Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Senator Bernie Sanders has demonstrated a method of winning that is nothing short of remarkable.

Congratulations, Senator Sanders.

April 5, 2016
Milwaukee — Bernie Sanders (click here) carried the Democratic primary race in Wisconsin over Hillary Clinton, a win that still leaves him with a mathematically difficult path to the White House.
For Sanders, Wisconsin was the latest in a string of victories that have given him an incentive to keep competing against Clinton. But he still trails her in the pledged delegate count and has so far been unable to persuade superdelegates— the party officials who can back any candidate — to drop their allegiance to the former secretary of state and back his campaign....          

Congratulations, Priebus. It looks like you get to keep your job.

April 5, 2016
Milwaukee — Republican Ted Cruz (click here) captured a crucial victory Tuesday in Wisconsin, a significant step in his efforts to block front-runner Donald Trump's path to the presidential nomination and push the GOP contest toward a rare convention fight. In the Democratic race, Bernie Sanders hoped to extend his string of victories over front-runner Hillary Clinton....

April 3, 2016
By Jake J. Miller
...Responding to Trump’s decision (click here) to abandon his loyalty pledge on ABC’sThis Week, Priebus said the decision could deepen Trump’s delegate troubles. “Those kinds of comments I think have consequences,” Priebus said. ” And so when you make those kinds of comments, and you want people to fall in line for you, it makes it more difficult.”...

What good is a Supreme Court, a test of vocabulary and how to circumvent the US Constitution?

April 5, 2016
By Jonathan M. Katz

Durham, N.C. — Mississippi’s governor (click here) signed far-reaching legislation on Tuesday that critics say restricts gay rights and the online-payment company PayPal pulled back on an investment in North Carolina as gay rights issues roiled Southern states.
Both actions reflected escalating tension in Southern legislatures between conservative lawmakers and business interest over gay rights.

That isn't stated well. Business interest over gay rights. It isn't a business interest, it is a matter of social values or social morality. There is no doubt adverse decisions regarding social values impacts a company. That speaks eons of the values most Americans keep as their own. Americans don't want basic civil rights recalled that will result in a difficult and stressful life for any citizen regardless of their CHOICE in faith.

Faith in the USA is a choice. A citizen might have been raised within a religious faith, but, that doesn't mean it is a lifelong characteristic. People choose their faith. There is no law enforcing religious participation, except, for the freedom to choose and practice. I think that form of government is best for all faith leaders.

The separation of church and state is written into the US Constitution. That separation is vital to a healthy soul, I think. If religious performance were a law who is to say an individual is acting according to their beliefs. Separation of church and state definitely puts the individual on a platform where they have made decisions in complete safety and without harassment. An intact soul and smile of God in their life is the best outcome to any religious life. It is best to have religion and state completely separated to achieve that best outcome.

This should be interesting to the Southern legislators that insist on the interference of religion. A friend of the family is gay. He is also celibate and was once studying in seminary to become a Roman Catholic priest. No, he is not a pedophile. He left the seminary because he felt it was not the place for him at that time.

The point is, the Roman Catholic Church has identified 'the person' not the social label. Celibacy is the preferred status to Catholics that are outside of marriage.

The idea a legislature could victimize men and women in far worse methods than the Roman Catholic Church is to realize the self-righteous and political undertones to power in the southern USA.

A person, an individual, answers to God; not the States of Mississippi or North Carolina. How is it the USA tolerates this demoralizing activity of a state's government only to effect our citizens. Haven't we had enough of this religious bigotry? I know I have.

In Mississippi, Gov. Philryant signed into law a measure that would allow business and government workers to deny services based on religious beliefs. The law protects churches, religious charities and privately held businesses that decline services to people if doing so would violate their beliefs. Individual government employees are also protected, although the measure says governments must still provide the services.

In North Carolina, PayPal said it had dropped plans to put in global operations center in Charlotte because of that state’s recent passage of a law banning anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. PayPal had pledged to bring 400 jobs and invest $3.6 million in the area by the end of 2017....

Gee whiz, it would seem as though stock brokers only need a high school diploma or less.

I was wondering why Wall Street was so bent out of shape over oil. The picture is getting clearer and clearer. A bull market has a few strategies to rob the world of it's wealth and no one wants to go back to that bear market; it lacks glamour and juice.


Facebook, Amazon.com, Netflix and Alphabet represented nearly 4% of hedge fund “long” holdings at the end of last year

February 23, 2016
By Chris Dieterich

Hedge funds (click here) started this year the most concentrated they’ve ever been.

Who needs diversification when you can dedicate massive chunks of your portfolio to just a few large positions? The average hedge fund had parked 68% of its “long” assets in Top 10 positions at the end of last year, the highest on record, says David Kostin, head U.S. stock strategist at Goldman Sachs. He pulls that figure from a plethora recent 13F disclosures, which show holdings of large investors with a 45-day lag.

So-called FANG stocks (Facebook (FB), Amazon.com (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX) and Alphabet(GOOGL)) by themselves represented 3.5% of total hedge fund equity holdings at the end of last year. Strong-performance by that quartet of high-flying stocks meant that hedge fund FANG exposure jumped all the way from 1.5% at the start of 2015. (SEE CHART). Facebook is flat in 2016, while the other three are down sharply; Netflix and Amazon each are down about 20% so far this year....

Call to complain and ask for relief from US DOJ.

There are unreasonably long lines to receive a voter ID and confirm their address. This is all due to the new draconian voter ID laws.

This may be the first time the Wisconsin voter ID law has come into force.

Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.) (click here)

...The G.A.B. anticipates (click here) there will be special elections in 2015 at which photo ID will be required, and we will be reaching out specifically to local election officials in those jurisdictions regarding implementation of the photo ID requirement for those special elections.  The next statewide election at which photo ID will be required is the Spring Primary on February 16, 2016.  If you will have a special election prior to the 2016 Spring Primary, please remember to notify us so that we can assist with issues related to photo ID as well as SVRS tasks.
If you have any questions, please contact the G.A.B. Help Desk at gabhelpdesk@wi.gov or (608) 261-2028.  Thank you.

Here is a better slogan for the Wisconsin Voter ID Law, "Don't suffer in silence."

5 April 2016

Country’s strictest voter identification law (click here) faces test in first high-turnout election since it took effect as activists condemn effort to ‘suppress the vote’

“Arizona is going to have been a piece of cake” compared with Tuesday’s primary in Wisconsin, said Arvina Martin, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and chair of the Democratic party of Wisconsin’s American Indian caucus.
She was comparing the potential effects of Wisconsin’s strictest-in-the-nation voter identification law to the five-hour waits to vote during last month’s Arizona primary. (The US Department of Justice announced on Friday that it would investigate the problems in Arizona, which occurred when Maricopa County reduced the number of polling places from 200 in 2012 to 60 in 2016.)

Tuesday’s state primary in Wisconsin – which is also a general election for state and local judicial candidates – will be the first high-turnout election here since the law went into effect. The state’s government accountability board estimates that about 40% of the state’s eligible voters will go to the polls, which would be the highest turnout in a primary since 1980....

Anyone can see the Wisconsin STRATEGY by a hostile administration to eliminate the patience people have shown in obtaining their voter ID and then voting. Patience should not be required for voting or obtaining the voter ID. I find the voter ID issue a huge invasion of privacy. In Michigan, in Garfield County, it wasn't enough to show the driver's license, it was then run through an electronic recording device. Once that occurred there were numbers assigned to it and I never gave consent for the clerks to do that. My driver's license was examined by three different clerks when I wanted to vote. THAT IS CALLED INVASION OF PRIVACY. If the clerks were trying to validate my identity the picture they had in electronic state records was no different than the one on my license. There is a limit to the degree government should have to use my driver's license or voter ID. 

If I was someone worried about government interaction with something as simple as a parking ticket I would not vote in fear of the police doing something. A parking ticket paid late is not a matter that should instill fear in voters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The voter ID is specifically a tool to oppress voter turnout.

We know the reality of Ferguson, Missouri. If the citizens of Ferguson were afraid to vote because of problems with fines, etc., they would NEVER be represented in any level of government. Voter ID is more than an issue of invasion of privacy, it is definitely punitive to isolate voters from their VOTING RIGHTS. It is definitely an issue of racism and socioeconomic as well.

If the Voter ID laws are not challenged on the basis of oppression and racism, Ferguson's reality will repeat itself even after the best work of the DOJ.

I doubt, the homeless would ever vote because of socioeconomic pressures. If that SHAME is not removed from that reality, the homeless will never have representation to their best interests.

We all know the violence that exists between government and our minority communities. Is there any wonder it exists if these socioeconomic communities are not represented in government. I am not talking about ANY available minority; I am talking about members of the minority and/or socioeconomic impoverished. 

I do not want to hear a judge say, "You don't expect the homeless to run for office and win, do you?" There should be every option available for any person to achieve representation at any level of government.

The USA Congress needs to pick up on unfair tax leverage that President Obama has started.

Congressional Republicans need to stop kissing up to their cronies. The US Congress should have written and passed legislation a long time ago. This is an election year issue. Rather than Republicans spouting hubris, they should be stating why they can't seem to conquer the national debt and funding problems for US domestic problems. DON'T let them get away with this!!!!

Believe me, when Congressional candidates are faced with serious issues, they will stop spouting hubris and rhetoric and FINALLY LISTEN to their constituents.

The USA national debt is driven by these give away programs. Why are legislators VOTING AGAINST the American people?

April 4, 2016
By Chris Dieterich

Another stock favorite (click here) among hedge funds, Allergan (AGN), is knifing more than 20% lower in post-market trading after the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced new rules to curb corporate tax “inversions.”

The market seems to be interpreting the rules a deal-breaker for a proposed Allergan merger with Pfizer (PFE).

New rules are intended to “further reduce the benefits of and limit the number of corporate tax inversions,” according to the government’s release. Recall that Allergan, which is legally domiciled in Ireland, agreed last year to merge with Pfizer in order to cut taxes and unlock cash trapped overseas.

Allergan’s shares plunged 21% in heavy after-hours trading while shares of Pfizer jumped 2.1%. This deal faced scrutiny as the latest between drugmakers to take advantage of lower tax rates abroad.

Things could get ugly tomorrow since Allergan is among the most widely held stocks in hedge fund portfolios, at least at the end of last year. Goldman Sachs’ analysis of hedge fund holdings (as of the end of 2015) found that 80 hedge funds counted Allergan as a Top 10 holding, more than any other stock. Moreover, fully 16% of the stock’s market capitalization was held by hedge funds. Of course, this could have changed over the past three months, but the pending deal with Pfizer means that Allergan was likely a big holding in so-called merger-arbitrage hedge funds, among other strategies. Allergan was also third, behind only to Alphabet (GOOGL) and Facebook (FB), in terms of the number of hedge fund investors at the end of last year (165). And this came as hedge funds started this year out the most concentrated they’ve ever been....

Dick Cheney was off the hook for cooking the books at Halliburton and Georgie bought a $2 million house in Houston. Interesting.

An American citizen cannot be held in trial more than once for any crime charged against them. That might be a good thing when considering the Bush White House never received any prosecution for it's activities before and after the invasion into Iraq.

These monies reported by The Guardian is what we know of.

7 February 2007
By David Pallister

Special flights (click here) brought in tonnes of banknotes which disappeared into the war zone

The US flew nearly $12bn in shrink-wrapped $100 bills into Iraq, then distributed the cash with no proper control over who was receiving it and how it was being spent.

The staggering scale of the biggest transfer of cash in the history of the Federal Reserve has been graphically laid bare by a US congressional committee.

In the year after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 nearly 281 million notes, weighing 363 tonnes, were sent from New York to Baghdad for disbursement to Iraqi ministries and US contractors. Using C-130 planes, the deliveries took place once or twice a month with the biggest of $2,401,600,000 on June 22 2004, six days before the handover.

Details of the shipments have emerged in a memorandum prepared for the meeting of the House committee on oversight and government reform which is examining Iraqi reconstruction. Its chairman, Henry Waxman, a fierce critic of the war, said the way the cash had been handled was mind-boggling. "The numbers are so large that it doesn't seem possible that they're true. Who in their right mind would send 363 tonnes of cash into a war zone?"...

It could be said the intelligence on Iraq was not only faulty, but, outright lies by Ayad Allawi. There was considerable incentive to do so. The USA intelligence can't identify lies and misdirection of power? Or was 911 more of a lesson than the USA intelligence community would ever admit?

The stories surrounding "The Panama Papers" are starting to surface.

April 5, 2016
By Neil Chenowich
Paul Hogan (click here) achieved last October what a decade of Australian government investigations, dozens of criminal convictions and a global manhunt had failed – he managed to get his former Swiss financial adviser, Strachans, kicked off the island.
That's the metaphorical island of Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca, which finally decided to drop Strachans as a client.
While the long-running Project Wickenby investigation into tax dodgers made Strachans infamous in Australia, it was only in 2013 when Hogan claimed in a US court that Strachans had misappropriated $33.5 million of his money that Mossack Fonseca began a major review of the Swiss firm.
Mossack Fonseca runs registry services in tax havens around the world. Strachans has been a client since 1991.

The media reports of Hogan's court claims triggered a long-running internal debate at Mossack Fonseca offices, which led to new due diligence checks in 2014. These came to a head late last year....

What the Pentagon Papers reveals is that there is no way around a sovereign government. While some of the customers to (MF) Mossack Fonseca had legal reasons to seek services, it is illegal UNLESS the sovereign country passes laws to accommodate those legal reasons.

MF tried to circumvent sovereign rights to taxes and regulate commerce. In the USA the tax structure is to provide a treasury for the country and there are constitutional laws to regulate interstate and foreign exchanges in commerce. 

The wealthy found a way of circumventing the authority of a sovereign government through MF even though serving in that very government. The elected government officials could not create their own governmental support for their so called legal reasons.

Then there are the funding for the global drug cartels.

...However, an unprecedented leak of almost 40 years’ worth of documents has revealed the firm’s services can also be used to facilitate massive money laundering, tax avoidance and criminal activity, including drugs and arms dealing....

...More than 500 banks, their subsidiaries and branches registered nearly 15,600 shell companies with Mossack Fonseca, analysis of the records show...British banking giant HSBC and its subsidiaries account for more than 2300 of the companies...UBS accounts for more than 1100 of the companies...Credit Suisse and 1105 companies, Societe Generale and 979 companies, Royal Bank of Canada and 378 companies and Commerzbank and 92 companies.

This is very interesting. At a time when the people of the USA are looking at unconventional candidates for leadership, this breaks out. The way the US Congress has dealt with Wall Street was to slap them on the hand and state don't do that again. This campaign by Paul Hogan reflects the people movement in the USA. Average citizens believes the Congress is basically corrupt for these very reasons. The American electorate is taking a very hard look at their leadership because of the lack of a living wage, the break down of the middle class and labor unions and the corrupt nature of international trade agreements.

ANZ appears in 7548 of the Mossack documents, reflecting the bank's extensive work in New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Samoa and Jersey. And intimidation by program participants. A financial representative for BHP Billiton threatened to fire Mossack Fonseca if it went ahead with a due diligence investigation.
The leaked documents include 2.6 terabytes of information from 214,488 companies, trusts and foundations and 14,153 intermediaries such as lawyers and tax advisors who directed their clients to use Mossack Fonseca’s services.

This is going to change political paradigms.

Employees of Mossack Fonseca destroyed and hid documents to mask the law firm’s involvement in Brazil's bribery and money laundering investigation, dubbed “Operation Car Wash”. (What is Operation Car Wash? click here) So far the scandal has led to criminal charges against leading politicians and an investigation of popular former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

It will also spawn international investigations, if it hasn't already.

UK prime minister David Cameron’s (right) stockbroker father was a Mossack Fonseca client who used the law firm to shield his investment fund from UK taxes

Links between Nevada and Panama? 

Mossack Fonseca employees worked in late 2014 to remove paper documents from its Nevada branch and delete computer traces of the link between the Nevada and the Panama operations, ahead of a US court order that it turn over information on 123 companies that Argentine prosecutors had linked to a corruption scandal involving an associate of former presidents Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

Client Lists (click here)

Ayad Allawi, a former Ba'athist, Allawi helped found the Iraqi National Accord, which today is an active political party. In the lead up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the INA provided intelligence about alleged weapons of mass destruction to MI6. Allawi has lived about half of his life in the UK. His wife and children still live in Britain for their security. He survived assassination attempts in 1978, in 2004, and on April 20, 2005.

One my ask why there were no records concerning the $88 or so billions of US CASH DOLLARS sent to Iraq on a military transport?

61 associates of current or former heads of state 
128 current and former politicians and public officials 
29 Forbes listed billionaires

Michael Anthony Ashcroft, former member of UK House of Lords, as found to be producing illegal passports out of Belize. He has caused the Belizean government alot of problems, including, paying a sovereign debt established while Ashcroft had power before Belize became an independent country and not a colony of Great Britain.

Alaa Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, son of former president of Egypt Hosni Mubarak, was about to be elected to the presidency of Egypt when the revolution occured that ousted then president Hosni Mubarak. 

There are a significant number of middle east Arabs mentioned. Most, if not all, are subjects of a Kingdom and a King. It isn't the same as a democracy with laws regarding the behavior of it's citizens. That would be different if there were illegal contacts within a western democracy and the middle east kingdom citizens.

France Patrick Henri Devillers, business partner of Gu Kailai, the wife of former high-flying Chinese politician Bo Xilai 

There was quite a scandal surrounding Bo Xilai and his spouse. Now, China is a communist country, but, there is a governance with laws and punishment. The western media was doing it's level best to attempt to elect Bo Xilal to office at the time and to remove any criminal proceedings about the couple. 

11 November 2016
Bo Xilai, the former Communist Party chief (click here) in Chongqing, was once seen as a high-flyer tipped for top office. But he has been expelled from the Communist Party, parliament and is to face prosecution. His wife was given a suspended death sentence for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood last year. The BBC looks at how China's biggest political scandal in years unfolded...

Troops out now. Iraq is fading into the background so long as the USA continues to indulge the idea of USA troops back into Iraq. It is an outrageous situation.

The USA military are not mercenaries. If the men and women in the USA want to be mercenaries, there is a market for that, but, it cannot be found in our military or it's budget.

April 5, 2016
By Atul Singh

...This week, US President Barack Obama (click here) hosted the Nuclear Security Summit and fretted about mad men getting “their hands on a nuclear bomb or nuclear material.” A 2014 report by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) estimated that “nearly 2,000 metric tons of weapons-usable nuclear materials remain spread across hundreds of sites around the globe.” The NTI report points out that some of these sites are poorly secured and that terrorists might have acquired the ability to build a bomb.
Obama focused on the Islamic State (IS) during his remarks to the summit. He pointed out that IS “continues to lose ground.” The organization is hemorrhaging men, material and money. Incessant pounding by airstrikes have decimated its oil infrastructure, slowing revenues to a trickle. Syrian troops have recaptured Palmyra, the stunning ancient city that IS damaged with fanatic ferocity. The so-called caliphate of the Islamic State is shrinking by the day, but the ideas it represents live on.

Why is it when Syrian troops are provided real military hardware like tanks and air support they have no problem taking a city that was once part of the violence of Daesh, but, Iraq's military has no clue how to do that?
Attacks are taking place with disturbing regularity in different parts of the world. It is unlikely that IS operates a global command and control center coordinating attacks. What is definitely true is that many young Muslim men are inspired by this fanatical organization and are emulating its methods....

Perhaps there was a real anti-USA movement in Iraq even in it's early days.
On March 31, 2004, (click here) an enraged mob attacked and overturned a vehicle in the streets of Fallujah, Iraq.[1] Four men were dragged from the wreck and beaten with sticks and stones. All four men were US citizens with Special Forces backgrounds. Their training and skills were of little help to them as they were dragged through the streets by an ecstatic crowd, shot and dozed with gasoline and burned. Their charred bodies were hung from a bridge for all to see, including international news media. This violent tragedy would be the first time that most Americans heard about the men’s employer, a relatively unknown Virginia-based security firm, and the new and controversial world of private military contractors.

That is 50 billion US, not 50 million. We are out of there! Burnt corpse is remarkably reminiscent to Daesh's methodology.
In 2010, private military companies (PMCs) invoices accounted for more than $50,000,000,000 annually, or about a third of the US defense budget for military personnel[2]. Blackwater, the employer of the four Fallujah victims, is the most successful security contractor to have been in existence, but also also the most controversial. Its story teaches us more about the economic and political benefits and pitfalls of outsourcing security than any other company. At the peak of its activity in the late 2000s, Blackwater ran thriving operations in the US, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, offering a wide array of services ranging from close-quarter combat training to personal protection of US Diplomats and airlift support for the Department of Defense. The company also provided security services at fixed locations for some of the CIA’s most sensitive, and sold security intelligence and risk management services to government agencies and corporations alike....

Europe is taking on a different security posture.

April 5, 2016
By Serina Sandhu

People in Germany (click here) have been warned to stay away from their windows and to refrain from waving during Barack Obama’s visit later this month.
Along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the US President will be in Germany to open Hannover Messe, the world’s largest trade show for industrial technology, at a ceremony on the evening of 24 April at the Hannover Congress Centrum (HCC).
But according to the Hannoversche Allegemeine (Haz) local newspaper, residents in the Zoo area of Hannover, have been warned against waving from their home windows as the two heads of state enter and leave the venue because it could put them at risk of a police check, according to The Local.
The US has teamed up with Hannover Messe, open to the public from 25 to 29 April, as a partner country for 2016.

Surrogates such as Sarah Palin should speak to policy and not just energy to turn out voters.

Donald Trump lost his campaign's momentum because he took a week off. Not that there is anything wrong with taking a week, especially with Baron being a young person, but, Cruz, anybody but Trump and Kasich and the media took advantage to it.

Donald Trump is his own campaign and until he reaches the national campaign rather than primaries, he'll have some losses in traction. He wants to close out the nomination, so he needs to maintain that last push into the home stretch.

Donald Trump should consider having his surrogates on the campaign trail, too. Surrogates such as Sarah Palin has her own PAC. She can do fund raising to sponsor her participation.