What Happened To The Community Bank?

About 5 years ago there were several locally owned community banks in my area…..and slowly they have been systematically eating up by larger more national banks…..

I got to thinking about the demise of community banks and went on a research mission….to see if I could find a reason for the demise of these institutions.

After several days…I found what appears to be a good explanation for this mass extinction……

As a rewsponse to the economic crisis of 2008 the government came up with a plan….Dodd-Frank…..it was at best minor reform…..nothing has really changed but it did allow for the demise of the community bank……say what?

The Dodd-Frank regulations are so lethal to community banks that some say the intent was to force them to sell out to the megabanks.

Source: Killing Off Community Banks – Intended Consequence of Dodd-Frank?

This ends my posting day…will return tomorrow with more stuff…..peace out

Still “Feel The Bern”?

After her performance in front of the Benghazi inquisition Hillary’s poll number have risen sharply….leaving Bernie in he dust….in few places…..so is Bernie on the down slide?

I think not……at least not right now…..Clinton’s appearance last week just gave her more media exposure than a political event gave Bernie.  I am not saying that Bernie has a lock on the nomination….just that he is not finished…….not just yet…..

Since she got so much favorable press recently….Bernie had to come out swinging……

Hillary Clinton got an idea of what Bernie Sanders’ supporters mean when they chant “Feel the Bern” last night at the Iowa Democrats’ Jefferson-Jackson shindig, with supporters descending into shouting at times and Sanders himself taking aim squarely at Clinton and her record—without, as ABC News notes, so much as mentioning her name. Highlights of the fundraiser, also via Politico:

  • Sanders on the Trans-Pacific Partnership: “That agreement is not now, nor has it ever been, the ‘gold standard of trade agreements.’ I did not support it yesterday. I do not support it today. And I will not support it tomorrow.”
  • Sanders on gay rights, specifically DOMA: “In 1996, I faced another fork in the road. A very, very difficult political situation. It was called the Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA. And let us all remember that gay and lesbian rights were not popular then. … That was not a politically easy vote. Now today, some are trying to rewrite history by saying that they voted for one anti-gay law to stop something worse. That is not the case. There was a small minority opposed to discriminating against our gay brothers and sisters and I am proud that I was one of those members.”
  • Sanders on not being electable: “By the way, just to remember, about eight years ago—all of the political experts talked about how another Democratic candidate for president just could not win. He was unelectable. Remember that guy? Oh, it is President Obama.”
  • Clinton hits back: “Sometimes when a woman speaks out people think it’s shouting.”
  • And scores an endorsement from Obama’s 2008 campaign manager David Plouffe: “To be honest, during the most intense days of the 2008 primary, I would never have imagined writing this. And I doubt Team Clinton felt any differently about me. … She’s the right person to protect President Obama’s legacy on health care and so much else.”

I like Bernie because he does not play the endless games with slogans….he has offered up some solutions and such that I can understand and get behind…..I have NO use for negativity and slogans….those do NOTHING to solve problems…..

Over the weekend I read a story that made me think and laugh…….of course…it was a POLL!

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) currently leads Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump by 4 percentage points more than Hillary Clinton does, according to RealClearPolitics. However, while the polls have Clinton over Trump now, it’s Sanders who represents the best chance for a Democrat to beat the reality star. The Vermont senator is the worst nightmare for a GOP challenger, primarily because his value system is the antithesis of Republican stances on war, foreign policy, Wall Street and the economy.

Ultimately, the only hope for Democrats beating Donald Trump is Bernie Sanders. He’s honest and brings tremendous enthusiasm to progressives and he’s raising more than enough money, without a super-PAC, to win the presidency. Sanders is almost surpassing Clinton in terms of fundraising, yet only 0.039 percent of Sanders’s donors have given the maximum money allowed. He experienced a greater boost in the polls than Clinton after the debate, so Democrats are rallying around the Vermont senator even as loyal supporters defend Clinton at all costs. When given the choice between Sanders or Clinton, Trump and the GOP would choose Clinton and her scandals over an energized base of progressives championing a Sanders presidency.

Do not think this poll is accurate?  Of course not!  It is way too early in the process for such…….this is a propaganda ploy to my thinking…..

As the elections grow closer….we will begin hearing more and more about socialism and Bernie…..just a trick of the trade….but Bernie has coverd this in a speech…….

Source: Bernie Sanders’s socialism speech, and what he can learn from Kennedy and Obama in JFK Assassination

I still Feel The Bern……

 

Those Pesky Congressional Hearings

The Benghazi debacle has been drawn out to last 72 weeks and it still has little to report…..wasting money instead of doing the country’s business is the norm these days…..trying for political dominance is the goal….and that is just sad on so many levels.

I am not saying that there should be NO hearings on situations that the government is involved with…..I am saying that there should be some things investigated that have been somehow overlooked…..

Juan Cole has a list that I completely agree with………

The fruitless carnival barking that was the GOP Benghazi inquisition did the nation the disservice of taking focus off the things really wrong with US policies, and places there really was wrongdoing. So here are some suggestions for real investigations:

1. We still don’t know why Bush-Cheney launched a groundless war of aggression on Iraq in 2003 and tore up the United Nations Charter that post-Nazi diplomats hoped would forestall further such wars of mere aggrandizement. Shouldn’t Congress, which was kept in the dark and actively lied to, look into how it and the country got snookered into destabilizing the Middle East?  (please read on…..)

Source: Top Five Things Congress Should investigate instead of Benghazi | Informed Comment

 

Is It Bush Lite?

Oops!  Got caught with the checkbook down…….

I have to admit that the run up to the 2016 election has been very entertaining…..there is something for everyone……humor, sorrow, disgust, whining and support……people come and go……candidates talk and lie……pundits speculate and bloggers just rant…….

But all that is just stuff…..and then I read something that makes me go….WTF?

Donor pressure, plummeting poll numbers, and a wrench named Trump have caused Jeb Bush’s campaign team to start what Reuters calls “reboot mode” and make a drastic decision: slash pay for campaign workers and downsize its Miami headquarters, leading to a 40% payroll decrease and $1 million savings per month, senior campaign officials tell Bloomberg. “Aggressive” measures include cutting salaries of all but the most entry-level workers, decreasing travel costs by 20%, and slashing 45% of the overall budget, except funds for ads and voter contact, per a campaign statement. Bloomberg notes downsizing will include letting consultants go and removing some senior staff from payroll (though some will reportedly keep stumping as volunteers). “Jeb is in this race for the long haul … [and] we are in this campaign to win,” the statement says.

The statement doesn’t beat around the bush about the person beating down Bush. “It’s no secret that the contours of this race have changed,” it notes. “We would be less than forthcoming if we said we predicted in June that a reality television star supporting Canadian-style single-payer health care and partial-birth abortion would be leading the GOP primary.” But with $10.3 million in the bank at the beginning of October (and hopefully more to come via fundraising), campaign officials believe the cutbacks will help them divert more funds to early-voting states, where the Bush camp says it has the largest field operations, Bloomberg notes. One person thrown about Jeb’s financial jiggering: rival Ben Carson. “This is a little bit surprising, but … a lot of his money … was super-PAC money as opposed to campaign money,” Carson says in an interview set to air on Bloomberg TV Friday. “That doesn’t give you as much flexibility, quite frankly.”

But wait!  I thought he had $100’s of millions in the bank for his campaign…..what happened?  What happened to the statement “I am my own man?”

This is just crazy!  A Bush strapped for cash?  Go figure!

Maybe it his new attitude…….

Said Bush: “If this election is about how we’re going to fight to get nothing done, then I don’t want anything, I don’t want any part of it. I don’t want to be elected president to sit around and see gridlock just become so dominant that people literally are in decline in their lives. That is not my motivation.”

He added: “I’ve got a lot of really cool things I could do other than sit around, be miserable, listening to people demonize me and me feeling compelled to demonize them. That is a joke. Elect Trump if you want that.”

Sounds like a pouting 5 year old…..

Debtor’s Prison Of Days Gone By

Do you know where you heard the term “Debtor’s Prison”?

Many of those that came to the New World were religious zealots on the run and people fleeing from debtor’s prison……our ancestors were actually running from the law…

But what is debtor’s prison exactly…….A debtors’ prison is a prison for those who are unable to pay debt. Prior to the mid 19th century debtors’ prisons were a common way to deal with unpaid debt.

Meanwhile back to my state of Mississippi……along the Coast there are 2 major cities…Biloxi being one of them and this city has made the news…..

Debtors prisons are supposedly a thing of the distant past—except in Biloxi, Miss. That’s according to a class-action lawsuit filed against the city, its police department, the courts, and a private probation company, alleging these agencies have conspired to threaten poor residents into paying up to avoid jail time, the Guardian reports. Despite a 1983 Supreme Court ruling that imprisoning someone because they can’t pay fines violates the 14th Amendment, the lawsuit documents 415 such people in Biloxi who were thrown behind bars between September 2014 and March. A lawyer for the ACLU, which filed the suit, says locals were “arrested at traffic stops and in their homes, taken to jail, and subjected to a jailhouse shakedown,” calling it “a debtors’ prison from the Dark Ages.” One notable case: a 51-year-old jailed a month for misdemeanors mainly related to his homelessness.

An NPRprobe found all 50 states are engaging in such practices (and more and more lawsuits are being filed), but Biloxi takes issue. “We believe the ACLU is mistaken about the process in Biloxi,” the city noted in a statement, though it says it hasn’t yet seen the lawsuit. “The court has used community service in cases where defendants are unable to pay their fines.” The lead plaintiff, Qumotria Kennedy, is a 36-year-old single mom who makes $9,000 a year as a cleaner. She was a passenger when her friend was pulled over in July for running a stop sign. Police ran Kennedy’s name, and she was arrested and jailed due to $1,000 in unpaid court fines and late fees. She spent five days and nights in a holding cell and lost her job; the fees are now $1,251. “The probation person told me if I don’t pay it, I will be arrested again sooner or later,” she tells the Guardian. “I don’t believe this is right. I just hope other people in the world don’t get treated like I have.” (A New Orleans parish is facing the same scenario.)

The South may be attempting to move out of the shadow of its past but there are some things that never change……Mississippi and its sister state Alabama are stuck in pre-1950 history….

Poverty: Mississippi’s Shame

I write about the conditions in my state, Mississippi……we are always at the top of the “worse” lists and the bottom of the “best” list…..healthcare…bottom, wages…..bottom, poverty….top…etc.

Regardless of what most state politicians want the world to believe there is NOTHING good going on in Mississippi for the people……

Take a trip through the Northwest part of the state along the Mississippi River…..you will see poverty like you have NEVER seen both….basically, if you did not know where you were you would swear it was a third world nation.

There are homes in the “Delta” that still do not have indoor plumbing….yes, I know…it is the 21st century……

These photos of today’s Mississippi Delta…….

 

I bring all this up because we were promised back in the early days of NAFTA that scenes like this would become a thing of the past written about only in history books…….

Globalization has been one of the worse ideas to fight poverty, especially in the South…….if anything it has made poverty even more brutal than before….

Source: Brutal Poverty in the U.S. South Is Caused by Globalization — and Statistics Don’t Make it Better | Alternet

Now we have another promise of less poverty with the new trade agreement….TPP….

You can write about poverty and its effects….but if you have never looked it in the face….then your opinions are worthless as the promises of better days.

 

100 Years War: Battle of Agincourt

This week’s history lesson…….

My regular readers know that I have studied War in depth….my doctorate was on war and I have never stopped being interested in the subject.  I also am a huge history buff and especially when a war is involved…

I recently read an interesting piece about the Battle of Agincourt, a battle fought during the Hundred Years War (1337-1453)…….

What started this war…….

Edward III, king of England, asserted that he in fact had a superior claimed to the throne because his mother was Philip the Fair’s daughter. This, then, was one of the primary causes of the Hundred Years’ War. Another cause of the Hundred Years’ War was clearly economic conflict. The French monarchy tried to squeeze new taxes from towns in northern Europe which had grown wealthy as trade and cloth-making centers. Dependent as they were on English wool, these towns through their support behind English and Edward III.

This is the conflict that made Joan du Arc a household name……However I would like to focus on one specific battle….The Battle of Agincourt.

History says that it was a rip roaring victory for the English….that is fine but why was it such a victory?  The Battle of Agincourt is often heralded as one of the greatest English military victories. Here are ten reasons why King Henry V’s army was able to defeat a French force four times its size

Source: Battle of Agincourt: ten reasons why the French lost – Telegraph