9.17.2020

Thursday

Wars for Oil

The next middle East war may be over natural gas instead of Oil or Water

A new Great Game has begun in the Eastern Mediterranean

America’s War on Terror is the True Cause of Europe’s Refugee Crisis


Or Maybe Peace! 

I don't think so. I think Mish gets it right. Nonsensical Notion "Trump Brought Peace to the Mideast"

Neither Bahrain nor the UAE have ever been involved in any of the wars of Arabs against Israel. Where is the peace deal there?

The main source of violence in Israel for the past 45 years has been in the reaction Israeli treatment of the Palestinians. Where is the peace?

This deal sets the stage for Israel to complete an illegal annexation of the West Bank. That will bring violence, not peace.

Selling F-35s to the UAE is an odd part of a peace deal

The US still has troops in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, all against the  will of those countries. Is that peace or war?

I see this as an alignment of states with a common enemy, the oppressed Arab people.


Trump

Gullible Trump was manipulated by Netanyahu’s Deep Fake Video of Mahmoud Abbas to Cut off Palestinians


Healthcare

The greatest Health Care system in the world. GAMA!


Social Media and Russia

From Political Irony

"And they are only too happy to take money from foreign governments to influence our elections."

I wish everyone would stop talking about foreigners using social media to influence our elections. I'm sure they do to some extent but here are the Top 10 Facebook posts today.

Not a lot of Ruskies on the list.



Risk

A pain reliever that alters perceptions of risk

In study, acetaminophen makes risky moves seem less dangerous

"Hold my Tylenol and watch this!"




9.13.2020

Sunday Morning

Tunes

 It doesn't get much better than this.

 

 

American Crapitalism

Marc Dann: Want to stop public corruption? Jail business execs who break the law


Government and Markets

THE HAYEK QUESTION


2020

Shy Trump Voters

 I agree. Out here in Teabagistan, a Biden sign might get your mailbox knocked off.


2020 - October Surprise

Netanyahu will fly privately to the White House peace ceremony - October Surprise in the works.


The same poll showed two issues on which Trump was notably stronger than any others.

One was terrorism, where respondents approved of his performance by 45 percent to 43 percent. The other was the economy and jobs, where 46 percent backed his performance and, again, 43 percent disapproved.


Rogue Countries

Israel voted with the United States in opposing a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution aimed toward combating the coronavirus pandemic due to a last-minute Cuban amendment that called on countries to oppose unilateral economic, financial and trade sanctions, which later overwhelmingly passed in a 169-2 vote in favor, the Associated Press reported on Friday.  
169 to 2.


Sebia - Kosovo - Israel and Trump

Everything Trump does has a high level of bullshit.  Trump’s diplomatic coup with Serbia and Kosovo curdles quickly


Media - WTF

A lot going in the world but Google thinks this should be the first piece of news I see.






9.07.2020

Labor Day

Life Lesson #781

8 Personal Finance Lessons from Benjamin Franklin


Scammers

A good read - The Wildest Insurance Fraud Scheme Texas Has Ever Seen

Larry Flynt: My Final Farewell to the Falwells

If there is one person who could be said to have lifted the orange buffoon over the hump in 2016, it’s arguably Jerry Falwell Jr. The evangelical base, crucial for the election of any national GOP politician, was not warming up to Trump in the primaries, for good reason. Here was a man who had violated almost every principle of the Christian faith: he was married three times; accused of multiple extramarital affairs; repeatedly defrauded investors, contractors, and students; habitually lied; and practiced thinly disguised sexism and racism.

But Jerry Jr. assured his nervous flock that Trump “lives a life of loving and helping others as Jesus taught in the great commandment.” After the Access Hollywood tape came out, with Trump bragging about grabbing women’s pussies with impunity because he’s a rich bastard, the flock started getting cold feet again. But Jerry Jr. came galloping to the rescue with these choice bits of flimflammery: “God called King David a man after God’s own heart even though he was an adulterer and a murderer. You have to choose the leader that would make the best king or president and not necessarily someone who would be a good pastor.” And this: “It’s such a distortion of the teachings of Jesus to say that what he taught us to do personally—to love our neighbors as ourselves, help the poor—can somehow be imputed on a nation. Jesus never told Caesar how to run Rome.”


Media

Why Trump Supporters Can’t Admit Who He Really Is: Nothing bonds a group more tightly than a common enemy that is perceived as a mortal threat.

Not a word about how Fox News and right-wing media planted that hate in their listeners minds long before Trump.

Fox - Doing It Today (9/6/2020)




Working from Home

The commuters are revolting

Remote Work Is Killing the Hidden Trillion-Dollar Office Economy

And with that, tens of thousands of workers in the office support economy — those who “feed, transport, clothe, entertain, and shelter people when they are not in their own homes” — will lose their jobs.

ON MARXIST TORIES

Why are so many people focussing on the negatives of working from home? It is a great opportunity to reduce transport emissions, stop spread of disease through commuting and mingling at work/in city centres, and provides a more flexible and family-friendly working environment.

To this we should add that whilst WFH does depress demand for retail businesses close to offices, it should boost it in those near where we live, and revive local high streets. The money that home-workers save on commuting and on Pret’s sandwiches can be spent nearer home.


COVID

We're #1 - So much winning


Economy

More taxes on the rich and more unions for the poor would be a good start. Found Here











9.04.2020

Friday Night

Movies

Tremors Turns 30 - A better than average flick. 


About That Swamp? 

Why do taxpayers subsidize rich farmers?

"..about half the money went to farmers with household incomes over $150,000. That means billions of dollars, every year, go to households with income nearly three times higher than the median U.S. household income, which was $55,775 that year. "

Roaming Charges

+ The Postal Service paid  $14,000,000 to a company called XPO Logistics in just the past 10 weeks. Louis DeJoy has a stake in XPO Logistics that is worth between $30,000,000 and $75,000,000.

+ Don’t expect the investigations of DeJoy’s self-dealing to go very far. His putative boss, Robert M. Duncan, chairman of the USPS Board of Governors, is listed as Director of Mitch McConnell’s $130 million super PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund.

Also, Death Panels

+ Call Sarah Palin! Hospitals in New Orleans sent infected COVID patients home to die, leaving untrained family members without proper PPE to care for them. Death panels by for-profit medical “care.”


Trump

The Trump Era Sucks and Needs to Be Over

The question, “What is Trump thinking?” is the wrong one. He’s not thinking, he’s selling. What’s he selling? Whatever pops into his head. The beauty of politics from his point of view, compared to every other damn thing he’s sold in his life — steaks, ties, pillows, college degrees, chandeliers, hotels, condominiums, wine, eyeglasses, deodorant, perfume (SUCCESS by Trump!), mattresses, etc. — is that there’s no product. The pitch is the product, and you can give different pitches to different people and they all buy.


Working from Home

Two different takes on working from home.

Remote Work Is Killing the Hidden Trillion-Dollar Office Economy

And with that, tens of thousands of workers in the office support economy — those who “feed, transport, clothe, entertain, and shelter people when they are not in their own homes” — will lose their jobs.

ON MARXIST TORIES

Why are so many people focussing on the negatives of working from home? It is a great opportunity to reduce transport emissions, stop spread of disease through commuting and mingling at work/in city centres, and provides a more flexible and family-friendly working environment.

To this we should add that whilst WFH does depress demand for retail businesses close to offices, it should boost it in those near where we live, and revive local high streets. The money that home-workers save on commuting and on Pret’s sandwiches can be spent nearer home.






8.30.2020

Sunday AM

Scammers

This is the guy who helped convince evangelicals that they should back Trump.

Jerry Falwell Jr.'s fatal miscalculation

Business partner of Falwells says affair with evangelical power couple spanned seven years


Media - Making it up for Power and Profits

Killing the Truth - Pretty good read here.


Media - David Brooks

Trump and the Politics of ‘Mean World’


Police State

The White House Is Openly Threatening a Journalist With a 'Dossier'


Media - Facebook

What if Facebook Is the Real ‘Silent Majority’?

My Facebook feed, driven by people I went to school with, work with, or socialize with, basically Teabagistan natives, is almost exactly as described in the article. My Twitter feed is based more on national figures, economists, finance people and things I'm interested in and is the polar opposite.

I report a lot of Facebook posts but FB doesn't have a good reporting description for a lot of them. I generally use "Fake News" or  "Hate" but a lot of the posts have a grain of truth but are designed to misinform. They need a "Misinformation button" and people need to use it.


2020

Related to the FB post above. 

I get the feeling Trump isn't going to run as strong out here as he did the last time. I've been doing regular 100 to 150 mile loops through the Teabagistan countryside and I'm not seeing nearly as many Trump signs as I did in 2016. When I do see one, there are usually multiple Trump signs and often Confederate or "Don't Tread on me" flags flying alongside. I get the feeling there are fewer Trump supporters overall but the remaining are deeper into the cult than ever.

Still, I don't think there's any doubt he'll win the Teabagistan vote. 

I've only found one house with a Biden/Harris sign but on a slightly positive note, I haven't seen any of the hateful "lock her up" or "Hillary for prison" signs this this time. They were a regular occurrence in 2016.

There's an odd mix to the Trump supporters. Many, and I'd guess over 50%, look very poor with crumbling houses, tarp covered roofs, worn out cars, confederate flag curtains, signs like "house protected by Smith and Wesson", big mean dogs, etc. Others include wealthy looking farms or recently built McMansions.



8.28.2020

Friday

Data

3D Mapping The Largest Population Density Centers



Media - Building the Cult

Digby on the RNC, It was a dud.  Yeah but Fox is building the cult in the 25-54 demographic and that's all that really matters.

Fox News also dominated the key news demographic of people aged 25-54, in which the network scored 1.6 million viewers. That’s around 1 million more than its closest rival CNN, which delivered 600,000 in the demo.


GAMA - Great Again My Ass

Iran to allow UN watchdog access to 2 suspected ex-nuclear sites

On Thursday, the US attempted to invoke a punitive measure included in the JCPOA by declaring that Iran was, in fact, in violation of the agreement.

The JCPOA's European signatories - France, Germany and the United Kingdom - rejected the move, saying the US had no such right since it was no longer a party to the deal. 


How Trump brought us 11.1% Unemployment, lost Manufacturing Jobs, worsened Trade Deficits and Kowtowed to China



Also..














8.23.2020

Sunday

Society

If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich? Turns out it’s just chance. - One of my old pool-playing, drinking buddies used to say "He'd rather be lucky than good". 


GAMA - Great Again My Ass

found here: Jobs since Obama


2020

Planning the October Surprise - Pompeo & Kushner both due to visit Israel, Gulf Arab states this week


2016

A pretty good article on the Senate 2016 report here: A Collusion Reading Diary: What Did the Senate Intelligence Committee Find?  

This from Trump, Jr. seems odd. I don't know the full context but it looks like a straight-up phishing attempt. An unexpected message from an unknown person with a link. Trump Jr. clicks it and sends it around. It could very well have planted something on the PC of everyone who visited the site. You could be fired if you did this at most businesses. 

Guys I got a weird Twitter DM.from wikileaks. See below. I tried the password and it works and the about section they reference contains the next pic in terms of who is behind it. Not sure if this is anything but it seems like it's really wikileaks asking me as I follow them and it is a DM. Do you know the people mentioned and what the conspiracy they are looking for could be? These are just screen shots but it's a fully built out page claiming to be a PAC let me know your thoughts and if we want to look into it.


Republicans

Co-opt & Corrupt: How Trump Bent and Broke the GOP

 Yet, as the former Republican strategist Stuart Stevens asserts in his new book, It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump, it would be a mistake to conclude that Trump had somehow simply hijacked the GOP. The Republican Party had already become a laboratory for American autocracy, a vehicle for power combining a base of white supremacists and gun-rights extremists with leaders like McConnell who had long approved of subverting voting rights and other democratic procedures to maintain their privileges and authority.

The GOP was already becoming “Trumpian” even before Trump himself appeared to complete its self-destruction as a democratic party. Enticing and intimidating individuals into becoming their worst selves as willing collaborators is what authoritarians do best. On this count, Trump has succeeded magnificently.


Health Care

Only Medicare For All Can Beat Covid - BIden/Harris,... Are you listening?


Scammers

Jerry Falwell Jr. and the Evangelical Redemption Story




8.22.2020

Saturday

Life Lesson #72

How To Be Successful - If you're over 15 and want to succeed in the world, read this. If you're old.....read it and then send it to your kids


Media - The Liberal Media isn't.

Media outlets deliberately twist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's DNC speech


GAMA - Great Again My Ass

Trump walks Alone: Former US Allies Britain, France, Germany join Russia and China in Forcefully Rejecting Trump Iran Sanctions


Cops and Cons

THE JUNK SCIENCE COPS USE TO DECIDE YOU’RE LYING


2020

The Case For Trump, For Biden, And For Neither

Hard to believe the 2020 choices are just as bad or maybe worse than 2016. 

Trump is no doubt a worse candidate than he was in 2016 when people were willing to give him a chance to drain the swamp. I think all but "The Cult" realize he's not the man for the job.

The Biden/Harris ticket is not a lot different than HRC and "who was that guy?". Biden is too old and is the poster-child of a corporate D. Harris was the pick of the corporate Ds early but was beaten badly by progressives because, well, everyone is tired of corporate-owned politicians. With the addition of the various R supporters, the Biden/Harris ticket looks to me like the best corporate ticket since, well HRC and "who was that guy?". 

Still, Trump and the Rs are so bad that this progressive will vote Biden/Harris even though they look like Republicans to me.

I hope the progressive wing of the Ds fight the corporate Ds tooth and nail.


2020 - Take Two

I can see everyone of of these MF-ers using these same quotes in their next campaign, claiming the were always against Trump.









 

8.20.2020

Thursday

Media - Wingnut Propaganda Channel

Scholars' Letter on Senator Kamala Harris’s Eligibility


Israel vs Palestinians

Israel always seems to increase action against the Palestinians when the US attention is diverted.

Israeli planes bomb Gaza for seventh straight night

In Further War Crime, Israelis cut Electricity to Gaza, Idling 50,000 Factory Workers

2020

Trump enthusiasm? - Well, I rode about 100 miles up and down the East/West Teabagistan border this weekend. I see a lot fewer Trump-Pence signs than 2016 so I'd agree Trump enthusiasm is down but I've yet to see a Biden sign. 


I get the feeling that while the Ds have spent a couple weeks screaming for vote by mail and saving the PO, the R's are quietly signing up people to request an "absentee ballot". Ohio has been blanketed with absentee ballot application forms from the Ohio republican party. So yeah, there will be a lot of by-mail voter fraud this election but I'm guessing it will not come from where Trump has everyone looking.  


COVID

Just like the Flu - I remember our company department heads having to go to the local hospital for a class on how to handle H1N1. It was basically the same stuff as coronavirus, wash hands, hand sanitizer, etc. The big difference,... it was a month or so before flu season. We were out in front of H1N1.


GAMA (Great Again My Ass) - So Much Winning



Inequality

CEO compensation surged 14% in 2019 to $21.3 million

In 2019, the ratio of CEO-to-typical-worker compensation was 320-to-1 under the realized measure of CEO pay; that is up from 293-to-1 in 2018 and a big increase from 21-to-1 in 1965 and 61-to-1 in 1989. 

Inequality needs to be near the top of the list of things to fix. I don't think the corporate party candidates really see it as a problem. 

 

8.16.2020

Sunday PM

MAGA

More like GAMA, Great Again My Ass. Everyone has had enough of Trump and the conservative US regime. 

So much winning.

Trump threatens 'snapback' of UN sanctions against Iran

US cannot trigger 'snapback' sanctions on Iran: EU official: US withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018 and can no longer call on its mechanisms, EU foreign policy chief said.


Terrorism

Coronavirus czar accuses Arabs of ‘attacking’ Israel by spreading virus

Gamzu said, “The Arab sector in the last two weeks, after the Eid al-Adha holiday, almost carried out an attack that would have resulted in hundreds of patients. Gatherings, riots, parties, complacency, apathy - thinking coronavirus would not hurt them.”

How many days before Trump, Fox, or Rush accuse a group of terrorism by spreading COVID?  I'd say under 9.

 

Media

How three conspiracy theorists took 'Q' and sparked Qanon - Like a virus spreading through the population.





8.15.2020

Saturday AM

The Swamp

AFTER REP. RICHARD NEAL SECURED $3 BILLION FOR BIOFUEL INDUSTRY, SON SECURED LOBBY JOB


Big Government

Don't tear government down. Fix it. You'll like it

Quality of Government: A Statistical Portrait

This statistical portrait reaches a number of conclusions about quality of government, as defined to include rule of law, integrity, and other measures of impartiality and competence. 

We have seen that, on the whole, QoG tends to be higher in countries that are more democratic. To no one’s surprise, we have found that rich countries tend to be better governed than poor countries, although countries that are heavily reliant on natural resource wealth are distinct outliers in that regard. Finally, we have seen that better governments tend to be bigger, as measured by the size of their budgets relative to GDP. The data give little support to the idea that slashing government budgets is a reliable way to improve government quality.

We have also found that in key respects, life is better in countries that have high-quality governments, and even more so when those governments are both higher-quality and larger. That is true both when a “better life” is defined in terms of the satisfaction of basic human needs and when it is defined in terms of human freedom. In all these respects, the results are consistent with the preponderance of findings in previous literature in the subject, including my own earlier work.

To put it succinctly, that government is best that governs best.


MAGA

So Much Winning.

No Longer Leader of the Free World: Trump Admin. Humiliated at UN over Iran Arms Embargo

On Friday, the United Nations Security Council took up a resolution presented by US ambassador to the UN, Kelly Craft, aimed at an indefinite extension of the UN arms embargo on Iran. Only one of the 15 members, the Dominican Republic, supported the US resolution. Eleven abstained. And two–Russia and China, voted against it. The resolution would have needed 8 to pass and would have needed to avoid a veto by one of the five permanent members.

But it failed by 13 to 2. China and Russia did not even have to brandish a veto. It is hard to remember another vote on which the US was humiliated quite this badly, though if George W. Bush had actually pursued a UNSC authorization for his Iraq War in spring of 2003, he might have similarly gone down to epochal diplomatic defeat.

Let us underline this. The most powerful countries in the world and the current representatives of the main global blocs just sided with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei against Donald J. Trump.

The United States is no longer the leader of the free world.

Also, from Al Jazeera: Iran arms embargo: US has 'never been so isolated

And, Making Excuses for Trump: Where Does the Buck Stop?

Apart from anything else, Donald Trump’s demeanor has alienated nearly all of America’s traditional allies while most of the world regards him as a dangerous sociopath who is also something of a joke. 

Are we great again?


Politics

What Democrats Can Learn from the Republicans about Political Power - The Ds aren't very good at it but the progressives are getting better. 


COVID Economy

Where we spent our COVID dollars. Lots of good charts.

Fired up by Stimulus Money & Debt Deferrals, Americans Went Shopping. But Where? How Life Changed During the Pandemic


8.14.2020

Harris Birther-ism

Trump - Harris Birtherism

Birther Déjà Vu

Every post I see is giving Trump hell about this but he didn't start it. He amplified it and made it a wingnut talking point but it started with this opinion by John Eastman in  Newsweek. 

Some Questions for Kamala Harris About Eligibility | Opinion

Newsweek caught so much hell over it that they followed up with this.

Editor's Note: Eastman's Newsweek Column Has Nothing to Do With Racist Birtherism

Dr. Eastman was focusing on a long-standing, somewhat arcane legal debate about the precise meaning of the phrase "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" in the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment. His essay has no connection whatsoever to so-called "birther-ism," the racist 2008 conspiracy theory aimed at delegitimizing then-candidate Barack Obama by claiming, baselessly, that he was born not in Hawaii but in Kenya. We share our readers' revulsion at those vile lies.

.. 
Debating the meaning of these constitutional provisions and, in the particular case of Dr. Eastman's piece, the meaning of the 14th Amendment's phrase "subject to the jurisdiction thereof," is not an attempt to deny facts or to make false claims.

I call bullshit. It has everything to do with racist birtherism and right-wing propaganda. 

Eastman is a right-winger and has argued this before, 2008 Obama. He did not mention it in 2016, Rubio. He brings it up again now for Harris. It is an opinion article and I'm sure it's his opinion but the law is pretty well settled against his argument. "Debating the meaning of constitutional provisions" is fine but if you only drag it out at election time against a Democrat of color and not against white Republican it is "racist birtherism" in an attempt to swing an election.

Newsweek should be ashamed to play a part in obvious right-wing propaganda.  

tnb


8.13.2020

Thursday

 Tech

The Robots are coming for some jobs

THE EVER-ACCELERATING AUTOMATION OF FAST FOOD


Conservatives

From The American Conservative: Conservatism Is A Collection Of Losers. It Doesn’t Have To Be.


2020

It didn't take Fox Long. Just a few hours after Biden's announcement.


The right thinks Harris is a progressive?

Mish was right in the last post but way out of touch wrong on this one. Well, at least one line of this one.

"But Biden's caving into the progressive wing of the party with a political opportunist  like Harris is sickening to say the least."

Harris is pretty far down the list of candidates liked by progressives. She was the Corporate D's chosen-one early in the race but she couldn't beat Bernie so the D's got Biden in the race. Now they have their dream establishment D ticket. 

Still, Trump is so bad that I'll support this crappy ticket. 

I think progressives should do all they can to elect Biden but then stick to the progressive agenda when dealing with the D establishment.






8.11.2020

Biden vs Trump

 2020

Understanding Political Polls: Is the GOP Underweighted?


Pretty good analysis by Mish. 

On #4, more than a hand-full of my Trump-voter friends told me it really meant "Make America White Again".

I'm worried about Biden. He is hard to hate but he's old, doesn't seem mentally healthy, and may not live or function through the term. His VP choice matters more than most and he may end up with a VP candidate that is easy for people to hate, especially after the R propaganda machine gets rolling.

Ultimately, I think the D's are going to have a weak ticket. Biden may be better than he appears which would help but right now he looks weak and R's are salivating to run against his VP pick.

Trump could still win this thing.


8.09.2020

Sunday AM

 Fake Christians

This is the fake christian who help convince evangelicals to vote for fake christian Trump.


2020

October surprise' - Trump's last chance to get reelected legitimately I'm excited. What could it be this time? I'm sure it will be the greatest October surprise ever. A wonderful surprise. The Best. 

My prediction is a larger than normal attack by "Iranian linked terrorists", probably fake, designed to help both Trump and Netanyahu.


2020 - Foreign Interference 

Trump antagonizes GOP megadonor Adelson in heated phone call

Technically Adelson is not foreign, he was born in the US but he's said his number one issue is support of Israel. 

“He’s actually said publicly that he’s a one-issue guy and that issue is Israel," Elliot said of Adelson.

More about Adelson here: Adelson

Also, the "one-issue" quote above was on the Adelson Wikipedia page but has apparently been removed. I wonder why?


Why They Hate Us

UN: At least nine children killed by air raids in northern Yemen - We arm the Saudis, they kill civilians. Not a word in US media about it.


Charity

1 big thing: Charity 3.0

When Scott chooses a cause, she just gives them cash. No schedules, no promises, no strings.

This is great but I can see the scammers lining up. I hope she has a way to sort them out.


COVID

Every D should be should be hammering this in every media appearance. 

With only 4 percent of the world’s population, the United States has accounted for 22 percent of coronavirus deaths.   Found here: [LGM]