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Offline knarf

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Now do you finally believe baby boomers are the most selfish generation?
« Reply #11205 on: February 14, 2018, 04:27:58 AM »
I like to call the Masters of the Universe at night, after the market has closed, the dust has settled, and the gains and losses realized during the day have crystallized into some kind of truth about where the market is headed.

And last night, amidst the terror of the last few days and an avalanche of policy news out of Washington, I had a break through with one of them.

"Can you finally admit that your generation is insanely selfish," I asked the billionaire on the other side of the line.

"Yeah, I guess you're right," he said gradually.

He had to admit it. We had just gone over his analysis of why the stock market has been puking. Here it goes: After last week's $500 billion budget deal was announced — along with the $2.1 trillion deficit it will create by 2027 — a new paradigm was created. "It's a crazy amount of money they're spending. The market doesn't how to handle it," he said. "These Republicans sure do like to spend money."

Spending like this in peacetime is unheard of. This spending coupled with a weak dollar, growth, and tax cuts, sets us up for raising interest rates. It sets us up for major volatility. It sets us up for extreme pain in the event of a downturn because our debt and deficits will explode, possibly grinding our economy to a halt.

What it doesn't set us up for (not in the least) is the future. And that is why baby boomers are the most selfish generation.
Receipts

More fun news from Washington. Now that we're looking at the budget, it turns out this tax cut is going to cost us more than we thought.

From the Washington Post:

"[The budget] projects that tax receipts will be $314 billion lower in 2018 than it forecast last year and almost $400 billion lower in 2019. The White House even projects that tax receipts will be $200 billion lower in 2027 than forecast last year, even though it had promised that the plan would fully pay for itself by then."

Of course, this is with the completely unreasonable growth projections of eight years of 3% GDP growth with only mild inflation and just two recession years. Any economist will tell you it's the height of delusion, and it's all so this generation can sack the future to ensure that those who already have, have even more in the present.

Everything your parents (especially the Republican ones) told you about fiscal responsibility was a convenient lie. Millennials, go buy yourselves some Supreme on eBay, treat yourself to all the avocado toast you can find, go cop all the sneakers you desire. Nothing matters. If there is a future we'll be broke in it anyway.

You see, what my source fears, and what the market now has to factor into its great collective consciousness, is something like what happens when you give a five year-old all the candy in the world and then try to figure out when they'll pass out after the sugar rush.

This is what the market is in the process of trying to come to grips with — the fact that we've foolishly, selfishly, recklessly set ourselves up for a moment when we will (eventually) crash.
A history of entitlement

It would be unfair to blame this mess entirely on the Trump administration and its atrocious economic policy. Indeed, this selfishness has been a feature of the baby boomer generation since the 1970s. It's just that now, in what is likely some of the generation's last gasps in the seat of power, they're really doing their worst.

They learned it from an economist named Milton Friedman. Toward the end of the 1960s and in the early 1970s, Friedman was the champion of a school of thought in economics called neoclassical theory.

According to this theory, every human action is motivated by selfishness. As such, all humans can be motivated into doing anything as long as there is an economic incentive for it. In fact, no one does or should look out for the good of the collective — corporations should worry only for their shareholders and not for their workers or their customers, for example. Individuals should think only about their own bottom line. It's all that matters to them really, anyway — the me, here, and now.

Slowly, we are learning another way. Behavioral economists like Richard Thaler, who won the Nobel Prize in economics last year, see humans differently and are slowly convincing the world that this highly logical selfishness is not what motivates humans. Instead, they say we are predictably irrational creatures who sometimes value values over dollars. It's a nice way to think about individuals, it's an even better way to make policy for society.

It sounds like something Bill Clinton referred to it in his acceptance speech for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in July 1992:

"America was the greatest nation in history because our people had always believed in two things — that tomorrow can be better than today and that every one of us has a personal moral responsibility to make it so ...

"Of all the things that [then Republican President] George Bush has ever said that I disagree with, perhaps the thing that bothers me most is how he derides and degrades the American tradition of seeing and seeking a better future. He mocks it as the 'vision thing.'"

It isn't vision Bush was mocking, it was the future. At least, that's what the market is telling us. This short sighted entitlement has even the Masters of the Universe — who will benefit more than most — turning in their GOP "fiscal conservative" cards and worrying about their great-grandkids. And they should do all those things.

We've been saying that baby boomers are the most selfish generation for some time. Now do you believe us?

http://www.businessinsider.com/budget-deal-proves-baby-boomers-are-selfish-2018-2
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Offline knarf

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The Military Industrial Complex Strikes Again:War Spending Will Bankrupt America
« Reply #11206 on: February 14, 2018, 04:30:44 AM »
    “Why throw money at defense when everything is falling down around us? Do we need to spend more money on our military (about $600 billion this year) than the next seven countries combined? Do we need 1.4 million active military personnel and 850,000 reserves when the enemy at the moment — ISIS — numbers in the low tens of thousands? If so, it seems there’s something radically wrong with our strategy. Should 55% of the federal government’s discretionary spending go to the military and only 3% to transportation when the toll in American lives is far greater from failing infrastructure than from terrorism? Does California need nearly as many active military bases (31, according to militarybases.com) as it has UC and state university campuses (33)? And does the state need more active duty military personnel (168,000, according to Governing magazine) than public elementary school teachers (139,000)?”— Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times

Mark my words, America’s war spending will bankrupt the nation.

For that matter, America’s war spending has already bankrupted the nation to the tune of more than $20 trillion dollars.

Now the Trump Administration is pushing for a $4.4 trillion budget for fiscal year 2019 that would add $7 trillion to the already unsustainable federal deficit in order to sustain America’s military empire abroad and dramatically expand the police state here at home. Trump also wants American taxpayers to cover the cost of building that infamous border wall.

Truly, Trump may turn out to be, as policy analyst Stan Collender warned, “the biggest deficit- and debt-increasing president of all time.”

For those in need of a quick reminder: “A budget deficit is the difference between what the federal government spends and what it takes in. The national debt, also known as the public debt, is the result of the federal government borrowing money to cover years and years of budget deficits.”

Right now, the U.S. government is operating in the negative on every front: it’s spending far more than what it makes (and takes from the American taxpayers) and it is borrowing heavily (from foreign governments and Social Security) to keep the government operating and keep funding its endless wars abroad.

This is how military empires fall and fail: by spreading themselves too thin and spending themselves to death.

It happened in Rome. It’s happening again.

Not content to merely police the globe, in recent decades, America has gradually transformed its homeland into a battlefield with militarized police and weapons better suited to a war zone.

Since taking office, President Trump—much like his predecessors—has marched in lockstep with the military. Now Trump wants $716 billion to expand America’s military empire abroad and billions more to hire cops, build more prisons and wage more profit-driven war-on-drugs/war-on-terrorism/war-on-crime programs that eat away at the Fourth Amendment while failing to make the country any safer.

Even the funds requested for infrastructure will do little to shore up the nation’s crumbling roads, bridges, railways, highways, power grids and dams.

No matter how your break it down, this is not a budget aimed at perfecting the Union, establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense, promoting general welfare, or securing the blessings of liberty for the American people.

No, this is a budget aimed at pandering to the powerful money interests (military, corporate and security) that run the Deep State and hold the government in its clutches.

So much for Trump’s campaign promises to balance the budget and drain the swamps of corruption.

The glaring economic truth is that at the end of the day, it’s the military industrial complex—and not the sick, the elderly or the poor—that is pushing America towards bankruptcy.

As investigative journalist Uri Friedman puts it, for more than 15 years now, the United States has been fighting terrorism with a credit card, “essentially bankrolling the wars with debt, in the form of purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds by U.S.-based entities like pension funds and state and local governments, and by countries like China and Japan.”

The illicit merger of the armaments industry and the Pentagon that President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us against more than 50 years ago has come to represent perhaps the greatest threat to the nation’s fragile infrastructure today.

Having been co-opted by greedy defense contractors, corrupt politicians and incompetent government officials, America’s expanding military empire is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $15 billion a month (or $20 million an hour)—and that’s just what the government spends on foreign wars.

That does not include the cost of maintaining and staffing the 1000-plus U.S. military bases spread around the globe.

Incredibly, although the U.S. constitutes only 5% of the world’s population, America boasts almost 50% of the world’s total military expenditure,  spending more on the military than the next 19 biggest spending nations combined.

In fact, the Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety.

War is not cheap.

Although the federal government obscures so much about its defense spending that accurate figures are difficult to procure, we do know that since 2001, the U.S. government has spent more than $1.8 trillion in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (that’s $8.3 million per hour).

That doesn’t include wars and military exercises waged around the globe, which are expected to push the total bill upwards of $12 trillion by 2053.

Mind you, these ongoing wars—riddled by corruption, graft and bumbling incompetence—have done little to keep the country safe while enriching the military industrial complex—and private defense contractors—at taxpayer expense.

Just recently, for example, a leading accounting firm concluded that one of the Pentagon’s largest agencies “can’t account for hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of spending.”

Just consider the fact that it costs American taxpayers $2.1 million per year for each soldier deployed in Afghanistan.

Imagine what you could do with that money if it were spent on domestic needs here at home.

Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen anytime soon, not as long as the money interests in Washington keep calling the shots and profiting from the spoils of war.

War has become a huge money-making venture, and America, with its vast military empire, is one of its best buyers and sellers. Not only does the U.S. have the largest defense budget, it also ranks highest as the world’s largest arms exporter.

The American military-industrial complex has erected an empire unsurpassed in history in its breadth and scope, one dedicated to conducting perpetual warfare throughout the earth.

For example, while erecting a security surveillance state in the U.S., the military-industrial complex has perpetuated a worldwide military empire with American troops stationed in 177 countries (over 70% of the countries worldwide).

In the process, billions have been spent erecting luxury military installations throughout the world.

For example, the U.S. Embassy built in Iraq, dubbed “Fortress Baghdad,” covers 104 acres and boasts a “city within a city” that includes six apartment buildings, a Marine barracks, swimming pool, shops and 15-foot-thick walls. Camp Anaconda in Iraq, like many U.S. military bases scattered across the globe, was structured to resemble a mini-city with pools, fast food restaurants, miniature golf courses and movie theaters.

While most Americans can scarcely afford the cost of heating and cooling their own homes, the American government spends $20 billion annually just to provide air conditioning for military installations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In essence, what we’re doing is “we’re air conditioning the desert over there in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places,” noted retired brigadier general Steven Anderson, a former chief logistician for Gen. David Petraeus in Iraq.

Think about that for a minute.

There’s a good reason why “bloated,” “corrupt” and “inefficient” are among the words most commonly applied to the government, especially the Department of Defense and its contractors.

For instance, a study by the Government Accountability Office found that $70 billion worth of cost overruns by the Pentagon were caused by management failures. To put that in perspective, that equates to one and a half times the State Department’s entire $47 billion annual budget.

Fraud is rampant.

A government audit, for example, found that defense contractor Boeing has been massively overcharging taxpayers for mundane parts, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in overspending. As the report noted, the American taxpayer paid:

    $71 for a metal pin that should cost just 4 cents; $644.75 for a small gear smaller than a dime that sells for $12.51: more than a 5,100 percent increase in price. $1,678.61 for another tiny part, also smaller than a dime, that could have been bought within DoD for $7.71: a 21,000 percent increase. $71.01 for a straight, thin metal pin that DoD had on hand, unused by the tens of thousands, for 4 cents: an increase of over 177,000 percent.

Price gouging has become an accepted form of corruption within the American military empire.

And if you think gas prices at home can get high, just consider what the American taxpayer is being forced to shell out overseas: once all the expenses of delivering gas to troops in the field are factored in, we’re paying between $18-30 per gallon for gas in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Incredibly, despite reports of corruption, abuse and waste, the mega-corporations behind much of this ineptitude and corruption continue to be awarded military contracts worth billions of dollars.

The rationale may keep changing for why American military forces are in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, but the one that remains constant is that those who run the government are feeding the appetite of the military industrial complex.

What began in 2001 as part of an alleged effort to root out al Qaeda has turned into a goldmine for the military industrial complex and its army of private contractors.

Just consider: the Pentagon in 2008 spent more money every five seconds in Iraq than the average American earned in a year.

Yet Congress and the White House want taxpayers to accept that the only way to reduce the nation’s ballooning deficit is by cutting “entitlement” programs such as Social Security and Medicare?

As Martin Luther King Jr. recognized, under a military empire, war and its profiteering will always take precedence over the people’s basic human needs.

Simply put, we cannot afford to maintain our over-extended military empire.

“Money is the new 800-pound gorilla,” remarked a senior administration official involved in Afghanistan. “It shifts the debate from ‘Is the strategy working?’ to ‘Can we afford this?’ And when you view it that way, the scope of the mission that we have now is far, far less defensible.”

Or as one commentator noted, “Foreclosing the future of our country should not be confused with defending it.”

Inevitably, military empires collapse.

As Cullen Murphy, author of Are We Rome? and editor-at-large of Vanity Fair writes:

    A millennium hence America will be hard to recognize. It may not exist as a nation-state in the form it does now—or even exist at all. Will the transitions ahead be gradual and peaceful or abrupt and catastrophic? Will our descendants be living productive lives in a society better than the one we inhabit now? Whatever happens, will valuable aspects of America’s legacy weave through the fabric of civilizations to come? Will historians someday have reason to ask, Did America really fall?

The problem we wrestle with is none other than a distorted American empire, complete with mega-corporations, security-industrial complexes and a burgeoning military. And it has its sights set on absolute domination.

Eventually, however, all military empires fail.

At the height of its power, even the mighty Roman Empire could not stare down a collapsing economy and a burgeoning military. Prolonged periods of war and false economic prosperity largely led to its demise. As historian Chalmers Johnson predicts:

    The fate of previous democratic empires suggests that such a conflict is unsustainable and will be resolved in one of two ways. Rome attempted to keep its empire and lost its democracy. Britain chose to remain democratic and in the process let go its empire. Intentionally or not, the people of the United States already are well embarked upon the course of non-democratic empire.

I would suggest that what we have is a confluence of factors and influences that go beyond mere comparisons to Rome.

It is a union of Orwell’s 1984 with its shadowy, totalitarian government—i.e., fascism, the union of government and corporate powers—and a total surveillance state with a military empire extended throughout the world.

As we have seen with the militarizing of the police, the growth of and reliance on militarism as the solution for our problems both domestically and abroad affects the basic principles upon which American society should operate.

We must keep in mind that a military empire will be ruled not by lofty ideals of equality and justice but by the power of the sword. Those in the military are primarily trained to conduct warfare, not preserve the peace.

Here’s the kicker, though: if the American empire falls and the American economy collapses—and with it the last vestiges of our constitutional republic—it will be the government and its trillion-dollar war budgets that are to blame.

Of course, the government has already anticipated this breakdown.

That’s why the government has transformed America into a war zone, turned the nation into a surveillance state, and labelled “we the people” as enemy combatants.

For years now, the government has worked with the military to prepare for widespread civil unrest brought about by “economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters.”

Having spent more than half a century exporting war to foreign lands, profiting from war, and creating a national economy seemingly dependent on the spoils of war, the war hawks long ago turned their profit-driven appetites on us, bringing home the spoils of war—the military tanks, grenade launchers, Kevlar helmets, assault rifles, gas masks, ammunition, battering rams, night vision binoculars, etc.—and handing them over to local police, thereby turning America into a battlefield.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, this is how the police state wins and “we the people” lose.

More than 50 years ago, President Dwight Eisenhower warned us not to let the profit-driven war machine endanger our liberties or democratic processes.

We failed to heed his warning.

As Eisenhower recognized in a speech given to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, on Apr. 16, 1953, the consequences of allowing the military-industrial complex to wage war, exhaust our resources and dictate our national priorities are beyond grave:

    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people… This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”

https://www.theburningplatform.com/2018/02/13/the-military-industrial-complex-strikes-again-war-spending-will-bankrupt-america/#more-170551
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Offline knarf

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Farmers and Conservationists Sue EPA, Monsanto

On Friday, public interest organizations representing farmers and conservationists made their legal case in a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Monsanto Company, challenging EPA's approval of Monsanto's new "XtendiMax" pesticide. XtendiMax is Monsanto's version of dicamba, an old and highly drift-prone weed-killer. EPA's approval permitted XtendiMax to be sprayed for the first time on growing soybeans and cotton that Monsanto has genetically engineered (GE) to be resistant to dicamba.

The 2017 crop season—the first year of XtendiMax use—was an unprecedented disaster. Just as critics warned would happen, dicamba sprayed on Monsanto's GE soybeans and cotton formed vapor clouds that drifted to damage a host of crops and wild plants. Over three million acres of soybeans as well as scores of vegetable and fruit crops, trees and shrubs throughout the country were damaged by dicamba drift. Flowering plants near cropland also suffered, with potential harms to pollinators, as well as hundreds of endangered animal and plant species. Agronomists reported they had never seen herbicide-related drift damage on anything approaching this scale before. As the 2018 season approaches, experts predict similar widespread devastation.

"The evidence shows that, rather than protecting farmers and the public interest, government officials rushed this pesticide to market without the rigorous analysis and data the law requires," said George Kimbrell, of the Center for Food Safety and counsel in the case. "There was good reason that decision had such devastating consequences last year: it was illegal."

The papers filed in court tell the story of how EPA should have known this would occur, yet instead was pressured by Monsanto into approving the pesticide without any measures to prevent vapor drift. The evidence in the case also shows that in late 2017, under pressure to take some action, EPA adopted revised instructions for use Monsanto proposed and approved—measures that agronomists believe will again be ineffective.

Denise O'Brien, Iowa farmer and Board president of Pesticide Action Network, said, "Last year, EPA ignored concerns of farmers, caving to Monsanto's pressure and rushing dicamba-resistant seeds to market. EPA has failed utterly to protect farmers from this exploding crisis."

Ben Burkett, National Family Farm Coalition board president raising soy, old growth pine trees and roughly 20 different vegetables in Mississippi commented: "I'm firmly against using dicamba. Mother Nature will win this fight anyway, but dicamba is very detrimental to the environment and will cause more harm than good to farms and farmers."

Not only did EPA fail to protect farmers, it put at risk literally hundreds of endangered species. Despite its own conclusion that the approval might harm an extraordinary number of the protected birds, mammals and insects in dozens of states, EPA refused to seek the guidance of the federal expert wildlife agencies, as the Endangered Species Act requires, and instead approved Monsanto's pesticide without any measures to protect them, and denied there would be any risk.

"EPA's disregard of both the law and the welfare of endangered whooping cranes, grey wolves, Indiana bats, and hundreds of other species at risk of extinction is unconscionable," Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff said. "That the EPA would indulge in this kind of recklessness and junk science to appease Monsanto is shocking."

"The EPA's foolish approval of dicamba left a deep scar across millions of acres of farms and forests," said Nathan Donley, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. "The ill-advised rush to approve this dangerous drift-prone pesticide reflects just how far the EPA has strayed from its duty to protect Americans and wildlife from harmful toxins."

The plaintiff organizations bringing the lawsuit are National Family Farm Coalition, Pesticide Action Network, Center for Food Safety and Center for Biological Diversity, represented jointly by legal counsel from Earthjustice and Center for Food Safety.

https://www.ecowatch.com/pesticide-drift-lawsuit-xtendimax-2534117304.html
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Offline Eddie

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Re: Sponsor An Immigrant Yourself
« Reply #11208 on: February 14, 2018, 05:14:58 AM »
No, really: A new kind of visa would let individual Americans—instead of corporations—reap the economic benefits of migration.

The raw emotions generated by immigration policy—provoked by heartrending stories of families torn apart by deportation, or citizens murdered by illegal immigrants—have scrambled political allegiances and confused public debate. Republicans, usually the champions of family values and small government, now want to restrict family reunification and give bureaucrats the power to screen people who want to enter the country. Democrats, traditionally the allies of the working class, want big business to select immigrants and have given scant attention to the legitimate interests of working-class natives.

The only way to end this politically charged debate is to think carefully about benefits and costs as well as politics and perceptions. We need a new immigration system that offers liberal admission policies but targets its benefits to native workers rather than corporations.

Economic research provides little doubt that immigration benefits our economy. Highly educated immigrants offer their skills, entrepreneurial drive and much-needed expertise for our most important industries. Low-skilled migrants are willing to do back-breaking but vitally important labor that most Americans refuse. Both types bring their purchasing power, which increases the demand for American services and American-made goods, and their cultural heritage, which enriches ours.

The problem posed by migration is that the benefits are not evenly distributed. They flow to the migrants themselves and the corporations that hire them. Consumers do receive better products and lower prices, but ordinary people don’t really perceive these benefits. And working-class people may suffer a decline in their wages (some or many of them, depending on which economist you ask, but most agree the decline is not large), or (certainly, in most cases) believe that immigration undercuts their wages and threatens their cultural values.

So, immigration expands the economic pie but gives too meager a slice to ordinary people. The goal must be to retain, and in fact expand, immigration while ensuring that its benefits are distributed fairly. The current system does the opposite: channeling the benefits of migration to immigrants and domestic elites. Right now, special classes of citizens—mostly corporations (and in practice, big corporations) and family members—can sponsor temporary or permanent migrants, benefiting shareholders mainly, as well as ethnic enclaves.

This system should be wiped away and replaced with a system of citizenship sponsorship for immigrants that we call a Visas Between Individuals Program. Under this new system, all citizens would have the right to sponsor a migrant for economic purposes.

Here’s how the program would work: Imagine a woman named Mary Turner, who lives in Wheeling, West Virginia. She was recently laid off from a chicken-processing plant and makes ends meet by walking and taking care of her neighbors’ pets. Mary could expand her little business by hiring some workers, but no one in the area would accept a wage she can afford. Mary goes online—to a new kind of international gig economy website, a Fiverr for immigrants—and applies to sponsor a migrant. She enters information about what she needs: someone with rudimentary English skills, no criminal record and an affection for animals. She offers a room in her basement, meals and $5 an hour. (Sponsors under this program would be exempt from paying minimum wage.) The website offers Mary some matches—people living in foreign countries who would like to spend some time in the United States and earn some money. After some back and forth, Mary interviews a woman named Sofia who lives in Paraguay.

Sofia, who grew up in a village, has endured hardships that few Americans can imagine. She is eager to earn some money so that she could move to her nation’s capital city and get some vocational training. A few weeks later, Sofia arrives in Wheeling, after taking a one-week training course on American ways. If things don’t work out, the agency that runs the website will find a new match for Sofia, and Mary will find someone new as well.

While the program might seem crazy at first, it would not be that different from the existing H1-B program, except that individuals like Mary rather than corporations like Google and Exxon would sponsor the workers. Second, the program is not that different from the au pair program run by the State Department, nominally under the J-1 cultural exchange visa program, but in reality a nanny migrant-labor program used by upper-middle class American families.

A Visas Between Individuals Program would extend the benefits of these types of immigration programs to everyone, rather than just to corporations and the affluent. It would also achieve the goals of both sides of the immigration debate—better than their own proposals do. Immigrants would no longer have special privileges to sponsor family members, while working-class voters would enjoy dramatic benefits.

According to our calculations, a typical family of four could boost its income by $10,000 to 20,000 by hosting migrants. The reason is that migrants to the United States usually increase their wages many times, allowing them to pay as much as $6,000 to hosts for sponsorships (and our average family could sponsor up to four visas, one for each member).

This financial benefit for working families would be a larger increase in income than they have received over the last 40 years of economic growth. (Median household income in the United States was about $50,000 in 1977 and is roughly $59,000 today.) At the same time, a Visas Between Individuals Program would be true to Republican free-market and small-government principles by drastically reducing the role of government bureaucrats, who would merely run security checks on migrants rather than trying to evaluate their likely contributions to the economy.

Many people will worry that the Sofias of the world would be exploited by their sponsors. But all health and safety laws would apply to them, and periodic inspections could be undertaken (as exist for the J-1 au pair program, where admittedly occasional exploitation also occurs). Yes, Mary would be able to pay Sofia less than the minimum wage, but even at $5 an hour, Sofia would earn many times what she earns on a farm in Paraguay. Sofia would be free to leave at any time if she did not like the conditions of her employment. Effectively, this system allows the benefits of exchange in international labor that are permitted by online labor markets like Fiverr and Amazon Mechanical Turk to extend to a much broader range of tasks that need to be done in person, from dog walking to construction work.

Wouldn’t lower-income Americans oppose a Visas between Individuals Program because of fears that these immigrants would take away their jobs? At first, maybe. But they would soon realize that they can use the program to make money for themselves. Like Sofia, many Americans would like to start or expand small businesses. Others might try, in entrepreneurial fashion, to find foreign workers for American businesses—which would not be allowed to sponsor migrants under our proposal—taking a cut in the process. Google and Exxon would need to pay people like Mary to find migrants for their businesses. Other Americans would sponsor migrants for low-skilled agricultural work, or to work in factories that move back on shore to take advantage of newly available cheap labor, or to work in their own businesses. A great free market using migrant labor would flourish, creating new jobs for working class natives as supervisors and agents. (Wealthy families could sponsor migrants, too, but there are fewer of them, and they would likely find a $6,000 boost in income not worth the trouble—while the money would be a tremendous gain for sponsors with more limited prospects.)

One of the most fascinating findings of social scientists is that the people who oppose immigration the most are not those who live among migrants. The fear of migrants is largely based on ignorance about who they are. That’s why people who live among migrants tend to support immigration or not to oppose it too much. By making sponsorship accessible to all Americans, a Visas Between Individuals Program would spread migrants throughout the United States rather than concentrating them in Silicon Valley, the big cities, and certain agricultural areas near the southern border. Sponsors will normally want the migrants they sponsor to live near them. Or Americans might move to areas of high migrant demand to take advantage of the opportunity to sponsor migrants there. It is hard to demonize the person who lives in your basement, or the basement of your neighbor, and has increased your income greatly. Most migrants, even those who came here illegally, obey the law and work extremely hard, in ways that are hard not to admire.

A Visas Between Individuals Program would offer advantages to working people, while preserving America’s historic commitment to immigration. Democrats should understand that it would increase the wealth and well-being of low-income Americans and impoverished foreigners, while Republicans should appreciate how it would contribute to economic growth, which offers benefits to all. Moreover, a Visas Between Individuals Program does so in the spirit of the market, by allowing every citizen to choose how she uses her right to sponsor visas rather than allowing corporations or governments to manage migration. The program puts the burden of responsibility and choice as well as the freedom to profit on hard-working Americans who seek to better their lot.

Immigration is just one of any number of social problems that can be solved with what we call “radical markets.” By exploiting the logic of the market in an area that is normally bureaucratized, we can advance equality as well as economic growth.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/02/13/immigration-visas-economics-216968

Anyone who has looked into sponsoring an immigrant under the current system (I have) would laugh their ass off at this headline. Sponsoring an immigrant is about the most onerous, financially dangerous, thankless process you can imagine. Much more of a commitment than, say, a marriage. You can end a marriage if it doesn't work out. Sponsoring an immigrant is like adopting a baby. You're in it for the long haul, whether you like it or not.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Eddie

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Re: The Military Industrial Complex Strikes Again:War Spending Will Bankrupt America
« Reply #11209 on: February 14, 2018, 05:16:44 AM »
    “Why throw money at defense when everything is falling down around us? Do we need to spend more money on our military (about $600 billion this year) than the next seven countries combined? Do we need 1.4 million active military personnel and 850,000 reserves when the enemy at the moment — ISIS — numbers in the low tens of thousands? If so, it seems there’s something radically wrong with our strategy. Should 55% of the federal government’s discretionary spending go to the military and only 3% to transportation when the toll in American lives is far greater from failing infrastructure than from terrorism? Does California need nearly as many active military bases (31, according to militarybases.com) as it has UC and state university campuses (33)? And does the state need more active duty military personnel (168,000, according to Governing magazine) than public elementary school teachers (139,000)?”— Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times

Mark my words, America’s war spending will bankrupt the nation.

For that matter, America’s war spending has already bankrupted the nation to the tune of more than $20 trillion dollars.

Now the Trump Administration is pushing for a $4.4 trillion budget for fiscal year 2019 that would add $7 trillion to the already unsustainable federal deficit in order to sustain America’s military empire abroad and dramatically expand the police state here at home. Trump also wants American taxpayers to cover the cost of building that infamous border wall.

Truly, Trump may turn out to be, as policy analyst Stan Collender warned, “the biggest deficit- and debt-increasing president of all time.”

For those in need of a quick reminder: “A budget deficit is the difference between what the federal government spends and what it takes in. The national debt, also known as the public debt, is the result of the federal government borrowing money to cover years and years of budget deficits.”

Right now, the U.S. government is operating in the negative on every front: it’s spending far more than what it makes (and takes from the American taxpayers) and it is borrowing heavily (from foreign governments and Social Security) to keep the government operating and keep funding its endless wars abroad.

This is how military empires fall and fail: by spreading themselves too thin and spending themselves to death.

It happened in Rome. It’s happening again.

Not content to merely police the globe, in recent decades, America has gradually transformed its homeland into a battlefield with militarized police and weapons better suited to a war zone.

Since taking office, President Trump—much like his predecessors—has marched in lockstep with the military. Now Trump wants $716 billion to expand America’s military empire abroad and billions more to hire cops, build more prisons and wage more profit-driven war-on-drugs/war-on-terrorism/war-on-crime programs that eat away at the Fourth Amendment while failing to make the country any safer.

Even the funds requested for infrastructure will do little to shore up the nation’s crumbling roads, bridges, railways, highways, power grids and dams.

No matter how your break it down, this is not a budget aimed at perfecting the Union, establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense, promoting general welfare, or securing the blessings of liberty for the American people.

No, this is a budget aimed at pandering to the powerful money interests (military, corporate and security) that run the Deep State and hold the government in its clutches.

So much for Trump’s campaign promises to balance the budget and drain the swamps of corruption.

The glaring economic truth is that at the end of the day, it’s the military industrial complex—and not the sick, the elderly or the poor—that is pushing America towards bankruptcy.

As investigative journalist Uri Friedman puts it, for more than 15 years now, the United States has been fighting terrorism with a credit card, “essentially bankrolling the wars with debt, in the form of purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds by U.S.-based entities like pension funds and state and local governments, and by countries like China and Japan.”

The illicit merger of the armaments industry and the Pentagon that President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us against more than 50 years ago has come to represent perhaps the greatest threat to the nation’s fragile infrastructure today.

Having been co-opted by greedy defense contractors, corrupt politicians and incompetent government officials, America’s expanding military empire is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $15 billion a month (or $20 million an hour)—and that’s just what the government spends on foreign wars.

That does not include the cost of maintaining and staffing the 1000-plus U.S. military bases spread around the globe.

Incredibly, although the U.S. constitutes only 5% of the world’s population, America boasts almost 50% of the world’s total military expenditure,  spending more on the military than the next 19 biggest spending nations combined.

In fact, the Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety.

War is not cheap.

Although the federal government obscures so much about its defense spending that accurate figures are difficult to procure, we do know that since 2001, the U.S. government has spent more than $1.8 trillion in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (that’s $8.3 million per hour).

That doesn’t include wars and military exercises waged around the globe, which are expected to push the total bill upwards of $12 trillion by 2053.

Mind you, these ongoing wars—riddled by corruption, graft and bumbling incompetence—have done little to keep the country safe while enriching the military industrial complex—and private defense contractors—at taxpayer expense.

Just recently, for example, a leading accounting firm concluded that one of the Pentagon’s largest agencies “can’t account for hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of spending.”

Just consider the fact that it costs American taxpayers $2.1 million per year for each soldier deployed in Afghanistan.

Imagine what you could do with that money if it were spent on domestic needs here at home.

Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen anytime soon, not as long as the money interests in Washington keep calling the shots and profiting from the spoils of war.

War has become a huge money-making venture, and America, with its vast military empire, is one of its best buyers and sellers. Not only does the U.S. have the largest defense budget, it also ranks highest as the world’s largest arms exporter.

The American military-industrial complex has erected an empire unsurpassed in history in its breadth and scope, one dedicated to conducting perpetual warfare throughout the earth.

For example, while erecting a security surveillance state in the U.S., the military-industrial complex has perpetuated a worldwide military empire with American troops stationed in 177 countries (over 70% of the countries worldwide).

In the process, billions have been spent erecting luxury military installations throughout the world.

For example, the U.S. Embassy built in Iraq, dubbed “Fortress Baghdad,” covers 104 acres and boasts a “city within a city” that includes six apartment buildings, a Marine barracks, swimming pool, shops and 15-foot-thick walls. Camp Anaconda in Iraq, like many U.S. military bases scattered across the globe, was structured to resemble a mini-city with pools, fast food restaurants, miniature golf courses and movie theaters.

While most Americans can scarcely afford the cost of heating and cooling their own homes, the American government spends $20 billion annually just to provide air conditioning for military installations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In essence, what we’re doing is “we’re air conditioning the desert over there in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places,” noted retired brigadier general Steven Anderson, a former chief logistician for Gen. David Petraeus in Iraq.

Think about that for a minute.

There’s a good reason why “bloated,” “corrupt” and “inefficient” are among the words most commonly applied to the government, especially the Department of Defense and its contractors.

For instance, a study by the Government Accountability Office found that $70 billion worth of cost overruns by the Pentagon were caused by management failures. To put that in perspective, that equates to one and a half times the State Department’s entire $47 billion annual budget.

Fraud is rampant.

A government audit, for example, found that defense contractor Boeing has been massively overcharging taxpayers for mundane parts, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in overspending. As the report noted, the American taxpayer paid:

    $71 for a metal pin that should cost just 4 cents; $644.75 for a small gear smaller than a dime that sells for $12.51: more than a 5,100 percent increase in price. $1,678.61 for another tiny part, also smaller than a dime, that could have been bought within DoD for $7.71: a 21,000 percent increase. $71.01 for a straight, thin metal pin that DoD had on hand, unused by the tens of thousands, for 4 cents: an increase of over 177,000 percent.

Price gouging has become an accepted form of corruption within the American military empire.

And if you think gas prices at home can get high, just consider what the American taxpayer is being forced to shell out overseas: once all the expenses of delivering gas to troops in the field are factored in, we’re paying between $18-30 per gallon for gas in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Incredibly, despite reports of corruption, abuse and waste, the mega-corporations behind much of this ineptitude and corruption continue to be awarded military contracts worth billions of dollars.

The rationale may keep changing for why American military forces are in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, but the one that remains constant is that those who run the government are feeding the appetite of the military industrial complex.

What began in 2001 as part of an alleged effort to root out al Qaeda has turned into a goldmine for the military industrial complex and its army of private contractors.

Just consider: the Pentagon in 2008 spent more money every five seconds in Iraq than the average American earned in a year.

Yet Congress and the White House want taxpayers to accept that the only way to reduce the nation’s ballooning deficit is by cutting “entitlement” programs such as Social Security and Medicare?

As Martin Luther King Jr. recognized, under a military empire, war and its profiteering will always take precedence over the people’s basic human needs.

Simply put, we cannot afford to maintain our over-extended military empire.

“Money is the new 800-pound gorilla,” remarked a senior administration official involved in Afghanistan. “It shifts the debate from ‘Is the strategy working?’ to ‘Can we afford this?’ And when you view it that way, the scope of the mission that we have now is far, far less defensible.”

Or as one commentator noted, “Foreclosing the future of our country should not be confused with defending it.”

Inevitably, military empires collapse.

As Cullen Murphy, author of Are We Rome? and editor-at-large of Vanity Fair writes:

    A millennium hence America will be hard to recognize. It may not exist as a nation-state in the form it does now—or even exist at all. Will the transitions ahead be gradual and peaceful or abrupt and catastrophic? Will our descendants be living productive lives in a society better than the one we inhabit now? Whatever happens, will valuable aspects of America’s legacy weave through the fabric of civilizations to come? Will historians someday have reason to ask, Did America really fall?

The problem we wrestle with is none other than a distorted American empire, complete with mega-corporations, security-industrial complexes and a burgeoning military. And it has its sights set on absolute domination.

Eventually, however, all military empires fail.

At the height of its power, even the mighty Roman Empire could not stare down a collapsing economy and a burgeoning military. Prolonged periods of war and false economic prosperity largely led to its demise. As historian Chalmers Johnson predicts:

    The fate of previous democratic empires suggests that such a conflict is unsustainable and will be resolved in one of two ways. Rome attempted to keep its empire and lost its democracy. Britain chose to remain democratic and in the process let go its empire. Intentionally or not, the people of the United States already are well embarked upon the course of non-democratic empire.

I would suggest that what we have is a confluence of factors and influences that go beyond mere comparisons to Rome.

It is a union of Orwell’s 1984 with its shadowy, totalitarian government—i.e., fascism, the union of government and corporate powers—and a total surveillance state with a military empire extended throughout the world.

As we have seen with the militarizing of the police, the growth of and reliance on militarism as the solution for our problems both domestically and abroad affects the basic principles upon which American society should operate.

We must keep in mind that a military empire will be ruled not by lofty ideals of equality and justice but by the power of the sword. Those in the military are primarily trained to conduct warfare, not preserve the peace.

Here’s the kicker, though: if the American empire falls and the American economy collapses—and with it the last vestiges of our constitutional republic—it will be the government and its trillion-dollar war budgets that are to blame.

Of course, the government has already anticipated this breakdown.

That’s why the government has transformed America into a war zone, turned the nation into a surveillance state, and labelled “we the people” as enemy combatants.

For years now, the government has worked with the military to prepare for widespread civil unrest brought about by “economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters.”

Having spent more than half a century exporting war to foreign lands, profiting from war, and creating a national economy seemingly dependent on the spoils of war, the war hawks long ago turned their profit-driven appetites on us, bringing home the spoils of war—the military tanks, grenade launchers, Kevlar helmets, assault rifles, gas masks, ammunition, battering rams, night vision binoculars, etc.—and handing them over to local police, thereby turning America into a battlefield.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, this is how the police state wins and “we the people” lose.

More than 50 years ago, President Dwight Eisenhower warned us not to let the profit-driven war machine endanger our liberties or democratic processes.

We failed to heed his warning.

As Eisenhower recognized in a speech given to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, on Apr. 16, 1953, the consequences of allowing the military-industrial complex to wage war, exhaust our resources and dictate our national priorities are beyond grave:

    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people… This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”

https://www.theburningplatform.com/2018/02/13/the-military-industrial-complex-strikes-again-war-spending-will-bankrupt-america/#more-170551

It's already bankrupted us. We just haven't admitted it yet, nor have we borne the consequences. But we will.
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Offline RE

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Re: The Military Industrial Complex Strikes Again:War Spending Will Bankrupt America
« Reply #11210 on: February 14, 2018, 05:23:53 AM »
It's already bankrupted us. We just haven't admitted it yet, nor have we borne the consequences. But we will.

We are living the Wile E. Coyote moment.



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Re: Sponsor An Immigrant Yourself
« Reply #11211 on: February 14, 2018, 05:29:02 AM »

Anyone who has looked into sponsoring an immigrant under the current system (I have) would laugh their ass off at this headline. Sponsoring an immigrant is about the most onerous, financially dangerous, thankless process you can imagine. Much more of a commitment than, say, a marriage. You can end a marriage if it doesn't work out. Sponsoring an immigrant is like adopting a baby. You're in it for the long haul, whether you like it or not.

If I wanted to sponsor an immigrant, I would just order a Ruskie Mail Order Bride.  :icon_mrgreen:



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Offline Eddie

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Re: ‘Money can’t buy happiness’ debunked by income study
« Reply #11212 on: February 14, 2018, 05:29:55 AM »

Floyd Mayweather throwing cash at Conor McGregor

 In news that will come as no surprise to cash-strapped individuals the world over, researchers have revealed that there is an optimal amount of money a person needs to be happy. Spoiler: it’s a lot.

Researchers at Purdue University in Indiana studied data from 1.7 million people in 164 countries and found that in order for a person in the US to be truly happy, they need to be pulling in $95,000 a year.

In order to be a little less happy, but have “emotional well-being”, basically being happy with your day-to-day life, you need to drawing $60,000 to $75,000 per annum.

“That might be surprising as what we see on TV and what advertisers tell us we need would indicate that there is no ceiling when it comes to how much money is needed for happiness, but we now see there are some thresholds,” study lead Andrew T. Jebb said in a university press release. The research was published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.

Perhaps unsurprisingly there was “substantial variation across world regions, with satiation occurring later in wealthier regions for life satisfaction,” Jebb added. “This could be because evaluations tend to be more influenced by the standards by which individuals compare themselves to other people.”

However - and this may come as a surprise given how extraordinarily happy the global super-rich appear to be on Instagram - there is a monetary limit to happiness. If this financial level is surpassed, it can lead to “reduced life satisfaction and a lower level of well-being.”

“At this point they are asking themselves, ‘Overall, how am I doing?’ and ‘How do I compare to other people?’” Jebb said. “These findings speak to a broader issue of money and happiness across cultures. Money is only a part of what really makes us happy, and we’re learning more about the limits of money.”

https://www.rt.com/usa/418741-money-happiness-income-research/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

95K huh? Not where I live.
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Offline Eddie

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Re: Sponsor An Immigrant Yourself
« Reply #11213 on: February 14, 2018, 05:36:52 AM »

Anyone who has looked into sponsoring an immigrant under the current system (I have) would laugh their ass off at this headline. Sponsoring an immigrant is about the most onerous, financially dangerous, thankless process you can imagine. Much more of a commitment than, say, a marriage. You can end a marriage if it doesn't work out. Sponsoring an immigrant is like adopting a baby. You're in it for the long haul, whether you like it or not.

If I wanted to sponsor an immigrant, I would just order a Ruskie Mail Order Bride.  :icon_mrgreen:



RE

Very common among rich old white guys in the USVI, according to my dentist friend there. They were always surprised at how bad those cute little honeys' teeth turned out to be, and how much it cost to fix them.

And a sponsorship is basically never-ending, if the sponsee never manages to get naturalized. Even if they work at that, it generally takes about 10 years of full-time employment for them to meet the requirements. If your Russian bride abandons you, has six kids out of wedlock and becomes a Medicaid mom, the  government can come after you for every time they pay her in medical benefits and/or wefare, and they will.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: Sponsor An Immigrant Yourself
« Reply #11214 on: February 14, 2018, 05:44:43 AM »
Very common among rich old white guys in the USVI, according to my dentist friend there. They were always surprised at how bad those cute little honeys' teeth turned out to be, and how much it cost to fix them.

And a sponsorship is basically never-ending, if the sponsee never manages to get naturalized. Even if they work at that, it generally takes about 10 years of full-time employment for them to meet the requirements. If your Russian bride abandons you, has six kids out of wedlock and becomes a Medicaid mom, the  government can come after you for every time they pay her in medical benefits and/or wefare, and they will.

Well, like with buying a boat, I'm not gonna do it without having a look under the hood myself first.  :icon_mrgreen:  So I would fly to Mother Russia and check her teeth.  lol.  She also has little incentive to abandon me, since I will die soon and she gets the SS survivor's bennies.

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Offline RE

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Re: ‘Money can’t buy happiness’ debunked by income study
« Reply #11215 on: February 14, 2018, 06:16:26 AM »
95K huh? Not where I live.

Only because you live a wasteful high maintenance lifestyle.  I could easily live a nice life in Austin on $95K.

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Offline Surly1

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Re: ‘Money can’t buy happiness’ debunked by income study
« Reply #11216 on: February 14, 2018, 06:32:19 AM »
95K huh? Not where I live.

Only because you live a wasteful high maintenance lifestyle.  I could easily live a nice life in Austin on $95K.

RE

My mother used to reply to my youthful, puerile arguments otherwise that "Money can't buy happiness... but it sure as hell can rent it for a while."
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Trump's lawyer says he paid $130,000 to porn star ahead of election
« Reply #11217 on: February 14, 2018, 03:51:38 PM »
Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump's personal lawyer said Tuesday that he paid $130,000 of his own money to a porn star who allegedly had a sexual encounter with the President before his time in office.
"In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford," Michael Cohen said in a statement. "Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly."
Keith Davidson, a lawyer for Clifford, said Cohen's claim that he paid her out of his own pocket was "in complete harmony with what he informed me of at the time of the transaction."
Just weeks before the 2016 election, Cohen reportedly created a private LLC to pay Clifford, otherwise known as Stormy Daniels, following an alleged July 2006 encounter with Trump, The Wall Street Journal reported in January.

The New York Times first reported that Cohen had said he made the payment himself.
Following initial reports last month that Cohen had made the payment, he said in a statement that Trump "vehemently denies" any encounter between the two.
In January, the organization Common Cause filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department, alleging that the reported payment to Clifford constituted a campaign finance violation. But on Tuesday, Cohen's statement denied that accusation and said the monetary exchange was "lawful" and "not a campaign contribution."
"The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone," Cohen said.
Cohen also said he filed a reply with the FEC, but that filing will not be public until the agency has resolved the matter.
When asked why he made the payment, Cohen told CNN: "Just because something isn't true doesn't mean that it can't cause you harm or damage. I will always protect Mr. Trump."

http://www.cnn.com/2018/02/13/politics/michael-cohen-stormy-daniels-payment/index.html
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Offline knarf

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Total US household debt soars to record above $13 trillion
« Reply #11218 on: February 14, 2018, 03:53:51 PM »




The American consumer is loading up on debt.

Total household debt rose by $193 billion to an all-time high of $13.15 trillion at year-end 2017 from the previous quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Center for Microeconomic Data report released Tuesday.

Mortgage debt balances rose the most in the December quarter rising by $139 billion to $8.88 trillion from the previous quarter. Credit card debt had the second largest increase of $26 billion to a total of $834 billion.

The report said it was fifth consecutive year of annual household debt growth with increases in the mortgage, student, auto and credit card categories.

The figures are based on a sample of debt and credit records from Equifax data.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/13/total-us-household-debt-soars-to-record-above-13-trillion.html
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Solar storm on track for Earth after solar flares erupt on sun, NASA warns
« Reply #11219 on: February 14, 2018, 03:57:55 PM »
A solar storm could have an impact on Earth Thursday morning.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory Satellite showed a coronal mass ejection on the sun between Sunday night and Monday morning.

This solar flare is forecast to send a solar storm towards Earth, and according to computer models, the storm could impact around 8 a.m. Thursday morning.

A solar flare, classified as a long-duration C1.5 has warranted a G1 (Minor) Geomagnetic storm watch for Feb. 15, 2018.



While this storm is not expected to be large compared to past solar storms, it could still have an affect on Earth. Here are some things that could happen as a result:

 

    These storms can cause weak power grid fluctuations.
    Minor impact on satellite operations is possible.
    Aurora possible in the mid-latitudes where skies are clear. This is not likely for us due to a large amount of cloud cover and the sun coming up around that time, but those on the west coast of the U.S. may see them.
    Storms of this size can have an effect on migratory animals in northern regions, most likely Canada and points north.

 Solar storms of this scale do happen fairly often, although most don’t affect Earth. Data suggests storms like this occur approximately 1,700 times per 11 years (per solar cycle) or 154 times per year, but rarely does one actually hit the Earth.

 

Most of these storms eject from the sun into open space.

http://www.kiro7.com/news/trending-now/solar-storm-on-track-for-earth-after-solar-flares-erupt-on-sun-nasa-warns/699382786
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