The re-election rate of members of the House of Representatives for the past elections (2005 and 2011) records 34% being successful and 64% failing to return. With 12 months to the 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections, House Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay has fears and says he has lost sleep because he suspects many of his colleagues may not be re-elected.Last week Thursday, during an acquaintance meeting with members of the Legislative Reporters Pool (LEGISPOL) in the House’s first floor conference room, the Speaker said among other strategies and objectives that continuity (Re-election of representatives) is a paramount issue.The 48-year-old Speaker said continuity leads to efficiency and effectiveness and it is an overriding capacity builder.He also named reconciliation as a critical factor, and towards achieving that goal, the Speaker formally announced a 4-day Legislative Retreat, in Ganta, Nimba County, from Wednesday, Nov. 2-5.The Speaker noted that the widely publicized 2nd Extraordinary Session has not been finalized with the Executive.He further named image building and coordination as some of the known strategies to rebrand the House of Representatives after over four months internal wrangling to unseat former Speaker J. Alex Tyler.Speaker Nuquay stated that reconciliation among the members of the House of Representatives “is to make amends…bridge the gaps…and let bygones be bygones in order to do to the people’s work.”He said lawmakers should do away with ‘self-interest’ to begin their image building and focus on their primary functions. It has been gathered that the House Press and Public Affairs has been tasked to drive the image building process of the House of Representatives.“Coordination between and among the branches of government is key because it makes us achieve the developmental goal…which is the integral part of our exercises,” Speaker Nuquay said.Sources in the office of the Speaker say he will embark on strategies up to 2017 to ensure he has a good chance of being re-elected, including the post of speaker.The Daily Observer has gathered that among the 73 members of the House of Representatives – only six Representatives are not seeking re-election. They include former Speaker and Bomi County District # 2 Rep. J. Alex Tyler; Grand Gedeh County District # 2 Rep. Morais Waylee; Grand Kru CountyDistrict # 1 Rep. George Wesseh Blamoh; Lofa County District # 5 Rep. Moses Y. Kollie; Maryland County District # 1 Rep. James Biney and Nimba County District # 3 Rep. Samuel Woleh.Since 2005, incumbents seeking re-election to the House and Senate had appalling turnout rates of about 29.4% owing to unfulfilled development promises and several factors that sitting members of the Legislature failed to complete for their people. Other factors include failure to establish district offices and employ adequate staff both in the Legislature and in the Districts and overlooking obligations to attend special events and pay regular visits to their districts.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
UPDATED March 8, 2013After this article was published, Martin Holladay conducted a test of eleven air-sealing tapes on a variety of materials. To read the results of Holladay’s testing, see Backyard Tape Test and Return to the Backyard Tape Test.It’s hard to create a tight air barrier without using tapes, gaskets, caulk, or spray foam. In this blog, I’ll look at two of these categories — tapes and gaskets. I’ll be focusing on air-sealing products, so I’ll ignore flexible flashing tapes used for waterproofing. (I’ll address duct sealing in a future blog.)[Author’s note: since this blog was originally published, two U.S. distributors have begun selling high-quality European construction tapes. While these tapes tend to cost more than tapes from U.S. manufacturers, most builders who have tried them have been impressed with their performance. Moreover, European tape manufacturers (unlike U.S. manufacturers) offer tapes that are vapor-permeable. The two distributors are Small Planet Workshop of Olympia, Washington (distributor of several types of Siga tape, including Corvum, Rissan, Sicrall, and Wigluv tapes) and Four Seven Five of Brooklyn, New York (distributor of Contega tape, Tescon tape, Unitape, Rapidcell tape, and Budax Top tape).]I’d like this blog to be a work in progress, so I strongly urge readers to post information on products that work well.To limit air leakage, builders use tapes to seal the seams of a variety of membranes and buildings products, including housewrap, polyethylene, OSB, and plywood. Tapes are also used to seal duct seams, to seal leaks around penetrations through air barriers — for example, to seal around plumbing vents — and to seal sheet goods to a variety of materials, including concrete.Needless to say, no single tape works well in each of these applications, so builders need… Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.
Van Dijk: Liverpool will ask me about De Ligt if we want himby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool defender Virgil van Dijk admits there’s little talk about Matthijs de Ligt.The Ajax stopper is expected to leave for a major European power, though Van Dijk says there’s been little talk of his Holland teammate at Melwood.He told AD: “It does not work like that. A big club like Liverpool has so many scouts looking around, they will keep an eye on him. “If they want to know something, I’ll hear about it.”Asked how much he would pay for De Ligt, Van Dijk laughed: “Well, less than that for me, hahaha. But Ajax is in a luxurious position. We will see.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Jim Harbaugh was only Michigan’s head coach for one of the program’s three rivalry contests against Ohio State during Ezekiel Elliott’s tenure, but he seems to have made quite an impression on the star running back. Friday, Elliott, who is going through the ESPN car wash today, trashed Harbaugh, telling Paul Finebaum that he’s “tired” of hearing about him. Elliott also called out Harbaugh for talking smack when he hasn’t won a rivalry game. Yikes.“I’m tired of hearing about Coach Harbaugh he needs to get in check with reality” – @EzekielElliott pic.twitter.com/QHElXCl7QV— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) April 15, 2016more from @EzekielElliott: “you can’t talk smack about a rivalry when you haven’t won a game. You have to win ballgames to talk behind it.”— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) April 15, 2016Here’s @EzekielElliott‘s full quote about Jim Harbaugh on @finebaum pic.twitter.com/FkeSmMrqZa— John Hayes (@johnP_hayes) April 15, 2016This isn’t exactly a surprise – Elliott has made a living off of trolling Michigan the past few years. But it’s still hilarious, and reminds us that there is no better college football rivalry than Ohio State vs. Michigan.
What Is Affecting the Health of Housing? Home Home Maintenance HOUSING Housing Authorization Remodeling 2019-01-16 Radhika Ojha in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Share January 16, 2019 922 Views Single-family housing authorizations, maintenance, and remodeling volumes have decreased, according to the BuildFax Housing Health Report which found declines in all three categories for the second consecutive month in December.While single-family housing authorizations decreased by 3.76 percent year over year, maintenance volumes for existing homes declined 10.71 percent over the same period. The remodel volume of existing homes also dipped by 15.64 percent year over year, according to the report.However, in a nod to 2018’s high material and labor costs remodel spend, a consistently volatile subsection, increased 5.97 percent in December. These higher costs resulted from increased tariffs and the effects of recent natural disasters, the report indicated.The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) publish a joint report on new residential construction every month. But the report has been delayed this month due to the government shutdown.If the current trend of declines across these three categories persists, the report noted that the probability of recession could double between 2019 and 2020, the report said.”The potential for an economic downturn has been highly discussed over the past few months as more signals of a recession come into alignment,” said Holly Tachovsky, CEO, BuildFax. “While this is only the second consecutive month of declining indicators, this shift is in stark contrast to the white-hot housing market that the U.S. has experienced since 2013.”According to the report, single-family housing authorizations are among the earliest and most predictive indicators of a recession and can provide a leading indicator of the health of the economy. Looking at historical data, the report found that U.S. housing authorization activity had one of the highest correlations with each economic downturn between 1961 and 2018.”Under current conditions, we anticipate single-family housing authorizations to be a must-watch indicator in 2019 and as we move into 2020. However, more than a few critical economic factors must align before a recession is imminent,” said Jonathan Kanarek, COO BuildFax.Click here to read the full report.
0 Comments Share Painter played for the Washington Redskins in 2016 and the Cleveland Browns in 2014 for a total of eight games. He was a six-round pick by the Denver Broncos in 2013.Price was originally cut to make way for the 53-man roster, but the team re-signed the offensive tackle to their practice squad. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Arizona Cardinals signed offensive tackles Ulrick John and Vinston Painter to their practice squad and released Givens Price Thursday. Arizona Cardinals wide receiver J.J. Nelson (14) celebrates his touchdown with tackle Ulrick John (75) and tackle D.J. Humphries (74) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) #AZCardinals singed to the PS OT Ulrick John (6’5, 307) OT Vinston Painter (6’4, 318) and released OT Givens Price.— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) September 14, 2017John started three games for the Arizona Cardinals in 2016 and played in two games for the Miami Dolphins in 2015. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Categories: News,Reilly News 19Oct Committee approves Rep. Reilly bill to end mandate on education plan The House Education Reform Committee today unanimously approved legislation sponsored by state Rep. John Reilly to prevent homeschool and non-public school students who participate in courses at public school districts from being required to submit Educational Development Plans (EDPs).EDPs are academic and career plans mandated by the Michigan Department of Education, requiring students as young as 12 years old submit long-term career plans to their school districts. Allowing homeschool and non-public school students to make use of public school programs creates mutually beneficial relationships between these families and their schools. Requiring students to complete EDPs can erode that trust.Reilly testified in support of House Bill 4805 on Sept. 28, alongside both public school employees and homeschool activists, for a broad coalition of support for shared-time students.“I’m pleased, on behalf of thousands of Michigan families who homeschool their children, that the committee agreed this regulation was a bureaucratic overreach,” said Reilly, a member of the Education Reform Committee. “The EDP requirement would have been damaging to public school programs, in addition to the educational development of these students.”Oxford Virtual Academy administrators Janet Schell and Lisa Sullivan also spoke in support of Reilly’s bill on Sept. 28, with Sullivan stating “the Department of Education has not shared a satisfactory reason for these requirements.”Reilly emphasized plans are not beneficial for many Michigan students.“My concern is that mandating EDPs from students who are only using public schools to supplement their education simply discourages them from doing so,” said Reilly, of Oakland Township. “Whenever given the chance, we should stand for educational freedom and choice. This legislation is a step in the right direction.”HB 4805 advances to the full House membership for its consideration.#####
20Dec Rep. Wentworth’s school safety plan one step away from becoming Michigan law Categories: News,Wentworth News The Michigan House today gave final legislative approval to a comprehensive plan improving safety in schools, including a measure from Rep. Jason Wentworth establishing a statewide commission to review and help upgrade building security.The bipartisan plan also enhances law enforcement training, establishes reporting procedures for incidents in schools, and makes the OK2SAY school safety program permanent – among several other security improvements.“One day at a time, one building at a time – as a team we must continually work to make our schools safer in every Michigan community,” said Wentworth, of Clare. “This plan provides a framework to do just that. We owe this to our kids. We owe this to our teachers. We owe this to everyone who works or attends events at our schools.”Wentworth’s legislation creates a commission evolving from a gubernatorial task force charged with making school safety recommendations. Working with a new Office of School Safety, the commission will help develop a system to audit and improve safety procedures in Michigan schools. The Office of School Safety – which will be part of the Michigan State Police – will distribute grants to help schools make security improvements.Wentworth worked with local schools, law enforcement, and legislators from both major political parties to craft his plan.Other pieces of the overall plan include:Establishing a liaison within each school district to report to and work with the state – a necessary step to make sure improved safety practices reach every corner of Michigan and that local perspectives are included in the process. Emergency operations plans will be adopted for each school building.Mandating consistent, standardized training related to school violence incidents as part of the requirements to be a licensed law enforcement officer in Michigan.Requiring schools to submit incident reports to Michigan State Police. The reports will provide state school safety officials with examples of how incidents were handled to develop best practices for other Michigan schools to follow.Requiring schools to consult with local law enforcement officials prior to major renovations or new construction projects, with the goal of including building safety features.Removing the sunset date for the OK2SAY program, which allows the confidential reporting of tips on potentially harmful or criminal activity directed at students, school employees or school buildings. OK2SAY has handled more than 16,000 tips since its debut in 2014. The program is expanding and adding resources.The legislation, part of a package that includes both House and Senate bills, is advancing to the governor for consideration.###The school safety package includes House Bills 5828-29 and 5850-52, along with Senate Bills 882, 982-83 and 990-91.
It was just another slice off all four precious metal salamis yesterday The gold price got sold down back below $1,200 the ounce in two smallish bouts of selling during the Thursday trading session in the Far East, with the Hong Kong low coming shortly before 2 p.m. local time. The subsequent rally back above $1,200 spot got capped at the 8:20 a.m. EDT COMEX open—and by the London p.m. gold fix, the price was back in the box. After that, the price didn’t do much, although the low tick came at a spike down about twenty minutes before the COMEX close. The high and low were reported by the CME Group as $1,203.30 and $1,192.40 in the June contract. Gold closed in New York yesterday afternoon at $1,193.50 spot, down another $8.70—as JPMorgan et al continue to slice the salami to the downside. Net volume was on the lighter side once again at 110,000 contracts, the same as Wednesday’s volume. The chart pattern for silver was more or less the same as the gold chart, expect the spike low came about 10:20 a.m. EDT. The silver price didn’t do much for the remainder of the day. The high and low were reported as $16.51 and $16.105 in the May contract. Silver finished the Thursday session at $16.15 spot, down another 36 cents. Net volume was 31,000 contracts, a few thousand contracts less than Wednesday’s volume. The dollar index closed late on Wednesday afternoon in New York at 98.06—and had almost a 40 basis point up/down rally that ended around unchanged at 8 a.m. EDT. Then away it went to the upside, before topping out at roughly 99.17 sometime around 3 p.m. After that it slid a bit into the close, which was recorded as 98.98 by the folks over at ino.com. The index finished the Thursday session up 92 basis points, but was up over 100 basis points at its high. The platinum price chart looked like a carbon copy of the the other two precious metals—and it was closed on Thursday at $1,154 spot, down another 11 dollars. And as I write this paragraph, the London open is twenty minutes away. The gold price, which had rallied a few dollars in Far East trading, is now back to unchanged—and silver is currently up a dime. Platinum is up 7 dollars—and palladium is basically unchanged. Net gold volume is a bit under 12,000 contracts—and silver’s net volume is just under 4,400 contracts. The dollar index, which had been quietly trending lower during Friday trading in the Far East, popped into positive territory and back above 99.00—and is now up a magnificent 5 basis points. Today we get the latest Commitment of Traders Report, along with the April Bank Participation Report—and I’ll be more than interested in what they have to show. It will also give Ted Butler the opportunity to recalibrate JPMorgan’s short-side corner in the COMEX silver market—and I’ll have all of that for you in tomorrow’s column. I was just rereading Ted’s quote above—and I must admit that it is discouraging to know that the precious metal mining companies have become silent co-conspirators in the precious metal price management scheme. And as I’ve said countless time in the past, they have totally abrogated their fiduciary responsibilities to their respective shareholders—and no appeal, no matter how reasoned, will make them budge. Not only don’t they want to talk about it, almost all of their respective I.R. people actually try to blow you off the moment you broach the subject with them. Some of them have admitted to me in private that they’re fully aware of what’s happening, but will deny everything if they have to discuss it in the public domain. How did it come to this? If you haven’t tried your luck, phone the Investor Relations department of any silver company you own stock in—and see what happens when you start asking questions about this issue. Most companies have a 1-800 number, so the call is free. And as I send today’s effort off into cyberspace at 5:20 a.m. EDT, I note that after trading basically sideways through all of Far East trading—and the first hour in London—all four metals popped a bit higher starting at 9:00 a.m. British Summer Time [BST]. At the moment, gold is up eight bucks—and back above $1,200 spot. Silver is up just under 30 cents, platinum is up 13 dollars—and palladium is up half that amount. The dollar index is now up 40 basis points. Not surprisingly, volumes have blow out as well, with gold’s net volume now north of 36,000 contracts—and silver’s net volume around the 9,600 contract mark. It’s obvious that JPMorgan et al are going short or selling longs aggressively into this rally—and if they keep it up, these rallies won’t last long. But as I said further up, there’s always the possibility of a countertrend rally because the current COT structure isn’t all that bad in either silver or gold at the moment. But I also said that how high these rallies go—and how fast they get there—will be entire dependent on what “da boyz” do as these rallies unfold. And using current volume levels as a precursor, they’re already doomed. However, since today is Friday, nothing will surprise me as far as price action is concerned—and I await the 8:20 a.m. COMEX open with great interest. Enjoy your weekend, or what’s left of it if you live west of the International Date Line—and I’ll see you here tomorrow. Opt Out! Tired of being saddled with higher taxes to help pay for the government’s reckless spending? Make sure you and your savings have diplomatic immunity from a government hell-bent on bankrupting the nation—and everyone in it. Whether it’s opening an offshore bank or brokerage account, owning physical gold in Singapore or Switzerland, or setting up a foreign company to hold your investments, low-cost solutions are within everyone’s reach. You don’t even have to leave your living room to do it. Find out how to take advantage of this strategy before the government outlaws it too (they’re already working on it). The chart pattern for the silver equities was virtually the same, complete with the 1 p.m. EDT sell off. But the silver stocks never saw positive territory at all on Thursday, even though they came close a time or two—and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 0.47 percent. The CME Daily Delivery Report was a big surprise, as it showed that zero gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Monday. I made a reporting mistake in yesterday’s Daily Delivery Report. I said that JPMorgan stopped 97 silver contracts of the 114 issued. In actual fact it was Canada’s Scotiabank that stopped those 97 contracts, not JPM—and I thank Ted Butler for pointing out the error of my ways. The CME Preliminary Report for the Thursday trading session showed that gold open interest in April continues to decline, as it dropped another 269 contracts—and is now down to 2,462 contracts left open. Silver’s April o.i. also declined, but only by 15 contracts—and now stands at 170 contracts. I’m still wondering what the short/issuers in gold are waiting for—and who them might be when they finally do put in an appearance. Much to my surprise, there was a deposit made in GLD yesterday, as an authorized participant added 95,951 troy ounces. Based on past price action, it may have been deposited to cover an existing short position. And as of 9:54 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. Since yesterday was Thursday, Joshua Gibbons, the Guru of the SLV Bar List, updated his website with what was going on at the iShares.com Internet site as of the close of business on Wednesday—and here’s what he had to say. “Analysis of the 08 April 2015 bar list, and comparison to the previous week’s list: 2,047,974.7 troy ounces were removed (almost all from Brinks London), no bars were added or had serial number changes.“ “The bars removed were from: Russian State Refineries (0.6M oz), Kazakhmys (0.6M oz), KGHM (0.3M oz), Solar Applied Materials (0.3M oz), and 7 others.“ “As of the time that the bar list was produced, it was overallocated 1,062.9 oz. All daily changes are reflected on the bar list.“ There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday. It was another day of very little action in gold at the COMEX-approved depositories on Wednesday, as 4 kilobars were reported received—and 3 kilobars were shipped out. But it was a totally different story in silver once again, as a monstrous 1,883,054 troy ounces were reported received—and an equally monstrous 1,748,030 troy ounces were shipped out the door. JPMorgan added another 1.28 million troy ounces to their already impressive inventories of that metal. And as Ted said on the phone yesterday, the activity of the last two days has certainly been associated with the silver deliveries that occurred during the March delivery month—and the promised metal is now on the move. The link to that action is here—and it’s definitely worth a look. It was another busy in/out day at Brink’s, Inc. in their COMEX-approved warehouse in Hong Kong, as 3,000 kilobars were reported received—and 6,134 kilobars were shipped out. The link to that activity in troy ounces is here. Nick sent us a couple of new charts last night. They show India’s gold and silver imports going back to 2008—and they don’t require any further embellishment from me. Nick pointed out that the bars on the charts for the 2015 calendar year represent January imports only. The golds stocks opened down—and hit their low ticks minutes later, before rallying back to unchanged. They were a hair into positive territory, but that changed at precisely 1 p.m. EDT when they got sold down for an hour or so, before rallying a bit into the close. The HUI finished down 0.55 percent, which wasn’t bad considering the price action. Palladium’s price chart was a mini version of the platinum chart, although the rally that began in that metal shortly after 2 p.m. Hong Kong time, it didn’t get its comeuppance from “da boyz” until minutes after 9:00 a.m. EDT. After that it also traded flat into the close of electronic trading. It was the only precious metal to close up on the day at $761 spot—a gain of 7 bucks. It was another fairly slow news day yesterday—and the pickings were reasonably slim, but I hope you find a few that interest you. The combination of JPMorgan taking delivery of a large amount of physical silver long after my speculation that it was doing so, plus the ill-timed manipulation charges against Kraft gave me, I believe, the rope of specificity to hang these crooks. And barring any legitimate explanation by either the CFTC, JPMorgan or the CME, all must be considered illegitimate and corrupt. Although I become weary at how blatant and obnoxious the roles all three principal participants in the silver manipulation have become, I think I am made wearier by the lack of involvement by some fellow commentators (certainly not all) and, particularly, by the lack of involvement by mining company management. As many of you have suggested to me, you would think the miners would be all over this. So would I. At the same time I fully concede that the COMEX silver manipulation has grown stronger, I also know the resultant effect on silver mining will come in time. While total primary silver mine production has not declined in accordance with the extremely depressed price, that is due to the long lead times necessary to open and close a silver mine. One thing for certain is that silver exploration has taken it on the chin and we are delaying future mine production and creating gaps in the time and quantity of future mine supplies. One would think that this would be obvious to every mining manager and that they would be responding to the one specific cause of low price – futures contract positioning on the COMEX. I believe an important opportunity has been presented to mine managers by the double standard demonstrated by the CFTC in the Kraft wheat case; but if they don’t petition the agency, the opportunity is lost. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 08 April 2015 Well, dear reader, it was just another slice off all four precious metal salamis yesterday, as JPMorgan et al do their thing once again. The only question remaining is; will these slices be thin—and over a long period of time, or will they take a meat cleaver to it—and do it in a couple of large chunks? I don’t know—and neither does anyone else. But, having said that, the internal COT structure is still pretty bullish in gold—and silver’s COT number are market neutral, so there certainly could be a countertrend rally at some point, but that will only occur if “da boyz” allow it. And how those rallies might go is entirely up to them as well. Here are the charts for all four precious metals, so you can see the latest slices for yourself.
Justin’s note: Today, Doug’s longtime friend and colleague Bill Bonner provides an update on what’s going on in Washington…and paints an ugly picture for what’s to come. He also shares his thoughts on the recent surge in cryptocurrencies… By Bill Bonner, chairman, Bonner & Partners “Do you still have that physical bitcoin I gave you?” A couple of years ago, a friend gave us a physical bitcoin, suggesting we should take an interest in cryptocurrencies. “I hope you didn’t lose it. That coin is now a collector’s item. It sells for more than $10,000 on eBay.” We searched high and low. We couldn’t find it. Did we give it to our grandson? Did it end up in the laundry? Did we give it to a porter as a tip? It must be somewhere. We’ll keep looking. Back in the Game Bitcoin is back. Here’s Forbes: They’re ba-aa-ack. Whether it’s the Chinese, or the Koreans, or the Russians or us Americans is anybody’s guess at this moment, but what it looks like for a few cryptocurrency players out there is that the Chinese have found a new way to get back into the game. Last month, China banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) – a way crypto ventures raise capital – and crypto exchanges, websites that allow you to exchange your government fiat currency for cryptocurrencies. It looked to many as though it was the end of the road for bitcoin. The bitcoin price fell to $3,200 from its all-time high of $5,000. Now, it’s back over $4,100. Strange website could let you earn $860+ a WEEK! Did you see this strange website sweeping across America? A growing number of retirees are using it to invest in a little-known market of 900+ companies. And they’re collecting gains unlike anything we’ve seen in the traditional stock market in decades. It’s free to join. There’s no hassle. And over 33,000 users are signing up every day. And the crazy part? Some have collected $860 or more a month! Simply by trading tiny $0.01 plays… Check it out here… Recommended Link Recommended Link And last week, Japan – the main beneficiary of China’s clampdown – approved 11 cryptocurrency exchanges. Money talks, and it’s hard to argue with people who are getting rich. For instance, subscribers of Palm Beach Confidential, one of the advisory services from the Palm Beach Research Group, have had the chance to strike it rich on recommendations from colleague Teeka Tiwari. Last April, after it had just launched, Teeka recommended what’s now the world’s second most valuable crypto asset. Then, it was about $9. Now, it’s over $300. And in February, he recommended one of the hottest Chinese crypto ventures. It was 12 cents at the time. Today, it’s selling for more than $32. Let’s see… if you’d invested $1,000, you’d have more than $250,000 now. Finally, we checked with our son Will, the Bonner family’s in-house cryptocurrency enthusiast. A while back, he urged us to speculate with some of the family money in the crypto casino. “We’re up about 85% since we invested in June,” Will reported back. Novelty Tech Will is more open-minded than we are. He likes technology… and believes it will improve the future. We’re not so sure. The last tech innovation that clearly improved our lives was air conditioning, invented by American engineer Willis Carrier in 1902. When we could finally afford it, in 1990, it made the Maryland summers much more agreeable. Penicillin, discovered by Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming in 1928, was a big help, too; it saved our lives when we had pneumonia in 1954. As for the rest, we could take them or leave them. And cryptocurrencies? As far as we’re concerned, they’re still a novelty… and, as money, still unproven. So, we do not advise following our example. Not unless you can lose your money but keep your sense of humor. Is the Final Collapse of the U.S. Dollar Underway? As the Dow continues to hit record highs, the U.S. dollar is off to its worst start since 1985—down 9% this year. What does it mean for investors? Doug Casey has a unique take on the situation. For full details, click here. — Party of Trump Speaking of a sense of humor… As expected, Trumpismo is shaping up to be a third political force. Reports The New York Times: [Steve Bannon] and [billionaire hedge-fund manager Robert] Mercer began hashing out a rough outline for a “shadow party” that would advance Mr. Trump’s America First agenda – even if Mr. Trump himself strayed from it – during a five-hour meeting last month at the family’s Long Island estate a couple of days before Mr. Bannon’s resignation from the White House. […] Bannon and the Mercers also stand out as more pugilistic in their tactics and ideology, bonding less over a shared cohesive political ideology than over a desire to disrupt the political establishment – the Republican establishment in particular. When Team Trump’s tax reform push fails, they are going to need someone to blame. They won’t blame themselves, of course. Neither for being unable to come up with a plan their party could fully support… nor for misleading the public by offering to do something they couldn’t do (pass a major tax reform)… nor for even greater deceit of promising something that no one could ever do (boosting real growth by cutting taxes without also cutting spending). Unless the feds cut spending, a tax cut is a fraud. When the tax reform measure fails, what will its supporters do? Always here to help, we suggest the Trumpistas in Washington “fall upon their swords,” like Cato the Younger… or open their bellies with a knife, like the last true samurai, Saigō Takamori. Instead, they’ll blame the Republican leadership in Congress. Which is all right with us, too. House Republicans are mostly swamp critters. Devil in the Detail Whatever comes of it, the proposed tax cuts won’t help the middle class or the economy. The Deep State controls the feds… and most emphatically, it controls the details of tax policies. It doesn’t matter what the news headlines report… or what POTUS tweets… The devil in those details will make sure that the swamp gets more, not less, of the nation’s wealth. Mr. Trump calls his tax proposal a “miracle for the middle class.” Yes, it would be a miracle if it passed. And it would be another miracle – like turning base metal into gold – if it did anything for the middle class. Our friend and budget advisor to President Reagan, David Stockman, calculates that the typical middle-class family could expect annual tax savings of precisely $5. With that money, you might be able to buy a “Make America Great Again” hat on eBay. Or not. The feds… the swamp… the Deep State… and the Trumpistas in Washington – all are sucking on the economy like leeches. They disguise and delay the damage with their phony reforms… fake money… fraudulent statistics, and flimflam claims. The first crisis will be a crash and a depression. The second – after another massive “stimulus” from the authorities – will be raging, bubbling inflation. Then, those MAGA hats will probably be collector’s items, too… and sell for $1,000 each… …which will be about enough to buy a coffee at Starbucks. 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