So, on May 22, the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) (“Fast Track”) Bill passed the Senate 62 – 37, with 14 Democrats defecting to the pro-Fast TracK/Trade-Pacific Partnership (TPP) forces. However, all was not wine and roses for the Administration and Fast Track/TPP proponents in the Senate.
First, the pro-TPP forces sustained a temporary defeat on May 12, when the Senate would not approve debating Fast Track, introducing delay into the process. The problem was quickly fixed with agreements to consider and vote on related issues such as Trade Adjustment Assistance, forced child labor, and currency manipulation outside of Fast Track. But nevertheless the glitch was unanticipated, and looked bad for an Administration wanting clear sailing in the Senate for Fast Track. Read more about Get Ready to Call 'Em Out On the TPP!
No photographs -- it all happened so fast! -- but yesterday I spotted a big dragonfly and a bird with a twig in its beak landed on my woodchuck fence before flying off, somewhere. Read more about In the garden: The animal kingdom
For those of you who don't know her, Pluto is a writer I met through our interaction at the place so nice they banned me twice (sure I'd love to tell you about it, but it's not relevant to this piece).
She's a ForEx trader and we don't necessarily see eye to eye on economics since she still seems to think there is some connection between money and actual goods and services (particularly in terms of investor confidence) while I'm with the MMT types that find it totally fictional except for its use as a medium of exchange (which could be replaced in a pinch) and to pay taxes (in lieu of feudal servitude), and think confidence is a scam entirely unjustified by reality.
She is whip smart and has much more practical experience than I do, so it's probably better to listen to her.
And while I would argue that gold is simply another commodity that is useful industrially for its ductility, conductivity, and inertness, and that has a certain aesthetic appeal, it is psychologically true that many people attribute special economic value to it however unjustified by facts that attitude is.
Thus I think her bottom line conclusion, that China is preparing itself to take over as the world's reserve currency is probably true. China's reluctance to do so, according to MMT, stems from the fact that the reserve currency is condemmed by account balancing to run pretty serious trade deficits, otherwise nobody else has any money.
Money is a lubricant for transactions. It has no magical, mystical inherent value (of which it is a poor store and this is a good thing because it forces productive investment rather than unproductive hoarding). But feel free to disagree, never let it be said that at TMC's and my sites (The Stars Hollow Gazette and DocuDharma) we don't entertain ideas we don't completely endorse.- ek
Reprinted with permission from The Stars Hollow Gazette
All week I've been seeing references to this headline:
"China could announce that it holds 30,000 tons of gold to back the Yuan/Renminbi."
As a Forex trader, the story took me by surprise, even though China has been stockpiling for years, and is the world's largest gold producer. Also, it's not like China to pull this trigger so fast. However, in the South China Sea last week, the US started militarily terrorizing China with war ships and fighter jets — and China warned (in so many polite words) that the US planted the seeds of its own doom.
So, maybe that's what this is all about.
.... which then appear on the masthead. It's always pleasant to see a new one! (The logos rotate randomly, so there is always the possibility of surprise.) Read more about Thanks to Correntians who are still adding "Logo" photos....
Let's playfully take the artwork that pro-TPP
traitor Senator John Thune (R-SD) tweeted as representative of an entire stylistic school, and let's call that school "Neoliberal Realism," and let's compare it to old-school "Socialist Realism." Take a look at Figure 1 and Figure 2 and see if you can spot the similarities and differences, formally and thematically.
Figure 1: Neoliberal Realism
— Senator John Thune (@SenJohnThune) May 21, 2015
This is one of my garden projects for this year: the water feature. Here is a diagram of one implementation, obviously more buttoned-up than anything I would do:
The stacked stones are actual stones ( New York Bluestone flagstone, whatever that is) and not resin (ugh).
And here is a cutaway diagram showing the assembled fountain: Read more about Common Household Remedies Request
I don't know what I did to make this patch of Bleeding Hearts such a roaring success (if color can be said to roar) but whatever it is, I hope it happens again! Read more about In the garden: Moar bleeding hearts!
Nuclear power plant technicians, senior military officers, FBI contractors and an employee of “a highly-secretive Department of Defense agency” with a Top Secret clearance. Those are just a few of the more than 100 people with sensitive military and government connections that law enforcement is tracking because they are linked to “outlaw motorcycle gangs.”
Remember, passing Fast Track in the Senate was supposed to be the easy part, and not only did Fast Track get rejected on its first try -- "Welcome aboard the S.S. Lame Duck, Mr. President!" -- now we get this. Ryan Grim explains: Read more about Good news on TPP, as Senate passes Fast Track bill with human trafficking poison pill
A lot of the plants are straining to produce the reproductive organs whose shape and form they have adapted to induce us to plant them, but are not quite there yet. Here my irises are fighting their way upward through the raspberry canes. I may have to move their bed at some point. Read more about In the garden: Sea of green