All I Can Say is WOW!

All I can say is WOW! Wow, wow, wow, wow!

Is this the penultimate “Week that was?” There are (3) three reasons that I say that:

1. The Chicago Tribune (Trib), a historical very Republication newspaper (it dates back to 1847), did endorse a Democrat for President in 2012, Barack Obama; and to my amazement, has this time endorsed the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson!!! I opened the Trib to its editorial page and there it is. I’m including a photo of the editorial page. garyjohnson-1

For disclaimers: I have no political intention with this photo. It’s just a photo of the endorsement of Gary Johnson, it just was such a surprise. Hillary Clinton being a “hometown” candidate and all, did not sway the Editorial Board nor did Donald Trump being the Republican candidate abet, a somewhat reluctant choice of the Republication party. I am not working for any political candidate, I’m not a politician, I’m not being paid to post these remarks. In fact, my blog tries to focus on economic issues but the Presidential election results will drive economic “issues” for (4) years perhaps even more. On to Reason #2:

2. The Congress of the United States over-rode a veto by the President of the United States regarding a Bill that allows U.S. citizens to sue the perpetrators of the terrorists’ attacks on September 11, 2001in New York, Washington, D.C. and plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. Here’s a link to information about the bill.

I actually started writing this blog article early this morning (Oct 2) and was going to title it: “Is this any way to run a country?” Here, following is what I wrote early and I mean (2AM or so) this morning:

Or, how about this title for my blog article, “Is Lame Duck voting, a Brexit Redux? We have an election in November which will “fire” some in Congress and replace them with new Senators and U.S. House of Representatives. Thus any legislators voting upon on legislative Bills between the November 11 election and swearing in of newly elected Congressional representatives are called “lame ducks.”

So Congress finally over-rode a Presidential veto. This Presidential veto was meant to prevent potential diplomatic, security, safety, strategic global endangerment of US citizens abroad, around the world. The “vetoed” bill was purportedly not read adequately by Congressional members before their voting action. There are now Congressmen/women who regret their vote for the veto.

Here’s some links on the situation as it unfolds:
The Bill
The Veto
The vote to overturn the Veto
The consequences, who knows, but there already is a lawsuit filed against Saudi Arabia.

Is this retaliation or “get even” vote against President Obama because of his executive orders? Is this the ultimate touché` of a Republication Congress against a Democratic President? How self-destructive do we need to get before we completely destroy our Country? Or, to say it another way, when will our legislators discover the “art” of compromise again? Do you remember the video game “Pac Man”? I never played it but basically it was “eat or “get eaten.” When everyone or thing is “eaten” the game ends.

We are worried about the Russians or North Korea having nuclear weapons they might launch. We are worried about China becoming a world power! We just keep shooting ourselves in the foot!

So was the overturn of President Obama’s veto a retaliation, a sensible vote, gross negligence of Congress without due diligence, political blunder, political correctness, lack of diplomatic oversight…I’m running out of reasons or perhaps excuses.

Is it greed that drives the reparation movement regarding 9/11 tragedy? Unanticipated consequences brought about the Mid-East crises, unanticipated consequence brought about the housing crash of 2008-09, lack of due diligence and greed caused the dot.com crash in 2001.

And, finally Number 3:

3. Another stopgap “funding” bill so US government won’t “shut down”
Stopgap money bill
http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/national-international/Deal-Reached-to-Help-Flint-Keep-US-Government-Open-395096431.html

How many times has the U.S. government been shut down? Answer: Too many times, it never should have happened even once!
The sequester bill was passed into law in year 2011, why it happened and the aftermath of consequences, because it did “work.” Here are some links to reference about the sequester bill:

Sequester

Frequently asked questions about the Sequester
https://democrats-budget.house.gov/committee-report/frequently-asked-questions-about-sequestration-under-budget-control-act-2011

Unlike computers, there is no UNDO button in Congress; well there is… more legislation, political wrangling, amendments, whatever. But the damage done perhaps can’t be rectified and again more reparation contemplated.

We have “tent cities”, drinking water that is poison, demonstrations like “Occupy Wall Street” which resulted from the housing crisis of 2008-09, discriminations that may or may not ever be resolved to anyone’s satisfaction. A national crumbling infrastructure that at times literally collapsed as the bridge in Minnesota. http://www.startribune.com/new-35w-bridge-already-is-aging/268746561/

I don’t even know how to end this blog, I usually come up with something witty or positive to say. Perhaps I should refer to a comedy motion picture called “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World.” Here’s a movie “trailer” on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sla845GW9YM
I mean is it not a comedy of errors” at this point? Let’s stop pointing fingers and get to work. I’ll give you a “spoiler” alert about the motion picture, the money gets found but there is “no reward.”

Well, “that’s all folks”, to quote Bugs Bunny. And, tomorrow’s another day, here’s the Tomorrow song from “Annie”, the theater play. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PzL8aL6jtI

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Breakthrough
Clumsy

Frontline’s Documentary: The Choice 2016

First a disclaimer: I am NOT a political worker for either candidate, I am NOT an employee of Frontline, the documentary company, I am NOT a politician of any political party. I am NOT an employee of PBS.org or any other journalistic entity. I AM a private American citizen and a voter in the next Presidential election. I hope the above clears up any questions about my “status” concerning this particular posting.

Now to the post: I have just viewed the Frontline documentary called “The Choice 2016.” Here’s a link to it online: The Choice 2016.
Whether you are a “Trump” supporter or a “Clinton” supporter, its worth your time to get some background on the two Presidential candidates. The documentary covers several decades of the lives of the two candidates.

If you are “on the fence”, perhaps watching the documentary will change your vote, if you are a “Trump” or “Clinton” voter the documentary may help you solidify your voting decision. Whatever the reason, U.S. citizens need to vote.

P.S. You might not even need the popcorn!

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Facade
Daring
Careful

U.S. Presidential election archive

We are almost “at the wire”, the U.S. Presidential election is November 8, 2016. There are four (4) debates scheduled before the November 8 election:
• September 26 (Presidential candidates)
• October 4 (Vice Presidential candidates)
• October 9 (Presidential candidates)
• October 19 (Presidential candidates)

Who is qualified to participate in the U.S. Presidential debates in the year 2016??? That’s the $64,000 (U.S. Dollar) question!

The responsibility for deciding this question is the Commission on Presidential Debates. “The CPD’s primary mission is to ensure, for the benefit of the American electorate, that general election debates are held every four years between and among the leading candidates for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States.”

“Under the 2016 Criteria, in addition to being Constitutionally eligible, candidates must appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College, and have a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations’ most recently publicly-reported results at the time of the determination.”

Will third party candidate Gary Johnson have a change to participate in the U.S. 2016 Presidential election debates? Here’s what the New York Times thinks about that question: Will Gary Johnson quality to debate?

Here’s an archive of my postings that reference the upcoming U.S. Presidential election.

Frontline Documentary: The Choice 2016, dated September 28, 2016

Introducing the Party of “Neither” dated August 31, 2016
Show me the Money! dated August 12, 2016
FYI: What is the Electoral College dated August 8, 2016
Fact Checking the Clinton Speech July 29, 2016
Debt-Deficit Conundrum dated July 23, 2016 (fact checking Trump Speech)
It doesn’t really matter (I guess!) dated July 20, 2016
American Dream circa 2016 dated May 30, 2016

You can also look under my categories “election” and “presidential election” at the bottom of my Blog page for these blog articles.

It is famously quoted that Marie Antoinette (Queen of France) said “let them eat cake.” So to do a bit of a paraphrase, I say “let them debate!”
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Argument
Promises

Melody

This is the first blog entry that I’m writing just in order to meet the criteria of a Daily Post word, in this case: “melody.” Unfortunately the melody that I’m hearing from the U.S. economy is more like a funeral dirge. Sorry for the depressing start to my blog but it’s getting scarier and scarier “out there.” I think my favorite WordPress business writer, blogger Michael Gray, sums things up much better than I. Here are links to two of his recent blog entries:

Dated September 1, 2016
https://mgray12.wordpress.com/2016/09/01/our-way-of-life-is-threatened/

Dated August 31, 2016
https://mgray12.wordpress.com/2016/08/31/what-does-an-economic-collapse-look-like-in-the-21st-century/

Here in the United States, we have two more months until probably the most historic Presidential election since Roosevelt or Lincoln. In order to describe my feelings I will quote the Victorian Age author, Charles Dickens, from his novel “War and Peace”, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

As reflected in the title to my blog page “Mono-economy of the New Millennium,” we are all affected as individuals, families, local communities, and business entities by what’s happening globally, not just “locally” such as the everyday activities of Wall Street.

There was a U.S. television show called “Name that Tune.” This link is to a YouTube clip of the TV show dating from the 1970s:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N59iCNSBIcE. The contestant happened to win US $100,000 that night. She walked away a winner that night. She won on an “educated” guess. So I “guess” that’s what we need to do, vote with our hearts and make the best “educated” guess that we can!

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Melody

Introducing the Party of “Neither”

What a great editorial in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Here’s the link: Neither for President. Evidently the WSJ does not endorse any candidates, “If ‘neither’ could make it onto the November ballot, maybe we’d reconsider our longstanding editorial policy of not endorsing candidates.”

“An unprecedented plurality of 35% responded neither, which means neither meets the 15% threshold to make it into the presidential debates. Can neither get a podium on stage?”

In my blog posting dated August 12, 2016, and titled “Show me the Money”, I offer the reader links to the four Presidential candidates’ websites and their political platforms. I also include a couple of links in my blog that refer to the 15% survey “results” requirement for inclusion in the Presidential debates.

What an interesting dilemma is posited by the WSJ! I mean, what if no Presidential candidate met the 15% “inclusion” criteria? Of course the criteria would be changed. Gee, maybe citizens should be “registered” survey responders in order to participate in the “national surveys.” Or, what if, and I know that this is really silly, but…what if only ONE candidate met the 15% requirement! They would be “onstage” debating against him or herself!

For those who can remember “Alfred E. Neuman,” should I quote him by saying “What, me worry!”
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Shiver

“Show me the money!”

Author update, 8/15/2016: Here’s an update on the rules being enforced in order to choose the Presidential debate candidates. This update is courtesy of CNN.com: CNN debate update

After the Labor Day holiday, the Presidential debates will begin. There are three (3) presidential debates scheduled on September 26, October 9, and October 19, 2016. There is one vice-presidential debates scheduled for October 4, 2016.

Just as I created a blog entry to links for the multiple Republication and Democrat candidates’ economic platforms while seeking their party’s nomination, this time I’m focusing on the winners of those contests, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton (Democratic nominee)
Official website: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/om-an-economy-that-works-for-everyone/
Factcheck.org analysis of Hillary Clinton’s economic speech: http://www.factcheck.org/2016/08/clintons-economic-speech/

Donald Trump (Republication nominee)
Official website: https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/economic-vision
Factcheck.org analysis of Donald Trump’s economic speech: http://www.factcheck.org/2016/08/trumps-economic-speech/

Although the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, will probably not be participating in the Presidential debates, I’m including his Party’s web site: https://www.lp.org/platform

The Green Party also has a candidate, Jill Stein, planning to run for President. Here’s the link to their website: http://www.gp.org/

The criteria for inclusion in the Presidential debates is that each candidate must command at least 15% in five (5) mainstream polls. Here’s some information on that:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-gary-johnson-libertarian-debate-edit-20160805-story.html

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-welch-debates-johnson-stein-20160810-snap-story.html

In some of my blog posts, I make reference to a motion picture, or perhaps a TV or radio show, the film that comes to mind, relative to this posting, is the movie, Jerry McGuire. To me, one of the great lines in the movie is “show me the money”, which was uttered by Cuba Gooding Jr. Here’s a trailer clip from the movie that contains that scene: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi878683161?ref_=ttvi_vi_imdb_1

The “economic” themes in the candidate’s platforms include tax treatment, infrastructure investment, military readiness, treatment of immigrants (legal or ortherwise), to name some of them. Each candidate has his or her way of “showing the money” or perhaps “stowing” the money through various taxation techniques.

Being an informed voter is more important than ever. Casting one’s vote is more important than ever. Making “the right” choice for our country is more important than ever. I hope that everyone who is a legal and registered voter, does vote. Unfortunately, the issue of being “registered” is rearing its ugly head again. We just can’t seem to “get it right!” Well, that’s a topic for another blog item.
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Confused

Horseshoe Nail

 

It’s strange (at least to me) how one topic or comment or news article in this case, can lead one “on and on” to different searches on the Internet. In this particular case, the news article that touched off my latest rummage of the ‘Net’ is a news piece on the Financial Post, a Canadian newspaper. Well, in thinking about my cyber journey a little more, it’s not so strange. My head is full of the two presidential conventions just ended and all of the rhetoric that transpired therein.

The particular Financial Post article to which I am referring is this one: Inside the Aging Lock that is one breakdown away from crippling North America’s Economy. After reading the news article it triggered in my head the old adage “the battle was lost because of a horseshoe nail.” So I searched around for the correct version of this adage and found that Benjamin Franklin wrote a version of it in his “Poor Richard’s Almanac” news paper. Here’s a version of Franklin’s verse at: goodreads.com. www.goodreads.com.

What I really want to talk about is the Financial Post article. Basically, the “Soo Locks” are two water locks that control access to the Great Lakes of North America. The Great Lakes  are: Lake Superior, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, and Lake Huron. They are “fresh” water lakes vs. “salt water” such as our oceans, the Atlantic and Pacific contain. The Great Lakes are connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence Seaway.

If we are to believe the article from the Financial Post, the Poe Lock, which is 50 years old, is vulnerable to serious breakdown and economic impact to the U.S. as well as Canada. Getting back to the Presidential conventions and the themes of the political parties’ platforms vis-à-vis economic issues, to quote from the news article: “A six-month shutdown of the Poe Lock … would plunge the nation into recession, closing factories and mines, halting auto and appliance production in the U.S. for most of a year and result in the loss of some 11-million jobs,” the report warns.”

There are obviously other “issues” that one could pick to launch into about the types of jobs these “11-million” are referring to, where the freighters are taking the out-going cargoes, are jobs being lost because of this “shipping”, whatever else one can think of. My point is that how short-sighted are we getting (have we gotten) that our U.S. economy is disastrously threatened??? We have not recently heard about the sequester funding bill that was enacted in Congress and its impact on the U.S. economy for a while now. What potential disasters that legislation may be causing thanks to the lack of elected officials not doing their jobs.

Anyway, here’s an interesting paper written by Robert M. Williamson For the Want of a Nail. It highlights Ben Franklin’s adage and discusses the idea of apprenticeships for job training. I guess I started out this blog entry talking about water access but ended up talking about jobs, that’s what happens when one’s mind wanders across the Internet. Relative to the jobs or “lack of” issue, I have written several articles about that in the past. If you are interested, here is a link to the compilation of these articles:  Jobs Archive.

How can we, with conscience, allow the deterioration of our society because of such “craziness.” It’s all about “money,” the lack of it, too much of it, too little of it, the temptation of it and what it can buy, who has it and who doesn’t have it or enough of it. It brings to mind a motion picture “Other People’s Money”. In the movie Danny DeVito is a Wall Street “raider” who buys and sells companies for their assets. There is a happy ending to the movie, the employees save their jobs and a manufacturing plant stays “vital” in the community. The real lesson from this movie is the value of “compromise”, this value is sorely lacking in our current Federal, State, and perhaps local governments. Custer’s last stand ended up with a slaughter and it seems we just can’t get out of that type of mentality!

Apology

Debt – Deficit Conundrum

I listened to Mr. Trump’s nomination acceptance speech on Thursday, July 21, 2016. Many of you did also. As I listened to the litany of “initiatives” that he was suggesting for his term in office as the President of the United States, I thought “Hmmm, I’ll check out his speech on the factcheck.org website.”

There’s just too much to absorb and, obviously too many issues that the listener has to be aware of, in order to effectively understand those problems or challenges about which Mr. Trump is speaking. Here’s the web link to Mr. Trump’s acceptance speech as analyzed on factcheck.org. Factcheck.org is funded by the Annenberg Public Policy Center. There appears not to be any political influence in their funding income so hopefully we can trust analysis and commentary as “non-partisan.”

I have previously posted about the concepts of “debt”, “(monetary) deficit,” and “trade deficit.” Needless to say, all three (3) are very complicated issues of contention in the Presidential debates as well as deeply influential challenges in the U.S economy, and guide or influence many of the laws proposed or enacted by Congress (hopefully, instead of by “executive orders” from any U.S. President!)

Here they are again; each post has web links to additional information about the topic. Obviously it’s too much to absorb at one time, but this post is meant as a reference to further your research and knowledge about the above three (3) concepts. Mr. Trump’s speech contains many other issues but as my blog is centered on Economics issues, those are the ones that I highlight.

Debt vs. Deficit: What’s the Difference? In a nutshell (and that’s a bad analogy so I apologize ahead of time!) Deficits are an accumulation of debt. Please don’t stop reading here, check out my link. It’s a boring but so essential difference for us to understand while listening to the politicians and now in addition, a businessman candidate discussing them. Link to: Debt vs. Deficit:  What’s the Difference?

U.S. Debt Limit: Now, this is one of those annual brawls that the President has with Congress where the U.S. budget is “hammered out” for passage, and historically a lot of “pork barrel” shenanigans happened for special interest. I call this a “shell game” vs. nutshell! Link to U.S. Debt Limit.

Trade Deficits: Trade deficits or surpluses (I understand that they DO exist!), are a result of trade agreements. Country A agrees to buy widgets from Country B, Country B agrees to buy grain from Country A. However, it should be so simple! In actuality, the United States is involved in multiple-country trade agreement such as NAFTA. Link to: Trade Deficits.

Sketch of U.S. Economy in 2016: Following is a link to an article slideshow by Heather Long created for CNN® Money. There are  ten (10) charts depicting several statistics which represent different economic indicators such as unemployment rate, personal income, job hiring, to name just a few. Sketch of U.S. Economy in 2016

As usual I offer several reference links for further reading. The breadth and depth of these economic factors affect us all. Don’t try to read or even scan it all in one reading. I know that you won’t anyway. But I hope that you come back to read this post several times. As I mention in my profile, I’m an amateur investor just like you. “Chunking” out the information makes it easier to digest. Granted these are mammoth “chunks” but then the U.S. has a mammoth economy!

It sure needs some TLC* right now, let’s hope we choose the right and proper caregivers.

*tender loving care
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Connection
Sandwich
Dilemma

It doesn’t really matter! (I guess)

What I’m referring to is the U.S. Presidential election and the U.S. stock market.

There is a saying “on Wall Street” that the stock market projects six (6) months “down the road.” This means that “the markets” are already anticipating the future or have “a forward looking view.” In other words, “the market” is probably not responding to the news which is happening now (e.g. July 20, 2016), or this week or perhaps even this last month, but rather “the markets” are acting positively or negatively towards “the future”.

The U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is bumping it’s head up against ANOTHER “all-time high.” To quote the New York Times, “The Dow Jones industrial average inched 25.96 points, or 0.1 percent, higher for its eighth consecutive gain to set another record at 18,559.01.”

Here’s how the Canadian newspaper, the Globe and Mail relates the U.S. stock market in relation to the U.S. presidential election.

CNBC has an interesting “take” on the stock market vs. presidential election phenomenon: History shows stocks rally

If you are interested in “market indicators”, here are two (2) blog posts which focus on this subject:

What are Economic Indicators?

U.S. Economic Indicators