Thursday, January 14, 2016

$5 billion from Goldman, Sachs for mortgage settlement.

January 20, 2016
By Ken Sweet

...Coming nearly eight years after the crisis, (click here) the settlement is by far the largest the investment bank has reached related to its role in the meltdown. But the payment is dwarfed by those made by some of its Wall Street counterparts.
Goldman will pay $2.39 billion in civil monetary penalties, $875 million in cash payments and provide $1.8 billion in consumer relief in the form of mortgage forgiveness and refinancing....
Kasich state tax cuts will grow jobs. The only tax cuts that work to increase jobs are those made to the middle class. President Obama's tax cuts worked to increase jobs because he maintained the middle class tax cuts.

But this idea is hardly new. (click here) It is a key element of various forms of consumption taxes such as the National Retail Sales Tax (including the wildly misnamed FAIR tax). It is also favored among those on the right who want to close “loopholes” to force  low- and moderate-income households to pay some income tax even as they cut rates across the board—a design almost certain to favor high-income taxpayers.

The facts are plain, the Fair Tax or a National Retail Sales Tax will raise taxes on the poor and middle class, not the wealthy.

Angry yelling and invoking the Clinton name and more nonsense.

Poor Ben Carson, he is not recognized anymore. According to Carson, dirty bombs, emps and chaos is coming by ISIS. Mr. Carson states if the next President gave the military carte blanc without tying their hands behind their back they could get the job done.

Trumps message hasn't changed.

Cruz is a victim by the 'hit piece' at the New York Times.

I think it is safe to say Republicans don't do well with the facts.

Poor Ted Cruz is still a victim because of his birth place. Ted is getting a little pathetic by states Trumps mother was born in Scotland and naturalized to the USA. That has nothing to do with Donald Trump's birth status.

Five Thirty Eight (click here)

Marco Rubio is going to act properly when President.

There is a difference at this website between polling results and chance of winning.

The current poll trending puts Trump in the lead by a fraction. The way to avoid answering a question is to defame Hillary Clinton.

Below, the Huffington Post (click here) has Hillary's overall chance of winning the nomination above 51 percent.

Ben Carson wants to know where modern day name calling came from.

Social media Dr, Carson. If anyone should be sensitive to that fact, it should be pediatric neurologist Ben Carson. You know, bullying and all that mess.

Hurricane Alex (click here) is seen in the Atlantic after being upgraded from a storm on Thursday. Photograph: Getty Images

First named storm in the Atlantic Season of 2016.

New York City is a major global financial center. New York State is an agricultural state as well. So, when people talk about New York values, they are talking about American values.

The cost of a global USA military is unrealistic. The military budget is out of hand and has been for a very long time. The USA has obligations to NATO and vulnerable countries such as South Korea, but, a global force is not at all realistic.

Don't criticize President Obama when the US Congress (Republican majority) can't pass an AUMF. The reason Republicans won't pass an AUMF is because they want to win in November and THEN the Republicans will pass an AUMF, Lord only knows from there what happens next.

There you go. Graham will see the USA back at war in the middle east. Where is the money? This is the second military question of Carson. What gives?

The USA can't simply tell the USA military to go kill and get out of the way.

The war in Iraq claimed more than 116,000 civilian lives (click here) in the space of eight years and cost the US about £530 billion, according to new research.

I wish Republican debates were real and truthful. Whatever.

The problem with Republicans is because they see the entire picture. They refuse to acknowledge the climate crisis and how it is acting to cause rebellions by people in countries such as Syria.

British archaeologists (click here) are currently excavating a 3000-year-old settlement so perfectly preserved that it's inspiring comparisons to Pompeii. The site includes pristine structural components from the buildings themselves as well as common household items like textiles, farming tools, and cooking supplies. The discoveries are being considered the best-preserved Bronze Age dwellings ever uncovered in Britain....

Trying to carve out settlements in the middle east to relieve refugees would be a disaster. It would simply become another war front.

What US president was responsible for opening relationships with China? Trade deficit over $500 billion.

The growth of the Chinese - US deficit (click here) didn't happen overnight or during the Obama Administration.

Below is 1985. Trade deficit with China $6 million.

Below is 2015. The deficit with China was $337.81 billion.

Carson unveils 14.9 percent flat tax plan (click here)
The announcement came after Carson's campaign was shaken by resignations of top deputies.

by Ed Adamcyzk
Jan. 4, 2016

Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, here at he Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Candidates Forum on December 3, issued a statement Monday calling for a 14.9 percent flat federal tax....
The tax would apply only to income above 150 percent of the federal poverty rate. It would eliminate all deductions and tax loopholes, and those below the poverty line would be taxed at a different, unspecified rate....

Census Bureau's definition of poverty for a family of four (two adults, two children) is $22,811.

According to Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz is a flip flopper for political purposes.

It isn't realistic 12 million undocumented will never be citizens.

Republicans haven't changed because they are afraid of losing their financial backers with the exception of Trump.

I'll be darn, the Obama State Department diplomacy is respected.

No one held guns to the back of their heads regardless of what Ted Cruz states.

January 14, 2016
By the Data Team

Sometime (click here) in the next few days Iran’s “Implementation Day” is almost certain to be declared. That is the moment when Iran is deemed to have complied with all its obligations in dismantling those parts of its nuclear programme that would soon have put it weeks away from being able to build a bomb. All nuclear-related sanctions, including the freezing of $100bn of Iranian assets, will be lifted. At the same time, Iran will apply the Additional Protocol of its safeguards agreement (subject to ratification by its parliament, the Majlis) with the International Atomic Energy Agency, a measure which gives the agency’s inspectors access to materials and sites beyond declared nuclear facilities....

January 13, 2016

By Taro Copp

...The crews (click here) of the two U.S. riverine command boats – small shallow-water patrol craft with minimal technology or defenses on board – were detained Tuesday after a mechanical failure caused the boats to drift into Iran’s territorial waters near Farsi Island, U.S. defense officials said. There were nine male sailors and one female sailor on board the vessels.

What could have become a tense international incident instead was quickly resolved through U.S. and Iranian diplomacy, a sign of what’s at stake in the Persian Gulf, said retired Navy Cmdr. Chris Harmer, a senior naval analyst with the Institute for the Study of War....

...“I think the real interesting question here is, ‘What is the internal state of play in terms of the hardliners in Iran versus the moderates? I thought there was a real possibility Iran would hold the sailors longer, but it seems the senior Iranian leadership told the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] who had the U.S. sailors, ‘You are going to release these guys right now.’”...

The attackers in Jakarta are dead, dead, dead.

It is all small arms.

January 14, 2016

A Canadian was among those killed (click here) in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta Thursday when gunmen launched a series of co-ordinated attacks in a bustling downtown shopping area.
Jakarta police chief Maj.-Gen. Tito Karnavian told a news conference that the first attack — a suicide bombing — happened at a Starbucks, causing customers to run outside, where two gunmen opened fire, killing the Canadian and wounding an Indonesian bystander.
At about the same time, two other suicide bombers attacked a nearby traffic police booth, killing themselves and an Indonesian man. Moments later, Karnavian said, a group of policemen was attacked by two remaining gunmen, using homemade bombs. This led to a 15-minute gunfight, he said.
All five gunmen were killed and 20 people were wounded in the attacks....

Indonesia is a majority Muslim country.

Muslim 87.2%
Christian 7%
 Roman Catholic 2.9 %
Hindu 1.7%
other 0.9% (includes Buddhist and Confucian), unspecified 0.4% (2010 est.)  

This is the demographics of Jakarta. Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia.

JAKARTA (capital) 9.769 million

The point is the attackers are rejected in their violence. I think that is important to realize. Daesh is a group of criminals. That is all they are. They are not people to be trusted with the worship of Allah.

Many of these people are impoverished. We know for a fact the impoverished often are the place that breeds hate and violence. These people are rejecting all that.

There has been problems in Indonesia. Historically, Indonesia has seen violence and clashes between Christian and Muslim. But, there is less of it in modern times.

Ethnic violence (click here) has more or less seized to be since 2002 after regional violence in Jakarta, Medan (Sumatra), Kalimantan, Poso (Sulawesi) and the Moluccas caused many casualties between the years 1996 and 2002. It is, however, not correct to mark the above cases as 'ethnic violence' only. Violence purely because of ethnic differences seems highly unlikely as in each case other aspects play an influential role. For example, violence against the Chinese Indonesians, which emerged around the time of Suharto's resignation, has a lot to do with the country's economic circumstances. The Chinese Indonesians had always been resented because they own a relative big portion of Indonesia's business cake, despite forming just a tiny minority in Indonesia's population (and in fact rich Chinese Indonesians are only a small proportion of the total number of Chinese Indonesians in Indonesia). In times of political and economic turmoil it is not hard to instigate anti-Chinese feelings that results in violence.....

Indonesia does not tolerate criminality or any form of civilian violence. Those that know it best are Australians involved with the drug trade. They are arrested and imprisoned regardless of gender. 

Indonesia enforces it's rule of law without question. Break the law and suffer the consequences. I think that puts power where it belongs in this long chain or islands, in the hands of the government. In past uprisings there were large numbers of dead. That simply doesn't happen in Indonesia in modern times.

Nearly absent from Indonesia is illiteracy. Indonesia has successfully educated 95 percent or more of it's people to read and write. Extremists that use violence to challenge domestic peace simply don't have an audience,

If the winners of the lotto are locals, their status will take a very big turn.

This is from Chino Hills, California website (click here).

I hope the winners are getting good advise. There is a trend with the Lotto winners proving to loss of their winnings in a short period of time.

I can't help but think the advise these folks are getting is very bad advise.

At a time when advancing from the middle class to the wealthy is rather difficult, these winnings can change the life of the winners and their children. I think the Lotto organizers have an obligation to help the winners find competent advise.

To the right is Munford, Tennessee. (click here)

I think this is very exciting for these folks and the winning sale.

Munford's demographic is a little odd. What happened to its teenage population?

The majority are middle class to upper middle class over $60 K and under $100 K. These folks work for a living and earn a salary. 

Other than that dip in teen population the demographics are fairly equal. I find that low population of teens a bit a concern. That dip in population among the teens which is a five year span, also carries through to early twenty somethings.

The good news is there are more babies and early adolescents. They are five year spans as well. 

The other city with a winner is Melbourne, Florida. There is a major private university in that town.

January 14, 2016
By Stephanie Allen

But that's the best piece of advice Florida's first Powerball jackpot winner can give.
Dr. William A. Steele, an Orlando-area dermatologist, won a $189 million prize in October 2009 and has since kept fairly quiet about his winnings.
Until Thursday, when he offered some advice to the mystery Publix shopper who snagged a piece of Wednesday's record-shattering $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot....

Melbourne Beach is definitely middle class.
Melbourne Beach (click here) is a town in Brevard County Florida.  It is located at latitude 28.068N and longitude of 80.56W in the Eastern Standard Time (EST) zone.  The Town of Melbourne Beach is approximately 10ft. above sea level.  The US Census declares that the current population of Melbourne Beach as of April 1, 2015 is 3,078 with a median income of $57,035 annually.

The largest demographic (click here) are married couples without children.

This is really nice. The middle class is where most of the tickets are sold, at least in these three communities. I would think most of these folks would be overwhelmed with the idea of enormous wealth overnight. They need really good advise.

More water problems for Flint. The Emergency Manager is a failure in Flint, Michigan.

That is the actual color of the water in Flint, Michigan. It is more than a lead problem. The water has to be disinfected before it is filtered.

People need chlorine tablets in their home.

January 14, 2016
By Sarah Kaplin

More disturbing news (click here) has come for residents of Flint, Mich., who are already reeling from an escalating health crisis tied to their city’s lead-poisoned water supply.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services officials announced Wednesday that the city and the surrounding area have seen a spike in cases of Legionnaires’ disease — a bacterial infection that can be deadly for between 5 to 30 percent of victims.
So far 87 cases have been diagnosed since June 2014, two months after Flint changed its water source to the Flint River, the Detroit Free Press reported. Ten of those cases were fatal....

Flint, Michigan is experiencing gross negligence of government. All these problems are solved when government performs regular inspections through the health department.

The people know what is wrong and what has to be done. Give them back their local government.

Ten dead people from Legionella is NOT simply one hot tub. This is caused from a public source.

This is third world problems. This is a problem the United Nations would find in impoverished regions. Chlorine tablets are the only way to solve this problem. Realize the chlorine used in Flints' water system ended to chloramine. It was the chloramine that caused the increased lead content in Flint's water. This is a complete failure of government. They never bothered to evaluate what would occur in Flint when the change was made.

People are exposed to Legionella (click here) when they breathe in a mist or vapor (small droplets of water in the air) containing the bacteria. One example might be from breathing in droplets sprayed from a hot tub that has not been properly cleaned and disinfected.
Less commonly, Legionella can be transmitted via aspiration of drinking water, which is when water “goes down the wrong pipe,” into the trachea (windpipe) and lungs instead of down the digestive tract. People at increased risk of aspiration include those with swallowing difficulties.
Legionella cannot spread from one person to another person. A person diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease or Pontiac fever is not a threat to family members, co-workers, or others. However, if you believe that your workplace was the source of the person's illness, contact your local health department.
Most people exposed to the bacteria do not become ill. If you have reason to believe you were exposed to the bacteria, talk to your doctor or local health department. Be sure to mention if you have spent any nights away from home in the last two weeks.

The pipes in Flint are very old. When chloramine was used to cut costs of water treatment it simply broke down the lining of those pipes. Stpp using chloramine and return to chlorine until ALL the pipes in Flint are replaced.

July 29, 2015 

By Alana Semuels

In Flint, Michigan, lead, copper, and bacteria (click here) are contaminating the drinking supply and making residents ill. If other cities fail to fix their old pipes, the problem could soon become a lot more common.

Backbone to enforce cheaper solutions in Michigan is NOT the answer! There is a reason why these cities are having problems and it is NOT their government.

The National Guard leadership will understand chlorine and disinfection of water. They can explain it to Flint residents.
This is the front page of the Jakarta Post. Other pages (click here) are fine, but, the front e-page is down.

We know Indonesia is a probable candidate for violence. It was a matter of time before something was going to happen. The control of small arms into the country is very important.

This is odd. Tourists are alarmed. Jakarta is a massively large country and a challenge to secure. The Indonesian government may need some assistance.

Greater Jakarta: (click here) Tons of hyacinths wash up on Tidung Island

Tons of dead water hyacinths have washed up on Tidung Island in Thousand Islands, disturbing tourism on the island.

Sydney Morning Herald reports a precautionary clearing of the Opera House and Ferries were carried out for information on social media.

January 14, 2016

By Nick Ralston

The Sydney Opera House (click here) precinct was evacuated and the Manly ferry wharf searched on Thursday afternoon after information NSW Police received via social media. 
The forecourt of the Opera House was cleared about 2pm on Thursday with police erecting metal barriers.
Police said the operation was a precautionary measure.

They are still getting pummeled by severe storms. It could have something to do with the hyacinths. What are the upper winds doing to jet travel. Sustained winds will cause problems different than the occassional weather system.

January 14, 2016
Rachel Olding

One man was killed, (click here) multiple buildings destroyed and tens of thousands of homes were without power on Thursday evening after a violent thunderstorm tore through Sydney, leaving a path of destruction following a day of extreme heat.
The severe storm began just before 2pm, carrying destructive winds, with four major storm cells tracking across the city's west and southwest before passing through the eastern suburbs and out to sea....

Don't play around with this. If pilots are reporting difficult circumstances when aloft, the travel ambitions of the day may have to be reassessed. 

January 14, 2016
New Zealand ex-pat Cameron Bates (click here) said the blasts happened just 2km or 3km from his apartment block.
"I work from home, I'm on the 25th floor of an apartment tower 2km or 3km away from it, I didn't hear anything," he said.
"But I work in social media so it pretty quickly came to our attention that something was happening.
"A friend of mine has an office over-looking the scene of the attack and he was posting photos of what he was seeing, including the deceased. "
There was some indication the bodies may have been those of suicide bombers, he said....
There are strong winds across the southern island.


...Lottery officials said it could be several hours before it is known whether there are other winners in the 44 states, Washington, D.C. and two U.S. territories where Powerball is played.

The six winning numbers were 08, 27, 34, 04, 19 and Powerball 10. They were picked during a late Wednesday draw for the $1.586 billion prize at lottery offices in Tallahassee, Florida. 

In Chino Hills, a suburb east of Los Angeles, crowds descended on a 7-Eleven store where the winning ticket had been bought, snapping pictures and congratulating staff. The store will receive a $1-million bonus for selling the ticket....

Pay off the mortgage,  the car loans, set up trusts for the kids and go on vacation. Pretty cool stuff all for a dollar investment.

Only in America.