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“The phrase was popularised in the United States by Mark Twain (among others), who attributed it to the British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” However, the phrase is not found in any of Disraeli’s works and the earliest known appearances were years after his death. Several other people have been listed as originators of the quote, and it is often erroneously attributed to Twain himself.”

No matter who said it first the statement explains the current administration and a majority of the current Congress. It has apparently become politically normal to lie to the people who voted for you and lie again to gain acceptance of the deceit. My sense of this is that we need to do our own research and not totally rely on the media to give us the complete picture. There are few politicians who have a squeaky clean background no matter how minor the issue may be but the major issues need to be outed by the candidate (in the spirit of honesty). We have now become  in the age of mass media  inured to the faux pas’ of our elected officials and do not equate that behavior to their actions (supposedly on our behalf) to how they vote on bills and enact laws. The most flagrant outrages as far as I am concerned is the law regarding their COLA (cost of living adjustment) which was enacted to side step the public airing of this publicly financed event. Couple this with their treatment of so called “Obamacare” by exempting themselves from the penalizing part of the act rather than doing the legislative work to make the legislation better. So to encompass this long time use of deception we should always keep in mind that there are “lies, damn lies and statistics (aka facts). 

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The two (2) year slog of this administration to do the bidding of uninformed leader is beginning to wear on all of us who are paying attention beyond the rhetoric. Oddly enough that same wear is showing on the perpetrator of these flawed policies especially since he can’t run away or hide from them as he has done in his business life.  There is more to consider beyond personal beliefs and friendships. In a ship with many rats there is no escaping the inevitable turning on one another and desertion. The current issue (disaster?) is still the so called “witch hunt” aka the “Mueller Investigation”. In thinking about the lead up to this (mis) administration is the dissatisfaction by the voters  with the Congressional neer do wells who (we) they have elected on an ongoing basis. The fault for this poor administration started when Congress failed us by becoming extremely partisan to the extent of being at war with one another This war was fueled by the huge amounts of money allowed to be infused by the “citizens United” decision which removed all restraints on the amounts Corporations could donate to campaigns. This decision by our Supreme court in a partisan vote has allowed the rise of Trump and the re election of the worst representatives we have had in decades. It is bad enough that our “Representatives” years ago enacted a law that gives them a cost of living adjustment with no public scrutiny, they are also responsible for the U.S.Post office seeming to be insolvent but that appearance  is due to a law by Congress which mandated. The piece below explains the Post Office mess

“Congress, Not Amazon, Messed Up the Post Office
Legislators passed a law that made the USPS less competitive with the private sector.
By Barry Ritholtz
‎April‎ ‎4‎, ‎2018‎ ‎12‎:‎38‎ ‎PM‎ ‎CDT Corrected ‎April‎ ‎6‎, ‎2018‎ ‎2‎:‎59‎ ‎PM‎ ‎CDT
Before the news cycle gets consumed by the U.S.-China trade war in the making, let’s go back to something I find much more intriguing: the U.S. Postal Service. Specifically, is Amazon.com Inc.’s contract with the USPS kosher, or is it a sweetheart deal that amounts to a government giveaway?
Let’s get one thing out of the way up front: President Donald Trump’s endless grousing about Amazon is nothing more than a thinly disguised complaint about the Washington Post, which has done a fine job reporting on his administration, revealing its many warts and ethical lapses. He has made no secret of his hostility, as a brief review of his Twitter posts would show.
But let’s set that aside and try to answer whether the USPS provides an unfair subsidy to Amazon. To better understand these claims requires a fuller understanding about the Post Office.
Let’s start with the USPS mandate: It was formed with a very different directive than its private-sector competitors, such as FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. Those two giant private shippers, along with a bevy of smaller ones, are for-profit companies that can charge whatever they believe the market will bear. The USPS, by contrast, is charged with delivering to every home and business in America, no matter how remote. And, they can only charge what Congress allows; increases require approval. It also has congressional pressure and oversight on where it must maintain postal offices. The USPS has been slowly closing sites where there is insufficient customer demand. But closing an obsolete or little-used facility invariably entails a battle with each representative, who in turn faces voter anger when the local post office is targeted for closing. FedEx or UPS can open or close locations with little problem as demand and package traffic dictate.
Then there is the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA), which some have taken to calling “the most insane law” ever passed by Congress. The law requires the Postal Service, which receives no taxpayer subsidies, to prefund its retirees’ health benefits up to the year 2056. This is a $5 billion per year cost; it is a requirement that no other entity, private or public, has to make. If that doesn’t meet the definition of insanity, I don’t know what does. Without this obligation, the Post Office actually turns a profit. Some have called this a “manufactured crisis.” It’s also significant that lots of companies benefit from a burden that makes the USPS less competitive; these same companies might also would benefit from full USPS privatization, a goal that has been pushed by several conservative think tanks for years.
Paying retiree obligations isn’t the issue here; rather, being singled out as the only company with a congressional requirement to fully fund those obligations is. It puts the USPS at a huge competitive disadvantage. Yes, a retirement crisis is brewing; most private-sector pensions are wildly underfunded. But the solution is to mandate that ALL companies cover a higher percentage of their future obligations — not just one entity.
What about lobbying Congress for changes to these rules? Unlike private-sector entities, the Postal Service is barred from lobbying. Similar restrictions do not apply to FedEx or UPS or other carriers.
Perhaps it helps to think of the USPS as two separate entities co-existing together: On one side is the congressionally mandated operation that delivers letters everywhere in the country. This is the side that helped knit together the far-flung cities, towns and settlements that defined the U.S. at the time of the nation’s founding. The modern innovations of email, texts and the internet helped turn this into a money-losing business.
The other side of the USPS is the parcel-delivery service, which is profitable. It both competes with, and provides services to, private-sector delivery businesses.
Indeed, both UPS and FedEx contract with USPS to perform so-called last-mile delivery for their rural and most-expensive routes. They leverage the existing infrastructure of USPS to provide services for their client base without having to build that same costly last-mile infrastructure for letters and parcels. Effectively, they arbitrage what would otherwise be low-margin or unprofitable deliveries.
The problem for the USPS isn’t the packages from the likes of Amazon, but rather, the rest of the Post Office’s mandate. In its annual report, the USPS noted that 2017 saw “mail volumes declined by approximately 5.0 billion pieces, or 3.6 percent, while package volumes grew by 589 million pieces, or 11.4 percent.” Amazon and other internet retailers are a source of profitable deliveries for the post office; the relationship is in no way a subsidy for the retailers. Incidentally, the PAEA bars the Post Office from pricing parcel delivery below-cost.
Pricing, locations, hiring, funding? The Post Office has broad limitations about making routine business decisions that its private-sector competitors do not.
Trump has raised a valid issue in pointing out the unfair conditions under which the USPS operates. He is looking, however, at the wrong side of the problem.”
(Corrects fifth paragraph of article published April 4 to delete inaccurate reference to 75-year retiree benefit funding obligation.)
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.
To contact the author of this story:
Barry Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.net
Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”

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Currently our National state is infected with a division fueled by racism, ignorance and nationalism not seen in decades. To some of us these contributing factors have always been there in some form but with the arrival of TOTUS they have become mainstream. Out political parties have divided in such a way as to put our way of life in jeopardy due to the maintenance of neer do wells in the Congress. TOTUS did not create these events alone as he is merely a means to an end and a cover for their personal agendas. It is unfortunate that the phrase “Honest Politician” is more of an oxymoron than ever but it is truer than ever. The correction is apparent and that does not mean impeachment as that is a fight that is time consuming and impractical. If the “true” representatives of the people want to get back on track then the direction is forward  with proper legislation and continuing investigation of improprieties that affect us all. The squeaky wheel gets the grease but doesn’t move us ahead any faster. Correction involves a joint effort by  voters and their representatives with no lip service (promises that will be broken (lies). This administration will not change as it takes information to do so and this administration along with its advisors is woefully underinformed. It is now up to the “newly” elected members of Congress to don the mantle of rationality mixed with the wisdom of the existing members to move us toward a “TOTUS” correction now and post TOTUS.

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Do not spend time on impeachment, use the time to insure the “Mueller” investigation proceeds legally. Use your new power to do the work of the people by passing laws and controlling the budget. There is no benefit in pursuing any new initiatives that have no possibility of passing solely along party lines. We already have enough chaos coming from 1600 and that will continue no matter what. Your only job is to serve the people and not the Child. The better path is to insure that the right people are put in the right jobs. Taking a partisan line or any subset of party lines is not good for any of us and it needs to stop. Do your job and the voters will do theirs.

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The advent of social media and it’s accessibility to most people has brought a little known segment of the population to the fore. These segments are the trolls who vent their frustrations on numerous sites from opinion pages to dating apps. These are the folks who use their limited knowledge in some cases to attack others rather than have participate in a knowledgeable discussion of the subject. Learning is lifelong if one takes the time to look around and investigate anything that is different. I recently saw a little blurb where someone suggested that a person on a dating app “straighten her hair”. This little quip is the work of a troll who plainly has their own opinions but that opinion does not include commenting on how someone wears their hair. If the Troll did not like that persons hair then the correct course is to move on to someone who meets their ideal look. Even with that standard being met the troll may soon find other issues to comment about. Folks who troll should be grateful that they have the ability to voice their opinion without being arrested but just being called on their opinions. Many Trolls troll for the sake of trolling and have no further agenda than that but at the same time gain nothing from the act of trolling. The current resident of the White House is a master troll and to the detriment of us all. His constant tweets while exciting his base does nothing for the progress of our country and that should be his prime objective. What has really occurred is that he has elevated ignorance to the highest office in the nation. This fact has been recognized by the mainstream media and our European allies while being exploited by his associates, White House staff and our dubious allies in the world. It should not a surprise that there have been an uptick in “hate “crimes, “hate” speech and rhetoric from the radical left and right, none of which is good for any of us. It is clear that trolls are out there and working everyday to disrupt and corrupt whenever and wherever possible, look at the last few elections.

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As a reader of many media sites, I have determined that the normal coverage of politics and the White House needs to change. This administration is unlike any in recent times. Considering the use of modern electronics in media coverage and the fact that there have been poor Presidents and equally acrimonious rhetoric in print and in person (debates) in the past, we should consider less coverage of  the current residents (early AM Tweets) and adhere strictly to coverage from the Press room and correspondents who are live streaming. If we deny the tweet method of governing by this administration from gaining traction we could conceivably remove much of the power and support for overblown utterances which for the most part have no basis in fact but somehow ring true with folks of like minds (uninformed and desperate). We can expect no less coverage unless the media sees it for what it is and that is what I call “Goebbels-Hitler speak”. The media seems to have lost its way and perhaps should consider “GPS ing it’s way back to real coverage and eschewing the sensationalizing that emanates from the Whitehouse in the wee hours and at scheduled press briefings (which are more like giving “wedgie”s to the public.

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To bring a comparison: These are the same types of activities used by one A. Hitler and his associates to impose his policies on the German people which gave rise to the  brutal Nazi regime culminating in WWII and ending in the destruction of Germany , much of Europe and Africa. MA
Damir Mujezinovic

November 24, 2018

Many have questioned President Donald Trump’s mental health and overall stability over the years, citing reckless and erratic behavior, implying that the president is mentally unstable and therefore harming the country. At least once, criticism got to the president, prompting him to proclaim via Twitter that “mental stability” and being “like, very smart” are two of his greatest assets.
But some psychiatrists beg to differ. One of them, Yale psychiatry professor Bandy X. Lee, claims to not diagnose lightly, but she has nonetheless repeatedly, and publicly suggested that Donald Trump should be evaluated by psychiatrists, as she did in a September interview with Salon. Apart from suggesting that Trump should willingly undergo psychiatric evaluation, Professor Lee has developed a theory of her own: A theory about the mental state of Donald Trump, which she concisely laid out in a recent interview.
Lee notes that her theories do not reflect the professional opinion of Yale University.
In a conversation with Raw Story‘s Tana Ganeva, Lee explained that psychiatrists look for patterns in an effort to develop theories about one’s mental health. When it comes to Donald Trump, Lee claims, his behavior fits the pattern “of someone acting that is driven by emotional compulsions.” The president has found a way to capitalize on this, managing to reframe losses — like the recent midterm election, for instance — as victories, therefore convincing his supporters that he is indeed winning.
Emotionally-driven, relatively uninformed, and dependent on Trump, his supporters don’t question him and tend to take his claims at face value, according to the psychiatrist. She adds, however, that emotionally manipulating his supporters is not a matter of strategy for President Trump. Rather,” this can be explained through their emotional wounds.”
President Trump himself, in Lee’s assessment, is “driven by pathology rather than healthy choices.” According to her, Trump sometimes makes seemingly effective choices, without realizing that they are actually self-destructive. He is manipulative, demeaning, deceptive, and destructive, she asserts.

“He is driven by pathology rather than healthy choices. He’ll make choices that are self-destructive even if they seem effective at the time and produce results that appear to benefit him.”
According to the psychiatrist, President Donald Trump’s behavior is not only threatening to destroy him, but it also poses a grave danger to the United States. Prof. Lee has previously written extensively about Trump, notably for Vice, when she called for a psychiatric evaluation with his consent.
“He’s choosing a self-destructive course, not just for him but for the nation,” she opined.
inquisitr.com
All content © 2008 – 2018 The Inquisitr.

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How much infrastructure repair will  210 billion buy? MA
ROBERT BURNS, Associated Press 13 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Using thousands of military troops to help secure the Southwest border will cost an estimated $210 million under current plans, the Pentagon told Congress on Tuesday, even as questions arose about the scope and duration of the controversial mission.
The total includes $72 million for approximately 5,900 active-duty troops providing support to Customs and Border Protection, plus $138 million so far for 2,100 National Guard troops who have been performing a separate border mission since April, according to a report sent to Congress on Tuesday but not released by the Pentagon.
A copy of the report was obtained by The Associated Press. After the AP published its story the Pentagon released a statement confirming the active-duty portion of the deployments is estimated at $72 million. It did not mention the $138 million in National Guard costs.
The total would grow beyond the current combined estimate of $210 million if the active-duty mission is extended beyond the current completion date of Dec. 15. Officials said an extension appeared likely but had not yet been agreed upon.
The Pentagon also was working on a potential adjustment to the mission that would give the active-duty troops who are operating in Texas, Arizona and California the authority to defend Customs and Border Protection personnel if necessary. The troops, who include military police, are currently authorized to defend themselves.
About 2,800 of the active-duty troops are in South Texas, far from the main migrant caravan in Tijuana, Mexico, south of California. The movement of the Central American migrants into Mexico in October was the stated reason that President Donald Trump ordered the military to provide support for Customs and Border Protection.
Trump, who called the migrant caravan an “invasion,” has been accused by critics, including some retired military officers, of using the military deployment as a political tool in the run-up to the Nov. 6 midterm elections.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, said Tuesday the Pentagon’s cost report shows the mission was a “charade.”
“These soldiers spent weeks away from home and the Pentagon wasted millions of taxpayer dollars so President Trump could stoke fears of asylum seekers and try to influence election results,” she said. “Using our military men and women as political pawns to support an anti-immigrant agenda is a low point, even for this president.”
On Tuesday, Trump said he was sure the troops are happy to be on the border mission, even though it means being away from home over Thanksgiving.
“Don’t worry about the Thanksgiving. These are tough people,” Trump told reporters before flying to Florida for the holiday. “They know what they’re doing and they’re great and they’ve done a great job. You’re so worried about the Thanksgiving holiday for them. They are so proud to be representing our country on the border where if you look at what’s happening, Mexico, the people from Tijuana are saying, wow these are tough people. They’re fighting us.”
If, as expected, the mission is extended beyond Dec. 14, at least some of the troops are likely also to be away for Christmas.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has declined to publicly discuss cost estimates for the border mission, saying as recently as last week that he had little confidence in the accuracy of figures he had seen thus far.
“We can estimate costs all we want, I’d prefer to give you real costs. Right now, I can’t give that to you,” Mattis told reporters last Wednesday when he flew to Texas to see the military’s work. “It’s the cost of deploying them, it’s the cost of transferring their equipment to the border, it’s fuel costs, it’s all those kinds of costs. So, I just don’t want to get into something I can’t give you what I believe confidently is accurate.”
In its report to Congress on Tuesday, the Pentagon said it expects the deployment of 5,900 active-duty troops through Dec. 15 to cost $72 million, while adding that the mission, which is now three weeks old, is still being refined. The cost includes $19 million for personnel, $20 million for transportation of personnel, equipment and supplies, $28 in operating expenses and $5 million for concertina wire and other border barrier materials.
“The total cost of the operation has yet to be determined and will depend on the total size, duration and scope,” the report said.
It said that as of Nov. 14, about $14 million in actual payments for expenses such as travel, supplies and transportation had been reported by the units involved.
The National Guard’s border mission, which is being conducted by troops for numerous states, has cost an estimated $138 million as of Tuesday, the Pentagon report said. That mission, involving about 2,100 troops, began in April.

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Apparently the stumbles and trips by the current administration are taking a toll. The recent political losses, missteps (another stumble) in Europe and the loss in the case against a CNN reporter (removal and reinstating of credentials)  are just a few of unforced errors committed by this administration. It seems that TOTUS cannot face the “real” press as they are not hanging on every erroneous word nor or they cheering when he states obvious inaccuracies. He has reduced the number of press briefings (which is not such a bad thing since SHS just passes on the same inaccuracies her boss does and what he tells her to say). Every Commander-in-Chief has faced the same types of critics and have endured it yet Mr. “Stable Genius” cannot. To tweet out his opinions in the wee hours is his style and it quickly fading much like any other novelty fads. The 2020 elections will yield much different results than TOTUS thinks as the effects of his tariffs will have had a greater effect that is currently seen. These “gaffs” will have definitive results in 2020 no matter what the polls think. If the Democrats can remove their collective “foot” from their mouths there may be an opportunity for better government. The “trip” factor can be avoided by thoroughly vetting candidates, understanding what is needed to move us forward as a country and be willing to be nasty when required but have facts to back up that nastiness.

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