Saturday, May 21, 2016

Soros-Backed Group that Helped Sell Iran Nuclear Deal Funds Media, DC Think Tanks

A group that advocates a nuclear-free world and that was identified earlier this month by the White House as central in helping to market the Iran nuclear deal to the news media has funded National Public Radio since 2005, an Associated Press investigation has revealed.

Think tanks funded by the Ploughshares Fund include the Arms Control Association, Brookings Institution, and the Atlantic Council, the AP reported.
Unmentioned by the AP is that the Ploughshares Fund is financed by billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Institute.
The involvement of Ploughshares in selling the Iran agreement to the public was revealed in an extensive New York Times Magazine profile of Obama’s deputy national security advise Ben Rhodes titled, “The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru.” The article contains interviews with Rhodes and scores of top Obama administration officials.
Robert Malley, senior director at the National Security Council, explained the genesis and execution of the marketing plan to sell the Iran deal.
Malley explained “experts” were utilized to create an “echo chamber” that disseminated administration claims about Iran to “hundreds of often-clueless reporters” in the news media. 

Federal Government Waste Exploded Under Obama, Data Show

Big Government: The federal government wasted more than $100 billion on overpayments last year. It knows this, even tracks it, but somehow can’t seem to stop it. Is there a better indication that government is too big?
A federal website called Payment Accuracy tracks in great detail what it calls “improper payments” made by the federal government through Medicare, Medicaid, farm programs, school lunch programs and others to contractors, doctors, students, and so on.
Last year, the government made $126 billion in overpayments, nearly double the amount of made in President Bush’s last year.
Improper payments in Medicare, for example, went from $10 billion in 2008 to $43 billion last year; and for Medicaid, the figured jumped from $19 billion to $29 billion.
The Payment Accuracy site notes that the government also underpaid by $11 billion last year. Still, at $115 billion, the net overpayment just in 2015 is massive.
It is, for example, equal to the combined budgets of the Departments of Justice, Energy, Interior, State and the EPA for 2015.
It’s twice as much all the income taxes paid by everyone making less than $50,000.
It’s roughly equal to the combined 2015 profits of Apple, Exxon Mobil, Wal-Mart, Google, Pfizer and Comcast. 

Gohmert: FBI Won’t Recommend Hillary Clinton Indictment

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert told the Washington Examiner that he believes the FBI will not recommend an indictment for Hillary Clinton in the email probe case.

The Republican lawmaker said he believed the FBI would announce that they were "just laying out the evidence," and leave it to the Justice Department to issue any indictment.

"Director Comey is a pretty straight-up guy, and I don't think he'll pull any punches," Gohmert said, referring to FBI Director James Comey. "But I could also see him avoiding all the controversy by just saying, here's all the evidence, it's not our job to indict."
Gohmert, a Texas state judge who spent ten years in the Army's Judge Advocate General Corps, said he believed evidence shows Clinton should be indicted.

However, he explained that he didn't believe she would be, unless she spoke negatively about the president.

"If she were to turn around and start criticizing Obama herself, I could see her being indicted very quickly," Gohmert told the Examiner.

How the Democratic Party Became Undemocratic: The History of the Superdelagates

This Democracy Now! segment describes how the superdelegate system was a reaction to dangerous “outsiders” like McGovern and Carter becoming Democratic party nominees. Note that Carter was not all that liberal, particularly by the standards of the era. He started deregulating industries, despite the acknowledged lack of proof that it would be beneficial (see ECONNED for a long-form discussion).

* * *
At the start of the 2016 election campaign. former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began the primaries with a more than 400-delegate lead by securing support from superdelegates—the 712 congressmembers, senators, governors and other elected officials who often represent the Democratic Party elite.

Now a new article from In These Times by Branko Marcetic uncovers “The Secret History of Superdelegates,” which were established by the Hunt Commission in 1982. We are joined by Jessica Stites, executive editor of In These Times and editor of the site’s June cover story, and Rick Perlstein, the Chicago-based reporter and author of several books, including “Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America.”

5 Reasons Hillary Clinton Isn't Fit To Be President

Only a living, breathing Hindenburg disaster like Hillary Clinton could make a 74-year-old socialist like Bernie Sanders seem like a fresh and charismatic “new face.” All over America, people are looking at the ancient wife of Bill Clinton and wondering how out of 320 million people, the Democrats could have possibly picked her as their nominee. This is a woman who is simply not fit to be President of the United States. Why?

1) She’s responsible for Benghazi.  There have been endless Benghazi investigations and if you believe the mainstream media, you’d think nothing came out of them.However, we did learn that over 600 requests were made for more security. In the end, four men died and Ambassador Chris Stevens’ body was dragged through the street because Hillary Clinton never acted to safeguard their lives. Since when do we reward government officials with a promotion after their negligence has gotten people killed?

The Fictional Iran Deal

I can’t tell you just how shocked I am that a wannabe fiction writer, currently posing as the Deputy National Security Adviser, inserted his own fictional material to market the Iran Deal -- otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- to the media and public.

Many in the media went ballistic at Mr. Rhodes, and the author of the New York Times Magazine  article that broke the news, for Rhodes’ confessions about deceiving the public to sell the Iran deal. I am not one of them. If anything, I believe this is all very appropriate. This whole Iran deal is, more than anything else, a totally fictional ‘deal’ that came out of a totally fictional process, and is being fictionally followed by Iran. It is also a complete and utter fiction for anyone to believe that the ‘deal’ will stop Iran from producing a nuclear weapon. So, doesn’t it make sense for a fiction writer to insert some fictional material to propagandize for it?

There is no common ‘deal’ between the U.S. and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The U.S. has a document of 159 pages, that it claims details the ‘deal.’ Iran, meanwhile, rejected that text. Instead, the Iranian majilis approved their own version of the JCPOA, more than 1000 pages long, which, among other things, strips the U.S.’ ability to “snapback” sanctions, forbids inspections of Iranian military sites, bars International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) interviews with Iranian military officers and scientists, calls on Iran to strengthen its military and missile arsenal, makes conversion of enriched uranium conditional, and calls for the dismantling of Israel’s nuclear weapons program. Leader Khamenei has endorsed this new version of the JCPOA, to which he attached some additional conditions.

Health Items

Still don't think GMOs are not only bad for you but also our environment?  Check this out.  Quote: "A recent USDA report acknowledging the spread of genetically engineered alfalfa into the wild is just further proof of what natural health advocates have known for a long time: that genetically engineered crops cannot “coexist” with traditional, organic agriculture. The report details the findings of a USDA team that analyzed three areas where alfalfa is grown: California, Idaho, and Washington. Of the over 400 areas the researchers studied, over a quarter (27%) contained GE alfalfa with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready-resistant gene. The study’s results stated that “transgenic [GE] plants could spread transgenes to neighboring feral plants, and potentially to neighboring non-GE fields.”  This should come as no surprise. In 2013, a Washington farmer intending to grow non-GE alfalfa had his crop rejected by a broker after evidence of genetic modification appeared. Contamination also affected alfalfa exports to China after shipments tested positive for Monsanto’s Roundup Ready gene. When farmers complained to the USDA that their crops were rejected for export, the agency did nothing. In a letter to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), state agricultural officials blithely noted at the time that the levels of contamination were “within ranges acceptable to much of the marketplace”—except, of course, for foreign importers, on whom many farmers rely for income."   And, I ask you is our government looking after the interests of its crony capitalists friends or the American public.  I think you know the answer.  

Two item by Jon Rappoport.  This one is about another fraud perpetrated on us by our very own government.  You will not like what you read.  And this item is something to think about.  My sensing is that the author is far more right than wrong in his assessment.
Quote: "Scientists now know that glyphosate is more toxic than it was thought to be when it was introduced back in the 1990s. Last year, cancer experts convened by the World Health Organization determined that it’s a probable carcinogen. Additionally, Benbrook highlights studies in his paper that suggest glyphosate may be damaging to the kidneys, liver and the body’s metabolic processes.  Americans deserve better than to have huge amounts of toxic herbicides sprayed on farmland, running off into waterways and ending up in food. Instead of subsidizing growers to continue business as usual, Congress should help farmers break this chemical addiction."   

Beware.  Cell phone use found to cause brain cancer.

Here is another item that you may find interesting.  Magnesium deficiency needs to be avoided.

Looks like another mistake has long been perpetrated by the medical science community.  This time cholesterol was the enemy.  Look what they now say.  Quote: "Cholesterol is a controversial topic in the health community. For years, cholesterol was portrayed as a dietary villain maliciously ruining your heart and stealing your health.  But then, after all those years spent avoiding otherwise healthy foods like eggs and taking dangerous drugs like statins, it turned out the science vilifying cholesterol was not all it was cracked up to be… New research emerged showing that not all cholesterol was bad after all, and, more importantly, that certain types of cholesterol can improve your health."

This is a very, very interesting piece. Quote: "Not so long ago we thought that the body clock was a one-off control mechanism, housed somewhere in the brain. No longer. We now know our bodies contain thousands, if not millions, of independent clocks that subtly control the functioning of our tissues and organs from the brain and heart to the lungs and liver. These clocks mean that not only are there benefits to eating regularly but that different parts of the body are tuned to work optimally at certain times of the day. When these clocks fall out of sync it can have serious consequences. Conversely, if we learn how to take advantage of these rhythms we could be on a fast track to everything from slimmer waistlines to more effective treatments for cancer.1"

This is another very, very interesting piece.  Very, very good healthy lifestyle advice.

George Burns

New Discovery

When human life begins has been discovered.  Quote: "According to their article in Scientific Reports, the Northwestern researchers collected immature human eggs from willing female patients at the Fertility Center of Illinois – eggs  that would have been discarded in the normal course of the patients’ fertility treatments. The researchers used special chemicals to mimic the moments of conception – the law forbidding them to use actual sperm. In each case, they discovered, the decisive moment was accompanied by a small burst of zinc atoms. The eruptions appeared as flashes of light because of fluorescing agents used by the scientists.  According to science – at precisely a moment of conception known as recombination & decoupling – an incomprehensible outburst of light accompanied the creation of hydrogen and helium, the first atoms of the embryonic cosmos. To this day, the dim afterglow of that seminal light – the so-called cosmic microwave background – is visible to certain kinds of powerful telescopes."   And, "The momentous change of heart began in 1905, when an unknown outsider named Albert Einstein published his heretical theory of special relativity. According to Einstein, contrary to what scientists had always believed, light experiences a reality wholly unlike the one you and I do – inhabits an otherworldly realm where, among other things, the commonplace laws of space and time are not obeyed.  Like God, if you will, light transcends the restrictions of the ordinary, physical world."     More in the next link...

Quote: "The findings could also go toward underscoring what the pro-life movement has insisted for years – that life starts at conception, rather than birth."  Watch the video.    

About Medical and Health Science 2

This observer highlights the massive failures at the CDC.  Quote: "At the start of the year, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, implored everyone to remain calm, stressing that mosquitoes carrying Zika could appear in the U.S. but the threat here is much lower than in Latin America.  Now, as the Obama administration presses for a $1.9 billion emergency response to Zika, the CDC’s Zika preview is much more serious.  “Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought,” said CDC Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat.  For experts, that big of a shift is unacceptable.  “That’s not the kind of quote that you want from a government agency that is charged with protecting the citizens from infectious diseases,” said Dr. Tom Borelli, who earned degrees in microbiology and biochemistry and frequently writes on the impact of a bloated federal government and is now calling for Congress to restructure the CDC."  While I am not convinced the CDC has its finger on the Zika issue, they repeatedly demonstrate incompetence which is the larger point of this article.  I agree that it needs to have its mission narrowed and undergo massive downsizing. 

This provides information you need to know about aspartame.  If you use it, stop.  This poison was knowingly foisted on Americans by a company that took advantage of a new inexperienced FDA director.  Quote: "The earliest studies on aspartame discovered that the chemical caused grand mal seizures and death in monkeys. These findings were withheld from the FDA. Eventually, FDA scientists discovered this on their own, but G.D. Searle, the chemical company that held the patent to aspartame, waited for a new FDA commissioner to be appointed — one that had no prior experience with food additives — before presenting it to the FDA for commercial approval."

This means we cannot trust what either the FDA or Big Pharma tell us.  Quote: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is once again having to both defend the legitimacy of its bloated existence, and petition Congress to pass legislation that will allow it to continue collecting "user fees" from Big Pharma in exchange for drug approval. And during a recent testimony, FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg admitted that this lucrative process caters specifically to those industry players who are willing to pay the agency the most money."  And, "This sad testament shows where the FDA's true priorities lie -- money. It does not matter whether or not a product is actually safe and effective -- those companies willing to pay the most will be given special treatment and have their products approved more rapidly and efficiently than others. And if Congress once again re-approves the PDUFA, the FDA will continue to cater to the drug industry rather than objectively look out for the best interests of the people."

This is a terrible trend that the medical community is pursuing.  Censoring what they don't like being revealed/challenged.  Quote: "The censorship of medical truth has reached a fever pitch as books, films and documentaries are now being maliciously attacked and censored in a desperate ploy to prevent the public from learning the truth about cancer, vaccines, antidepressant drugs and more.  In this podcast, I explain why censorship of medical truth has reached a level of insanity and criminality that we've never seen before in modern society. The entire medical establishment -- just like the political establishment -- is totally rigged against the People. And censorship is just one of the weapons the medical establishment uses to prevent people from getting well by making sure they stay sick, diseased and "revenue generating" for Big Pharma."

The CDC is ramping up its Zika virus hype. I do not know what to think since the CDC's credulity has been called into question by many.  Take note of the words of  Jane M. Orient, M.D., executive director of Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.  Quote: "WHO and CDC are quick to indict Zika virus, which might eventually turn out to be an innocent bystander. But the chief culprit is known: a breakdown in vector control.  In 1970, the safest and most effective public health weapon in history – DDT – was banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In the 1990s, Mexico agreed to abandon its DDT program as a condition of NAFTA. Mosquitoes travel.  Alarm about Zika will be a public-relations exercise, covering the waste of countless human lives and billions of dollars on ineffective or harmful campaigns, if it does not open a discussion of why diseases on their way out in the 1970s are coming back now."  Here's what she has to say about the virus. "What should people do about Zika?  First, don’t panic. It’s not Ebola. Ebola and Zika are alike in that they were first recognized in Africa decades ago. Also, there is no cure or vaccine for either. But while Ebola has killed thousands, Zika has likely not killed anyone. Symptoms, if any, are mild: a few days of fever, rash, joint pains and red eyes. Ebola is extremely contagious through personal contact. Zika is primarily transmitted by mosquito, although it may be carried in semen.  The main problem with Zika is that, like rubella (German measles), it can apparently cause birth defects. (Rubella can cause microcephaly.)  Zika virus has been found in the brain of a few babies born with microcephaly. But two things are very clear: MOST microcephaly is NOT caused by Zika. About 7 of 10,000 babies born in the U.S. have microcephaly – no thanks to Zika. Most (more than 90 percent) of the Brazilian babies recently confirmed to have microcephaly tested negative for Zika.  Additionally, MOST mothers who have Zika during pregnancy give birth to a normal, healthy baby. Mothers in northeastern Brazil also had a lot of other problems, including malnutrition, heavy exposure to toxic agricultural chemicals and an aggressive vaccination campaign.    More reason to doubt the fear mongering that is endemic to the CDC and WHO.

This item reinforces the previous Zika piece.  Quote: "US health agencies want more than the $600 million they’ve allotted to the “war against Zika.” They want $1.9 billion. Why not? They always want more money. To make their case, the CDC has pushed out a new Zika study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM): “Zika Virus and Birth Defects — Reviewing the Evidence for Causality”. (For the CDC’s conference call with the android press, click here).  Before commenting on that study, let’s recall a devastating statement the NEJM’s former editor, Marcia Angell, issued in 2009, after she had headed up that non-science machine for 20 years: “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”

Quote: "Recently the Christian Post interviewed me about comments by astronaut John Glenn on whether evolution is compatible with religion, and whether evolution should be taught in public schools. Although the vast majority of the interview was about science education policy, I was quoted as saying only one thing: "Some definitions of evolution are completely compatible with a belief in God and others aren't. That is a key aspect of evolution we need to remember."  Which is true, but there's so much more to talk about than that.  The article did quote extensively from Josh Rosenau of the National Center for Science Education. And that's fine. I have no objection to him presenting his viewpoint on evolution, but it's too bad readers missed the other side of the discussion. Intelligent design theorists have potent scientific arguments and rebuttals to many evolutionary claims. Those deserve to be heard as well."

About Medical and Health Science 1

"“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”  – Dr. Richard Horton, the current editor-in-chief of the Lancet – considered to be one of the most well respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world. (source)"    And, "It’s time to examine the research that’s being conducted all over the world, from experts (scientists) at various institutions, that is not sponsored by these giant, multinational “health” corporations – the independent literature. Brilliant work is being published regarding various drugs, cures, treatments, vaccines, and more.  “The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.” – Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), Harvard Professor of Medicine and Former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal (source)(source)"

This physicist lambastes the purveyors of dangerous junk science.  Quote: "Junk science is the bad science that drives good science out of circulation. My opinion is that to successfully combat junk science it is necessary to lower the public reputation of science in general. If people are skeptical of all scientific claims junk science will not be able to thrive. Yes, legitimate scientific information might be discounted, but it is much more doable task to support good science than it is to discredit the vast flow of junk science. It would help if we could trust government agencies tasked with the evaluation of dangers to public health. Unfortunately, politics rules and politics dances to the tune of junk science. Thus we have the EPA joining the Sierra Club in the war against coal by setting standards for mercury and other emissions designed to destroy coal-generated electricity. The motivation, of course, is to reduce CO2 emissions in order to prevent the imaginary global warming."

This is a travesty being inflicted on our nation, but mostly our children.  Quote: "This is what transgenderism and "biological subjectivism" has come to in America today... a politically correct demand that everyone agree to participate in the mental distortions of a few individuals who suffer from a psychological disconnect from their biological realities. Such ideologies stand in complete contradiction to the known science on biology and physical reality, and sadly, this mental distortion is now being thrust onto children as part of a sick, demented political agenda to appease the most lunatic fringe elements of the political spectrum.  That agenda now demands that public schools be turned into transgender child factories, churning out confused, suicidal children who are physically and chemically mutilated by a society that applauds them for denying their biological reality. This entire agenda, now being waged against the children of America by politically motivated cultural arsonists, is nothing less than a crime against children."

Some scientists may be onto something dangerous/unethical.  Quote: "Scientists are now contemplating the fabrication of a human genome, meaning they would use chemicals to manufacture all the DNA contained in human chromosomes.  The prospect is spurring both intrigue and concern in the life sciences community because it might be possible, such as through cloning, to use a synthetic genome to create human beings without biological parents. While the project is still in the idea phase, and also involves efforts to improve DNA synthesis in general, it was discussed at a closed-door meeting on Tuesday at Harvard Medical School in Boston. The nearly 150 attendees were told not to contact the news media or to post on Twitter during the meeting."   Given the overwhelming evidence that some within the modern world of science are dishonest and unethical, we should be concerned with what they are up to.

Ask yourself who are these people looking after, the people they supposedly care about or their own bottom line.  Fair is fair and profit is okay but total and absolute control is a bit much. Quote: "Patent reform is back on the docket. And just as bedbugs are drawn to a warm body, so now are special interests doing their best to latch onto the proposed reforms and drain them of their substance.  In the case of patent reform, the biggest, fattest bloodsucker of them all is none other than the architects of Obamacare itself, Big Pharma. Specifically, Big Pharma has been trying to talk down a procedure that has been in place in patent law since 2012: a process known as the Inter Partes Review (IPR), from which they want Congress to exempt their patents." And, "So why is Pharma so scared of the IPR process? Probably because, while literally every single one of their patents has survived an IPR challenge when first issued, their constant practice of trying to modify patents ever so slightly in order to extend their shelf life (or “evergreening,” as some call it) sometimes gets them in hot water. In other words, pharma is trying to pull the wool over consumers’ eyes in order to keep their monopolies on certain drugs longer than they should be able to, and the PTAB is calling BS on their fraudulent claims to government-sponsored monopoly. Last I checked, government-sponsored monopoly is a form of corporate welfare, and that’s not exactly a conservative idea."   If big pharma gets their way, it will be nothing more than a deal where the government rewards a huge crony capitalist friend of theirs.  In that case big pharma wins and the consuming public gets screwed yet again. 

This is a profile of corruption in the FDA.  Quote: "The former head of the FDA, Margaret Hamburg, used the federal agency to run a massive conspiracy of racketeering and fraud in order to generate millions of dollars in drug company profits for her husband's hedge fund firm, alleges a damning lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.  The lawsuit alleges that while acting as FDA commissioner, Margaret Hamburg engaged in a wide-ranging conspiracy to approve an extremely dangerous drug known to cause severe (and even deadly) side effects, in order to financially benefit her husband's hedge fund which held very large financial positions in Johnson & Johnson, makers of the drug. "Defendants, each and every one of them, operated a criminal conspiracy at least between the years 2009 to 2015 to fraudulently suppress warnings about the devastating effects of Levaquin," says the complaint.  "This Amended Complaint sets forth allegations that involve a conspiracy by Defendants, each and every one of them, to reap large financial returns by failing to disclose to Plaintiffs and the public at large the full extent of the devastating, life-threatening, and deadly effects of a highly dangerous pharmaceutical drug named Levaquin," reads the opening of the lawsuit. The conspiracy complaint also alleges that over 5,000 people died as a result of Hamburg's conspiracy cover-up at the FDA."

Studies now show that Statin drugs are unsafe. Quote: "Odds are your doctor hassled you about getting on a statin drug yourself, either for prevention or for “high” cholesterol. But according to a report in the British Medical Journal by Sidney Wolfe, founder and senior adviser to the Health Research Group at Public Citizen, research into the benefits of rosuvastatin has never turned up reliable evidence that it significantly helps your heart health. There is however a substantial and increasing collection of studies showing that the drug is seriously risky and can cause damaging side effects."

The FDA is our health care nannie.  We cannot consume anything they do not want us to yet they want to force us to take medications and endure vaccines they want us to take.  Is that their job?  Have we no right to decide such things for ourselves or our families?  Where in the Constitution does it say they have that authority?  I thought so.  It is nowhere to be found.  They do not have that right.  They just stole them from us.

We all need to be wary of anything the FDA says is safe.  Here's why.  Quote: "The FDA speaks for the pharmaceutical industry. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It might be tempting to say the FDA is careless, is overlooking important factors—but it’s much, much worse than that. Here are excerpts from a 2012 piece of mine about an FDA drug reviewer, and what happened to him when he went against the grain, and opposed his bosses on judgments about what was safe medicine and what was dangerous medicine:
—In a stunning interview with Truthout’s Martha Rosenberg, former FDA drug reviewer, Ronald Kavanagh, exposes the FDA as a relentless criminal mafia protecting its client, Big Pharma, with a host of mob strategies (“Former FDA Reviewer Speaks Out About Intimidation, Retaliation and Marginalizing of Safety,” 7/29/2012).  Kavanagh: “…widespread [FDA] racketeering, including witness tampering and witness retaliation.”  “I was threatened with prison.” “One [FDA] manager threatened my children…I was afraid that I could be killed for talking to Congress and criminal investigators.”

This should disturb everyone.  Medical errors are now the 3rd leading cause of death.  Quote: "A study published in the prominent medical journal BMJ concluded that errors by doctors and hospitals kills more than 250,000 people a year in the US. That's more than strokes, respiratory disease, and Alzheimers."  And, "This is unacceptable. Ten percent of deaths in the US are due to doctor and hospital mistakes - errors that could be avoided with a change in procedure and protocols?  No wonder health care costs are through the roof. This kind of negligence results in lawsuits that increases the cost of liability insurance that affects the fee for service pricing most doctors and hospitals use."   More,   And more,

This is something that should disturb you.  Heed the suggestions provided to protect yourself.  Quote: "Hospitals are typically thought of as places where lives are saved, but statistics show they’re actually one of the most dangerous places you could possibly frequent.1,2  Each day, more than 40,000 harmful and/or lethal medical errors occur, placing the patient in a worse situation than what they came in with.3  According to a 2013 study,4,5 preventable medical errors kill around 440,000 patients each year—that’s more than 10 times the number of deaths caused by motor vehicle crashes! Hospitals have become particularly notorious for spreading lethal infections.  According to 2014 statistics6,7 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 25 patients end up with a hospital-acquired infection. In 2011 alone, 75,000 people died as a result.8  Medicare patients may be at even greater risk. According to the 2011 Health Grades Hospital Quality in America Study,9 1 in 9 Medicare patients developed a hospital-acquired infection."

Government and its big crony capitalists food industry partners actively censor anything they can that details the goodness and health benefits of alternatives to their food industry products.  Quote: "What are the supporters of the government’s “US Dietary Guidelines for Americans” afraid of?  Last week, investigative journalist and author Nina Teicholz was disinvited from participating in a panel discussion at the Consumer Federation of America’s National Food Policy Conference. Other panelists reportedly said that they would not participate with her, and got the organizers of the conference to rescind Teicholz’s invitation.  Why did this happen? A few background details are necessary to explain why this episode typifies how Big Food works in sneaky ways to silence dissent from the established orthodoxy.  In 2014, Teicholz published a book, The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet, which received widespread acclaim. It outlined the now-well-documented myths of low-fat diets and described the science behind the benefits of saturated fats—facts that go against the grain of the mainstream, which continues to stand behind directives to decrease fat consumption."  They don't want you to know results of studies or engage facts and experts that refute their faulty claims. They want a monopoly on what we know.

Friday, May 20, 2016

After 8 Years Of Radical Moves, The Fed’s Still In A Box

When the economy stumbles, can the Fed still catch its fall?
A growing number of economists, market analysts and investors worry that the answer is no. The Federal Reserve’s radical approach to monetary policy since the financial crisis, they believe, has confounded its ability to do anything about a potential downturn — or an unexpected shock to the economy.
Worse, others argue that by staying with a zero interest rate for so long, the Fed has put itself into a box. Even as the economy has expanded, the Fed has refrained from raising interest rates. Now, if the economy should crumble, the Fed has nowhere to go — at least, not using its conventional tools.
It’s not for lack of trying. Since the 2007-08 financial crisis, the Fed has cut interest rates to zero, printed nearly $4 trillion in new money through “quantitative easing” and exercised sweeping new powers over the banking system.
And yet, since 2008, GDP growth has slipped from its previous 3% long-term path to a mere 2% pace, and GDP is at least $3 trillion less than it would be in a normal recovery. The economy sputtered to a 0.5% annualized gain in the first quarter, and employment, consumer and industrial data all signaled a lackluster spring. Despite its increasingly activist policy measures, Fed influence on the economy’s course now seems weaker than ever. 

Political Choices Made To Goose Obamacare Are Now Wrecking It

Health plans are seeking double digit rate increases for their 2017 Obamacare plans, marking the third consecutive year that prices will rise in the exchanges.
This week, health plans in New York proposed a 17.3% average rate hike. It’s in line with similar requests made in other states. Michigan reports an average proposed rate increase of 25%, Oregon 20%, Virginia 18% and Maine 17%.
There are many structural flaws plaguing the way that the Affordable Care Act tilts the rules in favor of costlier and less efficient markets. There are plenty of gratuitous steps taken by regulators, who interpreted the prescriptive law in ways that made it even costlier.
But perhaps no regulatory tradeoff was more damaging than the political tension between boosting enrollment and making the market for ACA health plans more self-sustaining and price-competitive. At every turn, regulators favored enrollment gains over sound management. That has come at a big cost in how the plans are now priced.
The policy mistakes have compounded Obamacare’s woes. Fixing them will require more than regulatory tweaking. It will compel the Obama team to adopt a new political ethic when it comes to the tension between access, affordability and the obligations they’re willing to place on consumers. The Obama team can tilt the rules to let people flow in and out of the Obamacare exchanges at will. But this gaming will drive up costs for everyone. 

Why Voting for the Lesser of Two Evils Is a Waste of Your Vote

Although my personal political philosophy is libertarian, like most people, over the years I have surrendered to the binary choice our two-party system gives us when casting my vote in presidential elections. I almost always find myself settling for a “lesser of two evils,” but the “evil” is not so great as to prevent me from rationalizing what amounts to, by my vote, an endorsement or affirmation of the candidate.

Because at least rhetorically, the Republican party candidate promises a greater commitment to limited, constitutional government, entitlement reform, tackling the national debt, and a belief in the benefits of free trade, I have voted for the Republican candidate for president ever since Ronald Reagan. The Republicans repeatedly disappoint on matters of foreign policy, seeing the US as world policeman. But the Democrats fare little better on foreign policy—sometimes even worse. So foreign policy as a vote-determining factor between the two major parties tended to be a wash for me. I often profoundly disagree with the Republicans on many of the “culture war” and so-called social issues, but I have had confidence that our Constitution and judiciary will defend against any overreach by Republicans in that area.

I offer my line of reasoning as a guide to others who might be agonizing over their decision this year.
So as a matter of practicality, I have tended to base my vote on the differences between the two major party candidates on matters of economic liberty and commitment to the principles of federalism and limited government. I recognize the politicians in both political parties have differing promises but similar results: bigger government, greater debt, less individual liberty. But I use the party platforms and the candidates’ rhetoric to help in my rationalization (some would say self-delusion) that I am voting for someone who will, at best, move things in a better direction or, at worst, be a lesser of two evils that I can live with.

Why Obama's New Overtime Regs Will Hurt More Than They Help

The White House argues that making labor more expensive will lead not to less demand for it but a surge in middle-class incomes:

Increasing overtime protections is another step in the President’s effort to grow and strengthen the middle class by raising Americans’ wages.  This extra income will not only mean a better life for American families impacted by overtime protections, but will boost our economy across the board as these families spend their hard-earned wages.

This sort of thinking obviously appeals to many people, but it's simply wrong. It presumes that wages are simply set by the whimsy (or more likely, the stinginess) of the employer, who always wants to screw his workers rather than keep them happy. There is always play in the labor market, with some people being overpaid and some being underpaid. But by and large, labor markets do a pretty good job of setting compensation levels that reflect a given worker's skills and value to firms, while also pricing in the ability of companies to cover costs and thus stay in business. Price-fixing, whether it's for good or for labor, interferes with the way that prices allocate resources and reflect supply and demand across an almost infinite number of dimensions. This isn't to claim markets are perfect, but they do a far-better job of pricing relative value than any bureaucrat can do—or for that matter, any bean counter in management at a given firm.

As with the minimum wage, simply jacking up overtime benefits for workers via government edict will have the effect of shrinking demand for labor. Strangely, even the government kind of understands that. Here's what Obama's Department of Labor figures might happen as a result of its latest intervention:

Time and the Pelosi-Reid-Obama Debt

The last (and only) year the federal debt was entirely paid off was 1835. On January 20, 2009, the day of Obama’s first inauguration, the federal government’s total hard debt was $6.3T. On March 31, 2014 the hard debt was $12.6T. So under the Pelosi-Reid-Obama axis, the federal government’s hard debt doubled in right around 5 years and 70 days.

During Obama’s first seven years (from Jan. 20 to Jan. 20), the feds borrowed about $7.3T. By the end of the Obama presidency, the hard debt will have risen nearly $8T. That the public debt is not even more is because Speaker Pelosi was relieved of her job in Jan. 2011.

Some of the dire predictions about the steep run-up in debt under Mr. Obama have not come to pass. That’s because the new debt hasn’t come due yet; that is, the new Treasury securities haven’t matured. Inasmuch as most of the federal debt is in the form of T-notes, whose longest term is 10 years, the pressure on the Treasury from the Democrats’ borrowing should start to be felt in fiscal 2018. That’s ten years after Nancy Pelosi’s Democrat Congress took control of the budget and set the first of their record deficits. By the way, FY 2018 begins Oct. 1 of next year.

The Superdelegate System Isn't Just Rigged—It's Designed to Destroy the Will of the People

The saying “one person, one vote” has long been inapplicable in America. Lobbyists and corporations with bottomless pockets and empty consciences whisper with their forked tongues into the ears of seemingly every American politician, while their crooked fingers stuff the wallets of Congressperson, Representative, Mayor, and President alike. It’s become sadly ubiquitous in the modern era, and something that’s expected—our government is dishonest.
What has not been clear to most of the general public until the 2016 presidential race is how quickly the so-called superdelegates—719 high-ranking members of the Democratic Party who are automatic delegates to the Democratic National Convention—can nullify an entire region’s (or state’s) voice by simply picking whomever they (or their corporate overlords) prefer, regardless of public sentiment. This has already occurred in Minnesota, Maine, Colorado, Wyoming, New Hampshire and Washington in 2016, to say nothing of this weekend’s shady dealings in Las Vegas. You and your vote are being sold down the river, and if it didn’t affect your candidate this time around—how can you ever be sure it won’t next election cycle?
Consider Wyoming’s contest where Bernie Sanders won the state by a wide 12% margin. Sander’s reward for the victory? Losing the state delegate count 11-7, due to super-delegates. Tens of thousands of tax-paying citizens having their most basic American rights completely discounted by a select few in a matter of moments. The will of the people—utterly and completely ignored. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Central banks are dumping America's debt at a record pace

China, Russia and Brazil sold off U.S. Treasury bonds as they tried to soften the blow of the global economic slowdown. They each sold off at least $1 billion in U.S. Treasury bonds in March.
In all, central banks sold a net $17 billion. Sales had hit a record $57 billion in January.
So far this year, the global bank debt dump has reached $123 billion.
It's the fastest pace for a U.S. debt selloff by global central banks since at least 1978, according to Treasury Department data published Monday afternoon. 

Shift From U.S. Dollar As World Reserve Currency Underway

Today, more than 60% of all foreign currency reserves in the world are in U.S.dollars – but there are big changes on the horizon…Some of the biggest economies on earth have been making agreements with each other to move away from using the U.S. dollar in international trade…[and this shift] is going to have massive implications for the U.S. economy.

China has the second largest economy on the face of the earth, and the size of the Chinese economy is projected to pass the size of the U.S. economy by 2016 [and projected to become three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040 by at least one economist. [As such,] China is sitting there and wondering why the U.S. dollar should continue to be so preeminent if the Chinese economy is about to become the number one economy on the planet.

China, and other emerging powers such as Russia, have been quietly making agreements to move away from the U.S. dollar in international trade over the past few years [and, as such,] the supremacy of the U.S. dollar is not nearly as solid as most Americans believe it to be.

As the U.S. economy continues to fade, it is going to be really hard to argue that the U.S. dollar should continue to function as the primary reserve currency of the world. Things are rapidly changing, and most Americans have no idea where these trends are taking us.

The following are 10 reasons why the reign of the dollar as the world reserve currency is about to come to an end: 

White House cites executive privilege, keeps Obama adviser from testifying about Iran nuclear deal

Sen. Tom Cotton accepted the challenge, but President Obama’s speechwriter and high-ranking foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes ducked out of a hearing Tuesday where he was to explain whether he misled the country in pushing the Iran nuclear deal.

Members of Congress had been eager to prod Mr. Rhodes over misrepresentations, but the White House had seemed skeptical, saying lawmakers should poke one of their own, Mr. Cotton, an Arkansas Republican that Mr. Obama’s aides say has been misleading.

Mr. Cotton jumped at the chance — and then the White House backed out, refusing to let Mr. Rhodes testify, citing executive privilege.

Nobel Peace Prize Winning Obama Has Been At War Longer Than Any Other American President

When the Nobel Peace Prize Committee awarded President Obama the prestigious honor shared by the likes of Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King Jr. in 2009, they probably didn’t anticipate that near the end of his tenure in office, he’d be at war longer than any American president in history.

May 6 marked the dubious milestone for our nation’s commander in chief, who upon entering office, pledged to end America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that his predecessor, George W. Bush, had gotten the country into. But it seems just he opposite has happened.

The New York Times reports:

If the United States remains in combat in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria until the end of Mr. Obama’s term — a near-certainty given the president’s recent announcement that he will send 250 additional Special Operations forces to Syria — he will leave behind an improbable legacy as the only president in American history to serve two complete terms with the nation at war.
Mr. Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 and spent his years in the White House trying to fulfill the promises he made as an antiwar candidate, would have a longer tour of duty as a wartime president than Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon or his hero Abraham Lincoln.
Granted, Mr. Obama is leaving far fewer soldiers in harm’s way — at least 4,087 in Iraq and 9,800 in Afghanistan — than the 200,000 troops he inherited from Mr. Bush in the two countries. But Mr. Obama has also approved strikes against terrorist groups in Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, for a total of seven countries where his administration has taken military action.

The Underground House Majority Fight

On the last Wed­nes­day of April, as Don­ald Trump reveled on cable talk shows over his Acela primary sweep the night be­fore, some 60 Demo­crat­ic state le­gis­lat­ive cam­paign op­er­at­ives from around the coun­try gathered in a boutique hotel ball­room just off Scott Circle in Wash­ing­ton to kick-start the fi­nal six months of the elec­tion cycle—and fig­ure out how to take ad­vant­age of Trump’s pres­ence on the bal­lot.

Lurk­ing just be­low the dom­in­ant ques­tion of Trump’s vi­ab­il­ity against likely Demo­crat­ic nom­in­ee Hil­lary Clin­ton is the un­known ef­fect the real-es­tate mogul will have on Re­pub­lic­ans’ con­trol of Con­gress. Zoom in on the map even fur­ther, and there are the 80 per­cent of state le­gis­lat­ive seats up for grabs, and the keys to Demo­crats’ multi-cycle ef­fort to po­s­i­tion the party for re­dis­trict­ing fol­low­ing the 2020 census.

The Obama era has not been kind to down-bal­lot Demo­crats, as two dis­mal midterm cycles res­ul­ted in a net loss of more than 900 state le­gis­lat­ive seats, put­ting the party in a his­tor­ic hole as it works to come back at both the le­gis­lat­ive and con­gres­sion­al levels. They are in­ex­tric­ably linked, as the party’s hopes for House con­trol could come down to what hap­pens at the state level over the next three elec­tion cycles.

White House won't let Rhodes testify about the selling of Iran deal

Citing "constitutional concerns," the White House says it will not allow senior national security adviser Ben Rhodes to testify about his controversial comments made to the New York Times Magazine about how the White House lied to sell the Iran deal to Congress and the public.

Washington Examiner:

"While the administration will continue to consult closely with Congress on this important matter, testimony by one of the most senior advisers to the president raises significant constitutional concerns rooted in the separation of powers," he wrote.

"Specifically, the appearance of a senior presidential adviser before Congress threatens the independence and autonomy of the president, as well as his ability to receive candid advice and counsel in the discharge of his constitutional duties," he added.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters shortly after 1 p.m. Monday that there was no decision yet on whether Rhodes would testify. "I don't have an answer for you. We're going to continue to review the letter," Earnest said.

But according to a House aide, the White House quickly made up its mind. Eggleston's letter was delivered less than two hours after Earnest's briefing was over.

The answer is likely to further anger Republicans, who say Rhodes revealed in a New York Times interview that he created an "echo chamber" among foreign policy experts in order to help sell the deal. Chaffetz said the decision was "disappointing but typical."

Oregon and Kentucky contests put pressure on Clinton

Hillary Clinton is under pressure to do well in Democratic nominating contests in Kentucky and Oregon on Tuesday so she can turn her attention to the general election and the mounting attacks on her by Republican candidate Donald Trump.
The continued presence in the race of Bernie Sanders – who remains a long-shot to upset Clinton and win the Democratic nomination – is prompting concerns among Clinton allies that he will damage her ability to take on Trump and hurt the Democrat in the fall.
But Sanders supporters shrug off that worry, arguing that Trump is such a flawed candidate that Clinton will easily dispatch with him if she faces him in the Nov. 8 election.
"Either way we’re going to get a Democratic president," Alisha Liedtke, 28, a Sanders supporter from Ellensburg, Washington.
In interviews with 14 voters who back the U.S. senator from Vermont, supporters said they did not believe Trump, who is all but certain to be the Republican nominee, could win the Nov. 8 general election. 

A Perfect Storm

The bad legal news for Hillary Clinton continued to cascade upon her presidential hopes during the past week in what has amounted to a perfect storm of legal misery. Here is what happened.
Last week, Mrs. Clinton's five closest advisors when she was Secretary of State, four of whom remain close to her and have significant positions in her presidential campaign, were interrogated by the FBI. These interrogations were voluntary, not under oath, and done in the presence of the same legal team which represented all five aides.
The atmosphere was confrontational, as the purpose of the interrogations is to enable federal prosecutors and investigators to determine whether these five are targets or witnesses. Stated differently, the feds need to decide if they should charge any of these folks as part of a plan to commit espionage, or if they will be witnesses on behalf of the government should there be such a prosecution; or witnesses for Mrs. Clinton.
In the same week, a federal judge ordered the same five persons to give videotaped testimony in a civil lawsuit against the State Department which once employed them in order to determine if there was a "conspiracy" -- that's the word used by the judge -- in Mrs. Clinton's office to evade federal transparency laws. Stated differently, the purpose of these interrogations is to seek evidence of an agreement to avoid the Freedom of Information Act requirements of storage and transparency of records, and whether such an agreement, if it existed, was also an agreement to commit espionage -- the removal of state secrets from a secure place to a non-secure place. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Our Corrupt Congress Causes Tax Evasion

If a stranger walks into your house with a gun and says, “Give me your money?”  

That’s called armed robbery.

But what is it called when a politician walks into your house with a gun and says, “Give me your money?” 

That’s called a tax. 

To the victim or taxpayer, the economic effect is much the same. Is there a difference? 

Theoretically, the first situation involves an involuntary taking, while the second is done voluntary by the taxpayer in compliance with lawful requirements.  

The problem is that Congress acts like a drug addict for spending money for political benefit, and raising taxes (or borrowing) so it can spend more money to keep up with its addiction.

Confessions of a House Dem: Doesn't Read Bills, Told How to Vote, Reelection Top Priority

"Voters are incredibly ignorant and know little about our form of government and how it works."

A new tell-all book about the inner workings of Congress is set for release later this month that has Washington D.C. buzzing. It's called The Confessions of Congressman X and it promises "a devastating inside look at the dark side of Congress as revealed by one of its own."
All that is known about the anonymous congressman is that he is a Democrat and sat down with Robert Atkinson, a former staffer for two congressional Dems, who took notes during several meetings and received the blessing to publish the conversations. 
The deep-seated corruption that this insider's look reveals isn't all that surprising to most readers weary of a bloated federal government, but it's unsettling nonetheless.
On voting:
Fundraising is so time-consuming I seldom read any bills I vote on. I don't even know how they'll be implemented or what they'll cost.
My staff gives me a last-minute briefing before I go to the floor and tells me whether to vote yea or nay. How bad is that?
I sometimes vote "yes" on a motion and "no" on an amendment so I can claim I'm on either side of an issue.
It's the old shell game: if you can't convince 'em, confuse 'em. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

New Clinton Emails Reveal Clinton Knew about Security Risk of Private Blackberry, Avoided Use of Secure Phone

Judicial Watch today released 296 pages of new State Department documents, including a February 27, 2009, email in which the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apologized to health care activist/physician Mark Hyman for failing to respond to a message because, “no blackberry contact permitted in my office.”

The new documents also contain a February 22, 2009, email exchange between Clinton and her then-Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, trying to communicate over a secure line after Clinton returned from a trip (evidently to Asia). Unable to set up a secure communication, Clinton told Mills, “I called ops and they gave me your ‘secure’ cells… but only got a high-pitched whining sound.”  When Mills suggested that Clinton try the secure line again, the former secretary wrote back, “I give up.  Call me on my home #.”

The previously unreleased Clinton emails date back as far as January 2009 and further contradict statements by Hillary Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department and that she did not use her system until March 18, 2009. The new Clinton emails cover topics such as: the administration’s Iran policy; Obama’s stimulus program; the sharing of “management issues” with “Maggie” Williams, former campaign manager for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign; confusion over voice mail versus text messages; image coaching from 2008 campaign advisor Doug Hattaway; and a thank you note from Mark Hyman for “opening the door” for a Senate hearing on functional medicine; as well email detailing incoming calls from China and Russia.  The new Clinton documents also include a censored email that shows Clinton and Cheryl Mills were contacted by Maria Haley, a longtime Clinton aide (since deceased) who was implicated the Chinagate scandal.

It’s Unfortunate Military Isn’t Talking About Benghazi For Fear of Retaliation

The House Benghazi Select Committee is eager to speak with military service members regarding what transpired the fateful night of September 11, 2012. The servicemen's accounts, the panel insists, can help them figure out how we lost four American lives when we had the resources to save them.

The only problem: the Obama administration has been stonewalling their testimonies.

“As a former federal prosecutor, I find it deeply troubling there are individuals who would like to share their stories, but have not because they are afraid of retaliation from their superiors,” said Chairman Trey Gowdy. “No one should be afraid of talking to their elected representatives in Congress.”

The committee is especially trying to contact an Air Force whistleblower who claimed pilots were never given permission to launch as the U.S. embassy came under attack. He, like many members of the military who have direct knowledge about Benghazi, are afraid to share their stories.

EPA’s New Methane Rules: A Cover-Up Story

The EPA’s cost-benefit analysis for its new rules to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry overstate (if not fabricate) the benefits. EPA has overstated or invented these benefits in order to cover-up the huge costs associated with the rule.

EPA claims that the benefits of the rule to the climate will be $690 million in 2025 while the costs are $520 million (including revenues from methane savings). But:

The life cycle of atmospheric methane is not at all well understood.
Methane deceptions
Methane may have zero impact on the climate and be irrelevant. Methane: The Irrelevant Greenhouse Gas
Even assuming for the sake of argument that methane acts like EPA claims, the climate “benefit” amounts to a mere and insignificant 0.002 degrees Celsius lower global temperature by the year 2100.
So the climate benefits are more likely to be zero than any other number.

EPA claims that its methane rules will reduce ozone formation and, therefore, the alleged health effects of ozone, like asthma and even death.

But EPA knows from its own human experiments that ozone does not trigger or cause asthma. Ozone triggers lying not asthma
The notion that ozone (or really anything in outdoor air) causes heart problems or death is even more far-fetched. This article was written for particulate matter in outdoor air but a similar analysis holds for ozone as well. Also this new large study accepted for publication shows that ozone is not associated with death.
So these alleged health benefits are imaginary and, therefore, are zero as well.

What we’re left with is a rule that will impose huge costs ($520 million in 2025) for zero benefit.

What About Constitutional Rights of the Overwhelming Majority?

Whom would have imagined that the Founding Fathers would give a tinkers dam about whom should use what bathroom? It seemed all so obvious…females use women’s’ bathrooms, guys do their business in men’ rooms!

So simple and plain. Common sense really.

Except that when it comes to the booming Rights industry, common sense has nothing to do with it.

What matters is that some whiny malcontent conjures up a nonsensical situation that leaves the malcontent convinced that he or she is a victim of discrimination.

Bingo, the magic word, discrimination!

Once uttered, large numbers of unemployable lawyers immediately start drafting legal briefs to sue the pants off someone or something.

The latest scam makes victims of transgender folk, those born with the plumbing of one gender, but in the process of altering nature’s handiwork to suit their preferences and desires.

Born male? To hell with this equipment, says the transgender, I feel female. The fact that public restrooms do not have separate rooms for transgender folk is another example of failed capitalism!

Regrettable, but hardly the fault of the innocent transgender victim!

This indelicate subject was brought to a head (pun intended) when North Carolina passed a law which sought to immunize the state from law suits alleging that the law discriminated against transgender folks.

Political Ignorance Haunts 2016 Campaign

specter is haunting this year’s presidential election: political ignorance. Both Democrats and Republicans love to accuse the other party’s supporters of that sin. Sadly, both are often right.

The presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has raised exploitation of ignorance to new heights. Many of the main themes of his campaign prey on it. Trump’s campaign first took off when he claimed we are being inundated with Mexican immigrants, who increase the crime rate because many are “criminals” and “rapists.” In reality, net migration from Mexico has been close to zero for the last 10 years. Yet few Americans seem to know that. And while studies consistently find that immigrants have lower crime rates than native-born Americans, a 2015 Pew Research Center study found that 50% of Americans (and 71% of Republicans) believe immigration is making crime “worse.”

Trump’s claim that nations such as China, Mexico and Japan are “killing us on trade” because we have trade deficits with them also relies on ignorance. As economists across the political spectrum recognize, free trade benefits the economy, and a bilateral trade deficit between two nations is no more an indicator of economic failure than is my trade deficit with my local supermarket. Unfortunately, studies show that trade is one of the areas where there is the greatest gap between general public opinion and informed opinion.

Federal Programs Keep People Poor

Many very rich people in America—including a certain presidential front-runner on the Republican side—were born into their wealth. But others started with nothing and, through talent and effort, worked their way to the top of the heap. From Andrew Carnegie to Sam Walton to Oprah Winfrey, our history is bursting with rags-to-riches stories of people who achieved "the American dream." Winfrey was born dirt poor to unwed teenage parents. She suffered abuse, had to leave her home, and got pregnant at 14, only to lose the child. None of that stopped her from rising to head a multimillion-dollar media operation.

The idea that anything is possible here has attracted millions of immigrants to U.S. shores—but increasingly the political left has fretted that "income mobility," or the ability to rise from modest beginnings, is faltering in America. In response, Democratic politicians such as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are calling for policies to address the absence of "opportunity" through higher taxes on the rich and more wealth redistribution to the poor.

So how does the U.S. actually compare to the rest of the world? In November 2015, Manhattan Institute economist Scott Winship published a two-part series addressing that very question, summarizing his findings like this: "The new evidence does not suggest that the U.S. has especially high economic mobility, but it does indicate that America is not the international laggard that has been portrayed by earlier studies."

Part II in a series on how capitalism will save the environment

Last Earth Day world leaders gathered to sign a global climate accord, offering ambitious emission pledges — more aspirational that substantive — that leave wide open the question of how all this will actually be accomplished.

Fortunately, clean capitalists lead the way. Crushing costs, big wind and solar just beat gas or coal on unsubsidized price alone, with lowest levelized costs for best executed and sited plants in 2015.[1]   The strong forecast-beating trend is clear: surging growth, profitability and competitiveness are here now, at the leading edge, with more on the way.

The most stunning implication of this market disruption? When unsubsidized profits appear in industries with strong tech driven cost reduction curves, tax rates on profits suddenly matter, a lot. These can have a strong effect on growth by boosting returns, thus attracting new investment. So suddenly tax rates become a powerful policy tool. One as yet unconsidered by most climate policy experts or economists or world leaders.[2]

In fact, we now have a whole NEW set of policy options to consider. Well, not new, actually… rather, traditional pro-capitalist policy options, such as: marginal tax rate cuts on investments, spending cuts, phasing out of bad policy, deregulation, individual and entrepreneurial empowerment; extending third world property rights to curb poverty, deforestation, and the toxic devastation of illegal mining; promotion of choice, competition, and positive side laissez-faire.