Franklin Graham’s new bank (BB&T) supports LGBT and gender identity at BB&T Park

2.jpgSeveral weeks ago, Franklin Graham moved over $100 million dollars from Wells Fargo to BB&T because Wells Fargo aired a LGBT commercial of two moms raising a hearing impaired child.  Wells Fargo commercial

Apparently, Graham didn’t stop to investigate the extent to which BB&T supports the LGBT community and specifically the transgender communitySee: Rachel Maddow – Franklin Graham’s anti-gay banking protest backfire. 

Last March, the Charlotte City Council voted down four ordinances that would have protected LGBT nondiscrimination rights – including Ordinance #4: a bathroom policy allowing transgender people the protection of using the bathroom of their expressed gender identity.

Janice Covington Allison, who has fought for the rights of the transgender community since 1968, wasn’t satisfied with that vote.  After she was booted from the women’s restroom back in March during the nondiscrimination debate,  she went about contacting the Charlotte city government and organizations around Charlotte that are supported, at least in part, by public funds in an effort to establish their internal policy and procedure concerning bathroom access for transgenders.

Janice Allison says:

Many transgender people are coming out now – and it’s important that we know which organizations show support for us and which do not.  We’re all sports fans and I like going to ballgames – but my health issues make it so that I have to use the restroom often.

Allison wrote the Charlotte Knights organization asking them if she could use the restroom of her expressed gender identity without [sic] security asking her to leave the facility.  The Charlotte Knights are a minor league baseball club and play at the local BB&T ballpark.

In a written statement to Allison, the Charlotte Knights said the following:

“To answer your question, The Knights do not have a policy concerning restroom access for transgender patrons. Patrons are free to choose restrooms at BB&T ballpark based on their gender identity.”

Allison says she is happy with the Knights statement.

I’m happy that the Knights, along with the City of Charlotte and the Panthers, support gender identity.  They’ve acknowledged and assured me in writing that I, and others, can use the restroom of our expressed gender identity.

The BB&T ballpark isn’t the only organization that supports Allison concerning bathroom issues.  The Bank of America stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers also sent Allison a letter expressing their internal policy and procedure that she and all transgender people can use the restroom of her choice.

Over a month ago, Allison lobbied the City of Charlotte and made headlines when the City  acknowledged to her that their policy has always been to allow people to use restrooms of choice and according to their expressed gender identity.  see Charlotte Observer

Allison goes on to say:

All of these conformation letters I’m getting is just one more step for transgender people not having to live in fear.

To date, no organization that Allison has written has told her she could not use the bathroom of her gender identity, presentation or choice.

Janice Covington Allison goes on to say:

This isn’t an attack on Franklin Graham – I just believe all people should be treated equal.

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Republicans regroup – focus on economy

As we all take a breath from celebrating the latest progressive SCOTUS victory – keep in mind that we’re only one election cycle away from reversing ACA and same sex marriage.

The Republicans are taking a step back – gathering their collective talking heads and polishing conservative talking points for cable news networks.  They’ll focus on the economy and the erosion of the middle class – blaming Obama for all the ill that’s befallen the country since FDR.

Keep in mind that some of what you will hear from the far right wing of the Republican party is probably true – Obama hasn’t been perfect.  TPP will more than likely go the way of NAFTA – but you’ll be two years into the next presidential term before you see the effects of what most social economists think is a bad trade deal.

The problem is that we now live in a truly global economy.  With the click of a mouse button you can order anything worldwide for the best price.  Even Ronald Reagan didn’t have that to worry about.

But, the problem is that it puts main street in direct competition with multinational corps and nobody has a vested interest in branding hometown pride or “Made in the USA.”

The last four U.S. presidents have used the word “retool” in describing economic policy shifts to keep America employed.  And, almost 28% of that effort is in green energy production.

The real problem is that neither Republicans or Democrats have a handle on our economic plight because most of the middle-middle class have evaporated into textbook dust.  Today, you’re either lower middle or upper middle – depending on what you do for a living and how much money you’re able to save along the way.

Keep in mind that less than 20% of working Americans have $10,000 in emergency savings.  We’re living paycheck to paycheck – but you don’t hear that talked about in the mainstream news because there’s a conscious effort to divert our attention onto social issues.

In two PEW research polls, Americans are drifting more toward left of center on social issues such as affordable healthcare and same sex marriage.  Why – is there a collective progressive conscious causing the shift?  No – I think not.

Most Americans don’t really care about these issues as much as they care about other things: like keeping a roof over their head and feeding their family.

Over the past six years the number of people who report worry over losing their job has risen 300% – while the middle class has taken on a higher tax burden than at any time in history.

That’s why you’re seeing Bernie Sanders with such large crowds and high approval ratings.  It has nothing to do with his “perceived” social liberal agenda – it’s about people thinking that he’s the one politician who “get’s it.”

In fact, Sanders is the only politician who is speaking to the middle class audience.

We’ve gone from “are you better off than you were four years ago” to a collective tax base made up of the working class saying: “I’m know I’m screwed but what can I do to make sure my kids are better off down the road.”

The Republicans are planning to craft a message that speaks to that issue.  And, the Koch brothers and Carl Rove are putting their money into it’s success.

Will it be accurate? No – but the Dems aren’t doing much more either.  Neither party has leaders willing to embrace the real hurting Americans with ideas to enact monetary policies such as MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) that have a chance of making a difference in the lives of the middle class.

If Bernie Sanders does nothing else – he’s more likely to make mainstream politicians pay attention to economic issues that affect real Americans and not just the 1% who pay to play.

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Why Bernie Sanders resonates with working-class people

The too long didn’t read: Hillary Clinton needs to find a way to talk to people instead of talking at people before her campaign gets out of hand and unravels.

There’s a major difference right now between Bernie Saunders and Hillary Clinton in the way they develop campaign strategy in an effort to get their message across to voters.

On the surface, Hillary is engaged in listening tours with small gatherings of people that are hand-picked – while Bernie Sanders is focusing more on getting his message across to as many people as possible and as many ways as possible.

But that’s the obvious, when you dig a little deeper you can see that there are stark contrasts between these two campaigns and it’s clearly an indication that Hillary is running a corporate campaign, while Bernie is raising awareness through volunteer grassroots efforts.

Take for example the last two venues that both of these candidates attended.

When Hillary pulls up to an event, she’s usually in one of three black SUVs, surrounded with security two layers deep, a ton of paid staffers– including a media communications team of two and sometimes three people.

Clinton has her staff carted around in white panel passenger vans— always mindful to block access to journalists and reporters, keeping them just far enough away as to not disturb the seamless and coordinated efforts of her dedicated but sometimes overzealous staff.

Clinton’s staff knows every reporter who’s covering her.  They have a bio on just about everyone, including what they’re writing about her and how the different reporters are slanting their stories.

In a nutshell, if you aren’t saying nice things (or at least semi-nice things) about Hillary– you get pulled to the back of the pack and it’ll be a cold day in hell before you ever get access to her key people for soundbites and information.

At some level it has always worked this way, staffers have tried to distance their candidate away from the press during certain periods in campaigns.  But this is the first time I’ve ever seen such a coordinated attempt at controlled messaging especially so early on in the season.   Reporters that are covering Hillary are actually working with each other and sharing info just to get enough of a story together to print.

If you didn’t know any better you would think that Hillary is running her campaign as if she’s already won the primary.

The contrast –

When Bernie Sanders pulls up to an event, he’s not three deep in black SUV’s and he’s not dodging the media.  At least not yet anyway.

At best, he has three paid staffers that follow him around to events, along with a group of volunteers who at this point seem to be the hardest working people in politics.  They are not driving fancy cars or coming in white cargo vans – they’re showing up in economy cars and pickup trucks.

Reporters don’t have to worry about the message his people are trying to spin because from what I can see, they’re not trying to spin anything – all they’re doing is handing out the candidate’s prepared speech ahead of the event.  Reporters are even encouraged to to ask questions in real time.

Don’t get me wrong, Bernie Saunder’s people are running a professional campaign – but there is a big difference between the transparency of the Hillary campaign and that of Bernie Saunders.

So far, Sanders and his people were willing to talk to anybody and everybody about pretty much anything.   from where I come from that says a lot.

And, apparently it means a lot to the people who want to hear what Sanders has to say.  It’s not so much that he is drawing record crowds – but that after they listen to him,  the people walking away from his events seem to be more inclined to want to vote for him.  Another thing that seems strikingly different.

In the end, Bernie is talking to people – Hillary is talking at people.  Hillary will be able to maintain as long as she is willing to through money into her campaign and as long as she is able to control the message.  But at some point, money is not good enough.

Hillary Clinton needs to find a way to start talking to people – real people who are living paycheck to paycheck.  People with real concerns about the future and the direction this country is going in – and what the future holds for their children and grandchildren.

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Brian Williams goes back to MSNBC and it’s your fault!

The TL;DR (too long didn’t read) is stop making news anchors superstars and you won’t have problems like the Brian Williams issues.

So, here’s the deal – Brian Williams is going back to MSNBC after many months of being off air because he lied about an Iraqi helicopter ride. That’s not the only thing he’s misrepresented – but we’ll get back to that.

You can check out the NYT vid on how Williams’ story changed over timeNYT

Last Friday, the Today Show aired Williams’ apology in a sit-down with Matt Lauer.  NBC Universal sent out press releases and talking points all during the week: naming Lester Holt as the new Nightly News anchor and pushing the story of a remorseful Brian Williams going back to MSNBC.

So, now that all that’s settled—let’s take a look on what I think are the issues.

Ever since 2003, the soldiers on those helicopters have been saying Williams’ story wasn’t true but nobody would listen to them. It took 12 years and a sh*t storm of social media for mainstream news to step up to the plate.  Oh, look another NYT article you can drool over.

Let’s not pretend it took getting the story into the right hands for it to break. No, it didn’t happen that way. Most mainstream media staffers knew Williams was full of sh*t years ago.

The story broke because not too long ago (I think in 2012 or 2013) Williams started going rouge on cable news.  Brian Williams started out on cable (MSNBC) and after he made the big league he decided he didn’t like the direction cable news was heading in.  He was right but it still pissed off cable news staffers as you can tell when they went into a “f*ck you Brian Williams” chant at a party.

Oh, my!

It’s no secret that NBC did their best to turn Brian Williams into a superstar celeb to get ratings.  Williams was more than willing to go along with it because he has a massive ego.  People like to watch this kind of stuff: Brian Williams’ rapping.

If you want to stop these disasters from happening in the future—stop turning news anchors into celebrities. Hold them accountable and hold the networks accountable. Here’s a hint on accountability: if the sponsors for NBC Universal and MSNBC (in general) had not pulled their ads on Don Imus—he’d still be on MSNBC. Hmm.

Was Williams wrong: yes.  But, the network made tons of money selling soap off of Brian Williams’ back for years without doing anything to correct him.  Hell, even Tom Brokaw was warning people for years about Williams’ story.

In a nutshell, Brian Williams created the perfect storm for him to get this attention. He pissed off cable news staffers who then started to dig into the Iraq helicopter story. It’s not all about a social media storm bringing this to light. Cable news pumped this story with the help of Tom Brokaw (and a few others).

They made it impossible for Williams to sell Nightly News laundry detergent.

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Existing Home Sales: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Originally posted on Logan Mohtashami:

PROFILE PIC

If you look at my Twitter post today, before the existing home sales came out, I predicted 5.35 million in existing home sales.  That is exactly what was achieved. However the expected number (NAR and others) was 5.25 million.
For the last two months, pending sales were positive. Also the purchase application numbers from 2 months ago showed growth. Therefore I expected 5.27 million in SAARs last month but we actually achieved only 5.05 in SAARs. Last months
number seemed off to me for those reasons

Irvine, CA

5.35

5.35

So what is the real story on this number

#1  The Good

THE GOOD

NAR Quote: “All-cash sales were 24 percent of transactions in May for the third straight month and are down considerably from a year ago (32 percent).

Finally we…

View original 395 more words

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NCDP “Riddled with Fraud and Deception” – A Respected Democrat and Labor Commissioner Spills the Story on Inside Democratic Politics

Many North Carolina Democrats are bitter that former Labor Commissioner John Brooks was removed from the Party’s Council of Review (COR) by NCDP Chairwoman, Patsy Keever.   They also feel that Keever overstepped her bounds when she immediately appointed LGBT caucus president Ryan Butler to that position.

Now, many of those same NC Democrats are calling for Keever’s resignation in light of a FEC May filing report pointing to what they consider “pay to play” politics.

The Question:  Did the Chair of the NCDP appoint Ryan Butler knowing his boss would donate $5,000 to the Party? And, if so – does it matter?

Timeline:

April 6th, 2015 – John Brooks was dismissed as Chair of the Council of Review;
Patsy Keever immediately appoints Ryan Butler to take Brooks’ place;
Butler is in-house council for Replacements, Ltd.;
The owner of Replacements, Ltd – Bob Page, donates $5,000 to the NCDP on April 10, 2015.

But, that’s not all – still questions linger of why Brooks was fired in the first place.  At least 13 members of the Council of Review still consider him as the Chair of the adjudicating body over NC Democratic internal matters.

I asked Brooks this question and here is his response:

  • The Democratic Party had experienced the manipulation of meetings for the previous 25 years. Typically, one of the manipulative devices was the crafting of proposed rules of procedure for each meeting in such a way as to maximize the likelihood of the meeting achieving the particular ends with respect to the items on the agenda desired by the presiding officer. These rules were carefully tailored for the one-time occasion and passed out to the assembled group a few minutes before the chair asked the group for their approval.
  • Although it was often proposed that there be standing rules, these requests were routinely squelched. Whenever anyone proposed an item of business under new business that was not acceptable to the chair, upon signal, someone usually yelled out a motion to adjourn, the motion was accepted by the chair, put to a vote, and the meeting was adjourned, even if it meant that in a number of years the Democratic Party went home without having adopted a platform or some of the proposed resolutions that the chair disliked.
Although the state party’s Plan of Organization requires that the Council of Review adopt rules, the first rules were finally adopted in 2014. Previous chairs of the Council resisted having the Council adopt rules because they felt that there was more “flexibility” if rules could be manufactured to achieve the objectives of the Party’s leadership depending upon the strategy needed for the particular occasion.
When John Brooks took office as the appointed chair of the Council of Review for a two-year term, he requested of the staff early in 2014 both a copy of the rules for the Council of Review and the rules for the handling of appeals from the Council to the Executive Council of the Party. He was told by the staff that there were none that they knew of for either body. John also requested a copy of the files of previous cases before the Council of Review and the Council’s decisions in each case so that he could compile for the first time ever a compendium of the decisions for use by the members of the Council of Review for precedential purposes in processing future cases. Again, he was told that the staff did not know of any files dealing with cases prior to 2006 when the party began to keep records on a computer rather than hard copies in a filing cabinet.
The Council of Review is dependent upon the services of random personnel on the staff of the state Democratic Party for assisting with its clerical needs as the need arises. There has been wholesale turnover in staff on occasion from time to time resulting in the loss of institutional memory overnight. No repository has ever been established by the party for the permanent retention of party records and most of the historic records for the years prior to 2006 were destroyed sometime around 2009.

Continue reading

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Warren Mosler – An International Leader in Modern Monetary Theory Endorses Bernie Sanders

Outside of the world of global economics and finance – you may not have heard of Warren Mosler.  But, Mosler is arguably the one of the world’s biggest leaders in MMT and he’s consulted with some of the best and brightest Europe has to offer – as well as the United States.

In 2010 Mosler published Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy outlining errors that can be made in the development of policy and explains what he deems “true” as proper alternatives.

In 2012, Mosler followed up with Soft Currency Economics II as CNBC calls him, “one the brightest minds in finance.”

Mosler also has the respect of Stephanie Kelton.  Kelton is the Chief Economist on the Senate Budget Committee.

So, it’s not only eye catching that Mosler writes on his Facebook page of his support for Bernie Sanders – it’s also newsworthy.

Warren MoslerIt’s so important that it got me working on a Sunday morning as I followed up with Mosler for any clarification.  I asked him if this was his endorsement of Sanders: “Yes, I’m officially endorsing him.”

Why it matters:

Bernie Sanders may be a long shot and it’s certainly true that the mainstream media isn’t giving him his due – but that isn’t Mosler’s focus.  Mosler is concerned about global economies and unemployment.  He wants world leaders to understand fiat currency policy and management – and if they don’t (or can’t) understand, Mosler wants them to put economic advisers who do understand in key positions.

Mosler has a way of putting complex issues into sentences we can understand – as evident in his twitter bio and his quote on taxation:

mosler 2The United States government makes the money they spend, literally out of air– and it’s taxed back to the government making the dollar strong.  But, taxation also causes unemployment – it’s a balancing act.

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