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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 72,733

Journal Archives

Charlie Munger says we're starting to look (economically) like Japan, and that could be trouble


Berkshire Hathaway Vice-Chairman Charlie Munger said Monday the U.S. is looking more like Japan given the prolonged low-interest-rate environment.

"I strongly suspect it was massively stupid for our government to rely so heavily on printing money and so lightly on fiscal stimulus and infrastructure," Munger told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

Japan has struggled mightily to come off its economic funk and, earlier this year, in an unprecedented move the Bank of Japan implemented negative interest rates.

"It surprised all the economists of the world," Munger said. ...............(more)

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/02/charlie-munger-says-were-starting-to-look-like-japan-and-that-could-be-trouble.html




Reassessing American ‘Heroes’


from Consortium News:


Reassessing American ‘Heroes’
May 2, 2016

American “heroes” often were hailed in their time but are viewed differently through the lens of history, as is happening to racist presidents Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson, notes Lawrence Davidson.


By Lawrence Davidson


It seems as though some of the heroes of the United States are losing their bright reputations. It’s just as well, for they are really bad examples for us all. Of course, you might ask, if that is the case, why were they heroes in the first place?

Part of the reason might be that the negative nature of their attitudes and actions was simply not widely known, owing to both the primitive state of communication and the prevailing racist ideologies of their times.

Because conditions and outlooks change, the status of many heroes is provisional – admired in a specific place and a relatively limited time. The American heroes I am thinking of may well have seemed exemplary for their day. However, by today’s standards those times were marked by open bigotry and imperial/colonial ambitions. Let’s hope that we are outgrowing such attitudes.

Consider past luminaries associated with political office and the exercise of power. Despite their celebrated actions, their social attitudes are anathema by modern standards. Thus, while some may still see them as heroes, others certainly have come to see them as scoundrels. That is not the sort of balance that promotes a permanently heroic reputation. Standards change and so does the balance of perceptions. ...............(more)

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/05/02/reassessing-american-heroes/





Charlie Munger says we're starting to look like Japan, and that could be trouble


Berkshire Hathaway Vice-Chairman Charlie Munger said Monday the U.S. is looking more like Japan given the prolonged low-interest-rate environment.

"I strongly suspect it was massively stupid for our government to rely so heavily on printing money and so lightly on fiscal stimulus and infrastructure," Munger told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

Japan has struggled mightily to come off its economic funk and, earlier this year, in an unprecedented move the Bank of Japan implemented negative interest rates.

"It surprised all the economists of the world," Munger said. ...............(more)

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/02/charlie-munger-says-were-starting-to-look-like-japan-and-that-could-be-trouble.html





Rahm Emanuel got free sports tickets, travel perks from wealthy friends


(Chicago Tribune) For Mayor Rahm Emanuel, it pays to have friends in high — or at least wealthy — places.

Once again last year, the mayor accepted free sports tickets, a stay as a houseguest and transportation (likely complimentary rides on private jets) from some of Chicago’s richest executives and philanthropists.

Like all Cook County politicians, Emanuel is required to disclose gifts valued at more than $500 in his annual economic interest statement due Monday.

The mayor’s report covering 2015 shows he accepted gifts from six people, continuing a more recent trend of Emanuel taking high-dollar gifts from fewer of his political donors and friends. The mayor accepted gifts from three people in 2014, five in 2013, 12 in 2012 and 19 in 2011.

.....(snip).....

That report noted that nearly 60 percent of Emanuel’s top circle of 103 elite donors had benefited from his city government, receiving contracts, zoning changes, business permits, pension work, board appointments, regulatory help or some other tangible benefit. Included on that list of firms that benefited was Finnegan’s Madison Dearborn, which holds a significant stake in the CDW Government firm that has received two Emanuel administration contracts worth more than $39 million. ............(more)

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-rahm-emanuel-gifts-20160429-story.html




Rahm Emanuel’s political machine is overwhelmingly white. Here’s why it matters — even beyond Chicag


from Salon:



Rahm Emanuel’s political machine is overwhelmingly white. Here’s why it matters — even beyond Chicago
New data shows that Emanuel's donor base is glaringly monochromatic, a fact with implications beyond the Windy City

Sean McElwee


The 2016 election cycle has led to heated discussion about the issues of money in politics and racial justice. However, these debates have rarely crossed: the dominance of the affluent and racial justice are treated as separate issues. My latest Demos report suggests that these debates are actually intertwined: the donor class is dominated by whites, which could hamper progress towards to racial justice.

While there has been some research examining the demographic composition of federal donors, there has been virtually none at the municipal level (one study examined the contribution patterns of Asian-Americans). The result is that the issue is rarely discussed, and the possibility that donors could skew policy is almost entirely ignored. To fill the gap, I worked with of University of Massachusetts-Amherst political scientists Brian Schaffner and Jesse Rhodes, and used Catalist, a progressive data vendor, to analyze the demographic composition of Chicago’s donor class. (Catalist’s accuracy has been independently validated and used in peer-reviewed articles and books.) The dataset includes all individuals that donated money (greater than the $150 disclosure limit) between May 16th, 2011 and April 7th, 2015. Catalist was able to match more than 90 percent of donors in the campaign finance data to their database.

The municipal donor class is incredibly white

The report shows that the donor class is incredibly white. Though the adult population of Chicago is 39 percent white, 82 percent of council and mayoral donors were. Emanuel relied the most on white donors, who made up 94 percent of his donors. Chuy Garcia, Emanuel’s opponent in last year’s Democratic primary, relied less on white donors; 39 percent of his donors were people of color. (27 percent were Latino.) Only 18 percent of council donors were people of color.

Women made up 30 percent of all donors, 27 percent of Emanuel donors and 44 percent of Garcia donors. People making more than $100,000 (15 percent of Chicago’s population) make up 63 percent of donors. Emanuel relied more heavily on the wealthy, and they made up four-fifths of his donors, compared to only 38 percent of Garcia’s donors. Fifty eight percent of council donors made more than $100,000. ....................(more)

http://www.salon.com/2016/04/28/rahm_emanuels_political_machine_is_overwhelmingly_white_heres_why_it_matters_even_beyond_chicago/




Feral cats are answering the call to duty as American cities take on growing rat problems





(MarketWatch) Chicago’s tenacious rat population has some residents trying a more natural solution. Cats.

Homeowners plagued by rats have been adopting feral cats, which don’t have regular contact with humans and survive outdoors, that have been trapped and neutered or spayed to catch the pests for sport. Proponents of the strategy say that it’s a natural and humane way to rid their properties of the rodents, which can carry disease and cause costly damage to property — not to mention gross out those unlucky enough to cross their paths. It also places these stray cats, which might otherwise enter the shelter system, in a cared-for environment. And they say the method works.

In Chicago, the number of rat complaints is up, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in March his administration is working on ways to address the problem, according to reports. That includes preventative rat abatement in areas where water and sewer work is planned (since those projects can stir up rat populations) and better cleaning up of dog feces (which rats sometimes eat), he said. For some residents, help can’t come soon enough.

“We had a warm spell back in February, and the rats started breeding,” said Paul Nickerson, program manager for the Cats at Work Project at the Tree House Humane Society in Chicago, “and people started panicking.” The coming demolition of a hospital complex in Lincoln Park also has people on edge; it’s likely that rats have made their homes below, and construction will send them scurrying to find new homes, area residents fear. Rats in the Rogers Park and Logan Square neighborhoods also have residents filling Nickerson’s email in-box with information requests.

Programs that pit cats against rats also exist in areas including Los Angeles; Austin, Texas; and Reno, Nev., said Francis Battista, co-founder and chairman of the board for Best Friends Animal Society, based in Utah. There are also stories of bodega cats in New York that help shop owners keep their businesses rodent-free. Recently, a mayoral candidate in Rome suggested that cats be employed there to combat that city’s rat problem. ....................(more)

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/are-these-cats-the-answer-to-chicagos-rat-problem-2016-05-02#:OQ33QTNfFl50PA




Kirk Cameron, douche





In Race for London Mayor, Donald Trump’s Anti-Muslim Playbook Seems to Be Failing for Zac Goldsmith


(The Intercept) STOP ME IF you’ve heard this one: an outsider politician who owes his station in life to the hundreds of millions he inherited from his father is running a failing campaign for office based on stoking fear of Muslims.

The word “failing” — as in 20 points down in the polls days before the election — is a clue that we are speaking about someone other than Donald Trump.

In this case, the politician’s name is Zac Goldsmith, and he is the millionaire scion of a prominent British family. He was thought of, until recently, as a mild-mannered Conservative member of Parliament, known mainly for his environmentalism and his sister’s friendship with the late Princess Diana.

For the past two months, however, he has generated waves of disgust and, polls suggest, not much sympathy, by pursuing a mayoral campaign filled with racially divisive innuendo about the supposed danger of electing his Labour Party rival, Sadiq Khan, a son of Pakistani Muslim immigrants.

Things reached something of a crescendo over the weekend, when Goldsmith — advised by a political consultant whose website boasts that he was “Described by Newt Gingrich as the UK’s own ‘Lee Atwater’” — published a dog-whistle appeal to voters in the Mail on Sunday, a right-wing tabloid, that implied Khan, a moderate member of Parliament, would somehow fail to defend the British capital from Islamist terrorists. .........................(more)

https://theintercept.com/2016/05/03/least-london-rich-heirs-campaign-instill-fear-muslims-not-going-well/




As Climate Disruption Advances, UN Warns: "The Future Is Happening Now"


As Climate Disruption Advances, UN Warns: "The Future Is Happening Now"

Monday, 02 May 2016 10:30
By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report



[font size="1"]Recent studies have shown that the melting of ice is compounding itself, generating dramatically fast increases in both melting and sea level rise. (Photo: Marie and Alistair Knock / Flickr)[/font]


Each month as I write these dispatches, I shake my head in disbelief at the rapidity at which anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) is occurring. It's as though each month I think, "It can't possibly keep happening at this incredible pace."

But it does.

By late April, the Mauna Loa Observatory, which monitors atmospheric carbon dioxide, recorded an incredible daily reading: 409.3 parts per million. That is a range of atmospheric carbon dioxide content that this planet has not seen for the last 15 million years, and 2016 is poised to see these levels only continue to increase.

Recently, Dr. James Hansen, a former NASA scientist and longtime whistleblower about the impending dangers of ACD, published a paper with several colleagues showing that ACD will push sea level rise into exponential levels by the end of this century. Their paper shows how melting is actually compounding itself, generating dramatically fast increases in both melting and sea level rise. We may well see the current three millimeter per year sea level rise grow to nearly five centimeters by 2056, and continue to increase in a nonlinear fashion.

Scientists in Antarctica are now astounded at the rapidity of the disintegration of the massive Antarctic ice shelves: It turns out the ice in Antarctica is far more fragile and predisposed to melting than was previously believed.

The situation is already dire enough that the conservative UN warned recently, "The future is happening now," and called for more urgent measures to be taken to cut global carbon emissions. ....................(more)

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/35860-as-climate-disruption-advances-un-warns-the-future-is-happening-now




Keiser Report: Secrets of TTIP & TPP




Published on Apr 23, 2016

Max and Stacy discuss that if man is what he hides, as André Malraux said, then the EU is a corporatist, monopolist loving intellectual land-grabber, for the EU hides secret trade deals. They also discuss Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan instructing his coalition not to ‘forcibly’ proceed with ratifying the TPP (another secret trade deal) until after elections this summer as voters are against it. In the second half, Max interviews independent Irish politician and MEP, Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, about the top secret TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.


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