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Authored by Robert Parry via ConsortiumNews.com, The national Democrats saw Russia-gate and the drive to impeach President Trump as their golden ticket back to power, but so far the ticket seems to be made of fool’s gold. The national Democratic Party and many liberals have bet heavily on the Russia-gate investigation as a way to oust President Trump from office and to catapult Democrats to victories this year and in 2018, but the gamble appears not to be paying off. A sign at the

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The number of people smoking in the U.S. has fallen considerably over the years. The most recent figures from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that just 15 percent of adults are cigarette smokers - down from 20.9 percent in 2005. There is considerable variation between states though, as this infographic shows. You will find more statistics at Statista As Statista's Martin Armstrong notes, the most smoke-free state is Utah, where 9.1 percent of

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It ain't easy being a high-profile celebrity these days. A job that once mostly involved ducking cameras and putting out the occasional press release has evolved into one where multiple social media platforms must be updated so that fans feel that real connection that can only come with a carefully managed social media message. The brand is the ultimate product rather than any athletic or artistic output. To that end, even these social media messages come with sponsorships, carefully

Read more: Techdirt.

I had to smile when I read this article on Bloomberg titled, Goldman Sachs Mulls the Death of Value Investing. The article states: There isn’t much value in value investing these days. The value-factor strategy of buying stocks with the lowest […] The post So Value Investing Is Not Dead According To Goldman appeared first on ValueWalk.

Read more: ValueWalk

Next month marks the beginning of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, which saw the equity markets of several nations plunge more than eighty percent in less than two years, a drawdown the severity of which American investors have not experienced […] The post The Asian Financial Crisis 20 Years Later appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute, The economic arguments against central banks are numerous to say the least. Through the writings of Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard we have a wide variety of critiques that explain the many ways the central banks distort economies, cause booms and busts, punish savers, and chose winners and losers through monetary policy.  But, even if confronted with these arguments, and one remains supportive of central banks,

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Published on Jun 17, 2017 Warren Buffett just published his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway investors, and buried in the 29-pages is a shoutout to one Jack Bogle. “If a statue is ever erected to honor the person who has […] The post Warren Buffett on “Person who has done most for American Investor” John Bogle of Vanguard Index Fund appeared first on ValueWalk.

Read more: ValueWalk

Heller is seen as a bellwether for how the bill is perceived across the country. He is facing reelection next year in a swing state where Democrat Hillary Clinton defeated Trump but where there is also an active Republican base, which turned out overwhelmingly for Trump during the battle for the GOP presidential nomination. Nevada is among 31 states and the District of Columbia that expanded Medicaid under the ACA. "I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes away insurance from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans," Heller said at a news conference in
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On February 24, 2017, Molly Young got some devastating news. She had breast cancer, at age 29. "When I took that phone call, and I learned that this was just going to completely uproot my whole life, I'd say I spent maybe 10 seconds or so only freaking out about myself and whether or not I would die. And then immediately thought, 'Oh my gosh, what happens if my health insurance goes away?'" Young said. She had just signed up for health insurance at the beginning of this year on one of the health care exchanges created through the Affordable Care Act. While her insurance covered most of her health care expenses, when she's finished with chemotherapy this fall, she will start radiation therapy, which could be a big out-of-pocket expense since no one in her network provides the treatment. So two of Young's friends decided to lend a hand. They started two crowdfunding campaigns on GoFundMe to help raise a financial cushion for her. The money raised has been "an enormous emotional relief," Young said. It "has been a really great way to have some peace of mind knowing that this is not going to throw me into absolute financial crisis for the rest of my life." She anticipates that the money raised by her friends will be very helpful in paying for her radiation treatment.   Young is hardly alone in relying on online fundraising to help pay for medical treatments and associated costs of illness. GoFundMe, the largest crowdfunding company in the industry, has raised over $930 million for health-related causes on its site, according to a 2016 NerdWallet report. Related Why do people give on crowdfunding sites? As funding drops, scientists turn to the crowd Crowdfunding may help many people afford the treatment and health care they need, but it does not help all of them equally. Professor Nora Kenworthy is among those concerned that crowdfunding can be biased. Not everyone has equal success on crowdfunding platforms, because people have different levels of medical literacy, social-media savvy and access to video-making equipment — the things that make a campaign successful. Kenworthy refers to it as "your ability to market yourself and your illness." In a study with media professor Lauren Berliner, Kenworthy looked at 200 randomly selected health care related campaigns on GoFundMe. The average amount of money the campaigns raised was only $3000, which Kenworthy said is "really hardly enough to prevent medical bankruptcy or pay much larger health care bills." And only 10 percent of the campaigns they looked at reached their goals. The study found that the crowdfunding campaigns which struggled the most to get funding were those for people with "multiple and overlapping health and social crises that are going on in their lives." Kenworthy shared this comic strip with us: a heart-breaking, real-life example of someone falling through the gaps of the crowdfunding safety net. The image above is an excerpt.  "These are the people for whom crowd-funding is often least successful, because it's hardest for them to articulate a single, solvable problem that can be marketed to their networks," Kenworthy said. That raises an important question about the gaps in the health care system that people are forced to fill with crowdfunding. "This is reflective of a broader economic trend towards what we're thinking of as 'flexible' economies where people are more responsible for their own survival and have less of a social safety net. And unfortunately in this particular crowdfunding economy, your responsibility for your survival links to your ability to market and promote your own illness," Kenworthy said. And if you're unable to promote your illness, and raise the money you need, you might be out of luck. That's why, Kenworthy said, crowdfunding might not be the perfect solution for everyone. "It's not the life raft that we might think it is."

Read more: Marketplace All Stories

Rachel Abrams from The New York Times and Sheelah Kolhatkar from The New Yorker join us to discuss the week's business and economic news. Now that Senate Republicans have unveiled their health care plan, a bill drafted in secret, we look at the potential impact it will have on low-income earners and how it could redistribute wealth to the rich.

Read more: Marketplace All Stories

Authored by Whitney Webb via TheAntiMedia.org, A UN report has shown that more than 65 million people were forced to leave their home countries last year, becoming refugees due to deadly conflict. The top nations from which refugees fled have one thing in common, they were all targets of US intervention. A United Nations report has shed light on the world’s burgeoning crisis of displaced peoples, finding that a record 65.6 million were forced to vacate their homes in 2016 alone. More than

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In the latest sign that NYC’s ultra-high end property market is on the verge of imploding after a wave of overly aggressive development, another luxury condo at Manhattan’s One57 tower, a member of “Billionaire’s Row,” a group of high-end towers clustered along the southern edge of Central Park, has gone into foreclosure - the second in the span of a month. The 6,240-square-foot (580-square-meter) full-floor penthouse in question, One57’s Apartment 79, sold

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President Trump's practice of calling out major U.S. corporations to publicly pressure them to keep jobs in the U.S. has been well publicized since the 2016 election campaign. Trump has in the past, for example, criticized the air conditioning company Carrier for plans to move jobs to Mexico. He then took credit when the company agreed to a plan enhanced by state tax breaks to keep a thousand jobs in Indiana. He's also put pressure on Ford, GM and Toyota over U.S. jobs. But turns out some of those companies are still planning domestic manufacturing layoffs and going ahead with plans to make products in Mexico and China. Economists say that’s because as much as publicly traded companies try to avoid negative PR, their strategic decisions are driven most by economic pressures, such as international tax rates, production and labor costs, and the profit expectations of shareholders.  Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Read more: Marketplace All Stories

Two industry groups that represent cattle ranchers have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They want the USDA to reinstate country-of-origin labeling for beef, because they say consumers want to purchase meat from animals born, raised and slaughtered in the U.S. For example, pieces of beef from Canada can come across the border to a U.S. processing plant, get ground into hamburger, and that hamburger then sold without any indication of its origin. The previous COOL rules were repealed in 2015, after the World Trade Organization found they were unfair to cattle producers in Canada and Mexico.  Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Read more: Marketplace All Stories

It was a busy day on Wall Street today, and there was good reason for that. It was the annual reshuffling of the popular trading benchmarks known as the FTSE Russell Indexes. Those indexes track the largest U.S. companies in the U.S. stock market, and they determine what’s in a bunch of securities mutual funds.  Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Read more: Marketplace All Stories

As Congress spends the next week and a half, if everything goes well, wrestling over how they can screw up healthcare in America even more, perhaps they should take notice of a new study from HealthView Services which highlights the fact that the real source of the healthcare crisis in this country is rising costs. As Bloomberg notes, healthcare cost inflation is expected eclipse overall inflation and Social Security COLAs over the next decade. U.S. retiree health-care costs are likely to

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Rachel Abrams from The New York Times and Sheelah Kolhatkar from The New Yorker join us to discuss the week's business and economic news. Now that Senate Republicans have unveiled their health care plan, a bill drafted in secret, we look at the potential impact it will have on low-income earners and how it could redistribute wealth to the rich.

Read more: Marketplace All Stories

It wasn't just Donald Trump who dismissed and rejected charges that Russian spies hacked the election last year. Now we know that pretty much the entire Republican party team did so, too -- from the Republican congressional leadership down to GOP Secretaries of State in the states whose local electoral systems were under attack. They blithely served as Vladimir Putin's defense team, even as President Obama's national security aides were uncovering a vast Russian conspiracy to undermine America's electoral process....What the Post reveals, in passing, is that the Obama administration's
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Authored by Golem XIV, Astonishing hypocrisy! Saudi and its affiliates demand end to support of terrorism while they themselves are some of its largest funders. Their list of demands, as reported in the Guardian, should be translated as: 1) Curb ties with Iran = No talking to Shia Muslims.   2) Sever all ties to terror organisations = Declare Muslim Brotherhood terrorists who we find threatening internally and only Saudi should decide which terror organisations get funded. Not

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The Syrian government and its allies, including Iran, will eventually overcome U.S. efforts to secure influence in the nation, and Kurdish fighters may pay for siding with President Donald Trump and his administration, according to a former U.S. ambassador to Syria. Robert Ford, who served as envoy to Syria under former President Barack Obama from 2011 through 2014, said during an interview Monday with the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that "Obama did not leave the Trump administration many options to achieve its goal" of defeating the Islamic State militant
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Taking the plunge and installing home solar panels can be overwhelming. First there are the consultations to see if your home is a good fit and how much installation would cost. Then come the complexities of reimbursement and net metering.  Marketplace Weekend is looking into the economics of solar energy. There are now 1.4 million solar installations in the U.S., according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, and that number is expected to reach 4 million by 2022. Plenty of people betting on solar power's expansion, including Google whose new tool "Project Sunroof," shows users how much sun their homes get and the feasibility of installing solar panels.  If you're undecided about whether solar is right for you, Marketplace Weekend has sourced a few tips from listeners who've taken the plunge:  1. You don't have to go all in: You can install solar bit by bit, or do one solar project — like heating a hot tub — to test the waters and see if it works for you.  2. You can rent instead of buying: Many states have programs that allow homeowners to rent solar panels. Even with a rental fee, with the right amount of sun and utilization, you could save a lot of money.  3. Understand net metering: It varies state-by-state, but there are lots of policies that allow for net metering — which incentivizes solar installation by requiring power companies to buy back energy individual homeowners are storing in the power grid. If you live in a state that supports net metering — or if you don't — it's important to know the regulations and understand the money-making options open to you because of your solar-powered home.  Have questions or comments about solar energy? Tell us what solar power means to you. 

Read more: Marketplace All Stories

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