, or 8.8% of the population, went without health coverage in 2017. That number was a slight increase from the 28.1 million Americans without insurance in 2016, though the rate of 8.8% was consistent. The Census Bureau said the increase was not statistically significant.

The Census report also confirmed the growing chasm between states that decided to take advantage of the ACA's Medicaid expansion and those that did not.

The ACA, better known as Obamacare, allowed states to expand Medicaid coverage to people making up to 138% of the federal poverty line. Since then, 31 states and Washington, DC, have adopted the expansion.

"In states that expanded Medicaid eligibility ('expansion states'), the uninsured rate in 2017 was 6.5%, compared with 12.2% in states that did not expand Medicaid eligibility ('non-expansion states')," the Census Bureau said in the report.

In fact, the uninsured rate in states that did not expand Medicaid went up 0.7 percentage points compared to the stable rate in states that did expand Medicaid. Since 2013, the uninsured rate in expansion states is down 7 percentage points, compared to just 5.3 percentage points in non-expansion states.

Screen Shot 2018 09 12 at 3.42.53 PM

The flat uninsured rate came in President Donald Trump's first full year in office. Throughout the year, Republicans and the Trump administration attempted to dismantle Obamacare, though multiple bids to repeal and replace the ACA failed.

The administration did take actions that many experts said would destabilize Obamacare's individual insurance marketplaces, including reducing outreach to get people to sign up for plans.

Perhaps most significantly, Republicans repealed Obamacare's individual mandate — the requirement that all Americans get insurance or face a monetary penalty — as part of their tax bill.

Some experts blamed the stall on the meddling by the Trump administration and GOP.

Matt Broaddus, a senior research analyst at the left-leaning Center of Budget and Policy Priorities, pointed to the studies that showed a large swath of the uninsured are eligible for cheap coverage under the ACA as evidence that the uncertainty and lack of outreach were the cause of the stall.

"Last year’s sabotage efforts likely prevented additional coverage gains by creating barriers to obtaining available and affordable coverage," Broaddus wrote. "Roughly 55% of the uninsured are eligible for health insurance coverage with financial assistance under the ACA or other public programs, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute find."

Phillip Klein, the managing editor of the Washington Examiner and conservative healthcare analyst, argued that the stability of the uninsured rate proved that Democrats claims that Trump "sabotaged" Obamacare are overblown.

"Had there been a significant dip, it would have bolstered Democrats' case," Klein wrote. "Now Republicans can argue that despite all of the apocalyptic warnings, the uninsured rate is the same under Trump as it was under Obama."

"Various actions of the Trump administration, such as slashing the ad and outreach budget for Obamacare and ending certain payments to insurers, have been used by Democrats to charge that the Trump administration has launched a concerted effort to sabotage the law. But that is not visible in the numbers," he said.

Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan healthcare think tank, said the new data is inconclusive to make a determination either way.

"Progress in reducing the uninsured rate was already stalled, pre-Trump," Levitt tweeted Wednesday. "Increases in the number of people uninsured could come this year and next, as changes to the ACA from the Trump administration and Congress take hold."

SEE ALSO: Trump's trade war with China is still raging — here are the states that could end up getting whacked

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          Comment on DML LIVE (Wed – Sept 12) by Starr3214      Cache   Translate Page      
Obama caused the inflation and the numbers that our gov't is releasing are not real. Groceries went up 30% and I just heard an American gov't economist say it was 2%! Obama ordered the Feds to print lots of money which caused the inflation. Then we have 40 million illegals taking up housing,,,and also taking the affordable housing built for American citizens. We have so many seniors now ripped off by the Social Security system. who paid into SS a couple millions and get a check below the poverty line. The legislators steal our money and give it to lobbyist clients, and raise their own salaries, but refusing to raise the Soc Security money or the welfare limits,,,
           Comment on Bloomington Citizens get to Fund Rent by Diane Benjamin - editor       Cache   Translate Page      
Obama had trillion dollar deficits. Where were you then?
           Comment on Bloomington Citizens get to Fund Rent by DaxDaxterson       Cache   Translate Page      
And your demeaning of Obama is sad. He's not president. Trump has been in office 14 months and added 1 trillion to debt. This country will spend $559 billion more than we take in under Trump. So no, spending is not "decreasing" not by a long shot. Actually, TARP laws passed BEFORE Obama took office, not after. Obama "prolonged" the recession? What, he wasn't working fast enough to get us out of the worst recession since 1929? That's rich. The fact that we were adding jobs at a very fast clip at the end of his administration belies your contention. "Overall, Obama took over a jobs market in crisis and ended up growing the labor market better than most of the modern US presidents." Business Insider Jan. 6 2017.
           Comment on Bloomington Citizens get to Fund Rent by Diane Benjamin - editor       Cache   Translate Page      
Notice how the spending is decreasing? Obama wasn't forced to throw money at the economy, he prolonged the recession that never ended for a lot of Americans by doing that. Hence TRUMP. Government doesn't create prosperity, it wrecks it.
          METHANE: Oil industry gets its wish on emissions rule      Cache   Translate Page      
Oil and gas companies offered praise and infuriated green groups voiced outrage yesterday as the Trump administration delivered on its promise to dial back key elements of the Obama-era methane rule.
          Review: Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh hates lies - Charleston Post Courier      Cache   Translate Page      

Charleston Post Courier

Review: Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh hates lies
Charleston Post Courier
Seymour Hersh is the honey badger of investigative journalism, the digger who uncovered the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, exposed abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and, more recently, claimed the Obama administration lied about how Osama bin ...


          Melania Trump’s Team Tried To Come For Issa Rae And Failed      Cache   Translate Page      
    In a recent n interview with Glamour, Rae reflected on talking about “Insecure” with former first lady Michelle Obama. “She had just finished watching the finale, and she was like, ‘That fakeout — how could you do that? I thought you and Lawrence were going to live happily ever after,’” Rae said. “It was like talking to […]
          Michelle Obama to visit 10 cities for 'Becoming' book tour      Cache   Translate Page      
NEW YORK – Michelle Obama will visit 10 cities to promote her memoir "Becoming," a tour featuring arenas and other performing centers to accommodate crowds far too big for any bookstore.

The former first lady will begin at the United Center in her native Chicago on Nov. 13, the book's release date. She will finish at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Dec. 17, Live Nation and the Crown Publishing Group announced Wednesday. In between, appearances will include Barclays Center in New York City, the Pepsi Center Arena in Denver and The Forum in Los Angeles.

Obama and former President Barack Obama each have been working on memoirs, for which they negotiated a multimillion dollar deal with Crown. No date has been set for his book, although it's expected in 2019.


          If polls consistently show that more than 70% of Americans are in favor of the Affordable care Act, then where did all those anti-Obamacare tweets come from? Well, Tovarich, there is a very simple answer to that [Obvious]      Cache   Translate Page      
Obvious [link] [77 comments]

          Selección de lecturas de Barack Obama      Cache   Translate Page      

A pesar de abandonar la presidencia de Estados Unidos en enero de 2017, Barack Obama continúa muy activo en redes...

La entrada Selección de lecturas de Barack Obama se publicó primero en Actualidad Literatura.


          Armageddon Rides in the Balance      Cache   Translate Page      
SUBHEAD: Never before have irrationality and immorality had such a firm hold on the US government.

By Paul Craig Roberts on 10 September 2018 for PaulCraigRoberts.org -
(https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/09/10/armageddon-rides-in-the-balance/)


Image above: Many in this world inhabit Armageddon already. Damaged buildings are seen at the Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus, Syria. April 28, 2018. Photo by Omar Sanadiki. From (https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/syria-regime-and-rebels-agree-evacuation-deal-in-southern-damascus-1.725770).

IB Publisher's note: Yes Paul Craig Roberts is a nutcake. He is a Ronald Reagan Republican economist who sees clearly, but through a deeply colored filter. None the less, he does have an inkling of the dichotomy between the "Left" and the "Right". The "Left" with elements of the "Deep State" (intelligence complex, CIA, NSA, State Department, etc) and the "Right" with elements of the "Military-Industrial Complex" (Pentagon, Defense contractors, Mercenary operations, ICE, etc.). Both aspects of our government are hurtling towards a more repressive and garrulous America. As these aggressive and regressive forces gain influence, woe is us. America will conduct more war and experience more repression.] 

For some time I have pointed out the paradox of the American liberal/progressive/left being allied with the CIA, FBI, military/security complex and deep state. Now leftist Ann Garrison has noticed the paradox of this alliance. She concludes that the Left has lost its mind. https://www.globalresearch.ca/we-love-the-cia-or-how-the-left-lost-its-mind/5653450

Indeed, it has.

Out of its hatred of Trump the Left has united with the forces of evil and war that are leading to conflict with Russia. The Left’s hatred of Trump shows that the American Left has totally seperated from the interests of the working class, which elected Trump.

The American Left has abandoned the working class for the group victimizations and hatreds of Identity Politics. As Hillary put it, the working class comprises the “Trump deplorables.” The Democratic Party, like the Republicans, represents the ruling oligarchy.

I have explained that the leftwing lost its bearings when the Soviet Union collapsed and socialism gave way to neoliberal privatizations.

The moral fury of the leftwing movement had to go somewhere, and it found its home in Identity Politics in which the white heterosexual male takes the place of the capitalist, and his victim groups—blacks, women, homosexuals, illegal immigrants—take the place of the working class.

The consequences of the leftwing’s alliance with warmongers and liars is the leftwing’s loss of veracity. The Left has endorsed a CIA orchestration—“Russiagate”—for which there is no known evidence, but which the Left supports as proven truth.

The purpose of “Russiagate” is to prevent President Trump from normalizing relations with Russia. In these times when so many Americans are hard pressed, normal relations could adversely impact the budget and power of the military/security complex by reducing the “Russian threat.”

If there is no real Russian threat, only an orchestrated perceived one, the question arises: why does the military/security complex have a taxpayer-supported annual budget of $1,000 billion dollars?

The presstitutes have kept the truth from emerging that the “Russiagate” investigation has found no sign of a Trump/Putin plot to steal the 2016 presidential election from Hillary.

Indeed, it has been proven beyond all questioning that the Hillary emails were not hacked but were downloaded on a thumb drive. This proof collapses the entire premise of “Russiagate.”
Nevertheless, the hoax continues.

Muller’s indictments are for unrelated matters, such as income tax evasion in the distant past of Republican fund raisers and consultants. These charges have nothing whatsoever to do with Mueller’s mandate.

Indeed, as Andrew C. McCarthy, a former US attorney who led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, has made clear, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller to head the “Russiagate” investigation is not in compliance with the regulations that govern the appointment of a special prosecutor.

The appointment of a special prosecutor requires evidence of a specific federal crime that is to be investigated. You only have a special prosecutor when there is factual basis for believing that a federal crime has been committed.

What is the federal crime? What is the factual basis? Mueller’s appointment does not say. Therefore, Mueller’s appointment is invalid. Rosenstein has violated the process.

In my opinion, this is grounds for Rosenstein to be removed from office. https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/trump-russia-probe-robert-mueller-investigation/

At one time, Congress—both parties—would have been all over the invalid Mueller appointment.

However, after 16 years of Cheney/Bush and Obama regime lawlessness, even Republicans accept that the Constitution’s restraints on executive branch power, along with the laws and regulations Congress has established specifying the exercise of these powers, have been rendered meaningless by the “war on terror,” a hoax designed to further Israel’s interests in the Middle East and the neoonservative doctrine of US hegemony, while making billions of dollars for the military/security complex.

Charlie Savage’s book, Takeover, and David Ray Griffin’s book, Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World, accurately document how 9/11 was used to destroy the Constitution’s balance of power within the government and to create unaccountable executive branch powers that over-ride the Constitution’s protection of civil liberty.

This demand for an unaccountable executive branch, pushed by VP—actually President in fact—Dick Cheney and his minions, such as Addington and John Yoo, was the agenda of the Republican Federalist Society.

An early book laying out the legally invalid and legally incompetent argument that the president had powers unchecked by Congress or the judiciary was Terry Eastland’s book, Energy in the Executive.

This collection of nonsense became Cheney’s bible as he proceeded in secret to remove constraints on executive branch power. The elevation of the executive branch above the law of the land is documented in Charlie Savage’s book. Read it and weep for your country destroyed by Dick Cheney.

On top of Cheney’s coup against accountable government, we have in America today another coup, organized by former CIA director John Brennan, former FBI director Comey, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, the Democratic National Committee, the departed Republican senator John McCain, a coup fully supported by the entirety of the US presstitute media.

This coup is against the democratically elected President of the United States for the sole reason that he threatens the power and profit of the entrenched military/security complex, about which President Eisenhower warned us 57 years ago, by wanting to normalize relations with Russia, the world’s premier nuclear power.

The question is unavoidable: Why do the American people put up with this? Are they so insouciant that they have no realization that, if a president can be driven from office because he wants peace with Russia, the removed president’s successor will have to stand against Russia or also be driven from office. Trust and negotiation between the nuclear powers becomes impossible.

Why do Americans support conflict with a nuclear power that can completely destroy America?

During the entirety of the Cold War, in which I was a participant, the emphasis was on reducing tensions and creating trust. Today Washington’s interest is piling provocation after provocation on a country that can wipe us off the face of the earth.

The liberal/progressive/left, the Democratic National Committee, the CIA and the rest of the covert state, and the media whores all share this same commitment to the reckless and irresponsible provocation of a powerful nuclear power. As the US military itself acknowledges, Russia’s weapons are far beyond America’s defenses.

So what is going on? Is it the liberal/progressive/left’s desire that evil America be destroyed? Is this desired destruction of evil America the reason the Left has allied itself so tightly with the warmongers in Washington?

Is this the reason that the Left and the Democrats and a handful of Republicans want to impeach President Trump for attempting to make peace with Russia?

How can these crazed immoral people present themselves as some sort of moral arbiter when they are locked on a trajectory that will destroy Earth?

This destruction might be closer than anyone thinks. Here is the situation in Syria:

Russia and Syria, in cooperation with Iran and Turkey, have begun the assult on Iblid province, the last stronghold of Washington’s proxy army consisting of Al Qaeda, Al Nursra, and ISIS mercenaries hired by Washington.

According to reports, which might or might not be true considering the lack of veracity that is the defining characteristic of the Western media, the US and UK have troops among the mercenary forces, hoping apparently that this presence will deter the attack. As the attack has already begun, this is a false hope.

The Russians discovered Washington’s plot to explode a chemical weapon in Iblid province and exposed Washington’s plot to the UN. Washington had it set up that once its proxies created the appearance of a chemical weapon explosion, Washington would send Tomahawk missiles upon the Syrian forces, thus protecting its proxy army that it sent to overthrow Assad for Israel.

The Russian exposure of Washington’s conspiracy has denied Washington UN support. Moreover, Russia has sent a naval force armed with the new Russian hypersonic missiles to Syria and has announced that its aircraft in the area are also armed with these missiles.

As the US Navy and Air Force have no defense whatsoever against these missiles, if the US attacks the Syrian/Russian forces, it will be Putin’s decision whether any US ship or military aircraft in the area exists as anything but a smoldering ruin.

In other words, the entire power in the area lies in Russian hands. If Washington had any sense—and it doesn’t, Washington has hubris and arrogance in the place of sense—Washington would be nowhere close to Syria.

The question is this: Will the hotheads in Washington conclude that the Russian announcements and marshalling of forces is “just another Putin bluff.”

So far Putin has been loaded up with never-ending insults and provocation— blame for the crash of the Malaysian airliner, blame for poisoning a variety of people in England, blame for invading Ukraine, blame for interfering in US elections, blame for supporting the “dictator” Assad, a person democratically elected by a large vote who obviously has the support of the Syrian people as he liberates Syria from the forces Washington sent to put the country into the same chaos that exists in Iraq and Libya.

Have we reached the situation about which I have been worried, worries shared with my readers, in which Washington makes the miscalculation, based on the incorrect understanding of Russia’s resolve, to launch an attack on the Syrian/Russian forces that have begun the final liberation of Syria from Washington’s paid mercenaries?

Yesterday the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity sent a letter to President Trump advising him of the war danger that the Trump administration has created by its continued illegal interference in Syria’s internal affairs. https://www.globalresearch.ca/moscow-has-upped-the-ante-in-syria/5653571

The Russian government cannot accept Washington’s military intervention in behalf of Al Qaeda, Al Nursa, and ISIS without completely losing all credibility, not only in the world, but inside Russia itself.

A realistic alternative to military action would be for Washington to stand aside as Syria reconstitutes itself and use a propaganda war to blame Syria and Russia for civilian deaths and for destroying “democratic rebels” who rose against a “dictator.”

The fear could be expanded to the Baltics and Ukraine by reviving the propaganda that Putin intends to reconstruct the Soviet Empire.

Washington has long used an expertly manufactured fear of Russia to control Europe. Fear can keep Europe in line, whereas military action against Russia could scare Europe into taking refuge in a revival of its sovereignty.

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported: “President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has approved the use of chlorine gas in an offensive against the country’s last major rebel stronghold, U.S. officials said, raising the prospects for another retaliatory U.S. military strike as thousands try to escape what could be a decisive battle in the seven-year-old war.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the US strikes could target Russian and Iranian forces as well as Syrian forces.

It is difficult to believe that Washington thinks attacks on Russian forces would go unanswered. Such a reckless and irresponsible act could initiate Armageddon.

The claim that Assad has approved the use of chlorine gas in the liberation of Iblid is propagandistic nonsense put out by Washington as an excuse for Washington’s effort to protect its proxy army in Syria with military strikes.

All Syrian chemical weapons were removed by Russia and turned over to the US during the Obama regime. Moreover, Russia would not permit Assad to use chemical weapons if he had them.

Life on earth is faced with a situation in which Washington is so determined to overthrow Assad and to leave Syria in the same chaos as Libya and Iraq that Washington is willing to risk war with Russia.

Never before have irrationality and immorality had such a firm hold on a government. The world should be scared to death of the recklessness and irresponsibility of the US government.

.

          Benghazi hero: Obama's remarks are a 'slap in the face'      Cache   Translate Page      
Barack Obama, in a speech last week, derided Congress for "embracing wild conspiracy theories" regarding the Benghazi terror attacks in 2012.

So says the man whose administration peddled a story that a Z-list YouTube video inspired the murderers.

A hero from September 11, 2012 calls Obama's recent comments "a slap in the face."


          Democrats Announce Big Online Ad Play for US Midterms      Cache   Translate Page      
Two major Democratic political groups on Wednesday announced a combined $21 million digital ad buy targeting Senate races in November, a sign the party is trying to learn from 2016, when Donald Trump's Republican presidential campaign was far more aggressive online. Priorities USA and Senate Majority PAC announced $18 million in joint spending in Arizona, Indiana, Florida, Missouri and North Dakota. Senate Majority PAC also tacked on an additional $3 million in ads targeting Montana, Nevada, Tennessee and West Virginia. "For the last, really, six years, the Democrats have had their hats handed to them when it comes to digital,'' Guy Cecil, the chairman of Priorities USA, which is exclusively funding digital ads and outreach this election cycle, said in an interview. "We needed to close the gap.'' The move comes as Democrats and Republicans are fighting furiously over control of the Senate, where the GOP has a 51-49 edge. Although almost all competitive seats are in states Trump won in 2016, Republicans are increasingly alarmed about the strength of Democratic candidates in states including Tennessee, Texas and Arizona. GOP edge on Google The size of the campaign is significant. According to Priorities USA, $7 million has been spent on advertising for Senate races on Google since May 31, with Republicans outspending Democrats 60-40. Facebook did not have comparable data. And through the end of August, Senate Majority PAC, one of the biggest Democratic financial organizations in the battle over control of the upper chamber, spent $37 million in ads on television and radio, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. J.B. Poersch, president of Senate Majority PAC, said it's important to maintain a mix of traditional television and radio ads along with digital. But for years, he said, "I don't think we had digital at the adults' table.'' The conventional wisdom in politics is that Democrats dominated in digital during much of the Obama years because they were more advanced in gathering online data and using it to target voters. But that changed in 2016, when the Trump campaign outspent Hillary Clinton's Democratic campaign nearly 2-to-1 online, according to a Priorities USA presentation to donors obtained by The Associated Press. The outspending also stretched to various House races. Right-leaning groups, meanwhile, registered vastly more online domains through the beginning of 2017. Since 2016, Democrats have increasingly focused on digital as a way to strike back against the GOP, with liberal Silicon Valley entrepreneurs holding trainings for Democratic campaigns and some liberal insurgent candidates, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York City and Ayanna Pressley in Boston, winning recent primaries with minimal television ads and instead relying mostly on digital ones. In-house agency The GOP continues to invest in both digital and traditional advertising, but no Republican organization of comparable prominence to Priorities has announced an all-digital strategy. Priorities has even formed its own in-house digital ad agency to build spots for its campaigns, including a previously announced $12 million buy targeting House races. Damon McCoy, a New York University professor who analyzed Facebook political ad spending data earlier this summer, said Democratic and Republican groups spend at comparable rates on the platform with one significant exception: Trump. The president's own re-election campaign was the biggest political ad spender in the analysis that McCoy and other academics conducted. Minus the president's campaign, "spending is fairly split between liberal and conservative candidates and political organizations,'' McCoy said. 
          Obama Cherry-Picks Uninsured Figure      Cache   Translate Page      

Former President Barack Obama claimed that Republicans' "sabotage of the Affordable Care Act has already cost more than 3 million Americans their health insurance." That's according to one estimate, but another found no significant change in the rate or the number of uninsured from 2016 to 2017. 

The post Obama Cherry-Picks Uninsured Figure appeared first on FactCheck.org.


          Obama attacks Trump in speech. TRANSCRIPT: 09/07/2018. The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell      Cache   Translate Page      
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           Comment on Miss Finland 2018 by Lovekraft       Cache   Translate Page      
As valid an award as Obama's Nobel Peace Price.
          For the first time since Obamacare passed, the number of Americans without health insurance did not fall      Cache   Translate Page      

obama trump

  • The percentage of Americans without health insurance remained steady at 8.8% in 2017, according to the Census Bureau.
  • The flat rate was the first time since 2010 that the number of uninsured did not fall since the Affordable Care Act's passage in 2010.
  • The Census also showed a growing divide between states that took advantage of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion and those that declined the expansion.

The percentage of Americans without health insurance did not decline on 2017, marking the first time since the passage of the Affordable Care Act that the uninsured rate held steady.

According to the Census Bureau28.5 million Americans, or 8.8% of the population, went without health coverage in 2017. That number was a slight increase from the 28.1 million Americans without insurance in 2016, though the rate of 8.8% was consistent. The Census Bureau said the increase was not statistically significant.

The Census report also confirmed the growing chasm between states that decided to take advantage of the ACA's Medicaid expansion and those that did not.

The ACA, better known as Obamacare, allowed states to expand Medicaid coverage to people making up to 138% of the federal poverty line. Since then, 31 states and Washington, DC, have adopted the expansion.

"In states that expanded Medicaid eligibility ('expansion states'), the uninsured rate in 2017 was 6.5%, compared with 12.2% in states that did not expand Medicaid eligibility ('non-expansion states')," the Census Bureau said in the report.

In fact, the uninsured rate in states that did not expand Medicaid went up 0.7 percentage points compared to the stable rate in states that did expand Medicaid. Since 2013, the uninsured rate in expansion states is down 7 percentage points, compared to just 5.3 percentage points in non-expansion states.

Screen Shot 2018 09 12 at 3.42.53 PM

The flat uninsured rate came in President Donald Trump's first full year in office. Throughout the year, Republicans and the Trump administration attempted to dismantle Obamacare, though multiple bids to repeal and replace the ACA failed.

The administration did take actions that many experts said would destabilize Obamacare's individual insurance marketplaces, including reducing outreach to get people to sign up for plans.

Perhaps most significantly, Republicans repealed Obamacare's individual mandate — the requirement that all Americans get insurance or face a monetary penalty — as part of their tax bill.

Some experts blamed the stall on the meddling by the Trump administration and GOP.

Matt Broaddus, a senior research analyst at the left-leaning Center of Budget and Policy Priorities, pointed to the studies that showed a large swath of the uninsured are eligible for cheap coverage under the ACA as evidence that the uncertainty and lack of outreach were the cause of the stall.

"Last year’s sabotage efforts likely prevented additional coverage gains by creating barriers to obtaining available and affordable coverage," Broaddus wrote. "Roughly 55% of the uninsured are eligible for health insurance coverage with financial assistance under the ACA or other public programs, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute find."

Phillip Klein, the managing editor of the Washington Examiner and conservative healthcare analyst, argued that the stability of the uninsured rate proved that Democrats claims that Trump "sabotaged" Obamacare are overblown.

"Had there been a significant dip, it would have bolstered Democrats' case," Klein wrote. "Now Republicans can argue that despite all of the apocalyptic warnings, the uninsured rate is the same under Trump as it was under Obama."

"Various actions of the Trump administration, such as slashing the ad and outreach budget for Obamacare and ending certain payments to insurers, have been used by Democrats to charge that the Trump administration has launched a concerted effort to sabotage the law. But that is not visible in the numbers," he said.

Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan healthcare think tank, said the new data is inconclusive to make a determination either way.

"Progress in reducing the uninsured rate was already stalled, pre-Trump," Levitt tweeted Wednesday. "Increases in the number of people uninsured could come this year and next, as changes to the ACA from the Trump administration and Congress take hold."

SEE ALSO: Trump's trade war with China is still raging — here are the states that could end up getting whacked

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Apple might introduce three new iPhones this year — here’s what we know


          Third Time's the Charm for Obama in Midterms?      Cache   Translate Page      
The former president didn’t have much success helping other Democrats get elected in 2010 or ’14.

          What you need to know on Wall Street today      Cache   Translate Page      

Welcome to Finance Insider, Business Insider's summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours. Sign up here to get the best of Business Insider delivered direct to your inbox.

Jamie Dimon backtracks after claiming he 'could beat Trump' in an election

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon reversed course after taking aim at President Donald Trump during a JPMorgan event on Wednesday.

"I think I could beat Trump," Dimon said.

"Because I'm as tough as he is, I'm smarter than he is," he continued. "I would be fine. He could punch me all he wants, it wouldn't work with me. I'd fight right back."

But Dimon, a lifelong Democrat, also added that he could not win an election due to the "liberal side" of the Democratic Party.

Upstart exchange IEX snags its first listing from Nasdaq

IEX, the startup stock exchange made famous in Michael Lewis' book "Flash Boys," has snagged a listing from one of its larger rivals.

The New York firm, which gained stock-exchange approval in 2016, announced Wednesday that electronic brokerage Interactive Brokers will switch its listing venue from Nasdaq to IEX in October.

IEX, which was founded by Brad Katsuyama in 2012, is known for its speed-bump stock-trading model that aims to put the world's fastest trading firms on a level playing field with investors.

The cryptocurrency Ethereum crashed by over 8% on Wednesday, extending a slump for the asset and the wider market.

Ethereum was down 8.6% to $169.12 just after 9:30 a.m. GMT (4:30 a.m. ET), a level not seen since May 2017, when Ethereum was enjoying its first price surge of the year.

The cryptocurrency is down almost 30% over the past seven days and has mirrored a wider slump in the cryptocurrency market over the past two weeks.

This year's average Goldman Sachs intern is willing to pay $6 for avocado toast and admires Obama

Former US President Barack Obama is the most admired figure among this year's global class of Goldman Sachs interns.

Each year, the investment bank surveys its summer interns on topics as varied as their ambitions and their spending habits. Seventy-six percent of the 3,162 summer analysts and associates who interned at Goldman worldwide this summer responded to the questionnaire. Goldman published the results on Wednesday.

One of the more frivolous results indicated that the interns were willing to pay $6 on average for avocado toast, the popular millennial brunch dish.

Obama was the most popular choice as a role model, followed by Sheryl Sandberg, Nelson Mandela, and Steve Jobs.

In markets news

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Everything we know about Samsung’s foldable phone


          New Rock the Culture episode: 'Public Policy from Netflix?'      Cache   Translate Page      

In this week’s episode, hosts Antwan Phillips and Rep. Charles Blake provide perspective and conversation on the Arkansas Business’ article entitled “Is Little Rock Losing its Luster?”, LRSD loss of enrollment, and settlement of lawsuit filed against LRPD related to the use of the n-word. They also discuss the evolution of Obamacare to Arkansas Works with Health Policy Director of Arkansas Advocates, Marquita Little Newman.

Subscribe on iTunes or listen on Spotify.
          Police: Democrat Ended Political Argument by Driving to Man’s Home, Opening Fire      Cache   Translate Page      

Perhaps when President Barack Obama, known for being divisive, left office, some held out hope for a more unified nation. Instead, there has been a ramping up of not only violent political rhetoric, but acts of violence, as well. Social media has been one place where that aggression has been seen surging. Take the example…

The post Police: Democrat Ended Political Argument by Driving to Man’s Home, Opening Fire appeared first on Conservative Tribune.


          On 9/11, Trump Boldly Placed Blame Exactly Where It Belongs, Scorches Islamism      Cache   Translate Page      

One of the many things about former President Barack Obama that caused great consternation among many Americans was his apparent inability to utter the words “radical,” “Islamist” and “terrorist” all in the same sentence, much less strung together as an apt descriptive term for violent jihadists waging war against the West. Whether Obama’s refusal to…

The post On 9/11, Trump Boldly Placed Blame Exactly Where It Belongs, Scorches Islamism appeared first on Conservative Tribune.


          Comment on Let’s Talk about the US Blockade by danicymru      Cache   Translate Page      
Hi Charles. People are allowed to take small quantities of cigars and rum into the US since Obama. And yes you are right that there is some circumventing of the blockade. The fact that food is allowed into Cuba is only because of the international laws that the embargo was previously contravening. And it is a one way trade. The fact is that the blockade still has an affect on the Cuban economy. I don't know how much, but Hilary Clinton put it as 20% of their economic problems.
          Comment on A Parallel Audit: One for Shyne and One for NICH by Timber      Cache   Translate Page      
Then, on top of that, your father and Finnegan used Belize's money to hire an attorney. I think his name is Ogletree. He couldn't do anything for you so you all petitioned the governor of New York and then president Brack Obama and when you couldn't get your way, you appeared on a political campaign ad against him. I know your dirt Shyne.
          Barack Obama Answers The Burning Question: Is America Going to Be Ok?      Cache   Translate Page      
Barack Obama has an answer to the question on everyone's mind: Is America going to be ok? This video, 'Barack Obama Answers The Burning Question: Is America Going to Be Ok?', first appeared on nowthisnews.com.
          Former President Obama returns to campaign in Cleveland      Cache   Translate Page      
Former President Barack Obama returns to Cleveland to campaign for Democrats.
          Anonymous      Cache   Translate Page      
The Observer, who knows a thing or three about anonymity, found our self nonetheless shocked by the recent New York Times op-ed by the anonymous King or Queen of the White House Molepeople, the person who appears to have responded to the Emperor having no clothes not by telling his Nekkid Excellency to put some damn pants on, but by getting buck nekkid, too, and calling his or her junk-out bit-waggling a sacrifice for a nation that oughta damn well be grateful for it.

The Observer, who knows a thing or three about anonymity, found our self nonetheless shocked by the recent New York Times op-ed by the anonymous King or Queen of the White House Molepeople, the person who appears to have responded to the Emperor having no clothes not by telling his Nekkid Excellency to put some damn pants on, but by getting buck nekkid, too, and calling his or her junk-out bit-waggling a sacrifice for a nation that oughta damn well be grateful for it.

Ol' Lodestar could, you know, actually step forward and try to do something to end this weekly, daily, hourly and occasionally millisecondly exercise in stupidity. But it appears that in the halls of power, it has been decided by our nameless, unaccountable saviors that a Useful Idiot is a terrible thing to waste, especially when there are regulations helping keep our drinking water Benzene-free to be imploded, taxes on the Lex Luthors of the world to be whittled down to zero, and smirking, right-wing scumbags to be shoehorned into the Supreme Court.

Nixon had his long national nightmare. Bill C. had his death duel with Ken Starr over a blowjob. Obama had his burger slathered in fancy-ass Dijon mustard. Dorito Mussolini and his enablers, meanwhile, seem to have succeeded in going several clicks better than all comers by creating and imprisoning us all in a "Matrix"-style alternate reality in which up is down, days feel like years and every cup, bowl, bass boat, chair, copy of People magazine, tongue depressor and potted plant is made of literal, carefully sculpted dogshit, which a solid 40 percent of the population and 80-plus percent of Republicans insist is the absolute finest quality shit ever made, without a doubt, no question about it, completely odorless, mostly flavorless and not too bad to stain, and they are happy to have it, sir.

Speaking of days like years and seconds like hours, can you believe this lard-lubed trailer park orgy of a presidency isn't even halfway over? Can you believe it's not even a quarter over if this country willingly continues its purgatory in the Shit Matrix by re-electing the racist sack of moist hair currently stinking up the White House? What, dear God, did any of us ever do to deserve this?

By this point in the Donald Trump Show, we thought we had been rendered damn nigh unshockable, our shock button pushed and pushed until it became a smoldering black hole by Good People On Both Sides and flame-haired Ruskie spies tunneling into the NRA; sappers in the wire on Facebook and the revolving door of idiots at the White House; 10,000 Angry Old Man Shouts At Cloud Tweets and occasions in which the leader of the most powerful and generous nation on the planet kicked our closest allies in the cods while calling Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un and every petty dictator and despot short of President Snow from those "Hunger Games" books a heckuva fella who really knows how to run a country. But there it was: a moment with the capacity to shock. An admission of an ongoing, unchecked American coup against the addled orange moron elevated to the highest office in the land. Cowardly scurryings in the walls of the Oval Office, noted as the highest duty, honor and patriotism. These are the days of our lives.

Call Omarosa Mangastronaut-Newman a scheming, soap-opera weasel if you want, but we say it's a good thing somebody was secretly recording this shit. A hunnert years from now, after all the skullduggery is through and the combatants are all safely in the ground or their ashes scattered in a secure, secret location so as not to create a shrine for neo-Nazis and Klanners, nobody is gonna believe any of this really happened without auditory proof. Hell, we don't even believe it is really happening, and we're living it. Someday, starry-eyed grandchildren will sit at the knee of Gramps and Nana and tell us that we're full of crap as a Christmas goose, calling us Fake News as we spit and sputter, skipping away in their pigtails and short pants while we swear and bedamn that what we're saying is true: that America was once run by a guy who we wouldn't feel comfortable letting use a can opener. For now, though, onward we all trudge through Turdsburg, looking desperately for the exit sign. Lord, let us all find it soon.


          New Rock the Culture episode: 'Public Policy from Netflix?'      Cache   Translate Page      

In this week’s episode, hosts Antwan Phillips and Rep. Charles Blake provide perspective and conversation on the Arkansas Business’ article entitled “Is Little Rock Losing its Luster?”, LRSD loss of enrollment, and settlement of lawsuit filed against LRPD related to the use of the n-word. They also discuss the evolution of Obamacare to Arkansas Works with Health Policy Director of Arkansas Advocates, Marquita Little Newman.

Subscribe on iTunes or listen on Spotify.
          ClashQuiz: How Many People Showed Up To Hear Obama Orate In CA – 750? 12K? 23K?      Cache   Translate Page      

If you were booking a venue for an Obama speech, how many seats do you think you would need in a friendly state like California?

The post ClashQuiz: How Many People Showed Up To Hear Obama Orate In CA – 750? 12K? 23K? appeared first on Clash Daily.


          Obama First Claimed That Bringing Jobs Back Would Take ‘Magic’      Cache   Translate Page      
Now, he wants to take credit for Trump's success.
          Will Natural Gas Burn Its Own Bridge?      Cache   Translate Page      
The Trump administration is going after another Obama-era rule that addresses global warming — methane emissions released by oil and gas companies on public lands. But this effort might cause it to burn its bridge.
          Michelle Obama to visit 10 cities for 'Becoming' book tour      Cache   Translate Page      
NEW YORK (AP) — Michelle Obama will visit 10 cities to promote her memoir "Becoming," a tour featuring arenas and other performing centers to accommodate crowds far too big for any bookstore.The former first lady will begin at the...
          Obama, how hard is it to say terrorists are bad?      Cache   Translate Page      
Improvisation has never been Barack Obama’s strong suit, and this failing was on full display in last week’s back-from-Elba speech denouncing President Trump. The improvised line that will haunt Obama down the road went like this, “How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad.” No, saying Nazis is bad is easy, too easy […]
          Trump's Education Department weighs in on anti-Semitism case      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON (AP) " President Donald Trump's Education Department has reopened an old discrimination case against Rutgers University and is revisiting what constitutes anti-Semitism.The case stems from a 2011 event sponsored at Rutgers by an outside organization that was accused of charging Jewish attendees for admission while allowing others in for free.The initial investigation was closed by the department under President Barack Obama's administration in 2014. But the Zionist [...]
          The Whole Thing is Crazy: Undecided Will Decide the Fate of 2019      Cache   Translate Page      
Reading Time: 3 minutesBoth Trump and Modi face “acid tests” this year, the difference being that while the two-party system entrenched in America makes Obama to appeal to the voter to come out in droves, singly and collectively, the rise of regional parties, eating into India’s vitals, has forced the only national party in the opposition to appeal […]
          Re: Former Trump Aide Sebastian Gorka to Raise Cash for County Republican Women’s Club      Cache   Translate Page      

How did that study find Fox propaganda with regard to Clinton or Obama? Were there 50% positive stories for each? 50% positive stories about Democratic members of Congress? 50% positive stories about the abuse of migrants? Sounds like ol' John is cherry picking one incomplete data point to support his "neutral" reporting criteria. Somewhat similar to claiming a broken clock works great because it is 100% accurate twice a day.


          The MRC Loved McCain, Except When He Got in Its Way -- And Doesn't Particularly Love Him Now That He's Dead      Cache   Translate Page      

The Media Research Center was never going to miss John McCain upon his death. It has long despised McCain for being a frequent guest on Sunday morning news shows; for instance, Tim Graham ranted in 2013 about how those shows consider him a "dream guest" because he's a "squishy" Republican and has "done 60 Sunday shows just since 2010." Jeffrey Lord similarly huffed that "McCain has every reason to prefer the mainstream media to conservative media precisely because conservative media is more than willing and capable of holding him -- and other Republican ObamaCare supporters -- to task for their bold and deliberate hypocrisy."

The MRC particularly hated him for his decisive vote last year to stop a Republican effort to repeal Obamacare, and even having an incurable brain tumor didn't stop the hate. As one MRC writer put it (in boldface, no less), "Having an illness, no matter how serious, precludes neither the President nor the public from judging Senator McCain’s political acumen on its merits."

It clearly grated on the collective nerves of the MRC that McCain was lionized upon his death. But it had to publish something about it, so it focused on reliving the one time it consistently defended him: the 2008 presidential election, when it's contractually obligated to defend the Republican candidate no matter what -- and then only to defend the honor of McCain's vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin.

Curtis Houck complained that Vox tweeted that "[y]ou can draw a straight line from John McCain to Donald Trump — through Sarah Palin" and freaked out over Vox misattributing Palin's hockey-mom joke to the wrong speech, then cheered how Vox was "ripped on Twitter" over the claims (meanwhile, the MRC's falsehood that Time Warner Cable was still a part of Time Warner at the time of its merger deal with AT&T remains live and uncorrected, and the MRC still hasn't told us which editors allowed the white nationalist hyperlinks in Tom Blumer's NewsBusters posts to stand).

Kyle Drennen huffed that "Amid glowing tributes to the life and career of Arizona Senator John McCain on Monday, MSNBC took time to use the Republican lawmaker’s passing to trash his 2008 vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin, labeling McCain’s selection of the then-Alaska governor as his 'biggest political mistake.'" Brad Wilmouth similarly whined that "several personalities on both CNN and MSNBC have lamented his selection of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential nominee in 2008 as a 'mistake'."

You know who else that picking Palin was a mistake? John McCain. Drennen didn't mention that; Wilmouth did note it, though it didn't keep him from insisting on framing his piece as blaming folks on TV for calling it a mistake.

Scott Whitlock rehashed negative 2008 coverage of McCain's campaign as a counter to positive coverage of him after his death, claiming that "journalists weren’t so fond of McCain when he dared to stand in the way of Barack Obama." But can't both be true, that McCain was ultimately a decent person and that he ran a terrible campaign in 2008?

The MRC also worked Trump into it. Tim Graham complained that "Time.com published a glowing eulogy video of McCain above a typical expression of disgust at President Trump's failure to behave like a traditional politician and say glowing things about someone you didn't like one bit (and who banned the president from his funeral)." Houck, meanwhile, whined about CNN's alleged "obsession with tying McCain tributes to President Donald Trump, the latter’s attacks on the former, and how McCain was the anti-Trump."

The MRC's Geoffrey Dickens also wrote an unironic piece titled "Media Loved McCain EXCEPT When He Got in Their Way." He failed to point out that this more accurately describes his employer.


          La Dijonaise: Affordable French In The Helms Complex      Cache   Translate Page      
With her husband’s job approval ratings stuck in the mid-40s, it is understandble that First Lady Michelle Obama would be lower than thrilled with her circumstances. But according to a new book, Obama said, “Don’t ask! It’s terrible. I can’t stand it!” when inquired on her position as wife of the U.S. president. Terrine, a ...
          Trump supporter demanded to see a list of impeachable offenses; someone happily obliged      Cache   Translate Page      

Reader exchange from the Los Angeles Times:

SEP 08, 2018 To the editor [of the Los Angeles Times]: I hear many people say that Trump should be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, but where’s the list of constitutionally impeachable offenses? Let’s see the list, please.

The polarization between the two parties is not because of Trump — it is because of Obama, who acted as though America needed to be brought down a peg or two. With statements like “you didn’t build that,” he not so subtly told people that their efforts were not that important.

Now we have someone in the White House who encourages people. It is a huge difference.

For the record, I am a woman who has a doctorate, and I support Trump.

Andrea Anderson, Glassell Park

SEP 12, 2018 To the editor: One letter writer doubts President Trump has committed any impeachable offenses and wonders what they could possibly be. A partial list:

Abuse of power: Trump has sought to use the Justice Department to punish his political foes and pressured the department to go easy on candidates he favors.

Obstruction of justice: He admitted that the Russia inquiry was on his mind when he fired FBI Director James Comey. He has dangled the possibility of pardons to squelch potential witness testimony and tampered with the jury in the Paul Manafort trial by speaking out.

Violated his oath of office: The Constitution requires presidents to see that the laws be faithfully executed. Trump has delighted in undermining not only immigration statutes but also Obamacare.

Impeachable offenses needn’t rise to the level of federal crimes. It is necessary only to show that Trump used his office in ways that are inconsistent with his constitutional duties.

Brad Bonhall, Reno

Image: DonkeyHotey/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

          Obama and the DNC release a new Campaign AD      Cache   Translate Page      
Obama helps people understand the "New" Democrat Platform
          Preparación de Soportes para Revestimientos Cerámicos      Cache   Translate Page      

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          Avsnitt 151: Anonymt och inte så anonymt motstånd      Cache   Translate Page      
Den anonyma debattartikeln i New York Times fortsätter att skapa rubriker, Obama kampanjar för Demokraterna och Kavanaugh har överlevt senatsförhören. Dessutom: hur bra var egentligen Woodwards bok?

Medverkande: Anders Ask, utrikesredaktör på Ekot, Ivar Ekman, programledare för Konflikt i P1, Roland Poirier Martinsson, författare och konservativ skribent.  Programledare: Sara Stenholm Pihl Producent: Åsa Secher
          Why the Legal Marijuana Industry Might Be More Responsible Than Silicon Valley      Cache   Translate Page      

This season on Slate’s podcast Working, host Jordan Weissmann is focusing in on an emerging industry: marijuana. In this Slate Plus members-only podcast, Chau Tu talks to Weissmann about what he’s learned, why the pot industry might be more responsible than tech, and whether we really can credit President Trump for improving the U.S. economy.

* * *

This transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Chau Tu: So since we last spoke, you’ve taken over as the new host of Slate’s podcast Working. You’re in your second season now—what are you trying to bring to listeners?

Jordan Weissmann: I am on my second season, it’s been a lot of fun hosting the show. The first round was me sort of getting my sea legs. It was just like a grab bag of Jordan’s various interests, that was Season 1. I talked to a tattoo artist and the guy who does Wes Anderson’s soundtracks and an art auctioneer and archaeologist at one point. It was sort of all over the place, but people who I would just personally want to have a chat with.

This season has a theme, and it’s a fun theme, I think. I went to Colorado to talk to people who work in the state’s legal cannabis industry, everyone from the CEO who runs the dispensary company to the guy who literally trims the marijuana buds before they go on sale. I’ve talked to a lawyer, a marijuana researcher at a university, a chef, a baker, all kinds of folks just kind of all over the business.

There are a few reasons I wanted to [do this theme]. I talked about the first one, I think, at the beginning of the first episode, so forgive me if you’ve heard this already, but the inspiration came at a wedding I went to recently. For some reason, every time I have gone to a wedding in the past couple of years, I’ve ended up in a conversation with somebody who is working in the marijuana industry. And I think it has to do with the fact that I keep going to weddings in Colorado and California—

That might be it!

Or it might be very specific to my circle of friends, I don’t know. But like, one person was a private equity guy who is working with marijuana startups. And another person works at a tech company that essentially provides point of sale systems to a dispensaries that also help them keep track of different regulations so they don’t accidentally break the law, which is kind of easy to do in this industry. And they were all just like really fun, interesting chats with people, which is kind of notoriously difficult at a wedding, where you’re kind of stuck eating canapes and making small talk. And I thought, if I can have this much fun talking to random folks about this I meet at a party, I think it’d be great to do a podcast about it. And so I got Slate’s permission, and I went and did it.

And just aside from what sparked it, I think it’s a really good time to talk to people in the business. Because it seems to be at this sort of inflection point where everyone realizes it’s probably going to be legal in the long term. Jeff Sessions is not going to come and stamp out all these dispensaries now. It looks like the Trump administration is going to let it just kind of do its thing. And a lot more money is starting to flow in and you’re beginning to see the green shoots of sort of the corporate marijuana business. So it seems like a good time to meet people and talk to them before things get too corporate. When it’s becoming more respectable, when it’s becoming more mainstream but hasn’t quite become big weed yet.

What are you finding about the people that are in the industry right now?

It was really a fun season to put together because of just the vast array of personalities I encountered. Some people traveled to Colorado to get into the industry, moved there because they wanted to work in marijuana. Some kind of fell into it. I talked to people about their backstories. And that’s kind of the fun thing about Working in general is not just finding out about the minutia of people’s days, but it’s finding out about their lives and who they are. It’s kind of a way to see the person. So it’s everyone from the corporate chef I met who actually doesn’t have any taste buds.

Oh wow.

Yeah, right? It’s a really great chat I had with her and learning how in some ways that may actually make her better at her job. Which kind of makes sense when you learn how you have to cook with marijuana and on a kind of mass production scale.

Talking to the trimmer I mentioned before, I wasn’t quite sure exactly what to expect going into that conversation because how much is there to say about sitting over a table and just cutting the leaves off marijuana and it actually may have been my favorite interview I’ve done in the course of doing this show. It was just a fun, fascinating conversation about his life and how he looks at his job and why he gets excited about that kind of work and labor and the things you learn in the course of it.

And you get a combination of sort of the slightly stereotypical stoners, but also some really just like business-minded motherfuckers. The last episode that went up was with the CEO and he basically got into the business through a series of acquisitions with family money. He convinced his family to go in on this business right as it was kind of gaining steam in Colorado and they’ve been successful. And he’s just very much about like, how do I get my energy costs down? And if you get him to talk about weed, his favorite weed, he will. But that’s really not where his focus is.

Another, I won’t say surprising thing, but I think a theme you’ll notice in the episodes that some people might not expect, is how—obsessed isn’t the right word—but how conscientious people are about regulations and not breaking the law and wanting to not seem like a bunch of irresponsible stoners. They want everyone to know this is a legit industry. And of course you talk to anybody in any business, they are going to try to present themselves in the best way possible for the most part. They are going to say, “Oh yeah, we care about the law and we’re careful about not breaking it,” but it wasn’t just when people were on tape or when I was interviewing them. It was also just like inside conversations when I was walking into dispensaries or walking into a greenhouse, just every little thing you could tell that was really the forefront of people’s minds. Yeah, I’m the media, but it seems like people, at least my impression, is that people are really determined to not step over the line and to do everything by the book so that they can convince people that this industry deserves to exist and thrive and grow.

It was funny because, when I was there, it was the week that there were some controversies over Facebook and Twitter and responsibility for fake news and Alex Jones and all of that. And I was having a conversation with a guy who was staying with, a friend who actually works in tech and had actually sort of been part of what you might call a socially responsible, social media startup at one point. And we were having a conversation about whether or not Twitter and Facebook even are capable of being responsible, right? Like if it’s in their DNA to be responsible or if it’s just like not in the business model. And I had this thought that, at the very least, the marijuana industry strikes me is a lot more responsible than tech. At the very least, these people all seem like they’re coming in and really care about doing everything by the book and they’ve sort of been trained to because they know all hell will come down on their heads if they don’t. Whereas you got these other industries where it’s sort of like, “eh, social business responsibility, legal responsibility, meh.”

That’s interesting. It’s like they’re more disciplined already.

Yeah, just because they are so highly regulated. Everything, they are walking on eggshells to some extent. There has at least been one kind of widely reported, well-known incident in Colorado where a dispensary was breaking the law and essentially selling people more marijuana than they were supposed to and those people were taking it across state lines and unloading it. And they got the death penalty, they got shut down. That’s kind of hanging over people’s heads is that they know, oh yeah, if you mess up, you’re out of business. It’s not a slap on the wrist. This is not to say that the people in this industry are saints, because obviously ...

And I expect that as it grows and becomes more corporate, you’re going to get bad actors and you’re going to get controversies and scandals and people doing things that they shouldn’t be purely for profit and you’re going to get them lobbying for things that, that may not be in the public’s best interest, but for now at least, my early impression is that the people getting into it really do have a sense of conscientiousness.

And it must be fascinating just to see like a new industry kind of at its infancy, right?

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, yeah, people already say it’s getting kind of crowded, right? But these are early days, it’s not even fully legalized. It’s not very often that you get to see an infant industry, like you said, sort of take its first steps.

Yeah, figure it out on their own.

It’s not quite a toddler anymore, it’s maybe like a 3- or 4-year-old, they’re learning to talk. But it’s really still early days and it’s fun to get a picture of it at that moment.

Although it’s funny, I talked with a guy who essentially heads cultivation for one of these dispensaries, he’s like a marijuana farmer. He works now in this 120,000-square-foot greenhouse, which is, it’s big for marijuana. It’s not big agriculture though. And he’s already talking about how he kind of misses the good old days working in the small, like converted warehouse, downtown—

In a closet.

Yeah, exactly, it wasn’t good for growing weed really. The environment and the production process is infinitely better now. But he’s already looking back at the old days and I’m like, you guys have barely begun. So there’s already a sense of nostalgia for some people for when it was really just getting started and they were all kind of pirates. And there definitely was a period clearly when everyone was kind of a pirate.

I talked to a marijuana lawyer. He co-leads the weed practice at this fairly large law firm with an office in Denver. And he said “Early on, my clients were basically drug dealers.” That’s effectively what they were. And now he spends all of his time doing M&A. Like that’s how it’s already changing. Now it’s all mergers and acquisitions because that’s where the industry has started to go. And he’s become totally corporate. But there was a few years back.

So how are you choosing the people that you’re talking to?

Some of it was just doing some research into the industry and saying, well, I need to talk to this kind of person, I need to talk to this kind of person. The trimmer, for instance, I had been reading about that job and thought, that seems like a person that no one thinks about. I should talk to a trimmer. Obviously you need to talk a dispensary manager, or a bud tender, as the cashiers are called—they’re the face, they’re the person you meet when you walk in. I wanted to meet someone who cooks with edibles, a baker or a corporate chef because I like to cook. So, what is it like when you’re doing it with a controlled substance? And some of it was just kind of you stumble into, you talk to one person, they say, oh, you should, chat with X person at this dispensary, and that leads you.

There’s gonna be a bunch of stuff on the cutting-room floor by the end, unfortunately. But we ended up doing about 14 interviews in the three days we were there. So we just met a lot of people and we tried to pick some of the best of it for our episodes.

So what do you think you were most surprised by in your reporting?

Everyone was extremely conscientious and I didn’t find that shocking. There were points where I was a bit surprised by just how corporate some of the folks seemed. In the episode that’s up right now, I talked to the CEO of one of the larger dispensary chains in Colorado, a guy named Alex Levine who owns and co-runs Green Dragon. And when I walked into their dispensary, one of their dispensaries, I looked over to the left and there was like a conference room right next to it. Like I guess it was sort of corporate headquarters, but it’s like, to the right, there’s the marijuana, to the left there are the PowerPoint presentations. And he’s admitted that sometimes they get compared to negatively to Starbucks.

But I was a little taken aback by how businesslike they were. In retrospect, probably I shouldn’t be because those are the businesses that are going to succeed. It’s not the guys who are running around wearing tie dye and kind of spaced out, it’s going to be the ones who treat it like a business. The way you treat beer like a business or anything else.

Is there anything else that you want to mention about this season or about the podcast?

Yeah, so I think that it’s going to be really fun for anyone to listen to, even if you’re not a stoner. Even if you’re not really into marijuana, which frankly, I’m not. My wife’s a prosecutor; I do not have marijuana in my house. But I do think it’s just as a portrait of an industry, it’s really interesting. I think it’s a great time just to talk to these people. And I think you’ll find some really great human stories in it if you give it a listen.

Great. Well you can find that at slate.com/working. And meanwhile you’re still reporting on business and the economy for Slate. And this week, the White House had a presentation about how the economy has supposedly improved under Trump. So what happened there, is that true?

I mean yeah, the economy’s gotten better under Trump, but the White House wants to make a very specific argument, which is not that Trump has improved the economy some or that the economy’s getting better under Donald Trump. It’s that things changed dramatically when Trump was elected. That’s the argument they’re making. It’s like, there was one trend. Things were kind of not going so well under Obama. And then things got better after November 2016.

And Kevin Hassett, who’s the chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, got up with a bunch of graphs and try to make this presentation. And I have a piece up on Slate about why it’s sort of lying with pictures. And I’m not going to bore you with a lot of the wonky stuff. Again, it’s online if you want to read it. But this is the thing to keep in mind: Again, Donald Trump probably deserves some credit for the state of the economy right now. Why? Well, among other things, he signed a giant fucking tax cut, and he increased government spending. And even if you don’t think tax cuts are going to have the long-term benefits for workers and the economy that Republicans suggest, that they’re not going to raise wages quite the way that conservatives have a predicted they will. It’s still just adds a bunch of money sloshing around the economy. Same with the increased government spending. Just like if you believe in the idea that the government can stimulate the economy, you got to believe there’s some stimulus going on right at this moment. So yeah, Donald Trump has probably given the economy a little bit of a boost just through being really loose with the budget.

Is it possible other things he has done may have helped the economy around the edges? Yeah, it’s possible. Small business optimism at least by some measures skyrocketed after the election because a lot of small business owners, at least the ones that get surveyed, tend to be Republicans. And so they were just like happy. And it’s possible that maybe they made some investment decisions based on being happy. Maybe having Donald Trump in the White House just like gave them a little boost and they decided to buy a little extra equipment for their business or something like that. Again, we’re talking about things around the edges.

So the idea is not to deny Donald Trump any credit whatsoever for what’s going on right now. In so far as things are good. It’s just, it’s how you need to push back, again, what you should be skeptical of is this idea that everything changed when Donald Trump became president. A lot of the things that we are experiencing now or just the continuation of trends that were happening under President Obama, and have to do with just sort of the natural healing of the economy after the great recession.

And so Trump also recently mentioned making that trade agreement with Mexico, which would basically rebrand NAFTA. So what’s going on there? What should we take away from this agreement and what he’s trying to do here?

Yeah, so this gets a little bit complicated, but a couple of weeks back, Donald Trump announced that he had come to a preliminary deal with Mexico. Obviously he has been trying to renegotiate all of NAFTA, which involves Mexico, United States, and Canada. They have not reached a preliminary deal with Canada yet. However, essentially the Trump administration needed to submit a notice to Congress with 90 days lead time saying that they were going to sign a new NAFTA. It’s for legal reasons, but they needed to do it that week because if they didn’t, that means that the next Mexican administration was going to come in before have a chance to sign it and they want to sign the deal with the current administration.

So that that’s like the technical reasons why it had to hit that deadline. It’s a little bit self-imposed. It wasn’t necessarily a hard deadline and you can see it wasn’t totally hard deadline because essentially they submitted the notice to Congress saying “We’ve got a deal with Mexico and we’re gonna sign one with Canada too, if they agree to participate. If Canada says they’re on board, they can sign as well.”

The Trump administration has worked out the two ways issues with Mexico, now they’re back to negotiating with Canada. And my take is generally that this is all eventually going to fall in line. There will probably be a three way NAFTA deal. NAFTA does not look like it’s going to be broken up. We’re not going to withdraw from NAFTA. Again, this is me predicting, who knows with Trump, things can always go wrong at the last minute. But in a lot of ways, yeah, it looks like he is going to put his stamp on this deal.

And some people have said it’s merely rebranding. I think that is actually a little bit unfair. In the end, if you’re going to renegotiate NAFTA, you’re not going to totally change the core of the deal because the core of the deal is like low tariffs, what he’s renegotiating are things like, the use of arbitration panels in investor and state disputes, which are a really hot topic on the left. He’s renegotiating how much of a car has to be made within North America for it to count for low tariffs. And the new deal would require that a certain amount of a car he produced by workers that make at least $16 an hour to qualify as tariff under NAFTA, which is a first. It’s sort of like a minimum wage for auto workers essentially, or like a kind of a loose minimum wage.

These are substantive changes. Again, it’s not totally changing the nature of the deal, but it’s more than a tweak. So, some things will make it better. Some things people might be less happy with. There are I think a lot of people in the left may be displeased with the new protections for intellectual property that are in there.

But we could end up with a new NAFTA under Trump and as I wrote a couple of weeks back, I think if this actually does happen, if he actually does sign a new version of the deal, his ultimate accomplishment might sort of be ending the NAFTA wars. For all these decades we’ve been fighting over this trade deal, which in a lot of ways was much less economically significant than say, trade with China. In terms of its effect on manufacturing and wages and workers. But it’s always been symbolically extremely important. And NAFTA has always been this rhetorical punching bag, people forget that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in 2008 promised to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw and that didn’t really happen. But still, it’s always been just the target of so much ire. And if Donald Trump actually renegotiates it, it leaves us in this interesting situation where Democrats have kind of come to embrace free trade, partly as a reaction to Donald Trump and partly just because of who makes up the Democratic Party now, and Republicans are, I’m guessing, are going to kind of support the new NAFTA just because their guy negotiated it. It’s going to be Donald Trump’s big accomplishment.

So people might finally just stop arguing about this. It’s possible that NAFTA will no longer be controversial. I think. Anyway, that’s my guess. And so it’s weird, but I think—and this is what I’ve argued, and God help me if I turn out to be wrong—but I think it’s possible that Donald Trump is actually going to end up being the guy who saves NAFTA in the end. And who the fuck would have thought?

I guess we’ll see. What other stories do you think you’re going to be keeping your eye on for the rest of the year?

For the rest of the year? Oh, I mean, who knows? I’m really interested in what’s going to happen during the lame duck session, if anything, right? Like, if Republicans lose control of the House or Senate or both during the midterms, I am deeply interested in what they’re going to try to do at the last minute while they still have power. What kind of wacky shit they try to pass, if anything. So that’s one thing that I’m intrigued by and that’s like looking way forward. I don’t have an answer to that. Some people were wondering if they would try to take another stab at healthcare, but so far it looks like they’re not going to do that. So, cross your fingers. But I don’t know, that’s one thing that sort of in the back of my mind: What last minute hijinks will the Republican Party do if it loses last grasp on power on Capitol Hill?


          Michelle Obama Announces Fall Book Tour Dates      Cache   Translate Page      
Live Nation and the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, have announced dates for Michelle Obama’s fall book tour. The... Reported by Billboard.com 13 minutes ago.
          John Kerry Accused Of Violating Logan Act After He Admits To Secret Iran Talks      Cache   Translate Page      

Though he previously denied it when allegations first surfaced last Spring, former Secretary of State John Kerry has now disclosed he's personally had semi-frequent face to face contact with top Iranian officials to discuss US-Iran relations since Trump entered office.

Kerry confirmed and explained in detail his recent meetings with Iranian Former Minister Javad Zarif in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt to promote his new memoir, Every Day Is Extra.

During the interview Kerry disclosed that he met with Zarif "three or four times" and discussed political issues and challenges between the United States and Iran in what could constitute a significant and clear violation of the Logan Act

Back when Kerry was actually authorized to do this sort of thing as Secretary of State under Obama in 2015. Via the Iran Project

Though it's almost never been enforced, the 1799 Logan Act states that unauthorized diplomacy with foreign powers by private American citizens is a crime. Notably, two Trump-connected individuals that prominent Liberals and editorials demanded be prosecuted under the Logan Act include former national security advisor Michael Flynn and Trump senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. 

When asked point blank during the radio show about his rumored meetings with top Iran officials, Kerry admitted, "I think I've seen him three or four times," but attempted to claim he was not trying to "coach" Iran on how to navigate President Trump's pullout of the Iran nuclear deal.

Kerry is of course now a private citizen out of government but holds significant clout and influence with the Iran FM as the two hammered out the details of the JCPOA brokered under President Obama in the first place. 

However, by Kerry's own explanation it looks precisely like he was doing this: "What I have done is tried to elicit from him what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better," Kerry said. He also shared his belief that American policy in the Middle East would be much better off if the White House had stayed in the agreement, and that the global community would be more stable and secure. 

It sure sounds like unauthorized diplomacy behind Trump's back by a high ranking member of the former administration to us...

Soon after the interview, some Iran hawks in Congress took to Twitter to decry the hypocrisy of the whole thing. 

Here's a key part of the transcript via the Hugh Hewitt Show:

Hugh Hewitt: Okay, it’s been reported you’ve met with him a couple of times at least since leaving office as well. So you still…

John Kerry: Yes, I have. That’s accurate.

HH: And is it a half dozen times, a dozen times?

JK: No. No, no, no. I met with him at a conference in Norway. I think I saw him in a conference in Munich at the World Economic Forum. So I’ve probably seen him three or four times.

HH: Are you trying to coach him through the Trump administration’s rejection of the JCPOA?

JK: No, that’s not my job, and my coaching him would not, you know, that’s not how it works. What I have done is tried to elicit from him what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better. You know, how does one resolve Yemen? What do you do to try to get peace in Syria? I mean, those are the things that really are preoccupying, because those are the impediments to people, to Iran’s ability to convince people that it’s ready to embrace something different. I mean, and I’ve been very blunt to Foreign Minister Zarif, and told him look, you guys need to recognize that the world does not appreciate what’s happening with missiles, what’s happening with Hezbollah, what’s happening with Yemen. You’re supporting you know, an ongoing struggle there They say they’re prepared to negotiate and to resolve these issues. But the administration’s taken a very different tack. I don’t know as I talk to you today if there’s been any dialogue or sit down. I don’t think there has, which would open up any kind of diplomatic channel. And it appears right now as if the administration is hell bent for leather determined to pursue a regime change strategy to bring the economy down and try to isolate further. And I would simply caution that the United States historically has not had a great record in regime change strategies, number one. And number two, that makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for any Iranian leader to sit down and negotiate anything, because they’re not going to do it in a capitulatory, you know, situation. It’s just not going to happen.

It certainly appears that Kerry by his own admission is indeed trying to "coach" the Iranian FM on how to deal with the current White House. And the discussions clearly included chiding the Trump administration over its Iran policy while in Kerry's own words the "open[ing] of diplomatic channels" was on his mind. 

Meanwhile some Republican lawmakers have already, hours after the interview, unleashed charges that Kerry is engaged in rogue diplomacy and is undermining the active, elected administration.  

It was only a matter of time before he put his foot in his mouth, and promoting his new book means we're likely about to hear a lot more self implicating details spilled. 


          The Medicare-for-All Hoax      Cache   Translate Page      
President Barack Obama made a stunning policy shift on Friday, endorsing "Medicare-for-all" -- a single-payer health system -- for the nation.
          Obama's slimy little Deep State environmental cabal is at it again      Cache   Translate Page      
They've set up a shadow government, using government office space, the better to undermine President Trump on the environment, according to a new report.
          Michelle Obama to visit 10 cities for ‘Becoming’ book tour      Cache   Translate Page      
NEW YORK (AP) — Michelle Obama will visit 10 cities to promote her memoir “Becoming,” a tour featuring arenas and other performing centers to accommodate crowds far too big for any bookstore. The former first lady will begin at the United Center in her native Chicago on Nov. 13, the book’s release date. She will [&hellip
          The Paradox of Liberal Fascination with an Article V Convention      Cache   Translate Page      

     The drive to call a convention under Article V of the Constitution is being driven primarily by various groups positioning themselves on the Right.  They say they seek to add a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, to impose term limits, or more broadly to curtail federal power.  Other groups on the Right have been deeply critical of these groups, wondering how one can claim to be a conservative and yet take such a cavalier approach toward opening up our Constitution. 

     But some groups on the Left are also seeking an Article V convention.  They generally frame their efforts as trying to strengthen democracy.  The most organized of them seeks to overturn Buckley v. Valeo and Citizens United.  Occasionally progressives also call for an Article V convention to eliminate the Electoral College or to curtail the disproportionate power of small states through the U.S. Senate. 

     The notion of calling an Article V convention to improve democracy is deeply paradoxical.  Far from being the salvation of democracy, an Article V convention is one of the least democratic features of our Constitution.  Of all the means of achieving legal change in this country, it is one of the least affected by one-person-one-vote and perhaps the most vulnerable to the corrosive effects of corporate and foreign political money. 

     Consider first one-person-one-vote.  In Federalist No. 22, Alexander Hamilton wrote that “Every idea of proportion and every rule of fair representation conspire to condemn a principle, which gives to Rhode Island an equal weight in the scale of power with Massachusetts, or Connecticut, or New York; and to Delaware an equal voice in the national deliberations with Pennsylvania, or Virginia, or North Carolina. Its operation contradicts the fundamental maxim of republican government, which requires that the sense of the majority should prevail.”  Our Constitution represents a mix of arrangements distributing political power by population and ones giving that depart from this “fundamental maxim” by giving smaller states weight equal to that of larger ones.  The U.S. Supreme Court’s one-person-one-votedecisionsof the 1960s made our country more democratic by requiring districts of equal size where population is the basis for representation.

     Although the Electoral College gives smaller states power disproportionate to their populations, the effect is limited:  over eighty percent of electoral votes are apportioned by population.  Thus, although the winner of a thin plurality of the popular vote can lose the Electoral College – and did in 2000 and 2016 – a solid majority of the popular vote is all but assured of translating into the presidency. 

     Ordinary legislation requires a majority in the House of Representatives, whose seats are apportioned among the states by population, as well as the approval of a President elected on a basis that gives much more weight to the outcomes in more populous states.  The traditional route for amending the Constitu­tion through Article V requires that any proposed amendment garner two-thirds support in the House. 

     By contrast, one-person-one-vote plays very little role in amending the Constitution through an Article V convention.  Two-thirds of the states must ask Congress to call such a convention, but in that process Wyoming’s request counts just as much as California’s.  The Constitution does not tell us how votes will be allocated within a convention, but Article V proponents claiming to be on the Right are adamant that states will have equal votes, as they do in the Senate.  Only the dreamiest of optimists would believe that population-weighted voting will prevail in a convention with thirty-three states having below-average populations and thus weakened by such a system.  Even when it was much more liberal than it is today, the Supreme Court made clear that the process of amending the Constitution is a political question into which it will not intervene.  And, assuming the convention adheres to Article V, the ratification process, too, will give equal weight to the decisions of each state, regardless of population. 

     Concerns about the corrosive influence of money are even greater in an Article V convention.  As flawed as our campaign finance and lobbying laws are, we at least have somelaws regulating money’s role in elections and legislatures’ deliberations.  Because we have never had an Article V convention, many of those laws were not drafted with a thought to curbing corrupt efforts to influence the selection and decisions of delegates.  A convention will be a one-time event, tempting many shadowy players to decide that the benefits of going all-out to capture such a convention are worth the risk that laws may be interpreted to proscribe their actions – especially because any interpretive ambiguities will allow them to argue lack of criminal intent.  Even if Congress were inclined to try – which seems unlikely – regulating efforts to corrupt a one-time convention is vastly more difficult than regulating recurrent activity like political campaigns and lobbying.  Should the Supreme Court find unconstitutional any attempts at regulating money’s role in influencing a convention, Congress would have no time to try again. 

     In Federalist No. 22, Hamilton also urged Americans to be ever-vigilant against “foreign corruption” of our democracy.  If we hold an Article V convention, we can be sure that Vladimir Putin is not throwing away his shot.  The problems with foreign financial and other intervention in an Article V convention would be orders of magnitude greater than anything we have experienced to date.  If Putin was willing to devote substantial resources, and take considerable risks, to undermine confidence in western democracy with polarizing social media posts and dirty tricks, we can only imagine how eager he would be to insert divisive poison pills into the U.S. Constitution.  Putin demonstrated his interest in constitutional questions with his intervention against the European Union in the Brexit referendum.  As troubling as it is to think of our country being governed by a Siberian Candidate, that is far better than living permanently under a Siberian Constitution. 

     But potential foreign intervention is not limited to Russia.  One can imagine China seeking amend­ments to the Constitution’s provisions on intellectual property or funneling money to domestic critics of the Federal Reserve to hobble U.S. monetary policy.  Countries critical of us for allowing parodies of the Prophet Muhammad might seek modifications to the First Amendment to remove protection for perceived blasphemy.  Multinational corporations already achieved many of their top priorities in December’s tax cut legislation, but they still could try to constitutionalize rules preventing the U.S. from reaching income artificially assigned to foreign tax havens. 

     Advocates of strengthening democracy through an Article V convention insist that this country’s problems are so severe that we must take the risk that a convention poses to civil rights and civil liberties.  But arguing that reforming our current electoral process is an emergency implies that we should maximize the chances that it gets done.  And an Article V convention is about the least likely means of achieving that. 

     Because Citizens United and other campaign finance decisions were the product of a closely divided Supreme Court, that Court can be changed by a series of presidential appointments over time.  This necessitates winning the presidency and (these days) maintaining a majority in the U.S. Senate.  Winning a majority in the Senate, obviously, requires carrying at least 25 states (or splitting two for every one short of 25 that is fully carried).  Winning the presidency requires even less:  President Obama won 26 states against Governor Romney.  Had his close wins in Florida and Ohio gone the other way – leaving him with only a minority of the states – he still would have had a solid Electoral College majority. 

     By contrast, if a convention follows the ratification process under Article V, any change would require approval of thirty-eight state legislatures or state conventions.  That means that just thirteen could block ratification.  Yet in eighteen states, Hillary Clinton received less than 40% of the vote.  Thus, not only would proponents of liberal constitutional change need to secure ratification from all states where she crossed the 40% mark – a group including states such as Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas – they also would have to pick up five states that voted more than three-to-two against Senator Clinton.  If any of the states where Senator Clinton reached 40% does not ratify, proponents would need even more deep-red states.  Advocates of these measures claim to be non-partisan, but they have demonstrated little support even in many light-blue and purple states she won, much less in states where she was buried.  Any re­forms to weaken the Senate would require ratification by more than twenty states that are proportionately better-represented there than in the House.

     Much of the rhetoric supporting an Article V convention from all of its advocates romanticizes the delegates as true representatives of The People whom we should expect to rescue us from the corrupt institutions of Washington.  Yet nothing in the Constitution requires that delegates to an Article V convention be selected by states’ voters.  Indeed, we have every reason to expect state legislators to appoint themselves to the prestigious, powerful and attention-getting role of convention delegates.  (Even if a few states did allow voters to choose their delegates, state politicians have the campaigning skills, the name recognition, the organization, and the ability to raise funds quickly that will be necessary to win a dele­gate election called on short notice.)  If you think you would like an assembly of ambitious state legisla­tors from around the country, you should adore Con­gress:  almost halfof its Members are former state legislators.  Those delegates hoping to leverage their positions to run for higher office will be particularly attentive to the wishes of potential donors to those campaigns.

     If election reform is crucial, then avoiding the doomed Article V convention process is crucial, too.  Put another way, the enormous risks of calling an Article V convention – including the possibility that it would entrench Citizens United in the Constitution’s text – must be compared with the extremely remote chance that a convention would accomplish anything positive. 

     Liberal enchantment with calling an Article V convention is the latest manifestation of an unfortunate preference for political get-rich-quick schemes over the hard work of organizing, persuading, and compromising through the electoral process.  Just as Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination is awakening many people to the limited potential for overcoming hostile legislatures and executives through the courts, some are embracing an Article V convention as the new silver bullet.  (Recurrent fascination with impeachment and the Twenty-Fifth Amendment – always detached from an appreciation of how many Republican votes either approach would require even if Democrats sweep November’s elections – is another manifestation of this magical thinking.)  Unfortunately, our nation is in a very deep hole that we took a long time to dig.  Just as law reform litigation was never going to render irrelevant the electorate’s choice of leaders disinter­ested in poverty, civil rights, civil liberties, and the environment, an Article V convention will not cure the very real pathologies of our democracy.  Indeed, it is far more likely to make them worse. 

          John McCain appears in N.J. Democratic House candidate’s TV ad      Cache   Translate Page      
Tom Malinowski, a former Obama administration official, highlights comments the late Arizona senator made praising his work on ending torture.
          Michelle Obama's book tour is headed to Dallas; here's how to get tickets      Cache   Translate Page      
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          Former first lady Michelle Obama will bring her ‘Becoming’ book tour to the Forum in November      Cache   Translate Page      
Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, Sept. 21.
          The Weekly Standard’s Kavanaugh Fact Check Was Correct      Cache   Translate Page      

Can journalists on the right honestly fact-check journalists on the left? That question erupted this week in a fight over Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings. The fight, as promised, has exposed media bias. But in this case, the bias is on the left.

The dispute centers on an article published on Sunday by ThinkProgress. The piece, written by Ian Millhiser, argues that Kavanaugh’s answers at his confirmation hearing last week, when combined with a speech Kavanaugh delivered last year, imply that he would overturn Roe v. Wade. It’s a smart and well-written piece. But the headline goes further. It claims that Kavanaugh “said he would kill Roe v. Wade.”

The Weekly Standard, in its “fact check,” said the headline wasn’t true. The author, Holmes Lybrand, wrote: “While ThinkProgress engages in an argument to suggest how Kavanaugh might vote in a Roe v. Wade redo, the article does not provide evidence that ‘Kavanaugh said he would kill Roe v. Wade.’ ” Lybrand delivered the same verdict against MoveOn.org for claiming that Kavanaugh “stated he’d overturn” Roe. He reported that “TWS Fact Check could not find” such a statement from Kavanaugh.

Based on the Standard’s fact check, Facebook declared the ThinkProgress article “false.” This led to a warning label and an editorial demotion of the article on Facebook. Whether Facebook should issue such labels and demotions at all is worth debating. But ThinkProgress and its allies haven’t focused on that question. Their complaint is more specific: They want the Standard to be removed from Facebook’s list of approved fact-checking organizations, on the grounds that the magazine is biased.

Millhiser, in a follow-up article, dismisses the Standard’s fact-checking as “ideological” and accuses the magazine of “placing right-wing ideology before accurate reporting.” He warns: “If Facebook continues its partnership with The Weekly Standard, the consequences could be quite severe for left-leaning outlets generally—or potentially for any other outlet which publishes a news article that The Weekly Standard disagrees with.” Judd Legum, the founding editor of ThinkProgress, says Millhiser’s article was rated false only because “a hack at a right-wing magazine has decided he doesn’t like” it.

Other journalists have joined in this accusation. “@weeklystandard naturally wanted to censor it, because @weeklystandard is unscrupulous,” says one. “Facebook has given the Weekly Standard the power to drive liberal news outlets into the ground,” says another. “This is what happens,” says a third, “when you let non-reality-based organizations into the fact-checking community to achieve ‘balance.’ ” My Slate colleague Mark Joseph Stern presents the best version of the argument.By deferring to the Weekly Standard’s judgment, Facebook is picking sides in an ideological debate,” he writes. “Facebook should not let conservative editors police liberal outlets’ analysis under the guise of fact-checking.”

These writers have done a lot of good work. But in this case, they’re mistaken. This is a matter of fact, not ideology. On Facebook, headlines are far more visible and widely read than articles are. The headline on the ThinkProgress article was false. Kavanaugh didn’t say he would kill Roe. And the Standard was right to point this out.

The Standard has offered to withdraw the “false” rating if ThinkProgress changes its headline. But as of Wednesday, ThinkProgress hadn’t budged. Millhiser insists the headline is true. According to Merriam-Webster, he argues, “the verb ‘say’ or ‘said’ can mean to ‘indicate,’ ‘show,’ or ‘communicate’ an idea.” He maintains that Kavanaugh “indicated, showed, or communicated his intention to overrule Roe” by doing two things. First, a year ago, Kavanaugh said that a 1997 Supreme Court opinion, Washington v. Glucksberg, was “not consistent” with Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 opinion that reaffirmed Roe. Second, during last week’s hearings, Kavanaugh said “all roads lead to the Glucksberg test” as the Supreme Court’s rule for defining rights not enumerated in the Constitution.

This is an interesting argument. But it doesn’t show that Kavanaugh “said” he would kill Roe. Let’s start with the dictionary entry Millhiser cited. It defines “say” as “state,” “declare,” “utter,” or “recite.” The only cases in which the definition refers to softer interpretations—“indicate,” “show,” or “communicate”—are when the act is nonverbal. The dictionary gives two examples: “the clock says five minutes after twelve,” and “a glance that said all that was necessary.” Kavanaugh is a person, not a clock. He spoke in words, not glances. To prove he said something, you have to show he said it.

Second, at his hearings, Kavanaugh was asked several times what he thought of Roe. He refused to address the substance of the case. It’s misleading to report that he “said he would kill Roe” when in fact he declined explicit invitations to say he would kill Roe.

Third, Kavanaugh’s 2017 remark that Roe, Casey, and Glucksberg were “not consistent” in their “approach” wasn’t absolute. He noted that although a majority of the court voted in Glucksberg not to assert a specific constitutional right to bodily autonomy (in that case, the issue was assisted suicide), a majority hadn’t voted that way five years earlier in Casey. (In fact, the court explicitly reasoned that Glucksberg and Casey were compatible.) Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom Kavanaugh clerked—and whose seat Kavanaugh would fill—voted with the conservatives in Glucksberg but also voted in Casey to reaffirm Roe. So you can’t declare, as Millhiser does, that it’s a matter of simple logic to conclude that Kavanaugh “said he would kill Roe.”

Fourth, Kavanaugh repeatedly emphasized at his hearings that Roe could no longer be overturned on its merits alone. He said the court would now have to overcome the additional weight of Casey, which reaffirmed Roe based on stare decisis, a doctrine of deference to precedents. (Kavanaugh made the same point in his 2017 speech: that stare decisis might be why the court reaffirmed Roe, even as it voted the other way in Glucksberg.) In short, Kavanaugh explained why you can’t infer that a judge who believes Roe was wrongly decided would overturn Roe today.

So the Standard’s fact check is correct. By itself, that’s a small point. But ThinkProgress and its allies have made the dispute into something much bigger. By attacking the fact check as biased on the grounds that a conservative magazine published it, they’ve proved the opposite of what they intended. They’ve confirmed that the press is full of left-leaning journalists who sometimes can’t see or acknowledge congenial falsehoods, and they’ve demonstrated how these journalists unite, when challenged, in a tribal chorus to accuse conservatives of trying to “censor” them. In sum, they’ve demonstrated why we need conservative journalists to help check facts.

ThinkProgress does excellent fact-checking of lies on the right. In these cases, it applies the sensible rule that if a person didn’t say something, you can’t accuse him of saying it. Over the years, ThinkProgress has invoked this rule in defense of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, James Comey, and James Clapper, among others. But when the same rule is applied to ThinkProgress, it accuses the fact-checker of ideological hackery. And it calls for the Standard to be removed from Facebook’s panel of approved fact-checking organizations, even though other organizations on the panel, in assessing the Kavanaugh hearings, have applied the same rule.

Watching my colleagues rationalize the false headline, accuse the Standard of imposing ideological censorship under the guise of fact-checking, and castigate Facebook for allowing “non-reality-based organizations into the fact-checking community” is humbling. It’s a reminder that most of us, including me, are good at seeing other people’s biases but lousy at seeing our own. PolitiFact, in its initial report on the Kavanaugh hearings, said the nominee “raised a few eyebrows” when he “called birth control pills abortion-inducing drugs.” Days later, PolitiFact conceded that it had “repeated uncritically a Democratic talking point” and that Kavanaugh had actually been quoting a party in the case. I don’t see any of my colleagues on the left calling for PolitiFact to be removed from Facebook’s panel.

If progressives insist that anyone who challenges them is “non-reality-based”—and that the Weekly Standard’s name on a fact check “tells you all you need to know about how messed up Facebook’s notion of ‘fact-checking’ is”—they’ll seal themselves off in a bubble of mutual affirmation. David Roberts, a Vox blogger, made the key point in a tweet about Millhiser’s article. “A society can’t survive long without shared epistemic authorities and standards,” Roberts wrote. He was echoing Millhiser’s attack on the Standard. But in this case, it’s the Standard that is upholding shared epistemic rules. Said means said.

The Standard often gets things wrong. So does everybody else. We’re all fallible, but we can fact-check one another. In any industry where one group predominates—whites in the corporate elite, men in the entertainment business, liberals in the media—we need scrutiny from people who don’t share the prevailing biases. That’s why the Weekly Standard is on Facebook’s fact-checking panel. And it is doing its job.


          California Gov. Jerry Brown Convenes Climate Summit to Keep U.S. on Track for Greenhouse Gas Goals      Cache   Translate Page      

California Gov. Jerry Brown is hosting a climate action conference starting Wednesday in hopes of tackling global warming, while the Trump administration continues to push U.S. environmental policy in the opposite direction.

The three-day Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco will bring together hundreds of scientists, political figures, and business leaders to discuss topics like reducing greenhouse gas. Guest speakers include former Vice President Al Gore and actor and environmental activist Harrison Ford.

“We’re running out of time,” Brown said on the summit website. “There’s been some backsliding since Paris and our summit… aims to increase the commitments that have already been made in Paris,” he wrote in reference to the Paris climate accord, the 2015 international agreement to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases among United Nations members.

The summit’s timing became especially relevant with the approach of Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm exacerbated by warming ocean temperatures. California experienced its own deadly effect of global warming with its record-breaking wildfire this summer.

Ever since Trump decided last year to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, Brown has been one of America’s leading figures in combatting climate change. Along with political and business leaders like Michael Bloomberg, Brown formed a coalition called We Are Still In to pursue the goals of the Paris accord in spite of the Trump administration’s resistance.

On Monday, Brown signed Senate Bill 100, a measure requiring California to get 100 percent of its electricity from zero-carbon sources such as wind and solar by 2045. California currently derives 44 percent of its power from renewables and hydropower. Brown’s move got a full-throated endorsement from the state’s former Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Brown is also pushing for carbon neutrality by tackling the largest source of greenhouse gas emission—transportation. He aims to have 5 million electric cars on the road by 2030 (right now California has 369,000) and kill all production of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2035.

But will these efforts be enough?

The United States is falling behind its Paris accord pledge, the New York Times reported. Under Obama, the U.S. originally promised a 26-28 percent reduction from its 2005 greenhouse gas emission levels by 2025. At its current rate, the country will only get about halfway there, achieving a 12 to 20 percent decrease in that time frame.

To make matters worse, the federal government pursuing policies that would hasten, not slow, global warming.

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed to roll back the Obama-era methane limits. The new proposal will ease restrictions on methane emissions, giving energy companies 60 days instead of 30 to fix leaks of the greenhouse gas. Methane, which can leak during the extraction or transportation of natural gas, oil, or even coal, is a super pollutant more potent than carbon dioxide in warming the planet. The proposal will also allow companies to conduct leak inspections once a year rather than every six months.

Brown called the proposal “insane.” In a tweet this week he said, “It borders on criminality. It perhaps is the most obvious and dangerous and irresponsible action by Mr. Trump. And that’s saying quite a lot, because he has a whole list of them.”

Brown’s anger and the work of We Are Still In will likely earn positive coverage and perhaps inspire activists and business leaders. But the question is whether it will lead to swift enough action to counteract the federal government’s retrogressive policies.


          Jamie Dimon Is Very Sorry for Saying He’s Smarter Than Trump and Could Beat Him in 2020      Cache   Translate Page      

Jamie Dimon is smarter than Donald Trump, more self-made than Donald Trump, but doggone it, Democrats are too liberal to nominate him to face off against Donald Trump in 2020, at least according to Jamie Dimon.

Then, a few hours later, he apologized.

Dimon was asked about Trump on Wednesday during an event at JPMorgan Chase’s headquarters and said that he would be able to beat the president in an election because “I’m as tough as he is, I’m smarter than he is. I would be fine. He could punch me all he wants, it wouldn’t work with me. I’d fight right back,” according to CNBC. But, Dimon said, he could never win the Democratic nomination because the party is too liberal and “they just keep on pounding away at business.”

He also played up his Queens bonafides, saying “this wealthy New Yorker actually earned his money, it wasn’t a gift from daddy. And I grew up in a poorer part of Queens than he did.” (Dimon did indeed grow up in Queens; his father and grandfather were stockbrokers).

Soon after reports of his remarks, Dimon said in a statement: “I should not have said it. I’m not running for president. Proves I wouldn’t make a good politician. I get frustrated because I want all sides to come together to help solve big problems.”

Dimon, like many financial industry executives, has praised the Trump administration’s economic and regulatory policies, especially the corporate tax cuts that slashed rates across the board for businesses, with especially large benefits for banks. He, again, like many in his class of corporate titans, has also criticized Trump’s trade policy and called for more immigration. This type of socially inclusive and business friendly synthesis used to have a stronger foothold in the Democratic Party — and Dimon was was friendly with President Obama before becoming disillusioned with the Obama administration’s regulatory policies and rhetoric toward Wall Street.

Trump, at least on Twitter, has long been a fan of Dimon, saying, “a good CEO is worth keeping” and “a good guy and a great banker” in 2012. Whether Dimon’s quick retraction will preserve that record remains to be seen.


          CNN Panel Criticizes Trump's 'Uber Inappropriate' Behavior on 9/11: 'It's Like He's Missing a Human Screw'      Cache   Translate Page      
During Tuesday's edition of The Lead With Jake Tapper, the panel engaged in a discussion about the President's behavior on the seventeenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  After Former Chief of Staff to Senator Mitch McConnell Josh Holmes criticized MSNBC's Joe Scarborough for writing an op-ed suggesting President Trump presented a greater threat to the country than "any terrorist attack ever could," CNN Political Commentator Angela Rye accused Holmes of holding Scarborough to a higher standard than the President; whose behavior she described as "uber inappropriate."  Rye specificially took issue with his "fist-pumping going to Shanksville" and his "thumbs-upping reporters getting ready to tour a national site."  Former State Department Official Jen Psaki also weighed in, suggesting "It's not even about like the Commander in Chief and what's appropriate. It's like he's missing a human screw."  When Psaki praised Twitter statements made by President Trump's three predecessors in honor of 9/11, Rye jumped in: "Maybe there's something he can do. How about copy and paste? Maybe copy and paste Barack Obama's tweet or George W. Bush's..."  Anti-Trump Republican Amanda Carpenter could not resist taking a jab at the First Lady, reacting to Rye's proposal by saying "Only Melania plagiarizes." 
          WAYNE ALLYN ROOT: Obama vs Trump- A Personal Story      Cache   Translate Page      

By Wayne Allyn Root Did you ever make $10 million? Have you ever lost all $10 million? Could you point directly to the fingerprints of one president who caused you to lose it all? Well then I have one heck of a story for you! Former President Obama is so green with envy at Trump’s […]

The post WAYNE ALLYN ROOT: Obama vs Trump- A Personal Story appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.


          Analysts Debunk the White House's Myth of the Booming 'Trump Economy'       Cache   Translate Page      
Trump thinks he's created a booming economy all on his own.

President Donald Trump frequently lies when he boasts about the performance of the economy under his presidency, just as he lied when claimed the positive economic data under President Barack Obama was "phony."

But on Monday, Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Kevin Hassett offered a much more thorough and systematic approach to defending the claim that the Trump administration has led to a booming economy. (Hassett also acknowledged that Trump's recent boast about the economy on Twitter was off by an order of magnitude.)

However, as multiple responses to Hassett's claims have revealed, even this more sophisticated argument fails to make the case for a Trump-induced boom.

Writing for the Washington Post, Matt O'Brien explained:

During President Barack Obama’s last 19 months in office, the economy added an average of 208,000 jobs a month; during President Trump’s first 19 months in office, it’s added an average of 189,000 jobs a month.

During Obama’s last 19 months, the share of 25- to-54-year olds who have a job rose 1.1 percentage points; during Trump’s first 19 months, it rose 0.9 percentage points.

During Obama’s last 19 months, wage growth went up 0.3 percentage points; during Trump’s first 19 months, wage growth went up 0.2 percentage points.

These are the facts that the Trump administration seems to think it can transform into evidence that it’s made the recovery better than it was before.

He explained that, despite Hassett's efforts to squint at the data and see a major impact after the 2016 elections, the trends tell basically one story: the economy under Trump has essentially been a continuation of the economy under Obama.

Some of the changes the White House attributes to Trump, he continued, are more plausibly attributable to other factors.

"The Trump administration likes to think that investment has gone up because of the magic of the Republicans' big corporate tax cuts. But the reality is a lot more mundane: It’s oil," he wrote. "Drilling, you see, makes up a big part of business investment, so it should be no surprise that it flatlined after oil prices collapsed in 2014 and then rebounded after prices went up in 2016. It’s possible that the tax cuts will eventually increase investment, but they haven’t so far."

Jordan Weissman, writing for Slate, similarly found Hassett unconvincing.

"One of the most baffling parts of Hassett’s presentation was his attempt to show that the job market had vastly improved, using the employment rate among 25- to 54-year-olds," explained Weissman. "If you take a longer view, and use the actual employment rate rather than a rolling average, it’s hard to see any noticeable change in the trend after November 2016."

Yet even if the White House's claims about Trump's near-term impact on the economy were true, it wouldn't answer some of the most essential questions about his policies. Are massive tax cuts for the wealthy, financed by deficit spending, and a reckless deregulatory push in the environmental and financial realms a recipe for the long-term economic health and wellbeing of the nation?

Almost certainly not — but Republicans prefer not to have this conversation.

Weissman does argue that some of what Trump and the Republicans have done may have given the economy a boost in recent months (rather than the post-election bump Hassett argued for.) By cutting taxes and increasing spending, the GOP has essentially given the economy modest stimulus, which President Barack Obama had constantly pushed for in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

"The White House economic team does not actually want to admit that it has juiced growth through fiscal stimulus, because most dedicated conservatives still insist that stimulus doesn’t really work," wrote Weissman. "Instead, it wants to credit deregulation and the effects of tax cuts on business investment rather than their impact on household spending. That’s why, even if the administration deserves some acknowledgment for its actual economic policies, it’s still important to debunk its economic arguments."


          'These Are All Cowardly People': Former Trump Org Executive Slams the President's Shameless Aides      Cache   Translate Page      
She pushed back on Trump when he was her boss. She is aghast that no one in the White House will do the same.

The infamous New York Times op-ed alleging an internal resistance against President Donald Trump, which has eaten up so much of the corporate media's time over the past week, has obscured an obvious reality: there is actually almost no pushback in the White House against anything Trump does. He has near total impunity to enact policy on a whim, insult people on social media, purge civil servants for political reasons, and generally be the id-driven loose cannon he has been throughout his entire life.

And to hear it from former Trump Organization executive Barbara Res, who appeared on MSNBC's "The Beat" Wednesday, the president is, if anything, even less constrained now than he was in the business world because his White House aides stay silent and obedient.

"Why doesn't anyone stand up to this guy? It's amazing to me," she asked. "We did, regularly. There were a bunch of us who did back in the day."

"And I think part of the big difference I see in him is who he hires," she continued. "He's got people that are sycophants that tell him, 'you're great,' and they run off and do what he says to do, without question, like telling the world that he had a bigger crowd at his inauguration than Obama did. And nobody has — these are all cowardly people, and I see anonymous, I hate to say it, as a cowardly person."

Res has alleged horror stories about Truher time as a vice president at the Trump Organization, including his abuse of female employees and even an incident in which Trump demanded his architect remove the braille from his elevators because "No blind people are going to live in Trump Tower."

The picture Res paints of Trump's White House is bleak — and unfortunately, things might actually get worse going forward. Some of the only people who ever stood up to Trump in the slightest capacity, like Gary Cohn reportedly telling Trump he can't just print money to pay off the national debt, or Don McGahn forcing Trump to back off from firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, are now either gone or on their way out. And as White House turnover continues to leave Trump with a smaller and smaller circle of loyalists, he could lose all touch with the world.


          Unions join fight against Kavanaugh nomination      Cache   Translate Page      

Campaign Action

The Judiciary Democrats' tough questioning of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh exposed his absolute contempt for workers' rights and immigrants' rights. Organized labor is marshaling forces to put the pressure on.

They're using a successful playbook, says Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union. "We intend to make it the same thing as repealing [Obamacare]. … We are going to organize the three votes that are required to block this nomination." Liz Shuler, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, adds "We cannot let this court continue to swing to the extreme right. It's out of step with what America believes."

The unions will target Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) this election, but promise this vote on Kavanaugh will have legs. They're "staffing phone banks, unions are mobilizing to target vulnerable Republican senators in their home states." Henry told Politco that "We've added organizers collectively … with our partners in Alaska, Nevada and Maine." That's you Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.

"We think that we can put up a fight like you've never seen because that's what we do best in the labor movement," added Shuler. And boy, do folks in Nevada know that. Enjoy this SCOTUS vote, Sen. Heller. It's going to be your last.


          Comment on SIG SAUER Releases M17 Video Series, “The Chosen One” by Joe R.      Cache   Translate Page      
"Chosen One" was a little misguided. Who do they think they are? Obama? He was knutz2. M17's great, still not trading for their 226, and even their 2022 /2340.
          Obama Treasury Secretary: reforms following financial crisis must be preserved      Cache   Translate Page      
Ten years after the 2008 financial crisis, one of the key leaders to bring us back from the brink – Former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner – joins Andrea Mitchell to discuss if we have learned our lesson or if disaster could strike again.
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Only dummies use drugs

Forgive the over-simplified heading above.  I have clearly been reading too much journalism. What the article below shows is that illegal drug use is greatest in people who did poorly at school. Sadly, the authors are better at using complicated statistics than they are at thinking.  The BIG determinant of academic achievement is IQ, and yet they do not even mention IQ, let alone control for it.  They have wasted their efforts by that omission.  Low IQ would have caused both the low academic achievement and drug abuse.  The study tells us NOTHING new and skips over what was actually going on.  Sad and pathetic

Academic Achievement and Drug Abuse Risk Assessed Using Instrumental Variable Analysis and Co-relative Designs

Kenneth S. Kendler et al.

Abstract

Importance:  Low academic achievement (AA) in childhood and adolescence is associated with increased substance use. Empirical evidence, using longitudinal epidemiologic data, may provide support for interventions to improve AA as a means to reduce risk of drug abuse (DA).

Objective:  To clarify the nature of the association between adolescent AA and risk of DA by using instrumental variable and co-relative analysis designs.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  This study, assessing nationwide data from individuals born in Sweden between 1971 and 1982, used instrumental variable and co-relative analyses of the association between AA and DA. The instrument was month of birth. Co-relative analyses were conducted in pairs of cousins (263 222 pairs), full siblings (154 295), and monozygotic twins (1623) discordant for AA, with raw results fitted to a genetic model. The AA-DA association was modeled using Cox regression. Data analysis was conducted from October 2017 to January 2018.

Exposures:  Academic achievement assessed at 16 years of age (for instrumental variable analyses), and estimated discordance in AA in pairs of monozygotic twins (for co-relative analyses).

Main Outcomes and Measures:  Drug abuse registration in national medical, criminal, or pharmacy registries.

Results:  This instrumental variable analysis included 934 462 participants (478 341 males and 456 121 females) with a mean (SD) age of 34.7 (4.3) years at a mean follow-up of 19 years. Earlier month of birth was associated with a linear effect on AA, with the regression coefficient per month equaling −0.0225 SDs (95% CI, −0.0231 to −0.0219). Controlling for AA, month of birth had no association with risk of DA (hazard ratio [HR], 1.000; 95% CI, 0.997-1.004). Lower AA had a significant association with risk of subsequent DA registration (HR per SD, 2.33; 95% CI, 2.30-2.35). Instrumental variable analysis produced a substantial but modestly attenuated association (HR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.75-2.33). Controlling for modest associations between month of birth and parental educational status and DA risk reduced the association to a HR of 1.92 (95% CI, 1.67-2.22). The genetic model applied to the results of co-relative analyses fitted the observed data well and estimated the AA-DA association in monozygotic twins discordant for AA to equal a HR of 1.79 (95% CI, 1.64-1.92).

Conclusions and Relevance:  Two different methodological approaches with divergent assumptions both produced results consistent with the hypothesis that the significant association observed between AA at 16 years of age and risk of DA into middle adulthood may be causal. These results provide empirical support for efforts to improve AA as a means to reduce risk of DA.

SOURCE 

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WH Economic Adviser Explains Why Obama Can’t Take Credit for Recent Economic Boom

Kevin Hassett, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, dispelled the notion that former President Barack Obama can claim credit for the recent U.S. economic boom that has occurred during the Trump administration.

“One of the hypotheses that’s been floating around about the economy lately is that the strong economy that we’re seeing is just a continuation of recent trends. And, you know, since we're the nerds at the White House, we decided that this is a testable hypothesis. And so what we can do is we can go out and we can estimate recent trends -- that is, trends that ran in the economy up to the point of the last election -- and then compare the latest data to the recent trends,” he said.

Hassett showed several slides illustrating economic factors like small business optimism, business investment, structures, and equipment investment. Small business optimism, he illustrated, is at near record high, second only to July 1983.

“And so, I think that if you look at this chart, you can see that the first thing is small-business optimism. The middle chart is the percent reporting now as a good time to expand. The last one is the percent expecting higher real sales in six months. I think if you look at any of those, you'd say, ‘Gee, that doesn't really look like the continuation of a recent trend,’” he said.

Business investment is up more than $300 billion over the trend, Hassett noted.

“And I think that if anyone were to assert that the capital spending boom that we're seeing right now was a continuation of the trend that President Trump inherited, then, well, you know, they wouldn't get a high grade in graduate school for that assertion.

Capital goods orders and shipments are up sharply, Hassett illustrated.

“Durable goods orders, capital goods orders -- it's a key part of the economy, and it's one of the factors that we look at most closely because it characterizes, basically, the good-paying jobs, the jobs that affects normal Americans -- blue-collar Americans,” he said.

“And the first chart is core capital goods orders, and the second chart is core capital goods shipments, and if you look at it, the blue again shows a clear downward trajectory and billions of dollars, and then that trajectory reversed itself completely when President Trump was elected. If you were going to assert that the current good news is just the extension of a recent trend, then you'd just simply be factually incorrect,” Hassett said.

Business conditions have also improved sharply, Hassett noted in his chart presentation. Furthermore, new business applications have surged.

“Now, one of the things that I can remember at the American Enterprise Institute talking a lot about before I came in here was the fact that entrepreneurship in America was falling off, and one of the ways we can measure entrepreneurship is that, if you start a new business, that you have to apply for an ID number -- a tax ID number -- for your business,” he said.

“And so, in this chart, we've plotted the EIN applications for new businesses, and if you look at the blue line, they were heading up because we were at a recovery, but there's clear upward trajectory way above the trend at the end,” Hassett said.

Furthermore, he said, prime-age workers are re-entering the labor force and finding jobs, as illustrated by his chart presentation. There’s also improvement in blue collar jobs, Hassett noted. Additionally, blue collar jobs grew 3.3 percent in the year through July, the fastest pace since 1984.

“The next chart is prime-age workers re-entering the labor force, and again, if you look at the trend, one of the things people said when we put out our growth forecast that said that we'd have 3 percent growth was we said that President Trump's policies are going to bring factories back to the U.S., give you the capital spending boom that you saw in the previous chart, and that was going to bring people back into the labor force at precisely the right time,” Hassett said.

“Once again, you can see that there's clear break in the trend, and so, if you see a break in the trend in the capital spending, the new plant formation that gives blue-collar workers their jobs ... then maybe we see a break in the trend in blue-collar workers employment as well, and so this is employment for people in goods-producing industries,” he said.

“If you look, again, at the blue part on the left, you can see that there's a clear downward trend going on in the growth rate of that for President Obama, and then a clear inflection timed almost precisely, once again, at the election. And the notion, again, that somebody might defensively attempt to assert that this is a continuation of the trend is almost laughable if you look at this chart and, you know, look at the rest of them,” Hassett said.

His final chart showed that the growth of private nonresidential fixed investment Is well above projections. It illustrated what the Congressional Budget Office predicted would happen with capital spending back in 2017, what the CBO said in April 2018, and then what actually happened.

“And so, I would assert that if you look at the collective body of evidence, the notion that what we're seeing right now is just a continuation of recent trends is not super defensible,” Hassett said.

“And I think that -- I know that we're in a political time and passions are high, but, as geeky economists, one of the things we have to do is think ahead to what historians will think when they look back at this time,” he said.

“And I can promise you that economic historians will 100 percent accept the fact that there was an inflection at the election of Donald Trump, and that a whole bunch of data items started heading north. They will, of course, argue for a long time about why that happened,” Hassett said.

“In fact, we provided estimates at the time last fall that said that capital spending this year would go up about 11 percent because of the tax cuts. So far, in the first half of the year, capital spending is up 10 percent, and so you don't have to really reach far for a theory of what happened,” he said.

“President Trump deregulated the economy; we've talked about how that affects growth. The tax cuts have had exactly the predicted effect on the economy that's brought businesses back to the U.S., factories back to the U.S., and created jobs for ordinary Americans. It’s clear in the data that there's been a trend break,” Hassett added.

SOURCE 

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Doctor Shortages Explode Thanks To ObamaCare — Who Could Have Predicted That?

A year before ObamaCare became law, an IBD/TIPP Poll warned that it would lead to doctor shortages because many would quit or retire early. New evidence shows that our warnings were dead on.

A recent report from the Association of Medical Colleges projects doctor shortages of up to 121,300 within the next 12 years. That's a 16% increase from their forecast just last year.

Not only are medical schools having trouble attracting doctors (New York University plans to offer free tuition to its med students), but current physicians are cutting back on patient visits, retiring early or switching careers.

An article in a recent issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings says that nearly one in five doctors plan to switch to part-time clinical hours, 27% plan to leave their current practice, and 9% plan to get an administrative job or switch careers entirely.

Another survey found that nearly two-thirds of doctors feel burned out, depressed or both.

This is already having a significant effect on patient access to doctors. A Merritt Hawkins survey of doctors in 15 metro areas found that "average new-patient physician appointment wait times have increased significantly. The average wait time for a physician appointment for the 15 large metro markets surveyed is 24.1 days, up 30% from 2014. "

Getting a new-patient appointment with a family physician, for example, went from an average 19 days in 2014 to almost 30 days in 2017. To get an appointment for a heart checkup with a cardiologist, wait times climbed from seven days in 2009 to 21 days in 2017. For a well-woman exam with an OB/GYN, they went from 17 days to 26 over those years.

This should not come as a surprise to anyone.

Eight years ago, IBD/TIPP surveyed 1,376 practicing physicians across the country, asking them what they thought about the health reform bill Democrats had been putting together.

The survey found that a surprisingly large share of doctors, 45%, "would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement" if Congress passed what ended up as ObamaCare. (To read more about ObamaCare, click here.)

The survey generated plenty of attention — most of it from Democrats and the mainstream media who desperately wanted to get ObamaCare enacted. They viciously attacked the survey, calling it "shoddy," "out of whack," "ludicrous," "not trustworthy," "shabby" and "garbage."

Turns out it was the critics of the poll who were shoddy, out of whack and not trustworthy.

Subsequent surveys proved the IBD/TIPP poll right, including one taken in 2015 by the Mayo Clinic that found 54% of doctors suffering burnout, and a 2016 survey that found just over half say they participate in ObamaCare plans.

Obama Mandates and Doctor Shortages

One of the big drivers of doctor exits, by the way, is the Obama administration's "electronic health records" mandate, which was supposed to vastly improve the quality and efficiency of care.

It's had the opposite effect. A Mayo Clinic survey found that the EHR mandate is reducing efficiency, increasing costs and paperwork hassles, and pushing more doctors to quit or retire early.

A Harris Poll found that 59% of doctors say the current EHR system foisted on them by the Obama administration needs "a complete overhaul," and 40% say it imposes more challenges than benefits.

ObamaCare continued what had been a long and sorry trend in health care. Government-imposed rules designed to fix some problem in the system instead generated mountains of new administrative work.

The result has been that while the number of physicians in the country has climbed modestly over the past three decades, the number of health care administrators exploded.

Driving doctors out of the medical profession and exacerbating doctor shortages was not what Obama promised when he started "reforming" health care. But it is what his heavy-handed government interventions are producing. Don't say we didn't warn you.

SOURCE 

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The U.S. economy is a gift that keeps on giving

Appalachian Power recently announced utility rate cuts for more than 500,000 Americans. The West Virginia-based energy provider estimates the total rate reduction will come out to roughly $50 million, meaning customers’ monthly bills will decrease about six percent for the average residential account.

What explains the drop? The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed last December. Because of its lower federal tax bill, Appalachian Power can afford to slash rates and pass along its tax savings to working Americans who desperately need financial relief.

This story is playing out all across the country. Because of federal tax cuts, more than 665 U.S. employers can afford to help the Middle Class American workers in the form of pay raises, 401(k) increases, bonuses, and other employee benefits. Job creators are also taking advantage of their beefed-up budgets to expand hiring, extending career opportunities to thousands upon thousands of Americans who couldn’t find them years ago.

Appalachian Power’s utility rate reductions comprise only the tip of the iceberg. Wal-Mart issued a $1,000 bonus to employees. Apple will use its tax savings to hire 20,000 new employees, while Kraft Heinz plans to put $1.3 billion toward pre-funding of worker retirement benefit plans. New York-based M&T Bank Corporation focused on bumping up employee paychecks, increasing its base wage from $14 to $16 an hour.

And don’t forget the Republican tax bill’s positive impact on small business, which remains America’s most important employer. The United States is home to more than 30 million small businesses, which employ nearly 60 million workers—half of our private-sector workforce. In fact, small businesses account for 99.9 percent of all U.S. employers.

When they succeed, the U.S. economy flourishes. And they are succeeding!

Because of lower rates and increased deductions, job creators—large and small—now have more resources to invest in business expansion and job creation, bringing undeniable economic prosperity to local communities. The list of tax cut beneficiaries certainly includes America’s largest corporations, but it would be foolish to overlook the likes of neighborhood diners and community banks.

Take it from me: I’m a small business owner. As the president and CEO of Joseph’s Lite Cookies in Florida, I run a family-owned, sugar-free cookie business. We bake more than 12 million sugar-free cookies a day. And thanks to the tax cuts, we’re now experimenting with new product lines including sugar-free pancake syrup.

For years, I sent as much as 50 percent of my business income to the government—federal, state, and local. As the owner of a pass-through small business, my business income was taxed as personal income at the top federal rate of 39.6 percent, on top of the state and local tax burden.

But the future is now brighter—because of our tax savings. Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, I not only awarded four-figure raises to key employees, but also purchased new computer systems and created new product packaging for international expansion.

The bottom line is this: When you help job creators, you are helping those who depend on them—not millionaires and billionaires, but everyday Americans in need of a leg up. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

SOURCE 

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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US threatens to sanction Hague war crimes judges

The United States has said it will sanction, arrest and prosecute judges of the International Criminal Court if they charge Americans who served in Afghanistan with war crimes.

John Bolton, President Trump’s hawkish national security adviser, also vowed to punish any foreign government that helped the court to hold Americans or Israelis to account for alleged war crimes including torture.

He repeated a State Department announcement from earlier yesterday shutting the Palestine Liberation Organisation office in Washington, effectively the Palestinian embassy, as punishment for its calls for Israel to be investigated by the court in the Hague.

Judges are considering whether to open formal investigations into alleged war crimes by Israel in Gaza and Americans in Afghanistan.

“The United States will use any means necessary, including force, to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court,” Mr Bolton told the right-wing Federalist Society.

He proposed banning the court’s judges and prosecutors from entering the US, sanctioning any funds they had in the country and pursuing them through the American courts. He also called on the US to negotiate binding agreements with allies prohibiting them from surrendering Americans to the Hague and warned countries co-operating with the court that they could find American aid funds and military assistance cut off as a result.

Mr Bolton added that the US would let the court “die on its own”.

SOURCE 

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Trump administration orders closure of PLO office in Washington

The Trump administration on Monday ordered the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington, saying that the PLO “has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.”

The closure was announced by the State Department shortly before White House national security adviser John Bolton, in his first major policy speech, threatened U.S. punishment for individuals and countries that cooperate with the International Criminal Court, where the Palestinians have lodged complaints against Israel.

“The United States supports a direct and robust peace process,” Bolton said, “and we will not allow the ICC, or any other organization, to constrain Israel’s right to self-defense.”

The PLO is recognized by most of the world as the “legitimate representative” of Palestinians. Its office in Washington — while not recognized as an embassy, since there is no recognition of a Palestinian state — is one of the few Palestinian vehicles for communication with the levers of U.S. power. It has survived repeated political and legislative calls to shut it down, across decades of unsuccessful U.S. efforts to forge a peace agreement between Palestinians and Israelis.

But Monday’s order to shutter it within 30 days comes amid the Trump administration’s systematic chipping way at the core tenets of Palestinian aspirations for any negotiations and its ramping up of financial pressure on the Palestinian Authority that governs the West Bank.

Late last year, President Trump declared U.S. recognition of the contested city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This year, the State Department canceled most U.S. aid funding to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Late last month, in a move that effectively dismissed any Palestinian right of return to contested land, the administration called for a redefinition of Palestinian refu­gee status and said the United States — long the largest individual donor — would no longer fund the U.N. refu­gee aid program. Israel rejects any “right of return,” and considers the demand a main stumbling block to peace.

Last week, the administration said it would withdraw $25 million in support for six East Jerusalem hospitals that are primarily used by Palestinians. Largely church-run, they traditionally serve as the main providers of care for those referred for treatment not available in the West Bank and Gaza.

The Palestinians say those measures are designed to lay the groundwork for a yet-to-be-revealed U.S. peace proposal that they charge is already rigged in Israel’s favor. Since the Jerusalem announcement, they have refused to meet with U.S. negotiators, led by White House senior aide and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.

In its statement justifying the PLO closure, the State Department said that far from cooperating, “the PLO has condemned a U.S. peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the U.S. government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise.” Although Trump has often declared “progress” in the secretive compiling of what Kushner and others have said would be a “comprehensive” plan, its release has repeatedly been delayed.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat called the measure the continuation of a policy of “collective punishment” by the administration. “These people have decided to stand on the wrong side of history by protecting war criminals and destroying the two-state solution,” he said.

The United States, he said, is not “part of the peace process” and does not even have the right to “sit in the room” during any negotiations. Erekat dismissed U.S. officials such as David Friedman, the ambassador to Israel, as a “group of settlers” pursuing a right-wing Israeli agenda.

Numerous Palestinian officials have said that the United States can no longer be an “honest broker” for peace. Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO’s executive committee, described Monday’s action as a form of “crude and vicious blackmail” and “clear proof of American collusion with Israel’s occupation.”

The White House has been “very upfront throughout the process and the fact that we want to see peace, we want to have those conversations, we want to help broker that deal,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “Certainly, we have a great deal of support with our friend and ally in Israel. But again, we are as committed today as we’ve ever been to the peace process.”

The announcement is likely to be widely welcomed by the Israeli government, which was on holiday Monday to mark Rosh Hashanah.

SOURCE 

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The myth of a New Nazism

In June, former UK prime minister and Labour leader Tony Blair warned that today’s rising tide of populism risked ‘a return to the 1930s’. He is far from alone in drawing such an analogy. Over the past two years, since the election of Donald Trump in the US, and the Brexit vote in the UK, a flurry of op-eds, endless political speeches and countless books have all made a similar claim: that just as the institutions of liberal democracy nurtured, and then fell to, Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party, so too might our institutions nurture and fall to contemporary fascists in populist clothing.

Yet just how accurate is this analogy? It certainly does a service for those seeking to delegitimise the Trump or Brexit votes, but does it do a disservice to history? To answer these questions, we decided to speak to associate professor of history Udi Greenberg, author of the superb The Weimar Century: German Émigrés and the Ideological Foundations of the Cold War, and, with Daniel Bessner, co-author of the essay ‘The Weimar Analogy’.

spiked review: Do you think the Weimar analogy – that, effectively, today’s populists are yesterday’s fascists – obscures the historical specificity of the rise of Nazis?

Udi Greenberg: Every analogy has its limits, but that doesn’t mean analogies can’t be useful. The question is how we use it and to what purpose, and I think the usage of the Weimar analogy for our specific moment is more distracting than helpful. That is in part because the differences between the fall of the Weimar Republic and the populist surge today far outweigh the similarities.

For a start, the collapse of the Weimar Republic happened in the midst of the worst economic crisis of the 20th century, when a third of the potential workforce was unemployed. Nothing on the scale of that economic calamity is happening today. Yes, the rise of populism is still tied to important economic transformations that have happened in the past two decades, but these do not amount to anything of the order of the Great Depression.

The analogy between today and the rise of the Nazis obscures far more than it illuminates

The Weimar Republic also fell because the fascist movement used mass violence on the streets and decimated democratic and socialist, left-wing political forces. We have not seen anything similar to that today. Even the despicable violent march of white supremacists in Charlottesville in Virginia last summer, which rightfully drew so much media attention, was nothing like the violence that erupted in the streets of Germany and other European countries in the 1930s.

So it seems to me the analogy between today and the rise of the Nazis obscures far more than it illuminates.

review: Did the intense class conflict of the 1920s and 1930s not also play a considerable role? Bolshevism, in light of the Russian Revolution, was considered a real threat, certainly in light of the Munich Soviet of 1918-19. There was so much to frighten certain sections of German society towards the National Socialists.

Greenberg: That is very accurate. The politics of the 1920s and 1930s in Europe were defined perhaps more than anything by anti-Communism, by a fear of a potential popular Communist uprising, the fear of a violent transformation of society along the lines of the Soviet model. Nothing of this kind is really in operation today in our political culture. The rise of fascism was an explicitly right-wing response to the rise of militant Communism. And that makes it very, very different from the rise of populism today.

Finally, in terms of the historical specificity of the rise of the Nazis, political life in the 1920s and 1930s was shaped by the experience of mass war. Entire nations and whole generations experienced war firsthand. The formative experience of almost all the leaders of fascist movements in Germany and elsewhere was fighting as soldiers in the First World War. The leaders of populist movements today do not have any experience of military conflict. War is not an important experience for them. It is a very distant memory, if indeed it is a memory at all in our political culture today.

review: There was also the sense then that war, and not just in the context of German nationalism, was almost a spiritually rejuvenating process, wasn’t there?

Greenberg: Indeed, fascist theory glorified war as a transcendental, spiritual experience that transformed the soul. Fascists and semi-fascist art celebrated the experience of war. War was a major trope in fascist ideology, even in its depiction of a future classless society, in which the working class and the middle class worked together just as they had done during the First World War. This is something that is very foreign to the rhetoric or experiences of, say, Viktor Orban or Donald Trump, neither of whom has served in combat (or in the case of Trump, in the military at all).

review: What do you make of the argument that democracy was experienced almost as foreign imposition on the authoritarian body of German nationalism? After all, Germany’s transformation into a modern nation state in the second half of the 19th century was undertaken by Otto von Bismarck, a Prussian junker and monarchist, who famously declared ‘I am not a democrat’.

Greenberg: There is a long and very important debate among historians about how deep or shallow democratic culture was in German politics in the 1920s and 1930s. For a long time many assumed that because Germany was founded by a conservative militarist who co-opted nationalist and democratic sentiments in the 19th century, its democracy was therefore weak and easy to topple. But over the past couple of decades, an important group of scholars has challenged this narrative, arguing that Germany did in fact have a very vibrant democratic political life, with meaningful elections and parliamentary debates. And that in the late 19th century and early 20th century, people voted in very high numbers for parties that competed fairly peaceably with one another before and after the First World War. As a result, parliament became more and more important as time progressed. It is one of the reasons why, after the First World War, when the German monarchy collapsed, the expectation among Germans was that it would be replaced by a republic, not a military dictatorship. And that was because German citizens had been socialised into democratic norms, and took it for granted that that was the next step for politics.

The politics of the 1920s and 1930s in Europe were defined more than anything by anti-Communism

In some ways, scholars of this school argue that what truly made democracy in Germany so weak was that it was very polarised throughout the 1920s. The fascists and the Nazis were able to appropriate democratic language, gestures and ideas for what we would see as very undemocratic ends. So, for example, the leaders of the Nazi party all came from very humble backgrounds. They were not military generals or aristocrats. Hitler himself spoke with a working-class German accent. So much of the Nazis’ appeal rested on their claim to be the real democracy, the force that was really giving the people control over politics in a way that was dramatically different from the Prussian aristocrats and militarists of the 19th century.

So there is an ongoing debate as to how important the militarist foundations of the German state was versus how robustly democratic it was. This democratic culture, and its appropriation by the Nazis, is key to understanding the rise of fascism.

review: But that is not to say that the Nazis rose to power because of democracy, is it?

Greenberg: No. As historians know, the Nazis never actually managed to win a majority in free and open elections. The largest share of the vote they ever received, in 1932, was about a third. The reason they were able to secure power was because of the active support of conservatives, the aristocrats and militarists, who sided with them in parliament, and, most importantly, because they were using mass violence and intimidation, exiling and murdering their opponents. This is how they came to power, through ruling-class support and force, not because of free and democratic elections.

review: What is interesting about the ‘Weimar Analogy’ piece is that you were both able to bring out a far more telling analogy between then and now, and that is in the response to the rise of fascism, and the response to today’s populist revolt.

Greenberg: Yes, what prompted Professor Bessner and me to write this piece was that the over-reliance on the fascist analogy would lead us down the same path taken by pro-democratic and anti-fascist thinkers in the 1940s, like Hans Spier and Karl Loewenstein, both of whom fled Germany to the US in the 1930s. They came to the conclusion that fascism proved that democracy could not be trusted. And that for democracy to survive, the state had to curtail some freedoms.

This line of thinking, this idea of militant democracy, which proved very influential in the US, led to the creation of very undemocratic, unaccountable institutions like the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council in the US. It was an ideological tendency that also led to the dramatic limiting of political horizons in postwar Europe.

Most famously, in West Germany for example, the Supreme Court outlawed the Communist Party in 1956. And although the Communists were not a significant force in West Germany, the logic of militant democracy – and the West German Supreme Court used this very term when outlawing the Communists – rendered certain political visions illegitimate, and banished them from political discourse. And this created very elitist and what we would call anti-democratic institutions and norms in the 1940s and 1950s.

Anti-fascist political theorists in the 1940s and 1950s claimed that in order to achieve stable democracy you need to limit people’s involvement in politics

This does not mean to say that everyone who invokes the Weimar or Nazi analogy immediately ends up an anti-democrat, but Professor Bessner and me worry that we could eventually end up in a similar place. We are both scholars of the Cold War, and we both studied how political theorists in the 1940s and 1950s claimed that in order to achieve stable democracy you need to limit political activism and people’s involvement in politics. And we were worried that the same logic might lead us in the same direction today.

In our view, the right, progressive response to the contemporary moment should be a doubling down in our commitment to democracy, limiting technocracy and increasing democratic and grassroots involvement in politics.

review: Yet it does seem that the predominant response to the populist moment, certainly in left-wing and liberal circles in both the US and the UK, has been to make a stronger appeal to technocracy, to a rule by expertise.

Greenberg: That is true for some, certainly. It has actually been developing since at least the 1990s, with the so-called left moving more and more in the direction of technocracy, and trying to achieve progress through technocracy, rather than through more popular control of the economy. And I think that is born of a deep disappointment with the masses, and a belief that the masses cannot be trusted to make the right economic decisions. And that tendency developed and deepened right through to the Obama administration, which was very much defined by technocracy.

The reason this recent development on the left stood out for us was that too many on the left today make the same argument as the militant democrats – both contend that technocracy is the best means to preserve democracy. So, if the masses are not to be trusted, then you have to transfer as much power as possible into the hands of technocrats, who know what’s good for the masses, who will make the right call. And you have to shield technocrats from democratic accountability precisely to make those calls.

We have seen this logic operating in the past two decades among centrist politicians, and political elites more generally. And we were worried that the rise of populism on the right will further exacerbate and intensify this technocratic way of thinking. We believe that the left should adopt a very different model of thinking. In some ways, we believe that the logic of militant democracy and technocracy is precisely what led us to where we are now.

review: How difficult will it be for the left to embrace what used to be its own radical democratic heritage, given the extent to which it has turned away from, and often against, the masses?

Greenberg: It’s certainly not going to be easy, but democracy has never been easy. Each generation of political theorists and activists has to reimagine and rethink democracy, and chart new opportunities and possibilities. I believe the crisis of the past few years, and the rise of the radical right in Europe and the US is also an opportunity to do precisely that — to rethink the possibilities of the left. To think of its past, of what it got right, and what it got wrong, and maybe chart new possibilities. We already see it happening in grassroots politics in Britain and in the US, and we can only hope it continues to go in this direction.

SOURCE 

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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          With a knee you can see: Yes, Obamacare helps to cut costs and improve care      Cache   Translate Page      
Patrick Malone & Associates P.C. | DC Injury
          Analysts Debunk the White House's Myth of the Booming 'Trump Economy'       Cache   Translate Page      
Trump thinks he's created a booming economy all on his own.

President Donald Trump frequently lies when he boasts about the performance of the economy under his presidency, just as he lied when claimed the positive economic data under President Barack Obama was "phony."

But on Monday, Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Kevin Hassett offered a much more thorough and systematic approach to defending the claim that the Trump administration has led to a booming economy. (Hassett also acknowledged that Trump's recent boast about the economy on Twitter was off by an order of magnitude.)

However, as multiple responses to Hassett's claims have revealed, even this more sophisticated argument fails to make the case for a Trump-induced boom.

Writing for the Washington Post, Matt O'Brien explained:

During President Barack Obama’s last 19 months in office, the economy added an average of 208,000 jobs a month; during President Trump’s first 19 months in office, it’s added an average of 189,000 jobs a month.

During Obama’s last 19 months, the share of 25- to-54-year olds who have a job rose 1.1 percentage points; during Trump’s first 19 months, it rose 0.9 percentage points.

During Obama’s last 19 months, wage growth went up 0.3 percentage points; during Trump’s first 19 months, wage growth went up 0.2 percentage points.

These are the facts that the Trump administration seems to think it can transform into evidence that it’s made the recovery better than it was before.

He explained that, despite Hassett's efforts to squint at the data and see a major impact after the 2016 elections, the trends tell basically one story: the economy under Trump has essentially been a continuation of the economy under Obama.

Some of the changes the White House attributes to Trump, he continued, are more plausibly attributable to other factors.

"The Trump administration likes to think that investment has gone up because of the magic of the Republicans' big corporate tax cuts. But the reality is a lot more mundane: It’s oil," he wrote. "Drilling, you see, makes up a big part of business investment, so it should be no surprise that it flatlined after oil prices collapsed in 2014 and then rebounded after prices went up in 2016. It’s possible that the tax cuts will eventually increase investment, but they haven’t so far."

Jordan Weissman, writing for Slate, similarly found Hassett unconvincing.

"One of the most baffling parts of Hassett’s presentation was his attempt to show that the job market had vastly improved, using the employment rate among 25- to 54-year-olds," explained Weissman. "If you take a longer view, and use the actual employment rate rather than a rolling average, it’s hard to see any noticeable change in the trend after November 2016."

Yet even if the White House's claims about Trump's near-term impact on the economy were true, it wouldn't answer some of the most essential questions about his policies. Are massive tax cuts for the wealthy, financed by deficit spending, and a reckless deregulatory push in the environmental and financial realms a recipe for the long-term economic health and wellbeing of the nation?

Almost certainly not — but Republicans prefer not to have this conversation.

Weissman does argue that some of what Trump and the Republicans have done may have given the economy a boost in recent months (rather than the post-election bump Hassett argued for.) By cutting taxes and increasing spending, the GOP has essentially given the economy modest stimulus, which President Barack Obama had constantly pushed for in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

"The White House economic team does not actually want to admit that it has juiced growth through fiscal stimulus, because most dedicated conservatives still insist that stimulus doesn’t really work," wrote Weissman. "Instead, it wants to credit deregulation and the effects of tax cuts on business investment rather than their impact on household spending. That’s why, even if the administration deserves some acknowledgment for its actual economic policies, it’s still important to debunk its economic arguments."

 

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          Stuck with Sessions      Cache   Translate Page      
Stuck with Sessions

by digby



This may be the best illustration of how upside down our politics are right now:

President Donald Trump has scrambled many of Washington’s standard operating assumptions. Among his most head-scratching accomplishments, however, may be making Democratic voters oppose the idea of an unemployed Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

As a staunchly conservative senator from Alabama who was especially hawkish on immigration policy, Sessions’ ideas were reviled in Democratic Party circles. Now, as leader of the Department of Justice, he’s used his power to enact measures he was only able to dream about as a lawmaker.

HuffPost’s Ryan J. Reilly recently dubbed him Trump’s “most effective” cabinet member:

He’s stepped up prosecutions for illegal border crossing, implemented the “zero tolerance” policy that led to family separations, put pressure on immigration judges to speed up cases with new precedents and a quota system, and restricted asylum for victims of domestic violence. He’s renewed a “tough on crime” approach, rolling back Obama-era sentencing changes, opposing broader sentencing reforms that had bipartisan support, and reversing course on an effort to reduce DOJ’s use of private prisons. He’s had DOJ back away from investigations of policing practices.

One might assume that record would cause Democrats to view the prospect of his ouster from Trump’s Cabinet as a good idea. But according to a poll released by Quinnipiac University on Monday, the opposite holds true ― Democratic voters disapproved of Trump firing Sessions, 69 percent to 16 percent, while Republicans approved of the scenario, 49 percent to 23 percent.

The news in the poll gets even worse for Sessions. Among the entire survey sample, only 17 percent give him favorable marks, with 43 percent having an unfavorable view of him and 33 percent saying they haven’t heard enough to pass judgment.

There’s no partisan silver lining in these figures, either. Only 19 percent of Republicans have a favorable opinion of the GOP stalwart ― barely more than the 13 percent of Democrats who approve of him (21 percent of independents view him favorably).

The mixed attitude toward Sessions among Democrats ― a widespread disapproval of him combined with a desire he stay on as the nation’s chief law enforcement official ― no doubt stems from Trump’s repeated attacks on the man he picked to be attorney general.

Much of the president’s anger toward him has been caused by Sessions’ refusal to interfere with the ongoing criminal investigation into potential collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia led by special counsel Robert Mueller ― a probe Trump frequently berates as a “witch hunt.”

Senate Republicans have repeatedly warned that ousting Sessions wouldn’t be a good idea politically for Trump, and there is fresh evidence to support their claim. In the Quinnipiac poll, voters said that Mueller is conducting a fair investigation, 55 percent to 32 percent.

Nobody can stand Sessions. And while he's being a very good soldier by fulfilling the Trump base's
most fervent desire to harass and persecute people of color and immigrants, Republicans know they can count on their president to appoint someone else to carry out that agenda and also fire the hated Mueller.

Sessions isn't indispensable to the Trumpies. Racist right-wingers are a dime a dozen. But getting another Trump loyalist who is also recused from the Russia investigation isn't possible.

This is a terrible choice. But until this freakshow is over one way or another there isn't a better one.


.
          "Administrative malfeasance of the worst kind!"      Cache   Translate Page      
Today, Bookworm writes,
Today is the six-year anniversary of the attack on the consulate in Benghazi. Four Americans died: Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone S. Woods, and Glen Doherty. While we still don’t know precisely what the goings-on at the consulate were in the months leading up to the attack, we know that:

Stevens wanted more security and Hillary ignored him;

When the attack came the "refused to send help;

Four Americans died, two of them after a prolonged gun battle after the CIA refused to help them;

Obama and Hillary were nowhere to be found while the attack was going on, as Obama was sleeping before a rally and Hillary mysteriously missed that 3 a.m. phone call;

The administration knew immediately that the attack was a terrorist operation;

and The administration repeatedly lied about the attack, blaming it on an obscure video.
Oh, and we know one more thing: Despite the above, Obama last week referred to those facts — all of which point to administrative malfeasance of the worst kind — as a “wild conspiracy theory.”

Now that you’ve been reminded who and what Obama and his administration were, if you don’t vote in November to help keep the Trump juggernaut going . . . well, shame on you!

          A job for persuaders, not prosecutors.      Cache   Translate Page      
In National Review, Kevin Williamson asks,
...A few questions: When you read a few weeks ago that a Cambodian-American candidate for public office was running ads that touched on the horrifying history of her native country, and that those ads were being suppressed by Facebook, did you even have to ask whether the candidate was a Republican? No, of course not. And as much as we conservatives might lament the fact, conspiracy nut Alex Jones is, broadly speaking, a creature of the Right. Is anybody surprised that he was the target of an obviously coordinated action by Apple, Facebook, and YouTube, while much more dangerous conspiracy nuts such as Louis Farrakhan are permitted to operate without interference? Of course not. If Louis Farrakhan is good enough for Barack Obama, you can bet he’s good enough for YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, Jew-hating weirdo though he is. There are some important differences, of course: Minister Farrakhan has been complicit in at least one political assassination, and Alex Jones, whatever his transgressions against truth and taste, has not.

Silicon Valley is hardly without blame here. It is full of Little Suppressors. And while the bosses sometimes talk a good game about addressing their epidemic bias problems, one of the problems with bias is that biases are usually invisible to the bias-holder. That’s going to be a long conversation — a lot of long conversations.

But it’s a job for persuaders, not prosecutors.
Read more here.
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          Why are they still alive?      Cache   Translate Page      
Max Jaeger attempts to explain at the New York Post why the masterminds of 9-11 have still not been brought to trial.



...Seventeen years after they helped murder 2,977 innocents in the worst terrorist attack on US soil, five 9/11 suspects — including self-avowed mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — have not faced trial.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for all five men and have attempted for years to try the case, but a constantly shifting venue, questions over coerced evidence and the limitations of holding trials at Guantanamo Bay have slowed the case to a crawl.

...President Barack Obama suspended the case when he entered office, and in 2010, the Pentagon dismissed the charges without prejudice, meaning the men could be charged again later.



Then-Attorney General Eric Holder tried to move the case to Manhattan federal court, but the plan was nixed, and the administration refiled charges at the military court at Guantanamo.

The men were arraigned in 2012, and what has followed has been an endless procession of pretrial hearings over their treatment in captivity and whether evidence gleaned using “enhanced interrogation” tactics was usable.

“The fact that we can’t try these individuals is such an incalculable disservice to the citizens of this country,” said Karen Greenberg, director of The Center on National Security at Fordham Law School.

...ust two people have been sentenced in connection with 9/11 — Zacarias Moussaoui and Mounir el-Motassadeq.

Moussaoui pleaded guilty in 2005 to six terrorism-related conspiracy charges tied to 9/11 and is serving life in prison without parole.

In 2006, German courts convicted el-Motassadeq on 246 counts of accessory to murder for providing financial assistance to the 9/11 hijackers. He got 15 years in prison.

The five suspects faced yet another hearing Monday.

The FBI still has not found these two suspects.
Read more here.
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As the midterms approach, the one thing becoming increasingly clear is the importance of the LGBTQ voter. We rejoiced over the progress made in the Obama years and watched in horror as Trump, with the anti-LGBTQ industry whispering in his ear like that Lord of the Rings character Wormtongue, proceeded to take away from us as much as he could. Now certain groups are hoping that we took mental notes about Trump's behavior and are motivated to wreak a rainbow tsunami at the ballot box which will help take control away from him, his anti-LGBTQ unofficial cabinet, and the GOP in general.

According to NBC News, our vote could count tremendously in key areas:

LGBTQ people make up an estimated 4.5 percent of the adult population in the U.S., according to Gallup, and lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals comprise approximately 5 percent of voters across the country. While LGBTQ voters are a relatively small portion of the electorate, a number of political experts and advocates say these approximately 10 million eligible voters could prove critical in several close races.

The LGBTQ vote could be particularly important in states with close races that have sizable LGBTQ populations, according to Patrick Egan, a political science professor at New York University. 
He cited Florida, which has an estimated 700,000 LGBTQ people, as an example. The state’s races for senate and governor are close, and the Republican and Democratic candidates have “dramatically different positions.” 
. . . Egan also mentioned Vermont, where Democrat Christine Hallquist could become the country’s first transgender governor. LGBTQ people comprise an estimated 5.3 percent of the state’s adult population. “That’s a place where we expect not just turnout, but also campaign volunteering and donations, to potentially be quite important,” Egan said of Vermont.

And the Democratic National Committee has not only noticed, but encouraged this:

 Democrats have invested millions of dollars in state parties across the country in order to elect Democrats up and down the ballot, including a record number of LGBTQ candidates, according to a Democratic National Committee official who spoke to NBC News on background.
These LGBTQ candidates, according to the official, include Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado, Christine Hallquist of Vermont and Josh Boschee of North Dakota. The DNC has also put out an LGBTQ Voting Rights Toolkit, which offers specific advice for LGBTQ voters — especially transgender individuals — who may encounter trouble at the polls because of voter identification laws.

The article in general underscores the fact that the progress made in the Obama years could have possibly created an LGBTQ constituency vote with potency for future elections. The key is unification. Unfortunately, some of us do tend to bend over backwards in order to demonstrate how we are supposedly not "one-issue" voters, when such a notion is absolutely self-defeating. Particularly when that "one issue" encompasses marriage, adoption rights, protection from discrimination, family rights, military rights, etc. etc.

That "one issue" is the survival of the LGBTQ community in general. Seems to be that would be a perfect time for us to vote selfishly and pragmatically. It will either be the GOP or the Democrats who have control. Our best bet is to vote for those who we can work. And for God's sake, do not sit this out. That behavior amongst some folks is how we got into the mess we are in now.



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Nhà báo kỳ cựu Bob Woodward và cuốn “Fear: Trump in the White House.” (Hình: Alex Wong/Getty Images for Meet the Press & thoughtgallery.org)

(NgườiViệt 08/09/2018) Tổng Thống Donald Trump thường rất chú ý đến cách ông được trình bày trên bản tin của các đài truyền hình.

Là một cựu tài tử truyền hình reality television, ông luôn tham gia các quyết định về ai được gửi đến các chương trình truyền hình để bênh vực Tòa Bạch Ốc, họ phải nói điều gì, và chiến lược chung để chống lại những chương trình phát tuyến tiêu cực đối với tổng thống.

Trong lãnh vực này, tổng thống chú ý từng chi tiết, đến nỗi có nguồn tin nói là tổng thống đã quyết định quay lại một số những tuyên bố ở Vườn Hồng vì tổng thống tin là ánh sáng ngoài trời khiến ông trông bảnh bao hơn.

Thành ra thật mỉa mai là một số những cuộc khủng hoảng truyền thông lớn trong giai đoạn ông làm tổng thống có nguồn gốc từ một phương tiện truyền thông cổ hơn, chậm hơn và có nội dung nhiều hơn: từ những cuốn sách.

Chiều hướng này bắt đầu từ Tháng Bảy, 2017, với “Devil’s Bargain,” một cuốn sách của nhà báo Joshua Green, mà đề tài là nhân vật lúc đó rất quan trọng nhưng nay đã mất chức, cựu chiến lược gia trưởng của tổng thống, ông Steve Bannon, người có thể nói đã giúp ông Trump đắc cử.

Rồi đến mùa Xuân thì cuốn sách của cựu Giám Đốc Cơ Quan Điều Tra Liên Bang Jim Commey. Cuộc hồi ký “A Higher Loyalty,” vốn đặt nghi vấn về sự lương thiện của tổng thống. Cả hai cuốn hiện nay vẫn còn đứng đầu trên danh sách những cuốn sách bán chạy nhất của nhật báo The New York Times.

Năm nay là một loạt những cuốn sách tả lại sự rối loạn trong chính Tòa Bạch Ốc. Nhà báo Michael Wolff đã dành được thành công đáng kể cho cuốn “Fire and Fury,”tuy những người chỉ trích đã chỉ ra điều mà một số người bảo là lối tường thuật cẩu thả của ông Wolff.

Cô Omarosa Manigault Newman, một cựu thí sinh trong loạt chương trình truyền hình “Celebrity Apprentice” của tổng thống và là một phụ tá ở Tòa Bạch Ốc đã bị cách chức vì bị nói là đã lạm dụng chức vụ, đã có đóng góp của riêng mình với “Unhinged,”một cuốn sách đầy những chuyện xầm xì nhưng không ngờ lại được những đoạn tape thu lén hỗ trợ. Cả hai cuốn này cũng đã vào danh sách những cuốn sách bán chạy nhất của tờ Times.

Nhưng cuốn thứ ba mới là cuốn mà nay trở thành “bộ ba rối loạn”mà Tòa Bạch Ốc đang cố gắng hết sức để chống trả trong thị trường văn chương chữ nghĩa. Cuốn sách “Fear: Trump in the White House,” phải đến Thứ Ba tuần tới, 11 Tháng Chín, mới phát hành là của nhà báo kỳ cựu Bob Woodward.

Tuy chưa phát hành những đoạn được tiết lộ trước về nội dung của cuốn sách, kể cả nhiều câu chuyện nói là các phụ tá đã đặt câu hỏi về sự thông minh và thái độ của tổng thống, đã tạo bùng nổ trên tin tức truyền hình và khiến Tòa Bạch Ốc vội vàng chống trả.

Cuốn sách của ông Woodward có thể coi là một cái nhìn trước về cách mà các sử gia trong tương lai sẽ viết về triều đại của Tổng Thống Trump. Điều đó không có nghĩa là những sử gia đó sẽ nhiều chỉ trích như vậy, nhưng họ cũng sẽ lấy từ cùng một nguồn tài liệu – những cuộc phỏng vấn rộng rãi với các viên chức cựu và đang tại chức. Câu chuyện của thời đại tổng thống của ông Trump đang ngày càng vượt ra khỏi quyền kiểm soát của ông.

Có thể có những chỉ trích về lối trình bày sự kiện của ông Woodward, nhưng ông David Greenberg, giáo sư sử và báo chí ở Đại Học Rutgers, giải thích “cứ tính cho kỹ, năm này sang năm khác, không ai dạy cho chúng ta nhiều hơn và đưa ra nhiều những thông tin hơn trong việc cho chúng ta thấy chuyện gì đang xảy ra ở tột đỉnh của bộ máy chính quyền.” Ông Greenberg cũng là tác giả của một cuốn sách lý thú “Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency.”

Ở một khía cạnh nào đó phản ứng của Tòa Bạch Ốc trước những cơn gió giật mà báo chí đưa ra về cuốn sách mới của ông Woodward phản ảnh chủ đề của cuốn sách về một Tòa Bạch Ốc vốn xáo trộn hằng ngày – bị các phe phái chia rẽ, coi thường người ngồi trong Văn Phòng Bầu Dục, và thường xuyên đi sau mọi biến cố một bước.

Những viên chức trong chính phủ đã chậm phản ứng trước bản tin của tờ Washington Post về nội dung của cuốn sách, vốn bao gồm những câu chuyện là các phụ tá chính đã gọi Tổng Thống Trump là “người ngu” hay “người đần độn,”một đôi khi còn có những lời chửi thề kèm theo.

TờPost cũng cho phổ biến một đoạn tape của cuộc nói chuyện giữa tổng thống và ông Woodward hồi Tháng Tám, trong đó tổng thống nói là chưa có ai cho ông biết là ông Woodward muốn phỏng vấn ông. Nhưng sau đó tổng thống lại hầu như nói ngược lại, nói là Thượng Nghị Sĩ Lindsey Graham của South Carolina đã nói với ông, nhưng ông không nhận được thông báo chính thức nào về một yêu cầu phỏng vấn từ các nhân viên lo về truyền thông.

Chiều hôm Thứ Ba và đến ngày Thứ Tư, 5 Tháng Chín, thì Tòa Bạch Ốc mới mở máy, với Bộ Trưởng Quốc Phòng James Mattis và Chánh Văn Phòng John Kelly đưa ra những tuyên bố mạnh mẽ bác bỏ việc họ đã dùng những chữ ngạo mạn chê bai ông “chef”của mình, và gọi cuốn sách là “một cuốn tiểu thuyết.”

Nhưng các phụ tá của Tòa Bạch Ốc không nói là Tòa Bạch Ốc là “một bộ máy chạy êm ru” như tổng thống thỉnh thoảng vẫn cả quyết. Cuốn sách của ông Woodward đã kể lại một số những cảnh thật đáng lo sợ, chẳng hạn như ông Kelly tuôn ra một tràng những lời chỉ trích ông “chef,” đến các cuộc phỏng vấn với nhiều viên chức (ẩn danh) vốn đã có mặt lúc đó. Việc này thật khó là bác bỏ.

Đến chiều Thứ Tư, những phóng viên tường thuật về Tòa Bạch Ốc ghi nhận một sự hơi đổi giọng trong các thông cáo chính thức, ngấm ngầm chấp nhận là có những lủng củng, tranh chấp nội bộ.

Tổng Thống Trump tweet hôm Thứ Tư rằng: “Hầu như ai cũng đồng ý là chính phủ của tôi đã làm nhiều hơn là bất cứ một chính phủ nào khác trong lịch sử đất nước chúng ta trong hai năm qua. Tôi rất khó tính với người ta và nếu tôi không thì chẳng có gì nên chuyện cả. Và tôi đặt câu hỏi về mọi người và mọi sự – đó là tại sao tôi đắc cử.”

Dầu sao chăng nữa, có vẻ là vài chục viên chức, cựu và đương nhiệm, của tổng thống quả đã có nói chuyện với ông Woodward. Nhiều người ngồi nhiều tiếng đồng hồ. Nếu như thói quen trong quá khứ, ông Woodward hẳn đã thu thanh nhiều cuộc phỏng vấn này, theo Giáo Sư Greenberg, vốn đã từng là phụ tá cho nhà báo trong ba năm vào đầu thập niên 1990.

Những ủng hộ viên trung thành của tổng thống sẽ không tin vào cuốn sách của ông Woodward, hay là họ bất cần câu chuyện có đúng sự thật hay không. Những người chỉ trích tổng thống thì chắc chắn là vội tin những điều tệ hại nhất. Trên phương diện đó, “Fear”có lẽ sẽ không thay đổi lập trường của bao nhiêu người vốn đã chia rẽ về triều đại của Tổng Thống Trump.

Nhưng nói chung, tổng thống quả không nổi tiếng cho việc hoàn toàn tuân thủ sự thật, mà bằng cớ là biết bao những người đã cho thấy những điều ông nói sai sự thật. Ông Woodward, ngược lại, đã nổi tiếng là một người tuân thủ sự thật từ thời Tổng Thống Richard Nixon còn tại chức.

Theo ông Greenberg, ông Woodward không phải là một nhà phân tích, hay bàn tán cao xa, ông chỉ thuần túy là một nhà báo “kể lại sự việc.”

Các Tổng Thống George W. Bush, Bill Clinton và Barack Obama đều đã hợp tác với ông Woodward ở một mức độ nào đó trong các cuốn sách của ông Woodward về thời họ làm việc. Tất cả đều có những than phiền về một số những điểm đặc biệt hay một câu chuyện kể lại. Nhưng nói chung, họ không bảo là ông nói láo.

Và đó sẽ là điều ám ảnh tổng thống.

LÊ PHAN (Theo Christian Science Monitor)

          Administration switches Obamacare “navigator” funding to small charity       Cache   Translate Page      
With open enrollment for Obamacare plans seven weeks away, the Trump administration has de-funded largest “navigator” organization in the state that helps people to enroll.
          AKCIÓÓÓ Stadler Form Jack digitális ultrahangos párásító f - Jelenlegi ára: 40 000 Ft      Cache   Translate Page      
Stadler Form Jack digitális ultrahangos párásító fehér 1db részletes leírása
Termék leírása: Ultrahangos párásító technológia, csúcsteljesítményű vízlágyító patron, kapcsolható előmelegítő rendszer, ISC TM ionos ezüstkocka, illatanyag kibocsátás, beépített higrosztát, elektronikus vezérlés, érintő kijelző, változtatható teljesítmény, a készülék üzem közben is utántölthető, antibakteriális tartály, éjszakai üzemmód (a LED elsötétíthető, vagy lekapcsolható), fényjelzéses vízállásmutató, háromszoros vízminőség védelem (mikrobaölő), LEC TM technológia, ajánlott szobaméret: max. 65 m / 160 m3, teljesítmény: 40W (az előmelegítés 125W), zajszint: 26 dB, kimenet max. 480g / h, tank kapacitás 5 liter, méretek: 230 x 316 x 165 mm, érintő kijelző, súly: 3, 2 kg.
Eredeti ára: 65000 Ft

AKCIÓÓÓ Stadler Form Jack digitális ultrahangos párásító f
Jelenlegi ára: 40 000 Ft
Az aukció vége: 2018-10-02 18:27
          Obama, how hard is it to say terrorists are bad?      Cache   Translate Page      
Improvisation has never been Barack Obama’s strong suit, and this failing was on full display in last week’s back-from-Elba speech denouncing President Trump. The improvised line that will haunt Obama down the road went like this, “How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad.” No, saying Nazis is bad is easy, too easy […]
          Comment on Michael Olenick: Debunking Yet Another Misleading Gun Study by JBird      Cache   Translate Page      
In fairness, mass murders <em>are</em> easier to commit using guns and I say this as a gun rights supporter. What I do not like is advocates using distortions, misdirection, general bs, and outright lies to support The Cause. It looks like “writers” like Lott and Bellesiles are becoming more acceptable although that might be do to the increasing propagandizement of politics, public policy, education, science or anything else that can be monetized under our current neoliberal order. Our Fear Everyone and Everything, the Forever Wars, the Security State, Money is Speech, Obamacare, the War on (Some) Drugs, School-to-Prison Pipeline, Climate Change, etc are all due to that. The debate on guns is a convenient way to get votes and money with the establishment’s ostensible opposing factions having little impetus to actually do anything useful. Rather the impetus is to keep it on a low boil.
          Perhaps the Finest Example of TDS We’ve Seen Yet.       Cache   Translate Page      

by Robert Laurie

Everywhere you look, you see them: Panicked progressives and NeverTrumpers, running wild in the streets, screaming that the sky is falling. America – democracy itself – is doomed and soon we will awaken to find ourselves in a post-apocalyptic Mad Max hellscape. Once powerful pols and pundits will roam the barren land searching for seersucker and bowties, trying desperately to organize the kind of cocktail parties they used to enjoy.

What could have caused such a tectonic shift, you ask? In a word “him.” The beast. Donald J. Trump. He came crashing into town, defeated their mighty champion, and now they’ve lost all hope. This is the core of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Everything they understood to be true about their place in the political pecking order has been upended and they’re terrified that “the old way of doing things will never return.”

No one has made that clearer than Matthew Walther, the “National Correspondent” for an occasionally-respected publication called “The Week.” He’s convinced that an army of Trump supporters are, at this very moment, conspiring to eliminate the 22nd Amendment. This would remove presidential term limits and keep Trump in the Oval Office …for all of eternity! As he puts it “Trump may never leave the White House.” He warns you…this is not idle speculation:
"I don’t think it’s reasonable to dismiss the possibility of a third term for this president as idle speculation. The 22nd Amendment can be repealed like any other, and both geography and math favor Republican attempts at amendment. The end of presidential term limits would not necessarily be, in the long term, a one-sided partisan affair. It is perfectly reasonable to imagine a future in which a popular young Democratic president is elected to third and even fourth terms, perhaps non-contiguously, with a four-year interlude from a lucky but ultimately ill-fated Republican challenger. 
I do not know a single supporter of the president who opposes the idea, at least in theory, of Trump serving more than eight years. The man himself has entertained it openly, praising Xi Jinping for getting rid of term limits in China. Meanwhile, speculation about whether Obama would have beaten Trump if he had run for a third term is a liberal cottage industry. Obama, who agrees that he would have been elected again if he had run two years ago, is a young man. Perhaps he could be the one to beat Trump in 2024. 
If you think two more years of Trump in the White House sounds like a nightmare, imagine having to read about his late-night Oval Office tweets for another decade, or even longer."
This is perhaps the finest example of TDS we’ve seen yet. Not only has he killed us with net neutrality, tax cuts, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh, but now international media outlets are speculating that he’s going to repeal the 22nd Amendment and stay in office for life!

You have to be a spectacular imbecile to think that he, or the voters who put him in office, are in any way looking to go down this path.
          Michelle Obama bringing her 2018 tour to Little Caesars Arena in Detroit      Cache   Translate Page      

Former First Lady Michelle Obama is bringing her tour to Detroit in 2018. Original published: 2018-09-12 17:50:59 Read the full Detroit News here

link: Michelle Obama bringing her 2018 tour to Little Caesars Arena in Detroit


          Obama-Hillary fired Benghazi heroes when they got to Germany - made them find their own way back to US      Cache   Translate Page      
Obama-Hillary Fired Benghazi Heroes When they Got to Germany - Made Them Find Their Own Way Back to US (VIDEO)...
          Michelle Obama Announces 10-City Book Tour For Candid Memoir      Cache   Translate Page      
Michelle Obama is going on tour. The former First Lady admits she’s “a little frightened” by how candid she got in her brand new memoir, Becoming but she’s nonetheless proud about her open and honest new memoir. “Over this time that I’ve been out of the White House, I’ve had time to think and reflect […]
          Gundlach: US Economy And Stocks Could Be "Burnt Out"      Cache   Translate Page      

By Robert Huebscher of Advisor Perspectives

Stimulative measures drive growth, and the U.S. economy and stock market have benefited from quantitative easing, lower rates, less regulation and tax cuts. But Jeffrey Gundlach admonished investors that too much stimulus can backfire.

Gundlach, the chief investment officer of Los Angeles-based DoubleLine Capital, spoke via webcast with investors on September 11. His talk was titled, “Miracle Grow,” and the focus was on his firm’s flagship mutual fund, the DoubleLine Total Return Fund (DBLTX). The slides from his presentation are available here.

Gundlach, an amateur gardener, said that he often uses Miracle Grow fertilizer to help his plants.

“But if you dump Miracle Grow on plants long enough it burns them out,” he said.

The growth of the deficit has been disconcerting. The deficit growth has been at levels that have historically been used to counter recessions, even though we have been in a nine-year-long period of growth.

The U.S. total debt outstanding and the total S&P return have moved up in tandem. That has been “miracle growth,” he said.

What’s going to happen when the next recession happens? The deficit could “explode,” Gundlach said.

Let’s look at what Gundlach said the future holds for the U.S. economy and stock and bond markets.

A recession ahead?

Tax cuts, deficits and debt have been responsible for the surges in U.S. growth – as are the threats of tariffs, which accelerated growth forward, according to Gundlach. Real GDP growth, he said, is at 2.9% and may be as high as 3.8% for Q3. Nominal GDP has accelerated as a result of higher inflation.

The last time nominal GDP grew at this rate was in 2004, which led to Fed rate hikes.

Is there trouble ahead? The year-over-year leading economic indicators (LEIs) are growing at 6.9%, matching the level at their peak in 2012-2013. “It’s very likely they will turn negatives,” and there is “no sign of a recession,” he said.

Sentiment surveys are “off the charts” and “have never been higher,” he said. This is the result of decreased regulation, according to Gundlach.

The PMI surveys are extremely strong (manufacturing is at 61.3 and at its highest level in 20 years). This, he said, is the result of “extraordinary” dovish central bank policies from the Fed and other central banks.

But the Fed is now in quantitative tightening (QT) mode. “We’ll see what happens as $60 billion/month of debt is retired, starting in October.”

There are also trillions of corporate maturities in the next five years, both in the U.S. and globally, according to Gundlach. Along with QT, that will lead to a lot of “interesting things” as all that debt needs to be re-floated, he said.

As debt has grown, it hasn’t been reinvested smartly, he said. Net government investment hasn’t grown. One of the positive things is that government capital spending has grown faster than consumption when compared to prior years, according to Gundlach.

Among households, student and auto loan debt has grown at alarming rates, he said. Millennials have been trapped into “lifelong debt problems” as a result of tuition increases, he said, which have been fueled by debt accessibility.

Home prices are up and home affordability is down, he said, so there has been a slump in housing growth. More than two-thirds of sentiment-survey respondents have said that it is not a good time to buy a home.

Countering Trump’s rhetoric

Gundlach generally stays out of politics in his webcasts. But this time he refuted some of President Trump’s claims.

This is not the “greatest jobs economy of all time,” Gundlach said, contrary to Trump’s claims. Wages growth has not kept up with inflation, except briefly in 2017, according to Gundlach. Wage growth is slowing down, according to data from the Atlantic Fed. Real average earnings growth is negative, with the CPI at 2.95%.

“It’s inflation that’s growing,” Gundlach said.

For the first 20 months of the Trump presidency, there have been 190,000 of new jobs per month. But under the last 20 months of Obama’s tenure, there were 211,000. Not only is this not the greatest jobs economy of all time, it is actually slightly worse than Obama’s presidency, and both periods were late-cycle in the economy, Gundlach said.

Since 1939, despite the huge increase in the population, there were “many, many” times when job growth was vastly higher than under Trump’s presidency, Gundlach said. But, Gundlach acknowledged, a lot of that historical growth happened when demographics were much more favorable than it is now.

The response to the next recession will be some form of universal basic income (UBI), he said. Gundlach cited a program like this in Sweden and noted the recent calls for UBI among socialist Democrats.

The miracle growth markets

Miracle Growth has been thrown at the markets, Gundlach said. As global central banks have pursued aggressively dovish policies, foreign stock market returns have responded in a similar way to those in the U.S.

But global stock markets are down this year, with some real “disasters” in the emerging markets, he said, due to the trade war.

“One of the things we will remember most about 2018 is that incredible divergence between the U.S. and global stock market returns,” Gundlach said.

Inflation has been picking up in the U.S. and internationally. Across the globe, 80% of countries have had rising inflation during the last three months. “We can clearly see that inflation has bottomed out and is heading higher,” Gundlach said. Both goods and services prices have been rising over that period.

We are not having problems getting inflation to the 2% level, according to Gundlach. There is good reason to believe the core CPI will go higher, according to DoubleLine’s proprietary models, the New York Fed’s Underlying Inflation Gauge (UIG) and the ISM PMI (which also is a leading indicator of inflation). Money growth (M2) supply also suggests a move above 3% for inflation, according to Gundlach.

A suicide mission

“It’s bad enough that deficits are increasing this late in the cycle, but we are increasing taxes and raising interest rates,” Gundlach lamented. It is a “suicide mission,” as Gundlach had called it in a previous webcast. If rates are hundred basis points higher, with $7 trillion of debt, there will be $140 billion of additional interest costs, according to Gundlach.

“This will put further pressure on the deficit and create a self-reinforcing cycle of higher debt and higher rates,” he said.

The Treasury could get overwhelmed by a “supply fear” that could lead to much higher inflation, with a tough economy and rising rates, Gundlach warned. “That would be the gateway to universal basic income. Americans would think they were getting something, but it would really be a devaluation of the dollar.”

The dollar’s next big move will be down and it will be lower than it is now by year end, he said. It has recently weakened versus the euro. That will help non-U.S. stock markets. But the dollar has strengthened relative to emerging markets, which has hurt those stock markets.

“The market is telling us the trade war is very bad for emerging markets, especially those with dollar-denominated debt,” Gundlach said.

But, he said, President Trump wants the dollar to be weaker and wants the Fed’s help to make this happen.

U.S. valuations, according to the CAPE ratio, are near 1929-levels. Emerging markets are at half the levels of the U.S., based on the CAPE ratio. It’s really hard to believe that equity markets will hold up. If it gets worse in the emerging markets, then it “has to be a global situation.”

That will happen if the dollar weakens.

Advice to investors

Since May, global markets are down 10% and the U.S. is up 7%. Emerging markets are down 20% over that period, which “looks like a bear market,” Gundlach said. But he does not expect this divergence to continue.

Commodities are at historically cheap levels, but are not going lower, according to Gundlach. “They are a late-cycle play and highly volatile” and they should “stay in the portfolio,” he said.

Gold, at approximately $1,200 per ounce, will increase in price as the dollar weakens. It is a “really good buy” at its current price and has “exhausted its downside,” Gundlach said.

The U.S. 10-year yield (at 2.97%) has been remarkably stable over the last several months. But if nominal GDP growth or the German 10-year yield moves higher – the two have historically been closely tied to U.S. 10-year rates – then it would lead to higher rates. But Gundlach said he does not have high conviction about the future direction of rates.

There is an extremely large speculative position against the Treasury market. Gundlach said that if rates head down, even a little, it could lead to a “stampede” and possibly to a 10-year rate as low as 2.25%. He called this scenario “conjectural” but not impossible.

The 30-year yield (at 3.12%) is nearing the 3.22% level, which Gundlach has previously cited as a threshold that would lead to higher rates, provided there are two consecutive closes above that rate.

Across sectors of the bond market, Gundlach said he is not a big fan of corporate bonds, which are two standard deviations rich, according to the DoubleLine models. Junk bonds are “very highly valued,” he said, but not in imminent danger. Corporate-debt-to-GDP is “horrifically” high, he said, and is inconsistent with tight option-adjusted spreads. Corporate bond yields are also suffering from historically high levels of supply.

With convertible bonds, investors are “basically owning stocks” he said. They are more of an equity investment.

Non-agency mortgage-backed (MBS) securities and floating rate bonds are his favored bond sectors.

Don’t buy Chinese stocks, he said. The financial problems there are “scary” and investors are better off in other Asian markets.

The S&P 500 will end the year modestly lower, he said.

“You want to be globally diversified,” Gundlach said. The U.S. market is sensitive to “just a few stocks.” If you want to increase beta, invest outside the U.S.

“I would not invest in e-commerce stocks,” Gundlach said. “I would rather sleep at night.”


          Michelle Obama announces stadium tour to support 'Becoming'      Cache   Translate Page      
Michelle Obama announced a 10-city U.S. stadium tour on Wednesday to support her upcoming memoir "Becoming" that will feature what organizers called "intimate and honest conversations" with audiences.

          Michelle Obama to visit Denver in December      Cache   Translate Page      

Obama will be in Denver in December as part of a 10-city tour to support her new book, “Becoming.” She’ll be at the Pepsi Center on Thursday, Dec. 13.


          Wild Atlanta Residence Billed as “One of the Safest Homes in America” Heads to Auction for $3.9 Million      Cache   Translate Page      
Wild Atlanta Residence Billed as “One of the Safest Homes in America” Heads to Auction for $3.9 Million

Looking for a home with secret passageways, a bank vault and a bunker? You’re in luck!

Johns Creek, Georgia, is probably the last place that comes to mind when you think of danger. In 2017, the upscale city just north of Atlanta ranked third on USA Today’s list of "50 best cities to live in.” But it is here, nestled against the serene banks of the Chattahoochee River and beyond the legendary gates of the Country Club of the South, that you’ll find a veritable suburban Fort Knox.

The Rice House Atlanta, reportedly modeled after the Acropolis of Athens, spans an intimidating 36,000 square feet and sits on more than three acres. Even in its current unfinished state, the one-of-a-kind residence billed as “one of the safest homes in America,” is an impenetrable fortress equipped with every high-tech security feature you can think of. We’re talking hidden passageways, a 15,000-square-foot bunker, a bank vault, ballistic doors, impenetrable walls and more.

And the craziest part is, it can be yours. The home is currently priced at $14.7 million, though it will go to auction with a starting bid of $3.9 million next week.

(Did you hear that? That’s the sound of the hundreds of paranoid millionaires jumping with joy.)

“This is a unique opportunity to complete a true masterpiece,” listing agent Paul Wegener, of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, said in a press release. “While the estate currently stands as a stately fortress with the necessary foundations to last a thousand years, it has the potential to be an extraordinary presidential or diplomatic compound, equipped with amenities to provide a luxurious, private lifestyle.”

Want a peek inside? Well, now’s your chance:

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          Michelle Obama announces stadium tour to support 'Becoming'      Cache   Translate Page      
Michelle Obama announced a 10-city U.S. stadium tour on Wednesday to support her upcoming memoir "Becoming" that will feature what organizers called "intimate and honest conversations" with audiences.

          Gundlach: US Economy And Stocks Could Be "Burnt Out"      Cache   Translate Page      

By Robert Huebscher of Advisor Perspectives

Stimulative measures drive growth, and the U.S. economy and stock market have benefited from quantitative easing, lower rates, less regulation and tax cuts. But Jeffrey Gundlach admonished investors that too much stimulus can backfire.

Gundlach, the chief investment officer of Los Angeles-based DoubleLine Capital, spoke via webcast with investors on September 11. His talk was titled, “Miracle Grow,” and the focus was on his firm’s flagship mutual fund, the DoubleLine Total Return Fund (DBLTX). The slides from his presentation are available here.

Gundlach, an amateur gardener, said that he often uses Miracle Grow fertilizer to help his plants.

“But if you dump Miracle Grow on plants long enough it burns them out,” he said.

The growth of the deficit has been disconcerting. The deficit growth has been at levels that have historically been used to counter recessions, even though we have been in a nine-year-long period of growth.

The U.S. total debt outstanding and the total S&P return have moved up in tandem. That has been “miracle growth,” he said.

What’s going to happen when the next recession happens? The deficit could “explode,” Gundlach said.

Let’s look at what Gundlach said the future holds for the U.S. economy and stock and bond markets.

A recession ahead?

Tax cuts, deficits and debt have been responsible for the surges in U.S. growth – as are the threats of tariffs, which accelerated growth forward, according to Gundlach. Real GDP growth, he said, is at 2.9% and may be as high as 3.8% for Q3. Nominal GDP has accelerated as a result of higher inflation.

The last time nominal GDP grew at this rate was in 2004, which led to Fed rate hikes.

Is there trouble ahead? The year-over-year leading economic indicators (LEIs) are growing at 6.9%, matching the level at their peak in 2012-2013. “It’s very likely they will turn negatives,” and there is “no sign of a recession,” he said.

Sentiment surveys are “off the charts” and “have never been higher,” he said. This is the result of decreased regulation, according to Gundlach.

The PMI surveys are extremely strong (manufacturing is at 61.3 and at its highest level in 20 years). This, he said, is the result of “extraordinary” dovish central bank policies from the Fed and other central banks.

But the Fed is now in quantitative tightening (QT) mode. “We’ll see what happens as $60 billion/month of debt is retired, starting in October.”

There are also trillions of corporate maturities in the next five years, both in the U.S. and globally, according to Gundlach. Along with QT, that will lead to a lot of “interesting things” as all that debt needs to be re-floated, he said.

As debt has grown, it hasn’t been reinvested smartly, he said. Net government investment hasn’t grown. One of the positive things is that government capital spending has grown faster than consumption when compared to prior years, according to Gundlach.

Among households, student and auto loan debt has grown at alarming rates, he said. Millennials have been trapped into “lifelong debt problems” as a result of tuition increases, he said, which have been fueled by debt accessibility.

Home prices are up and home affordability is down, he said, so there has been a slump in housing growth. More than two-thirds of sentiment-survey respondents have said that it is not a good time to buy a home.

Countering Trump’s rhetoric

Gundlach generally stays out of politics in his webcasts. But this time he refuted some of President Trump’s claims.

This is not the “greatest jobs economy of all time,” Gundlach said, contrary to Trump’s claims. Wages growth has not kept up with inflation, except briefly in 2017, according to Gundlach. Wage growth is slowing down, according to data from the Atlantic Fed. Real average earnings growth is negative, with the CPI at 2.95%.

“It’s inflation that’s growing,” Gundlach said.

For the first 20 months of the Trump presidency, there have been 190,000 of new jobs per month. But under the last 20 months of Obama’s tenure, there were 211,000. Not only is this not the greatest jobs economy of all time, it is actually slightly worse than Obama’s presidency, and both periods were late-cycle in the economy, Gundlach said.

Since 1939, despite the huge increase in the population, there were “many, many” times when job growth was vastly higher than under Trump’s presidency, Gundlach said. But, Gundlach acknowledged, a lot of that historical growth happened when demographics were much more favorable than it is now.

The response to the next recession will be some form of universal basic income (UBI), he said. Gundlach cited a program like this in Sweden and noted the recent calls for UBI among socialist Democrats.

The miracle growth markets

Miracle Growth has been thrown at the markets, Gundlach said. As global central banks have pursued aggressively dovish policies, foreign stock market returns have responded in a similar way to those in the U.S.

But global stock markets are down this year, with some real “disasters” in the emerging markets, he said, due to the trade war.

“One of the things we will remember most about 2018 is that incredible divergence between the U.S. and global stock market returns,” Gundlach said.

Inflation has been picking up in the U.S. and internationally. Across the globe, 80% of countries have had rising inflation during the last three months. “We can clearly see that inflation has bottomed out and is heading higher,” Gundlach said. Both goods and services prices have been rising over that period.

We are not having problems getting inflation to the 2% level, according to Gundlach. There is good reason to believe the core CPI will go higher, according to DoubleLine’s proprietary models, the New York Fed’s Underlying Inflation Gauge (UIG) and the ISM PMI (which also is a leading indicator of inflation). Money growth (M2) supply also suggests a move above 3% for inflation, according to Gundlach.

A suicide mission

“It’s bad enough that deficits are increasing this late in the cycle, but we are increasing taxes and raising interest rates,” Gundlach lamented. It is a “suicide mission,” as Gundlach had called it in a previous webcast. If rates are hundred basis points higher, with $7 trillion of debt, there will be $140 billion of additional interest costs, according to Gundlach.

“This will put further pressure on the deficit and create a self-reinforcing cycle of higher debt and higher rates,” he said.

The Treasury could get overwhelmed by a “supply fear” that could lead to much higher inflation, with a tough economy and rising rates, Gundlach warned. “That would be the gateway to universal basic income. Americans would think they were getting something, but it would really be a devaluation of the dollar.”

The dollar’s next big move will be down and it will be lower than it is now by year end, he said. It has recently weakened versus the euro. That will help non-U.S. stock markets. But the dollar has strengthened relative to emerging markets, which has hurt those stock markets.

“The market is telling us the trade war is very bad for emerging markets, especially those with dollar-denominated debt,” Gundlach said.

But, he said, President Trump wants the dollar to be weaker and wants the Fed’s help to make this happen.

U.S. valuations, according to the CAPE ratio, are near 1929-levels. Emerging markets are at half the levels of the U.S., based on the CAPE ratio. It’s really hard to believe that equity markets will hold up. If it gets worse in the emerging markets, then it “has to be a global situation.”

That will happen if the dollar weakens.

Advice to investors

Since May, global markets are down 10% and the U.S. is up 7%. Emerging markets are down 20% over that period, which “looks like a bear market,” Gundlach said. But he does not expect this divergence to continue.

Commodities are at historically cheap levels, but are not going lower, according to Gundlach. “They are a late-cycle play and highly volatile” and they should “stay in the portfolio,” he said.

Gold, at approximately $1,200 per ounce, will increase in price as the dollar weakens. It is a “really good buy” at its current price and has “exhausted its downside,” Gundlach said.

The U.S. 10-year yield (at 2.97%) has been remarkably stable over the last several months. But if nominal GDP growth or the German 10-year yield moves higher – the two have historically been closely tied to U.S. 10-year rates – then it would lead to higher rates. But Gundlach said he does not have high conviction about the future direction of rates.

There is an extremely large speculative position against the Treasury market. Gundlach said that if rates head down, even a little, it could lead to a “stampede” and possibly to a 10-year rate as low as 2.25%. He called this scenario “conjectural” but not impossible.

The 30-year yield (at 3.12%) is nearing the 3.22% level, which Gundlach has previously cited as a threshold that would lead to higher rates, provided there are two consecutive closes above that rate.

Across sectors of the bond market, Gundlach said he is not a big fan of corporate bonds, which are two standard deviations rich, according to the DoubleLine models. Junk bonds are “very highly valued,” he said, but not in imminent danger. Corporate-debt-to-GDP is “horrifically” high, he said, and is inconsistent with tight option-adjusted spreads. Corporate bond yields are also suffering from historically high levels of supply.

With convertible bonds, investors are “basically owning stocks” he said. They are more of an equity investment.

Non-agency mortgage-backed (MBS) securities and floating rate bonds are his favored bond sectors.

Don’t buy Chinese stocks, he said. The financial problems there are “scary” and investors are better off in other Asian markets.

The S&P 500 will end the year modestly lower, he said.

“You want to be globally diversified,” Gundlach said. The U.S. market is sensitive to “just a few stocks.” If you want to increase beta, invest outside the U.S.

“I would not invest in e-commerce stocks,” Gundlach said. “I would rather sleep at night.”


          John Kerry Accused Of Violating Logan Act After He Admits To Secret Iran Talks      Cache   Translate Page      

Though he previously denied it when allegations first surfaced last Spring, former Secretary of State John Kerry has now disclosed he's personally had semi-frequent face to face contact with top Iranian officials to discuss US-Iran relations since Trump entered office.

Kerry confirmed and explained in detail his recent meetings with Iranian Former Minister Javad Zarif in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt to promote his new memoir, Every Day Is Extra.

During the interview Kerry disclosed that he met with Zarif "three or four times" and discussed political issues and challenges between the United States and Iran in what could constitute a significant and clear violation of the Logan Act

Back when Kerry was actually authorized to do this sort of thing as Secretary of State under Obama in 2015. Via the Iran Project

Though it's almost never been enforced, the 1799 Logan Act states that unauthorized diplomacy with foreign powers by private American citizens is a crime. Notably, two Trump-connected individuals that prominent Liberals and editorials demanded be prosecuted under the Logan Act include former national security advisor Michael Flynn and Trump senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. 

When asked point blank during the radio show about his rumored meetings with top Iran officials, Kerry admitted, "I think I've seen him three or four times," but attempted to claim he was not trying to "coach" Iran on how to navigate President Trump's pullout of the Iran nuclear deal.

Kerry is of course now a private citizen out of government but holds significant clout and influence with the Iran FM as the two hammered out the details of the JCPOA brokered under President Obama in the first place. 

However, by Kerry's own explanation it looks precisely like he was doing this: "What I have done is tried to elicit from him what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better," Kerry said. He also shared his belief that American policy in the Middle East would be much better off if the White House had stayed in the agreement, and that the global community would be more stable and secure. 

It sure sounds like unauthorized diplomacy behind Trump's back by a high ranking member of the former administration to us...

Soon after the interview, some Iran hawks in Congress took to Twitter to decry the hypocrisy of the whole thing. 

Here's a key part of the transcript via the Hugh Hewitt Show:

Hugh Hewitt: Okay, it’s been reported you’ve met with him a couple of times at least since leaving office as well. So you still…

John Kerry: Yes, I have. That’s accurate.

HH: And is it a half dozen times, a dozen times?

JK: No. No, no, no. I met with him at a conference in Norway. I think I saw him in a conference in Munich at the World Economic Forum. So I’ve probably seen him three or four times.

HH: Are you trying to coach him through the Trump administration’s rejection of the JCPOA?

JK: No, that’s not my job, and my coaching him would not, you know, that’s not how it works. What I have done is tried to elicit from him what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better. You know, how does one resolve Yemen? What do you do to try to get peace in Syria? I mean, those are the things that really are preoccupying, because those are the impediments to people, to Iran’s ability to convince people that it’s ready to embrace something different. I mean, and I’ve been very blunt to Foreign Minister Zarif, and told him look, you guys need to recognize that the world does not appreciate what’s happening with missiles, what’s happening with Hezbollah, what’s happening with Yemen. You’re supporting you know, an ongoing struggle there They say they’re prepared to negotiate and to resolve these issues. But the administration’s taken a very different tack. I don’t know as I talk to you today if there’s been any dialogue or sit down. I don’t think there has, which would open up any kind of diplomatic channel. And it appears right now as if the administration is hell bent for leather determined to pursue a regime change strategy to bring the economy down and try to isolate further. And I would simply caution that the United States historically has not had a great record in regime change strategies, number one. And number two, that makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for any Iranian leader to sit down and negotiate anything, because they’re not going to do it in a capitulatory, you know, situation. It’s just not going to happen.

It certainly appears that Kerry by his own admission is indeed trying to "coach" the Iranian FM on how to deal with the current White House. And the discussions clearly included chiding the Trump administration over its Iran policy while in Kerry's own words the "open[ing] of diplomatic channels" was on his mind. 

Meanwhile some Republican lawmakers have already, hours after the interview, unleashed charges that Kerry is engaged in rogue diplomacy and is undermining the active, elected administration.  

It was only a matter of time before he put his foot in his mouth, and promoting his new book means we're likely about to hear a lot more self implicating details spilled. 


           Comment on Bloomington Citizens get to Fund Rent by Meidaghpst       Cache   Translate Page      
You might want to note that a lot of the 2008 economic crash was due to Alan Greenspan under slick Willie allowing loans for $250,000 houses to those who made $30,000 a year. Bush failed by not stopping it but he is not the only one to blame. Obama only made it such our grandchildren will be paying for his eight years. However it is questionable this country will still exist then.
           Comment on Bloomington Citizens get to Fund Rent by DaxDaxterson       Cache   Translate Page      
Again what happened BEFORE Obama took office? The biggest economic crash since 1929. I guess you keep on forgetting that fact. President Trump has now amassed his first $1 trillion in debt, — and analysts said it’s just a taste of what’s to come after the tax-cuts and spending spree of recent months. "Indeed his next $1 trillion could come within a year, and one analyst said he could soon be staring at $3 trillion annual deficits if things go particularly badly in interest rates. Mr. Trump has already signed legislation that will add at least $2.4 trillion to the debt in the next decade and, should Congress make those policies permanent, could add as much as $6 trillion." Unlike Obama, Trump doesn't have an economic crisis on his hand when he entered office so why exactly will the debt increase as much as 6 trillion?
          From Madam Hoyt on communist malefactors and idiots*      Cache   Translate Page      
...If you meet a convinced communist and he’s obviously not stupid, then he’s malicious. His greed for power over others is such that he’s convinced himself he’s using an “altruistic” philosophy to attain it, and it will, in the end, be for the good of all. The rational, sane part of him might whisper that this is bullshit, because it can never happen, and therefore all they get is power to destroy those they hate and elevate those they like for a time at least, but that rational sane voice is tiny, and the monstrous ego that believes if everyone understood Marxism as the communist does and played its part in the mental play written according to the Marxist exegesis of the communist, then there would be utopia.

It’s a powerful siren song for the maleducted and ambitious, which explains for instance, Obama, who hated Reagan for causing the fall of the USSR and wanted to undo everything Reagan did, because without Reagan’s intervention, we’d already have achieved utopia.
...
The only way to make everyone act the way some ideologue thinks they should is to have a totalitarian government, a strong police state, a structure of spying on every action, every thought, every idea.

What those utopians are saying is that they want everyone to live in what’s a perfect society FOR THEM.  In other words, they want power over your very soul.
I say it’s spinach, and I say to hell with it.

There is no utopia.  Some people will be miserable in the wealthiest, cleanest, most considerate society ever.  This is also not a conjecture.  They are.  And they scream about patriarchy and oppression and white supremacy that exist only in their heads.



*Yes yes, I know I'm repeating myself
          The Rate of Uninsured Americans Had Been Steadily Falling for Years. Now It’s Stalled Out.      Cache   Translate Page      

The share of Americans without health coverage had been falling for years, but the newest annual report from the Census Bureau shows that it stalled out at 8.8 percent in 2017. This marks the first year since Obamacare was implemented that the uninsured rate failed to decline, even slightly.

This is not exactly a surprise—previous data, including from the National Health Interview Survey, have suggested that the uninsured rate stagnated last year. But the fresh figures do confirm that Obamacare’s coverage expansion was largely exhausted as of Donald Trump’s first year in office. The fraction of Americans without a health plan began dropping dramatically after the law’s Medicaid expansion and insurance exchanges went live in 2014—but progress slowed within a few years. In 2017 ground to a halt, despite an improving economy where more Americans are able to find coverage through their jobs.

It’s not quite right to blame Donald Trump for this round of numbers. After all, Obamacare open-enrollment for 2017 started before he was in office, and the White House’s efforts to sabotage the ACA only swung into high gear late last year, after it became clear the law wouldn’t be repealed. So to some extent, the new Census report can be read as showing that Obamacare had mostly bumped up against the limits of its natural effectiveness, given the political environment (if more red states had been willing to embrace the Medicaid expansion, the uninsured rate would have dropped further; happily, the expansion will be on the ballot in a few smaller states this November). Still, our president has done plenty to vandalize the insurance markets, above all by repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate requiring Americans to buy coverage. The uninsured rate may have only stalled last year, but it’s pretty clearly going to rise.


          Yes, Trump Should Get Credit for the Strong Economy. But His White House Should Be Honest About How We Got Here.      Cache   Translate Page      

On Monday, Kevin Hassett, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, got up in front of the press and a delivered a presentation full of easily debunked charts massaged to make it seem as if the U.S. economy turned around more or less the moment Donald Trump was elected president. It was not very convincing.

At Vox, however, Matt Yglesias has offered a much better case for why Trump deserves some credit for our recent run of economic growth. Namely: He’s gone on a stimulus binge. (I made a similar point at the end of my piece earlier this week). The president signed a massive tax cut into law, as well as a budget that increased spending by almost $300 billion over two years, which most economists believe is giving our GDP a nice pop. While Hassett’s “arguments about a Trump-induced boom are overstated,” Yglesias writes, “it’s a mistake for Trump’s critics to overcorrect by pretending his policies have nothing to do with the good news we’ve seen this year.” In fact, moderate Democrats, who spent the Obama years fretting about deficits at the expense of slow growth, could learn a few lessons. “Fiscal stimulus when the labor market is short of full employment works — just ask Donald Trump.”

This brings us to an odd problem, though. The White House economic team does not actually want to admit that it has juiced growth through fiscal stimulus, because most dedicated conservatives still insist that stimulus doesn’t really work (the president himself, whose talked about needing to “prime the pump” economically, is a different story). Instead, it wants to credit deregulation and the effects of tax cuts on business investment rather than their impact on household spending. That’s why, even if the administration deserves some acknowledgement for its actual economic policies, it’s still important to debunk its economic arguments.

Trump’s deficits are not responsible for all of the growth we’re now experiencing; much of that is still just an extension of the gradual, steady recovery that began under President Obama. But the combo of spending and tax cuts has contributed to the pace of growth. Last quarter, the U.S. economy expanded at a 4.2 percent annualized rate. According to one measure produced by the Brookings Institution, lower taxes and higher spending by the federal government added a 0.51 percentage point boost to that figure (state and local spending tacked on another 0.17 points).

Those numbers don’t include any multiplier effects—the downstream impacts where a dollar spent by the federal government creates more spending elsewhere in the economy. But they gives us a sense of how the GOP’s recent choice to flick dollar bills around like Jordan Belfort on a boat has influenced growth. Today, federal fiscal policy is giving the economy a bit of extra wind. For most of Obama’s second term, in contrast, it was a drag.

Trump’s economic team is trying to wave all of that away, however. During his presentation Monday, Hassett explicitly denied that Trump was benefiting from the effects of fiscal stimulus. Instead, he tried to argue that we’re witnessing a surge of business investment spurred by tax cuts—an idea for which there is, in fact, extremely weak evidence.

CHAIRMAN HASSETT: Yeah. Thank you for the question. And the first thing, before I turn to the trade part of the question, is that some people have also said, “Well, sure, the economy is strong, but that’s a sugar high.” But it’s not a sugar high at all. Because what’s happened is that the capital spending boom that we promised would happen if we passed the tax cuts is underway. And the cool thing about capital spending is that people build factories — that’s what capital spending is — and they do that in the first half of the year. It’s up 10 percent since the beginning of the year. And then in the second half of the year, those factories start producing output, so you get more output.

Hassett didn’t merely argue that Trump’s actual policies have improved the economy. Both rhetorically, and with his charts, he suggested that Trump’s mere election started improving things. “I can promise you that economic historians will 100 percent accept the fact that there was an inflection at the election of Donald Trump, and that a whole bunch of data items started heading north,” he told the press.

This is all fairly incredible, and it points to one of the central problems of talking about the current economy. Honest people in both parties should admit that Trump’s fiscal policies have given the economy a nudge. But honest people should also be honest about why. Instead, the White House will use any good news as validation for its decision to cut taxes on corporations and set fire to environmental regulations. That deserves pushback.


          Obama speech, Trump, and true democracy      Cache   Translate Page      
We in Hong Kong like to talk a lot about democracy. But what exactly is democracy? The opposition insists it will only accept so-called genuine democracy. It loosely describes this as one person one vote without a selection process that effectively screens out candidates Beijing doesn’t trust. But is that all there is to democracy […]
          Michelle Obama’s 10-city book tour will take her to major arenas      Cache   Translate Page      
There will be no cramped bookstore signings for this popular former first lady.
          Re: People Are “Fighting For Food” As Authorities Warn Florence “Could Produce A Disaster Comparable To 2005’s Hurricane Katrina”      Cache   Translate Page      

Thanks Obama


          Analysts Debunk the White House's Myth of the Booming 'Trump Economy'       Cache   Translate Page      
Trump thinks he's created a booming economy all on his own.

President Donald Trump frequently lies when he boasts about the performance of the economy under his presidency, just as he lied when claimed the positive economic data under President Barack Obama was "phony."

But on Monday, Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Kevin Hassett offered a much more thorough and systematic approach to defending the claim that the Trump administration has led to a booming economy. (Hassett also acknowledged that Trump's recent boast about the economy on Twitter was off by an order of magnitude.)

However, as multiple responses to Hassett's claims have revealed, even this more sophisticated argument fails to make the case for a Trump-induced boom.

Writing for the Washington Post, Matt O'Brien explained:

During President Barack Obama’s last 19 months in office, the economy added an average of 208,000 jobs a month; during President Trump’s first 19 months in office, it’s added an average of 189,000 jobs a month.

During Obama’s last 19 months, the share of 25- to-54-year olds who have a job rose 1.1 percentage points; during Trump’s first 19 months, it rose 0.9 percentage points.

During Obama’s last 19 months, wage growth went up 0.3 percentage points; during Trump’s first 19 months, wage growth went up 0.2 percentage points.

These are the facts that the Trump administration seems to think it can transform into evidence that it’s made the recovery better than it was before.

He explained that, despite Hassett's efforts to squint at the data and see a major impact after the 2016 elections, the trends tell basically one story: the economy under Trump has essentially been a continuation of the economy under Obama.

Some of the changes the White House attributes to Trump, he continued, are more plausibly attributable to other factors.

"The Trump administration likes to think that investment has gone up because of the magic of the Republicans' big corporate tax cuts. But the reality is a lot more mundane: It’s oil," he wrote. "Drilling, you see, makes up a big part of business investment, so it should be no surprise that it flatlined after oil prices collapsed in 2014 and then rebounded after prices went up in 2016. It’s possible that the tax cuts will eventually increase investment, but they haven’t so far."

Jordan Weissman, writing for Slate, similarly found Hassett unconvincing.

"One of the most baffling parts of Hassett’s presentation was his attempt to show that the job market had vastly improved, using the employment rate among 25- to 54-year-olds," explained Weissman. "If you take a longer view, and use the actual employment rate rather than a rolling average, it’s hard to see any noticeable change in the trend after November 2016."

Yet even if the White House's claims about Trump's near-term impact on the economy were true, it wouldn't answer some of the most essential questions about his policies. Are massive tax cuts for the wealthy, financed by deficit spending, and a reckless deregulatory push in the environmental and financial realms a recipe for the long-term economic health and wellbeing of the nation?

Almost certainly not — but Republicans prefer not to have this conversation.

Weissman does argue that some of what Trump and the Republicans have done may have given the economy a boost in recent months (rather than the post-election bump Hassett argued for.) By cutting taxes and increasing spending, the GOP has essentially given the economy modest stimulus, which President Barack Obama had constantly pushed for in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

"The White House economic team does not actually want to admit that it has juiced growth through fiscal stimulus, because most dedicated conservatives still insist that stimulus doesn’t really work," wrote Weissman. "Instead, it wants to credit deregulation and the effects of tax cuts on business investment rather than their impact on household spending. That’s why, even if the administration deserves some acknowledgment for its actual economic policies, it’s still important to debunk its economic arguments."

 

Related Stories


          Paul Krugman Denounces the 3 'Villains' that Thwarted Full Recovery from the Great Recession      Cache   Translate Page      
"It’s a story that’s both sad and nasty."

It's been ten years since Lehman Brothers collapsed — a seminal event at the start of the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent great recession that still haunt the world to this day.

As the experts continue to debate the causes, contributing factors, and quality of the response to the crisis, there's general agreement that while the official response mitigated some of the worst possible outcomes, much more could have been done to protect the American economy and the well-being of families across the country.

One key tool the administration had to mitigate the recession was a fiscal stimulus, which President Barack Obama enacted through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. But many argued at the time that the bill wasn't nearly big enough for the size of the problem and that more stimulus could have protected many more people from years of joblessness and financial strife.

Economist Paul Krugman argued in a New York Times op-ed Wednesday that there were three main types of villains in the story of the recession that prevented the government from unleashing more fiscal stimulus:

First, we can argue whether the Obama administration could have gotten more; that’s a debate we’ll never see resolved. What is clear, however, is that at least some key Obama figures were actively opposed to giving the economy the support it needed. “Stimulus is sugar,” snapped Tim Geithner at Christina Romer, when she argued for a bigger plan.

Second, Very Serious People pivoted very early from concern about the unemployed – hey, they probably lacked the necessary skills – to hysteria over deficits. By 2011, unemployment was still over 9 percent, but all the Beltway crowd wanted to talk about was the menace of the debt.

Finally, Republicans blocked attempts to rescue the economy and tried to strangle government spending every step of the way. They claimed that this was because they cared about fiscal responsibility – but it was obvious to anyone paying attention (which unfortunately didn’t include almost anyone in the news media) that this was an insincere, bad-faith argument. As we’ve now seen, they don’t care at all about deficits as long as a Republican is in the White House and the deficits are the counterpart of tax cuts for the rich.

He also faults the fact that the bank bailouts didn't just benefit the banks but the bankers who played a key role in the crisis. And he warns that there's little sign that the country as a whole has learned the right lessons from 2008.

"It’s a story that’s both sad and nasty," he said. "And there’s every reason to believe that if we have another crisis, it will happen all over again."

 

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          'These Are All Cowardly People': Former Trump Org Executive Slams the President's Shameless Aides      Cache   Translate Page      
She pushed back on Trump when he was her boss. She is aghast that no one in the White House will do the same.

The infamous New York Times op-ed alleging an internal resistance against President Donald Trump, which has eaten up so much of the corporate media's time over the past week, has obscured an obvious reality: there is actually almost no pushback in the White House against anything Trump does. He has near total impunity to enact policy on a whim, insult people on social media, purge civil servants for political reasons, and generally be the id-driven loose cannon he has been throughout his entire life.

And to hear it from former Trump Organization executive Barbara Res, who appeared on MSNBC's "The Beat" Wednesday, the president is, if anything, even less constrained now than he was in the business world because his White House aides stay silent and obedient.

"Why doesn't anyone stand up to this guy? It's amazing to me," she asked. "We did, regularly. There were a bunch of us who did back in the day."

"And I think part of the big difference I see in him is who he hires," she continued. "He's got people that are sycophants that tell him, 'you're great,' and they run off and do what he says to do, without question, like telling the world that he had a bigger crowd at his inauguration than Obama did. And nobody has — these are all cowardly people, and I see anonymous, I hate to say it, as a cowardly person."

Res has alleged horror stories about Truher time as a vice president at the Trump Organization, including his abuse of female employees and even an incident in which Trump demanded his architect remove the braille from his elevators because "No blind people are going to live in Trump Tower."

The picture Res paints of Trump's White House is bleak — and unfortunately, things might actually get worse going forward. Some of the only people who ever stood up to Trump in the slightest capacity, like Gary Cohn reportedly telling Trump he can't just print money to pay off the national debt, or Don McGahn forcing Trump to back off from firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, are now either gone or on their way out. And as White House turnover continues to leave Trump with a smaller and smaller circle of loyalists, he could lose all touch with the world.


          Going to bed a caterpillar, waking a ‘Failed loser butterfly. Sad.’      Cache   Translate Page      
Sure, the TEA Party started making things weird even before our current decade began. And yes, the attacks on President Obama started trending off the political pages and into high school slambooks. I don’t want to be halcyon about an...
          Un ‘robamóviles’ intenta agredir a policías tras ser sorprendido in fraganti      Cache   Translate Page      
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          Michelle Obama Announces 10-City Book Tour For Candid Memoir      Cache   Translate Page      
Michelle Obama is going on tour. The former First Lady admits she’s “a little frightened” by how candid she got in her brand new memoir, Becoming but she’s nonetheless proud about her open and honest new memoir. “Over this time that I’ve been out of the White House, I’ve had time to think and reflect […]
          FACT CHECK: Who Gets Credit For The Booming U.S. Economy?      Cache   Translate Page      
The U.S. economy is chugging along. Employers added 201,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate held steady at a low 3.9 percent. Average wages in August were nearly 3 percent higher than they were a year ago. Who should get the credit for that strong performance? At a campaign rally in North Dakota last week, President Trump boasted that he's responsible for the economy taking off like a "rocket ship." But Trump's predecessor wants to remind everyone that the countdown began on his watch. "When you hear how great the economy is doing right now, let's just remember when this recovery started," former President Barack Obama told supporters Friday at the University of Illinois. This is not just a question of bragging rights. With midterm elections less than two months away, voters' impressions of who deserves credit for the boom could influence which political party they support in November. Let's stipulate that presidents of both parties often get more credit and blame for
          What's Next for Idlib?       Cache   Translate Page      
Being honest here, not, a fan of Josh Landis- But, he offers some good insights into the dynamics in Syria's north- So I'm sharing the interview. Dated August 08/18
I've left off the claim in the original title regarding Syria's proxies gathering for Idlib- It's very clear that did not happen. Not even close.
We have all now been made aware that claims of a coordinated Syrian/Russian move into Idlib were false.

Part of the interview below:
"Q: In recent months, we’ve seen Turkish authorities entrenching in northern Syria: school administrators are adding Turkish language school curriculums, local councils are displaying Turkish flags and Turkish propaganda is increasingly visible in public spaces. There’s even a word some residents are using to describe the phenomenon: “Turkification.” What do you see as Turkey’s long-term priorities in maintaining this presence in northern Aleppo?
JL: I think Turkey is prepared to, in a sense, quasi-annex this region. It’s the only thing that makes sense, because if they don’t, they’re going to be re-conquered by the Assad regime and they’ll be brought back into Syria.

The long-term problem for Turkey is whether they can do this kind of thing and have it accepted by the international community. And so far, it’s working for them.

I would compare it to Iskenderun, [also known as] Alexandretta, which was a separate administrative unit of Syria under the French Mandate until Turkey annexed it in 1939. There were somewhere over 40,000 or 50,000 refugees who fled the region into Syria at that time. The Sunnis stayed and became Turks. The lines between a Turk and an Arab could be fungible.
Q: But do you see that dynamic—of pro-Turkish sentiment among Syrians in the north—playing out now?
JL: Yes, I do. I think many Sunnis believe that they’d be better off with Turkey. And that’s really demonstrated in the fact that most of the rebel militias who use Turkey as a refuge also see Turkey as, in a sense, a mothership that supplies them with diplomatic support, political support, military support, economic support, everything. And they see the Turks as champions of their Islamic identity.

In a sense, by being Turks, by being under the umbrella of Turkish rule, in some ways they are more authentically Muslim. It underlines the ambiguities, just like it did in the 1930s, between Islamic and ethnic identity, which we see in today’s civil war and in the uprising against Assad.
Q: But what does Ankara stand to benefit from potentially annexing northern Aleppo, or at least maintaining a heavy presence there?
Turkey has a number of things. First, on the most practical level, Turkey gains leverage to affect future negotiations with Assad.

Second, Turkey is very fearful that Assad will drive all the rebels and their families [who are currently present in northern Aleppo and Idlib] into Turkey, scattering them across Anatolia. And that’s tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people.
 
So Turkey has a great interest in not allowing Assad to drive all of these tens of thousands of rebels [out]. They don’t want refugees. They have enough, with two million-point-something.

[Ed.: As of July 2018, the UN counts more than 3,500,000 registered Syrian refugees living in Turkey.]
3.5 million is the official UN number- that I've seen many times.

Q: What kind of leverage does Turkey’s presence in northern Aleppo actually hold over the Syrian government?
Well, the [potential] trade that’s sitting there, and waiting to be done, is that if the Syrian government controls the Kurds, Turkey will withdraw from territory in [northern] Syria.
[Ed.: US-backed, majority-Kurdish authorities in a de facto autonomous region of northeastern Syria are pushing forward with plans to negotiate with Damascus for a “decentralized, democratic system” in areas under their control, Syria Direct reported late last month. The Syrian Democratic Council, the political wing of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, announced in July it had entered into talks with the Syrian government for a “roadmap leading to a “democratic and decentralized Syria.”]
JL:Well, the trade that can be made is that Turkey abandons the Syrian rebels to a certain degree and gives Syria much of Idlib province in exchange for the Syrian government retaking much of the Kurdish region, and America leaving. And that means no more arming of the Kurds, no more weapons going to the Kurds. Syrian intelligence would have to work closely with the Turkish intelligence, I presume, to make sure that the Kurds are not smuggling arms up to the PKK, and that the Turkish army gets to destroy the PKK inside of Anatolia and suppress the Kurds.
But Turkey doesn’t trust Assad. They believe that he has cooperated with the [separatist, Kurdish-nationalist group] PKK in the past. So Turkey is fearful that Syria will go back to helping the PKK divide Turkey in the same way that Turkey has helped the rebels divide Syria.

As soon as [Turkey] gives up that territory, they have no leverage whatsoever over Syria.
Q: You mentioned earlier that Ankara doesn’t want rebels in Idlib streaming into Turkey if they face a possible defeat there. Can you talk more about the stakes in Idlib from a military perspective? Do you see Ankara poised to back rebels there in an oncoming battle, to the extent that we’ve been seeing in northern Aleppo?

Turkey has 12 observation posts that it has established across Idlib, which are backed up by Turkish soldiers with heavy weapons and tanks. So, if Assad bombs them, he’s going to be bombing Turkey and this is going to be a casus belli in theory. So, Assad has to step very carefully around these observation points.
Q: You wrote earlier this year on your Syria Comment blog that the US policy of backing majority-Kurdish groups in northern Syria has “pushed Turkey into the sphere of Russian influence.” How is this dynamic playing out today with regard to preparations for a battle for Idlib? Do you see any major contradictions?
JL:Russia is very keen on trying to make a deal between Turkey, the Kurds and Syria. They’re trying to negotiate a way to avoid war, in much the same way that they did in southern Syria, where the Syrian Arab Army was able to retake all of that region in only about a month’s time and Israel, Jordan, the United States all agreed to it [and] did not enter into the war to stop the Syrian army. And the rebels were forced to make agreements with the army or to retreat to Idlib province.

The problem is that northern Syria is much more difficult. It’s filled with all these radical Islamist groups, it’s right on Turkey’s border and Turkey is a major power—it’s not like Jordan. And Russia has a great deal invested in Turkey. Russia does not want to go to war against Turkey.

This is going to tax Russian diplomacy to the max. Nobody knows what to do about it. In a sense, it’s the collecting point of all the problems in Syria. 
Q: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan warned his Russian counterpart Putin last month that a battle in Idlib would effectively “destroy” the Astana accord, which placed the province within one of four so-called “de-escalation zones.” Is that just an empty talking point, or is there real concern here of a diplomatic fallout?
JL;Good question. The Astana accord represents an agreement between Russia, Turkey, Iran and other regional powers to use diplomacy and not to go to war. If that falls apart, it really means the dialogue falls apart. And that means you could fall to blows.

I think both Russia and Turkey have the idea that they are not going to war. And that they both think they can finesse the situation.

So, there’s going to be a lot of pushing and pulling, and we’re not sure how it will end. Or where exactly the lines will be drawn. But I think Assad is committed to taking back the whole [province].
Q: But there’s the argument that Astana is meaningless, that none of the de-escalation zones it established in Syria did much to stop the fighting at all, except maybe in parts of southern Daraa and Quneitra provinces for a period of time.
That wasn’t their purpose. Their actual purpose was to provide the United States with a graceful way to abandon the Syrian rebels. President Obama [decided], “I’m not going to war against Russia for Syria.” That’s been American foreign policy ever since. They conceded Syria to Russia.

That meant that they had to find a way to allow Assad and Russia to destroy the rebels. But of course, the US had committed to the rebels. So it’s very embarrassing for America to have to do that. And America kept hoping that it could get leverage, that it could force Assad to step down, that they could save face by getting a negotiated solution. None of that’s turned out to be correct.

Now it’s a question of whether Turkey will go to war with Syria for these rebel groups. And, my hunch is, Turkey won’t want to."
I don't think Turkey will go to war for these rebels either- 
          Michael Reagan to Newsmax TV: Trump Signs Order Obama Didn't      Cache   Translate Page      
Political commentator Michael Reagan told Newsmax TV action against Russia should have been taken during the Obama administration for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, but instead it was President Donald trump signing an executive order. Reported by Newsmax 10 minutes ago.
           Comment on Newspaper reprints controversial cartoon of Serena Williams by lowtalker       Cache   Translate Page      
People, it is a political cartoon. Look at the caricatures of Trump, Bush Or Obama. My gosh people, this is not racist. geeeezzzzz.
          Information Technology Trainer - Genesys Works - National, WV      Cache   Translate Page      
Prefer Cisco Certified Academic Trainer for IT. Recognized by Forbes and President Obama as a leader in social innovation, Genesys Works began in Houston in...
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          Trump's campaign manager calls Google a 'threat to the republic' after a leaked video shows executives lamenting Trump's 2016 victory (GOOG, GOOGL)      Cache   Translate Page      

Brad Par scale

  • The manager of Trump's 2020 campaign spoke out against Google after a video an internal meeting was leaked.
  • The manager, Brad Parscale, claimed the video showed that Google believes it can "make you have their values."
  • The video does not appear to back up Parscale's claims.
  • The leaking of a video breaks one of Google's most sacred rules and underscores the growing politicization within its employee ranks.

Brad Parscale, Donald Trump's campaign manager for the 2020 election, wants Congress to investigate Google following the leak of a video that showed the internet company's top managers lamenting Trump's election victory in 2016.

The video was recorded during one of Google's weekly all hands meetings, known as TGIF meetings, and was leaked to the right-wing Breitbart news site on Wednesday.  

"Let’s face it, most people here are pretty upset and pretty sad because of the election...myself, as a immigrant and refugee I certainly find this election deeply offensive and I know many of you do too," Google cofounder Sergey Brin is seen saying in the video. 

The comments do not appear very different from other critical comments Brin and other Google executives have made following the election, particularly with regards to Trump's inflammatory campaign rhetoric about immigration and other issues. 

"There is a lot of fear within Google," CEO Sundar Pichai says in the video. "Many groups, women, blacks, people who are afraid based on religion, people who are afraid because they are not sure of their status, the LGBT community, and i could go on."

But it's no secret that many people on Google's management team, and among the company's workforce as well as many of those living in Northern California where Google is based, possess left-leaning politics. And the leaked video was quickly seized upon by associates of Trump, who have been leading a drumbeat of accusations about anti-conservative bias within the tech industry. 

"Google needs to explain why this isn't a threat to the republic," tweeted Parscale, the manager of Trump's 2020 election campaign. 

Google spokespeople were not immediately available for comment. 

A conservative chorus alleging bias

Parscale's tweet comes amid a full-scale attack by Trump and his allies on Google in the run up to the US mid-term elections. The President took to Twitter two weeks ago and accused Google of rigging search results as part of an effort to silence the voices of people with politically conservative views and to make him look bad.

Trump also alleged that Google had not promoted his state of the union addresses on its famous front door the same way the company had done for former US President Barack Obama. Google refuted the claim and provided evidence that it promoted Trump's speeches before Congress in the same way as Obama's. 

And as with that claim, there does not appear to be any smoking gun evidence in the video of Google's internal to back up claims of an anti-conservative bias.

Nowhere on the video does anyone appear to suggest that they can tweak search results so that they can influence people into adopting Google's values. What most of the managers make clear is that they believe in the democratic system and in the rule of law. 

"I've been a long-time Hillary (Clinton) supporter," Ruth Porat, chief financial officer of Google-parent company Alphabet, told Google's staff during the meeting. "But as Kent (Walker, senior vice president of Global Affairs) said, the most important thing is that I very much respect the outcome of the democratic process and who any one of us voted for is really not the point, because the values held dear at this company transcends politics."

Sundar Pichai

Google CEO Pichai told his staff that the election reaffirmed his faith in the democratic process.

"It’s important to remember we are in a democratic system," Pichai said. "It’s heartening to see the proper transition of power... (democracy) tends to make it through ok, and it seems to be better than any other system out there." 

The leaked video violates a Google taboo and is a sign of the turmoil within the company

The fact that a video of the weekly TGIF meeting was leaked underscores the increasingly tumultuous and politicized nature of various factions within the company. The TGIF meetings, in which senior management respond to questions from the staff, is one of Google's most longstanding and sacrosanct traditions  — disclosing what is said in these meetings has long been considered taboo.

Conservative employees at Google rallied around James Damore last year, after he questioned the company's diversity policies.  And on the opposite end of the spectrum, a number of Google insiders have protested the company's involvement with the military. 

As part of a program called Project Maven, Google supplied the US Department of Defense with artificial-intelligence technology that helped analyze drone video footage. That caused an internal revolt that resulted in multiple news leaks, including at least one regarding comments made by managers at all-hands meeting.

Previously, employees who opposed Googles relationship with the military presumably held liberal political views. This time, it appears that those who supplied the video to Breitbart are much more politically conservative. 

SEE ALSO: Here's everything that happened at Apple's huge iPhone launch event

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: An environmental group is testing giant floating pipes to clean up oceans


          Michelle Obama is bringing her book tour to Pepsi Center      Cache   Translate Page      
Michelle Obama is making a stop in the Mile High City this December to talk about her new memoir.
          This Too Shall Pass      Cache   Translate Page      
Time’s Up for Louis C.K., Woody Allen, and Raccoons by Elinor Jones

What’s up, party people, and welcome to This Too Shall Pass! My name’s Elinor Jones, and I’ll be your news and gossip columnist for your biweekly Portland Mercury. I’m gonna be honest with you straight out the gate: I really wish I hadn’t started with “What’s up, party people.” Um, do people still say waazzzzupppppppp? Ahoy-hoy?? (Note to self: learn how people talk.) I know I’ll never fill the dainty shoes of my brilliant predecessor Ann Romano, but I’ll do my best; like her, I’ve got a giant brain filled with impeccable opinions, one hell of a mouth, and a big ol’ half page to fill with steaming hot news. So roll up your sleeves, Portland, and let’s go! (We’re not going to get dirty, but everyone looks cooler with their sleeves rolled up.) Okay, everyone lookin’ cool? Go pee one more time. Nice. Now we can go.

McCain and Franklin OUT

How lucky am I to be starting this gig during what has got to be the most insane point in human history?! Last week was a major moment in politics and pop culture as two pillars of American life, Aretha Franklin and John McCain, were laid to rest. My favorite thing about Aretha’s funeral is that it took place over several days, with multiple costume changes; my favorite thing about McCain’s funeral is the footage of George W. Bush sneaking Michelle Obama a piece of candy. PRO: Being on good terms with Michelle Obama is the only thing W’s legacy has going for it. CON: Old dudes slipping women candy is straight-up creepy.


Loose Lips (Also Sounds Creepy)

You know who wasn’t at either of those very important national events? Our idiot president, Donald Trump (who, I’ll be sure to mention like Ann Romano before me, lost the popular vote by 2,864,974 votes)! Not only was he not invited to any of the cool parties, but he’s really having a terrible go at this “leader of the free world” thing. There’s a new book from Bob Woodward titled Fear: Trump in the White House, and from what I’ve gathered so far from the leaked snippets, just about everybody in Trump’s top circle calls him some iteration of “complete and utter dum-dum” behind his back, and I love it. Hot on the heels of Woodward’s book was an anonymous op-ed published by the New York Times by someone claiming to be a senior White House official, who tries to comfort us by saying, “there are adults in the room.” Uhhhhh, which adults, specifically? Because it’s not really comforting if the adults are just sneaky puppet masters using the president’s incompetence and stupidity to pull off their seriously evil shit. My shocking hot take: Don’t trust any of ’em!


Goopy Eggs

Looking for a vaginal egg that will invigorate your sex life and enhance your chi? Well, too bad! They’re fake! Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand, Goop, hyped the health benefits of this dubious product (which is essentially just a well-polished crotch rock), only to be forced to settle a consumer protection lawsuit that pointed out the beneficial effects of said crotch rocks, shockingly, “were not supported by competent and reliable science.” Can’t wait to see what wellness insertion device they’ll be replacing this with! Maybe butt diamonds?! (Would buy.)


#TooSoon

Speaking of asses, admitted (not alleged) serial sexual predator Louis C.K. recently made an unannounced appearance at a New York comedy club. People at the show just had to sit there in a closed room while he did whatever the hell he wanted. Sound familiar? I’m thinking maybe this guy hasn’t learned anything at all about consent! And what the hell, comedy club? You let him in?! The Mercury’s own beloved former columnist Ian Karmel summed it up on Twitter: “Can you imagine the bank you’re working at hiring back the guy who jacked off in front of women without their consent because it had been, like, a year or something?” I wasn’t there, so who knows how I would’ve responded, but I know what I want to say now: “Booo! What are you doing here? Your time’s up! Get off the stage! Youuuuu suuuuuuck! BOOOOOOOOOO!”


Shush Off

You know who else is on forced vacation? Woody freaking Allen! According to Page Six, the 82-year-old is taking a breather from directing that has nothing at all to do with the fact that nobody wants to finance his films because he’s an alleged child abuser, and it would be career suicide to get on the bad side of his son Ronan Farrow, who toppled Harvey Weinstein and CBS’ Leslie Moonves. Note: Woody Allen and Louis C.K. are now playing the quiet game, and my sisters and I get to decide when they’re done.


Headline of the Week

Sometimes a headline is so perfect, there’s no need to cloud your brainspace with details of the story. Here’s one now, from People magazine: “Michael Moore Claims Gwen Stefani Was the Reason Donald Trump Ran for President.” I’m having this framed.


Reminder: Raccoons Are the Worst

Here in Portland, according to KGW, a woman is suing her former apartment’s property management company for failing to adequately deal with the building’s communal trash, which led to a raccoon infestation, which in turn led to the woman being bit by a raccoon and racking up $26,000 in medical expenses. I hope she gets that amount, plus a billion dollars for the trauma, because fuck raccoons. Raccoons are the worst. Speaking of trash, Mayor Ted Wheeler announced that Portland will become “the cleanest and most livable city in the United States.” The Oregonian reports that Wheeler intends to put more trash receptacles on the streets and have more crews gathering garbage while somehow not targeting our city’s houseless residents who usually don’t have a choice but to leave their stuff outside. Good luck with that! The solution that leads to the persecution and expulsion of raccoons, rather than living, breathing human people, is cool with me. God, raccoons are just the type of assholes to celebrate a housing crisis, aren’t they?


The Last Word

Now we’re at the end! I hoped you enjoyed reading this column as much as I enjoyed drinking white wine spritzers and writing it. Feel free to direct any questions or concerns to a small piece of paper that you fold into an airplane and fly into a recycling bin (don’t litter!), and join me again in two weeks, when I’ll hopefully have an update on bad men being quiet, Trump’s imminent impeachment, and butt diamonds. Bye!

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          Michelle O stadium-sized book tour...      Cache   Translate Page      

Michelle O stadium-sized book tour...


(First column, 16th story, link)



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Republicans hit Dem candidate over rap career, N-word lyric...


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PAPER: Retiree army fuels Beto in rural TX...


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Bill Nye on hurricanes: "This is not in anybody's best interest to continue to deny climate change"

   
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[BEGIN VIDEO]

DONALD TRUMP: The safety of the American people is my absolute highest priority. We are sparing no expense. We are totally prepared. We're ready. We're as ready as anybody's ever been.

[END VIDEO]

KATY TUR (HOST): President Trump says FEMA is ready for Hurricane Florence, but mounting evidence suggests it could be incredibly difficult to deal with this disaster if climate change deniers are on the front lines of emergency response.

A new study from Princeton University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, is echoing the findings of previous research showing climate change as the cause of warmer ocean conditions that produce fast, intensifying storms like hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. In fact, NOAA is now warning that the waters ahead of Hurricane Florence are roughly three degrees Fahrenheit above average.

But where does the Trump administration stand on climate change? Well, just yesterday, President Trump rolled back Obama-era mandates blocking rogue methane leaks from oil and gas wells. Last month, the EPA weakened a rule limiting carbon dioxide pollution from coal-fired power plants. And in July, the agency reduced regulations capping greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles. These rules were all part of Obama's three-part strategy for combating climate change.

Joining me now to discuss, host of Bill Nye Saves the World, and the “Science Guy” himself, Bill Nye, and former communications director for the Clinton White House Climate Change Task Force, Paul Bledsoe. He’s currently the strategic advisor of the Progressive Policy Institute. Bill, I do want to start with you because you brought some props. I imagine you’re going to show us something interesting. Go ahead.

NYE: Here’s the thing that’s going to be very troublesome: There’s going to be, in English units, 20 inches of rain in most places, and in a lot of places more than that. I just want everybody to remember what an inch of rain is. An inch is a cubic inch of water over a square inch of surface. So that would be a cubic inch right there. Doesn’t look like much. But imagine this much water wherever you are. This much extra water in your living room, where you're watching television, or where you’re trying to play basketball. This much water causes all kinds of trouble. And furthermore, the storms in the northern hemisphere are going counterclockwise. They fetch water up off the sea surface. So you add this much to about four times this much, and this is what leads to all this trouble.

And the reason people in mainstream science associate a storm like this with climate change is because the sea surface is at least one degree Celsius warmer than it was 30 years ago. And, reckoned in the longer term since the steam engine was invented, it’s two and a half, three degrees Celsius, three degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it would have been 30 years ago. And this energy, this heat energy in the ocean, drives these storms. I look forward, of course, to all the hate tweets. It's going to be great about how a guy who took a lot of physics can't possibly read a graph; I got all that. But, everybody, this is not in anybody's best interest to continue to deny climate change.

And, then, what's happened along the coast of South Carolina, North Carolina -- my people are from Durham, North Carolina, OK. What’s happened is many, many people have built these very nice houses on the seacoast, which are worth millions and millions of dollars. And when those people stop going to work for a week or two, or a month, the economy in that area doesn't collapse but is deeply affected. There's tremendous technology in the Raleigh-Durham area. The Raleigh-Durham airport is a huge airport. Atlanta airport, a huge airport. This is going to disrupt air traffic and cost everybody a lot of money. Back to you, Katie.

TUR: Let’s put up some graphics, if we can. First, we want to show you this storm surge along the eastern edge of the Carolinas and Virginia. That's where they are expected to have a lot more water from the storm surge. And then we have this, understanding how a storm surge works and how it forms. Bill, in terms of the warm water, we talked about it in the lead-in, three degrees warmer Fahrenheit over these waters, you said about a one degree Celsius warmer, in general. Why does that contribute to the strength of these storms?

NYE: One can ask oneself, where does the energy come from to drive a storm? It's the heat of sun warming the ocean, and then this extraordinary thing that we have here on Earth, which is water, water everywhere. So the water evaporates, and then when it gets to a higher altitude, it expands, releases energy. The heat energy spreads out and allows the water to go from a vapor back to a liquid and fall down as rain. And this motion of energy, this cycling, is what makes these storms drive, get bigger and more powerful. And the warmer the sea surface, the more temperature difference you have and the stronger the storm. Then what makes them spin is a combination of the spin of the Earth and gravity.

And they’re extraordinary. When I was a little kid, Hurricane Agnes passed over us. It's just this weird moment where the eye goes over, and all of sudden it's a blue sky, and then it starts raining again like crazy.

What's really going to cause trouble this time is the combination of all these people living along the coast and the sea surface being warmer in this long, long term. The real problem, everybody, category 3, 4, or four and a half or 5, is the electrical grid gets blown down, all these above-ground wires. Without electricity, our society just doesn't function very well.

TUR: Let's show the map of the Atlantic right now. And here are the storms that are forming: Florence, Isaac, and Helene. Also this: The 2018 hurricane forecast from NOAA. Nine to 13 named storms. Four to seven hurricanes. Potentially two major hurricanes. That's a lot of activity, Paul. We’re coming to expect more activity, generally, year by year. You believe that because of this, climate deniers, and we do have certain climate change deniers in this administration right now, will be forced to reverse themselves because, in order to mitigate all the costs from these storms, they’re going to have to accept it and do preparations to prepare for them, right?

BLEDSOE: That's right, Katie. Last year alone, the extreme weather events, made worse by climate change, cost the economy $350 billion. Congress had to appropriate $130 billion in special emergency appropriations to deal with these. These are costing taxpayers. The truth is that climate change is a huge public safety menace, and it’s a huge drag on our economy. Donald Trump and other Republicans who are denying climate change are on the wrong side of public safety, of economics, and of history. I’m here in California. Jerry Brown just announced that California is going to get 60 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. I was at an event yesterday put on by the Pisces Foundation, where if we reduce methane, rather than increase it, as Trump tried to do yesterday, and other super pollutants like HFCs, we can reduce warming this century by over a degree Celsius. Now think about how that would correspond in preventing the oceans from getting warmer and preventing these storms from getting out of control. This is not an environmental issue, fundamentally. It's one of public safety and economics. And, unfortunately, we're going to see more and more of these extreme, costly, and threatening-to-public-health-and-safety events until we begin to reduce our emissions.

TUR: It does make you wonder how can you adequately prepare for storms, for extreme weather, for fires, for hurricanes, for tornadoes, for flooding, for wild swings in temperature, which we’ve seen here in New York City in just the past week, if you have a bunch of people who don't believe in climate science running things?

BLEDSOE: You saw this in Puerto Rico.

TUR: Yeah.


          Sen. Brown on Ohio Senate race: I fight for people      Cache   Translate Page      
While Democrats are hopeful for a blue wave this November, they still face a challenge in Ohio, a state that voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012, then swung to Donald Trump in 2016. Senator Sherrod Brown, who’s up for re-election in Ohio, plays
          Anonymous      Cache   Translate Page      
The Observer, who knows a thing or three about anonymity, found our self nonetheless shocked by the recent New York Times op-ed by the anonymous King or Queen of the White House Molepeople, the person who appears to have responded to the Emperor having no clothes not by telling his Nekkid Excellency to put some damn pants on, but by getting buck nekkid, too, and calling his or her junk-out bit-waggling a sacrifice for a nation that oughta damn well be grateful for it.

The Observer, who knows a thing or three about anonymity, found our self nonetheless shocked by the recent New York Times op-ed by the anonymous King or Queen of the White House Molepeople, the person who appears to have responded to the Emperor having no clothes not by telling his Nekkid Excellency to put some damn pants on, but by getting buck nekkid, too, and calling his or her junk-out bit-waggling a sacrifice for a nation that oughta damn well be grateful for it.

Ol' Lodestar could, you know, actually step forward and try to do something to end this weekly, daily, hourly and occasionally millisecondly exercise in stupidity. But it appears that in the halls of power, it has been decided by our nameless, unaccountable saviors that a Useful Idiot is a terrible thing to waste, especially when there are regulations helping keep our drinking water Benzene-free to be imploded, taxes on the Lex Luthors of the world to be whittled down to zero, and smirking, right-wing scumbags to be shoehorned into the Supreme Court.

Nixon had his long national nightmare. Bill C. had his death duel with Ken Starr over a blowjob. Obama had his burger slathered in fancy-ass Dijon mustard. Dorito Mussolini and his enablers, meanwhile, seem to have succeeded in going several clicks better than all comers by creating and imprisoning us all in a "Matrix"-style alternate reality in which up is down, days feel like years and every cup, bowl, bass boat, chair, copy of People magazine, tongue depressor and potted plant is made of literal, carefully sculpted dogshit, which a solid 40 percent of the population and 80-plus percent of Republicans insist is the absolute finest quality shit ever made, without a doubt, no question about it, completely odorless, mostly flavorless and not too bad to stain, and they are happy to have it, sir.

Speaking of days like years and seconds like hours, can you believe this lard-lubed trailer park orgy of a presidency isn't even halfway over? Can you believe it's not even a quarter over if this country willingly continues its purgatory in the Shit Matrix by re-electing the racist sack of moist hair currently stinking up the White House? What, dear God, did any of us ever do to deserve this?

By this point in the Donald Trump Show, we thought we had been rendered damn nigh unshockable, our shock button pushed and pushed until it became a smoldering black hole by Good People On Both Sides and flame-haired Ruskie spies tunneling into the NRA; sappers in the wire on Facebook and the revolving door of idiots at the White House; 10,000 Angry Old Man Shouts At Cloud Tweets and occasions in which the leader of the most powerful and generous nation on the planet kicked our closest allies in the cods while calling Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un and every petty dictator and despot short of President Snow from those "Hunger Games" books a heckuva fella who really knows how to run a country. But there it was: a moment with the capacity to shock. An admission of an ongoing, unchecked American coup against the addled orange moron elevated to the highest office in the land. Cowardly scurryings in the walls of the Oval Office, noted as the highest duty, honor and patriotism. These are the days of our lives.

Call Omarosa Mangastronaut-Newman a scheming, soap-opera weasel if you want, but we say it's a good thing somebody was secretly recording this shit. A hunnert years from now, after all the skullduggery is through and the combatants are all safely in the ground or their ashes scattered in a secure, secret location so as not to create a shrine for neo-Nazis and Klanners, nobody is gonna believe any of this really happened without auditory proof. Hell, we don't even believe it is really happening, and we're living it. Someday, starry-eyed grandchildren will sit at the knee of Gramps and Nana and tell us that we're full of crap as a Christmas goose, calling us Fake News as we spit and sputter, skipping away in their pigtails and short pants while we swear and bedamn that what we're saying is true: that America was once run by a guy who we wouldn't feel comfortable letting use a can opener. For now, though, onward we all trudge through Turdsburg, looking desperately for the exit sign. Lord, let us all find it soon.


          Trump’s Executive Order on Election Interference Sticks it to Both Obama and Rubio      Cache   Translate Page      
Despite nearly two years of “witch hunt” comments, it appears that President Donald Trump has now taken up the cause.
          Michelle Obama Is Headed To The Capital One Arena!      Cache   Translate Page      
Michelle Obama is going on tour. The former First Lady admits she’s “a little frightened” by how candid she got in her brand new memoir, Becoming but she’s nonetheless proud about her open and honest new memoir. “Over this time that I’ve been out of the White House, I’ve had time to think and reflect […]
          Stay or Go: D.C. Circuit Halts EPA’s Stay of Obama-era Risk Management Plan Amendments      Cache   Translate Page      
On August 17, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated a rule that delayed the effective date of the 2017 Risk Management Program (RMP) Rule amendments issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency...
By: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
          U.S. EPA Proposes to Relax Power Plant Carbon Emissions Restrictions, Fulfilling Trump Campaign Promise      Cache   Translate Page      
On August 21, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, fulfilling a Trump campaign promise to eliminate strict coal plant emission limits that President Obama sought to impose in...
By: Allen & Overy LLP
          Número de crianças imigrantes detidas nos EUA é o mais alto da história      Cache   Translate Page      

78629234_Immigrant children look back towards Mexico through the border wall as they and others awai.jpg

NOVA YORK - Mesmo após a libertação, por ordem judicial, de centenas de crianças separadas de suas famílias depois de cruzar a fronteira americana, o número total de crianças imigrantes em detenção nos Estados Unidos explodiu e é o maior já registrado.

O número de crianças imigrantes mantidas em abrigos contratados pelo governo federal americano aumentou mais de cinco vezes desde maio do ano passado e atingiu um total de 12.800 neste mês, segundo dados obtidos pelo jornal “New York Times”. Havia 2.400 dessas crianças sob custódia em maio de 2017.

LEIA MAIS: Entenda por que crianças imigrantes estão sendo separadas dos pais nos EUA

EUA perdem crianças imigrantes detidas

Trump chama imigrantes ilegais de animais

O crescimento enorme, que enche o sistema federal de abrigos até perto de sua capacidade máxima, não se deve a um fluxo maior de crianças imigrantes que chegam nos EUA, mas à redução do número de liberações para que possam morar com parentes ou outros adultos responsáveis, de acordo com dados coletados pelo Departamento de Saúde e de Serviços Humanos.

A maioria das crianças atravessou a fronteira sozinha, sem os pais. Muitas são adolescentes da América Central e estão alojadas em um sistema de mais de cem abrigos espalhados pelos Estados Unidos, com a maior concentração perto da fronteira sudoeste, em estados como Arizona, Califórnia e Texas.

Alguns funcionários que trabalham na rede de abrigos dizem que o aumento sobrecarrega tanto as crianças quanto o sistema que cuida delas.

Os novos dados foram relatados a integrantes Congresso, que compartilharam com o jornal americano.

Isso mostra que, apesar dos esforços do governo Trump para desencorajar a imigração, o número de crianças que cruza a fronteira equivale ao de anos anteriores.

A grande diferença, disseram aqueles que estão familiarizados com o sistema de abrigos, é que a burocracia e o medo causados pela aplicação mais rigorosa das leis migratórias desencorajaram parentes e amigos da família a se apresentarem para se responsabilizar pelas crianças.

As capacidades dos abrigos chegaram perto de 90% desde maio, em comparação a 30% um ano antes. Isso faz com que o sistema rapidamente possa ultrapassar o seu limite, dizem os funcionários que trabalham nos alojamentos.

— Quanto mais próximos eles chegarem a 100%, menor será a sua capacidade para resolver qualquer imprevisto — disse Mark Greenberg, que supervisionou o atendimento de crianças imigrantes para o Departamento de Saúde e Serviços Humanos no governo de Barack Obama. — Exceto se algo mudar, mesmo se não houver um influxo repentino, eles ficarão sem capacidade em breve.

Na terça-feira, o governo americano tomou uma medida relacionada ao risco de superlotação e anunciou que vai triplicar o tamanho de uma "cidade de barracas" temporária em Tornillo, no Texas, que poderá abrigar 3.800 crianças até o final do ano.

Os defensores dos imigrantes e membros do Congresso reagiram às notícias com aflição, porque as condições de habitação são duras, se comparadas aos abrigos tradicionais.

Instalações como a de Tornillo também são mais caras para operar, de acordo com a deputada Rosa DeLauro, de Connecticut, que faz parte do subcomitê democrata que aprova o programa de abrigos. Ela disse que essas instalações custam cerca de US$ 750 por criança por dia, o triplo de um abrigo típico.

— Estamos cada vez mais longe do bem-estar infantil, e fazemos isso desde o projeto — disse DeLauro. — Aumentaram os custos e, ao mesmo tempo, o trauma que essas crianças vão enfrentar.

Autoridades federais americanas disseram que lidam com níveis elevados de travessias irregulares de fronteira e pedidos de asilo.

— O número de crianças estrangeiras desacompanhadas apreendidas é um sintoma de uma questão maior, que um sistema de imigração falido — disse Evelyn Stauffer, secretária de Imprensa do Departamento de Saúde e Serviços Humanos, em um comunidado. — É por isso que nosso departamento faz coro ao presidente e pede ao Congresso que resolva esse sistema quebrado e os fatores atrativos que levaram a um número cada vez maior de pessoas na fronteira dos EUA.

O sistema de acolhimento de crianças imigrantes foi objeto de muita discussão nos últimos meses, quando mais de 2.500 foram alojadas em abrigos federais, separadas dos pais, de acordo com a política de tolerância zero nas fronteiras do governo Trump. Essas crianças, todavia, eram apenas uma parte do número total de detenções.

Historicamente, as crianças classificadas como “desacompanhadas” são deixadas com responsáveis, como, por exemplo, pais que já estão nos Estados Unidos ou membros da família, tão logo estes responsáveis têm a identidade verificada por autoridades federais.

Os novos dados mostram que a frequência desse processo de transferência de responsabilidade diminuiu significativamente. O número de crianças acolhidas por parentes ou responsáveis despencou cerca de dois terços desde o ano passado.

Os atrasos na avaliação federal das pessoas que se dispõem a cuidar das crianças se relacionam, em parte, a mudanças que o governo Trump adotou em trâmites burocráticos. Em junho, as autoridades anunciaram que adultos que desejassem ser responsáveis por crianças detidas, assim como outros membros adultos de suas famílias, precisariam disponibilizar as suas impressões digitais, que seriam compartilhadas com as autoridades de imigração.

Tradicionalmente, a maioria dos adultos responsáveis não dispõe de autorização para morar no país, o que os torna, portanto, cautelosos quanto ao risco de deportação. Mesmo aqueles dispostos a se tornar responsáveis precisaram esperar meses para terem seus requerimentos revisados.

Autoridades federais dizem que estes procedimentos de investigação foram elaborados para proteger as crianças sob os seus cuidados.

— As crianças que entram ilegalmente no país correm alto risco de exploração por traficantes e contrabandistas — defendeu Stauffer.


          Michelle Obama announces 10-city book tour      Cache   Translate Page      
In promotion of her new memoir Becoming.
          News of the Week — Obama praises Healthcare For All      Cache   Translate Page      
Each week we share articles on subjects that are important to NUHW and its members. Here are several must-read stories over the past seven days: Former President Barack Obama endorsed universal … keep reading >
          Michelle Obama’s 10-city book tour is coming to Barclays Center      Cache   Translate Page      
Former First Lady Michelle Obama announced a 10-city book tour on Wednesday, which includes a stop in Brooklyn. The 54-year-old is promoting her forthcoming memoir “Becoming,” which is set to be released on  Nov. 13. On the same day her book hits shelves, she’ll kick off the tour in her hometown of Chicago. In addition to Brooklyn, she’ll also visit Detroit, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The intimate conversation featuring the iconic author and a selection of moderators will be held […]
          Michelle Obama Is Coming To The Capital One Arena!      Cache   Translate Page      
Michelle Obama is going on tour. The former First Lady admits she’s “a little frightened” by how candid she got in her brand new memoir, Becoming but she’s nonetheless proud about her open and honest new memoir. “Over this time that I’ve been out of the White House, I’ve had time to think and reflect […]
          Barack Obama: los sueños rotos del «Yes, We can»      Cache   Translate Page      
Después de los ocho años de presidencia del republicano George W. Bush, el pueblo estadounidense quería un cambio. Tras vivir uno de los peores momentos de su historia –los atentados del 11-S–, que desembocaron en dos guerras en el exterior –Irak y Afganistán–, Estados Unidos, que se enfrentaba a una importante recesión económica, necesitaba un discurso esperanzador. Ante la ciudadanía se presentó entonces Barak Obama, un joven senador demócrata con un discurso culto y ambicioso, lleno de promesas. Inmerso en un constante conflicto racial, el país convirtió entonces los orígenes de Obama más en una oportunidad –ser el primer presidente afroamericano de EE.UU.– que en un inconveniente. Su carrera, en ascenso imparable, le llevó a ganarle las primarias demócratas a Hillary Clinton, y a lograr la victoria en las presidenciales de 2008 frente al republicano John McCain. El eslogan de campaña, «Yes, We can», resultó premonitorio pero también irreal. Barack Obama juró su cargo como presidente de EE.UU. el 20 de enero de 2009, convirtiéndose en el primer mandatario afroamericano elegido por el pueblo estadounidense.Comprometido con las causas sociales y el medio ambiente y con un talante conciliador, Obama comenzó su andadura con uno de los mayores índices de popularidad, que incluso le harían acreedor al Premio Nobel de la Paz pocos meses depués de llegar a la Casa Blanca. Pero tras generar tan altas expectativas llegó la frustración de las promesas incumplidas, que le abocaron a marcharse del Despacho Oval con un saldo discutible después de ocho años de gestión; los últimos, con las dos cámaras del Congreso en manos republicanas. Durante su primer mandato logró varios de sus objetivos, como la retirada de tropas de Irak, o el alumbramiento de su polémica reforma sanitaria, la Ley de Protección al Paciente y Cuidado de Salud Asequible, más conocida como Obamacare; también encontró –y mató– al terrorista más buscado, Osama bin Laden, cerrando una herida abierta en el pueblo estadounidense desde 2001. Acabar con las torturas, el cierre de Guantánamo y un mayor control en la venta de armas fueron otras de sus promesas: las dos últimas no logró cumplirlas. Emprendió una reforma bancaria, y mejoró la economía, rebajando el paro al 5%, pero la clase media blanca se sintió perjudicada y marginada. Este malestar serviría de trampolín a Donald Trump. Muy criticada fue su política exterior por acuerdos como el alcanzado con Irán –tumbado por su sucesor–, su acercamiento a China, su falta de firmeza con el régimen de Bashar al Assad o la intervención en Libia, un país que sigue desnortado desde la caída de Gadafi. Obama intentó gestionar el país sin arrogancia y tendiendo puentes, política interpretada por muchos como una pérdida de influencia exterior. Buen presidente para muchos, muy discutido para otros tantos. La llegada de Trump le está haciendo pasar por bueno.
          北朝鮮へ先制攻撃「鼻血作戦」      Cache   Translate Page      
北朝鮮へ先制攻撃「鼻血作戦」 トランプ氏暴露本で判明
ワシントン=園田耕司 ワシントン=園田耕司2018年9月12日20時39分


Obama weighed pre-emptive strike against North Korea after fifth nuclear blast and missile tests near Japan in 2016, Woodward book claims
BY JESSE JOHNSON




“The Pentagon reported that the only way ‘to locate and destroy — with complete certainty — all components of North Korea’s nuclear program’ was through a ground invasion,” Woodward wrote. “A ground invasion would trigger a North Korean response, likely with a nuclear weapon.”

Obama considered such action “unthinkable,” the book said.



‘Trump ordered a preemptive strike on N. Korea 1 month into presidency,’ a book says
Posted September. 06, 2018 08:07, Updated September. 06, 2018 08:07


The most shocking account of all is President Trump, one month into his presidency, asking Joseph F. Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to plan for a preemptive military strike on North Korea. Dunford is said to have been baffled.

The book said President Trump was skeptical about the significance of the U.S. military presence in South Korea in January this year. According to NBC’s report, President Trump was set to order the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the Korean Peninsula in May ahead of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, but White House Chief of Staff John Kelly talked him out of it. Judging from the controversy surrounding the U.S. plan to deliver a “bloody nose” attack against North Korea earlier this year, the discussion on a preemptive military strike on North Korea seems to have been underway since Trump took office.
          Don’t Choose Your Lunch      Cache   Translate Page      
Fewer Decisions Will Leave a Great Taste. Don’t Choose Your Lunch

Back in 2014, Barack Obama declared that he only focused on making the most-important decisions.  “I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make,” he explained.

This is understandable. Sometimes we find ourselves beset by the decisions, big and small, that we think have to make on a daily basis. But there is only so much time for making choices – and many of them are too small and unimportant to spend significant time on in the first place.

Continue reading Don’t Choose Your Lunch at Michael Hyatt.


          Trump supporter demanded to see a list of impeachable offenses; someone happily obliged      Cache   Translate Page      

Reader exchange from the Los Angeles Times:

SEP 08, 2018 To the editor [of the Los Angeles Times]: I hear many people say that Trump should be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, but where’s the list of constitutionally impeachable offenses? Let’s see the list, please.

The polarization between the two parties is not because of Trump — it is because of Obama, who acted as though America needed to be brought down a peg or two. With statements like “you didn’t build that,” he not so subtly told people that their efforts were not that important.

Now we have someone in the White House who encourages people. It is a huge difference.

For the record, I am a woman who has a doctorate, and I support Trump.

Andrea Anderson, Glassell Park

SEP 12, 2018 To the editor: One letter writer doubts President Trump has committed any impeachable offenses and wonders what they could possibly be. A partial list:

Abuse of power: Trump has sought to use the Justice Department to punish his political foes and pressured the department to go easy on candidates he favors.

Obstruction of justice: He admitted that the Russia inquiry was on his mind when he fired FBI Director James Comey. He has dangled the possibility of pardons to squelch potential witness testimony and tampered with the jury in the Paul Manafort trial by speaking out.

Violated his oath of office: The Constitution requires presidents to see that the laws be faithfully executed. Trump has delighted in undermining not only immigration statutes but also Obamacare.

Impeachable offenses needn’t rise to the level of federal crimes. It is necessary only to show that Trump used his office in ways that are inconsistent with his constitutional duties.

Brad Bonhall, Reno

Image: DonkeyHotey/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

           Comment on Should We Upgrade Our Assessment of Obama’s Economic Record? by crisbd       Cache   Translate Page      
I seem to recall seeing an image showing GDP growth consistently under 3% for Obama and over 3% for Trump...
          The Medicare-for-All Hoax      Cache   Translate Page      
President Barack Obama made a stunning policy shift on Friday, endorsing "Medicare-for-all" -- a single-payer health system -- for the nation. Most Democrats contending for the 2020 presidential nomination, and many Dems vying for Congressional se
          Sen. Brown on Ohio Senate race: I fight for people      Cache   Translate Page      
While Democrats are hopeful for a blue wave this November, they still face a challenge in Ohio, a state that voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012, then swung to Donald Trump in 2016. Senator Sherrod Brown, who’s up for re-election in Ohio, plays
          Thank You, Mr. President      Cache   Translate Page      
PLO Office in Washington (WSJ)
First let me restate the obvious. (Something I have done many times.) Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are suffering.  The optics of which point to Israel as an oppressive occupier as the cause. But let me hasten to add the less obvious - but no less true fact. Israel is not at fault. They do what must be done for security reasons. Which ends up being oppressive to Palestinians.

The people that should really shoulder the blame for Palestinian oppression are their leaders. Espicially in the more militant terrorist wing of Hamas (and other Jihadist groups) that continually terrorize innocent Israeli civilians  randomly in a variety of ways including suicide bombings over the years. 

Anyone with half a brain should realize this. Only those that purposely blind themselves to this clear and obvious fact (or plain old fashioned antisemites) could blame Israel for Palestinian suffering. 

None of this is new. But it needs to be repeated as often as possible against the backdrop of a world narrative that blames Israel for all the troubles in the Middle East.

I also bring it up in another context. According to the Wall Street Journal the Trump administration has just announced it will be closing the PLO office in Washington for its lack of willingness to come to the peace table. 

This follows a reduction of aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) because of how they used it. A lot of that money was paid to families that lost children that  ‘martyred’ themselves trying to kill as many innocent Jews as possible in suicide bombings or other violent attacks. All in the cause of trying to liberate Palestine from the Jews.

I’m not sure how the liberal element sees this development. Perhaps they see it as yet another nail in the coffin of a ‘two state solution’ where Palestinians would have a sovereign state living side by side with Israel in exchange for an end to all hostilities.  

I too used to be a fan of this as the only viable solution to the conflict. I still would be if I believed that Palestinians would – or even could - honor such a commitment. But they have shown no such ability in light of PA conflict with Hamas. 

I even question whether they ever really did have such a commitment in their heart of hearts considering how they actually view Israel. Which is as a group of illegitimate European colonizers that have no legitimate right to their land. I believe that their leadership (and many Palestinians in the street) have as an ultimate goal to take all of their land back by any means necessary. 

What happened in Gaza after it was handed over to the Palestinians is a demonstration of that kind of resolve. The only difference between the PA and Hamas is in tactics.

I don’t know how to make life better for Israelis or Palestinians. But as  much promise as a two  state solution once offered, it cannot be taken seriously anymore. It has become increasingly clear that under current conditions - giving Palestinians the West Bank would – sooner or later - result in more terror and bloodshed against Jews in Israel And it would make Israel’s security goals virtually impossible to meet.

Which brings me to the Trump administration. I think they see this in exactly the same way I do. And I for one applaud them for doing something about it. There have been some very positive changes in  US policy with respect to Israel that I would have never predicted. 

Aside from the two things just mentioned there was the fulfillment of Trump’s campaign promise to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. A move that everyone feared would cause a massive wave of violence by Palestinians. That never materialized. All the angst over it (including my own) proved to be unwarranted. Life goes on there as it was prior to that – other than expression of anger over it by Palestinians leadership.

Then there was the Trump administration’s cancellation of that terrible nuclear deal with Iran. One that everyone warned would bring back Iranian resolve to build the ‘bomb’. That hasn’t happened either. Instead the current Islamist regime there is teetering on collapse. Their economy is in free-fall. 

Iran wasn’t doing that well before Trump reimposed sanctions. But their demise has been accelerated by it. The typical (non fundamentalist) Iranian in the street blames their own government. You no longer hear ‘Death to America’in the streets. You here ‘Death to their clerics!’ We’ll see what happens. But so far so good.

Than there was the administration announcement that they would stop funding UNRWA  - the UN relief agency that helps Palestinian refugees.  As Nikky Haley put it:
The countries that we give money to, do they believe what we believe? Are they still actually wanting to be our partner and work with us? If they’re not and shouting ‘Death to America’ why would we give them a single penny? And so you are seeing the efforts to defunding those things that are not helpful to us and not in the United States’ interest.” 
UNRWA can stay there, and we will be a donor if it reforms what it does. If it goes and makes sure that they are not doing this teachings in textbooks , if they actually change the number of refugees to an accurate account, we will look back at partnering with them.”  
Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton has also just announced that the US will sanction the  International Criminal Court of Justice if it takes up cases brought against Israel by the PA The US sees this as a blatant attempt to discredit Israel with a one sided argument about Israel’s oppressive security tactics. Bolton said that any disagreements should be dealt with in negotiations, not in the International Court of Justice. By taking Israel to the ICC it is a sign that the PA is not interested in good faith negotiations. The US is not interested in supporting the ICC under such circumstances.

Let us not forget that the aforementioned UN Ambassador to the UN, Nikky Haley is the best thing to happen to the UN in decades Especially as it relates to Israel. And she is a Trump appointee.

And now this from the Jewish Press:  
Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear,” offering an inside look at the Trump presidency, claims that the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was behind the clandestine alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia – a move he advanced against the advice of more experienced, senior White House officials, namely Defense Secretary James Mattis, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and then-National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.
According to Woodward, Kushner began pushing for a Tel Aviv– Riyadh axis almost as soon as President Trump had taken office in early 2017, proposing that the President’s first foreign trip would include stops in Saudi Arabia and Israel. 
The fact is that relations between the United States and Israel have never been better. This is reflected by a high approval rating of the Trump administration by Israelis (49% strongly approve; 23% slightly approve). 

Looking strictly at the US relationship with Israel, one would have to admit that it has never been better.  Although I’m equally sure that the left will vehemently deny that - and spin all of the aforementioned positives into negatives. I obviously strongly disagree with them. In fact I believe we ought to recognize that and  thank the President for his strong support.

Which is why I said it is so very hard to condemn him. Which I still do.  Donald J. Trump is not fit to hold this high office for an abundance of both moral ethical reasons. But that does not mean we shouldn’t acknowledge the good he has done. And I certainly do.


          Obama attacks Trump in speech. TRANSCRIPT: 09/07/2018. The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell      Cache   Translate Page      
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          Stable Costs May Shift ‘Obamacare’ Politics      Cache   Translate Page      
After two years of double-digit premium hikes, millions of people covered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will see only modest increases next year, according to an analysis that highlights the changing politics of health care heading into the midterm elections. The consulting firm Avalere Health and the Associated Press crunched available state data, finding that “Obamacare’s” health insurance marketplaces seem to be stabilizing. Customers in some states will get price cuts. And the exodus of insurers from the program has halted, even reversed somewhat, with more consumer choices for 2019. (Meghan Hoyer and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press)
          Yes, Barack, Democracy is on the ballot, just not the way you think      Cache   Translate Page      
(Bryan Fischer) - Both former president Barack Obama and the current DNC chairman, in an effort to scare Democrats enough to get out and vote, said last weekend that democracy itself is on the ballot in November. Here is the former president: "You need to vote because our democracy depends on it." ...
          Kavanaugh, Booker, anonymous, Wordward, and Obama!      Cache   Translate Page      
(Larry Klayman) - Go to to Support Our Citizens Grand Juries. Also Donate and Share! It was a wild week! Not just because of the confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh and the dog and pony show we were forced to witness from both political parties, much less the leftist vigilante mostly radical feminist shrieking "disrupters" lodged in the Senate gallery, but also because of the lying and deceit of Democrat Senator and presidential wannabe Cory Booker...
          A TIMELINE OF TREASON: How the DNC and FBI Leadership Tried to Fix a Presidential Election [Updated]      Cache   Translate Page      
For your review:



Crowd-sourcing appeal: please point out any errors or omissions in the comments, along with source links.

As an aside, this appears to be the biggest political scandal in the history of the country. Never before has an outgoing administration attempted to fix a presidential election. It's like something out of a third world country. But then, Obama always admired dictators like Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.

Update: For those iPad users having problems viewing the timeline, please try this link.

Update: Scroll to the bottom of the page to see a roster of suspects and the unofficial Vegas odds of indictment for each.

Research: For those who wish to help sponsor this ongoing research, you can use PayPal or credit/debit cards as well as Bitcoin: 1Eb9rw6LpU9i8y1mwMxFHghVrQkdTnUr5S. Thank you.

          Comment on The Unholy Neocon–Liberal Alliance by 004780276      Cache   Translate Page      
I remember a person on NPR, in the early eighties, stating that the Russians preferred dealing with Republicans, because, at least, they knew who they were dealing with. I recently saw a "Global Americans*" piece celebrating how the National Endowment for Democracy started putting into place, in 2014 under Obama, the elements to kickstart a "popular" uprising in Nicaragua. In 2009 we had Hill&apos;s embrace of the rightwing coup in Honduras. In 2009 Roland Dumas(ex French foreign minister), in London, is invited by the Brits with Americans present in the room, to participate in the preparations in the future Syrian uprising. We can add Ukraine, Libya and many African projects to that administration&apos;s adventurism. Was there actually a time when the terms Neocons and Democrats were actually unrelated? Sheldon Whitehouse, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown: all enablers of the military. A quick check of Global American reveals the participation of US banking interests, an aside you can add Heidi Cruz (Ted&apos;s wife). https://theglobalamericans.org/2018/05/laying-groundwork-insurrection-closer-look-u-s-role-nicaraguas-social-unrest/
          Comment on Bag of Randomness for Wednesday, September 12, 2018 by Geeding      Cache   Translate Page      
Anything Obama is for, Cruz supporters are automatically against (I'm painting with a pretty wide brush here). So, if Obama says, "Vote Cruz," they won't vote for Cruz.
          Comment on Bag of Randomness for Wednesday, September 12, 2018 by df of ll      Cache   Translate Page      
I'm confused. "The only way I think Ted Cruz loses this election is if Obama campaigns for him." Did you mean if Obama campaigns for Beto....or Did you mean if Obama campaigns for Cruz....or Did you mean to type Trump instead of Obama?
          En temmelig robust verdensorden      Cache   Translate Page      
Trump går til angrep på den liberale verdensorden, men amerikanerne går snarere i motsatt retning og blir mindre isolasjonistiske. Det gir håp for utviklingen etter at han forlater scenen.
          Comment on Treason Is A Newly Popular Word—Here’s What It Really Means by Glenn R. Geist      Cache   Translate Page      
It speaks to the degradation of our language. Obama was accused of it on an almost daily basis, exactly what the basis for that is I don't know, but the Affordable Care Act was part of it on several occasions. Bill Clinton suffered the same accusations and perhaps George W Bush. The once and briefly famous John Lindh - the "American Taliban" remains in prison for fighting along with the Taliban and I suppose that's treason although we must remember that our last declared war ended in 1945, so it can be a problem. Certainly the Trump gang isn't going to be put up against a wall and shot, and far from it, he may be re-elected, because what is or isn't treason - what happened or didn't is only a matter of perspective, the wreckage of a corrupted language floating in a sea of hyperbole and driven by the winds of hyperbole. Lock him up anyway.
          Family Research Council Warns of ‘146 Million Liberal Dollars!’      Cache   Translate Page      
Executive vice president of the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council William G. Boykin sent a letter to FRC donors asking for help combatting “146 million liberal dollars” in this year’s midterm elections. In the letter, Boykin warns donors that Barack Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and “radical, anti-American, socialist billionaire” George Soros have brought “an […]
          Michelle Obama announces stadium tour to support 'Becoming'      Cache   Translate Page      
Michelle Obama announced a 10-city U.S. stadium tour on Wednesday to support her upcoming memoir "Becoming" that will feature what organizers called "intimate and honest conversations" with audiences.

          Pobreza cai no primeiro ano do governo Trump      Cache   Translate Page      
A notícia não mereceu nenhum destaque no noticiário da grande imprensa brasileira, majoritariamente anti-Trump:


A pobreza nos Estados Unidos caiu no primeiro ano do governo de Donald Trump, informou, nesta quarta-feira, o censo americano. O índice de pessoas que vivem abaixo da linha de pobreza passou de 12,7% da população, em 2016, para 12,3% no ano passado. Em números absolutos, a quantidade de pobres passou de 40,6 milhões, no último ano de mandato de Barack Obama, para 39,7 milhões no ano de estreia de Trump.

É a primeira vez que a pobreza nos EUA é menor à registrado antes da crise global de 2008, quando o índice de pobreza estava em 12,5%. No período pós-crise, a pobreza cresceu no país e chegou a 15,1% em 2010 e, por três anos, ficou neste patamar. O índice de Gini, que calcula a desigualdade nos EUA, ficou em 0,482 no ano passado, ligeiramente acima dos 0,481 registrados em 2016 — quanto maior o número, mais desigual é o pais.

O governo Trump tem sido marcado por forte atividade econômica e por queda do desemprego — atualmente está em 3,9% da população, o menor índice em décadas. De acordo com o censo, a renda anual média das famílias americanas, já ajustada pela inflação, cresceu 1,8% no ano passado, para US$ 61,4 mil (cerca de R$ 254 mil). Segundo a última pesquisa Ipsos, da semana passada, 48% dos americanos aprovam a política econômica de Trump e 49% apoiam sua política para emprego, valores muito acima de sua aprovação total, que está em 40%.

Apesar do aumento de renda, as diferenças entre grupos sociais continuam. Segundo o censo, o ganho médio dos homens subiu 3% no ano passado, para US$ 44.408 anuais, enquanto que as mulheres viram seus rendimentos crescerem apenas 0,2%sobre 2016, para US$ 31.610 anuais. A renda média das famílias negras caiu 0,2%, para US$ 40.258, enquanto que a renda das famílias de brancos não-hispânicos subiu 2,6%, para US$ 68.145 anuais. Entre os latinos, a alta foi de 3,7%, para US$ 50. 486.

A parcela de americanos sem plano de saúde foi pouco alterada em 8,8%, ou 28,5 milhões. No governo Trump foi iniciado um processo para acabar com o sistema de saúde criado por seu antecessor, chamado popularmente de Obamacare. Mas os impactos das mudanças aprovadas, segundo especialistas, tendem a começar a ser sentidas a partir de 2018. (O Globo).

          Aquele 11 de setembro      Cache   Translate Page      
O terrorismo se apropriou para sempre desta data atroz do calendário, escreve Álvaro Vargas Llosa no site do Instituto Independiente:


Todos recordamos dónde estábamos y qué hacíamos ese día, como nuestros mayores recuerdan dónde estaban y qué hacían cuando mataron a John Kennedy en 1963 o cuando Neil Armstrong puso un pie en la luna seis años más tarde. El mundo en que vivimos está parcialmente moleado por lo que sucedió hace exactamente 10 años y aunque otra inseguridad, la económica, ha desplazado a la física como primera preocupación en las naciones occidentales y algunas otras, no hay día en que una noticia, una exasperante incomodidad, una foto o una asociación de ideas no nos traiga de golpe a la memoria aquel "11 de septiembre". Hasta hace 10 años, "11 de septiembre" quería decir, para los enterados, Pinochet. Después de los atentados de los que se cumple este fin de semana una década, "11 de septiembre" quiere decir para todos, incluidos los chilenos, al Qaeda. La organización terrorista se apropió para siempre de esa fecha atroz en el calendario.

Quizá nada simbolice mejor el efecto duradero de los atentados contra las Torres Gemelas, el Pentágono y el avión que se estrelló en Pennsylvania, responsables de la muerte de 2.985 personas, que el hecho de que el World Trade Center todavía no esté reconstruido y las dos guerras de Irak y Afganistán no estén del todo concluidas.

El World Trade Center era un complejo de siete edificios, dos de los cuales eran conocidos como las Torres Gemelas. Ahora, en ese lugar, habrá cinco rascacielos, el principal de los cuales, 1 World Trade Center, de más de 500 metros de altura, diseñado por Daniel Childs y Daniel Libeskind, no estará terminado hasta 2013. El museo del "11/9", que se ubicará allí mismo, no se inaugurará hasta dentro de algunos días. Mañana, exactamente 10 años después, sólo las dos piscinas conmemorativas con los nombres de las víctimas serán abiertas por primera vez al público.

Lo otro es mucho más complejo, pero igualmente duradero: las tropas estadounidenses y de la OTAN siguen en Afganistán y la retirada no tendrá lugar, en principio, hasta 2014. En Irak, aunque la invasión no sucedió el mismo 2001, sino dos años más tarde, la duración del conflicto también es impresionante: las tropas estadounidenses no abandonarán ese país oficialmente hasta finales de este año, aun cuando en la práctica un remanente permanecerá allí después.

Una tercera guerra, algo menos directa pero también hija de los atentados, es la que se libra en Pakistán. Estados Unidos usa en ese caso dirigibles no tripulados y fuerzas camufladas en lugar de soldados regulares, como se vio con la operación de los Navy Seals que acabó con Osama bin Laden nueve años y ochos meses después de los atentados. Pero en esfuerzo, dinero y tiempo, se trata de una guerra como las otras dos. Para no hablar de los muchos otros lugares, principalmente Yemen, donde Estados Unidos derrocha medios humanos y materiales para combatir a la organización terrorista que Bin Laden dirigía.

Cuando George W. Bush lanzó la "guerra contra el terror" a partir de la doctrina que lleva su nombre -según la cual Estados Unidos se embarcaría en una lucha preventiva internacional para impedir un nuevo ataque dentro de su territorio-, se habló de cifras que hoy suenan ridículas en comparación con las que acabaron siendo necesarias. El cálculo más ambicioso para la ocupación de Irak fijaba en 100 mil millones de dólares el costo de esa aventura. Al día de hoy se llevan gastados, según las cifras más conservadoras, bastante más de un billón de dólares (trillón en inglés). Y no se diga nada si sumamos los diversos conflictos. La Universidad de Brown calcula el costo de toda la "guerra contra el terror", que incluye el empleado dentro del territorio estadounidense y las ayudas con fines específicamente vinculados a la lucha antiterrorista a terceros países, en más de cuatro billones de dólares (más que todo el tamaño anual de la economía de América Latina).

El costo financiero real, claro, es difícil de medir con exactitud, porque no sabemos cuánto del problema del déficit y la deuda que hoy lastra al gobierno de Obama tiene conexión directa o indirecta con la guerra contra el terrorismo provocada por Bin Laden hace una década.

El costo político en lo inmediato fue enorme -la impopularidad de la reacción estadounidense borró de un plumazo la solidaridad de la primera hora en medio mundo- y dejó a Estados Unidos resentido. Mientras que en los países árabes el prestigio norteamericano no ha revertido su caída -según el Arab American Institute, es hoy aún menor que en tiempos de Bush-, en Europa los aliados de Washington , del Partido Popular de José María Aznar al Partido Laborista de Tony Blair, fueron arrojados del poder en buena parte por efecto de una política exterior vinculada a los atentados. En Estados Unidos, Obama llegó al poder en gran parte por su oposición a la Doctrina Bush, pero tuvo que continuar con ella. Eso, mezclado a la crisis económica interminable, erosionó su respaldo a niveles que no permiten augurar con certeza su reelección.

Desde el punto de vista de la seguridad y la exportación de la democracia -los dos grandes objetivos que la respuesta a los atentados- es innegable que ha habido avances. No se ha producido ningún atentado perpetrado por extranjeros en territorio estadounidense en esta década. Diez intentos fueron abortados en Nueva York, de los cuales el más potencialmente grave fue el de un inmigrante pakistaní que quiso detonar un explosivo en Times Square en 2010. El único incidente violento registrado en este período, el de la base de Fort Hood, donde un militar musulmán de nacionalidad estadounidense mató a 13 soldados e hirió a 29 hace dos años, no fue obra de al Qaeda, aunque puede decirse que sí lo fue, en parte, de la guerra contra el terrorismo. El precio de esta seguridad, sin embargo, ha sido alto en cuanto a la erosión de ciertas libertades civiles, con el consiguiente y polarizante debate constitucional, jurídico y político. La burocracia relacionada con la política antiterrorista abarca a 1.200 agencias del Estado y a unas dos mil empresas, e incluye desde una intromisión abierta del gobierno en la vida privada de millones de personas hasta el controvertido uso de la base naval de Guantánamo para detener indefinidamente a sospechosos de terrorismo sin necesidad de un juicio. Obama hizo del cierre de esta prisión uno de sus caballitos de batalla electoral y hasta el día de hoy no ha podido cumplir su promesa por la extraordinaria complejidad jurídica y política que rodea todo lo que se relaciona con la base. No hay países dispuestos a aceptar a los presos que quedan, no hay cómo lograr que una ciudad estadounidense acepte que se enjuicie a los sospechosos en sus tribunales y el riesgo de que en un proceso abierto se revelen detalles sensibles que afecten a la seguridad nacional del país es muy elevado. Por tanto, allí sigue Guantánamo y el "estatus" de "combatientes enemigos" que se les aplica a los poco menos de 200 detenidos que quedan para justificar jurídicamente su encierro indefinido.

El avance de la democracia en el mundo islámico, una década después de los atentados que llevaron a Bush a querer democratizar el mundo con una activa participación norteamericana en el exterior, es lento y sorprendente. Lo más sorprendente es que no guarda relación aparente con la política exterior norteamericana sino con un movimiento de raíces profundamente locales cuya primera manifestación se dio en Túnez en diciembre del año pasado y que hasta ahora ha derrocado a los dictadores Ben Ali, Mubarak y Gaddafi, acotado el poder de un par más y puesto en jaque a otros, en especial a Bachar al-Assad. La "primavera árabe" es el sueño de Bush tras los atentados por razones aparentemente muy ajenas a la lucha contra el terror.

Mientras tanto, en Irak y Afganistán también hay un progreso con respecto a lo que había antes, pero con muchos matices. En Irak, el gobierno de al-Maliki, emblema del surgimiento de los shiítas largamente reprimidos por Hussein, es hoy un aliado, en cierta forma, de Irán y mantiene una relación confrontacional con los sunitas. Está por verse si al-Maliki dejará el poder cuando venza su segundo período como Primer Ministro. En Afganistán, el gobierno de Hamid Karzai, que lleva cerca de una década, no controla propiamente sino Kabul, y con gran precariedad. Su reelección fue denunciada por existir un fraude electoral y su gobierno está penetrado por la corrupción. Cuesta trabajo pensar en nada que se asemeje a una democracia funcional allí, en un contexto en el que el Talibán tiene en jaque a las instituciones a pesar de la incesante presión estadounidense y de la OTAN.

En Pakistán hay un gobierno elegido, pero no es exagerado decir que la lucha contra el terror retrasó el regreso de la democracia al fortalecer la posición de Pervez Musharraf, el general que gobernaba cuando se produjeron los atentados y al que Washington respaldó y financió después de ellos. Hoy esa democracia está penetrada por el fundamentalismo: es altamente probable que sus servicios secretos (ISI) hayan tenido pleno conocimiento de que Bin Laden se escondía en Abbottabad. El futuro de la democracia pakistaní es de muy incierto pronóstico a estas alturas.

Aunque en estos días hay una proliferación de homenajes a las víctimas, especiales conmemorativos y actos de recordación, la constatación más chocante en Estados Unidos es hasta qué punto el terrorismo, que era el asunto número uno hasta hace tres años, ha pasado a un segundo plano. La economía lo ha desplazado de las preocupaciones de la gente y del debate político. De no ser por el décimo aniversario, el país no habría centrado su atención en el terrorismo ni mucho menos. El jueves por la noche los precandidatos del Partido Republicano a la Presidencia debatieron en la sede de la biblioteca Ronald Reagan y el terrorismo brilló por su ausencia durante casi todo el debate. Muy lejos se sienten los días en que Barack Obama y John McCain hacían de sus diferencias en torno a la lucha contra el terror eje central de su disputa electoral.

Pasados los días conmemorativos, los atentados del 11 de septiembre de 2001 serán relegados nuevamente a algún lugar de la memoria y su secuela, las medidas adoptadas para prevenir nuevos atentados, que afectan la vida de millones de personas, pero se han vuelto parte de la rutina, suscitarán poca controversia a escala nacional.

Pero en un aspecto quizá los atentados todavía tienen una vigencia importante. Tiene que ver con el endurecimiento de la actitud de cierto sector del Partido Republicano y del ala derechista y sureña del Partido Demócrata hacia el mundo exterior. En temas como la inmigración, el presupuesto de Defensa, las relaciones con Europa o la manera de abordar la "primavera árabe" se nota en este sector una tendencia aislacionista y proteccionista. Sus exponentes principales han pasado de la ofensiva universal contra el terror y la búsqueda mundial de aliados a despreciar todo lo que tenga que ver con el mundo exterior y amurallarse mentalmente dentro del país. Es muy probable que en las elecciones primarias del Partido Republicano esta actitud sea un componente fundamental de la lid. También, que una vez definida la candidatura republicana, se inviertan los papeles con respecto a las elecciones presidenciales anteriores, cuando era el candidato demócrata el que pedía menos activismo internacional y más énfasis local, y el republicano el que decía lo contrario.

          Comment on Is Obama the Most Deflationary Force in America Right Now? by farming simulator 2019 mods      Cache   Translate Page      
<strong>farming simulator 2019 mods</strong> [...]below you’ll come across the link to some web sites that we feel you ought to visit[...]
          What Goes Into A Presidential Speech? Obama's Speechwriter Talks About His Process      Cache   Translate Page      
How do presidential speechwriters decide what to include in a speech? This question was originally answered on Quora by David Litt.
          EE.UU. tensa aún más la relación con Irán con una advertencia a las aerolíneas      Cache   Translate Page      
La relación entre Estados Unidos y Teherán sigue enfriándose y tensándose. Tras una etapa de acercamiento y confianza durante el segundo mandato de Barack Hussein Obama, que consiguió, junto a un grupo internacional, que el gobierno de Teherán se...
          Trump’s Education Department weighs in on Rutgers anti-Semitism case closed under Obama      Cache   Translate Page      
President Donald Trump’s Education Department has reopened an old discrimination case against Rutgers University and is revisiting what constitutes anti-Semitism.The case stems from a 2011 ...
          Obama Once Got Kicked Out of Disneyland for Breaking This Major Rule      Cache   Translate Page      
Nobody gets away with breaking the rules at Disneyland. Not even Barack Obama.
          Obama's Former Photographer Throws Shade at Trump After He Called Omarosa a 'Dog'      Cache   Translate Page      
The ongoing saga between President Trump and former White House Staffer, Omarosa Manigault-Newman doesn’t seem to be dying down anytime soon. Now former President Obama's White House Photographer Pete Souza is getting involved. Veuer's Sam Berman has the full story.
          Comment on Obama Calls Benghazi ‘Wild Conspiracy’ by norm      Cache   Translate Page      
The "wild conspiracy" is that I am supposed to believe that the September 11th attack on benghazi was caused by a video.
          John Kerry Admits Obama Failed To Rid Syria Of Chemical Weapons…      Cache   Translate Page      
Now tell us something we don’t know.
          Obama 2012 Campaign Manager: It’s “Harmful” To Democrats To Embrace The Socialist Label      Cache   Translate Page      
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          Middle Class Income Hits All-Time High, Despite Ocasio Cortez’s Claims      Cache   Translate Page      
Must be due to Obama. Via Daily Caller: Continuing an upward trend, middle class income reached its highest level ever despite New York Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claiming there is no such class in America. The median income for a household in the U.S. reached $61,732 in 2017, according to a U.S. Census Bureau […]
          Aus Obama wird Trump: neue Deepfake-Methode vorgestellt      Cache   Translate Page      
Forscher nutzen künstliche Intelligenz, um Gesichtsausdrücke von einem Video in ein anderes zu übertragen.
          'Follow his example': Barack Obama remembers John McCain in touching eulogy      Cache   Translate Page      
The former president remembered the late senator not as his political opponent, but as his friend.
          Hella comics and the biggest Mormon book ... ever?      Cache   Translate Page      
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074) My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris, finished August 29

Drawn entirely in ballpoint pens (Bic-style) with the occasional colored pencil and seemingly on notebook paper complete with blue lines and binderholes and metal coiling, this is supposed to be a sequence of notebooks by an elementary-school girl. She's a helluvanartist for her age, let me say.

This is multilayered comics on the level of Chris Ware or Duncan the Wonder Dog. Although it begs us to ask how autobiographical it is, I'll avoid that topic. There's enough without it. We have monster movies/magazines; we have childhood cruelty; we have mob violence; we have all kinds of sex; we have family dynamics; we have the Holocaust; we have a mysterious murder; we have questions of sexuality; we have human duality; we have fine art---

All these pieces click together nicely. It might be hard to imagine all those things coming together without becoming either maudlin or oppressive, but no: Ferris shows real skill in balancing all this stuff. It's a heavy read, but not at all unpleasant. The only awful thing about it is the likely wait we have in front of us before the story will continue.

two weeks or so


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075) The Customer Is Always Wrong by Mimi Pond, finished August 30

Another enormous comic book! This one is a much quicker read, but it's remarkable how much they have in common. This takes place in the late Seventies rather than the late Sixties, but Madge is about ten years older than Karen, so I suppose they're still contemporaries.

We're in a different American city now (Oakland rather than Chicago) but we still get to see much of the seedy underbelly---only now we're a bit more involved as our protagonist is an adult.

Madge is working at a cafe, saving her money so she can move to New York and pursue her dreams of being a cartoonist. Her boss is Lazlo (imagine Scott McCloud in a trilby), a well meaning would-be poet. Everyone is doing alcohol and/or coke and/or speed and/or "Persian" and/or mj and/or tobacco and/or heroin and/or methodone etc etc etc. It's not a life I'm interested in, but Pond's look is kind without being romantic and truthful without being vindictive.

Although it's born of her actual experiences, Pond's ficionalization is very satisfying as fiction. The story is well organized and structured. It's a great piece of writing and it works well as a novel.
two days


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076) Bandette: Stealers Keepers! by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover, finished August 30

This picks up where volume one dropped off and provides a satisfying conclusion. There is a third volume, but it seems likely that it will take a new direction. I hope so as this volume, while wonderful, couldn't match the bright delight of newness we encountered in volume one.

All I really really want to do now is show my kids Charade....
afternoon


===========================================================



077) You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack by Tom Gauld, finished September 6
078) Baking With Kafka by Tom Gauld, finished September 7
079) Mooncop by Tom Gauld, finished September 7
080) Goliath by Tom Gauld, finished September 7


The first two volumes are collections of his short comics, mostly originally published in the Guardian as part of his literary series. They're good. They have the heightened starkness of Jason and the deadpan intelligence of Edward Gorey.

The latter two are booklength narratives that excel in quiet. Silence is one of the great powers of comics, and Gauld has almost weaponized it. These odes to loneliness, to being an outsider, to calm consideration---they're peaceful even when they are wrought.

I'm fond of his work.
evening, day, afternoon, afternoon (respectively


===========================================================



081) Educated by Tara Westover, finished September 12

I can't think of a "Mormon book" that's made this big of a splash. Maybe ever. Amazon's top recommendation? President Obama gave it a recommendation? That never happened to Scholar of Moab.... So I suppose I was in some sense obliged to pick it up. But if Lynsey hadn't read it as part of an online book club, I would have just kept waiting for it to show up in a Little Free Library.

I think my favorite aspect of the book is how Westover made transparent her efforts to be accurate in writing the story of her childhood onward. Footnotes that lay out the variances in different character's memories give the book an honest sheen that most memoirs simply do not have for me.

One of my instinctive reactions is similar to how I reacted to Elna Baker's memoir: I'm frustrated by how a character who is growing seems to have no access to intelligent faithful Mormons in their moments of need. At BYU (and in Manhattan) there are numerous concourses of such people, yet they're just not there. In Baker's case, she seemed to avoid Mormons when she was shaky; Westover, on the other hand, having had such a "conservative" upbringing had already drawn her to people who were likely to tell her unhelpful things. Given the ties she had to cut, however, it's hard to imagine there were many pathways where the Church did not become collateral damage.

The writing itself is simple, clean, and readable. I don't know how natural it is for her to write this way, but she and her team put together some wonderful prose.

On a personal note, this book hit close to home. I don't know anyone quite like her family, but she's local to me. Franklin County is next door to Bear Lake County---the Bear River runs right past her homestead. The nearest town was the same town Napoleon Dynamite lives in (although Westover kindly refers to it by a historical name), and we all know how much I identify with that bit of Idahoiana.

The greatest bit of Idaho she accomplishes, however, is the dialect. I often want to write Idaho, but I can't get the words to sound right. Tara Westover nails it. That's just how my family talks.

It's also heartbreaking to see how cut off our corner of Idaho is from the rest of the world. My own hometown, when I enter it, looks essentially identical to its appearance when I left, thirty-one years ago. A healthy town changes in three decades. You feel nostalgia for what was. My nostalgia is for what does not have the economic health to grow and change. Although I never met any hardcore fans of the apocalypse and was never treated by homeopathics, it fits; it makes sense.

So I think my primary feeling is one of shared tragedy, although mine is far less violent. And I thank her for sharing.
about two weeks


===========================================================




The other books of 2018

1 – 4
001) Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 3 by Ta-Nehisi Coates &‎ Brian Stelfreeze & al., finished January
002) The Complete Peanuts 1950-2000 by Charles M. Schulz & al., finished January
003) The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, finished January 10
004) El Deafo by Cece Bell, finished January 12

5 – 9
005) Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack, finished January 13
006) Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve by Ben Blatt, finished January 15
007) Glister by Andi Watson, finished January 18
008) Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke, finished January 20
009) The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun by J.R.R. Tolkien, finished January 21

10 – 11
010) The Vision by Tom King et al., finished January 23
011) Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds, finished January 24

16 – 16
012) Anthem by Ayn Rand, finished February 8
013) The City in Which I Love You by Li-Young Lee, finished February 14
014) Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle, finished February 21
015) It Needs to Look Like We Tried by Todd Robert Petersen, finished March 7
016, 017) Fences by August Wilson, finished March 8

18 – 20
018) The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton, finished March 13
019) Star Wars Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to a Galaxy Far, Far Away by Tim Leong, finished March 22
020) Superman: Secret Identity by Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen, finished March 25

21 – 25
021) M Is for Malice by Sue Grafton, finished March 28
022) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany; finished March 31
023) It All Started with Hippocrates: A Mercifully Brief History of Medicine by Richard Armour, finished April 6
024) Don't Bump the Glump by Shel Silverstein, finished April 14
025) Coriolanus by Wm Shakespeare, finished April 16

26 – 32
026) The Trouble with Reality by Brooke Gladstone, finished April 24
027, 28) Coriolanus by William Shakespeare, finished April 26
029) The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost, finished April 28
030) Twisted Tales from Shakespeare by Richard Armour, finished April 28 or April 29 depending on when midnight happened
031) Bless The Child: A Romance of Redemption and Glory in the Ancient World by David J. West, finished May 1
032) The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody by Will Cuppy, finished May 3

32 – 34
032) Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, finished May 9
033) Stargazing Dog by Takashi Murakami, finished May 9
034) Vader Down by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato, finished May 18

35
035) The Book of Mormon: A Reader's Edition edited by Grant Hardy, finished May 23

36 – 50
036) Bad Kitty Camp Daze by Nick Bruel, finished May 24
037) I'm Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups by Chris Harris, finished May 24
038) The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer by Sydney Padua, finished May 30
039) Princess Leia by Mark Waid et al, finished May 30
040) Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral, finished June 12
041) Everything You Need to Know About a Mission by Ralph Thomas, finished June 13
042) The Invisibles by Grant Morrison et al, finished June 14
043) The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe, finished June 15
044) Material Volume 1 by Ales Kot & Will Tempest & al., finished June 23
045) Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav, finished June 30
046) The Rain in Portugal by Billy Collins, finished July 7
047) Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier Vol. 1: The Man On The Wall by Ales Kos, finished July 7
048) Monster Verse: Poems Human and Inhuman edited by Tony Barnstone & Michelle Mitchell-Foust, finished July 10
049) Poems Dead and Undead edited by Tony Barnstone & Michelle Mitchell-Foust, finished July 10
050) Mary's Monster by Lita Judge, finished July 11

51 – 57
051) Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, finished July 18
052) Hostage by Guy Delisle, finished July 21
053) The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg, finished July 22
054) Paper Girls, Vol 4 by Brian K Vaughan and Cliff Chiang, finished July 24
055) Chocolate: The Consuming Passion by Sandra Boynton, finished July 25
056) [Aelian's] On the Nature of Animals translated by Gregory McNamee, finished July 27
057) Blue Yodel by Ansel Alkins, finished July 27

58 – 63
058) The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater, finished July 31
059) Bandette Volume 1: Presto! by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover, finished July 31
060) Legends of Zita the Space Girl by Ben Hatke, finished August 3
061) Darth Vader: End of Games by Kieron Gillen & Salvador Larroca, finished August 6
062) How to Read Nancy by Paul Karasik & Mark Newgarden, finished August 10
063) The Selected Poems of Donald Hall by Donald Hall, finished August 14

64 – 68
064) The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg, finished August 15
065) The Humans by Stephen Karam, finished August 15
066) Space Cat by Ruthven Todd, finished August 16
067) Strip Search: Revealing Today's Best College Cartoonists, finished August 16
068) A Contract with God by Will Eisner, finished August 18

69 – 73
069) Space Cat Visits Venus by Ruthven Todd, finished August 19
070) Served: A Missionary Comic Anthology edited by Theric Jepson & Mike Laughead & al., finished August 22
071) Precious Rascals by Anthony Holden, finished August 24
072) The Peanuts' Guide To Life by Charles M. Schulz (sort of), finished August 25
073) Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham by Mike Mignola et al., finished August 28

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

* the most recent post in this series *
_____________________


final booky posts of
2007 = 2008 = 2009 = 2010 = 2011 = 2012 = 2013 = 2014 = 2015 = 2016 = 2017



          Michelle Obama announces stadium book tour      Cache   Translate Page      
Michelle Obama is kicking off her 10 city stadium book tour for her new memoir "Becoming" in her home city of Chicago.
          Madera de Pino Negro      Cache   Translate Page      

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          Election Update: How Democrats Are Doing In Obama-Trump Districts      Cache   Translate Page      
Welcome to our Election Update for Wednesday, Sept. 12! Less than two months remain until the big day, and Democrats are in their best position yet in our House forecast. Our “Classic” model gives the party a 5 in 6 chance (81.8 percent) of seizing the chamber from Republicans. We envision an average Democratic gain […]
          Does Obama Motivate Democrats Anymore? Or Just Republicans?      Cache   Translate Page      
Welcome to FiveThirtyEight’s weekly politics chat. The transcript below has been lightly edited. micah (Micah Cohen, politics editor): With former President Barack Obama’s return to the campaign trail in the last week or so, here’s our overarching question for today: Who does Obama motivate more in 2018, Democrats or Republicans? I’m thinking first we talk […]
          Florida Obamacare navigators get $1.25 million — 74% drop from last year      Cache   Translate Page      

Obamacare navigators in Florida will receive $1.25 million in federal funds this year, a 74 percent drop from last year, according to numbers released today.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services had announced earlier that it will doll out $10 million in navigator grants to 39 organizations...


          John Kerry admits the Obama administration did not get 100 percent of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile      Cache   Translate Page      

"We knew that Assad had kept some."

The post John Kerry admits the Obama administration did not get 100 percent of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile appeared first on twitchy.com.


          Who has more mojo on the 2018 campaign trail — Trump or Obama?      Cache   Translate Page      

Everything you need to know this week about Election 2018 Source link

link: Who has more mojo on the 2018 campaign trail — Trump or Obama?


          Comment on 2:00PM Water Cooler 9/12/2018 by RMO      Cache   Translate Page      
This would have been "Mirror Mirror" universe Obama though - the one who came from that alternate universe to campaign as a moderately leftist candidate but was caught and forced to go home leaving us with the Obama we all knew as President.
          Trump EPA proposes rolling back rules for monitoring potent methane gas leaks      Cache   Translate Page      

On Tuesday, the Trump administration proposed a roll back of the rules that regulated “uncontrolled release” of the greenhouse gas methane. And while this change would only save oil and gas companies a little bit of money, it would definitely hurt human beings. Inside Climate News explains that the documents the government released in regard to the cost/benefits of this change conveniently obfuscate public health concerns.

The estimated costs (forgone benefits) include the monetized climate effects of the projected increase in methane emissions under the proposal. The EPA also expects there will be increases in VOC and HAP emissions under the proposal. While the EPA expects that the forgone VOC emission reductions may also degrade air quality and adversely affect health and welfare effects associated with exposure to ozone, PM2.5, and HAP, data limitations prevent the EPA from quantifying forgone VOC-related health benefits.

This is another move by Trump’s administration to undo some of the truly positive steps taken to slow our country’s egregious industrial pollution.


          Attorneys blast new policy making it easier to reject green card applications as 'invisible wall'      Cache   Translate Page      

When incoming director L. Francis Cissna struck “nation of immigrants” from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) mission statement, he meant it. Under newly announced policy, officials now plan to use mistakes and missing information from visa and green card applications against immigrants and deny their applications, which could not only add massive legal fees to an already expensive process, but leave others vulnerable to deportation.

“Previously, officers were required by an Obama-era policy to send notices, giving applicants a chance to correct such problems instead of closing the process,” ProPublica reports. “Officers can still choose to do so, but they can also opt to skip that step if the application is deemed frivolous.” This will be a problem, to say the least, when Cissna himself has earned the support of anti-immigrant groups, and last month sat down with “a hate group that exists solely to vilify immigrants.”

So exactly what kind of mistakes may be used against applicants? Lawyers who spoke to ProPublica “cited technicalities: One application was not accepted because the seventh page, usually left blank, was not attached. Another was rejected because it did not have a table of contents and exhibit numbers, even though it had other forms of organization.” Yes, applications have their rules that need to be followed, “but it seems like they are just making every single submission difficult,” said immigration attorney Pierre Bonnefil. Others have called it an “invisible wall.”

For many, the worry could be that their visas will expire as they’re fighting to correct these errors, and a lapse in permission could mean they could be deported. They have good reason to worry—a new lawsuit alleged USCIS and ICE have collaborated to have immigrants who have shown up for green card appointments arrested, and there’s no way to guarantee that applicants who have had their forms rejected because of this new policy won’t also be on ICE’s radar in this same manner.

“People who are here legally, doing everything through proper channels, now feel as unsettled and unwelcome and uncertain about the future as people who don’t have documents,” said Sandra Feist, another immigration attorney. It’s intentional. The administration hates legal immigration too—unless, of course, you’re the “right” kind of immigrant.


          Unions join fight against Kavanaugh nomination      Cache   Translate Page      

Campaign Action

The Judiciary Democrats' tough questioning of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh exposed his absolute contempt for workers' rights and immigrants' rights. Organized labor is marshaling forces to put the pressure on.

They're using a successful playbook, says Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union. "We intend to make it the same thing as repealing [Obamacare]. … We are going to organize the three votes that are required to block this nomination." Liz Shuler, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, adds "We cannot let this court continue to swing to the extreme right. It's out of step with what America believes."

The unions will target Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) this election, but promise this vote on Kavanaugh will have legs. They're "staffing phone banks, unions are mobilizing to target vulnerable Republican senators in their home states." Henry told Politco that "We've added organizers collectively … with our partners in Alaska, Nevada and Maine." That's you Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.

"We think that we can put up a fight like you've never seen because that's what we do best in the labor movement," added Shuler. And boy, do folks in Nevada know that. Enjoy this SCOTUS vote, Sen. Heller. It's going to be your last.


          Cleveland Public Theatre Presents YA MAMA!      Cache   Translate Page      

Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) presents Ya Mama! The production is onstage from October 11 - 27, 2018, in CPT's Gordon Square Theatre.

Ya Mama! is the autobiographical story of a young Afro-Creole girl losing a mother, gaining a stepmother, and becoming a mother-all while being an artist. Set in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, we journey from the schoolyard to the delivery room, from the edge of sanity to pure joy, from devastation to hope. First developed and produced in 2011, Ya Mama! is a CPT classic.

Ya Mama! was developed in CPT's Big Box series-continuing on to the 2011 New York International Fringe Festival and then returning to Cleveland for a full production in CPT's 2011/2012 season. This past June, the piece was remounted to tour to the Hollywood Fringe Festival. This fall, CPT welcomes the beloved production back onto the Gordon Square Theatre stage for three weeks of performances.

According to CPT's Executive Artistic Director, Raymond Bobgan: "Nina Domingue is a Cleveland treasure and we're so lucky to have her as part of our community onstage and off. Nina has this uncanny ability to carry the audience along with her through different characters. She makes us laugh and then, WHAM, suddenly everything flips-there is a broken heart, a tragedy, an opening. You can't help but identify with her characters and her story of struggle and triumph."

Andrew Rothkin of nytheatre.com described the show this way: "Ya Mama! is a richly woven tapestry of love, loss, strength, and spirituality, beautifully written and exquisitely performed by the phenomenally gifted Nina Domingue."

Nina Domingue, playwright and performer, says, "Ya Mama! is a small thread of who I am in the tapestry of my life, and it encompasses all of the joy I have for living, the gratefulness I have for my journey, and it does not deny the pain that helped me get there."

Ya Mama! is performed and was written by Nina Domingue* and directed by Nathan Henry. The creative production team includes Raymond Bobgan - Producer; Beth Wood - Line Producer; Tyree Franklin - Stage Manager.

*Actor appears courtesy of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Ya Mama! previews October 11. Press Night is Friday, October 12 and the show runs through October 27. Performances are Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Monday nights at 7:30pm in CPT's Gordon Square Theatre, located at 6415 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44102, in the heart of the Gordon Square Arts District.

Tickets are $15-25. Students/Seniors receive $5 off on Friday and Saturday nights. Preview, Thursdays, and Mondays are $15.

PURCHASE TICKETS at www.cptonline.org or call the CPT Box Office at 216.631.2727 ext. 501. Group discounts are available-call the Box Office to inquire. (Reserve early! - CPT never charges any ticket fees, ever.)

The Gordon Square Theatre is ADA compliant featuring a ramped entrance and an all gender, wheelchair accessible restroom.

Every Friday is Free Beer Friday at CPT. Mingle with the artists after the show and discuss the performance in a lively, social atmosphere-your drinks are on CPT.

Nina Domingue is a well-respected and sought-after actress and playwright. Ya Mama! was developed in the CPT Big Box series before debuting in the NY International Fringe Festival in 2011, and then returning to CPT's 2011/2012 season. Nina received a Bachelor of Arts in Theater Arts from Dillard University of New Orleans and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from West Virginia University. Nina was described by nytheatre.com critic Andrew Rothkin this way: "Domingue, an eloquent artist of more colors than Crayola, and who has the refined skill of someone twice her age." The Plain Dealer described her performances as "Must-see theatre!" Credits include Medea at 6:00 (Ensemble Theatre), Project1Voice 2015: Home by Samm-Art Williams (starring James Pickens, Jr. - Grey's Anatomy), Project1Voice 2014: for colored girls... (lady in orange, Dale Shields), It Hasn't Always Been This Way by Ntozake Shange (Off-Broadway, Diane McIntyre), Venus (The Venus Hottentot, CPT), Merry Wives of Windsor (Mistress Quickly, Great Lakes Theater Festival), Nickel and Dimed (Multiple Characters, co-production between CPT and GLTF), for colored girls... (lady in red, Karamu House, Terrence Spivey). Solo show credits include NY International Fringe Festival, Ya Mama! (developed in CPT's Big Box series), No Child... (CPT), The Little Mermaid (Cleveland Play House, Pamela DiPasquale), A Jewel of a Tale (commission by Cleveland Play House). Independent film: Bringing Henrietta to Life (Henrietta Lacks), The Passageway (Dr. Collins), A Day of Racism (Sancha). She made her mainstage directorial debut at Karamu 2.0 with the American premiere of The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God by Lisa Codrington. Awards and honors include: Best Actress in a Play (Cleveland Theatre Collective, lady in red), Memorably Distinctive Performances in a Theatrical Season (Cleveland Theatre Collective, 2004-2005 Season), and The Plain Dealer has said that Nina is "...a young Anna Deavere Smith" and watching her is "like a master class in acting." Nina is a wife and mother of five, her greatest work to date.

Nathan Henry is Line Producer and Director of Marketing and Communications at Karamu House, where he has worked as a multi-disciplined artist for nearly a decade. Credits for Karamu include: director of the critically-acclaimed production of Passing Strange; director and choreographer of the regional premiere of Lee Summers' From My Hometown; director of Dale Orlandersmith's Yellowman in collaboration with NYC's Project1Voice; and associate director of the regional premiere of Tony Kushner and Jeannine Tesori's Caroline, or Change, a co-production with Dobama Theatre. He also served as line producer for the world premiere of Believe In Cleveland, the American premiere of The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God, and the regional premiere of Sassy Mamas - all at Karamu House. Select regional credits include: August Wilson's Seven Guitars, Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida, Smokey Joe's Café, Ain't Misbehavin', The Wiz, Once On This Island, Anything Goes, and Guys & Dolls, among many others. He has worked with The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts TYA/USA, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland Public Theatre, Great Lakes Theater, Dobama Theatre, Beck Center for the Arts, Ensemble Theatre, Porthouse Theatre, Cain Park, Playwrights Local, The Maltz Museum, The Musical Theater Project, Case Western Reserve University, Kent State University, and Talespinner Children's Theatre, where he sits on the board of directors.


          Rates of uninsured in US hold steady at historic low 8.8 percent      Cache   Translate Page      
The data paints a picture of stable health insurance coverage, across both private and government health plans, in a year that saw repeated efforts by the White House and Republicans in Congress to repeal Obamacare.
          Trump administration makes it easier to avoid Obamacare tax penalty      Cache   Translate Page      
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced on Wednesday a new opportunity for those who failed to comply with the individual mandate in 2018 to avoid the corresponding tax penalty.
          Michael Reagan to Newsmax TV: Trump Signs Sanctions Order Obama Should Have      Cache   Translate Page      
Political commentator Michael Reagan told Newsmax TV action against Russia should have been taken during the Obama administration for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, but instead it was President Donald trump signing an executive order.
          Trump Admin Makes It Easier to Avoid Obamacare Penalty      Cache   Translate Page      
The Trump administration issued new guidance Wednesday that makes it easier for Americans to opt out of having health insurance this year and not be penalized via the individual mandate.
          Mr. Rosenstein, What Is the Crime?       Cache   Translate Page      
 

What’s the legal basis for his special-counsel investigation? We have a right to know.
 
For precisely what federal crimes is the president of the United States under investigation by a special counsel appointed by the Justice Department?

It is intolerable that, after more than two years of digging — the 16-month Mueller probe having been preceded by the blatantly suspect labors of the Obama Justice Department and FBI — we still do not have an answer to that simple question.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein owes us an answer.

More @ NRO

          California Crushes Health-Insurance Choice - Wall Street Journal      Cache   Translate Page      

Wall Street Journal

California Crushes Health-Insurance Choice
Wall Street Journal
Your editorial “ObamaCare's Hotel California” (Sept. 4) is on the mark. The one short-term health plan available in California just closed new enrollments effective Sept. 1. This means that many people will go without insurance because the Affordable ...

and more »

          Dear Mr President: the ‘little people’ write to Obama      Cache   Translate Page      
And he reportedly answered ten letters personally every day. But his seemingly heartfelt replies were the pastiches of a clever 23-year-old
          Healthcare Consolidation in California Leading to Higher Prices, Study Finds - AJMC.com Managed Markets Network      Cache   Translate Page      

Healthcare Finance News

Healthcare Consolidation in California Leading to Higher Prices, Study Finds
AJMC.com Managed Markets Network
Consolidation in California's healthcare system has had a noticeable impact on measures of vertical integration and premiums for insurance bought through the exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act, according to a study published Tuesday in ...
Healthcare consolidation in California leading to higher prices, finds new Health Affairs researchHealthcare Finance News
Ban health insurance that doesn't cover pre-existing conditions? Jerry Brown to decideSacramento Bee
ObamaCare's Hotel CaliforniaWall Street Journal
Daily Signal
all 33 news articles »

          Paul Krugman Denounces the 3 'Villains' that Thwarted Full Recovery from the Great Recession      Cache   Translate Page      
"It’s a story that’s both sad and nasty."

It's been ten years since Lehman Brothers collapsed — a seminal event at the start of the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent great recession that still haunt the world to this day.

As the experts continue to debate the causes, contributing factors, and quality of the response to the crisis, there's general agreement that while the official response mitigated some of the worst possible outcomes, much more could have been done to protect the American economy and the well-being of families across the country.

One key tool the administration had to mitigate the recession was a fiscal stimulus, which President Barack Obama enacted through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. But many argued at the time that the bill wasn't nearly big enough for the size of the problem and that more stimulus could have protected many more people from years of joblessness and financial strife.

Economist Paul Krugman argued in a New York Times op-ed Wednesday that there were three main types of villains in the story of the recession that prevented the government from unleashing more fiscal stimulus:

First, we can argue whether the Obama administration could have gotten more; that’s a debate we’ll never see resolved. What is clear, however, is that at least some key Obama figures were actively opposed to giving the economy the support it needed. “Stimulus is sugar,” snapped Tim Geithner at Christina Romer, when she argued for a bigger plan.

Second, Very Serious People pivoted very early from concern about the unemployed – hey, they probably lacked the necessary skills – to hysteria over deficits. By 2011, unemployment was still over 9 percent, but all the Beltway crowd wanted to talk about was the menace of the debt.

Finally, Republicans blocked attempts to rescue the economy and tried to strangle government spending every step of the way. They claimed that this was because they cared about fiscal responsibility – but it was obvious to anyone paying attention (which unfortunately didn’t include almost anyone in the news media) that this was an insincere, bad-faith argument. As we’ve now seen, they don’t care at all about deficits as long as a Republican is in the White House and the deficits are the counterpart of tax cuts for the rich.

He also faults the fact that the bank bailouts didn't just benefit the banks but the bankers who played a key role in the crisis. And he warns that there's little sign that the country as a whole has learned the right lessons from 2008.

"It’s a story that’s both sad and nasty," he said. "And there’s every reason to believe that if we have another crisis, it will happen all over again."

 

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          Russia news stories coincided with Obama loyalist leaks       Cache   Translate Page      

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Early 2017, the dawn of the Trump era in Washington, saw an intense rush of Russia news stories, fed by what conservatives call the "deep state" determined to brand the new president as an election colluder.

Looking back, those stories seem to have coincided with evidence unearthed by a ...

          The Hotwire #36: #PrisonStrike ends—bring back anti-nationalism—economic crisis in Argentina      Cache   Translate Page      

It’s 17 years and a day after 9/11 and Iraq is still in shambles, so we rip apart liberals for thinking George W. Bush is somehow “cute”. 2001 pops up again when we compare the current economic crisis in Argentina to the wave of worker-led factory takeovers and anarchist media that resisted the last economic meltdown there. We call for anarchists to incorporate a critique of nationalism itself into our anti-fascist strategy and analysis, we include preliminary information for autonomous relief efforts based in mutual aid for #HurricaneFlorence, and we wrap up the National #PrisonStrike with an action report and a bunch of phone-zaps! Send us news, events, or ideas on how our show can better serve anarchist activity in your town by emailing us at podcast@crimethinc.com. {September 12, 2018}

 

-------SHOW NOTES------

 

  • Table of Contents:
    • Introduction {0:00}
    • George W. Bush is not cute {0:50}
    • The other 9/11 {2:45}
    • Economic collapse in Argentina… again {4:00}
    • Bringing back the anarchist critique of nationalism {5:25}
    • Here come the hurricanes—time for mutual aid {11:00}
    • #PrisonStrike ends {14:55}
    • Repression roundup {20:35}
    • Next Week’s News {27:40}
  • Download 29:30 minutes long version.
  • Autonomous Mutual Aid in the wake of Hurricane Florence
  • Mutual Aid Disaster Relief will give a brief presentation on September 15th at 10:30am at the Uplift Climate Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • Anarchist book fairs this weekend:
  • Upcoming anti-fascist action:
    • September 15: Stop the League of the South from disrupting TriPride in Johnson City, TN
    • September 29: Oppose the League of the South’s rally in Elizabethton, TN. Stay tuned to @HollerNetwork and @knoxradical for updates.
  • Argentina:
    • The documentary The Take looks at factory takeovers and a little of the abstentionist anti-voting movement in Argentina as a response to the economic crisis of 2001
    • Keep up with resistance news in Argentina through Indymedia Argentina and the excellent anti-authoritarian TV channel Antena Negra
  • Other relevant CrimethInc. output:
  • Hotwire #3, Hotwire #6, and Hotwire #9 have interviews about mutual aid based, autonomous relief efforts in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.
  • Some anarchist critiques of nationalism:
  • Donate to the legal defense fund for anti-racists and anti-fascists arrested in relation to the Silent Sam confederate monument in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Check out this guide on experiences and reflections dealing with undercover police infiltration in Toronto
  • Evictions HAVE BEGUN in the Hambach Forest! If you’re in Europe, make your way to the Hambach Forest in Germany to help defend it, and the radical Ewok village of forest defenders who live there. Also, check out our audio documentary about the forest and the defense campaign to stop the cutting.
  • Pre-sales are OPEN for the 2019 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar! The theme of next year’s calendar is Health/Care, and it features art and writing from current and former political prisoners like David Gilbert, Mike and Chuck Africa, and Laura Whitehorn. If you buy 10 or more, be sure to use the discount code “BULK” to get 10 or more calendars for $10 each—you can then sell the calendars to fundraise for your own organizing. Orders start shipping September 10!
  • Use this straightforward guide to writing prisoners from New York City Anarchist Black Cross to write imprisoned American Indian Movement warrior Leonard Peltier.

    Leonard Peltier
    #89637–132
    USP Coleman I
    Post Office Box 1033
    Coleman, Florida 33521

  • Phone zap for Jason Walker

    You can contact the TDCJ Ombudsman at ombudsman@tdcj.texas.gov, as well as the Telford Unit’s management at 903–628–3171 and garth.parker@tdcj.texas.gov. You can speak to the Regional Director’s office at (903) 928–2623, billy.howard@tdcj.texas.gov and carl.mckellar@tdcj.texas.gov. Contact details for TDCJ head office are (936) 295–6371, Bryan.Collier@tdcj.texas.gov and exec.director@tdcj.texas.gov

    Script for phone calls: “Hello, I am contacting you as I have been made aware of a pattern of bogus disciplinary cases being issued by CO Renitia T. Davis. In particular, I wish to request that you bring in an appropriate outside investigator to fully investigate the recent cases issued to inmates Jason Renard Walker #1532092 and Logan Newsome #2163761 with an eye to getting these fraudulent cases overturned and expunged immediately, as well as conducting a full investigation into Officer Davis’ history. Beyond this, I demand that you cease all forms of harassment and retaliation against Jason Walker, including but not limited to the issuing of bogus cases, the censorship of his correspondence, and the denial of access to heat respite. Please investigate and overturn all recent cases and disciplinary measures issued to Mr. Walker by Telford Unit staff, and investigate the conduct of Lieutenant Estrada, Sergeant Gilstrap, Sergeant Sartin, and Lieutenant Ricks, who have all played a role in the campaign of harassment. Thank you”

  • Phone zap for Kevin Rashid Johnson

    Monday morning, starting at 9 AM, please phone and email the official in charge of interstate compact: Chief of Corrections Operations David Robinson. You can call the main office number at 804–674–3000 and ask to be transferred to his phone line. Robinson’s email address is david.robinson@vadoc.virginia.gov When leaving a message or talking to Mr Robinson, refer to Rashid by his legal name Kevin Johnson. Explain that he is better off in Virginia, that he has been subjected to serious human rights abuses during previous transfers.

  • We have a Twitter! Follow @HotwireWeekly and send us news that we should include in the show.

 


          Map of the day      Cache   Translate Page      
How Asia is pivoting away from the U.S. The Obama Administration famously proclaimed a ‘Pivot to Asia’, re-balancing America’s foreign policy away from Europe and the Middle East towards East Asia, the region predicted to lead the world in economic growth for the foreseeable future. Some consider it Obama’s greatest foreign policy blunder: through neglect, […] The post Map of the day appeared first on Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Whaleoil Media.
          Scott E. Brown: a muscular white "preppy" does hip-hop to send a political message (and counter Trump-ism)       Cache   Translate Page      


Scott E. Brown has a YouTube channel of politically-oriented music.


The Trump Legacy” has Scott, a clean-cut, southern, preppy “white man” performing hip-hop rap in order to make fun of Trump and offer support for past Obama social policies. 

Here is a case of music and politics coming together.

Scott has some namesakes, so I had some trouble at first finding him.
  
There’s nothing wrong with white teens wearing hoodies to show support, or make a statement against excessive police profiling.  I see some teens do this intentionally.


          After Delaying Obama-Era Protections, Betsy DeVos Loses Student Loan Lawsuit Brought by 19 States      Cache   Translate Page      
The department deprived plaintiffs "of several concrete benefits"
          In battle for the House, many Dems start from scratch      Cache   Translate Page      
NAPERVILLE – When the Democratic Party told Lauren Underwood she needed to raise $100,000 in six weeks to get her campaign for Congress off the ground, she wasn’t sure what to do. The nurse from suburban Chicago had never run for office, and her fundraising experience was mostly limited to selling Girl Scout cookies for $4 a box.

“Why would I know how to do this?” recalled the 31-year-old, who missed that target but went on to defeat six men in her Democratic primary and become one of the party’s top prospects in November. “We were figuring it out, the whole way through.”

As the party tries to recapture the House this year by winning 23 more seats, they’re counting on an unusual crop of candidates: people who have never done anything like this before. People who’ve never run for school board or city council, much less a high-stakes race like Congress in a year when Democrats are desperate to win more leverage against President Donald Trump.

Of the more than 50 candidates running in GOP-held districts given the best chance for flipping, almost two-thirds are seeking office for the first time. That’s a significant increase over 2016, when less than half of those running in targeted districts were first-timers.

The rookie candidates are a wide range of ages, races and backgrounds, from entrepreneurs to veterans, teachers and a former professional football player. Several, like Underwood, held jobs in President Barack Obama’s administration.

Their bids represent a different approach for Democrats, after progressives accused the party of rigging Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential nomination, and after both Bernie Sanders and Trump ascended as party outsiders.

This time around, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee made a point of telling prospects they didn’t have to work their way up the political ladder – that if someone had a connection to voters, they should try.

And although the learning curve might be huge, Democrats say today’s political atmosphere is primed for different faces.

Voters “want to see a different kind of political culture, and they want to see themselves in the candidates that are running,” said Kate Catherall, who worked on Obama’s 2008 campaign and now advises new candidates and campaign managers.

Republicans also have first-time candidates, but fewer because the party is mostly focused on defending incumbents. And Dick Wadhams, a GOP strategist and former Colorado Republican Party chairman, says there may be drawbacks in the newcomers.

“Mainstream and establishment Democrats have got to be a little nervous about these candidates,” he said, especially those from the far left. If they’re elected, “where does that move the party long-term?”

Many of the rookie candidacies arose from the anti-Trump marches and organizations that formed after the 2016 election. Many of the targeted GOP districts are places where Democrats didn’t have a deep bench of political talent or infrastructure.

Elissa Slotkin, a former CIA analyst who is now trying to unseat Rep. Mike Bishop in Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, said she didn’t even know what the DCCC was before this election cycle. She was stunned by how much money she’d need to compete against an incumbent who’s raised millions in his last two elections.

“My husband and I had never been to a political event. We had never made a political donation,” she said. “It just wasn’t our world.”

Underwood is trying to unseat GOP Rep. Randy Hultgren in Illinois’ 14th District, a rural and suburban area north and west of Chicago once represented by GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

She got into the race after Hultgren told a town hall meeting that he’d vote to protect health care coverage for pre-existing conditions then supported legislation that made that coverage more expensive. She tells that story at campaign stops, saying the issue resonates with her both as a nurse and a person with a manageable heart condition.

“So I said, ‘You know what? It’s on. I’m running,’” she says, a line that always generates cheers and applause.

She and a friend wrote the script to her first campaign video and made phone calls to reporters, and they searched the internet for any free resources they could find. Neither Clinton nor Obama campaigned in the district and Hultgren hasn’t had a serious challenge since winning office in 2010, so Underwood’s campaign has had to train people on how to phone bank and knock on voters’ doors.

“This was very DIY,” she said. “There are a lot of places in this country you walk in and say ‘I’m running’ and you have 300 people with clipboards and tennis shoes laced up and ready to go. That is not what’s happening here.”

The district has sent a Democrat to Congress only once in the past three decades, in a 2008 special election after Hastert retired. If elected, Underwood, who is African-American, would be the first woman and first minority to represent the predominantly white district, which includes swaths of farmland and upscale subdivisions.

Democrats say they’re hopeful about the race because Clinton lost to Trump by only 4 points there. The party’s March primary vote almost matched the number of GOP ballots cast for the first time.

Last month a PAC backed by Republican House leaders opened a new field office in the district to help Hultgren. The former state lawmaker says he’s confident voters will see the clear differences in both policy and experience between him and Underwood.

“Hopefully it points to a track record of someone who’s not just talk, but someone who can actually get things done,” he said.

The swell of progressive activism in the wake of Trump’s election also inspired groups that are training potential Democratic candidates and campaign staff.

Catherall founded The Arena with other Obama campaign alums. The group expected 50 or so people at the first seminar, held just after Trump’s election. About 400 showed up, for sessions like “Campaigns 101” and “How Do I Finance a Race?”

For Underwood, fundraising is getting easier since her first spate of pub fundraisers and cold calls. Last quarter she outraised Hultgren, although he still has more cash on hand. Her target for the current quarter is $1 million.


          Obama Inspires Impromptu Flag Day      Cache   Translate Page      
I can't be in Denver tonight to hoot and holler, but I need to show my pride and excitement somehow. So, I put out the flag here at my home in Athens, Ga. Quick, do the same at your home....
          Michelle Obama Announces 10-City Book Tour      Cache   Translate Page      
NEW YORK (AP) — Michelle Obama will visit 10 cities to promote her memoir “Becoming,” a tour featuring arenas and other performing centers to accommodate crowds far too big for any bookstore.   Michelle Obama’s book tour is essentially a stadium/arena tour. That’s totally fair given a) her popularity b) her ability as a speaker […]
          Michelle Obama announces stadium tour to support 'Becoming'      Cache   Translate Page      
NEW YORK: Michelle Obama announced a 10-city US stadium tour on Wednesday (Sep 12) to support her upcoming memoir "Becoming" that will feature what organizers called "intimate and honest conversations" with audiences. The former first lady will kick off the tour in her Chicago hometown on Nov 13 ...
          MAKAMU WA RAIS AMALIZIA ZIARA YAKE WILAYA YA BUHIGWE MKOANI KIGOMA      Cache   Translate Page      
 Makamu wa Rais wa Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania Mhe. Samia Suluhu Hassan akiuandaa mti kabla ya kuupanda kwenye shamba la miti la Buhigwe, kushoto anayemsaidia Makamu wa Rais ni Meneja Wakala wa Huduma za Misitu (TFS) Kanda ya Magharibi Bw. Valentine Msusa
 Makamu wa Rais wa Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania Mhe. Samia Suluhu Hassan akiweka udongo kwenye mti wa kumbukumbu alioupanda kwenye shamba la miti la Buhigwe katika kijiji cha Munzenze wilaya Buhigwe mkoani Kigoma.
  Sehemu ya miche laki mbili na nusu iliyopandwa kwenye shamba la miti Buhigwe mkoani Kigoma.
 Makamu wa Rais wa Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania Mhe. Samia Suluhu Hassan akiwasalimu wananchi wanaoishi jirani na  shamba la miti la Buhigwe katika kijiji cha Munzenze wilaya Buhigwe mkoani Kigoma.
 : Makamu wa Rais wa jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania Mhe. Samia Suluhu Hassan akizungumza na Waziri wa Elimu, Sayansi, Teknolojia na Ufundi Profesa Joyce Ndalichako pamoja na Mbunge wa Jimbo la Buhigwe Mhe. Albert Obama wakati wa mkutano wa hadhara katika kijiji cha Munzenze, Buhigwe mkoani Kigoma.
  Makamu wa Rais wa jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania Mhe. Samia Suluhu Hassan akihutubiwa wananchi katika kijiji cha Munzenze, Buhigwe mkoani Kigoma.
Sehemu ya Wakazi wa kijiji cha Munzenze waliojitokeza kumsikiliza Makamu wa Rais wa Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania Mhe. Samia Suluhu Hassan. (Picha na Ofisi ya Makamu wa Rais)

          Barack Obama avaldas humoorika põhjuse, miks ta kunagi Disneylandist välja visati      Cache   Translate Page      
Möödunud laupäeval Californias Anaheimis kõneks valmistudes meenutas USA endine president Barack Obama seika, kuidas ta Disneylandi lõbustuspargist välja visati, vahendab Independent.
          Tour Dates Announced For Michelle Obama’s Memoir, BECOMING.      Cache   Translate Page      

Today marks the announcement of Michelle Obama’s fall 2018 book tour dates in support of her memoir, BECOMING. The 10-city tour will start in Mrs. Obama’s hometown of Chicago on Tuesday, November 13th, consisting of honest conversations between Mrs. Obama and a selection of moderators. Moderators have not been announced at this time, and attendees […]

The post Tour Dates Announced For Michelle Obama’s Memoir, BECOMING. appeared first on Radio Facts.


          Episode 217 Scott Adams: Our Last Human President, the PLO Momentum, Florence      Cache   Translate Page      

Topics:  Whose economy is it, Obama’s or Trump’s? Social media determines our opinions The algorithms of social media are determine our opinions Iran negotiating position is weakening, US/Israel’s strengthening Australian cartoon of Serena Williams I fund my Periscopes and podcasts via audience micro-donations on Patreon. I prefer this method over accepting advertisements or working for […]

The post Episode 217 Scott Adams: Our Last Human President, the PLO Momentum, Florence appeared first on Dilbert Blog.


          O Bloco-Notas de José Cutileiro      Cache   Translate Page      

 

Corinne-ou-l-Italie

Mme de Staël 

 

 

José Cutileiro

 

Guanxi

 

 

O homem da Chicago que, quando a União Soviética se eutanasiou levando consigo o comunismo, julgou que a história tinha acabado – a democracia capitalista viera para ficar per omnia saecula saeculurum– acha agora que a ruptura quase geral entre elites e bases (seria elitista chamar-lhes ralés) que faz parte do dia-a-dia político europeu e norte-americano de há uns dez anos para cá (ninguém vivo se lembra de nada assim e, na história, talvez só Madame de Staël se tenha apercebido de coisa parecida em Paris, no começo da Revolução Francesa) vem das bases se terem zangado por se acharem deitadas ao desprezo. Respeito é do que muita gente sente a falta nas nossas sociedades, julga o homem da Chicago.

 

Respeito é também o que querem mafiosos e ditadores; por isso é capaz mesmo de ser isso que faz falta às bases. Quando brancos pobres desempregados de alguns Estados americanos souberam - microfone ligado por engano - de Barack Obama perceber compungido que eles se agarrassem a Deus ou às espingardas (‘they cling to guns or religion’) e a antipatia por gente diferente, ofenderam-se com essa simpatia condescendente e, nas eleições de 2016, votaram em Trump que acharam parecido com eles na fala e, ao contrário dos doutores do costume, disposto a meter a mão na massa. (Estilos: no começo desta semana quer Obama quer Trump afirmaram ser mais responsável do que o outro pelo baixíssimo grau de desemprego no país). Mutatis mutandis, no Leste da Europa onde décadas de comunismo tinham abafado gosto pelo fascismo herdado dos anos 30, está a passar-se coisa parecida, com chefes políticos a reanimarem nas almas paixões que alguns julgavam extintas, incluindo por Hitler – e na Itália (que voltara a ser do lado de cá), apesar de mais de meio século de Democracia Cristã e de Eurocomunismo, por Mussolini.

 

O bom e o bonito, sobretudo para europeus e americanos convencidos (antes de Lenine querer reservar isso para os seus) de sermos a vanguarda do mundo. A reflexão grega, a moral de Cristo – cada um de nós é infinito e insubstituível – e a experimentação deram-nos aspirina e Estado de direito, isto é, melhor vida que em qualquer outra parte do planeta que já não leva P grande, perdido na Via Láctea, uma de muitos milhares de nebulosas. (“Porque é que a gaja se lembrou de dar uma dentada na maçã? Perdão, Deus seja louvado” – rosnará por ventura algum José Régio de hoje).

 

Porque éramos os melhores. Até Portugal, agora décima democracia do mundo, a querer afastar-se de privilégios injustos, de cunhas e favores que afundam os pobres na pobreza - e medram em sentido contrário ao da liberdade. Existem em todo o mundo, desde Cosa Nostra e seus juízes mortos à bomba até ao Guanxi chinês, a maior rede informal de pressões e favores do nosso tempo que consolida poder de governantes, tolhe iniciativa de governados e impede que a China algum dia se transforme numa democracia. Como a Sicília - mas a China é a maior economia do mundo e quer mandar nele.

 

 

 

 

 


          Michelle Obama announces stadium tour to support 'Becoming'      Cache   Translate Page      
Michelle Obama announced a 10-city U.S. stadium tour on Wednesday to support her upcoming memoir "Becoming" that will feature what organizers called "intimate and honest conversation