Trump Middle East Peace Plan

It looks like it is....

Take an even more pro-Israel side (hard to believe that's possible)

  • Israel is always right.
  • Lots of US taxpayer dollars to Israel.
  • Full US support in the UN.
  • Israel can keep the settlements in the occupied territories
  • Basically whatever Netanyahu wants
More support for the Saudis (assuming they play nice with Israel)
  • Give the Saudis money
  • Give the Saudis US military equipment 
  • Give them a free hand plus full US support in their quest to dominate the Sunni world.
Turn up the pressure on Iran
  • Increase the war of words with Iran and other non-compliant middle eastern people. 
Which all leaves the Palestinians even more isolated so
  • Turn up the pressure on the Palestinians to drive them to a table set for Israel.
This plan might get (force) the Palestinians to sign something but it's hard to see how a forced deal could last and it risks blowing up the middle east with revolutions in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, etc;  War with Iran, more Islamic extremism, and more hatred of the US.

But remember, they "hate us for our freedoms"

Haaretz - Israel News | Haaretz.com:

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Tax Cuts - 2

More on this earlier post on tax cuts

Starting with another good post by Ian Welsch: Five Hundred Million Dollar Negative Yield Bond Issued

The problem in the world today is the same as it was 15 years ago, before the financial collapse: There is too much money chasing not enough returns. Because there isn’t enough real growth, that money moves into bubbles and fraud, and destroys companies through leveraged buyouts and so on, but it also means that, if there isn’t enough fraud or predation going on, it sits and stagnates and does nothing worthwhile.

There is simply too much cash in the hands of the wealthy right now.  There are bubbles in stock markets, artwork, muscle cars, high-quality housing, education and health care, while inflation and growth in economy as a whole is mostly non-existent.

We don't need tax cuts to give the rich a few more dollars to buy $600 ping-pong paddles or $9,000 silver, balls-of-yarn (see below). They have so much cash now they don't know what to do with it.

We need higher taxes on the wealthy to help fund a system that gives the struggling working class a little breathing room in their economic lives.

American Capitalism

I'm not sure it can be fixed.

A Reminder That America Is Incredibly Corrupt and Only Getting Worse - VICE:

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Listening to Millennials

Democrats Are Doomed Unless They Start Listening to Millennials - VICE: Candidates may be tempted to court older white Trump voters, but that's exactly the wrong approach:

Yep, the future is in the productive, progressive young, not the old, white, pissed-off, Fox News watchers.

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The future of the web

Since the early days of the Web, or at least the early days of people worrying that government would destroy the Web, I have said that capitalism will destroy it long before government gets a chance.

Tim Berners-Lee on the future of the web: 'The system is failing' | Technology | The Guardian:

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Retail Apocalypse

The Cause and Consequences of the Retail Apocalypse | New Republic:

This is a robbery in progress. Private equity firms borrow massively to buy companies, and use corporate cash reserves to pay themselves back. Workers who supply the value to the business see nothing; in fact, to service the debt, companies usually cut staff. When the retailer collapses under the borrowing weight, all workers lose their jobs. And even when sales go up, like they have by 5 percent annually in the toy sector over the past five years, dominant toy sellers like Toys“R”Us cannot compete because of the debt burden. The company’s profitability was increasing when it filed for bankruptcy.

This is the private equity plan for any business they focus on. Borrow to buy it, raid the cash, load the company up with debt, restructure, split-it-up, sell off pieces to get as much cash as possible, distribute that cash to the partners and use some of it to lobby for tax breaks for the corporations and the wealthy.

Some day they will have it all.

note.. There's no mention of online-sales or Amazon's part in the death of retail chains which hurts the article's message and I think basically misses what really killed retail. However, this is still private equity's MO. I think they basically got lucky with their retail trade. There were able to raid the coffers before Amazon and Internet sales kill the chains anyway.

again....Some day they will have it all.

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About That Swamp - Luke Messer Edition

Messer's about as swampy as you can get.....
  • Lives in Virginia/DC.
  • Also, has a home in Tennessee
  • His kid's go to school in Virginia/DC
  • His wife is not registered in Indiana and hasn't voted since 2012
  • but... his name is on the deed of his mom's house so he can run for senate in Indiana.

And his wife is paid $240,000 a year for a 26.5 hour work week by a city in Indiana but she does most of the work from their home in suburban Washington.

Fishers pays Rep. Luke Messer's wife $240K for part-time role
"The wife of a likely Senate candidate averages a 26.5-hour work week in her $240,000-a-year job doing legal consulting for suburban Fishers,"

"..which Messer primarily does from home in suburban Washington,"

Pretty Damn Swampy.

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Tax Cuts

They need tax cuts so the next buyer can pay 750 million.

The “Missing” Inflation Shows Up As Hyper-Inflation | Ian Welsh:

The rich are floating on an ocean of money, and they have nothing to spend it on that really matters, so it’s going to 3rd homes, real-estate speculation and conspicuous luxury consumption (which is what this is.)

also on the painting: https://tinyletter.com/felixsalmon/letters/nota-bene-10

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Who Does This Government Work For?

Silly Wabbit.... Big business and the Donor Class, That's who.

Sen. Warren: Who Does This Government Work For? | Crooks and Liars:

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Drug Tests

There's gold in drug testing.

Liquid Gold: Pain Doctors Soak Up Profits By Screening Urine For Drugs | naked capitalism:

"Kaiser Health News, with assistance from researchers at the Mayo Clinic, analyzed available billing data from Medicare and private insurance billing nationwide, and found that spending on urine screens and related genetic tests quadrupled from 2011 to 2014 to an estimated $8.5 billion a year — more than the entire budget of the Environmental Protection Agency. The federal government paid providers more to conduct urine drug tests in 2014 than it spent on the four most recommended cancer screenings combined."

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Bad Focus


Lewinsky Is Not What Clinton Should Have Resigned For | Ian Welsh:

It’s not that Clinton’s actions with Lewinsky weren’t awful, it is the moral and ethical vacuum required to think that’s the issue over which he should have resigned.

Clinton gutted welfare. I guarantee that killed a lot of people and hurt way more. Clinton pushed the three strikes laws hard, which hit black communities brutally, locking people up for years for a third strike for things like stealing a bicycle. Bill Clinton engaged in punitive sanctions against Iraq which hit basic medicine, killing and hurting a lot of people. Bill Clinton pushed for the repeal of Glass-Steagall, and signed it; this was one of the causes of the 2008 financial collapse and, thus, killed and hurt a lot people.

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Electing the best and brightest.

Big Business vs The People

About That Swamp - Health Care Money edition

Hijab Barbie