Three Things: Erasing, Erased, Erasure

[NB: check the byline, thanks! /~Rayne]

There are so many more than three different items under this theme, I could write a book about this. But in the interest of time and resources, I’ll opt for simplicity.

You are being erased if you haven’t been already.

~ 3 ~

Writer and former business consultant Anand Giridharadas shared an excerpt yesterday from a financial adviser’s newsletter to clients.

Transcript:

[…] I just got a great leak that I want to share with you from someone’s financial adviser. You may have a financial adviser. This is a financial adviser trying to advise people what would happen to America if Elizabeth Warren was elected president. And by the way I think a lot of this would apply to Bernie Sanders if he was elected president as well. I think there’s a similarity. And so what would a Warren presidency do to markets. I just want to read some of this to you because it really is hilarious obviously in a way that these boring people did not intend.

And um, so they say, “We have been getting increasing inquiries to address the potential market of her policies as she has gained a lot of momentum over the last couple of weeks.”

And um, it says, “To be clear we do not get involved in political opinions.” To be clear. “So we did a surface level dive on her platform,” they say, “and our intention is to understand the market implications,” they say, and I quote, “Many of these policies are designed specifically to reduce corporate profits and earnings, and instead use those funds to benefit number one workers, number two the environment, number three those with lower incomes, and number four,” oh gosh,”women and minorities. It is important to understand that Warren’s policy goal is to reduce the retained earnings of businesses across multiple sectors and to benefit other parties as mentioned above. As such it is very reasonable statement that if Warren were elected and those policies were enacted it would likely be negative for the stock market because stock prices are an expectation of future earnings.” And so on and so forth.

“The policies would hurt corporate earnings universally,” it says, “although they would likely improve quality of life for many demographics at the expense of corporate profits. Whether that trade-off is positive or negative is not our place to say.” People, stocks, which is better? We don’t know. “We are simply focused on facts. Again, we do not get involved in political opinions,” it said. So now they break it down in case this is not obvious enough, good for people, bad for, for uh, stocks, in case that’s not obvious enough they break it down by policies. Let’s just go through that, shall we? Is that okay? You got time? I got time. I’m in a hoodie.

“Number one ban fracking. Warren wants to ban fracking for oil and gas based on environmental concerns.” Now they do a nice thing where they do who’s this negative for, who’s this positive for, super helpful. “Negative for energy companies and indices, positive for the price of oil/gasoline, supply would be reduced.” Uh, that’s interesting.

“Policy number two eliminate private prisons. Warren wants to end federal contracts to private prisons and withhold funding to make state and local governments do the same. Materially negative for private prison stocks,” ooh, that would be rough for them, yeah.

“Reinstate Glass-Steagall. Warren wants to reinstate the law that separated commercial banking and investment banking. Negative for the major investment banks — JPM, MS, BAC, GS, et cetera, as they would likely have to spin off retail banking operations.

Policy number four, increase taxes on the wealthy. Warren is advocating an ultra-millionaire tax on the 75,000 richest families in the U.S. along with other tax increases aimed at high earners. This could reduce disposable income. Negative for consumer discretionary retail sectors and lingerie stocks. She wants to double the national minimum wage,” they say, “from $7.25 to $15.00. Negative for the entire stock market, the entire stock market,” well, then maybe some more people would be able to buy stocks. “And small business margins. This would significantly compress corporate margins across industries and would result in a reduction of expected earnings for the S&P 500. Those negative effects would be some partially offset,” it goes on, “by more disposable income from minimum wage earners.

“Number six, Warren supports the Family Act, which would create paid national family and medical leave for up to 12 weeks. Negative for small businesses. For large corporations, not much of an impact.” Uh, you know, there we go.

“Number seven agribusiness, breaking up agribusiness.” In fact maybe even break up the word agribusiness into two separate words, agri and business. “Most of the country’s and world’s meat and agriculture production is concentrated in a few major companies. Warren wants to break up these vertically integrated agriculture and food companies. Negative for the agriculture sector, companies in the ag stocks as well as pesticide producers.” And so on and so on.

“The bottom line from a market standpoint is that these policies will be negative for stocks with some being downright negative for the broad markets. How negative would they be for stocks? No one knows exactly.” But this is where it gets interesting. “Again, this doesn’t mean these policies don’t have winners. These are policies designed to reduce retained corporate earnings in favor of other things Warren and her supporters deem more important. So voters will decide if they want to support that type of trade-off. Everyone has their hierarchy of what’s important.”

This is where it gets, we’re getting into Kant here, this is philosophy here in a financial advisor’s report. You gotta pay extra to get to this paragraph. “Everyone has their hierarchy of what’s important, and Warren is an unapologetic populist, who if in power would enact policies designed to reduce corporate earnings to benefit other stakeholders,” parentheses, “workers, the environment, et cetera.” So, I think like all people and the planet are (air quotes) other stakeholders.

“Regardless of your opinion of that strategy it is important to understand that investment accounts would likely be negatively affected under these policies, and if they become reality, we need to take steps to mitigate that damage. As we move closer to the election we’ll obviously be keeping close watch on the implications of the Democratic primary giving you market intelligence on what the headlines mean for stocks going forward.”

They also want to reiterate that this is not political.

It boggles the mind to think that workers, the environment, women and minorities are just sucking drains on the audience for which this opinion piece was written.

We’re roughly 75% of citizens and the entire natural physical world but we’re just an inconvenience drawing down on corporate profits.

We’re not 75% of human beings who’ve been driven over roughshod, had our labor stolen from us for compensation less than subsistence, and the steadily destroyed environment which all of us share and in which we live.

How easily we are erased from consideration by the plutarchy.

One upside: now we know with certainty the financial industry views Warren as both a serious contender for the Democratic nomination and a threat.

Downside: we know, too, that in spite of their B-school education the financial industry is still as dumb as a box of rocks, likely to trash the entire economy and the planet, because they can’t see outside of the rut they’ve been in forever, where only white men have capital and make economies. They are incapable of seeing the untapped promise for stock market growth and saving our planet, locked within more than two decades of stagnant wages, monopsonic job markets, and millennia of toxic colonization.

Note how health care wasn’t at all mentioned; the financial sector is incapable of seeing the benefits to the broader markets if businesses were freed of the burden of health insurance shopping and premium payments.

~ 2 ~

In 1986 I worked for a small machining business. My boss was a bigoted lecher, I’ll be frank. It wasn’t unexpected when he told me if I got pregnant while I worked for him he’d fire me. Fortunately having kids wasn’t yet in the cards for me and I could afford to ignore his misogyny though I couldn’t afford to quit.

In 1988 I applied for a job with a business that did custom manufacturing. I was offered the job but turned it down because their health insurance didn’t cover women’s reproductive care or maternity coverage and they didn’t expect to offer it any time soon, especially since I’d be only one of two women on staff. I took a job with a Fortune 100 company instead; their plan had women’s reproductive care and maternity coverage.

In 1989 my supervisor at that same employer told my older female co-worker he had a limited amount of money to offer his department staff of 10, two of which were male. “I have to give the boys raises because they have families to support.” Never mind that this older woman had teenagers at home, or that the rest of us junior female staff members assisted these two male staffers, or that we might have wanted families we couldn’t yet afford.

In 1993 I got pregnant the month the company fired my supervisor’s equally misogynist boss. I swear the egg waited to drop until I had a new female department head. She was understanding and considerate even though she’d never had any kids of her own.

In 1997 after three years in a new department, I became pregnant with my second child. My boss was itchy and weird throughout my pregnancy, increasingly so over time. You’d think a lawyer would know better than to ask every week during my seventh and eighth month when I was due and was I going to go on leave soon. I had to go to HR to ask for an intervention; I left a week before my scheduled delivery.

It’s not just my own experience; my sister ran into friction from her Fortune 500 employer while she was pregnant. Thankfully she had support from both HR and her union — just not the men she worked with. I can’t tell you how many female friends have likewise been harassed at work for being pregnant.

Don’t get me started about simple systemic problems. Ever tried to sit in one of these for several hours while eight months pregnant?

Academic Chair-Desk

When Elizabeth Warren said she was fired when her pregnancy became visible, I believed her. I am furious with news media outlets for entertaining the idea this was ever not true, or that this isn’t a continuing problem today.

[Let’s not forget the outlet which propelled the attack on Warren was the same one which was tasked with the original Trump dossier — Washington Free Beacon. Are they using material from a Warren dossier?

Let’s not forget, too, that outlets like CBS which continued to poke at Warren have had a wretched history of treating women poorly — or has everyone already forgotten Les Moonves and his nasty habits, including blackballing Janet Jackson for a wardrobe malfunction?]

Think back upon your education and work experience; how many times during K-12 education do you recall seeing a pregnant teacher? I never did any time between 1965 and 1978, and more than 85% of the teachers I saw were female, most of childbearing age. I don’t recall seeing a pregnant instructor during college at all.

How many times did you see a pregnant woman in the workplace? I didn’t until I was in my 30s and having kids myself.

And now my daughter has to put up with crap regarding reproductive health coverage, more than 30 years after I had to turn down a job for not having it as part of their benefits. Why has this not changed for the better? Why is it worse because our government  has now butted into the mix to make it worse rather than ensuring we all get the health care we need regardless of gender?

Why is the essential human fact that women need reproductive care or maternity coverage still something we must fight for against the plutocratic patriarchy which wants to deny it and erase us?

~ 1 ~

There’s a theory that stingy millennials are to blame for the sluggish economy, said financial news network CNBC, parroting investment firm Raymond James.

Are you fucking kidding me?

When 40% of Americans can’t muster $400 cash for an emergency, it’s not stinginess that they aren’t stimulating the economy.

When the reason so many Americans are strapped is because of debt, it’s not stinginess.

When 45 million American students and parents hold educational debt amounting to  ~$1.5 trillion — more than what Americans owe on their credit cards or auto loans — it’s not stinginess.

When minimum wage workers across the entire country can’t afford rent on 2-bedroom apartment, it’s not stinginess.

When 25% of Americans ages 18-64 report having problems paying medical bills, it’s not stinginess.

Somehow the financial sector including media dedicated to covering it have erased all the other reasons why millennials — Americans born between 1981-1996 (23-38 years old) — might not be able to fully participate in stimulating the economy.

Conveniently, the several hundred uber wealthy families represented at the far right of the interactive graphic in the tweet below don’t worry at all about erasure.


They own the erasers.

~ 0 ~

This is an open thread.

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70 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Looking for the news clipping I saw online which proved the school district Warren worked in had a habit of violating pregnant mothers’ civil rights. Still furious about this.

    Note carefully how few men say anything at all about this, either. It didn’t happen to them so it didn’t happen at all — cultural erasure.

    Reply
    • harpie says:

      Hi Rayne,
      Is it the clip in the fourth tweet in this thread?:
      https://twitter.com/JennBinis/status/1181328560365199361
      3:00 PM – 7 Oct 2019

      […] The (NJ) Herald News, Wednesday June 21, 1972. Two [corrected to “one” in next tweet] years after Warren left. Automatically is the key word here, friends. Unless Warren’s principal was willing to buck norms, she would have been forced out. [screenshot]

      Pregnancy policy on teacher voided
      Newark (AP) Pregnant teachers can no longer be automatically forced out of New Jersey’s classrooms. […]

      Reply
      • Rayne says:

        Yup, that’s the one, thanks very much!


        I was 11 years old when that happened. 26 years later an attorney who was a corporate officer was bugging me about working while pregnant. Change has come too goddamned slowly.

        Reply
    • Mainmata says:

      Really great post Rayne. And so true. I have mostly worked in developing countries and in at least some of them (Egypt, Lebanon, Indonesia) educated women still work when visibly pregnant probably because they don’t have vast surplus of male talent, especially in the field in which I worked, the environment. And my work experience goes back to the 1970s.

      This probably is not the evidence you were looking for but this from The Cut: “CBS found two other teachers from the time who confirmed there was a “rule” in the Riverdale school district that women who were pregnant would stop working. “The rule was, at five months, you had to leave when you were pregnant,” one said. “Now, if you didn’t tell anybody you were pregnant and they didn’t know, you could fudge it and try to stay on a little bit longer. But they kind of wanted you out if you were pregnant.” https://www.thecut.com/2019/10/elizabeth-warren-pregnancy-discrimination-story.html

      Reply
  2. P J Evans says:

    I remember having two fifth-grade teachers. The first one was married and got pregnant.
    I remember visiting Diablo Canyon power plant in the very early 80s, while it was still in the licensing process, and being told that the company wouldn’t hire women to work there, because babies and risk.
    I remember the coworkers in the late 80s who got pregnant – one of them twice – and were allowed to work as long as they could.
    I remember the supervisor who got pregnant – this was after 2005 – and ended up having to spend most of her time in bed, because her morning sickness was so bad. (She kept up by using a laptop to log in from home.)

    I believe Warren’s story.

    Reply
    • BobCon says:

      I remember talking to an employment law attorney about ten years who said she had clients who wanted advice on how to fire pregnant employees. She had to advise them that this was so illegal they needed to stop even thinking about it right away.

      So having it happen 40+ years ago doesn’t even make me blink.

      Reply
      • Keith says:

        Asking for advice here on how to counter the phenomenon of working class people seeing that graphic and saying (That line should be straight across the graph, flat tax rate fair for everyone) It is an ingenious argument in that on it’s face it seems true. Of course it isn’t truly fair and was made up by wealthy individuals. The rebuttal must be just as simple as the flat rate assertion and “feel” just as true, or it will be dismissed out of hand.

        Reply
        • Rayne says:

          Parts of the equation missing are corporate taxes and the ability of the wealthy to offshore capital where it is out of reach of taxes. It’s not a simple picture. If it was a panacea for the lower deciles and preventative to greater taxation on the upper deciles, we’d already see a mess of people clamoring for Steve Forbes’ flat tax.

          Trump’s tax cut will save corporations $1.35 trillion over the next 10 years while those same corporations continue to make a profit relying on our shared resources and taxpayer-funded infrastructure, even though too many of the largest corporations pay no to negative taxes. These same corporations will make profits and increase in shareholder value, the benefits of which will accrue to the wealthiest Americans and not to the average Joe who pays more taxes to fix the roads over which the corporations truck their goods.

          This is the reason why the curve shouldn’t be flat — or that we need to look at more than one curve. Corporations should pay their fair share. Does this mean the cost of goods/services will go up? They should; real costs should be reflected in every good/service we buy. Resulting real profits should reflect the real costs.

          And real profits when distributed to shareholders should be taxed as income, again making the curve go up. Nominal use of resources and infrastructure was required to earn this, but no labor was required from the investor for the returns. This is one point at which r>g can be addressed to prevent accrued wealth’s corrupting influence before it can buy more government than it has a right to.

          Reply
    • posaune says:

      Just did our 2018 taxes (always file an extension b/c we have to wait for so many medical insurance claims reimbursements) to determine medical deductions. At any rate, our marginal tax rate doubled! Between the lost SALT deductions and professional expenses, it was tens of thousands of dollars. All so the 1-percenters can have a better life.

      Reply
      • Rayne says:

        All so the 1-percenters can have a better life.

        I think we need to reframe this because they don’t have a better life having two billion-dollar yachts instead of one. They can only enjoy one at a time. And we all know trickle-down economics is a joke; our economy isn’t stimulated by a demand for a third yacht by 400 families.

        What we need to talk about more openly is that they use the additional amount they received from the Trump tax cut to buy our government; to buy deregulation to poison our pork, pollute our water; to build palaces in walled-off neighborhoods while working poor go homeless,, forced to chase a place to lay their heads while Trump threatens to put them in camps. They don’t live any better than they did before. They simply own more of us.

        Reply
  3. Chaparral says:

    Let’s not get too involved in all the things that divide us. The racism, sexism, the ethnic and religious differences and generalized bigotry are only the fissures that the forces of wealth and power use to split and divide us. These are only some of the tools that are used to weaken and distract us while the fruits of our labors are spirited away.

    Let’s look around for some root causes. I would nominate several hundred years of inadequate accounting practices that have hidden, ignored, and shunted off into the greater community the true costs of doing business. An example would be the coal mines who pump out iron and sulphur laden water to keep their mine shafts open. If the water is contained and treated onsite there is cost on the coal company’s books. If it is pumped untreated into rivers and streams there is a demonstrable and quantifiable cost to aquatic life and the human communities downstream. If that extensive and expensive true cost of nontreatment was reflected in coal company’s balance sheet, onsite treatment would look like a bargain. (The release of untreated mine water was one of the very first EPA regulations rolled back by the Trump administration.)

    I know that many will be focused on how, we the people subsidize capitalism. (Who paid for that new traffic light in front of your Walmart?) While it is true that socialism empowers and invigorates capitalism, I think the deeper problem is that we have never had an honest accounting of the real cost of business. Even the coming of the legendary griffin of carbon taxes will only begin to scratch the surface.

    Reply
    • Rayne says:

      Let’s not get too involved in all the things that divide us. The racism, sexism, the ethnic and religious differences and generalized bigotry are only the fissures that the forces of wealth and power use to split and divide us.

      This is what colonizers and their heirs say when they don’t want to acknowledge racism, sexism, ethnic and religious differences maintain their privilege. I don’t think you’re ready to see that predatory capitalism is very much patriarchal and white supremacist; where does the waste from business get dumped? Not just any stream or lake but where people are most marginalized and disenfranchised. If it wasn’t dumped there it might actually have to be dealt with.

      Until you look carefully at how you benefit from the status quo and how you reinforce it by refusing to fix racism, sexism, ethnic and religious differences — “Let’s not get too involved” — those differences are what will be used against us.

      And by us I don’t mean white men.

      Reply
      • Chaparral says:

        We are all in this together. Any of the multitude of things used to make any of us culturally inferior, whether it is gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or any other tool used to make any of us inferior and somehow less deserving is WRONG. Those beliefs and practices should be abandoned by every thinking person on the planet.

        One of the problems we all run into in thinking about this is the socio-political labels that we use to understand it spread the idea of privilege much too far. With a very few exceptions, that ‘privileged’ white man gets crumbs. Perhaps a better grade of crumbs, but it is still no more than a bigger share of sawdust made by a hundred of every color and persuasian while the real lumber is hauled off to enrich a single baron.

        We need to see our challenge as bigger than patriarchy or white supremacy or colonialism. Though those lenses we are left somehow thinking that the overseer on the horse is among the privileged. If fact, that overseer is being robbed just like the rest of us. It is one robbing a thousand of us while smiling and handing out the sawdust that we are expected to appreciate. A few of the robbers get together and they hire a public relations company and lobbyists and think tanks to clear the road for them. At the first sign of unrest they point and say look over there, that one has more than you. There’s your problem. And the next thing you know it’s a tea party or a march protesting any of the multitudes of ‘isms’.

        Meanwhile the real robbery continues unnoticed. The fruits of our individual labors are spirited away without ever a nod to their real value. The communities that support the business are told to just be glad we’re here. And no contribution is made to the peoples ability to operate collectively as a government.

        We are in fact, all in this together. Anything that makes any group of people weak, makes us all weak. We all deserve to prosper as individuals, as communities, and in the collective action on behalf of all the people as expressed in a government.

        If we chose to see our predicament through the lenses of the ‘isms’ we will lose sight of the few who are truly robbing us all.

        Reply
        • Rayne says:

          With a very few exceptions, that ‘privileged’ white man gets crumbs

          Bwa-hahahahahahahah *barf*

          You lost me right the fuck there. I stopped reading any further. You are clearly not paying any attention to who holds power in this country, who runs corporations, who is the finance industry — all those poor, pitiful, privileged white men getting mere crumbs.

          Reply
    • Vicks says:

      I think the explanation is simple.
      The easiest way to build wealth and power is to take it from someone else.
      Once a certain type of person commits to taking this road to easy street, they and other like minded people they meet along the way will gang up and fight like hell to protect it.

      Reply
    • beach1st says:

      “The Story of Stuff” video, made me realize the price I pay for an item I buy, is not the real cost to make it. As Chaparral mentioned environmental cost are often overlooked by corporations. But not sure how Chaparral relates the environmental cost to women employment.

      Reply
      • Geoff says:

        Externalities. The concept you study in economics early on, and eventually realize is the thing that is so theoretical that it hardly exists in the real world. The true costs of business aren’t incorporated into prices, they are dumped on others, with the profits extracted by the rich white old dudes at the top, mostly. Its why most sane people quite economics in frustration before venturing on to masters degrees in public policy. Can you imagine, spending years in policy studies, to emerge into a world where the government has found a way to dump even more of the externalities onto little people? Jeebus, that must be depressing.

        Reply
    • Tracy Lynn says:

      Soooo, what in your mind divides us? Asking women to leave their place of work because they are pregnant divides the haves from the have nots. Most women are on the side that ends up being a have-not on that one. It’s the 21st fucking century and we’re talking like women shouldn’t be in the workforce because it divides us.

      Reply
      • Rayne says:

        Let’s not get too involved in that, though. We’re all in this together. ~eye roll~

        Still waiting for those two privileged white dudes who got raises back in 1989 (when eight female co-workers didn’t) to make it up to us and spread around those crumbs since we’re all in this together.

        Goddamned good thing I didn’t hold my breath.

        Reply
  4. Kevin Hayden says:

    I think the memo writer’s concerns are valid b/c nobody wants clean air and water, a reduction in global warming, liveable wages and equal rights for women if it means a drop in value for ‘lingerie stocks.’

    I mean, it’s just too terrible to even imagine a world like that.

    Reply
    • Rayne says:

      Surely no connection between a liveable wage and the ability of women to buy more lingerie. I don’t remember the Wage-Lingerie graph in Econ 101, just Guns-Butter.

      ~sigh~

      Reply
      • Valley girl says:

        ~~Negative for consumer discretionary retail sectors and lingerie stocks.~~
        When I first read “lingerie stocks” I thought it must be investment jargon for some group of stocks. I googled, and it seems the term literally means stocks in lingerie companies.
        What a bizarre phrase to pull out of thin air!

        Reply
        • Valley girl says:

          Oh, and when I read “lingerie” what came first to mind was “Brevity is the soul of lingerie”. I must be suffering from outrage burnout/ outrage overload.

          Reply
        • Rayne says:

          Yeah. It’s pretty revolting, really.

          Not NYSEARCA: XRT (SPDR S&P Retail, of which 22% is Apparel & Accessories and 10.5% is Department Stores), or NYSEARCA: XLY (Consumer Discretionary SPDR, of which 31% is Diversified Retail and 7% is Textiles-Apparel).

          Nope, lingerie stocks. Gee, I wonder who their intended audience is?

          Reply
  5. Katherine M Williams says:

    “Why is the essential human fact that women need reproductive care or maternity coverage still something we must fight for against the plutocratic patriarchy which wants to deny it and erase us?”

    It’s all about power. The more power others have, the less the Rich Old White Guys have. They won’t give up a crumb of their power for the sake of the planet’s ecology, world peace, the lives of billions of people, and certainly not for (their) God-despised women.

    Reply
  6. fpo says:

    Zuckerberg: “If she gets elected president, then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge. And does that still suck for us? Yeah.”

    ”I don’t want to have a major lawsuit against our own government. I mean, that’s not the position that you want to be in when you’re, you know, I mean . . . it’s like, we care about our country and want to work with our government and do good things. But look, at the end of the day, if someone’s going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and you fight.”

    Warren: “What would really ‘suck’ is if we don’t fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anticompetitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy.”

    And what d’ya know…Zuckerberg meets with Trump and a week or two later FaceBook changes its policy re political content: no censoring, no fact-checking.

    [ https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/zuckerberg-promised-to-fight-efforts-by-sen-warren-to-break-up-facebook-in-leaked-comments/ ]
    [ https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/10/facebook-refuses-to-fact-check-political-speech/ ]

    No wonder they’re nervous.

    Reply
  7. Bri2k says:

    Perhaps a bit tangential, but still relevant, found over on Politico. Here’s the headline with byline:

    Elizabeth Warren’s Threat to the Constitution
    By RICH LOWRY October 09, 2019
    Rich Lowry is editor of National Review and a contributing editor with Politico Magazine.

    I don’t think you need to bother reading it, I sure didn’t. Just looking at the headline & byline (the writer is from National Review for god’s sake) I know it’s a cheap hit-piece on Elizabeth Warren. Why Politico wants to tarnish themselves with such tripe is beyond me. Perhaps NY Times-style pandering is contagious?

    Really, she’s a threat to the constitution? You mean even worse than the current occupant of the White House?

    Link for those with stronger constitutions than mine:

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/10/09/elizabeth-warren-lowry-229839

    Reply
  8. Stacey says:

    I got off Facebook years ago because I thought it looked like the kind of thing our domestic oligarchs/social engineers would be committing cartoon villain malpractice NOT to be using for…wait for it…all the things they are now using it for.

    We are WAY past the time people should divest from Facebook by getting off it. I’m glad everyone can “keep up with their grandkids” on that platform, but we’re going to miss democracy once it’s gone! And I’m gonna want a better reason for that loss than people wanting to lazily keep up with their grandkids, friends from high school, or watching cat videos! STARVE THE BEAST!!!!!

    Reply
  9. Vince says:

    INCOME INEQUALITY THE HIGHEST SINCE CENSUS BUREAU STARTED TRACKING IT

    Income inequality in the United States has hit its highest level since the Census Bureau started tracking it more than five decades ago. Recent economic gains by lower-income workers who have found jobs and benefited from minimum-wage increases in many states haven’t made up for the long-running trend of the wealthy seeing far larger income growth than middle-income or lower-income earners.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/09/26/income-inequality-america-highest-its-been-since-census-started-tracking-it-data-show/

    Reply
  10. greengiant says:

    Several generations ago, women were fired when they got married. I believe the last occupation this openly applied to in the US was airline stewardesses where it was ruled illegal in 1970.
    The 2017 tax cut for the rich had a secondary effect by removing itemized deductions for millions of blue state citizens. This not only impoverished blue states and increased wealth in red states it also removed the tax deductible incentive of charitable donations.for all those who no longer itemized deductions

    Reply
    • blueedredcounty says:

      I realize I have been extremely fortunate the last few years, so what I did was not an option for a lot of people.

      With my state/local tax deductions capped at 10K, I decided I wanted to increase my charitable contributions (both to spread my good fortune and get over the standard deduction). I gave $3000 to Planned Parenthood in honor of Mike Pence.

      I also gave to several other preferred organizations, but that one made me extra happy. And I hope it helped at least some other people get healthcare they needed but would not have been able to afford otherwise.

      Reply
      • Rayne says:

        Thanks for the PP donation. PP’s health care services are taken for granted — breast and PAP exams, pregnancy testing, STD detection, reproductive health education, all so valuable. And timely, when it’s needed; a patient doesn’t need to wait months to get into a busy GP or specialist’s practice before an initial exam and then wait for tests or referrals for more exams.

        But you know that. Appreciate greatly your support for PP.

        Reply
  11. Leading Edge Boomer says:

    My financial advisor is very close to being a Warren supporter. If she wins the nomination, and moves just a little toward the center, he will be a supporter. Do not over-generalize.

    Reply
    • klynn says:

      The post utilized a hit piece published by the financial industry for the financial industry. Addressing the leaked opinion piece and the intent of the content is NOT over-generalizing.

      Great news on your financial advisor. Be sure to point out how many more clients they may acquire should Warren win due to her polices to address the wealth gap.

      Reply
    • Rayne says:

      Oh, by all means, let’s get specific — like the anticipated downturn in lingerie stock valuations. Jesus take the wheel.

      Look, tell your advisor Congress is the moderating force on the Executive, or it’s supposed to be as a co-equal branch of government.* Just because a president is to the left or right of center doesn’t mean their policies will be enacted. Look at what happened with health care under Obama; even a Democratic majority from 2009-2010 didn’t result in a single-payer, universal health care program. What we end up with will be negotiated and debated by the representatives the people have chosen, including 2/3rds of the Senate elected over the last four years under two different administrations. And then whatever they produce will still end up being adjudicated if there are challenges in court.

      * Yes, I know, Moscow Mitch McConnell has made a joke of this. Work on removing him from office since he’s up for re-election.

      Reply
    • Vicks says:

      My guy also happens to be a longtime friend and way smarter than I about politics. He helps me with my little pile of money but his real clients are all high wealth individuals and families.
      Listening to the video through his eyes, I have serious doubts that even if politically motivated, anyone credibly advising clients for a living would ever write something like this.

      Reply
        • Vicks says:

          Yeah that too.
          Analysts are supposed to crunch data not “fret”
          A (fiduciary) financial advisor by law is supposed to use that data to advise their clients how to adjust to the changing times not campaign to keep those times from changing.
          These guys on their soap boxes are declaring It will be the end of the world for who exactly?
          If a Democratic president is going to raise emission standards, the demand for oil will lesson, and the average investor would be advised it’s coming and simply move their money from big oil into the technology that will be needed for cars to use less fuel (or Disney or Uber or cash) that’s why many people have a financial advisor
          IMHO you don’t need to keep feeding the one percenters to have a strong economy, the people who’s world is going to get rocked if Warren or any Democrat gets elected are the one’s with too much money or political capitol riding on big oil or banking or any sector boosted by Trump’s rollbacks and protections that have increased a public company’s ability to exploit employees and consumers and shirk their responsibility to protect the environment.
          Again, IMHO Trump has created his own kind of economic bubble and has burned through the normal ways of goosing the economy when they weren’t needed in order to declare wins.
          Either way I think there is going to be a reckoning of sorts.

          Reply
      • P J Evans says:

        My parents signed me up with their guy when I moved to west Texas – he’s retiring now (I’ve only been with him 25 years). They went with Edward Jones, which I’m told prefers smaller accounts (under a million) – why there are so many of them, they get people with IRAs.

        Reply
  12. harpie says:

    Joe Biden campaign writes to NYT Baquet:

    https://twitter.com/oliverdarcy/status/1182135258558472192
    8:26 PM – 9 Oct 2019

    News: The Biden campaign has sent a letter to NYT exec editor Dean Baquet excoriating the newspaper. The Biden campaign says NYT has “had an outsized hand in the spread” of the “baseless conspiracy theory” that Biden abused his office for his son. More: [link]
    Here’s the letter Biden deputy campaign manager @KBeds sent NYT editor Dean Baquet. “Are you truly blind to what you got wrong in 2016, or are you deliberately continuing policies that distort reality for the sake of controversy and the clicks…?

    More:

    “[…] However, it is because of that critical role in our democracy, the foundations of which are under assault, that we write to protest how little The New York Times has internalized the sobering lessons of 2016 – particularly after giving top billing today to discredited right wing polemicist Peter Schweitzer just this morning. […]

    We submit that the Times should publicly answer for these failures in reporting on this pressing issue fairly, accurately, and in a way that prioritized truth and judiciousness over sensationalism, as well as why, after the glaring mistakes of 2016, the Times has again given an underhanded hack the validation of its platform. We also believe that these occurrences speak to the urgent need for a restoration of a public editor at the paper. […]”

    Reply
      • BobCon says:

        I’m curious if strategies by sources are changing at all in terms of which outlets they trust and which ones they think have the best impact.

        I’m curious if the NY Times in particular is losing any trust, either on bias (pro-Trump both siderism), reportorial standards (Vogel), or trustworthiness (whistleblower outing).

        Reply
    • harpie says:

      Here’s nycsouthpaw with the indictment:
      https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/1182298983043088386
      7:16 AM – 10 Oct 2019

      The indictment of Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman, David Correia, and Andrey Kukushkin [link]

      Well this seems significant, part of the charges against Parnas and Fruman relate to funneling illegal contributions to a US Congressman and seeking his aid in getting Ambassador Yovanovitch removed. [screenshot]

      The Daily Beast wrote a couple days ago about how illegal contributions flowed to Congressman Pete Sessions, who wrote a letter targeting the ambassasor.

      [links to:]
      A PAC Backed by Giuliani Henchmen Spent Millions for Member Who Targeted Ukraine Ambassador
      Pro-Trump group America First appears to have pushed the legal limits with a seven-figure ad campaign on behalf of Pete Sessions.
      Lachlan Markay
      Updated 10.09.19 2:56AM ET / Published 10.08.19 8:00PM ET

      Reply
      • bmaz says:

        It is Pete Sessions, and he has a problem. I was actually hoping it was Ron DeSantis, another former Congressman, but now Trump endorsed Governor of Florida. Oh well.

        Somewhere in Upper NY, Michael Cohen is laughing his ass off. As he gets ready to meet with the Manhattan Financial Crimes Unit again.

        Reply
    • harpie says:

      From Wendy Siegelman:
      https://twitter.com/WendySiegelman/status/1182305174469120001
      7:41 AM – 10 Oct 2019

      […] And the story all comes full circle – the pro-Trump PAC America First Action, to which Parnas & Fruman allegedly made illegal campaign donation, has per @Z_Everson spent more than $500,000 at Trump Hotel DC [link][…]

      And here’s Helen Kennedy summarizing another aspect of the circle:
      https://twitter.com/HelenKennedy/status/1182306897417953280
      7:48 AM – 10 Oct 2019

      The president’s former lawyer is representing two associates of his current lawyer who are accused of bribing a congressman to remove the ambassador to Ukraine.

      Reply
  13. Francine Fein says:

    When I was in high school in ninth grade, a senior in the school got pregnant. (Small town.) The father was also a senior in the same school. She was kicked out of school, but he wasn’t. This was in the 50s. Even as young as I was at the time it didn’t seem right that she was expelled, couldn’t graduate, and nothing happened to him. I do remember one of the teachers being noticeably pregnant when I was in high school. I don’t think she had to leave, but she didn’t come back the next year.

    Reply
    • P J Evans says:

      My sis-in-law got married while in high school and had a kid. I don’t know if she got kicked out of school, but I know that marriage fell apart a couple of years later. And a couple of years after that, my brother married her and I acquired a nephew.

      Reply
  14. OldTulsaDude says:

    Erdogan buys a missile defense system from Russia, and Trump’s response is to sanction the Kurds. And no one’s getting fat except Mama Vlad.

    Reply
  15. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The right hates AOC, its smear machine is just gearing up to defeat her in 2020. Its latest trope is to scream that in expensive DC, she paid something like $300 for a hairstyle. Shame on a good socialist like her! She should put a bowl over her head and scissor away anything that sticks out.

    Her real crime is to work for good government, and to make it work for most Americans rather than the richest donors. Were she to work, instead, on finding a good man, the right would praise her for it. Sexism and misogyny are here and now, just like racism.

    Reply
  16. Eureka says:

    Excellent restraint, Rayne– you are right, these topics can go on forever; you evoked a world of hurt in your concision.

    I don’t recall any pregnant teachers, either.

    I did have a pregnant boss in the 90s, and that was a signal learning experience re the next layer, where women at work could discuss tactics to deal with people’s reactions to “public” pregnancy. I vividly remember once a group of us gathered round as she recounted her sharp reaction to people feeling that they could just *touch* her belly at will. I have no doubt that no one she confronted or warded off ever tried it again with her, and that witnesses were so-warned to think twice the next time she or any other pregnant woman was in hand’s reach.

    The problem was/is that even if women manage to be copresent at work, their boundaries and personhood still get erased by social responses to pregnancy. It takes so much time and so many iterations for people to learn on a trial-by-trial basis of exposure rather than by dint of respect. And as you indicate, it’s women who generally end up (having to) tell these stories, and sometimes we want or need our breaths for other things.

    Reply
  17. Jenny says:

    Thank you Rayne. Your post about pregnancy really hit a nerve for me.

    As a prenatal yoga instructor for 22 years, I have heard many stories from students about their bosses making rude and insensitive remarks while pregnant. I am appalled what some have endured during their pregnancy from colleagues and friends such as: “Are you going sumo wrestling this weekend? You are so big are you carrying twins? Wow – you have really gained weight.” People making these crass comments forget they were carried in the womb by a woman, bonded in the rhythm of breath, connected in body, synchronized in movement.

    These tactless expressions add worry and doubt about their biologically changing bodies. Pregnant women need support, understanding and appreciation to help them through a remarkable journey.

    My prenatal students and ALL pregnant women are the most beautiful women on earth experiencing a miraculous transformation from day to day. I tell my students their bodies are stunning naturally changing preparing for birth. I encourage them to show off their beautiful baby bellies wearing the tightest clothes for people to admire. I tell them to be body conscious accepting the magnificent physical changes taking place for a new masterpiece.

    It is a joy to teach prenatal yoga witnessing the magical transformation of mother and child. Years ago, a student pregnant with twins said to me having completed her last class, “Thank you. This is the only class that made me feel beautiful throughout my pregnancy.”

    Yes, pregnant women are beautiful! And I will continue to help pregnant women feel beautiful, respected and supported in order to have a positive birthing experience creating a loving foundation for a new life and a new family.

    When our society accepts women as unique and creative individuals, then things will change.

    Reply
  18. skua says:

    I just heard Barr placing secularist progressives as the enemy of American society.
    I’m remembering another category of another population who were categorized, by a manic group of thugs and low-lifes who had lucked their way into government, as the “enemies of the people” . But those “enemies of the people” were less than 1% of the population, whereas about 30% of Americans are religiously unaffiliated, atheist or agnostic – which seems far too large a minority to imprison or deport. So strike that pathway forward.
    How about he is trying to ramp up the fear and rage of Trump’s base so they’ll keep voting 45 and keep voting for those who support 45?
    He seems to be fleshing out the “coup” fantasy. Right-wing terrorists will now be hearing both 45 and the AG of the USA calling them to action.

    Reply
    • P J Evans says:

      Barr has to ignore the Constitution itself to make that kind of argument. “Congress shall make no law…” should come to mind immediately, along with the ban on religious tests for holding office.

      Reply

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