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Zorro

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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 11,765

Journal Archives

Aides Concerned Trumps Mental Health Declining After President Admits He May Not Be Omnipotent God

WASHINGTON—Alarmed by the sudden change in his thinking and behavior, White House aides said Tuesday that they were concerned about President Trump’s declining mental health after he admitted he may not be an omnipotent living god.

“The president has always been completely clearheaded about his status as the supreme being, so we naturally began to suspect something wasn’t right when he started openly doubting that he was the creator and eternal master of existence,” said Trump staffer Greg Fairfield, adding that he sincerely hoped that the president was just tired or under stress on those occasions when he second-guessed his status as an all-knowing, all-seeing divinity.

“It’s just these little moments here or there where he mutters something like, ‘Maybe the universe didn’t spring forth from my essence,’ that make us worry he’s not quite there. I mean, that’s just not who he is.”

At press time, aides feared that Trump may never regain his faculties when he declared he was merely a demigod who would die after holding the presidency for a thousand years.

https://politics.theonion.com/aides-concerned-trump-s-mental-health-declining-after-p-1819655097

Our president can't even get a condolence call right

Over the past nine months, the nation has seen evidence accrue that the man it elected president entered office ill-prepared for the job, and whose core personality — vain, venal and vengeful — made him ill-suited for work that requires tact, humility and compassion. What the nation learned this week is that the man it elected president is so unsuited for the job, he can’t even get a condolence call right.

Two weeks ago, a team led by Green Berets was ambushed in Niger by extremists believed to be linked to the Islamic State, and four of the American servicemen were killed. President Trump did not reach out quickly to the families of the fallen, and a question about why he had not spoken publicly about the deaths drew an all-too-familiar response from the president: lies, braggadocio and an attack on his predecessor.

“If you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls” to the families of soldiers who died in the nation’s service, Trump told reporters, claiming that he had called every family of the soldiers who’d died on his watch. But Trump was embellishing his record on that front (the Associated Press found four families who had not received calls), and his politicization of the deaths of the four soldiers in the Green Beret unit displayed — again — what a small heart beats in the chest of our president.

Trump said he had written letters to the families but hadn’t mailed them yet, sounding more like a child trying to excuse his own failings than the leader of a country. Then on Tuesday, Trump finally called the families and reportedly told the pregnant widow of Sgt. La David Johnson that her husband knew what he was getting into — then acknowledged that this wouldn’t make her grief any less painful. Trump denied he acted so boorishly, tweeting that Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Florida), who revealed the comments and has been backed up by the sergeant’s mother, “totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!” Sadder is that the American people can’t believe any claim by their president. Until Trump presents his “proof,” the benefit of the doubt here goes to Wilson.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-trump-fallen-soldier-family-20171018-story.html

30 years after Black Monday, could stock market crash again?

It’s been three decades since Black Monday, the most disastrous single day in U.S. stock market history, and investors should be forgiven for wondering if Wall Street learned any lessons from that cataclysmic day.

On Oct. 19, 1987 the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.70% tanked 508 points, a fall of nearly 23%, in a chaotic, daylong selling frenzy that ricocheted around the world. The S&P 500 SPX, +0.07% shed more than 20% of its value. At today’s market heights, a percentage fall of that magnitude would knock more than 5,200 points off the DJIA.

The crash was blamed on a number of factors, but at heart, it was the growing complexity of the market that seemed to overwhelm participants and set the stage for the calamity. Computerized trading, then in its infancy, combined with new hedging strategies that used relatively newfangled stock-index futures contracts were all part of the picture.

Since then, financial markets have been transformed by the march of time and technology and regulatory change.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/30-years-after-black-monday-could-stock-market-crash-again-2017-10-16

I remember the day quite clearly. I was on vacation in London, and cashed all my traveller's checks and converted them into pounds, since no one knew what the effect would be on the exchange rate.

Money Milestones: Your 70s is not the time to wind down retirement savings

Kathy Stack knows the importance of maintaining her retirement savings in her 70s: she’s 72, battling Alzheimer’s disease and took care of her sick husband before he went to an assisted living facility before he died.

Her husband had a pension, but it wasn’t going to get them very far, she said. Her doctor told her four years ago she would have full-blown Alzheimer’s in five years, and she is working with a financial adviser to monitor her investment accounts and find long-term care insurance. Thankfully, she has enough saved where she can donate to some of her favorite charities on the side and invest in 529 plans for her grandchildren’s future education, but she sees friends who have not planned as well, and she worries for them.

“I can’t fix it for them,” she said, but she does encourage them to look around for plans and determine where they want to go and what they can afford in the future.

In the 70s, which is typically considered a time when people decumulate or spend down their account balances, it’s hard to accumulate enough assets to last the next decade (or three), but it’s a good time to maintain the savings already acquired and look for ways to mitigate extra expenses. People may not yet have medical burdens, but that doesn’t mean they won’t come. The risk of increased health costs rises each year, the prices for health care itself are rising: An American couple retiring in 2017 should expect to spend $275,000 in health care costs throughout retirement, up 6% since last year alone, and expected to keep climbing.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/money-milestonesyour-70s-is-not-the-time-to-wind-down-retirement-savings-2017-10-16

Venezuela faces more isolation, sanctions after contested vote

The United States condemned closely watched regional elections in Venezuela as neither free nor fair Monday, as European countries weighed imposing sanctions, leaving President Nicolas Maduro increasingly isolated after declaring a landslide win.

Maduro's opponents cried foul after official results said his socialist party won governorships in 17 of the troubled oil producer's 23 states in Sunday's elections, defying opinion polls.

Experts said Venezuela's punishing political and economic crisis will only deepen. But it is unclear what moves are now open to the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), which rejected any talks with the government without a full recount.

Washington -- which has imposed sanctions on Maduro and his inner circle over what it calls Venezuela's slide into dictatorship -- said the lack of outside observers, last-minute changes to polling station locations and other irregularities meant the vote was not credible.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/maduro-claims-landslide-win-disputed-venezuela-elections-043502632.html

Trump doesn't know it, but his attempt to blow up Obamacare could help California and other states

The fog is still swirling around President Trump’s assaults last week on the Affordable Care Act.

That’s especially true of his cancellation of cost-sharing reduction payments to health insurers, possibly the most poorly understood subsidies of the ACA. Trump’s lack of understanding of America’s healthcare system appears to be almost infinite, so it’s hardly surprising that he doesn’t grasp the complexities of the cost-sharing reduction payments. But the misunderstandings extend to congressional Republicans, and even Democrats.

The truth is that Trump’s action could lead to more Americans receiving subsidized health coverage. It could also produce a windfall for states including California. To understand how that could happen, one has to understand how these subsidies work.

A couple of preliminary points: They’re not “bailouts” of insurance companies, as Trump described them. And the motion filed by California, 17 other states and the District of Columbia to block Trump’s action should still go ahead, for reasons we’ll get to in a moment.

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-trump-obamacare-20171016-story.html

Kushners' Control of Family's NYC Crown Jewel Is Now in Jeopardy

Source: Bloomberg

An ambitious plan by Jared Kushners family to recast its indebted Fifth Avenue office building as a luxury architectural trophy is collapsing, setting off a chain of events that may imperil the Kushners ownership of a property central to their real estate empire.

Their partner, Vornado Realty Trust, is telling brokers to plan for a much more mundane renovation that would leave the property as an office building, according to three people familiar with the matter. Vornado Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steve Roth was never enthusiastic about the Kushner plan although until now he hadnt stood in its way.

Putting an end to the Kushner effort -- to salvage their overpriced investment by turning it into a Midtown jewel with expensive condos, a hotel and five-floor mall -- could have profound ramifications for the family. Vornado, which owns 49.5 percent of 666 Fifth Ave., is unlikely to invest further in the property without first being reassured of its future, said three people familiar with Roths thinking. That means returning to the negotiating table with lenders -- a battle that could result in Kushner Cos. losing control of the building, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing private deals.

A Kushner Cos. spokesman said nothing has been decided.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-16/kushner-plan-for-fifth-avenue-tower-is-being-blocked-by-partner

Trump Accepts Larry Flynt's Ten-Million-Dollar Offer for Information Leading to His Impeachment

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Just minutes after the publisher Larry Flynt offered ten million dollars in exchange for information leading to Donald Trump’s impeachment, Trump contacted Flynt and said that he would gladly provide the information himself in exchange for the cash.

According to Flynt, shortly after their phone conversation Trump sent him a voluminous number of e-mails, phone records, and other evidence of impeachable offenses, after which Flynt wired ten million dollars to Trump’s Swiss bank account.

“That was a lot easier than I thought it would be, to be honest,” Flynt told reporters.

The swift denouement to Trump’s tenure in the White House raised more than a few eyebrows in Washington, with some insiders wondering if Trump’s eagerness to accept the ten-million-dollar payment indicated that his net worth was considerably smaller than he had professed.

https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/trump-accepts-larry-flynts-ten-million-dollar-offer-for-information-leading-to-his-impeachment

Trump and the dismantling of Obama's legacy

Brick by brick, the demolition job has begun: since taking office less than a year ago, Donald Trump has launched an all-out assault on the legacy of Barack Obama.

Climate, free trade, health care, immigration, foreign policy -- the 45th US president has set about undoing just about everything done by the 44th.

All new presidents, of course, break with their predecessor once in the Oval Office, especially if they come from a rival political party.

But what is striking is how systematic the hammer blows to Obama's legacy have been.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-dismantling-obamas-legacy-140214491.html

The Audacity of Dope.

And Republicant Quislings are exceptionally complicit in Trump's debasing of the Office of the Presidency, destroying the reputation of the USA, and dismantling our government institutions. And for what end? This is a criminal conspiracy to fundamentally betray our country for money and power.

IMO It would not be beneath Trump and the Republicans to disallow 2018 elections because of some declared "national emergency".

Paris Mayor Plans To Eliminate All Non-Electric Cars By 2030

If the mayor of Paris holds sway, gas-powered cars will be gone from her city by 2030. Instead, citizens will get around via public transport, bicycles, and electric cars — and Paris will be on its way to carbon neutrality by 2050.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo's call on Thursday for an end to petrol-fueled cars on Paris roads by 2030 follows a previously announced plan to eliminate diesel cars from the city by 2024, when Paris will host the Summer Olympics.

"We are seeing a revolution in terms of mobility and on the issue of climate," Christophe Nadjovski, Paris deputy mayor in charge of transport and public space, told France Info Radio on Tuesday. "We can't wait."

The mayor's office released a statement clarifying its aims after news outlets reported that the city was banning gasoline cars.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/10/12/557494263/enter-title
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