Tag Archives: Massachusetts

It started with a meme

Yes, I ignored the impeachment news for the longest of time, until the act is there, there is no impeachment. Just for the numbers people, this would be the 5th presidential path to impeachment, John Tyler (10) got his overturned 127-83, Richard Nixon (37) resigned before proceedings began and we got Andrew Johnson (17) and Bill Clinton (42) who both did impeached, by the way, I will forever have issues with a girl who keeps a sperm covered dress out of the laundry unless it was intentional the fact that she intentionally kept it for 9 months, and that is all I have to say on that subject. Now we get to the 45th President Donald Trump. When we look beyond the ‘grabbed her by the pussy‘ issues, we see a stage of bad decisions again and again, oh and I am a Republican at heart, so I am not giving you democratic rhetoric.

The first one is his inability to use social media correctly, even if we ignore the grammar issues on covfefe (aka coffee), we see the foundation of a person who apparently states his own frame of mind in all the wrong ways. In addition to this we see his choices on what to tweet, GQ magazine gave us in addition ‘The CIA Reportedly Pulled Its Top Spy From Russia Because Trump Can’t Keep His Mouth Shut‘ (at https://www.gq.com/story/cia-pulled-russia-spy-because-trump), this is actually the very first moment when impeachment became a reality, when an elected official cannot keep proper national security in line, the entire presidency becomes an issue and doubly so when the transgressor of national security is the President himself. Even if he did not do it, the stage of ‘is it more likely than not‘ has been met and for national security that is enough.

Musical chairs with clowns and politicians

The meme did not strike a chord because of John Oliver, even if he is a well-deserved comedian with a critical side towards politics. It was Jon Steward with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund bill (at https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/07/29/trump-sign-9-11-victim-compensation-fund-bill-first-responders/1835550001/), where he addressed a nearly empty congress. The idea that congress would not be there to give support to a bill where firefighters knowingly met certain doom is just beyond acceptable, from my point of view; those who were not there should be named and shamed for years to come. It must be mentioned that President Trump signed it into law and that might be the best thing he has done in his presidency.

The impeachment process continues as I get only an hour ago: “House investigators heard from Fiona Hill, the White House’s former top Russia adviser“, the Washington Post also gave us: “Trump renewed his call to unmask the whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry“, the fact is not that he wants to know the whistle blower, it will be about the materials that the whistle blowers (plural) are bringing. The additional fact that we get: “Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, who is scheduled to appear Thursday under subpoena” that the mess is a lot larger, the mess that hits the media is not a mess that we could avoid, the issue is that this mess should not have existed in the first place. The call from the democrat from Massachusetts is not to be taken lightly: “Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) shared a link to an article about Cheney’s comments. He argued that within the past week, Trump has “endangered our troops,” “allowed ISIS to regroup,” “abandoned our allies” and “empowered” the leaders of Russia and Syria. McGovern used another name for the Islamic State“, basically his own fat tweeting fingers got him into this mess. The foundation of what a fashion magazine brings (GQ) is the cornerstone for a much larger issue, the fact that the president of the United States of America is the national security issue is something America has (as far as I can tell) never faced before.

It all comes to blows with “Republicans have seized on a ruling that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) cannot participate in Monday’s deposition of Hill as they continue to argue the process should be open to the public“, for those in the dark, watch the movie called the Post, this is a direct stage where Republicans wanted things out of the media, there the issue was: “With help from editor Ben Bradlee, Graham races to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spans three decades and four U.S. presidents“, the Pentagon papers showed levels of folly never before imagined, and there was a need to go public, however, the Pentagon papers was about a stage 4 years after the war, in the end proving that the Johnson Administration “systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress” source NY Times. this time it is different, these are events now playing out, even as the Russian news got out AFTER the agent was safe, the fact that the president is part of a national security danger is just too unacceptable and before this goes to the public, the sources must be heard and vetted behind closed doors, I fully agree and I see the wisdom in that, even if the current president and the current administration does not.

I believe this administration made massive errors in the US China trade wars, and even more errors in the entire Huawei ban, the most visible one is that no evidence was ever presented that Huawei is a national security risk, because of the unproven accusations they are wrong, this is different in the UK where the head of MI6 (Alex Younger) gave the clear premise that no government should be dependent on essential infrastructure from foreign suppliers, which does make sense, but then they order their hardware from Finland and Sweden, so there is still some level of issue in place. the entire matter comes to blows in different ways as the larger group of EU nations (Germany being the latest) has kept the doors open for Huawei, now we get to the stage that America feared, Huawei will enable these nations to make faster headway in Europe, expected losses for the US will go between $5 Billion and $8 Billion in the next three years alone. My own expected IP would be available for implementation by Q2 2021 (if Huawei accepts), implying that there will be a boost to the 400 million small business owners outside of the United States, leaving an optional $4 billion out of reach of the US in that time frame alone, the moment my projection is proven values should double, in addition to that the entire telecom service model will change to a larger degree, giving the small business owners a lot more options to choose from, that part is also part of the impeachment.

When the economic models under this administration fail, the democrats will add that entire cart (whether valid or not) to the blame game. Whether we consider this or not, the current president will to some degree be blamed for not being a Guardian of the Economy. The Huawei and China trade pacts are merely one part in this. This administration has pushed the American deficit to the highest in history, even if we accept that the bulk of that failure are the American corporations who became complacent and flaccid, it is more likely than not that the democratic party will voice this in another way. In addition, the guilty of life for Americans have only gotten worse. At present it seems that the current president failed in at least 6 of his 7 roles, as far as I can tell the other impeachment had less on those presidents, we can argue that an adulterer is supposed to lie about those actions, so let’s not go there.

The roles

Chief Diplomat. Failed, the China trade war, I believe that the acts against Iran were justified.

Chief Legislator. Undecided

Party Leader. Failed, his racist tweets are a clear example and they are not the only one.

Chief Executive. Failed, openly hostile to challenges, his manner towards the National Security Advisors as well as his issue with academic opposition makes him a failed chief executive, He used 4 National Security Advisors in ONE term, which is a record as well.

Chief of State. Failed, the G-20 summit, as well as his dealings with the media gives him a fail mark.

Commander in Chief. Failed, the actions in Syria call his military insight and decision making into doubt to the largest degree.

Chief of Guardian of the Economy. Failed, Chinese trade war could have been prevented, outside factors (like iterative corporations merely added to the failure) and of course there were a few fiscal blunders as well.

The entire national security issue, as well as the connections that are being investigated should have sparked impeachment well over a year ago, perhaps the entire CIA matter ended up being the straw that broke the impeachment camel’s back. #Justsaying 

Yet this entire matter is far from over, the Guardian reported: “Donald Trump’s secretary of defense said on Sunday the Pentagon would cooperate with the House’s impeachment inquiry, while cautioning that Trump may try to restrict his disclosure of information“, whilst CNN gives us “Democrats also face extra scrutiny over their strategy as they race to prove that Trump abused his power by seeking election dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden from the President of Ukraine“, the question becomes why focus on strategy? Are the actions valid or not? Can a case be made or not? That is the mother lode of impeachment. Yet the fact that even Republicans are now more and more in support of the Ukraine investigations are making the map of red a hazardous place, it means that not only is there every chance of the next elected president being a Democrat, they have a real chance of winning both congress and the senate in 2020, this would push republicans out of play for 4 years, 4 years on the sidelines with their only option to play interference to some degree.

This was a race with growing chances; the entire impeachment matter merely hastened the shift from red to blue. At present there are numbers giving rise to the chance that the republicans will lose 7 senate seats, with an additional 4 unknowns that could optionally make the next election the biggest loss for Republicans in the Senate since 1936. In that year Democrat Joseph Robinson ended with 74 seats, I am willing to wager my last $1 that there is an option that the Democrats are at present optionally in a position to get 75 seats; it would be a new record. Republican Nebraska has one small advantage as Ben Sasse was openly critical of President Trump, in 1936 they were independent, this time around there is a chance for Chris Janicek to become Senator for the Democrats if he gets the right support, and of course if he plays his cards right.

Impeachment did no start with a meme, but my look at the shift of comedians and politicians did, when national wisdom and honour comes from a man like Jon Steward (never my favourite comedian) we stop and pause to reassess our values and we look at what we hold to be endearing and holy to us, holy values are not religious values, our family tends to be holy, our achievements are enshrined, but the steps we take to enable the next generation (usually our kids) are our step towards holy grace, we all want to leave something behind that lasts and when the clowns are running the asylum (congress) and Donald McDonalds has a large white Kentucky Fried Chicken mansion on Pennsylvania avenue (a little upstream from the FBI building, we see the folly of choices and we tend to demand change, in the case of America it took almost 4 years to figure out the folly beyond the minimum required degree.

When we seriously consider replacing Donald Trump with Jon Steward as President of the United States, at that point we realise that our values need to be restored, and we will elect whoever will give value to the values that truly matter, social media be damned.

I believe that there is a larger need; not merely the separating from church and state, the separation from corporations and state is now becoming a larger imperative, especially with a national debt that at present exceeds $22.8 trillion dollars with absolutely no plan in sight to repay any of it.

 

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Vive la what?

France decided, Emmanuel Macron is now the President of France. I will not shout some ‘hack’ issue. I believe that France made a choice, how well the choice is, is something that the President-elect of France will have to prove to be. Not the lame statistics on how young he is. The Guardian gives us some of the optional bad news (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/07/theresa-may-congratulates-macron-on-victory-as-eu-breathes-sigh-of-relief) where we see: “Happy that the French have chosen a European future. Together for a stronger and fairer Europe.” No, they did not and your rhetoric only is a first piece of evidence that the EU and the ECB are considering a former investment banker to be the reason to play your games, forcing people deeper in debt and slowly turning the EU into something despicable. For the most, the article is fine. Today will be all about congratulating President Macron, whilst those shaking hands, calling the Palace or sending letters are desperately trying to get a few political punches in. That is part of the game, yet the dangers due to the greedy need of the USA is about to become actually dangerous. Marine Le Pen could have sunk those dangers, although it would come with other issues, there is no denying that. Yet the economic health is going to be a first, in that Crédit Agricole, BNP Paribas and Natixis would guard against that happening to France (after they take care of themselves and their needs), yet will it be enough? The quote that President Macron is giving now is: “I do consider that my mandate, the day after, will be at the same time to reform in depth the European Union and our European project,” Macron had told reporters, adding that if he were to allow the EU to continue to function as it was would be a “betrayal”. It sounds nice, but over time and especially as we watch delay after delay will we see if he is actually made of stern stuff. Time will tell and there is no way that it would be regarded as fair to see any initial headway until at least 10 days post forming his government. Yet there is a side we must take heed from. It is seen in the quote “he spoke out against a “tailormade approach where the British have the best of two worlds” creating “an incentive for others to leave and kill the European idea, which is based on shared responsibilities”“, this sounds nice, but responsibility also implies accountability, a side that has been absent from the EU and the ECB with ongoing lack of transparency for the longest time, in that Brexit remains a valid step.

So why do I seem to be freaking out?

That is partially true. Not because of Marine Le Pen not making it, which might have solved a few things. It is the part I mentioned yesterday with the Financial Choice Act. As a cheat sheet (at http://media.mofo.com/files/uploads/Images/SummaryDoddFrankAct.pdf)

shows us: “The Dodd-Frank Act creates the Financial Stability Oversight Council (“Council”) to oversee financial institutions“, that part is now effectively gutted from the Dodd-Frank Act. The damage goes a lot further, yet as I see it, the people in the White House have just enabled the situation that what happened in 2004 and 2008 can now happen again. When that happens the Euro will take a massive hit too. With Brexit part of that damage can be averted and in layman non diplomatic terms, we can state that as JP Morgan is getting the hell out of Brexit, the damage they could potentially cause in the near future will be on the books for the places that they go to or remain in.

One of the dangers is seen in the key principles of the Financial Choice Act. With ‘2. Every American, regardless of their circumstances, must have the opportunity to achieve financial independence;‘ we can read it in a few ways, one of them being that this is the sales pitch where the Greater Fool can invest in something, using funds that person does not have whilst endangering whatever financial future they thought they might have had. It basically opens a door to get some of the suckers’ bled dry fast. In addition with ‘3. Consumers must be vigorously protected from fraud and deception as well as the loss of economic liberty;‘, I do not see protection, I see a setting where basic protection is in place, yet as we have seen with the issue in 2008, the amount of people who lost it all whilst prosecution failed to protect the people and convict the ‘transgressors’ nearly 100% is just too stunning, and it is a lot more dangerous now as the global population has nowhere near any level of reserve of protection compared to the last time around. In addition, when larger firms start playing this game, they will drag whomever they passively claimed to protect (like retirement plans, like mortgages they held) with them.

There is another side which takes a little longer to explain. Yesterday someone tweeted an image I remembered when I grew up. You see it is all linked to what I was part of in the 80’s. I saw the application of segregation, isolation and assassination in a less nice way. It drew me back to my childhood, when I was introduced to practices by the Nazi’s in WW2 during my primary school history lessons. To identify the Jewish people, they were told to wear the Yellow Star of David. When I saw the image my thoughts started to align, unlike the puzzlement of the population at large in 1941-1943 as the star was made mandatory in several nations, the people were uncertain to the matter, with the exception of the Dutch underground who would not trust any German for even a millimetre, they were able to hide 25% of the Jews, so in the end well over 100,000 Jews were deported. From those only a little over 5,000 survived. The Dutch underground was able to keep close to 30,000 hidden, with well over 2/3rd surviving the war. Most people, would not learn of the actual fate of the deported Jews until much later, many remained in disbelief for many years after the end of WW2 in 1945. You see, it is that phase that I feel we are in now, we seem to be in disbelief as laws are past to give a sector of industry more leeway, whilst they (according to some sources) made 157 billion in profit and that is in the US for 2016. So you want to open the tap for a system that is less regulated, non-trustworthy and have shown in 2008 to embrace all greed at the expense of anyone else? How is that a good idea?

 

 

So what evidence is there?

Well, there is Senator Warren (Democrat for Massachusetts) who called it an ‘insult to families’, in addition we see “so that lobbyists can do the bidding of Wall Street“, which is still a political statement. When we see the partial part (at http://financialservices.house.gov/uploadedfiles/financial_choice_act-_executive_summary.pdf), we see “Provide an “off-ramp” from the post-Dodd-Frank supervisory regime and Basel III capital and liquidity standards for banking organizations that choose to maintain high levels of capital. Any banking organization that makes a qualifying capital election but fails to maintain the specified non-risk weighted leverage ratio will lose its regulatory relief” It is the very first bullet point and leaves me with the situation that banks have no right to relief when they take a certain path, yet they still get to gamble. I especially like the part in section 4. “Make all financial regulatory agencies subject to the REINS Act, bi-partisan commissions, and place them on the appropriations process so that Congress can exercise proper oversight.” Yet, the REINS Act only passed the Senate, yet is not law at present, in this it is called on to do what? If the Financial Choice Act is set into law before the REINS Act, the US will have a gap the size of the flipping Grand Canyon, in addition, from the McIver Institute we see the opposition from the Democrats with “The REINS bill is similar to legislation moving through congress, but with lower thresholds“, yes, that has proven to be a good idea in the past! Still it is a view of Democrats versus Republicans and it is a Republican government (House, Senate & White House), so wherever are the clear academic dangers? We get that from Mike Rothman, president of the North American Securities Administrators Association and Minnesota commissioner of commerce with “It is clearly evident that the changes contemplated by the bill would significantly undermine and compromise the ability of regulators to effectively enforce financial laws and regulations“, whilst the I saw the term “this voluntary state-federal collaborative framework“, so the collaboration is voluntary, not mandatory. In the last decade, when have we seen a proper level of protection in a voluntary state of any matter?

The beginning of the dangers are shown by the Consumerist, which took a look at version 2.0 of what many regard to be a travesty. In this we see:

  • Require the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to get congressional approval before taking enforcement action against financial institutions
  • Restrict the Bureau’s ability to write rules regulating financial companies
  • Revoke the agency’s authority to restrict arbitration
  • Revoke the CFPB’s authority to conduct education campaigns
  • Prevent the Bureau from making public the complaints it collects from consumers in its Consumer Complaint Database

The one I had a stronger issue with is the one that tosses responsible spending around. The issue ‘Remove requirements under the Durbin Amendment that guided how much credit card networks could charge retailers for processing debit card transactions‘, so basically by charging stronger on debit cards, people will see a need to pay cash or force the credit card risk on people who for several reasons prefer not to do so. In addition the restrictions to arbitration will give leeway to Financial Institutions to avoid all kinds of courts as the victims (called consumers and investors in this case) any right to hold the financial institutions to account. It is rigging even stronger an unbalanced system. Marc Jarsulic, Vice President for Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress called this ‘a system that removes protections against taxpayer-funded bailouts, erodes consumer protections, and undercuts necessary tools to hold Wall Street accountable‘, which was already an issue at present making it a lot worse. It seems that the junior workers of 2008 are now in a place where they would prefer to fill their pockets before their luck runs out. The last bit is purely speculative from my side and it might take until 2020 until I am proven correct, yet at present 2 years is a long time to await the dangers of a greed driven system to get a little greedier. It is in that that segregation from the Euro will become essential soon enough, especially as there is no one muzzling the ECB and its crazy need to spend funds that they do not have and will not have for years to come. As for the news we see appear at present on Bloomberg shows my correctness from another side. At https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-05-07/a-reverse-trump-tax-plan-delivers-an-economic-miracle-in-sweden, we see how a reverse of the Trump ideal works a miracle in Sweden. Now, it sounds a little too good to be true and it is. You see, I am not against the principle that Sweden has, yet in Scandinavian terms, the Swedes are uncanny social. I once joked that a woman can get married, after a year she gets the bun in the oven and gets paid maternity leave. If she starts making buns non-stop, she will never work another day (as long as she gets pregnant immediately after giving birth), 20 years and 22 kids later, she still has an income, a sound and secure retirement fund with only one year of work. It is almost true and I admit far far fetched. Yet the social side of Sweden allows for this. Because that one person will be the utter outlier in any statistical graph. The Swedish solution works in a social educated country like Sweden. In America which fosters self-centeredness and greed, this system would be abused at the drop of any hat and the system would collapse. You see, Bloomberg does not mention, that unlike America, companies in Sweden do not shun taxation (IKEA seemingly being the exemption to that rule), which is also a huge difference. In addition, Swedish Civil Law has a sizeable extensive system of Administrative Law which would also contribute. As we see commerce in Sweden increase, the Swedes will automatically feel the brunt of that in a positive way (as I personally see it). Yet it is not all good and summer there, as Magdalena Andersson faces a vote of no confidence if certain changes are not stopped, or even more adamant, be rolled back to some degree.

It is this combined view that France is now seen as ‘Vive La what?’ It is very much on how certain banks and the ECB are called back to stop endangering the future of too many people, Quantative Easing be damned. It is in that environment that the Financial Choice Act is an upcoming danger as Wall Street gets to be in charge of how money flows, in what direction, risky or not. As for what happens between now and 202, I truly hope that I am wrong on every count, because the 2008 global losses which have been estimated to set around $15 Trillion could easily be doubled this time around. More important, as global national reserves are none existent, the impact will hit the consumers and retirees in ways that they cannot even fathom, it makes the hardship in Greece look like a cakewalk as I see it. I will happily be wrong, yet the visibility we already see at present sets me more likely than not correct, which is really scary, not just for me.

Oh and if you doubt me in this (which will remain forever valid), why have we seen massive levels of misinformation from papers with ‘NO ONE wants to risk GREXIT’ Economist says Greece bailout will go ahead to SAVE Eurozone’ (source: The Express), whilst we know that you cannot be set out of the Euro or Eurozone involuntary, and ‘saving Eurozone’ is a little strong is it not? Or the Daily Mail that gives us that Brexit is a gift to the Greeks. This is not merely a point of view, certain sources are adamant to misdirect the focus of the people, if the Euro was such a gift from the gods, misdirection would not have been needed, would it?

 

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When you lose a friend

I feel sad today, today I feel like I lost a friend. Leonard Nimoy has left this world at the age of 83. My ‘friendship’ began when I was just 9 years old. It was a Sunday, it was after watching soccer, we got to see Star Trek, the episode was “Where No Man Has Gone Before” and I was hooked! Like many others we were all about Mr Spock, Kirk was cool too. I was not one of those obsessive people where life was all about Star Trek and Star Trek alone. I loved Science Fiction, Fantasy to a lesser degree. Over the years I would see the voyager of the Enterprise and then again, but I would also see other things. So when after I long silence Star Trek, the Movie came out, I was happy as a little schoolkid. Leonard Nimoy was back! Mr Nimoy wold be back in a way that was a lot better than ever, you see it was not just as Mr Spock. There was Galvatron (voice only), then in 1987 he amazed us in other ways. He directed Three man and a baby, a remake from the 1985 movie ‘Trois hommes et un couffin’. The result was a masterpiece, putting Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg and Ted Danson together gave it the zest that would make the movie a great success (it turned 11 million into 179 million). It was clear that there was a whole lot more to Leonard Nimoy, than just the Vulcan Spock.

In 1991 he did something that would cut into me even deeper than I imagined. He made ‘Never forget’. It is a drama that gives voice on the Holocaust, one that would stay with me for some time. The story is about Mr Mermelstein (played by Leonard Nimoy), a survivor from Auschwitz who stands up to the challenge when he is confronted by a hate group. We see another side. For me it was a strong piece, until that time I had never given any thought to those who ‘adhere’ to Holocaust denial. The movie shows the strong acting abilities of Leonard Nimoy, more so than Star Trek ever did.  He studied at the University of California, got his Masters of Arts from Antioch College (OH), and he ended up seeing many sides of the arts. Books, Photography, Screenplays, Poetry, Music, Directing and Acting. He would even appear in a music video from the Bangles and narrate in the video game (Kingdom Hearts). A man, born in Boston Massachusetts would become a well-known person to well over a billion people. I feel that I lost a friend today. He did not know me, we never met, and in this regard I am not alone. Millions of fans will feel the same way today. Some will only remember Spock, some will remember the photographer, the director, and some will remember him as a mentor.

An interview to see is one on Piers Morgan last year (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0K9qqFaSY0), it shows a health issue that will hit a lot more people that many would have thought. It would get him in the end. He never stopped being a teacher of life!

He had a huge impact on me and for now, I feel a little lost today, I know I am not alone with this feeling.

 

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