Closing Thought–07Feb17

The magic wand known as the EO……

May I see a show of hands to all the working stiffs that have a 401(k)?

Recently I wrote about something brewing with these plans….

Source: The Magical 401(k) – In Saner Thought

I revisited this subject because of something I read the other day…..

A new executive order the Trump administration introduced on Feb. 3 would drain your 401(k) to fund the private equity industry by repealing a previous Department of Labor fiduciary rule, the Intercept reports.

The fiduciary rule, which was to go into effect in April 2017, “would have forced investment advisers in workplace retirement plans like 401(k)s to operate in their clients’ best interests, rather than recommending high-cost, high-risk products that offer the advisers kickbacks and perks,” according to the Intercept.

Trump’s order specifically outlines the intent to “empower Americans to make their own financial decisions, to facilitate their ability to save for retirement and build the individual wealth necessary to afford typical lifetime expenses.”

Source: Trump executive order will benefit the private equity industry at the expense of your 401(k)

If you are depending on a 401(k) for your retirement then please pay attention to what is passed in DC that could effect your holdings…..

With that I end my posting day…..enjoy your evening and I will return asd soon as the coffee is made….peace out…..chuq

What Could Happen In 4 Years?

Every now and then I do a “what if” scenario……a post about what might have happened if only one minor situation is changed…..

I found a “what if” in The Week magazine….that ask the question what will happen if Trump is super popular after his first 4 years…

Friday’s jobs report was more evidence of the kind of slow, plodding improvement we’ve grown accustomed to since the end of the Great Recession. But now that Donald Trump is about to become president, what happens if the slow, plodding improvement keeps up? The answer is a nightmare for Democrats: Come 2020, Trump could be very popular.

Political science suggests the economy is enormously important in predicting how an election will swing. In fact, the most stupidly simple models of Americans’ voting behavior — the ones that account for the economy, which party is incumbent in the White House, Americans’ natural tendency to change course, and little else — predicted the outcome of the 2016 election just fine. In fact, they were saying Trump was the likely victor months ago. It’s just no one believed them.

Source: What if Donald Trump is super popular in 4 years?

The way things are going right now it looks like he will not be popular in 4 years….but that news will be excused away as with everything he is doing…..

Like I said…this is someone else question and answer….so please do not shoot the messenger.


I Feel So Much Safer Now (Sarcasm)

This war on terrorism is going well if you count the physical aspects but what about the program to counter the on-line recruitment and radicalization?

We are kicking ass and taking names on the ground but in the fight on-line is another story…..

In that seemingly endless array of US government programs intended to counter ISIS’ online recruitment, the Pentagon invested substantial money in a program called WebOps, meant to employee top language specialists to scour social media and talk potential recruits out of joining ISIS.

Those familiar with the program call it an absolute disaster, quickly becoming a laughingstock in social media circles for its incompetence, and having no measurable impact beyond costing money, and leading to investigations of impropriety.

Counter-propaganda efforts failing is nothing new, but the ways in which WebOps has failed are definitely unique, centering in no small part on their “Arabic specialists,” meant to talk ISIS recruits out of joining, having no experience in counter-propaganda, little to no understanding of Islam, and not even being able to speak Arabic very well.

This has been the source of a lot of mocking from would be targets, who get approached and quickly discover the specialists are unintelligible, using incorrect words all over the place. Workers said that one translator had mixed up the word authority with the word for salad, and made numerous social media posts about the Palestinian Authority which referred to it as Palestinian Salad.

While Centcom is downplaying the problems and refusing to discuss the matter too directly, reports are that whistleblowers have been pushing investigations into the program, even as the Pentagon has begun taking bids on another $500 million scheme that aims to do what WebOps was supposed to be doing, but isn’t.


Maybe someone in the new admin ought to address this lack of success and find a way to expand this program to include a successful conclusion.

Just a thought that will not do anything to improve their success percentage….get more media bang for visuals not shadow ops…..

Is Trump’s United States Our United States?

Since the election of Donald Trump there has been a question asked….what sort of America will this become?  We have become a petty race when we make more out of small occurrences than large ones….our fascination with someone’s choice of head gear, for an example….what has become of this nation?

This is a good piece that tries to answer this question….

Are we the great US of courage, spunk, openness, inclusion, opportunity and democratic promise — as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms and Emma Lazarus’ sonnet engraved on the Statue of Liberty?

Or are we the sad US of fear, cowardice, bigotry, xenophobia, intolerance and autocracy — negative traits emanating from the darkness of Donald Trump’s miserable dystopian view of our society, which has now resulted in him unilaterally imposing a contemptible and chaotic ban on immigrants from seven Muslim nations.

Source: Is Trump’s United States Our United States?

What course will this country take?

One More Putin Foe

There seems to be a trend occurring around Russia’s Putin…..opponents seem to die off all around him….

It was that ex-spy in London that was poisoned in his tea….then there are the homegrown opponents that die in Russia….and the opponent in DC that was found dead in his apartment…..and we can add another one to the ever growing list……

For the second time in less than two years, Russian dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza was suddenly stricken ill and hospitalized in Moscow this morning. At this moment, he is unconscious, in intensive care, and on life support. His symptoms today are identical to those of two years ago when he was hospitalized under highly suspicious circumstances with many believing he had been poisoned. His wife and three children live in a suburb of Washington D.C.

Vladimir is perhaps the most authentic, articulate, informed, reasoned, effective, and persistent advocate for reform and decency in Russia. He has carried his message to audiences in Washington, and across Europe and his own country. He played a key role in the passage of the Magnitsky Act which restricts travel to the US and freezes the assets of designated Russians whose violations of human rights standards have been especially pronounced. Vladimir is also courageous beyond words. After his friend and colleague Boris Nemtsov was murdered outside the Kremlin almost exactly two years ago, Vladimir chose to return to Moscow to advocate for reform in Russia. He did so at considerable personal risk and sacrifice.

Source: Vladimir Kara-Murza, Opposition Leader, on Life Support in Moscow Hospital | World Affairs Journal

Seems this is a typical reaction by a Russian leader…..can you recall the purges that Stalin was famous for?  The old saying comes to mind…”slow and steady”….