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Let's knock off the bullshit about anemic U.S. economic growth

Republicans continue to complain about the slow rate of U.S. economic growth.  Let's look at some facts.

First, check out Japan's recent economic growth.

Between July 2013 and July 2016, Japan's economy grew at the average rate of 0.11% per year.


Now, check out Germany's economic growth.

Germany's average annual economic growth for the same period is 0.4%.


Now, look at the U.S. economic growth rate record.

The average U.S. economic growth, July 2013 - July 2016 is 2.24% -- compared to 0.11% for Japan and 0.4% for Germany.

Now . . . what were you saying about our anemic economic growth rate??

GEt a grip on yourself before you read this, which likely is the NUTTIEST thing you've read in a l-o-o-o-o-ng time

Courtesy of the Inquisitr: 

At least one harbinger of doom is now saying that when the Russians invade the United States, they will start World War 3 by breaching American sovereignty via Alaska, according to a former military official. In what reads like a World War 3 conspiracy theory, this scenario suggests that President Barack Obama has left the United States’ northernmost state militarily defenseless against an imminent Russian exploitative attack. 

The Daily Star reported this week that a high-ranking former U.S. Navy official has claimed to have evidence that a Russian invasion of the United States is imminent and will begin in, of all places, the small village of Wasilla, Alaska. (For those who may have forgotten, Wasilla is the home of former Alaska governor, former Republican vice presidential nominee, and former Fox News contributor Sarah Palin.) Russian submarines will apparently secure the Alaskan coastline, exploiting the fact, according to the former Navy officer, that the area is virtually unprotected from hostile and aggressive invaders. 

According to the official, who offered the information on condition of anonymity, Wasilla will become the jump-off for a more protracted invasion of North America. “Our feeling in the Navy was that Obama had turned Alaska into a defenseless area that will serve as a forward base of operations when World War III begins,” he said. 

“We are the verge of being invaded from Alaska all the way down into Canada and eventually the Northwest.” 

The same unnamed source told the Daily Star that there were Russians disguised as “highway road crews” working in Alaska already, preparing the way for a full-scale invasion force. The crews were in place to “disrupt communications and seize vital bridges” when war eventually arrives. 

And there you have it folks, your Navy at work.

Trump says:

At the Sunday night debate, Trump told Muslims and the rest of us, "If you see something, report it."


I want to report a crazy man stalking a woman in St. Louis.

We Democrats and we reasonable people should not underestimate republican and tea party rage . . . it may turn ugly

For decades conservative politicians and political pundits have been telling white Christian males the country belongs to them but that "those people" -- anyone not a white Christian male -- are trying to take away their rightful ownership and change things for the worse.

White Christian males have been told that "those people" are trying to destroy the American way of life, and of course the American way of life that the politicians and pundits have been trying to sell them is not surprisingly the America of the 1950s and before. Back then anyone who wasn't a white Christian male had far less power and influence than now. In fact, some think the ideal American way of life predates women's suffrage, as some of those politicians and pundits have theorized that men are driven by logic but women by emotion, and consequently female voters have been one of the driving forces for changing things for the worse.

Fear is a great motivator, to the point where many of the staunchest believers these days aren't white Christian males, but also females, and people who don't really care about religion unless there is a chance to demonize Muslims as terrorists. Their beliefs have solidified as the rational part of the country continues to move to the left. Rational people realize that white Christian males aren't the masters but that everyone has equal value, regardless of their race, religion, or gender.

Things began to reach a boiling point in 2008. Republicans were enraged for two reasons. Not only was the new President an African-American, in charge of what white Christian males thought was rightfully theirs, but the conservative politicians that had flapped their gums so much about "those people" taking the country away and ruining things seemed to have either very little interest or very little ability to put a stop to things. The person who had run against the "Halfrican," as some of the more deplorable republicans began calling our new President, had been John McCain. Many republican voters considered him more a Democrat than a Republican, and they began to turn on the republican establishment for having supported him.  McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin -- a dimwitted phony -- memorized just the right buzzwords about "those people" to develop a following (which, thankfully, has dwindled to the point where she has no audience save a few hundred Facebook followers).

That's when the Tea Party movement arose, and it sought to "take the country back" from "those people" and to "make America great again." It was a direct response to both liberals and ineffective republican leadership for "allowing" an African-American man to become the leader of what the republicans consider a country for white Christian males.

Not much has changed for republicans in the last years. President Obama won his second term, and now, shock, horror, we might even have a female President. The white Christian males and their accomplices expected the republican establishment to give them another McCain or Romney for 2016, and they consequently decided to take matters into their own hands.

Donald Trump. He managed to brush establishment favorites like Jeb Bush aside during the primaries and he has managed to keep his poll numbers above the single digits because he embodies the republican rage. The rage against "those people" and the rage against the republican establishment for not doing more against "those people."

His outrageous comments have not turned Trump supporters away in droves because Trump is actually saying what they think. Even his latest comments about women won't have much of an effect, because most Trump supporters think exactly like him, and others would still support him even if he shot someone in the middle of the street, as long as he'll continue to promise to make "America great again" by "taking back" the country from "those people."

This is why Trump has brushed off controversy after controversy and even now still has a chance in November, as illogical as might seem. That's because republican voters are the ones voting based on emotion rather than logic. Some believe that a President Clinton would change this country forever and all hope of realizing that white Christian male American dream of the pre-1960s will be lost forever. Others are willing to fight on to "take America back" from "those people," and if there is a President Clinton, I expect their vicious hatred and rage in 2020 to overshadow that of 2016.

Don't underestimate the republican rage. Donald Trump is not done just yet, and even if he loses in November - especially if he loses in November - don't expect the republican rage to go away any time soon.

This is why Hillary Clinton will be our next president

The Presidential election is decided by who receives the most ELECTORAL votes. In order to win a state's electoral votes, you must win that state's popular vote.

This is how the numbers stack up for Hillary Clinton.

Needed to win:  270 electoral votes (EV).

She has 191 EV in the bag
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
Rhode Island

She has another 69 very likely
Minnesota - 10
Michigan - 16
Wisconsin - 10
Virginia - 13
Pennsylvania - 20

191 + 69 - 260.  Thus, she needs only 10 more EV to win.

Battleground states
Colorado - 9 EV - Clinton leading in polls
Ohio - 18 EV - Clinton slightly leading in polls
Florida - 29 -- Clinton leading and pulling away
North Carolina - 15 - Clinton slight lead
Nevada - 6 - Tied
New Hampshire - 4 - Clinton leading in polls
Iowa - 6 - Lead changes from day to day

Clinton can lose one or two of the likely states and win some of the battleground states and still win.  If Trump loses Florida or NC or Colorado, he cannot win.

Private GOP and Democratic polls show Trump cratering

But private polling by both parties shows an even more precipitous drop, especially among independent voters, moderate Republicans, and women.

Here's some good news: Glenn Beck's "The Blaze" is about to collapse taking Beck with it

Sources inside Glenn Beck’s once-mighty multimedia production company say that Beck is falling apart as his media empire collapses around him.

An employee of Beck’s flagship website told Huffington Post in an article published Wednesday that the few remaining staff are “looking for an exit” because they expect the site to be shuttered soon for good.

Huffington Post’s Michelle Fields said that is “suffering from a lack of editorial direction, staff attrition and internal discord” and that the mood among employees is “somber” as they’ve watched a 25-member editorial team get whittled down to six people — with more cuts expected. “The few people who are still left are looking for an exit because they know The Blaze is over,” the source told Fields. “They haven’t told us straight up that they’re done with us, but all the signs point to it, and they’re not replacing people who are laid off or get out.”

Other employees report that their healthcare benefits were reduced over the summer and that in September, all of their travel and phone stipends were cut off. In June, the company closed its vast New York City newsroom and the remaining employees are working from home.


Republicans lying about Bill Clinton's comments on medical insurance

No doubt you have read the shrieking GOP and Tea Party headlines declaring that Bill Clinton said Obamacare is the craziest way to handle medical insurance.

As is usual with the rightwing, they are lying.

Bill Clinton gave a robust argument in favor of a single-payer healthcare system on Monday night—but you wouldn't know it if you read the news, or paid any attention to Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Speaking at Hillary Clinton campaign rally in Flint, Michigan, the former president discussed the importance of expanding access to Medicare and Medicaid while lambasting the for-profit insurance model that overcharges people and reaps enormous profit.

"The profit-driven, market-based healthcare model based on private insurance doesn't work, and it will never work." —Dr. Ida Hellander, Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP)
"The insurance model doesn't work here," he said, "it's not like life insurance, or casualty insurance. It doesn't work."

"The current system works fine," Clinton continued, referring to President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA), "if you're eligible for Medicaid, if you're a lower-income working person; if you're already on Medicare, or if you get enough subsidies on a modest income that you can afford your health care. But the people that are getting killed in this deal are small business people and individuals who make just a little too much to get any of these subsidies."

"Why?" he asked, "because they are not organized, they don't have bargaining power with insurance companies and they are getting whacked." As Clinton explained, insurance companies assessing risk for a small pool of people "overcharge, just to make sure, and make a whopping profit off the people least able to pay."

"So you've got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It's the craziest thing in the world," he continued.
Adding his voice to the growing call for a public option to be added to ACA, he said that the "simplest thing" is to let those individuals not eligible for subsidies buy into Medicaid and Medicare—a plan which is supported by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her former challenger Sen. Bernie Sanders, as well as Obama.

After corporate media spun the remarks with the "grossly inaccurate" headline, "Bill Clinton calls Obamacare 'the craziest thing in the world,'" Trump's campaign predictably seized on the moment, issuing a statement that read: "even Democrats like Bill Clinton are coming to realize just what bad public policy ObamaCare really is."

But as Clinton himself pointed out, allowing the market to take over has left the United States with the most expensive health insurance system, with the least number of people covered. According to the most recently available U.S. Census Data, 29 million people went uninsured in 2015, including 3.7 million children, and despite ACA, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs continued to rise.
As proponents have argued, the "simplest thing," in fact, would be to forgo the public option and enact a government-run, single-payer healthcare system, under which all citizens are covered.

Dr. Ida Hellander, director of policy and programs with Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), said that "when people talk about the public option, they are acknowledging that it's the public part of the program that's working."

Clinton, she told Common Dreams, "seems to understand that but he's not going all the way there," likely because Secretary Clinton has also stopped short of calling for a single-payer model. However, she points out that this is not the first time the former president has voiced support for a universal system.

Agreeing with Clinton's statement that "the insurance model doesn't work here," Hellander added: "The profit-driven, market-based healthcare model based on private insurance doesn't work, and it will never work."

LeBron James endorses Hillary Clinton

Big news out of Ohio: a sports God in the Buckeye state, LeBron James, has endorsed Hillary Clinton:
Two years ago, I told you I was coming home to Northeast Ohio — where I was born and raised. When I came back, I had two missions.
In June, thanks to my teammates and all your support, I accomplished my on-the-court mission. We came back from being down 3-1 in the NBA Finals to finally grab what we’ve waited 52 long years for: a championship in Northeast Ohio. [...]
There are a lot of people who want to tell kids who grew up like me and looked like me that they just don’t have anything to look forward to.
That’s dead wrong. And that’s why I came back to Cleveland to continue my second mission. I am determined to make sure my kids in Akron have what they need to become their best selves. Opportunities, a support system, and a safety net for kids in poverty or kids in single-parent households shouldn't be limited to those lucky enough to be blessed with athletic talent. [...]
When I look at this year’s presidential race, it’s clear which candidate believes the same thing. Only one person running truly understands the struggles of an Akron child born into poverty. And when I think about the kinds of policies and ideas the kids in my foundation need from our government, the choice is clear.
That candidate is Hillary Clinton.
Countdown for Trump’s twitter meltdown in 5, 4, 3, 2 ...

CAT FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A history of “sexist” comments about women may be dogging the Trump camp, but Sneed is told a female feud has erupted between Ivanka Trump, the eldest daughter of the Donald, and her father’s newest campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway.

• At issue: Conway admitting on the “The View” she had chided and scolded Donald Trump over the recent female fallout.

• The buck shot: Sneed is told Ivanka was irritated because “she knew no one scolds her father, least of all Kellyanne Conway,” a Trump insider said.

“Ivanka is exceptionally concerned about her personal brand,” the source said. “Ivanka is a savvy businesswoman with a line of clothing, jewelry and shoes that she wants to protect; doesn’t believe her father is sexist; and is not happy with Conway’s comments,” the source added.

Read more:

Get pregnant in Texas, prepare to die . . . if you are low-income

Pregnant women in Texas may be on the edge of a health crisis, but the state refuses to release data that would allow doctors to examine the problem.
A national study found that:
The rate of pregnancy-related deaths among Texas women has nearly doubled in recent years, a national study found this month, while a separate state-commissioned study found that black women are especially vulnerable.
The information is being kept secret by Texas Department of State Health Services.
It's part of a broader trend, the slow erosion of the state's open records law and withering access to information about how state government does business.
Following the publication of a study this month done by the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology  on national trends, the Texas state health department released its report on Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force. The Dallas Morning News requested data related to those deaths through the Texas Public Information Act and was denied.
Such data, a so-called summary death index, once contained the names, locations and cause of death of every mortality reported to the department's Vital Statistics division. It was once readily available to the public.
For instance, in 2010, the state's death data was used  to show how many Texas suicides involved military veterans.
But the department denied The News' request for the maternity-death information, citing a 2011 opinion by then-Attorney General Greg Abbott that made secret the cause of death, dates of birth and last known address of the deceased. Though such records are readily available in many states, Abbott ruled that the information should be kept secret to prevent fraud.
But without the information, there is no way to tell if the deaths are related to health care access or a lack of health insurance, said Dr. Daniel Grossman, an OB-GYN with the Texas Policy Evaluation Project at the University of Texas at Austin, which examines the effects of abortion and health care legislation in Texas.
"We have a public health issue, bordering on crisis," he said, arguing that case studies of each death should be conducted to determine whether the rise in maternal deaths correlates with cuts to women's health programs or a lack of access to health  insurance.

Pay attention for the next several months: You are watching the total collapse of Donald Trump

Throughout his life, Donald Trump has exaggerated everything he's been involved with. Given all of his obvious psychological problems, each step of his existence has to exceed the last. In the drug culture, it's called "chasing the dragon" because the user keeps grasping for a higher high. This need is the same in Mr. Trump and it could be more catastrophic than anything we've seen in the public sphere.

I believe we are going to witness a piece of cultural history as one by one, Donald Trump's (leveraged) Houses Of Cards collapse. Here's my scenario.

First, he loses the election. He'll bitch and moan and come up with a thousand conspiracies and excuses but none of it will matter and Hillary Clinton will be sworn in as president. This will humiliate him in front of the world, something he's never experienced. It will affect him profoundly.

Next, his fraud cases regarding Trump University will go to trial at the end of November. As the cases unfold, it will take more and more of his time. Ultimately he'll lose. I believe there are two cases, one is a class-action civil suit and the other is a RICO fraud case. I don't know if jail time is a possible punishment for the RICO case but there will be no way for Mr. Trump to spin his losses as wins.

Meanwhile the civil case against him for allegedly raping an underage girl years ago is ongoing. He could lose that one, too. Imagine the public humiliation he is going to be going through! With each loss, his supporters will dwindle and he'll lose his audience.

As if those issues weren't enough, the investigations into the Trump Foundation are going to result in some serious repercussions for Mr. Trump. The public scrutiny that this narcissist has willingly subjected himself to is yet another example of his unbelievable hubris.

Now, things get really interesting. Mr. Trump has bragged about how his company is so awesome with the most incredible assets around the world. But the value of these assets is flexible as Donald Trump himself has sworn in testimony.

The first problem is that the assets that he owns have been impacted by his divisive campaign. As two examples, bookings at his hotels are down and rounds of golf paid for at his courses are down.

The second problem is that a great many of his endeavors are licensing deals for the use of his name, that is, he doesn't have equity in many of his ventures, he only receives a fee for the Trump™ brand.

His campaign for president has seriously damaged this brand name. Consider the corporations and organizations that have severed their ties with him because of his bigoted and ignorant comments: Macy's, Univision, Televisa, NBCUniversal (home of his TV shows), Serta, ESPN, NASCAR (sort of), and even the Professional Golfers Association of America. There are more and these organizations do not want their brands associated with such a controversial buffoon as Donald Trump.

Specifically, his ugly campaign has tremendously limited his future businesses. His kids must freaking out about the old man.

There's been speculation that he wants to start Trump TV. There won't be enough of an audience; look at what happened to Sarah Palin's TV shows. There is no way that Mr. Trump could program enough material for a 24-hour cable channel and sell enough advertising to pay for it. Remember all of the corporations that do not want to work with him anymore. Such organizations seek to avoid controversies because it shrinks their customer base.

I think Donald Trump is accelerating wildly towards a crash of Fitzgeraldesque proportions. What a show we're in for!