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Walter Lewis  

 Hedge Fund Manager
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Top News and Analysis

Friday, December 15, 2017
Dow adds 143 points as all three major indexes set new closing records















































                                 Veterans Day




Friday, November 10, 2017
Dow falls 40 points under the weight of concerns about the future of the Republican plans for tax reform

Dodging taxes is not just about offshore havens, and, in fact, companies have many methods of reducing their tax bills

This is how corporate tax avoidance is hurting the United States, as well as other countries


Here is a study regarding who stashes their money in offshore havens


                            **************
        Today's environment of "Animal Spirits"was very predictable
                                         December 7, 2012

                    

Is the country experiencing a channeling by conservatives of the plot in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"? If the conservatives are channeling Ayn Rand, any Keynesian efforts to stimulate the economy, or quantitative easing, will be torpedoed and are doomed to fail because the conservatives would act to keep unemployment at high levels. If channeling is taking place, no one taking part in the effort would ever admit doing it without being pressured by a determined questioner who is armed with facts and understanding of this phenomena Summary of Ayn Rand's Objectivist opus 

Wall Street Journal: "Atlas Shrugged" - from fiction to fact in 52 years 

For example: Company policy - "We are not hiring until Obama is gone"

For example: Factories have revved up production significantly, but hiring of manufacturing workers has barely budged

For example: David Seigel, CEO of Westgate resorts, terrorizes his employees with an "Atlas Shrugged" rant

For example: The GOP/Lockheed Martin layoff notice threat/hoax

The news flash regarding "Atlas Shrugged" is that an imitation of the book's plotline would be a silent commitment by business owners to hire few new employees and lay off as many people as possible - giving a long-term unemployment problem to the U.S. economy, such as we are currently experiencing with the Nation's unemployment rate at 7.7%. One should note that several of the large-audience, right wing talk show hosts have urged their listeners to read "Atlas Shrugged", including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Roger Hedgecock and Neal Boortz 

CNBC Video: Rick Santelli, an early voice of the Tea Party, rants that what Europe needs to fix its ills are one million copies of "Atlas Shrugged"

The $3.7 trillion question: Why aren't firms spending?



                        ****************

Sunday, November 5, 2017
What are the estimated costs and revenues generated by the proposed changes to the tax code in the GOP tax bill?

Jeff Reeves: Five companies that may benefit from the Republican tax plan -- such as Verizon, which has a 35% effective tax rate at present


Asia Tour -- Day Two: President Trump taunts North Korea regarding America's military resolve from Yokota air base near Tokyo



Saturday, November 4, 2017
New York Times: Lobbyists and interests groups swarm over the provisions of the proposed tax legislation

                

                                                      Air Force One

Daily Mail: President Trump and the First Lady have opened their Asia tour with meetings and ceremonies in Hawaii

Friday, November 3, 2017
Dow adds 23 points and a new record close, in tandem with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, despite the disappointing October jobs report

Labor Department: The United States added 261,000 new jobs in October, and the Nation's unemployment rate fell to 4.1%. The labor participation rate was a weak 62.7%, and wages fell by a penny

The FTSE 100 makes a record close, due in part to a falling pound sterling versus the dollar


Alibaba is growing even faster than Amazon, and the two companies are quite different in e-commerce operations


                                     You've Got Mail
Sent: Friday, November 03, 2017 at 10:05 AM
From: "The Washington Post" <email@washingtonpost.com>
To: walterlewis@gmx.com
Subject: Fact Checker: The claim that Russia obtained 20 percent of American uranium is still not true

Democracy Dies in Darkness


Fact Checker
The truth behind the rhetoric



The claim that Russia obtained 20 percent of American uranium is still not true

More than a year ago, Donald Trump, then a presidential candidate, made a slew of claims about Hillary Clinton’s alleged role in the approval of the sale of a Canadian company, Uranium One, with mining rights in the United States to Rosatom, Russia’s nuclear energy agency. The Fact Checker labelled it false at the time.

But this claim seems to resurface whenever news about the Russia investigation heats up. After Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), head of the House Intelligence Committee, announced Congress would lead a probe into the deal, the Fact Checker delved into the tale again. In an interview with Fox News, Nunes said, “How is it that our government could approve a sale of 20 percent of our uranium at the same time that there was an open FBI investigation?”

The 20 percent figure has long been in wide circulation. It comes from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, one of the agencies that approved the deal in 2010. It stated that as of 2010, the licenses “represent approximately 20 percent of the currently licensed uranium in-situ recovery production capacity” in the United States. But that did not mean 20 percent of U.S. uranium reserves. In-situ recovery is one of two ways uranium is mined and is generally used for low-grade ore that would otherwise be too expensive to mine.

Plus, the 20 percent number was an estimate. Today, the Uranium One represents only 2.3 percent of all U.S. production. And uranium produced in the U.S. represents a very small section of the world’s total. In 2016, it accounted for 1,126 tons of the world’s total 62,266.

So, the overwrought claims that Clinton “gave away” 20 percent of the U.S. nuclear supply or that Russia controls that much U.S. uranium are simply absurd. Clearly, the number is woefully out of date. We award Four Pinocchios.



                                    *********************

                              Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Washington Post: A summary of all the major questions and answers regarding the GOP tax bill


Bill Bischoff: This is how the GOP tax bill will affect you differently if you are middle class or rich

Market Watch: Estimate the impact of the proposed tax legislation on your individual tax return


A NYU Law School professor runs the numbers and concludes that the typical middle-income family will not see the tax benefits touted by the GOP leadership


Politico: There is a hidden 45.6% tax bracket in the GOP tax bill

                                     
                                      *****************


To paraphrase a recent statement by Vladimir Putin: "Maybe the U.S. should stop frightening the North Koreans with the practice bombing attacks"

Thursday, November 2, 2017
Dow adds 85 points and a new closing record following the Powell nomination as Fed chief and release of the House tax plan

The Bank of England has raised that country's key interest  rate to 0.5%, marking its first rate increase in ten years

President Trump  chooses Jerome Powell to head the Federal Reserve


Beware: Jerome Powell was one of several Fed members who advocated a policy called "normalization", which was a thinly veiled attempt to torpedo the American economy under Barack Obama.The threat of normalization almost triggered a global financial markets rout in August, 2015. See Archive 2015 -- August 25 and 26, 2015

                              *********************
                         Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Full text of the House Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

              Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), Speaker of the House

                    

                                          Congratulations, Houston
 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Dow adds 58 points as the Federal Reserve paints an optimistic view of the American economy

European stocks power to a two-year high in tandem with commodity prices, with particular focus on the price of oil

Overnight, equities were very strong in the Asia-Pacific markets


The ISM manufacturing index hits 58.7 for October, a number indicating growth, although falling short of forecasts


"A few finishing touches" cause the delay of the tax bill release until tomorrow, according to top GOP drafters in the House


                              Jacob Lew, President Obama's Treasury Secretary

Jacob Lew is interviewed on CNBC regarding the GOP tax plan


                                 ***************
                                         You've Got Mail

Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2017 at 10:18 AM
From: "Hillary Clinton" <info@onwardtogether.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: re: Virginia
I know it isn't easy to get involved in another election after such a heartbreaking loss




Walter --

We're less than a week out from elections in Virginia and New Jersey, and all eyes are on my friends Ralph Northam and Justin Fairfax in Virginia and Phil Murphy and Sheila Oliver in New Jersey. These races for governor and lieutenant governor are pivotal, and it's never been more important to donate, volunteer, and support them than in the final days of these races.

But it's just as important that we lift up the work that's being done on down-ballot races, and I want to talk to you about two of the groups that Onward Together supports and that are at the forefront of the fight for the House of Delegates in Virginia.

Emerge America and Run for Something have been working tirelessly to endorse and support diverse, smart, powerful candidates, and I couldn't be more proud of everything they've accomplished. If we're going to show this administration that those of us who still believe in a big-hearted, inclusive America aren't backing down, then we all need to step up and be even more involved.

Here are three easy ways that you can support Emerge America and Run for Something candidates in Virginia right now:

  • Sign up to volunteer for Emerge America and Run for Something candidates. Whether you want to go to Virginia to knock on doors or make a few calls from your home in support of one of these candidates, there's always something to do during the final few days.
  • Make a donation to Emerge America and Run for Something candidates. Elections are expensive, especially as Election Day draws nearer. Anything you can do will help.
  • Reach out to your friends on Facebook who may live in Virginia and ask them to make sure they vote on Tuesday, November 7th.

I know it isn't easy to get involved in another election after such a heartbreaking loss. But if you're anything like me, there's nothing as uplifting as channeling your frustration and disappointment into action.

It's time to show America that we are not going to give up or give in; that we are not going to grow weary. I'm asking you to stand up once again and support these candidates in Virginia.

Thank you,

Hillary

                             *************************



                              
Izzy Bizu: "Diamond"


Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Dow gains 29 points to cap off a strong October. Nasdaq sets record

Cato Institute: Lower tax rates mean faster economic growth. Translation: All the talk of increased budget deficits are flat wrong

                      
          Rush Limbaugh: "Lower tax rates will generate more tax revenue"
Monday, October 30, 2017
Dow falls 85 points amid anxiety over the future of tax cuts

Matt Egan: Is now really the time for massive tax cuts?

Washington Times: Now is a good time for tax cuts


Overnight, markets in Asia rallied on the wings of thw tech sector

Shawn Langlois: How does America's national debt stack up to the debt of other countries?
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Wall Street Journal: Jerome Powell will likely be named by President Trump as the next Federal Reserve Chairman
 


Beware: Jerome Powell was one of several Fed members who advocated a policy called "normalization", which was a thinly veiled attempt to torpedo the American economy under Barack Obama.The threat of normalization almost triggered a global financial markets rout in August, 2015. See Archive 2015 -- August 25 and 26, 2015




                                 

                                                 "Listen"
 




Saturday, October 28, 2017

                        ***************************
                                        You've Got Mail

Sent: Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 11:56 AM
From: "Kamala Harris" <info@kamalaharris.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: Trump's chaos

Kamala Harris

Hi, Walter --

Just this week a recent study found that millions of Americans are facing double-digit increases in their health insurance premiums.

This is in no small part thanks to the chaos and uncertainty Trump’s attacks on our health care have created — and the complete inability of the Republicans to work with Democrats on a compromise that would make health care a fundamental right for everyone, not just the wealthy few.

Many of my colleagues have promising proposals to solve this crisis. Two of those problem-solvers, Tim Kaine from Virginia and Martin Heinrich from New Mexico, are facing tough reelection fights in 2018.

Tim Kaine is building support for his proposal to offer Americans a public option and my colleague Martin Heinrich is working with me to advance Medicare for All legislation. Because of this, both have become targets of many far-right Republican groups who would rather cut taxes for the top 1% than ensure all Americans have health care coverage.

This is a moral outrage and we need to make sure Tim Kaine and Martin Heinrich not only win in 2018 but that Democrats retake Congress next year and reset Washington’s broken priorities.

Split a contribution between Tim Kaine and Martin Heinrich to ensure they have the resources to win in 2018 and fight back against attacks from pro-Trump groups:

If you've saved your information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:

Tim Kaine and Martin Heinrich have been reliable allies in our fight to stop Trump’s agenda, on issues from health care to taxes to opposing the Administration’s radical nominees.

It would be devastating if we lost them in 2018 because we couldn’t match the fury of Republican super PACs. That’s why I’m hopeful you’ll step up, just as you have so many times this year, to help them.

Thanks for all you do.

Kamala Harris
U.S. Senator, California

                              ****************


       Have we reached the point when we should declare the reality: 
      The United States economy under Obama was a huge success

       
               Thank you, President Obama. History will tell the truth

      Your four main accomplishments benefiting the economy:

  1. The longest, strongest bull run on Wall Street -- the longest, consecutive period of gains in the history of the Nation
  2. The lowest interest rates in the history of America -- helping out the tens of millions of citizens who owe mortgages, credit card debt, auto loans or student loans -- namely, just about everyone
  3. The longest string of monthly increases in jobs filled -- the longest winning streak since the inception of such record keeping
  4. The remarkable, strong recovery in nearly all geographic areas with respect to the U.S. real estate market, despite the near fatal collapse of real estate during the Bush Administration
  5. Quarterly growth in the Nation's GDP that equaled or exceeded 3.0% during 16 of the 32 quarters of the Obama Admistration

     Nice going, Mr. Obama. I salute you.  A job done brilliantly
              You should expect brilliance from a Harvard man

Here are some interesting numbers. On January 20, 2009, the date that Obama took office, the Dow closed at 7,949.09; on January 19, 2017, Obama's last full day in office, the Dow closed at 20, 775.60. Meaning that the Dow gained 12,826. 51 points during the Obama Administration -- that's a gain of 161.35%.

In order to simply match Obama's performance, and assuming an eight-year term, 
the closing Dow on Donald Trump's last day in office would be31,992.90, which is 19,827.25, at the start of Trump's presidency, times 1.6135. There you go, Mr. Trump. Not much to ask for from such a great businessman and re-builder of a great country.
                  
                                               Have a great life  





                    F-86D fighter of the 513th FIS over France in 1959

                                           "Wild Blue Yonder"



Friday, October 27, 2017
Dow adds a gain of 33 points as tech leads the market to records for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq

William Watts: Investors should be wary of the rising use of non-standard accountancy measures in the production of earnings reports


How much does the opioid epidemic cost the United States?


                                   Question:
During the 1970's, the United States negotiated the terms of peace with the Vietcong and the government of North Vietnam, although approaching 58,000 Americans had been killed and hundreds of soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen were being held captive. With that history in mind, why cannot the United States negotiate the terms of peace with Al-Qaeda, ISIS and many, if not all, of the other radical Islamic groups?   WHY? 
  
                                             Solution:                                                                  
What the world needs at this point is the start of peace talks and the imposition of a world-wide ceasefire on all sides. The first steps: The parties should choose a good location for the talks and select the appropriate shape of the table.

                       My suggestions: Geneva is the best location
                         and the tables should be large and round

                    
All groups and nations should be welcome
                                    and present at the negotiations.

                        Expect the negotiations to continue for years

                                The cost of admission to the talks?
        A solemn declaration of, and adherence to, a worldwide ceasefire



                                        "The Pipes Are Calling"






China's Communist Party Congress has elevated Xi Jinping to a status that will lead to another term in the office of President






                                
U.S. presence at sea




          USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) -- homeport NAS North Island, San Diego

Press TV: An American carrier strike group, including the USS Carl Vinson, has begun patrols in the South China Sea

Sue Chang: This is how far China will go to protect its claim to the South China Sea
   
   

       Peace is bullish for all financial positions, except the defense industry™

Dai Bingguo, a retired Chinese foreign policy officer, has delivered a speech in which he urged the U.S. to scale back its "heavy-handed intervention" in matters concerning the South China Sea

        
           
                       Who are the parties inciting conflicts in Asia?

 

                                    
Stratfor Analysts: This is how the United States would attack North Korea's nuclear weapons. The analysis makes clear such an attack would have no guarantee of success


                     
Territorial disputes in the South China Sea

Satellite Image Analysis: Spratly Islands in the South China Sea


   

Daily Mail: China has dispatched nuclear submarines to the Pacific in the latest expansion of its defense policy


Really, China has dispatched some nuclear subs to the Pacific?  Well, okay, the Chinese subs can join the 18 American Ohio-class strategic-deterrent nuclear subs and the 43 American Los Angeles-class attack nuclear subs that are roaming the globe.   

Each one of the 18 American Ohio-class strategic-deterrent nuclear submarines carries more firepower within its missiles and torpedoes than the total of all the bombs, torpedoes and bullets fired every where around the globe during World War II and World War I, in total, all combined



During the President's speech on Saturday, Donald Trump alleged that the Obama Administration allowed the military strength of the United States to weaken and ISIS to grow throughout the Mideast, and elsewhere across the planet. 
       Are these allegations true? No, Trump's statements are GOP propaganda

    
Only in America. Two multi-billion dollar super carriers docked side-by-side
                                        San Diego  November, 2011

            
                 Is America the World's top military power?

The United States is the strongest military power in the history of human civilization. No other nation is even close to our level of dominance. Any suggestion to the contrary is right-wing propaganda that is intended to damage the Obama Administration and stoke up the Republican base before the 2016 elections.
 The American military is in no way "depleted."


Question: Over an 18 month period, as of mid-December, 2015 -- the last period for which such body count statistics are available  to the public -- how many people within ISIS controlled territory have been killed by Western forces -- deaths caused mostly by American airstrikes?

                     Answer: Approximately 23,000 ISIS combatants

President Obama's critics -- including Mr. Trump -- characterize this huge body count as "doing nothing" or "handling ISIS like they're just criminals."

                      Summary of military interventions against ISIS

Doing nothing?  ISIS's territory is about the same size as Indiana. Imagine, in a country the size of Indiana, there are usually at least 16 huge explosions daily -- from 500 pound bombs that have killed approximately 23,000 people over a 18 month period. Bombs and missiles that oftentimes come out of the clear blue sky, with no warning whatsoever.

The critics of the Obama Administration have the gall to call this level of killing "doing nothing", when in fact this volume of death indicates a strategy of ISIS eradication. Keep in mind the fact that many of these critics are the descendants of the very people who killed off the American Indians, and they now pretend the Indians' eradication was not genocide. 

How many Indians were killed in the Americas?  No one knows for sure. Maybe around 8 million people, but maybe as many as 137 million brown-skinned, human beings lost their lives during the conquest of the Americas -- North and South America -- by the Whites. 


As a frame of reference, during the American Indian Wars -- whe
n the Whites conquered what are now the 49 North American states -- the U.S. Army lost a grand total of approximately 1, 200 troops to hostile action at the hands of the totally out-gunned Native Americans.  It was a complete turkey shoot; the North American Indians were killed as easily as a bunch of ducks in a barrel. In an air war, ISIS combatants are also ducks in a barrel


                     

                                 "Love On The Brain"

                                       "Love The Way You Lie"


Anora M. Gaudiano: What could derail this stock market rally? Here is one possibility that may come to pass in the short-term`

                         ******************************    
                               You've Got Mail 

Sent: Monday, October 23, 2017 at 9:14 AM
From: "Barack Obama" <info@ofa.us>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: Our path forward
Gerrymandering has held us back for far too long - we have a chance to change that.
Organizing for Action
Walter --

When I left office, I asked you to embrace the responsibility of active citizenship -- to get involved in our political process, regardless of which way the pendulum of power swings. And over the course of this year, I've seen millions of people answer that call.

You signed up with OFA to take action, and your efforts made a difference. All summer long, for example, you called your members of Congress, you showed up at their town halls, and you used your voice on social media to protect people's health insurance from partisan politics. And it worked.

Together, you've stood up for science and stood against hate, you've marched for women's rights and protested a divisive immigration agenda.

You're doing the hard work of citizenship. You've inspired me all over again. You remind me of the energy that fueled our campaigns in 2008 and 2012. And I know that once again, we can turn that grassroots energy into real, lasting change.

That's why I'm writing you today.

Soon, our states will be redrawing their Congressional and state legislative district lines. It's called redistricting, and it will take place in 2021, after the next Census takes place. That may seem far off, but the time to get started on this issue is now.

This is our best chance to eliminate the partisan gerrymandering that has blocked progress on so many of the issues we all care about. Simply put, redistricting has the potential to be a major turning point for our democracy. But we need to be prepared.

That's where the National Democratic Redistricting Committee comes in. Led by Eric Holder, my former Attorney General, they're the strategic hub for Democratic activity leading up to redistricting. In partnership with groups like OFA, the NDRC is building the infrastructure Democrats need to ensure a fair outcome. But they need your help.

Sign up on this page, Walter, and let them know that you want in.

The NDRC is providing a comprehensive strategy for the path forward. They're challenging unconstitutional maps in court, and doing the necessary state-by-state electoral work to make sure Democrats have a seat at the table for redistricting.

To support them, OFA volunteers and supporters will provide the grassroots organizing capacity and mobilization that we'll need to win state-level elections and move other initiatives forward ahead of the 2021 redistricting process -- making sure that states are in the best position possible to draw fair maps.

Systemic gerrymandering has favored one side over the other in literally hundreds of congressional and state legislative districts around the country.

If we're ever going to truly achieve our vision of an America that works for everyone, we have to draw our districts so that politicians are encouraged to cater to common sense, not rigid extremes.

Getting that done will require participation. It will require each of us continuing to accept our responsibility to be active, engaged citizens.

This fight matters, and OFA and the NDRC need you to be a part of it. Say that you will be:

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

                                                   *******************
Sent: Monday, October 23, 2017 at 1:02 PM
From: "Hillary Clinton" <info@onwardtogether.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: This work wouldn't be possible without you
Your contribution will help this work continue in the months and years ahead




Walter --

I could not be prouder of the groups we work with here at Onward Together.

The leaders who are part of these groups are incredibly smart and passionate. They've taken the anger and frustration many of us have been feeling for the last year and turned it into action -- like thousands of phone calls to Congress, hundreds of new volunteers, and dozens of first-time candidates for office.

But this work wouldn't be possible without support from people across the country. That's why it's so important that you become a Founding Donor to Onward Together by starting a monthly donation today -- your contribution will help this work continue in the months and years ahead.

Thank you -- this means a lot to me,


Hillary

                         *************************

                     A trip down Memory Lane  
                            
Published May 21, 2017

                     History of Sunni Islam and Shia Islam relations

      What does the date May 14, 1948 mean to you -- Independence?

           What does the date May 15, 1948 mean to you -- Nakba?

         What is the concept referred to as the two-state solution?

                        
"Hamas" -- what does that name mean?

                                Hezbollah -- The Party of Allah
  
                   
Has there ever been a country of Palestine?

                          
What is the Palestinian right of return?



    A review of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Sunni Islamic radicals 

During President Obama's address to the United Nations in August, 2011, he referred to countries threatening to wipe Israel off the map. This threat is attributed to Iran, and the assertion has been commonly voiced about Iran in the U.S since 2005. Has a top Iranian official ever threatened to violently wipe Israel off the map? Actually, no top Iranian official has ever threatened to wipe Israel off the map with violence. President Obama's reference in 2011 to the false claim regarding Iran may one day haunt him in the same way that Colin Powell is haunted by his 2003 address to the Security Council in which Secretary Powell falsely asserted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. We all remember where that fairy tale led the country.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: The time has come to attack Iran. 

An attack on Iran will eviserate U.S. peace efforts in the Muslim world and shoot the price of oil through the roof, which will impose an immense burden on the global economy for months . In addition, an attack may not be successful in halting Iran's efforts and will inflame Iranian nationalistic fervor. This is the worst idea since the U.S. invaded Iraq. Unfortunately, a large segment of the Israeli political spectrum thinks short-term and only is concerned about how well the average Israeli sleeps at night. 

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates: An attack on Iran by the United States or Israel would be a catastrophe that would haunt the United States for generations.

        
And to top off the attack Iran lunacy, the oft-touted justification for any such aggression is a fabrication centered on the manufactured fallacy that Iranian leaders have threatened to violently wipe Israel off the map. 
                                
New York Times: Obama Administration moves to tighten U.S. sanctions on Iran by freezing all assets of the Central Bank of Iran, as well as other assets of Iran in the United States. So, instead of attacking Iran with munitions, the United States is attempting to ruin the country's economy through financial attack. This plan envisions economic collapse, deprivation of the populace, civil unrest that culminates in rebellion and the assassination of the current leaders of Iran. 

In fact, when Iranian officials speak of wiping Israel off the map the theory that they refer to is the Palestinian right of return. The Palestinian right of return is a political position asserting that Israel's Jewish constitution will one day be replaced by a secular or Muslim government following a free and democratic vote in which the Jews will be out-voted by the larger population of Palestinians living in the area.    Many people living in the United States have never even heard of the Palestinian right of return. For example, during the Republican primary season, Herman Cain, a GOP candidate for president, was asked by an interviewer for his thoughts on the Palestinian right of return theory. Mr. Cain looked befuddled, and then Mr. Cain admitted that the had no idea what those words mean.

President Trump has emphasized that Israel is a close friend of the United States, in part, because Israel is a democracy. Question: Is Israel actually a democracy?  In other words, do Israel's Muslim residents have a voice through the ballot box?  The fact is, four million Muslims under Israeli control lack any meaningful right to vote. Israel is a democracy in the same fashion that apartheid South Africa was a democracy -- the White people find it advantageous for the White people to make such a claim, despite the fact that there is no real democracy for nearly half the region's population. 

Are the Jews White? No, not exactly, although because of the Jewish Diaspora, many Jews today are very "White". But in 1948, a lot of Americans could see that the Jews were clearly "more White" than the Arabs. Sadly, America of the 1940's was a very bigoted and racist society that easily reached the conclusion the U.S. should support the establishment of the State of Israel, rather than support the rights of the clearly non-White Arab/Muslim population of Palestine. 


               There is a lot of information to know about the Mideast 
                  in order to understand the depth of these problems

Another line of reasoning argues that Iran is an aggressive culture that is inclined to attack its neighbors. The last time Iran launched a war against a neighbor , namely, Russia, was in 1826. 

                                 Khobar Towers bombing

                                     Hezbollah Al-Hejaz

                              Houthi insurgency in Yemen

The Trump Administration continually pushes the concept that Iran and Saudi Arabia are arch enemies -- that Saudi Arabia should arm to the teeth against its historical enemy across the Arabian/Persian Gulf.

This is ironic: Saudi Arabia could save itself a fortune in armament purchases if the animus between the Saudis and the Iranians was resolved. No one in the Trump Administration or the U.S. news media ever breathes a word about ending the Shia/Sunni rift through negotiation and interaction, like modern people, rather than ancient people ready to fight to the death over -- over what?.


Here's an example of historical enemies that worked out their differences in modern times: England and France have fought 13 wars against one another, the last being the Napoleonic Wars, which ended in 1815. Can you imagine the Trump Administration encouraging France to arm-up against the threat of attack from England, rather than resolve disputes through diplomatic channels like intelligent human beings?

President Trump orchestrates the signing by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States of $350 billion pacts to "counterbalance" the Iranians 

Rick Santorum: Iran's scary Shi'ite theology warrants a U.S. attack, since they are religious zealots with a penchant for homicide. Speaking of religious zealots: Judaism says Israel belongs to the Jews, so the Jews are back from Europe to seize and hold the land at gunpoint, a lot like thousands of years ago when it was called Canaan, and the God of Abraham told the Jews it was okay to kill every man, woman and child living there in order to seize and hold the land.


If arch enemies such as a nuclear-armed Pakistan and a nuclear-armed India can live side by side in relative peace when compared to the days when neither country had nuclear weapons, so can Israel and Iran. Stop the madness. Take a lesson from the rest of the world: Nobody attacks anybody; that is the best solution for everybody. 

                        

The Blowback Chronicles: Do you recognize this name - Mohammad Mosaddegh?  Hint: What were you doing on August 19, 1953? 

In other words, the entire premise of the "Iranian Nuclear Weapons Boogeyman" is abject fiction. Please read this summary of how this propagandistic line of slander was created following a speech given in 2005 by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the World Without Zionism Conference in Tehran.  

Washington Post: Did Ahmadinejad really say that Israel "should be wiped off the map"?

Clearly, the expression "wipe Israel off the map" is intended by the Iranians to describe the collapse of the Jewish State of Israel through the democratic process, probably through the immigration into Israel of a non-Jewish majority, and definitely not by means of some Iranian nuclear weapon of mass destruction where the country would be obliterated and its people would be butchered.


But what about that chant of "Death to America"?   Is the real translation actually "Down with America"? Maybe, but the fact is the Iranians have been chanting that for years and they haven't tried to kill us yet. They used to chant "Death to the Soviet Union"
 

It is illustrative that the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini has on repeated occasions referred to the fact that the Soviet Union was wiped off the map in 1991 and replaced with a new government in the form of the Russian Federation.
 

                                       The shape of the Middle East is in play  
    
              So, are you a fan of the Treaties of Sevres and Lausanne?

The Treaty of Sevres established many of the borders in the Middle East.  Are you a supporter of the Treaty of Sevres? You strongly feel that the border between Iraq and Syria should forever be cast in stone?  Really?  Then chances are you don't know the history of how those Middle East borders were drawn.
          
The goal of ISIS, which is the unification of the Muslim world, incites memories of the United Arab Republic under Gamal Abdel Nasser and the West's dire reaction to that effort by Muslims to rewrite the borders of countries in the Middle East.

Two things to make note of here, with respect to the philosophy of Gamel Nasser in the 1950s and ISIS today. 

First, despite what is constantly repeated in the American and European media -- 
such as the National Review Online, a caliphate is being attempted by ISIS that would cover the Muslim world, not the entire world. Any self-respecting, Western ISIS fighter should fully realize there is no way Islam is changing Super Bowl weekend, Hollywood, porno, spring break, rap music, nightclubs, NASCAR or just about anything else regarding North and South America, most of Asia and Europe.  

ISIS should take a lesson from some winners -- the Vietcong. The Vietcong fought a brilliant campaign against the United States in Asia, but the Vietnamese never once attempted a terror attack in North America. The Vietnamese knew there was no way to win a conflict with America by attacking the United States within its borders. Look where that 9/11 strategy landed the late organization that went by the name of Al-Qaeda. It was easily beaten into near-extinction by the strongest military the world has ever known, and then eclipsed by its junior varsity copycat, ISIS.

Second, the West firmly believes that only Westerners are allowed to draw international borders, not Muslims. Take for example -- Israel and the Republic of South Sudan, or the 1954 Geneva Agreements on Vietnam -- borders redrawn, no problem. Or take the 1920 Treaty of Sevres, which, among other things, established Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Lebanon -- Westerners created these countries, no problem; and there was no need to consider the wishes of the indigenous people.

However, Muslims erasing the border between Syria and Iraq -- now that's a huge problem in the eyes of "many"-- it's time to call in naval aircraft carrier battle groups, drone strikes, special forces, all the Gulf State autocracies and coalitions of the willing, wherever they can be found around the newly, and immediately, terrorized world community. At least that's the way it is according to what seems to be the large majority of U.S. media commentators and virtually all U.S. politicians, who insist that the world must fight ISIS and its eventual copycats for the next 100 years, and without such a fight, the world will surely be crushed into a brutal and medieval caliphate. 

I feel in my heart, that many thinking human beings already realize that the whole "ISIS is going to take over the world" 2014 battle cry is nonsense -- nonsense in the same category as the 1960's Domino Theory in Vietnam, or the 2003 search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, or the 1492 through 1880s fervor to protect the white settlers in North America from the marauding, homicidal, non-Christian, sub-human, terrorizing and suicidal, local bands of fanatical redskins that threatened the precious lives of the Whites. 

How on earth are a group of men driving dusty SUVs and pick-up trucks and carrying stolen and black market weapons an existential threat to the United States' with its multi-trillion dollar, highly-experienced military defense forces and police departments? 
  
The basic "Islamic take-over/Sharia law caliphate" battle cry of many Westerners is preposterous.  Islamic militants are absolutely incapable of defeating the West militarily.

                       It's time to get real about the actual degree 
                                of threat posed by radical Islam

It appears that a good part of the country seems resigned to the notion that a 100 year war with radical Islam is inevitable, and America should kill or imprison as many members of ISIS and similar groups immediately -- destroy every last one of them.

In fact, the spectrum of thought in a large part of the U.S. media seems to span from destroy them immediately, all the way to destroy them before the week is over, or, in the alternative, we would have destroyed them last year, but for a weak, ineffective, timid and dithering Commander in Chief by the name of President Obama.

 
Is the attempted destruction of ISIS and similar groups the best U.S. policy, or, in the alternative, is the best policy to sit down at a negotiating table and talk to the human beings who have clearly indicated a different view regarding the future course of the planet?

                                           False criticism                   

In September, 1938, Neville Chamberlain represented Britain at the signing of the Munich Agreement that ceded part of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany. The Munich Agreement is one of history's foremost examples of an attempt to appease evil.

"Many" compare the Obama Administration to Neville Chamberlain and claim that President Obama attempted to appease ISIS the same way that the European governments attempted to appease Hitler. Ergo, what the Nation needs is a tough leader like Donald Trump.

In fact, Barack Obama's situation with radical Islam is totally different from the power relationships between the parties in Munich in 1938. Referring to Obama as Neville Chamberlain is totally propagandistic. It is intentionally misleading, although the assertion is commonly made on talk radio and Fox TV.
              
The situation in the Middle East has once again raised questions regarding President Obama's credentials in the fields of foreign affairs and military operations.  After all, the story is oftentimes heard on talk radio: "He was just a community organizer in Chicago."

It is interesting to me that Barack Obama was twice elected as President of the United States without the great majority of the American people knowing his field of study at prestigious, Ivy League Columbia University in New York City. 

                   
Do you know Barack Obama's college major?

Answer: Political science, with a specialty in international relations,  and his undergraduate academic performance enabled him to enter Harvard Law School, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and President of the Harvard Law Review in 1991.

**********************************************************


           
              No comment is adequate when speaking of this job well done


                                      "Never Would Have Made It"

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Market Watch: Here are four successful strategies for earning steady and predictable  passive income

The Uranium One transaction has returned to the news. What are the facts concerning this controversy?

New York Times: Cash flowed to the Clinton Foundation in connection with the purchase of an interest in Uranium One


Quora: Who paid Bill Clinton a commission of $2,5 million and a speaking fee of $500,000 to broker the sale of 20% of America's uranium to Russia?




                            
                      "Mom, I want to go to law school -- not preschool"



Saturday, October 21, 2017
CNS News: The U.S. deficit was at its highest level since the era of stimulus under the Obama Administration -- $666 billion for fiscal year 2017, which ended on September 30, 2017

Article 155: Spain appears set to trigger its nuclear option with respect to the Catalan crisis


                        **********************************
       A teachable moment -- Lessons that should have been learned 
            from the July, 2009 arrest of Professor Henry L. Gates


            

On July 16, 2009, Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, a Black man, was arrested at his Cambridge, Massachusetts home by White police officer Sgt. James Crowley. Sgt Crowley was responding to a 9-1-1 caller's report of men breaking and entering Gates' residence.

Professor Gates had just returned to his home following a trip to China, and found that his front door was jammed shut; he was attempting to force the door open when a witness called the police and reported a potential burglary.

When Crowley confronted Gates, a contentious incident ensued and Gates was arrested for disorderly conduct.  Five days later the charges were dropped; however, on the sixth day, President Obama was asked about the incident at a televised press conference. President Obama stated that the Cambridge police "acted stupidly."

President Obama's words ignited a firestorm of criticism from the right-wing media and tepid support of the President from the liberal media. Almost immediately after the press conference, President Obama stated that he regretted his comments and tried to disarm the situation by inviting the professor and the officer to the White House in order to discuss the incident in a cordial meeting. Beer would be served, and everyone would leave the meeting happier than before.

The problem, however, is as follows: Ever since the Gates incident, right-wing media has cited this affair as one in which the President acted rashly, without a grasp of the facts, and acted in a way that was anti-police. No one on the right  has given Obama a break for being nice and calling a Beer Summit in his effort to calm the waters. For example, Sean Hannity, on his national radio show, has made such anti-police claims, stemming from the Gates case, on numerous occasions, including at least twice during the last several days.

President Obama never should have backed down. No one should ever back down when they are correct in their position. The Cambridge police did act stupidly, and -- in fact -- that is why the charges against Professor Gates were dropped. 

Here are the two reasons why the police actions were stupid.  First, in Massachusetts, a charge of disorderly conduct can only apply when a defendant causes a disturbance in a public place. Professor Gates initially berated Officer Crowley while Gates was in his own home. One's own residence is not a public place -- so even a rookie defense lawyer would win this case at trial, since the disturbance did not occur in a public place. 

Second, Officer Crowley ordered Professor Gates to step outside of his home in the middle of the heated discussion concerning the possible break-in. That move by Crowley, in effect, caused Gates to leave the protected-speech location within his home and enter a public space where his verbal actions were arguably criminal. That was a stupid move on Crowley's part  -- since even a rookie defense attorney will win the case on the grounds that Crowley's removal of Gates from his home amounted to police entrapment. 

The Cambridge district attorney realized the two serious flaws in the Gates' arrest and dropped the charges immediately. 

Virtually no where in the liberal media over the last seven years has the argument been made that President Obama was correct. The police had acted stupidly: The charges against Gates would either be dropped before trial or Professor Gates would be found not guilty at trial. But in the right-wing media this incident is presented as an example of Obama's poor judgment and anti-police nature.

                                         The lessons here: 
                       1.  Make sure you have your facts straight
      2.  Before you take a position, be absolutely sure you're right
                            3. Never give up when you're right

The converse is also true: If you now see that you are wrong, admit it and go on with life. 

Clinging to a bad position will only look worse with time -- no matter how difficult it may appear at the moment to say: "I was wrong about that." 

                There is no situation so bad that it can't get worse®

Very good examples of clinging to an incorrect position are the insistence by some -- including, apparently, many members of Black Lives Matter and the New Black Panthers Party -- that the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown were murders, despite the weight of substantial and credible evidence to the contrary. 

  

The Black Lives Matter movement is oftentimes criticized in the right-wing media because the movement's roots are in the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases -- two cases that were adjudicated as justifiable homicides. The thing is, however, the demonstrations around the Nation, concerning the deaths of those two teenagers, were about more deaths, and injuries, than those two teenagers'corpses. There are many thousands gone.

A second line of attack against Black Lives Matter focuses on the name of the organization. "Black Lives Matter? That sounds racist. All lives should matter," say the right-wingers as they capture the higher-sounding moral ground of "All Lives Matter". The rhetorical difficulty presented by the name is fully explainable, but most right-wingers will refuse to hear the explanation.

However,
 speaking of difficulties involving rhetoric, here is one for the record books:

   

The third line of attack on Black Lives Matter centers on several audio recordings that were made during Black Lives Matter rallies, such as one which occurred nearly a year ago in Minnesota. Chants were heard such as: "Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon."   

How does Black LIves Matter justify such rhetoric? They don't and can't -- because such trash-talk is childish. The point here is as follows: When you've dug yourself into a hole, at least stop digging.
 Then bear in mind: Clinging to a bad position will only look worse with time -- no matter how difficult it may appear at the moment to say: "I was wrong about that." 

             There is no situation so bad that it can't get worse®

                            On the subject of Black Lives Matter

  

President Obama undertakes an epic address at today's memorial service for the five slain officers in Dallas


     

                  Summary of the Black Lives Matter movement




The Black Lives Matter movement has become a daily target of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly, and the thrust of its critics attack oftentimes centers around a claim that the Black Lives Matter movement only cares about Black people who are killed by Whites, and specifically White police. 

In actuality, the Black Lives Matter movement constantly pushes an agenda that protects Black lives from all threats -- including violence from Blacks on Blacks. However, the sensationalist news media generally does not focus on ordinary street crime in its quest for the more titillating homicides with a racial component.



A second recurring criticism launched by the right-wingers is that the BLM movement is either an artificial entity constructed by George Soros or that BLM is just the Occupy Wall Street theatrical group in black face. Both of these claims are nonsense, but both arise from the White's unwillingness to grasp that Black people actually do experience harm at the hands of a small minority of officers who would just love to maim or kill a person of color.

The George Soros claim is nonsense; plus, the right-wingers propaganda on this point generally includes an assertion that Mr. Soros has given BLM a contribution of $30 million to fund its campaign of rioting around the country.

Really, Sean Hannity, that's what you claim happened -- George Soros gave BLM $30 million? Hannity's Soros claim is false. And, in fact, the leadership structure of BLM  is so amorphous, Soros probably would be unable to figure out whom on earth to give any substantial amount of money as a representative of BLM. 

A final avenue of attack against BLM centers around its genesis in the demonstrations following the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. On an objective basis, the Black Lives Matter movement will always be subject to attack on this point -- since the Martin and Brown cases, once all the evidence was revealed, turned out to be justifiable homicides. Very sad, but very true. 

It's time for the Black Lives Matter movement to get real, learn and move on. The lessons to be learned: First, despite the raw emotions of the moment, do not presume evidence; the Black Lives Matter movement must wait to see what the evidence proves, before attempting to hammer home a claim of homicide. 

Second, the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" meme is from the Brown case, and witnesses have sworn that transaction never happened. The Black Lives Matter movement should stop using that rhetoric, unless there is the opportunity to explain that it is a symbolic gesture meant to indicate that a lack of resistance should insure one's survival in a threatening situation; however, it is recognized that Michael Brown failed to display this proper conduct. 

As an aside, Michael's friend in Ferguson -- Dorian Johnson -- is the person who initially lied to the police and media when he claimed that Michael was compliant and holding up his hands when he was shot. Dorian Johnson's father, or mother, or grandmother should take that teenager out in the back yard and tan his hide, because he was the spark that burned for days in Ferguson and around the country, and the anger in that case was unjustified. The sadness was clearly justified because Michael lost his life, but the anger was not, since the officer's actions were justifiable. 

Third, the Black Lives Matter movement must mature to this point: "When Trayvon Martin realized that George Zimmerman, a stranger and an adult, was paying him too much attention, that teenager should have realized a potential threat and took his butt home and stayed there."

                Each person has a story of his or her own
              It's not just the current body in the morgue
    Such as Mark Clark, who was killed by the Chicago police in 1969 

   Some pertinent facts about the July, 2016 Dallas attack are as follows:
                            Published in July, 2016

    

The Daily Beast: Micah Johnson, the Dallas shooter, was not a member of any black activist organization, because in 2014 the Collective Black People's Movement in Dallas looked into his background upon receiving tipped information that a female U.S. Army corporal had complained against him in the past, and the complaint involved an allegation of sexual deviancy -- there was a report that he tried to steal the woman's panties. 

The Collective Black People's Movement's background evaluation of Johnson in 2014 concluded that he was unstable and unfit for membership in their organization. He was "outed" across the nation because the results of this background check by the chapter in Dallas in 2014 were disseminated nationally to other groups.  No activist organization would accept him as a member, and he was specifically shunned by the New Black Panther Party, which wanted no part of him because of his apparent mental instability. 

Johnson acted alone. He was nuts, not a warrior, although striking out at established authority under the circumstances of the last 397 years of varying degrees of oppression in America-- since the first African slaves were brought into what is now Virginia in 1619 -- is something that a sane warrior might decide to do. 

Some right-wingers might argue -- such as Rush Limbaugh does virtually every day -- that the number of black deaths at the hands of the police is "very small, only about 200 a year." 
Excuse me: That is literally once every two days.  And that number of suspicious police homicides literally exceeds the frequency of lynchings in the Old South -- which totaled, on average, 40 per year -- by a gruesome, horrible factor of a 500% increase over the heydays of the Ku Klux Klan during the period of 1882 -1968.  Literally and almost unbelievably, these statistics demonstrate that things are worse today -- at the hands of the police -- than they were at the hands of the racist Klan during the Jim Crow era. That's horribly remarkable.

How can this be? Many Whites, and some Blacks, seem indifferent to this reality. Why? The answer is simple: There is no one more blind than the person who does not want to see.

Now certainly most of those 200 police killings were justified, but there are far more than 40 police homicides per year that do not pass the smell test -- despite the existence of some form of exoneration by some criminal court action or disciplinary review board --  and that reality explains why so many Black people are demonstrating in the streets tonight as I write this essay.

A sane warrior might sacrifice his own life to force the Nation's attention onto a vital issue of life and death such as this -- or to invoke deterrence against a pattern of brutality -- or to crassly punish the authorities of a system that has allowed this curse for so long --  and perhaps that warrior will suffer an eternity in Hell because of the homicides and mayhem he has committed immediately before leaving this planet and facing God. 

How has the God of Abraham judged Johnson? Arguably, the Bible commented on, and condoned, thousands of years ago the human nature that was so viciously manifested in Dallas last week, with dead bodies pitifully lying on the street and the pitiful sight of sobbing, scared families. I quote a verse from Deuteronomy 19:21 -- of the King James Bible: "And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot."


              What does the Deuteronomy language mean to you?  
        Because a wrenching issue certainly exists after 397 years,
                                   
                                          And that issue is:

                               There are many thousands gone,
                                          And Micah Johnson
                May today be walking the golden pathways of Heaven

  

 There is no disrespect when there is a heightened degree of reverence

                                     It's time to get real

The issue here is brutality committed by certain cops- not all policemen and women. Many right-wingers shout their self-serving fantasy regarding an alleged disrespect of the flag or Anthem in order to mask their own indifference to unjustifiable homicides and beatings committed by criminals who wear badges

,

                A soldier takes a knee in reverence of fallen comrades 

              during a playing of the National Anthem at his unit's post
 



Friday, October 20, 2017
Dow adds 166 points, on a day when the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all closed at new record highs


CNBC: The Senate has passed a budget, and this means that the GOP is a big step closer to passing its tax reform

The growth of China's gross domestic product slowed to a rate of 6.8% in the third quarter, following a gain of 6.9% in the first half of 2017

Ivan Martchev: Here are the reasons why the recent gains in the price of oil may be misleading with respect to long-term trends

                           ****************************
         
           Repatriation of Eurodollars and other assets held overseas

                                What is a Eurodollar?

          

                                          A modest proposal 
        Maybe Congress -- the Republicans as well as the Democrats --                           and President Trump could agree on an idea
              that could bring dollars in the hundreds of billions 
                                   back into the U.S. economy

BusinessWeek: It's time for Congress to enact legislation that will encourage U.S. companies to repatriate overseas cash hoards  

Repatriation refers to the payment of a dividend by a foreign corporation to a U.S. corporation. This happens when the foreign corporation is considered a "controlled foreign corporation" (CFC), which means that more than 50% of the foreign corporation is owned by U.S. shareholders. 

Generally, foreign direct investment in CFCs, or a CFC's profits from doing business abroad, are not taxed until a dividend is paid to the controlling U.S. parent company, and is thus repatriated under the jurisdiction of the U.S. tax authorities. 

The foreign income of the CFC is taxed only by the country where it is incorporated until repatriation. At repatriation, income is subject to the (typically higher) U.S. tax rate -- generally at the rate of 35% -- minus any foreign tax credits, for taxes paid to foreign governments. This process is covered under Sections 951-965 of the Internal Revenue Code. 

There are currently hundreds of billions of dollars of foreign direct investment in CFCs because of the disincentive to repatriate those earnings. 

Some sort of repatriation incentive is a long overdue step that can be enacted in a bipartisan way in trade for a great proposal such as a plan for pre-kindergarten education for the Nation's children or the retirement of a massive portion of America's  National debt

                  
                       ******************************

                                                              
        

                                          "Encore"



Thursday, October 19, 2017
Dow adds 5 points, as the Industrials and the S&P 500 close at new records, under political pressure in Europe and lackluster Chinese data

The Drug Enforcement Administration has responded to the CBS N00ews 60 Minutes/Washington Post report on the opioid crisis

                    A true story about drug smuggling in America

                              "Destiny -- A Legend of Our Time"


   There is no one more blind than the person who does not want to see®

                                   
It's time to get real

Today is the 30th anniversary of Black Monday. Here is how the market of 1987 compares to the Wall Street of 2017 
  

                

                   Summary of President Trump's economic policy



                    ****************************************
                                     A trip down Memory Lane                                 
                                     Sunday, October 2, 2016

What happened in 1995 -- how could Trump lose $916 million and still live like a billionaire?  He got a lot of help from the tax laws regarding the treatment of real estate assets

Donald Trump's rally in Pueblo, Colorado: "I'm working for you now. I'm not working for Trump"

CNBC: What exactly is Donald Trump's plan for America's taxes?
                                         
New York Times: Trump tax records received by the Times reveal that Trump may have paid no income taxes for nearly two decades, because Trump's businesses lost a staggering $916 million in 1995

            

Fox News: Governor Christie defends Trump's leaked tax return, saying that there is nothing illegal -- there are "no apologies"


Former New York City mayor Giuliani calls Donald Trump a genius for minimizing his Federal income taxes


                           Hey Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie:
   There is no one more blind than the person who does not want to see®

Understand this: The true issue here is the fact that Donald Trump's lousy business sense caused him to lose $916 million in one year. That is the real red flag here. Remember this: Despite his wealth, in fact, Donald Trump is a strikingly incompetent businessman.

    

      Do not be misled by TV commentators who claim that taking          Trump's tax deduction was "very complicated" -- "it was genius." 

In actuality, the tax deduction that Trump is suspected of utilizing is called a business net operating loss under Section 172 of the Internal Revenue Code. Any third-year college student majoring in Accounting would fully understand and be able to apply the principles involved in taking this deduction. This is not genius; for any accountant, this is no more difficult than ninth grade algebra.
     
This link is to a cookbook summary of how the business net operating loss deduction is calculated and applied. It's really a very basic tax treatment that is oftentimes utilized by start-up businesses in their formative years, before the business becomes profitable, or during later years when expenses are greater than profits. It is a very straight-forward and logical part of the tax code.

However, in the 1990's, there were two provisions of the Internal Revenue Code that may have sweetened the deal for Trump specifically because he was a real estate developer. 

First, at that time, if Trump's bankers forgave his debts -- as banks sometimes did in the 1990's -- Trump would have been allowed to deduct the full cost of properties bought with debt, even though his actual cash payment might have been only a small fraction of the property's full price. 

Second, in the 1990's, the forgiven debt would not have been considered income to Trump. Or in the alternative, Trump may have engaged in illegal "debt parking', a technique in which a company, that is secretly controlled by Trump, would buy his unpaid debts from the unsuspecting banks for pennies on the dollar, and then that Trump controlled entity would never seek to collect on the debt.

Those two huge advantages are no longer allowable under Federal tax law for the very reason that they led to insane outcomes. The full-price write-off technique, despite the presence of huge amounts of borrowed money, was done away with in 2002 by a bipartisan vote of Congress, following a decision by the Supreme Court that highlighted the insanity of that loophole. The Supreme Court actually concluded that Congress had accidentally created the loophole by a mistake in the language of a statute.

At present, forgiven debt is considered to be income in the hands of the debtor, in most situations outside of bankruptcy.

In 1995, in the entire Nation, there were a total of $49 billion of net operating losses taken by all the country's taxpayers. In other words, that year Donald Trump claimed 2% of the Nation's entire net operating losses. That is not a compliment, nor a sign of genius.  

In fact, it is known that Trump was able to force a debt forgiveness of at least $250 million regarding his ill-conceived purchase of the Plaza Hotel in 1992; he grossly overpaid for the hotel. The forgiven debt was absolutely great for Donald Trump, but terrible for the publicly owned banks that took huge losses because of their relationship with The Donald.


       Trump's bad decision making is characterized by grandiosity

        Is he just some kind of crazy TV clown living large on credit?
   
                                          America: Caveat Emptor 
       There is no one more blind than the person who does not want to see®

   
                                     Atlantic City, New Jersey

Here is the second issue to understand about Trump's $916 million loss in 1995. Many right-wing commentators, such as Rush Limbaugh and Lawrence Kudlow, are trying to dismiss Trump's loss as just a reflection of bad times in the economy in 1995. Such a claim is nonsense -- 1995 was not a bad year in the American economy. For example,  Wikipedia's account of U.S. economic history shows no reference to a collapse in the real estate market during the 1990's or some other calamity that would tend to exonerate Trump's lack of wisdom and lack of prescience.

Trump's failure in that era was due to his own lack of foresight when he decided to undertake a huge Atlantic City casino project -- the Taj Mahal -- that was financed with 14% junk bonds. Disaster in the form of bankruptcy occurred only a year after the Taj Mahal opened, and Trump pushed half the ownership risk -- and losses -- regarding the venture onto his bondholders.


At that time, he also mismanaged the ill-conceived Trump Shuttle airline, which never turned a profit, when the tycoon tried to push luxury when the marketplace actually wanted speed and economy. 

During that era, Trump purchased the Plaza Hotel in New York City at a price that doomed that project from the outset. When the Plaza project hit the skids, the consortium of banks who financed the project forgave $250 million in debt. The debt forgiveness was a great golden parachute escape for The Donald. However, Trump's employees, vendors, the banks that had provided financing and investors crashed into the ground hard.


   
  
     
"Whoops!!  In 1995, I realized a loss of $916 million. Whoops!!"
 "But, pay that no mind. Rudy Giuliani thinks I'm a financial genius." 

Zacks Financial Newsletter: Donald Trump's record as an investor is actually quite unimpressive -- in fact, his rate of wealth growth in the 1988 - 2015 period was less than half the performance of the S&P 500 during that same period.

Which means the following: Despite Trump's claims of how his great intellect and brilliant deal-making built a beautiful, multi-billion dollar company, in fact, it would have been more profitable if Donald had invested his entire fortune in 1988 in an S&P 500 index mutual fund and then did nothing but relax and play golf for the next 27 years. 

If he had done that, Mr. Trump would be more than twice as rich as he is today.  That is a very interesting fact to bear in mind the next time The Donald offers the size of his wealth as proof of his financial and business acumen.


                   But what about his first billion dollars?  
                        How was his first fortune earned? 
 

                            
Answer:
  He cheated his head off 
                 in the New York City real estate market


In the 1970's and 1980's it was common knowledge in New York financial circles that Donald Trump was making a killing in the New York real estate market using a technique that was abusive and illegal. 

Mr. Trump would buy an apartment building dirt cheap. There were many apartment buildings around New York City, at that time, that had depressed valuations; this was because the tenants in those buildings fell under rent control -- under the law, the rent charged was mandated at low levels for the length of time these rent controlled tenants lived there.

Mr. Trump realized that if he could convince these rent controlled tenants to move out of their apartments, he could raise the rent on new tenants. Or he could convert the rental units to condominiums -- called "cooperatives" in New York City -- and make a huge killing in profits.

Mr. Trump had a money-making idea: Move unsavory tenants into the buildings and thereby depress the quality of life among the rent controlled tenants, with the intention of causing the rent controlled tenants to flee the building. 

Unsavory tenants? Yes: the deranged homeless; drug addicts; gang-bangers -- all recruited by Mr. Trump's people with the intention of forcing the rent controlled tenants out of their apartments. Mr. Trump was very successful at the implementation of this technique, and, after a little more than a decade of this abusive and illegal practice, he had made his first billion.

             *********************************************






                       Did you know that on August 25, 2015
                  the World's financial markets almost crashed
                                     like in October, 1929?

                     You didn't know that?  Ignorance is bliss
                          
                          
A Trip Down Memory Lane
  The following blog was first published on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Today's trading -- looking back at August 25, 2015 -- on Wall Street was 
volatile to say the least, as all the averages started the day solidly in positive territory, but the Dow closed at a loss of 205 points, extending the carnage that has swept relentlessly through global equity markets over the course of the past week


                                   It is only after the sun sets, 
       that you can say how the trading day went -- not at noontime


John Hilsenrath and Nick Timiraos: The risks have grown with respect to the health of the U.S. expansion     Thank you, gentlemen, for captioning the obvious and putting the situation in its mildest, noncommittal description. That sort of analysis takes real bravery and insight -- lots of both fine qualities. Pure genius

Wall Street opened in rally mode, following this morning's market intervention by the People's Bank of China, and stocks are up approximately 2.0% across the Board in early trading. Plus, the S&P 500 has risen above correction territory, at this point in the day

At around 6:30 AM, New York time, before the opening of the market on Wall Street, the People's Bank of China announced that China has cut its benchmark interest rate to 4.6%, effective in the near future, and the Bank also lowered China's bank reserve requirements, all in an effort to calm the World's financial markets   

                                      
Thank you, Beijing

I heartily commend the Chinese government for its prudent efforts to help the financial markets, since there are millions of panicked, sleepless people around the planet this morning.  

Thank God -- China has sent, and is capable of sending, its cavalry into this financial crisis. In fact, the economies of all the Western nations are practically incapable of doing what China has just done in an effort to stabilize the World's financial markets.

To me, it is deplorable that many Western commentators will criticize China's moves, claiming that the Chinese should have just allowed free market forces to correct the losses incurred over the last week. Or many commentators will claim that all these difficulties were China's fault in the first place. Or point out that China is just a third world country, claiming that the Chinese people are virtually in slavery. Or some commentators will allege that the rally on Wall Street would have happened without Chinese intervention.

Notably, the China critics -- commentators who are generally right-wingers -- will not point out that the United States could not drop interest rates in order to support the markets since interest rates in America are already at a point near zero, plus the Federal Reserve would be terrified to raise America's reserve requirements in the way that Beijing raised China's banks' reserve requirements. 

Furthermore, the China critics will certainly have some degree of difficulty explaining why a week or two ago these same people were cheer leading the proposition that the Federal Reserve should raise interest rates in the U.S. -- so-called "normalization."  

The right-wing's mantra is as follows: "The Fed needs to raise U.S. interest rates in September, 2015". This meme was/is a theory that I have decried with fervor for months, since it is a thinly veiled attempt by the right-wingers in the media and on the Federal Reserve to sink the Obama economy before the 2016 election. Unfortunately, there were as many as five adherents to the "raise interest rates " lunacy on the Federal Reserve Board, as recently as ten days ago. 

If there is a silver lining to the difficulties of the last week, it would be the fact that the stock market losses around the globe might shut up the lunatic "normalization -- 
raise the U.S. interest rates" crowd until well into 2016, or perhaps even 2017. We'll see.

And the reason why this narrative has ceased, at least for the time being, is because, in fact, the threat of "normalization" by the Federal Reserve almost crashed the World's financial markets over the course of the last several business days. Crashed -- like the financial crashes of October, 1929 or August, 1987.
                     

                          So, let me make sure I've got this right 


While the United States has spent over a trillion dollars over the last decade fighting Islamic radicals, China -- a country with virtually no problems with Islamic radicals -- has the financial clout today that is needed in order to intervene in the financial markets and rush, in a timely fashion, to the rescue of the entire planet, and thereby help not only the Chinese but all the World's people.  Thank you, Beijing.
 
                     Artist conception of a Chinese solar powered community    
                   

Over the last decade, China has used approximately $30 billion of its money to develop domestic infrastructure, such as cities powered by super- futuristic looking solar panels. China was able to develop this technology because of research grants to its private industry from the Beijing government.  That sounds kind of cool. Maybe the United States and Europe should follow the example set by China on both research grants, as well as how to handle a country's foreign affairs.

Many people are unaware of the fact that China has had the World's largest economy for 18 of the past 20 centuries -- notably, however, not during our lifetimes.  However, if one uses a definition of value that takes into account the striking difference between America and China with respect to the cost of a basket of goods and services inside the two respective countries, some economists would argue that China is right now the World's largest economy utilizing such a pricing-parity formula.

Most people are also unaware that during the Great Depression of the 1930's, China was the only major economy in the World that did not slip into depression, a fact that is a testament to my personal conclusion that China's theories on economic and financial policy are something that the West should seek to study and emulate..

   

I will always feel an affinity for China. The reason why I feel this affinity is very straightforward.  In 1973, only a few months after my graduation from New York University Law School, I was an attorney at the Wall Street law firm named Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer and Wood.  My supervising partner, an expert in the field of international corporate finance, called me into his office one Friday afternoon during the late spring and asked me to shut the door behind myself as I entered. Mr. Phillip Dunlay, a true legend on Wall Street, asked me to perform, as quickly as possible, research on the question of whether it was legal for an American company to sell $250 million worth of American wheat to Mainland China -- Communist China.

I was stunned. At that time, as far as anyone knew, no American company had entered into any business transactions with China since the Communist civil war and takeover in 1949. My law firm's client, an American subsidiary of the French global conglomerate, Louis Dreyfus Group, was on the verge of making history as the first American company to trade with China in modern times. 

We realized that this transaction would certainly open immense floodgates for future trade between the two countries. Mr. Dunlay cautioned me, saying that I needed to do the research as quickly as possible -- he told me to burn the midnight oil over the course of the weekend -- plus, I needed to maintain absolute secrecy concerning this proposed transaction, because if this information were to slip out, there would be a huge and potentially market-moving impact upon America's international balance of payments. I assured Mr. Dunlay that he could absolutely rely on me for speed and confidentiality.

Monday morning, I reported the results of my research: There was no American law that prohibited an American company from trading with China. Three weeks later, the transaction was completed and reported as front page news in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. I was so proud of myself, as well as the American and Chinese people. I felt that humanity had taken a giant leap forward, and all the World's people would profit from the new, more friendly relationship between the United States and China.

                     **********************************

                    

                                                                     "Suspicion"



Wednesday, October 18, 2017
The Dow Jones Indusrials makes its first close above 23,000

                                 Walking by Faith, not by vision

                     

                                           "The Book Of Eli"
  
                                        "First Shooting Scene"
                  
               The book Eli carries is the World's last surviving Bible.

          He is walking tirelessly across a devastated future-America, 
                                        guided by his faith in God. 

         At the end of the movie, you discover that Eli is totally blind
 
                                    
"God Favored Me"


Saturday, May 27, 2017
Friday, May 26, 2017
Dow falls 3 points, but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both set new records


Orders for U.S. durable goods have fallen to a five-month low, amid weakness in most key industrial sectors

Commerce Dept: First quarter GDP adjusted upwards to 1.2% from 0.7%
The Trump Administration wants six million welfare recipients working

Thursday, May 25, 2017
Dow adds 71 points as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq set closing records

                                      
                                          "This Must Be Heaven"
             

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Dow adds 75 points and the S&P 500 closes at a new record, despite the negative signs coming from the bricks-and-mortar retail sector


Washington Post: The CBO has scored the Republican health care bill. The report is damning -- the uninsured will increase by 23 million
 


Moody's Investors Service has downgraded China's sovereign debt because of the country's rising debt load and its slowing economy. This is the first downgrade of China since 1989

Michael Brush: The best contrarian trade is coming down the pike right now because most economists are forecasting strong 2Q growth


Chris Isidore: Here is a reality check on President Trump's budget proposal's growth projections when compared to the years of the Obama Administration


Trump's budget proposes an end to the sharing of offshore oil and gas revenues with four Gulf of Mexico states, all of which voted for Trump in the 2016 Presidential election


William Watts: Should stock market investors worry about the rise of the quants -- the algorithmic-focused hedge funds?

Fox News: At the G-7 meeting. Trump will face pressure from world leaders regarding the Paris Agreement on climate




                   A brief explanation of a border adjustment tax

                             Destination-based cash flow tax

                                     Value added tax -- a VAT

                                            A flat tax system

The Economist: This is how America's border adjustment tax would work, if it was implemented by the GOP controlled Congress


President Trump's proposed budget will cut many job training programs by 40%, and that's because such programs are viewed as ineffective


Daily Mail: President Trump, and his entourage, have visited the Vatican and met with Pope Francis. President Trump gave the Pope a set of original books by Martin Luther King, Jr.  Oh, yes. He did



                                               "The Thrill"

                                    "The Thrill -- with lyrics"


Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Ashok K. Kantha: This is why India is cool towards China's Belt and Road plan -- Pakistan-occupied Kashmir

                                           You've Got Mail

Sent: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 11:41 AM
From: "Senator Kamala Harris" <info@kamalaharris.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: FCC is trying to eliminate the open internet. We need your voice.

Kamala Harris

Walter:

The genius of the internet is that it’s free and open to everyone. It has created an even playing field and is particularly important for historically disadvantaged communities. Online, anyone can become an overnight sensation based on the quality of their work, regardless of gender, skin color, who they love, or where they live.

This fundamental fact about the internet — that it’s free and accessible for all — is taken for granted. But Trump's appointed FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, has advanced a plan that would eliminate the free and open internet as we know it. We can’t let that happen.

In Washington, these rules are called Net Neutrality. They are designed to ensure all voices online stay equal — that no one website is prioritized over another.

So you may be asking yourself: who benefits if the internet is made less free and less open than it is right now?

Two groups:

  • Cable companies, the gatekeepers to the internet, who want to make it work more like Cable TV with tiers of access, limiting accessibility based on income.

  • And short-sighted politicians, notably Donald Trump and his advisors, who are rightly terrified about the internet’s ability to organize against their agenda.

The last time Net Neutrality rules were up for debate in front of the FCC, nearly four million comments were submitted — and we won. This time, with a Trump appointee in charge, it’s going to take everything we’ve got, which is why I’m asking:

As your Senator, I’ll be adding my official comment as well. I’m hoping that when I do, I can deliver hundreds of thousands of your voices to the FCC as well and show them the strength of our movement. Please add yours today.

Thanks for all you do.

Kamala Harris
U.S. Senator, California

                ****************************************

Sent: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 11:08 AM
From: "Trey Gowdy" <info@gregformontana.com>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: Special Election Message
Walter,

If you know anything about me, it's that I don't lie and you can always count on me to tell you the truth.

And I'm emailing you today because you need to know the situation with the special election happening RIGHT NOW.

Republicans are in an all-out battle to save a vital seat in Congress and I'm writing you today to ask for your immediate help. You see, conservative Republican Greg Gianforte is facing a very tough election against Democrat Rob Quist – and your support is urgently needed.

This is considered a "Special" Election, because it's to fill the spot in Congress opened when Ryan Zinke became our new Secretary of the Interior. Walter, Ryan Zinke's shoes are tough to fill, and the only person who can do it is Greg Gianforte.

But the Democrats are DETERMINED to see Greg lose. And right now, they are literally throwing millions into this race to steal this congressional seat and embarrass President Trump. Every Democrat, from Nancy Pelosi to Bernie Sanders to Elizabeth Warren, has entered this campaign to try and swing the outcome in the Democrat's favor.

This election is just days away!

Walter, I'm reaching out to you today because Greg CAN and WILL win this election if he can count on your support right now.

With absentee ballots out RIGHT NOW and just days to go before voters hit the polls, every dollar donated will make the difference between winning and losing this election. We cannot afford to lose this seat because we didn't take enough action.

Our nation's future is resting in the balance of what happens in Montana. If the Democrats are able to win this race – that will fuel their efforts to win many more races moving forward.

I told Greg I was going to send you this email.

Greg Gianforte will serve our nation well – please join me in making certain he gets that chance.

Sincerely,
Trey Gowdy
Congressman SC-4

           

Sue Chang: In the battle for control of the U.S. stock market, the bulls might have a slight edge

Greg Robb: The dysfunction in Washington will not prevent the Federal Reserve Bank from raising interest rates in June

Financial Times: Here is the case for higher taxes in the United States


USA Today: Could Proctor & Gamble be the next Kodak?


Daily Mail: President Trump and his entourage are now in Israel


                

                                     History of the State of Israel

Daily Mail: President Trump may be in need of a quick course on the geography of the Middle East


CNN Politics: Hey, First Couple, is there a little bit of a problem here?


Amotz Asa-El: Here is the fact of the matter -- The Saudis cannot afford the arms deal they have signed under pressure from President Trump




Saudi Arabia has pledged $20 billion to Blackstone, a private investment firm, to build infrastructure in the United States of America


                             "Exodus -- Movement of Jah People"



Sunday, May 21, 2017



Daily Mail: Roger Stone claims that watching President Trump receive a gold medallion from the Saudis makes him "want to puke." According to the comments made by huge numbers of ordinary Americans throughout the news media, that sentiment is common in the United States of America

Two years ago, citizen Trump slammed Michele Obama for not wearing a head scarf in Saudi Arabia. Now, Melania and Ivanka Trump go uncovered, and President Trump, as well as large parts of the right-wing media, have only praise for the two women's style choice. Plus, Mr. Trump has given his trademark thumbs-up gesture, an act that is considered an obscene sexual expression in the Muslim world
   


Daily Mail: Donald Trump today addressed leaders of the Muslim world in a speech delivered in Riyadh. The speech was steeped in religious appeal and rhetoric

                             Video of President Trump's speech

One tenet of President Trump's Mideast policy asserts that Israel is the ancestral home of the Jews. Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu oftentimes refers to Israel as his ancestral home.  However,  the Prime Minister fails to mention the historical fact of diaspora. There is irony in the fact that Netanyahu is the first Prime Minister of Israel who was actually born in post-1948 Israel --  making for a very self-serving definition of one's "homeland' with respect to almost all of the Israelis older than the youngest generation in the country"

                  

                     History of Sunni Islam and Shia Islam relations

      What does the date May 14, 1948 mean to you -- Independence?

           What does the date May 15, 1948 mean to you -- Nakba?

         What is the concept referred to as the two-state solution?

                        
"Hamas" -- what does that name mean?

                                Hezbollah -- The Party of Allah
  
                   
Has there ever been a country of Palestine?

                          
What is the Palestinian right of return?



    A review of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Sunni Islamic radicals 

During President Obama's address to the United Nations in August, 2011, he referred to countries threatening to wipe Israel off the map. This threat is attributed to Iran, and the assertion has been commonly voiced about Iran in the U.S since 2005. Has a top Iranian official ever threatened to violently wipe Israel off the map? Actually, no top Iranian official has ever threatened to wipe Israel off the map with violence. President Obama's reference in 2011 to the false claim regarding Iran may one day haunt him in the same way that Colin Powell is haunted by his 2003 address to the Security Council in which Secretary Powell falsely asserted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. We all remember where that fairy tale led the country.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: The time has come to attack Iran. 

An attack on Iran will eviserate U.S. peace efforts in the Muslim world and shoot the price of oil through the roof, which will impose an immense burden on the global economy for months . In addition, an attack may not be successful in halting Iran's efforts and will inflame Iranian nationalistic fervor. This is the worst idea since the U.S. invaded Iraq. Unfortunately, a large segment of the Israeli political spectrum thinks short-term and only is concerned about how well the average Israeli sleeps at night. 

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates: An attack on Iran by the United States or Israel would be a catastrophe that would haunt the United States for generations.

        
And to top off the attack Iran lunacy, the oft-touted justification for any such aggression is a fabrication centered on the manufactured fallacy that Iranian leaders have threatened to violently wipe Israel off the map. 
                                
New York Times: Obama Administration moves to tighten U.S. sanctions on Iran by freezing all assets of the Central Bank of Iran, as well as other assets of Iran in the United States. So, instead of attacking Iran with munitions, the United States is attempting to ruin the country's economy through financial attack. This plan envisions economic collapse, deprivation of the populace, civil unrest that culminates in rebellion and the assassination of the current leaders of Iran. 

In fact, when Iranian officials speak of wiping Israel off the map the theory that they refer to is the Palestinian right of return. The Palestinian right of return is a political position asserting that Israel's Jewish constitution will one day be replaced by a secular or Muslim government following a free and democratic vote in which the Jews will be out-voted by the larger population of Palestinians living in the area.    Many people living in the United States have never even heard of the Palestinian right of return. For example, during the Republican primary season, Herman Cain, a GOP candidate for president, was asked by an interviewer for his thoughts on the Palestinian right of return theory. Mr. Cain looked befuddled, and then Mr. Cain admitted that the had no idea what those words mean.

President Trump has emphasized that Israel is a close friend of the United States, in part, because Israel is a democracy. Question: Is Israel actually a democracy?  In other words, do Israel's Muslim residents have a voice through the ballot box?  The fact is, four million Muslims under Israeli control lack any meaningful right to vote. Israel is a democracy in the same fashion that apartheid South Africa was a democracy -- the White people find it advantageous for the White people to make such a claim, despite the fact that there is no real democracy for nearly half the region's population. 

Are the Jews White? No, not exactly, although because of the Jewish Diaspora, many Jews today are very "White". But in 1948, a lot of Americans could see that the Jews were clearly "more White" than the Arabs. Sadly, America of the 1940's was a very bigoted and racist society that easily reached the conclusion the U.S. should support the establishment of the State of Israel, rather than support the rights of the clearly non-White Arab/Muslim population of Palestine. 


               There is a lot of information to know about the Mideast 
                  in order to understand the depth of these problems

Another line of reasoning argues that Iran is an aggressive culture that is inclined to attack its neighbors. The last time Iran launched a war against a neighbor , namely, Russia, was in 1826. 

                                 Khobar Towers bombing

                                     Hezbollah Al-Hejaz

                              Houthi insurgency in Yemen

The Trump Administration continually pushes the concept that Iran and Saudi Arabia are arch enemies -- that Saudi Arabia should arm to the teeth against its historical enemy across the Arabian/Persian Gulf.

This is ironic: Saudi Arabia could save itself a fortune in armament purchases if the animus between the Saudis and the Iranians was resolved. No one in the Trump Administration or the U.S. news media ever breathes a word about ending the Shia/Sunni rift through negotiation and interaction, like modern people, rather than ancient people ready to fight to the death over -- over what?.


Here's an example of historical enemies that worked out their differences in modern times: England and France have fought 13 wars against one another, the last being the Napoleonic Wars, which ended in 1815. Can you imagine the Trump Administration encouraging France to arm-up against the threat of attack from England, rather than resolve disputes through diplomatic channels like intelligent human beings?

President Trump orchestrates the signing by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States of $350 billion pacts to "counterbalance" the Iranians 

Rick Santorum: Iran's scary Shi'ite theology warrants a U.S. attack, since they are religious zealots with a penchant for homicide. Speaking of religious zealots: Judaism says Israel belongs to the Jews, so the Jews are back from Europe to seize and hold the land at gunpoint, a lot like thousands of years ago when it was called Canaan, and the God of Abraham told the Jews it was okay to kill every man, woman and child living there in order to seize and hold the land.


If arch enemies such as a nuclear-armed Pakistan and a nuclear-armed India can live side by side in relative peace when compared to the days when neither country had nuclear weapons, so can Israel and Iran. Stop the madness. Take a lesson from the rest of the world: Nobody attacks anybody; that is the best solution for everybody. 

                        

The Blowback Chronicles: Do you recognize this name - Mohammad Mosaddegh?  Hint: What were you doing on August 19, 1953? 

In other words, the entire premise of the "Iranian Nuclear Weapons Boogeyman" is abject fiction. Please read this summary of how this propagandistic line of slander was created following a speech given in 2005 by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the World Without Zionism Conference in Tehran.  

Washington Post: Did Ahmadinejad really say that Israel "should be wiped off the map"?

Clearly, the expression "wipe Israel off the map" is intended by the Iranians to describe the collapse of the Jewish State of Israel through the democratic process, probably through the immigration into Israel of a non-Jewish majority, and definitely not by means of some Iranian nuclear weapon of mass destruction where the country would be obliterated and its people would be butchered.


But what about that chant of "Death to America"?   Is the real translation actually "Down with America"? Maybe, but the fact is the Iranians have been chanting that for years and they haven't tried to kill us yet. They used to chant "Death to the Soviet Union"
 

It is illustrative that the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini has on repeated occasions referred to the fact that the Soviet Union was wiped off the map in 1991 and replaced with a new government in the form of the Russian Federation.
 

                                       The shape of the Middle East is in play  
    
              So, are you a fan of the Treaties of Sevres and Lausanne?

The Treaty of Sevres established many of the borders in the Middle East.  Are you a supporter of the Treaty of Sevres? You strongly feel that the border between Iraq and Syria should forever be cast in stone?  Really?  Then chances are you don't know the history of how those Middle East borders were drawn.
          
The goal of ISIS, which is the unification of the Muslim world, incites memories of the United Arab Republic under Gamal Abdel Nasser and the West's dire reaction to that effort by Muslims to rewrite the borders of countries in the Middle East.

Two things to make note of here, with respect to the philosophy of Gamel Nasser in the 1950s and ISIS today. 

First, despite what is constantly repeated in the American and European media -- 
such as the National Review Online, a caliphate is being attempted by ISIS that would cover the Muslim world, not the entire world. Any self-respecting, Western ISIS fighter should fully realize there is no way Islam is changing Super Bowl weekend, Hollywood, porno, spring break, rap music, nightclubs, NASCAR or just about anything else regarding North and South America, most of Asia and Europe.  

ISIS should take a lesson from some winners -- the Vietcong. The Vietcong fought a brilliant campaign against the United States in Asia, but the Vietnamese never once attempted a terror attack in North America. The Vietnamese knew there was no way to win a conflict with America by attacking the United States within its borders. Look where that 9/11 strategy landed the late organization that went by the name of Al-Qaeda. It was easily beaten into near-extinction by the strongest military the world has ever known, and then eclipsed by its junior varsity copycat, ISIS.

Second, the West firmly believes that only Westerners are allowed to draw international borders, not Muslims. Take for example -- Israel and the Republic of South Sudan, or the 1954 Geneva Agreements on Vietnam -- borders redrawn, no problem. Or take the 1920 Treaty of Sevres, which, among other things, established Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Lebanon -- Westerners created these countries, no problem; and there was no need to consider the wishes of the indigenous people.

However, Muslims erasing the border between Syria and Iraq -- now that's a huge problem in the eyes of "many"-- it's time to call in naval aircraft carrier battle groups, drone strikes, special forces, all the Gulf State autocracies and coalitions of the willing, wherever they can be found around the newly, and immediately, terrorized world community. At least that's the way it is according to what seems to be the large majority of U.S. media commentators and virtually all U.S. politicians, who insist that the world must fight ISIS and its eventual copycats for the next 100 years, and without such a fight, the world will surely be crushed into a brutal and medieval caliphate. 

I feel in my heart, that many thinking human beings already realize that the whole "ISIS is going to take over the world" 2014 battle cry is nonsense -- nonsense in the same category as the 1960's Domino Theory in Vietnam, or the 2003 search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, or the 1492 through 1880s fervor to protect the white settlers in North America from the marauding, homicidal, non-Christian, sub-human, terrorizing and suicidal, local bands of fanatical redskins that threatened the precious lives of the Whites. 

How on earth are a group of men driving dusty SUVs and pick-up trucks and carrying stolen and black market weapons an existential threat to the United States' with its multi-trillion dollar, highly-experienced military defense forces and police departments? 
  
The basic "Islamic take-over/Sharia law caliphate" battle cry of many Westerners is preposterous.  Islamic militants are absolutely incapable of defeating the West militarily.

                       It's time to get real about the actual degree 
                                of threat posed by radical Islam

It appears that a good part of the country seems resigned to the notion that a 100 year war with radical Islam is inevitable, and America should kill or imprison as many members of ISIS and similar groups immediately -- destroy every last one of them.

In fact, the spectrum of thought in a large part of the U.S. media seems to span from destroy them immediately, all the way to destroy them before the week is over, or, in the alternative, we would have destroyed them last year, but for a weak, ineffective, timid and dithering Commander in Chief by the name of President Obama.

 
Is the attempted destruction of ISIS and similar groups the best U.S. policy, or, in the alternative, is the best policy to sit down at a negotiating table and talk to the human beings who have clearly indicated a different view regarding the future course of the planet?

                                           False criticism                   

In September, 1938, Neville Chamberlain represented Britain at the signing of the Munich Agreement that ceded part of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany. The Munich Agreement is one of history's foremost examples of an attempt to appease evil.

"Many" compare the Obama Administration to Neville Chamberlain and claim that President Obama attempted to appease ISIS the same way that the European governments attempted to appease Hitler. Ergo, what the Nation needs is a tough leader like Donald Trump.

In fact, Barack Obama's situation with radical Islam is totally different from the power relationships between the parties in Munich in 1938. Referring to Obama as Neville Chamberlain is totally propagandistic. It is intentionally misleading, although the assertion is commonly made on talk radio and Fox TV.
              
The situation in the Middle East has once again raised questions regarding President Obama's credentials in the fields of foreign affairs and military operations.  After all, the story is oftentimes heard on talk radio: "He was just a community organizer in Chicago."

It is interesting to me that Barack Obama was twice elected as President of the United States without the great majority of the American people knowing his field of study at prestigious, Ivy League Columbia University in New York City. 

                   
Do you know Barack Obama's college major?

Answer: Political science, with a specialty in international relations,  and his undergraduate academic performance enabled him to enter Harvard Law School, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and President of the Harvard Law Review in 1991.

**********************************************************


                  
                      No comment is adequate when speaking of this job well done


                                      "Never Would Have Made It"




Saturday, May 20, 2017

    
                                         
                                            Armed Forces Day

                                    "The Star Spangled Banner"


The United States is the most obese nation in the world, and Mexico is second; New Zealand is in third place for obesity


Chris Isidore: Robots could wipe out another six million retail jobs


                  ****************************************
                                   A trip down Memory Lane                                 
                                    Sunday, October 2, 2016

What happened in 1995 -- how could Trump lose $916 million and still live like a billionaire?  He got a lot of help from the tax laws regarding the treatment of real estate assets

Donald Trump's rally in Pueblo, Colorado: "I'm working for you now. I'm not working for Trump"

CNBC: What exactly is Donald Trump's plan for America's taxes?
                                         
New York Times: Trump tax records received by the Times reveal that Trump may have paid no income taxes for nearly two decades, because Trump's businesses lost a staggering $916 million in 1995

            

Fox News: Governor Christie defends Trump's leaked tax return, saying that there is nothing illegal -- there are "no apologies"


Former New York City mayor Giuliani calls Donald Trump a genius for minimizing his Federal income taxes


                           Hey Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie:
   There is no one more blind than the person who does not want to see®

Understand this: The true issue here is the fact that Donald Trump's lousy business sense caused him to lose $916 million in one year. That is the real red flag here. Remember this: Despite his wealth, in fact, Donald Trump is a strikingly incompetent businessman.

    

      Do not be misled by TV commentators who claim that taking          Trump's tax deduction was "very complicated" -- "it was genius." 

In actuality, the tax deduction that Trump is suspected of utilizing is called a business net operating loss under Section 172 of the Internal Revenue Code. Any third-year college student majoring in Accounting would fully understand and be able to apply the principles involved in taking this deduction. This is not genius; for any accountant, this is no more difficult than ninth grade algebra.
     
This link is to a cookbook summary of how the business net operating loss deduction is calculated and applied. It's really a very basic tax treatment that is oftentimes utilized by start-up businesses in their formative years, before the business becomes profitable, or during later years when expenses are greater than profits. It is a very straight-forward and logical part of the tax code.

However, in the 1990's, there were two provisions of the Internal Revenue Code that may have sweetened the deal for Trump specifically because he was a real estate developer. 

First, at that time, if Trump's bankers forgave his debts -- as banks sometimes did in the 1990's -- Trump would have been allowed to deduct the full cost of properties bought with debt, even though his actual cash payment might have been only a small fraction of the property's full price. 

Second, in the 1990's, the forgiven debt would not have been considered income to Trump. Or in the alternative, Trump may have engaged in illegal "debt parking', a technique in which a company, that is secretly controlled by Trump, would buy his unpaid debts from the unsuspecting banks for pennies on the dollar, and then that Trump controlled entity would never seek to collect on the debt.

Those two huge advantages are no longer allowable under Federal tax law for the very reason that they led to insane outcomes. The full-price write-off technique, despite the presence of huge amounts of borrowed money, was done away with in 2002 by a bipartisan vote of Congress, following a decision by the Supreme Court that highlighted the insanity of that loophole. The Supreme Court actually concluded that Congress had accidentally created the loophole by a mistake in the language of a statute.

At present, forgiven debt is considered to be income in the hands of the debtor, in most situations outside of bankruptcy.

In 1995, in the entire Nation, there were a total of $49 billion of net operating losses taken by all the country's taxpayers. In other words, that year Donald Trump claimed 2% of the Nation's entire net operating losses. That is not a compliment, nor a sign of genius.  

In fact, it is known that Trump was able to force a debt forgiveness of at least $250 million regarding his ill-conceived purchase of the Plaza Hotel in 1992; he grossly overpaid for the hotel. The forgiven debt was absolutely great for Donald Trump, but terrible for the publicly owned banks that took huge losses because of their relationship with The Donald.


       Trump's bad decision making is characterized by grandiosity

        Is he just some kind of crazy TV clown living large on credit?
   
                                          America: Caveat Emptor 
       There is no one more blind than the person who does not want to see®

   
                                     Atlantic City, New Jersey

Here is the second issue to understand about Trump's $916 million loss in 1995. Many right-wing commentators, such as Rush Limbaugh and Lawrence Kudlow, are trying to dismiss Trump's loss as just a reflection of bad times in the economy in 1995. Such a claim is nonsense -- 1995 was not a bad year in the American economy. For example,  Wikipedia's account of U.S. economic history shows no reference to a collapse in the real estate market during the 1990's or some other calamity that would tend to exonerate Trump's lack of wisdom and lack of prescience.

Trump's failure in that era was due to his own lack of foresight when he decided to undertake a huge Atlantic City casino project -- the Taj Mahal -- that was financed with 14% junk bonds. Disaster in the form of bankruptcy occurred only a year after the Taj Mahal opened, and Trump pushed half the ownership risk -- and losses -- regarding the venture onto his bondholders.


At that time, he also mismanaged the ill-conceived Trump Shuttle airline, which never turned a profit, when the tycoon tried to push luxury when the marketplace actually wanted speed and economy. 

During that era, Trump purchased the Plaza Hotel in New York City at a price that doomed that project from the outset. When the Plaza project hit the skids, the consortium of banks who financed the project forgave $250 million in debt. The debt forgiveness was a great golden parachute escape for The Donald. However, Trump's employees, vendors, the banks that had provided financing and investors crashed into the ground hard.


   
  
     
"Whoops!!  In 1995, I realized a loss of $916 million. Whoops!!"
 "But, pay that no mind. Rudy Giuliani thinks I'm a financial genius." 

Zacks Financial Newsletter: Donald Trump's record as an investor is actually quite unimpressive -- in fact, his rate of wealth growth in the 1988 - 2015 period was less than half the performance of the S&P 500 during that same period.

Which means the following: Despite Trump's claims of how his great intellect and brilliant deal-making built a beautiful, multi-billion dollar company, in fact, it would have been more profitable if Donald had invested his entire fortune in 1988 in an S&P 500 index mutual fund and then did nothing but relax and play golf for the next 27 years. 

If he had done that, Mr. Trump would be more than twice as rich as he is today.  That is a very interesting fact to bear in mind the next time The Donald offers the size of his wealth as proof of his financial and business acumen.


                   But what about his first billion dollars?  
                        How was his first fortune earned? 
 

                            
Answer:
  He cheated his head off 
                 in the New York City real estate market


In the 1970's and 1980's it was common knowledge in New York financial circles that Donald Trump was making a killing in the New York real estate market using a technique that was abusive and illegal. 

Mr. Trump would buy an apartment building dirt cheap. There were many apartment buildings around New York City, at that time, that had depressed valuations; this was because the tenants in those buildings fell under rent control -- under the law, the rent charged was mandated at low levels for the length of time these rent controlled tenants lived there.

Mr. Trump realized that if he could convince these rent controlled tenants to move out of their apartments, he could raise the rent on new tenants. Or he could convert the rental units to condominiums -- called "cooperatives" in New York City -- and make a huge killing in profits.

Mr. Trump had a money-making idea: Move unsavory tenants into the buildings and thereby depress the quality of life among the rent controlled tenants, with the intention of causing the rent controlled tenants to flee the building. 

Unsavory tenants? Yes: the deranged homeless; drug addicts; gang-bangers -- all recruited by Mr. Trump's people with the intention of forcing the rent controlled tenants out of their apartments. Mr. Trump was very successful at the implementation of this technique, and, after a little more than a decade of this abusive and illegal practice, he had made his first billion.

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                                   "Wichita Lineman"





Mark Hulbert: Market sentiment during Watergate may show how stocks might react to Donald Trump's problems


Slate Magazine: The New York Times has reported that President Trump referred to James Comey as a "nut job' who was fired to bring the Russian investigation to a close




Daily Mail: President Trump and the First Lady left today on their first overseas tour. This might be epic -- stay tuned


Jeanne Sahadi: Tax reform may pit business interests against the interests of the middle class


Barbara Kollmeyer: The dollar has extended its slide downward, and the British pound has recovered from the mini flash crash



                       Did you know that on August 25, 2015
                  the World's financial markets almost crashed
                                     like in October, 1929?

                     You didn't know that?  Ignorance is bliss
                          
                          
A Trip Down Memory Lane
  The following blog was first published on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Today's trading -- looking back at August 25, 2015 -- on Wall Street was 
volatile to say the least, as all the averages started the day solidly in positive territory, but the Dow closed at a loss of 205 points, extending the carnage that has swept relentlessly through global equity markets over the course of the past week


                                   It is only after the sun sets, 
       that you can say how the trading day went -- not at noontime


John Hilsenrath and Nick Timiraos: The risks have grown with respect to the health of the U.S. expansion     Thank you, gentlemen, for captioning the obvious and putting the situation in its mildest, noncommittal description. That sort of analysis takes real bravery and insight -- lots of both fine qualities. Pure genius

Wall Street opened in rally mode, following this morning's market intervention by the People's Bank of China, and stocks are up approximately 2.0% across the Board in early trading. Plus, the S&P 500 has risen above correction territory, at this point in the day

At around 6:30 AM, New York time, before the opening of the market on Wall Street, the People's Bank of China announced that China has cut its benchmark interest rate to 4.6%, effective in the near future, and the Bank also lowered China's bank reserve requirements, all in an effort to calm the World's financial markets   

                                      
Thank you, Beijing

I heartily commend the Chinese government for its prudent efforts to help the financial markets, since there are millions of panicked, sleepless people around the planet this morning.  

Thank God -- China has sent, and is capable of sending, its cavalry into this financial crisis. In fact, the economies of all the Western nations are practically incapable of doing what China has just done in an effort to stabilize the World's financial markets.

To me, it is deplorable that many Western commentators will criticize China's moves, claiming that the Chinese should have just allowed free market forces to correct the losses incurred over the last week. Or many commentators will claim that all these difficulties were China's fault in the first place. Or point out that China is just a third world country, claiming that the Chinese people are virtually in slavery. Or some commentators will allege that the rally on Wall Street would have happened without Chinese intervention.

Notably, the China critics -- commentators who are generally right-wingers -- will not point out that the United States could not drop interest rates in order to support the markets since interest rates in America are already at a point near zero, plus the Federal Reserve would be terrified to raise America's reserve requirements in the way that Beijing raised China's banks' reserve requirements. 

Furthermore, the China critics will certainly have some degree of difficulty explaining why a week or two ago these same people were cheer leading the proposition that the Federal Reserve should raise interest rates in the U.S. -- so-called "normalization."  

The right-wing's mantra is as follows: "The Fed needs to raise U.S. interest rates in September, 2015". This meme was/is a theory that I have decried with fervor for months, since it is a thinly veiled attempt by the right-wingers in the media and on the Federal Reserve to sink the Obama economy before the 2016 election. Unfortunately, there were as many as five adherents to the "raise interest rates " lunacy on the Federal Reserve Board, as recently as ten days ago. 

If there is a silver lining to the difficulties of the last week, it would be the fact that the stock market losses around the globe might shut up the lunatic "normalization -- 
raise the U.S. interest rates" crowd until well into 2016, or perhaps even 2017. We'll see.

And the reason why this narrative has ceased, at least for the time being, is because, in fact, the threat of "normalization" by the Federal Reserve almost crashed the World's financial markets over the course of the last several business days. Crashed -- like the financial crashes of October, 1929 or August, 1987.
                     

                          So, let me make sure I've got this right 


While the United States has spent over a trillion dollars over the last decade fighting Islamic radicals, China -- a country with virtually no problems with Islamic radicals -- has the financial clout today that is needed in order to intervene in the financial markets and rush, in a timely fashion, to the rescue of the entire planet, and thereby help not only the Chinese but all the World's people.  Thank you, Beijing.
 
                     Artist conception of a Chinese solar powered community    
                   

Over the last decade, China has used approximately $30 billion of its money to develop domestic infrastructure, such as cities powered by super- futuristic looking solar panels. China was able to develop this technology because of research grants to its private industry from the Beijing government.  That sounds kind of cool. Maybe the United States and Europe should follow the example set by China on both research grants, as well as how to handle a country's foreign affairs.

Many people are unaware of the fact that China has had the World's largest economy for 18 of the past 20 centuries -- notably, however, not during our lifetimes.  However, if one uses a definition of value that takes into account the striking difference between America and China with respect to the cost of a basket of goods and services inside the two respective countries, some economists would argue that China is right now the World's largest economy utilizing such a pricing-parity formula.

Most people are also unaware that during the Great Depression of the 1930's, China was the only major economy in the World that did not slip into depression, a fact that is a testament to my personal conclusion that China's theories on economic and financial policy are something that the West should seek to study and emulate..

   

I will always feel an affinity for China. The reason why I feel this affinity is very straightforward.  In 1973, only a few months after my graduation from New York University Law School, I was an attorney at the Wall Street law firm named Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer and Wood.  My supervising partner, an expert in the field of international corporate finance, called me into his office one Friday afternoon during the late spring and asked me to shut the door behind myself as I entered. Mr. Phillip Dunlay, a true legend on Wall Street, asked me to perform, as quickly as possible, research on the question of whether it was legal for an American company to sell $250 million worth of American wheat to Mainland China -- Communist China.

I was stunned. At that time, as far as anyone knew, no American company had entered into any business transactions with China since the Communist civil war and takeover in 1949. My law firm's client, an American subsidiary of the French global conglomerate, Louis Dreyfus Group, was on the verge of making history as the first American company to trade with China in modern times. 

We realized that this transaction would certainly open immense floodgates for future trade between the two countries. Mr. Dunlay cautioned me, saying that I needed to do the research as quickly as possible -- he told me to burn the midnight oil over the course of the weekend -- plus, I needed to maintain absolute secrecy concerning this proposed transaction, because if this information were to slip out, there would be a huge and potentially market-moving impact upon America's international balance of payments. I assured Mr. Dunlay that he could absolutely rely on me for speed and confidentiality.

Monday morning, I reported the results of my research: There was no American law that prohibited an American company from trading with China. Three weeks later, the transaction was completed and reported as front page news in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. I was so proud of myself, as well as the American and Chinese people. I felt that humanity had taken a giant leap forward, and all the World's people would profit from the new, more friendly relationship between the United States and China.

                     **********************************





                                                             "Before Your Love"






                                               You've Got Mail

Sent: Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 2:31 PM
From: "Senator Kamala Harris" <info@kamalaharris.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: A positive development on Trump-Russia

Kamala Harris

Walter -

Yesterday’s announcement by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that he was appointing a special counsel to oversee the FBI investigation into links between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials was a positive development.

Over the last several weeks, nearly 600,000 of you have taken action with our campaign on this issue—from demanding Sessions recuse himself to fighting for the appointment of this special counsel. This victory was a result of your voices and actions.

However, this fight is far from over. I will continue to do everything in my power to learn the unfettered truth and ensure this investigation has the resources it needs and is uninhibited by political influence from the White House. I’ll also continue to keep you updated with action alerts on how you can make a difference.

It’s been a crazy week. Take a deep breath. With each morning bringing some new and troubling development in the Trump-Russia investigation, we can’t be overwhelmed at a time that requires us to fight.

There’s so much ahead of us—including stopping the Republican health care plan and opposing Sessions' renewed War on Drugs. Let’s continue to fight for our shared values.

Thanks for everything you do.

Kamala Harris
U.S. Senator, California


                    
*************************************
           Repatriation of Eurodollars and other assets held overseas                                                   
                                What is a Eurodollar?

          

                                          A modest proposal 
        Maybe Congress and the President could agree on an idea
              that could bring dollars in the hundreds of billions 
                                   back into the U.S. economy

BusinessWeek: It's time for Congress to enact legislation that will encourage U.S. companies to repatriate overseas cash hoards  

Repatriation refers to the payment of a dividend by a foreign corporation to a U.S. corporation. This happens when the foreign corporation is considered a "controlled foreign corporation" (CFC), which means that more than 50% of the foreign corporation is owned by U.S. shareholders. 

Generally, foreign direct investment in CFCs, or a CFC's profits from doing business abroad, are not taxed until a dividend is paid to the controlling U.S. parent company, and is thus repatriated under the jurisdiction of the U.S. tax authorities. 

The foreign income of the CFC is taxed only by the country where it is incorporated until repatriation. At repatriation, income is subject to the (typically higher) U.S. tax rate -- generally at the rate of 35% -- minus any foreign tax credits, for taxes paid to foreign governments. This process is covered under Sections 951-965 of the Internal Revenue Code. 

There are currently hundreds of billions of dollars of foreign direct investment in CFCs because of the disincentive to repatriate those earnings. 

Some sort of repatriation incentive is a long overdue step that can be enacted in a bipartisan way in trade for a great proposal such as a plan for pre-kindergarten education for the Nation's children


                  
                    ******************************

The Republican health care plan ends the net investment income tax, which is 3.8%, and the high income Medicare surcharge of 0.9%. These two provisions affect four million households with modified adjusted gross incomes in excess of $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for married couples. In 2015, these two taxes brought in revenues to the U.S. Treasury of approximately $26.6 billion
 
    
                                    

The biggest tax cut in U.S. history: Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, which resulted in a tripling of the National debt

Tax Reform Act of 1986: The second bill of the two President Reagan tax cuts designed to reform the Internal Revenue Code


Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990: This act, signed by President Bush, increased individual income tax rates in an attempt to lower the budget deficit
  

TD Ameritrade: The new maximum income subject to FICA tax, $127,200, and the 2017 COLA increase of 0.3% bear some explanation


   CNN Money: Here is a comparison of the provisions of ObamaCare to the Republican proposal


Tony Colarossi: Here are six ways the Republicans can lower the cost of health care, in no particular order of plausibility



Trump's promises to "take care" of the inner cities', rural, and Rust Belt voters have officially proven to be a fraud

Bloomberg: Donald Trump promised, in April, 2016, to eliminate the National debt in eight years.   Good luck with that, Mr. President


    
                    
 A synopsis of the United States debt ceiling issue




ObamaCare v. the Republican health plan -- a comparison for those people who are considering going uninsured for a period of time


Breitbart News: Seven reasons why the Republican's new health care proposal is all but guaranteed to impose crushing costs on voters, hurt Trump's base and hand power back to the Democrats





                                                                    Vacation Dream


                                                "L'Ultimp Re"






Ben Bernanke: I am always puzzled by the way investors ignor political risks until the "last moment"


Market Watch: The New York Times reports that President Trump asked then FBI Director Comey to end the Flynn investigation

Fox News: The White House disputes the explosive New York Times report that the President asked Director Comey to end the Flynn probe

                     
                    **********************************
                                     Talking About Trade Issues

Andrea Riquier: 800,000 factory jobs have been lost to China. However, the related Chinese imports are for the general good of Americans


  

Is free trade the culprit that has caused Americans to lose their jobs?  An interview with former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez
 

            There are complicated issues surrounding global trade,
                  and these issues are far more complicated than
         the campaign rhetoric of the two candidates would imply 

Paul Brandus: A Trump-style trade war would cost each American household $11,000 over the next five years


   
   
           Summary of the Presidential candidates' trade policies

Trade deals are complicated because of two realities: First, some Americans will lose their jobs because of trade with other countries; that's a bad thing for those families. Second, some goods will have a lower price tag because of trade with other countries; that's a good thing for the families who need, or want, to purchase those goods.

NAFTA and the TPP will render some people unemployed; however, NAFTA and the TPP have resulted in lower prices in the United States for everyone. 

Isn't the simple solution as follows: Retrain the unemployed into jobs that are available within the United States, hopefully without relocation. And what if they don't want to take training for a new job?  Answer:You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. Dumb, lazy people will eventually get thirsty, and, perhaps, eventually they will carefully choose a new career, profession or trade -- one that won't evaporate on them. 

That may sound cruel, but it's time to get real. The only sensible solution is one that puts the onus on each individual to keep themselves trained and employed. What's the alternative -- lifelong "unemployment compensation"? What's the alternative -- Donald Trump's plan -- a 45% sales tax on Chinese imports, otherwise known as a tariff? Any tariff imposed by the United States would spawn retaliation by other countries.

     Summary of the North American Free Trade Agreement -- NAFTA
            
                     
Summary of the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- TPP
    
   ******************************************************************




                   
Impressionism as seen through 50 paintings







                                       
"Legendado"


Overnight, the value of the dollar slid to a six month low as more people begin to suspect that Donald Trump is missing a few screws in his head

New York Times: Officials say that President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russians in the Oval Office, and such revelation breached a duty of confidentiality owed to an ally


New York Times: Israel is said to be the source of secret intelligence that Trump reveled to the Russians

Under the Trump tax plan, the mortgage interest deduction and the property tax deduction may both disappear


                                            You've Got Mail

Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 12:11 PM
From: "Senator Kamala Harris" <info@kamalaharris.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: This is not normal

Kamala Harris

Walter—this is not normal.

Last night’s revelation that President Trump revealed highly classified intelligence to Russian officials has sent shockwaves through Washington. Even for Trump, this is reckless and jeopardizes our national security.

It should not be a partisan issue. This is something we must all take seriously. Can you add your name to mine if you agree?

Trump and his team would like nothing more than for the Russia investigation to go away, but each day brings new questions and few answers.

This story only adds more troubling questions that we must get to the bottom of if we’re going to save our democracy and restore trust in our government. It’s going to take all of us working together to demand the truth.

Thanks for all you do,

Kamala Harris
U.S. Senator, California

                 ************************************

Jeff Reeves: In the retail sector, there is only one true winner. That one winner is Amazon


Mark Decambre: Is the U.S. stock market lulling itself into a dangerous sense of invincibility?


Charles Riley: North Korea has a long history of cyber attacks


Greg Robb: The United States gets a D+ on its infrastructure report card

   

                                            "Light My Fire"


Overnight, Asian markets powered higher at the opening, despite geopolitical risk, such as North Korea's missile test 
 

Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to a nine month extension on the OPEC production cut agreement



Key questions asked about Saudi Arabia's $2 trillion Public Investment Fund, that country's sovereign wealth fund



The sovereign wealth fund owned by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority



Kuwait Investment Authority -- the world's oldest sovereign wealth fund





                                       You've Got Mail

Sent: Monday, May 15, 2017 at 1:24 PM
From: "Hillary Clinton" <info@onwardtogether.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: Walter, I hope you'll join me
There's no time to waste.




Walter --

Over the last few months, we've seen something remarkable:

From the Women's March to airports across the country where communities are welcoming immigrants and refugees to town hall meetings in every community, Americans are speaking out like never before.

I believe more fiercely than ever that citizen engagement at every level is central to a strong and vibrant democracy.

To support this wave of grassroots organizing, we're launching Onward Together, an organization dedicated to advancing the progressive vision that earned nearly 66 million votes in the last election. Onward Together will work to build a brighter future for generations to come by supporting groups that encourage people to organize and run for office. I'm so grateful to everyone who has reached out to say that you're still fighting for the values we share. Will you add your name to let me know you're with us?

Since November, I've been doing my fair share of reflecting, spending time with friends and family -- and yes, going for long walks in the woods.

I've been particularly inspired by everyone who has stepped up to lead in this crucial moment for our country, and so I'm proud to announce Onward Together is beginning by supporting five groups leading the way.

At Swing Left, experts from the tech, media, finance, nonprofit, and arts industries are working to take back the House in 2018 by mobilizing volunteers in swing districts, where votes will count the most. The team at Emerge America has doubled down on finding, inspiring, and training their most diverse slate of Democratic women yet to run for office and start to close the political ambition gap. With more than one million members, Color Of Change leads national accountability campaigns to fight for criminal justice reform, voter freedom, fairness and accuracy in the media, and other critical issues of racial justice. Hundreds of thousands of people have made their voices heard thanks to Indivisible, an effort led by former Congressional staffers who are using their expertise to help ordinary people reach their members of Congress. And since two former campaigners announced the creation of Run for Something on Inauguration Day, more than 9,000 young people have signed up to run for local office to make real change in their own communities.

In some cases, we'll provide direct funding to these organizations. For others, we'll help amplify their work and do what we can to help them continue to grow their audiences and expand their reach.

If you're committed to standing up for a fairer, more inclusive America, add your name to join us right now. We'll be in touch about how you can support these groups and more like them. There's no time to waste.

The challenges we face as a country are real. But there's no telling what we can achieve if we approach the fights ahead with the passion and determination we feel today, and carry that energy into 2017, 2018, 2020, and beyond.

Onward!

Hillary


             ******************************************


Sent: Monday, May 15, 2017 at 10:49 AM
From: "Tom Perez" <democraticparty@democrats.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: re: 200,000 votes suppressed
Protect our right to vote.
DemocratsJoin us.

Walter --

A shocking new report last week revealed that Wisconsin's oppressive voter ID law -- passed by Republicans and signed into law by Scott Walker -- prevented 200,000 people from voting. Donald Trump only won Wisconsin by 22,000 votes.

Our right to vote is under assault all across the country, and the consequences are catastrophic.

The GOP's nationwide voter suppression campaign is being spearheaded by Republican governors and state legislatures, but you can bet that Donald Trump is doing his part.

Last week, Trump created a new commission that is specifically charged with investigating voter fraud, which study after study has proven is virtually non-existent -- more people get struck by lightning each year than commit in-person voter fraud.

And this commission will be led by Kris Kobach, the man responsible for some of the most heinous voting restrictions in the country, who has spent years lying about voter fraud in order to keep African Americans and Latinos from the polls. It's terrifying to think of the new voter suppression tactics he'll come up with the backing of the federal government behind him.

So we have to be prepared to fight back. Add your name and say you'll resist the GOP's attacks on our access to the ballot box. It's going to take all of us:

Thanks,


Tom

Tom Perez
Chair
Democratic National Committee
              *******************************************

Washington Post: President Trump inadvertently revealed classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador. Whoops!!

Daily Mail: National Security Adviser McMaster furiously denies the story that the President disclosed highly secret information



Peter Morici: President Trump's tax reform policies may stimulate growth, but not by much



 
                                  
Bloomberg: The heroin business is booming in America, as cartels boost profits because supplies of painkillers are tightening up

    


Attorney General Sessions has issued new guidelines regarding a criminal charging policy that alters the policy set in place by Eric Holder




                                                                You've Got Mail

Sent: Friday, May 12, 2017 at 10:55 AM
From: "DNC Rapid Response" <democraticparty@democrats.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: ✍️ Sign your name to stop the corrupt Trump administration:
We need a special prosecutor to investigate Trump's ties to Russia.
DemocratsJoin us.

Walter --

Each new piece of information that comes to light about Donald Trump's firing of James Comey gets more and more disturbing.

We now know that the FBI's investigation into Trump's ties to Russia was heating up when Trump made his decision -- Comey had just requested more resources and manpower.

In an interview with NBC News' Lester Holt last night, Donald Trump openly admitted that the escalating Russia investigation was part of his rationale for firing Comey.

And just this morning, Donald Trump publicly threatened the former FBI director, tweeting that he would release tapes of his conversations with Comey if Comey were to reveal what he knows.

Donald Trump is actively interfering with the investigation into himself, his campaign, and Russian interference in our election. And Republicans in Congress are letting him get away with it.

Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have both suggested there's nothing to see here and that there's no need for an independent investigation into Trump and Russia. Hundreds of thousands of Democrats have already signed on to tell them they're wrong.

Join them today -- sign your name to demand an independent investigation led by a special prosecutor. Stop this corrupt administration and complicit Congress:


Thanks,

The Democrats

                 **************************************





      King Salman bin Abdulaziz and President Barack Obama in 2015



                                 The Arab Saudi Kingdom

               Saudi Arabia -- United States bilateral relations




                                                    Riyadh



Emirates Airlines is slammed by weak demand flowing from the policies of the Trump Administration



    

                                        "You Are My Starship"


Bloomberg: China's historic $248 billion spree of foreign investment has hit snags and slowdowns

The Bank of England has voted 7-1 to hold its key rate steady at 0.25% and to continue its quantitative easing program

Jeff Reeves: Seven reasons why gold prices will crash this summer

Department store stocks sink in the wake of disappointing earnings from Macy's.  Is this another sign of economic slowdown?


Fox News: Aetna will withdraw from the ObamaCare exchanges by 2018


Reuters: The U.S. government posts a budget surplus of $182 billion in April, 2017. The deficit for fiscal 2017 year-to-date is $344 billion


                                         You've Got Mail

Sent: Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 4:05 PM
From: "Bernie Sanders" <info@ourrevolution.com>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: Help elect this progressive to Congress
We know that we can surprise the pundit class and push Rob over the top on May 25th, but he's going to need our support.

Our Revolution

Walter,

Rob Quist and his grassroots team of supporters in Montana are working harder than ever to win Montana's special election to Congress. Coming from a rural state like I do, Rob is raising issues that resonate with people in a way that the Beltway establishment just hasn't figured out. We know that we can surprise the pundit class and push Rob over the top on May 25th, but he's going to need our support.

Republican Super PACs have been flooding Montana airwaves with negative attacks. Rob is working to share his progressive message and win the special election on May 25th -- help him out by contributing to his campaign for Congress today.

On every major issue, Rob Quist is leading the way for Montana. He is a devoted supporter of Medicare for All, Planned Parenthood, raising the minimum wage to a living wage, and equal pay for equal work. He also wants to get big money out of politics by overturning Citizens United. I intend to be campaigning with Rob next weekend all over Montana. Together, we can give Rob an enormous boost in the final stretch of his campaign and send a message to Washington that progressives across the country are doing more than just mounting challenges -- they're running to win.

This is especially important in Montana, where President Trump's executive order to review the status of our national parks puts natural treasures like Glacier and Yellowstone in the crosshairs of Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry. Rob believes, like I do, that public lands should be passed down to the next generation, not sold off to the highest bidder. After the incredible turnout at the People's Climate March, it's clear that the American people are on Rob's side.

Rob Quist spent the last year campaigning with us during our campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. It's time we returned the favor.

It's in moments like these that we need to rally to the cause and advance our progressive agenda. A victory in Montana would not just be a step forward for that beautiful state, it will be a step forward for progressive politics all across the country. That's why I'm adding my voice to this fight -- I hope you will add yours too.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

              ******************************************




NBC News: During today's interview of President Trump by Lester Holt, the President admitted asking FBI Director Comey whether the President was under investigation


Daily Mail: Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein threatened to resign when he was falsely accused of being the instigator of the Comey dismissal from the FBI



             
                                           President Donald Trump
 
                  Never judge a book while it's still inside its cover


          
                                      Supreme Leader Kim Jung-un

President Donald Trump: I may release my tax returns after I leave office. That's great, but the public actually needs GAAP audited financials for all his holdings and liabilities, right now. It's way past time to remove the cover and see what's actually there



                                        
                                               Aston Martin DB 11
                                     Another perfect day in Paradise

                                               "Sparkle"



Barbara Kollmeyer: Is now a good time to bail out of your positions in oil futures?

Before the opening on Wall Street, U.S. equities futures indicate a lower opening in reaction to President Trump's firing of James Comes


CNN Politics: Here is the behind the scenes story of the Comey firing


Fox News: Who are the likely candidates to replace James Comey?


                                         You've Got Mail

Sent: Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 10:11 AM
From: "Tom Perez" <democraticparty@democrats.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: re: last night
We need an independent investigation led by a special prosecutor
DemocratsJoin us.


Walter --

Last night, the President of the United States fired the man responsible for leading an investigation into the President of the United States.

There have been plenty of reasons since January 20th to wake up feeling angry or scared at the latest news from the Trump administration. But what Donald Trump did last night represents a uniquely dangerous threat to American democracy. It's up to each and every one of us to hold him accountable.

There's no question about why Trump did it -- this was a transparent attempt to undermine the investigation into the Trump campaign's collusion with Russia to swing the election in Trump's favor. It was done at Trump's personal direction together with an attorney general who has already had to remove himself from anything having to do with the Russia investigation.

This is not the first time Trump has fired a Justice Department official who posed a threat to him. He fired Sally Yates when she refused to enforce a Muslim ban which she knew to be unconstitutional. He fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara right after Bharara's office received a request to investigate Trump's conflicts of interest.

The only other President in American history to fire the official investigating him was Richard Nixon. Just like Nixon, Donald Trump must be held responsible.

Right now, that means there must be an independent investigation led by a special prosecutor. Add your name to join the call for one today:

Thanks,

TomTom Perez
Chair
Democratic National Committee

         *************************************************


Henry Grabar: HUD Secretary Ben Carson feels that public housing may be too comfortable. People may actually like living on the public's dole

Wall Street Journal: Donald Trump's tax plan presents mysteries for the Nation's middle class


Inside Afghanistan: Are more U.S. troops what Afghanistan needs?

                                 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Dow closes down by 36 points under the weight of falling oil prices, but the Nasdaq powers higher to a new closing record

Overnight, the markets in Asia were mostly quiet as a follow-up to the rally activity on Monday



New York Times: President Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey


             ****************************************
                                        You've Got Mail

Sent: Tuesday, May 09, 2017 at 6:35 PM
From: "Senator Kamala Harris" <info@kamalaharris.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: Trump fires James Comey

Kamala Harris

Walter,

This evening President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. He did so based on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

We don’t know all the facts yet and I promise you that I’ll do everything in my power to learn the truth.

In the meantime, we know Comey was leading an investigation into Russia’s involvement in our presidential election and the Trump campaign. His firing puts that investigation into further question.

Furthermore, Jeff Sessions’ involvement in this decision raises more questions as he is influencing an investigation he pledged to recuse himself from after lying to Congress.

That’s why I’m renewing my call for an independent special prosecutor to oversee that investigation who can find the unfettered truth. Add your name to my urgent petition if you agree that we need an investigation that's free from politics.

We cannot rest until we know the truth without partisan or personal influence. Thank you for joining me in this critical fight.  

Kamala Harris
U.S. Senator, California

          ***********************************************

Matthew Page, of Guinness Atkinson, beats stock indices by finding "the next big thing" with staying power


Barbara Kollmeyer: This extremely quiet market -- as exemplified by the record low VIX --  could be a trap for investors

President Trump wants to revive Glass Steagall, the 1930's era banking law, as a part of a major rewrite of the Nation's banking regulations




Zacks Financial Newsletter: Donald Trump's record as an investor is actually quite unimpressive -- in fact, his rate of wealth growth in the 1988 - 2015 period was less than half the performance of the S&P 500 during that same period.

Which means the following: Despite Trump's claims of how his great intellect and brilliant deal-making built a beautiful, multi-billion dollar company, in fact, it would have been more profitable if Donald had invested his entire fortune in 1988 in an S&P 500 index mutual fund and then did nothing but relax and play golf for the next 27 years. 

If he had done that, Mr. Trump would be more than twice as rich as he is today.  That is a very interesting fact to bear in mind the next time The Donald offers the size of his wealth as proof of his financial and business acumen.


                But what about his first billion dollars?  
                     How was his first billion earned?  

                          
Answer:
  He cheated his head off 
               in the New York City real estate market


In the 1970's and 1980's it was common knowledge in New York financial circles that Donald Trump was making a killing in the New York real estate market using a technique that was abusive and illegal. 

Mr. Trump would buy an apartment building dirt cheap. There were many apartment buildings around New York City, at that time, that had depressed valuations; this was because the tenants in those buildings fell under rent control -- under the law, the rent charged was mandated at low levels for the length of time these rent controlled tenants lived there.

Mr. Trump realized that if he could convince these rent controlled tenants to move out of their apartments, he could raise the rent on new tenants. Or he could convert the rental units to condominiums -- called "cooperatives" in New York City -- and make a huge killing in profits.

Mr. Trump had a money-making idea: Move unsavory tenants into the buildings and thereby depress the quality of life among the rent controlled tenants, with the intention of causing the rent controlled tenants to flee the building. 

Unsavory tenants? Yes: the deranged homeless; drug addicts; gang-bangers -- all recruited by Mr. Trump's people with the intention of forcing the rent controlled tenants out of their apartments. Mr. Trump was very successful at the implementation of this technique, and, after a little more than a decade of this abusive and illegal practice, he had made his first billion dollars.


                                 Walking by Faith, not by vision

                     

                                           "The Book Of Eli"
  
                                        "First Shooting Scene"
                  
               The book Eli carries is the World's last surviving Bible.

          He is walking tirelessly across a devastated future-America, 
                                        guided by his faith in God. 

         At the end of the movie, you discover that Eli is totally blind
 
                                    
"God Favored Me"







           



                                                                           "Incredible"








                                         

                                              "Make Me Wanna"


Monday, May 8, 2017
Dow closes with a 5 point gain, and the Nasdaq and S&P 500 also manage small gains to post new closing highs

Many commentators were expecting a Macron-inspired global market rally.  Really?  Here is why the rally -- predictably -- fizzled

New York Times: Emmanuel Macron decisively defeats Marine Le Pen in France's Presidential runoff election


      



                     Emmanuel Macron, President Elect of France



Kathleen Sebelius, HHS Secretary under President Obama: If you are young, wealthy or healthy, then you will be better off under the Republican health plan than under ObamaCare

Nicole Gelinas: The debt-bubble landmine that Obama left for Trump



                
                           Russian MIG-29 and Su-30 Sitting Ducks
                                  Best in a parade or in a museum

     A teachable moment -- Lessons that should have been learned 
            from the July, 2009 arrest of Professor Henry L. Gates


            

On July 16, 2009, Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, a Black man, was arrested at his Cambridge, Massachusetts home by White police officer Sgt. James Crowley. Sgt Crowley was responding to a 9-1-1 caller's report of men breaking and entering Gates' residence.

Professor Gates had just returned to his home following a trip to China, and found that his front door was jammed shut; he was attempting to force the door open when a witness called the police and reported a potential burglary.

When Crowley confronted Gates, a contentious incident ensued and Gates was arrested for disorderly conduct.  Five days later the charges were dropped; however, on the sixth day, President Obama was asked about the incident at a televised press conference. President Obama stated that the Cambridge police "acted stupidly."

President Obama's words ignited a firestorm of criticism from the right-wing media and tepid support of the President from the liberal media. Almost immediately after the press conference, President Obama stated that he regretted his comments and tried to disarm the situation by inviting the professor and the officer to the White House in order to discuss the incident in a cordial meeting. Beer would be served, and everyone would leave the meeting happier than before.

The problem, however, is as follows: Ever since the Gates incident, right-wing media has cited this affair as one in which the President acted rashly, without a grasp of the facts, and acted in a way that was anti-police. No one on the right  has given Obama a break for being nice and calling a Beer Summit in his effort to calm the waters. For example, Sean Hannity, on his national radio show, has made such anti-police claims, stemming from the Gates case, on numerous occasions, including at least twice during the last several days.

President Obama never should have backed down. No one should ever back down when they are correct in their position. The Cambridge police did act stupidly, and -- in fact -- that is why the charges against Professor Gates were dropped. 

Here are the two reasons why the police actions were stupid.  First, in Massachusetts, a charge of disorderly conduct can only apply when a defendant causes a disturbance in a public place. Professor Gates initially berated Officer Crowley while Gates was in his own home. One's own residence is not a public place -- so even a rookie defense lawyer would win this case at trial, since the disturbance did not occur in a public place. 

Second, Officer Crowley ordered Professor Gates to step outside of his home in the middle of the heated discussion concerning the possible break-in. That move by Crowley, in effect, caused Gates to leave the protected-speech location within his home and enter a public space where his verbal actions were arguably criminal. That was a stupid move on Crowley's part  -- since even a rookie defense attorney will win the case on the grounds that Crowley's removal of Gates from his home amounted to police entrapment. 

The Cambridge district attorney realized the two serious flaws in the Gates' arrest and dropped the charges immediately. 

Virtually no where in the liberal media over the last seven years has the argument been made that President Obama was correct. The police had acted stupidly: The charges against Gates would either be dropped before trial or Professor Gates would be found not guilty at trial. But in the right-wing media this incident is presented as an example of Obama's poor judgment and anti-police nature.

                                         The lessons here: 
                       1.  Make sure you have your facts straight
      2.  Before you take a position, be absolutely sure you're right
                            3. Never give up when you're right

The converse is also true: If you now see that you are wrong, admit it and go on with life. 

Clinging to a bad position will only look worse with time -- no matter how difficult it may appear at the moment to say: "I was wrong about that." 

                There is no situation so bad that it can't get worse®

Very good examples of clinging to an incorrect position are the insistence by some -- including, apparently, many members of Black Lives Matter and the New Black Panthers Party -- that the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown were murders, despite the weight of substantial and credible evidence to the contrary. 

 

The Black Lives Matter movement is oftentimes criticized in the right-wing media because the movement's roots are in the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases -- two cases that were adjudicated as justifiable homicides. The thing is, however, the demonstrations around the Nation, concerning the deaths of those two teenagers, were about more deaths, and injuries, than those two teenagers'corpses. There are many thousands gone.

A second line of attack against Black Lives Matter focuses on the name of the organization. "Black Lives Matter? That sounds racist. All lives should matter," say the right-wingers as they capture the higher-sounding moral ground of "All Lives Matter". The rhetorical difficulty presented by the name is fully explainable, but most right-wingers will refuse to hear the explanation.

However,
 speaking of difficulties involving rhetoric, here is one for the record books:

   

The third line of attack on Black Lives Matter centers on several audio recordings that were made during Black Lives Matter rallies, such as one which occurred nearly a year ago in Minnesota. Chants were heard such as: "Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon."   

How does Black LIves Matter justify such rhetoric? They don't and can't -- because such trash-talk is childish. The point here is as follows: When you've dug yourself into a hole, at least stop digging.
 Then bear in mind: Clinging to a bad position will only look worse with time -- no matter how difficult it may appear at the moment to say: "I was wrong about that." 

             There is no situation so bad that it can't get worse®
        

   
      San Diego's Formation World Tour Performance on May 12, 2016

Real life is sometimes reminiscent of a really good movie. In the 1992 blockbuster film  "The Bodyguard",  Whitney Houston is protected by her heroic bodyguard, Kevin Costner, from all dangers to her life and to her happiness.

Beyonce also has a bodyguard. If you look closely at the left side of the above photo you will see the shaven head of a bearded black man. He is Beyonce's bodyguard -- a giant at six foot four, around 270 pounds, without an ounce of fat -- he is moving through the security corridor that abuts the stage. He seldom glances at Beyonce or her dancers; instead, he intensely and constantly surveys the people in the crowd who are close to Beyonce. He was never more than a few quick steps away from her side.

   The look in the bodyguard's eyes reminded me of the Secret Service detail protecting our President. Excellent job, brother: Always keep her safe. Each and every fan gives you a standing ovation


                                               "Run To You"

                                             "I Have Nothing"

                                      "I Will Always Love You"


                                  Congresswoman Maxine Waters
                     This is what right-wing propaganda looks like

  
                                                   Rush Limbaugh
                               America's most beloved Propaganda Boy

Rush Limbaugh, in an attempt to defend Donald Trump's birtherism, frequently points out that "a sizable number" of Americans believe that the President is a Muslim.  This would certainly be true regarding the listeners of right-wing talk radio, such as the Rush Limbaugh Show, where you will hear the "evidence" revealing Barack Obama is a Muslim, such as the infamous 57 States slip-up, that occurred during the 2008 Presidential election campaign.

During the 2008 campaign, President Obama stated that there are 57 states in the Union. Here is a video of the quoted language. The gaffe is frequently cited as proof that the President does not have the sense of a fifth grader, or as proof that he is a secret Muslim who, in a Freudian slip, has confused the fact that there are 57 predominantly Muslim countries in the world with the number of states in the United States.

The real reason behind the President’s gaffe is seldom mentioned in the media, but the explanation is very straight forward. The conversation in which the misstatement occurred was on the subject of the Democrat’s primary season. The Democrat’s primary season is made up of 57 contests, which are sometimes referred to in shorthand as the “57 state primaries”. In fact, the description of the process is quite complicated because although many states have primaries, 13 states actually have caucuses rather than primaries, plus Texas has both a primary and a caucus; in addition, there are also contests in American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the primary for Democrats who are living abroad. That description is a mouthful, hence the shorthand phrase: “57 state primaries”.

When President Obama misspoke, he meant to refer to the fact that his campaign had participated in all 57 state primaries; unfortunately, he failed to say the word “primaries”. The result: a significant percentage of the U.S. population uses this conversation as confirmation of their belief that the President is either hopelessly stupid or a secret Muslim. Or, at the very least, President Obama gets so tired at times that he says really, really dumb stuff.



 Hillary Clinton was also the target of systematic misinformation by her critics.

                      A favorite Secretary Clinton propaganda target
                                    are the 2012 Benghazi attacks

 Donald Trump has said many times: "Hillary lied about Benghazi"

       The truth regarding Benghazi, Libya -- September 11, 2012
It has been very clear for 
years that the attacks on the U.S. facilities in Benghazi were not prompted by the video "Innocence of Muslims", which was produced in the United States by an ex-convict named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. The fact that the Obama Administration initially made that claim -- "The video incited a mob" -- is being cited continually by right-wing critics as the foundation for their allegations of a cover-up of a foreign policy failure by President Obama and Secretary Clinton.
 

Lost in the right-wing's critique, however, is the fact that the blasphemous video did, in fact, spawn incidents and protests in at least 39 countries - not including Libya - that led directly to the deaths of at least 101 people.  Instead, the right-wingers prefer to focus on the fact that the incidents in Benghazi were not related to the video, and deride the jailing of Nakoula as an effort by Obama and Clinton to pin Benghazi on the video. There is huge irony in the fact that Benghazi was an incident that was not caused by the Nakoula video, even though it occurred during a time period when there were dozens of fiery uprisings by Muslims around the world that were definitely caused by the Nakoula video.

                                                   Facts matter
There were two American deaths that were the direct result of the Nakoula video. The Taliban attributed to the video their September 14, 2012 attack on Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. Two Marines lost their lives: Lt. Col. Christopher Raible, 40, and Sgt. Bradley Atwell, 27. In addition, aircraft and equipment valued at many millions of dollars were destroyed at Camp Bastion during that Taliban attack.
 
 

In fact, Nakoula's adoption of a false identity to produce the video and his use of You Tube to post it online were clear violations of the terms of Nakoula's probation from an earlier bank fraud conviction. If violating one's probation in a way that results in the deaths of 101 people does not land a person back in prison, then I really do not know what would put a man back behind bars. 

Apparently, however, opinions can vary widely with respect to the gravity of Nakoula's actions. For example, right-wing talk show host Roger Hedgecock has stated to his radio audience that he feels Nakoula's punishment should be no more than a $500 fine, and Rush Limbaugh tells his audience on a regular basis that Nakoula was unjustly jailed by Obama and Clinton.


                                         It's time to get real





                                               "Imagination"

                                                    "Zoom"



Saturday, May 6, 2017
Associated Press: The French vote will ripple across Europe, markets and diplomacy

              

                                         French Fifth Republic

William Watts: What will be this year's hot pick from the Sohn hedge fund conference?   Will it be a theatrical production?  Probably, not

Gold prices suffer their largest weekly loss of 2017, amid across the board deterioration in the commodities sector

                      A synopsis of Commodities Trading 101

                             "Earned It -- Fifty Shades of Grey"




Friday, May 5, 2017
Dow adds a gain of 55 points, but the Nasdaq and S&P 500 close at new record highs following a strong jobs report

Labor Department: The U.S. economy added 211,000 new jobs in April and the unemployment rate fell to 4.4%, its lowest level since May, 2007. The labor force participation rate was 62.9%, and the hourly wages rose by 0.3%. The U6 rate clocked in at 8.6%

Mark DeCambre: According to Goldman Sachs,the price of oil is near the point of capitulation


Overnight, falling commodities prices pulled the Chinese stock markets lower, while Tokyo and Seoul are on holiday

Victor Reklaitis: Copper and crude oil are getting hammered, but some commentators do not feel the commodities slump is a recession indicator


**********************************************************************
                        Did you know that on August 25, 2015
                  the World's financial markets almost crashed
                                     like in October, 1929?

                     You didn't know that?  Ignorance is bliss
                          
                          
A Trip Down Memory Lane
  The following blog was first published on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Today's trading -- looking back at August 25, 2015 -- on Wall Street was 
volatile to say the least, as all the averages started the day solidly in positive territory, but the Dow closed at a loss of 205 points, extending the carnage that has swept relentlessly through global equity markets over the course of the past week


                                   It is only after the sun sets, 
       that you can say how the trading day went -- not at noontime

John Hilsenrath and Nick Timiraos: The risks have grown with respect to the health of the U.S. expansion     Thank you, gentlemen, for captioning the obvious and putting the situation in its mildest, noncommittal description. That sort of analysis takes real bravery and insight -- lots of both fine qualities. Pure genius

Wall Street opened in rally mode, following this morning's market intervention by the People's Bank of China, and stocks are up approximately 2.0% across the Board in early trading. Plus, the S&P 500 has risen above correction territory, at this point in the day

At around 6:30 AM, New York time, before the opening of the market on Wall Street, the People's Bank of China announced that China has cut its benchmark interest rate to 4.6%, effective in the near future, and the Bank also lowered China's bank reserve requirements, all in an effort to calm the World's financial markets   

                                      
Thank you, Beijing

I heartily commend the Chinese government for its prudent efforts to help the financial markets, since there are millions of panicked, sleepless people around the planet this morning.  

Thank God -- China has sent, and is capable of sending, its cavalry into this financial crisis. In fact, the economies of all the Western nations are practically incapable of doing what China has just done in an effort to stabilize the World's financial markets.

To me, it is deplorable that many Western commentators will criticize China's moves, claiming that the Chinese should have just allowed free market forces to correct the losses incurred over the last week. Or many commentators will claim that all these difficulties were China's fault in the first place. Or point out that China is just a third world country, claiming that the Chinese people are virtually in slavery. Or some commentators will allege that the rally on Wall Street would have happened without Chinese intervention.

Notably, the China critics -- commentators who are generally right-wingers -- will not point out that the United States could not drop interest rates in order to support the markets since interest rates in America are already at a point near zero, plus the Federal Reserve would be terrified to raise America's reserve requirements in the way that Beijing raised China's banks' reserve requirements. 

Furthermore, the China critics will certainly have some degree of difficulty explaining why a week or two ago these same people were cheer leading the proposition that the Federal Reserve should raise interest rates in the U.S. -- so-called "normalization."  

The right-wing's mantra is as follows: "The Fed needs to raise U.S. interest rates in September, 2015". This meme was/is a theory that I have decried with fervor for months, since it is a thinly veiled attempt by the right-wingers in the media and on the Federal Reserve to sink the Obama economy before the 2016 election. Unfortunately, there were as many as five adherents to the "raise interest rates " lunacy on the Federal Reserve Board, as recently as ten days ago. 

If there is a silver lining to the difficulties of the last week, it would be the fact that the stock market losses around the globe might shut up the lunatic "normalization -- 
raise the U.S. interest rates" crowd until well into 2016, or perhaps even 2017. We'll see.

And the reason why this narrative has ceased, at least for the time being, is because, in fact, the threat of "normalization" by the Federal Reserve almost crashed the World's financial markets over the course of the last several business days. Crashed -- like the financial crashes of October, 1929 or August, 1987.
                     

                          So, let me make sure I've got this right 


While the United States has spent over a trillion dollars over the last decade fighting Islamic radicals, China -- a country with virtually no problems with Islamic radicals -- has the financial clout today that is needed in order to intervene in the financial markets and rush, in a timely fashion, to the rescue of the entire planet, and thereby help not only the Chinese but all the World's people.  Thank you, Beijing.
 
                     Artist conception of a Chinese solar powered community    
                   

Over the last decade, China has used approximately $30 billion of its money to develop domestic infrastructure, such as cities powered by super- futuristic looking solar panels. China was able to develop this technology because of research grants to its private industry from the Beijing government.  That sounds kind of cool. Maybe the United States and Europe should follow the example set by China on both research grants, as well as how to handle a country's foreign affairs.

Many people are unaware of the fact that China has had the World's largest economy for 18 of the past 20 centuries -- notably, however, not during our lifetimes.  However, if one uses a definition of value that takes into account the striking difference between America and China with respect to the cost of a basket of goods and services inside the two respective countries, some economists would argue that China is right now the World's largest economy utilizing such a pricing-parity formula.

Most people are also unaware that during the Great Depression of the 1930's, China was the only major economy in the World that did not slip into depression, a fact that is a testament to my personal conclusion that China's theories on economic and financial policy are something that the West should seek to study and emulate..

   

I will always feel an affinity for China. The reason why I feel this affinity is very straightforward.  In 1973, only a few months after my graduation from New York University Law School, I was an attorney at the Wall Street law firm named Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer and Wood.  My supervising partner, an expert in the field of international corporate finance, called me into his office one Friday afternoon during the late spring and asked me to shut the door behind myself as I entered. Mr. Phillip Dunlay, a true legend on Wall Street, asked me to perform, as quickly as possible, research on the question of whether it was legal for an American company to sell $250 million worth of American wheat to Mainland China -- Communist China.

I was stunned. At that time, as far as anyone knew, no American company had entered into any business transactions with China since the Communist civil war and takeover in 1949. My law firm's client, an American subsidiary of the French global conglomerate, Louis Dreyfus Group, was on the verge of making history as the first American company to trade with China in modern times. 

We realized that this transaction would certainly open immense floodgates for future trade between the two countries. Mr. Dunlay cautioned me, saying that I needed to do the research as quickly as possible -- he told me to burn the midnight oil over the course of the weekend -- plus, I needed to maintain absolute secrecy concerning this proposed transaction, because if this information were to slip out, there would be a huge and potentially market-moving impact upon America's international balance of payments. I assured Mr. Dunlay that he could absolutely rely on me for speed and confidentiality.

Monday morning, I reported the results of my research: There was no American law that prohibited an American company from trading with China. Three weeks later, the transaction was completed and reported as front page news in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. I was so proud of myself, as well as the American and Chinese people. I felt that humanity had taken a giant leap forward, and all the World's people would profit from the new, more friendly relationship between the United States and China.

     ************************************************************

                                          You've Got Mail

Sent: Friday, May 05, 2017 at 6:15 AM
From: "Laura Ingraham" <info@americanveteranscenter.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: Stand Up and Support our Veterans!


Dear Walter,

Some of you may know that my father was someone I looked up to and it just so happened to be he was a WWII veteran. He like millions of others in his generation answered the call of duty and fought for other people's freedom thousands of miles away.

This year is the 75th anniversary of Jimmy Doolittle and the Tokyo Raider's mission that no one thought was possible. This year we also remember the brave men that fought in Guadalcanal and Midway. In fact, for the next 4 years we as a nation will be recognizing the 75th anniversary of WWII.

You know who isn't remembering our WWII veterans and the sacrifices they made this year? The country these men fought for. That's right, the U.S. government is not recognizing the Greatest Generation this year which is likely the last major anniversary of World War II many of these men will see ever see.

That is one reason our nation has a National Memorial Day Parade. This Parade is the largest of its kind. It is broadcast on T.V., streamed online, attended by hundreds of thousands of people, and broadcast by Armed Forces Network for troops around the world.

The fact is that these men and women marching in the parade aren't doing this to be recognized. No, they have too much honor. They are doing this to ensure future generations won't forget their friends that paid the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedoms and liberating countries around the world so they could enjoy their freedoms.

This very well could be these WWII veterans' last opportunity to march in the Parade in honor of those friends that never made it home. Will you help me cover the cost to get some WWII veterans to come to Washington, DC to march in the parade in order to honor their friends?

I know a lot of veterans can't afford to travel across the country to be in the Parade. That's why I'm working with the American Veterans Center, the non-profit group that organizes and pays for the Parade to get a group of WWII veterans around the region to come to the Parade to march in honor of their fallen brothers that never made it home.

In fact, the American Veterans Center has already found a great group of WWII veterans to be in the parade. They even received a gift of $5,000 from a donor to help pay for the cars to carry the large group of veterans in the Parade, now they just need to pay for the WWII vets to get TO DC!

For $50, the same pay as a buck private received for a month in WWII, you will fund ONE veteran's trip to DC to ride in the Parade.

I'd love to see a hundred World War II Veterans riding in the cars waving at the crowds and remembering their friends that they shared meals with, laughed with, and fought next to.

Think about it: imagine you're a World War II veteran and you realize you may not have much more time left on God's green earth. Wouldn't you want the chance to ride in the NATIONAL Memorial Day Parade in honor of all your friends that didn't make it back?

My father fought alongside some of these great men. He enlisted in the US Navy at 17 and served aboard the USS Long Island, which saw combat in the Pacific. At age 17!

I know if my father was alive today and was able to he'd be riding in this important Parade in memory of his friends that never made it home.

I hope you will consider a tax deductible gift to help The American Veterans Center which will bring some WWII veterans to Washington, DC to be in the parade to celebrate our living WWII veterans and remember all their friends who never made it home.

I want to make sure that the WWII veterans that are still left and the families of the fallen know America will always be grateful.

Please stand up and help us do what our government won't, honor our veterans by supporting the American Veterans Center's annual National Memorial Day Parade today.

I'm a proud donor of the American Veterans Center and I hope you will be too.

Thank you,

Laura Ingraham

            ***********************************************





                                         "Love On The Brain"

                                      "I Love The Way You Lie"


Thursday, May 4, 2017
Dow falls 6 points in a day characterized by very choppy trading because of falling oil prices and the House vote on healthcare

Fox News: The GOP replacement bill for ObamaCare has been approved in the House by a very narrow margin



Market Watch: The Republican bill may also affect those on an employer provided plan

Puerto Rico becomes the first state or territory to file for a form of bankruptcy, owing $123 billion in debts and pension obligations

  David Beahm, of Blanchard and Company, feels now is a good time to buy precious metals.   However, bear in mind that David always thinks that now is a good time to buy precious metals. David is a precious metals salesman

   ******************************************************************
                                            You've Got Mail

Sent: Thursday, May 04, 2017 at 1:56 PM
From: "Senator Kamala Harris" <info@kamalaharris.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: No despair -- we have to fight

Kamala Harris

Here’s the truth, Walter: we cannot despair in the face of the House Republicans voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Our fight is far from over. A majority of Americans are opposed to their catastrophic health care rollback and we have to be prepared to do everything in our collective power to stop this legislation in the Senate.

Together, we will share the stories of those whose lives would be impacted most by this astonishingly horrific legislation.

Together, we will tell the hard truths about this law: that it will kick 24 million Americans off their health care, including ​an estimated 3-4 million Californians, it will remove protections for those with pre-existing conditions, cut funding to combat the opioid epidemic, and at its core is nothing more than a shallow attempt to pass a tax cut for the very wealthy at the expense of the most vulnerable and voiceless in our society.

Together, we will defeat this law in the Senate. Here are some quick ways you can take action today to make a difference in this fight:

  • First, I need you to add your name to our petition today opposing this terrible bill. A public declaration against this legislation can be powerful and effective in the halls of Congress. Let’s show the GOP that millions of Californians and Americans across the country are standing with us in this critical fight.

  • Second, I need you to call the Senate switchboard operator at (202) 224-3121 and tell your Senator ​that you strongly oppose this bill. We have to flood Congress with calls in the coming days to ensure this legislation is defeated. Calls are the single most effective way to make a difference. You can even call my office -- unlike some of my colleagues, my team and I really do want to hear from you!

  • Third, I need you to share your story about how this legislation will affect you or someone you care about. Facts and numbers are important, but we know that in order to defeat bills like these, we need to share the stories of those who will be hurt the most if they lose their health insurance or protections for pre-existing conditions. Please share your story today so I can elevate your voices on the floor of the Senate.

Finally, Walter, I need you to make me a promise that you won’t despair or give up at a time when so many are counting on you to keep fighting.

Progress is won and lost with every generation. ​Reversing the Affordable Care Act would drag us back to a time when tens of millions of Americans didn’t have health insurance, when you could be denied health care for having a pre-existing condition, or when women were penalized or forced to pay more for care than men.

This fight is now heading to the U.S. Senate. I’m prepared to do everything I can to defeat this law and I hope you’re ready to stand with me and my Democratic colleagues in protecting the progress we’ve made in making health care a right for every American.

Thanks for everything you do.

Kamala Harris
U.S. Senator, California

     **************************************************************

      Yahoo News: The U.S. opioid crisis is at epidemic proportions

Emma Court:ObamaCare helped make a 50% dent in personal bankruptcies over the last six years


William Watts: The time has come -- The Fed and the European Central Bank will soon take off the quantitative easing training wheels

The Republican health care plan ends the net investment income tax, which is 3.8%, and the high income Medicare surcharge of 0.9%. These two provisions affect four million households with modified adjusted gross incomes in excess of $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for married couples. In 2015, these two taxes brought in revenues to the U.S. Treasury of approximately $26.6 billion

 
    
                                    

The biggest tax cut in U.S. history: Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, which resulted in a tripling of the National debt

Tax Reform Act of 1986: The second bill of the two President Reagan tax cuts designed to reform the Internal Revenue Code


Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990: This act, signed by President Bush, increased individual income tax rates in an attempt to lower the budget deficit
  

TD Ameritrade: The new maximum income subject to FICA tax, $127,200, and the 2017 COLA increase of 0.3% bear some explanation


Tony Colarossi: Here are six ways the Republicans can lower the cost of health care, in no particular order of plausibility




                                      "Sex On The Ceiling"

                                Are you ready for the lyrics?


Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Dow adds 8 points in a day highlighted by the Federal Reserve's announcement that interest rates will be unchanged this month

The European Union has advised the United Kingdom that there is an exit fee of €100 billion, and Britain has indicated that it will not pay it

Philip Van Doorn: Here are the best, top 10 stocks to own in 2017, and here is a list of the 10 worst stocks to own in 2017

Mark Hulbert: This is what the bull market's last gasp looks like -- stocks oftentimes end the party with a bang

Thomas H. Kee: Wall Street will come crashing down once the European Central Bank joins the Fed in monetary tightening






                             A very brief history of North Korea

In the Western world, commentaries about the brutal and crazy Kim Jung-un are commonplace. However, I find it interesting that Kim, this brutal dictator who is hated by his people, regularly appears at events where he is surrounded by people with guns who are not his bodyguards. Kim is obviously not afraid that his citizens will shoot him. In fact, the North Korean people apparently like him, and they clearly have had many opportunities to fill him full of lead.

Take a look at the situation with other world leaders. Many are surrounded constantly by body guards, and seldom allow their citizens to have guns in the leaders' presence. Take, for example, the United States of America. The Secret Service is well aware that a great opportunity for an assassination is a venue where the President is in the presence of large groups of citizens who are carrying weapons. Take for example, the October 6, 1981 assassination of Anwar Sadat at a military parade in Egypt.


    

          Dictators generally stay away from crowds of armed citizens

                    ****************************************
                                   A trip down Memory Lane                                 
                                    Sunday, October 2, 2016

What happened in 1995 -- how could Trump lose $916 million and still live like a billionaire?  He got a lot of help from the tax laws regarding the treatment of real estate assets

Donald Trump's rally in Pueblo, Colorado: "I'm working for you now. I'm not working for Trump"

CNBC: What exactly is Donald Trump's plan for America's taxes?
                                         
New York Times: Trump tax records received by the Times reveal that Trump may have paid no income taxes for nearly two decades, because Trump's businesses lost a staggering $916 million in 1995

            

Fox News: Governor Christie defends Trump's leaked tax return, saying that there is nothing illegal -- there are "no apologies"


Former New York City mayor Giuliani calls Donald Trump a genius for minimizing his Federal income taxes


                           Hey Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie:
   There is no one more blind than the person who does not want to see™

Understand this: The true issue here is the fact that Donald Trump's lousy business sense caused him to lose $916 million in one year. That is the real red flag here. Remember this: Despite his wealth, in fact, Donald Trump is a strikingly incompetent businessman.

    

      Do not be misled by TV commentators who claim that taking          Trump's tax deduction was "very complicated" -- "it was genius." 

In actuality, the tax deduction that Trump is suspected of utilizing is called a business net operating loss under Section 172 of the Internal Revenue Code. Any third-year college student majoring in Accounting would fully understand and be able to apply the principles involved in taking this deduction. This is not genius; for any accountant, this is no more difficult than ninth grade algebra.
     
This link is to a cookbook summary of how the business net operating loss deduction is calculated and applied. It's really a very basic tax treatment that is oftentimes utilized by start-up businesses in their formative years, before the business becomes profitable, or during later years when expenses are greater than profits. It is a very straight-forward and logical part of the tax code.

However, in the 1990's, there were two provisions of the Internal Revenue Code that may have sweetened the deal for Trump specifically because he was a real estate developer. 

First, at that time, if Trump's bankers forgave his debts -- as banks sometimes did in the 1990's -- Trump would have been allowed to deduct the full cost of properties bought with debt, even though his actual cash payment might have been only a small fraction of the property's full price. 

Second, in the 1990's, the forgiven debt would not have been considered income to Trump. Or in the alternative, Trump may have engaged in illegal "debt parking', a technique in which a company, that is secretly controlled by Trump, would buy his unpaid debts from the unsuspecting banks for pennies on the dollar, and then that Trump controlled entity would never seek to collect on the debt.

Those two huge advantages are no longer allowable under Federal tax law for the very reason that they led to insane outcomes. The full-price write-off technique, despite the presence of huge amounts of borrowed money, was done away with in 2002 by a bipartisan vote of Congress, following a decision by the Supreme Court that highlighted the insanity of that loophole. The Supreme Court actually concluded that Congress had accidentally created the loophole by a mistake in the language of a statute.

At present, forgiven debt is considered to be income in the hands of the debtor, in most situations outside of bankruptcy.

In 1995, in the entire Nation, there were a total of $49 billion of net operating losses taken by all the country's taxpayers. In other words, that year Donald Trump claimed 2% of the Nation's entire net operating losses. That is not a compliment, nor a sign of genius.  

In fact, it is known that Trump was able to force a debt forgiveness of at least $250 million regarding his ill-conceived purchase of the Plaza Hotel in 1992; he grossly overpaid for the hotel. The forgiven debt was absolutely great for Donald Trump, but terrible for the publicly owned banks that took huge losses because of their relationship with The Donald.


       Trump's bad decision making is characterized by grandiosity

        Is he just some kind of crazy TV clown living large on credit?
   
                                          America: Caveat Emptor 
       There is no one more blind than the person who does not want to see®

   
                                     Atlantic City, New Jersey

Here is the second issue to understand about Trump's $916 million loss in 1995. Many right-wing commentators, such as Rush Limbaugh and Lawrence Kudlow, are trying to dismiss Trump's loss as just a reflection of bad times in the economy in 1995. Such a claim is nonsense -- 1995 was not a bad year in the American economy. For example,  Wikipedia's account of U.S. economic history shows no reference to a collapse in the real estate market during the 1990's or some other calamity that would tend to exonerate Trump's lack of wisdom and lack of prescience.

Trump's failure in that era was due to his own lack of foresight when he decided to undertake a huge Atlantic City casino project -- the Taj Mahal -- that was financed with 14% junk bonds. Disaster in the form of bankruptcy occurred only a year after the Taj Mahal opened, and Trump pushed half the ownership risk -- and losses -- regarding the venture onto his bondholders.


At that time, he also mismanaged the ill-conceived Trump Shuttle airline, which never turned a profit, when the tycoon tried to push luxury when the marketplace actually wanted speed and economy. 

During that era, Trump purchased the Plaza Hotel in New York City at a price that doomed that project from the outset. When the Plaza project hit the skids, the consortium of banks who financed the project forgave $250 million in debt. The debt forgiveness was a great golden parachute escape for The Donald. However, Trump's employees, vendors, the banks that had provided financing and investors crashed into the ground hard.



   
  
     
"Whoops!!  In 1995, I realized a loss of $916 million. Whoops!!"
 "But, pay that no mind. Rudy Giuliani thinks I'm a financial genius." 

Zacks Financial Newsletter: Donald Trump's record as an investor is actually quite unimpressive -- in fact, his rate of wealth growth in the 1988 - 2015 period was less than half the performance of the S&P 500 during that same period.

Which means the following: Despite Trump's claims of how his great intellect and brilliant deal-making built a beautiful, multi-billion dollar company, in fact, it would have been more profitable if Donald had invested his entire fortune in 1988 in an S&P 500 index mutual fund and then did nothing but relax and play golf for the next 27 years. 

If he had done that, Mr. Trump would be more than twice as rich as he is today.  That is a very interesting fact to bear in mind the next time The Donald offers the size of his wealth as proof of his financial and business acumen.


                   But what about his first billion dollars?  
                        How was his first fortune earned? 
 

                            
Answer:
  He cheated his head off 
                 in the New York City real estate market


In the 1970's and 1980's it was common knowledge in New York financial circles that Donald Trump was making a killing in the New York real estate market using a technique that was abusive and illegal. 

Mr. Trump would buy an apartment building dirt cheap. There were many apartment buildings around New York City, at that time, that had depressed valuations; this was because the tenants in those buildings fell under rent control -- under the law, the rent charged was mandated at low levels for the length of time these rent controlled tenants lived there.

Mr. Trump realized that if he could convince these rent controlled tenants to move out of their apartments, he could raise the rent on new tenants. Or he could convert the rental units to condominiums -- called "cooperatives" in New York City -- and make a huge killing in profits.

Mr. Trump had a money-making idea: Move unsavory tenants into the buildings and thereby depress the quality of life among the rent controlled tenants, with the intention of causing the rent controlled tenants to flee the building. 

Unsavory tenants? Yes: the deranged homeless; drug addicts; gang-bangers -- all recruited by Mr. Trump's people with the intention of forcing the rent controlled tenants out of their apartments. Mr. Trump was very successful at the implementation of this technique, and, after a little more than a decade of this abusive and illegal practice, he had made his first billion dollars.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




     Actually, Kim is not in this photo. He's a few yards outside the shot.  

                       What does this photo call into question?


      

                             
"You Know How We Do It"


Tuesday, May 2, 2017
The financial sector led the market modestly higher today. The Dow added a gain of 36 points

Wall Street's fear gauge is at a multi-year low, and stock and bond values are soaring. What gives?

McClatchy DC Bureau: There is no money in the proposed budget for the border wall, and six other GOP issues are missing from the $1.01 trillion spending plan

                                         You've Got Mail
 
Sent: Tuesday, May 02, 2017 at 10:32 AM
From: "Donna Brazile" <democraticparty@democrats.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: People could die.
Take action before the GOP votes to take our care away
DemocratsJoin us.

Walter, if you have a friend or loved one who has ever been sick and relied on insurance to cover the cost of their medical care.

Unless we stop them, House Republicans are about to vote again to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something much, much worse.

One of the most important and most valuable provisions of the Affordable Care Act is its protection for people with pre-existing conditions. The law prohibits insurance companies from raising the costs of your care simply because you're sick.

The GOP wants to gut that protection.

That means that, if you get sick, your insurance company can raise your premiums -- even if that means you can't afford the insurance anymore.

It's immoral, and there's a damn good reason the Affordable Care Act made it illegal. But if the GOP gets their way, millions of Americans could suddenly find themselves unable to afford insurance, with no way to pay for hospital bills or insurance. People could die.

The only thing that will stop this is if we raise our voices against it. Walter, you can't afford to wait a minute. Sign on to stop this health care disaster:

Thank you -- this is so, so important.

Donna
                         *********************************

New York Times: President Trump follows his instincts, not the establishment, in overtures to Duterte and Kim



         Something in the above picture is amiss. What is unusual?


Monday, May 1, 2017
Dow adds a gain of 20 points as the Nasdaq sets a new record close

Greg Robb: The Fed will signal that its rate hike plan will continue to be followed, despite the slowdown in the U.S. during the first quarter

Jeremy Siegel: The 30-year U.S. Treasury bond is presently the best hedge against a market crash


George Friedman: The next recession may hit America during President Trump's first term in the White House


Bill Bischoff: The advantages of holding real estate in a single-member, separte legal entity, the LLC


These Americans will never receive a penny from Social Security benefits, and this is not a reference to the millennials


           

                                   Maxine Waters' political career

How did Maxine Waters become "Auntie Maxine" in the age of Donald Trump? That's a very good question, actually



               
                This is a test: What's wrong with the above picture?
 There is something strikingly amiss in this picture and many others 
                                            Do you see it?


Yahoo News: North Korea warns of a new "nuclear test at any time"


                                          You've Got Mail

Sent: Monday, May 01, 2017 at 2:21 PM
From: "Tom Perez" <democraticparty@democrats.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: A big victory for Democrats:
Republicans want to repeal protections for pre-existing conditions.
Democrats Join us.

Walter, you've got the GOP on the ropes.

Late last night, Democratic leaders reached a deal to stop a Republican-led government shutdown, and it's a major victory for all of us who are resisting the Trump agenda:
  • Democrats prevented Republicans from blocking funding for Planned Parenthood.
  • Protected important programs from severe cuts proposed by Donald Trump.
  • Not one red cent for Donald's border wall.
That's huge, Walter. And it only happened because you made sure Republicans knew there'd be hell to pay for backing Donald Trump's agenda.

But chalking up one big win doesn't mean Republicans are giving up. In fact, Donald Trump's chief of staff and chief economist have said that the GOP has the votes in the House to pass Trumpcare. That would put Donald Trump one step closer to signing away the ACA's protections for people with pre-existing condtions. Millions of Americans health care -- and lives -- are on the line.

We chalked up a big win yesterday, and that's great. But we can't afford to rest on our laurels, Walter. Take action now: call on Republicans to stop their crusade to take our health care away:
The resistance has been made possible because you stepped up. Keep doing what you're doing, and I see a lot more victories in our future together.


Thanks,

Tom

Tom Perez
Chair
Democratic National Committee

            **********************************************

Sent:
 Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 10:05 AM
From: "Newt Gingrich" <info@nrsc.org>
To: walterlewis@gmx.com
Subject: Have you looked?

Walter,

Have you looked at today’s date?

Today is April 30th, our FEC-mandated April Finance Deadline. It’s your last chance to help our Republican campaigns this month.

If grassroots conservatives do not step up immediately, President Trump could lose his Republican Majority in 2018.

Can I count on you to step up before the clock runs out at 11:59 PM tonight?

Democrats are itching for a fight.

Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer, and the Liberal Establishment is stockpiling tens of millions of dollars in their war chest. They’re gearing up for an all-out assault on our Republican campaigns.  

We MUST be prepared.


We are at a remarkable moment in time — Republicans have control of the Senate, the House, and the White House. We haven’t had this kind of opportunity in years — and we might not have it again in decades, if we lose the Senate.

We must not allow the Democrats to dissolve our unified Republican leadership. Conservatives must take a stand.

Your support is essential to advancing President Trump’s conservative reforms and restoring the American Dream for generations to come.

I hope I can count on you tonight.  

Thank you,

Newt Gingrich


                                 ****************************************

Sent: Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 8:03 AM
From: "Keith Ellison" <democraticparty@democrats.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: re: tonight's deadline
Help us keep fighting.
DemocratsJoin us.
Before our April deadline at midnight, pitch in $10 or more to help keep our resistance going strong.


Walter, I want to take a quick moment to say thanks.

These past couple of weeks, grassroots Democrats like you have stepped up in a major way. You raised more than $125,000 to help Jon Ossoff turn Georgia's 6th congressional district blue, took action to fend off another Republican attack on our health care, and you've have gotten us within reach of fully funding our 100 Day Resistance Fund to help Democrats win this year and beyond.

I know I speak for Tom too when I say how in awe we are of everything you're doing to resist the Trump agenda -- and Walter, we are just getting started. There are many more fights ahead. So while we can and should pat ourselves on the back, we cannot become complacent.

That includes today -- it's the last day of April, which means we have another FEC-mandated fundraising deadline at midnight. And as great it is that we've accomplished so much already this year, we can't afford to take our foot off the gas.

So if you're able, please pitch in $10 or whatever you can before midnight to help Democrats defeat Republicans in every corner of every state.

You're one of our most committed supporters. 

Thanks again, Walte

Keith

Keith Ellison
Deputy Chair
Democratic National Committee

                ******************************************

Sent: Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 12:28 PM
From: "Team Kamala" <info@kamalaharris.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: We could fall short this month >>

Kamala Harris

Walter -

Each month we set a modest online fundraising goal that allows Kamala to focus on doing her job, not fundraising. Here’s why that matters:

Most elected officials aren’t lucky enough to have supporters like you who will help hit goals like this. That means they spend more time fundraising than doing their jobs. Needless to say, with Trump in the White House, that’s a recipe for disaster for the most vulnerable and voiceless in our society.

So when you help in response to emails like this one, it allows Kamala to focus on what matters: stopping Trump’s radical agenda and articulating a vision of this country rooted in justice and equality.

The bad news is that we’re behind on our goals this month. Not by a ton -- and if a small group of supporters like you step up for Kamala today, then we’ll be in a position to make up the difference. That’s why we’re asking:

Can we count on you to make a $8 contribution to our campaign to ensure we hit our goal for the month? We’re just a bit short of where we need to be, and your donation could put us over the top.

All our best,

Team Kamala


                      **************************************

Sent: Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 12:27 PM
From: "Shailene Woodley, Our Revolution" <info@ourrevolution.com>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: Thank Jeff Merkley for his 100 by 50 Act
The bill not only would halt construction of Keystone XL, DAPL, and other fracked gas pipelines, but invest in the technology and jobs to rapidly advance us towards 100% clean, sustainable energy inde

Our Revolution

Walter,

Over 200,000 people joined the People's Climate March yesterday in Washington. Activists from every community and walk of life joined together in a sit-in around the White House to demand that the Trump administration end our nation's reliance on the fossil fuels that are eroding our very way of life, especially in communities of color and low-income areas. We're seeing it happen with the Dakota Access Pipeline, Keystone XL, and other fossil fuel projects, and people have had enough.

We have an alternative to the backwards thinking of the Trump administration. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon has introduced the “100 by '50 Act” in the US Senate, and already has the support of Senators Bernie Sanders, Ed Markey, and Cory Booker. The bill not only would halt construction of Keystone XL, DAPL, and other fracked gas pipelines, but invest in the technology and jobs to rapidly advance us towards 100% clean, sustainable energy independence by 2050.

Sign our thank you card to Senator Merkley and his cosponsors, Senators Sanders, Markey, and Booker, for giving Americans the bold, clean energy alternative that we demanded during the People's Climate March.

I spent time at the Oceti Sakowin camp at Standing Rock, and the ugly truth is that the fossil fuel industry will do anything to protect their profits. They will lie to the public, cheat the political process, and steal land from the Standing Rock Sioux and anyone else who stands in their way by violent means.

Their allies in Washington are many. The Secretary of Energy sits on the board of directors for the company constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Secretary of State spent his career leading ExxonMobil. The head of the EPA made his career as a politician filing lawsuits against the agency he is now trying to dismantle from within.

We have to stand by our allies in Washington. Jeff Merkley was the only US Senator to endorse Bernie during the presidential primary, and now he's working together with Bernie and others to guarantee 100% clean energy by 2050. Sign our thank you card today to show your support.

We will preserve this planet for my generation and those to come -- whether Donald Trump likes it or not. Thank you for taking action with me.

In solidarity,

Shailene Woodley
Board Member
Our Revolution

                  *************************************




                                 Michael Jordan -- Superstar





Sunday, April 30, 2017



  Who's crazier: Donald Trump or Kim Jung-un? This is a trick question


           
                   
                                         "Money Can't Buy It"





Saturday, April 29, 2017
This scoreboard tracks the economy under President Trump. Here's what it says now, iat the 100 day marker

CNN Money: Here is how tax cuts affect the economy


Vox: The economy is barely growing, and here is the reason why



           Repatriation of Eurodollars and other assets held overseas
                                       What's a Eurodollar?

          

                                          A modest proposal 
        Maybe Congress and the President could agree on an idea
              that could bring dollars in the hundreds of billions 
                                   back into the U.S. economy

BusinessWeek: It's time for Congress to enact legislation that will encourage U.S. companies to repatriate overseas cash hoards  

Repatriation refers to the payment of a dividend by a foreign corporation to a U.S. corporation. This happens when the foreign corporation is considered a "controlled foreign corporation" (CFC), which means that more than 50% of the foreign corporation is owned by U.S. shareholders. 

Generally, foreign direct investment in CFCs, or a CFC's profits from doing business abroad, are not taxed until a dividend is paid to the controlling U.S. parent company, and is thus repatriated under the jurisdiction of the U.S. tax authorities. 

The foreign income of the CFC is taxed only by the country where it is incorporated until repatriation. At repatriation, income is subject to the (typically higher) U.S. tax rate -- generally at the rate of 35% -- minus any foreign tax credits, for taxes paid to foreign governments. This process is covered under Sections 951-965 of the Internal Revenue Code. 

There are currently hundreds of billions of dollars of foreign direct investment in CFCs because of the disincentive to repatriate those earnings. 

Some sort of repatriation incentive is a long overdue step that can be enacted in a bipartisan way in trade for a great proposal such as a plan for pre-kindergarten education for the Nation's children  

Walter,

It’s no secret.
 
This coming election, Senate Democrats are determined to undermine President Trump and demolish the Republican Senate majority we all worked so hard to build.
 
Our fight to defend and strengthen our Republican majority is underway.  Will you help? 

The FEC-mandated finance reporting deadline is tonight.

 
This is it.

 
ALL GIFTS TRIPLE-MATCHED

 Your support is essential to protecting and strengthening our Republican Senate majority and advancing President Trump’s strong conservative reforms. We cannot win this fight without you.

Thank you,

Karl Rove



                                                    U.S. corporate tax rates


The issue of many TV financial commentator conversations is taxation -- or, more specifically -- the issue is whether U.S. corporate tax rates are too high. Donald Trump, or some right-winger, will claim "U.S. corporate tax rates are the highest of any nation in the World, and should be lowered in order to make America more attractive as a corporate home."

Once that statement is made, whoever represents the other side of the argument will look befuddled and say nothing in response -- implying that U.S. corporate tax rates -- at a rate of 35% for taxable income in excess of $18,333,333 -- are the highest in the World. What has gone unsaid in this exchange is the fact that although the U.S. has the highest maximum corporate tax rates, the U.S. also has many more deductions from taxable income than other countries -- including the dividends received deduction; consequently, the effective tax rate in the U.S. is not among the World's highest, Instead, when all is considered the corporate tax rate in the U.S. is about average on an international scale.
 

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has reported recently that U.S. corporate tax collections totaled 2.6% of the Nation's gross domestic product, and that was 16th highest among the largest 34 industrialized countries.

Corporations with taxable incomes of $50,000 or less, pay a tax rate of 15%.


I am repeatedly amazed by the almost scripted nature of the above-recited "conversation." Each time, it appears, that the tax expert arguing on behalf of maintaining the current tax rates is totally unaware that U.S. corporations can take advantage of numerous deductions that lower the maximum rate from 35% to a rate that is competitive with the rates charged in other developed countries, and in many instances corporations pay no Federal income tax whatsoever.



                                            

                                             
           
 Another perfect day in Laguna Niguel, Southern California

                                                 "What Is Love"



                       
                                     
Lamborghini Spyder RWD
 
                                          Life is short
                                       Ya' gotta hurry™ 
 
        When you're in a hurry, try travelling by Lamborghini




Friday, April 28, 2017
Dow slips 41 points on the day'dstrading, but the average posted its best weekly gain of 2017

The Dow's rally from the date of Inauguration to the end of the first 100 days is a post-war record

Jeffry Bartash: The U.S. economy in the first quarter had its slowest growth in three years -- at 0.7%. Trump fans are in a state of shock

President Trump has complained that the Saudis are not paying their fair share for defense. Is Donald Trump delusional or just ill-tempered?

President Trump cannot stop jobs from leaving the United States




                                 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Dow adds a gain of 6 points, but the Nasday reaches a record close

Overnight, the Nikkei pared its earlier losses after the Bank of Japan focused on optimistic  prospects

CNN Money: Donald Trump's plan for a 15% tax rate is the lowest for an advanced economy


MSN Money: How President Trump's tax plan will affect households


         

President Trump warns that a "major, major" conflict with North Korea is "absolutely possible"


                                       You've Got Mail

Sent:
 Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 3:29 PM
From: "Shannon Jackson, Our Revolution" <info@ourrevolution.com>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: CA single-payer bill SB 562 passes committee vote!
Our Revolution volunteers have been calling and texting voters and legislators, organizing, and rallying across the state and the country in favor of the universal health care bill

Our Revolution

Walter,

Ever since SB 562, the Healthy California Act, was introduced in the California State Senate, Our Revolution volunteers have been calling and texting voters and legislators, organizing, and rallying across the state and the country in favor of the universal health care bill -- and our efforts are beginning to pay off.

Yesterday, the Senate Health Committee voted 5-2 in favor of SB 562. This is yuuuge. Now the bill advances to the Senate Appropriations Committee, so we need to keep pushing until universal health care is enshrined in California law.

Chip in to help Our Revolution continue our push for universal health care. Your contribution helps us gather support for Medicare for All to connect voters with their elected officials and rally supporters at state capitols like we did yesterday in Sacramento.

Alongside the California Nurses Association and countless grassroots organizations and activists, we are on the brink of establishing health care as a human right for all in California. A major victory like this can turn the tide of the national health care debate.

A majority of Americans favor Medicare for All, but the news media spends far more time covering the Republican's lamentable health care plan instead of presenting the public with its increasingly viable alternative. We've had enough of paying more for prescription drugs, premiums, deductibles, and copayments than people in other countries with universal health care. We're fed up with getting fleeced by insurance and pharmaceutical industries that lobby the State Senate and our Congress against Medicare for All and rake in billions of dollars in profit. That's why so many people support SB 562, which would eliminate out-of-pocket costs and extend coverage to undocumented immigrants.

Universal health care is one of the great moral issues of our time. With your help, we can guarantee that to all Californians, and soon all Americans.

In Solidarity,

Shannon Jackson
Executive Director
Our Revolution


                 **************************************

Sent:
 Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 12:28 PM
From: "Kamala Harris" <info@kamalaharris.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: Kirsten Gillibrand
Kirsten needs to know that we have her back.


Kamala Harris

Walter,

Make no mistake, women are leading the resistance -- women like my friend and colleague, Kirsten Gillibrand, who has been a tireless advocate for justice and equality throughout her life.

She’s stood up against powerful forces to help victims of violence, made paid family leave the core of her work, and has always stood up for women looking to have their voices heard in the halls of Congress.

At a time when women have been shut out of the White House, we need powerful leaders like Kirsten who are courageous and fearless in the face of Trump.

Kirsten is up for reelection in 2018 and she’s already under attack from Republicans, including Donald Trump himself. Losing her voice in the Senate would be devastating to all the work we’ve already done together. So I’m asking:

Can you rush a contribution before Sunday’s fundraising deadline to ensure Kirsten Gillibrand has the resources she needs to build a winning campaign in 2018?


Kirsten is a leader and a voice we cannot afford to lose on critical issues like equal pay, protecting our environment for future generations, and defending our immigrant communities.

I hope you’ll join me in having my friend Kirsten’s back today, just as she’s had ours in the U.S. Senate. There’s nothing more powerful than a group of determined sisters (and brothers) standing up for what’s right.

Thanks for everything you do.

Kamala Harris
U.S. Senator, California

                     *****************************************

Aaron Smith: Dirty jeans are the new black. Price: $425. Has something gone wrong with are culture?




                                              "Thunder"





Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Anti-climax: The Dow falls 21 points following the release of tax plan

President Trump has proposed a massive reform of the Federal tax code, which lowers the maximum rate on businesses and individuals


Everyone loves these stocks, and that is exactly the reason why you should avoid them

Mending the Soul: The prevalence of sexual abuse in the United States

             

                              Old-fashioned rape prevention kit

Yahoo News: Donald Trump's "big, beautiful wall" has collided with reality and the U.S. Congress


Reuters: Ivanka Trump is in Berlin at the invitation of Chancellor Angela Merkel, and many commentators are very critical of Ivanka's role there
 


  

  
 
                        
    

                              
                                       
Dana Point, California
                               Another perfect day in Paradise





"All The Single Ladies (If You Like It You Should Have Put A Ring On It)

                                             "Love On Top"

                                  "Halo"

                             "Crazy In Love"

                                           "Irreplaceable"

                                           "Beautiful Liar"


Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Dow sets a gain of 232 points, as Wall Street closes with a second day in a row of mega-gains 


                         Happy Birthday, Sandra -- A life milestone



          Happy Birthday, Jason -- One of the cutest little babies ever



Overnight, Asian equities markets made solid gains across the board

Mark Hulbert: Here's the real story behind "Sell in May and go away"


The Trump Administration is moving to slap a 20% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber, which is a key component on home construction


The fight over the ObamaCare subsidies could cause a government shutdown on Friday


Brett Arends: We're so tired of winning after Trump's first 100 days


                                           You've Got Mail

Sent: Monday, April 24, 2017 at 6:01 PM
From: "Nina Turner, Our Revolution" <info@ourrevolution.com>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: State of the Revolution
the political revolution isn't going to happen in Washington -- it's happening every day in your communities.

Our Revolution

Walter,

Last night's State of the Revolution livestream brought together thousands of progressive activists and community leaders across America. Our focus on local groups highlighted the massive success of our organizing chapters and exemplified the influence that the grassroots can wield over the electoral process. Our Revolution's endorsement model empowers local groups to lift up grassroots candidates because we know that the political revolution isn't going to happen in Washington -- it's happening every day in your communities.

Local groups are the lifeblood of our movement, and now is the time that we must be building them. As I said last night, “We are in the 440 relay race of our lives.” What Bernie started last year is still continuing strong in the thousands of Our Revolution members organizing locally.

     

Our Revolution members gathered in homes, diners, conference centers and more to watch the State of the Revolution.

In just a few short months, Our Revolution has had over 1,000 groups apply to join the national organization with hundreds approved and in the onboarding process, and recruited over 12,000 candidates for local office. Candidates like Mike Connolly and khalid kamau ran and won their elections against incredible odds to advance single-payer health care and a $15 minimum wage, proving that with the support of local groups real change is possible.

Our candidates, local leaders, and our dedicated staff and volunteers are the evidence that we don't need to wait for the establishment to make a difference in our community. We understand that people who themselves have never been involved in the political process can not only help transform the party, but bring their entire community with them to reinvigorate it.

That is what Our Revolution is here to do. We have the power to organize and win, but it's going to take all of us together to accomplish the change we need. Can you contribute $10 to help lead this transformative movement?

The time is now to make a difference. Together, we have the power to create a country that works for all of us, not just the few.

In solidarity,

Nina Turner
Board Member
Our Revolution

                      ***********************************
Sent: Monday, April 24, 2017 at 10:42 AM
From: "Keith Ellison" <democraticparty@democrats.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: Walter, I'm fired up
Say you're committed
DemocratsJoin us.
:



Walter --

Last week, we asked you to help us reach a big goal: $100,000 for Jon Ossoff's campaign to kick off the runoff election.

Walter, I am proud to report that we didn't just hit our mark -- we flew right past it! Grassroots supporters like you pitched in more than $125,000 for Jon's campaign.

This is big news for Jon -- who is fighting to win a district that has gone Republican for 38 consecutive years. Thanks to you, he's got a big head start to organize and win in Georgia's 6th congressional district.

We still have a lot more work to do to get Jon over the finish line, but make no mistake: hitting this goal is proof of what Democrats can achieve when we rally together from the grassroots up.

I'm fired up and ready for whatever it takes to help Jon and Democrats in every state win this year and in 2018. If you are too, then add your name right now to say you're ready to fight and win.

Thanks,

Keith

Keith Ellison
Deputy Chair
Democratic National Committee
                                   ********************************************

Sent: Monday, April 24, 2017 at 8:45 AM
From: "Kamala Harris" <info@kamalaharris.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: A stupid use of money

Kamala Harris

Walter –

Trump’s border wall is just a stupid use of money. I’ll fight any funding for it in the upcoming budget battle and I need to know you’re with me.

I believe a budget is a reflection of our values. It tells a story about who and what we care about. So instead of using billions in taxpayer money on a border wall that will do nothing to keep us safe, I say we invest those funds in:

  • rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure;
  • making college tuition-free;
  • expanding after school programs for our kids;
  • making healthcare a right;
  • guaranteeing paid family and sick leave;
  • and ensuring seniors and veterans don’t go hungry.

I don’t believe it’s a radical idea that the federal budget should be about investing in our people and keeping all of us safe. I hope you don’t either because I’m going to need your help to win this fight:

It’s ludicrous to think that wasting money on a flawed campaign promise is more important than taking care of families, working people, seniors, and veterans. We deserve better.

Fight on,

Kamala Harris
U.S. Senator, California


                                    *********************************************

Sent:
 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 6:21 AM
From: "Tom Perez" <democraticparty@democrats.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: Walter, I want to invite you to become a Founding Donor
Help us keep fighting
DemocratsJoin us.


Walter --

Today, we're launching our 100 Day Resistance Fund -- and I'd like to personally invite you to become a Founding Donor.

Donald Trump will mark a hundred days in office on Saturday with nothing to show for it but broken promises. That's because of you, Walter. You marched, you made your voice heard, and you resisted Donald Trump's agenda.

But to stop Trump for good, we need to start replacing his Republican allies in Congress, statehouses, and city councils. We've got to take our grassroots energy and use it to elect Democrats.

And we've already started to do it, Walter. Just a few weeks after Trump took office, we won a big race in Delaware to keep control of the state senate. Democrats won municipal elections in Illinois this month in towns where Democrats have never won before. And last week, Jon Ossoff won a commanding victory that set him up for a runoff election in a Georgia congressional district that has been held by a Republican for nearly 40 years.

With our 100 Day Resistance Fund, we'll be focused on winning more elections like these -- voting out Trump apologists and putting people in office who share our values and will stand up to Trump.

To do it, we're going to be relying on grassroots supporters like you who've already stepped up and resisted. Become a Founding Donor to the 100 Day Resistance Fund today, and help power us to victory.

You're one of our most committed support
Thanks so much

Tom
Tom Perez
Chair
Democratic National Committee

****************************************************************************************

Washington Post: The White House is confident that a government shutdown can be averted, as Trump shows flexibilty on the border wall
 


                               Walking by Faith, not by vision

                     

                                           "The Book Of Eli"
  
                                        "First Shooting Scene"
                  
               The book Eli carries is the World's last surviving Bible.

          He is walking tirelessly across a devastated future-America, 
                                        guided by his faith in God. 

         At the end of the movie, you discover that Eli is totally blind
 
                                    
"God Favored Me"


Monday, April 24, 2017
A 216 point relief rally rules the day on Wall Street, as the crazy French woman does not finish in first place

In early trading on Wall Street, the global markets are in full rally mode

Overnight, there was a surge in U.S. stock futures in response to the vote in France, and haven assets such as gold and the yen fell

Overnight, China missed out on the stock market rally in other Asian countries, following Macron's first place finish in France

Sue Chang: This is where some stock market bears may make their last stand, in a market where many analysts see no reason for pessimism


Reuters: A North Korean official claims that the regime is prepared to strike and destroy an American carrier


The Atlantic: How Donald Trump could build an autocracy in America

Ivanka Tump is worshiped by many Chinese as a "goddess" who seems friendly to the country


                

The troubles at Fox News continue and grow: Sean Hannity, a married man, has been accused of sexual harassment, such as asking a woman her pants size and twice inviting this same woman back to his hotel room. When the woman refused his advances, she was dumped from Fox's roster of on-air commentators. Hannity denies the allegations


     

                                      "This Must Be Heaven"

                                             "I Do Love You"


Sunday, April 23, 2017
Market Watch: Exit polls indicate that it will be Macron versus Le Pen in a French runoff election set for May 7. Macron apparently took first place in today's vote with 23.7% of the total voters; Le Pen garnered a close second with 21.7% of the vote 

The euro has surged to a five-month high versus the dollar, as a result of Macron's first place finish during today's balloting in France


Associated Press: France begins its Presidential vote in a test of populism. The results will be available around 2 PM Eastern time 

Anna Mahmudova: This is how the French elections may test the resolve of the global financial markets

New York Times: President Donald Trump reaches beyond the West Wing for counsel. Here are his top fifteen non-Administration advisers

FBI Director Comey tried to shield his agency from politics. Then his actions did much to shape the 2016 Presidential election


Daily Mail: That's right!!!!!   Beyonce is carrying twins, and she is still hotter than just about anyone on your block


         
                                         
                                             "Naughty Girl"


                                           "Bello Emustero"

                                                "Sera, Sera"

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Daily Mail: Far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen claims that "More terror attacks will bring civil war" to France



Wall Street Journal: What would a Le Pen victory in France mean for the financial markets?


New York Times: The volleyball games are over. The technicians are back at work at the Punggye-ri North Korean nuclear site


Daily Mail: Chinese bombers and the South Korean military appear to be on a heightened level of alert in anticipation of a North Korean test of a nuclear device in commemoration of the 85th anniversary of the founding of the North's army, on Tuesday, April 25th
 

*********************************************************************                         

                                    
U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris                                      
             Straight outta California. You're welcome, Washington

                                           
You've Got Mail

Sent: Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 12:39 PM
From: "Senator Kamala Harris" <info@kamalaharris.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: Tell Trump: We will not abandon our environment

Kamala Harris

You may not know this, Walter, but the idea behind Earth Day was started by a U.S. Senator and inspired by the state of California.

Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson traveled to California to see the devastating effects of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill firsthand. Spurred to action by what he saw, Senator Nelson decided our country needed a national day of public consciousness about protecting our planet. So he joined forces with Pete McCloskey, a Republican congressman, to put forward a “national teach-in on the environment.”

Together, they formed Earth Day.

Today, their work has been amplified and built upon over generations of activists and leaders. But all of that progress is at risk. Donald Trump and his advisors are gutting important regulations designed to protect our environment and combat climate change while actively considering pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords.

We’re at a tipping point in the fight to save our planet and our children’s future. Will you join me in taking direct action on Earth Day?

Add your name to tell Donald Trump that we will not abandon the cause of protecting our environment and saving our planet from the threat of climate change.

I was glad to see that climate change was the number one most important issue in our survey this month.

Courtney, a parent and teacher from Los Angeles, told me: “We cannot turn back the clock on climate change! Keep up the good fight — I am very proud to be from California these days!!”

Michelle from San Rafael is hopeful that we “...can provide meaningful action about climate change and environmental issues… Not just statements but legislation and action.”

That’s my hope too. I can assure you that our team is working tirelessly in the U.S. Senate to defend the progress we’ve made in protecting our environment and to address the global crisis of climate change. And we always will.

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