Wikileaks Release of TPP Deal Text Stokes ‘Freedom of Expression’ Fears

Posted on October 14th, 2015

Trans-Pacific-Partnership.from www.caglecartoons.com # 169755By Sam Thielman

Wikileaks has released what it claims is the full intellectual property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the controversial agreement between 12 countries that was signed off on Monday.

TPP was negotiated in secret and details have yet to be published. But critics including Democrat presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, unions and privacy activists have lined up to attack what they have seen of it. Wikileaks’ latest disclosures are unlikely to reassure them.

… Michael Wessel was one of the advisers who was asked by the US government to review what he said were woefully inadequate portions of the document. Wessel said the thrust of the TPP does nothing for Americans. “This is about increasing the ability of global corporations to source wherever they can at the lowest cost,” he said.

… Obama has pledged to make the TPP public but only after the legislation has passed. Read More..

Jobs Report: Disappointment Is Routine With This Administration

Posted on October 14th, 2015

State of denial, unemployment, Obama, work forceBy Investor’s Business Daily

Friday’s jobs report has us feeling like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day”: waking up morning after morning to the radio blaring Sonny and Cher’s “I’ve Got You Babe.”

We’ve lived through this over and over during the Obama presidency. Every time we see a hopeful sign that the economy’s shifting into a higher gear (a bullish 3.9% GDP growth in the second quarter, for example, after a near-recessionary 0.6% in the first), hiring slips back again into its slow-growth ditch.

No wonder voters are seething with anger.

Jobs rose by just 142,000 in September. But even that paltry gain was offset by 59,000 fewer jobs than originally reported for July and August. We need about 150,000 jobs just to keep up with natural population growth and new young entrants into the workforce.

Worse yet — and stop us if you’ve heard this before — another 350,000 Americans of working age disappeared from the labor force, bringing the total over age 16 not working to a record 94.6 million.

This is no accident; it’s policy-induced slow growth. Read More..

The Bankruptcy Of The Planet Accelerates – 24 Nations Are Currently Facing A Debt Crisis.

Posted on October 7th, 2015

Dominoes fallingBy Michael Snyder

There has been so much attention on Greece in recent months, but the truth is that Greece represents only a very tiny fraction of an unprecedented global debt bomb which threatens to explode at any moment.  As you are about to see, there are 24 nations that are currently facing a full-blown debt crisis, and there are 14 more that are rapidly heading toward one. 

Right now, the debt to GDP ratio for the entire planet is up to an all-time record high of 286 percent, and globally there is approximately 200 TRILLION dollars of debt on the books.  That breaks down to about $28,000 of debt for every man, woman and child on the entire planet.  And since close to half of the population of the world lives on less than 10 dollars a day, there is no way that all of this debt can ever be repaid.  The only “solution” under our current system is to kick the can down the road for as long as we can until this colossal debt pyramid finally collapses in upon itself.

As we are seeing in Greece, you can eventually accumulate so much debt that there is literally no way out.  The other European nations are attempting to find a way to give Greece a third bailout, but that is like paying one credit card with another credit card because virtually everyone in Europe is absolutely drowning in debt.

Even if some “permanent solution” could be crafted for Greece, that would only solve a very small fraction of the overall problem that we are facing.  The nations of the world have never been in this much debt before, and it gets worse with each passing day. Read More..

Bernanke: Wall Street Execs Should Have Gone to Jail for Crisis

Posted on October 6th, 2015

Mission Impossible by Luojie, China Daily, ChinaEDITOR’S COMMENT: Now, he tells us! Actually, while in office, Bernanke didn’t discourage anyone nor make any effort to hold government employees, bankers & brokers responsible for all the risky lending and government-induced housing financing, both of which helped create the so-called housing bubble. He was clearly not a bystander in this debacle and crisis. And, finally, let me remind you that the Federal reserve only watches out for its various large-bank owners.

By Newsmax

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says some Wall Street executives should have gone to jail for their roles in the financial crisis that gripped the country in 2008 and triggered the Great Recession.

Billions of dollars in fines have been levied against major banks and brokerage firms in the wake of the economic meltdown that was in large part triggered by reckless lending and shady securities dealings that blew up a housing bubble.

But in an interview with USA Today published Sunday, Bernanke said he thinks that in addition to the corporations, individuals should have been held more accountable.

“It would have been my preference to have more investigations of individual actions because obviously everything that went wrong or was illegal was done by some individual, not by an abstract firm,” Bernanke said.

Asked if someone should have gone to jail, the former Fed chairman replied, “Yeah, I think so.” He did not, however, name any individual he thought should have been prosecuted. Read More..

France Threatens “Outright Termination” of TTIP Corporate Trade Negotiations

Posted on October 5th, 2015

TTIP CorporatocracyEDITOR’S COMMENT: Maybe the fight over this awful, middle-class-devastating treaty isn’t over after all. Obama was able to bambooozale the U.S. Congress but several other nations are resisting for different reasons. France seems to be a big obstacle at the moment.

By Cassius Methyl

In a recent development with multinational trade agreements, France threatened to walk out on Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations this week. France is frustrated with the United States’ unwillingness to budge on issues, most notably the issue of secrecy within negotiations.

France’s junior trade minister, Matthias Fekl, is threatening “outright termination” of France’s involvement in the partnership, saying “total lack of transparency” in negotiations constitutes a “democratic problem.”

In an interview on Monday with French newspaper Sud-Ouest, Matthias Fekl said,

Europe has offered many compromises, in all areas, and has received no serious offers from the Americans in return. Neither for access to their public markets, nor for access to their agricultural and food markets, which remain closed.

According to Fekl, the United States must modify their position or face consequences. One of their main concerns is that the deal is highly secretive. According to Fekl, U.S. officials have access to more information than European officials and there is a serious lapse in communications. Read More..

Opinion: A Revolt Is Taking Place Against the “Ruling Class”

Posted on October 2nd, 2015

Change - Speedometer Races To RevolutionEDITOR’S COMMENT: While trying to reflect a little balance in my postings, I periodically feature certain articles or commentaries from the more liberal perspective, that have an interesting and timely point of view. One of these is being featured today, and provides us with the thinking of Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration.

By Robert Reich

“He can’t possibly win the nomination,” is the phrase heard most often when Washington insiders mention either Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders.  

Yet as enthusiasm for the bombastic billionaire and the socialist senior continues to build within each party, the political establishment is mystified.

Political insiders don’t see that the biggest political phenomenon in America today is a revolt against the “ruling class” of insiders that have dominated Washington for more than three decades.

In two very different ways, Trump and Sanders are agents of this revolt. I’ll explain the two ways in a moment.

Don’t confuse this for the public’s typical attraction to candidates posing as political outsiders who’ll clean up the mess, even when they’re really insiders who contributed to the mess.

What’s new is the degree of anger now focused on those who have had power over our economic and political system since the start of the 1980s. Read More..

An Unteachable President

Posted on October 1st, 2015

Obama, Kerry, Putin at United NationsBy Bret Stephens

For Obama, it isn’t the man in the arena who counts. It’s the speaker on the stage.

Barack Obama told the U.N.’s General Assembly on Monday he’s concerned that “dangerous currents risk pulling us back into a darker, more disordered world.” It’s nice of the president to notice, just don’t expect him to do much about it.

Recall that it wasn’t long ago that Mr. Obama took a sunnier view of world affairs. The tide of war was receding. Al Qaeda was on a path to defeat. ISIS was “a jayvee team” in “Lakers uniforms.” Iraq was an Obama administration success story. Bashar Assad’s days were numbered. The Arab Spring was a rejoinder to, rather than an opportunity for, Islamist violence. The intervention in Libya was vindication for the “lead from behind” approach to intervention. The reset with Russia was a success, a position he maintained as late as September 2013. In Latin America, the “trend lines are good.”

“Overall,” as he told Tom Friedman in August 2014—shortly after ISIS had seized control of Mosul and as Vladimir Putin was muscling his way into eastern Ukraine—“I think there’s still cause for optimism.”

It’s a remarkable record of prediction. One hundred percent wrong. The professor president who loves to talk about teachable moments is himself unteachable. Why is that? Read More..

Putin Targets US Monetary System: “Aims to Eliminate the US Dollar and the Euro From Trade”

Posted on September 30th, 2015

Dollars FallingBy Max Slavo

Last year Russia began unloading massive amounts of their US dollar reserves. In the month of December 2014 alone Putin sold some 20% of the country’s U.S. Treasurys, a move that further increased tensions surrounding what can only be described as economic warfare between East and West.

Then, as if part of a coordinated effort, this summer it was revealed that China had implemented a similar strategy, dumping half a trillion in dollar denominated assets.

But that’s just the beginning of the end for the US dollar. Amid a major meltdown in Chinese stock markets the People’s Republic sold off billions in dollar assets last week in what was reported to be an effort to stabilize their collapsing financial markets.

And now, as Russia’s economy collapses under the weight of American and European sanctions, including what many believe to be widespread downward manipulation of oil prices, Vladimir Putin is sending a clear signal to the central bank of the world’s reserve currency.

A new bill drafted by the President of the Russian Federation aims to completely eliminate the US dollar from the trade of goods: Read More..

Trump Plan Cuts Taxes for Millions

Posted on September 29th, 2015

Donald Trump Making a pointBy Monica Langley and John D. McKinnon

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump unveiled an ambitious tax plan Monday that he says would eliminate income taxes for millions of households, lower the tax rate on all businesses to 15% and change tax treatment of companies’ overseas earnings.

Under the Trump plan, no federal income tax would be levied against individuals earning less than $25,000 and married couples earning less than $50,000. The Trump campaign estimates that would reduce taxes to zero for 31 million households that currently pay at least some income tax. The highest individual income-tax rate would be 25%, compared with the current 39.6% rate.

Mr. Trump’s plan appears designed to help him, as the GOP front-runner, cement his standing as a populist—though that message is complicated by the fact that the billionaire, like other Republican leaders, would eliminate the estate tax.

“My plan will bring sanity, common sense and simplification to our country’s catastrophic tax code,” Mr. Trump said in an interview. “It will create jobs and incentives of all kinds while simultaneously growing the economy.”

To pay for the proposed tax benefits, the Trump plan would eliminate or reduce deductions and loopholes to high-income taxpayers, and would curb some deductions and other breaks for middle-class taxpayers by capping the level of individual deductions, a politically dicey proposition. Mr. Trump also would end the “carried interest” tax break, which allows many investment-fund managers to pay lower taxes on much of their compensation. Read More..

High-Tailing It Out of Blue States

Posted on September 29th, 2015

Illinois leaving a sinking ship from www.caglecartoons.com # 168180By Stephen Moore

The so-called “progressives” love to talk about how their policies will create a worker’s paradise, but then why is it that day after day, month after month, year after year, people are fleeing liberal blue states for conservative red states?

The new Census data on where we live and where we moved to in 2014 shows that the top seven states with the biggest percentage increase in in-migration from other states are in order: North Dakota, Nevada, South Carolina, Colorado, Florida, Arizona, and Texas. All of these states are red, except Colorado, which is purple.

Meanwhile the leading exodus states of the continental states in percentage terms were: Alaska, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Kansas. All of these states are blue, except Alaska and Kansas.

The latest Rich States, Poor States document (which I co-author) published by ALEC, the state legislative organization, finds that nearly 1,000 people each day on net are leaving blue states and entering red states. This migration is changing the economic center of gravity in America — moving it relentlessly to the South and West.

In 2013, Florida gained $8.2 billion in adjusted gross income from out of staters. Texas gained $5.9 billion — in one year. Five of the seven states with the biggest gains in income have no income tax at all: Florida, Texas, Arizona, Washington, and Nevada. New York was again the big loser with another 112,236 tax filers leaving and taking $5.2 billion with them. Read More..

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