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Monday, January 29, 2018

The FBI's No. 2 official, who has for months been under fire from President Donald Trump and his allies on Capitol Hill, is resigning. FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who served as the acting director of the bureau last year after Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey, is stepping down, NBC's Pete Williams first reported.


Saturday, January 27, 2018

On the campaign trail, Trump said the issue of marijuana legalization should be "up to the states," continuing the policy under President Obama. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama's policy and gave federal prosecutors the authority to pursue marijuana cases, even where its legal under state law. The action has made banks afraid to take marijuana cash, which can be prosecuted as money laundering, which incurs stiff criminal penalties. Yet, the U.S. government is the largest launderer of marijuana cash in the nation. They make a profit by snatching up to 70% of marijuana shop revenues, instead of the usual 30% tax. It does this by branding marijuana businesses criminal enterprises who cannot deduct their expenses when filing their taxes. The IRS takes the money as taxes, turning it into "clean" money. It is not an unwitting accomplice to the crime. Estimates are that marijuana business owners in the U.S. will pay $2.8 billion in taxes to the feds in 2018. read more


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Since at least May 2016, the National Security Agency (NSA) had featured honesty as the first of four "core values" listed on NSA.gov, alongside "respect for the law," "integrity," and "transparency." The agency vowed on the site to "be truthful with each other." On January 12, however, the NSA removed the mission statement page (can still be viewed through the Internet Archive) and replaced it with a new version. Now, the parts about honesty and the pledge to be truthful have been deleted. The agency's new top value is "commitment to service," which it says means "excellence in the pursuit of our critical mission." read more


Monday, January 22, 2018

The current system of having money created by private banks as interest-bearing debt is unnecessary and dangerous. The industrialists and economists of the classical period of capitalism, the producers of things for profit thought that the proper role of banking and credit was to be a service for the productive sector of the economy. Every society should understand the danger when that relationship is reversed, as it is today. Understanding how money works, in Modern Monetary Terms (MMT), makes visible why it's entirely unnecessary to figure out how to "collect" money for social programs, and why it's absolutely necessary to surtax the wealthy. It also implies that any minimum income program requires what should be a maximum income policy as well. Taxes do not fund government spending. MMT is not well understood at all, and most people, including capitalist economists, fall back to the taxes-for-spending paradigm that is completely wrong. read more


SCOTUS has done this before. Millions of Ohio voters have tried to vote on Election Day over the past four presidential elections, only to find they were no longer registered to vote. GOP secretaries of state have become experts at the game of selective purging. In 2004, then-Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, stripped some 309,000 voters from the rolls and nearly all came from heavily Democratic cities, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo. In Cleveland 25% of all voters were removed from the voting rolls. Nine "Justices" have just heard oral arguments in the Ohio voter registration case. If their decision goes with Secretary of State Jon Husted, it will mean Republicans throughout the country can scrub from the voter rolls millions of citizens merely because they might vote Democrat. This is a country where Attorney-General Sessions fought for state's rights to prevent racial integration but is now overriding the decision by some thirty states to legalize marijuana. read more


Comments

#21 JJ,

Not if you count the DOE nuclear weapons program, CIA, NSA and Homeland Security.

Populations size and productivity determines how much money, which are just IOUs should be in circulation. Every time a Bank makes a loan, it creates money from nothing. There is no reason for any Government agency to borrow from the private sector. The Constitution gives that power to the Treasury ans JP Morgan and his co-conspirators took it away. The Fed and Banks know this but speak in a deliberate obscure manner.

But the deficit "problem" is greatly exaggerated. What happened to the dollar when the Fed provided $17 trillion in liquidity to failing banks? Government deficits equal windfalls for those receiving those expenditures. The continuing problem is that giveaway has only been used to fuel a stock market rally, a rally unconnected with increased sales or market share for most of those companies whose stocks have spiked.

A willingness to pull out all the stops to win a war or bailout the rich explains conservative deficit spending. The bailout was payback for earlier campaign contributions. Our Government and dollar did not collapse. The determination not to do the same for poor people and depressed areas has no logical basis. It is just class warfare inside our form of Government, consistent with all human history. What is true is that a giveaway to the poor would cost the rich and super-rich some money, not enough to effect their lifestyle, but it would reduce their savings rate. So it would be a massive boost to the economy, unlike the trillion dollar giveaway, which only helped its targeted class. The war on wages continues under every administration. Americans have responded by taking two jobs and going into debt.

A debt jubilee would fix the economic quagmire we're in.

Women's work in the home becomes an asset in divorce, entitling her to up to a 18 years of child support and a lifetime of alimony, at the standard of living she enjoyed during the marriage. These awards are often so large they leave a male living out of the trunk of his car, which can become an argument for denying visitation. If that eventually costs him his job he can find himself jailed. This has happened to activated Reserve troops, when they return from overseas duty, having been activated faster than they can get a support agreement modified. There is no such thing as retroactive modification in a notoriously slow overloaded system. That never happens to a women, whether they are required to pay support or not. There are endless weird examples. Marrying an irrational selfish women is a very dangerous move for a man.

Worst I ever heard comes from Australia. Mother runs off with another man for two years, leaving father to work and care for their three children. That doesn't work out for her either, so she returns two years later and demands the kids back. Court says no. So the mother accuses the father of rape and gets him sentenced to 30 years in prison. Yes, under Australian law a man can be convicted of rape based solely on the women's testimony alone, even her husband.

Occasionally, family law is twisted against a women, but the general rule is the man is guilty until proven innocent, a very expensive process. For the women, guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

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