Showing posts with label National Debt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National Debt. Show all posts

February 12, 2021

Forecast 2021 By Andy Blumenthal




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November 23, 2020

What A Dumb Education System

School is supposed to help teach our children. 

Unfortunately, the education system here starts out dumb from the get-go!

As the WSJ today reports, $400 billion out of a $1.4 trillion educational loan portfolio is likely uncollectible.  

That's almost 30% bad debt!

But what is unforgivable is that they system is geared towards crappy lending practices. 

As per a former head of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO):

"We make no attempt to evaluate the quality of the borrower, the ability to repay, the effectiveness of the loans...[so] the taxpayer ends up picking up the tab."

Is that fair to all the responsible students and families that pay for their education and repay their student loans?

This systems is so broken, and on top of it yet we want to forgive more student debt all together and teach our children to be deadbeats!

It seems like this education system can't teach anything of value except how to play an already broken system!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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July 26, 2020

Planning Ha Ha

Man Plans and G-d Laughs!
So in retrospect, in 2015, not a single person got the answer right to 'where do you se yourself 5 years from now?'

Where you gonna be in 2020?

Stuck at home for almost the entire year!

But you are a fortune teller and are so smart you should've rolled your dice in the ever exploding  bubble of a stock market.

Oh, that's right, you did!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 12, 2020

IMHO Warning: Stock Market MAJOR Correction Imminent

I went to the mall today.

This is a few weeks into reopening phase 2!

I expected people would have pent up demand and be swarming the stores even while keeping their social distance.

They weren't at the mall! 

The stores were nearly void of people.

The shelves were virtually empty of goods.

Whatever merchandise there was seemed to marked "sale, sale, sale" even on the already deeply-discounted clearance items.

It was completely frightening--like the economy is dead or on severe life support!

Most stores had 3 or more associates standing around or sitting twiddling their thumbs.

This while the stock market keeps ticking up and the NASDAQ is reaching new highs almost daily.

Coronavirus is surging again across much of the U.S. and there is almost 140,000 dead in the U.S. after just 5 months even though much of the population was in self-quarantine.

The economy looks to me in sh*t shape, despite the U.S. pumping $3 trillion dollars more of debt to artificially prop up the economy and the fed lending out money at super low rates.

It makes NO sense for the market to be hitting all time highs as if everything is all roses when the economy is still a true mess!

The New Yorker magazine wrote back in May of a post coronavirus "decade of depression" with an L shaped recovery, yet we keep seeing a V-shaped one and no one seems to be able to offer any plausible explanation for it.

Two-months ago, even before the recent stock run-up to higher levels, Business Insider reported that "the Stock Market is trading at its highest valuation in 18-years."

Last month, Forbes reported that "the stock market appears to be reaching unsustainable highs."

Yesterday again, Bloomberg reported that the "economic recovery is faltering."

Almost daily, I read that companies are laying off their workers (in Travel, Transportation, Entertainment, Retail, Energy, etc.) or declaring bankruptcy (e.g. Hertz, JC Penny, Neiman Marcus, Chesapeake Energy, and more).

This while we are still, in the best case scenario, maybe half a year away from the possibility of a tested, approved vaccine. And then it will still need to be mass produced and mass distributed to hundreds of millions of people in this country and billions globally.

In the meantime, we certainly could be up for a second wave of Coronavirus on top of the flu in the fall/winter. And then the Coronavirus may mutate and become more virulent requiring annual vaccines like the flu shot--more hit or miss.

All this while U.S.-China trade war is imperiling our economy further, and arch-enemies Iran and North Korea remain national security threats.

To me this all points to that we are nowhere near out of the woods and perhaps that there is a wildfire raging and no one seems to be paying any attention!

The stock market euphoria is a common trap and is the definition of "irrational exuberance" but comes after investors have been robotically indoctrinated to buy the dips!

IMHO, buyer beware, beware, beware. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 11, 2020

Stock Market Pinocchio Style


Look folks, Pinocchio's nose is getting longer by the minute.

The market continues on a tear, even while the economy is heading in the other direction. 

I know people have been conditioned to buy on the dips, but I'm not sure that applies while we're in the middle (or maybe still just in the beginning) of a pandemic that has claimed 286,000 lives in just over 2 months (and that's with a global shutdown)!

Somehow, there is a notion that when things start to reopen that all the problems will just magically go away, including the $3 trillion we just added to our national debt, all the bankruptcies being declared, and all the job losses that are becoming permanent. 

If you believe this, perhaps you'd like to buy the Brooklyn Bridge.

The greater fool theory is alive and well.  ;-)

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 7, 2020

The Coronavirus Stock Market

I believe this photo best summarizes where we are with the Coronavirus stock market.

As they say:
Don't count your chicken before they hatch.

This market has gotten way ahead of itself and the pending economic realities of the Coronavirus and the consequences of the trillions of response fund debt. 

Remember:

- The virus does not yet have a vaccine, and it is mutating and may become even more virulent!

- The deaths continue to soar in the U.S. with now over 75,000 dead in just two months.

- The deaths involve much pain and suffering both for the victim and his/her grieving loved ones. 

- The unemployment is at all time highs since the Great Depression. 

- Companies are starting to move from temporary layoffs to permanent firings and contraction, and many eventually to bankruptcy. 

- Profitability and gross domestic product are way down and may be even worse in the next quarter.

- Price Earning ratios are around their 10-year highs even looking out toward a possible 2021 recovery. 

- Restarting the economy does not mean a return to what was as the extreme trauma from the pandemic, shutdown, and social distancing rebalance us to a "new normal."

- A second and third wave of Coronavirus may be as bad or even worse than the first. 

- The two biggest global economies of the U.S. and China are facing a deteriorating and toxic relationship.

- The lingering $3,000,000,000,000 that we just added to our National Debt is going to increasingly strangle our future economic outlook. 

- The election is in November and brings increasing instability and likely volatility. 

In summary, the term used by former Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan of "irrational exuberance" seems like a gross understatement when it comes to our current stock market.  

Get ready to see the froth come painfully off this drunken market--these eggs are about ready to crack.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 30, 2020

Predicted It Right In 2017

This was such a funny photo I found of me from 2017.

Holding a book called The End of The F*cking World.

Little did we know back then Coronavirus was coming our way.

One thing that is amazing to me is the incredible lack of responsibility when it comes to our fiscal (tax rates and spending) and monetary policy (interest rates and money supply). 

For example, we've spent almost $3,000,000,000,000 (i.e. trillion) on Coronavirus Relief/Recovery. 

And there is another package in the works to borrow and spend more money. 

This on top of our already tens of trillions of dollars of national debt we already accumulated. 

The crazy thing is that this is going on globally with Europe and Japan and others borrowing and spending without any sanity as well. 

Now here is the BIG QUESTION for you all:

If everyone is borrowing and spending, who are they borrowing from???

Yep, this is called funny money! 

Because it's not possible for everyone to be borrowing and carrying a bottom line net debt at the same time.  

The money has to come from somewhere doesn't it?

The Federal Reserve is "injecting" trillions into the economy and their balance sheet of "loans" to us is going up towards $11 trillion dollars now.  

These injections are short term medicine that may kill the patient down the road by overdose!

Have you ever heard of a Chair of the Federal Reserve that "urges policy makers to spend more"?

Simple economics tells us that this will yield at some point an unbelievable inflation.

We are injecting or "printing" more and more money (or electronic bytes of it), and that causes the money to devalue because there is so much of it (supply side economics) with nothing but hot air backing it up (we haven't been on the gold standard since 1971).

There is a DAY OF RECKONING coming when:

- People's savings and wallets will devalue and money will be worth close to squat after RUNWAY INFLATION.  

- Also, what do you think will happen to the stock market and jobs too when people have only loads of valueless funny money and can't buy anymore like they used too--can anyone say MARKET CRASH and UNEMPLOYMENT!

Folks, you heard it here first, the end of the f*cking world is coming--it's called CONSEQUENCES, plain and simple. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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April 12, 2020

Reopening The Country WITHOUT Endangering The Masses

I understand the absolute need to reopen the country from this Coronavirus. 

We can't shelter in place forever and watch our economy go into the toilet and our national debt bankrupt us!

Therefore, once we have the mechanisms to control the deadly spread, we must open up offices and stores again gradually to get people working and our economy going again. 

At the same time, I am pissed by those corporate executives that actually have the chutzpah and are pushing for us to open up crowded theaters, stadiums, and other such entertainment or other venues that are NOT critical and pose a greater risk for contagion to masses of people. 

Instead of these CEOs understanding the need to hold off on this pending a vaccination or adequate disease control measures, these greedy corporate chieftain seem to care little to nothing about the health of their customers, and only about lining their fat pocketbooks with more ticket sales. 

I think it's criminal type behavior to push our government to open prematurely and irresponsibly those venues that are of greatest risk to potentially millions of people to get sick or dead in order for them to profit from it!  ;-)

Note: It's reported that COVID-19 compared to the flu in 22 fewer days infected 11x as many people and killed 60 times as many

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 26, 2020

Rescue Plan Is Largely Another Shortsighted Bailout


First of all let me point out these photos of the day.

The first one are blue lines on the floor at Whole Foods telling people to keep their social distance from other customers. 

One person crossed the blue line and another customer promptly yelled at them that they were going to get them sick!

The second photo is limiting Nutter Butters ("Nut Butters") to 4 per customer during this coronavirus--sh*t people are downing Nutter Butters like there truly is no tomorrow.  LOL

Finally, looking over the $2 trillion Coronavirus Rescue Plan, I see a lot of bailouts--about half through grants and half through loans.  

On the positive and largely necessary side are increases to unemployment insurance payments and aid to needy households (up to $150,000 for married couples is needy?) and to hospitals and transit.

In terms of the business loans, there are "forgivable" ones to small business, so not sure how that is a "loan."

Overall though, it seems like we are throwing a lot of other money around that we as a country don't have and will end up paying in terms of a higher national debt and higher interest payments for generations to come.  

This is another lost opportunity!

If we were already going to spend big money like this, why not pass the infrastructure spending bill to rebuild our aging roads, bridges, electric grid, aviation, public transit, and expand internet coverage.  This would actually put people back to work and build America again, rather than give corporate handouts that are shortsighted and with squat to show for it for the country's ultimate benefit.

Everyone likes to get freebies, but eventually the country will come back to pay the piper, and there will be bread lines and not Nutter Butter. ;-)

(Credit Photos: Minna Blumenthal)
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March 22, 2020

We Just Magically Found $2,000,000,000,000

It's amazing how we can magically find $2 trillion for a Coronavirus "Rescue Plan."

This after we already wasted over $6.4 trillion (and thousands of our dead and wounded) through 2017 in unexplainable and endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with no known or lasting benefits to this country (while archenemy, Iran continues their pursuit of nukes unabated). 

And for decades, we haven't been able to find money for:

- Decent healthcare for all Americans.

- Ensuring our national security, including adequate planning and disaster preparedness for things like Coronavirus, cybersecurity, WMDs, EMPs, and for critical infrastructure protection. 

- Repairing our aging roads, bridges, and infrastructure

- Fixing our broken public education system.

- Helping our countless of homeless and needy lying the streets of our nation. 

- Restoring our space program to get a man on the moon again or put another shuttle into space. 

When politics are in play, there is plenty of money to go around. 

But when the nation needs proper care and feeding, there are no adults in the room. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 18, 2019

Impeach + AOC


I saw these two photos separately.

But I instantly realized that they belong together. 

Like peanut butter and jelly. 

Who is a bigger pee brain than AOC?

* She impulsively lost 25,000 jobs and $5 billion investment in NYC from Amazon (as well as about $27.5 billion in tax revenue over 25 years). 

* Her ridiculous Green New Deal wanted to rid us of farting cows and airplanes and didn't get a single yes vote in the Senate (even from her own party). 

* AOC stated that the three branches of government are the "the presidency, the senate, and the house" (Uh, wrong!). 

* Ocasio-Cortez boasts insanely that government deficit-spending doesn't really matter (hmm, I wonder is that how she handles her personal finances too?).

* She allies herself with fellow anti-American and anti-Semites like:
- Ilhan "(Schmilhan) Somebody Did Something [on 9/11]" Omar
- Rhasida "(Israel-Hater) They Forgot What Country They Represent" Tlaib
- Linda "Muslim Brotherhood" Sarsour

How did anyone actually vote for (or support) people like these to run this amazing country?  ;-)

(Source Photo: AOC is from Facebook and Impeachment is from me)
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January 14, 2019

Unbridled Government Spending

I liked this notion from Margaret Thatcher:
The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money. 

And from the Wall Street Journal:
The problem with resisting socialism is that until the money runs out free-spending progressive politics are remarkably seductive. 

In other words, we love to spend what appears as "free" government money--more and more entitlements, bigger and bigger government...basically, we can't resist the candy in the candy store.

But the problem is that the money eventually runs out and by then we have gone too far and are left eating our own flesh. 

 Why can't we spend our precious money and scarce resources prudently and also save wisely for a rainy day--why do we have to act like pigs in the poke?

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 18, 2017

Invasion of Dinosaurs



So what's with the invasion of dinosaurs. 

First one is standing next to the checkout line in Whole Foods in Maryland.

Second one is actually on someone's terrace overlooking the beach in Fort Lauderdale.

Third one is the real McCoy from the Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. 

Certainly, dinosaurs aren't cute and cuddly--even the plush ones from Whole Foods--they'd eat you and I for dinner if they could!

So why do we gravitate to relics from the Ice Age past?

Perhaps, just like looking forward to Aliens from outer space, the dinosaurs represent an important historical link for us, and thus anchor us in a much larger perspective of time and space. 

In a way, it all points to the dichotomy between us as humans with great--almost endless--potential, and yet at the same time, how small we are relative to the enormous dinosaurs that roamed the earth of yesteryear as well as the distinct possibility of mighty extraterrestrials that we may someday (soon) encounter from outer space. 

From this context, I guess what's really amazing is that we, as a people, are still here!

Despite our bad habits and unsustainable living, we continue to innovate our way out of own messes of greed, conflict, contagion, pollution, and resource depletion, and create a future far beyond what destroyed our predecessors or even what may come from current or potential future foes. 

Like the economy, we think we can grow ourselves out of all our troubles--and who knows, maybe we can if we can continue to stay at least one or two steps ahead of all the challenges and threats--but, at the back (or front) of our minds is what if we can't or don't?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 1, 2017

Pennies From Heaven

So I ran into this lady in downtown Washington, D.C.

She posed for the picture and made sure to line up the top and the bottom posters to get it just right

It says:
"Not One Penny In Tax Cuts For The Rich"

Makes intuitive sense doesn't it: the rich already are blessed with...riches!

Any more pennies in their war chest is sort of a drop in the billionaire bucket. 

With tax reform is on the table now...we need tax relief for the middle class and to grow the economy. 

The rich really do not need to get any richer.

Especially with a national debt over $20 trillion already--and not including future entitlement obligations that exceed projected revenue for social security and medicare, which bring the debt in excess of $70 trillion!). 

The gamble with this whole tax reform plan is that the $1.5 trillion or so in proposed tax cuts over 10 years translates into a much bigger economic expansion that makes up for that revenue loss to the government and more. 

If not, well then Uncle Sam bet wrong and our annual deficit gets bigger and bigger (already $666 billion in FY 2017).

Tax cuts for the rich today and estate tax cuts to pass wealth between generations--when they impact the top 1% are ridiculously targeted to those who really don't need it, and many of the decent ones, like Warren Buffet, don't even want it

Let's have a heart and help the people that really need the help--let's narrow the growing divide between the haves and the have nots, and move to eliminate the class system that elevates one child of G-d over another. 

- While some live in McMansions, others are homeless.

- While some eat steak and drink expensive bottles of wine every night, others go hungry and thirsty.

- While some wear fancy designer clothes, expensive jewelry, and different outfits every day, others don't have a clean shirt on their back. 

It's nice to think that some "deserve it" more than others, but we also have to think who really needs it more. 

And if the pennies do ultimately come from Heaven (as all blessings do), then let us distribute these with compassion and lovingkindness as we know our Creator would want us to. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 3, 2017

The REAL Problem Is NOT Healthcare

Why can't all the really smart people in this country solve the healthcare crisis?

The democrats tried and it didn't work out to well. 

And now the republicans are trying and sort of the same thing so far.

Is it politics?

Sure, that is what it can easily look like. 

One side wants to give more to these folks and less to someone else, and the other side vice versa.

But I don't think that is the truth!

Wouldn't we all like to give health coverage to every single man, woman, and child in this country!

Seriously...doesn't everyone have a heart and soul somewhere in there.

And we all know and/or fear what it's like to be at risk, without proper coverage, and without the medical care and medicine that can be lifesaving!

So here's the real problem folks:

It's not healthcare, nor any of the other social or national security issues we face--whether the military, space exploration, environmental concerns, jobs, or anything else. 

This is what it is...

It's called the national debt, which stands art $20,000,000,000,000

And that doesn't even include ANOTHER 127,000,0000,000,000 of unfunded liabilities for things like social security and medicare etc. 

This is a nation that collectively doesn't save--it spends--and it spends not only it's current purse, but it's future one too!

In fact, total U.S Household wealth in aggregate of $90,000,000,000 is eclipsed by our overall national debt!

True, this doesn't include trillions of dollars of other significant business or national assets, but it does point to the overall severity of our highly-leveraged financial position.

So where does this leave us?

We can't really solve healthcare or any of our other problems--if we are BROKE, busted, and a debtor nation. 


Yes, it takes money to invest, and money to pay for solutions for now and for the future. 

But how can you possibly solve anything, if your pockets are not only empty but have a big f*ckin' hole in them. 

So folks, the lousy decisions of the past and present are coming back to haunt us. 

It's a tidal wave, a tsunami of debt--of unbelievable corruption and kicking the can down the road--of fraud, waste, and abuse--of shortsightedness and lack of real leadership--and the time is coming to pay the piper!

If you think the political infighting--liberal and conservatives--tea party and progressives--alt left and alt right--socialists and dictators--is bad now?

But unfortunately, unsolvable problems lead to accusations and recriminations--finger-pointing all around--calls for impeachment--calls to let the other party or some independent lead us out of this mess.

Do you think being in such a challenging situation could also lead us to make rash and stupid mistakes or even go to war? 

In the end, how do you lead us out of a dead-end caused by generations of recklessness with our country's finances?

Some say perhaps we can grow ourselves out of the debt--maybe we need to go back to school and all get our MBAs and start the whole messed up story all over again?

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 1, 2017

America The Polarized

So on one hand, in American politics today you have this--Make America Great Again.

And those who support Trump and change.
On the other side, you have those that oppose and resist.
And those that blame and wash their hands from the dirty politics.
And many that think that the worst in politics already happened.


But our problems are large and eating this nation up alive--from Iran and North Korea to Jobs, Healthcare, Immigration, and more



Our social safety net is fraying under a frightening and mounting national debt, and our national security needs are growing amid an endless array of real doomsday threats from WMD, EMPs, and Cyber Attacks.
What will it be America--blame, ridicule, resist, endless fighting or work to help and not hate. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 14, 2017

I Met The Swamp And It Is Us

So with the election came promises (and hope to some) to "drain the swamp" in Washington, D.C. and beyond. 

That means redefining the size, scope, and purpose of federal government.

It also means reducing regulations that stifle American business and competitive advantage, placing restrictions on lobbying, and imposing term limits on Congress.

Presumably, it also means addressing mounds of fraud, waste and abuse in the system (many examples of each are out there).  

So here is a funny true story from when I was traveling recently...

A gentleman is riding with me in the elevator and he turns to me to make chit-chat. 

He says, "Good morning. Where you from?"

I smile and respond, "Washington, D.C.," and add proudly, "the nation's capital!"

He then asks, "What do you do there?"

Feeling a little perky that morning and with the elevator ride about to come to a stop at the lobby, I quickly blurt out, "Oh, cleaning up the swamp."

To which, the man responds with the sarcasm galore and probably a good dose of disdain, "Yeah right!" 

There was something so comical about this scene in which I sort of baited this guy and at the same time found the reaction that is all too likely throughout America.

Do people believe and are they committed that we really do the following:

- Change the status quo of big stumbling government

- Right the wrongs done by those who take advantage of the system, its power and big money

- Restrain the ginormous national debt that threatens to consume all of us

- Fairly and compassionately address the nation's priorities including those for national security, prosperity, and well-being

- Drain the swamp from the horrendous creatures that dwell and thrive therein

And the capital is not built on a preexisting swamp, but it did come and grow, man-made, dark and deep, as a result of the greed and fear that drives too many, far too far. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 30, 2017

You Can Take The Man From Washington

Wow, it just seems like there is no getting away from Washington, D.C. politics!

Even here in beautiful Florida, I ran into this caricature of former President Obama in some street art downtown.  

Man, isn't it enough that he empowered the Axis of Evil Iran and North Korea; left Syria and Ukraine to rot in bloody civil war and to kneel beneath the will of the Russians; ignored the Sino military buildout in the South China Sea, was lax on radical Islamists, ISIS, and global terrorism; abandoned America's allies Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the gulf nations; and let's not forget that he literally doubled our national debt to $20 trillion!

What was once an admirable Democratic party is still reeling today from the embrace of leadership from behind, disengagement, weakness, and blatant anti-Semitism. 

Like Forrest Gump says, life is not a bowl of cherries or box of chocolates, especially when failed leaders do the wrong things and hurt the country and their party. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 20, 2017

Nuttiest Duck In DC

Just when I thought I'd met all the nuts in this town (Washington, D.C.)...

I ran into this one in the Capitol Reflecting Pool on the Mall. 

Check this out!

The duck is head first waddling away it's feet in the air like a lost puppy.

Reminds me of too many folks who don't want to deal with the many consequential problems that our nation faces (fortunately, there are also many good folks that do!).

From the imminent dangers of North Korea, Iran, and ISIS to our staggering national debt (all of which I wrote about yesterday) along with other critical issues such as healthcare, immigration, and jobs, jobs, jobs. 

Then there are the all too frequent projects that are out of control and funding that is flushed down the proverbial $4,000 toilet. 

A history of dysfunction, fraud, waste, abuse (along with an assortment of personality disorders) have ripened for the picking in the election famous "Swamp"--that we've been promised will be drained!

Maybe that's what this duck is wading into...and what do you think he will find? 

This nation can no longer afford to go head in the sand unless we are looking to be a good-for-nothing dead duck rather than a thriving democracy and beacon of freedom to the world. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal
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April 19, 2017

Nation In Denial

We are a nation in utter denial over our problems.

Just to name a few...

Whether from the threat of North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, who smiled while displaying a video yesterday of nuclear missiles destroying the USA.

To the shooting death of three in Fresno, CA yesterday by a man shouting "Allahu Akbar" that was deemed not a terrorist attack.

To our national debt of $20 trillion which quadrupled in just the last 15 years under the administration of both political parties.  

Unfortunately, denial is still alive and well, while smiling photos of the North Korean dictator adorn the light poles outside the capital of the USA.

We don't like to admit our problems be it from despots threatening us with WMD to global terrorism that gives us no peace, and a mammoth debt that is sinking our national economic sustainability.

Smile for the camera!

Don't worry about big problem-solving. 

What we don't admit can't hurt us or can it?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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