Closing Thought–25Feb20

First let me say Happy Mardi Gras!

Debate Night!

There will be 7 or so Dem candidates on the stage for the debate tonight……and of those there only Bernie is flush with cash……(sorry about that I was ignoring the billionaires buying their way forward)….

At a time in the race when running a presidential campaign is getting more expensive, many of the Democrats remaining have less money. After being camped in Iowa for what seemed like ages, the candidates now have multiple, scattered primaries ahead. And on top of competing with Bernie Sanders’ fundraising surge, they now face a billionaire climbing in the polls who can spend as much as is needed. Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren are nearly out of cash, Politico reports. Financial disclosures filed Thursday night show Biden down to $7.1 million, Buttigieg with $6.6 million, Klobuchar at $2.9 million, and Warren having just $2.3 million. At the other end is Sanders, who has close to $17 million. For January, the candidates raised $58 million in total and spent nearly $357 million, per the Hill.

The struggling candidates are taking steps. Buttigieg, who raised $6.1 million in January but spent more than twice that, asked supporters this week to kick in another $13 million by Super Tuesday on March 3. “We are now also up against a billionaire who is throwing colossal sums of money on television instead of doing the work of campaigning,” he wrote, referring to Michael Bloomberg. Tom Steyer also is funding his own campaign. Warren has taken out a $3 million line of credit, though she had a strong month in January, collecting $10.2 million. The problem was that she spent twice what she took in. With the new need to buy ads in 14 states, super PACs are stepping in, as well. A new one, Persist PAC, lined up more than $1 million worth of ads this week for Warren.

Most of these candidates……are depending on South Carolina to give them a bump and some much needed cash infusions.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Remember Benghazi!

Closing Thought–18Feb20

It was just a couple of years ago…..I know that is a lifetime thanks to social media….and the GOP was chest thumping and looking for blood from the Obama administration because of the death of the American ambassador in an attack in Benghazi, Libya.

We had months and months and lots of insulting words uttered by those dim witted Repubes….and in the end there was not much that could be done except bitch and moan…..

So I found this story interesting from the Trump administration……

The Trump administration has left an organization created in honor of Chris Stevens, the US ambassador killed in the 2012 Benghazi attack, out of its next budget. The fiscal 2021 budget proposal eliminates the $5 million requested for the nonprofit Stevens Initiative, part of the $420 million cut from the State Department’s cultural and educational programs, the Washington Post reports. The Stevens Initiative funding has been cut for the past two years, but Congress put it back in both times. A State Department official said it’s possible the $5 million for the program—the same amount it has received the past two years—could show up elsewhere in the budget before the final version is approved. The organization advocates online exchanges among US, Middle East, and North Africa students.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made his name investigating the Benghazi attack, Foreign Policy points out, and blaming Hillary Clinton, his predecessor, and other Democrats for the deaths of four Americans. Pompeo was a second-term congressman from Kansas at the time. Donald Trump said the same things in campaigning on the issue in 2016. “By the way, with Benghazi and with our ambassador—remember? That’s all Hillary Clinton, folks,” Trump said. The Stevens Initiative says it’s helped tens of thousands of students with virtual cultural exchanges. A colleague of the ambassador to Libya said Stevens’ interest “was in communities we couldn’t otherwise reach.”

If you thought the Repubes would be up in arms after using the deaths as a political tool….then you will be hearing the sound of crickets.

Typical from the cowardly Repubes…..but not to worry since all money issues originate in the House then I believe it will be put back in…..

I Read I Know, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Economic Humor For A Friday

Closing Thought–14Feb20–#2

Happy Valentine’s Day to all the lovers here on IST…..I hope your day will be good and filled with love…..

I always like it when some self-absorbed d/bag feels he/she needs to add his/her voice to any conversation…..this time it is the candidacy of Bernie Sanders……

The face of a crook that got away with massive theft….

Premium: Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs 170920

This time it is the former CEO of Goldman-Sachs has added his voice to the attacks on Bernie…..

Following his win in the New Hampshire primary last night, Sanders has emerged as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination to face President Donald Trump in November’s election.

In a rare outburst on Twitter, Blankfein suggested that Sanders becoming the nominee would mean “the Russians will have to reconsider who to work for to best screw up the U.S.”

“Sanders is just as polarizing as Trump AND he’ll ruin our economy and doesn’t care about our military. If I’m Russian, I go with Sanders this time around,” the former Wall Street titan tweeted.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/12/former-goldman-ceo-blankfein-if-im-russian-i-go-with-sanders.html

How good is this the same d/bag from Goldman-Sachs that helped blow up the economy in 2008?

This d/bag is not worried about Bernie’s economy he is worried that if Bernie wins election he will have to pay taxes on the cash he stole from the people.

How pathetic….some wealthy crook telling the American people to watch out for someone who will blow up the economy….

Seriously?

This would be humorous if it weren’t so goddamn pathetic.

Just another d/bag trying to look like he cares about anything but the accumulation of wealth and fucking anyone in their way.  Capitalism at its worse.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

New Trump Budget

Today is Monday the 10th of February and Trump’s new budget will be released today ……

Let’s look at what it will be and who will get the knife……

Confronted with trillion-dollar-plus deficits for as far as the eye can see, President Trump is offering a budget plan that rehashes previously rejected spending cuts while leaving Social Security and Medicare benefits untouched. Trump’s fiscal 2021 budget plan, expected to be released Monday, isn’t likely to generate a serious Washington dialogue about what to do, if anything this election year, about entrenched fiscal problems that have deficits surging despite a healthy economy. It was being released on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, a move that minimizes attention. For more in a fairly critical AP summary:

  • The budget proposal relies on rosy economic projections and fanciful claims of future cuts to domestic programs to show that it is possible to bend the deficit curve in the right direction.
  • Trump and key administration figures such as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had promised that Trump’s signature cuts to corporate and individual tax rates would pay for themselves; instead the deficit spiked by more than $300 billion over 2017 to 2019, falling just short of $1 trillion. Part of it is eye-popping levels for defense, about $750 billion this year, and comparable gains for domestic programs favored by Democrats.
  • In this year’s budget release, Trump has revealed initiatives of interest to key 2020 battleground states, such as an increase to $250 million to restore Florida’s Everglades and a move to finally abandon a multibillion-dollar, never used, nuclear waste dump that’s political poison in Nevada. The White House also leaked word of a $25 billion proposal for “Revitalizing Rural America” with grants for broadband Internet access and other traditional infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges.
  • The Trump budget also promises a $3 billion increase—to $25 billion—for NASA in hopes of returning astronauts to the moon and on to Mars. It also is likely to reprise his small-bore infrastructure initiative while proposing a modest parental leave plan.
  • Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to promise voters that his budget “will not be touching your Social Security or Medicare” in keeping with his longstanding 2016 campaign promise.
  • The reality is that no one—Trump, the Democratic-controlled House, or the GOP-held Senate—has any interest in tackling a chronic budget gap that forces the government to borrow 22 cents of every dollar it spends.

The budget will be $5 trillion…..waiting for all those fiscal conservs to attack it….but that would require the GOP to grow a set of cajones…..not likely.

I cannot see this news as a big news maker for the week….it is an election and the regurgitation of the candidates will be more important especially starting Tuesday and the NH primary.

On a side note–the many trade wars that Trump has chose to inflict on our economy is costing the American family $1000+ a year….

President Donald Trump’s ongoing trade wars are expected to cost the average American family $1,277 this year, according to a study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The figure is based on the negative impact of tariffs on economic growth, as well as higher prices to consumers as American manufacturers and retailers are forced to pay tariffs on imports.

Trump has boasted that trade wars are “easy to win,” and has repeatedly falsely insisted that China is paying tariffs directly into the U.S. Treasury. In fact, American companies importing goods or supplies pay tariffs enacted by Trump, and typically pass on those costs to consumers. In addition, U.S. industries are hurt by retaliatory tariffs enacted by other nations when American companies try to sell their products abroad.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/cbo-1277-trump-trade-war-cost_n_5e3f5db1c5b6f1f57f125dfe

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

That Trump Economy

It is just a matter of days before we start picking our Dem candidate for the 2020 election who will in turn meet Trump on the field of politics.

One of the few things that Trump can say for his presidency is that the economy is booming.

You see I do not buy that spin.

The markets are setting records which is great for investors but the average Joe may not be sharing in all this boom……. the stock market grew 31 percent in the 807 trading days before Trump’s election, but it grew by 56 percent in the 807 trading days after it, up through the third anniversary of Trump’s inauguration. 

But seriously folks…..

It should not surprise us in the least that the most dishonest president in U.S. history would spin a fantastical vision of the economy that appears to exist only in his imagination.

Indeed, Trump’s version of the U.S. economy is so outlandish that it would be laughable were he not president of the United States. “The United States is in the midst of an economic boom the likes of which the world has never seen before,” he said triumphantly Tuesday at Davos. Throwing out as many buzzwords as he could gather together in one speech, Trump proclaimed, at the risk of sounding repetitive, “America is thriving, America is flourishing, and yes, America is winning again like never before.” And, he claimed, “America’s newfound prosperity is undeniable, unprecedented and unmatched anywhere in the world.” Giving few specifics beyond the standard talking points scripted by his economic advisers, Trump resorted to his usual superlatives, saying, “America’s economic turnaround has been nothing short of spectacular,” and proclaiming, “No one is benefitting more than America’s middle class.”

But when asked about the economy, Americans take a different view from their president. A recent Pew research poll found that “[s]even-in-10 U.S. adults say the economic system in their country unfairly favors powerful interests, compared with less than a third who say the system is generally fair to most Americans.” Large majorities in all income groups from rich to poor are convinced the current system benefits powerful interests such as corporations and wealthy individuals.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/01/24/trumps-rosy-economic-outlook-big-lie

Then there is the slow economic growth…….

The US economy grew at a moderate 2.1% rate in the final three months of 2019, capping a year when growth slowed significantly due to a weaker global economy and trade war uncertainties, the AP reports. The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the fourth-quarter increase in the gross domestic product, the economy’s total output of goods and services, matched the 2.1% gain of the third quarter. Both quarters were well below the 3.1% surge seen in the first quarter. For the October-December quarter, growth was supported by solid but slower consumer spending and an improvement in the trade deficit. Those factors offset a further drop in business investment in new plants and equipment and a slowdown in restocking store shelves. For the whole year, GDP increased 2.3%, the weakest performance in three years.

That was also a slowdown from a 2.9% gain in 2018 when the economy got a boost from President Trump’s tax cuts and billions of dollars in increased government spending. Economists expect even slower growth in 2020 of around 1.8%. But that outcome could be threatened by various threats, from a spreading coronavirus in China to a flare-up in trade tensions between the US and China. Even the US presidential election could end up having an adverse effect on growth if a hard-fought campaign increases uncertainty among consumers and businesses and causes them to cut back on spending. While Trump has not achieved his GDP growth goals, he has seen unemployment fall to a 50-year low during his presidency, and after trade tensions with China began to cool late last year, the stock market rebounded and climbed to new record highs.

The Middle Class is struggling….the wealthy class is rolling in money and benefits….so you tell me who is making out like a bandit.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those Steel Promises

Closing Thought–30Dec19

Does anyone remember the promises Trump made in 2016 about the return of our industries like steel?

If you are a Trump supporter you will NOT remember that lie or that promise broken…..

Just to let Americans know…the steel industry is struggling and NOT returning….as a matter of fat it is closing down another plant…..

U.S. Steel Corp. announced this week that it will close a mill near Detroit, laying off more than 1,500 workers as it tries to address financial losses.

The news comes just months after U.S. Steel announced it would be laying off 200 workers at the same mill, Great Lakes Works. 

U.S. Steel said they expect to end the mill’s iron and steelmaking operations by April 1, 2020, with another part of the mill closing by the end of 2020. The estimated job loss is 1,545 workers.

Steel production will instead be shifted to a plant in Gary, Ind., where the company has invested $750 million after both the city and state gave U.S. Steel tax breaks. Those tax breaks aimed to keep at least 3,875 jobs at the plant.

The changes, along with a plan to slash its dividend and suspend stock repurchases, come as the company predicts major losses in the fourth quarter of the year. According to MarketWatch, U.S. Steel reported an adjusted loss of $1.15 a share in the fourth quarter. The number is far more than analysts’ original projection, which put losses at 62 cents a share. 

“We are conscious of the impact this decision will have on our employees, their families, and the local community, and we are announcing it now to provide them with as much time as possible to prepare for this transition,” CEO David Burritt said in a press release.

“These decisions are never easy, nor are they taken lightly.  However, we must responsibly manage our resources while also strengthening our company’s long-term future – a future many stakeholders depend on.  We will be taking steps in the weeks and months ahead to assist impacted employees by providing additional education about benefits available through our company, as well as community resources.”

The announcement comes as steel has been at the center of President Trump‘s ongoing trade war with China. After the first round of tariffs, the White House celebrated domestic steel price increases and Trump said tariffs were rebuilding the industry, but the prices have since seen a sharp decline.

The U.S. and China have closed in on a new trade deal this month, and are working out the final details. Officials said the deal involves lifting some U.S. tariffs on China, while Beijing has agreed to purchase more agricultural products from the U.S.

(thehill.com)

Just another lie that will go unchallenged…..

We hear all the time just how good the economy is doing….but do not ask the steel workers they may crap all over the “good news”….

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–11Dec19

The Dems wanted to prove that they did not go to DC justn to impeach the president…..plus they needed to give their members some cover in the close elections in 2020….for these reasons they helped pass the new NAFTA that Trump promised….

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday announced agreement on a modified North American trade pact, handing President Trump a major Capitol Hill win on the same day that Democrats announced impeachment charges against him, per the AP. Crediting Democratic negotiators for winning stronger provisions on enforcing the agreement, Pelosi said the revamped United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is “much better” than the North American Free Trade Agreement and “infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration.” “This is the right thing to do for our trade situation, for our workers,” she said. In a tweet, Trump said the revamped trade pact—his top Capitol Hill priority along with funding for his long-sought border fence—”will be the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA. Good for everybody – Farmers, Manufacturers, Energy, Unions.”

Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign relations secretary, said the three countries’ negotiating teams would meet Tuesday “to announce the advances achieved.” NAFTA eliminated most tariffs and other trade barriers involving the US, Mexico, and Canada. Critics, including Trump, labor unions, and many Democratic lawmakers, branded the pact a job killer for the US because it encouraged factories to move south of the border, capitalize on low-wage Mexican workers, and ship products back to the US duty-free. Weeks of back-and-forth, closely monitored by Democratic labor allies such as the AFL-CIO, brought the two sides together, though Trump had accused Pelosi of being too wrapped up in impeachment. More protectionist and labor-friendly, USMCA contains provisions designed to nudge manufacturing back to the US.

This is nothing but a political gimme to the president…..just a way to help Dems in the states that depend on trade for their economy.

This is just NAFTA 2.0, as it has been labelled)…..it is weak…..

The revised U.S.—Mexico—Canada Agreement (USMCA), announced today by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and endorsed by the AFL-CIO, represents a significant improvement on the draft agreement first released in 2017. Negotiators for labor and House Democrats strengthened the provisions on labor rights, environmental standards, and the enforcement of these rules, and also removed costly and egregious new protections for corporations, including giveaways by the Trump administration to pharmaceutical companies.

But the changes embodied in the USMCA still constitute Band-Aids on a fundamentally flawed agreement and process. Powerful multinational corporations have used and controlled the negotiation of trade and investment deals to facilitate offshoring and the deregulation of the U.S. and global economy, as noted by the Machinists Union, which has announced its opposition to the USMCA. The original North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) resulted in the loss of at least 680,000 U.S. jobs due to growing trade deficits with Mexico alone. It also caused downward pressure on the wages of nearly 100 million U.S. workers and the devastation of manufacturing communities across the United States, especially in the industrial Midwest and battleground states—with far-reaching social and electoral consequences.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/12/10/us-mexico-canada-agreement-weak-tea-best

Like I wrote…this is a weak piece of manure that does little but give Dems some cover for their upcoming elections back home.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”