Oct 23 2017

Stephanie Kelton: Modern Monetary Theory on Debt and Deficits

After the Great Debate between Sanders and Cruz on the Republican Tax Plan The Real News interviewed Stephanie Kelton for her reaction.

Why won’t we end up like Greece? What did Greece do that got Greece into so much trouble? It isn’t that Greece borrowed and had high public debt that got Greece into trouble. It’s that Greece stopped borrowing in its own currency. Remember, before Greece joined the Economic and Monetary Union, it’s currency was known as the Drachma. That was the Greek currency, and it was controlled by the Greek government. Well, when Greece decided to join the Economic and Monetary Union, the Euro, it gave up the Drachma and it started spending and borrowing in this Euro currency, which it does not control. So all of a sudden, Greece turns itself basically into the state of Georgia, if you like. And Greece is now promising to pay Euros when it borrows. The problem is, Greece doesn’t create the Euro. And so that’s where Greece’s problems lie.

The U.S. is in debt in U.S. dollars. And the cool thing about owing people U.S. dollars when you’re the U.S. government is, you’re the only game in town. Nobody else can create the U.S. dollar. It can only come from the United States government, which is why you can never run out. You can never have bills that you’re unable to pay. You can never be forced into default. You can never be forced to go to credit markets and pay higher and higher rates of interest to get your currency because you’re the issuer of the dollar. It’s completely different thing.

Oct 23 2017

Pondering the Pundits

“Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

John Hodgman: I Am Sorry for This Scraggly Mess on My Face

I apologize for my beard. Not only because it is terrible — thin, patchy and asymmetrical — but also because it is inexplicable. Many people have asked me why I grew it, and most of those people are my wife, and to them and to her I say: I don’t know. I’m sorry.

Before my beard I had just a mustache, and that was not mysterious at all. In fact, I have grown two mustaches in my life, for equally banal, emotionally transparent reasons. I grew the first one in 1999, in the yearlong run-up to my marriage to the woman who is still my wife. I had ever only been clean-shaven before then (aside from an obligatory early-’90s flirtation with a soul patch in college), and I suppose now I was testing her.

A few very good-looking people I know turn mean when they drink, mocking and abusing the people who care about them. They make themselves ugly to see if people will still love them that way. I think my mustache — thick and dark and unwanted in the middle of my round pale face — served the same function: to be repulsive on purpose. I looked like a bushy 19th-century president who also happened to be a baby.

Jessica Valenti: The floodgates have opened on outing bad men

Oh, you thought things couldn’t get worse? I’m sorry – have you not met 2017? As more women come forward about Harvey Weinstein, so do countless others sharing their stories of harassment and abuse by powerful – and sometimes not so powerful – men.

Whether through #metoo or new accusations and firings, it seems the floodgates have opened on outing shitty men. I suppose that’s a good thing – let’s let the truth come out, as horrible as it may be. But for a lot of women, the constant recounting of just how bad it is and can be means reliving a lot of our own worst memories.

Even worse, while explicit victim-blaming seems to be a little less en vogue these days, we’re still hearing questions again and again about why women didn’t come forward. Perhaps because nothing is done when we do. Perhaps because the majority of women who do report harassment are retaliated against in some way. Perhaps it’s simply none of our goddamn business.

I hope in the weeks ahead, as more of these stories come out, we can learn to listen instead of interrogate. Because women have been through more than enough.

Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 23 2017

The Breakfast Club (Saving Grace)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

: Suicide blast kills U.S. Marines and sailors in Lebanon; Students in Hungary spark Cold War revolt; President Richard Nixon agrees to turn over White House tapes; ‘Tonight Show’ host Johnny Carson born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled.

Michael Crichton

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Oct 22 2017

Rant of the Week: Bill Maher – Salt In The Wound

During his opening monologue, Real Time host Bill Maher chastised Trump and his defender, chief of staff Gen. John Kelly, for the debacle following his “condolence call” to the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson earlier this week.

Oct 22 2017

Formula One 2017: Austin

What a difference 2 races make! Well, if you win and your closest competitor is a DNF.

Hamilton now stands 59 points clear of Vettel and could clinch the Driver’s Title in Austin, a power race that favors Mercedes over Maranello. If he wins or comes in second and Vettel finishes no better than 6th or 9th respectively it’s champagne time. Indeed if Bottas finishes 2nd and Vettel 8th or lower, Bottas will take over 2nd position in the Driver’s Championship.

On offer will be Pirelli’s 3 softest compounds, Soft, Super Soft, and Ultra Soft. The track runs counter clockwise which is unusual and the new wider tires have led to faster lap times across the board. The grid is Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Ocon, Sainz, Alonso, Perez, and Massa. Verstappen got a 15 place penalty for exceding his engine allowance. Hulkenberg received a 20 place penalty for an engine change, Brendon Hartley a 25 place one and Vandoorne 5 places for the same reason. Stroll and Magnussen each got a 3 place penalty for impeding.

All of which makes no difference really, other than silly season stuff there is little drama left. Barring catastrophic failure or a horrible accident Hamilton is set for his 4th World Championship either here or next race in Mexico City. The question now is about the Scuderia Marlboro implosion and how that will effect the Maranello effort going forward into next season. Fiat has already signaled its unhappiness with the racing program as evidenced by the shakeup that replaced almost all the top team leadership with Fiat executives. This year they seemed close, fielding a car that while distinctly inferior in power seemed to handle much better than the Mercedes. Where do they go from here? Duke it out with Red Bull for also ran?


Oct 22 2017

Hurray For Big Carbon!

Fact: VHS Tape is made out of Hydrocarbons

Do the Math.

Umm… $214 Million – $216 Million is… too hard

Who needs that Math stuff anyway?

Everything I need to know I learned from Jean Luc Picard and Olórin

Oct 22 2017

The Breakfast Club (Underappreciated Feline Orbiter)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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AP’s Today in History for October 22nd

A Cold War crisis over Cuba leads to brink of nuclear war; Shah of Iran allowed into U.S. for treatment; ‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd killed; Last victim slain in D.C. sniper shootings; Cellist Pablo Casals dies.


Breakfast Tune Piedmont Brothers Band – Mr Spaceman/The Wampus Cat Song


Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below

Trump plans to release JFK assassination documents despite concerns from federal agencies
Ian Shapira, Washington Post

President Trump announced Saturday morning that he planned to release the tens of thousands of never-before-seen documents left in the files related to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination held by the National Archives and Records Administration.

In the days leading up to Trump’s announcement, a National Security Council official told The Washington Post that government agencies were urging the president not to release some of the documents. But Trump’s longtime confidant Roger Stone told conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Infowars this week that he personally lobbied Trump to release all of the documents.

Stone also told Jones that CIA Director Mike Pompeo “has been lobbying the president furiously not to release these documents.”

In May 2016, while on the presidential campaign trail, Trump gave an interview to Fox News strongly accusing the father of GOP primary opponent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) of consorting with Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald right before the shooting. …

Aída Chávez, The Intercept

BANK OF AMERICA Merrill Lynch downgraded Chipotle and warned investors that the stock will “underperform,” complaining that the restaurant chain is paying its workers too much, and that cutting labor costs further will be difficult for the chain.

“We are downgrading Chipotle to Underperform from Neutral as we believe, assuming no significant tax reform, that 2018 and 2019 consensus EPS needs to drop at least 10 percent,” analyst Gregory Francfort told CNBC Wednesday. “We believe further gains from trimming hours will prove difficult which limits the opportunity to get labor below 27 percent of sales even if traffic recovers.”

But Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold called Bank of America’s analysis “flawed and inaccurate,” adding that the restaurant chain hasn’t cut employee hours but recently increased hours in conjunction with the addition of queso to the menu. …

Under Trump, Brags Mike Pompeo, CIA Will Be ‘Much More Vicious Agency’
Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams

ccording to Mike Pompeo, the agency he leads—which has supported coups across the globe, engaged in targeted killings, and led a detention and torture program—has not been nasty enough.

Speaking Thursday at a Foundation for Defense of Democracies forum, the CIA director, who has signaled suport for torture, said “we’ve now laid out a strategy for how we’re going to execute our strategy with incredible vigor. We’re going to become a much more vicious agency in ensuring that we are delivering this work. We are going to go to the hardest places with some of the hardest people and of our organization to crush it.”

President Donald Trump, he said, “has promised that he will have our backs and that he will resource us.” …







Something to think about over coffee prozac

The First Cat In Space May Finally Get The Recognition She Deserves
David Moye, HuffPost

Everyone knows the names of famous astronauts like Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and some may even remember Laika, the first dog in space.

However, the first cat in space has been largely forgotten by history.

This pioneering pussycat was named ”Félicette,” and she was shot into space 54 years ago this week from a base in the Sahara desert by the Centre National d’études Spatiales (CNES), the French version of NASA.

Félicette was picked out of a group of about a dozen cats because she had the best reaction to a series of tests that included a spin in a centrifuge, according to EuroNews.

Her 12-minute flight took her 97 miles above Earth and included five minutes of weightlessness.

Although this “Astrocat” made history, Félicette was euthanized a few months later so scientists could study the effects of space travel on her body.

No cat has been in space since and Félicette has become a UFO — an underappreciated feline orbiter.

Even worse, in some of the few tributes she received, she’s been misidentified as a male named Felix, according to LeDauphine.com
Now a British advertising executive is hoping to restore Félicette to the pantheon of great space explorers by erecting a statue in her honor in Paris, France.

Matthew Serge Guy, a creative director for Anomaly London, has started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $52,439 for the statue.

“Around 6 months ago whilst at work, I came across a tea towel in the staff kitchen commemorating the 50th anniversary of the cat who went to space,” Guy said in a release. “There was no name for the cat on the towel, nor did it resemble Félicette.

“After Googling it, I became fascinated with Félicette’s story, how it had been forgotten over the years, and (like the design of the tea towel) misattributed. It felt like something big should be done to right these wrongs.”

The campaign video is below and seems to have catapulted Félicette back into the public eye. After one day, Guy is nearly 20 percent towards his goal with a month to go.

Guy emphasizes to recognize that Félicette and other animals involved in the early days of space exploration suffered and had no choice in the matter.

“It’s also important to note that Félicette, alongside many other animals that have braved space travel in the name of science, was ultimately an unwilling participant in this experiment,” he wrote. “For this mission alone she, alongside 13 other cats, experienced arduous training prior to the mission and eventually gave her life.”

Oct 22 2017

Pondering the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Pondering the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

On Sunday mornings we present a preview of the guests on the morning talk shows so you can choose which ones to watch or some do something more worth your time on a Sunday morning.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with George Stephanopolis: The guest on Sunday’s “This Week” is former CIA director Gen. David Petraeus.

The roundtable guests are: ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd; ABC News’ Cokie Roberts; FiveThirtyEight senior political writer Perry Bacon Jr.; and Politico White House reporter Eliana Johnson.

Face the Nation: Host John Dickerson’a guests are: White House budget director, Mick Mulvaney; Sen. James Lankford (R-OK); Gold Star parent Khizr Khan; former Acting CIA Director Michael Morrell; and CBS News Pentagon Correspondent David Martin.

His panel guests are: National Review‘s Rich Lowry; Slate’s Jamelle Bouie; Politico‘s Susan Glasser, and Michael Duffy, Time Magazine.

Meet the Press with Chuck Todd: The guests on this week’s “MTP” are: Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY); and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

The panel guests are: American Enterprise Institute’s Danielle Pletka; New York TimesHelene Cooper; Washington Post‘s Robert Costa; and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman.

State of the Union with Jake Tapper: Mr. Tapper’s guests are: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

His panel guests are: Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA); former Obama White House communication director Jen Psaki; former South Carolina Sate House Rep. Bakari Sellers and former independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin.

Oct 21 2017

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

What To Cook This Weekend

Cooler and shorter days are here and it’s time to experiment in the kitchen. Here are a few interesting recipes to try out on family and friends this weekend.

Katsudon (Pork-Cutlet Rice Bowl)

Katsudon is a comforting, belly-warming dish from Japan, composed of sliced pork cutlets simmered in a dashi-based broth with onion and eggs and served over a bowl of warm rice. It’s an ideal way to use up leftover cutlets from the refrigerator, but it’s even more rewarding when it’s made with fresh, warm cutlets, and it co

Crisp Stuffed Chicken Cutlets

Fried to a golden hue, the dish is both crunchy and greaseless. The crumbs insulate the delicate meat and help keep it from overcooking.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts With Pecorino and Walnuts

Shave the sprouts with a mandoline or a food processor or a sharp, sharp knife. Then combine with raw walnut halves, pecorino crumbled off the cheese with a fork, olive oil, and salt. Mix aggressively, so that the sprouts begin to wilt a little. And that’s it. You’ll see.

Deep-Dish Apple Pie

The thicker rim is especially satisfying, like a buttery, crumbly slab of shortbread. You can use a 10-inch deep-dish pie pan, or a deep nine- or 10-inch square, or another 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish of your choice. A mix of apple types always makes the best filling.

Savory Dutch Baby

This savory Dutch baby is like Yorkshire pudding meets a popover meets a gougère, flavored with browned butter, Parmesan and thyme. You can serve it for brunch, pancake style. Or try it as an hors d’oeuvre.

Health and Fitness News

3 Million Americans Say They Carry Handguns Every Day

Could Too Much Exercise Be Bad for Men’s Hearts?

Even a Little Walking Can Lengthen Your Life

State Laws Help Reduce Concussions in Youth Sports

Arthritis Can Strike Children

Firefighters Exposed to Carcinogens Through the Skin

Higher Doses of Vitamin D May Boost Preemies’ Bone Health

How Foods Labeled ‘Healthy’ Can Still Make You Fat

Skip Opioid Treatment for Migraine in the ER

Be Wary of Shopping for Pet Meds Online


Scoliosis Screenings Can Help Catch Spine Problem Early

1 in 9 American Men Infected With Oral HPV

A-Fib Hits Men Earlier Than Women

Breast Cancer More Lethal for Blacks Than Whites

Nearly a Third of College Kids Think ADHD Meds Boost Grades

When Should You Rush Your Toddler to the ER?

Oct 21 2017

Alone In The Kitchen With An Old Frenchman

Recently French chef Jacques Pépin turned 80 and retired. Over the years, he educated viewers of Public Television on how to cook and, something that no other cooking show host has done, techniques in the kitchen with wisdom, humor and a smattering of French lessons. As Gilad Edelman wrote in a Slate article, this man will teach you how to cook

Ocean Harvest

Seaside living has, without a doubt, influenced Jacques’ repertoire of recipes to include the freshest fish caught close to his own backyard. On today’s show, Jacques showcases four sophisticated seafood servings, starting with an expertly executed Tuna á la Minute. He then skips the beef and substitutes shrimp for a healthy approach to a classic, with Shrimp Burgers on Zucchini. He goes on to garnish his flaky Grilled Bacalao (Salt Cod) Steaks with Olive Sauce with an assortment of zesty Mediterranean olives for a light and easy dish that cooks in minutes. Then Pasta and Shrimp with Pressed Caviar Shavings cooked al dente, or “to the tooth,” make for a decadent dish, delivered with aplomb!

Shrimp Burgers on Zucchini

“I had a dish similar to this in a small restaurant in Mexico, and at Gloria’s request, I created my own version at home. I use medium-size raw shrimp and puree the tails in a food processor, then combine the puree with pieces of the shrimp to form thick burgers.” —Jacques Pépin

Grilled Bacalao (Salt Cod) Steaks with Olive Sauce

“Thick salt cod has to be soaked for 48 hours to desalt it and the water changed three or four times along the way. It is always difficult to know for sure if the fish is desalted enough; I tend to soak it for a longer time rather than not enough, as salt can always be added to the recipe you are making. To test it, make a small incision in the thicker part of the fish with the blade of a knife and taste it to be certain that it is desalted enough. About 1 1/4 pounds thick center-cut salt cod will weigh about 1 1/2 pounds after soaking and can be cut into 4 steaks of about 6 ounces each. When the fish is rehydrated, it will feel soft but never as soft as fresh cod; it has an intense taste that we love.” —Jacques Pépin

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