Monday, July 28, 2014

Small Town Talk


From her most recent album, Shannon McNally sings the title cut, "Small Town Talk"


Giving the Devil His Due


From the pen of Tom Tomorrow



You can't rush things


From the pen of Jim Morin



Turnabout is fair play


And three cheers to the Satanists for coming up with a great turnabout.
In a statement, the Satanic Temple said that it will use the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision to exempt its believers from state-mandated informed consent laws that require women considering abortions to read pro-life material.
Informed consent or “right to know” laws state that women seeking elective abortions be provided with information about alternatives to the procedure, often couched in language that attempts to personify the fetus. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 35 states currently have informed consent laws, and of those, 33 require that the woman be told the gestational age of the fetus.
In some states, that information consists of pro-life propaganda that links abortion to a higher incidence of breast and ovarian cancers, or discusses “post-abortion syndrome,” a mental condition not recognized by any major medical or psychiatric organization.
Because the Satanic Temple bases its belief “regarding personal health…on the best scientific understanding of the world, regardless of the religious or political beliefs of others,” it claims that state-mandated information with no basis in scientific fact violates its “religious” beliefs.
Spokesperson Lucien Greaves said that the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision bolsters their case. “While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling,” he said, “the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when they allowed Hobby Lobby to claim certain contraceptives were abortifacients, which in fact they are not.”
The Satanic Temple set up a website where women seeking an abortion can print out a letter for her healthcare provider explaining why she is exempt from informed consent mandates.
Alright worms, time to get out of that can.

Texas hooter toters Bare all at gunhumpers rally


As one commenter said,"It's open carry. So where is the problem?"


Time for the public to weigh in on EPA power plant rules.


And if you have any thought on the desirability of breathing clean air, now is the time to let the EPA know how you feel. You can be sure that those who believe they have a right to shit where you breathe will do so.
Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are taking their controversial power plant rule to the people this week, with a series of public hearings that could generate 1,600 comments.

In a conference call with reporters Monday, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy – who testified before Congress on the rule last week – said that the hearings will give citizens a key opportunity to give their two cents on the proposal, which has generated strong pushback from the power industry and Republicans in Congress.

For McCarthy and the Obama administration, the rule is seen as a necessary step to help reduce the kind of carbon pollution that contributes to climate change. She also said the proposal was written with significant input and that it affords states flexibility to handle carbon pollution emissions within their borders.

“We don’t have to sacrifice a healthy economy for a healthy environment,” she said, seeking to rebut an argument she said is bound to come up in the hearings. “But you don’t have to take my word for it – look at the history.” She added that “we can do this in a way that keeps our energy affordable and reliable” and that “states have the smarts and the skills to pull this off.”

The hearings will be held in Atlanta, Washington, Denver and Pittsburgh, each over two 11-hour days. Speakers get five minutes. EPA officials will be on hand, although McCarthy is not attending any of the hearings.
If you aren't near one of those locations, and most of us are not, you can drop them a comment or two right here.

That Inigo Montoya Moment



Sunday, July 27, 2014

As is traditional for a Sunday


Here is a lovely tune sung by the Rankin Family



In Memory of Raylene Rankin who is featured on this song.

A Seasoned Traveller's tips for Middle East Trips


From the pen of Brian McFadden



What you gonna do after they came for you


And put you in prison for a year away from your Amish culture and fully exposed to the modern world? For one, you might consider getting a pool table, if you wife will let you.
Amish farmer Raymond Miller developed a taste for Mountain Dew soda, got his GED, and wonders if he should get a pool table after learning to play in prison.

His wife, Kathryn, who had never ridden a public bus before boarding one last year to go to prison for forcibly cutting the hair of her relatives, was introduced to yoga and step classes while behind bars.

The Millers, members of an Amish breakaway sect from eastern Ohio at the center of shocking 2011 hair-cutting attacks on other Amish followers, are trying to settle back into life at home after being exposed in prison to a world their religion is focused on locking out.

The Amish shun modern technology and regard beards for adult men and uncut hair for married women as sacred. In Bergholz, where the Millers live, they are Old Order, which means no electricity or telephone lines into the house.

Unless, like Raymond Miller, 29, you are on probation and must make daily phone calls to a probation officer and wear an electronic ankle monitor while harvesting hay.

"I’m ready to get rid of it," Raymond said of the telephone installed in his home. "We get salesman calls about electric bills and they don’t believe that we don’t have an electric bill."
Maybe he can upgrade to a Mennonite?

Ebola just keeps rolling on


And now the medical profession is being affected as the constant exposure to patients is wearing away their odds against catching the disease.
Dr. Samuel Brisbane is the first Liberian doctor to die in an outbreak that the World Health Organization (WHO) said has killed 129 people in the West African nation alone. A Ugandan doctor working in the country died earlier this month.

Health workers are at serious risk of contracting the virus, which spreads through contact with bodily fluids.

The WHO says the outbreak, which began in February and represents the largest ever recorded, has also killed 319 people in Guinea and 224 in Sierra Leone. There is no known cure for Ebola, which begins with symptoms including fever and sore throat before escalating to vomiting, diarrhea and internal and external bleeding.

Brisbane's death comes amid reports of another high-profile death, in Sierra Leone. Saudatu Koroma, 32, succumbed to the virus after her family stormed a hospital in Sierra Leone's capital of Freetown Thursday and forcibly removed her from quarantine.

Koroma, a resident of the densely populated Wellington neighborhood, had been admitted to an isolation ward while blood samples were tested for the virus, according to Health ministry spokesman Sidi Yahya Tunis.

The motives for removing Koroma from the hospital were not clear, but efforts to combat the disease have met difficulties in a population skeptical of modern medicine and more trusting of traditional remedies.

After authorities launched a brief and frantic search, Koroma showed up at a hospital Saturday, but she later died. Before returning to doctors, she had gone to a traditional healer, according to Amadu Sisi, senior doctor at King Harman hospital in Freetown...

After falling ill with Ebola, Brisbane was taken to a treatment center on the outskirts of the capital, where he died, said Tolbert Nyenswah, an assistant health minister.

Under the supervision of health workers, family members escorted the doctor's body to a burial location west of the city, Nyenswah said. He added that another doctor who had been working in Liberia's central Bong County was also being treated for Ebola at the same center where Brisbane died.

The situation "is getting more and more scary," Nyenswah said.
This is one thing that I am very afraid of since the first transmission to another country by plane occurred. Unlike Republicans, Pseudo-Christians and assholes of every stripe and color this is one thing that has no remedy. The only positive is that the current outbreak is showing a 60% mortality rate rather than the 90% of earlier ones.

Doctors Without Borders is one group fighting this outbreak that could surely use your help if you have any spare cash.

The New York Times Stuns The Nation


Is there any other reaction to the editorial, published as part of a series on marijuana, that calls for the national legalization of the blessed herb.
The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana.

We reached that conclusion after a great deal of discussion among the members of The Times’s Editorial Board, inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws.

There are no perfect answers to people’s legitimate concerns about marijuana use. But neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol, and we believe that on every level — health effects, the impact on society and law-and-order issues — the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization. That will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs — at the state level.

We considered whether it would be best for Washington to hold back while the states continued experimenting with legalizing medicinal uses of marijuana, reducing penalties, or even simply legalizing all use. Nearly three-quarters of the states have done one of these.

But that would leave their citizens vulnerable to the whims of whoever happens to be in the White House and chooses to enforce or not enforce the federal law.

The social costs of the marijuana laws are vast. There were 658,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2012, according to F.B.I. figures, compared with 256,000 for cocaine, heroin and their derivatives. Even worse, the result is racist, falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals.

There is honest debate among scientists about the health effects of marijuana, but we believe that the evidence is overwhelming that addiction and dependence are relatively minor problems, especially compared with alcohol and tobacco. Moderate use of marijuana does not appear to pose a risk for otherwise healthy adults. Claims that marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs are as fanciful as the “Reefer Madness” images of murder, rape and suicide.

There are legitimate concerns about marijuana on the development of adolescent brains. For that reason, we advocate the prohibition of sales to people under 21.
You can read the first part of the series here. And may their call to reason be swiftly followed by success.

A reminder to help you plan




Saturday, July 26, 2014

Jazz up your Saturday night


With the talented Oleta Adams singing "New York State Of Mind"


Gov. "Nuts of Steel" Perry leads the way


From the pen of Ben Sargent


Well this could get Jeebus pissed at him


In a state that wears its Jeebusness on its sleeve, the act of one judge in Dallas could arouse the ire of a shitload of Sunday Christians and Republicans and ruin his career.
Images of protesters trying to stop buses loaded with illegal immigrants may dominate the news, but in the heart of Texas, one county judge is taking on friends and foes by trying to find shelter for child migrants flooding across the U.S. border.

Dallas Judge Clay Jenkins, 50, offered federal authorities empty buildings to house 2,000 children from Central America in a risky political move as he faces re-election in November for the top political office in Dallas County.

"These children need our help now. If I lose an election over this, so be it," said Jenkins, who has offered the use of two empty schools and a warehouse and has the unilateral power to do so under the way the county commission operates.

His proposal is in stark contrast to Texas governor Rick Perry's tough stance on the recent influx of tens of thousands of illegal migrants, many of them children, fleeing violence in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Perry has ordered the deployment of National Guard troops to the border with Mexico.

While Perry and fellow Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz have called for compassion for the children, Jenkins is one of the few politicians in the state to offer up a plan to help them.

In other parts of the United States, a few major Democrat-led cities such as Los Angeles and Syracuse, New York have raised their hand to help, but the plan from Dallas County stands out in a state that is a Republican stronghold.

Underscoring the divisiveness of the border issue in Texas, especially in an election year, Jenkins' proposal is opposed by a fellow Democrat, Eric Williams, who is running for Congress. Williams says the buildings earmarked for shelters are in poor communities with high unemployment rates.
It is either a brilliant political move or the death knell of his career. But either way it is something he can be proud of regardless of the outcome.

Big Business Is the New Big Government So Why Does GOP Love It ?


Bill Maher notes the lack of a free market.


How much is enough?


Well if you are dumping coal ash into your local river, cleaning up 6% will get you a pat on the back if you are a major corporation like Duke Energy.
Nearly six months after a pipe at a defunct Duke Energy coal plant in Eden, North Carolina, leaked at least 30,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River, environmentalists say Duke is walking away from its responsibility to clean up the waterway.

Earlier this month, the company announced that it had finished cleaning out the river, saying workers had removed 2,500 tons of coal ash — the toxic byproduct from coal-burning that contains heavy metals and arsenic. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has been overseeing the cleanup, approved Duke’s determination that the river was indeed clean.

But, even as North Carolina authorities said that the river is safe to swim in, North Carolina’s environmentalists have warned that the remaining coal ash still poses a threat.

“You don’t have to be an environmental scientist to realize that taking out less than 6 percent of the coal ash means you don’t have a clean river,” said Tiffany Haworth, director of the Dan River Basin Association. “We know the coal ash remains at the bottom of the river. So it depends on how you define ‘clean.’”

Federal and state authorities don't dispute that there are still tons of coal ash left in the Dan River, but ideas differ over what to do about it.
So it has spread to thin along the river for a general cleanup but still poses a potential for local problems. Probably the first thing to do would be to secure the 14 other coal ash ponds Duke still has in the state before they get their chance to spill.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Thanks to that chick-buddy flick


Toni Childs may be best known for writing and singing "House of Hope"


Little Big Brother


From the pen of Pat Oliphant



Want to help someone get a drink


Of water, that is. A website at DetroitWaterProject.org has been set up to allow people to help Detroit residents who have had their water shut off pay their bills. And best yet, they promise that no country clubs or sports arenas are on their lists.


A canny political move?


We hope so. President Obama has called for an end to inversion which allows US companies to move their corporate headquarters abroad to evade US taxes.
President Barack Obama urged Congress on Thursday to end a controversial practice that allows U.S. companies to relocate abroad to avoid paying billions of dollars in federal taxes.

The practice, called inversion, occurs when large U.S. corporations merge with smaller foreign companies, moving their headquarters to low-tax countries such as Ireland while making only minimal changes to their operations. The U.S. company, though, becomes a subsidiary and saves on taxes.

“They’re technically renouncing their U.S. citizenship. Some people are calling these companies corporate deserters,” Obama said at Los Angeles Trade Technical College, which helps the unemployed pursue health care professions. “I don’t care if it’s legal. It’s wrong.”

The White House estimates inversions could cost the government as much as $17 billion in lost tax revenue over the next decade. Obama wants the money to be spent on job training programs instead.

“You don’t get to pick the tax rate you pay, and neither should these companies,” the president said.

He initially called for closing the loophole in his budget, and he wants to make the fix retroactive to May to avoid incentives for companies to rush to take advantage of the “loophole.” Bills have been introduced in both the Republican-controlled House of Representative and the Democratic-led Senate to address the issue.

But while some Republicans have expressed support for limiting inversions, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, made it clear Thursday he had little interest in a standalone fix for the problem.
Now it is up to the Democrats to tell the public how the Republicans are working to help large corporations, always everybodys favorites, to evade taxes that ordinary people have to pay.

Meat, its what you can't afford anymore


Beef have been hit by the drought
to the point that prices have been climbing at rates not seen for a long time. Pork producers have had their herds decimated by diarrhea, driving pork prices higher and higher.
Soaring meat prices are hitting producers, suppliers and consumers across the country. The price of beef and veal shot up more than 10 percent from June 2013 to June 2014, according to the most recent Consumer Price Index. Pork prices rose by 12 percent.

The largest price increases in three years are driven by one main thing: supply. Drought has thinned herds of cattle. Disease has struck pork.

While demand is high and technology allows more producers to get more meat than ever out of cattle, the domestic beef supply is at a 63-year low, according to beef industry experts and U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Meanwhile, pork farmers in over 40 states have reported cases of a pig virus called porcine epidemic diarrhea (PEDv), an illness most fatal to newborn pigs. The virus has hit many pork farmers in Midwest states and North Carolina harder than others. The nation’s pig population is at its lowest since 2006.

Although swine populations probably will rebound soon, experts said, the beef supply could be a problem for several years.

“We’re seeing unprecedented price levels,” said Derrell Peel, an agricultural economics professor at Oklahoma State University. He added: “Ultimately, everyone will pay part of that impact.”

The drought that started in 2011 in many major cattle-producing states, especially Texas, cut down the grazing space for cattle. That forced farmers to sell animals to feed lots to be slaughtered. The economic recession and price shocks in cattle feed also contributed to the beef supply problem, Peel said.
And chicken will rise as people switch to what looks to be affordable, until it isn't. Enjoy that barbecue while you can.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's hard to keep it real


With people who aren't real, as Morgan Frazier sings about in "Yellow Brick Road"


Hell, even Jesus is an immigrant here.


From the pen of Jim Morin



Lyin' Paul Ryan wants states to screw the poors for him


In a reshuffle of the usual worthless clap-trap Republicans pass off as financial savvy, self proclaimed economic whizz Lyin' Paul Ryan has come up with a new way to screw the poors and exalt his Goddess Ayn Rand.
Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, outlined a plan to combat poverty Thursday that would consolidate a dozen programs into a single “Opportunity Grant” that largely shifts anti-poverty efforts from the federal government to the states.

Mr. Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee and a leading voice in his party on fiscal matters, said in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute that the federal government represents the “rear guard — it protects the supply lines. The people on the ground, they’re the vanguard. They fight poverty on the front lines.”

Mr. Ryan’s proposal gives new policy backbone to Republicans’ recent promises to address poverty and is part of a broader political strategy to increase the party’s appeal. This has given Mr. Ryan, the Republican nominee for vice president in 2012, the opportunity to show that he and his party are as concerned about the poor as Democrats are while offering a dramatically different approach to addressing poverty.

His plan includes a mix of both traditional Republican tax proposals to expand the earned-income tax credit and reduce regulations and some new commitments to reducing criminal sentencing and recidivism.

Other Republicans, like Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who, like Mr. Ryan are considering a 2016 presidential run, have echoed his broad call to broaden their party’s appeal. Mr. Rubio spoke about broken families at Catholic University in Washington yesterday, and Mr. Paul will address the National Urban League in Cincinnati tomorrow.

Mr. Ryan tumbled somewhat awkwardly into the anti-poverty discussion this year when he said a “tailspin of culture in our inner cities” perpetuated poverty, a comment that Democrats and some African-American groups called racist. But since then, Mr. Ryan has appeared to try to make amends, traveling the country to listen to Americans in poorer cities as he prepared to unveil this proposal.
The beauty of this plan lets Lyin' Paul make a big show of giving funds to the states like the good Christian he is and let's the states short change the needy and siphon off large amounts to favored supporters. He remains above all the sordid details and can appear Christ like in his "efforts" for the unfortunate.

1st National Bank and Post Office?


One of the ideas floated to "save" the Post Office
, other than repealing that destructive pension requirement, is to offer financial services through your local post office. None of the services suggested are major but the nationwide network of post offices would bring them to many financially underserved areas.
Perhaps the most high-profile proponent of the inspector general’s proposal is Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a liberal Democrat from Massachusetts, who laid out her case for “postal banking” last week at a conference hosted by the Pew Charitable Trusts, a Washington research center.

Warren said the post office was an ideal venue to provide affordable financial products for families of moderate means whose needs weren’t met by the traditional banking system.

In 2012, the senator noted, a quarter of U.S. households _ 68 million people _ spent an average of 10 percent of their incomes on interest and fees for check cashing and payday lending, about the same amount they spent on food.

If post offices teamed up with nearby credit unions or community banks, Warren said, they could provide similar services for less, potentially funneling millions more people into the traditional banking system.

“That’s a win-win,” she said.
Opposition from banks and folks like Congressfelon Darrell Issa mark this as a positive idea for people. However, those same people mean that the idea has little to no chance of passage until we consign the Republican/Teabaggers to the garbage heap of History.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Well, they are Canadian


So it is not unusual for them to be Fairly Odd Folk, even Lauren Mann. What would you expect from someone who sings "Through Your Eyes"?


The true oppression of American Christians


Jesus & Mo nail another one.



Every once in a while


In this so-called Christian nation of ours, we actually hear of the efforts of people who do honestly believe in the teachings of Jesus.
America’s response to the arrival of tens of thousands of migrant children, many of them fleeing violence and exploitation in Central America, has been symbolized by an angry pushback from citizens and local officials who have channeled their outrage over illegal immigration into opposition to proposed shelter sites. But around the nation an array of religious leaders are trying to mobilize support for the children, saying the nation can and should welcome them...

“We’re talking about whether we’re going to stand at the border and tell children who are fleeing a burning building to go back inside,” said Rabbi Asher Knight, of Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, who said leaders of more than 100 faith organizations in his city met last week to discuss how to help. He said that in his own congregation some are comparing the flow of immigrant children to the Kindertransport, a rescue mission in the late 1930s that sent Jewish children from Nazi Germany to Britain for safekeeping.

“The question for us is: how do we want to be remembered, as yelling and screaming to go back, or as using the teachings of our traditions to have compassion and love and grace for the lives of God’s children?” Rabbi Knight said.

The backlash to the backlash is broad — from Unitarian Universalists and Quakers to evangelical Protestants. Among the most agitated are Catholic bishops, who have long allied with Republican politicians against abortion and same-sex marriage, and leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, whose adherents tend to lean right.

“This is a crisis, and not simply a political crisis, but a moral one,” said Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptists’ Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. On Tuesday, Mr. Moore led a delegation of Southern Baptist officials to visit refugee children at detention centers in San Antonio and McAllen, Tex. In an interview after the visit, Mr. Moore said that “the anger directed toward vulnerable children is deplorable and disgusting” and added, “The first thing is to make sure we understand these are not issues, these are persons — these children are made in the image of God, and we ought to respond to them with compassion, not with fear.”
There are still too many people who get off on the smiting parts of the bible. And too many alleged leaders who incite them.

In effort not to offend anyone important


Navi Pillay, the international body’s high commissioner for human rights, pronounced that maybe, possibly the Israeli Army's continuing attacks on Palestinians may be war crimes.
The killing of Gazan civilians and children in Israeli airstrikes may amount to war crimes, the U.N.’s top human rights official warned Wednesday amid a backdrop of rising casualties and international efforts to forge a cease-fire.

Navi Pillay, the international body’s high commissioner for human rights, told an emergency debate on the crisis that there was “a strong possibility that international law had been violated” during the weeks-long conflict, citing the shelling of homes and hospitals in the coastal enclave. She also condemned the indiscriminate firing of rockets and mortars into Israel by Palestinian fighters. The U.N. Human Rights Council later agreed to launch an independent inquiry into allegations that international law had been violated during the conflict.
Sometime after all the bodies are buried and the rest of the world is comfortably forgetting the Israeli crimes, there will be an inquiry. Exoneration is an odds on favorite.

Jon Stewart challenges John McCain


I think the wrongs should be weighted for damaging impact, as well.


The Daily Show
Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,The Daily Show on Facebook,Daily Show Video Archive

DOT announces new rules for oil carrying railcars


A year past the deadly Quebec derailment, the Department of Transportation has come up with new rules covering the rail transport of crude oil.
The U.S. Department of Transportation proposed a two-year phase-out of older tank cars used to transport crude oil by rail, among other measures to improve the safety of crude oil transportation by rail.

Secretary Anthony Foxx outlined the long-anticpated proposals Wednesday, more than a year after a deadly derailment in Quebec focused government and public scrutiny on the rising volumes of crude oil shipped in trains.

DOT will seek the phase-out or retrofit of older model DOT-111 tank cars, long known to be vulnerable to failure in derailments, from crude oil and ethanol service.

“We are proposing to phase out the DOT-111 tank car in its current form,” Foxx said.

The department proposed various options for upgraded tank cars, including thicker steel shells, electronic braking and rollover protections.

The department also proposed a maximum 40 mph speed in all areas for trains operating with older tank cars and for urban areas with more than 100,000 residents. Tank cars that met the new requirements would be permitted to travel at 50 mph outside urban areas.

The public has 60 days to comment on the proposed rules, and Foxx said the comment period would not be extended because of the urgency of the issue.
There will be pushback and some modification before the new rules are implemented, but the rail industry is itself in favor of improved tanker safety and should implement most of them. And three years from the deaths to new standards is almost drag strip fast for a government agency.

A dose of Sen. Elizabeth Warren


Always good for clearing the shit from your ears and eyes.




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Like what?


The Like was a pop group that could be very retro in look and sound while being quite current with their lyrics.


R.I.P. Thomas Berger


I guess it was a good day to die.

It is difficult to remember he is a comedian


Regardless of his mastery of satire, sometimes John Oliver just speaks unvarnished truth.


Archaic laws stifle progress




If Owell could see what has happend to the English language.


Languages always change and something new occurs that needs to be described and something old disappears and id=s forgotten. Nowadays, the words are remaining the same but the meanings are being twisted to cover up the success of TPTB to screw us and our failure to catch them doing it. One of thelatest efforts involves a government plan to reclassify corporations.
More than 26,000 people nationwide have submitted comments opposing Obama administration proposals that would severely distort U.S. job and trade data by reclassifying U.S. corporations that offshore American jobs as “factoryless goods” manufacturers. Under a broad data reclassification plan, much of the value of U.S. brand-name goods assembled by foreign workers and imported here for sale would no longer be counted as imported goods, but rather as manufacturing “services” imports. This would deceptively deflate the U.S. manufacturing trade deficit.

The “factoryless goods” proposal, designed by the administration’s Economic Classification Policy Committee (ECPC), also would, overnight, falsely increase the reported number of U.S. manufacturing jobs as white-collar employees in firms like Apple – now rebranded as “factoryless goods producers” – would suddenly be counted as “manufacturing” workers. This shift also would create a false increase in U.S. manufacturing wages and output.

“The only reason you would classify an iPhone made in China as a U.S. export is to hide the size of our massive trade deficit,” said James P. Hoffa, Teamsters general president.

“To revive American manufacturing jobs and production, we need to change our policies, not cook the data,” said Brad Markell, executive director of the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council. “We need to reform the trade policies that have incentivized offshoring and resulted in decades of trade deficits and millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs offshored, not cover up the evidence that our current trade policy is not working.”

One element of the proposed economic data reclassification plan would rebrand U.S. imports of goods manufactured abroad, such as Apple’s iPhone (which is assembled in China by a firm called Foxconn) as “services” imports rather than imports of manufactured goods. And if Foxconn exported iPhones to other countries, the proposed reclassifications would count the iPhones manufactured in China as U.S. manufactured goods exports, further belying the real U.S. manufacturing trade deficit.

The economic data reclassification initiative, if implemented, could further undermine efforts to bolster U.S. manufacturing by producing a fabricated reduction of the U.S. manufacturing trade deficit.
No doubt the important people inside the Beltway think this a marvelous idea which will make the US look like a First World country again. And they can use all manner of previously reclassified words to justify it. In the end it is just so much bullshit and we all get screwed again.

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