Aug 18 2019

Not A Rant

I’m a great believer in purpose driven shopping.


When shopping with others my job is usually “No!”

Except when I say, “Oh, that looks pretty, and it’s in just the right color to match your shirt.”

Ok, I’m pretty terrible to shop with.

Aug 18 2019

The Effects of Brexit

First of all, “Effect” is a result. “He shot the Prison Guard to effect his escape.” or the ever popular “cause and effect.” “Affect” means adopt (with an implication of insincerity and pretense). “Stephen Colbert affected the mannerisms and attitudes of a right wing news commentator.”

Good. Now we’ve settled that the Tory’s latest consternation is the leaking of a secret report, dubbed “Operation Yellowhammer”, that predicts dire results, at least in the short and medium term, from a “No Deal” Brexit.

No 10 furious at leak of paper predicting shortages after no-deal Brexit
by Rowena Mason, The Guardian
Sun 18 Aug 2019

Downing Street has reacted with fury to the leak of an official document predicting that a no-deal Brexit would lead to food, medicine and petrol shortages, with No 10 sources blaming the disclosure on a hostile former minister intent on ruining Boris Johnson’s trip to see EU leaders this week.

The leaked document, detailing preparations under Operation Yellowhammer, argues that the most likely scenario is severe extended delays to medicine supplies and shortages of some fresh foods, combined with price rises, if there is a no-deal Brexit on 31 October.

It said there would be a return to a hard border on the island of Ireland before long and a “three-month meltdown” at ports unable to cope with extra checks. Protests could break out across the UK, requiring significant police intervention, and two oil refineries could close, with thousands of job losses, according to the documents.

Those campaigning against a no-deal Brexit said the official Cabinet Office document confirmed all the warnings about the risks of crashing out without an agreement. Tom Brake, a leading Liberal Democrat MP, said it revealed the truth that no deal would “have wartime implications, in peacetime, all of them self-inflicted”.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) also reacted with alarm to the idea of fuel shortages in particular, saying these possibilities had not been conveyed to them by the government.

“This is the first time the industry is learning of any threat to fuel supplies – a particularly worrying situation, as this would affect the movement of goods across the country, not just to and from Europe, and could put jobs at risk throughout the sector which keeps Britain trading,” a spokeswoman said.

After the Yellowhammer report emerged, senior government figures moved to dispute it and dismiss its dire warnings. Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister in charge of no-deal planning, said the document showed “absolutely the worst case”, and it was an “old document” that did not reflect significant steps taken by Johnson’s administration over the last four weeks.

Speaking to Sky News, Kwasi Kwarteng, an energy minister, dismissed it as something with “a lot of scaremongering around and a lot of people are playing into Project Fear and all the rest of it”. The government of Gibraltar also claimed that predictions of queues of up to four hours at the border with Spain were “out of date” and based on “planning for worst-case scenarios”.

A No 10 source was even more critical, claiming the leak came from one of May’s former ministers in order to undermine Johnson’s trip to see Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, on Wednesday and Emmanuel Macron, the French president, on Thursday.

Despite the document, leaked to the Sunday Times, being dated to earlier this month when Johnson was already in post, the senior No 10 source said: “This document is from when ministers were blocking what needed to be done to get ready to leave and the funds were not available. It has been deliberately leaked by a former minister in an attempt to influence discussions with EU leaders.

“Those obstructing preparation are no longer in government, £2bn of extra funding has already been made available and Whitehall has been stood up to actually do the work through the daily ministerial meetings. The entire posture of government has changed.”

Downing Street advisers are privately claiming that EU leaders will not offer any concessions towards a new deal unless they are sure that parliament is unable to block a no-deal Brexit. They are already setting the stage to blame former ministers working against no deal, such as Philip Hammond and Greg Clark, for any failure in EU negotiations.

Among the important things to reflect on is that this is a report by the professional bureaucrats who are preponderantly Tory themselves and were hired in a period of Conservative (including War Criminal and double Class Traitor Tony Blair) dominance.

Keep calm and carry on or panic. It doesn’t make much difference really.

Aug 18 2019


Off To The Races – Lana Del Rey

One For The Road – Arctic Monkeys

Come with Me Now – Kongos

Aug 18 2019

The Breakfast Club (The Infotainer)

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 August 18th

Mongol ruler Genghis Khan dies; Women in U.S. clinch right to vote; James Meredith graduates from Univ. of Miss.; Vladimir Nabokov’s ‘Lolita’ published in U.S.; Actor-director Robert Redford born.


Breakfast Tune The Entertainer


Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below


CEO compensation has grown 940% since 1978. Typical worker compensation has risen only 12% during that time
Lawrence Mishel and Julia Wolfe, Economic Policy Institute


What this report finds: The increased focus on growing inequality has led to an increased focus on CEO pay. Corporate boards running America’s largest public firms are giving top executives outsize compensation packages. Average pay of CEOs at the top 350 firms in 2018 was $17.2 million—or $14.0 million using a more conservative measure. (Stock options make up a big part of CEO pay packages, and the conservative measure values the options when granted, versus when cashed in, or “realized.”) CEO compensation is very high relative to typical worker compensation (by a ratio of 278-to-1 or 221-to-1). In contrast, the CEO-to-typical-worker compensation ratio (options realized) was 20-to-1 in 1965 and 58-to-1 in 1989. CEOs are even making a lot more—about five times as much—as other earners in the top 0.1%. From 1978 to 2018, CEO compensation grew by 1,007.5% (940.3% under the options-realized measure), far outstripping S&P stock market growth (706.7%) and the wage growth of very high earners (339.2%). In contrast, wages for the typical worker grew by just 11.9%.

Why it matters: Exorbitant CEO pay is a major contributor to rising inequality that we could safely do away with. CEOs are getting more because of their power to set pay, not because they are increasing productivity or possess specific, high-demand skills. This escalation of CEO compensation, and of executive compensation more generally, has fueled the growth of top 1.0% and top 0.1% incomes, leaving less of the fruits of economic growth for ordinary workers and widening the gap between very high earners and the bottom 90%. The economy would suffer no harm if CEOs were paid less (or taxed more).

How we can solve the problem: We need to enact policy solutions that would both reduce incentives for CEOs to extract economic concessions and limit their ability to do so. Such policies could include reinstating higher marginal income tax rates at the very top; setting corporate tax rates higher for firms that have higher ratios of CEO-to-worker compensation; establishing a luxury tax on compensation such that for every dollar in compensation over a set cap, a firm must pay a dollar in taxes; reforming corporate governance to give other stakeholders better tools to exercise countervailing power against CEOs’ pay demands; and allowing greater use of “say on pay,” which allows a firm’s shareholders to vote on top executives’ compensation.



Something to think about over coffee prozac


Aug 18 2019

Pondering the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Pondering the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition” 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.

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 guests on Sunday’s “This Week” are: White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Director Peter Navarro; 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY); and Georgia’s Stacey Abrams.

The roundtable guests are: ABC News Political Analyst Matthew Dowd;, ABC News’ Cokie Roberts; Washington Examiner Senior Political Correspondent David Drucker; and Axios National Political Reporter Alexi McCammond.

Face the Nation: Host Margaret Brennan’s guests are: 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang; Sen. Joe Manchin (D-KY); and White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Director Peter Navarro.

Her panel guests are: Nancy Youssef, Wall Street Journal; Dan Balz, Washington Post; Antjuan Seawright, Democratic strategist; and CBS News Contributor Leslie Sanchez, CBS News Political Contributor.

Meet the Press with Chuck Todd: The guests on this week’s “MTP” are: White House Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow; 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX); and former Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC).

The panel guests are: Yamiche Alcindor, PBS News Hour; Joshua Johnson, NPR; Carol Lee, political reporter for NBC News; and Peggy “Our Lady of the Magic Dolphins” Noonan, The Wall Street Journal.

State of the Union with Jake Tapper: Mr. Tapper’s guests are: 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Director Peter Navarro.

His panel guests are: Conservative commentator Amanda Carpenter; former Tallahassee, FL Mayor Andrew Gillum (D); Xochitl Hinojosa, DNC spokesperson; and otherwise unemployable and deplorable former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA).

Aug 17 2019

But who keeps track?

My New York Metropolitans are 2 games above .500 and a mere 9 games behind the Braves. The New York Yankees are a game ahead in the Win column over the Dodgers for the best record in Baseball.

President Trump has made 12,019 false or misleading claims over 928 days
By Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo, and Meg Kelly, Washington Post
August 12, 2019

President Trump’s proclivity for spouting exaggerated numbers, unwarranted boasts and outright falsehoods has continued at a remarkable pace. As of Aug. 5, his 928th day in office, he had made 12,019 false or misleading claims, according to the Fact Checker’s database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement the president has uttered.

Trump crossed the 10,000 mark on April 26, and he has been averaging about 20 fishy claims a day since then. From the start of his presidency, he has averaged about 13 such claims a day.

As some wag on TV pointed out, that’s slightly over 1 every 2 hours, 24/7/365.

Trump’s penchant for repeating false claims is demonstrated by the fact that the Fact Checker database has recorded more than 300 instances in which he has repeated a variation of the same claim at least three times. He also now has earned 23 “Bottomless Pinocchios,” claims that have earned Three or Four Pinocchios and that have been repeated at least 20 times.

It is actually objectively hard to tell if he lies more than your typical politician or is simply more closely reported (which is not to be read as an endorsement in any way).

Aug 17 2019

Colbert on CNN

I don’t amend or extend my thoughts on CNN (they’re terrible, I’d sooner hate watch Faux Noise or a test pattern or the news in Flemish) but you know, Stephen.

Also Anderson Cooper who shared a Helicopter ride with a friend and isn’t such a bad sort himself though his New Year’s Eve special has equally been terrible (and understand that by ‘terrible’ in this case I mean pure bad unwatchable television) since they dumped Kathy Griffin over the decapitated head incident.

Aug 17 2019


Crockett’s Theme – Jan Hammer

All These Things That I’ve Done – The Killers

Dashboard – Modest Mouse

Aug 17 2019

The Breakfast Club (Without Roots)

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) (or whenever we get around to it) 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

Hurricane Camille hits Gulf Coast; President Clinton admits relationship with Monica Lewinsky; Gold found in Canada’s Yukon; Robert Fulton’s steamboat ride; Rudolf Hess dies; Actor Robert DeNiro born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.

Marcus Garvey

Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 16 2019

The Russian Connection: Kentucky’s Catch 22

The Senate Majority Leader, Moscow Mitch, has put his home state, Kentucky, behind the proverbial 8 ball with his Catch 22 legislative maneuvering to secure a deal with a still sanctioned Russian aluminum oligarch, Oleg Derepaska. His economic treason has left his state’s legislature and the US Congress no room to reign in Russian interference in US affairs.

Kentucky State Representative Kelly Flood talks with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow about her reservations about supporting a new aluminum plant in Kentucky now that much of the financing for the project comes from a previously sanctioned Russian company founded by the still-sanctioned Deripaska.

Rachel next guest, Laura Rosenberger, director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, talks about Russia’s strategy of exploiting a country’s instability or disunity and installing its businesses into a country’s economy to get leverage over the target country’s political decisions.

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