Friday, April 22, 2016

THIS BLOWS

Hillary is less sceptical than Obama about military interventions:
Clinton is more comfortable using American military power than Obama, and that she shares little of his skepticism of the military and foreign-policy establishments. To the contrary, she gets along very well with generals and former generals, especially gruff-talking Irish ones, such as Jack Keane, a former vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army, who was an architect of the “surge” strategy that President George W. Bush ordered in Iraq, and whom Landler describes as “perhaps the greatest single influence on the way Hillary Clinton thinks about military issues.”

In his account of Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, which lasted from 2009 until 2013, Landler reports that, during the administration’s internal deliberations over Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, she consistently supported the most interventionist option that was on the table.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

IT'S TIME

Bernie Sanders has made a terrific run for the Dem nomination & now that he has no chance to get enough delegates, it's time for him to bow out gracefully. Let's never forget that he single-handedly made liberal economic reform respectable.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

MORE GOOD NEWS!

Phyllis "The Dinosaur" Schlafly has backed The Donald and as a result some folks in The Eagle Forum are thinking about having her thrown out of the forum. Even better, Mark "Foamer" Levin gets a strong taste of his own bile:
Trump Ally Roger Stone Attacks Mark Levin: “Whore,” “Cockroach,” “Worm,” “Prostitute,” “Paid Shill For Ted Cruz”

Monday, April 11, 2016

THERE IS NO LIMIT TO AMERICAN GREED

David Sirota has come up with some starting facts about American companies:

Panama Papers: Corporations Shifted A Half-Trillion Dollars To Offshore Tax Havens In 2012

Friday, April 08, 2016

PERFORMANCE & THE PROFIT-MOTIVE

MasterCard and Visa are important parts of modern capitalism but neither began as a for-profit company:
MasterCard and Visa didn’t make, or even look, for profits for decades. MasterCard started as a not-for-profit membership association, in 1966, and Visa did the same, in 1971. Both associations managed their brands and ran the clearing and settlement systems for banks that issued cards or helped merchants accept cards. These card networks were allowed to charge their members just enough to cover cost and provide working capital. (For more on this, read Dee Hock’s book about starting up the Visa network.)
By the mid 2000s MasterCard and Visa were handling trillions of dollars of transactions between consumers and merchants around the world. Then the banks decided to turn the associations into for-profit companies, IPO them, and cash out. MasterCard IPO’d in 2006, and Visa followed two years later. Now they are very focused on making money. Around the world, though, many countries still have domestic payment networks that operate as not-for-profit platforms.
SOURCE: Harvard Business Review

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

THE TREASURY DEPT. DOES GOOD

The unpatriotic "tax inversion" scam may finally be over:
Allergan, Pfizer call off proposed $160B merger
LINDA A. JOHNSON
April 6, 2016
Associated Press

Top U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and Irish rival Allergan are charting independent futures after scrapping a record $160 billion deal torpedoed by new Treasury Department rules meant to block American companies from moving their corporate addresses overseas — on paper — to avoid U.S. taxes.

The rules issued Monday, aimed at stopping the companies' "tax inversion" deal, wiped out its financial incentives and rationale for Pfizer Inc., though they had no impact on Allergan PLC.

It was Pfizer's third, and most expensive, failed attempt at an inversion, leaving analysts to speculate Pfizer will drop the strategy for good.
UPDATE: America loses a large amount of taxes because of inversions -
As of 2012, U.S. corporations had shifted as much as $111 billion overseas through inversions and other tax-saving strategies, according to economist Kimberly Clausing of Reed College in Portland, Oregon. “I estimate that multinational firms shifting profits away from the U.S. tax base likely costs the U.S. government in excess of $100 billion each year,” Clausing told Fortune this year.

Monday, April 04, 2016

TECHNICAL NOTE

A couple of months ago I installed Privacy Badger from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and I just had too many problems on too many sites. I was particularly annoyed at Badger's blocking comment sections so a few days ago, I just removed it from my browser.