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#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-05-12 08:10 PM |

Can we say it altogether now? Thanks Brandon.

There has been no change in tax policy in 2001 that would lead to [supposedly] higher tax revenues due to higher tax rates, so Biden ["Brandon"?] and Dem Congress had done literally nothing to thank them for the RECORD SURPLUS in April, except continuing to spend money which helped inflate the stock market beyond anything we've seen in 1929, 2000 or 2008, as well as alternative markets and investments, like "crypto" well beyond "tulip mania" levels.

Any MAGAidiots want to explain how Brandon is destroying the economy and blowing up the deficits?

Even MAGAidiots or Demidiots ("MMT, i.e. Modern Monetary Theory, i.e., 'printing money' to stimulate the economy doesn't cause inflation") can understand that most of that RECORD SURPLUS is from people taking RECORD PROFITS at the recent peak of these markets reached in December of 2021 from all that insane spending by Trump + GOP Congress ($8.7T in accumulated national debt in just 4 years, added to $7.3T Obama national debt increase in only 8 years, to total of $27T from $10+T in 2008 fiscal year) and Biden + Dem Congress and the Federal Reserve's Zero-Fed-interest-rate policy + Quantitative Easing to the tune of almost $10 Trillion.

Yes, THEY ALL built that!

That's a lot of capital gains taxes on those profits. Inflation of assets does that every time, and then it spills into "real economy" - often leading to recessions, like in 2001 after Internet Crash and 2008-2009 after Global Financial Crisis (GFC) followed by Great Recession. Supply chain problems due to COVID-19 and Putin's War are adding to the current "global economic malady" neither of which is the fault of Biden, though he could handle some economic issues better instead of trying to spend even more $$ with BBB and other typical liberal "projects".

Both financially illiterate MAGAidiots and Demidiots are responsible for this inflation and possible recession, and both will be pointing fingers at the other guys.
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#3 | Posted by Effeteposer at 2022-04-28 12:04 PM

"If we don't understand what's really motivating them how can we safely escalate? It's stupid and not in our national interest at all.

Exactly, you should tell that to Peskov next time you see him, or your IRA boss, Yevgeny Prigozhin. We do understand what's really motivating Putin and why he has to lie to Russian people about "de-nazifying" and "special operations" and why he had to shut down any indeprendent, non-government news source in the country, and why first things Russian soldiers do is destroying TV and radio towers - it goes back to 1917 Soviet "October Revolution".

This is a parochial Russian conflict. Almost a cvil war.

Oh, don't try that. "Civil war" implies that Ukraine is part of Russia - it's not. It was part of Soviet Union (against its will) like many independent (hardly "non-viable" - what a despicable term you used) countries, but like many former "Soviet" countries - like Baltic states which are part of NATO now - don't want to be a part of Russia and Dugin-imagined Putin's New Russian ("Eurasian") Empire. 78% of Ukraine's population are Eastern Orthodox Christians, while only 43% of Russia's people are... yet Putin is such a good Christian?

Short-term tactical advantage is not a substitute for a long-term strategy, and tactical advantage in absence of strategy is impossible to keep, as Putin already found out. Putin is a "smash-and-grab" artist, he is out of his depth because he never encountered real opposition before. Russian people can't eat oil and gas, they have to sell it (at a large discount, making others having to sell their oil at a discount somewhere else - oil is fungible, gas / pipelines will be too if needed beyond a year or so - markets adjust) and transport it (if they can - India is already having problems getting tankers with discounted oil) - so that's how long Putin's "empire" is about to last. Being a vassal state of (?China?) or at the mercy of few discounted-oil-gas-importing countries is not an "empire" worth living in.

Meddling by outsiders started it, and meddling by outsiders will cause a catastrophic escalation If things go wrong.

True, "meddling" by outsider Putin into affairs of other countries, from installing or attempting to install puppet regimes / governments (Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, USA, France etc.) already caused "things to go wrong", escalating the "meddling" to invasion and waging a genocidal war in Ukraine when his Ukrainian puppet was democratically thrown out and his U.S. puppet Trump couldn't stop it or overturn election through insurrection.

And stop trying to scare us with "nuclear" or "chemical" escalation - it will not end well for Russia (and Belarus, and other non-viable "Russian" satellites and enclaves) - there are several non-viable cities not too far from Moscow and Sochi (where Stalin's and Putin's dachas were - notice the past tense?) to make examples of - like Hiroshima before Nagasaki before... "things go terribly wrong." At best, Vlad's name will be written (in Chinese?) as the "Failed Last Tyrant." Putin maybe out of mind but but "his generals" are not and they already know the end game - all they need now is to negotiate not being on trial for Putin's war crimes.

Don't worry, your St Petersburg (according to your VPN location, you're not too far from Nevsky Prospect) should be left alone, as a city-monument to Peter the Great - last Great ruler of Russia, unlike Mad Ivan, Alexander or Vlad - would be a shame if something happened to it.

So when Tzar Vlad The-First-And-Last is gone, leaving Russia in poverty, with broken credit, military, industries and relationships, having to pay reparations to to restore Ukraine for generation, you will be here posting about "cooperation" and "glasnost" and "perestroika" ("rebuilding")...
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"Musk didn't get as rich as he is by making stupid, emotional decisions."

Actually, he's made a lot of stupid, emotional decisions... but he was lucky enough to have someone close to save him from himself and bail him out at critical times.

Musk's X.com e-bank was losing a lot of money and near bankrupt when it merged with Peter Thiel's Confinity's money-transfer sub PayPal - after disagreement in direction of PayPal Thiel quit and Musk was made CEO of PayPal. Less than a year later, after nearly bankrupting PayPal, Musk was booted out from company and Thiel was made a CEO; about two years after that PayPal was bought by eBay for about $1.5B (check out "PayPal Mafia")... and Musk cashed in his share - money that he used to start SpaceX and invested in his cousins' forever money-losing Solar City (which he later bought using TSLA money and was sued by TSLA shareholders) and invested $6.5M in Tesla Motors (that's right, he isn't really a founder or even co-founder of Tesla Inc.) which was enough to make him a COB of Tesla... He proceeded to nearly bankrupt Tesla by over-leveraging, overpromising and under-delivering... but thanks to his (now former) CFO and factory workers working in 3 shifts Tesla managed to survive, despite Musk's "vision" of reality.

By the way, the new CFO of Tesla also has a title of "Master of Coin" - wonder why CFO of (ostensibly) auto company would have this title?

Large chunk of TSLA's revenue / profit is made of government-mandated (guess who?) "green / carbon credits" was getting from other ("dirty") manufacturers Later, manipulating (using short-covering to pump) TSLA stock and Bitcoin / various e-coins made him even more fabulously wealthy. You can pay $millions in fines to SEC if it makes you $billions, right?

As far as "education = success" or "education = brains" we all know it's not always true - prime example would be Donald J. Trump finished Wharton School of Business at UPenn (top of class, he claimed?), leaving a trail of bankruptcies in his wake, so was his daughter Ivanka - a failed shoes saleswoman - a graduate of Wharton, top business school in the U.S.

Sir Richard Branson, a dyslexic and ADHD individual, on the other hand, had no college education, didn't know the difference between "net profit" and "gross profit" until the age of 50, when he was a CEO of several companies under the umbrella of Virgin Group, yet he is self-made multi-billionaire, one of the "spacemen" and clearly a brilliant guy and a decent human being.

How about Bill Gates, Steve Jobs etc. who dropped out of universities to found great companies that changed our world? Or Jeff Bezos who quietly built a world-class Internet infrastructure and retail giants and space company in less than 20 years, from a humble bookstore? Yet there is also Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes who was a "genuine fake" and caused anguish and numerous investment losses.

"Fake it till you make it" worked well for Musk and some others, like Uber's Travis Kalanick or WeWork's Adam Neumann, but there are a lot more people and a lot more investors for whom it didn't work out.

There are many more examples like these, so making the equations "education = brains" or "brains = business success" is silly.
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For all the Musk's bloviating about 'free speech' he would not know it when he saw it. And buying Twitter is not about it, or about making it more "profitable" - it's not profitable now and likely can never be. It's more about hubris ("because I can") like getting a trophy wife / asset with "forever tax write-off."

I am glad that Elon said it's not about profit for him because TWTR is not worth anywhere near $44B or probably even half that. That's why there were no higher bids and Musk wasn't able to get any Private Equity partners to invest along with him; instead he had to scramble to hastily arrange for $25B in relatively high-interest loans from 3 investment banks - Barclays, BoA and Morgan Stanley - guaranteed by TSLA stock as collateral. And as he only has about $3B in liquid assets has to sell TSLA stock to finance other $21B plus capital gains taxes (unless he can borrow against these shares too from someone which is unlikely considering how much debt Twitter / Musk are already incurring and Twitter debt rating downgrade), it's dropping as investors (not "liberals" or "conservatives") are selling it ahead of him.

But currently TSLA is worth far, far more in multiples than it deserves and more than multiples of TWTR and Elon knows that he needs to leverage TSLA stock's high premium to its tangible value before it disappears - as it's starting to - so he is doing what every company with inflated stock does - buying RELATIVELY CHEAPER assets.

Of course, he will be taking capital and income losses on Twitter forever, so there is that benefit which may partially offset loss on buying TWTR.

And of course, there are alternatives to Twitter, if Elon tries to mess with it too much (and allowed to by reg agencies, including newest EU rules) outside of Trumpian "answers" like Pravda Social, Gettr, Rumble etc.

Just one is Mastodon, created basically on shoestring, and, at least for now, not for profit. It is a "decentralized" social network, which is buzzy and trendy with all the DeFi and crypto.
"Mastodon is totally free of advertising. It is run entirely on donations directed to support the service." -
www.thestreet.com
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Beyond the headline:

The EIA said a likely factor in the amount produced is wind speeds often peak during the spring in the U.S. On the same day, the Southwest Power Pool, which covers parts of North Dakota to Oklahoma, and the ERC of Texas reported wind penetration records.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said on March 29, wind turbines in the continental U.S. produced 19% of U.S. energy that day.

At the same time, the EIA noted since the demand for electricity usually dips during the spring and fall, nuclear and coal generators reduce their output or scheduled maintenance during the season. When there is more wind, coal and natural gas generations often reduce their output to match the demand with the overall supply for electricity.

In 2019, wind capacity surpassed nuclear capacity, but nuclear energy usually produces more electricity because of technological differences. On average, the wind usually produces the least amount of electricity each month. The EIA Energy Information Administration does not expect wind power to overtake coal-fired or nuclear generation in any month in 2022 or 2023.

So wind was at peak, while coal and nuclear were idling. Add to that there have been constant additions of wind turbines and shutdowns of coal and nuclear power plants. Also, winds cycles are about 30%-35%, with usually much stronger output (not theoretical "capacity") at night time, when the energy consumption is much lower, so it needs to be captured in batteries or capacitors, while coal and nuclear can be easily ramped up or turned down to match the output needed.

Ask Germany - they could use "diversity" in energy generation right about now.
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Musk put TWTR "in play"
"Buyout firm Thoma Bravo LP has contacted Twitter Inc to express interest in putting together an acquisition offer that would rival Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk's $43 billion bid, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Thoma Bravo, a private equity firm that had more than $103 billion in assets under management as of the end of December, has informed Twitter that it is exploring the possibility of putting together a bid, the sources said.
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Also, it's unlikely that SEC would approve Musk's takeover due to several violations of SEC rules, e.g.,
1) late filing of 13G, suggesting "market manipulation" which Musk is famous for, both in TSLA stock and various ("unregulated") crypto-currencies, like bitcoin, dogecoin, ShibaInucoin etc.
2) 13G is filed for "passive" investments only, like the above index funds management companies file. It's clear that Musk wanted to be an "active" shareholder, in which case he should have been filing 13D forms.
3) owning Twitter could easily be construed as owning a media copany, which have their own rules and restrictions on ownership, and easily constitute a "conflict of interest" with Musks other ownerships / properties and his history of "unfair practices" with SEC and other agencies.

The funniest thing would be to call his bluff and agree to "sell" providing he can find funders to do it - not everyone is willing to lose $billions to satisfy Musk's latest whim, and he would have to start scrambling for funding and some of his previous backers with large stakes in TWTR (like Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal who was supposedly one of the backers for taking TSLA private in 2018 but now is largest shareholder in Tesla's competitor Lucid) are not interested in Musk's having an unaccoutable "influencer" platform to tout his investments and ability to shut others from doing same. That would be a yet another Musk circus, except it would then become his problem and distraction for a long time and could crimp sales of his other "attractions."

Also, both Musk and Wall Streeters know that there is a very good chance of top tech personnel of Twitter walking out and immediately sinking the value of "old" Twitter, while potentially creating a similar, even better platform (maybe even Dorsey could take a break from Bitcoin and help with version 2.0) - can't buy 'em all - other people, copanies have more liquid assets than Musk and would be happy to fund actual talent (not ragtag TruthSocial with limited appeal). Remember AOL, AOL-TimeWarner, GeoCities, MySpace, Yahoo! and other search engines, etc.?
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"All of Vekselberg's assets in the United States are frozen and American companies are barred from doing business with him and his entities."
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I believe that's been the case since 2018. Problem is, while that might have a nice warm glow from PR point of view, I don't think Putin has a moment of concern about oligarchs' yachts and money, especially those outside of "greater Russia" and his easy reach. "Squeezing" oligarchs is not the same as "squeezing" Putin / Russia; only seriously reducing the flow of Russian oil and gas will do enough damage to Russian cash flow and net surplus to cause sufficient upheaval in society that is otherwise is cut off from outside information. It might further incentivize oligarchs to seek alternative "solutions to structural problem" in Russia, but it's hardly a given.

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Putin's rise transformed the place of these oligarchs. While '90s-era Russia was a chaotic, decentralized place, Putin acted quickly to concentrate power in his own hands. He empowered people he could trust, particularly friends from his careers as a KGB agent and local politician in St. Petersburg. Oligarchs outside that circle were left in an uncertain position, vulnerable to Putin's wrath if they demonstrated disloyalty.

In 2003, for instance, Putin made an example of oil baron Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russia's richest man at the time and his most significant rival for political power. Putin arrested Khodorkovsky on fraud charges, threw him in jail for 10 years, and seized the vast majority of his assets.

People like Vekselberg, very wealthy Russians without personal ties to the new strongman, got the message. In Putin's Russia, you kiss the ring and don't make waves " or else risk ending up like Khodorkovsky. ...

"Vekselberg is 'connected' to Putin in the same way that all oligarchs are connected to Putin. Otherwise he wouldn't be an oligarch. But he's not considered to be someone especially close to Putin."
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www.vox.com -
Viktor Vekselberg, the man at the center of the week's biggest Trump-Russia news, explained (Vox)

www.bloomberg.com - Viktor Vekselberg Met Michael Cohen. Then He Lost Billions (Bloomberg)

www.ft.com - Russian billionaire pushes back over US sanctions (FT)
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#5 | Posted by Twinpac at 2022-03-03 05:55 AM |
Trump's incompetence already set them back 4 years. Mr. Putin was expecting to get a lot of mileage out of Trump's first term, but it didn't happen.

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Putin did get a lot of mileage out of 40-"Fifth Column" Trump's term :

- Weakened NATO, European, Asian and Canadian alliances using trade and other "wars" (He wanted to disband / get out of NATO.

- Completely reorienting formerly free-trade and pro-business, relatively fiscally responsible party (GOP, compared to Modern Money Theory / "deficit / debt spending doesn't matter" Socialist Democrats) into isolationist, national-socialist (fascist), racist, no-limits-spending, no-limits executive "power of One" mob.

- Running huge deficits and debts while actively working to prevent the Federal Reserve from raising rates (even threatening to fire the Chair of the Fed) in face of rising inflation to continue "financial repression" to "run economy hot" and artificially inflating stocks and other financial assets bubbles.

- Openly flaunting graft and personal corruption and unchecked executive power (including dangling "Power of One" pardon) at the highest levels of government.

- Turning democracy and "law and order" into mob rule, which makes BLM look relatively tame.

- Entirely upending Kissinger Doctrine of "keeping friends close and China closer" which separated China from Russia for decades and helped bring demise of Soviet Union within a span of two decades, and pushing China a good distance away from USA right into the arms of Putin's Russia...

I'd say he accomplished a lot, and was possibly within few hours and few people from accomplishing even more.
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