SteveG


N. Korea has already suffered untold devastation by US, knows ‘fire & fury’ firsthand – analysts

RT has the article N. Korea has already suffered untold devastation by US, knows ‘fire & fury’ firsthand – analysts.

We must remember once again that, according to Chinese statistics, an estimated 30 percent of the North Korean population was killed, 70 percent of whom were civilians. The United States waged an absolutely unrestrained air war.

I doubt that there are many people in the USA that understand this. I was only 10 years old at the time of the Korean War, so I didn’t fully get what was going on at the time. Imagine all of our people who have been born since then. What chance do they have of understanding this?


Hillary Clinton Attacks Progressives, Critiques Bernie’s ‘Medicare for All’ Bill

YouTube has the video Hillary Clinton Attacks Progressives, Critiques Bernie’s ‘Medicare for All’ Bill.

Hillary Clinton has been making the rounds on cable news shows in an attempt to both (a) promote her new book, and (b) continue f*cking over America even more. Not only is she tripling-down on her attacks against progressives—calling them divisive, and implying that they’re sexist—but she’s also trying to undermine Bernie Sanders by criticizing his ‘Medicare for All’ bill and condescendingly implying he doesn’t understand his own bill and can’t determine how much it will cost. She’s also trying to persuade the Democratic Party to not give Bernie any influence. Thanks, Hillary!


Toys R Us: Another Private Equity Casualty

Naked Capitalism has the article Toys R Us: Another Private Equity Casualty. The article quotes a story in Financial Times

But the blame is perhaps to be placed most squarely on its private equity ownership. Toys R Us has spent more than $250m a year servicing $5bn in long term debt, which was “not a sustainable situation,” one investor said, as the company faced increasingly crushing competition from Amazon and Walmart.

After years of rearranging its debt burden, like other big leveraged buyouts of the pre-financial crisis era, it is presenting a restructuring under bankruptcy protection as a bid for freedom. Toys R Us says it now has a chance to bring its “vision to fruition”, announcing plans to invest in marketing and technology and even promising to raise store employees’ wages.

I had no idea about the Toys R Us Bankruptcy when I wrote my previous post Toshiba to sell chip unit to Bain Capital-led group for $18 billion about my prediction of the eventual demise of Toshiba’s chip unit in the hands of Bain Capital.


Fed keeps U.S. rates steady, to start portfolio drawdown in October

Reuters has the article Fed keeps U.S. rates steady, to start portfolio drawdown in October.

There is interesting information here, but one statement astounded me.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in a press conference after the end of the meeting that the fall in inflation this year remained a mystery, adding that the central bank was ready to change the interest rate outlook if needed.

The fall in inflation rate was explained by John Maynard Keynes in the late 1930s. I call it, “What part of no freakin’ customers do you not understand?” Keynes explained that you can push all the money you can into the economy, but if there is no consumer demand to stimulate investment, that money will sit idle. This lack of understanding of the failure of monetary policy to solve the problem of stimulating a little inflation into our economy is really frightening coming from the FED. If they can’t understand why their efforts failed, they won’t have a clue of what to do when things turn around and inflation comes roaring back.


Bernie Sanders Show: Interview with Canadian Doctor Danielle Martin   Recently updated !

Bernie Sanders has the podcast Episode 10: Dr. Danielle Martin.

This week on The Bernie Sanders Show podcast, Dr. Danielle Martin visited from Toronto to discuss Sen. Sanders’ Medicare-for-all bill and how universal health care works in Canada.

Now Playing: Episode 10: Dr. Danielle Martin

This is well worth the 30 minutes to listen to. You get a lot of information without the yelling and screaming from a typical USA television or radio show.


Toshiba to sell chip unit to Bain Capital-led group for $18 billion

Reuters has the article Toshiba to sell chip unit to Bain Capital-led group for $18 billion.

Japan’s Toshiba Corp agreed on Wednesday to sell its prized semiconductor business to a group led by U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital LP, a key step in keeping the struggling Japanese conglomerate listed on the Tokyo exchange.

A statement later on in the article is what really raised my concern.

Also, the semiconductor business requires huge amounts of investment, and Toshiba’s chip unit risks losing its competitive ability as rivals such as Samsung Electronics roll out big capital spending plans.

It seems to me that Bain Capital has a habit of stripping the resources from companies that it buys, puts the companies into huge debt, then walsk away with the money, and leaves the remnants to the bankruptcy courts.

Since the semiconductor business requires huge amounts of investment, this approach is sure to kill off Toshiba Semiconductor. Of course, I have no crystal ball, and I am no expert. Of course, Toshiba’s weak financial position might have doomed the semiconductor division even if Toshiba had tried to hang on to it.


What Bibi Said At The UN Was True — And That’s Horrifying

The Forward has the article What Bibi Said At The UN Was True — And That’s Horrifying.

On Yom Kippur, we will hear Isaiah demand that we “unlock the fetters of wickedness, untie the cords of the yoke and let the oppressed go free.” And what happens if we don’t?

On Tuesday at the General Assembly, Netanyahu gave his answer: Nothing will happen. In fact, we will prosper because what matters in this world is power. It’s Pharaoh’s answer, horrifying to hear from the leader of a Jewish state. But nothing I can see proves it wrong.

For those who don’t know the history, The Forward is a Jewish newspaper. Don’t blame me for what my maternal grandfather’s favorite newspaper has to say.


Getting the Gulf of Tonkin Wrong: Are Ken Burns and Lynn Novick “Telling Stories” About the Central Events Used to Legitimize the US Attack Against Vietnam?   Recently updated !

Counter Punch has the article Getting the Gulf of Tonkin Wrong: Are Ken Burns and Lynn Novick “Telling Stories” About the Central Events Used to Legitimize the US Attack Against Vietnam?.

Framing the US attack on North Vietnam as “retaliation” in this PBS documentary, which purports to tell truths about this horrific war, is a fundamental, serious, and consequential defect, one which must raise the question of why, after all these years — and when the truth about the Gulf of Tonkin “incidents” has been known for years — Ken Burns and Lynn Novick would engage in this kind of (albeit strangely belated) pro-war propaganda. (Or is it better understood as indoctrination.)

There is a lot of good information in the Counter Punch article to backup the accusations made against the PBS documentary.

Well, we have known for years that PBS has turned to the dark side, but now it ought to be apparent to the doubters.

I stopped watching NOVA on PBS years ago when they advertised that it was sponsored by the Koch brothers.


This radical money policy would easily pay for Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for all

The Week has the article This radical money policy would easily pay for Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for all.

Now, it would still be prudent for Sanders to match some of the new spending with new taxes because as the economy improves, there will be less wiggle room to spend. But he hardly needs to match all of it. Reasonable assumptions suggest his plan would already result in a bit over $1 trillion in new revenue.

The article depends on the premises of Modern Money Theory (MMT), but it also emphasizes the reality of future inflation issues.

This article also fails to talk about the savings from eliminating the private health insurance overhead. The assumption that the country has to pay about the same amount of money for health care after single-payer as the country did before, is not realistic.

There also needs to be a discussion of one of the ways inflation was kept in check during WWII. That is the selling of war bonds. The purpose of war bonds was to encourage workers to put some of their earnings aside for a while instead of trying to spend it on goods that the economy could not provide at that moment. I don’t know how you do the equivalent of war bonds in a time of peace. That’s why we need to start thinking about this now.

I find this article to be a nice complement to my previous blog post Robert Reich: A Handful of Ultra-Rich Families Are Bleeding the Country Dry.