Central bankers around the world are stuck at zero — plead with politicians to take action


Christopher Sims, Nobel LaureateMercoPress

❝ Central bankers in charge of the vast bulk of the world’s economy delved deep into the weeds of money markets and interest rates over a three-day conference recently, and emerged with a common plea to their colleagues in the rest of government: please help.

❝ Mired in a world of low growth, low inflation and low interest rates, officials from the Federal Reserve, Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank said their efforts to bolster the economy through monetary policy may falter unless elected leaders stepped forward with bold measures. These would range from immigration reform in Japan to structural changes to boost productivity and growth in the U.S. and Europe.

Without that, they said, it would be hard to convince markets and households that things will get better, and encourage the shift in mood many economists feel are needed to improve economic performance worldwide. During a Saturday session at the symposium, such a slump in expectations about inflation and about other aspects of the economy was cited as a central problem complicating central banks’ efforts to reach inflation targets and dimming prospects in Japan and Europe…

❝ In an…address by Princeton University economist Christopher Sims, policymakers were told that it may take a massive program, large enough even to shock taxpayers into a different, inflationary view of the future.

“Fiscal expansion can replace ineffective monetary policy at the zero lower bound,” Sims said. “It requires deficits aimed at, and conditioned on, generating inflation. The deficits must be seen as financed by future inflation, not future taxes or spending cuts.”

The usual Reagan rationales for doing nothing infect what passes for 21st Century conservatism. Absence of backbone and craptastic excuses characterize liberal political parties outside of the milieu of European labor parties. The time for ennui is over. Bernie Sanders’ campaign in the United States proved that.

North Carolina Republicans wasted nearly 5 million taxpayer dollar$ trying to stop voting rights

NC racist laws
AP

North Carolina’s Republican governor and Republican-controlled legislature spent more taxpayer money defending their voter ID law — which was recently struck down as unconstitutional — than the state spent hiring outside lawyers over the previous decade.

New data reveals state leaders spent nearly 5 million dollars since 2011 defending a voting law that “bears the mark of intentional discrimination,” according to the federal court that ruled against the state in July…

Before passing the law, the court found, the legislature studied the voting habits of African Americans, and “with almost surgical precision” got rid of the voting accommodations they depended on the most. As the vast majority of black voters in the state — as well as the nation — lean Democrat, the civil rights groups that challenged the law characterized it as Republicans’ attempt to maintain political power.

“It shows the North Carolina Republicans are afraid of free and fair elections and being accountable to the voters for their actions.”…

I’m not certain who deserves the most contempt: Criminally bigoted politicians spending taxpayer dollar$ in an effort to return the South to racist voting laws, voters who return these scumbags to office – or the corrupt conservatives in our nation’s Supreme Court who opened the door to racist voter suppression through the sophistry of “post-racial” hypocrisy.

They all deserve to be forced out of positions of power. That will take a mighty movement. One that requires a broader, deeper political coalition than we have experienced in this land since the 20th Century Civil Rights movement, opposition to the VietNam war.

North Carolina gets a lesson in the co$t of bigotry from the NBA

Bye bye, NBA

The NBA announced Thursday it will move the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte due to North Carolina’s law that bars local governments from extending civil rights protections to gay and transgender people.

“The NBA has decided to relocate the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte with the hope of rescheduling for 2019,” the league said in a statement.

“While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2,” as the law is commonly known…

The NBA’s decision is the latest fallout for North Carolina from the controversial law, which has been widely criticized as discriminatory. The law, which was passed in March, requires transgender individuals to use public restrooms that correspond with the sex listed on their birth certificates. In April, Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert in Greensboro. Pearl Jam, Ringo Starr and Boston likewise have canceled shows, while Cirque du Soleil bypassed two scheduled performances. PayPal canceled plans to open a new payment center in Charlotte, while Deutsche Bank did away with plans to expand its operations in Cary, costing the state an estimated 650 jobs. Since April more than 120 companies have called for a repeal of the law, as PepsiCo, American Airlines and Wells Fargo have all raised concerns…

❝ “The NBA is taking an important stand against North Carolina’s unconstitutional and discriminatory HB2,” Heidi Hess, senior campaign manager for the social change organization CREDO, said in a statement. “This is further evidence that hate and bigotry are bad for business.”

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory reacted by issuing a statement that said blah, blah, blah, blah blah.

The All-Star Game alone would have generate $100 million of revenue for the state, according to Athlete Ally. Since the law was passed, the state has lost $329 million in business, according to Equality NC.

Trump relies on anti-semitism for his message of hate and fear


Original version –> Plausible Deniability version

The meme Donald Trump put on Twitter on Saturday…was first created by a racist Twitter account.

On Saturday, his campaign tweeted an image co-opting a graphic depicting Hillary Clinton proudly looking off into the distance with the words “History made” emblazoned across it. Except this version featured a background made entirely of money and prominently included what appeared to be a red Star of David with the words “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” written inside…

On Monday, however, Trump tweeted that he thought it was a sheriff’s star, blah, blah. Though he took down the original tweet [above, left] and replaced it with a circle around his blather [above, right] within 2 hours of original posting. Point’s already made. Every anti-semite in America already has access to a saved copy of the original.

The earliest iteration of the questionable picture seems to have come from the Twitter account @FishBoneHead1, which tweeted the image on June 15.

From there, the image found its way to 8chan, a gurgling cesspool on the Internet that is currently devoted to celebrating the death of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. As Mic.com reported on Sunday, the image was posted there on June 22, featuring the file name HillHistory.jpg which could be a reference to the Neo-Nazi code “HH,” short for “Heil Hitler.”

The individual running the account seems proud of the work, tweeting at various news outlets to claim credit…

“We’ve been troubled by the anti-Semites and racists during this political season, and we’ve seen a number of so-called Trump supporters peddling some of the worst stereotypes all through this year,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO and National Director of the Anti-Defamation League told The Daily Beast. Greenblatt said the organization would like to see Trump speak out against the individuals behind prejudiced images that permeate social media. “For those people who say that you can write this off, and that calling it out is simply political correctness, it’s crazy.”

You’d think that bigots and racists, the drivel wing of American conservatism might get explanations of political correctness sorted in their own writings. It was, after all, they that founded the concept — starting with the campaign to put GOD into everything from the Pledge to the American flag to our currency back in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

I lived through all of those discussions. Though it was clear at the time that Congressional-class cowards would never stand up against compromising our secular constitution. McCarthyism – the early version of Cruzism, Trumpism – was in charge of patriotic ideology. Even after the defeat of McCarthy and a half-assed resumption of the Bill of Rights, no Congress has ever had the guts to turn those public elements of our nation back to the originals.

Trump — Shove your border wall “Up Your Ass” — Congressman Filemon Vela

U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela took a poison pen to the Republican presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump, in an open letter Monday morning.

“Mr. Trump, you’re a racist and you can take your border wall and shove it up your ass,” the Brownsville Democrat wrote in a lengthy missive to the real estate magnate.

Later Monday, Vela elaborated on his remarks in an MSNBC interview.

“Well, I would have liked to have spoken in a much more diplomatic fashion, but I felt like I had to speak to Donald Trump in language he understands,” he said…

Vela then pointed out that his own family lineage in the United States goes back farther than Trump’s paternal grandfather.

“Before you dismiss me as just another ‘Mexican,’ let me point out that my great-great grandfather came to this country in 1857, well before your own grandfather,” he wrote. “His grandchildren (my grandfather and his brothers) all served our country in World War I and World War II. His great-grandson, my father, served in the U.S. Army and, coincidentally, was one of the first ‘Mexican’ federal judges ever appointed to the federal bench.”…

More details in the complete article. Of course, I think the headline says it all. No time, no patience left to be tolerant of blather from bigots. That’s for people who care more about etiquette than equal opportunities. The latter is part of how this nation was founded.

You may recall we also told the Brits to stick taxation without representation up their ass, too. Too bad the so-called Tea Party plastic patriots are mostly cheapskate bigots who hate responsibility as much they hate paying taxes. Always ready for benefits without paying a fair share – or building a nation with a modern future.

This November might be the last time Texans vote for a US president – if Republicans/Confederates get their way

On Wednesday, the Platform Committee of the Texas Republican Party voted to put a Texas independence resolution up for a vote at this week’s GOP convention, according to a press release from the pro-secession Texas Nationalist Movement. The resolution calls for allowing voters to decide whether the Lone Star State should become an independent nation.

Texas was, in fact, its own country for nine years before joining the United States in 1845, and while the idea of returning to independence has never been taken seriously by most people, it remains popular as a romantic notion and marketing hook. Lone Star beer is the “national beer of Texas.”…In a 2009 rally, then-Gov. Rick Perry hinted that the state could secede…

Face it. Anyone know any Texas Republicans whose understanding of economics, politics, civil rights, equal opportunities – has progressed beyond 1845?

The Texas Nationalist Movement, once considered a quixotic fringe group, has added hundreds of members in the years since the election of Barack Obama. According to the Houston Chronicle’s Dylan Baddour, at least 10 county GOP chapters are coming to the convention supporting independence resolutions. But this will be the first time in the state’s 171-year history that they will actually vote on one. It’s very unlikely to win. Then again, that’s what people said about Donald Trump.

Racism is a powerful motivation for the natural-born bigot. Add in ignorance, fear, cowardice, you might just have a new nation.

Of course, this crew failed miserably last time they tried this, didn’t they.

It’s time to raise the stakes in the North Carolina boycott — Divest from Duke Energy!

divest-duke-2

North Carolina and the federal government prepared for a legal showdown on Monday in the ongoing battle over bathrooms and civil rights for LGBT people in the state.

The state filed a lawsuit in the morning, claiming federal intervention was a “baseless and blatant overreach” of its power, and disputed the federal interpretation of civil rights laws.

The suit came hours before a deadline the US justice department has set for North Carolina’s Republican governor, Pat McCrory, to scrap the law, which bans transgender people from using bathrooms that do not match the gender on their birth certificates.

After the suit’s filing, US attorney general Loretta Lynch fired back, saying she planned to announce a “law enforcement action related to North Carolina” on Monday afternoon…

❝ “Our position all along has been that HB2 should be repealed. We’ve heard from our customers and clients on this, and the consensus is that it would be better if it were repealed,” Larry Di Rita, a spokesman for Bank of America, told the Guardian on Monday afternoon. The bank is one of the largest and most powerful companies in North Carolina…

Meanwhile the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi has filed suit against that state over a law that will allow workers to cite their own religious objections to same-sex marriage to deny services to people…

The governor has become the public face of the law, called House Bill 2, which has been the subject of fierce criticism by gay rights groups, corporate executives and entertainers demanding that the law be repealed. North Carolina has already paid a price for the law, with some business scaling back investments in the state and associations cancelling conventions…

The time has come and gone when the basics of a boycott by 21st Century business leaders and citizens in general will suffice. It is time to up the game against bigotry. Pat McCrory is known for nothing else more than his stewardship for the region’s energy giant, Duke Energy. He’s served as their flunky in a whole series of environmental disasters. He spent most of his adult economic life on their payroll. When Duke Energy wants to “have a little talk with him” he jumps higher than the average grasshopper to heed their call.

It’s time to inflict a little retribution on his real bosses. McCrory won’t answer to the needs of North Carolina citizens – at least those who don’t wear white hoods in public – maybe he’ll listen to the critical economic power in his life. We need a nationwide call for institutional and individual investors to divest from DUK, Duke Energy. Let them explain to their Board of Directors why they continue to support a political thug who ignores civil rights, chooses sharia over civil law, embraces Confederate states’ rights over Supreme Court standards of justice.