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Everything posted by bostonangler

  1. No I believe republicans and democrats have tried for high tech modern means and technology, not ancient technology that a goat herder can overcome. But I digress. Wake up... good one. The price of one B-1 Bomber could completely change the situation, or even better, instead of giving away corporate welfare so multinationals can buy back their stock and give huge bonuses to their over paid CEOs, that money could be spent on defending America. But of course our fearful leader just wants to build something to hang his name on... He has a lot of old signs laying around as new owners of his bankrupt properties take them down. B/A
  2. Smugglers are reportedly helping migrants scale sections of Donald Trump’s multi-billion border wall using $5 ladders. US Border Patrol has seen a rise in camouflage “hook-and-ladders” within the far south-west region of Texas since May last year, according to The El Paso Times. El Paso’s urban stretch of border is said to be littered with the ladders, which are engineered out of rebar and match the rust brown colours of the wall. “Somebody is making money off those ladders,” agent Joe Romero told the newspaper. “The agents pulled it off the wall and cut it up so it can’t be used again.” The redbar ladders began appearing in large numbers once construction of a replacement wall in El Paso was finished last May. According to Border Patrol, illegal crossings have increased ever since. “We’re starting to see a lot of evading activity,” said Agent Ramiro Cordero. “We’re starting to see the criminal organisations working hand-to-hand on either side to avoid detection. More and more we are seeing ‘failure to yields’ — they are utilising ladders to go over the fence and diversionary tactics.” Border Patrol apprehensions of single adults — those most likely to use the ladder method — have nearly doubled in the El Paso sector. From October 2019 through January 2020, Border Patrol apprehended 10,030 adults, compared with 5,150 in the same period a year ago. The ladders appear to be made by hand from two poles of 3/8-inch rebar and four thinner poles, fitted with steps and bent over at the end in a ‘U’ shape to hook on the top of the wall. The El Paso Times reports smugglers could be sourcing the rebar from a local hardware store in Ciudad Juarez, a Mexican city just south of El Paso, where six metres of the material costs roughly $5.30 (£4). To date, almost 100 miles of border have been built under the Trump administration, mostly to replace and improve existing barriers. Mr Trump’s campaign promised that Mexico would pay for the wall, but thus far the almost $10bn (£7.7bn) budget has come from taxpayer money. The president has proposed spending an additional $2bn for border wall construction. A total 450 miles of the barrier is expected to be completed by the end of this year. We've come a long way..... B/A
  3. Total U.S. household debt reached a record $14.15 trillion at the end of the year after increasing by $193 billion, or 1.4%, in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the Fed’s Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit. The report, based on “a nationally representative sample of individual- and household-level debt and credit records drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data,” noted that total household debt is now nominally $1.5 trillion higher than the pre-recession peak of $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008. U.S. household debt. (Source: FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax) The rise in household debt, led by mortgage balances, marked the 22nd consecutive quarterly increase. Housing balances rose $120 billion from Q3 to December 31, 2019, ending the year at $9.56 trillion. Read more: How to manage debt Non-housing balances increased by $79 billion in the fourth quarter to hit a record $4.20 trillion. The Q4 increases included $16 billion in auto loans, $46 billion in credit card balances, and $10 billion in student loans. (Source: New York Fed) Wilbert Van Der Klaauw, senior vice president at the New York Fed, noted that the data showed that “transitions into delinquency among credit card borrowers have steadily risen since 2016, notably among younger borrowers.” And though student loans may have only seen a “muted” increase of $51 billion, borrowers are still struggling with their debt. In terms of the percentage of outstanding balances that are seriously delinquent or severely derogatory, student loans still lead the way. (Data, graphic: New York Fed) Progress on student debt varied across America in 2019 According to a separate analysis of metros across the U.S., student loan borrowers in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, saw the biggest increase in their student loan balances over the course of 2019, while those in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, saw the biggest decline. The analysis by Student Loan Hero — which analyzed over 450,000 credit reports of consumers across the U.S. between Q1 and Q4 of 2019 to understand how student loan borrowers were making progress on student debt — illustrates that student loan borrowers aren’t one monolithic bloc and are making varying levels of progress on their debt. (Graphic: David Foster, Data: LendingTree) Overall, student loan borrowers in 59 metros saw their student loan balances increase, with four reporting double-digit increases. Borrowers in Harrisburg, Penn., saw their student loan balances increase the most by 11.9%, from $22,408 to $25,081, followed by borrowers in Des Moines, Iowa, who experienced a 11.3% increase in their balances from $21,894 to $24,374. The average borrower’s balance was $22,763 in the first quarter and increased by 2% — to $23,089 — by the end of the year. “Borrowing across the board has dropped dramatically,” Kali McFadden, a research manager at LendingTree, told Yahoo Finance. But “because of the [income-based] repayment programs or deferments … you could definitely see that your interest outpaces your monthly payments … [and] that is a big reason why some of these numbers went up.” According to data from the Department of Education from 2018, nearly 30% of borrowers were not in repayment — rather, they were in forbearance or deferment or delinquent or defaulting on their loans. And so while fewer people were taking out loans, the reality of interest rates outpacing payments led balances to rise. (Graphic: Student Loan Hero) Two metros saw double-digit decreases, according to the Student Loan Hero analysis. In contrast, borrowers in Winston-Salem, N.C., saw a 12.6% decline in their student loan balance, from $25,830 to $22,578, followed by borrowers in Springfield, Mass., who experienced a 10.5% decline from $19,419 to $17,382 . McFadden said that there may be a few reasons for the dramatic declines, ranging from demographic shifts, to people moving away. Winston-Salem, for one, is a college town, and graduates are quite likely to move away (or home) to find better opportunities. B/A
  4. Sorry out of pluses, but I would much rather hear from someone who has been there then someone with an agenda... I hope you have some great pictures to go along with those memories. B/A
  5. I think people are less informed because they only watch the slanted news they like... FOX or CNN for example. And regardless of who is in the final election, it won't be a landslide, it will be who gets out the most voters, because we as a country are that divided. Not many democrats will ever vote for Trump and not many republicans will ever vote for any democrat. So the independents may be the deciding factor. B/A
  6. LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Culinary Union, the most influential union in Nevada politics, has decided to stay out of the state's Democratic presidential caucuses, denying candidates who aggressively courted the group from getting a major leg up in the upcoming contest. The casino workers’ Culinary Union, a 60,000-member group made up of housekeepers, porters, bartenders and more who keep Las Vegas’ glitzy casinos humming, said Thursday that it will instead use its organizing power to get out the vote for the caucuses. The move is a blow to former Vice President Joe Biden, who is looking to shore up his support in Nevada's Feb. 22 caucuses after disappointing finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire. But the union's decision wasn't unexpected: The union’s parent organization, Unite Here, announced last month that it would stay out of the primary, and the Nevada members were expected to follow suit. Biden's campaign had told donors on a call Wednesday that it wasn't counting on the Culinary Union's support. “We've known Vice President Biden for many years. We know he's been our friend," Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the secretary-treasurer for the Culinary Union, said at a Thursday afternoon news conference. “We know all of these candidates and we respect each one of them." The Culinary Union, which is majority female and Latino, is a political powerhouse that can turn on a get-out-the-vote machine that’s been credited with helping deliver Democratic victories in the swing state. White House hopefuls had worked over the past year to win over the union, holding meetings with the labor group’s leaders, issuing public statements in support of their organizing battles with casino resorts, touring the union's health clinic and training facility, and appearing at town halls. After the union’s 2008 decision to back Barack Obama over Hillarious Clinton caused division among the union’s ranks, the union decided to stay neutral during the contentious 2016 Democratic primary between Clinton and Bernie Sanders. With the 2020 primary field still crowded as it barrels toward Nevada, the Culinary Union can likewise avoid stepping into a contest that could split its members. Many unions nationally have made a similar calculation this year, deciding to stay on the sidelines of a volatile field without an unambiguous front-runner "They could have actually pushed an election," Eddie Vale, a Democratic strategist and former political director of the AFL-CIO, said of Culinary. “Even if some of the big unions endorsed, it wouldn't have much of an impact on the race.” A number of Culinary's sister unions and Unite Here affiliates have entered the contest, siding with the field's most liberal candidates. Five of Unite Here's affiliate unions based in California are backing Sanders. Another affiliate, Unite Here Local 11 out of Southern California and Arizona, announced in January that it was backing both Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The union’s New York affiliate, the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, issued an endorsement in June 2019 of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who later dropped out of the presidential race. While the Culinary Union isn't endorsing a candidate, it has not refrained from wading into the contest. Over the last two weeks, the union has distributed leaflets to members in the employee dining halls at casinos warning that “Medicare for All” plans espoused by Sanders and Warren would threaten union members' health care. Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has sought to capitalize on the controversy, name-checking the Culinary Union on the debate stage and on the campaign trail as he contrasts his health plan with Sanders' and Warren's. “Who are we to tell them that they have to give up those plans?" Buttigieg said Thursday night, speaking at a League of United Latin American Citizens town hall in Las Vegas. Sanders said in a statement Thursday that he appreciates the work the Culinary Union does and that, if elected president, he looks forward to working with the union. "We must provide guaranteed health care for all,” he said. “As someone who has the strongest lifetime pro-labor record of anyone in Congress, I would never do anything to diminish the health care that unions and workers have fought for. Under Medicare for All, health care will be preserved and expanded for all, including unionized casino workers and service staff, uninsured food service workers, and striking workers fighting for their rights.” Sanders also addressed the union’s complain of online backlash. “Harassment of all forms is unacceptable to me, and we urge supporters of all campaigns not to engage in bullying or ugly personal attacks,” Sanders said. “We can certainly disagree on issues, but we must do it in a respectful manner.” Vale noted that, despite Culinary's high-profile beef with Sanders' Medicare for All plan, the Vermont senator supports most of the union's goals -- as does every other candidate in the field. "It's not like the ‘60s, ’70s and '80s when you had just one labor candidate," Vale said. "Everyone's supporting your stuff." Biden has long-standing ties to labor and the Culinary Union, in particular. He was introduced at a December town hall with the Culinary Union as the keynote speaker at the 1974 convention of the union's parent organization. In 2018, he headlined a get-out-the-vote rally for Democratic candidates at the union's hall. He has locked up the endorsement of the Culinary Union's former political director, state Sen. Yvanna Cancela, who is now serving as a senior adviser to his campaign. I wonder if they are waiting on Mike... The democrats really have problems in their party. B/A
  7. The system is fixed against ordinary people... I understand if you don't pay your property taxes that eventually you have to forfeit it, but people should have time to catch up. I don't understand how they can say we are taking your property because we think we have a better use for it. B/A
  8. Too true... When I posted this I knew people on all sides would find something they didn't like and things they did like, but of course in today's world the reactions are to the negative side... For the right, there is some great stuff bashing Biden, the democrats and the impeachment. But I hear crickets. On the left there is great stuff bashing republicans, tax cuts, the impeachment, but again crickets. I guess people are programmed to react to what they don't like... Like voting, people mostly vote for what they are against instead of what they are for. Maybe that's why they are so loyal to Trump. His supporters believe they are voting for what they stand for. He has done a good job of promising what they want to hear. And that's what a good politician does. B/A
  9. Exactly... And I don't know if was a case of eminent domain. It does suck when the government just comes in and makes you sell your property. B/A
  10. I don't know if he had a choice to sell it.... That is a good question. But don't you find it funny? He is saying not in my backyard.. You have to admit that is the classic response of people when they get what they ask for, but it's too close to home... I've seen it locally when people demand sidewalks until it takes part of their yard... It just made me laugh. B/A
  11. For over 100 consecutive months, the United States government has reported that the economy has produced 50-year highs in employment and record lows in unemployment. The data from the Department of Labor (DOL) suggests that we are in a Utopian period of economic prosperity due to the historic low rate of unemployment. By many metrics, the job market is doing well and, in some spots, it's blazing hot. There is a big disconnect. The reality for most people is inconsistent with the employment figures. Stories of job seekers spending an exceedingly long period of time searching for a suitable job, lackluster salary offers, relatively small wage increases for employees and the rapid growth of gig-economy jobs—such as Uber and Lyft drivers, Instacart shoppers and DoorDashers—repudiate the “best job market ever” narrative. There have been some new reports that back up the claims of people who say that the job market is not as hot as advertised. A study by the Brookings Institute, a nonprofit public policy organization that conducts research to solve problems facing society, found that a large amount of the newly created positions are “low-wage” jobs. According to the report, low-wage workers make up a huge part of the workforce. A staggering amount of people—over 53 million; 44% of all workers ages 18 to 64 in the U.S.—earn low hourly wages. A new job-measuring metric, the U.S. Private Sector Job Quality Index (JQI), tracks the quality and pay of jobs is gaining attention. The researchers, which include Cornell University, plan to report their findings each month along with government’s DOL data. The JQI tracks the weekly income a job generates for an employee. Similar to the Brookings Institute study, it reflects sluggish hourly wage growth, flat or declining hours worked and low labor participation (the amount of people actively looking for work). Since 1990, the jobs available have significantly declined in quality, as measured by the income earned by workers. Less hours worked with less pay and little room for growth is becoming the norm. The increase in low quality jobs is a byproduct of the growth in the service sector, including healthcare, leisure, hospitality and restaurants, which pays lower wages. This trend coincides with the decreased needs in the once-flourishing manufacturing sector. The low-quality jobs offer an average of 24.6 hours of work per week at $14.65 an hour, which is $360 per week. These roles are also the 13.5 million retail jobs offering 30.3 hours a week at $16.73 an hour, which is $506 in weekly pay. About 83% of all private sector jobs—105 million workers—are in nonsupervisory jobs. More than half of those positions—58 million—pay less than the average weekly U.S. wage of $793. A good deal of these jobs don’t afford proper healthcare or benefits. Unfortunately, for many Americans, these are the best jobs they could get. Bloomberg asserts, “If quality is more important than quantity, the U.S. labor market isn’t as good as the headline numbers indicate,” as it relates to the index. Daniel Alpert, an adjunct professor at Cornell Law School said, “This will be the grain of salt to take with the rest of the jobs data.” Alpert, who also works on Wall Street and is a managing partner of Westwood Capital added, “This is talking about the erosion of the middle class: the more people you have in low-wage, low-hour jobs, the worst inequality is.” While this is happening, certain sectors, such as technology, can’t find sufficient enough people to staff their open headcounts. It looks like a bifurcated job market. On one end of the spectrum, there is a strong demand for certain skilled professionals that offers high salaries, advancement, solid benefits and equity in the company. The other side of the employment spectrum consists of workers just getting by with low-wage, no-growth jobs. As long as the government only reports the quantity of jobs (as opposed to the quality), it sends a false picture to the public about the real state of the overall job market. I told you not to watch it B/A
  12. WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is seeking to divert $3.8 billion, largely from its fiscal 2020 weapons procurement budget, in order to fund President Donald Trump’s border wall, according to a reprogramming request to congress obtained by Defense News. Among the victims of the cuts: a mass of aircraft purchases including F-35 joint strike fighters, C-130J cargo aircraft, MQ-9 Reaper drones and P-8 maritime surveillance planes, as well as ground vehicles and naval priorities — choices that drew quick, bipartisan condemnation from key defense lawmakers as reports of the plan filtered out Thursday. Overall, the plan would shift $2.202 billion in FY20 defense appropriations and $1.629 billion in FY20 overseas contingency operations funding towards the wall, a key priority from president Donald Trump ahead of the November presidential elections. Air Force and Navy aviation spending takes the brunt of the cuts proposed by the Pentagon, with aircraft procurement going down by $558 million for Navy and Marine Corps and $861 million for the Air Force. Importantly, all of the funding decreases target items that were specifically added by Congress during the budgeting process, which could incur rancor from lawmakers. For the Navy, the Pentagon would cut two of the six F-35B short takeoff and landing aircraft added to the FY20 budget by Congress and two MV-22 Ospreys, stating that “current funding is more than sufficient to keep the production line open.” It also seeks to eliminate funding for one of the nine P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft funded in FY20, stating that the additional aircraft is “[in] excess to the 117 aircraft required.” In the Air Force’s budget, the Pentagon slashed funding for four of the eight C-130Js added by Congress for the Reserve and Air National Guard. The department stated that funding for those planes can be rescheduled to fiscal year 2021, when the period of performance for the associated contract starts. The request would eliminate eight MQ-9 Reaper drones, culling most of the funding added by Congress for an increase of 12 MQ-9s. “The program is currently undergoing a strategic review,” the department stated in written justification, referring to an ongoing debate within the Air Force about how many Reapers to buy and retain over the next decade. “Procurement, if necessary, can be rescheduled to a later fiscal year.” Combatant commanders have consistently said they need more surveillance assets around the globe. It also strips $156 million for advanced procurement for the F-35A and removes $180 million for light attack aircraft for the Air Force, which the service has decided against procuring but has been widely supported by lawmakers as a low-cost alternative for the counter-terrorism fight. The Army would stand to lose $100 million in funding for National Guard Humvee modernization and $194.5 million in Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck funding. However, with the Humvee set to be replaced by JLTV, the Army is unlikely to be heavily impacted by these funds being shifted around. The reprogramming request also cuts $650 million in advanced procurement funding for an America-class Amphibious Assault Ship, LHA-9, which is being built in Mississippi at Ingalls Shipbuilding. On its website, Huntington Ingalls Industries says the advanced funding provided by Congress, “enables a hot production line and a supplier base of 457 companies in 39 states to build this powerful warship.” The reprogramming also cuts funding one expeditionary fast transport ship, which is built in Alabama at Austal USA, which has been an area of interest for the powerful Republican chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Richard Shelby. The ship was deemed “excess to current programmatic need,” the reprogramming document says. “The procurement exceeds the program-of-record requirement,” the document reads. “This is a congressional special interest item.” In addition, the National Guard and reserves would lose about $1.3 billion in what the reprogramming request describes as unnecessary funding, given historic underexecution of prior year funds. Trump drains US spending in Europe to pay for wall with Mexico Congressional reaction Last year, the Defense Department had budgets, largely for military construction projects, diverted into funding a stretch of the wall project. Those project cuts included the rebuilding of several DoD schools both in the U.S. and abroad, special operations training centers in Europe and Hurricane Maria relief for Puerto Rico National Guard facilities. Overall, more than 100 projects had funding delayed. Asked on Tuesday about a potential reprogramming of defense funds to pay for the wall, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said: “We did receive the request from DHS, that’s all I’ll say right now. We’re working our way through the process, we’re doing all those things we need to do. So when we’re ready to make an announcement, we’ll make an announcement.” Pentagon seeks to cut F-35s, other equipment to pay for Trump’s border wall Both Democrat and Republican leaders immediately criticized the move as an attempt to usurp Congress’ power of the purse that would endanger national security. House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., and Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., said in a joint statement that Trump was, “once again disrespecting the separation of powers and endangering our security by raiding military resources to pay for his wasteful border wall,” and “orchestrating this backdoor mechanism to prop up a political vanity project.” In a separate statement, Texas Rep. Mac Thornberry, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said he supports building a border wall, but slammed the Pentagon for going against congressional direction for spending defense dollars, saying the unilateral movement of already approved spending by Congress “undermines the principle of civilian control of the military and is in violation of the separation of powers within the Constitution.” “The re-programming announced today is contrary to Congress’s constitutional authority, and I believe that it requires Congress to take action," Thornberry said. "I will be working with my colleagues to determine the appropriate steps to take.” In a statement, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell "The Department of Defense is committed to supporting the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to secure the southern border by constructing fences and roads and installing lighting to block drug smuggling corridors. “Last month we received a new request from the Department of Homeland Security asking for assistance in blocking drug-smuggling corridors on Federal land along the southern border of the United States," Mitchell said. "In response, the Secretary of Defense authorized support of $3.8B to build approximately 177 miles of fencing that will help to protect our borders. We will continue to support DHS and other agencies as needed to keep our homeland is secure.” Well at least there's always a silver lining.... We'll be buying less death machines... I'm sure the lobbyist won't like it. B/A
  13. A supporter of Donald Trump is frustrated that the president’s border wall is going to “ruin his lifestyle.” Richard Drawe has lived and worked on a farm south of Welasco, Texas for his entire life. Now, he’s worried his tranquil country living will be disrupted by Mr Trump’s border wall. “I’m 70 years old and it’s gonna ruin my lifestyle here of living in the country,” he said. “To have that wall there is just going to really disturb me.” Mr Drawe told NPR that he reluctantly sold a piece of his land to the federal government so that it could erect a wall across his property. He said while he is supportive of immigration crackdowns, that support does not include the erection of a wall on his property. “I told them that this stupid wall is going to have lights on it. It’s going to be like being behind a prison wall, lights and everything,” Mr Drawe said. “And I said, ‘You put them lights up on me and my house, I’m going to shoot them out.’ Of course, I had time to calm down.” Mr Drawe is concerned that the land between the border wall and the Rio Grande will no longer be patrolled. He said that similar land left isolated during President George W Bush’s administration was “ceded to Mexico”. “Like I told the Border Patrol, I said ‘Look, you know good and well that once you build this wall all the agents will be doing is patrolling up and down the wall,” he said. “They’re never going to go on down to the river anymore.’ And he yelled back at me, ‘Oh, the Rio Grande is the first line of defence.’ Baloney. You just wait a few years.” Customs and Border Patrol responded to the concerns of Mr Drawe and other border residents, assuring them they would continue to patrol the area. “The Border Patrol will continue to operate on both sides of the barrier, to include the riverine environment,” a spokesman said. While Mr Trump’s border wall has drawn criticism from the left since its inception, it has recently come under fire from the right for eating up funds intended for defence and sidestepping Congressional approval. The Pentagon announced on Thursday that US Defence Secretary Mark Esper was diverting $3.8 billion in defence funds towards Mr Trump’s border wall. The money originally was to be used for the F-35 fighter jet and other military programmes. The Associated Press reported that Representative Mac Thornberry said final decisions on how tax dollars are used is determined by Congress and the Department of Defence can’t simply change how the money is used. “Once those choices have been made, the Department of Defence cannot change them in pursuit of their own priorities without the approval of Congress,” Mr Thornberry said. “Attempts to do so undermines the principle of civilian control of the military and is in violation of the separation of powers within the constitution. The re-programming announced today is contrary to the Congress’ constitutional authority and I believe that it requires Congress to take action.” He's like "Not in my backyard"... Now that's funny... B/A
  14. I think we can all agree with some of what he says... LOL The funny thing is, some will hear him bash Trump and never hear anything after that. Some will hear him bash the democrats and Biden, and they won't hear anything else... With this guy there are no sacred cows. B/A
  15. $10 to $15 an hour..... You can't live on that. In my town to rent in the slums averages about $750 a month... Can you live on $2500 a month? Heck, at the local Volkswagen plant they pay $18 an hour... The lowest paid auto workers in America. B/A
  16. Do not watch this if you are easily offended. Do not watch if you are a Democrat or Republican. Do not watch if you believe anything you see in the media. Any media. Do not watch this if you don't want to hear facts and truth. Do not watch this if you back the EU, the IMF, South American countries. And definitely do not watch this at work or in front of any under age. Caution this will make you angry, laugh, shake your head and question everything you think you know...... Enjoy Seriously, don't watch this.... You have been warned!
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