Friday, May 6, 2016

Schumer's gun show

In this video Schumer parodies just how easy it is to get a gun in the US. It's after a minute or so of the commemorative coin bit.

Trump calls Obama on The Tonight Show

President Obama on the Trump phenomenon

Following up on the last post, recall Obama saying that conservative media and the GOP created the environment for Trump's popularity.

Trump is no GOP mistake

See Meyers closer look at why Trump is leading the GOP. They created this monster by laying the groundwork of closet racism, bigotry and xenophobia all along. That Trump was honest about it shocked the GOP, since they preferred more subtle dog whistles that could be rationalized away. So now they are getting what they deserve, as Trump is exactly the kind of Presidential candidate their base wants after all that programming.

Cooking the books

See this article on companies using math to hide their true financial status. (It's very much like what Republicans do with their budget proposals based on bogus trickle-down ideology.) It's one reason the '08 financial crisis happened. Rating companies like Moody's and Standard & Poor's accepted big banks cooked books on those junk mortgage securities. Even a cursory audit revealed they were indeed junk. I personally saw this in the insurance companies for which I worked, manipulating accounting to hide losses and debits to falsely inflate the bottom line in order to get good ratings from bad accounting that was never validated.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Reich on the gig economy

From his FB post:

"In reality, the so-called 'gig' economy is really two quite different economies. Wealthier Americans are using 'gig economy' platforms to rent assets like their homes (Airbnb) or sell products they own or make, according to a new study. By contrast, low-income workers sell their direct labor, such as working as Uber drivers or TaskRabbit movers. In other words, the gig economy is giving those who already have wealth a higher return on that wealth. But it’s not giving those who only have their own labor a higher return on that labor, because it’s enabling corporations (like Uber) to shift business risks onto workers -- and those added risks are reducing economic security and predictability. Bottom line: The gig economy is widening economic inequality."

Distress as a business opportunity

See this article on the Milken Institute Global Conference. It's a bunch of rich investors from both Parties united by their one true passion: making money no matter the cost in human lives or the environment. Given the strife created by financiers in the first place--think the '08 financial crisis--the conference focuses on how to make even more money on said crises. Meanwhile, those of us 99% suffering from their machinations "was outside the frame of reference." This is what you get with Clinton and Trump too.

Another idiot Trump supporter

I know, there is no end to examples of this phenomenon. In this case a tow-truck owner was called to help a stranded and disabled person on the highway. When said tower saw a Bernie sticker on the car he claimed God told him to leave the disabled person stranded on the road. When pressed further, the tower claimed that a Bernie supporter would likely not pay up. Come on, tell me that's not a fucking idiot?

Climate change exacerbates inequality and violence

See this article about Naomi Klein on the topic. Some quotes:

“It is not about things getting hotter and wetter but things getting meaner and uglier, unless we change the corrosive values that are pitting people against each other. [...] Fossil fuels, which are the principal driver of climate change, require the sacrifice of whole regions and people. Sacrificial zones like the Niger delta and the tar sands in Alberta, Canada, dot the world. These zones require the shredding of treaties that enable peoples to live on their land. Indigenous rights are meaningless when the land is being [destroyed] and the rivers are polluted. Resource extraction is a form of violence because it does so much damage and kills cultures.”

What would Trump do?

Not quite in the same league as what would Jesus do. Of course we have a record of what Jesus actually did, which is typically in contradistinction from what conservatives claim. But we also have a record of what Trump has done, and what he'll say he'll do if President. Robert Reich reminds us in this FB post copied below:

"Here’s what Donald Trump says he’ll do in his first 100 days as president, according to today’s New York Times:

1. Nominate a new Supreme Court justice in the mold of Justice Antonin Scalia.
2. Rescind the Obama executive orders on immigration.
3. Threaten punitive measures against corporate executives who shift jobs out of the United States.
3. Design the wall with Mexico, seal the southern border, and assign more security agents along it.
4. Put in place a ban on immigration to the United States by Muslims.
5. Rescind the Obama executive orders on immigration.
6. Repeal the Affordable Care Act.
7. Give military leaders more power over foreign affairs.
8. Put business executives and generals in charge of cabinet agencies.
9. Use twitter and other social media to intimidate and bully adversaries.
10. Begin an audit of the Federal Reserve.