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Who CAN you trust? / Re: Corruption in Government
« Last post by AGelbert on January 21, 2018, 06:51:54 pm »
Puerto Rico Still Suffering Under The Boot Of #Sh**hole Republican Politics 🦍

January 21st, 2018 by Steve Hanley

Republicans control all three branches of government. Ergo, whatever that government does can be attributed to Republicans. When it comes to Puerto Rico, the harshness of the federal government’s response to the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria continues to punish the residents of the island for the political sin of not being white people of European descent. There can be no other explanation for how Puerto Rico has fared under the administration of #FakePresident Trump other than the virulent strain of racism he glorifies.

Power restoration in Puerto Rico
Credit: US Department of Energy and Travis Hartman/Reuters Graphics via Think Progress

The proof is in the pudding. The graphic above charts the amount of time needed to restore power to Florida after Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and Hurricane Irma in 2017 compared to the unforgivable delay in restoring power to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

The situation in Puerto Rico has descended into lunacy. According to a report by The Intercept, members of UTIER, the utility workers union in Puerto Rico, have accused the Army Corps of Engineers of hoarding materials needed to complete the restoration of the utility grid at its warehouse in Ponce in the southern part of the island. Most of Puerto Rico’s generating stations — which are primarily powered by diesel fuel — are located near Ponce.

“That is not normal to have such quantities of materials in the crisis that we are having in Puerto Rico. For example, I have never seen such quantity of cross arms in my life,” says Fredyson Martinez, UTIER’s vice president. “The amount of [containers of wires] is also too much knowing what is needed. And all that just sitting there while the workers make miracles with the few things they get each day. It’s sad.”

Apparently in retaliation for criticism from UTIER and PERPA, the island’s utility company, the Army Corps of Engineers raided a PERPA warehouse on January 6 amid allegations that PERPA itself was hoarding materials. The issue seems to come down to whether the supplies needed to rebuild Puerto Rico’s broken utility grid should be kept at USCOE’s two central warehouses (a third is about to be added) or at PERPA’s 7 regional facilities. Roads and bridges are still waiting to be repaired after the hurricane and moving workers and supplies around the island to where they are needed most is challenging.

Adding fuel to the fire is a realization among Puerto Ricans that the latest tax bill foisted off on the public by Republicans amounts to a soap suds enema for Puerto Rico. Among other things, that piece of highly partisan legislation now classifies items manufactured on the island as made in a foreign country, a change that could cost Puerto Rico up to 200,000 jobs.

Credit: Facebook

In New York City, the Puerto Rican community is complaining bitterly about how the US government manages — mismanages may be a better word — Puerto Rico. After the island defaulted on its public debt in July 2016, Congress passed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability act, often known as PROMESA. That legislation created an unelected management board designed to find ways to make sure the island met its financial obligations. The first thing the board did was slash funding for health care, pensions, and education.

Coming together under the hashtag #OurPowerPRnyc, people of Puerto Rican heritage are blasting PROMESA for being little more than a form of colonial rule. They believe their treatment is similar to how the US dealt with the so-called banana republics in Central America for decades. Many in the Puerto Rican diaspora are getting the distinct impression that the US government is treating the island as one of the “shithole countries” Donald Trump referred to so eloquently earlier this month.

In a press release on January 19, #OurPowerPRnyc listed 6 ways they believe PROMESA 🦖 has damaged the island and its people.

🔥 Trying to implement a minimum wage of $4.25 for everyone 25 years old and younger is not rebuilding Puerto Rico.

🔥 Closing 184 schools is not rebuilding Puerto Rico.

🔥 Voting unanimously to order Puerto Rico to implement 10% cutbacks in its public pension system, lay off tens of thousands of workers, and slash bonuses is not rebuilding Puerto Rico.

🔥 Cuts including $1 billion in health care services, $300 million from the public university budget, and $350 million in municipal aid is not rebuilding Puerto Rico.

🔥 Getting rid of environmental protections is not rebuilding Puerto Rico.

🔥 Privatization and selling our land is not rebuilding Puerto Rico.

Republicans may have underestimated the political muscle of the 200,000 people who moved to the US mainland after the Hurricane Maria disaster. Many of them have settled in Florida where they have registered to vote (they are US citizens, after all, a fact that seems to have escaped #FakePresident Trump 🐒). The power outage on their island could lead to political power surge for a large bloc of voters angry at the way they have been treated by Republicans. They could alter the political landscape in Florida later this year, assuming governor Rick Scott can’t figure out a way to prevent them from voting.

Oppression🦍 is a curious thing. Just as there is an equal and opposite reaction for every action in the physical world, the same applies in the world of politics. That is a lesson the Republicans refuse to learn but will ignore at their peril.

Climate Change / Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Last post by AGelbert on January 21, 2018, 06:21:44 pm »
America Is Getting Its First Climate Change Museum

Here’s Why That’s Such a Great Thing

Climate change can no longer be debated. Despite what skeptics still say, climate change is not a concept that is happening in the far-off arctic tundra or distant future. The effects of climate change are happening here and now.

Between drastic temperature fluxes, extreme drought, water scarcity, storms larger and more destructive than any others witnessed before, and even species extinction, climate change is wreaking havoc on the planet. 16 of the 17 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001, altering the start time of seasons and forcing species to change their ranges.

But for those of us who reside in big cities such as New York or another metropolis, seeing the impact of climate change in our everyday life can be difficult. How can environmentalists help others in dense communities see that climate change also impacts them? That’s exactly where The Climate Change museum comes in.

The Climate Museum is dedicated to bringing art, science and climate advocacy to the masses. As the first museum devoted solely to climate change in America, the museum was created by Miranda Massie, a former lawyer and now the Founder and Director of the progressive museum. A permanent home for the museum is still a few years away, but they recently launched their first pop-up exhibition in New York City that aims to bring art and science to the masses.

For the month of January, the Climate Museum will feature the Antarctic portrait by artist Zaria Forman. The portrait will be featured alongside a video of Forman drawing it by hand.

“It’s so realistic but so human. “It connects our human experience with nature in a palpable way,” Amanda Nesci, who handles communications for the Climate Museum told Mind Body Green.

The pop-up exhibition will also feature the work of environmental artist, Peggy Weil. Her digital installation will show 110,000 years of history to show how humans have affected the earth’s Greenland ice sheet.

By using public events, panels, and celebrations in New York City, the Climate Museum aims to bring people together and move forward with solutions on climate change.

Forman and Weil’s art urge us to make the connection between our everyday actions and their impact on the planet. With 850 million people visiting American museums per year (more than all major league sports arenas and the top 20 amusement parks combined), the impact of The Climate Museum shouldn’t go unnoticed. According to The Climate Museum’s website, the permanent exhibit will be able to accommodate one million visitors per year. But why is that such a big deal, exactly?

Climate change is not the only factor that threatens biodiversity on the planet – plastic pollution, deforestation, overfishing, and the illegal wildlife trade are all pulling us, inexorably, towards a sixth mass extinction. But changes in climate happen on a larger scale than the rest. The earth’s ecosystems are the product of billions of years of evolution and because of this, slight temperature changes over short periods of time can have catastrophic consequences for plants and animals.

Thanks to the awareness being raised by organizations such as The Climate Museum as well as dedicated environmentalists around the world, we have the power to reverse, or at least slow down climate change.
Ways You Can Help Starting Today

Cutting your personal carbon footprint is the surest way to minimize the amount of warming greenhouse gas emissions entering the atmosphere. While you can do many little things like shutting off lights when you leave your house, choosing to walk instead of drive and switching over to energy efficient appliances – there is one simple action that often goes overlooked that has the highest positive impact: choosing plant-based foods over meat and dairy.

Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector combined. In addition, this industry occupies 45 percent of arable land, uses 23 percent of global freshwater resources, and is responsible for rampant deforestation, water, and air pollution. By shifting away from meat and dairy products and choosing plant-based alternatives instead, you can help lower this rate of destruction. In just one year of eating plant-based, you can halve your carbon footprint – that’s pretty powerful!

With the wealth of available plant-based options available, it has never been easier to eat with the planet in mind. If you’re ready to start doing this in your own life, check out One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet campaign.

Who CAN you trust? / Re: Corruption in Government
« Last post by AGelbert on January 21, 2018, 05:41:00 pm »
 January 21, 2018

Women March in Defiance of Trump🦍

In Baltimore and around the world the second anniversary of the Women's March on Washington prompted calls for unity in resisting the policies of the Trump Administration by Taya Graham and Stephen Janis

Geopolitics / Re: Money
« Last post 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).
Who CAN you trust? / Re: Corruption in Government
« Last post by AGelbert on January 21, 2018, 01:11:56 pm »

How to Identify a “Shithole” 🌪 Country

By Tom Lewis | January 12, 2018 | Politics

If you look around your country and see a lot of these, that would be one clue. But there are others.

It’s important in national and international affairs that the terms of statecraft be precisely defined. When making policy and alliances, the parties must at all times be rigorously clear about what is meant by such labels as “nuclear power,” “developing country,” and the like. Now, a new term of art just introduced by the President of the United States, “shithole country,” begs a proper definition. Let us fix that for ya. Here is how you tell whether a country qualifies for the new designation.

Exhibit One
— Airports. If you have an airport, named for one of your most popular presidents, located just outside your largest city, in which earlier this month:

Hundreds of people were stranded on airplanes unable to get to a gate for up to 20 hours;
Baggage-handling machinery froze and failed, so that those lucky enough to get off their planes couldn’t get their bags;

It was so cold in the terminal that hundreds of the people stranded there built ramshackle shelters out of discarded cardboard boxes (you know, like homeless people do), where some spent three days ;
Two airliners collided on the tarmac;

A water main break flooded one of the airport’s four terminals with three inches of water and required that all electricity to the terminal be shut off;
Then you might be living in one of those countries the President was talking about.

This “cascading series of issues” (the words of the authority that runs the airport) occurred, of course, at John F Kennedy Airport, described as New York City’s “primary airport” and “the busiest international air passenger gateway to North America.”

Exhibit Two — Train Stations. Penn Station is to railroad travel what JFK is to air travel.  It is the main intercity railroad station in New York City, and the busiest passenger transportation hub in the Western Hemisphere, handling 600,000 passengers a day. It is located underneath  Madison Square Garden in midtown Manhattan, where railroads can reach it only through tunnels. In the same week that JFK was experiencing its “cascading issues,” Penn Station was described by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as “The Most Awful Transit Center in America,” which “Could Get Unimaginably Worse.”

Penn Station has been overcrowded, overused and deteriorating for decades. The first major program proposed to renovate it was offered in the 1990s, failed to get government support. Since then, traffic has doubled and every proposal to tackle the problem has died of neglect. The latest was torpedoed by none other than Donald Trump.

The two tunnels that cross under the Hudson River — that connect Penn Station with everything and everyone in the eastern US south of New York — were built while the Wright Brothers were building their first airplane factory, over 100 years ago. When the tunnels were flooded by Hurricane Sandy, the salt and chemicals deposited began eating even faster into the ancient cement and masonry that, should it fail, would shut down a major chunk of the US economy and introduce the Hudson River into midtown Manhattan. Not only is nothing being down about it, there are no plans to do anything about it.

Last spring a sewage pipe broke in Penn Station, flooding one of the crowded concourses with raw sewage. Making it, of course, a literal shithole.

Devin Leonard, who wrote the Bloomberg BusinessWeek article, concluded:

Penn Station is a debacle reaching across time. Its past is a slow-motion disaster of inaction and canceled reforms, its present an ongoing disgrace. And its future could be truly catastrophic, in the form of a tunnel failure that pinches shut one of the most vital economic arteries in America.

I’ll have to get back to you on Exhibits Three through 320 — bridges, highways, the electric grid, water pollution, soil depletion, ocean dead zones, garbage, declining life expectancy — but you get the idea. When the Donald 🐒 created this new category by which nations are to be assessed, only the Stable Genius knew that America would turn out, once again, to be Number One.

Renewables / Re: Electric Vehicles ✨
« Last post by AGelbert on January 20, 2018, 05:51:23 pm »
Alibaba-Backed He Xiaopeng Bets Entire Fortune On Another “Tesla Killer”

January 20th, 2018 by Nicolas Zart

Article with several pictures:

Who CAN you trust? / Re: Corruption in Government
« Last post by AGelbert on January 20, 2018, 05:07:22 pm »
The Real Reasons Why the Government Shut Down

Immigration isn’t the only sticking point.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

RUSSELL BERMAN  January 20, 2018 11:31 AM ET 


If there’s one thing Democrats and Republicans (some publicly, many others privately) agree on, it’s that the president’s negotiating style has made it much harder for the two sides to reach a deal. Trump has veered wildly from one extreme to the other—telling lawmakers in one meeting that he’d sign any DACA bill Congress sent him, then issuing a list of hard-line demands in the next. His vulgar reference to African nations, among others, as “shithole countries” while rejecting a bipartisan DACA proposal blew up the negotiations at a critical juncture.

Republicans have begged the president to tell them exactly what he’d accept in an agreement and then stick to it. But Trump hasn’t delivered. “I’m looking for something that President Trump supports, and he has not yet indicated what measure he is willing to sign,” McConnell told reporters this week, in a telling sign of the GOP’s frustration with the president’s inconsistency. “As soon as we figure out what he is for, then I would be convinced that we were not just spinning our wheels.”

Democrats have been even more frustrated, accusing the president of repeatedly backing out of commitments he makes to them in private once he 🐒 hears from conservative Republicans. 🦍

full article;

Who CAN you trust? / Re: Corruption in Government
« Last post by AGelbert on January 20, 2018, 04:34:15 pm »

New "Make America Great" Trump Salute

Shutdown for the Trumpiversary: 🦍A Ghastly Symmetry 🕸

Saturday, January 20, 2018

By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed


Don't snicker too long at the morass of chaotic ineptitude the administration is mired in. Some -- if not most  -- of that is theater in the vein of Wrestlemania. In reality, Trump and his congressional allies have been quite busy.

In the last year, they have:   

🔥 Expedited approval for the Keystone XL pipeline;

🔥 Put Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court and put a whole slew of right-wing judges on the federal bench;

🔥 Rolled back protections for transgender students;

🔥 Declared a permanent US military presence in Syria;

🔥 Eliminated the Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate;

🔥 Rolled back huge swaths of environmental protections;

🔥 Basically obliterated the Environmental Protective Agency as a functioning body;

🔥 Rolled back net neutrality and various internet privacy rules;

🔥 Signed a law allowing states to deny funding to Planned Parenthood;

🔥 Translated a trillion dollars in taxpayer money to the wealthiest Americans while simultaneously gutting the Affordable

🔥 Care Act's individual mandate;

🔥 Pulled out of the Paris climate accord;

🔥 Succeeded in enacting some of Trump's anti-Muslim travel ban;

🔥 Embraced and empowered white nationalism;

🔥 Pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio;

🔥 Appointed Mick Mulvaney to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and;

🔥 Reestablished vast warrantless surveillance rules.

That ain't nothing, and worse is yet to come.

Full article:

Geopolitics / Re: Money
« Last post by AGelbert on January 20, 2018, 04:02:39 pm »
The Fascinating Psychology of Blowoff Tops

Of two minds

by Charles Hugh Smith


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.



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



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:


Who CAN you trust? / Re: Corruption in Government
« Last post by AGelbert on January 20, 2018, 03:46:25 pm »
Quote from: AG
But, IMHO, the main issue here is the willful lack of critical thinking in American society. The big picture involving the ideal this country was founded on is, and always has been, a target for those that see through the soaring rhetoric of the Founding Fathers to the oligarchic seeds they consciously and deliberately planted.

Accounting in large measure for the thirty-year-and continuing war on public education. The standardization and stupefying of curriculum, teaching to standardized tests, the crushing institutionalization, all make for several generation of people who despise learning, and who prefer to get their few sustaining ideas from the corn filched out of Sean Hannity's turds.

Man, I'm getting old.

Immorality is immorality, whether it is clothed in institutional brain washing or not. As long as we don't call it what it is, the cancer will continue to spread. 🦑

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