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Home country: USA
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Member since: Mon Apr 28, 2014, 07:28 PM
Number of posts: 6,386

Journal Archives

Amazon didn't kill Toys 'R' Us. Here's what did

Source: CNN Money

The company's biggest problem: It was saddled with billions of dollars in debt. That debt stopped it from making the necessary investment in stores. And that meant an unpleasant shopping experience that doomed the chain. The company told employees Wednesday that it would close or sell its US stores after 70 years in business.

Toys "R" Us' debt problems date back to well before Amazon (AMZN) was a major threat. Its debt was downgraded to junk bond status in January of 2005, at a time when Amazon's sales were just 4% of their current level.

A year later the company was taken private by KKR, Bain Capital and real estate firm Vornado. The $6.6 billion purchase left it with $5.3 billion in debt secured by its assets and it never really recovered.

The toy store faced several other big challenges at about the same time. There was the rise of big box retailers like Walmart (WMT), which now dwarfs Toys "R" Us in total toy sales. Last year toymakers Mattel (MAT) and Hasbro (HAS) each sold about $1 billion worth of their toys at Walmart, more than twice as much as what they sold through Toys "R" Us. Target (TGT) sold just about as many of their as Toys "R" Us last year.

Read more: http://money.cnn.com/2018/03/15/news/companies/toys-r-us-closing-blame/index.html

Bain Capital. You remember them?

That's right - Mitt Romney.

Bain is a predatory capital firm that buys companies that are having trouble, saddles them with loans that are impossible to service, then sucks cash from them until they die. Then, when they go belly-up, they lay off thousands of people whose lives are now devastated because a few billionaire freaks saw a chance to turn a quick profit.

Profits over people is not a concept we Democrats should stand for or even tolerate. Profit is fine, but when CEOs make 300 times what their people make, and when it is OK to destroy lives with predatory practices like this, then we need to increase regulation.

Isn't it interesting that banking regulations were just loosened, and with the help of some Democrats. It was a BAD policy move, that. No good will come from it.

In the meantime, wake up, get active with your local Dem party and start choosing good candidates that will act in your best interest, not Mitt's.

Here's an upbeat message from the grassroots

The Democratic party in my county had a meet-and-greet for candidates for state house and senate seats, the US House seat which is currently occupied by a radical right tea party guy, governor, attorney general and secretary of state.

There were a lot of people there, and I was very impressed by both the quality and diversity of candidates. Plenty of women running, strong candidates, and a minority woman. This was great, because my county is pretty white, and the fact an African-American woman is running for a state house seat in our county seat is awesome!

The message everyone had, and with which I certainly concur, is that we CAN flip these seats, particularly in this age of Trump.

So...get involved in your local Democratic party. They need you. More important, your community needs you. And, hey, if you want to run, now is the time! My thinking is Trump is going to weigh around these local Republicans' necks like a big, orange millstone.

Let's get out the vote. They might have boatloads of money, and the county you're in might have been a Koch machine for some time, but WE have votes and if enough of us vote, the money on the other side won't matter nearly as much. We did it with our county Board of Education - big out-of-state money came in opposing our side, and we got outspent by millions, but we won anyway.

So can you!

Gun push dims as Washington gets back to 'work'

The quotations around the word 'work' are mine. I couldn't resist because since the rise of Newt Gingrich and the lock-step drown-gummint-in-a-bathtub people came to power in the 90s, one whole party has done NOTHING for the American people except wreck, underfund and over-regulate programs that help us while at the same time throwing money at the 'defense' industry, deregulating big oil and other industries in ways that compromise either our safety or the environment.


Anyway, here's an article on CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/27/politics/congress-gun-debate/index.html

I'm posting it here because you'll all remember that the only thing we can do to end this gridlock is to ELECT NEW PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY WANT TO GOVERN.

Here's a little excerpt:

(CNN)For 12 grief soaked days, it felt like something was different this time, that the massacre of 17 people at a Florida school and the activism of teenagers who survived it would force a rethinking of America's relationship with guns.

The push for change quickened over the weekend as powerful cries for gun law reform from the kids who escaped the rampage rang in the nation's ears. Delta Air Lines, United and Avis Budget Group joined a growing list of powerful firms that severed ties with the National Rifle Association. And a CNN/SSRS poll showed 70% of Americans want tougher regulation of firearms.

But as soon as Washington got back in the game Monday, it looked a lot more like business as usual, as a push for new regulation and significantly strengthened background checks appeared to lose political momentum.

As lawmakers filtered back to the Senate and the House, to what many appeared to view as an unwelcome new debate about guns, it became clear that political realities on the Second Amendment were as locked in as ever.

Question submitted by PatrickforO

The text of this question will be publicly available after it has been reviewed and answered by a DU Administrator. Please be aware that sometimes messages are not answered immediately. Thank you for your patience. --The DU Administrators

Man accused of taking thumb from 2,000-year-old terra-cotta warrior

Source: CNN

A 2,000-year-old terra-cotta warrior valued at $4.5 million and considered a "priceless part of China's cultural heritage" is missing a thumb, but surveillance video helped lead the FBI to both the thumb and a suspect in the theft.

Michael Rohana of Delaware was arrested last week in the December theft.

Officials say Rohana went to Philadelphia's Franklin Institute on December 21 for an ugly sweater party hosted by the museum. During the evening, Rohana and a few of his friends entered the closed off terra-cotta warrior exhibit, and after his friends left, Rohana took a selfie with one of the statues, according to surveillance footage and court documents. He then put his hand on the left hand of one of the warriors and snapped something off, the documents said.

Rohana pocketed the warrior's thumb and took it home with him to Delaware that evening, officials said.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/19/us/terracotta-warrior-thumb/index.html

To me, this is emblematic of the lack of common decency and lack of integrity that now permeates what was once a noble Republic.

Luckovich cartoon

Thought everyone might appreciate this, in case it hasn't been posted.

Polish President signs controversial Holocaust bill into law

Source: CNN

(CNN)Polish President Andrzej Duda signed Poland's controversial new Holocaust bill late Tuesday ahead of it being assessed by the country's Constitutional Tribunal. The law would make it illegal to accuse the nation of complicity in crimes committed by Nazi Germany, including the Holocaust. It would also ban the use of terms such as "Polish death camps" in relation to Auschwitz and other such camps located in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Violations will be punished by a fine or a jail sentence of up to three years.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/07/europe/poland-holcaust-bill-signed-intl/index.html

Lawless brown shirted nazis are now marching through US and European streets, whining about how it is they on whom genocide is being perpetrated. In Charlottesville, and on campuses throughout this nation, we've heard their jackboots marching over the pavement, their truncheons hitting flesh, their guns proudly carried in the open, hatred shining forth from their faces, and racist vitriol flowing out of their mouths.

The generation of Holocaust survivors grows old, and these young nazis are watching and once again telling the big lie.

If you listen you can hear echos of bloody trains moving across the steppe.

Have you folks noticed that Trump isn't bright orange anymore?

Seriously, he's looking kinda doughy.

Perhaps now, he's become a white cheddar Cheetoh...

Question submitted by PatrickforO

The text of this question will be publicly available after it has been reviewed and answered by a DU Administrator. Please be aware that sometimes messages are not answered immediately. Thank you for your patience. --The DU Administrators

Yet a third porn star has emerged saying Trump begged her to 'party'

in his hotel room.

Here's the link and a couple excerpts: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/1/16/1733186/-Third-adult-film-star-emerges-to-say-married-Donald-Trump-begged-her-to-party-in-his-hotel-room#comment_68979176

While Melania Trump was home with infant Barron Trump in 2006, Donald Trump was reportedly running around acting like a fool, seeking adult film stars to stroke his fragile ego. Stephanie Clifford, also known by her stage name “Stormy Daniels,” reportedly got a $130,000 payment from Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen only weeks before the 2016 election. Clifford was planning to detail her relationship, including her 2006 sexual encounters with a married Donald Trump. She wasn’t the only adult film star with a story to tell about Trump’s behavior at a 2006 golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. Jessica Drake described her encounter, saying Trump offered her $10,000 for sex.

Drake and Daniels are not the only ones who Trump reportedly sought to “party” with in his hotel room. A third adult film star actress is now telling her story, saying Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump himself repeatedly called her to try and convince her to come to his room for a private party.

Bottom line: nondisclosure agreements and hush money be damned, it seems pretty clear that Donald Trump was running around cheating on his new wife while she was home with their new baby. It’s further evidence of his decayed or nonexistent morality, along with the evangelicals and so-called “family values” Republicans that continue to stand by this cad. The question now is, how did Donald Trump pay these women? Where did the funds come from? He’s notoriously cheap and these payouts happened in the closing weeks of the 2016 campaign. If campaign funds or Trump Foundation money were used to pay these women, could that be a legal problem for Trump? After all, former Sen. John Edwards was indicted and faced six felony counts for using secret campaign funds to cover up his extramarital affair.

On a personal note, my wife and I just got done watching Dave Letterman's interview he just did on Netflix with Barack Obama. Obama is a noble, visionary man who was arguably a good, possibly great president. The interview was wonderful, touching and funny. One of the things Obama said was that much of today's polarization is because people don't share the same set of facts. He especially mentioned Fox 'news' viewers who, he said, 'live on a different planet.'

The difference between Obama and Trump is profound.

I know that when Barack Obama was in the White House, I felt like we were all in good hands.

With Trump, I feel certain he has his pecker in his hand.
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