frankilin roosevelt

It's not about being liberal or conservative anymore y'all. That is a hype offered by the fascist whores who want to confuse the people with lies while they turn this country into an aristocratic police state. Some people will say anything to attain power and money. There is no such thing as the Liberal Media, but the Corporate media is very real.

Check out my old  Voice of the People page.

Gino Napoli
San Francisco, California
High School Math Teacher

Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.

a middle-aged
George Washington

1655 POSTS

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Wednesday, 21 November 2012 at 17h 33m 54s

In case you didn't understand

This is the link for the social security website actuarial tables. These are used by all insurance funds to calculate the expected disbursements of the insurance fund due to the reality that people don't all die at the same age. Not all people will live the same amount of time past 65. Some people will die younger than 65. The amount is variable, so essentially, some people add to the fund more than they ever subtract, and others might subtract more than they added, but the idea is to keep the fund in balance. This is what an actuarial table is.

[SOURCE: Social Security Administration website |]

Notice that at age 65, the average number of years left is 17.19 and 19.89 (for males and females.) We can assume a normal distribution, so 50% will live less and 50% more. It's not like every one is living 30 years after retirement. But you listen to the talking heads and read the pseudo-journalists and that's what is implied.

Now the distribution isn't really normal. It's actually skewed, so that means that less than 50% live longer than the average. And then we aren't taking out the rich, very healthy people who won't be retiring on social security from the actuarial data.

There is nothing wrong with social security. I repeat. There is nothing wrong with social security. There is no danger here that needs to be remedied by raising the retirement age, except that now more people will die before they get to retire.

The issue of the retirement age is a "red herring". A bunch of bullshit that the vampires use to snow the people while they bide their time inching closer to when they can finally transfer all that pile of money into their own grubby hands. That's why this shit is made confusing. They wanna do what Pinochet permitted to happen in Chile -- turn the state pension system into a private system, and suck the money out with fees and other artificial shenanigans. In Chile, pensioners lost at least 33% of their expected outcome, and a majority lost 50% or more because of the privatized system. But financiers and insiders made a whole ton of money.

What really rubs me is when they add the committments from the trust fund to the national budget. WTF. The government revenue from income and other taxes is completely separate from the taxes raised for social security and medicare/medicaid. If income and corporate taxes go up or down that will have no bearing on social security or medicare/medicaid -- because they are not funded by income and corporate taxes. It's accounting 101.

They might be borrowing against the trust fund, but this is not much different than using your house as collateral. You don't lose the house because you make the payments. And in this case, the government is making interest payments that constitute less than 0.5% per month of revenue . Imagine that for a home owner, making 0.5% per month of income towards the interest payments on their house note. A $40,000 per year worker pays a $200 interest payment (0.005 times 40000) per month. The only difference is the government is in no danger of defaulting at all, and selling bonds is not the same thing as getting a loan from a bank. When investors buy bonds, if they want their money back, they sell it to another investor.

And also 71% of the debt is owned by United States citizens in one form or another . Only 29% is foreign owned. This means that the interest payments are going to American retirement funds and American citizens. This 71 percent of the 6% (4.26%) of the revenue that goes to pay interest isn't going into an intangible hole. Thus the interest rate will not be highly influenced by foreign financial events. The Fed can just print dollar bills, and people will purchase the bonds that support the value of the printing press. That's how it works.

Now why can't the corporate press and the politico talking heads say this? Because this is what they do. The Washington Conventional wisdom is owned by the big money players, and distributed by the jackals who do their bidding. Some are swooped up into the ignorance and others are duped by a blind devotion to philosophical bias. But most are just playing the game, knowing that big money awaits if they play the game correctly.

There might be some problems, but it's not a crisis.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012 at 3h 10m 50s

What's the difference between 5% and 4.5% ?

Large retailers could pay full-time, year-round workers $25,000 per year and still make a profit – satisfying shareholders while rewarding their workers for the value they bring to the firm. A raise at large retailers adds $20.8 billion to payroll for the year, or less than 1 percent of total sales in the sector.

75% of large retailers are making more now then they were before the recession, but have not passed on their increased well-being to their employees.

“If retailers pass half of the costs of a wage raise on to their customers, the average household will see just 15 cents added to the cost of its shopping basket on any trip to a large retailer.”

[SOURCE: Pat Garofalo | Think Progress | 19 November 2012]

Saturday, 17 November 2012 at 19h 3m 25s

Allen West the champions of liberty and truth

Not even. Florida elections are just fucked up because of bad voting machines. This isn't necessarily evidence of corruption, and the Board decided to recount all 8 days of early voting, which is what the board should have done because the election is too close (.78 percent). This isn't deliberately removing voters from the registration roles, the voting was just so close that the innate irregularities make a difference.

But they will surely milk this for fund raising purposes.

Murphy beat West on Election Day by a little more than 2,000 votes, placing his win beyond the .5% margin of victory trigger for an automatic recount

West, however, claimed there were voter irregularities and demanded a partial recount of early-voting ballots. When the recount of the last three-days of early voting lowered Murphy’s total by 667 votes and increased West’s results by 132, the incumbent’s lawyers demanded a full recount of all eight days of early voting, the Palm Beach Post reported.

The county canvassing board admitted that 306 votes—mostly filled with write-in candidates—had been uncounted, and that other votes had been ignored.

St. Lucie county has a population of 280,000.

Keep in mind who Allen West is

West, a retired Army colonel who left the military after firing off a gun near the head of an Iraqi prisoner, was elected as part of the 2010 tea party wave. As one of the GOP’s few black elected officials on the national level — and as a bombastic and incendiary commentator — West became a frequent cable news guest. He spent $13.8 million, more than any other House member in 2012 but was also a regular star of House Democratic fundraising appeals.

[SOURCE: MSNBC |  | 17 November 2012]
[SOURCE: Kevin Robillard | Politico | 7 November 2012]

Friday, 16 November 2012 at 7h 14m 28s

The situation in Europe

Particularly unsettling yesterday were massive and widespread anti-austerity protests across Europe. The strikes and demonstrations, some involving hundreds of thousands of people, hit more than 20 countries in the EU, disrupting airports and ports, closing roads and public transportation, and shutting some essential services. The biggest protests were in Portugal, Spain, Greece, and Italy. The union-led protests--called "European Day of Action and Solidarity"--were mostly peaceful, but turned violent in Lisbon, Madrid, and Rome.

[SOURCE: Ed Yardeni | Dr. Ed's Blog | 15 November 2012]

Friday, 16 November 2012 at 6h 24m 20s

Yep, its global climate change, stupid

Hurricane Sandy is another bird in the coal mine that just died.

Jeff Masters has a blog where he catalogs the weather events. It's called "Dr. Jeff Masters Wunderblog". It's at the Weather Underground, where all the recent weather events are discussed.

Posted by: JeffMasters, 1:10 PM GMT on November 13, 2012

Hurricane Sandy was truly astounding in its size and power. At its peak size, twenty hours before landfall, Sandy had tropical storm-force winds that covered an area nearly one-fifth the area of the contiguous United States. Since detailed records of hurricane size began in 1988, only one tropical storm (Olga of 2001) has had a larger area of tropical storm-force winds, and no hurricanes has. Sandy's area of ocean with twelve-foot seas peaked at 1.4 million square miles--nearly one-half the area of the contiguous United States, or 1% of Earth's total ocean area.

Most incredibly, ten hours before landfall (9:30 am EDT October 30), the total energy of Sandy's winds of tropical storm-force and higher peaked at 329 terajoules--the highest value for any Atlantic hurricane since at least 1969. This is 2.7 times higher than Katrina's peak energy, and is equivalent to five Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs. At landfall, Sandy's tropical storm-force winds spanned 943 miles of the the U.S. coast. No hurricane on record has been wider; the previous record holder was Hurricane Igor of 2010, which was 863 miles in diameter. Sandy's huge size prompted high wind warnings to be posted from Chicago to Eastern Maine, and from Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Florida's Lake Okeechobee--an area home to 120 million people. Sandy's winds simultaneously caused damage to buildings on the shores of Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and toppled power lines in Nova Scotia, Canada--locations 1200 miles apart!


Global warming theory (Emanuel, 2005) predicts that a 2°C (3.6°F) increase in ocean temperatures should cause an increase in the peak winds of the strongest hurricanes of about about 10%. Furthermore, warmer ocean temperatures are expected to cause hurricanes to dump 20% more rain in their cores by the year 2100, according to computer modeling studies (Knutson et al., 2010).

However, there has been no published work describing how hurricane size may change with warmer oceans in a future climate. We've seen an unusual number of Atlantic hurricanes with large size in recent years, but we currently have no theoretical or computer modeling simulations that can explain why this is so, or if we might see more storms like this in the future. However, we've seen significant and unprecedented changes to our atmosphere in recent decades, due to our emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide. The laws of physics demand that the atmosphere must respond. Atmospheric circulation patterns that control extreme weather events must change, and we should expect extreme storms to change in character, frequency, and intensity as a result--and not always in the ways our computer models may predict.

We have pushed our climate system to a fundamentally new, higher-energy state where more heat and moisture is available to power stronger storms, and we should be concerned about the possibility that Hurricane Sandy's freak size and power were partially due to human-caused climate change.

Here is the "red" increase in temperature in October as compared to the period 1981 to 2010 :

I'm so glad global warming is a hoax.

[SOURCE: Jeff Masters | Dr. Jeff Masters WunderBlog | 15 November 2012]

Friday, 16 November 2012 at 5h 32m 13s

The Big Picture

You guys should go to the Big Picture Blog by Barry Ritholtz every single day.

I can't say enough about Barry. He's a center of the road, a little bit of common sense, with an acute insight into human behavior, and a deep reverence for the principles of this country, as well as a desire to further his knowledge historically, scientifically, and in general. All of which constitute aspects of what I respect in other people.

He is also an investment fund manager and is a dye-in-the-wool N'ywker who lives on Long Island. I've been reading Barry for probably 10 years now, and he is true blue. An honest guy, with a sense of humility and humor to boot. From what I understand, he's been on TeeVee for a while now, so you might actually recognize his face. Maybe not. I don't know because I don't watch TV.

But he also lets a lot of good stuff go through his blog. You will expand your knowledge if you check in everyday. Barry would probably feel gratified knowing that is the case. He really does strive for it to be a good source of information.

For instance, today, here is "The afternoon train reads"

  • Why Things Fail: From Tires to Helicopter Blades, Everything Breaks Eventually (Wired)
  • How China Became Capitalist (The American)
  • Changing the Conventional Wisdom on Wall Street (Economix)
  • Europe’s Recession (Dr.Ed’s Blog)
  • Katrina’s Effect on Jobless Claims vs. Sandy (Avondale Asset Management) see also Hurricane Sandy’s huge size: freak of nature or climate change? (Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog)
  • The Long Story of U.S. Debt, From 1790 to 2011, in 1 Little Chart (The Atlantic)
  • 10 things 401(k) plans won’t tell you (MarketWatch)
  • Is it game over for Grover Norquist? (Salon) see also Tax Reform Won’t Save the World (Bloomberg)
  • Human intelligence ‘peaked thousands of years ago and we’ve been on an intellectual and emotional decline ever since’ (Independent)
  • John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John Christmas Album Plunges Nation Into Double-Dip Recession (The Onion)

Friday, 16 November 2012 at 5h 53m 39s

They scream about fraud where none exists.

These frauds that call themselves Republicans only destroy the good name of the party and the country they protest to love. They scream about Philadelphia and Cleveland and Florida districts where African Americans are the majority of registered voters every time they lose. They refuse to concede, cause investigations, and then sometimes pursue their "justice" through the court system when the investigations produce no evidence of fraud.

Sean Hannity screams that it was "impossible" that 59 Philadelphia precincts had registered no votes for Mitt Romney. Therefore: “There is cheating going on in our elections!” But of course, there is no evidence, only insinuation. The fact that black people will really really want to vote for the first black President in US history doesn't register in the mind of a lying racist hypocrite such as Mr. Sean Hannity. Why would poor people of any color or creed want to vote for a spoiled, out-of-touch, silver spoon white Mormon whose Daddy gave him his connections to set up a Wall Street chop shop, and his millions of inheritance? Is it that hard to understand?

In Florida, that hired black face of the Republicans named David West screamed fraud when a county mistakenly counted each page of a ballot as a vote, and reported that voters were 150% of registered voters. So he refused to concede. Then emails and letters hit the wires and post office boxes immediately, asking for cash donations to help fight the Democratic thievery. But when the mistake was revealed, David West doesn't go in front the cameras and concede or apologize. Of course not, he has his "people" do that for him.

You see people like David West (and Sean Hannity) have to earn the pay the paymasters give them. All those $50,000 plus speaking fees at conferences where David West goes are important, and David West won't get those invitations and requests if he doesn't become the hired black face and say crazy stupid things that make him look like a damn fool. Because it's all about money. That's why these people are lying hypocrites who dishonor themselves. It's the money, and just watch the sad spectacle of how they slobber for it, thinking who will care when they retire and enjoy the millions they got for their chicanery?

I used to work as a bartender at a Country Club in the heart of the Oil and Gas industry in Louisiana. One of the state politicos used to show up and talk shop with various wealthy executives and I would fix their drinks. They spoke in code at first, but they began to trust me after a while and I got a first-hand lesson about the realities of how government and special interests do government. The discussions and the decisions that get made are not at the press conferences, or in the halls of Congress. They are in the parlors of the wealthy or the bars of the Country clubs where these folks spend their leisure time.

I once asked a particular politico who befriended me -- it's a lonely world when you mingle with sharks and back-stabbers. I asked him why our government was so corrupt, and he says, "Son. It's because there will always be people who will do anything to make a lot of money."

I was 19 years old at the time.

[SOURCE: David Weigel | Slate | 14 November 2012]

Thursday, 15 November 2012 at 1h 44m 17s

Pundit Shaming

This (Click here) is a cool site.

You know all the people who get to be on TeeVee that are so sure of their opinions, and then expect the rest of us to just forget how wrong, inaccurate, and fallacious they were a few months later. In fact, despite years of constant inaccuracy and failure, these people are suppose to still be respected and considered to be valuable sources of information even though they are wrong more than half the time.

And they get paid lots of money for this by management, because the hierarchy wants to promote these water-carriers. The owners of the pipeline to the eyes and ears of the nationwide cable audience have their own agendas, and the management they choose are going to perform these agendas. The cable news shows are more about the creation of how to think about information, and not about trying to inform. The "experts" who appear are there to legitimize the appropriate topics and the official avenues of discussion. And all of them are completely out of touch with contemporary America.

Which is why you get Mitt Romney thinking his campaign lost because he tossed out loaves and fishes to his constituents.

A week after losing the election to President Obama, Mitt Romney blamed his overwhelming electoral loss on what he said were big “gifts” that the president had bestowed on loyal Democratic constituencies, including young voters, African-Americans and Hispanics.

In a conference call on Wednesday afternoon with his national finance committee, Mr. Romney said that the president had followed the “old playbook” of wooing specific interest groups — “especially the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people,” Mr. Romney explained — with targeted gifts and initiatives.

“In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups,” Mr. Romney said.

[SOURCE: Ashley Parker | NewYorkTimes | 14 November 2012]

The idea that the Republicans have completely disgusted a majority of the voting public by their insane stupidity and their obstreperous anti-democratic actions is beyond their capacity to realize, so they can only see a mirror image of themselves in those whom they consider adversarial. When Republicans accuse, they are just talking about themselves, because that's all they understand.

Monday, 12 November 2012 at 19h 20m 46s

The false Fiscal Cliff Rhetoric

They start the rhetoric early and get all their ducks quacking because once they control the frame of the argument, then they can control the possible outcomes. The so-called Fiscal Cliff is a mirage. It's a bunch of bullshit. What they really want is an excuse to continue the Bush Tax cuts and cut Social Security and Medicare, so they have to dredge up the scary scenario of defaults and "fiscal Cliffs".

There is a problem but the solution is very simple. Extend the middle class tax cuts, end the upper income tax cuts, and end some of the payroll tax cut but increase the top income level affected from $92,000 to $200,000. Doing this will actually increase revenue, stabilize government finances, and boost economic well-being.

According to the treasury(Click here) the current interest on the national debt is 12.9 billion on a total outstanding national debt of 16.015 trillion, 71% or which (or 11.42 trillion) is held by the public.

Now that sounds like a lot, but in 2012 the total US Government Revenue is 200 times more the interest payments, at 2468.60 billion (or 2.5 trillion). Expressed as a percentage of Revenue (12.9 divided by 2468) the percentage of Government revenue that has to go towards interest on the debt is only 0.5 percent. In other words, we pay 50 cents interest for every $100 of revenue. That's not a crisis.

Even if interest rates increase, since 71% of the debt is in the hands of the public, the interest payments will not be as affected by world financial markets. The United States is not Greece. We are not going to have to pay 10% or more interest on the national debt.

The national debt however should be compared to the Gross National Product, because a governments source of revenue base is actually the gross national product. The GNP in 2011 was 15.23 trillion

This isn't a fiscal crisis. The United States is not in danger of defaulting. The automatic tax increases and budget cutting that will begin in January 2013 isn't going to cause massive economic trauma. Most experts say a 1% reduction in GDP is likely, but this is over the short-term, and does not include potential economic gains from extending the middle class tax cuts -- which are not insignificant. This is why some respected economists (Krugman being one) say the effect will be negligible.

Compared to a lot of household name private firms, the governments interest payment to revenue ratio is miniscule. Go look at some companies using Google Finance. Here's a short list I compiled

  1. The Coca-Cola Company
    Revenue: 12.34 billion Total Debt: 32.73 billion

  2. McDonalds
    Revenue: 7.15 billion Total Debt: 13.26 billion

  3. Pepsi
    Revenue: 16.65 billion Total Debt: 27.9 billion

Hmm, no one seems to be worried about the financial well-being of Coke, Pepsi, or McDonalds despite their outstanding debt being NEARLY DOUBLE OR MORE their revenues. That's because the most important issue is whether the revenue can make the requisite interest payments.

But don't listen to me. Keven Drum does a better job explaining. Click the link and read.

[SOURCE: Kevin Drum | Mother Jones | 12 November]

UPDATE: keep in mind that when companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and McDonalds go into debt, most of it is in Corporate Bonds owned by investors -- because it's a cheaper way to raise funds. Those interest payments are going into some investor's or investment firm's portfolio because they will get a higher percentage and are considered safe. No different then Treasury bills or any other bond on the market, except that treasury bills probably have a lower interest rate. But whatever that interest rate might be, it's going into some investor's or investment firm's portfolio.

Monday, 12 November 2012 at 15h 56m 5s

The worst State Election Officials

In case you haven't been paying attention, the Secretary of State position is the most important position other than the State Attorney General, because these people can and do influence elections by various actions or lack of actions they make during the election cycle.

They get lists of names from software or provided by outsourced private firms and then send lists of voters to purge from the voting rolls to every district within the state. When Kathryn Harris did this during the 2000 election in Florida, 80,000 plus names got removed from the voting rolls because their names were similar to a list of felon names created by a Republican firm DBI.

The lists were (intentionally) very flawed, and some districts had an inaccuracy rate of more than 90%. In the original reporting for the BBC, Greg Palast pointed out that DBI charged 1.2 million dollars for telephone calls that never happened. There was no attempt to verify that the names on the lists were actual felons or just persons with similar names because this was on purpose.

Most of the names were African American, a group which votes Democratic 90% or more. The Presidential election in Florida was won by less than 1,000 votes, and eventually got decided by the Supreme Court -- but all that would never have occurred if the initially voter purge of 80,000 plus names had never taken place.

Click the Greg Palast Source link below, or Click here for a list provided by a Google search searching the phrase "florida 2000 election felon lists." The Greg Palast story in Salon is the second link. The fifth link is another Greg Palast story on 1 March 2002, Click here for the Greg Palast 2002 update story.

[SOURCE: Greg Palast | | ]

This is the Republican methodology. This is what they do to try to win elections. And it hasn't stopped. This year Think Progress labeled the five worst. I provide a summary, but you can click on the Think progress Source link to read what these anti-democratic fiends tried to do during the 2012 election cycle.

  1. John Husted, Ohio Secretary of State
    Husted advocated firmly and repeatedly to cut early voting in Ohio, potentially disenfranchising thousands of voters who lack the job flexibility to vote on election day. He openly defied a court order requiring early voting hours to be restored, although he eventually backed down after a federal [judge] ordered him to attend a court hearing regarding this refusal to comply with the law. And he retaliated against his opponents by firing them. To top it off, Husted issued a last-minute directive that directly conflicts with Ohio law which could lead to thousands of provisional ballots being trashed.

  2. Ken Detzner, Florida Secretary of State
    he played a leadership role in [Governor] Scott’s discredited plan to purge thousands of Florida voters from the state’s voter rolls. According to the Tampa Bay Times, “Hispanic, Democratic and independent-minded voters [were] the most likely to be targeted” by this purge. About 58 percent of the voters targeted by the purge are Hispanic, a demographic that overwhelmingly favored President Obama. The list of supposed non-citizens proved unreliable, however, and the purge was eventually shut down after the state’s local elections supervisors refused to move forward with it. Nevertheless, Detzner vowed to restart the purge at one point saying it was his “moral duty” to purge people from the voter rolls. To date, Florida’s purge caught JUST ONE non-citizen voter.

  3. Scott Gessler, Colorado Secretary of State
    As Colorado’s chief elections official, Gessler spearheaded a voter purge targeting thousands of alleged non-citizens on his state’s voter rolls. He was eventually forced to largely abandon this purge, however, after his efforts revealed that non-citizen voting is a virtually non-existent problem.

  4. Carol Aichele, Pennsylvania Secretary of State
    played a key role in defending that state’s voter ID law — despite her admission during court testimony that she does not “know what the law says.” After state officials released data indicating that 9 percent of the state’s voters lacked the ID required by the law, Aichele claimed that the real number was actually closer to 1 percent. When the Pennsylvania Supreme Court expressed skepticism that the voter suppression law would not disenfranchise voters, Aichele announced minor tweeks to the requirements to obtain an ID in Pennsylvania. The judiciary deemed this dodge insufficient, and largely suspended the law.

  5. Matt Schultz, Iowa Secretatry of State
    Iowa attempted its own voter purge targeting the illusionary problem of non-citizen voting, with Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz spearheading this purge. An Iowa court temporarily blocked this purge, however, warning that it “created confusion and mistrust in the voter registration process [and] have created fear that new citizens will lose their right to vote and/or be charged with a felony and [have] caused some qualified voters to feel deterred from even registering to vote.”

Notice how these people are willing to purge thousands of names off the voting rolls to "solve" a problem that is nowhere near 100 and almost always less then 10 persons that illegally vote. In almost every single case, the "illegal" vote is not even intentional -- a person who didn't realize their felony conviction denied them the right to vote or a person whose mother signed the affidavit on a mail-in ballot because the daughter was out of town. The scary scenario of hundreds of illegal immigrants voting is a complete fabrication, but these people are disgusting and don't care about voter integrity or trust. They do what their masters tell them to do and cloak themselves in a mockery of patriotism to justify this anti-democratic behavior.

Every American should be outraged by these actions, and all of these people should be in jail -- or at least banished from ever holding a position in government ever again.

[SOURCE: Ian Millhiser | ThinkProgress | 7 November 2012]