Sunday, 17 January 2016

Propaganda machine in overdrive

Focusing not so much on the news but the propaganda machine.

Bullshit alert

Forget for a moment that U.S. stock markets have seen their worst start to a new year since the Great Depression or that some $2.5 trillion in wealth has been evaporated in less than two weeks.

CNN says it’s hardly the time to panic:

Time to panic? Hardly.
There are plenty of reasons to relax, especially if you are a U.S investor. Here are the top two:
1. America’s economy is still in good shape.
2. Staying in stocks pays off. Since World War II, investors who remained in stocks for at least 15 years made money
Right now, the U.S. economy is growing. It’s not rock star growth, but 2% to 2.5% a year is good, and the Fed is being very cautious.
More importantly, businesses are still hiring. Over 2.3 million jobs were added last year (the latest data on hiring comes out Friday and it’s widely expected to show more jobs added).

Pay no attention to the fact that last week not a single cargo ship was transporting raw materials in the South China Sea, the first time in history that it has happened. The economy is is great shape and this is not proof that global commerce has literally stopped.

Worry not that Walmart, Macy’s and scores of other retailers had an abysmal holiday season and are now set to lay off tens of thousands of workers. Unemployment, when calculated using models that were used during the Great Depression and that were defined out of existence by the government in 1994 show that some 23% of Americans are out of work. But we don’t calculate like that anymore, so we actually have an employment rate of about 95% in America right now.

And though the economy is officially growing at 2.5% per year based on the government’s trustworthy data, we should absolutely not look at the inflation numbers, which according to Shadow Stats are running about 4% per year. If we did, however, go totally fringe and consider inflation within the context of the economy we might notice that this purported growth is actually negative 2% if not worse.

In fact, we’re doing so well that just 45 million of America’s population of 320 million people are on food stamps right now. By all accounts, a really good sign of not just economic growth, but more jobs and an increase in personal incomes.

And with oil trading at under $30 per barrel, we can see nothing but blue skies going forward because, hey, we’re all paying a dollar less for gas now. We’re sure this will have no effect on the domestic real estate market in places like Texas and North Dakota. Nor will this collapse in oil prices cause debt burdened domestic oil companies to close up shop, potentially leading to a domino affect across the entirety of the U.S. economy. Nor will it have any impact on periphery businesses that service those companies, including all of those restaurants that saw below-minimum wage job growth explode last year.

You have absolutely nothing to worry about. The notion that an economic and financial catastrophe of historic proportions is playing out right before our eyes is the fantasy of internet conspiracy fanatics.

At this point, we encourage our readers to take no action to prepare for the coming calamity, because there is no coming calamity.

Carry on. Everything is awesome. It really is different this time.

Obama Administration Wins Approval Across the World

Russian leadership, however, has hit a new low among the international community.President Barack Obama delivers remarks at a Champions of Change event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building April 16, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

According to a new Gallup poll, foreign citizens think President Obama is doing a better job than just about anyone else in the world. 
The Obama administration has the highest approval rating  of any country in the world among foreign citizens, according to a new poll conducted by Gallup. Forty-five percent of those polled approved of U.S. leadership, down one percentage point from 2013.
Approval and disapproval of world leadership.
Russia had the lowest global approval rating, at just 22 percent. This is down two percentage points from 2013. Russian approval ratings have lagged behind those of the U.S., China, E.U., Germany and Russia since 2007, but in 2014 the gap grew wider; Russia was the only country with more disapprovals than approvals. The nine countries with the highest level of disapproval of Russia were in Europe, and five of those are NATO members.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s European neighbors have become increasingly frustrated with his country’s advances into Ukrainian territory. Putin continues to deny that Russia is fueling the unrest in Eastern Ukraine following his annexation of the Ukrainian province of Crimea last year. Only 5 percent of Ukrainians approved of Russian leadership in 2014, which marks a 42 percentage point drop from 2013.
Americans had a 12 percent approval rating of Putin in 2014,​ a decrease of 11 percentage points from the previous year. In Russia, 82 percent disapproved of U.S. leadership and 70 percent disapproved of E.U. leadership.
Following Russia, the highest disapproval of the U.S. comes from the Palestinian Territories, at 72 percent. The Palestinian Territories also have high disapproval of the E.U. leadership, at 53 percent, and German leadership, at 67 percent.
Highest disapproval rating of world leaders.

According to Hillary Clinton, if you were a victim of the foreclosure crisis, it was probably your fault.

The only problem with that argument is that it’s not even close to factually correct.

Clinton in 2007: Homeowners “should have known they were getting in over their heads”

When Clinton ran for president during her second term as New York’s U.S. Senator, she gave a tepid speech at the NASDAQ headquarters on December 5, 2007 — before the financial crisis reached a boiling point — about reforming Wall Street’s housing loan practices, largely excusing financial criminals for their behavior.

Now these economic problems are certainly not all Wall Street’s fault – not by a long shot,” Clinton said early in the speech.
Clinton’s NASDAQ address amounted to essentially asking the financiers assembled to take voluntary action or else she would “consider legislation” to stop banks from kicking families out of their homes. But early on in the speech, Clinton placed equal blame for the subprime mortgage crisis on low-income homeowners alongside Wall Street.....
Homebuyers who paid extra fees to avoid documenting their income should have known they were getting in over their heads,” Clinton said.
One YouTube user found video of the statement and put it side-by-side with her claim at the first Democratic debate in which she said she went to Wall Street before the crisis and told them to “cut it out.”

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