Help me. There must be a word for this. Tuesday, Aug 30 2016 

Perhaps you can help me either find or invent a word for this.

Do you know of a word that means: The tactic of accusing and insulting someone for having a fault that you, yourself have even more extremely?

For example, Donald Trump referred to Ted Cruz as “lyin’ Ted.” There is ample evidence that Trump is one of the worst liars ever to run for political office.  (Being a worse liar than most politicians really says something. It’s like being the fattest pig in the pen or the loudest howler monkey in the jungle.)

While I don’t like Ted Cruz — he’s a mean-spirited SOB — he seems pretty honest about who he is, and surely doesn’t compare to Trump as a liar.

So for Trump to call Cruz a liar is: [The word needed here]

The closest thing I can think of is “ironic,” but it isn’t specific enough. Ironic can apply to all sorts of unexpected relationships. I’m looking for something more specific.

“The pot calling the kettle black” isn’t quite right. It’s not a word, and it implies that the pot and the kettle are equally black. I’m looking for a word that indicates the pot is much blacker than the kettle, but calls the kettle “black,” to divert attention from its own greater blackness.

Example: Trump refers to Hillary Clinton as “Crooked Hillary.” This, from the man who founded and profited from the outrageous scam operation known as “Trump University,” for which he is being sued and very well could be jailed.

Now, in truth, there always have been questions about Clinton’s finances, but the combination of Trump University and Trump’s failure to pay workers, and his cheating of creditors and boasting about it, surely exceeds any Clinton “crookedness.”

So, for  Trump to call Clinton “crooked” is [The word needed here]

Another example: Trump questions Clinton’s health.

She provided a real medical report from a real doctor. Trump provided a fake report from a gastro guy who claims to be a Fellow at the American College of Gastroenterology. Except he hasn’t paid his fellowship dues for 20 years, and the FACG wishes he would stop making the false claim.

So that isn’t exactly irony, because irony usually is unexpected, and the fact that Trump submits a faked letter from a doctor who provides a fake credential is completely expected. Birds of a feather, you know.

While no 69-year-old woman is in “perfect” health, for an overweight, 70 year-old-man, who turns in a fake health report, to question her health is  [The word needed here]

Similarly, Trump said Clinton is a bigot, who is interested only in black votes, not  in black people.

This from a guy who calls Mexicans “criminals and rapists,” wants to bar all Muslims from America, and who selected Mike Pence, known for his tough, anti- LBGTQ stance.

And it was Trump who tweeted, “Dwayne Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!” 

Talk about being interested only in black votes. A murder elicits that tweet?

Trump is the gun lover who has been endorsed by the NRA and (according to Breitbart) “opposes universal background checks, assault weapons bans, high-capacity magazine bans,and gun-free zones.” Trump even wanted guns in bars and night clubs.

In short, for a guy who has based his entire campaign on bigotry, to call anyone else a bigot, is  [The word needed here]

It’s far more than mere irony. It’s far more than merely the pot calling the kettle “black.”

It’s an attack method to deflect attention from his own faults, so that his followers will use the “They both are” defense.

If a Clinton fan points out that Trump is a bigot, a Trump defender can say Clinton is a worse bigot, to deflect attention from Trump’s bigotry.  “They both are bigots,” or “She’s worse,” is the response.

But while she may or may not have some bigotry in her heart, Trump is a real, major-league B-I-G-O-T, and that makes all the difference.

Trump, the scammer, tweeted that Marco Rubio, “is scamming Florida.”
Trump, the liar, said that reporter Jeff Horwitz, “wouldn’t know the truth if it hit him in the face.”
Trump, who has articulated no strategy re. ISIS, said to Megyn Kelly, “You have no idea what my strategy on ISIS is.”
Trump, who sees nothing wrong with nuclear bombing terrorists, called Charles Krauthammer, “an Iraq war-monger.”

There are many more examples, but to make the point, here is a final one: Trump says he himself is tough, and former POW Senator John McCain was not a hero, despite McCain having been tortured and even having refused freedom if his fellow POWs weren’t freed.

This from Trump, who ducked the military draft with the phony claim of a “heel spur” (that subsequently and miraculously healed all on its own.)

For a draft dodger to claim McCain is no hero is perfect example of  [The word needed here]

What is the best word to mean: “Deriding an opponent for having your flaws”?

“Phony” is accurate, but not specific to the circumstance. The same is true of “ironic.”

“Chutzpah,” “gall,” and “nerve” are in the right genre, but not really addressing the evil selfishness, and damaging, clownish incompetence of a Donald Trump.

So, if a word doesn’t exist, perhaps you can invent one.

Or maybe the word simply is “trumpism.”

What do you think?

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

===================================================================================
Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich afford better health care than the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE AN ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONEFive reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefiting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-tranferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and corporate taxes would be an good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Who will be the next President? What does research say? Sunday, Aug 28 2016 

‘Tis the season of research, where we all want to know what people think, and we depend upon research companies to tell us.

So research “A” informs us that 55% of probable (how probable?) voters prefer Clinton, and research “B” tells us that 51% of registered voters prefer Trump.

Then there’s research “C” which says that 60% of adults despise both candidates, and research “D” says 10% of those who say they despise both candidates actually will vote for Trump, but are too embarrassed to admit it, for fear of being thought stupid.

And, in the end, they all will be wrong. And we knew they would be wrong, though in two years, having learned nothing, we’ll go through the nonsense, again.

It may be more difficult to obtain useful information from a research program than simply to ask one smart person for his opinion.

This thought occurred to me today, when shortly after having bought a new car, I received in the mail, a research form. It came from MaritzCX of Toledo, OH, and was signed by Terry Phillips, Sr. Director, Automotive Research Group (ARGSyndicated@MaritzCX.com).

To encourage me to complete the form, I was offered an entry into a sweepstakes containing seven prizes, maximum value, $10,000, but mostly $1,000.

To conduct worthwhile (i.e predictive or evaluative) research, one must have controls, and these controls must involve such things as:

  1. Who is your audience? That is:
    • The characteristics of the recipients.
    • The characteristics of the respondents
  2. The many personal factors affecting truthfulness
  • The research environment
  • Phrasing of questions
  • The goals of the research. (What do you want to learn?)
  • The length of the procedure
  • The questions themselves

The list goes on and on. Research is really, really difficult to do well, and really, really easy to do poorly.

The car research form I received, was a monster. It consisted of 10 pages, small type, encompassing about 1,000 (!) questions.

And these were not simple “yes” or “no” questions. Most were multiple choice, with 5 or six alternatives (“Choose one”). Others were multiple choice, many answers (“Choose all that are right”)

I estimate that to do a thoughtful, accurate job, a respondent would need to set aside at least 3 seconds to answer each question. This comes to almost an hour.

What kind of person would do that? What is the nature of the person who:

  1. Receives what appears to be junk mail and actually opens it.
  2. Then bothers to read it,
  3. Then decides to answer the questions,
  4. And doesn’t quit part way through,
  5. Answers all questions honestly,
  6. And mails it all back?

Is that person “average,” “typical” or “representative” of some desired group? And, by the way, what is the desired group?

Here is what I think: The person who fits all six of the above categories is not average, typical or representative of any desired group. He or she probably:

  • Just loves entering sweepstakes.
  • Has lots of spare time.
  • But still will tire about midway through, so won’t finish
  • And doesn’t care about answering honestly, but just wants to check any answer so as to enter the sweepstakes.

Based on the research company’s analysis, the client (probably an auto manufacturer), will devote many millions of dollars to a marketing strategy, including advertising, sales literature, and auto design — even the on-site strategy of car dealers.

If a million questionnaires were mailed, and an optimistic 10,000 returned (1%), the likelihood of even one response being average, typical or representative approaches 0.

Meanwhile, a Steve Jobs or Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos will come along and do what research could not have uncovered. Think about the problem and come up with a logical solution.

Does this mean research is useless? No. Actually, most research is worse than useless like maps that send you in the wrong direction.

For example, if you were to send questionnaires to 100,000 people, asking these questions:

  1. Do you want the federal debt reduced? Why?
  2. Do you want the federal deficit reduced? Why?
  3. Do you want the federal government to live within its means? Why?
  4. Do you want the federal government to run a balanced budget? Why?
  5. Do you want Social Security benefits cut? Why?
  6. Do you want federal taxes to be increased? Why?
  7. Should taxpayers have to pay for the federal debt? Why?
  8. What will happen if China demands the return of the money it lent us? Why?
  9. Should illegal immigrants be allowed to use up your taxpayer dollars? Why?
  10. Should you be required to pay FICA? Why?

You may receive 1,000 responses (1%), and the likelihood is that 0 will answer all 10 questions in some meaningful way.

If you were running for political office, and relied on those answers, how would they affect your platform?

The car research form I received asked my opinion about hundreds of things like economy vs. prestige, or the environment vs. safety.

And there, the same problem exists: Most (all?) people simply do not know their own opinions, or will not reveal them, and this is especially true when confronted with a real buying (or real voting) decision. Most research is like that.

So, what to do? What to do?

Nothing will work perfectly, but several steps can be helpful:

  1. Simplify. A monster questionnaire , trying to get the answers to a thousand questions, is silly. Perhaps 5 questions could get more accurate answers.
  2. Focus. Direct your questions to a specific audience.
  3. Use the results. Use the answers to your first, simple questionnaire to create a second questionnaire , to verify or augment the first.
  4. Variety. Don’t use the same words and the same questions in the same order, repeatedly. Learn how phrasing and question order affect the answers.
  5. Reality. Where appropriate, test market or try to use a realistic (buying, voting, choosing etc.) action situation, rather than a questionnaire .
  6. Experience: Chances are, this research already has been done. Search for examples. What was learned? What went wrong and what went right?

I could continue endlessly with what good research requires, and I may already have spent too much space on this complex subject. But it all boils down to this: That 10-page, all-purpose questionnaire was a waste of time and money.

Worse, it will devolve into a 100-page analysis, which will provide thousands of erroneous conclusions.

Then one day, you will read an article saying something like, “67% of people 50 and older, would rather have easier ingress to the back seat than have a faster car.”

And the car manufacturer will spend millions to make his back seats more accessible — like an Edsel — while a competitor will create a fast, impossible-to-enter car, that will dominate car sales. Happens all the time.

Cars are complicated. Consumers have a choice of so many brands and options.

But consider the Presidential election. There are just two real options: Him or her. Should be simple to research, right?

But the research firms will make thousands of phone interviews (with the kind of people who answer land line phones) and receive thousands of mail responses (from the kind of people who answer mass mailings) and do thousands of street interviews (with the kind of people who will spend time talking to a stranger).

And they will ask these unusual people questions (that may or may not be understood) who may or may not give accurate, honest answers.

And then they will multiply those questionable answers from questionable people, by various, arbitrarily determined factors, to come up with predictions based on misunderstandings, lies, and erroneous math.

And soon you’ll hear that “55% of young voters are [likely to vote this way]. . . and 38% of female voters not [likely to vote that way] . . . ” and it all will prove wrong.

In the next few months, you may be amazed, or gratified, or upset by research findings. You may be tempted to believe them.

But now you know they are fantasy, created by research organizations that rake in billions, just to create fantasy.

How do I know? I once was in the creative writing . . . er, ah . . . research business.

So tell me, who will be the next President, and more importantly, why do you think so?

My prediction: Clinton. Why? Because when the chips are down, I believe​ Americans are too smart to vote for Trump.

That’s my research. What’s yours?

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

===================================================================================
Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich afford better health care than the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE AN ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONEFive reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefiting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-tranferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and corporate taxes would be an good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

The National Enquirer and the Clinton Foundation Friday, Aug 26 2016 

The previous post expressed the view that the Clinton Foundation was exactly what it purported to be: A charitable foundation, similar to the thousands of charitable foundations all over the country.

So far as we know, the Clintons don’t receive any money from the Foundation, though we expect that their travel expenses on behalf of the Foundation would be reimbursed.

If there is any evidence the Clintons profit in any way from their Foundation (aside from tax deductions), I’d be interested to hear about it.

Go the the Clinton Foundation web site, and you will see the FAQs, among which are:

Who contributes to the Foundation? Where can I find a list of Foundation donors?

We are proud to have more than 300,000 contributors; 90% of our donations are $100 or less. Like all philanthropic organizations, the Foundation depends on contributions to pursue our work around the world. While not required by any law, but in keeping with a long-held commitment to transparency, the Clinton Foundation has for years listed all contributors dating back to the Foundation’s beginning on our website.

Do the Clintons receive any income or personal expense reimbursement from the Foundation?

No. President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, who serve on the Board of Directors, do not take a salary from the Clinton Foundation and receive no funding from it. Secretary Clinton did not take a salary when she served on the Board of Directors.

If anyone has facts to show otherwise, I’ll be glad to publish them.

After the previous post was published, we had to admonish certain readers who claimed the Clinton Foundation was some sort of scam, though no facts were provided. For instance:

“You left out what the purpose of this ‘charity’ is, and who stands to benefit most. I think you might find the mud is there. Recall the saying that Democrats go into politics to get rich, Republicans are already rich so they go in for influence.”

and

“You imply it’s not possible? You hear often how charities are used as personal enrichment devices. Scandals are a dime a dozen.”

and

“Rodger, you conflate elected politician and appointed civil servant. The former gets a pass because the Supreme Court says corporations are people and can give boat loads of Free $peech to elect candidates for public office. However, we all know this is legal bribery with its corrupting influence. Who are we kidding? It really disgraces our electoral process, but that’s the system we got. The Secretary of State, on the other hand, as all appointed civil servants, must be beyond reproach. Even if innocent, there must be no appearance of impropriety to maintain confidence in the person and the office.”

and

“Its problematic because this is this is not the first time questionable campaign fund-raising practices have been associated with the Clintons. Younger readers might be interested when President Bill Clinton raised contributions by inviting donors to sleep overnight in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House.”

and

“The Clintons just can’t help themselves despite all evidence they should know better, as a past President and First Lady, lawyers both. You know you’re going to run for President in the future, why do you put yourself in these positions.”

and

“It is the smoke we are talking about, Rodger. Surely you are not so naive to think these bozos can’t hide their tracks well enough a lot of the time, and with connections good enough to get out of jail when they slip up?”

You’ll notice these comments have one thing in common: No facts; all innuendo. Zero evidence of wrongdoing.  It’s what I call the “National Enquirer method.

These readers can be excused, because they are not economists, writers or professional columnists, who are expected to have standards for presenting accusations.

Which brings us to Charles Krauthammer, who is a columnist. Here are excerpts from today’s commentary about the Clinton Foundation. He cleverly titled the article: “The bribery standard,” though he provides zero evidence of any bribery:

Clinton’s scandals are sprawling, multi-layered, complex things. They defy time and space.

“Defy time and space”? Nothing like a bit of melodrama to set the stage for a fact-free piece.

The real question (about Clinton’s Emails) wasn’t classification but: Why did she have a private server in the first place?

It wasn’t convenience. It was concealment. What exactly was she hiding?

Was this merely the prudent paranoia of someone who habitually walks the line of legality?

If she controls the server, she controls the evidence, and can destroy it — as she did 30,000 Emails — at will.

But destroy what?

“Why?” “What?” “Was?”

All those leading questions, devoid of facts.  Do they remind you of what you read in the gossip news? (“Which beautiful star was seen cuddling with which married executive at one of Hollywoods most exclusive restaurants?”)

And in that vein, Mr. Krauthammer wrote::

The foundation is a massive family enterprise disguised as a charity, an opaque and elaborate mechanism for sucking money from the rich and the tyrannous to be channeled to Clinton Inc.

Its purpose is to maintain the Clintons’ lifestyle (offices, travel, accommodations, etc.), secure profitable connections, produce favorable publicity and reliably employ a vast entourage of retainers, ready to serve today and at the coming Clinton Restoration.

It’s not “disguised as a charity.” It is a charity supervised by the Clintons, who by the way, are not paid for their work.

Apparently, “sucking money” is more exciting than “receiving donations.”

It seems Mr. Krauthammer does not want this charity to secure connections, produce favorable publicity or employ people.

And what the heck is the “coming Clinton Restoration”?

Money is not “channeled to ‘Clinton Inc.'” whatever that is.  If Mr. Krauthammer has any evidence whatsoever, that the Clintons illegally or even unethically received any money, he has a front page exclusive — a columnist’s dream.

But since I’ve not seen his byline on any front pages, and probably never will, I’m guessing he has no such evidence. It’s all speculation and grimy gossip column stuff.

So far as I know, the money is used the same way all other legitimate charities use money: For three purposes:

  1. For investment, to build up the assets of the charity
  2. To pay expenses of the charity
  3. To fund good works.

That is how charities operate. I can only imagine that Mr. Krauthammer never has been involved with a charitable foundation, else he would understand these things.

Now we learn how the whole machine operated. Two weeks ago, emails began dribbling out showing foundation officials contacting State Department counterparts to ask favors for foundation “friends.”

Say, a meeting with the State Department’s “substance person” on Lebanon for one particularly generous Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire.

This is supposed to be a scandal? “If you give to this charity, I’ll get you a meeting with an important person.”

That sort of back-scratching probably doesn’t happen more than ten thousand times a day in Washington.  I myself have received calls asking whether I’d like to attend a many-dollars-per-plate dinner to meet such-and-such politician.

And mostly the favors are far more personal than “give to this charity.” Usually, they are “give to my re-election committee.”

The next batch revealed foundation requests for face time with the secretary herself. Such as one from the crown prince of Bahrain.

To be sure, Bahrain, home of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, is an important Persian Gulf ally. Its crown prince shouldn’t have to go through a foundation — to which his government donated at least $50,000 — to get to the secretary.

The fact that he did is telling.

What’s “telling” is Mr. Krauthammer’s putting 2 and 2 together and getting 22.

Mr. Krauthammer presents zero evidence Mrs. Clinton herself received any money or benefitted in any way from the crown prince’s donation.

Mr. Krauthammer presents zero evidence the crown prince of Bahrain needed to bribe anyone to see Mrs. Clinton (In fact, Mr. Krauthammer admits otherwise.)

Mr. Krauthammer presents zero evidence there was any connection at all, between the donation and a meeting with Mrs. Clinton.

It’s all “wink-wink, hint-hint,” completely lacking substance.  Its print amateurism and misdirection at its worst. It’s a perfect example of why the media is so mistrusted these days.

More than half the private interests who were granted phone or personal contact with Secretary Clinton — 85 of 154 — were donors to the foundation. Total contributions? As much as $156 million.

The title of the article was “The bribery standard.” Are these 85 donors supposed to be an example of “bribery”?  If so, who was bribed? The charity?

Yes, it’s obvious that access and influence were sold. But no one has demonstrated definitively that the donors received something tangible of value — a pipeline, a permit, a waiver, a favorable regulatory ruling — in exchange.

It’s hard to believe the Clinton folks would be stupid enough to commit something so blatant to writing. Nonetheless, there might be an email allusion to some such conversation. With thousands more emails to come, who knows what lies beneath?

Translation: “Obvious” means I have absolutely no evidence, but I want you to have a negative interpretation.

“No one has demonstrated definitively” also means there is absolutely no evidence, but hey, who needs evidence when rank speculation is so much more titillating.

There might be” means “I have my fingers crossed.”

And then there is yet another gossip columnist question: “Who knows what lies beneath?” which means, “I have no idea what I’m talking about, but doesn’t this sound delicious!

We are hardly bothered by the routine practice of presidents rewarding big donors with cushy ambassadorships, appointments to portentous boards and invitations to state dinners.

The bright line seems to be outright bribery. Anything short of that is considered — not just for the Clintons, for everyone — acceptable corruption.

It’s a sorry standard. And right now it is Hillary Clinton’s saving grace.

What??!  That’s it? After all the leading questions and implied bribery, that’s it? Bemoaning the idea that Mrs. Clinton must be following “routine practice,” warrants the “Bribery” headline?

To be clear, this post is not a defense of Mrs. Clinton. I much would have preferred Elizabeth Warren or even Bernie Sanders, though when it comes to honesty, Mrs. Clinton is light years ahead of Donald Trump (He of Trump University and multiple bankruptcies).

Rather this post is a protest against the “Enquirization” of the media and of the political discourse. The “I’m only askin'” excuse for spreading innuendo is disgusting.

Donald Trump does it all the time. “Is Obama really a citizen.” “What was Cruz’s father doing near Lee Harvey Oswald?” And let’s not forget his silly insinuations about Mrs. Clinton’s health.

Trump is Trump. He is amoral. We know it and we expect it of him.

But we have every right to be shocked and angered when the media, even the right wing media, descend into the muck with him.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

===================================================================================
Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich afford better health care than the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE AN ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONEFive reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefiting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-tranferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and corporate taxes would be an good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY
d

How did the Clinton Foundation get to be a stigma? Wednesday, Aug 24 2016 

What do you know about the Clinton Foundation?

No, I mean really. Think about it for a moment. What do you know about the Clinton Foundation?

And what is your attitude about the Clinton Foundation?

I ask, because of a short Email I received from Bloomberg Politics. Here are some excerpts:

With 76 days until election day, Hillary Clinton’s not-so-great week of e-mail-cum-Clinton Foundation woes marches on.

“E-mail – cum- Clinton Foundation woes”? What exactly are the “woes” for a foundation that gives to charity?

Donald Trump’s campaign is now going on offense after a new report found that more than half of the people outside the government who met with the former Secretary of State during her tenure gave money to the Foundation.

Let’s parse that sentence: We’re not talking about everyone Clinton has met.

We’re not even talking about everyone she met while she was Secretary of State.

And we’re not even talking about everyone she met while Secretary of State, who were not government employees.

We only are talking about half of non-government people who met her during the 4-year period, 2009-2013 — a relatively small number.

And what exactly is the complaint about those people? That they gave Mrs. Clinton money? No, that might be illegal, depending on circumstance.

That they gave Mrs. Clinton campaign contributions? No, would be perfectly legal in most cases.

The complaint seems to be, so far as I can tell, that these people gave to a charity started by Bill Clinton — not to Bill, not to Hillary, but to a charity.

While this type of access-granting is not necessarily illegal or out of the norm in political circles (and while the Clinton campaign is saying the report is based on flawed data), the story adds another pang to the doubts already plaguing the Clinton campaign.

No, it’s not at all illegal, and yes, it is the norm. And, if it’s not illegal, or even out of the norm, why does giving money to a charity that does not benefit the Clintons, add a “pang to doubts” plaguing the Clinton campaign?

Because Donald Trump said so.

Remind me: Isn’t Trump the guy who lied that President Obama is not a citizen? Isn’t Donald Trump the guy who is waiting to be civilly and criminally prosecuted for the Trump University scam that lined his pockets at the expense of innocent students.

And isn’t there a bit of irony to Trump’s criticism of a charitable foundation? (Trump promised millions to charity. We found less than $10,000 over 7 years.

Will Clinton’s lead in the polls and Trump’s disastrous August overshadow her transparency issues?

Or is it time for her to change her approach—and also maybe just shut the Foundation down?

Now that would be the real disgrace: Shut down a charity in an effort to get elected. This is what Bloomberg suggests? Yikes!

The claim (unproven, but so what?) is that Clinton gave introductions in return for contributions to the Foundation. She denies it.

But let’s say, worst-case, the accusations are true. Would the conversations have gone something like this:

“If you give a million dollars to my charitable foundation, I’ll arrange for you to meet Senator Jones.”
“O.K., Mrs. Clinton, I’ll give a million dollars to the Foundation.”

Is that pretty much what the worst-case scenario sounds like?

Maybe I’m naive. I don’t understand why it’s perfectly O.K. for people to give millions of dollars to Pacs and to candidates election committees, but not O.K. to give to a candidate’s charitymoney that does not go to the candidate herself.

Does anyone out there really believe rich donors like Mr. Bloomberg, give out campaign contributions, while expecting nothing in return, not even an introduction or a lunch meeting?

I have a long-time friend, who donated a lot of money to Obama’s campaign. My friend had dinner with Obama.  Ooooh . . . Is this a scandal?

And we’re not even talking about campaign contributions. We’re talking about charity. 

If someone came to me and said, “I’ll give a million dollars for cancer research, if you get me a meeting with Vice President Biden”, I’d do my darndest to make it happen.

And if I succeeded, I’d feel I’d done a good thing for the world.

But, Bloomberg wants Clinton to shut down a charity, a charity that is doing good for the world, just so she can get elected. I guess that is what passes for morality, today.

And Donald Trump, who lies about his meager charitable giving, criticizes the Clinton Foundation, and the media buy into the nonsense.

The world has turned upside down.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

===================================================================================
Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich afford better health care than the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE AN ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONEFive reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefiting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-tranferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and corporate taxes would be an good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Next Page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 748 other followers