Paul Krugman: Springtime for Scammers (NY Times Column)
Making financial predators great again.
Thomas Black, Jeremy Scott Diamond and Dave Merrill: One Tiny Widget's Dizzying Journey Shows Just How Critical Nafta Has Become (Bloomberg)
Global trade involves a complex web of cross-border journeys, seamless and often invisible to American consumers. As President Donald Trump seeks to rewrite Nafta and other trade accords in an effort to bring jobs back to America, he would do well to follow the meandering path of a single lowly capacitor, a pinkie tip-sized component that stores electrical energy.
Benjamin Zhang: Trump's 'America First' policies are catapulting Boeing into dangerous territory (Business Insider)
For a company like Boeing, President Donald Trump's "America First" policies, which represent a sharp departure for the US, threaten the way the corporation does business.
Victoria Colliver: Republicans face anger over Obamacare repeal during town halls (Politico)
Obamacare supporters showed up in huge numbers to voice concerns over repeal.
Ashifa Kassam: "'You scare the heck out of me': Twitter feed collects Trump voters' regrets" (The Guardian)
Since November, Erica Baguma has been compiling and retweeting a collection of remorseful tweets from Trump voters - and they're split into two camps.
Trump Regrets (Twitter)
Voters regret voting for Trump.
Josh Chafetz: Tweetstorm (Twitter)
Some thoughts on the current state of the separation of powers with respect to Trump: …
Scott Burns: "Social Security: A Tale of Two Menus" (AssetBuilder)
I didn't like the bill for a reason: It would "save" Social Security by making deep cuts in future benefits. Only cuts were on the menu. The younger you are, the deeper the cuts. That's not my understanding of fixing something. It's like saying, "We made the operation a success, but the patients died."
Alanna Vagianos: "21 Women Respond To Trump Telling Female Staff To 'Dress Like Women'" (Huffington Post)
Reminder: There's no one way to dress like a woman.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
David Bruce's Smashwords Page
David Bruce's Blog
David Bruce's Lulu Storefront
David Bruce's Apple iBookstore
David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
David E Suggests
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
"WHEN IT'S TOO LATE TO STOP FASCISM."
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DIE FOTHER MUCKERS!
THE BANKSTERS ARE BACK!
WHY PEOPLE ARE GETTING SO ANGRY.
THE BALL IS ROLLING.
STEP OUTSIDE YOUR BOX.
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In The Chaos Household
Yep, even more rain.
Calls T-rump 'Fraud,' Hypocrite
Sen. Bernie Sander, I-Vt., Sunday described President Donald Trump (R-Pendejo) as a "fraud" and a hypocrite for appealing to the little guy and then packing his Cabinet with billionaires, moving to undo some banking regulations and appointing advisers inclined to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
"This guy ran for president of the United States saying 'I, Donald Trump, I'm going to take on Wall Street. These guys are getting away with murder.' Then suddenly he appoints all these billionaires," said Sanders, who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination. He singled out the appointment Treasury Secretary-designate Steve Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive who also ran a mortgage bank that foreclosed on tens of thousands of borrowers during the financial crisis.
"Man, this guy [Trump], he's a good showman, I'll give him that. He's a good TV guy," Sanders said, noting that during the campaign, Trump pledged not to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid and railed against Wall Street.
"I think he is going to sell out the middle class and the working class of this country," said Sanders, a strong advocate of Wall Street reform. "He told us, in fact, it's in the Republican platform, he's going to bring back Glass-Steagall, we're going to be dividing up commercial banks from investment banks to insurance companies. Then he has all of the big Wall Street guys on his side, and now he is working for Wall Street."
"You have a president who, I think, in a totally fraudulent campaign said, 'I'm going to stand up for the working people.' Look at his Cabinet, we never had more billionaires in a Cabinet in the history of this country. Look at his appointees. These are people who are going to go after the needs of working families, the elderly, the children, the sick, and the poor. That is called hypocrisy."
Pre-Super Bowl Interview Ratings Low
President Donald Trump (R-Philanderer) sat down on Sunday afternoon with Fox News for the president's now-customary pre-Super Bowl interview. The segment with "O'Reilly Factor" host Bill O'Reilly (R-Sexual Predator), which aired during Fox Broadcasting's pre-game coverage around 4 p.m., drew an average audience of 12.2 million viewers.
Here at last we have a true apples-to-apples comparison for a television event with Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama - or at least as close to one as we're going to get for a while - and it's not very flattering for the current Commander-in-Chief.
President Obama's first pre-Super Bowl interview, with NBC's Matt Lauer in 2009, brought in an average audience of 21.9 million viewers in Nielsen's final accounting. The half-hour of 2011's Super Bowl pre-game coverage - which included O'Reilly's highly anticipated interview with Obama - attracted an average audience of 17.3 million. In 2016, Obama's interview drew 14.9 million; in 2015, 16.4 million; in 2014, 18 million.
The Trump-O'Reilly interview drew a 7.8 household rating in Nielsen's metered market overnight ratings. President Obama's last three sit-downs before the Super Bowl drew overnight household ratings of 9.2, 10.2, and 11.5; his first, a 9.6.
Deletes All Tweets Defending T-rump
Kanye West deleted all of his tweets defending his meeting with President Donald Trump (R-Grifter) sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning.
West, who met with Trump at Trump Tower in December, explained his meeting with the then-President-elect in the series of now-deleted tweets amid intense backlash from fans and friends like John Legend.
As criticism mounted, West appeared unfazed a day later when he tweeted a picture a signed copy of TIME Magazine's "Person of the Year" issue with Trump on the cover.
"To Kanye You are a great friend Thanks," the front cover reads, followed by Trump's signature.
This tweet has also been deleted.
Denies Travel Ban Praised By T-rump
Kuwait has denied a media report which said it had imposed a travel ban on citizens from several Muslim-majority countries, a story which U.S. President Donald Trump praised on Facebook.
"Smart!" a post on Trump's official Facebook page said on Thursday, linking to a report on Jordanian news website Al Bawaba which alleged that Kuwait had "mirrored" a decision by the Trump administration to temporarily bar travelers from several countries.
The article alleged that "Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians, Pakistanis and Afghans" would not be allowed to enter the Gulf state "while the blanket ban is in place".
But Kuwait's foreign ministry refuted the report, which was widely picked up by news websites popular with Trump supporters including Breitbart, Infowars and Sputnik.
Kuwait "categorically denies these claims and affirms that these reported nationalities ... have big communities in Kuwait and enjoy full rights," a ministry spokesman was quoted as saying on state news agency KUNA on Friday.
Might Have to Surrender Overseas Servers To FBI
"Though the retrieval of the electronic data by Google from its multiple data centers abroad has the potential for an invasion of privacy, the actual infringement of privacy occurs at the time of disclosure in the United States," Rueter wrote in his ruling.
In the ruling, the judge also wrote that there was "no meaningful interference" in the account holder's "possessory interest" in the data sought in the warrant, Reuters reported Sunday.
Google, though, does not plan to give up the data or the fight to protect it just yet.
More Alt Facts
Prevaricator-in-chief T-rump's first speech to active duty troops since taking office went much the same way his first speech to CIA officers went. He celebrated his political triumph, promised his full support and new resources to wipe out "radical Islamic terrorism" and unleashed one of his trademark tirades against the news media.
Speaking at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida on Monday, Trump gave an abbreviated history of terrorist attacks, from 9/11 to the Paris nightclub attacks to the truck massacre in Nice.
"It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported. And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that," he said. He offered no evidence for the accusation, which flies in the face of round-the-clock news coverage of terrorist violence. But one of his senior advisers has repeatedly referred to a Bowling Green, Ky., terrorist attack that did not happen
The rhetorical onslaught recalled Trump's rant against the news media at CIA headquarters one day after his inauguration. "I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth," he said in those remarks. Trump and his top aides have rarely let a day go by without making similar remarks, which are red meat for his political base.
Like his remarks at the CIA, Trump's speech in Florida left open some questions of how the new president will interact with major parts of the government's national security machine.
Cited Nonexistent 'Bowling Green Massacre' Before
Kellyanne Conway received significant blowback for referring to the non-existent "Bowling Green Massacre" last week, but it wasn't the first time the White House counselor used the poor choice of words, according to Cosmopolitan.
The magazine on Monday reported that Conway made similar claims during an interview that did not appear in its initial story.
In an earlier interview with Cosmopolitan.com, she not only used this same phrase but also went a step further in describing the actions of the two Iraqi men involved in the case to which she was referring," the magazine's Kristen Mascia wrote on Monday before describing what Conway told the publication on Jan. 29, prior to the MSNBC interview.
"Conway used the same phrasing, claiming that President Barack Obama called for a temporary 'ban on Iraqi refugees' after the "Bowling Green massacre," Mascia wrote.
After referencing the nonexistent "Bowling Green massacre" during an interview on "Hardball with Chris Matthews" Thursday on MSNBC, Conway tweeted early Friday morning that she had misspoke.
U.S. Backs Off Bid To Reopen
'Black Site' Prisons
The Trump administration has for now backed off a draft executive order that would have called for a review of whether the United States should reopen overseas "black site" prisons, where interrogation techniques often condemned as torture were used, U.S. officials have told Reuters.
The New York Times, citing unidentified officials, on Saturday said the White House was circulating a revised version that did not have language that contemplated reopening the prisons. It said the revised draft did, however, contain parts of the earlier draft, including expanding the use of the military's Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center.
A senior administration official confirmed the initial draft was no longer under consideration. "It was a transition draft never under serious consideration by the administration," the official said. "We have abandoned that transition draft."
The now-defunct CIA program used
so-called enhanced interrogation practices torture, including simulated drowning, known as waterboarding, that were criticized around the world and denounced by former President Barack Obama and other senior U.S. officials as torture.
'Black Site' Prisons
Stewards Feel Threatened
Many of the people who take care of U.S. federal lands and wildlife refuges say their jobs have become more dangerous, according to a new survey.
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a nonprofit that represents government staff, released the results of the survey on Feb. 2. The group gathered responses from 104 out of 302 managers of the Fish and Wildlife Service's federal refuge and 364 employees of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), including scientists, archaeologists and public lands managers.
Of those who responded, 1 in 5 federal refuge managers reported that members of their families or staff "have been threatened or harassed in connection with resource management policies. "Nearly half (48 percent) of BLM staff who responded said they face threats to their safety due to resource management issues, according to PEER.
The report comes ahead of this month's criminal trials for seven of the militants who occupied eastern Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last year. The armed occupation lasted for 41 days in a bid to get the U.S. government to give up control of federal lands. Other militants involved were acquitted of federal conspiracy and weapons charges last year, which many environmentalists and other advocates saw as a setback for the protection of public lands.
Eighty-two percent of refuge managers and 70 percent BLM respondents also expressed that the Malheur acquittals were making their jobs more dangerous.
One In 14 Catholic Priests
Seven percent of Catholic priests were accused of abusing children in Australia between 1950 and 2010 but the allegations were never investigated, "shocking and indefensible" data showed Monday during an inquiry into paedophilia in the church.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard that 4,444 alleged incidents of pedophilia were reported to church authorities and in some dioceses, more than 15 percent of priests were perpetrators.
Australia ordered the Royal Commission in 2012 after a decade of growing pressure to investigate allegations of child abuse across the country, with the inquiry now in its final phase after four years of hearings.
"Between 1950 and 2010, overall seven percent of priests were alleged perpetrators," said Gail Furness, the lawyer leading questioning at the inquiry in Sydney.
"The accounts were depressingly similar. Children were ignored or worse, punished. Allegations were not investigated. Priests and religious (figures) were moved," she added.
'Space Junk' Mission Fails
An experimental Japanese mission to clear 'space junk' or rubbish from the Earth's orbit has ended in failure, officials said Monday, in an embarassment for Tokyo.
Over 100 million pieces of garbage are thought to be whizzing around the planet, including cast-off equipment from old satellites and bits of rocket, which experts say could pose risks for future space exploration.
Scientists at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) were trying to test an electrodynamic 'tether' -- created with the help of a fishing net company -- to slow down the orbiting rubbish and bring it into a lower orbit.
The hope was that the clutter -- built up after more than five decades of human space exploration -- would eventually enter the Earth's atmosphere and burn up harmlessly before it had a chance to crash into the planet.
The disappointment is the latest failure to hit JAXA and comes just weeks after the agency had to abort a mission that sought to use a mini-rocket to send a satellite into orbit.