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Exotica

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Member since: Thu Feb 15, 2018, 12:16 PM
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Over the moon with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Morning Joe this morning. She was superb.

She was bright, clear, vibrant, hopeful, offered a clear message. She radiates energy, was future-forward in targeting, and is going to be a force for good in Congress to help bring down the thuggish, troglydytic Repug machine. More women like her is a wondrous thought.


BADASS INDEED


GOTV 2018 and let's do this!!!!



Banksy strikes in Paris with powerful message about migration

https://metro.co.uk/2018/06/25/banksy-strikes-in-paris-with-powerful-message-about-migration-7657901/

Controversial street artist Banksy is believed to be responsible for a series of compelling murals which have popped up across Paris city centre this week. Art experts believe the works are a criticism of negative attitudes toward migration. Seven works attributed to the painter have been discovered in recent days, including one near a former centre for migrants at the French capital’s northern edge, according to the art website Artistik Rezo.


The first work was found on June 20 – World Refugee Day – and depicts a child spray painting pink flock wallpaper over a black swastika. (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

Nicolas Laugero Lasserre, the site’s editor, said contacts has informed him that Bansky was planning a trip to the capital. The first work was found on June 20 – World Refugee Day – and depicts a child spray painting pink flock wallpaper over a black swastika. The wallpaper stencil was used in a previous Banksy piece called ‘Go Flock Yourself’, which was shown at the 2009 Banksy versus Bristol Museum exposition. Laugero Lasserre described it as ‘a real signature’.


Nicolas Laugero Lasserre, the site’s editor, said he heard a few weeks ago through contacts in the French street art world that Bansky was planning a trip (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)



The first work was found on Wednesday 20 June: World Refugee Day (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)


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Banksy est à Paris : découvrez et localisez ses 7 murs…

https://www.artistikrezo.com/art/lartiste-banksy-est-a-paris-les-premieres-images.html

Overcoming Euro Area Fragility (Free download from The Macroeconomic Policy Institute 'IMK')

https://www.boeckler.de/pdf/p_imk_report_139_2018.pdf






Some important progress has been made since the crisis, belatedly and often imperfectly, in reforming the institutional framework of the Euro Area. However, the existential weaknesses – redenomination risk given doubts about the effectiveness of the Lender-of-Last-Resort function and the inadequacy of measures to address inherent divergence trends between member countries – have not been resolved. For as long as that is so, the euro area will remain on shaky ground. This report reviews proposals to strengthen the institutional setup of the euro area. A package is proposed that would rectify the over-reliance on the ECB as a firefighter, and put euro area institutions and member states – with the involvement of governments, parliaments and social partners – in charge of dealing with intra-euro area imbalances and keeping growth close to potential.The more a preventive approach can be reinforced, the less recourse is needed to euro-level emergency measures, the greater will be the confidence that such measures can be introduced without risking “moral hazard”.


THE MACROECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE (IMK)

The Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK) is an independent academic institute within the Hans-Böckler-Foundation, a non-profit organisation fostering co-determination and promoting research and academic study. The Foundation is linked to the German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB).

The IMK was founded in 2005 to strengthen the macroeconomic perspective both in economic research and in the economic policy debate. The IMK analyses business cycle developments and conducts economic policy research, notably on fiscal and monetary policy, labour markets, income distribution and financial markets. The Institute seeks to address the challenges facing macroeconomics and economic policy in the wake of the global financial crisis.


OECD Meets Piketty: An Alternative Economic Narrative

Today’s Profits Are Not Tomorrow’s Investments

https://www.socialeurope.eu/oecd-meets-picketty-an-alternative-economic-narrative

A picture can say more than a thousand words. This is certainly true for the set of graphs (see below) that the OECD published in its latest Economic Outlook and that show the rate of return on fixed assets – a proxy measure for the rate of profitability on capital investment.

A quick glance reveals high rates of return in OECD countries. Indeed, across the body as a whole, the rate of return on fixed assets is back at its pre-crisis level and as high as 10 percent. While in the US and the UK the rate is higher (12 percent), Germany and the Netherlands have hit record highs of 13 to 14 percent profitability. Moreover, these rates only reflect returns before any financial leverage effect operates when companies take out loans and pay a lower interest rate cost than the return on assets. This indeed implies that returns on equity would be even higher and a multiple of the returns shown below.



With returns on investment this high and the return on risk-free financial investment at historic lows, business investment should be booming as management can realise a much higher return on investment compared to the financial cost of such investment. This, however, is not the case. According to the OECD Outlook, investment spending in 2018-2019 is expected to be around 12 percent below the level required for capital stock to rise at the same pace as in the decade prior to the crisis. Firms are not making the marginal but profitable investments that low interest rates should encourage. Interestingly, the OECD refers here to sticky corporate hurdle rates that are as high as 14-15 percent as an explanation. In other words, management, when deciding to invest or not, still requires high and rigid nominal profitability thresholds, even though the cost of finance or alternative risk free investment has gone down substantially. In fact, the OECD takes this argument one step further by claiming that corporations, particularly in the US, are using their profits and resources to merge with or acquire competing companies instead of adding new capital to the aggregate stock.

All of this brings into question the validity of a traditional structural reform agenda that showers business with all sorts of incentives and “treats” in the hope that investment and jobs will follow in return. An alternative narrative for economic policy is necessary, some of whose contours are sketched out below.

A Stronger Role For Fiscal Policy............

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Artificial Intelligence: A Game Changer For The World Of Work (Free Download)

Dear reader,

we would like to draw your attention to a new publication by our partners from the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI).



‘Whoever becomes the ruler of AI will become the ruler of the world,’ said Vladimir Putin in September 2017. The USA, Russia and China are all adamant that artificial intelligence (AI) will be the key technology underpinning their national power in the future.

What place, then, is there for Europe in this context? The European Commission has recently set out a European initiative on AI which focuses on boosting the EU's technological and industrial capacity, developing an innovation ecosystem, ensuring the establishment of an appropriate legal and ethical framework, and preparing for socio-economic changes.

This edition of the Foresight Brief presents the results of a mapping exercise on AI’s impact on the world of work. It looks at the issues of work organisation and infrastructure, introduces the idea of ‘AI literacy’ for the workforce (as a necessary complement to technical reskilling), and details several AI risks for companies and workers. It also looks at aspects related to algorithmic decision making and the necessary establishment of an ethical and legal framework.



CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PUBLICATION FOR FREE
http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=NM_tn&m=3f56JqfOBle3Fj_&b=p6dm0DUVON0l701gI4jlYg

Jim Crow Is in the Cards - Ohio's Junk Mail Trick Led the Supreme Court to Approve Voter Purge

Greg Palast

https://truthout.org/articles/ohios-junk-mail-trick-led-the-supreme-court-to-approve-jim-crow-vote-purge/

Monday’s Supreme Court decision blessing Ohio’s removal of half a million voters was ultimately decided on the issue of a postcard. Now that little postcard threatens the voting rights of millions—but it can be reversed.

The instant-news media, working from press releases, not the Supreme Court’s decision itself, said that Husted, Ohio Secretary of State v. A. Philip Randolph Institute was about whether Ohio has the right to remove voters who failed to cast ballots in two federal election cycles.

Nope.

Even the Court’s right-wing majority concedes that federal law strictly forbids removing voters because they skipped some elections. The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 states that a voter purge program “shall not result in the removal of the name of any person … by reason of the person’s failure to vote.”

But here’s the trick: In 2002, the George W. Bush administration ginned up the Help America Vote Act. When a Bush tells you he’s going to “help” you vote, look out. Yet, naïve Democrats passed the act into law. The Help America Vote Act is filled with buried land mines that are still exploding.

Monday’s decision is one of those land mines. The Help America Vote Act, the Court concluded, blew open a giant loophole in the National Voter Registration Act’s protections. The trick is that Ohio does not remove voters simply because they missed a few elections. According to the majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito:

Ohio uses a registrant’s failure to vote [only] to identify that registrant as a person whose address has likely changed.


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same as it ever was





Can we at least learn basic math? Soledad O'Brien tweet about Sanders was deleted because of this

The MIC article she got it from used the word "proportionally" which O'Brien left out as well

And NO, this is not an OP in support of Sanders at all. I do NOT want him to run in 2020 for POTUS (I want Kamala Harris), and I wish a real, actual Democratic candidate would take the 2nd VT Senate seat he now holds.

I am writing this because I simply cannot believe the basic error and all the assumptions that came from people just buying into it were made.

Vermont has a HORRID racial disparity in terms in black v white incarceration rates, BUT, there are NOT 10 times as many blacks locked up in VT as there are walking the streets.



here is the link to the tweet (now deleted)

https://twitter.com/soledadobrien/status/1007339075173482498

this is

what it was, before she deleted it.



So

The current population of Vermonst is estimated at 623,960 in 2018

Using the MIC article own numbers

Black Vermonters make up just 1.2% of the state's general population

That means there are are 7488 African Americans living in Vermont.

As of 2017, the Vermont inmate population was 1722, TOTAL, for all races (and going down rapidly since 2008).

http://www.leg.state.vt.us/jfo/appropriations/fy_2018/FY2018%20Department%20Budgets/FY2018%20Department%20of%20Corrections%20Budget%20Presentation.pdf

The black incarceration rate in Vermont (per the MIC article O'Brien used), is 10.7%, which yields 184 African American inmates.

Even if you double that number (for African Americans in local jails temporarily)

368 is a FAR cry from the over 70 THOUSAND it would need to be to make Soledad's Tweet true, which is why she deleted it.

We are all Ordo-liberals now

Both the French and German governments have recently expressed a desire to avoid budget deficits. Bob Hancké examines the history of a ‘dangerous idea’ – Ordoliberalism, or the belief that balanced budgets produce growth.

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2018/06/08/we-are-all-ordo-liberals-now/

At what was probably the most unpropitious moment in recent economic history to make the claim, US President Richard Nixon declared that we ‘are all Keynesians now’. In his view, the key problem of macroeconomic management, namely how to stabilise a modern economy, balancing growth (and employment) with inflation, was fundamentally resolved. Less than two years later, the advanced capitalist countries went into a tailspin, world economic growth stalled while both unemployment and inflation shot up.

Wolfgang Münchau, one of the more astute observers of European and German political economy in the Financial Times, recently wrote a column arguing that the strict fiscal policies of the new German Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz, a social democrat (!), will damage Germany’s partners in EMU. He calls it an accident to happen. We did not have to wait long for the next instalment in what could, indeed, be a massive pile-up. The same day, the FT also reported that the French Finance Minister Gérald Darmanin is aiming for a zero deficit. Darmanin wants to restore France’s credibility in Europe. Some context might be useful: the last time France had a zero deficit or a budget surplus was sometime in the 1970s; and France is not really suffering from a poor credit rating, despite 40 years of deficits.

Sado-monetarism and Ordo-masochism

In any case, there seems to be a deeply masochistic streak running through the broad centre and centre-left. It’s one thing for mathematically illiterate right-wing parties such as the Tories in the UK to insist on fiscal discipline – they never really bought into the welfare state, and the ‘necessity’ of sorting out a crisis gives them the opportunity to make savage cuts that hit the poor and wage earners (while leaving the bankers alone).

But it’s a completely different thing for the left and the progressive centre (as Macron and his acolytes like to see themselves) to blindly insist on austerity. Not only is it unnecessary: in both countries and in many other EMU member states the economy is stable and probably simply needs a few years of sustained growth to sort out the budgetary pressures. It is simply counterproductive: if an economy is growing slowly, cutting demand is not a solution but exacerbates the problem.

snip



Robert Hancké – LSE European Institute

Bob Hancké is an Associate Professor of Political Economy at the LSE. His research interests include the political economy of advanced capitalist societies and transition economies as well as macro-economic policy and labour relations. His books include Unions, Central Banks, and EMU: Labour Market Institutions and Monetary Integration in Europe (Oxford University Press 2013), Intelligent Research Design (Oxford University Press 2009) and Debating Varieties of Capitalism (Oxford University Press 2009).

The New York Times coverage of buzzy wellness concepts like "detox" is a case study in pseudoscience

https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/06/the-new-york-times-coverage-of-wellness-concepts-like-detox-is-a-case-study-in-pseudoscience-creep.html

Scientifically speaking, “detoxing” isn’t a thing. Your body doesn’t retain so-called toxins ingested via food or drugs or plastic dishes, or breathed in through air. You don’t sweat them out at yoga, get rid of them via special massage, or purge them through colonics. As writer Dara Mohammadi put it in a scorching takedown of the dominant wellness watchword of the past decade: “If toxins did build up in a way that your body couldn’t excrete, you’d likely be dead or in need of serious medical intervention.”

Given that scientists, doctors, and nutritionists have united in rejecting the very idea of a “detox,” it’s a bit head-scratching to read the New York Times’ T Magazine’s My Detox column, featuring attractive “creative people” sharing “the homemade recipes they count on to detox, cleanse—and refresh.” In a recent installment, the model Alek Wek recommends a Sudanese okra stew; she “adds a glass of detoxifying lemon juice” to her recipe when her life is about to get especially busy. In the column before that one, the rapper Junglepussy (Shayna McHayle) describes how she makes a lemon-scented body oil at home. “McHayle is choosy,” the writer Coco Romack notes, “about where she sources her beauty products, which she prefers chemical free.” (“Chemical-free,” like “detoxing,” is not really a thing.)

My Detox isn’t the only place in the Times where you can find casual, credulous treatments of pseudoscientific “wellness” concepts. The Styles section has run its share of coverage that might trigger a skeptical reader’s bullshit alarm. For a recent installment of her Styles column “Me Time,” Marisa Meltzer went to a spa, where she got one treatment combining clairvoyance (!) and acupuncture, and another with a crystal healer. Meltzer’s tone projects gameness—“Let’s try this out!”—rather than whole-hearted endorsement, but the writer does report some actual results. “The [crystals] session felt cathartic and left me emotionally vulnerable in a way that a massage never has,” Meltzer wrote. Available research suggests that if crystals work for you, it’s probably through the placebo effect. (And for what it’s worth, Emily Atkin wrote in the New Republic recently that the crystals you buy may have been mined under adverse conditions, for workers and the environment; it’ll be very hard for the average consumer to tell.)


The typical Times lifestyle treatment of these wellness fads holds the question of science at arms’ length. Take a different Styles piece on “adaptogens”—supplements from herbal medicine that are supposed to help calibrate your body’s stress response but which have not been studied by researchers. “Although the science is as murky as a mushroom drink looks and these supplements are unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration, this hasn’t stopped trendsetters from sharing their purposed benefits,” Rachel Jacoby Zoldan writes—one strategically skeptical clause, in a piece that’s otherwise packed with positive quotes from people who sell and blog about adaptogenic products and beautiful photos of freshly blended bright-blue smoothies.

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Jonathan Pie - Trump embraces Russia and North Korea whilst shitting on his allies

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