To Accompany the June 15, 2016 edition of Tidbits
Bob Jensen at Trinity University
It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.
Historic Home Run Hitter
And he wasn't even thinking about Jihads in those days but I am thinking Jihads these days
Only those who
will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life
that is waiting for us.
If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.
George S. Patton
If you don't know
where you're going, you might not get there.
Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude
you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly
on your shoulder.
Henry David Thoreau
Nobody in the USA should have a gun.
Bonnie Schaefer officially shaping the DNC national platform
Christian conservatives are responsible for the mass shooting at
a gay bar in Orlando because they "created this anti-queer climate,"
according to American Civil
Liberties Union (ACLU) attorneys.
Defiance of homosexual rights is an abomination. For the ACLU to cherry pick Christianity for the "anti-queer climate" is an abomination. Homosexuality is against the Law of Sharia in the Islamic religion. Homosexuality is a punishable crime and a sin is the Islamic religion.
The traditional schools of Islamic law based on
Quranic verses and hadith consider homosexual acts a punishable crime and a sin,
and influenced by Islamic scholars such as
Imam Malik and
Imam Shafi. The Qur'an cites the story of the
"people of Lot" destroyed by the wrath of God because they engaged in "lustful"
carnal acts between men.
Defiance of homosexual rights is an abomination. Why does the ACLU single out Christianity as the cause of the "anti-queer climate?" Homosexuality is a crime punishable by death in many Muslim nations.
The most obvious difference is that the media
and the Democrats would have blamed Christians for the mass slaughter, whereas
they do everything in their power to exonerate Muslims. Indeed, as many have
noted, President Obama and the entire Democratic Party leadership have long
refused to even use the terms "radical Islam" or "radical Islamists."
The Orlando attack was “about a deeply
dangerous ideology that is infiltrating American society in the guise of
religion,” writes Ayaan Hirsi Ali. “The Associated Press reports that since 2014
ISIS has executed at least 30 people in Syria and Iraq for being homosexual,
including three men who were dropped from the top of a 100-foot building in
Mosul in June 2015.” ...Meanwhile James Taranto asks if the multicultural left
would “see clearly the threat of Islamic terrorism when it targeted a minority
whose interests they vigorously champion against far lesser threats.” He finds
that, “For the most part the answer was no.”
WSJ --- http://www.wsj.com/articles/islams-jihad-against-homosexuals-1465859170?mod=djemMER
Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, the spokesman of ISIS, calling on followers to strike at
as many targets as possible during Ramadan.
Students Tell English Profs to Stop Teaching English: Too Many White Male Poets
Yale English majors: You're right, the canon is sexist, racist, colonialist,
ableist, and transphobic. You must read it anyway ---
Whitehouse: We Don't Know Why Our Official Transcript Excluded a
Damaging Answer About Iran ---
Reminds us in that infamous gap in Nixon's Whitehouse tapes when it's suspected that that the video was doctored to eliminate the bad stuff.
up in Bulgaria and my early childhood was spent under a communist dictatorship.
But for all its evils, communism had one silver lining — when everyone had very
little, no one felt like somebody else was cruising past them motorized by
Maria Popova --- https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/05/16/annenberg-commencement/?mc_cid=94b2eea625&mc_eid=4d2bd13843
Protesters Punch, Throw Eggs at Trump Supporters in San
Martha Mendoza ---
Don't these fools realize that violence like this will help Trump win?
The New York City public-school system is 41 percent
Latino, 27 percent black and 16 percent Asian. Three-quarters of all students
are low-income ---
Paris is "the world capital of contradictions," says
Luc Sante. It’s a city of lovers and muggers, writers, thieves, painters,
drunks, and revolutionaries ---
I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the
richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion
than a white male who hasn't lived that life." She also said, "Whether born from
experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences ... our gender and
national origins may and will (emphasis added) make a difference in our judging.
Supreme Court justice, Sotomayo
Migrants in Germany committed or tried to
commit some 69,000 crimes in the first quarter of 2016, according to a police
Reuters --- Click Here
Reps. Jordan, DeSantis: The case for
impeaching the IRS Commissioner (for deliberate obstruction of justice) ---
Washington Post scorches Hillary Clinton in
scathing editorial slamming her email setup
Natash Bertrand --- http://www.businessinsider.com/washington-post-hillary-clinton-email-editorial-2016-5
Mrs. Clinton claims she set up the home-brew server in
an innocent act aimed at convenience, so it was notable that Ms. Mills marched
into her deposition accompanied by no fewer than seven lawyers—three
representing Ms. Mills herself, and two each from the Justice and State
departments. Two of the government lawyers made clear that they were not only
representing their departments but also guarding Ms. Mills in her capacity as a
former federal employee. This is President Obama’s assist for Mrs. Clinton. This
was the measure to watch when Ms. Mills arrived last Friday to sit for an
interview with attorneys for Judicial Watch, which has sued the State Department
over missing federal records. . . .
Mrs. Clinton claims she set up the home-brew server in an innocent act aimed at convenience, so it was notable that Ms. Mills marched into her deposition accompanied by no fewer than seven lawyers—three representing Ms. Mills herself, and two each from the Justice and State departments. Two of the government lawyers made clear that they were not only representing their departments but also guarding Ms. Mills in her capacity as a former federal employee. This is President Obama’s assist for Mrs. Clinton.
Kimberly A. Strassel
A major political donor to the Clintons and other top
Democrats was selected by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to serve on a
key State Department intelligence board in 2011, despite having no clear
background in the area, according to emails released this week.
CNN and ABC News ---
Clinton Scandals: A Guide From Whitewater To
The Clinton Foundation
Carrie Johnson, NPR ---
Hillary Clinton did not hand over key
emails cited in scathing State Department report -. . .
"At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department's policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act," the report reads.--
Natash Bertrand --- http://www.businessinsider.com/ap-origin-of-key-clinton-emails-from-report-are-a-mystery-2016-5
Bill Clinton is claiming his foundation Â“accidentallyÂ”
accepted money from foreign governments who were negotiating with his wife while
she was Secretary of State Â– a definite no-no. The Clinton Foundation received
$500,000 from Algeria in 2010 while the country was lobbying the State
Department for an increase in weapons export authorization.
Trump’s MAD: Donald Trump may be turning into a
captive of his public persona
WSJ's Daniel Henniger
MIT: Donald Trump’s “America-First Energy Plan”
Shows He Knows Virtually Nothing About the Issue
Richard Martin ---
It feels like Hillary Clinton is lying
straight out (Andrea Mitchell looks devastated)
MSNBC --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkJE0U8Qby4
Valerie Jarrett Cites 'Ending Two Wars' as Obama Accomplishments
Say what? Where were the wars that ended?
The Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group burned 19
Yazidi girls alive after they refused to have sex with its fighters
It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.
Babe Ruth, Historic Home Run Hitter
A record 27.3 million Latinos are eligible to vote in the
2016 election. How many of them will be voting for Donald Trump? Perhaps more
than you'd expect. In the CBSN Originals documentary, "Nuestro Amigo: Latinos
for Trump," Elaine Quijano travels down to the border to meet some of the
presumptive nominee's biggest fans.
CBS News --- 35683729:sS_E1lY7N:m:1:715911594:5FB5BD7463294AB9AA6EE54132C558F3:r
Why Socialism Is Not the Solution to Poverty
Moocher Hall of Fame --- https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/the-moocher-hall-of-fame/
rifleman’s stalking the sick and the lame
Preacherman seeks the same, who’ll get there first is uncertain
Nightsticks and water cannons, tear gas, padlocks
Molotov cocktails and rocks behind every curtain
False-hearted judges dying in the webs that they spin
Only a matter of time ’til night comes steppin’ in
To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the booked
obligation of $19+ trillion) ---
The US Debt Clock in Real Time --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/
Remember the Jane Fonda Movie called "Rollover" --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollover_(film)
To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the
unbooked obligation of $100 trillion and unknown more in contracted
The biggest worry of the entitlements obligations is enormous obligation for the future under the Medicare and Medicaid programs that are now deemed totally unsustainable ---
Entitlements are two-thirds of the federal budget.
Entitlement spending has grown 100-fold over the past 50 years. Half of all
American households now rely on government handouts. When we hear statistics
like that, most of us shake our heads and mutter some sort of expletive. That’s
because nobody thinks they’re the problem. Nobody ever wants to think they’re
the problem. But that’s not the truth. The truth is, as long as we continue to
think of the rising entitlement culture in America as someone else’s problem,
someone else’s fault, we’ll never truly understand it and we’ll have absolutely
Steve Tobak ---
"These Slides Show Why We Have Such A Huge Budget Deficit And Why Taxes
Need To Go Up," by Rob Wile, Business Insider, April 27, 2013 ---
This is a slide show based on a presentation by a Harvard Economics Professor.
Peter G. Peterson Website on Deficit/Debt Solutions ---
Bob Jensen's threads on entitlements --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Entitlements.htm
Bob Jensen's health care messaging updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm
The Refugee Project --- http://www.therefugeeproject.org/
Negative Income Tax --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_income_tax
Switzerland give every adult $2,500 a month?" by Ivana Kottasova,
CNN Money, May 24, 2016 ---
At last a nation gets serious about the negative income tax proposed by conservative Milton Freedman ---
This could be a honey pot for
immigrants. In February 2014 Switzerland passed very restrictive legislation on
Since 1965 legislation in the USA the ethnic and racial mix of immigrants changed dramatically making immigration much easier for people of color relative to whites. Legal immigration to the USA is the highest in the world with over 1+ million immigrants per year since Year 2000. Illegal immigration is estimated at an added 1.5 million per year and growing rapidly in the Obama years.
A negative income tax has
advantages and limitations to both low income people and the welfare system
Anecdotally, my wife's relatives in Germany tend to be hard working and contribute tax revenues to the German state. However, one nephew is a frustrating lazy man who for years refuses to work. He gets 400 euros per month plus a free apartment for doing nothing for the good of the economy. He has no dependents. In the USA he would not do as well without having to care for children. He would do even better under a negative income tax proposed for Switzerland.
I'm not sure how Germany is taking care of the flood of new immigrants, most of whom hope to be trained and start working. Undoubtedly there are others who would be happy to be like Erika's nephew. Of course it's much more difficult to immigrate into Switzerland than Germany.
Since WW II Germany has had a large proportion of Turkish immigrants who contributed to the rebuilding of Germany and continue to contribute greatly to the German economy. At the same time they continue to be socially isolated such as living in their own apartment complexes. It's impossible to draw conclusions for everybody, but my feeling is that the social isolation is largely out of choice to keep the Turkish communities proudly intact. I'm told that the immigrants from the Balkan states cause more troubles for Germany than the higher-proportion of Turkish immigrants. This of course is anecdotal evidence from friends and relatives in Germany.
"The Greek Fiction: Debt levels in 44 years matter less than reforms
left undone today," The Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2016 ---
The eurozone has reached the point where it can have a Greek crisis without Athens even participating. Witness the argument among creditors about Greek debt relief.
Ahead of Tuesday’s summit of eurozone finance ministers, the International Monetary Fund released a report arguing that Greece’s debt burden is unsustainable. European creditors are anxious for the IMF to participate in last year’s bailout program the same way it joined Greece’s first two rescues, but the Fund will do so only if it thinks Athens can pay its debts.
The IMF proposes immediately cutting interest rates and lengthening maturities to reduce Greece’s debt by an amount equal to 50% of gross domestic product by 2060. In last summer’s deal, eurozone creditors set an implausible target for a fiscal surplus of 3.5% of GDP from 2018 onward. The IMF’s preferred target of 1.5% is probably closer to what Athens can achieve—on a good day. The howler is that anyone thinks Greece’s hypothetical debt-to-GDP ratio 44 years hence will matter if the economy can achieve only the 1.25% annual growth the IMF expects over the longer term.
On that score, last year’s agreement already is doing damage that debt relief alone can’t fix. To qualify for the next tranche of aid, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his far-left Syriza party this month raised taxes again with no accompanying liberalization of labor or product markets.
Mr. Tsipras’s statist ideology is as hostile as ever to the supply-side reforms Greece needs, and both the IMF and other creditors seem to be giving up hope that any other Greek politician could enact such reforms. Which means Greece’s crisis will drag on no matter what happens next with Greece’s debts.
As the USA Congress is now poised to bail our Puerto Rico. The main problem with Puerto Rico, Illinois, Connecticut, Rhode Island, California, Kentucky and some other states is fiscal mismanagement and bloated unsustainable public pension obligations, many of which were union-triggered frauds. Puerto Rico is probably going to get debt relief from Congress. But don't hold your breath for promised reforms in Puerto Rico to become reality. Puerto Rico is playing a game much like what has become the Game of Greece.
These are the 18 most corrupt countries in the
developed world ---
Corruption Rankings of 167 Nations ---
"Imagine an Economy Without Wall Street," by Nitin Nohria (Dean of the
Harvard Business School, The Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2016 ---
. . .
In the new book “Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business,” Time magazine columnist Rana Foroohar argues that the U.S. economy has become too focused on financial engineering, which has led to decreases in research and development, manufacturing and innovation. “Finance has become a headwind to economic growth, not a catalyst,” Ms. Foroohar writes. “As it has grown, business—as well as the American economy and society at large—has suffered.”
I disagree. The global financial system has certainly shown excesses in the past decade, and without a doubt some players have behaved irresponsibly. Nonetheless, Wall Street remains a fundamentally value-creating enterprise. The finance industry is essential to the nation’s economic health and an integral part of what makes the U.S. economy the envy of the world. Many of the alleged consequences of “financialization”—such as the decline of manufacturing—are the result of dozens of forces, many having little to do with finance.
Wall Street’s attackers should stop and imagine life in a world without a well-developed financial system. I’ve seen such a world firsthand. The India of my youth, lacking a modern financial infrastructure, was sclerotic and inefficient. Economic growth was severely constrained by lack of capital, and that had a direct impact on the lives of millions of people at all levels of the economic ladder.
There is no question that we’ve lived through a period in which too many people were lent money unadvisedly, financial models proved fallible and incentives for risk-taking were flawed. Some of these excesses continue. It is also evident that the recovery from the Great Recession has been slow and uneven.
As we seek to understand these issues, however, we should be careful about diagnoses that rely on a false divide between Wall Street and Main Street. There are “takers” on Wall Street, just as there are people who put self-interest above other considerations in law, medicine, politics, academics and every other profession. But without Wall Street, there would also be dramatically fewer “makers.”
It is also shortsighted to criticize business schools, as Ms. Foroohar does, for producing too many graduates who aspire to work in finance. Business-school graduates have always flocked toward industries offering the most opportunities. In the 1910s and 1920s, it was the railroads; in the 1930s, consumer packaged-goods companies; in the 1950s and 1960s, manufacturing.
As this year’s M.B.A. candidates graduate and begin new careers, they have chosen jobs after assessing not just compensation, but the opportunities for career growth, training, development, geographic considerations and, most important, the chance to do interesting and meaningful work.
For the past 20 years, many of those opportunities have been in finance, particularly as innovative business-builders have created hundreds of new firms in private equity, venture capital and fintech startups. Despite populist criticisms, finance remains an honorable profession, and graduates who enter this field should be applauded, not derided.
In election years in particular, there is often a desire to find scapegoats and boogeymen, and to reduce complicated economic phenomena into simplistic sound bites. But ultimately, solutions to problems like inequality and the lack of employment opportunities or wage growth aren’t going to come from government alone. They’re also going to require imaginative businesses that find new ways to employ people and create real value. These businesses won’t exist without financing.
Mr. Nohria is the dean of Harvard Business School.
Although I tend to agree I think bankers, traders, and others who abuse the Wall Street financial system should face higher risk of jail time and less outrageous compensation ---
Ethics conviction removes Alabama House speaker from office ---
Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard's conviction on ethics charges automatically removes him from office and could mean years in prison for the powerful Republican.
Friday night, a jury found the one-time GOP star guilty of 12 counts of public corruption for using the influence and prestige of his political stature to benefit his companies and clients. He faces up to 20 years in prison for each count.
The jury, which arrived at the verdict after nearly seven hours of deliberation, acquitted Hubbard on 11 other counts.
The conviction comes amid a season of scandal that has engulfed Republicans at the helm of Alabama's legislative, judicial and executive branches of government. Chief Justice Roy Moore faces possible ouster from office over accusations that he violated canons of judicial ethics during the fight over same-sex marriage. And Gov. Robert Bentley has faced calls for his impeachment after a sex-tinged scandal involving a former top aide.
"We hope this verdict tonight restores some of the confidence in the people of the state of Alabama that public officials at all levels in the state of Alabama will be held accountable for their actions, especially those that would betray the public trust," said W. Van Davis, the acting attorney general in the case.
Hubbard, 54, spoke briefly with his attorneys before being escorted from the courtroom and to the Lee County jail, a detention center not far from Mike Hubbard Boulevard named for him. He was released on $160,000 bond and driven away by a bail bondsmen as he held his face in his hand.
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
Finding and Using Health Statistics --- http://www.nlm.nih.gov/nichsr/usestats/index.htm
Bob Jensen's threads on economic statistics and databases ---
Medicare Fraud is Rampant ---
A recently published deposition from a top tax
official provides more evidence that the Obama administration not only acted
illegally when deciding to pay Obamacare subsidies to insurers—but that they did
so knowing full well that the move was not justified . . . The administration’s
argument in this case is essentially that even though Congress rejected its
request for an appropriation, and even though the health law does not provide
them with any clear and discrete appropriate for its cost-sharing subsidies,
they can nevertheless cobble together a hazy justification under which it is
somehow “appropriate” to do so. The administration’s argument for its actions,
in other words, is all but an admission that what it is doing is not legal or
justifiable—and that when it comes to Obamacare, it simply doesn’t care.
Insurers have begun to propose big premium increases
for Obamacare coverage next year under the 2010 health law, as some struggle to
make money in a market where their costs have soared.
Louise Radnofsky and Anna Wilde Mathews
"Is It Time for Universities to Get Out of the Hospital Business?" by
Paul Voosen, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 31, 2016 ---
A couple of years ago, the leaders of Vanderbilt University faced a difficult decision: Their academic medical center was successful, a hub of research and life-saving treatment. But the health industry was in turmoil, and the changes presented new risks to the university, whose vast medical operation approached four-fifths of Vanderbilt’s entire budget. And that number was projected to grow.
The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, was accelerating changes already underway. Research financing was tight. Mergers were rampant among hospitals, insurers, and drug companies. The vast sums of clinical income that prestigious university hospitals had used to buttress themselves — and often the university’s other missions — seemed likely to dry up. Everything was up for reinvention. Did Vanderbilt open itself up to such risks?
No, the leaders decided. And so last month Vanderbilt University Medical Center completed its separation from its parent. The hospital is still located on the campus and is tightly affiliated with the medical school, but now the university’s trustees will have to spend less time studying the intricacies of, say, disproportionate-share hospital payments, or lobbying the state legislature to expand Medicaid access.
Continued in article
One of the problems is third party on pricing, especially Obamacare, Medicaid and Medicare pricing limits that are driving patients under these plans to be losing propositions. In New Hampshire nearly half the hospitals turn away patients on Obamacare insurance plans except in dire emergencies. University hospitals for a variety of reasons usually must accept those patients and eat the losses.
There are, of course, some ways university hospitals try to limit these losses. For example the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center will only accept patients referred by doctors, usually family physicians. You cannot get an appointment for brain surgery or dermatology treatments at the DHMC without a referral except in dire emergencies.
Before Obamacare there was Romneycare (Mittcare) in Massachusetts. Because of price controls some hospitals in Massachusetts dropped losers. The biggest loser in most hospitals is obstetrics due to the high cost of malpractice insurance for obstetrics. Parents tend to sue for defective babies even when the hospital did nothing wrong. Another loser may be emergency room services. Some Boston-area hospitals that once had emergency services dropped their emergency rooms where patients tend to go when they have no insurance or price-controlled insurance plans like Medicaid and Medicare.
My long-time ophthalmologist with offices in our regional hospital now turns me away because I have Medicare insurance.
University hospitals face larger hurdles when dropping medical services having financial losses. Apart from the public relations disaster arising from dropped services there are other problems such as need to provide those services for educational purposes. For example, most obstetrics students in a university's medical school need somewhere to learn obstetrics first hand.
Time and time again history shows that price controls have adverse effects on supply. Either quality deteriorates (such as having medical services from a provider less than a licensed physician) or the service disappears entirely (such as not serving Obamacare, Medicaid, or Medicare patients). Drug manufacturers will sometimes sell a drug at below variable cost if the loss can be absorbed by other products the company sells. However, if the losses become huge the company might stop making an unprofitable medication. This is a growing problem with certain specialized cancer medications that are extremely expensive to manufacture and are also extremely unprofitable at prices paid by Medicaid and Medicare.
And thus university hospitals that were once cash cows for medical schools have become cash hemorrhages.
Bob Jensen's threads on healthcare ---
Bob Jensen's universal health care messaging --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm
Bob Jensen's Home Page --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/