Which of these Famous Reality TV Stars would make the Best President?…We’re putting Trump up against the lead singer of the 3 songs at the bottom, & between those two famous reality TV stars, I’d say it’s a toss up who’d make the best president. The production of Trump’s reality show with him as host ended in 2015, while the other star’s show ended 10 years earlier. The Apprentice tried to actually portray Trump as a competent boss while using the show’s tagline You’re Fired!!! The other show cause quite a stir with their stoned star mumbling inane ramblings! So enjoy those songs & read the lyrics having to do with our famous reality TV stars, with one guy singing the songs, & Trump being the one those songs could have been written about based on the word’s meaning.

Living Paycheck to Paycheck, the Majority of Americans Struggle to Pay the Bills!

In the country creating the greatest wealth the world has ever seen, that so many are stuck in jobs that hardly pay the bills is inexcusable! Now we have a president who has orchestrated the Trump government shutdown, so hundreds of thousands of federal workers are furloughed or working without pay. Many of these civil servants are in the same boat as their private sector co-patriots, working paycheck to paycheck. To go without pay in this now longest shutdown in our nation’s history, it’s putting many of these government workers in a desperate way. And this whole shutdown mess is so senseless! A CareerBuilder report actually puts the figure at 78% on the number of American workers living paycheck to paycheck, as seen in excerpts from the-government-shutdown-spotlights-a-bigger-issue-78percent-of-us-workers-live-paycheck-to-paycheck. That’s simply atrocious so many workers are living under such dire financial stress:

The shutdown has left approximately 800,000 federal workers in financial limbo. Around 420,000 “essential” employees are working without pay, while another 380,000 have been ordered to stay home, according to calculations provided to CNBC by Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University. In some cases, the furloughs have forced government employees to tap into their savings, rely on credit cards or crowdsource funds to make ends meet. Government workers are far from alone in feeling stressed about not getting paid. Nearly 80 percent of American workers (78 percent) say they’re living paycheck to paycheck, according to a 2017 report by employment website CareerBuilder. Women are particularly vulnerable: 81 percent of them report living paycheck to paycheck, compared with 75 percent of men. Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, tells CNBC that the group has heard from hundreds of frantic federal employees. “They’re scared,” he says. “They don’t know how they’re going to put food on the table.” It’s not merely those earning low wages who are struggling. CareerBuilder reports that nearly 10 percent of Americans with salaries of $100,000 or more live paycheck to paycheck as well. That means that many workers aren’t able to put anything significant into savings. More than 50 percent of respondents say that they save less than $100 per month. And a comparable 2017 survey from GOBankingRates found that 61 percent of Americans don’t have enough money in an emergency fund to cover six months’ worth of expenses. Debt is also a growing issue for workers, CareerBuilder reports. Just more than 70 percent of all respondents say that they’re in debt, and a quarter of workers say they weren’t able to make ends meet at the end of every month of the past year.

More on the Financial Distress

More reports on working families having no savings & couldn’t cover an emergency are found inside shutdown-highlights-common-economic-reality-that-many-americans-live-paycheck-to-paycheck. Those government workers missed their pay today & have no idea when they might get paid again. Economic prosperity has become so one-sided & out of kilter in our modern society, many young people expect to never climb out of debt. Those who’ve attended college often face a mountain of debt, while those without college generally have a difficult time landing a decent-paying job. Plus a decade removed from our financial collapse, a great many have still to recover from the hit, as reported inside millennials-personal-debt-baby-boomers.

Bumbling Leadership

I’ve said in the past the prez is running our economy like a drunken sailor, but another good analogy is he’s running the country like he ran his bankrupt casino into the ground: trump-is-turning-america-into-another-bankrupt-casino. The Art of the Deal author actually looked back at Trump’s deals & found most of them went bust. The prez is a terrible dealmaker as we’re finding out with this shutdown. See excerpts panning Trump’s negotiation skills pulled from art-of-the-deal-author-trashes-trumps-negotiating-prowess-most-of-the-deals-in-that-book-were-failures:

The man who co-wrote the Art of the Deal thinks the deal artist’s works were — on a scale of Mona Lisa to nursery schooler’s handprint — much, much closer to the latter. Appearing on The Beat with Ari Melber, Art of the Deal scribe Tony Schwartz trashed President Donald Trump‘s negotiating skills. “I found myself, Ari, going back to the Art of the Deal and looking over those deals that I unfortunately described 30 years ago, and realizing that most of those deals in that book were failures,” Schwartz said. “And the number of deals he’s made over the years since then have overwhelmingly been failures. It’s [an] accident of history that he is president. But as a dealmaker, he is really one of the worst I’ve ever come across.” Schwartz went on to outline the president’s character traits and argued that he lacks those attributes conducive to successful negotiation. “When you think about deal making, what is it actually require?” Schwartz said. “It requires understanding the other side — so it requires empathy. It requires humility. It requires courage. These are qualities Donald Trump doesn’t have in spades.”

Piling on the Debt

It’s the Trump’s tax cuts which are running up enormous trillion dollar deficits. No wonder The Fed is worried. See the concerns expressed in this post here from the opening to fed-chairman-powell-says-he-is-very-worried-about-growing-amount-of-us-debt:

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is concerned about the ballooning amount of United States debt. “I’m very worried about it,” Powell said at The Economic Club of Washington, D.C. “From the Fed’s standpoint, we’re really looking at a business cycle length: that’s our frame of reference. The long-run fiscal, nonsustainability of the U.S. federal government isn’t really something that plays into the medium term that is relevant for our policy decisions.” However, “it’s a long-run issue that we definitely need to face, and ultimately, will have no choice but to face,” he added. The Fed chief’s comments came as the annual U.S. deficit reaches new sustained highs above $1 trillion, a fact many economists worry could spell trouble for future generations. Annual deficits have topped $1 trillion before, but never during a time of sustained economic growth like now, raising concern about what would happen if a recession hits.

Reich Exposes the Big Switcheroo

The wealthy have tremendous clout & we’re increasingly finding they’ve managed to rigged the system in their favor. As we’re learning with the Trump Organization tax fraud case (although Trump may go down as one of the biggest tax cheats of all-time), the rich avail themselves of various tax dodging schemes & exert tremendous influence in DC to keep it that way.

Far from being rich, I don’t live in their world, but it’s apparent they take advantage of various instruments to (borderline) legally reduce/eliminate their tax burdens. Those strategies or advantages built into the system include tax deductions, lower capital gains taxes, lower pass-through rates, caps on incomes for Social Security withholdings, tax-exempt investments, vehicles for avoiding estate taxes, depreciation on assets, tax deferrals, equity swaps, shell companies, offshore tax havens, political influence through dark money & perpetual passive incomes through investments.

With capital commanding a steadily higher proportion of wealth/income, those disproportions leave an ever-smaller percentage of the rewards going toward labor. Our economic system needs a major overhaul! More advantages for the rich are posted here from this article in middle-class-pay-taxes-government-one-percent-profit-switcheroo:

The biggest untold story about how we pay for government involves a big switcheroo by America’s wealthy. Decades ago, wealthy Americans financed the federal government mainly by paying taxes. Their tax rate was far higher than what it is today. Now, wealthy Americans finance the federal government mainly by lending it money, and collecting interest payments on those loans, profiting when the rest of us pay them back. Follow the money: As the debt continues to grow, interest payments are becoming huge. Taxpayers could soon be paying more in interest on the federal debt than we spend on the military or on Medicaid. Interest on the debt is expected to hit $390 billion next year, nearly 50 percent more than in 2017, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Who’s receiving these interest payments? Mostly Americans, not foreigners. And most of these Americans are wealthy investors who park their savings in treasury bonds held by mutual funds, hedge funds, pension funds, banks, insurance companies, personal trusts, and estates. The richest 1 percent of Americans now owns 40 percent of the nation’s wealth, which is more wealth than the bottom 90 percent put together. Which means a big chunk of the growing interest payments American taxpayers make on the federal debt is going to… rich Americans.

Now, keep following the money. One of the biggest reasons the federal debt has exploded is that tax cuts, starting with the Bush administration in 2001 and extending through Trump’s 2017 tax cut, have reduced government revenues by over $5 trillion. The Trump-Republican tax cut will cause the debt to explode even further. Trump’s own Office of Management and Budget predicts an added $100 billion a year in deficits over the next decade, adding up to $1 trillion of additional debt. Keep following the money: Most of the benefits from those tax cuts are going to the wealthy. 65 percent have gone to the richest fifth of Americans, 22 percent to the top 1 percent. So you see the big switcheroo? The rich used to pay higher taxes to the government. Now, the government pays the rich interest on a swelling debt, caused largely by lower taxes on the rich. Which means a growing portion of everyone else’s taxes are now paying the rich interest on those loans, instead of paying for government services everyone needs. That’s wrong. America’s wealthy have never been wealthier. They should pay their fair share of taxes. The big switcheroo should be reversed.

Supply-Side Bunk

The belief in supply-side economics is perhaps the biggest domestic curse Trump’s advisers have unleashed upon the American working middle class. Laffer, Moore, Kudlow & the like are about a half-century behind the times. They’ve found a way to rob workers even more with their handouts to the rich, as trickle down no longer works! See this scam exposed in excerpts taken from the-gops-most-successful-scam-is-about-to-reboot-itself:

In 1974 he invented a new phrase — “supply-side economics” — and suggested that the reason economies grew wasn’t because people had money and bought things with it but, instead, because wealthy people made things available for sale. And the way to increase “stuff,” he theorized, was to give big tax cuts to corporations and rich “investors.” In 1976, he rolled out to the Republican Party (through the Wall Street Journal) his “Two Santa Clauses” theory, which would enable the Republicans to take power in America for the next 30-plus years. Democrats, he said, had been able to be “Santa Clauses” by giving people things from the largesse of the federal government. Social Security, child tax credits, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, food and housing assistance, subsidies of college education (student loans were largely unheard of in 1980), infrastructure, new schools and hospitals, airports and Amtrak — the list went on and on. And voters loved all that stuff. Republicans, Wanniski said, had to come up with their own Santa Claus strategy, or they’d never seriously hold power again.

It was simple, really. When Republicans are in power, they should be “tax-cut Santas.” Cut taxes radically, and thus drive up the national debt, without ever talking much about the debt (this latter part wasn’t in the article but was adopted later by the GOP). When Democrats take power, though, everything changes. Republicans should scream so loud about the national debt that they’d intimidate Democrats into shooting their own Santa Claus by cutting all those benefits the American people so loved. It was a twofer. If the GOP could pull it off with sufficient discipline — and in the late ’70s and early ’80s their billionaire donors threw big money into think tanks and PR machines to make it happen and keep it going—the American people would always think of the Republicans as the tax-cut Santas, and the Democrats as the scrooges who were trying to keep “average voters” from having their share of the tax-cut toys under the tree.

This new idea of “trickle-down economics” wasn’t actually new; in the late 19th century it was called “horse and sparrow economics,” on the theory that if one fed more oats to the horses, there’d be more undigested grain left over in the horse poop for the sparrows to eat. (Seriously!) But the “supply side” marketing was pure 20th-century Madison Avenue. At the same time, Arthur Laffer was taking that equation a step further. Not only was supply-side a rational concept to build a strong economy, Laffer suggested, but as taxes went down, he drew on his napkin, revenue to the government would magically go up! Neither concept made any sense — and time has proven both to be colossal idiocies — but together they offered the Republican Party a way out of the wilderness. Wanniski, Laffer, Stephen Moore, and their billionaire backers convinced the Reagan campaign to embrace supply-side economics in the 1980 election, and George Herbert Walker Bush — like most Republicans of the time — was horrified. Ronald Reagan was suggesting “Voodoo Economics,” said Bush in the primary campaign, and Wanniski’s supply-side and Laffer’s tax-cut theories would throw the nation into such deep debt that we’d face disaster. But Wanniski had been doing his homework on how to sell the scam of supply-side economics, and use it to get Republicans elected.

This Can Get Us Thinking

We blame either the left or the right. But our problems are far bigger than DC politicians. The decline of our morals as a society & the loss of the social contract politicians had with the people, it signals the underlying decay eating away at our economic model & free democratic system in general. Without a foundation of values & trust, our representative democracy could crumble. Here is posted the entire op-ed from opinion/market-morality:

Suddenly economic populism is all the rage. In his now famous monologue on Fox News, Tucker Carlson argued that American elites are using ruthless market forces to enrich themselves and immiserate everyone else. On the campaign trail, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are telling left-wing versions of the same story. In an era of tribal emotionalism, you’re always going to be able to make a splash reducing a complex problem to a simple narrative that separates the world into the virtuous us, and the evil them (the bankers). But I’d tell a third story about our current plight, which is neither economic populism nor free-market fundamentalism. My story begins in the 1970s. The economy was sick. Corporations were bloated. Unions got greedy. Tax rates were too high and regulations were too tight. We needed to restore economic dynamism. So in 1978, Jimmy Carter signed a tax bill that reduced individual and corporate tax rates. Senator Ted Kennedy led the effort to deregulate the airline and trucking industries. When he came into office, Ronald Reagan took it up another notch. It basically worked. We’ve had four long economic booms since then. But there was an interesting cultural shift that happened along the way. In a healthy society, people try to balance a whole bunch of different priorities: economic, social, moral, familial. Somehow over the past 40 years economic priorities took the top spot and obliterated everything else. As a matter of policy, we privileged economics and then eventually no longer could even see that there could be other priorities. For example, there’s been a striking shift in how corporations see themselves. In normal times, corporations serve a lot of stakeholders — customers, employees, the towns in which they are located. But these days corporations see themselves as serving one purpose and one stakeholder — maximizing shareholder value. Activist investors demand that every company ruthlessly cut the cost of its employees and ruthlessly screw its hometown if it will raise the short-term stock price.

We turned off the moral lens. You probably know the example of the Israeli day care centers. Parents kept showing up late to pick up their kids. To address the problem, the centers experimented with fining the late parents. But the number of late pickups doubled. Before, coming to pick up your kid on time was a moral obligation — to be fair to the day care workers. After, it was seen as an economic transaction. Parents were happy to pay to be late. We more or less did this as an entire society — we switched to a purely economic lens. A deadly combination of right-wing free-market fundamentalism and left-wing moral relativism led to a withering away of moral norms and shared codes of decent conduct. We ripped the market out of its moral and social context and let it operate purely by its own rules. We made the market its own priest and confessor. Society came to be seen as an atomized collection of individual economic units pursuing self-interest. Selfishness was normalized. As Steven Pearlstein puts it in his outstanding book, “Can American Capitalism Survive?” “Old-fashioned norms around loyalty, cooperation, honesty, equality, fairness and compassion no longer seem to apply in the economic sphere.” Anything you could legally do to make money was deemed O.K. A billion-dollar salary for a hedge fund manager? Perfectly acceptable. The Apple corporation exists because of American institutions. But, as Pearlstein notes, Apple parked its intellectual property in an Irish subsidiary so it could avoid paying taxes in America and support those institutions. It saved $9 billion in 2012 alone. This is clearly sleazy behavior. Apple employees should be humiliated and ashamed. But today the amoralism of the trading floor governs corporate decision-making. Pearlstein quotes Carl Icahn: “I don’t believe in the word ‘fair.’” So Apple paid no reputational price when it stiffed its own country.

Social trust arises from a covenant: I give to my company, my town and my government, and they give back to me. But that covenant was ripped. Now the general perception is: When I give, they take. As we disembedded individuals from traditional moral norms we disembedded companies from social ones. Human beings are moral animals, and suddenly American moral animals found themselves in an amoral economic system, which felt increasingly alienating and gross. We wound up with the secession of the successful, and in many parts of the country we wound up decimating the social trust that is actually a prerequisite for economic prosperity. Capitalism is a wonderful system. The populists are perpetually living in 2008, when the financial crisis vindicated all their prejudices. They ignore everything since — the 19 million jobs that have been created, the way wages are now rising at 3.2 percent. But capitalism needs to be embedded in moral norms and it needs to serve a larger social good. Remoralizing and resocializing the market is the great project of the moment. The crucial question is not: How can we have a good economy? It’s: How can we have a good society? How can we have a society in which it’s easier to be a good person?

Shining City upon a Hill

I remember Reagan & now we see Trump. They couldn’t be less alike. Reagan saw a shining city on a hill & Trump apparently sees it in Russia. Plus Reagan had moral character. And our country would have never achieved the greatness we’ve always cherished without a vision greater than ourselves, & setting that leadership example for the rest of the free world. The world now wonders what happened to America? Plus never forget we’re a nation of immigrants. From the nation’s founding it’s part of our core vibrancy & character. Posted is the conclusion to opinion/reagan-trump-speech:

Mr. Reagan’s speech is modest, determinedly so. “I’ve had my share of victories in the Congress, but what few people noticed is that I never won anything you didn’t win for me,” he said. “They never saw my troops; they never saw Reagan’s Regiments, the American people. You won every battle with every call you made and letter you wrote demanding action.” No “I alone can fix it” for the Gipper. The words — composed by the speechwriter Peggy Noonan, who consulted closely with Mr. Reagan in those closing weeks of his reign — are as different in spirit and in substance from Mr. Trump’s as words could be and still be rendered in the same tongue. Invoking the Puritan John Winthrop, who in 1630 drew on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount when speaking of America as a “city upon a hill,” Mr. Reagan said, “I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it.” It was a free, proud city, build on a strong foundation, full of commerce and creativity, he said, adding, “If there had to be city walls, the walls had doors, and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.” That’s manifestly not how Mr. Trump sees it. From his announcement-speech allusion to “rapists” coming in from Mexico to his lament about “American carnage” to his manufacturing of a “crisis” at the border that requires a wall, the 45th president speaks in the vernacular of darkness, not light; of exclusion, not inclusion.

And whatever his faults — and he had many — Ronald Reagan believed in the possibilities of a country that was forever reinventing itself. He knew, too, that the nation had grown stronger the more widely it had opened its arms and the more generously it had interpreted Thomas Jefferson’s assertion of equality in the Declaration of Independence. He was about hope, not fear. And that is another reason his farewell address should be more widely appreciated: It’s a kind of final testament of an American president who had a genuine faith in the future. Mr. Reagan was a practical man, and he knew, as he put it, that “because we’re a great nation, our challenges seem complex. It will always be this way. But as long as we remember our first principles and believe in ourselves, the future will be ours.” Or so we can hope. His last words on that long-ago Wednesday bear hearing, and pondering. “And how stands the city on this winter night?” Mr. Reagan asked. “More prosperous, more secure and happier than it was eight years ago. She’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.” They hurtle through that darkness even now. Mr. Reagan would have us light the lamp and open our arms — for that’s what cities on a hill do.

These are the most Recent Articles from Today on the Shutdown
 
They’re all about the folly & absurdity of the Trump government shutdown.  And these are live links you can simply click to read:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
Two Famous Reality TV Stars

One is the guy who sings the songs, while the other these songs could have been written about. I’ve never been a fan of Ozzy Osbourne, his music, what he stands for, his seemingly perpetually drug-induced state, nor his family’s reality TV show. Both Trump & Ozzy really were big-time famous reality TV stars! Remember the crazy show The Osbournes? But today we feature his band’s songs. Please do not let kids in the room, & don’t even listen to yourself if you’re offended by vulgar language. These three songs were hard rock hits from a half century ago & they do rock! If you pull up videos of their early concerts, you’ll see Ozzy was a perfectly handsome, normal-looking young man.

But the video links below feature Ozzy’s older self. Those lyrics posted here look as though they could have been a prelude to Trump. And these were live performances from Moscow, so much like the Trump campaign, Ozzy had lots of Russian connections. Now Ozzy still sings & Trump should have stayed in television. But which of these famous reality TV stars would you most trust to run our country? Incredibly, had we elected Ozzy as our president, could he have been any worse than our current famous reality TV star in the White House?

Iron Man
I am iron man

Has he lost his mind?
Can he see or is he blind?
Can he walk at all
Or if he moves will he fall?

Is he alive or dead?
Has he thoughts within his head?
We’ll just pass him there
Why should we even care?

He was turned to steel
In the great magnetic field
Where he traveled time
For the future of mankind

Nobody wants him
He just stares at the world
Planning his vengeance
That he will soon unfold

Paranoid
Finished with my woman ’cause she couldn’t help me with my mind
People think I’m insane because I am frowning all the time
All day long I think of things but nothing seems to satisfy
Think I’ll lose my mind if I don’t find something to pacify
Can you help me, occupy my brain?

Oh yeah
I need someone to show me the things in life that I can’t find
I can’t see the things that make true happiness, I must be blind

Make a joke and I will sigh and you will laugh and I will cry
Happiness I cannot feel and love to me is so unreal
And so as you hear these words telling you now of my state
I tell you to enjoy life I wish I could but it’s too late

Crazy Train
All aboard!

Hahahahaha

Aye Aye Aye Aye Aye Aye…

Crazy, but that’s how it goes
Millions of people living as foes
Maybe it’s not too late
To learn how to love and forget how to hate

Mental wounds not healing
Life’s a bitter shame
I’m going off the rails on a crazy train
I’m going off the rails on a crazy train

I know that things are going wrong for me
You gotta listen to my words
Yeah

Heirs of a cold war, that’s what we’ve become
Inheriting troubles, I’m mentally numb
Crazy, I just cannot bear
I’m living with something that just isn’t fair

Mental wounds stop healing
Who and what’s to blame
I’m going off the rails on a crazy train
I’m going off the rails on a crazy train