News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jul. 7, 2016

Linking ≠ endorsement. News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jul. 7, 2016

Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) Why Hillary Clinton Should be Prosecuted for Reckless Abuses of National Security

2) Sanders booed by House Democrats - POLITICO

3) The Iraq War Was an Act of Military Aggression Launched on a False Pretext: Remarks on the Chilcot Inquiry Report

4) Chilcot Report Avoids Smoking Gun | Accuracy Org

5) Foreign buyers flood US real estate, but buy cheaper homes

6) What Investors Can Learn From William Nickerson Turning $1,000 Into a Million (in His Spare Time)

7) How to Calculate the Value of Multifamily Real Estate

8) In Clinton Case, Obama Administration Nullifies 6 Criminal Laws | Zero Hedge

9) A Remarkable Financial Moment | Larry Summers

10) The Violence of Eviction | Dissent Magazine

11) The Clintons and the press are caught in a pointless, toxic cycle of scandal - Vox

12) Experts and the referendum: why we need to rethink economics and challenge 'econocracy' | British Politics and Policy at LSE

13) Bond yields are just so damn low...what is that telling us? | Jared Bernstein | On the Economy

14) Donald Trump's soft spot for dictators - CNNPolitics com

15) 100 vacant properties included in Detroit search for redevelopment proposals | MLive com

16) "The Green Team" Completes Surveys Blighted Properties

17) NKorea: US sanctions tantamount to act of war - The Washington Post

18) Donald Trump gets mixed reviews after meeting with Hill Republicans - CBS News

19) FBI Director James Comey Testifies Before Congress - The New York Times

20) FBI Director Testifies on Clinton Emails to Withering Criticism From GOP - The New York Times

21) Water world: rising tides close in on Trump, the climate change denier | US news | The Guardian

22) UK home prices could drop. But don't get too excited...

23) China's Growing Debt: Are the Fault Lines Beginning to Show? - ValueWalk

24) IMF's Lagarde on Brexit uncertainty | FT World - YouTube

25) Biggest share of whites in US are Boomers, but for minority groups it's Millennials or younger | Pew Research Center

26) Traits and habits of US news consumers: 5 key findings | Pew Research Center

27) 7 Smart Home Gadgets Landlords Should Consider for a Sought-After Rental

28) I'm in Awe at How Fast Deutsche Bank is Coming Unglued | Wolf Street

29) Putin LOSES IT, Warns Journalists of War: 'I Don't Know How to Get Through to You People' (Video)

30) Voters Are Making a Mess of Democracy - Bloomberg View

31) The misplaced debate about job loss and a $15 minimum wage - Equitable Growth

  1.    Why Hillary Clinton Should be Prosecuted for Reckless Abuses of National Security

    What a very sad state of affairs the world is in.

    Let's be honest, shall we?

    Hillary Clinton told clear untruths (in good faith without checking first, or did she deliberately lie?) to the world about the emails on her personal server.

    If Hillary was just stupid or blind (didn't care to find out or didn't see the markings), do you want her making decisions about who's placed on the US extra-judicial kill list and which nations the US targets for regime change, etc.?

    There are existential implications. They go way beyond traditional risk-management in what most people consider importance.

    Jill Stein:

    Yesterday FBI Director James Comey described Hillary Clinton's email communications as Secretary of State as "extremely careless." His statement undermined the defenses Clinton put forward, stating the FBI found 110 emails on Clinton's server that were classified at the time they were sent or received; eight contained information classified at the highest level, "top secret," at the time they were sent. That stands in direct contradiction to Clinton's repeated insistence she never sent or received any classified emails.

    All the elements necessary to prove a felony violation were found by the FBI investigation, specifically of Title 18 Section 793(f) of the federal penal code, a law ensuring proper protection of highly classified information. Director Comey said that Clinton was "extremely careless" and "reckless" in handling such information. Contrary to the implications of the FBI statement, the law does not require showing that Clinton intended to harm the United States, but that she acted with gross negligence.

    Did David Petraeus intend to harm the United States? No. Was he charged? Yes.

    As far as I'm concerned, the rest is noise/lame excuses for Hillary by sycophants at best.

    I think most of them have fallen for placing "winning" and money above sanity, morals, ethics, truth, and real law and order. See the next post below for some of why I say that.

    What about the 30K+ emails Hillary says she deleted? She also destroyed Rose Law Firm billing records (unusual destruction; was it strategic to defeat prosecution?). Are those emails "out there"? Does someone who doesn't like Hillary's politics have them and will leak them in time? Do they contain what Hillary claims they don't: damning evidence?

  2.    Sanders booed by House Democrats - POLITICO News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jul. 7, 2016

    Bernie Sanders believes, as do I, that if the People take a stand for what is right, they will win and that standing for what is wrong and then getting the most votes is not really winning but ultimately losing, over and over and over ad infinitum.

    Does he articulate it well enough? He needs to work on it.

    He showing a degree of strength in not caving into the booing of those who have themselves caved in or bought into the ruse: the Clinton way.

    I worked for and voted for George McGovern. I was severely disappointed in the campaign and outcome. Richard Nixon was a rather liberal Republican by recent standards but, nevertheless, a disaster. Ford was a bit of a placeholder. Carter was right on many, many issues but wasn't good enough at delegating and didn't understand his administration's foreign policy moves nearly as well as he should have. His approaches on Afghanistan, in creating the Mujahedeen, and on Iran and the Shah were huge errors. Reagan and Bush-41 were likewise disasters. Iran-Contra should have doomed Bush, but he was "clever" while serving under Reagan. He was also at least someone who stood for the Balance of Power theory, which made him considerably less dangerous (not un-dangerous) than his son.

    So, along came the Democratic Leadership Council, with Clinton and Gore in top spots, telling Democrats that the middle way is the only way to keep the far-right from having full control of all branches, etc.

    Naively, ignorantly, and in our youth, many of us went with it, thinking that if it doesn't work out, we could always reverse on a dime and hopefully win with a stronger candidate than was George McGovern.

    Well, here we are.

    The rigged system (not an expression invented by Donald Trump) ushered in George W. Bush after Bill Clinton. We need only look at the Chilcot Report to see where that led. See the next link for more on that.

    Then we've been subjected to Barack Obama's administration, which prosecuted more people for whistleblowing, exposing massive illegal behavior by the government, than all the other administrations before combined. As with the George W. Bush administration, we were told that our government doesn't illegally spy on us, which of course, we knew was not true and which the Obama administration finally had to admit. We saw the horrendous disaster that has been the Libyan regime change, not that Qaddaffi's own mouth didn't sink him too. We see the ongoing tragedy that is Syria, where Assad was correct that al Qaeda was just waiting in the wings. Little did he know that al Qaeda in Iraq, which arose due to Bush-43's illegal invasion, would morph into the Islamic State, now taking responsibility for terrorists attacks reaching around the world and including in the US.

    And I've only barely scratched the surface in this commentary.

    Now what? Do we hand the reins of power to Hillary Clinton? Heaven help us if we do.

  3.    The Iraq War Was an Act of Military Aggression Launched on a False Pretext: Remarks on the Chilcot Inquiry Report

    Jeremy Corbyn:

    Before addressing the issues raised in the Iraq Inquiry report, I would like to remember and honour the 179 British servicemen and women killed and the thousands maimed and injured during the Iraq war, and their families as well as the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have died as a result of the invasion and occupation of Iraq launched by the US and British governments 13 years ago.

    Yesterday I had a private meeting with some of the families of the British dead as I have continued to do over the past dozen years.

    It is always a humbling experience to witness the resolve and resilience of these families and their unwavering commitment to seek truth and justice for those that they lost in Iraq.

    They have waited seven years for Sir John Chilcot's report.

    It was right that the inquiry heard evidence from such a wide range of people and that the origins, conduct and aftermath of the war should have been examined in such detail.

    But the extraordinary length of time it has taken to see the light of day is clearly a matter for regret.

    I should add that the scale of the report running to 6,275 pages to which I was only given access at 8 o'clock this morning means that today's response by all of us can only be a provisional one.

    Mr Speaker, the decision to invade and occupy Iraq in March 2003 was the most significant foreign policy decision taken by a British government in modern times.

    It divided this House and set the government of the day against a majority of the British people as well as against the weight of global opinion.

    The war was not in any way as Sir John Chilcot says a "last resort".

    Frankly, it was an act of military aggression launched on a false pretext as the inquiry accepts and has long been regarded as illegal by the overwhelming weight of international legal opinion.

    It led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of millio ns of refugees.

    It devastated Iraq's infrastructure and society.

    The occupation fostered a lethal sectarianism — as the report makes clear — that turned into a civil war. Instead of protecting security at home or abroad, the war fuelled and spread terrorism across the region.

    Sunday's suicide bomb attack in Baghdad which killed over 250 people, the deadliest so far, was carried out by a group whose origins lie in the aftermath of the invasion.

    By any measure, the invasion and occupation of Iraq has been for many a catastrophe.

    Mr. Speaker, the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 on the basis of what the Chilcot report calls "flawed intelligence" about the weapons of mass destruction has had a far-reaching impact on us all.

    It also led to a fundamental breakdown in trust in politics and in our institutions of government.

    The tragedy is that while the governing class got it so horrifically wrong — many of our people actually got it right.

    On February 15th, 2003 over 1.5 million people spanning the political spectrum, and tens of millions of other people across the world, marched against the impending war in the biggest demonstration in British history.

    It wasn't that we those of us who opposed the way underestimated the brutality or crimes of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship. Indeed, many of us campaigned against the Iraqi regime during its most bloody period when the Thatcher government and the US administration were busy supporting that regime — as was confirmed by the 1996 Scott Inquiry.

    But we could see that this state, broken by sanctions and war, posed no military threat and that the WMD evidence was flimsy and confected, that going to war without United Nations authorization was profoundly dangerous, that foreign invasion and occupation would be resisted by force and would set off a series of uncontrollable and destructive events.

    If only this House had been able to listen to the wisdom of our own people when it voted on 18th March 2003 ag ainst waiting for UN authorization through a second resolution the course of events might have been very different.

    All but 16 members of the benches opposite supported the way — whilst 140 members of my own Party voted against it — as did many from other Parties.

    But none of us will take any satisfaction from this report. Instead, all of us, and I believe everyone in this House, we have to feel saddened at what has been revealed and what we must now reflect on.

    In addition to all those British service people and Iraqis, civilians and combatants who lost their lives in this conflict, there are many members of this House who voted to stop the war but who have not lived to see themselves vindicated by this report.

    First and foremost, Mr Speaker it would do us all well to remember Robin Cook who stood over there 13 years ago and said in a few hundred words in advance of the tragedy to come what has been confirmed by this report in more than two million words.

    The Chilcot Report has rightly dug deep into the litany of failures of planning for the occupation, the calamitous decision to stand down the Iraqi army and to dissolve the Iraqi state.

    But the reality is it was the original decision to follow the US president into an unprovoked war in the most volatile region of the world and impose a colonial-style occupation that led to every other disaster.

    The government's September 2002 Dossier with its claim that declaring Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction that could be deployed in 45mins was only the most notorious of many deceptions.

    As Major General Michael Laurie told the inquiry — and I quote: "We knew at the time that the purpose of the dossier was precisely to make a case for war rather than setting out the available intelligence".

    We also need much stronger oversight of the security and intelligence services, full restoration of proper cabinet government, and to give parliament the decisive say over any future decision to go to war based on o bjective information and not just through government discretion but through a War Powers Act —which I hope this Parliament will pass.

    And as, in the wake of Iraq our own and other western governments increasingly resort to hybrid warfare based on the use of drones and special forces, our democracy — and our democracy is crucial and important — needs to ensure that their use is subject to proper parliamentary scrutiny.

    There are no more important decisions a Member of Parliament ever gets asked to make than those relating to peace and war.

    The very least that MPs and the country should be able to expect is rigorous and objective evidence on which to base their crucial decisions.

    We now know the House was misled in the run-up to the war and the House must now decide how it should deal with that 13 years later, just as all those who took the decisions laid bare in the Chilcot report must face up to the consequences of their action whatever they may be.

    Later today, I will be meeting a group of families of military servicemen and women who lost loved ones, Iraq war veterans and Iraqi citizens who have lost family members as a result of the war that the US and British governments launched in 2003.

    I will be discussing with both the British public and the Iraqi people the decisions taken by our then government that led this country into a war with terrible consequences for us all.

    That blog is copyright protected, but the speech is not copyrightable.

  4.    Chilcot Report Avoids Smoking Gun | Accuracy.Org News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jul. 7, 2016

    Speaking of whistleblowers, they were trashed by Blair as well.

    While President George W. Bush was claiming during the buildup to the invasion that "we are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq" — in fact, the U.S. government was going to great lengths to ensure war.

  5.    Foreign buyers flood US real estate, but buy cheaper homes

    This is a double-edged sword. On one side, it will make values go up, which will make it harder for lower-income people to afford a place to live. On the other side, it will cause developers to start focusing more on creating more housing for the middle- and lower-economic classes. The problems are that land is costly, skilled labor hard to come by, and governments too hesitant to subsidize affordable-housing developments.

  6.    What Investors Can Learn From William Nickerson Turning $1,000 Into a Million (in His Spare Time)

  7.    How to Calculate the Value of Multifamily Real Estate

    Gino Barbaro shares quite a bit in this piece.

  8.    In Clinton Case, Obama Administration Nullifies 6 Criminal Laws | Zero Hedge

    Okay, but let's be realistic. A grand jury is called by the prosecutor, who runs the show, presents the evidence, and typically seeks the jury to find reason to indict. It's up to the Attorney General as to whether or not to call up a grand jury, and she has said that she will go with the FBI recommendations. She has announced that she will not be pressing charges against Hillary Clinton.

    Could she have come out saying that she disagrees with the FBI? She could have but at her own crony peril.

    She should never have said she'd run with the FBI recommendations in the first place but rather that she'd take them under advisement but make the final decision herself, but many people believe she knew what that recommendation would be when she said it.

  9.    A Remarkable Financial Moment | Larry Summers

    ... policymakers still have not made sufficiently radical adjustments in their world view to reflect this new reality of a world where generating adequate nominal GDP growth is likely to be the primary macroeconomic policy challenge for the next decade.

    That's a fact, but Larry's prescription is wrong.

    We don't need inflation. We don't need monetarism. We don't need to increase fiscal stimulus via borrowed money (bonds).

    We need all fiscal spending to be via monetary financing. Taxes should be for one thing only: to reduce inflation.

  10.    The Violence of Eviction | Dissent Magazine News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jul. 7, 2016

    Housing insecurity creates a special kind of exhausting poverty, one that threatens the very security of one's family. It breeds depression. ...
    "... The rent's going up . . . I don't care. He can move."

    Good business people have a social conscience, a line they won't cross.

    Are you in it just for the money? Sure, you're a landlord, not a social worker; but, can you steer your tenants to those who may help pay the rent? Can you keep the rent reasonable rather than working to get the very maximum possible? If you keep them reasonable, you'll be more competitive, not less. You'll have more power over choosing who lives in your properties even if they're bringing in less money than those you could rent to if you raise the rent to the maximum the area will allow. Your good tenants will want to stay and will want to help you to keep the property well maintained and safe, etc.

    Yes, you're not a charity, unless you are one: a nonprofit. If you aren't a nonprofit, you can still do your very best to screen tenants but to also help those who need help and will rise to the occasion rather than lie to you and be your tenant from hell.

    Find out all the different services available for low-income tenants. Make a list. Don't single out tenants for this info but share it with all letting all know that's exactly what you've done, as it won't hurt anyone to know what services are available even if they don't need them at the moment.

    Include on your list all governmental services: Federal, state, county, city, etc., and all nonprofit services too. Keep the list up to date. Even your helpful tenants can help with that if you encourage it. It will help build community too.

    Include names, addresses, phone numbers, URL's, etc. You can merge the list with emergency info too: "What to do in the event of a fire ...."

    You' d be amazed at the number of landlords who don't tell tenants how to set off a fire alarm, how to use a fire extinguisher, how to get out of a hot, smoke filled room or building, why to keep windows and doors shut (to reduce the oxygen to a fire; provided everyone who needs to get out is out, etc.). You can get help with emergency measures from police and fire departments and others.

    Your insurance broker should be able to help as well, though brokers can be far-flung now and it's wise to use local sources to complement info provided by a broker.

  11.    The Clintons and the press are caught in a pointless, toxic cycle of scandal - Vox News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jul. 7, 2016

    She's running for President. She was running for President all through her time in the Obama administration. At best, this article whitewashes the email issue. Even if there had never been a "scandal" before the email issue, in my view, the email issue disqualifies her for President. She knew the rules. She told untruths about classified info in the emails. Her very unprotected server was easily hacked. Foreign entities did suck down her emails, including the classified ones. You don't make a person President who does such things unless you're a fool.

    Also, Barack Obama has been given a pass on things I've already discussed above in commentary on other links in this post.

    He's been given a pass for taking Hillary Clinton's advice to attack Libya directly (what Obama calls the greatest error of his Presidency) and Syria by jihadi proxies.

    So, exactly what is Dylan Matthews's agenda for America with this whitewashing? Will he take full responsibility for a Hillary Clinton presidency? I don't care if he would. She should not be given the job, and that's based upon proven facts.

  12.    Experts and the referendum: why we need to rethink economics and challenge 'econocracy' | British Politics and Policy at LSE

    Well, hallelujah! Do you think they've been reading my blog posts? Transparency: Democracy versus technocracy.

    They wrote their book before, and I have not read their book. Conclusion: We've come to exactly the same conclusions independently.

    How refreshing!

    Bravo: Cahal Moran, Zach Ward-Perkins, and Joe Earle.

    In case you're tempted to view this as merely a fringe issue, please be advised that their post is on the London School of Economics site.

    Notice that they are also not old men. Their thinking represents the future, now.

    Okay, but you're old, Tom. Yes, relatively speaking, I'm considered older than younger. Does that mean I've simply been ahead of my time or that my time is now?

    Look, many of my positions are literally thousands of years old. They've just never been mainstreamed but will.

    I'm an optimist. I have faith.

    They used the term democracy five times, and they didn't use it in the technocratic indirect-representative sense but even said "participatory," which is poli-sci for more direct democracy: grassroots, not elitist.

    In our book we set out a vision of a public interest economics linked to reforming the discipline. The EU Referendum has opened up major fault lines and one of those is between those who feel they own economics and those who know it isn't supposed to be for them. Our answer to those who are saying that the vote for Brexit showed that we shouldn't let people make these decisions is that we need more democracy, not less.

    Again, bravo.

  13.    Bond yields are just so damn low...what is that telling us? | Jared Bernstein | On the Economy

    ... I couldn't be more flummoxed by this next point: these historically low Treasury rates amidst sluggish growth and an engine of job growth that could be downshifting are absolutely SCREAMING for policy makers to borrow and invest in public infrastructure. That would help on many levels now, from labor demand to productivity.

    I won't make free lunch arguments, but given these yields and the potential benefits of the investments, this is lunch with a very large discount.

    Why won't you make free-lunch arguments, Jared? I will.

    I don't give a damn how low the interest rates are. We can increase fiscal spending in a heartbeat with raising the deficit a dime and without crating even the hint of runaway inflation.

    So, why can I say that but you won't? It's not because I'm wrong about it. I'm not, and I know you know I'm right.

  14.    Donald Trump's soft spot for dictators - News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jul. 7, 2016

    This is part of politics in the US that I really detest: taking people out of context or only saying one side of what they say.

    Now, this CNN article tries to walk the line, but who doesn't know what's really going on with that article title?

    I'm not endorsing Trump at all. I'm not excusing his style. It is, however, obvious that he's trying to look at various leaders realistically and to do so openly and honestly, as he sees it. That's a good thing.

    What we did in Iraq and Libya was stupid. The article isn't about to say that though because, well, its Trump and CNN is For Her.

    As for Vladimir Putin, he is serving under a real Constitution. He respected term limits and will continue doing so. He was elected in what were free-and-fair elections by US standards, perhaps better (I wouldn't be a bit surprised). He has a very popular mandate and enjoys huge positive ratings from his fellow Russians and not because they are all afraid of their own shadows to openly state that they voted against him and plan to do so again, etc.

    Putin doesn't exile people to Siberia. So, get real, CNN and Gregory Krieg.

    I don't agree with all things Putin, but as leaders go, including all the US Presidents ever, he's really not that bad.

  15.    100 vacant properties included in Detroit search for redevelopment proposals |

    ... calls for rehabilitation of around 100 houses and demolition of structures that are not salvageable.

    The second hopes to transform various vacant lots into productive landscapes that can include innovative ecological, agricultural and energy uses within a neighborhood context, city officials announced.

  16.    "The Green Team" Completes Surveys Blighted Properties

    The group is known as "The Green Team" and they're using smart phone technology and engineering software to survey blighted homes to determine whether they're occupied or vacant.

    I wonder how much training they get and what privacy issues are addressed, etc.

  17.    NKorea: US sanctions tantamount to act of war - The Washington Post [source updated]

    In addition to blacklisting Kim, the Treasury Department blacklisted officials at the Ministry of State Security — which it said administers political prison camps and is engaged in torture and inhumane treatment of detainees — and the Ministry of People's Security which operates a network of police stations, interrogation centers and labor camps.

    The State Department said North Korean political prison camps hold between 80,000 to 120,000 prisoners, including children and other family members.

    If true, it's nasty; but, how are the American People to know that the allegations have been properly substantiated?

    North Korea is not transparent. Western and US spies can't possibly find it easy to gather credible evidence. We do know that US intelligence has often gotten things terribly wrong: Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction, Saddam's link to al Qaeda and 9/11, and the list goes on and on.

    We can't have a truly functioning democracy where we are told "trust us" by governmental entities that make numerous and massive mistakes resulting in millions dead and tens of millions dislocated, turned into war refugees, some radicalized into violent reactions. We need hard evidence. We need full transparency.

    The argument coming back the other way is that the intelligence community can't do its job while also revealing sources and methods. However, we know that those sources and methods may be lying, wrong, or made up. We know that bad actors in our government can, and have, used deliberately false intelligence for purposes of empire building for the sakes of the elitists amongst us and certainly not for the sake of the general welfare of the American People.

    Isn't it high time that We the People opt instead for open, honest, and direct dialogue and dealings? Aren't a great many of our international and domestic problems the direct result of being mistrusted for the reasons I've cited above?

    Didn't the US create numerous "black sites" around the world where people, often innocent ones, were tortured and inhumanely treated? Haven't we imprisoned legitimate whistleblowers? Aren't there people right now still in Guantanamo who were never convicted? We know for sure that many people were sent there and to Abu Ghraib simply on the say so of others who used the immoral US system to harm the innocent. Haven't US administrations engaged in the violent overthrow of duly elected leaders of other nations, leaders who simply didn't want US-style neoliberal economics? Didn't North Korea develop nuclear weapons and make that public because it saw what was happening in the Middle East and Northern Africa? Didn't they see what happened in Iraq? Would North Korea have developed such weapons capability had the US and its allies not done the immoral, unethical, and even internationally illegal things they clearly have?

    Why has the US administration embarked upon these sanctions right now against North Korea rather than embarking on truly meaningful dialogue in search of peace and prosperity and finally, the full reunification of Korea?

  18.    Donald Trump gets mixed reviews after meeting with Hill Republicans - CBS News

    I'm only posting this because I read it after writing what I did above about taking people out of context for the sake of negative politics.

    "I'm not a Never Trump guy, I've said I want to get there. I'm a Republican and I want to support the nominee," Kinzinger said after leaving the meeting early. "But things like the Saddam Hussein comment are not helping me get there," Kinzinger added.

    He was referring to Trump having praised the late Iraqi dictator's terrorist-killing prowess. Trump defended himself over those comments Thursday, telling lawmakers it was an example of the media twisting his words, according to Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, a strong Trump supporter.

    Cramer paraphrased what Trump said: "Here I was very critical of Saddam Hussein, saying he's a very, very bad guy, evil guy. And I wake up and I look at the media and they say I love Saddam Hussein."

    You see, when people do that, when they take others out of context, they do damage to themselves in the eyes of those who do care about context; and, in case they haven't noticed yet, context is becoming more and more important as people become more and more sophisticated in their analysis and can check and read about things so quickly due to the Internet.

  19.    F.B.I. Director James Comey Testifies Before Congress - The New York Times News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jul. 7, 2016

    Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, read Mrs. Clinton's public statements about her email account to Mr. Comey and repeatedly asked: is that true?
    The answer from the F.B.I. director could not be seen as good news in Mrs. Clinton's campaign headquarters: Mr. Comey repeatedly said that Mrs. Clinton's statements were not true.
    "Secretary Clinton said there was nothing marked classified," Mr. Gowdy said.
    Mr. Comey said that description was "not true."
    Mr. Gowdy noted that Mrs. Clinton said there was no classified material on her servers.
    "There was classified email," Mr. Comey said.
    Mr. Gowdy said that Mrs. Clinton claimed that she turned over all work-related emails.
    "We found work-related emails, thousands, that were not returned," Mr. Comey said.
    Mr. Comey opened with a statement that emphasized the professionalism and independence of the agents who conducted the investigation. He noted that the law on negligent handling of classified information, adopted in 1917, had been used only once since it was passed. A criminal case, he explained, turned on two things: what someone did and also what that person was thinking at the time.
    "I see evidence of great carelessness," he said, reprising his statement on Tuesday, "but I do not see evidence that is sufficient to establish that Secretary Clinton or those with whom she was corresponding both talked about classified information and knew when they did it they were doing something that was against the law."

    How in the world did Hillary Clinton not know it was against the law? She knew she wasn't supposed to be using that server for State Department business. She knew why. She was not supposed to expose classified information via that server. She has said she had the server installed so she could keep her "private" email separated from State Departmen t business. She failed to keep them separated. She knew she was failing. When exposed, she told untruths (deliberately or carelessly) and acted as if it was all unimportant.

    Look, Hillary Clinton is a trained lawyer who practiced law for many years. Is it proper to hold her to a very, very low standard where we excuse her for being a ditzy person (trained lawyer) and then still choose her to be the President of the United States?

    I really fear for this country that we continually choose people to lead who really should not be leading and who inevitably make matters worse, building on the terrible precedents of predecessors.

  20.    F.B.I. Director Testifies on Clinton Emails to Withering Criticism From G.O.P. - The New York Times

    ... he said that her lawyers probably deleted classified material as they destroyed thousands of her emails.

    Her lawyers destroyed emails? Did they do that before or after anyone else in government was investigating her emails? Did she give those lawyers her permission to destroy them?

    If they destroyed them after any governmental investigation had begun, that would be damning in my eyes. If she approved the destructions after investigations had begun, that would disqualify her for the office of President in my view.

    It would remind me of, among other things, the 18 1/2 minutes of White House tapes erased under Richard Nixon.

    Mr. Comey said three emails bore small markings indicating that they contained classified information.

    Were those the only emails that had any classified markings? He said that he didn't know whether Hillary Clinton knew that those markings meant classified. Did anyone ask whether he had asked her? If he didn't ask her, why didn't he? If he did ask her, what did she say?

    I find all of this very troubling.

    I don't want anyone railroaded; but, at the same time, I don't want gross and criminal negligence to be rewarded or excused or overlooked in US Presidents and candidates for that office.

  21.    Water world: rising tides close in on Trump, the climate change denier | US news | The Guardian

    Okay, in case you falsely imagine that I'm not an equal opportunity candidate knocker:

    Trump's insouciance in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence of climate change — even lapping up on his own doorstep — makes him something of an outlier in south Florida, where mayors are actively preparing for a future under climate change.

    Donald Trump is simply ignorant about the science. He's bought into libertarian nonsense about it. Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is real and it's happening.

    It will go up and down in the short term, but continue trending up in the longer term if we don't stop and reverse what we've been doing to cause it.

    AGW amplifies the solar maximums and keeps the solar minimums from chilling things as much as they otherwise would. The longer we wait before reversing and stopping CO2 and other greenhouse-gas build-up in the atmosphere, the greater will be that impact on what solar positioning already does to warm us.

  22.    U.K. home prices could drop. But don't get too excited...

    Uncertainty, instability, how long will they last? Which way will things end up: up or down?

  23.    China's Growing Debt: Are the Fault Lines Beginning to Show? - ValueWalk

    This post insists that the Chinese leadership knows what it's doing and will more than likely handle things.

    ... the risk of China's long-brewing credit overhang is a slow burn that threatens to lay waste to reform objectives to rebalance the economy for the next stage of sustainable development based on domestic consumption, services, and innovation, rather than exports, brute-force investment in heavy industries, and low-skilled manufacturing, say Wharton and other experts. If China isn't able to reposition, it risks falling into the middle-income trap, stuck with lackluster economic growth and the expenses of caring for an aging population.
    Overall, the government is taking a go-slow approach to avoid mass unemployment and social unrest, says Meyer. "It's almost impossible [to restructure] in the current environment, because the government is not totally secure," he says. "This is the first government post-1949 that has not had the mantle of Mao or Deng, and it is struggling a bit for legitimacy. If and when they can solve this problem, then they'll address economic issues. The government is determined long-run to make tough choices, but the question is 'how long is the long-run?'" With an aging population requiring a costly social safety net and a shrinking workforce, the government has "got to find a way to be globally competitive, innovating, and climbing up the value chain," says Meyer.

    Zhao agrees: "The government knows that only reform can produce further growth, and growth is necessary to reduce debt in the country. But they're also well aware of the damage reform can create, particularly unemployment. If you push for reform, inefficient SOEs have to go bankrupt or write off bad debt. Then non-performing debt on banks' balance sheets may trigger more capital outflow."

    The cautious approach has its costs, says Zhao. "Chinese still believe in crossing the river while feeling the stones. But the back-and-forth rhetoric increas es uncertainty. The uncertain outlook for reform is so high that many entrepreneurs may hang up their hat for a few years to see what happens. That will slow growth and make the debt overhang even more damaging." Indeed, she notes, private sector investment grew only 5.2% year-over-year in the first four months of 2016, compared to 25% in 2013 and about 10% in 2015, according to a Xinhua survey.

    Meanwhile, Xi says that freedom of the press and democracy are evils to be avoided at all cost and that Marxism is to be adhered to (in the dictatorial sense and not the economic one, but he doesn't say that).

  24.    IMF's Lagarde on Brexit uncertainty | FT World - YouTube

    She sounds quite progressive while failing to even use the term democracy. Did she? If so, I didn't catch it.

    As for protectionism, we can't go simply by aggregate history. We have protectionism now, and all of it isn't seen as being negative even by the globalizers: think copyrights, patents, anti-dumping laws, etc. More to the point though is that deals such as NAFTA utterly failed to raise standards in other nations: worker health and safety, minimum-wage levels, unionization (labor) rights, environmental protections, democratizations, and much, much more.

    So, when we assess these things, let's look at the whole picture rather than selectively to sell an ideology. Let's look at fairness rather than "free" (but protected) for the major corporations.

  25.    Biggest share of whites in U.S. are Boomers, but for minority groups it's Millennials or younger | Pew Research Center

    I don't usually cover such things, but I didn't know the following:

    Whites were the only racial or ethnic group in which Baby Boomers (27% of whites) outnumbered Millennials (21%) in 2015.

    I had assumed there were more Millennials. It was a reference to the 55 number (in the article) that got me to click through to read it.

    The only way I can think that any of this will necessarily impact upon real estate is if we don't do something about income inequality and job and educational opportunities quickly enough. In which case, housing will only become that much more unaffordable for more and more people because minorities as a whole earn less than whites right now (not that there aren't plenty of poor white people in the US).

  26.    Traits and habits of U.S. news consumers: 5 key findings | Pew Research Center News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jul. 7, 2016

    I consume a great deal of news.

    A clear challenge for the news media is the deeply rooted sense of bias the public perceives in their reporting.

    I find the question of bias irrelevant. Being fair is relevant, and doesn't mean just presenting all sides as if they are all equal or merit equal attention. I much prefer my news sources to analyze as honestly and objectively as possible and via deep digging.

  27.    7 Smart Home Gadgets Landlords Should Consider for a Sought-After Rental

  28.    I'm in Awe at How Fast Deutsche Bank is Coming Unglued | Wolf Street

    I agree that there are massive problems but

    Draghi's harebrained experiment with negative interest rates and massive QE

    is the wrong thing to say about it.

    The QE wasn't enough and negative rates are far from a cure-all, but neither of those is Draghi's fault.

    The problem lies in the bad design of the EU, and the main culprit is Germany. Fitting that it's Deutsche that's having so much difficulty right now. That institution is still touting ordoliberal economics for the rest of us.

  29.    Putin LOSES IT, Warns Journalists of War: 'I Don't Know How to Get Through to You People' (Video) News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jul. 7, 2016

    This is a bit dated, and I've been pointing out the global risks of thermonuclear war. It shouldn't hurt to press it more though.

    When I was growing up, the US was working hard on getting weapons limitation and reversal (disarmament) deals. There were some major deals agreed to and signed. Unfortunately, the US unilaterally reneged on the ABM Treaty, a very shameful thing to have done in my view. We also broke our promise not to expand NATO, which we should not have done.

    Where are the grownups in the US leadership on these issues? The mainstream media is corporatist and goes along with the military-industrial complex I remember President Eisenhower warning against in his fair-well address, which I watched live and did understand concerning the dangers of giving the war-profiteers free rein.

    The average Russian takes these matters much more seriously than does the typical American. That's because they lost over 20 million in WWII. American losses can't compare. The war was not fought on American soil. Russia was invaded and scorched. Russia has a very long history of suffering invasions.

    They've seen the regime change efforts of the US, which have gone horribly wrong. They know that there are ultra-rich interests in the US who eye the Russian's vast lands and natural resources and who want to eliminate any strong Russian leadership, such as Vladimir Putin standing in their way.

    All the recent saber rattling by the US via NATO at Russia's very borders is not only counter-productive but downright stupid and reckless, endangering the entire planet, which would become all but uninhabitable for humankind were there to be a full-blown WWIII.

  30.    Voters Are Making a Mess of Democracy - Bloomberg View

    Here we have a prime example of the most backward political philosophy going:

    "The basic problem is not that most voters seek to maximize their self-interest, but rather that most voters lack the knowledge necessary to make informed political judgments." Or, "The uncomfortable truth is that the best (perhaps only) way to reduce the political influence of ignorant voters is to deprive them of the vote."

    First of all, maximizing one's self-interest is a problem in itself, unless one is enlightened and educated enough to know that one's maximum self-interest is met by putting the good of others and the whole first.

    Then we come to the painfully obvious and glaring omission that the remedy for uninformed judgments is information, that is: transparency.

  31.    The misplaced debate about job loss and a $15 minimum wage - Equitable Growth

    What the libertarians don't want to hear and don't want you to either.