Sunday, January 22, 2017

Stock Tip: Buy Shares In Fact Checking Companies-- Outlook Is Very Bullish For The Next 4 Years


Hours before Trump's sparsely-attended inauguration, Fox News-- which Señor Trumpanzee doesn't call Fake News (but which usually is) released a new poll showing that 37% of Americans approve of the new president, while 54% do not. It's not likely the bleak inaugural address neo-Nazi Steve Bannon wrote for Trump to read, bolstered those numbers. The speech wasn't just dark and-- sorry Kellyanne-- inelegant; it was filled with distortions and outright lies. It was, predictably, more Trump gaslighting. PolitiFact bore witness to Trump/Bannon's serial lies in real time and Glenn Kessler fact-checked the speech for Washington Post readers. It was filled with lies, lies that immediately became... Fake News. Overall, Bannon's dystopian vision, delivered by Trump, presented "a portrait of the United States that often was at variance with reality." It was exactly what Russia would have liked to see presented.
“You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before.”
No matter how you measure it, the “movement” was not as historic as Trump proclaims it to be.

Trump is a minority president, in terms of the popular vote. He lost the popular vote by nearly 2.9 million votes to Hillary Clinton. Clinton had the largest popular vote margin of any losing presidential candidate, according to an analysis by the Associated Press.

Trump’s electoral college win, meanwhile, was a squeaker. Trump had narrow victories in three key states (and narrow losses in two others). He won Michigan by 10,704 votes, Wisconsin by 22,177 votes and Pennsylvania by 46,435 votes. So if 39,659 voters in those states had switched their votes, 46 electoral votes would have flipped to Clinton-- and she would have won 278-260.

Overall, according to a tally by John Pitney of Claremont McKenna College, Trump ranks 46th out of 58 electoral college results.
“Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities … and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”
Trump repeats a problematic talking point about crime and poverty in “inner cities.” It’s unclear what he means by “inner cities,” which is not a category by which crime or poverty is measured.

In 2015, 13 percent of people lived below poverty level inside metropolitan statistical areas, according to census data. That is on par with the national poverty rate in 2015, which was 13.5 percent. Overall, the poverty rate has remained relatively flat under Obama.

As we have repeatedly pointed out, violent and property crimes overall have been declining for about two decades, and are far below rates seen one or two decades ago. Homicides have spiked in major cities in 2015 and 2016, but the rates remain far below their peak in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
“For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries, while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.”
Trump mixes up several things here. He seems to be referring to free-trade agreements in the first part of his sentence, though he ignores the fact that many U.S. industries also benefit and grow when they are able to sell products overseas.

As for subsidizing the armies of other countries, Trump appears to be referring to military bases that the United States has overseas. A 2013 Senate report found that the United States spent $10 billion a year on bases abroad, with 70 percent focused on three countries-- Germany, South Korea and Japan. Germany is the center of European defense obligations, while the troops in Japan are the core of U.S. projection of power in Asia. The troops in Korea deter an attack by North Korea. Given a defense budget of more than $500 billion, the cost of maintaining these bases is a mere pittance.

The United States doles out about $6 billion a year in foreign military financing, with most of it going to just two countries: Israel and Egypt. But this money comes with a catch-- most of it must be spent on U.S. hardware, creating jobs for Americans.

As for the “very sad depletion” of the U.S. military, this is hyper-exaggeration. One can argue about whether the military budget should be boosted, but there is no question that the U.S. military is stronger and more capable than any other nation’s. The website ranks countries based on 45 factors, and the United States tops the charts. Here’s one small statistic: The United States has 19 aircraft carriers, as of the end of last year; no other country has more than four.
“[We’ve] spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay. We’ve made other countries rich, while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon.”
Trump appears to be referring to U.S. involvement in military adventures, such as the 2003 Iraq invasion he supported, and possibly foreign aid.

Foreign aid amounts to less than 1 percent of the U.S. budget, with about $18 billion going to economic and development aid and $8 billion for security assistance. Even the Marshall Plan advanced by President Harry S. Truman, designed to stabilize Europe after World War II, was only a little over $100 billion in today’s dollars.

So Trump only gets to “trillions and trillions of dollars” by including wars. The Iraq war is estimated to have cost $1.7 trillion through 2013, though one estimate says that the cost will rise to $6 trillion through 2053, primarily from paying the interest on the debt incurred to wage the war because the Bush administration chose not to raise the taxes to pay for it. But we doubt Iraqis would say the war made the country “rich.”

Contrary to Trump’s rhetoric, the United States is far wealthier than other nations. According to the International Monetary Fund, the United States has a gross domestic product of $18 trillion, one-third larger than that of China, the nearest rival and a frequent target of Trump’s attacks.

A Pew Research Center analysis found that the vast majority of Americans are either upper-middle income or high income; many Americans who are classified as “poor” by the U.S. government would be middle income globally.

“One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind. The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world.”
Trump again engages in hyperbole, attributing all of the decline in manufacturing to foreign trade.

The number of U.S. workers engaged in manufacturing is now about 12.3 million, up from 11.5 million in 2010, after the Great Recession hurt many manufacturers. But that’s still a decline from about 17 million in the 1990s.

Some analysts calculate that between 1 million and 2 million U.S. jobs were lost after China was admitted to the World Trade Organization in 2000. But economists believe the biggest factor in the decline in manufacturing is automation, not jobs going overseas. Another factor is decreased consumer spending on manufactured goods. A new report by the Congressional Research Service notes that “employment in manufacturing has fallen in most major manufacturing countries over the past quarter-century,” so the U.S. experience is not unusual.

Meanwhile, the official unemployment rate is 4.7 percent, down from a high of 10 percent in the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Jobs have been added for a record 75 months.
“We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.”
Trump continues to attack companies that ship jobs overseas, and has promised to keep jobs in the United States. But Trump has had a long history of outsourcing a variety of his products as a businessman, and he has acknowledged doing so.

We know of at least 12 countries where Trump products were manufactured. Further, Trump products transited other countries through the packaging and shipping process-- meaning that workers in more than 12 countries contributed to getting many of Trump’s products made, packaged and delivered to the United States.

Here’s our inventory of Trump’s products made overseas.
“We will get our people off of welfare and back to work, rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.”
“Welfare” is a broad term and can apply to people who are working but receiving some government assistance. If someone is receiving means-tested assistance, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are not working.

Not all people eligible for welfare collect benefits. When they do, many of the benefits are contingent on the recipients working or actively searching for jobs, as a result of an overhaul of welfare signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996. And even low-income families receive some level of public assistance.

According to the 2012 U.S. Census, about 23 percent of U.S. households with at least one person with a job received means-tested benefits.

Meanwhile, Trump is apparently unaware that participation has declined in means-tested programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps).

Caseloads in the TANF program have declined over the past 15 years, from about 2.4 million families to 1.6 million families. After its post-recession peak in 2013, the number of people receiving food stamps has declined. In October 2016, there were 43.2 million people participating in the program, compared to 47 million in October 2013.
Señor Trumpanzee claims the sad and worst-attended inauguration ever, had a million and a half people, part of his gaslighting strategy to drive America insane

Meanwhile, "the Interior Department was ordered Friday to shut down its official Twitter accounts-- indefinitely-- after the National Park Service shared two unsympathetic tweets during President Trump’s inauguration. The first noted the new president’s relatively small inaugural crowd compared to the number of people former president Barack Obama drew to the National Mall when he was sworn into office in 2009. The second tweet noted several omissions of policy areas on the new White House website. A Park Service employee retweeted both missives on Friday."
“All bureaus and the department have been directed by incoming administration to shut down Twitter platforms immediately until further notice,” said an email circulated to Park Service employees Friday afternoon.

No news, but Fake News, is tolerated by a tyranny. Recently a movie company contacted me about a song my small indie label, 415 Records, released in 1981, "Teenage Underground" by the Red Rockers, from the New Orleans based band's debut album, Condition Red. Films and TV shows have used some of the band's later, more commercial songs, especially their big hit China, as well as Good As Gold, Blood From A Stone and their cover of the classic :Eve of Destruction" (embedded up top). But this film, Pitching Tents, which should be out in the next few months, was looking for a different sound and a different message, one that fits the newly Trumpified America. Take a listen to what they chose (first film use of the 26-year old song ever):

UPDATE: New York Times Weighs In On Trumpanzee Lies

The women’s march in Washington was roughly three times the size of the audience at President Trump’s inauguration, crowd counting experts said Saturday.

Marcel Altenburg and Keith Still, crowd scientists at Manchester Metropolitan University in Britain, analyzed photographs and video taken of the National Mall and vicinity and estimated that there were about 160,000 people in those areas in the hour leading up to Mr. Trump’s speech Friday.

They estimated that at least 470,000 people were at the women’s march in Washington in the areas on and near the mall at about 2 p.m. Saturday.

The two images below show the crowds when they were at their peak density at the two events.

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At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you really want to make a killing in the trump/pence market, buy stock in makers of caskets, crematoria and urns.

By this time next year there could be 50 million without health insurance and affordable health CARE. And millions will be kids and those with pre-existing conditions and the elderly. They'll start dropping dead soon thereafter.

Under fascism, death is always a growth industry.

And in 2020, the majority of the survivors will vote to affirm it again... bigly.


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