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    • Five Hundred Million Dollar Negative Yield Bond Issued
      No, central banks aren’t screwing the economy up with their purchases: Veolia (Paris:VIE) has issued a 500 million 3-year EUR bond (maturity November 2020) with a negative yield of -0.026 %, which is a first for a BBB issuer. To be clear, central banks didn’t buy those bond, investors did. But central bank purchases of […]
  • Top Posts

Schizo Paranoid Position

Never heard of this before because IANAS (I am not a shrink). But there’s a lot to unpack here in this psychoanalysis of Arya Stark from Game of Thrones specifically about black/white thinking, life force vs death, us vs them, love and devaluation. George RR Martin is masterful in writing his characters having good and bad sides, just like we are all good and bad.

We all have to decide how much bad we can live with.

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Trump is a deal breaker

I saw this tweet and added my retweet to 151,000 others:

Absolutely I would.

The story attached to this tweet is about the guy in the picture who met a woman online. They went to dinner and seemed to be having a good time until he casually mentioned he’d voted for Trump. At that point, his date said “thanks but I’m outta here”, got up and left.

The number of retweets is astounding. People feel very strongly about this, some of them saying how they’ve already distanced themselves from friends and family or are considering divorces. This section of the story gets to the point and also demonstrates the problem to people who don’t understand why voting for Trump is a non-starter:

That’s how it is for Kate Flaherty of Northern Liberties, a registered independent who voted for Hillary Clinton and said Trump is “blatantly racist” and a “misogynist.” She indicates in her dating profile that something she “thinks about a lot” is “how the hell we’ll survive Trump,” a move to deter Trump’s staunchest supporters from pursuing her. But she wishes she didn’t have to.

“I don’t like that who somebody voted for is a sign of their morality rather than just their politics,” she said. “But I think you can’t deny that’s how it is now. And I can’t look past that.”

Annie White, a Philadelphia-based dating coach and founder of Sick of Single Dating Service, said she was floored this year when a client told her dating a Trump supporter would be “a nonstarter.” Since then, she said, she’s noticed an increasing number of clients indicating political affiliation is more important now than ever.

Still, White, 30,encourages the women she coaches to work to find common ground. Even better, wait until you know each other better — perhaps the third date — to talk politics. “You don’t want to give someone a superficial data point so they paint this picture about you and eliminate you off a technicality,” she said.

No, Annie, if you’re a normal woman dating a guy who voted for a self-admitted “pussy grabber” that is NOT a technicality. It’s a leading indicator.

The 2016 election wasn’t just another vote. It was about the character of the person who thinks what Trunp stands for is in any way acceptable. If you can vote for that man, that means you have difficulty drawing the line in other areas of life where your self interest is at risk. It’s a character test. You absolutely cannot be trusted. On any matter.

No wonder the tweets are full of visceral loathing. How can you eat dinner with someone who thinks you’re a libtard, tolerates racism and Nazism because they’re not illegal and doesn’t care about climate change or depriving 9 million children of healthcare, or treating women as second class citizens or truly believes that the ultra wealthy are being persecuted by taxes? That person sticking puttanesca in his mouth might as well be covered in flies. Yeah, I’d be totally out of there. Don’t even think about staying over. Ewww, no. Don’t touch me.

{{shudder}}

It’s not an overreaction. It’s disgust.

I know some people don’t want to hear that the people they are living with have something missing in their personalities that voting for Trump exposed. But this is the reality they are living with and there are millions of people out there like them who feel the same skin crawling uneasiness about spending time with Trumpists . You’ll never change them. The best you can hope for is that Trump will become so unpopular that they will feel social pressure to put that part of themselves away out of fear of ostracism.

Political Gabfest discussed the off year elections and the reason why so many Democrats turned out this year. It comes down to decent Americans coming to the realization that they have a worldview that the Trumpers do not share and they are angry and motivated to stop this shit now.

Walking music

Dawn is cold and clear.

Brrrr…

*************************************

The real story about the DNC was missed last week as Donna Brazile tried to “throw shade” on Hillary Clinton. (Where did that term come from? It’s all over the place this week).

Donna may have been trying to get out in front of the real story had the Democrats lost on Tuesday.

The real story is that when Obama hollowed out the DNC in favor of his own OFA and left the party $25million in debt, he also left Debbie Wasserman Schultz in charge to rival Donald Trump in incompetency. There are some people who shouldn’t have some jobs. Debbie shouldn’t be allowed to run anything. She doesn’t seem to have the knack for it. And running the DNC was not supposed to be just another entry on your CV. It has real meaning with real responsibilities.

One of those responsibilities is to make sure Democrats can respond to the out of control Republicans ruthlessly cornering state legislatures in order to banish their opponents to the political Oort belt through partisan gerrymandering.

Want to know why so few legislative districts are competitive? Blame Shultz and Obama for either completely missing this strategy or generally not giving AF about anyone else’s political future but his own.

The victory in Virginia sets back the Republicans a little. They’ll be up against a Democratic Governor when Redistricting rears it’s ugly head again. But this is a very serious problem that the DNC completely missed.

That’s a disgrace, it deprives voters of real choice and it has nothing to do with Hillary.

Yeah, didn’t see that coming.

Reading the tea leaves from Virginia, it turns out that white college educated suburbanites and exurbanites really loathe Trump with a white hot passion.

The problem is the white non-college educated working class thinks he’s still hot as spit.

For now, the better educated among us are finally taking the remote away.

*******************************

We are about to kill the next generation of American scientists. Well, we’ve already killed the current generation substantially. Trump’s proposed budget cuts the NIH budget by 20%.

Look away, BiFF, look away.

********************************

I’m headed out early so I can camp on later tonight.

Later…

Don’t. Get. Giddy.

The ecstatic orgy of congratulatory victory dances in the wake of the wins in Virginia and New Jersey have got to stop. Right now.

There’s still a senate race in Alabama. The DNC probably wrote off Doug Jones but if he loses, Roy Moore, and impeached judge and fundamentalist on steroids using methods that only Joe Arpaio would appreciate, will become a US senator.

Think about that for a moment. Because it’s going to continue to happen all over the US. Every single election from here on out is going to be a monumental struggle and will cost us all boatload of mucho dinero.

Think the pee tape is going to make a difference? That solid evidence of Russian collusion will bring Trump down? Think again. Trumpers LOVE the fact that he gets away with stuff. It gives them a tingle down their legs. The only thing that *might* derail him permanently is evidence that he was in on hacking the voting machines in Pennsylvania. And I’m not ruling that out.

Anyone who vows to be as out of control, chaotic and disdainful for the rule of law and political norms as Trump has a pretty good shot of being elected. That’s who they want. They want to upend things and make everyone else unhappy. It should be the new definition of evil: deliberately going out of your way to make people unhappy without much thought behind why you’re even doing it.

So don’t get comfortable. 2018 starts right now. You’re going to need to put your comfy shoes on and learn how to canvass, call voters and motivate the non-voter to get out there.

Stop that silly dancing.

This is the message we need to get across:

If you don’t vote, the crazies get to run EVERYTHING.

*************************************

The Republicans are crafty buggers. They’re planning to delay the centerpiece of their “tax reform” package until 2019. And why would they do that?

Let’s unpack that, shall we?

They’ve spent the last 40 years going on and on and on about how government is too big, we’re spending too much money, money us scarce (debatable), we have to balance the budget like our checkbooks, which makes the scale of the budget seem relatable but completely ignores the macroeconomic impacts, blah, blah, blah.

So they want to impose some fairly draconian cuts to “entitlements” otherwise known as Medicare and social security which are NOT entitlements. They are earned but deferred benefits but whatever. And they’re going to also cut state tax deductions and mortgage deductions. But hey, that’s only really going to affect the coastal elite states so fuck’em.

But they have to be careful to make sure that middle class pain does not appear to be linked to massive cuts to the corporate tax. Maybe even wealthy people have to wait for their kibble. Because middle class people may strongly resent having yet another burden added to their lives in the interest of the exploitative profit miners in raw meat eating rent seeking mode.

In the meantime, the Republicans go to their ultra rich and increasingly impatient donors and explain that if they make the Republicans do this thing and blatantly screw the little people before a major midterm election, that’s it. They will have shot their wads. The Republicans will lose. Big time. That means there will be no further opportunities to stick a knife in what’s left of the New Deal. Better to wait until they can secure their seats in 2018 and pass the sucker in 2019.

Amirite? You know I am.

So, will the donors learn to defer gratification like other children or will they make the Republicans bow now to pay off their campaign contribution debts?

We shall see.

*********************************

I am very blonde this morning. Early morning walk music:

Libertarian

Definition: A person who desires complete personal freedom without reconciling himself to the reality that he shares the planet with at least one other person.

Rand Paul, yard waste and broken ribs.

***********************************

Salad time.

Be There!!

I found this meetup notification in my inbox this morning:

Alas, I’ll be working late that night on something. But if you’re in the area, consider going. The acoustics could be pretty awesome considering that The Point is essentially the lowest place in the valley surrounded by high riverbanks.

The women’s march in Pittsburgh was permitted for 400. Something like 30000 showed up. If I weren’t going to be pouring over a hot monitor at home, I’d be screaming my head off.

*********************************

Harassment and non-consensual sex, ie rape, was not sufficient for Harvey Weinstein. Like most people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (probably dark triad here), he has to destroy the women who spoke up against him. So he hired former Mossad agents to track his victims and make sure they stay quiet.

Ronan Farrow continues his investigative reporting on Weinstein in The New Yorker.

Two private investigators from Black Cube, using false identities, met with the actress Rose McGowan, who eventually publicly accused Weinstein of rape, to extract information from her. One of the investigators pretended to be a women’s-rights advocate and secretly recorded at least four meetings with McGowan. The same operative, using a different false identity and implying that she had an allegation against Weinstein, met twice with a journalist to find out which women were talking to the press. In other cases, journalists directed by Weinstein or the private investigators interviewed women and reported back the details.

The explicit goal of the investigations, laid out in one contract with Black Cube, signed in July, was to stop the publication of the abuse allegations against Weinstein that eventually emerged in the New York Times and The New Yorker. Over the course of a year, Weinstein had the agencies “target,” or collect information on, dozens of individuals, and compile psychological profiles that sometimes focussed on their personal or sexual histories. Weinstein monitored the progress of the investigations personally. He also enlisted former employees from his film enterprises to join in the effort, collecting names and placing calls that, according to some sources who received them, felt intimidating.

In some cases, the investigative effort was run through Weinstein’s lawyers, including David Boies, a celebrated attorney who represented Al Gore in the 2000 Presidential-election dispute and argued for marriage equality before the U.S. Supreme Court. Boies personally signed the contract directing Black Cube to attempt to uncover information that would stop the publication of a Times story about Weinstein’s abuses, while his firm was also representing the Times, including in a libel case.

Boies confirmed that his firm contracted with and paid two of the agencies and that investigators from one of them sent him reports, which were then passed on to Weinstein. He said that he did not select the firms or direct the investigators’ work. He also denied that the work regarding the Times story represented a conflict of interest. Boies said that his firm’s involvement with the investigators was a mistake. “We should not have been contracting with and paying investigators that we did not select and direct,” he told me. “At the time, it seemed a reasonable accommodation for a client, but it was not thought through, and that was my mistake. It was a mistake at the time.”

Ya’ think, David? It wasn’t just a mistake “at the time”. It is always bad. Say, “our firm purposefully engaged in activities that we are ashamed of because they were bad things to do and we knew better than to intimidate these women but we did it anyway because we have bad judgment and we put money ahead of principle”.

I can guarantee you that having targets of sexual assault speak out under any circumstances is difficult. Some never tell anyone for years and years. But these women could have lost their careers whether they complied with Weinstein or not. That makes what was done here especially evil.

My question is, what lengths has Trump gone to in order to shut up his accusers? Or did he just wave his money around and have Roger Stone deliver the message that Trump would destroy them?

*********************************

Wall to the office music: