7.14.2019

Sunday Morning

Economics

Are people who make $200k middle-class?  Articles like this just don't work. Out here in Teabagistan, 200k a year makes you a 1%-er. On the coasts you're probably middle class.

DISASTER CAPITALISM: SOME DOUBTS
But no matter. Healthy capitalism requires a biggish state not only to provide subsidies to banks, corporate welfare, infrastructure and automatic stabilizers, but also to provide good enough public services to diminish discontent. Shrinking the state and supporting capitalism are two different things.


Government

What is Congress Doing?
"Official Washington, and particularly the U.S. Senate, seems strikingly nonplused.  Last month, the House passed ten of the twelve appropriations bills required for the government to operate.  Left behind were the relatively inconsequential Legislative Branch appropriations bill and the bitterly contentious Homeland Security appropriations legislation.  House leaders apparently see little point in forcing their Members to take difficult and divisive votes on immigration-related questions when having a House-passed bill likely will be irrelevant to the final outcome:  these issues will be negotiated with the Senate and the White House and could well trigger another government shutdown. 

     In the Senate, appropriations legislation is going nowhere.  Not one single bill has been considered even at the subcommittee level, and no committee or floor action is on the horizon.  Understanding why provides important insights into our nation’s politics."

The Turn of the Pelosi Screw
That Pelosi is more attuned to the Republican side of the Duopoly, and that she despises progressive Democrats with every fiber of her being is also becoming more painfully obvious by the day. In fact, she is beginning to sound a lot like the authoritarian Trump himself, with her strident demands to her caucus for loyalty to party over loyalty to constituents and country.
Pelosi needs to go.


Life lessons

Good Advice on Taking advice - Whose advice should you take?

What makes a good manager?



2020

A Midsummer Overview Of The Democratic Field - Silver and 538 seem to be working for the D establishment more than ever. I haven't seen a 538 post in awhile that didn't downplay Bernie.

This post puts him in the same range as Buttigieg behind Biden, Harris, and Warren while almost every poll shows him above or equal to Harris/Warren and always ahead of Buttigieg.

Silver may be downplaying Sanders since the D establishment is working so hard against him and he knows his chances aren't good but Bernie is still popular even with negative corporate media coverage and the D establishment working against him at every step.

Imagine how popular he'd be with some support.

Still, I do agree with this - THE ABSURDITY OF AN EIGHTYSOMETHING PRESIDENT - We need some young blood.

Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden Condemn Israeli Occupation, as Young American Jews Urge Democrats to Press Israel - If true, I'd expect these two to drop in the next few pols.



Trump's Tweets

Trump Slams Bitcoin in Tweet Storm: What Does It Mean? Anything? - There's no way in hell Trump wrote these. I mean,.... "Similarly, Facebook Libra’s “virtual currency” will have little standing or dependability." That is not Trump.



Coke

New Coke Didn’t Fail. It Was Murdered. - A good article showing how a stubborn minority can force change.



Police state

Scary privacy stuff (if true) - This Is Palantir’s Top-Secret User Manual for Cops



Free Press?

Leaked cables quote Britain's US envoy as saying that US president ditched agreement because it was Obama's deal.
"London's Metropolitan Police sparked widespread condemnation on Saturday after warning journalists that publishing leaked documents could be a criminal matter." 
Glenn Greenwald becomes focus of Brazil press freedom debate


7.11.2019

Thursday

Wars - for Energy - Gas Version

These have to be related.




Media

Analyzing Efforts to Rein in Misinformation on Social Media - but what happens when Major News Sites are Fake News sites?


The Ds

Pelosi needs to go.

Nancy Pelosi Has Chosen Her War, and it’s With Her Own Party’s Future

Well, really, Establishment Ds need to go.

Can Democrats grow a spine before American democracy collapses in a limp, lifeless heap? | Will Bunch
"In the Trump era, unreasoning and unjustified terror has a name, and it’s the Democratic Party." 
It's not just been "in the Trump era"

The Rude Pundit nails it. No One Is Going to Save Us... (Part 1) - the short version.... Rs fight to win. The D's, well, they don't.
We are seeing the result of decades of conservative planning to get the public to the moment where they no longer believe in anyone but the right's own media, where plain facts don't matter, where images of strength are far, far more important than actual strength. And, as Ryan Grim demonstrated in a great piece, we are dealing with a Democratic leadership group that has never gotten over its post-Reagan stress disorder. Democrats never learned to fight Republicans. We thought winning elections would be enough. We thought that the factual reality of more people having access to health care would be enough. We thought that things that polled well, like abortion rights, like stricter gun laws, like action on climate change, would be enough. We thought that Trump being a damned embarrassment every time he opens his mouth would be enough. We thought that going high when they went low would be enough.

It's not. It never was.

Republican learned back when Reagan was calling the news the "liberal media" on a regular basis, when they impeached Bill Clinton because it made the evangelicals and Clinton haters happy, when they hammered every minor thing, like a flag-burning case, into a national crisis, that the fight is all there is. They relish the fight, they live for the fight, and they can't wait for the next chance to fight, even if they have to manufacture it. They don't care about rules, they don't care about pissing off their opponents, and that's why Trump will end up appointing nearly a third of all federal judges by the end of his first term. That's why Republicans will end up contorting our voting rights until only white conservative men get a say.

And while a whole lot of us on the left, many of us who call ourselves "Democrats," have fought like hell, and while Democratic leaders may want to fight on issues, they hate it when the fight becomes personal. Sure, some Democrats will call out particular Republicans on their awfulness, but the goal is to try to shame a shameless person like Mitch McConnell. When Republicans go after someone, the goal is to destroy them and create a new identity for the person. Look at what they did with the Clintons. Look at what they're doing with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Republicans do this because it works. Democrats won't. They flinch and shy away, as if it's just too unseemly.

What do I mean by that? President Obama should have had Democrats go on the warpath over McConnell's refusal to consider the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland. McConnell should have been turned into an enemy of the nation. Instead, it was treated with the political equivalent of an eyeroll. Would it have worked? We'll never know.


MAGA My Ass

Trump Tariffs Help Sink US Steel: Investigating a Trump "Big Win"


Iran and Nukes

From Haaretz a few days ago:


No. The "biggest breach" was the US pulling out of the deal a few months ago. There is no deal now.








7.07.2019

Sunday

US and Israel vs The World

Israel frustrated with Lebanon over border dispute: minister
Israel's energy minister voiced frustration Friday with what he claimed was Lebanon's failure to agree to U.S.-mediated talks on setting the maritime border between the two countries, suggesting that Hezbollah was applying pressure on Beirut.
Why would any country agree to US-mediated talks if Israel is on one side? We've proven over and over that we side with Israel in almost every case.


Media - Our liberal media isn't

NYT reporter hides corporate ties of Sanders critics she highlights  - A socialist, even a Democratic one, isn't going to get any breaks from our corporate media.

Politico also ignores Sanders - Harris, Warren tie for third place in new 2020 Dem poll, but Biden still leads



2020

Biden vows to bring back Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty for not having insurance - Bring back the one piece everyone hated and give the wingers something to unify around!? Hillary was tone-deaf but Biden is worse.




Medicare for All

Majority Backs ‘Medicare for All’ Replacing Private Plans, if Preferred Providers Stay

Reduced support for single-payer overcome by assurance that Americans would not lose their doctor and hospital




Law and Order

Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on Saturday and will appear in New York court on Monday to be charged with sex trafficking, according to multiple law enforcement sources. - We'll see how far this goes. My gut tells me there are far too many well-known, rich, powerful people involved for the details to become too public.


Trumps 4th of July

The complaining about this seems ridiculous. Still, Trump and most in the US like military plane fly-overs. Maybe they should make a trip to Yemen where US built planes fly over a lot.





7.04.2019

The 4th

Music

A good cover. Here because the original Dylan version can't be found.





Media - Russia, Trump, and the Ds

Russian Twitter Propaganda Predicted 2016 US Election Polls - Maybe, but 20 years of Fox Propaganda probably outweighed a few weeks of Russian Twitterbots.

How to Properly Criticize RussiaGate - A little out there but the basic points are correct.


Police State

Outcry after reports Brazil plans to investigate Glenn Greenwald - I think everyone knew something like this was coming.


Big Business

These Three Firms Own Corporate America


Media - Propaganda

My Customers Don’t Pay Trump’s Tariffs: We negotiated lower prices from Chinese factories instead
This smells like a story planted by the right-wing to change the narrative. In a few days, I'll bet this will be the talking-point for the tariffs on all right wing sites. It could be true, but I don't trust it.

How Greg Gutfeld’s Success Exposes The Media’s Cultural Blindspots - Greg Gutfeld wouldn't be a success if he didn't have the Propaganda Channel.


Propaganda by Omission

The Border Patrol Office of Inspector General released its report on the migrant prisons
"Or it would be in a normal world. Fox isn't talking about it so for about 40% of the country is didn't happen."
I have to agree. I look at several major news sources every day and Fox is almost always on their own planet. The Fox world never hears anything that might make a far-right R look bad and rarely hears anything good about Ds, Progressives, Hollywood, the education system, unions, brown people or government in general.



....

7.01.2019

Monday


Music





2020

Trump Is the Worst Kind of Socialist

Good FT Article on Radical West Virginia

Why we can't have Medicare for All - Because there's too much money on the other side.



War - US Arms Sales

American Missiles Found in Libyan Rebel Compound - Imagine that!?



Propaganda and Misinformation

Information Apocalypse - You really can't believe anything at first glance.

SEEING ISN’T BELIEVING: The Fact Checker’s guide to manipulated video

How Israeli spies are flooding Facebook and Twitter
Act.IL also has close ties to the Israeli American Council – a right-wing lobby group funded by Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate who was the top donor to Donald Trump’s presidential election campaign.
We should be looking into how this foreign group influenced the last (or next) election.

The New York Times: A Propaganda Machine for Trump



Police State

Face-Reading AI Will Tell Police When Suspects Are Hiding Truth - Can we use it on cops?



Israel vs Palestine - The US role

About those illegal settlements?



Giving the Ds some cover - Demanding End to 'AIPAC-Created Status Quo,' Progressive Jewish - Group Pressures 2020 Democrats to Take Stand Against Israel's Brutal Occupation




MAGA - My Ass

Europe, Defying Trump, Implements New Currency Exchange with Iran

I'm an American who's lived in Europe for 10 years — and I don't miss these 5 aspects of American culture at all



6.28.2019

Friday

Sounds





Health Care vs Corporate Media

MSDNC, Single Payer, and the Serenity Prayer - If corporations were really a "person", a person that required medical care, we would already have medicare for all. This is a struggle about whether this is a country "Of The People...." or  "Of the Business..."


WaPo Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Medicare for All Will Cut Their Health Costs



Healthcare 101 for the D Candidates

For the D candidates who don't seem to know how to answer the "abolish private insurance" question, the correct answer is......
"I'm not going to abolish private insurance, you're just not going to need it. We going to cover you!"  
you could add.. "Fuck the insurance companies"


Media 

Ian Welsh: The Problem With Public Expertise  - Old media's "experts" aren't aren't any better than new media's experts.


When NPR Is  More Dangerous Than Fox News - Worth the read. one good line....
"If MSNBC wants to make people with that kind of track record go-to experts, that’s its business. But would everyone please quit calling MSNBC “liberal” and “progressive”—because when it comes to foreign policy, it is emphatically not left of center."

DOES ELIZABETH WARREN HAVE A PLAN FOR TAKING ON THE "LIBERAL MEDIA"?
'The press is highly critical of Donald Trump, but the right-wing caricature of mainstream journalism as radically left-wing is preposterous. The press wants the next president to be a centrist -- culturally tolerant, maybe, but hardly a boat-rocker in any other area. The "liberal media" doesn't want someone like Elizabeth Warren to win." 


Drugs

Officer traveling with Brazilian president Bolsonaro caught with 39 kilos of cocaine - Bolsonaro was planning to be the life of the G20 party.



War - Rogue Nation

 US Defense Secretary warns Iran, is spurned by NATO allies
"New US acting defense chief Mark Esper warned Iran that no further incidents would be tolerated. He was addressing a closed-door session of NATO defense ministers on Thursday in Brussels when he explicitly cautioned Tehran against further attacks on US interests and its Middle East allies. Esper failed in his mission to draw NATO into backing US military action in the Persian Gulf. France, Germany and other European ministers appealed to Washington to return to the nuclear accord with Iran."

European nations prepare to launch delayed Iran payments channel - Germany, the UK, France, Russia, China, and Iran working to build a currency they can use to get around Trump's stupid foreign policy. MAGA my ass!



6.27.2019

Wednesday


Productivity

The inside door handle of my car broke this weekend. Before the Internet this would have been a $100 to $150 trip to the garage. Today, it's 20 minutes watching YouTube, a quick purchase on  Amazon and 30 minutes to do the job. Total cost 10$ and about an hour of my time to beat the auto repair industry and US GDP out of $100 - $150$.



Media - Google vs Conservatives

Hey Google, Just because Fox puts something at the top of their page doesn't mean it's Headline news.

The opinion of two conservative Fox contributors are not the same as news that "Mueller is going to testify"




Crime and Punishment

How Much Justice can You afford? - I notice they didn't include pictures of Bill Clinton or Trump in the image.


American Corrupitalism

Will price transparency in health care markets work? Wow! When there are only a few companies in a market they might raise prices? I would have never thought of that......

6.24.2019

Monday


Sounds






Political Economy

THE RECRUDESCENCE OF ZERO-SUM THINKING



War - When our attitude changed?


What's Another War
One reason to oppose the Iraq war (certainly not the only one) was that it opened the door to our imperial dreams and ended the minor anti-war taboo that had been in place since Vietnam. "War is bad" seemed to have been at least somewhat conventional wisdom and now it's LOL who's next????
I don't know. I think the "war is bad attitude" started slipping away in the early 80s. In the 70's my group was basically a bunch of dope-smokin', mostly peacnik, hippies. We had grown up thinking Vietnam was a mistake and the US should just stop fucking with the rest of the world. In the late 70s, I remember "Reagan in 80 Canada in 81" buttons as there was real fear he would start another war .
Then in 84 a car load of us went to see Red Dawn. I remember thinking it was one of the dumbest movies I'd seen in a long time. Everyone else thought it was cool as hell. I was floored.  
Today, they are all gun-nut, Trump voters with Confederate flags waving proudly in the Indiana Teabagistan breeze and I'm a Bernie supporter.  


Oil

Bring on Higher Oil Prices: They’ll Boost the US Economy. Powell Sees it Too. A New Experience for the US

Yeah, gasoline is consumer spending but people don't like high gas prices. It's like a tax that cuts into what they can spend on those Walmart doodads. So GDP may not suffer from rising prices but a lot of people outside the oil-gas production business are going to be pissed and they tend to blame it on the group in power. Trump and the Rs don't want that going into 2020..


War - Hawks and Fools

My guess is this is what led to Trump backing off and claiming he doesn't want war with Iran. They've pushed so hard and looked so amateurish that no one believes the story.

US finds itself isolated in Iran conflict
Particularly telling are the suspicions in European capitals and elsewhere that Trump’s fingering of Tehran for the tanker attacks looks eerily like the events of 1964 that prompted the Gulf of Tonkin resolution — which gave President Lyndon Johnson broad authority to wage the Vietnam War but which later raised suspicions that he invented or exaggerated the North Vietnamese attack that drove the resolution.


War - Middle East

The Middle Eastern Thirty Years War?



Media - Propaganda

Why the fuck are opinion pieces in the Google News "Headlines" section?

Hey Google, An opinion piece from the propaganda network isn't headline news.










6.22.2019

Saturday - Rant


2020 Rant

Wow, these two got me off on a rant.........

Forget Bernie vs. Warren. Focus on Growing the Progressive Base and Defeating Biden. - Yep... if you can't beat Biden you're not going to beat Trump.

Trump Says He's Weighing Democrats' Plan for $15 Minimum Wage

While the establishment D's work to

  • nominate Biden over progressive candidates
  • keep the election about Trump instead of progressive policy
  • not do medicare for all
  • "build support" for a $15 minimum wage.

Trump and the R's are maneuvering to win the next election by trying to steal some D thunder. 

These R guys fight, not for the people really, but to win elections. Everything they do is focused on winning the next election by firing up their base, beating D's down, swaying D voters, etc. 

The establishment Ds on the other hand just can't figure it out. They waffle-around about how to look progressive while governing like business republicans. Basically just hammering the policies their donors want into something they think they can get people to vote for, beating on Trump and the R's, and offering old R-lite policies that got us in this mess in the first place. 

Trumps power comes from the groundswell of support of the people, not the party, not the donor class, but from the people. 

Build a platform on a set of policies that will help people then go out and sell the god-damned thing! 

Get the people behind you and the rest will have follow.

That's what AOC did. Bernie and Warren are doing it and it's working. Fuck Biden. Fuck the Clintons. Fuck the beltway consultants, the donors, etc. You need the people. 

In a race you can turn around and beat on you opponent to slow him down or you can just outrun the motherfucker. It shouldn't be hard to outrun these bastards.  

Good policies that put people first can win but you have to sell them to the people. 

Here are a few tnb suggestions.
  • A higher minimum wage. Maybe $15 maybe $13. Something. Just do it. It's needed and it's easy. Don't let Trump steal this !?
  • Legalize pot. If you don't, the R's are going to. It's the easiest way for the Rs to steal a bunch of younger D voters. The D's need to be first.
  • Make Social Security better -  Again, it's needed and it's an easy way to steal a few old R voters.
  • Medicare for All - There are a lot of voters out there dying for this. Healthcare was the #1 issue of 2018 for christ-sake. It shouldn't be hard. Talk about how much it will save not how much it costs. Sell it to the old people by stressing that their medicare will get better i.e. they won't need to pay for supplemental insurance. That's easy and steals R voters.
  • Inexpensive college education - It doesn't have to be free but it needs to be affordable. Not easy loans or grants. 
  • Talk People over Business -Put people policies first over the big corporations. It says "Government of the people",  not "Government of business". 
  • Talk big ideas: Infrastructure. Nationwide broadband. Energy freedom.  
  • Talk inequality.  The filthy rich vs the middle class. Get this chart out everywhere. Point out that the "good old days" that all those R voters want to return to were when the income distribution was more equal. Hammer it....




Other things.

Stop resisting voter ID cards. Make it law that everyone must have a god-damned picture ID to vote then go out and get the cards in the hands of your voters. Voter ID seems like a good idea to most people and fighting it makes you look out of touch and give the R propagandists something to harp on i.e. "You have to have a license to drive but not to vote?".

Drop opposition to guns. Out here in rural Teabagistan the R's stole the Ds white union vote by turning them into gun nuts. We like our guns out here and you're not going to win if you make it a big issue.

Change how you talk about government regulation. Don't talk about needing more regulation, we have enough already and the people hate it. Talk about making current regulations affective, getting rid of unnecessary layers, streamlining it, etc..

I've always said when there is "regulation failed" problem like the savings and loan crisis or the last housing crisis, the Rs will say that regulation was the cause and want to get rid of it. The D's will say that the it slipped through the cracks of the current regulators and want to add another layer. what need to happen is to recognize that the people in charge of oversight didn't do their job, fire everyone responsible and get a new crew in there that can do the job.


There you go D's.  Try not to fuck it up this time.



Saturday - War


War - Iran

Planes Were In The Air To Strike Iran When Trump Called It Off - This may be true but why would anyone believe anything about Iran (or really anything) from this administration or the NYT?

The administration has lied about everything related to Iran. Iran violating the nuclear deal. The two "Iranian tanker attacks" looked like false flags and didn't really gain any traction with the rest of the world. They look like they are lying about where the shot-down drone really was located as Iran released coordinates quickly showing it was in their waters but at this point the US still hasn't. Their entire Iran story is based on lies and the world knows it.

The NYT is the source on this and they have shown that they will always play the part of state media when it comes to US war making.

This could very well be an orchestrated leak to help negotiations, save-face, or just to try to make Trump look sane but at this point, I don't believe this story.

You can't trust the US War Party or the Trump administration on anything.

This I could believe.  Trump Staged Iran 'Strikes' For Maximum MTP Interview Impact
The whole thing is a campaign stunt intended to distract from other questions Chuck Todd might have asked, about Russia, about impeachment, and more.
Also, DID TRUMP GIN UP A NEAR-WAR BECAUSE HE COULDN'T BEAR CEDING THE NEWS CYCLE TO DEMOCRATS?

Still, I think this is just be a way to pull back from a failed attempt to build global support for an attack on Iran. Trump and Bolton's crew thought the various tanker attacks would get the world on our side but they looked staged. The drone downing looked suspicious too and again allied support for war just wasn't there so these bozos had to save-face.

More speculation here White House Pushes 'Trump Pulled Back' Story - He Likely Never Approved To Strike Iran



War - Why They Hate Us

It ain't for ".. our Freedom" - Human cost of Yemen war laid bare as the death toll nears 100,000
Bush via the WP They hate what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other."
"They hate what we do to their freedom" seems to fit a little better.



War - The Hawks



Stop worrying and learn to love Super Hawk Bolton? - Yeah Bolton is "The War Hawk" but he's just the tip of the current administration's dickishness. They've been pushing Iran since Netanyahu and Adelson jumped on the Trump train, that was long before Bolton was on the team.



War - Endless War

A good piece from Matt Taibbi: Next Contestant, Iran: Meet America’s Permanent War Formula





6.20.2019

Thursday


Cults

From a No More Mister Nice post - Rush and Pence discussing Trump's upcoming Florida gathering.
RUSH: No, let me explain that. It’s just a guy at a microphone, a guy at a podium.
tnb......  "yeah, just like Jim Jones."


American Corrupitalism

The KPMG cheating scandal was much more widespread than originally thought



War

Ian Welsh Why Would Iran Attack Tankers? - The US War party needs to go.



War - Israel vs Palestine

Vox: This chart shows every person killed in the Israel-Palestine conflict since 2000





The Economy


Inflation Is Dead: What’s Needed to Reanimate It?
What would it take to bump inflation back to life—that is, above 2% yearly? Surging population growth with young people vastly outnumbering retirees, emerging market labor costs on a par with those in the West and Japan, and technology advances reaching a place where it’s not displacing any more workers. Oh, and perhaps a return of labor unions.
tnb.... I'd add more income/wealth equality.  


2020

Ian Welsh with a pretty good take on the D's that I like - Bernie Sanders vs. Elizabeth Warren



Politics - Death of the Reagan Regime?

A good series here on the death of the Reagan regime and the future of politics in the US, from Jack Balkin at Balkinization. Read them all.




2024 !? 

The 2024 campaign has started and Nikki Haley has Israel's vote.





6.18.2019

Monday

Politics

FOX News Poll: Bernie Sanders Would Beat Trump By 9 Points - I do think Bernie would beat Trump but you can't believe any Fox poll. They are R-Trump media and would plant shit like this just to divide the Ds.

The Man Who Reinvented Donald Trump



HealthCare

Trump says he will roll out new health care plan in next couple of months - Sure he will. I remember the campaign when he said he had a great healthcare plan ready to go.

from a 2016 speech the WP labeled "Donald Trump’s best speech of the 2016 campaign"
"..give you choice and freedom and control in healthcare at a much, much lower cost. You will have much better healthcare at a much lower cost and it will happen quickly."
Looking back, there is some amazing BS in this speech.

Trump should be asked about it every day.



War - Cyber

Could this,
South America power cut: Argentina investigates 'unprecedented' outage
be the US practicing for this
US Attacks Russia’s Power Grid; Trump Kept in Dark
or the hackers practicing for this.
Hackers behind dangerous oil and gas intrusions are probing US power grids
It seems strange that they are all in the news at the same time.



War - US vs Iran

Trump’s Evidence About Iran is “Dodgy” at Best

Deployment of 1,000 troops to Middle East shows US on 'a conscious course to provoke war' with Iran, Moscow says.



Cyber Crime

Satoshi Nakamoto Could Be Criminal Mastermind Paul Le Roux
"One of the most enduring mysteries of modern times has produced another enthralling twist. Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s pseudonymous and enigmatic creator, has not been seen online in more than eight years. Evidence has now surfaced that points to a new Satoshi candidate, whose known life has a number of parallels with that of Bitcoin’s inventor. His name is Paul Le Roux and, if proven to be Satoshi, there is a good reason why his 1 million BTC hasn’t moved – the Rhodesian has been in jail since 2012."


Economics

New Study Of Old Real Estate Bubbles (1582-1810) Finds Two Surprising Similarities With Modern Bubbles - This seems reasonable. When money piles up it has to flow somewhere.

I think about where the money is piling up, in the hands of a few or the hands of the masses. Today, it's the few who have boat-loads of cash so their money just sloshes around the world's economies keeping interest rates low and creating/bursting various bubbles.

Our recent housing bubble was really caused by the cash of a few looking for a place to go. The bankers thought they had found a way to package mortgages to make them safe for investors so they rounded up the investor money and turned it into easy money for the borrowers.

That easy money created the housing boom but also brought out scammers throughout the whole process from bankers, to mortgage companies, to real estate agents, to the end buyers, all were feasting on that easy cash until it all finally crashed down under it's own weight.

Of course the banks were the only ones bailed out by taxpayer money



Why can't We all Just get Along?

The Divisiveness of Cohesion
"Summing up: The first rule of promoting cohesion is: Don’t talk about cohesion.  The second rule of promoting cohesion is: Don’t talk about cohesion.  If you really want to build a harmonious, unified society, take one for the team.  Discard your anger, swallow your pride, and show out-groups unilateral respect and friendship.  End of story."
This sounds good but just won't work if a major group decides they just don't want to play along, Christians of the Roman empire, The R's today, etc.


Media - The Liberal Media Isn't.

Chuck Todd Fails Journalism 101 When Steve Scalise Lies



Media - Propaganda

Lots going on this morning. US vs Iran, Russia comments on troop build up, Trump to deport millions. What does Fox have for it's man story?




Israel and US vs the World

Some stolen land gets a name - Golan Heights: Israel unveils 'Trump Heights' settlement








6.16.2019

Sunday Morning

War - Middle East

Whatever Pompeo Says, there is no Certainty Iran mined the Tankers - I have to agree with Juan Cole. There is no way to know for certain who did this and since the Trump clan is trying hard to push Iran into war, Pompeo's quick announcement makes the whole story seems just a little fishy.

We'll never know who really did this but of the major players who might have, US, Iran, the Saudis, Houthi Rebels, ISIS-Al Qaeda, and Israel,  Iran had the least to gain from the act. My money is on one of the other five.

Also...

The President who's lied to your face hundreds, if not thousands of times says this, (From Fox News the propaganda outfit that misinforms continually)
President Trump pointed the finger at Tehran Friday for this week's attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman, after the U.S. Navy released video purportedly showing an Iranian vessel removing an unexploded mine that had been attached to one of the tankers.

In an interview with "Fox & Friends" Friday, President Trump said of Iran's alleged involvement: "We don't take it lightly".

“Iran did do it and you know they did it because you saw the boat,” he said, before pointing to video that showed an Iranian vessel removing an unexploded mine attached to a Japanese-owned oil tanker, the Kokuka Courageous.

Trump said the limpet mine had “Iran written all over it.”

"They're a nation of terror and they've changed a lot since I've been president, I can tell you."
Believe him or Not?

StoneKettle Station - Remember The Maine



Politics

Unctuous Toadie Lindsey Graham trips over his own tongue - Graham is a hypocritical bastard.



Media - Stupid Questions

WHY WON’T THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES MOVE TO THE LEFT ON FOREIGN POLICY? -  The Benjamins man, The Benjamins.



Propaganda - Healthcare

Economic Bill of Rights: Bernie Wants Same Healthcare Promise as Venezuela - Complete bullshit from right-wing Mish.  Bernie wants us to have healthcare like Europe or Canada.



American Corruptialism

FT: Amy Chua and the big little lies of US meritocracy
This week Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, Ms Chua’s daughter, was hired as a Supreme Court clerk by Brett Kavanaugh — the judge for whom her mother vouched during his stormy Senate hearings last autumn.

Ms Chua is a shrewd string-puller. A Supreme Court clerkship sets up a young lawyer for life. Whether she is enjoying the publicity is another matter. Overnight the Chuas have turned into emblems of what Americans distrust about their meritocracy.


The Market

Trump Might Really Be 'Crazy Like A Fox' On Trade-Fed-Market Nexus
You can read the piece for yourself, but the gist of it is that Zhao believes Donald Trump is gaming everybody, pushing the tariff envelope as far as he can in an effort to make the Fed so nervous about the prospect of a downturn in global growth that Jerome Powell has no choice but to cut rates. Zhao says there's a "high probability" that once the Fed eases, Trump will lower the tariffs and hope stocks soar on a combination of looser Fed policy and the end of the trade war.
I don't believe Trump is capable of this type of thought but the Rs in general play to win, fuck the rules so I could see this idea coming from the R marketing group as the 2020 strategy. 
The R's need a good economy to win in 2020. They can't just talk the Fed into lowering rates to fire up it up so they put pressure on it with tariffs to force the Feds hand. That I can believe and it is right up the R playbook.


Brazilian Corrupitalism

Gleen Greenwald on the corruption case in Brazil



6.13.2019

Wednesday

Media

Amazing! CNN questioning the official story! Iran will get the blame, but the Gulf of Oman truth is likely a lot murkier


Doublethink Is Stronger Than Orwell Imagined: What 1984 means today
"..too much information from too many sources, with a resulting plague of fragmentation and division—not excessive authority but its disappearance, which leaves ordinary people to work out the facts for themselves, at the mercy of their own prejudices and delusions."

WHICH VARIETY OF RIGHT-WING PROPAGANDA IS WORSE: RELENTLESS OR INSIDIOUS?
"But right-wing propaganda has succeeded in America by making conservatism seem like a way of life. It's not enough to vote Republican or agree with conservative stances on the issues -- Fox and talk radio make it seem as if every aspect of life is under threat from the left and the only possible response is constant fear, outrage, and vigilance. Long before YouTube or Facebook developed sophisticated algorithms to keep web surfers on their sites, Fox and talk radio discovered a potent mix of scare tactics and anger inducement that led to marathon viewing and listening."

Some Real News About Fake News



American Corruptialism

Is Jared Kushner Literally in Bed with the Saudis?

Company part-owned by Jared Kushner got $90m from unknown offshore investors since 2017



Economics

It's the Inequality, Stupid!




Politics

Bernie on Socialism - Watch Bernie Sanders Deliver Speech on Why Democratic Socialism 'Only Way to Defeat Oligarchy and Authoritarianism'



Interfering in Elections

Mike Pompeo Threatens To Intervene In British Democracy To Stop Corbyn Becoming Prime Minister













....

6.09.2019

The Weekend

Socialism

Why Call it "Socialism"? - Tim Taylor at the Conversable Economist is right
Thus, my modest proposal is that unless someone wants to advocate government ownership of the means of production, it's more productive to drop "socialism" from the conversation. Instead, talk about the specific issue and the mixture of market and government actions rules that might address it, based on whatever evidence is available on costs and benefits.
but, the power elite, Rs, Trump, Corporate Ds, most media folk, and especially the Fox Propaganda people throw "socialism" around as a scare word to drive people away from social programs for political reasons.  It's going to be hard to change that.



Media - Fox Propaganda

NYT Columnist: Fox Propaganda Is A Much Bigger Threat Than Facebook



Healthcare

Single-Payer Reform—“Medicare for All” - Read it all but, the main take-away is,
Halfway measures are politically attractive but economically unworkable. The $11 559 per capita that the United States spends on health care could provide high-quality care for all or it can continue to fund a vast health-managerial apparatus—it cannot do both.
Some other good stuff.
According to official estimates, insurance overhead is projected to cost an estimated $301.4 billion in 2019, including an estimated $252 billion for private insurers, approximately 12% of their premiums.1 In contrast, overhead is 1.6% in Canada's single-payer system and 2.2% in Medicare’s fee-for-service plan. Reducing US systemwide insurance overhead to 2.2% could save an estimated $238.7 billion.

A 2014 report suggested that [hospital] administration consumes 12.4% of hospital budgets in Canada (and 11.6% in Scotland) vs 25.3% in the United States,3 a difference of an estimated $162 billion annually.

A 2019 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report7 concluded that single-payer reform could lower administrative costs, increase incentives to improve health, and substantially reduce the number of uninsured individuals.



American Corrupitalism

How Payday Lenders Spent $1 Million at a Trump Resort — and Cashed In
At the Trump Doral outside Miami, payday lenders celebrated the potential death of a rule intended to protect their customers. They couldn’t have done it without President Donald Trump and his latest deregulator, Kathleen Kraninger.


Israel and US States

That didn't take long. (From a tnb post a few days ago)

Florida is not far behind.
The Wednesday afternoon meeting will mark the first time a US state cabinet has held a formal governmental meeting at the US embassy in Jerusalem.
and now this.........

Florida’s Governor just signed a bill that will censor criticism of Israel throughout the state’s public schools
Two days before DeSantis officially signed HB 741 into law in Florida, he carried out a symbolic signing during a ceremonial state cabinet meeting in Israel. 


US Media - Israel

Here's an article in Haaretz, a (the) major Israeli news source, that you would never see in US media. For some reason, the discussion about Israel's descent into fascism is allowed in Israel but not in the US.

Neither Israel's nor Germany's Slide Into Fascism Was Accidental
The Zionist attempt to create a secular-national movement based on Jewish identity could not help but have a religious messianic component. From there it was inevitable that it would turn racist By Yoav Rinon Jun 06, 2019