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Bob Bryan 6 hrs ago

© Provided by Business Insider
Over 1,100 leading economists sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging the president to reverse course on recent trade tactics — lest the US repeat one of the biggest mistakes of the Great Depression.

The letter, organized by the conservative-leaning National Taxpayers Union, warned that recent tariffs and trade protectionism were harmful to the US economy. The economists cited a 1930 letter that warned Congress against passing the Smoot-Hawley Act, a large package of tariffs that many studies cite as a major reason for the depth of the Great Depression.
“Congress did not take economists’ advice in 1930, and Americans across the country paid the price,” the letter says. “The undersigned economists and teachers of economics strongly urge you not to repeat that mistake. Much has changed since 1930 — for example, trade is now significantly more important to our economy — but the fundamental economic principles as explained at the time have not.”
The Smoot-Hawley tariffs, much like Trump’s measures, were designed as protection for US industries. But they ended up making the situation worse.
Included on the new letter are 14 Nobel laureates and economists from across the political spectrum, including former chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers under Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
The letter also quotes the warnings from the 1930 letter, which warns that tariffs raise prices on consumers, damage industries that rely on trade director or indirectly, hurt the fortunes of American farmers, and lead to retaliatory measures from other countries.
The 1930 letter also painted the tariffs as a threat to national security.
“Finally, we would urge our Government to consider the bitterness which a policy of higher tariffs would inevitably inject into our international relations,” the 80-year-old letter read. “A tariff war does not furnish good soil for the growth of world peace.”

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This Old Trump Tweet Is Coming Back to Haunt Him — Because, Well, Just Read It
May 2, 2018 by Victoria Messina
First Published: March 14, 2018
It’s no secret that President Donald Trump isn’t the best at keeping officials in his administration around for very long. Though it feels like he’s been in the Oval Office for centuries, it’s only been a little more than a year — and in that time more than 30 of his staff members have either resigned or been fired from their posts. Notable departures include Sean Spicer, former White House Press Secretary, James Comey, former FBI Director, and Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist — just to jog your memory, since these departures seem to happen so often that they all blend together.
Trump’s most recent staff switch up came when he announced on March 13 that he had fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. As soon he shared the news — on Twitter, naturally — many were quick to call out his alarmingly high turnover rate, and some even resurrected an old tweet from the president in which he slammed Barack Obama for the amount of staff change-ups he made during his time in office. Way back in January 2012, just one day after Obama announced that his second Chief of Staff, Bill Daley, would be stepping down, Trump tweeted, “3 Chief of Staffs in less than 3 years of being President: Part of the reason why @BarackObama can’t manage to pass his agenda.”
Little did he know that six years later he’d wind up in the White House, already on his second Chief of Staff before even reaching his two-year mark, with his third COS, John Kelly, possibly on his way out soon.
We’ve said it before and we’ll likely say it again: for almost all of Trump’s controversial statements or decisions, there’s always a corresponding tweet from his past that totally contradicts it. And everyone on social media isn’t about to let him off the hook for it . . .


MAY 1, 2018
Meyerson on TAP
Angela Merkel has come and gone, her visit to the White House late last week a veritable blip between the rapturous welcome given Emmanuel Macron and the uneasy chortles accorded Michelle Wolf. President Trump seems somewhat confounded by the challenge that Merkel’s Germany presents: an ally, but also a nag insisting that the U.S. adhere to the Iran agreement (as did Macron’s France, but Macron talks Trump’s language, as they share a common ideology: narcissism). A nation with which we run a trade deficit, but we can’t ask them to revalue their currency, since they use the euro. A major manufacturer of high-end steel, though little of it ends up here, and even if it did, it doesn’t undercut the U.S. steel industry, as its workers’ pay ranges from comparable to higher than ours’, and the same is true for the price of its steel.
So Trump has postponed unveiling his list of nations against whose steel he’ll impose tariffs. The grand Trumpian gesture would be to include everybody, but by firing that blunderbuss, he’d penalize both the trade-law miscreants and the trade-law compliers (not that distinctions such as these have deterred Trump up to now). The United Steelworkers have made clear that the point of the tariffs shouldn’t be to penalize producers like Canada, which don’t undercut U.S. steelmakers, but those nations that provide state subsidies to their producers so they can underprice us.
If Trump (for that matter, if the American economic establishment) wished to ferret out the real culprits behind our massive trade deficit, they’d look first and foremost to Wall Street. It was the rising power of American finance and its shareholder-über-alles ideology that propelled our manufacturing sector to move offshore in search of cheaper labor and higher profits. There are many reasons why Germany has retained its manufacturing sector while we have not, but chief among them is the fact that Germany has no equivalent of Wall Street or London’s “the City.” But for Deutsche Bank, Germany lacks a global investment titan, and its far stronger community-banking sector is committed, by virtue of its control by local stakeholders rather than distant shareholders, to bolstering domestic manufacturing. Germany has problems of its own, but a financial sector committed to undermining the nation’s economy isn’t one of them. It’s only one of ours. ~ HAROLD MEYERSON

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The above song title  (by Kansas) doesn’t sum up our present situation but possibly foretells a future situation. Our current mis Administration has shown to most that we are in a much more precarious position than ever before. Our staffing of Cabinets posts by “friends and ring kissers” have given us an EPA that barely protects our environment , reduction of protections of public lands and national forests and an assault on Human services. The staunch supporters of this regime (aka TOTUS) have been blinded by tweet governing much like being entertained by reality shows on TV. Governing is a serious business that has been reduced to sound bites and sniping. Our over paid Congress is essentially absent in Government with many just trying to stay out of  the Tweet sphere of the Resident instead off doing their jobs. The push back has been essentially one-sided as the majority party “leaders” have been AWOL in many important  issues such as Healthcare and Tax reform. They have allowed and perpetrated many falsehoods on these two important issues. Apparently the general Congressional thinking is that the Resident’s desires are more important than what’s good for the country and the people who elected them. Remember all of the current Cabinet members were confirmed by this neer do well Congress!

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It should be apparent to all voters that we have been had in many ways. The swamp is not drained, Our health protection’s under the EPA are being rolled back and couple this with the changes in the ACA due to the “tax reform(?)” . It is of little importance what your politics are or what you think they are, we as voters are in a hole that gets deeper with every tweet. We have an administration with marginal ability with installed Cabinet members who have less ability but were passed in some cases narrowly by the majority party in Congress. If you are tired of the political system not doing what you think they should do then perhaps it is time to pay attention to who pays the political bills for your party members. Our TOTUS has no clue what’s going on and still refuses to listen to anyone except the less rational members of his inner circle who kiss his ring in spite of his obvious failings as a leader and perpetuates the misinformation train steaming out of his administration. I am wondering if at some point there may be a secret visit with an ambulance and a Gurney.

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The deluge of information on all things political has brought me to wonder why the various sides have not seen the need to really listen to each other. This extreme listening could result in better solutions and possibly a better political climate. The sides (right, left, center and the assorted subsets) seem to be saying similar things once you plow through the hype surrounding their issues(?). Alas these are humans and the emotional side takes over the rational mind. What if as stated in one fast food restaurants missions statement, we could have our way? The “our ways” could very well create more “sides” and more division. Instead why not adopt another fast food restaurant’s way of taking what is served as it is designed to be served. This acceptance may not be perfect but we going back for more so how bad is it? The Constitution is a fluid document and it is alive. this means that in the long ago wisdom of the framers they knew that as the years go by and the country grows and progresses the Document has to be able to change as needed to continue as the basis of our Democracy. Currently (if you have been paying attention) some areas of freedom have been usurped purely by huge money with the aid of the highest court in the decision “Citizens United” which  as shown here: “Citizens United (organization) … In 2010 the organization won a U.S. Supreme Court case known as Citizens United v. FEC, which struck down as unconstitutional a federal law prohibiting corporations and unions from making expenditures in connection with federal elections.” This allows unlimited spending on political campaigns and to that end politicians have to go along with the donors agenda to get funding for their campaigns. This amounts to a candidate being bought. The solution is a public outcry for the rescinding of the “Citizens United” case and hopefully return the political process back to the people and their parties.

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During the recent Senatorial campaign for office in Utah one candidate stated that “he wants to work for the people of Utah”. Perhaps I am wrong but isn’t the job of all Senators to work for their districts and hopefully by extension all Americans? Apparently this is a mantra espoused by many office seekers but once elected, the mantra disappears and the real person emerges to meld with the existing neer do wells. If we consider the existing members of Congress, we as voters would be better served carefully considering the words spoken before electing someone to office no matter if it’s City, State or Federal. These folks have the ability to help or hinder and we never know which until after election in spite of their insistence that they are doing what they told us before getting in office. It must be remembered that being in office brings certain perks and challenges. The perks appear to be more the goal than the doing the actual job. The recent past election brought us the subsequent Proclamations and roll backs of health care provisions coupled with a disastrous Tax Plan that will haunt us for years to come. It is clear that we need to elect people who understand that we will unseat them for poor performance. Recently we have come to understand that “Kissing the ring” will get you a post in this (mis) administration no matter your qualifications or  lack of ability to do the job. The people of the United States are and have been in the past gravely underserved by the people we elected and now we have gross incompetence abetted by a flawed Congress led by possibly 2 of the worst leaders in many years. It should be understood that we as voters deserve better but will not get it without “vetting” the people we want to elect. Campaign rhetoric and slogans are not the same as what they do once they are in office. If there is a divergence from what we need then we need to spend a stamp, email and call to protest to that person. Anyone who has contacted their representative knows that often we get a canned type response which is non-committal and usually does not respond directly to us however we need to keep doing it, think of it like wound that you keep picking , it will not heal until you stop. Our wound is poor  representation and we need to keep picking at it.

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THANKSGIVING: ALL OF IT
Virtually everything learned in school about Thanksgiving is a lie, including the central story of the feast celebrating a partnership between Native Americans and early European settlers. The Pilgrims were fanatical and violent religious zealots who considered indigenous Americans savages, and the Indians naturally resented their presence. The modern, feel-good story is propaganda that’s only 120 years old, but there was a celebratory feast in Massachusetts in 1637 — proclaimed by Gov. John Winthrop for the return of Puritan gunmen from hunting and murdering hundreds of Pequot Indians.

AMERICA GAVE THE WORLD DEMOCRACY
The rise of America undoubtedly shattered the era of kings and queens ruling over monarchies, which had existed in Europe for centuries. But the common schoolhouse lesson that America invented democracy would be news to the Greeks, who introduced “demokratia,” or direct rule by the people, which included three branches of government, in 507 B.C.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN WAS AN ABOLITIONIST
History teachers are quick to remind students that Lincoln was the “Great Emancipator.” In reality, however, Lincoln’s views evolved over time and he came to anti-slavery movement late in the game. He said publicly and repeatedly that he would tolerate slavery to preserve the Union. His anti-slavery sentiments, at least early on, seemed more pragmatic than moral, as revealed in his famous “house divided” speech.

THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION FREED THE SLAVES
Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was limited in effect — first limited to slaves in rebel states, and then not universally known. The holiday of Juneteenth, celebrates the moment June 19, 1865, that Union soldiers rode into Galveston, Texas, to tell America’s last remaining slaves they were free. This was news to the slaves, who had never heard of the proclamation, signed two and a half years earlier.

POT IS A GATEWAY DRUG
Anyone who went to school during the just-say-no era of the drug war knows that while marijuana itself isn’t so bad, experimenting with it leads to addiction, incarceration, and death from street drugs. For years, educators accepted the “gateway” theory, a 1950s scare tactic that has since been widely debunked and acknowledged as myth in 2016 by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Social ailments such as poverty, bad home environment, and early exposure are better indicators of future addiction.

SLAVERY ENDED WITH THE CIVIL WAR
The 13th Amendment supposedly ending slavery still allowed forced labor as punishment for a crime. Convict leasing existed in every Southern state for decades after the Civil War. Tens of thousands of Black Americans who committed no real crime were kidnapped off the streets by corrupt local sheriffs, convicted in informal local courts for vague “crimes” such as vagrancy, issued fines they couldn’t pay, and sold to businesses to work in mines, timber yards, farms and railroads in conditions often worse than slavery.

AMERICA IS THE FREEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD
“It’s a free country” is a mantra most kids probably hear before they even get to school. The reality, however, is that 22 countries are freer than the United States. The Human Freedom Index ranks America No. 23 on its global list, based on government size, religion, labor, trade, rule of law, and basic freedoms such as movement and association.

ALBERT EINSTEIN FLUNKED MATH
Many sub par math students have been consoled by encouraging teachers who remind them that even Einstein — history’s most famous mathematical genius — flunked math class. He did not. He mastered differential and integral calculus by 15, and taught himself algebra and geometry with books his parents bought him before he was 12 so he could master the fields on his own over summer vacation.

WATER TOWERS STORE DRINKING WATER
It’s true that some water towers store drinking water, but even in those cases, the main function of a water tower is to create water pressure. Most drinking water comes from wells, reservoirs, lakes or rivers. The reason water rushes out when you turn on your faucet is because massive stores of water in vertical, gravity-fed water towers apply enough pressure to force water to flow through your municipality’s network of underground pipes leading to your house.

THIS WILL GO ON YOUR PERMANENT RECORD
Generations of teachers and principals kept students in line with the most ridiculous threat in the history of U.S. education: The next behavioral infraction will go on your permanent record. There is no permanent record. Some districts do keep files on students that contain personal information and attendance records, but even in those cases, anyone who isn’t the student or the student’s parent — including college admissions officers — can’t access the record without a written release.

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The trouble with drink ware is design. Some glass ware is made to hold a certain amount of liquid and look stylish and elegant at the same time. The problem with this is that these designs are sometimes tipsy. if a glass is narrow at  its base and wider at the top the chance of  tipping is evident, even a glass that is cylindrical and the same size top to bottom, there is the chance of “tippage “since many times the height is the reason for spillage. There is a similar issue with hot beverage containers disposable and retainable. The idea of a hot beverage container having a narrow base and  wide mouth is inherently dangerous by its use. The disposables are worse since aside from the contents there is no weight to offset the contents and making more of a chance for spilling. What makes a good drinking container is a sturdy base and body much like a beer Stein with a handle. While this may not be the ideal container in many cases the design is rational as a model. The actual Stein is heavy but can tailored to suit many other containers and without the handle as it has been in certain glassware in many bars and restaurants. These heavy bottomed containers still have the esthetics of fine glassware but have the rational heavy base to guard against the normal tipping event. There is not much that can be done about disposables aside from redesigning the conical shape and caution on behalf of the user.


Bias has been printed, spoken and used in the media so much in the past 10 years as to become a candidate for one the most used words. Biases are sometimes learned, sometime acquired and sometimes just accepted through lack of facts to the contrary. The worst of these is implicit bias. This the bias that informs a person actions toward another person as explained: implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. There is a test presented by Harvard (https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html ) which allows one to test their own bias. There will always be bias but one can overcome some by the act of examining why they have the bias or what influenced the bias. Simple example: children have food biases based on family history and sometimes the look, smell or texture of the food. Many times these biases are dismissed by education on the subject of that bias. Unfortunately with humans interacting with humans those biases often take center stage (as in our current administration’s actions towards too many of us). Bias is the tool of folks who through ignorance, misinformation and fear have to blame someone for their misfortune. This is what brought people like Adolph. Benito, Josef Et.al. to power and ultimately one of the most murderous eras of our modern times. These biased folks have had the ability to tap into the fears of others for their own gain with no regard for the harm caused. Bullying is an extreme type of bias as it affords the bully opportunities to pull others into their vortex of “anti” while bolstering their own fragile ego. This “bullying” has become more mainstream with advent of TOTUS in the U.S., Putin in Russia, Al Assad in Syria to name a few. It is well to remember that one synonym for a bully is Tyrant.

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