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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 21, 2018, 05:00:28 pm »

January 21, 2018

🦖CFPB Moves to Aid Depredation of Society's Weakest

In one of his first moves as director of the (See: Orwell) Consumer Financial Protection Board, Mick Mulvaney scrapped a rule regulating payday lenders. "This has everything to do with facilitating fraud and predation," says white collar criminologist Bill Black


http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20937' style='color:#000;

Agelbert NOTE: Mick Mulvaney is a psychopath. K-Dog probably supports this empathy deficit disordered move by Trump loyalist Mulvaney (Birds of a feather and all that).
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 20, 2018, 04:02:39 pm »

Quote
The Fascinating Psychology of Blowoff Tops

Of two minds

by Charles Hugh Smith

SNIPPET:

Central banks have guaranteed a bubble collapse is the only possible output of the system they've created.
 
The psychology of blowoff tops in asset bubbles is fascinating: let's start with the first requirement of a move qualifying as a blowoff top, which is the vast majority of participants deny the move is a blowoff top.

FULL ARTICLE:

http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-fascinating-psychology-of-blowoff.html

This is not a small cut. It's massive. Some people say the effects are already baked into the cake, but I don't think that's correct. I think it'll buoy the markets for 2-3 more years, most likely. The dollar is headed down. Bond prices are going up. Gold is going up, Oil appears to be headed up. To me, this is likely to all build in the current direction until another huge bust happens, but my guess is it's 3-4 years away, still. All the things I pay attention to seem to line up for that. Could it happen sooner? Sure, but I wouldn't count on it.

Sell, and sell everything now rather than ride the bubble collapse down.

This is probably premature. People selling stocks like Apple and Amazon might see them double again before the crash comes. I definitely agree that a "buy stocks and forget about it" Warren Buffett approach to equities is not too smart. But I'd bet plenty of savvy investors CAN come close enough to calling the actual top to get out with most of their gains intact.

When I read this article, I wondered about CHS' "sell" assertion as well. It does seem premature, although I'm sure you have better reasons for thinking so than I do. My reason was that the tax cut hasn't even been on the books for a month, so the long term effects are yet to be fully felt and priced. Would be nice if we had 3-4 years. Who knows?


I'm with CHS on this one. We are nearing the end of the Blow Off. My reasons for belieiving this are different than CHS's reasons.

We are in a disguised Depression. The idiotic pricing formula they use on Wall Street is NOT based on anything rational. It is based on purchasing demand which is absent of all fundamentals. The tiny percentage of the US population that can buy large blocks of stocks for corporate buy backs is further distoring the FACT that there are fewer and fewer people to buy the products that corporations sell.

I do not think we will get past the end of February before a massive tanking takes place. This market is going to come out of the sky like a shooting star.
  🌠

It will be poetic justice to see corporations that jacked up their stock price with buy backs while they were laying off employees have to EAT their stock at super low prices.


CHS may have his Market Blow off Top timing exactly right!
     

🌠Baltic Index Falls, Capesizes Post Biggest Weekly Drop in 2 Years 

January 19, 2018 by Reuters

Reuters

SNIPPET:

Jan 19 (Reuters) – The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index fell on Friday and continued to linger around five month lows as the capesize segment recorded its biggest weekly percentage decline in two years.

* The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels that ferry dry bulk commodities, shed 14 points, or 1.23 percent, to 1,125 points, the lowest since Aug. 10, 2017.

* For the week, the index ended 12 percent lower.


Full article:

http://gcaptain.com/baltic-index-falls-capesizes-post-biggest-weekly-drop-in-2-years/


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 19, 2018, 04:43:47 pm »



Economic Update: Knowledge, Class and Economics
Friday, January 19, 2018

By Richard D. Wolff, Truthout | Audio Segment 🌿

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/43275-economic-update-knowledge-class-and-economics

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 19, 2018, 01:39:53 pm »

The Fascinating Psychology of Blowoff Tops

Of two minds

by Charles Hugh Smith

SNIPPET:

Central banks have guaranteed a bubble collapse is the only possible output of the system they've created.
 
The psychology of blowoff tops in asset bubbles is fascinating: let's start with the first requirement of a move qualifying as a blowoff top, which is the vast majority of participants deny the move is a blowoff top.

FULL ARTICLE:

http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-fascinating-psychology-of-blowoff.html

This is not a small cut. It's massive. Some people say the effects are already baked into the cake, but I don't think that's correct. I think it'll buoy the markets for 2-3 more years, most likely. The dollar is headed down. Bond prices are going up. Gold is going up, Oil appears to be headed up. To me, this is likely to all build in the current direction until another huge bust happens, but my guess is it's 3-4 years away, still. All the things I pay attention to seem to line up for that. Could it happen sooner? Sure, but I wouldn't count on it.

Sell, and sell everything now rather than ride the bubble collapse down.

This is probably premature. People selling stocks like Apple and Amazon might see them double again before the crash comes. I definitely agree that a "buy stocks and forget about it" Warren Buffett approach to equities is not too smart. But I'd bet plenty of savvy investors CAN come close enough to calling the actual top to get out with most of their gains intact.

When I read this article, I wondered about CHS' "sell" assertion as well. It does seem premature, although I'm sure you have better reasons for thinking so than I do. My reason was that the tax cut hasn't even been on the books for a month, so the long term effects are yet to be fully felt and priced. Would be nice if we had 3-4 years. Who knows?


I'm with CHS on this one. We are nearing the end of the Blow Off. My reasons for belieiving this are different than CHS's reasons.

We are in a disguised Depression. The idiotic pricing formula they use on Wall Street is NOT based on anything rational. It is based on purchasing demand which is absent of all fundamentals. The tiny percentage of the US population that can buy large blocks of stocks for corporate buy backs is further distoring the FACT that there are fewer and fewer people to buy the products that corporations sell.

I do not think we will get past the end of February before a massive tanking takes place. This market is going to come out of the sky like a shooting star.  🌠

It will be poetic justice to see corporations that jacked up their stock price with buy backs while they were laying off employees have to EAT their stock at super low prices.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 16, 2018, 01:26:19 pm »

China Downgrades US Credit Rating From A- To BBB+, Warns US Insolvency Would "Detonate Next Crisis"
Tyler Durden

01/16/2018

In its latest reminder that China is a (for now) happy holder of some $1.2 trillion in US Treasurys, Chinese credit rating agency Dagong downgraded US sovereign ratings from A- to BBB+ overnight, citing "deficiencies in US political ecology" and tax cuts that "directly reduce the federal government's sources of debt repayment" weakening the base of the government's debt repayment.

Oh, and just to make sure the message is heard loud and clear, the ratings, which are now level with those of Peru, Colombia and Turkmenistan on the Beijing-based agency’s scale of creditworthiness, have also been put on a negative outlook.

In a statement on Tuesday, Dagong warned that the United States’ increasing reliance on debt to drive development would erode its solvency. Quoted by Reuters, Dagong made specific reference to President Donald Trump’s tax package, which is estimated to add $1.4 trillion over a decade to the $20 trillion national debt burden.

“Deficiencies in the current U.S. political ecology make it difficult for the efficient administration of the federal government, so the national economic development derails from the right track,” Dagong said adding that "Massive tax cuts directly reduce the federal government’s sources of debt repayment, therefore further weaken the base of government’s debt repayment."

Projecting US funding needs in the coming years, Dagong said a deterioration in the government’s fiscal revenue-to-debt ratio to 12.1% in 2022 from 14.9% and 14.2% in 2018 and 2019, respectively, would demand frequent increases in the government’s debt ceiling.

“The virtual solvency of the federal government would be likely to become the detonator of the next financial crisis,” the Chinese ratings firm said.

* * *

In a preemptive shot across the bow in the coming trade wars, last week Bloomberg reported that Beijing officials reviewing China’s vast foreign exchange holdings had recommended slowing or halting purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds. That warning spooked investors worried that sharp swings in China’s massive holdings of U.S. Treasuries would trigger a selloff in bond and equity markets globally. The report sent U.S. Treasury yields to 10-month highs and the dollar lower, although China’s foreign exchange regulator has since dismissed the report as "fake news."

Still, Dagong was quick to point out that not much would be needed to crush the public's confidence in the value of US Treasurys:

“The market’s reversing recognition of the value of U.S. Treasury bonds and U.S. dollar will be a powerful force in destroying the fragile debt chain of the federal government,” Dagong said.

* * *

To be sure, China's move is far more political than objectively economic, and is meant to send another shot across the bow as the Trump administration prepares to launch a trade war with Beijing in the coming weeks. Still, while both Fitch and Moody’s give the United States their top AAA ratings (and the S&P is the only agency to infamously downgrade the US to AA+ in 2011), US raters have also expressed concerns similar to Dagong‘s. From Reuters:

S&P Global said last month’s proposed U.S. tax cuts would increase the federal deficit and looser fiscal policy could prompt negative action on U.S. credit ratings if Washington failed to address long-term fiscal issues.

In November, Fitch said the tax cuts would give a short-lived boost to the economy, but add significantly to the federal debt burden. It warned that the United States was the most indebted AAA-rated country and ran the loosest fiscal policies.

Moody’s said in September any missed debt payment as a result of disagreement over lifting the debt ceiling, a perennial point of partisan contention in Washington, would result in the United States losing its top-notch rating.

China is rated A+ by S&P Global and Fitch and A1 by Moody‘s, with the three agencies citing risks mainly related to corporate debt, which is estimated at 1.6 times the size of the economy and mostly attributed to state-owned firms.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-16/china-downgrades-us-credit-rating-bbb-warns-us-insolvency-would-detonate-next
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 06, 2018, 01:35:43 pm »

The Truth Of The Wounded Knee Massacre Of December 29th 1890

Interesting. In a parallel universe, I am re-reading Evan Connell's masterful "Son of the Morning Star," a biographer of Custer and many of his contemporaries, including Sitting Bull. The proximate cause of Little Bighorn was the discovery of gold in the Black Hills, so, of course, the Sioux had to go. As well as the buffalo, for the railroads. Reading excerpts from newspapers of that time calling for a war of extermination on "Lo" (as in "Lo, the noble savage...") is eerily familiar.
Remember how while Americans were horrified when Rap Brown said, "Violence is as American as cherry pie?"

I didn't know about the discovery of gold in the Black Hills triggering the Little Bighorn, but I am not surprised. Americans were, and still are, quite willing to wipe an entire people or culture out, if they are told said culture or people is in the way of "progress". Many will claim that is not so. They are deluding themselves.

Over the years I have tried to figure out how and when this happened, beyond the normal tendency of the average human being to engage in murder and mayhem if the the government backs it, of course. For example, Americans were quite willing to slaughter each other during the Civil War. //

Several generations of war and media approved racism of the "other" have made most American males into the most bellicose, morally depraved, unrepentant, history challenged, might is right believing killing machines in the history of the world. The rest of the nations of the world are well advised to fear us. Trump or no Trump, this country's soldiers are second only to Catastrophic Climate Change as an extinction threat to humanity.

There is a reason recruiters get 18 year olds, so they can tear them down and rebuild them as killing machines. Appeals to "patriotism" and national fervor always seem to work as motivators. Add several cups of demonization of the other, stir in the racism, and bake. Serves up millions.

Propaganda is one of the root causes. One of the reasons for the assault on their internet, to assure even greater control of the message, and to choke off access to cranks, or fifth columnists who demonstrate themselves insufficiently with the program.


Agreed. The point I want to emphacize is that brutality and racism are integral parts of a dynamic morally corrupting force that eventually destroys a society. A society and the prevailing cullture within it does not remain the same when generation after generation is indoctrinated to make war for "prosperity/resources/democracy" on the other; it becomes increasingly dystopic and depraved.

Of course the young males are propaganidized everywhere, but the overwhelming majority of the rest of the population in the USA does not flinch from accepting, and embracing, this ingrained bellicosity as the price of global U.S. dollar currency hegemony.

Surly, we ARE worse than any other country in the world in this regard. We are the MAIN corrupters of other countries by supporting and propping up every tin pot dictator and Capitailst Corporate thug on the PLANET!

Of course we did not invent torture; it's as old as humanity. BUT, we have succeeded in making it economically profitable like no empire in the history of humanity. This has a spiritual COST on culture and society that will destroy us if we do not destroy the planet first.

We make the Roman Empire look like a benevolent democracy!

That said, Palloy's comment is somewhat of a non sequitor simply because the soaring rhetoric of Consititution BULLSHIT can be found in just about every country in the world. One of the things I learned in Air Force Intelligence School at Lowry AFB, Colorado (1967) is that EVERY freedom "guaranteed" by the U.S. Constitution was present in the U.S.S.R.'s Constitution!

But yeah, our thing in the USA is Hollywood. We propagandize EVERYBODY we can for the purpose of pulling the wool over everybody's eyes. We "succeeded" where Hitler failed. We ARE the FOURTH REICH!


In short, the US culture has become a perfect walking, talking metaphor of the Fossil Fuel Industry Business Model (see below).


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 06, 2018, 01:35:00 pm »

I was just watching a doco about the Spanish American War.  At the time the US Constitution was written, there were 15 states, not 13. East and West Florida not joining up. The Spanish had slaves too, but they gave them human rights, while the US didn't, so slaves would escape from South Carolina and Georgia and become free in Florida.  Jefferson said "We can't have that" (we would have to do the labour ourselves!) while writing "All men are created equal" and fighting to win Florida. Spain and Britain were bad, but Amerikans have kept all the bad bits.

Amerika has not been EVAH a paragon of Moral Excellence, however it only followed the well trodden path of the Brits & Krauts.  Not to mention the Romans and Babylonians; the Huns and Mongols, etc.

Corruption, Greed and Immorality are features of all civilizations.  The FSoA merely took it to new heights because its turn came during the Age of Oil.

RE

Exactly.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 05, 2018, 06:20:45 pm »



Economic Update: The Economy From 2017 to 2018

Friday, January 05, 2018

By Richard D. Wolff, Truthout | Audio Segment

This week's episode includes conversations about net neutrality, workplace sexual harassment, bitcoin, worsening global inequality, Europe's recovery and instability, and using prison labor to fight fires. This episode also features a discussion of consumerism, strategies for revolting against capitalism and the economics of alternative populisms.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/43134-economic-update-the-economy-from-2017-to-2018
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 04, 2018, 01:41:54 pm »

So why are libertarians trying to change the proud tradition of Americans fighting against the dismantling corporate monopolies!


Because it pays well.

Same reason members of the House Freedumb caucus and some Senators are working to discredit the Mueller probe. They like the cash
.

Prison is too good for these Mammon worshipping liars. But, it would be a good start.



Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 03, 2018, 07:28:36 pm »

America was Birthed in Opposition to Corporate Monopoly


So why are libertarians trying to change the proud tradition of Americans fighting against the dismantling corporate monopolies!

Thom Hartmann Jan. 3, 2018 2:00 pm
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 29, 2017, 06:58:30 pm »

The Military Industrial Complex Is Coming To Get You


Thom takes your calls on the Military Industrial Complex, how much of our tax dollars go towards funding the military industrial complex and why is it so high?

Thom Hartmann Dec. 28, 2017 2:00 pm

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 29, 2017, 06:35:35 pm »


Welcome to my nightmare, Thom reads from a letter to Mike Pence* discussing privatization, disaster capitalism and the shock doctrine after natural disasters and how the predatory and morbidly rich are looking to profit from your loss. This is colonialism.


Thom Hartmann Dec. 27, 2017 4:30 pm
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 29, 2017, 04:44:06 pm »

What Happens To The Working Poor When Money Is Survival


Thom explains taxes on the wealthy and the poor, how do we act when we are taxed, what does one of the morbidly rich do when they get a tax break? What about when a fellow worker does?

Thom Hartmann Dec. 27, 2017 3:00 pm


I can only take Thom in small doses because I agree with him too much.  I don't get mad at him but he makes me mad at the world so to avoid becoming upset I never listen to him for very long at a stretch.  He makes too much sense.

I listen to him regularly but I am on the same page as you in that I just view short videos instead of the entire daily three hour program. It gives me heart palpitations to hear the back and forth between Thom and the right wingers he brings to the program. Listening to repetitive right wing BULLSHIT that Thom has to field with logic and facts, while the right wingers play blind, deaf and dumb, gets me so angry I could spit. 

Therefore, I need to pace myself with these interviews. I ain't gettin' any younger.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 29, 2017, 12:29:43 pm »

What Happens To The Working Poor When Money Is Survival


Thom explains taxes on the wealthy and the poor, how do we act when we are taxed, what does one of the morbidly rich do when they get a tax break? What about when a fellow worker does?

Thom Hartmann Dec. 27, 2017 3:00 pm
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 29, 2017, 12:21:16 pm »

Thom Calls Bullshit on Major Right Wing Talking Point + Disusses Money and Alt Right Coup


Did Trump's Alt Right Coup Delay The Crash Of 2016

It's going to be big now!

Thom Hartmann Dec. 27, 2017 2:30 pm

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 28, 2017, 01:51:09 pm »

Social Security beneficiaries hit a record 61,859,250

The number of Social Security beneficiaries hit a record 61,859,250 in November, according to data released by the Social Security Administration.

At the same time, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with unemployment at the lowest rate since 2000 (4.1 percent), there were 126,827,000 full-time workers in the United States (including government workers). Yet that equaled only 2.05 full-time workers for each person receiving Social Security benefits.

Even when all 153,918,000 people who had jobs in November are considered (counting both full- and part-time workers), the ratio of workers to Social Security beneficiaries was about 2.49 to 1.


The record 61,859,250 Social Security beneficiaries in November, included 45,439,781 retired workers and their dependents; 5,992,862 survivors of deceased workers; and 10,426,607 disabled workers and their dependents.

The Social Security program has two primary elements: Old Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance. Each of these are supposed to be supported by a "payroll tax" imposed on a worker's earnings.

The payroll tax for the OASI is 10.03 percent and is split so that one half is deducted from a worker's paycheck and the other half is paid to the government by the employer. The payroll tax for DI is 2.37 percent and, like the OASI tax, is split between a deduction from a worker's paycheck and a payment made directly by the employer.

In total, the worker and employer must pay the government 12.4 percent in taxes (on the first $127,200 a worker makes) for the combined OASDI tax. Self-employed Americans pay the entire 12.4 percent directly.

But this is no longer enough, says the Social Security board of trustees, which includes the commissioner of Social Security and the secretaries of the Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services.

In the past, when Social Security ran surpluses, the federal government loaned the surplus to itself so it could spend it immediately on other government programs.

In their 2017 report, the Social Security board of trustees puts it this way: "The Department of the Treasury invests trust fund reserves in interest-bearing securities issued by the U.S. Government."

Without the "interest" the government pays itself back on the money it has already spent from previous Social Security surpluses, the Social Security program would not have enough money now to pay all the current benefits it owes.

"The 2016 excess of total income over cost for the year was $35 billion," said the trustees' report. But "total income" — as the report calls it — includes the interest the government pays itself.

"However, when interest income is excluded," the report admitted, "Social Security's cost is projected to exceed its non-interest income throughout the projection period, as it has since 2010. For 2016, cost for the year exceeded non-interest income by $53 billion. For 2017, total income for the program is projected to exceed cost for the year by $59 billion, and non-interest income is projected to be $27 billion less than program cost for the year."

The trustees' report estimated that the Social Security program faces a $12.5 trillion shortfall over 75 years.

"Through the end of 2091, the combined funds have a present-value unfunded obligation of $12.5 trillion," said the report.

"If actions are deferred for several years, the changes necessary to maintain Social Security solvency become concentrated on fewer years and fewer generations," it said.

The report politely recommended that Congress raise taxes, cut benefits, take money from elsewhere, or use a combination of these means, to pay for Social Security.

Going into the Christmas weekend, the federal debt was $20,492,874,492,282.58.

That equaled approximately $133,142 in debt for each of 153,918,000 people who had a full- or part-time job in the United States in November.

https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/terence-p-jeffrey/social-security-beneficiaries-hit-record-61859250
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 27, 2017, 08:48:58 pm »

Do The Morbidly Rich Have Complete Economic Control, Yet Can we stop them before they do?  ???


Money isn't Money. Thom explains the differences that emerge with cost of living, why giving $5 can make a huge difference to one person and not something to others and what this means for our politics., and what is means for the Republican Tax Scam

Thom Hartmann Dec. 27, 2017 2:00 pm


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 21, 2017, 06:22:36 pm »

If you're not familiar with the work of Masha Gessen, you might wish to make note.

She began contributing to The New Yorker in 2014, and became a staff writer in 2017. Gessen is the author of nine books, including “The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia,” which won the National Book Award in 2017; and “The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin.” Gessen has written about Russia, autocracy, L.G.B.T. rights, Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump, among others. She has also been a science journalist. After more than twenty years as a journalist and editor in Moscow, Gessen has been living in New York since 2013. You'll see this on TV as a contributor. One smart cookie.

Here she takes on the festival of slurping blowjobs seen in DC yesterday for Our Dear and Glorious Leader.



By Masha Gessen

December 21, 2017

The lies told by powerful men—and the thanks heaped on the most powerful man of all—are the language of a dictatorship. Photograph by Evan Vucci / AP
 

Donald Trump has scored a legislative victory with staggering costs. The price of the tax bill has to be measured not only in the loss American society will face in the increase in inequality, in the impact on public health, and the growth of the deficit, but also in the damage to political culture inflicted by the spectacle of one powerful man after another telling lies of various sorts.

All along there has been Trump claiming that the bill was a “gift” to the middle class. That this assertion appears to have no basis in fact has not affected the President’s statements. The President’s Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, maintained that his department had run the numbers and had shown that the tax bill would pay for itself. It appears that he lied, not so much about the result of the Treasury’s study but about the existence of the study itself: the Timesreported last month that the analysis had not been done.

This was a Trumpian lie, which is distinct from other kinds of political lying. It might be called a power lie: its purpose is not to convince the audience of something that isn’t true but to demonstrate the power of the speaker. Trump tweets blatant lies, repeatedly, to show that he can—and that by virtue of his bully pulpit, his words, however absurd, always have consequences. Mnuchin showed that he can do the same thing, and that he has more power than the opposition.

The bill’s passage occasioned an **** of false public ritual. It began when the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, led the Cabinet in prayer, which included offering thanks “for a President and for Cabinet members who are courageous” and “for the unity in Congress that has presented an opportunity for our economy to expand.” (Not a single Democrat, in either chamber of Congress, voted in favor of the bill.) Following the prayer, Trump called on his Vice-President the way a teacher might cold-call on a pupil. For a full two minutes, Pence dutifully offered thanks for the President’s “middle-class miracle”; he said that he was “deeply humbled, as your Vice-President, to be able to be here.” Trump looked stern as he listened, nodding slightly, his arms crossed below his chest.

Later in the day, the Republican leaders of both houses of Congress, the Vice-President, and other Republican politicians gathered at the White House to offer praise to their leader. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and others hailed Trump for setting records in judicial appointments and, now, for passing the tax bill. Representative Diane Black, of Tennessee, thanked Trump “for allowing us to have you as our President.” Orrin Hatch, of Utah, who has been in the Senate for forty years, predicted that the Trump Presidency will be “the greatest Presidency we have seen not only in generations but maybe ever.” Pence performed, too, again, addressing Trump: “You will make America great again.”

Political speeches are rarely occasions for truth-telling. But the good ones combine a description of shared reality with the expression of a vision, or with words of celebration. The mediocre ones consist of platitudes—well-intentioned but lacking the force of inspiration or recognition. And then there is the genre of the thoroughly insincere pronouncement that is all empty ritual. This is not normally observed in countries with functioning democratic institutions, because hollow words are the very opposite of accountability. These kinds of speeches are usually given in dictatorships: their intended audience is not the public but the tyrant. This is what we observed in Washington on Wednesday, and it’s the scariest part of Trump’s big tax triumph.

Masha Gessen, a staff writer, has written several books, including, most recently, “The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia,” which won the National Book Award in 2017.



Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 21, 2017, 05:47:29 pm »

Eddie, I think you are mistaken to think most people are believing the fake happy talk news about the Republican Tax Bill. Distinguished Economist Bill Black provides evidence8)

Quote
BILL BLACK: Sure. This is clever in a nasty way. The short answer is that the tax cuts for the wealthy are permanent. The tax cuts for the middle class are temporary and they're front loaded so that it looks like you're getting a reduction in your taxes if you're middle class. Most middle class folks in the early years will have small reductions. But that will reverse and most middle class folks will actually end up with higher taxes under this bill. So, it's a redistribution bill that takes mostly from the middle class, certainly from the working class as well and redistributes to the absolute wealthiest Americans.

But here's the key.
The last poll I've shown showed that only 8% of Americans believed the Republicans that this was a tax bill primarily for the middle class. In other words, the Republicans have taken something, a massive tax cut, which intrinsically should be immensely popular with the population, and turned it into something that in the polls is one of the least popular things the Republicans are doing. And the Republicans, as we speak, are gathering on Capitol Hill to celebrate their great victory of robbing the middle class to enrich the ultra-wealthy through a legislation that will also screw up healthcare for tens of millions of Americans. And they think that is the best thing they've done during Trump's entire term. Wow.


Full Transcript:

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20764%27%20style=%27color:#000;

A Middle-Class Tax Cut? Americans Aren’t Buying It

According to a survey of 5,100 adults, conducted this week for The New York Times by online polling firm SurveyMonkey, only a third of Americans think their taxes will go down in 2018. An n of 5100 is pretty respectable.


Quote
The SurveyMonkey poll, taken before the final tax bill was out, found that 58 percent of Americans disapproved of the bill, while only 37 percent supported it. An earlier version of the poll, conducted in November, found 52 percent disapproval.

In the latest poll, only 29 percent of respondents said they felt that the plan would lead to substantially higher economic output a decade from now, and only 18 percent believed Republican assertions that the bill would not add to the federal deficit. (Even two-thirds of Republicans said either that the bill would increase the deficit over the next decade or that they weren’t sure.)

 


They shouldn't buy it. They should be mad as hell and throw the bums out.

They aren't buying it, and they are mad as hell, Eddie, they are. Team blue is going to try to herd them into corporate Democrat land (AGAIN) like they did after the Bush massive government corruption, murder and theft. Let us hope progressives, instead of a pack of DINOs, get the majority in the House and Senate in 2018. I am not holding my breath but ya never know.

Maybe we needed this in-your-face massive fascism by Trump and his wrecking crew to finally realize we need to become a representative republic instead of a disguised Totalitarian Dictatorship.

Sine Qua Non Scumbag Elite Ruling Principle: "The people must always be provided with an enemy".
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 21, 2017, 03:00:51 pm »

 

December 20, 2017

Trump , GOP Pull Off Their Tax Heist

Congressional Republicans have approved their tax bill, a massive upward transfer of wealth that fulfills a decades-long right-wing goal of permanent tax cuts for corporations. We speak to professor and author Bill Black

SNIPPET:

BILL BLACK: Sure. This is clever in a nasty way. The short answer is that the tax cuts for the wealthy are permanent. The tax cuts for the middle class are temporary and they're front loaded so that it looks like you're getting a reduction in your taxes if you're middle class. Most middle class folks in the early years will have small reductions. But that will reverse and most middle class folks will actually end up with higher taxes under this bill. So, it's a redistribution bill that takes mostly from the middle class, certainly from the working class as well and redistributes to the absolute wealthiest Americans.

But here's the key. The last poll I've shown showed that only 8% of Americans believed the Republicans that this was a tax bill primarily for the middle class. In other words, the Republicans have taken something, a massive tax cut, which intrinsically should be immensely popular with the population, and turned it into something that in the polls is one of the least popular things the Republicans are doing. And the Republicans, as we speak, are gathering on Capitol Hill to celebrate their great victory of robbing the middle class to enrich the ultra-wealthy through a legislation that will also screw up healthcare for tens of millions of Americans. And they think that is the best thing they've done during Trump's entire term. Wow.


Full Transcript:

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20764%27%20style=%27color:#000;
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 20, 2017, 05:53:23 pm »

December 20, 2017

Hold these senators accountable for voting for the Tax Cut (for the rich and the shaft for the middle class and poor) Bill:
Hold these senators accountable for voting for the Tax Cut Bill:

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

John Barrasso (R-WY)

John Boozman (R-AR)

Richard M. Burr (R-NC)

Thad Cochran (R-MS)

Bob Corker (R-TN)

John Cornyn (R-TX)

Steve Daines (R-MT)

Michael B. Enzi (R-WY)

Jeff Flake (R-AZ)

Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Charles E. Grassley (R-IA)

Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT)

James M. Inhofe (R-OK)

Johnny Isakson (R-GA)

Ron Johnson (R-WI)

James Lankford (R-OK)

John McCain (R-AZ)

Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Rand Paul (R-KY)

David Perdue (R-GA)

Rob Portman (R-OH)

Pat Roberts (R-KS)

Michael Rounds (R-SD)

Tim Scott (R-SC)

Richard C. Shelby (R-AL)

Luther Strange (R-AL)

John Thune (R-SD)

Thom Tillis (R-NC)

Patrick J. Toomey (R-PA)

Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Todd Young (R-IN)

Roy Blunt (R-MO)

Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

Bill Cassidy (R-LA)

Tom Cotton (R-AR)

Michael D. Crapo (R-ID)

Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Joni Ernst (R-IA)

Cory Gardner (R-CO)

Dean Heller (R-NV)

John Hoeven (R-ND)

Mike Lee (R-UT)

Jerry Moran (R-KS)

Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Jim Risch (R-ID)

Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Ben Sasse (R-NE)

Dan Sullivan (R-AK)

Susan Collins (R-ME)

Deb Fischer (R-NE)

John Kennedy (R-LA)

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 20, 2017, 04:36:25 pm »



They Cheered When This Tax Bill Passed: Always Remember That

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed

Snippet 1:

I have waited my entire life for this day. I knew it would come, sure as little fish make little fish, and here it is. No more Republican dickering at the edges of it, as they have through all these soft-pedal decades of trickle-down gibberish. No, they went for the thick red meat this time, the prime rib, and they don't frankly care if you know how badly you're getting screwed. Most people don't know. They will, alas, and soon.

Snippet 2:

Mammon wins the day. Mammon, the ancient word for "money," adopted by the New Testament and John Milton as the very personification of greed, that which any God-fearing Christian must shun at the cost of their very soul, as explained succinctly in Matthew 6:24: "You cannot serve both God and Mammon." Yet on Tuesday night, the erstwhile "party of God" was busy dancing and cheering in delight around its golden calf.

Full article:

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/42973-they-cheered-when-this-tax-bill-passed-always-remember-that

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 19, 2017, 09:49:16 pm »

The Edmund Burke Lies Republicans are Still Believing


Thom Hartmann Program

Published on Dec 19, 2017

The Rights Of Man were written to dispute Edmund Burke and it looks like more than three hundred years later, Republicans still haven't read it!

Quote
"Capitalist ideology claims that the world is perfectly ordered and everybody is in their place (i..e. everybody gets what they deserve). This self legitmating aspect of Capitalism is Socially Catastrophic. This is the Victorian view of the world." Rob Urie - Author " Zen Economics"


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 19, 2017, 07:45:13 pm »

Is Having a Healthy Middle Class Dangerous To Elites?


The Republicans and the wealthy are dismantling everything that keeps the middle class healthy and secure but why?

Thom Hartmann Dec. 19, 2017 3:05 pm

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 19, 2017, 06:55:52 pm »

The Fascinating History of the Term "Carried Interest"

PLUS: The Tax Scam Means Some Won't Be Able To Afford Getting Sick



Thom talks about the details of the Republican Tax Scan, it's winners, the morbidly rich and the losers, working Americans, black and brown people, and anyone who can't buy a senator. Including on the Chained CPI they are going to use to cut your benefits while your healthcare costs go up,

Thom Hartmann Dec. 18, 2017 3:30 pm
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 18, 2017, 05:57:31 pm »

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles - GAAP

According to GAAP the total price (before insurance and interest) of a family dwelling must NOT exceed 2.5 times the annual income of said family.

As of the end of 2016, the median annual family income in the USA was $39,039.

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEHOINUSA672N

FINE PRINT:

Quote
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census   Release: Income and Poverty in the United States 
Units:  2016 CPI-U-RS Adjusted Dollars, Not Seasonally Adjusted

Frequency:  Annual

Household data are collected as of March.

As stated in the Census's "Source and Accuracy of Estimates for Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011" (http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/p60_243sa.pdf)

Estimation of Median Incomes. The Census Bureau has changed the methodology for computing median income over time. The Census Bureau has computed medians using either Pareto interpolation or linear interpolation. Currently, we are using linear interpolation to estimate all medians. Pareto interpolation assumes a decreasing density of population within an income interval, whereas linear interpolation assumes a constant density of population within an income interval. The Census Bureau calculated estimates of median income and associated standard errors for 1979 through 1987 using Pareto interpolation if the estimate was larger than $20,000 for people or $40,000 for families and households. This is because the width of the income interval containing the estimate is greater than $2,500.

We calculated estimates of median income and associated standard errors for 1976, 1977, and 1978 using Pareto interpolation if the estimate was larger than $12,000 for people or $18,000 for families and households. This is because the width of the income interval containing the estimate is greater than $1,000. All other estimates of median income and associated standard errors for 1976 through 2011 (2012 ASEC) and almost all of the estimates of median income and associated standard errors for 1975 and earlier were calculated using linear interpolation.

Thus, use caution when comparing median incomes above $12,000 for people or $18,000 for families and households for different years. Median incomes below those levels are more comparable from year to year since they have always been calculated using linear interpolation. For an indication of the comparability of medians calculated using Pareto interpolation with medians calculated using linear interpolation, see Series P-60, Number 114, Money Income in 1976 of Families and Persons in the United States (www2.census.gov/prod2/popscan/p60-114.pdf).

Suggested Citation:
U.S. Bureau of the Census, Real Median Household Income in the United States [MEHOINUSA672N], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEHOINUSA672N, December 18, 2017.

Let us say it is now $40,000 a year.

That means that the median price of a home should be $100,000. Yet, the medium price of a home in the USA, as of October of 2017, is $247,000.
https://ycharts.com/indicators/sales_price_of_existing_homes

That means that the median priced home in the USA is MORE THAN 100% OVERPRICED! 

The ONLY WAY the banks have gotten away with this INSANITY is by the artificially low interest rates, PERIOD. People are still BRAINWASHED enough to NOT look past the monthly payment, which Wall Street began claiming in the 1990's could be as high as 38% of your income. It was BULLSHIT then and it is BULLSHIT now.

Homes are WAY overpriced. Your bank and your taxman WANT it that way. Don't buy a home that sells for more than a $100,000, unless it has SEVERAL acres of land. A stick built home on an average sized lot is not worth more than $100,000. Don't be a sucker for the banks and the taxman!
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 13, 2017, 09:30:16 pm »



December 13, 2017

Virtually No Economist Believes the GOP Tax Bill Will Generate Growth

The $1.5 trillion growth dividends that Republicans project on their tax bill remained the same at 20% and at 21% , this shows that they are picking the figure out of the air, and it is "pretty far-fetched," says economist Dean Baker


Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being "Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer".


http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20695
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 10, 2017, 08:47:12 pm »

Robert Reich: The Resistance Report 12/4/2017


Inequality Media Civic Action

Published on Dec 4, 2017

On tonights Resistance Report, we look at the Republican tax plan and the attack it will involve on social safety nets. Then we discuss oligarchy vs democracy and Trump putting himself above the law.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 08, 2017, 01:10:11 pm »

One in five American households have ‘zero or negative’ wealth   

Millions of Americans are living on the edge.
One in five households has zero or negative wealth, according to a report released this week by the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank based in Washington, D.C. What’s more, an even greater share of African-American (30%) and Latino (27%) households are “underwater” financially. The combined impact of $1 trillion in credit-card debt, $1.4 trillion in student loan debt, and stagnant wages are taking a toll.

U.S. homes have regained value since the Great Recession, but many households have not. “Millions of American families struggle with zero or negative wealth, meaning they owe more than they own,” the report found. “This means that they have nothing to fall back on if an unexpected expense comes up like a broken down car or illness.” And inequality could get worse through new tax cuts for the wealthy.

President Trump’s tax proposals won’t give America’s middle class the reprieve they need to grow their wealth and recover from the financial crash, said Josh Hoxie, who heads up the Project on Opportunity and Taxation at the Institute for Policy Studies. A recent analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation concluded that taxes would decline for all income groups, with the biggest percentage-point decline for millionaires.

After-tax income would rise by nearly 7% for households earning over $1 million per year, compared to less than 2% for those earning between $50,001 and $1 million, as MarketWatch recently reported. And less than 1% for those earning less than $50,000, according to Ernie Tedeschi, an economist at Evercore IS investment banking advisory firm who worked in the Treasury Department under President Obama.


Looking at private income, such as earnings and dividends, and government benefits like Social Security, the income of families near the top increased roughly 90% from 1963 to 2016, while the income of families at the bottom rose less than 10%, according to a separate report released last month by the Urban Institute, a nonprofit policy group based in Washington, D.C., while most other groups have been left behind.

And that gap between rich and poor is only going to get worse, Hoxie said. The wealthiest 25 individuals in the U.S., including Microsoft MSFT, -0.35%  co-founder Bill Gates, Amazon AMZN, +0.58%  CEO Jeff Bezos and Facebook FB, +0.26% CEO Mark Zuckerberg, own $1 trillion in combined assets. These 25 — a group equivalent to the active roster of a major league baseball team — hold more wealth than the bottom 56% of the U.S. population.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/one-in-five-american-households-have-zero-or-negative-wealth-2017-11-11

Quote
"Capitalist ideology claims that the world is perfectly ordered and everybody is in their place (i..e. everybody gets what they deserve). This self legitmating aspect of Capitalism is Socially Catastrophic. This is the Victorian view of the world." Rob Urie - Author " Zen Economics"

Agelbert NOTE: The only thing that the POS POTUS Trump will give anybody but his 0.01% partners in crime is pictured below:




Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 08, 2017, 12:50:06 pm »

Bitcoin Is Not a Currency, It’s an (Unsafe) Investment

by Chris Hoffman on December 8th, 2017

SNIPPET:

If the creators of Bitcoin wanted it to act like a currency, they sure made a lot of weird decisions. Bitcoin doesn’t function well as a currency, for reasons that are inherent to its design. It’s an investment people are speculating on…and even then, it’s more gambling than it is a stable investment.

Full article:

https://www.howtogeek.com/335471/bitcoin-is-not-a-currency-its-an-unsafe-investment/

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