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Walter Lewis   

 
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                      It's time to get real regarding immighation

By its vote on the GOP tax cut legislation, the Democrats can be rightly accused of positioning themselves in a posture where improvements in the American economy 
will scream:  "The Democrats were wrong regarding the outcome of tax cuts for businesses, including the repatriation of business assets held abroad.."

Under no circumstances should Democrats engage in talking down the economy -- unless the economy is indeed faltering.

Success on DACA is a must.

The Democrats should not make a similar mistake of hubris regarding border protection. Authorize the funding of 200 miles of wall in order to study its effects over the next several years, at which point a further vote should be taken regarding additional wall funding. The following question would be answered: Will a wall just give birth to really tall ladders? Plus, every day ask: "Has Mexico paid for this yet?"

Democrats should rally in favor of the principle of merit based immigration/ It's just common sense.  Plus, the following is true: For decades, African immigrants entering the United States have much better credentials than European immigrants -- such as a higher percentage of advanced college degrees.

The Democrats should support chain migration solely for those persons who are at present legally residing in the U.S. Selection by lottery defies common sense.

                         
                               Summary of immigration into America
.

                                         A trip down Memory Lane

                                   
Friday, October 20, 2017   

         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

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



"                                        "Give It Up To Me"



 Tuesday, January, 23, 2018


                           **************
        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?



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

Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and all commentators on Fox News continually claim that the American economy under President Obama was nearly dead. Are such assertions true? In a single word: No, these assertions are propaganda. The actual facts are as follows

      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 mn
                                   
                                      *************************
                                           You've Got Mail
*
Sent: Sunday, January 21, 2018 at 2:25 PM
From: "Kamala Harris" <info@kamalaharris.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: An extraordinary day I'll never forget

Kamala Harris

Hi, Walter —

It’s been a year since I took the stage in Washington to stand in solidarity with women around the country to advance an agenda rooted in equality, justice, and tolerance for all.

I’ll never forget that day.

It was an extraordinary moment where all women proved we cannot be dismissed or written off to the sidelines.

What I said at the first Women’s March holds true to this day: that while they may have the House, the Senate, and the White House, they have not and cannot take away our power — because it belongs with the people.

We have the power — as we have demonstrated throughout this past year — to create a more perfect union where the law finally guarantees equal pay for equal work, no matter your gender or race.

We have the power to defend women’s reproductive freedom and ensure millions of women won’t be left without care if Planned Parenthood is defunded by the Republicans.

We have the power to end this government shutdown and ensure Dreamers are protected from deportation, 9 million kids are insured, and we can fund our essential services like disaster relief and community health centers.

Last year’s march was the beginning of a movement that has empowered millions of women to say #MeToo and to challenge our supposed leaders in Washington who are desperate to force us backward.

It’s a movement that understands that the arc of the universe is long, but it always bends toward justice — and with an understanding that it is our responsibility to work hard and bend it ourselves.

Never forget that your voice is your power. You cannot create change if you sit on the sidelines waiting for someone else, even me, to solve the problems facing your community or this country.

Whether or not you were able to participate in the march last year or this year, this is a moment in time that is demanding all of us to dig deep and take ownership of the future. Be brave and stand with us in fighting for the people.

We are strong when we raise our voices together and that is precisely what we did one year ago — and what we will continue to do in the difficult weeks, months, and years ahead.

When people of all ages, colors, religions, and backgrounds come together, unified in our collective struggle for justice, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.

Stay involved — and we will win this fight in the end. Thank you.

Kamala Harris
U.S. Senator, California

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

Sent: Monday, January 22, 2018 at 2:37 PM
From: "Bernie Sanders" <info@BernieSanders.com>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: How we win

Friends of Bernie Sanders

Walter -

Over the last week we have seen the devastating impact of the right-wing extremist agenda that Republican rule in Washington is forcing on the nation. Over 80 percent of Americans support providing legal protection for the 800,000 Dreamers - young people brought to this country as children who are now our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends and our family members.

Despite the overwhelming view of the American people, Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan chose to hold the entire federal government hostage to their blatantly xenophobic and anti-immigrant views.

As I traveled the country in 2015 and 2016 some of the most moving meetings I held were with young Dreamers terrified that they would be rounded up and thrown out of the only country they have ever known. Trump promised to help the Dreamers while he was running for president but, in one of his series of lies, he has reneged on that pledge.

Make no mistake about it. This government shutdown and budget fight in Washington is also about our priorities as a nation. Republicans want massive increases in military spending while refusing to address the crises we face in health care, education, college affordability, infrastructure and more.

This is the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. Of course we can increase the standard of living of people in every zip code in this country - urban and rural - if we invest in our critical domestic needs. But we cannot expect that will happen when we have a president and a party beholden to the Koch brothers and other billionaire campaign contributors. Their agenda is exactly opposite of what the American people want.

From coast to coast Americans want a government that represents all of us, not the 1 percent. They don't want congressional leadership that has tried repeatedly to throw tens of millions of people off their health insurance and then looted the U.S. Treasury to give massive tax breaks to their fat cat donors. This right-wing Republican leadership has got to go! And we are the ones who have to send them packing.

But I cannot do it alone:

Chip in $10 to help us defeat Republicans across the country by reactivating the organizing networks that were at the heart of our grassroots success in 2015 and 2016 and to do it in support of progressive candidates up and down the ballot who will stand with Dreamers and the working people of this country.

I, frankly, am outraged by what Trump and Washington Republicans are doing to our country and to our people. That is why it is so important that we take back the Congress in 2018 from these extremists and why I hope you will join me in that fight.

Being outraged, however, is not enough. We are the ones who have to make it happen. If we fail, what will you tell future generations when they ask, "What did you do in that critical moment when we still had a chance to set things right?"

How we win is straightforward. We have all witnessed the power of grassroots politics. Whether it was the 2016 primary campaign, the millions of women who took to the streets, the people from all walks of life who showed up at airports to protest the bigoted Trump Muslim ban, or the overwhelming majority standing with our Dreamer brothers and sisters, the message is clear. When we stand together we can build the America we all want to see.

Grassroots efforts have been successful in electing new progressive voices from all walks of life in places like Virginia, New York, Alabama, Mississippi and elsewhere. Grassroots efforts can transform this country. But we have to redouble our efforts if we are going to wrest our country back from those whose greed and dishonesty is destroying it.

That is why I want to announce to you a major new three-part initiative for this year and how you can be part of the fight to take our country back.

First, I am committing to travel the country in support of progressives running up and down the ballot. Like I did when together we rallied millions against the Republicans' failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, I intend to go to every corner of this country to help build the electoral wave that will sweep Republicans out of the Congress, out of governors' mansions, out of state houses and out of city and town halls.

I hope in my travels that I will see you at these events. Your attendance is critically important to showing the strength of our movement and our resolve.

Second, as we work to create Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, I will be giving special focus to a core group of up-and-coming progressive candidates at the national and state level. We need progressive Democrats who are going to vigorously stand up against Republicans and fight for our values. But the only way they win is if we help them.

These are the type of candidates who do not draw big dollar contributions but they can prevail if we provide them the small dollar, grassroots support they need. As we introduce this growing list of candidates to you over the next couple of months I hope you will give them the support they need to carry our fight forward in their primaries and in the general election.

Finally, I am excited to announce that we will be reactivating the distributed organizing network that was at the heart of our grassroots success in 2015/2016. This will give us the capacity to reach out to millions of households by phone, by email, on social media and by text message.

This will give each of you the power to help elect progressives and defeat Republicans all across the country.

What we have seen over the last depressing year is a full out assault on working people of all races, an assault on marginalized communities and an assault on people based on gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and national origin.

Trump and the Republicans want to divide and conquer while the billionaire class laughs all the way to the bank and the rest of America falls further and further behind. We cannot let them do it.

The late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan summed it up so well when she described the aspiration of everyone in this country - "What the people want is very simple - they want an America as good as its promise."

Creating that America has been the motivation of my entire political life. I have always believed that together we could make it a reality. Even in these dire times, I feel it more strongly than ever.

Join me in the fight!

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders


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


Sunday, January 21, 2018
Fox News: Day Two of the shutdown -- Congress returns to find a fix


               

                   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.

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

                                        
         
                                       "You've Lost That Loving Feeling"







Market Watch: Cryptocurrencies investor -- "My neurons are fried .., I'll lose a million dollars in a day"

                   An overview of cryptocurrency -- such as Bitcoin



           

       Rush Limbaugh -- America's most successful Propaganda Boy


On today's radio show, Rush Limbaugh made an all-in defense of President Trump regarding his alleged offensive language with respect to Africa, El Salvador and Haiti, as well as his immigration policy
                                      "Have A Nice Weekend Baby"
                               
                                   "There Is Nothing In The World"

                                      "I Love You More And More"


Monday, January 15, 2018
                                           You've Got Mail

Sent: Monday, January 15, 2018 at 11:00 AM
From: "Joe Biden" <info@americanpossibilities.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: Dr. King's legacy:
Today, we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at a moment when our country feels hopelessly divided.
American Possibilities

Walter --

Today, we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at a moment when our country feels hopelessly divided.

But I still have hope. And I'll tell you why.

Three months before I graduated from law school, Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis. Riots broke out in cities across America, including my own. Wilmington, Delaware was burning.

The governor, Charles Terry, had called in the National Guard when rock and bottle throwing escalated to sniping, looting, and arson. As a young trial attorney heading in to work each day, I walked by six-foot-tall uniformed soldiers carrying rifles. Apparently, they were there to protect me.

Over in East Wilmington, mothers were terrified their children would make one bad mistake and end up dead. National Guardsmen patrolled their streets with loaded weapons. Curfews were in effect.

Dr. King told us that "true peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice." And as a young public defender, I remember imagining how we might heal this God-awful situation. How justice might be done. How we could rise out of the ashes -- and find a way out together.

Because back then, we were made to believe that we couldn't.

Forty years later, I found myself standing on a railroad platform in Wilmington, Delaware once again.

It was January 17th, 2009 -- a bitter, cold, but glorious day. Thousands of people were in the streets of Wilmington and the parking lots, waiting for the same thing I was.

I was being picked up by a friend, President-Elect Barack Obama, who was about to be sworn in as this nation's first African American President.

As I stood on that platform and waited, I looked out over my city -- the very same part of the city that was in chaos 40 years earlier, when I had imagined and prayed that we might all live together.

That's what can change in 40 years in this country.

Last year, this country elected a president who plays off our differences for political gain. It often feels as if we retreat behind those differences. But we simply cannot allow them to prevail once again.

Here's what I believe, Walter -- and I'll believe it until the day I die: All those differences hardly measure up to the values we hold in common.

I believe we will once again move forward together. But to do that, we must realize what Dr. King realized -- that opportunity is the only road to true equality.

This nation cannot be what it's capable of being until it has offered that opportunity, equally, to all Americans.

May he continue to rest in peace, and inspire us for generations to come.

-Joe

      

                                    
 I Have A Dream
CNBC: Under-the-radar store closures are leaving big gaps in many malls and putting malls at risk


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

                        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.

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


Shawn Langlois: Wall Street massively underestimates the upside potential of the GOP tax cuts

Daily Mail: President Trump derides protections for immigrants from "shithole" countries

                            
The Trump Russian Dossier

Rush Limbaugh twists himself into a pretzel: Senator Feinstein leaked testimony to get ahead of bombshell Obama spying scandal


                      

                                               "Imagination"


                                      "Be Ever Wonderful"


                                     



Albert Edwards of Societe Generale: Japan may trigger the great unwind in the financial markets


                          
                           
                                            ?Magic Man"

                                     
"Lpver's Intuition"
         


            

                                                "Two Weeks"



                    

                  "I do not eat McDonald's in bed every night. Just ask Tiffany"


Saturday, January 6, 2018


    
                           

                                    "Don't Worry About Me" 





Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Dow adds 99 points, led higher by surging energy and technology sectors, after release of the Fed's minutes

Bloomberg News: President Trump says Steve Bannon "lost his miind" after leaving the White House


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

                                      You've Got Mail

Sent: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 at 9:05 AM
From: "Tom Perez" <democraticparty@democrats.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: Thank you, Walter
You were one of our best supporters in 2017.
DemocratsJoin us.
Walter --

Thank you so much for being one of the Democratic Party's top grassroots supporters in 2017.

A year ago, we were saying farewell to one of our country's finest presidents, and preparing to deal with someone who will go down in history as one of the absolute worst presidents.

We also had more questions than answers about what had just happened -- and how we could make sure it never happened again.

But then something phenomenal happened, Walter: Instead of sulking in defeat, Democrats like you stood up and took action. We marched and organized in our communities. We attended town halls, made phone calls, and signed petitions to make sure Republicans knew our values -- and the consequences of their votes.

And thanks to the $15 you donated last year -- along with hundreds of thousands of grassroots donations from supporters nationwide -- we made historic investments in our state parties that helped power Democrats to victory in Virginia, Alabama, and many other state and local races all across the country.

Now it's time to take what we've learned these past 12 months and apply it to every ZIP code so we can reclaim control of Congress in November, take back more state houses and governor's mansions, and send a Democrat to the White House in 2020, too.

We wouldn't be where we are today without you -- so thank you, Walter. Thank you so much for your dedication and support.

Happy New Year,

Tom

Tom Perez
Chair
Democratic National Committee

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




Monday, January 1, 2018
Jessica Marmon Shaw: What should investors worry about in 2018?

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

Sent: Monday, January 01, 2018 at 11:15 AM
From: "Bernie Sanders" <info@BernieSanders.com>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: A New Year's Resolution
Maintaining a vibrant democracy based on principles of justice has never been easy. In these dangerous and unprecedented times, it may be more difficult than ever.

Friends of Bernie Sanders

Walter -

What a year it was!

Yes. We all know that we have seen a president take office who is the most dishonest, bigoted, divisive and reactionary president in the modern history of our country.

We have also seen a right-wing extremist, Republican Congress attempt to throw up to 32 million Americans off of the health care they have, give hundreds of billions in tax breaks to the richest people in our country and the largest corporations, destroy environmental legislation and work overtime to deny women the right to control their own bodies.

Yes. We have seen all of that and much more. But we are also seeing something else that, from an historical perspective, is far more important. We are seeing the American people come together, fight back and win important victories all across the country.

During my campaign for president in 2016 I stated over and over again that the future of our country was dependent upon our willingness to make a political revolution. I stressed that real change never occurs from the top on down. It always happens from the bottom on up. No real change in American history, not the labor movement, the civil rights movement, the women's movement, the gay rights movement, the environmental movement or any other movement has ever had success without grassroots activism, without millions of people engaged in the struggle for justice.

That's what I said when I ran for president. That's what I believe now and that's what millions of us have been working to accomplish over the last several years. At a time of massive and growing income and wealth inequality, when our nation moves closer and closer to an oligarchic form of society, we are working hard and effectively to create an unprecedented grassroots political movement to defeat the greed of the billionaire class and the politicians they own.

And the good news is that we're making progress. In state after state ordinary Americans are successfully taking on establishment politicians who are more concerned about protecting their wealthy campaign contributors than the needs of the middle class or working people they are supposed to represent.

In 2017 we made progress when millions of people, in every state in the country, took to the streets for the Women's March in opposition to Trump's reactionary agenda. We made progress when an unprecedented grassroots movement elected a young African-American as mayor of Birmingham, Alabama. We made progress when tens of thousands of Americans turned out in rallies and town meetings to successfully oppose the Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and we're making progress when more and more Americans are joining the fight for a Medicare-for-all, single-payer program.

We're making progress when governors and local officials in every part of the country announce, in response to student demands, tuition-free public colleges and universities. We're making progress when states and communities from coast to coast adopt legislation which provides a minimum wage of $15 an hour.

We're making progress when, on Election Day, Nov. 7, 2017, in local and state elections all across the country, Trumpism suffered a major defeat as hundreds of progressive first time candidates from every conceivable background ran for school board, city council, state legislature and other local offices - and many of them won.

We're making progress when, on Dec. 10, 2017, a strong Democrat was elected to the U.S. Senate from Alabama, one of the most conservative states in the country.

The truth is that the American people are far more united than the media allows us to believe. They get it. They know that over the last 40 years, despite a huge increase in worker productivity, the middle class has continued to shrink while the very rich have become much richer. They know that, for the first time in the modern history of the United States, our kids will likely have a lower standard of living than their parents.

Our job, in 2018 and beyond, for the sake of our kids and grandchildren, is to bring our people together around a progressive agenda.

Are the people of our country deeply concerned about the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality that we are experiencing? You bet they are. Do they believe that our campaign finance system is corrupt and enables the rich to buy elections? By overwhelming numbers.

Do they want to raise the minimum wage to a living wage and provide pay equity for women workers? Yes they do. Do they think the very rich and large corporations should pay more in taxes so that all of our kids can have free tuition at public colleges and universities? Yup. Do they believe that the United States should join every other major country and guarantee health care as a right? Yes, again. Do they believe climate change is real? You've got to be kidding. Are they tired of the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, having a crumbling infrastructure with roads, bridges, water systems, wastewater plants, airports, rail, levees and dams falling apart? Who isn't?

Further, a majority of the American people want comprehensive immigration reform and a criminal justice system that is based on justice, not racism or mass incarceration.

Today, what the American people want is not what they are getting. In fact, under Republican leadership in the House, Senate and White House, they are getting exactly the opposite of what they want.

The American people want a government which represents all of us. Instead, they are getting a government which represents the interests and extremist ideology of wealthy campaign contributors. They want environmental policies which combat climate change and pollution, and which will allow our kids to live in a healthy and habitable planet. Instead, they are getting executive orders and legislation which pushes more fossil fuel production, more greenhouse gas emissions and more pollution. They want a nation in which all people are treated with dignity and respect, and where we continue our decades long struggle to end discrimination based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or nation of origin. Instead, they have a president who seeks to win political support appealing to those very prejudices.

Maintaining a vibrant democracy based on principles of justice has never been easy. In these dangerous and unprecedented times, it may be more difficult than ever.

As a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, billionaires are now able to spend hundreds of millions in ugly TV ads demonizing candidates who dare to stand up to them. Republican governors and legislatures are working to suppress the vote, making it harder for people of color, poor people and young people to vote. Republican state legislatures have created incredibly gerrymandered districts which unfairly protect Republican candidates.

Yes, I know. These are painful and frightening times. Many friends have told me that they have given up reading the papers or watching TV. But let us be clear. Despair is not an option. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not anytime. That is exactly what our enemies want. Also, please never forget that the struggle we are engaged in is not just for us. It is for our kids and grandchildren. It is for the future of the planet.

So here is a New Year's resolution I hope you will share with me. In 2018 we will not only intensify the struggle against Trumpism, we will increase our efforts to spread the progressive vision in every corner of the land. Yes. We will create a vibrant democracy where the voices of all people are heard. Yes. We will create a nation which leads the world in the struggle for peace, and for economic, social, racial and environmental justice.

The struggle continues.

Bernie Sanders

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


Sunday, December 31, 2017



                                       "Ain't No Stopping Us Now"

                                                    "Beautiful"


Friday, December 29, 2017
Dow drops 118 points on the last trading day of the year. The Dow's year-end close is 24,719


Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Dow posts a gain of 28 points in light trading, breaking a two-day slump



Here's what all 30 companies that make up the Dow industrials think about the tax cuts





                                              "Scream"

                                           "Mr. Jukes"


Monday, December 25, 2017

                                      Merry Christmas







                                       You've Got Mail

Sent: Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 11:17 AM
From: "Kamala Harris" <info@kamalaharris.org>
To: "Walter Lewis" <walterlewis@gmx.com>
Subject: Republicans just threw the middle-class under the bus

Kamala Harris

Hi, Walter —

At a time when wages have stagnated and working Americans are forced to do more with less, the tax plan Republicans passed in the Senate last night pulls the rug out from the middle class in order to give billions to those at the top. This tax “plan” is little more than a gift to corporations and the top 1% and an attack on our values. You deserve better.

Instead of a real middle-class tax cut, the overwhelming majority of the benefits of this bill — an astounding 83% — go to the top 1% over the next decade. With corporate profits at an all-time high, this plan permanently lowers the corporate tax rate and increases taxes on 57% of middle-class Americans over the next decade. In my state of California, many families will also see a tax increase as a result of changes to the state and local tax deduction.

And while millions of Americans are only one trip to the emergency room away from bankruptcy, Republicans have just voted to gut a provision of the Affordable Care Act and leave 13 million more Americans uninsured over the next decade.

This entire process has not been thoughtful, responsible, or fair — for anybody. Republicans just threw everyday Americans under the bus to give more to the top 1%, particularly their donors.

If we really want to help working Americans, then let’s take up causes that would actually put money into their hands, like a real middle class tax cut, raising the minimum wage, making public colleges and universities tuition-free, and guaranteeing access to health care for everyone. There are far better ways to deliver for the American people, and I remain committed to fighting for them.

One final note, Walter, and you’ve heard me say it time and again: anybody who voted for people to lose their health care to pay for tax cuts to the top 1% needs to lose their job.

So take the anger you’re feeling in this moment and turn it into action. Do all you can in 2018 to help Democrats take back Congress and help us reset the broken priorities in Washington. As we proved in Alabama last week or in Virginia just yesterday — where one vote changed control of the State House — there’s nothing we cannot accomplish when we embrace our diversity, stand behind our values, and fight for what we believe in.

Thanks for all you do.

Kamala Harris
U.S. Senator, California











                               "This Is What You Came For"













                                       " Somebody, Please"














                                         "Rock With You"


























                                 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.

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




                                   "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 ca