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Hometown: LA
Member since: Sat Feb 10, 2007, 01:29 PM
Number of posts: 34,324

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So...no Roger Stone big intel on a flip, I guess.

That surprises me. So what we see with Roger Stone's case is it.

Soooo.maybe THIS report w/no indictments is why Trump changed his tune...

Trump has been saying all along that the report shouldn't be released, that there shouldn't be a report at all, that this investigation is illegal, blah blah blah.

Then suddenly a few days ago he changed his tune. When someone asked if he was in favor of the report being released, he said something along the lines of "Sure. Why not?"

A 180 degree change. NOW, in hindsight, it looks like he knew the report was coming and there would be no further indictments before the report, meaning no indictments for his family or him. "No collusion!"

No matter what the Mueller Report says, Trump's response will be "No collusion! See? Told ya so!"

Anyone disagree?

The bond market is flashing its biggest recession sign since before the financial crisis

***The spread between 3-month and 10-year Treasury notes has fallen below 10 basis points for the first time since 2007.

***An inverted yield curve, where short-term yields are higher than their longer-term counterparts, is considered a reliable recession signal.

***The Federal Reserve this week said the U.S. economy is still strong but is facing challenges from global weakness.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s assertion this week that the U.S. economy remains strong is facing a stern test from the bond market.

In fact, government fixed income yields are delivering a strong recession indication that hasn’t happened since 2007

The spread, or yield curve, between the 3-month and 10-year Treasury notes just broke the longest streak ever of being above 10 basis points, or 0.1 percentage point. The two maturities were last below that level in September 2007, a run of 3,009 trading days, according to Bespoke Investment Group.


The two maturities inverted (last) Friday morning, a near-perfect sign that a recession is coming. An inverted yield curve does not mean a recession is imminent but that one is likely over the next year or so.

Economists see the yield move as a dark signal for an economy coming off its best year since the recovery began in mid-2009.

“Yield curves are responding to what they see, to what I believe is a global economic slowdown,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group. “You don’t see this kind of move in curves, not just here but everywhere, unless you get one.”

Short-term yields moving ahead of their longer-duration counterparts is seen as a sign that growth will be higher now than it will be in the future. New York Fed research considered by many to be seminal on the spread between yields found that the most-telling relationship was between the 3-month and 10-year notes.

The Federal Open Market Committee, which sets monetary policy for the Fed, said Wednesday that it won’t be raising rates anytime soon — likely for at least the rest of the year — unless economic conditions change.

Powell said the U.S. economy is “in a good place” though it is facing pressure from slowdowns in Europe and China. He and his colleagues collectively lowered their expectations for GDP growth domestically, now seeing just a 2.1 percent gain in GDP for all of 2019 and 1.9 percent in 2020.

WATCH: Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller: Greater than average chance of recession in next 18 months

“All anyone needs to do is read the first paragraph of the Fed press statement to see that the central bank has marked down its assessment of the economic landscape – the choice of words suggests far more than the tweaking that was done to the numerical projections,” David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff, said in his daily note Thursday.

Like other financial market observers, Rosenberg noted the diverse reactions between the bond and stock markets — fixed income yields are falling, indicating lower growth, while the stock market is rising.

“The stock market may not agree with the recessionary message from the Treasury market, but it would be foolish to disregard this bond curve move entirely,” he wrote. “The real yield [compared to inflation] on a 10-year note has collapsed to a 14-month low of 0.56% — it never got his low during any part of the 2008/09 Great Recession, for some perspective.

To be sure, the dire warnings coming from the bond market have been coming over the past year or so, with still no recession in sight. Some market veterans are betting that this may be an example of the stock market getting it right and the fixed income side being too cautious.

“Could it be that the yield curve is signaling weak global economic growth and low inflation without necessarily implying a recession in the US? We think so, and the US stock market apparently supports our thesis,” Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research said in his morning note Friday. “So why are global stock markets also doing so well? Perhaps there is too much pessimism about the global economic outlook.”

There’s also some indication in the market that the Fed’s move Wednesday to telegraph a decidedly dovish stance could help widen the spread somewhat.

However, the challenges for the economy remain.

“It will come down to the U.S. consumer. That’s the last thing that’s holding us up,” Boockvar said. “We’ll need a decline in the stock market to tip over the consumer. So if the stock market can hang in, I think the U.S. can continue to see some growth. If we start to go back to the December lows again, that could be enough to tip us over.”

Al Franken's response to Trump's comments on McCain

This was posted on Al Franken's FB account today:

Former U.S. Senator Al Franken
59 mins ·

Pretty much everyone agrees that right after someone dies, it’s very bad form to say something bad about them. That’s why it’s admirable that Donald Trump waited a full seven months to say horrible things about John McCain.

First of all, and I know most Americans feel this way, it’s a disgrace that McCain allowed his plane to get shot down, broke both his arms and a leg ejecting from the plane, and then was beaten and bayonetted by North Vietnamese before being dragged to a POW camp, where he was starved and tortured for five-and-a-half years. As far as Trump is concerned, McCain sat out the war.

Yes, it’s seems heroic that after his father was named commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, McCain refused his captors’ offer of early release. McCain claimed he refused because the early release of the admiral’s son would be a huge propaganda victory for Hanoi and demoralize his fellow American POWs. But how do we really know that? Other than that’s what all the other POW’s who were there with him say, and also that there seems to be no other explanation?

Why in God’s name is Donald Trump so obsessed with John McCain that he feels the need to attack him even when he’s dead? I mean other than that John McCain is kind of a perfect example of everything Trump is not?

I usually don’t like bullet points, but here goes.
- Endured tremendous pain for his country vs. venereal disease was his personal Vietnam*
- Told a nut that Obama wasn’t a Muslim vs. Told every nut that Obama was a Muslim
- Graduated last in his class at the Naval Academy vs. Probably graduated last in his class at Penn, but we’ll never know because Trump goon Matty Calamari visited the registrar. “Nice university you got here. Be a shame to see whoever keeps the records get roughed up. Capiche?”
- Hated tyrants vs. Loves, loves, loves tyrants!
- Tortured vs. Tortured
- Student of foreign affairs vs. Affairs
- Laughed a lot vs. Is “The Man Who Never Laughed”

I have never seen Donald Trump laugh. Have you? In fact, I think that would make a good children’s book. In the story, Ivanka would offer a prize to any American who could make her father, the President, laugh. The prize would be the most valuable Trump property the family owns! (The Trumps would double its value on paper, take a huge write-off, sticking the winner with an enormous tax bill.) Americans would line up outside the White House during executive time – comedians, mimes. magicians, storytellers, contortionists, acrobats, jugglers, impressionists – but no one could get the President to laugh. I even got an illustrator for the book. I can’t think of an ending.

Humor was another great thing about John McCain. He loved to laugh. A few years ago, John and I were asked to tape an opening before a Vikings-Cardinals game for Thursday Night Football. They put us in a Face the Nation set with former host, Bob Schieffer, interviewing us. John was fine with the script, but I wasn’t and started rewriting. John saw me scribbling away and said, “Hey, do I get to see it?”

I finished up and ran it over to him. He read it, chuckled, and gave me the thumbs up. We started with the usual generous collegial niceties, “Well, I disagree with my good friend about the Vikings running game…” and “John and I are very good friends, but Arizona’s secondary...” “My very good friend” turned into “my very dear friend” which became “my very close dear friend” which became “my extremely close dear friend” and then to me saying, “Yes. John and I are extremely close dear, dear friends. In fact, our families vacation together.”

Schieffer gave us an astonished look. “Your families vacation together?!”

“That’s right,” John deadpanned to Bob, then turned to me slightly miffed, “You know it wouldn’t hurt for you to pick up a check every once in a while!”

John and I shared a somewhat dark sense of humor. After he was diagnosed with brain cancer, John continued to come back and forth between DC and Arizona. When I thought it might his last time in DC, I went up to John and said, “Say, John, I thought I’d send you a ‘Bad News – Good News’ joke every week or so.”

He laughed and said he’d look forward to that.

A week or so later, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin speculated on a radio show that McCain had given his famous thumbs down on the Republican health care bill because he was confused from his brain cancer. I wrote John: “The bad news is that you have brain cancer. The good news is that Ron Johnson’s butt cancer has moved to his mouth.”

Every once in a while, I’d switch things up and send John a ‘Good News – Bad News’ joke. His favorite was: “The good news is that your mother is 105 and sharp as a tack. The bad news is that you have brain cancer.”

Fortunately, John came back to DC one more time. When he saw me in the well on the Senate floor, he grinned and put his arm around me, announcing to the Senators around us, “This man earned every dollar he ever got. At Saturday Night Live!”

Maybe that’s why Trump also attacked Saturday Night Live this week. Maybe he has a point. Sure, the show has made fun of every president since Nixon. But the only one SNL actually treated with complete contempt has been Donald Trump.

And Nixon.

* May 7, 1998 interview with Howard Stern, discussing the dangers of dating.

The Repubs are attacking the one(s) they don't want in the race. That's Beto at this time.

I heard Repubs on morning tv, and a lengthy critical article on Fox News site, criticizing Beto (with the usual misrepresentations).

I'm thinking...this is the one they consider the biggest threat at this time. That may change, but for now, it's Beto they want to knock out of the race.

Interesting, since Beto doesn't have the biggest numbers.

Judge Ellis also wants Manafort to get credit for 9 mos. served in jail already.

34 min ago
Judge gives Manafort credit for time he's been in jail
From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

Judge TS Ellis gave Paul Manafort credit for the nine months he's spent in jail, after a different judge revoked his bond last June.

"I want him to receive credit for nine months," Ellis said at the end of the hearing.

If that happens, Manafort's time in prison from now on would total a little more than three years.

Why that matters: There is another judge who will sentence Manafort next week, and has some latitude to decide how the two sentences from Ellis and from her court fit together.

If Manafort has maintained good behavior while in jail, he could be released early as well. Defendants often don't serve the full amount of time they're given by a federal judge.


Looks like he could end up serving less than 2.5 years (3.7 yrs - 9mos - 5 mos good behavior).

There really are two Americas, seems like. Such little time for defrauding banks and the government, and lying to investigators (which cost the govt millions in extra time spent and lost time on other matters), done over a period of years.

Retail Apocalypse post #3...Now, even Amazon is shuttering doors

Amazon to close all its pop-up shops

NEW YORK (AP) -- Amazon is shutting down all its pop-up shops and focusing on opening more of its bookstores as it rethinks its brick-and-mortar strategy.

The online retail giant has 87 pop-up shops in malls, Whole Foods grocery stores and Kohl's department stores that sell Amazon's Echo voice-activated devices, Kindle tablets and other gadgets.

Amazon did not say when the pop-up shops would shut down, but the Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources, reported that they will close down in April.


The Retail Apocalypse continues...more store locations

To add to my recent prior post about the Retail Apocalypse announcements in the last week or two, we can add the following.

Family Dollar will close nearly 400 stores. https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/06/investing/family-dollar-stores/index.html

Chico's is closing as many as 80 stores. https://www.cnn.com/business/live-news/stock-market-news-today-030619/h_d3fcd18793ce8eedfe13fee15749a421

Kohl's is shrinking stores and leasing out space to gyms and supermarkets. (This sounds like it could be profitable. Bravo, Kohl's.) https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/05/business/kohls-planet-fitness/index.html

"Small is the new big in retail." New stores opening are smaller in big cities, streamlining its presence and cutting costs.

I like Chico's & Kohl's, and other retail stores. I'm not a big enough consumer to keep any business open, though. I hope these stores make it.

Amazon plans to open dozens of grocery stores

Amazon plans to open dozens of grocery stores in U.S. cities, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources, a move that would expand the retail and technology giant’s grocery footprint beyond its Whole Foods Market chain.

The first of these stores will open in Los Angeles as early as the end of 2019, and Amazon is in talks to open locations in shopping centers in San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, according to people familiar with the matter cited in the Journal report. The company is also exploring the idea of purchasing regional grocery stores, the paper said.


This is scary. I don't know about you, but I'm beginning to feel that I may see us all living in AmazonWorld before too long. Even worse, I remember feeling sort of this way, when WalMart was expanding in my area. Is everyone going to end up working for either Amazon or WalMart, except at Fortune 500 companies owned by oligarchs?

Oligarchs are taking over everything. This is scary. Just how big does a company need to get? Should the government intervene? If so, on what grounds?

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