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Member since: Fri Apr 4, 2014, 04:21 PM
Number of posts: 16,104

Journal Archives

Trump's Fed criticism is nearly without precedent in US history

His most recent attack on normal competent behavior.

Source: CNBC, by Jeff Cox

President Donald Trump's move to criticize the Federal Reserve is almost without precedent in a nation that places a high priority on the independence of monetary policy.

Almost all of Trump's predecessors steered clear of Fed critiques in the interest of making sure that interest rates were set to whatever was best for the economy and not to boost anyone's political fortunes.

The closest analog with Trump's apparent efforts to influence interest rates — he prefers the Fed keep them low — was how former President Richard Nixon arm-twisted Arthur Burns to maintain loose monetary policy as Nixon sought re-election in 1972.

That didn't work out particularly well: As the 1970s economy continued to grow, inflation took root thanks to low rates and remained stubbornly in place until the early 1980s, when then-Fed Chair Paul Volcker had to tighten policy sharply. That in turn pushed the economy into recession but also helped slay the inflation problem and paved the way for the most powerful growth the economy had seen in the post-World War II era.

Read it all at: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/19/trumps-fed-criticism-is-nearly-without-precedent-in-us-history.html

Still in the dark.

U.S. housing starts hit nine-month low; permits fall

First, it's a tiny little snowball. Then, it's a bunch of little snowballs. Then...

Source: Reuters, by Lucia Mutikani

U.S. homebuilding fell to a nine-month low in June and permits declined for a third straight month, dealing a blow to the housing market as it struggles with a dearth of properties available for sale.

Higher lumber prices and shortages of land and labor are constraining homebuilding. The housing market is lagging overall economic growth, which appears to have accelerated in the second quarter after hitting a soft patch at the start of the year.

Housing starts tumbled 12.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.173 million units last month, the lowest level since September 2017, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. The percent drop was the biggest since November 2016 and both single and multi-family home construction declined in June.

Residential investment contracted in the first quarter. June’s sharp drop in homebuilding could impact on economists’ forecasts for second-quarter growth, which are as high as a 5.3 percent annualized rate. The economy grew at a 2.0 percent pace in the first quarter.

Read it all at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy/u-s-housing-starts-hit-nine-month-low-permits-fall-idUSKBN1K81L4

Sitting in the dark.

"It's always something" - a new wrinkle in Alabama elections

The recent Alabama law prohibiting "crossover voting" in primary runoffs - voting in one party's primary and then switching to vote in the other party's runoff - just hit a weird bump in the road.

State Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery, got a surprise when he went to vote in the Democratic runoff at Alabama State University today.

Knight, who is in a runoff with Sen. David Burkette for the Democratic nomination in Senate District 26, was told he could not vote in the Democratic runoff because he had voted in the Republican primary on June 5.

"Which is crazy," Knight said. "I was a candidate."

Knight said the chief inspector at the ASU polling place said other voters had experienced the same mix-up.

Read the rest at: https://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2018/07/democratic_rep_john_knight_han.html#incart_river_index

A commenter pointed out that a Republican ballot at Alabama State University (HBCU) would be like getting "tofu in a KFC box!"

John Knight at ASU.

Secretary of State confirms Rep. John Knight's voting record 'altered'

Rep. John Knight's voting record was changed to show the Democratic Senate candidate voted Republican in the June 5 primary, according to Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.

"Apparently that’s what happened," Merrill said when asked if Knight's record was changed. "At some point it had to be altered because he was shown as a Republican. I can assure you having served with John Knight in the Legislature that he’s not a Republican. ... We'll find out why it happened."

Dear Alabama MoveOn member...

Hey - one of those comments is from a DUer!


Tim Tebow confirms relationship with reigning Miss Universe


This is not even the first time Tebow has dated a Miss Universe winner, though the last time didn’t work out so well. The former quarterback seems to be in a good place right now, with a happy personal life and some success professionally as well.

Don't you just have to respect this future Met's luck? I mean, come on! Isn't this getting ridiculous?


Is Tom Steyer the progressive answer to the Koch brothers?

A Democrat we need!

Source: The Guardian, by Rory Carroll

“Are we afraid to tell the truth because it might piss someone off? No.” A thousand times no, says Steyer, thumping the table during a recent interview in Los Angeles. It is time to “retake” the United States. “We’re trying to do something to protect the country, protect the democracy, protect the people. This is a fight between right and wrong and I don’t see why people want to sweep that under the rug.”

The former hedge fund manager, by some estimates the biggest individual spender in American electoral politics, assails not just Republicans but those Democrats who, in his view, lack the guts or brains to fight for what is right. “They’re worried about pissing off Republicans. They want to create a civil atmosphere where there’s a possibility of civil discourse and compromise. Do you see any civil discourse and compromise from the Republicans? Or are they lying for money and putting us all at risk?”

Mention the public shaming of White House officials such as Sarah Sanders and Stephen Miller, a controversial tactic which has divided Democrats, and a Cheshire grin seeps across Steyer’s face. “Jeez, that’s too bad.”

He elaborates. “Let’s assume that you’re torturing children, then you come over for a drink at the local pub? Not with me. You don’t get polite discourse when you’re a torturer.” Ditto climate-change sceptics who shill for fossil fuel companies. “These guys want a pass to make millions of dollars and put the world at risk. Do you have a problem with that? Yeah, I have a problem with that. Do you want to lie to my face and put everyone at risk, and then have a cocktail, really?” He stretches his arm and gives the middle finger. “Not with me.”

Much, much more at: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/13/is-tom-steyer-the-progressive-answer-to-the-koch-brothers

A "campaign" coming to your neck of the woods soon? Maybe!

Today at Need to Impeach:

We know exactly where the bull is!

From his golf club this morning:

The Dow has been meandering since the Rs passed their deficit-busting "Great Tax Break" - brag?

Unemployment? Obama's phenomenal chart, and an uptick at the end - brag?

Campaign rhetoric: "Day one!" "Trade Wars are easy!" "I do deals! It's what I do!" Brag?

Yesterday, June 2018: China trade surplus with US hits record $29bn high

Check the record!

With Rs in charge, taxes go down, deficit goes up, economic inequality rolls on -- and we will have a recession.

"The Hangman"

An open letter to anyone who loves Anthony Bourdain and what he stood for

Long tradition of blaming 'the women.' (see Genesis: Eve). Time'sUp!

Source: L.A. Times

On June 8, we lost a rare, great man. Anthony Bourdain was a lightning rod of cultural connectivity. He brought disparate, marginalized people together and made the unknown accessible — some of the many gifts that made Anthony such a valuable presence in our collective lives, whether we knew him or not. An unwavering supporter of women and the #MeToo movement, Bourdain’s loss was a tragedy on so many levels, to so many people who saw him as a beacon of a new way of being. We share that grief and deepest sadness for his family and those closest to him whose pain must be unimaginable.

One of the most vocal and unwavering figures in the #MeToo movement has been Asia Argento. At the center of our community, Asia has stood, her fist in the air, fighting daily not just for justice for those of us she has come to know, but for abused people the world over.

Asia has now found herself on the receiving end of vicious cyberbullying and repulsive slander at the hands of internet trolls who hold her responsible for Anthony’s death. She has been accused of everything from causing her boyfriend’s suicide to trying to use her “survivor status” and the #MeToo movement to advance her career.

There has long been a traditional narrative of blaming, vilifying and martyring courageous women. We reject that narrative. If there is one thing we know with unwavering confidence, “sexual violence victim” is not a title anyone wants attached to themselves. Being known as a sexual assault victim isn’t a badge of honor or career booster; it’s a highly difficult, sometimes traumatizing and humiliating experience. All of us who have taken the risk of coming forward — and it is truly a risk to us, our reputations, relationships and mental health — have faced harsh criticism and often outright anger and hatred online, in our respective communities and, for some, within our own families. Yet we come forward in the hope that we can change things for others and end the sexual violence and abuse that has flourished with impunity for millennia.


Read the rest at: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-ol-bourdain-argento-metoo-open-letter-20180712-htmlstory.html#

You KNOW what Bourdain would have to say to these neanderthals who blame the victims:

"Press Captures UK Arrival!"

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