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Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump 
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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
Robert Tulip wrote:
"according to their PM, just insulted Norway."

No, that is fake news. Norway Government declined to comment. If they have since weighed in to back up Haiti and North Korea I have not heard.


You're right. The PM did not say this and I am guilty of spreading fake news. On the other hand, we are discussing Trump insulting Norway. Replace the name Trump with the name of any past president and see how it sounds.


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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
Robert Tulip wrote:
Yes, these are essential services, but the problem is the steady slow drift into debt and dependency. It is like obesity; no one meal makes you fat, but the overall lack of self-control adds up over time, hardening the arteries, slowing you down, sapping your energy and increasing the risk of heart attack and cancer and diabetes and dementia. Exercise and diet are difficult but necessary, and when you have good habits it is easier to keep them. So too with government, a lean and efficient public sector creates space for an energetic economy.

Not only are they essential, but they're not essential evils. Without them, the economy would actually lack energy. Nor do they generally increase debt, because most services we get are at the local and state level, funded by taxes. If the monies aren't sufficient, or the taxpayers don't want to pony up, the services will be cut. So the issue here is how much to tax citizens for services and how much governments need to pay their employees in order to get good ones and retain them. Jobs in government are usually prized for their better security and pay, in the low and middles ranges, compared to private sector jobs, but there is a low ceiling on public sector earnings. Employees doing CEO work won't be paid nearly as much as company CEOs.

As Harry has been saying with much more authority than I can, debt has a lot of beneficial uses. That applies both to us as individuals and to the national government.
Quote:
The military may be the area of government with the greatest potential for budget cuts. A good entry point is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St ... ral_budget.

I intend to look at that. I haven't been able to understand entirely the president's determination to increase the military while generally withdrawing from the world. It would seem to be an opportunity to save a great deal of money on defense.
Quote:
We have the same problem in Australia, an electorate unwilling to pay for government and a growing proportion of people dependent on the public dole.

But is what you in Australia call the dole really the major drag on the budget? I take it that social security in Aus. is what we refer to here as welfare. Our Social Security doesn't correspond to the dole or welfare, because this retirement program is funded by worker contributions. What we have that qualifies as the dole are food stamps, aid to families with dependent children, and disability payments to people under age 62. The first two programs are restricted in terms of who can qualify and for how long. They don't consume more than a few percent of the federal budget (which still is a lot, admittedly). Disability is the program that has grown the fastest in the last 20 years and is quite expensive at about 5% of the federal budget. Then there is Medicaid, the insurance program for the poor, which almost rivals Medicare in cost. I simply don't see healthcare as truly a handout. In my mind it's not part of the dole, but now the federal government disagrees and wants to impose work requirements on the program.

So while the expenditures for welfare aren't trivial, compared to the mandatory spending on Social Security retirement and Medicare, they're not close. I think the reason we tend to focus on such costs has roots in our our social history, in which people not doing their share of work were strongly ostracized. Nobody likes freeriders. Such people are always very visible to us, whereas, especially in complex societies, other forms of freeriderism can be easily hidden. That is the case with welfare for the rich.
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But herd mentality is the emerging tendency due to internet conformism, no-platforming, bubble worlds and increase in the size of government. Obviously the real herd mentality is in toilet countries like North Korea where everyone gets brainwashed. I am using that term because I have just read Demian by Hermann Hesse who identified herd mentality as a problem in Germany causing the First World War. It comes from Rousseau’s idea of the popular will.

Is herd mentality, then, following a leader blindly, as cows supposedly follow a lead cow? If so, I can see some limited usefulness in it. But otherwise I don't agree that in the sense of either popular will or conformism such a pejorative is justified. I'm very grateful for conformism when I get out on the highways and wish that we would conform more with the expectation to cast votes. I don't see the internet as creating conformism since it fractures us into so many separate communities.



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Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:43 am
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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
Harry Marks wrote:
The public sector debt of the 2010s was called for by the drastic decline of private sector employment and the very serious decline of private sector investment.
Just firstly, can I say how much I appreciate your courteous, informed, factual, patient, polite replies (mostly). I am interested in having my assumptions and claims challenged, to try to understand what is good and bad about the Trump phenomenon.

Whether the public debt of the 2010s was “called for” is exactly what is debatable. Of course those who incurred it say their decisions were necessary, but it seems equally possible that incurring this massive multi-trillion dollar debt was a big mistake, ratcheting up government role in the economy with significant harm and no good reason.
Harry Marks wrote:
The real irony is that efforts at austerity were in fact responsible for slowing the closing of the deficit and thereby increasing the overall level of debt.
That is an argument that can equally be used to support the supply-side trickle-down economics of the Laffer Curve and Trump’s tax cuts. Finding the optimal point of tax that maximises revenue involves big macroeconomic assumptions about the feedback from increased economic activity.
Harry Marks wrote:
The multiplier effect is a real and demonstrable result in economic conditions with high levels of unused resources.
Yes, but quantifying the multiplier is imprecise. My impression is that private investment has a bigger multiplier than public spending.
Harry Marks wrote:
The largest increase in public spending during the Obama administration was for a shift in medical care costs from private burden on the sick and the urban hospitals to public burden. As forecast, this slowed the rate of growth of medical care costs in the US. If the public sector can manage a more efficient system than the private sector, and both theory and evidence argue that it does, then such a shift is a useful development.
The economics of health care seems to me one of the most devilishly wicked problems to explain. The US health funding system is broken and corrupted. It seems doctors exploit their position as a royal priesthood to extract vast sums of wealth from the populace. Changing that dysfunctional syndrome looks more like an exercise in cultural mythology than rational economics.
Harry Marks wrote:
Robert Tulip wrote:
The burden of interest payment brings a vulnerability to risk.
Yet we do not castigate businesses who incur such risks to invest. Investment for the future requires borrowing. If the government can do that effectively, and spending during a serious recession is effective without knowing anything about what it is spent on, then it should.
I find these arguments misguided. The USA owes twenty trillion dollars, putting its debt into a risk category well above any private firm. Much government borrowing is for consumption, not prudent investment. So this alleged “investment” is not effective where it has no rate of return.

And the moral hazard of equating all recessionary countercyclical investment is extreme. In Australia that attitude got us a pile of useless unwanted school halls that were delivered well after the crisis that they responded to had passed, drastically increasing the national debt.
Harry Marks wrote:
Politics demands both more spending (including on defense) and less taxation.
That dilemma suggests the USA may be headed for a military dictatorship when the numbers break, unless there is sensible effort to shift back to a sustainable fiscal position. Democratic politics corrupted by money makes sensible policy impossible.
Harry Marks wrote:
There is a simple rule for budgeting the public sector effectively, which is to balance the budget over the business cycle. This means deficits in times of recession (and slack) and surpluses in times of high growth. Since neither party has been able to resist the temptation to demagogue violations of this rule, the U.S. has had bad budgeting for more than half the years since the Carter Administration.
With politics ruling out surpluses, the direction is towards gradual bankruptcy unless deficits are incurred by spending with a high rate of return.
Harry Marks wrote:
On the other hand, the deviations from effective budgeting have not been all that bad, and if you are willing to accept a military that is twice the size needed, a social safety net that pays more to people with more income, and a health care sector more than 50% more expensive than in other industrialized countries, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c ... per_capita ) we seem to be managing resources within the bounds of reason.
Very funny Harry. A military double the needed size will look to justify its existence through further adventures.
Harry Marks wrote:
a market for traded GHG permits would work just fine.
That attitude ignores the psychology and physics of climate change. The physics is that there is a security risk of climate collapse this century due to planetary fragility. A permit market cannot address that hair trigger peril. The psychology is that climate politics has become a rallying cry of the unity of the left, so anything proposed by the left will be opposed by the right. Climate needs a ‘Nixon in China’ moment to propose ideas from the right that do not involve a war on fossil fuels. My current focus in this regard is on Iron Salt Aerosol, treating global warming as a fixable chemical imbalance.
Harry Marks wrote:
Incentives to reduce GHGs would accelerate, not crowd out, private investment in climate salvation.
As your President rightly pointed out, the Paris Accord addresses only 1% of the climate problem. The Paris emission reduction strategy is a dangerous and pernicious farce with focus on political conflict rather than the physics of global warming. The incentive based approaches such as emission trading are about as effective as pushing on a string, and have economic risks similar to the famous Dutch episode of tulipomania.
Harry Marks wrote:
education is a positional good, meaning that parents will pay more to get education that is better than others get than they will for the absolute quality level of it,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positional_good
I disagree. The underlying driver of private investment in education is skill formation, which is not just positional, and is far from zero sum.
Harry Marks wrote:
your prediction of improved quality is probably 180 degrees off. The result if secondary school were privatized would probably be close to the result of increased private university resources in the U.S. starting in the 80s, namely increased competition for high profile factors which add mainly to prestige, but neglect for the actual education process.
I would like to see education funded by vouchers where private use is funded at about 70% of public use. That would cause a drift to private schooling. The cost of greater social segmentation is outweighed by the benefits of increasing the total education investment, enabling a per capita increase in public school funding, with higher teacher salaries and more personal focus on students, as well as a better teacher career path, school autonomy and better accountability, all leading to better system quality.
Harry Marks wrote:
Private schools on average add no more value than public schools.
My impression is that studies on this have been biased by inadequate variable control. It is true that education quality can be hard to measure, but the bottom line is that parents would not make such sacrifices for their children’s schooling costs if they were not convinced they were getting a better product. In Australia a big part of the willingness to pay for private schooling is parental hostility to the group-think values within the public education system.
Harry Marks wrote:
the consumer is simply not in a position to assess the effectiveness of the producer. Not a single case of improvement attributable to competition has resulted in a business plan which can be scaled up for use in many other schools.
I am not familiar enough with the US situation to comment on that specific claim, but in Australia teacher unions exercise effective political veto over measures to enhance school choice, and muddy the waters of policy debate through strident ideological campaigns.
Harry Marks wrote:
All services have had an upward trend in their share of GDP. Education, government, medical care, transport, entertainment, retailing, and on and on. This is due to the higher level of productivity growth in goods, which can be standardized and mass produced much more easily. No one wants a society with government taking only 20 percent of GDP, as in pre-FDR nations, because today we can better afford the improved services that come from a government which produces scientific knowledge, effective support for the weaker elements, and social insurance over the lifetime.
That is a really interesting question, how the shift to the service economy is funded. My fear is that the claimed affordability is exaggerated, since much service activity is for consumption rather than production and investment. The economic distinction between consumption and investment can be difficult to define, but the problem is that especially in a sector like health there is a perverse incentive to classify expenditure as investment when its real economic rate of return is low or negative, due to the intangible economic value of improved health.

Health and welfare spending is justified by its social value, but it unfortunately looks to be an underlying driver of debt. To get debt under control requires a shift from consumption to investment. Just to raise these points about health funding illustrates how hideously difficult it is to reform government.
Harry Marks wrote:
There is nothing wrong with requiring accountability in government.
Yes, but in practice the ability to dissemble makes achieving accountability very difficult. Transparency and accountability based on a strong public interest in evidence are the only remedies for corruption.
Harry Marks wrote:
My point was not a claim that only governments care about facts, but rather that there are some types of facts businesses systematically ignore if they can, precisely because of their rigorous fiscal accountability. There is not a single case of self-policing corporations adopting a self-enforced code of conduct that protects less informed stakeholders. It's just not done.
Those externalities are the areas where regulation of commerce is essential to secure rule of law as the basis of prosperity. This debate on attitudes to facts started from your general assertion that “the private sector considers them the enemy.” I am glad to see you stepping back from that broad anti-business claim. It is too easy to allow such sloppy partisan language to go unchallenged and acquire status as assumed truth.
Harry Marks wrote:
infrastructure and education have as strong a multiplier as building private buildings.
Yes, precisely because they are productive investments, whereas the political drivers for increased spending seem to be more in unproductive consumption.
Harry Marks wrote:
when capital as a class is no longer providing value that the state cannot, their uselessness will be responded to appropriately…. My use of "no longer" directly implies that capital has done great things that the public sector would not have, and probably could not have.
Forgive me for inferring a Leninist tinge in your original comment. When a social class is perceived as superfluous many will see shades of Robespierre.
Harry Marks wrote:
Robert Tulip wrote:
Cities drive growth, but at social cost.
Agreed, but we are fairly clueless as to how to offset those social costs.
This is actually where I think the conservative values of faith have much to offer. The indifference of secularity to ceremony and ritual has the perverse impacts of increasing anomie, isolation and depression. Confucius had a good line on the importance of ritual and ceremony http://confucius-1.com/teachings/ .
Harry Marks wrote:
Republicans lost the substantive issue of gay marriage by an overwhelming margin, and Democrats squandered the victory on an immediate push for restriction of any right to dissent from this decision. The same drama has played out repeatedly, with Democrats unable to settle for less than everything they think is right and just, making it very easy for right-wing scare-mongers to play on conservative fears.
It is pretty incredible that the modern secular atheist community has such a sense of self-righteousness that many think it is okay to suppress advocacy of values that remain widely held. Bakergate is Exhibit A for how liberal over-reach revs up the conservative base.
Harry Marks wrote:
There is no force for integrity left in the Republican party, as the tax bill scramble once again made clear. … the party is now open about being donor-driven.
“No force” is putting it too strongly, but the corruption of money politics shows these are certainly disturbing and dangerous trends.


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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
Robert Tulip wrote:
Just firstly, can I say how much I appreciate your courteous, informed, factual, patient, polite replies (mostly).
Well, I occasionally have to grit my teeth to remain courteous and patient, so I am not shocked if sometimes I don't manage it. It is (mostly) a pleasure to engage intellectually with a well-informed, thoughtful advocate for a very different point of view.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Whether the public debt of the 2010s was “called for” is exactly what is debatable. Of course those who incurred it say their decisions were necessary, but it seems equally possible that incurring this massive multi-trillion dollar debt was a big mistake, ratcheting up government role in the economy with significant harm and no good reason.
To make a case that it was not necessary and appropriate, you need very strong assumptions about reasons those unused resources would not have been taken up by a revived economy. So far, of course, no one, including the WSJ editorial page, the Financial Times or conservative academia, have made any effort to spell out such an argument (much less substantiate the assumptions). Nevertheless the right wing party continues to play the droning note of opposing deficits as long as they are in opposition to the president, and drop it like a hot potato when they get the chance to increase deficits for their priority. The pretense of justifying their logic never even made an appearance.
Robert Tulip wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
The real irony is that efforts at austerity were in fact responsible for slowing the closing of the deficit and thereby increasing the overall level of debt.
That is an argument that can equally be used to support the supply-side trickle-down economics of the Laffer Curve and Trump’s tax cuts. Finding the optimal point of tax that maximises revenue involves big macroeconomic assumptions about the feedback from increased economic activity.
The difference is that the macroeconomics of the multiplier effect is strongly supported by evidence while the Laffer Curve has no evidence to support its application, or at best arguments from anecdote. The issue is not optimal tax revenue, (which is supposedly what the Laffer Curve argument is about) it is demand-side constraint in a serious recession. All evidence, including the lack of inflation from Quantitative Easing, indicates that the old Keynesian arguments applied strongly. A tax cut now has very little positive effect on the economy, but a tax cut in the Great Recession would have been helpful, which is why Obama continued the Bush tax reductions when he had the chance to let them expire.
Robert Tulip wrote:
Yes, but quantifying the multiplier is imprecise. My impression is that private investment has a bigger multiplier than public spending.
There is a "Long Run" multiplier which mainly comes from adding productive capacity. This applies even when the economy has full employment, and private investment pretty much always creates this effect. The usual multiplier instead looks at demand-side stimulus, and it is essentially zero at full employment (though estimates of as much as 2.5 in the short run have been made). But in a severe recession it is probably more like 4, and not limited to short-run effects (which would be undone over a longer horizon - probably 4 to 6 years). Whether you use 2.5 or 4, the austerity moves by the Republicans added to debt in the long run: the revenue sharing with states, for example, which they cut, would have paid for themselves in added government revenue from added GDP and lower unemployment within two years.

Robert Tulip wrote:
The economics of health care seems to me one of the most devilishly wicked problems to explain.
I would agree with this. I had the pleasure of discussing the issue with William Hsiao, a top health care economist at Harvard, and came away uncertain that there are any good options for providing it. The feedback loops can be very slow, and so it is very difficult to even quantify the trade-offs. Still, it is somewhat heartening that the CBO managed to get the numbers pretty close with their forecasts about Obamacare (erring on the side of conservative views, at least in the medium term).

Robert Tulip wrote:
The US health funding system is broken and corrupted. It seems doctors exploit their position as a royal priesthood to extract vast sums of wealth from the populace.
Some do. Remember that much of the med school system is privately funded, so that doctors often start with fearful debt, unlike most industrialized countries.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Changing that dysfunctional syndrome looks more like an exercise in cultural mythology than rational economics.
Worth thinking about, but it is plain that the Bernie Sanders/Michael Moore mythology leads toward fixes that are just as problematic as the pre-Obamacare mythology or the technocratic approach of Obamacare.
Robert Tulip wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
Investment for the future requires borrowing. If the government can do that effectively, and spending during a serious recession is effective without knowing anything about what it is spent on, then it should.
I find these arguments misguided. The USA owes twenty trillion dollars, putting its debt into a risk category well above any private firm.
True, but firms don't owe most of the money to themselves, while the US people do.
Robert Tulip wrote:
Much government borrowing is for consumption, not prudent investment.
Back in the heyday of serious budgeting that was the 90s, the idea of a capital budget was revived. But you can imagine the absurdities of, say, classifying social science research as capital investment. How much of our armaments budget is productive investment that generates spin-offs for private industry (this is a serious question, but not one with a usable answer)? For that matter, is a fighter plane investment, because it is long-lasting, or is it consumption, because we never use them to make anything? Not an easy question.
Robert Tulip wrote:
So this alleged “investment” is not effective where it has no rate of return.
The rate of return on schooling is still pretty good. The rate of return on medical care for children is probably pretty good. Defense may be overdone, but it probably has a good implicit rate of return for the first 50 percent or so of expenditures. Social insurance is something people should be allowed to choose, even if it isn't productive investment.

Robert Tulip wrote:
And the moral hazard of equating all recessionary countercyclical investment is extreme. In Australia that attitude got us a pile of useless unwanted school halls that were delivered well after the crisis that they responded to had passed, drastically increasing the national debt.
Well, someone can always look into spending it better, but the increase in the debt comes more from fading private production than from the government spending. It is simply not the case that government needs to follow the same rules about borrowing that private households do.

Robert Tulip wrote:
the USA may be headed for a military dictatorship when the numbers break, unless there is sensible effort to shift back to a sustainable fiscal position. Democratic politics corrupted by money makes sensible policy impossible.
There is a centrist caucus growing in importance. It may never amount to more than the LibDems in the UK, forever trying to stand for something by backing quixotic projects with wonky tendency to turn off the average voter. But they would do well to focus on campaign finance and internal rules before they try to undertake much substantive agenda.

The debt problem, including "entitlements" is eminently solvable. The problem of generating public spirited mythology is much more difficult.
Robert Tulip wrote:
A military double the needed size will look to justify its existence through further adventures.
The public appetite for adventures is very low. Ironically, the military-industrial complex is the main source of resistance to cuts in foreign aid, since no one knows better than the generals that the actual ability to influence events overseas and to achieve greater security is much higher with money than with weapons.
Robert Tulip wrote:
My current focus in this regard is on Iron Salt Aerosol, treating global warming as a fixable chemical imbalance.
I'm for it, but as a stopgap measure to delay doomsday, not as a long-term solution. I could be wrong about the long term, but the numbers I have seen don't really look so good.
Robert Tulip wrote:
The underlying driver of private investment in education is skill formation, which is not just positional, and is far from zero sum.
True, and some parents and teachers can actually tell that skill formation is going on. But mostly, it is just as easy to create a lame level of skill formation and look like really impressive stuff is going on. The closest thing we have to an accurate measure, which is before-and-after testing, is very vulnerable to gaming. For example the quickest way for a school to get its numbers up is to exclude children with learning problems.
So when you look at what parents decide their spending based on, it comes down to: 1) the appearance of adequate skill formation (which admittedly is correlated with the actual level of skill formation); and 2) comparison with other schools based on readily observable but usually not substantive measures.
Robert Tulip wrote:
I would like to see education funded by vouchers where private use is funded at about 70% of public use. That would cause a drift to private schooling. The cost of greater social segmentation is outweighed by the benefits of increasing the total education investment, enabling a per capita increase in public school funding, with higher teacher salaries and more personal focus on students, as well as a better teacher career path, school autonomy and better accountability, all leading to better system quality.
It might be worth the try to experiment with this, but I have no faith that it would improve accountability or overall quality. And the social segmentation is a real issue, though I agree it would be worth some difficulties along this line. Interventions subsidizing the private schooling more for those with less income could conceivably offset the segmentation.
Robert Tulip wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
Private schools on average add no more value than public schools.
My impression is that studies on this have been biased by inadequate variable control. It is true that education quality can be hard to measure, but the bottom line is that parents would not make such sacrifices for their children’s schooling costs if they were not convinced they were getting a better product.
An article in the January 2018 American Economic Review http://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/app.20160634 [paywall]
looks at the effects of school choice. Its brief review of studies of lotteries to enter charter schools, in which students who apply are sorted randomly because only those selected by the lottery get the "treatment", finds positive or neutral effects in most studies, and some charters "increase achievement markedly", usually for "select groups". (The review piece I saw in the Atlantic on such studies concluded that the really effective schools were the product of a single principal with the ability to recruit faculty who align with that person's philosophy and energy, i.e. not transferable to a general case).

Since lotteries are a reasonably controlled experiment, it appears to contradict the conclusion I stated. However, the gains are not normally very large. Parents may think they are getting a great improvement for their child, but in practice not much happens.
Robert Tulip wrote:
In Australia a big part of the willingness to pay for private schooling is parental hostility to the group-think values within the public education system.
You might be interested to know that this same article studied a case in which introducing school choice resulted in a marked decline in student achievement. This was due to selection for other factors, such as conservative religious views and racism, leading to people choosing inferior schools. In the U.S. this is almost always due to Creationist parents. Sometimes "groupthink" is just a slur on "people who think differently from me."
Robert Tulip wrote:
in Australia teacher unions exercise effective political veto over measures to enhance school choice, and muddy the waters of policy debate through strident ideological campaigns.
This is usually a mix of self-interest, since private schools tend to be exploitative toward teachers and hostile to unions in addition to the draining of political will to support public school quality, with genuine concern for their students. American teachers' unions are also hostile to choice programs, and I would say until studies find a reliable benefit that we know how to achieve on a deliberate basis, this is probably appropriate policy.
Robert Tulip wrote:
especially in a sector like health there is a perverse incentive to classify expenditure as investment when its real economic rate of return is low or negative, due to the intangible economic value of improved health.
Well, making young people healthier adds to measured economic output, while making old people healthier just adds to the amount of enjoyment in life. Do we really want to make policy distinctions on that basis?

Robert Tulip wrote:
Transparency and accountability based on a strong public interest in evidence are the only remedies for corruption.
My next project is to act on this.
Robert Tulip wrote:
Forgive me for inferring a Leninist tinge in your original comment. When a social class is perceived as superfluous many will see shades of Robespierre.
Oh, I think confiscation (er, appropriation for the public interest) will prove quite sufficient. I just want it clear that I acknowledge past glories as well as reason for believing they are likely to continue.



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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
This is about to get so, so good:

FBI-gate: The Outlines of the Story Are Coming into Focus

...In the space of a year, as the presidential campaigns got rolling in the fall of 2015, James Comey moved his team into top positions in the intelligence and counterintelligence apparatus of the FBI. That's where the surveillance capacity exists. Thanks to the efforts of Chairman Devin Nunes of the House Intel Committee and Senators Grassley and Graham, we have the basic story already outlined and have received the first installment of the plot: the issuance of the FISA warrants on the basis of a fiction pushed by the Clinton campaign....

...However, a game-changer is about to drop. Last Saturday, we got the first indirect, inferential evidence of a major revelation on its way: there is an informant from among the cast of characters Sharyl Attkisson highlighted in yellow, a canary singing to save himself.

This mystery figure is the man who, a number of observers noticed, has never been mentioned as the information has dripped out of the FBI. His name is Bill Priestap, and he was brought in by James Comey as assistant director of the FBI, Counterintelligence Division, in December 2015....

...Already, despite the mainstream media's best effort, half of the public now believes that senior law enforcement officials broke the law to hinder the Trump presidency, according to Rasmussen. A grand narrative of breathtaking conspiracy and corruption awaits us as the biggest political scandal in American history unfolds. The story now has a face and a narrator named Priestap, even though his information can't yet be revealed. All in good tine, but preferably before November.

https://www.americanthinker.com/article ... focus.html

How Bad Will This Get for Hillary and Obama?

...The noose tightened this week upon the entire FBI leadership over the scandal to destroy candidate Trump and then, President Trump. But it’s no longer just the FBI leadership facing prison time for conspiracy and obstruction of justice. It’s no longer just Hillary and her pals at the DNC and the Clinton Foundation facing prison time....

*Texts confirm FBI investigators were using untraceable burner phones. Why would FBI agents be using burner phones? Does criminal conspiracy come instantly to mind?

*Texts also reveal President Obama was in the middle of the whole “destroy Trump insurance plan.” Strzok had to prepare talking points for FBI Director James Comey to give to President Obama. Because and I quote, “Obama wants to know everything.”

*It appears Hillary was smack dab in the middle of the conspiracy too. Lisa Page texted to Strzok “…she actually knows what you’re doing this time. And that the American presidential election, and thus, the state of the world, actually hangs in the balance.”

*It gets worse. The Hillary exoneration letter wasn’t just changed to exonerate Hillary. The FBI changed “President” to “senior government official” when describing who Hillary sent illegal personal emails to while traveling in a nation called a “sophisticated adversary” to the USA. Could that nation be Russia?

*Texts also indicate FBI Deputy Director McCabe knew about confidential emails discovered on Hillary aide Huma Aberdin’s laptop and delayed informing Congress. The FBI also ignored that many of these emails were marked “C” for confidential.

*Texts from Democrat Senator Mark Warner show while investigating Russian interference in the election by Trump, Warner was texting with the lobbyist for a Russian oligarch, representing the fraudulent dossier. WOW.

*We also learned a Yahoo news story used to gain the FISA warrant to spy on Trump was written by a former DNC employee.

*Finally, a top FBI informant testified to Congress that Moscow routed millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation in a “Russian Uranium Dominance Strategy.” He also claims to have video evidence of Russian bribe money stuffed into suitcases for the Uranium One deal. He says Obama knew about all of this, yet allowed the Uranium One deal to go through.

http://investmentwatchblog.com/how-bad- ... and-obama/

Image

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bWyhj7siEY



Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:23 pm
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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
I've seen a couple warnings like this. "Just You Wait!" they say, a scandal like you've never seen is about to be revealed. (Kudos to you--this one is well done. You should work for the Administration.) Former Trump point man Sebastian Gorka proclaimed that the misdeeds by the Obama/Clinton/FBI/CIA et al cabal are more consequential than what propelled the colonists to rebel against England (I think he said "1,000 times more"). Well, I have time, I will wait. In the meantime I'll continue to regard such predictions of a shattering scandal as the smelliest of red herrings. People who seek Trump's favor know he does not want anything about Russia's interference in the last election to be investigated. (Why not? That is still as mysterious as why his personal attorney paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket.) So Trump has collected a legion of supporters devoted to wiping the Russia problem from the national consciousness.

By the way, great job, Mr. Trump of draining the swamp. VA chief David Shulkin is the latest of several high appointees to bilk taxpayers for luxury travel and perks.



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Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:08 pm
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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
That conspiracy email is structured just like the countless "sales" websites that try to convince you their product is the best thing since sliced bread. Some anti-salesman part of my brain recognized it and I reactively clicked the "back" button to escape it.


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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton belongs in prison. Donald Trump belongs in the next cell. We can fill 200 more cells with Senators and Congressmen. We'll need another prison for denizens of K Street. And the list goes on. Why are people surprised when some one in Washington DC breaks the law? They don't really bother trying to hide it anymore.


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Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:24 am
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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
KindaSkolarly could have saved the time for the cut and paste and just directed us to the website the material came from.

https://www.reviewjournal.com/opinion/o ... democrats/

Although a plagiarism check on Google turned up two other sites with the same wording, so I can't swear it was this one.



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 Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
I don't think it's plagiarism, Wayne Allyn Root is an extremely erratic columnist and therefore is featured in many right wing publications. I recall a piece he wrote a long time ago when he was desperate to prove that the economy under Obama was an unmitigated disaster despite positive GDP and years of job growth. Root had to dig very deep and came up with the concept of comparing economic data only for the month of January going back a long time and found some sort of anomaly during the Obama years that supposedly proved his point. (I don't recall the details, it was something bizarre like "For the last 12 Januaries the average was X, but in the last 2 Januaries it was only X-10%.) I'll leave it to Professor Marks to determine the validity of comparing one month of economic data per year going back years in time...

Here's a summary of a few of W.A. Roots' favorite conspiracies.
Obama Both Did And Did Not Attend Columbia University
Obama ‘Cut His Afro’ To Become The ‘Manchurian Candidate’ meant to take down America from within
Obama Is A Sociopath Who Will Kill Us All, possibly with Ebola-ridden terrorists
Obama Wants A Race War So He Can Impose Martial Law
Democrats Win By Voting 10 Times Each
Somebody Is Blackmailing John Roberts

Well, we can see how those words of wisdom turned out - why does Root still have a column?



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Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:58 pm
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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
Plagiarism check is just teacher-speak for typing in a long quote to see if it shows up on a Google search. Didn't mean to accuse anyone.

There are no serious critiques of Obama's economic policy that do not rest on some very strong assumptions about the effects of deficits and debt levels. Since the most respected opposition economists (e.g. John Taylor) who made predictions based on such assumptions have already been shown to have gotten the matter wrong, there is really no one whose work is respected left as a critic. There are still some critics of deficits in general, and some warning about debt levels, but they have no choice but to acknowledge that the conditions in the Great Recession justified at least the policies actually chosen while the Dems were in majority.

(Obamacare is a possible exception, but since it held down the growth of health care spending overall in the U.S., as the CBO forecast it would, the criticisms are not for overall economic effect).

By contrast, the critiques of Republican austerity choices rested on strong assumptions as well, and they have proved out as clearly as one ever gets in economics, short of actually making the other choice to see what happens.



Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:10 am
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