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ponymalta
8/13/2019 13:39 EST

A special thread for US politics discussion ! Maybe keep it away from other informational threads but here people cant rat all they want against Trump or Clinton, AOC or McConnel, and other topics of debate !

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CynthiaER
8/13/2019 14:31 EST

Ppnymalta, that's a good idea. Other forums and listservs I've been on that were dedicated to a particular theme ended up creating separate topic folders for off-topic issues such as politics.

It's a great way to allow forum members to engage in debate or in (occasionally heated) exchanges of opinion while allowing discussions relating to the main forum topic to continue.

Is there a way to create an actual separate folder or discussion area within this forum format? One that could be titled "Politics," or, more generally, "Off Topic."

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CynthiaER
8/13/2019 14:31 EST

Ponymalta, sorry. Typo on your screen name.

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ponymalta
8/14/2019 03:53 EST

No problem.

I think he thread itself people can post too. I know one Expat Forum I am on that specifically has an Off Topic section, and sometimes monitors may even switch a post to a different thread or ask that posters keep on topic.

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SkyMan
8/14/2019 10:35 EST

Pony, I wholeheartedly second that motion. Gracias. Buena Suerte !

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ParadiseLost
8/14/2019 11:05 EST

Today’s inversion in the US Bond rates (the 10 year falling below the 2 year) is not a good thing. That’s a classic signal for a recession in the way

Some things to consider

- moving quickly from a situation where the message has been ‘the greatest economy ever’ to a potential recession is going to be a big shock to the system. Companies who’ve ramped up in expectations of an improving situation may well go into reverse. That tends to be ugly.

- if the US or World economy catches a cold the sickness is generally much worse in developing countries like Colombia

- generally situations internationally aren’t improving. Now for example the Chinese are now suggesting that the Hong Kong protests may be a result of US interference.

- a recession in the US has implications beyond Trump’s re-election. An increase in austerity, after the tax cuts for the rich and corporations is only going to lead to further division in the political landscape.

- in trying to respond to a down turn not changing the play book (adding more tariffs, cutting more taxes, pushing interest rates down to the level that the Fed has no ammunition left) could get very, very ugly.

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ponymalta
8/14/2019 11:23 EST

I agree the inversion you speak of is a potential negative, will be interesting over the next month or two how it plays out.

A big wild card is how the trade negotiations play out- certainly after years of wimp negotiators his strategy a lot stronger yet also could be brinksmanship that may not work. The jury is out we just don't know. The election timetable in China's favor if a Democrat gets it, so they just may take a hit for a year figuring they will make it up when a Democrat gets in.

Most businesses I speak to working on assumption of continued growth, and need to raise wages to attract workers and some already doing so. One factory I know has had to raise starting wages for full time and temps 10 to 15% last 2 years.

Germany just announced a negative growth rate last quarter. Both UK and EU probably in for a few moths rough sailing last quarter of year if a non deal Brexit

No matter what the 2020 election I think will be the most bitter and horrendously expensive election ever.

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BlueSeas
8/14/2019 11:25 EST

PL

Are you suggesting there could possibly be a factual basis to the Chinese claims? I don't see where Trump would actually care about independence in HK, and any other possible reasons beyond his comprehension,

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ParadiseLost
8/14/2019 11:53 EST

@blueseas I’m struggling to see where I suggested it was factual. But no US Navy ships allowed in HK at the moment. The Chinese aren’t backing down. Just about time for Trump to decide that a selling some weapons to Taiwan would be a good move.

What I do know isn’t factual is that ‘trade wars are easy to win’ and that they can spin out of control.

One other thing to add (and I was at the epicenter of the last financial crisis) was that we only got through that with a lot of cooperation between nations. Do you think we’d see that this time.? Recent cuts in European Bank rates to try to revive the economy there were portrayed by the White House as further exploiting the US economy. Can the world economy be pulled out of a recession with an America First strategy?

@ponymalta your point about the majority of businesses still planning for expansion only emphasizes my point. If things do turn south it’ll be difficult. Companies and consumers have piled on debt. Not a good game plan in a recession. Just because you were told that it was the greatest economy ever and that 3% growth wasn’t even trying where’s that trickle down money? As for wages increasing so significantly (and there will be inflation behind that) perhaps so dramatically putting the screws on legal and illegal immigration might be a root cause. Lot of Americans are going to be mowing their own lawns. Lot of US mothers going to have to leave the labor force when that cheap nanny isn’t there. Do you see many Americans volunteering to spend their days pulling the innards out of chickens for a low wage?

As for the Chinese waiting for an ‘easy Democratic administration’ the issue will be what will the world economy look like when we get there? Presumably in your eyes the Democrats will then ‘own’ the then created problem.

Equally when the Democrats were in power the amount of US debt was a huge issue to Republicans who blocked any increases. The US deficit YTD has already exceeded last years full year number. What was the change that convinced The Republican Party that debt was good and if the Democrats get into power will they continue that belief?

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JustSomeGuy
8/14/2019 12:59 EST

The last one is easy. More debt is good if it makes “our guy” look good. If the Democrats get in power the debt will be a very bad thing, in the opinion of the Republicans, the Democrats will love it however. I’m sure there are brilliant rationalizations for all this. I’m opposed to most government debt because the plan is for the children to pay it back. I would rather eat beans out of a can than leave my daughters a debt to pay.

I think consumption in the USA is a major source of world wide pollution. A recession usually means less consumption. As a conservationist that sounds like a good thing to me. I prefer voluntary reductions in consumption and am uncomfortable about forced limits on consumption but a recession falls within my comfort zone. And I’m not in favor of people starving, I would go into debt to give people food and in fact do give people food, kids can’t concentrate on multiplication if they are hungry. I’m not a fan of regular folks buying $6 lattes though and much of our consumer debt is for things most folks can safely do without.

An economist might say a recession will burn off the dead wood and let the companies that survive it thrive. Increasing efficiency and enriching everyone in the long term.

Americans are fat. Maybe they should mow their own lawns, and the lawn of the little old man next door. And care for their own children, not all of them, some of those parents are not so great but most would do a fine job raising their kids and would likely be better off for it, albeit poorer. Why do they need to be richer? Does driving twice as much and expanding the roads to support that really make Americans happier than Italians? It definitely poisons our air though, lots of code yellow and orange pollution days here. Many Americans are glad to look for a job pulling innards, at a good wage, at least according to what claims to be ABC news. A quick DuckDuckGo search turned up:
“Days after immigration agents arrested 680 Latino workers in a massive workplace sting at seven Mississippi chicken processing plants, job seekers flocked to an employment fair Monday in hopes of filling some of those now-empty positions.”
https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/ice-raids-mississippi-hopefuls-flock-job-fair-64934480

I know there are downsides to everything, less consumption is the USA is uncomfortable to those who want to consume more, less in Africa is probably just plain bad, since most folks are on the edge, but there are upsides to things as well. Might as well look at both.

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mattinnorfolk
8/14/2019 13:11 EST

The deficit went from 9 trillion to 18 trillion from 2008-2016 and this included huge cuts in the military from Iraq war year levels, Granted we did have a recession and that played a part. A large majority of richest saw tax increases, an I know its not a great talking point, but it is true because of the SALT provision of only writing of $10,000 from taxes and interest deductions. They are the ones that own multiple homes, and mansions and got clobbered. The IRS says 80% got a tax cut, but many didn't realize it because their withholdings changed in February and their check went up then, so less refund. . The child credit and standard deduction doubled. The reason many rich pay so little is its all Cap Gains and dividends, so we need to bring back the Alt. Min. Tax so at a certain point you go to ordinary income tax rates like W2 earners no matter where the income is derived from.


The last thing I would say if you were a corporation and every member running on the Democratic side says the first thing were doing is getting rid of the Trump tax plan. Would you seriously make long term investments now if they raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 36%, and don't forget to add 12% or so for California state taxes. ( Are you willing to risk capital on and investment when most fail, just to keep 52-60% if you're right) Canada-26.5%, Denmark-22%, Finland-20%, Netherlands-25% UK-18%.... Colombia is -33%

https://home.kpmg/xx/en/home/services/tax/tax-tools-and-resources/tax-rates-online/corporate-tax-rates-table.html

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mattinnorfolk
8/14/2019 13:33 EST

One last thing and I appreciate you starting this tread. We all know its not mathematically possible to tax your way to fix the deficit You must have growth and spending cuts. We have enough places around the world now that show that does not work. The revenue is going up nicely at the moment, but any first term president that goes after Entitlements will not be a second term president, and that is where the money is.

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ParadiseLost
8/14/2019 13:41 EST

@martinnorfolk

So if you were running a company you’d invest when you didn’t know what tweet was coming next? Plenty of Trump’s advisors have told him that many of actions weren’t a good idea, but he’s overruled them based on his ‘gut’. That’s Harvard Business School best practice?

The very rich did get big tax decreases. The 1%. They don’t bother about SALT.

But of course this isn’t going to be a badly thought and badly executed economic plan by Trump. Any downturn now is of course the fear Corporations have that fake news will get the radically socialist Democratic Party elected.

While Trump supporters all worry about AOC they’re looking in the wrong direction. The mainstream Republican Party is going to be under a lot of pressure from their donor base to stop the rot. Trump got them what they wanted, reduced taxes and Supreme Court justices, but if they start to perceive he’s a liability you might be surprised what will happen.

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mattinnorfolk
8/14/2019 13:43 EST

I am not a Trump guy just a capitalist And economist

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ParadiseLost
8/14/2019 14:01 EST

@martinnorfolk good, you’ll know the history of how well trade wars work out then.

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nonames
8/14/2019 14:29 EST

Amen Matt!

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ParadiseLost
8/14/2019 14:46 EST

@martinnorfolk ‘not a Trump guy but an capitalist and economist.’


I think you’ll be part of a growing trend trying to separate yourself from Trump and excesses.

At election time though the vote will have to be cast for Trump though won’t it, as the alternative will be Venezuelan style economy?

By the way did AOC make a speech today that frightened the market? It’s down 750 points. What did she say?

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mattinnorfolk
8/14/2019 15:19 EST

Paradise honestly I have no idea if she said anything or not, I doubt that would affect the stock market. the average Americans 401K is up somewhere between 30 and 40% since he got elected, I can only assume you didn’t get to enjoy the ride. The stock market doesn’t go straight up, The average return is only about 10% a year, granted it’s been closer to 15% a year under Trump, but you got to give back sometimes a little bit of your gain.

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ParadiseLost
8/14/2019 15:46 EST

@martinnorfolk

I just figured she said something because a negative event like this couldn’t be anything to do with the Right could it?

Interesting that you seem to think I’m not showing profits since Trump was elected. Paper profits though because it’s been obvious that this ‘great economy’ was a sham and this wouldn’t last. Actually my investments are generally in an area that have done very well because of the corporate tax cuts. However there’s more to life than the balance in your 401k. Particularly as the gains likely aren’t going to stick.

A few weeks ago there was talk that the Chinese might start selling some of their $1.7 trillion in US Treasuries to put pressure on the Trump Administration. Everyone agreed that would be a step too far and lead to financial Armageddon.

Today there’s a story going around that the Trump Administration is talking about freezing those same assets. That’s going to be fun. Still you’ve explained to us that the market doesn’t go up in a straight line so we’re prepared.

Interesting that you mention plans like 401ks. In the last recession we saw that the rich could use financial products and strategies to enrich themselves as the market tanked. Even something simple like shorting the market. Unfortunately for 401k holders the rules were carefully written to ensure that that toy box wasn’t available to them.

So 401k holders have two choices as the elevator of the stock market descends at great speed. Watch the loss or bail out. And when they bail out who buy up the stock. The 1%! Present day capitalism at its best. Where did all those houses lost in the last recession go? To ‘investors’ and landlords to rent out. Let’s just understand that it’s less and less an even playing field.

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mattinnorfolk
8/14/2019 16:07 EST

I try not to be so negative, a 6% correction in there stock market high is hardly something to panic abou lt over my 30 years. I try to be optimistic, the world will still keep going. Try to be happy for that little guy and gal in the United States that are doing the best they’ve done in 20 years. For some reason the rich always got it out for the little guy. Give them a break.

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nonames
8/14/2019 16:09 EST

Amen again Matt!

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ParadiseLost
8/14/2019 16:21 EST

Good news @martin and @nonames

Now we know the reason for the market drop as President Trump has revealed the cause, surprisingly on Twitter

‘..Spread is way too much as other countries say THANK YOU to clueless Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve. Germany, and many others, are playing the game! CRAZY INVERTED YIELD CURVE! We should easily be reaping big Rewards & Gains, but the Fed is holding us back. We will Win!’

I think we all know that this will calm the markets and reverse today’s 800 point loss. Incidentally, what did Germany do?

Seriously guys, I commend your loyalty but if you have the experience you claim you have this doesn’t ever give you a nervous tic? If nothing else how if you’ve the best economy ever why would you drop rates?

Of course now we’re getting into a crisis of Trumps making with the trade war the Fed will drop rates and Trump will tell us he was right all along.

Interesting the Fed members and Jay Powell in particular don’t resign. Wonder if Uncle Mitch is whispering in their ears to stay the course?

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mattinnorfolk
8/14/2019 16:31 EST

Why do you listen to his words? They mean very little as opposed to Obama whose meant less. I look at results, and not words, as I liked Obama and don’t like Trump personally. But I watch results, and don’t need to like the politician. It’s his actions that speaks, not his outrageous mouth and tweets. I am a libertarian and not wedded to any one party, but it you can’t see the USA needed a radical change and voted for Hilary? I gave Obama 8 years to make a difference, so can’t you meet me halfway and give Trump 4? The truth is it’s the radical left that is helping him get 8 years, so I send my gratitude to you Paradise! Saludos!!!!

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ParadiseLost
8/14/2019 16:42 EST

‘Radical left’ always the final passing insult.

This is the new Right view of the ‘radical left’. Anyone who believes in

Health care for all

Fair taxation

Lack of discrimination whether color, religion or sexual orientation

That man is having a negative impact on climate change

America is about diversity and that power should not reside exclusively with old rich white men


It appears that any of things, if they ever came to pass, would tear the country apart.

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mattinnorfolk
8/14/2019 16:59 EST

According to the 2017 BP Statistical Review of World Energy, since 2005 annual U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have declined by 758 million metric tons. That is by far the largest decline of any country in the world over that timespan and is nearly as large as the 770 million metric ton decline for the entire European Union.
BtW Paradise the EU GDP was just over 17 trillion, and the USA is 19 + trillion. How do we produce more, with less greenhouse emissions? What’s a fair tax to you? 95% , I agree health care is a problem, but if it’s a right, then food and shelter seem sort of important as well, so we should give that away as well I suppose? In my case, if you could add wine as a right I might be willing to listen.

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ParadiseLost
8/14/2019 17:34 EST

@martin

‘The BP statistical review’. No hidden agenda there then. 2005-2017 timeframe. That is when policies other than the current administration were in place. It’ll be interesting to see how the 2018 and 2019 figures come out.

Give away food and shelter? Well in a rich country (best economy ever) is it reasonable that anyone shouldn’t have food or shelter. There will always be the unfortunate in society. Perhaps some will have to be given help. Still, good news for you there on the Trump Administration cutting back on food stamps. We don’t want those poor kids getting too comfortable do we.

And of course good news this week on taking away benefits from legal immigrants (401k) holders and then the quietly passing changes to the Endangered Species Act to ‘help industry’. Your Trump Administration is achieving a lot of things just not a lot of commendable things.

Still, as long as your 401k is looking good. Of course you’re one of the lucky 32% who have such an account and you probably have more than the average account holder. The median balance for those
Between 45-54 is under $44k. For those between 25-34 $8k. Somehow I don’t think they’re been the big winners in your Trump stock market ‘surge’.

Still all of this extra defense spending is helping. The CEO of Lockheed Martin made over $20 million last year for example. Perhaps you should crack open a bottle of champagne together while you discuss the pros and cons of food stamps and whether we really need gray wolves?

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ponymalta
8/14/2019 18:02 EST

ParadiseLost

It seems , at least my impression, you see everything through partisan eyes. On the trade issue I wrote simply I don't think one can make a highly probable forecast yet of the effects- Trump has replaced to former wimp strategy of both Republican and Democratic administrations with a forceful pro-American strategy- whether he can pull t off I don't know.

There are a variety of reasons for the wage increases, and yes for some lower skilled workers any improvement in border control is helpful.With the positive trends in unemployment one would expect in a tighter labor market upward pressure on wages.

You made a very good point about the inverted yield curve, again I think we will know more in a month or two on the degree of importance of that issue.

The last county I was in, people are more likely to vote for Trump now than they even did in the last election- how much is Trump's credit or not, the workers and working poor in that country have gained more in 2 years than the prior 10 to 15.

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ParadiseLost
8/14/2019 18:50 EST

@ponymalta agreed we should be watching the polls. I see young Eric is on the case

‘Eric Trump claims media biased against dad’s corn kernel polling in Iowa’

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mattinnorfolk
8/14/2019 19:19 EST

Pl, If your not getting a check from Trump for the amount of space he is renting in your brain, you are being totally ripped off and just another poor unpaid victim of the Donald.

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ParadiseLost
8/14/2019 19:30 EST

@matt just settle down with your 401k statement and your glass of wine and leave the rest of us to worry about the problems that your ‘libertarian’ views are creating.

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littlebhuddha64
8/14/2019 22:03 EST

mattinnorfolk “the average Americans 401K is up somewhere between 30 and 40% since he got elected“ Where are you getting those numbers? According to Forbes, it’s only 15-20%

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mattinnorfolk
8/14/2019 22:39 EST

Look at the price of spy in November Election Day until now. Add about 2% a year for dividends and you’ll get there. It’s far and away the largest holding in all American 401(k)s .

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DallasSteve
8/14/2019 23:10 EST

It sounds like Matt got his 40% number from The Donald. The S&P has gone up 25% since Trump took office. Here is a graph showing the last 6 Presidents from CNN, the official news agency of the Democratic party. It is nevertheless a nice graph, updated as of today.

https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2019/business/stock-market-by-president/index.html

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ParadiseLost
8/14/2019 23:17 EST

@matt it’s almost as if you’re cherry picking numbers. If SPY is the largest holding in 401k accounts it doesn’t mean that all of their holdings are in SPY.

Add in that most 401ks aren’t static. If you’re retired they may be but for workers they’re adding new funds each month. Those new funds buying into a rising market will dampen overall portfolio returns significantly, particularly with younger, newer investors.

So yes, it’s possible that some 401ks have risen the levels you suggest, but certainly not all and probably not most.

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Chattaroy
8/15/2019 00:17 EST

Paradise - how can you argue with a guy who is headed downstream to Niagra Falls when he spent his last dollar on the best river raft ever made...why he even has a river helmet.

The Falls are going to be there centuries after SFB with the raft.

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BlueSeas
8/15/2019 00:22 EST

Trump inherited the economy we've seen thus far in his tenure. He didn't make it. Not enough time.. Obama inherited a poorly trending economy and kept it from crashing. Then turned it around. I have little faith in the Donald to pull off something similar.

Focusing on 401K's is an exercise for the already wealthy. Some number near 50% of the population have 401Ks, and at age 65, the median balance is about $60,000. So 75% have accounts worth <60,000.

I wasn't able to find exact stats, but the present value of Social Security is, or should be a much greater concern. On a similar basis, the present value of SSA to a household is probably worth around 600,000 in present value or 10x the 401k value. More or less depending on assumptions for interest rates and 1 vs 2 earner households.

It really rubs me the wrong way when SSA and Medicare are referred to as entitlement programs. I think I got my SSA card in 1965 and payed payroll taxes my entire career. While payroll taxes weren't insurance premiums, there was still a contract, pay now and you will be covered later.

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mattinnorfolk
8/15/2019 06:31 EST

Steve, as you see on Nov 7 2016 the SPY was 216, and the high before the correction was 302 and I said from the high, and you need to add about 4.5% to 5% to that number for dividends. Try your math, so 30% and QQQ from 115 to 195., so sustantially more. The Russell 2000 1282 to 1740 and now 1467 so hit the most except EEM. The EEM or emerging market index was about 36.5 and was 47 pre tariffs, and now 38.5 so not the place to be for sure. Thank you for the chance to clarify.

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 07:00 EST

‘The average 401(k) balance rose by 466% since the market bottom in March 2009’

Source: CNBC/Fidelity 05/20/2019

Seeing as Obama was President from 2009-2017 it suggests that the performance since that date has been that different. But that can’t be the case can it? He destroyed business. I read that all the time. Must be ‘fake’ news.

What it does show that using data like the growth of 401ks isn’t a very reliable indicator of Presidential performance (if nothing else the addition of new funds distorts balance growth) and trying to suggest performance using a single index fund even less useful.

So making note that we need to allow for dividends, but then avoiding considering how the reinvestment of those dividends then distorts underlying market growth we’re suggesting we can measure and attribute to a sitting President is a little suspect.

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ponymalta
8/15/2019 07:17 EST

ParadiseLost,

“Radical left’ always the final passing insult”

I don’t know why this would be an insult, i.e. it is either accurate or not. It can be radical compared to average liberal beliefs and emotions, or radical compared to traditional American traditions, strengths or values. One thing which I appreciate in the current Democrat debates is the honesty of Sanders in not being afraid to espouse his policies publicly and hat the other candidates coming out with statements that just a short while ago they may have thought but refrained from saying for fear of losing votes Even this wacky AOC one has to give credit for speaking her mind.

“Anyone who believes in Health care for all.”

I happen to agree it is absurd the American health care system and the cost and difficulties of access- but by a dictionary definition of ‘radical’ some of solutions proposed are radical, even if they are rational.

“Fair taxation”
Defining what is ‘fair’ in taxation is a very difficult thing to do in an objective manner. I think more time has to pass to judge the overall merits of the tax cuts while attack on anti-business and often inane regulations is a positive for the economy.
“ Lack of discrimination whether color, religion or sexual orientation”
Legislation hardly is a complete solution, and discriminating in favor of some groups over others one could argue hardly seems a solution to reducing discrimination!
“ That man is having a negative impact on climate change”
Is he? Have carbon emissions in the US the last two or last ten years gone up while China and India’s gone down? Are the dire extrapolations being thrown out due to the US and Europe projected growth or more to India and China ongoing growth? Doe the History of far out extrapolations by the left and environmentalists since the Club of Time in 1964 show a high degree or predictive probability? I haven’t studied the matter in great detail but seems signing an accord that permits China and India to keep increasing their pollution seems an odd way to promote the climate change agenda.
“America is about diversity and that power should not reside exclusively with old rich white men”
Whether diversity is necessarily a good or bad thing may be debatable, and as far as “old white men” (such leadership made America for a long time the wonder of the world) time will deal with such thigs based on current trends and history. Back in the 1920’s it would have been somewhat rare to see an Irish or Italian CEO of a major financial organization, now seeing such last names one doesn’t blink an eye. Experience counts, and over time as long as America retains a focus on merit and not social engineering, it won’t always be ‘rich white men’. More women than men I hear are getting MBA’s, and society doesn’t expect any more for women to put their children first, so as women get more experience in careers. And use their own particular strengths, the last few decades’ shows steady progress albeit slow to some. Whatever one’s viewpoints it is radical to want to force social change above change based purely on merit which the market place can do.

I happen to agree with you some deep changes need to be made for a 21st century economy though we may differ on what those changes may be- or if Congress could ever reach a reasonable consensus on these issues. The left and right will both continue to complain about the other and engage in wacky conspiracy theories or uncivil dialogue far past the presidencies of Obama or Trump. Many of my own positions could be considered ‘radical;’ on the left or right- I can’t imagine how I would feel ‘insulted’ of some described as radical- either they are or they are not.
We are just two countries now- some just want to put food on the table, some concerned about transgender rights and their opportunities, some for more freedom others wishing to harness government power to engineer social change, the only advanced nation with such poor access to health care, and very different views about what is important in life.

My two cents I think Trump has a reasonable chance of being re-elected, on the other hand I think he may be the last Republican president.

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 07:35 EST

@ponymalta come on - the term ‘radical’ is used to express the idea that someone had extreme views. And it’s used almost exclusively for the left.

Somehow the current Administration, based on Bannon’s Extremist right wing agenda of breaking society up and the rebuilding it how he wants gets depicted as ‘mainstream’ and ‘telling it as it is’.

The only was Trump gets re-elected given his dismal approval ratings (he hasn’t mentioned the latest Fox poll) is by frightening the populace that electing a Democrat will a) cause markets to crash and lose them all of their money b) lead to extreme socialism c) unregulated immigration including a welcome mat for criminals.

Therefore any opposition rather than having a different view has to be depicted as ‘radical’

The person who is smiling is Putin. For years Russia/USSR tried to go head to head with America spending trillions on defense and continually getting nowhere. Then they find out that all you need to put a few hundred people posting on Facebook (kindly provided by the Americans) and America dissolves into divided nation. Up then steps a President who then destroys the concept of America being a fair and dependable partner internationally.

The history books will depict Putin as a genius, or at least a lucky genius. Trump will not be treated kindly.

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morganstern
8/15/2019 07:42 EST

Wow...I read the posts on this chain and now I need a dramamine.

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mattinnorfolk
8/15/2019 07:59 EST

Walmart raises earnings, smashes through estimates, stock up almost 7% this morning. Same store sales rising dramatically as customers spend more money, who is the shopper at Walmart? I wonder if it’s those damn deplorable‘s trying to screw things up again :-), I am happy for their pay raises.

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elpdiver
8/15/2019 08:02 EST

One reason the balance of401K accounts is sky rocketing is that they are the only "pension" plan available to most folks any more. A substantial portion of that increase is the contribution of the worker and the matching funds of the employer. Yet many of my younger coworkers won't even save enough to get the matching company funds.

It has not been easy to save the amounts that I have saved over my working career to fully fund my IRA's and 401k; but, it has paid off well.

And that social security that everyone has been telling me won't be there when I retire (I believed them by the way). Well that will contribute over 3 grand a month to my income and my wife will get one and a half grand on top of that.

For me the biggest threat is the perversion and bastardization of law. When a simple law has to be hundreds of pages long and even then can be twisted and manipulated by lawyers...

ELP

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ponymalta
8/15/2019 08:34 EST

Paradise Lost,

I have to agree with you on this one- it is absurd that the USA cannot provide more accessible health care, and not have provision for food and shelter on a reasonable basis similar to what the UK or many European nations provide. As much as I comment on wacky democrats, or how republicans cant be blamed for everything under the sun my opinion is the Republican Senators and Congressmen should bow their head in shame all the effort against Obamacare without providing a better alternative.

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littlebhuddha64
8/15/2019 09:21 EST

Stock market isn’ Even open yet and futures are down across the board

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 10:46 EST

@matt true, good results from Walmart but same stores rising dramatically?

Same stores were up 2.8% (forecast 2.1%) but that’s likely to be their entry into online store and delivery pick up of groceries. Still growth, but they’ve added more reasons for people to come to the store.

The blockbuster number is online sales at 31%. They ran a program effectively matching Amazon Prime deals in July.

Nothing wrong in that again, but the move to online sales and away from bricks and mortar isn’t necessarily positive for the economy longer term.

Whether the money is coming from pay rises is more questionable. US consumer debt was up 0.9% in Q1 compared 0.4% Q418).

Nothing wrong there again, confidence fueling consumers feeling happy to take on more debt, provided the expansion continues.

As for the ‘deplorables’ ( as opposed to us Lefties, ‘the enemy of the people’) perhaps they are taking their cue from the President that everything is going just fine and are only getting better. Let’s hope he is right. Unfortunately many of Trump’s base are those who tend to do worst in a recession. The first to lose jobs, the first to get cut off from credit, the first to have their homes repossessed.

If the economy goes south the first people to get help will be the poor rather than the rich, right? Isn’t that always the way it is?

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mattinnorfolk
8/15/2019 10:57 EST

Pl, The sad part is so many people are depending on retail jobs, and with wages going up retail it is going away from cost and online you pretty much just mention and there’s not a ton of other jobs those people can do. Bricks and mortar are going the way of the horse and buggy in much more then just retail.

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 11:06 EST

@matt but not just the people. All that commercial real estate, all those malls with empty storefronts and the number increasing by the day.

Plus while those unemployment numbers look so fine (and this isn’t just a US issue) so many of the new jobs being created are low paying and have no benefits. Riding a bike to deliver food, driving an Uber, working in a warehouse, none of these tend to become high paying careers. I’m not saying creating jobs isn’t good, but there’s a quality aspect there as well.

While we’re having fun with figures anyone have Avianca Holdings in their portfolios? Down again today and despite the new management not a lot of positives at the moment. A classic case of expanding too fast with too many USD obligations? Lifemiles are ubiquitous in Colombia these days but will we ever get to spend them?

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mattinnorfolk
8/15/2019 11:44 EST

For years it was rumored united wanted them bad to get to South America, and they wouldn't take the deal, and now they have no leverage. It cost me a boatload of money the last pilot strike they had because my flight got canceled and I had not taking have insurance. Gates and others think there should be an AI or robot tax.

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Elexpatriado
8/15/2019 14:01 EST

Are you talking about Colombia Connections Pony?

Cant say I recognize you from that one.

Does anyone remember that crazy conspiracy nut from PBH called himself "Gringoloid"?

He once actually told me it was unethical and " illegal" to use different Avatar names on different Forum sites..LMAO

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Elexpatriado
8/15/2019 14:03 EST

A lot of the Republican establishment have been against Trump from the get-go..

For instance..the Koch brothers want him out..

https://youtu.be/QU2ydKjIKzI

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Elexpatriado
8/15/2019 14:20 EST

Mattinfolk

Came totally from switching from coal to gas fired power plants.

Something that is starting to happen now in China..though it willl be countered by their higher GNP growth rate ( after the trade war and recession runs its course over the next couple years)

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mattinnorfolk
8/15/2019 14:57 EST

Natural gas it would be a huge improvement, France uses tons of nuclear power, but I guess it’s not very fashionable anymore. I know I certainly wish we had natural gas vehicles in Medellin.

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 15:20 EST

‘The Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election. The problem they have is that the economy is way too strong and we will soon be winning big on Trade, and everyone knows that, including China’ President Trump 08/15/19

Hands up who didn’t see that coming. Any Republicans want to attempt to explain how the Fake Media now controls the Economy, rather than the Administration, the Fed or any of the normal suspects.

‘Everyone knows’?

I didn’t.

Is it wrong to believe my Border Collie thinks more rationally than he does?

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Elexpatriado
8/15/2019 15:23 EST

The 10%/ 90% solution in Medellin and Colombia in general.for air polution woukd be:

1.Make use of low sulfer " clean fuel" gasoline from the over budget recently expanded Cartagena refinery mandatory in Comombia instead of exporting it and using crappy Venezuelan pirated gasoline
2. Enforcement and mandatory insñection of all vehicles to ensure they meet tramsport standards for tail pioe emission filterinh and engine timing, ignition, operation maintenance requirements

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jo12208
8/15/2019 16:00 EST

You have serious TDS.

Todays quotes on bond yields
10 year US 1.518%
10 year German bund -.718%
10 year Jap note -.23%

Guess what? Foreigners are buying US treasuries to get yield. Is that a surprise to you?

Yellen doesn' think this necesarily signals recession. There is 15 TRILLION in global bonds that have minus yields

Demand for treasuries goes up and yield goes down.

That is one of the main reasons fir the inverted yield curve.

The lesson is finished. You can continue with your anti Trump diatribes.

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mattinnorfolk
8/15/2019 16:40 EST

I suspect they would improve things more giving those 300k fines for pica o plata to failed emissions standards and the things you propose.

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 16:42 EST

‘this NECESSARILY signals recession’

When the yield curve inverts investors are worried about the economy and therefore seek ‘safe’ long term treasuries. In normal times the US Treasury is seen as being the safest asset.

While it’s true that other rates are negative do you think that the fact that you can only earn one and a half percent on a 10 year instrument is wildly attractive?

All those ten year yields are telling you that everywhere is in a bit of a mess.

Noticeably Trump himself tweeted that the markets are under strain but that it was the ‘fake medias’ fault. I’m happy to have the lesson in explaining why that’s the case.

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mattinnorfolk
8/15/2019 16:45 EST

It’s the Boj and ecb that’s been keeping rates at zero and long before Trump was elected. Why don’t you blame the problems over there on them, and the tactics they tried to use . Rates were going up over here the last 3 years, When did Trump take over Europe and Japan?

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mattinnorfolk
8/15/2019 16:49 EST

It has happened 7 out of the last 10 times, so it is not 100%, and this time do you think this is a normal bond market giving the reserve policies in Europe, Japan, and the United States from 2008. I have no clue what is going to happen because we are in unchartered territory so we’re keeping interest rates this low in buying back bonds in all parts of the world to keep interest rates at zero and try to force growth and investment to buy stocks , it certainly did not work in Europe and Japan so far. Japan has had no interest rates for 20 years.

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mattinnorfolk
8/15/2019 16:51 EST

We have a incredible bond bubble all over the world, we need to be raising interest rates slowly everywhere and not doing this crap we’re doing The last 10 years we created a real estate bubble now we created a bond bubble .

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mattinnorfolk
8/15/2019 16:55 EST

Mohamed El-Erian: Inverted yield curve recession signal is 'distorted' this time around
Matthew J. Belvedere | @Matt_Belvedere
Published 5 Hours Ago
CNBC.com
"The bond market is distorted ... by what's happening outside the U.S.," says the Allianz chief economic advisor.
"If you live in an interconnected world, you have no choice but to import the effect of negative policy rates in Europe," he explains.
"That is going to distort our yield curve. And it's going to weaken the traditional signalling mechanism" for a U.S. recession, he argues.

Mohamed El-Erian, the well-known economist for Allianz who used to run investment giant Pimco, told CNBC on Thursday the inverted yield curve recession signal that made all the headlines this week might not be as reliable as it has been in the past.
"The bond market is distorted. It is distorted by what's happening outside the U.S.," said El-Erian on "Squawk Box." "If you live in an interconnected world, you have no choice but to import the effect of negative policy rates in Europe."
On Wednesday, the 10-year Treasury yield inverted, and briefly went lower than the 2-year yield for the first time since before the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent Great recession. Such a move has preceded every U.S. recession over the past 50 years, but a recession does not materialize on average for nearly two years.

El-Erian argued the U.S. should not have such low policy interest rates from the Federal Reserve or market rates in the bond market because the U.S. economic data are not pointing to a recession. But as he said Wednesday, the Fed has "no choice" but to cut rates again at its September policy meeting. Central bankers reduced rates at last month's gathering after hiking the cost of borrowing money four times in 2018.
"There are two realities," the chief economic advisor at Allianz explained on CNBC on Thursday.
The European Central Bank has negative rates and it's going to take them lower, he predicted.
"And it's going to restart QE," or quantitative easing, which is an accommodative measure that would involve the ECB buying government bonds from eurozone countries to further boost lending and stoke inflation.
"So all that is going to distort our yield curve. And it's going to weaken the traditional signalling mechanism" for a U.S. recession, El-Erian said.
In an interview Wednesday, former Fed Chair Janet Yellen made similar comments regarding the yield curve, saying traders and investors may be wrong this time around to trust it as a recession indicator.
"The reason for that is there are a number of factors other than market expectations about the future path of interest rates that are pushing down long-term yields," Yellen told Fox Business.
Yellen also said she does not think the U.S. is headed into a recession. "I think the U.S. economy has enough strength to avoid that, but the odds have clearly risen and they're higher than I'm frankly comfortable with."
View interactive content
VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE
Data is a real-time snapshot *Data is delayed at least 15 minutes
Global Business and Financial News, Stock Quotes, and Market Data and Analysis

Data also provided by

© 2019 CNBC LLC. All Rights Reserved. A Division of NBCUniversal


CNBC Business News aO

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ponymalta
8/15/2019 17:18 EST

Elexpatriado

No I dont know that site.

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 17:20 EST

The Japanese have had low interest rates for years. It’s not a ‘tactic’ it’s to try to stimulate growth. Remember Japan in the 1980s. Low population growth and a strong currency have been issues for them. They’ve gone from being a great competitor to an also ran.

The EEC has also had issues, in the weaker countries like Greece, Italy and Spain. That’s now spreading to other countries like Germany.

Everything is interlinked. America puts tariffs on China. China slows, the Chinese stop buying Luxury German cars, Germany slows down.

Low interest rates aren’t a tactic. They more an instrument of last resort. Making rates go negative is to punish people for not putting cash to work, it’s a cost of not putting on risk or investing.

The US has had the stronger economy since the last recession. Part of that was the US being much more proactive in sorting the issues out. Unpopular as they were, and maybe still are, the bank bailouts and forcing the weak to merge cleaned the US system much more quickly. Look at Germany’s largest bank Deutsche. It’s incredibly weak and only now doing things that US banks finished doing five years ago.

The problem we have is that under the current administration it’s a zero sum game. For Germany to make progress that is seen as being at someone else expense. Having a trade deficit with one country or another is ‘losing’ and if the US is losing then the other country must be cheating.

Japan and Germany don’t have low interest rates to try to damage US business opportunities. It’s to try to kick start their economies. In the old days countries would sit down and discuss joint action. The US doesn’t do that any more.

What you end up with if you are not careful is a race to the bottom. The US will now try to cut rates, and then that will force the hands of the Europeans and the Japanese again. Then the US will cut again.

The problem gets exacerbated when the Administration, to fire up the base, suggests that the EEC was set up as a sort of anti-US cartel. It’s patently untrue but language like that makes any thought of cooperation impossible.

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jo12208
8/15/2019 17:42 EST

Trump is at fault as always. Jaja. I am not sure if he is in Colombia. If he is he should check out his EPS. I think they have Trump Derangement Syndrome therapy available.

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 19:06 EST

@jo12208 actually you’re the problem not Trump. You finally think you’re going to be the ‘man’. You’ve got a President who’s going to let you say what you want, do what you want with immigrants, do what you want with your guns, and show everyone other nation who’s the boss. You never question him, you support him whatever he says (no matter how nonsensical) and you’re now the expert on everything. He’s going to deliver you to your promised right wing world.

But he isn’t. The job that you lost to China isn’t coming back. A woman is still going to be your boss and ultimately the Republicans care nothing for you other than your vote. They’re so busy pushing your money to the Ultra rich, giving so much power to their elite you’ll get nothing.

You’ll cheer and clap as they take away your health care, you’ll drink a toast as they cut back on ‘entitlements’ including your SSI. The rich will get richer and everyone else will end up with zip.

Trump didn’t put himself there, the shady figures like Bannon did. Trump is their instrument of change. He’s there to disrupt things, to break society apart, to be the cheerleader against the left, to be President for his base and his base only.

Then when he’s broken things up they’ll quietly replace him with someone different, someone to lead the new Right. Somebody much clever and ultimately more destructive.

But you’ll come back with your trite ‘ you’ve got Derangement Syndrome.’ You’ll cheer at the tweets mocking the left but you’ll never spend five minutes understanding about Bannon and the new Right. You’ll never question where that great new health plan is because you’re too busy cheering as Hispanics are led away from a workplace in shackles.

Yes, you’re the New America, but if you think you matter you don’t. You don’t fit into the world of Betsy Devoss, Jared Kushner or Wilbur Ross. That’s who wins. Not you.

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mattinnorfolk
8/15/2019 19:08 EST

You are probably bright PL in some small way, but start your own Blog. This is not the right place fror your trolling and rhetoric.

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Andresen
8/15/2019 19:11 EST

PL. I understand Border Collies are very intelligent.

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 19:32 EST

@matt trolling. Again the right trying to shut down discussion.

The right can say what they want, they can insult all that they want but someone from the left has the temerity to speak. Troll!

Perhaps we need to get a nice picture book made up for you about Bannon just so you can keep up.

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mattinnorfolk
8/15/2019 19:44 EST

Thoughtful discussion is great, but you are an ass

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nonames
8/15/2019 20:06 EST

Just let the poor Lost soul alone now Matt. He's proven himself many times over to be a thin skinned elitist. There's probably really nothing anybody can do except ignore him.

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jo12208
8/15/2019 20:13 EST

Exactly

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mattinnorfolk
8/15/2019 20:14 EST

I know you are right because they can not be saved : Thank you

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 20:26 EST

@nonames

‘Elitist’

Interesting. The President you follow is a self professed Billionaire and his policy guru an ex partner at Goldman Sachs.

Clearly two men of the people with your interests at heart!’

Idiot.

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ponymalta
8/15/2019 20:44 EST

.Hi Fleetwood.
You wrote :

“The only was Trump gets re-elected given his dismal approval ratings (he hasn’t mentioned the latest Fox poll) is by frightening the populace that electing a Democrat will a) cause markets to crash and lose them all of their money b) lead to extreme socialism c) unregulated immigration including a welcome mat for criminals.”
I think the left is caught in its own bubble- yes he may use all those approaches, yet millions of Americans have reasons to wish to control the border and immigration, and considering how far left the Democratic party seems to be going- which I have even heard liberal commentators on CNN and MSNBC comment on- many average Americans may have a worry if they do not agree with those policies. Trump has dumbfounded the media and pollsters before. Even Nancy Pelosi seems to see the Green New Deal as a fantasy (though opposed to the wall she certainly has a wall around her house).
The division in America has been long coming- I remember the Reagan era and the frenzy he caused in the liberal media on many occasions and among the left. Obama era saw the same sort of derangement syndrome among the right similar to what we see in the Trump derangement syndrome today
Who knows the final result of these trade regulations, and if the economy keeps on a roll and unemployment stays low and salaries keep rising, surely Trump has a chance though I think it will be the most expensive and bitter campaign in US history- but I do think Trump will be the last Republican president.
My impression is the left just can’t accept that the average American between the coasts isn’t too concerned about transgender rights or Green New Deals, but are concerned about having a job and putting food on the table. They don’t need Putin to feel that way.

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 21:36 EST

@andresen

My border collie is very clever but he still struggles to understand Betsy Devoss as secretary of education or that a handbag designer and a rather dubious real estate developer are the ‘best people’ in a population of 327 million to be Presidential advisors.

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Edwinjcb
8/16/2019 00:09 EST

I wonder that, too! I wonder how "good" that dubious developer's advice can be since he can't operate some of his apartment buildings without getting cited by code enforcement people for rats and cockroaches!

www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2019-07-31/jared-kushner-rodent-apartments

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