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Is a Completely Cashless Society On The Horizon?

What’s happening in Sweden could foreshadow developments in the US. It seems the country is moving toward a cashless as more merchants are refusing to accept cash and allow citizens the right to use the payment option of their choice.

According to CBS News:

The Scandinavian country is largely a cashless society, with consumers relying on mobile phone payments or plastic. While the U.S. is still far from achieving the same level of cash-free existence, increasing numbers of restaurants and retailers are now snubbing the lowly dollar bill.

Some merchants such as SweetGreen, a salad chain, refuse to open their registers for cash, telling customers they can pay only with mobile payments or cards. With some newer vending machines, only a card or mobile wallet will get that cold Coca-Cola to roll down the chute.

The stance may appear un-American — after all, currency is considered legal tender for all debts or dues — but the Treasury permits private businesses to set their own policies, which means going cashless is fine with Uncle Sam.

“What we’ve seen is a push toward electric payments because of convenience, especially for Generations X and Y and onward,” said Greg Burch, vice president of strategic initiatives as Ingenico Group, which makes payment systems for merchants. “The phone has become more personal than the wallet has.”

While going cashless is still at what Burch said is an experimental level, he predicted that more stores will be adding mobile payment options or their own mobile wallets, similar to Starbucks’ (SBUX) payment app. The coffee chain’s mobile wallet is gaining in popularity: It now accounts for about one out of every five purchases.

Using cards or mobile apps is increasingly popular with younger generations, but stores have good reason to like the trend, as well. Moving away from cash removes the cost of storing and transporting bills and coins, which merchants like. It also reduces the potential for physical theft.

The downsides? One is a loss of anonymity because cash allows consumers to make transactions without a paper trail.

Another negative impact is stores that refuse cash may be effectively shutting out many lower-income customers. About one out of 13 U.S. households are unbanked, which means they have don’t traditional banking accounts, such as checking or savings accounts. Such families tend to be lower-income and rely on cash to make their purchases.

While federal law allows merchants to set their own rules about which types of payments to accept, at least one state makes it illegal to refuse cash: Massachusetts. The issue came to a head recently after a rash of stores catering to well-heeled young professionals posted “no cash allowed” at their registers.

SweetGreen, the salad chain, changed its cashless ways in its Boston locations after learning about the rule, according to The Boston Globe. SweetGreen didn’t return CBS MoneyWatch requests for comment.

“We’ve now adjusted plans in our five Boston test stores to be in compliance with Massachusetts retail law,” SweetGreen President Karen Kelley told the publication “As we grow, we learn, and as we learn, we adjust: It’s all part of our mission to do right by our customers and our employees.”

Of course, the bigger hassle for consumers might be the flip side of going cashless. Many retailers and restaurants still have cash-only policies, which can prove increasingly irksome as consumers visit the ATM less frequently.

Cash isn’t in any danger of disappearing, but maybe it should: The U.S. has much to gain by phasing out cash, according to researchers from Tufts University. Writing in the Harvard Business Review, they noted that the U.S. spends $200 billion each year to keep cash in circulation. (China also has high costs related to reliance on cash, they noted.)

They added: “Both the U.S. and China would do well to adopt policies in partnership with market actors to nudge their already digitally ready societies towards digital money and unlock massive savings — in time and money — in the process.”

What’s interesting is there is little mention or consideration about the consumer. Does an individual have a right to use whatever currency/money they wish? If the government mandates electronic transactions, they can control and monitor everything. There is no anonymity that cash brings. There is no freedom to buy what you want without it being recorded and logged against you.

It seems control is the real issue and no one is talking about it.

What do you think? Leave a comment with your thoughts below.

You can watch the report below:

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See Huma’s Husband Caught In Another Weiner-Gate

Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin don’t need another scandal, but unfortunately that’s exactly what they got when Huma’s sexting husband, the infamous Anthony Weiner, was caught in another inappropriate exchange. It seems the sexter also known as ‘Carlos Danger” has embarrassed himself and his wife again.

According to NY Post:

Sext fiend Anthony Weiner boasted of his animal prowess — claiming he was “deceptively strong . . . like a mongoose” — and gave his cellphone number to a college student during a flirty, private online chat on a recent trip to Los Angeles, The Post has learned.

But the joke was on the horndog pol, whose wife, Huma Abedin, is a top aide and close confidante of Hillary Clinton.

The target of his online affection was really a dude.

A young Republican-turned- “catfish” baited the disgraced former congressman into chatting about “strappy black heels” and “porn scenes.” Weiner even made a cornball double entendre about his “staff.”

“Funny scene here,” Weiner writes in one of the Twitter direct messages, sent from his hotel room in LA, where he had traveled to appear on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

“I moved the tv so I could hear/see it while in the shower. I dropped it. Neighbor complained. Me Towel. Tv. Floor. And now concierge on the way.”

The student, a New Yorker ­using a female friend’s Twitter account and calling himself “Nikki,” responds, “Come out with just the towel on when he/she knocks, would pretty much = a tip for the concierge.”

Weiner answers, “This is definitely a porn set up.”

After “Nikki” says she is leaving work, Weiner embellishes his porn fantasy to include a concierge who is “wearing strappy black heels and just left work to come welcome me to LA.”

Weiner repeatedly refers to himself as a mongoose during the conversation and even posts a mongoose “selfie.”

When “Nikki” jokes about having a staff to get her Ubers, Weiner responds, “I’m pretty sure there’s a ‘my staff’ joke here.”

The flirtation comes to an end when he gives out his cellphone number and a way to find him.

“Text and I’ll hit that location button thing,” Weiner says, referring to a phone feature that lets users to share their locations.

Weiner admitted to the chat in an e-mail to The Post.

“I can confirm that I am indeed deceptively strong like a mongoose,” he wrote.

He also claimed it was a “playful joust with an obvious catfish” — a term for a prankster who poses as another person online to romantically lure a target.

The latest social-media fail could be an embarrassment for Adebin, who’s on the campaign trail trying to get Clinton into the Oval Office.

It’s the third time Weiner has been caught sexting. The first was a misfired sexually explicit tweet that led to Weiner resigning from Congress in 2011. The second incident, with Sydney Leathers, torpedoed Weiner’s 2013 mayoral campaign.

The “catfish,” who heads a ­Republican club at his NYC-area college, called Weiner an easy mark.

“The first time was the charm,” he told The Post. All it took was to retweet one of Weiner’s posts and add a comment.

Within 20 minutes, Weiner ­responded.

“The amount of effort this took was the most alarming thing given his history,” he said.

“I was trying to think how to get him to say something stupid without making it so obvious.”

It’s interesting that Mr. Weiner just doesn’t know when to stop. It seems the disgraced Congressman has little understanding of the damage he can create with his reckless behavior.

The good thing about all this is it could have a negative impact on Hillary’s chances of winning the White House. What do you think? Leave a comment with your thoughts below.

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Not Wise For Bill Clinton to Attack FBI Director When So Much More Evidence is Surfacing

FBI Director Comey has come under a lot of fire for not indicting Hillary Clinton after a preponderance of evidence implemented her in; lying to Congress, mishandling classified information, and dozens of other felonies. Now, Bill Clinton is doubling down on the defense of his partner in crime, but directly attacking the Director and calling his comments a ‘load of bull.’

According to NY Post:

“First of all, the FBI director said, when he testified before Congress, he had to amend his previous day’s statement that she had never received any emails marked classified,” Clinton told journalists at an Asian American Journalists Association meeting in Las Vegas on Friday, making a strong defense for Hillary Clinton.

He added, “They saw two little notes with a ‘C’ on it — this is the biggest load of bull I’ve ever heard — that were about telephone calls that she needed to make. The State Department typically puts a little ‘C’ on it to discourage people from discussing it in public in the event the secretary of state, whoever it is, doesn’t make a telephone call. Does that sound threatening to the national security to you?”

Hillary Clinton has been under fire since it was discovered last year that she exclusively used her own server to conduct all her work related email on.

On Friday, Bill Clinton went on to say it is inconceivable his wife was threatening national security.

“Do you really believe there are 300 career diplomats because that’s how many people were on these emails, all of whom were careless with national security? Do you believe that? Forget about Hillary, forget about her. Is that conceivable?”

This is typical Clinton method of operating. Admit nothing, deny everything and counter-attack. Bill and Hillary show they have no integrity, no ethics and no morality. They are perfect politicians and the last people that should be running the Country.

What do you think? Leave a comment with your thoughts below.

You can watch his comments below:

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Looks Like Obama is Pushing to Ratify This Disastrous Treaty Before He Leaves

Apparently Obama is dead set on pushing through the worst possible trade treaty before he leaves office. The White House put Congress on notice that it is sending a bill to implement the Trans-Pacicific Partnership agreement. This disastrous agreement strips the US of its sovereignty and appoints international unelected bureaucrats and corporations to dictate US policy and law.

According to Politico:

The move establishes a 30-day minimum before the administration can present the legislation, but the White House is unlikely to do so amid the heated rhetoric of a presidential campaign in which both major party nominees have depicted free trade deals as massive job killers.

Friday’s notification is the clearest signal yet that the White House is serious about getting Obama’s legacy trade deal — the biggest in U.S. history — passed by the end of the year, as he has vowed to do despite the misgivings of Republican leaders and the outright opposition of a majority of Democrats in Congress.

Striking a defiant tone, Obama predicted at a press conference last week that the economic centerpiece of his strategic pivot to Asia would pass in the lame-duck session, saying he’d like to sit down with lawmakers after the election to discuss the “actual facts” behind the deal, rather than toss it around like a “political football.”

“We are part of a global economy. We’re not reversing that,” Obama said, describing the necessity of international supply chains and the importance of the export sector to U.S. jobs and the economy. “The notion that we’re going to pull that up root and branch is unrealistic.”

The notification, a new requirement of the trade promotion authority legislation Congress passed last year to expedite passage of the Asia-Pacific pact, is “meant to ensure early consultations between the administration and Congress,” Matt McAlvanah, a spokesman for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, said in a statement. “As such, the draft SAA [Statement of Administrative Action] was sent today in order to continue to promote transparency and collaboration in the TPP process.”

The White House’s draft document describes the major steps the administration will take to implement any changes to U.S. law required by the deal. Those actions range from the mundane — designating an administration point of contact for communications about the pact — to the complex — setting up procedures to stop harmful surges of agricultural or textile imports.

But the deal is going nowhere until the White House addresses a number of concerns lawmakers have raised about the trade agreement, which Canada, Mexico, Japan and eight other countries joined the United States in signing last February.

First and foremost: satisfying the concerns of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and other lawmakers about protections for a new class of drugs known as biologics. They say the pact provides too short a monopoly period for rights to research and development data. Other lawmakers have complained the deal would bar tobacco companies from seeking redress through investor-state dispute arbitrage for damages resulting from country regulations. Still others are seeking assurances that member countries will abide to their commitments to provide access for U.S. pork and dairy exports.

Until these issues are resolved, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have made clear that the pact will not get the votes it needs to pass.

Ryan’s spokeswoman, AshLee Strong, reiterated the point on Friday.

“As Speaker Ryan has stated for months, there are problems that remain with the administration’s TPP deal, and there can be no movement before these concerns are addressed,” she said.

Democrats, meanwhile, have largely called the deal a nonstarter over concerns about the enforceability of labor and environmental standards in countries like Vietnam and the lack of strong protections against currency manipulation.

The administration claims it is making progress on these issues and has resolved others, including banking industry concerns over the exclusion of financial data from rules prohibiting countries from requiring local storage.

But that doesn’t change the reality of the down-ballot drag that candidates are facing as they campaign back home in their districts. In a reversal from years past, many Republicans are on the defensive about their support for free trade because of Donald Trump’s daily tirades about what he characterizes as the serious economic damage wrought by trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the TPP as well as his complaints that China is flouting international trade rules.

The Republican platform picked up on this theme, saying significant trade deals “should not be rushed or undertaken in a Lame Duck Congress.”

The small band of Democrats who the administration hopes will support the TPP are facing increased pressure within their own party to abandon the president on the agreement. Sens. Bernie Sanders’ and Elizabeth Warren’s strong condemnations of the trade deal have forced Hillary Clinton, who supported the TPP as Obama’s secretary of state, to reject the pact to appease the liberal wing.

“I will stop any trade deal that kills jobs or holds down wages, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Clinton said during an economic policy speech at an automotive manufacturing plant in Warren, Mich., on Thursday. “I oppose it now, I’ll oppose it after the election and I’ll oppose it as president.”

Clinton’s clear rejection of the trade deal has emboldened liberal groups like the Warren-aligned Progressive Change Campaign Committee to launch a campaign to press Democrats to publicly oppose a TPP vote in the lame duck.

Sanders also called on Democratic congressional leaders to go on record against the White House’s effort to get the deal done by the end of the year, saying the agreement is opposed by every trade union and the grassroots base of the Democratic Party.

“I am disappointed by the president’s decision to continue pushing forward on the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that will cost American jobs, harm the environment, increase the cost of prescription drugs and threaten our ability to protect public health,” the Vermont senator said in a statement after learning of the White House’s action on Friday.

Meanwhile, the administration continues to press the deal in key congressional districts — especially those of Democrats who supported the trade promotion authority bill last year.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell returned to her hometown of Seattle last month to tout the TPP’s potential effects on the environment at a Washington Council on International Trade event with more than 150 business leaders.

Then, last week, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker hit the San Diego and Boulder districts of Reps. Susan Davis and Jared Polis — two of the 28 House Democrats that voted for the bill — and visited a steel plant in Cleveland to promote the TPP. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew did the same when he met with local and state officials and Fortune 500 business executives in Minneapolis.

On Thursday, Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere Kathryn Sullivan spoke at a Seattle clean energy business roundtable focused on the TPP and the environment. And this Monday, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Robert Holleyman will participate in a World Affairs Council of Atlanta discussion on the trade deal featuring former Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss and UPS CEO David Abney.

As the political fight plays out, the nuts-and-bolts process of moving the deal forward will continue. Once Congress reviews the draft notification that the White House submitted on Friday, the administration can move forward with sending lawmakers a final statement and the draft of the implementing bill itself. The legislation will describe the actual changes to U.S. law to comply with the rules of the trade agreement.

After that, the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees could hold “mock markups” of the bill (because under trade promotion authority, Congress is not actually allowed to tinker with the agreement or its implementing legislation itself, but it can ask the administration to do so).

But given the tenor of the elections, the entire process could be pushed into a crowded lame-duck legislation session, which would mean no time for the mock markups. Instead, there could be a lot of deal-making between the White House and congressional leadership to move the bill before Clinton or Trump takes over on Jan. 20.

Obama said last week that he’s ready to press his case. “Right now, I’m president, and I’m for it. And I think I’ve got the better argument,” he said.

Obama promised to fundamentally transform America and the TPP would strip away the last of what makes America great and unique, and push it into a Communist/corporatist structure of offshore elite making decisions about Americans (and many other countries) without any recourse or accountability.

What do you think? Leave a comment with your thoughts below.

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This Former Presidential Candidate Is Calling for Hillary to Go to Prison

He just might find himself calling her “Madam President,” but for now this former candidate for president is calling for Hillary Clinton to be indicted and imprisoned.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has recently come out and called for Hillary Clinton to be indicted and imprisoned for lying to Congress and mishandling classified documents. The son of legendary Senator Ron Paul, has become more outspoken with the latest batch of emails released, as well as the FBI’s findings, yet failure to indict Hillary.

According to Western Journalism:

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is certainly not dancing around the issue of whether the former secretary of state should be prosecuted for what the FBI director termed her “extremely careless” handling of highly sensitive official material on her private email server.

And in explaining to Fox News’ Eric Bolling why he believes the Democrat nominee, without any doubt, should face the legal music for her misdeeds, the former GOP presidential contender gave the perfect reason — one that hit close to home.

Several Republican representatives have said that a special prosecutor should have been — or should still be — appointed to look independently into the Clinton email scandal, but Sen. Paul is the first sitting lawmaker from the upper chamber to say publicly that Hillary’s misbehavior was so outrageous as to warrant trial and punishment.

The junior senator from the Bluegrass State explained to the substitute host on “The O’Reilly Factor” that he firmly believes in “equal protection under the law,” and that would mean equal prosecution for blatant violations of national security.

Paul pointed to all the men and women in the military in his home state who would find themselves in big trouble for doing what Hillary Clinton did.

“I represent a lot of soldiers in Kentucky, Fort Campbell and Fort Knox. Every one of those soldiers knows they can’t take classified information and have it on their personal computer, and they know there won’t be any exceptions.

That they will be prosecuted, they’ll be put in the brig, they’ll be stripped of their rank and they’ll be booted out of the military. And so I don’t think it’s fair to hold our soldiers…to one standard and then say to Hillary Clinton, ‘Oh, well, she can do whatever she wanted.’”

By clicking on the video below, you can watch the segment of “The O’Reilly Factor” in which Rand Paul says exactly why he believes Hillary should be fitted for an orange jump suit.

It’s a common theme of professional politicians to want one standard for themselves, and another for everyone else. It’s this form of elitist entitlement that at’s the root of many of society’s problems.

One can hope that Mrs. Clinton will be wearing orange in the near future, and joining her fellow prisoners in confinement. It’s strange to think that in 6 months, Mrs. Clinton will probably be wearing prison orange, or sworn in as President of the United States.

What do you think? Leave a comment with your thoughts below.

You can watch his comments below:

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Watch State Department Official Burst Out Laughing Over Transparency Comment

Most Americans understand that ‘spokesperson’ is really another name for someone who gets paid to lie. And when the term ‘spokesperson’ is preceded by a government agency, it’s understood they lie twice as much as their private counterparts.

That’s the case with State Department Mark Toner who commented on the transparency of a press conference, but immediately burst into laughter.

According to The Blaze:

State Department spokesman Mark Toner on Thursday burst out laughing right after calling the daily departmental press briefing an “exercise in transparency and democracy.”

Toner opened the briefing by greeting the room full of reporters. “Welcome to the State Department,” he said before welcoming a group of visiting interns.

Toner added: “Good to see you in this exercise in transparency and democracy.”

Moments later, the spokesman bizarrely broke out into laughter as one reporter piped up and asked, “Is that what it is?”

“I thought it was an exercise in spin and obfuscation,” the reporter added.

Toner then posed a rhetorical question to those in the room before gathering himself.

“Can you tell this is my last briefing before vacation?” the spokesman said.

It’s interesting that the spokesperson thought comments about transparency and democracy are so funny. Outside Washington, most Americans still consider those things important and an ideal to live up to.

But apparently, at the State Department, it’s considered so funny when it’s even mentioned, you break out in laughter.

Very sad indeed. What do you think? Leave a comment with your thoughts below.

Watch his outburst below: