Thursday, January 31, 2019

Notations From the Grid (M-End Edition): #RandomThoughts On the Month That Was

As we went to press with this month-end edition of Notations from the Grid, The Congress has begun deliberations on the Border Wall as there is a definite possibility of President Trump declaring a National Emergency. Although the US Government is now fully operational, challenges remain.

The heads of the Intelligence Community were before Congress and contradicted assertions by President Trump--It prompted a Tweet by President Trump.   As we also went to Press, Britain, France and Germany created a payment mechanism to by-Pass Swift to continue trade with Iran in spite of US Objections.     We are also assessing the latest out of India as Elections loom there.   Unemployment is a major challenge for India right now.

Returning home here in the United States, We have also been assessing the on-going situation in Venezuela as we also are witness to 2020 Candidates including Kamala Harris from our home State of California have begun their quest.    We have also just reviewed the latest out of Afghanistan in light of the new report on the true realities of Afghanistan:  a resurgent Taliban as some 45,000 Afghan Soldiers have lost their lives over the past 4 years.

Profound challenging times indeed as February 2019 looms and as we await President Trump's State of the Union Address on Feburary 5: 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Editon): On #Brexit

As the Debate in the British Parliament continues over Brexit, our team pulled the following together as we assess how the political leaders in the UK will work through this profound challenge: 

UK Brexit Vote Reflects a Deep Crisis in Capitalism (Pt 1/2)
Had the British been presented with the option, people might choose a socialist Britain over a capitalist EU, but they are not given that choice, say Prof. Leo Panitch of York University and Jon Lansman of the British Labour Party’s National Executive Committee

Brexit Vote: Will the EU Throw UK PM Theresa May a Lifeline?
In-spite of the deep splits among the Tories, Prof. John Weeks says that a Brexit agreement will be made when the EU bails out Theresa May in the lead-up to the EU parliamentary elections

Could a
After Brexit, Northern Ireland will return to the UK and leave the EU, while the Irish Republic will remain a member. People living on the border fear serious disruptions, and a return to violence, if barriers start to appear between the two states.


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Notations From The Grid (Weekly Edition): On @POTUS Watch

Roger Stone is appearing in Court in Washington as we went to press--this is one take of the events of the prior 72 hours--This is as the Federal Government is officially open now although the threat of a Shutdown looms.   It must also be noted that the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the shutdown has cost the US Economy some 11 Billion Dollars--a figure rejected by the President's Economic Adviser, Larry Kudlow.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Special Week-End Edition): On The Week That Was....

A new week is before us as the US Government has opened up for three weeks after stories of agony and hardship that our team tracked via #ShutDownStories.   The President has kept his option of declaring a National Emergency Open as Conservative Stalwarts like Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham told the President that he lied and he caved.     As We went to press, the House GOP Leader was on Meet The Press trying to spin the stance by President Trump as Pete Souza reflected on it as well:

   Our team will continue to assess progress on the negotiations as we also saw Roger Stone being indicted   One of the Democratic Candidates, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand spoke on her candidacy along with the former Special Envoy for ISIS Brett McGurk which we view as a critical commentary of the current state of affairs in the United States right now.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Notations On Our World (Special Wednesday Edition): On #Brexit -Late Breaking Developments

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has been defeated in the House of Commons.     As we went to press, we were awaiting deliberations on a motion of no-confidence by the Labor Leader, Jeremy Corbyn.     SkyNews has been providing live coverage and we feature this today-we anticipate The UK Prime Minister to survive the no-confidence vote but profound challenges loom.  As we went to Press, the Chief EU Negotiator Spoke and live coverage feed will be available throughout the day.

This is also as  the US Shutdown continues : 

Notations On Our World (Special Edition): As #Brexit Deal Looms

We present this on a post-Brexit future courtesy of the Financial Times:

Monday, January 14, 2019

Out & About On the US Government Shutdown: Perspectives

As we went to press, the US Government shutdown continued.   It impacted Air Travel,  the Federal Courts, Meat inspections and other vital US Government Services as 800,000 Federal Workers went on without pay.   This is as reporting by the New York Times and the Washington Post noted how President Trump was an agent of Russia.      Trevor Noah shared some thoughts on it:

However, one thing that has been so telling has been the absence of the US Senate Majority Leader in the Shutdown as noted below:

There is also another drama before us:  The hearing to confirm William Barr for Attorney General.   Mr. Barr noted that he would make sure the Special Counsel will be allowed to finish his work underscoring his 30-year friendship with Special Counsel Mueller  and this support from the Judicial Crisis Network:

The anxiety is recognized as exemplified by this from the Commandant of the US Coast Guard:

As our team continue to assess the discourse on the Government Shutdown (including the one by the Chair of the Council of the President's Economic Advisers calling it a "vacation" by the 800,000 Federal Workers), Kaltoons (whom we have had the pleasure to feature) captured the essence of the message brilliantly:

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): A Blast From the Past Remembering @LindsayGrahamSC

As the 24th day of the US Government shutdown continues, one US Senator has been at the forefront of discussions on the US Public Affairs shows: Senator Linsday Graham of South Carolina.    Our team tracked down a perspective on Senator Graham from the Archives of the Daily Show featuring Jon Stewart--Please Enjoy:

Friday, January 11, 2019

Fiscal Policy And Life's Demands In USA Under Government Shutdown: A Student's View Point

Life Goes On Irrespectively :

My interest in understanding budgeting processes in USA and the life of an ordinary woman or man on say, Market Street San Francisco CA got piqued following the Dec 2018+ shutdown that is clearly hurting everyone. The hurt manifests emotionally, psychologically, communally, socially and financially.

I remembered a long time ago, of another lifetime, when a Minister of health of a country somewhere decreed that ARVs (medication to suppress HIV) should not be given to People Living With HIV after all, he argued, they brought the virus into their lives due to promiscuity. Bah! He was (Im) ministerial and (dis) honourable! We argued that politics should actually put ego aside and work side by side with her sister public health. It turned out that actually the minister was using this same excuse or platform to embezzle GAVI funds meant for facilitating efforts toward clinical trials and purchases of prevention prophylactics. There were tactics employed to have more of this money diverted to things other than support a robust roll out of HIV prevention in that country. So, up to date People Living With HIV in that country are still suffering disproportionately. Life goes on! You make the connection? No? Okay.

Politicians in high strung places who are supposed to see the pain and gain side of things; the ones we entrusted with our claims so that they are facilitated to turn them into interventions; the ones who know the mantra: " a government for the people, by the people and with the people" so well! These same politicians are ignoring the pains of 800,000 furloughed Federal employees! They are forgetting that job security means income security which also means sustenance. Sustenance means, a person enjoys life, liberty and pursuance of happiness (POL 001).

Guaranteed Long term Incomes (Antideficiency):

Incomes connect people to material  and emotional conditions necessary for life. Okay let me add the qualifier "quality" and it becomes quality life. In an advanced country like USA where to deprive people of means to quality life is something they attribute to Low Developed Countries, in Government Shutdown, we have the ultimate abuse of democracy. He/She who has never had to tell their child they will not have that coveted christmas gift does not know the pain it brings to furloughed parents! Shame! In a democracy like USA, now that there is an appropriations stalemate not even the Money and Finance Enactment, or Title 31 aka Antideficiency Act can rescue them! Which brings me to fiscal policy.

Spending And Stagnation:

Fiscal policy has two sides to it: there is a link between economic growth and income, spending, life’s activities and consumerism; and there is a link between economic stagnation and taxation, inequity and unemployment. These aspects constitute the demand and supply events in markets. When markets thrive, innovation, quality and quantity prevail. It is possible to produce quality goods and services. It is possible to multiply delivery points for these goods and services. What this means is that more people get to be employed as well as consume the products.

I got introduced to Fiscal policy issues during an economics class and later when I was studying about how Germany pulled itself out of hyperinflation both after World War II and following the financial crash of 2008. Fiscal policy matters and how  is significantly linked to national debt, education, social justice, infrastructure, jobs and income, and more. As a student I understand that student loans, grants and all forms of logistical support which enable me stay in college are linked to fiscal policy.

Fiscal policy is the application of measures generating money from the society in form of taxation and government spending to influence economic performance. This can be in form of social services, investing in public works and education-to-jobs programs. The social services we are looking at include: Social Security Administration, Human Services and Health, air traffic and TSA, federal judiciary, national parks, museums, state department, IRS, food inspection and US Postal service to name a few.

Spending To Boost Local Economies: 

Adopting and using fiscal policy mechanisms motivates people to spend their money for goods they want. This has advantages in that it entrenches growth in local economies and eventually the larger one. It empowers people to engage in activities of their communities, society and country as well as many forms of income generating activities which in turn provides knowledge, entertainment, skills and liquidity in their communities. Are you aware that most of the staff at national parks are not available to guide patronesses and patrons?

In an ideal world without shutdown, there are smooth processes leading to identifying needs, cutting taxes, cutting government expenditures, planning for budget allocation and mechanisms for public expenditure to ensure knowledge, goods and services are provided to the citizens. 

I can now fathom the relationship between fiscal policy and say, the recent recall of U.S. troops thought of as a means to cut defense spending. Although, I am wondering if the recall can be held in abeyance because of the shutdown?  President Trump's Tax plans are thought to start the process of bringing “back companies – from great American brands to innovative startups – are to America, which had left,” according to  President Trump. This will also mean that many more people will employed or these companies will pay into the Federal Tax Fund and this in turn will help support entitlements such as Food stamps, Medicare and Social Security.

Shutdown And Bedtime Stories:

I now am aware that consumers can mean many kinds of people from the seniors, disabled, employed people who expect salaries and many others. In other words, demanding any form of service makes one a consumer. There are two forms of allowable spending. Discretionary set by Congress each year and entitlements which requires larger amounts of money, dictated by demand for the services.  Fiscal policy is linked to income which is necessary to sustain both discretionary budgets and entitlement spending. This means that there is money available on short and long-term basis. This is what makes it possible to address needs which may come in different magnitude, demand and diversity. Unfortunately, all this remains a bedtime story with Government Shutdown!

Source: Google

Notations From the Grid (Friday Edition): #FlasBackFridays

We are launching #FlashBackFridays here in Perspectives--a periodic reflection upon our World.   Our team choose selections from @KalToons as the World awaits a potential summit between President Trump and Kim Jung Un, China and the US continue their Tarriff wars, Turkey continues its build up to war in Syria--
Interesting times indeed.....

Shutdown Day 20: Trump Heads to the Border | The Daily Show

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Notations On Our World (Special Wednesday Edition): On @POTUS Watch

As we went to press, we were continuing to assess the aftermath of President Trump's Oval Office Speech--this is as the shutdown continues--and we captured just two examples of the on-going impact over the past 24 hours above.

As we were on the prowl today, our team picked up a tweet from the President in the aftermath of his Oval Office Speech which was not received well (with the exception of the News Personalities at Fox News):

This was prompted by Ian Bremmer in the aftermath of the President noting that he would be withholding FEMA money from California--We released this in support of the call by Speaker Pelosi within the past hour:

We also picked up this matter-of-fact letter from the Airline Pilots Association which was dated January 2 and reported by Inc. on the ramifications of the shutdown--we have noted the original letter here for reference

 Update:   This from David Frum as we also are assessing the situation in Sudan along with Brexit and as the Secretary of State is making the rounds in the Middle East:

Notations From the Grid (Special Wednesday Edition): On the #TrumpAddress, Emergency Powers & Remembering President Reagan

President Trump spoke last night as the US Government continues to be shut down and the Democratic Leaders responded.     There has been discussions on the President's Emergency Powers as the debate continues.    Stephen Colbert provided a brief preview of what was expected during the speech:  

  Our team will be assessing the President's Emergency Powers as we also understand there are currently 51 Active Presidential Emergency Declarations--one of the oldest being the declaration by President Jimmy Carter over the Iran Hostage Crisis.    The Emergency Powers of the President are ill-defined.

As we went to press, We understand that there is another meeting scheduled for 3 PM EST at the White House.   As we note both speeches, our team chose this from President Reagan as the 30th anniversary of his farewell address approaches:

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

A 100% Trump-Free Show, Vol. 2 | The Daily Show

As the United States πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Govt Shutdown continues & as @realDonaldTrump dominates the news cycle with the upcoming national speech our team picked this as a distraction-please enjoy

Monday, January 7, 2019

Trump to Give Primetime Address on the Shutdown: A Closer Look

Notations On Our World (Weekly Edition): Out & About in Our World

2019 has begun in earnest as 2018 was book-ended to the history books.  It will be quite a year especially as we achieved a number of milestones and as we continue to be on the prowl.

The issue of climate change was front and center--underscored by this very insightful and interesting interview that NBC's Chuck Todd had with Michael Bloomberg about what can be possible in light of what the Trump Administration Did when it withdrew from Paris:

What we are also quite excited to be witness to is to see alternatives developing.   Such alternatives include companies like Arcadia Power.    Our Founder shared this he received on what Arcadia Power had in fact done throughout 2018--The impact on the White House caught our eye in a "bigly" way: 

It’s been a long year of climate reports and wildfires. We could all use a little pick me up, and we’ve got just that.

This year, prices for clean energy reached record lows.

You helped directly contribute to this in 2018 by supporting the production of...
Arcadia Power members produced 362,283,853 kWh of wind energy. Which is enough wind energy to power the White House for 400 years
Saving the weight of 570,000 polar bears in CO2
Which is like nearly doubling the size of Grand Mesa National Forest for a year
Share your impact

Click here to share your personal impact stats with friends and family. Because sometimes all we need is a little encouragement from those around us.

America was also witness to a change in power in Washington as the Democrats Took Power.   The US Government continued to be shut down and some of the discourse our team captured throughout our assessment on Twitter underscored the extend of the profound challenges facing the United States and the World in 2019:

As this drama goes on, our team has also been assessing the situation in the MIddle East in light of the US Withdrawal from Syria and the expected ascendancy of Iran and continued ascendancy of Russia.     One late breaking development we have been assessing is the changes in leadership and the recent tragedy at the Azad University which led to the death of 10 University Students.    The Head of the Expediency Council, Hashemi Shahroudi, died and the Head of the Judiciary, Sadegh Larijani, was appointed in his place.    Larijani, as such, holds two key posts--The Expeidency Council is in effect acting as a Senate--but in an appointed capacity.     We also have seen reports that Hashemi was assassinated on the orders of the Supreme Leader, Khameini, as he opposed the appointment of Larijani as The Expediency Council Head.   Our team will be releasing a Notation on it later on this week on it.    This is as we went to press, protests continued throughout Iran:

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Notations On Our World (Special New Year Edition): As #2019 is Before Us....

On behalf of our entire team, Happy New Year!!!

The last two weeks of December 2018 was quite a tumultuous one that saw the resignation of the Secretary of Defense over President Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria along with  the US Government shut down over the President's request for a Border wall.  This was also quite a couple of weeks as Saudi Arabia went thru a major Cabinet Reshuffle, Arab Countries reopened Embassies in Syria and Iran released a budget that has cut Education as it has increased spending on the Revolutionary Guards while also apparently underwriting Russian Military Expenses in Syria as we wanted to share this from the Institute of Policy Studies:

As the second year of the Trump presidency staggers to a close, the federal government is on the verge of shutting down.
Trump’s campaign promise to get Mexico to foot the bill for a border wall failed, and now he’s trying to squeeze $5 billion from Congress to pay for it. Congress isn’t biting, and Trump isn’t budging. The deadline for an agreement is midnight tonight.
At Truthout, Lindsay Koshgarian has the latest on the wall, the spending package, and the likelihood of a resolution.
The shutdown threat also comes in the closing days of Paul Ryan’s leadership of the House.
At Inside Sources, Negin Owliaei exposes how Speaker Ryan made a career of being a puppet for the rich while pretending to be fiscally responsible. And while the list of villainous acts perpetrated by Ryan is long, he perhaps saved his worst for last — with a sneaky provision to extend the war in Yemen in this year’s Farm Bill, writes Peter Certo.
On the environmental front, Basav Sen reveals in In These Times why the Trump administration continues to attack the science behind climate change. Hint: follow the money. And Sam Pizzigati argues it’s no coincidence the world’s most unequal countries are also the biggest climate change deniers.
Meanwhile, Phyllis Bennis joins Democracy Now! to address Trump’s recent announcement that U.S. troops will be removed from Syria. Manuel Perez-Rocha urges newly elected Mexican President Adres Manuel Lopez Obrador not to ratify NAFTA 2.0 without consulting the Mexican people. And Bob Lord challenges conventional wisdom about technology replacing human labor.
Finally, in the New York Times, Sarah Anderson tells a family story about the holidays to reflect on the importance of keeping the Postal Service public. Happy holidays from all of us at IPS.
The Postal Worker’s Christmas
"My grandfather was part of a long tradition of postal workers who sacrificed Christmas Eve with their families to deliver holiday packages." -- Sarah Anderson
Read Our Featured Story →
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Will the Government Shut Down Over Trump’s $5 Billion Border Wall?
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January 19, 2019, the Women's March will flood the streets of Washington, D.C., and cities across the globe. The #WomensWave is coming. More info here.
Paul Ryan Was a Villain and No One Will Miss Him
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Trump’s War On Science Is Worse Than the Inquisition
The White House’s crude deflections on science aren’t simply ignorant — they’re calculated to serve the fossil fuel industry at the entire planet’s expense. Read more...
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Some 250 million years ago, life on Earth survived an existential climate crisis. But that Earth had a distinct advantage. No rich. Read more...

Our team decided to begin the new year with Secretary  Mattis' Resignation Letter.   President Trump moved up his final day as Defense Secretary to today:

###Trump's Criminal Justice Reform Act Is a Meaningless Smoke Screen (Pt 1/3): Congress's Criminal Justice Reform Act boosts privatization, fails to dismantle mass incarceration, nor does it implement sentencing reform. We speak to Eddie Conway and Natasha Pratt Harris about the proposed reform