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President Trump sent Puerto Rican bonds ducking for cover when he suggested he might “wipe out” the U.S. territory’s $73 billion in debt. And while that would alleviate the devastated island’s battered balance sheet, this would spell trouble for its investors. 

No surprise that prices on PR’s 2035 general obligation (GO) bonds slid to a record low of 30.25 cents on the dollar from 44 cents the day before. 

Two questions we have about Trump’s remarks: 1) If he is serious, could he do this? and 2) What are the chances it’ll happen? 

1) Trump can’t wave his hand and make over $70 billion in debt disappear…he’ll need help from bankruptcy courts.

2) Mick Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget, said not to take Trump literally: “I won’t take it word for word with that.” 

Apparently no one told that to the bond gods.

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      At the White House on Friday, President Obama pressured Congress to give him $1.9 billion for the fight against Zika.
      Americans should tell their Congressional representatives to “get on the job,” he said.
      “This is something that is solvable — it is not something that we have to panic about, but it is something we have to take seriously,” Mr. Obama said in the Oval Office after a briefing from top health officials.
      Congress should not take its scheduled Memorial Day vacation without passing the legislation, he said.
      His advisers have said the president would veto a House measure that provides only $622 million. The administration was “encouraged” by the Senate’s $1.1 billion version but is not promising to sign it.
      Referring to the funding Mr. Obama has requested, “anything short of that will be insufficient,” said Eric Schultz, the deputy White House press secretary.
      Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/21/health/pregnant-women-zika-virus-cdc.html?_r=0

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    • For a brief time, Mike Tussin was a roommate of mine. He drove me nuts in taking literally the admonition to read God’s Word “in an undertone day and night.” In time, he learned that he had better not do it in my presence. I logged some of his exploits in No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash. He was one of the most squirrelly characters that you will ever hope to meet, and yet—people are a mix—he had the most telling common sense, knack for nailing aspects of human nature (though mixed with an odd naïveté), no fear whatsoever of man, and the ability to simplify the complex. I can hear him now explaining to someone or other just how it worked with the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, composed of anointed Christians. This would have been in the early 1970s. “They study and study their Bibles and one of them notices a point and discusses it with the others. They continue to turn it over and over. If their discussion reaches the point of agreement, that idea finds its way into the Watchtower—that’s how God’s people are fed spiritually today. “Now, in your own personal study, you may have noticed that point, too, maybe even before they did. And if this was Christendom, you’d go out and start your own religion over it.”  He captured it. I like the idea of ‘they’re not the only people who can think’ as well as the notion of waiting on headship and not running ahead. Present your idea, but if it doesn’t get adopted, don’t lose your cookies over it. The ship cannot sail in every direction at once. Rumor has it that Sputnik came up for discussion at the Bethel table after 1957, but it was aborted before takeoff. Might that date not be a milestone in the last days stream of time commencing with the outbreak of World War I in 1914–a year marking the first time in history that the entire world went to war at once? Throw in the greatest plague of history, the Spanish flu of 1917, the colossal food shortages that always accompany colossal war, and viola!—one is powerfully reminded of Luke 21:10: Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another food shortages and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs.”  Might 1957 Sputnik mark a mighty exclamation mark in “fearful sights and great signs from heaven?” It certainly scared the bejeebers out of the Americans, and within 3 years President Kennedy declared that the US would not play second fiddle to the Russians. They would join—and so make it—a “space race” by sending a man to the moon. It is worth a simulated launch, I guess—presenting the idea at Bethel—three GB members batted about the idea, I’m told, but I’m glad that it blew up on the pad. The “fearfulness” would have been lost on most people. Did the race have military implications? Relatively few catch the implications of anything. They take it at face value, as it was popularly repackaged just a few years later: Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before! On a flight to Damascus, Bill had a vision of such. Some strange fellow that he probably took for an angel presented the idea to him right there as he was riding in the Shatner seat. Like Saul, it disoriented him completely for a time, and the other passengers heard of the disturbance, sure enough, but witnessed nothing themselves. As a boy, I never once trembled when they launched a rocket from Cape Canaveral. I always took it in the spirit of advancing technology, advancing exploration, and so forth. It’s one of the few major accomplishments of men that has NOT been quickly put to military use—though that could ever change—the way that airplanes were. No sooner had they been invented then they were strafing the towns of Europe and dogfighting each other in the skies. In contrast to 1957, World War I was not only perceived by just about everyone, but it was instantly perceived as a negative. Probably that’s what the other GB members pointed out, sending the three Bethel “astronauts” pitching the notion hurtling off like Darth Vader in his crippled craft, careening off to the pantry for a donut or two. Hmm. Maybe an update could incorporate robocalls from the cloud. What year did they begin? Truly, they cause men to raise their faces and curse the heavens. Truly, they too, are instantly perceived as a great evil, as any time-share owner in the Everglades knows. You know, as I read the 1960 speech, I can see how the idea might come up for discussion at Bethel. Despite my innocuous take expressed about it—a take that has mostly played out (but may someday not)—there certainly were military overtones—overtones that just might make some tremble—in JFKs speech rallying Americans to support a moon launch. Everything must be considered in its own historical context. I’ve added italics to his words that play this way: “We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say that we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours. “There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?  “We choose to go to the Moon...We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.” ..... Yes, you could read a measure of terror into that speech if you were of a mind to, though I did not as a boy. The President says: “Space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.” What are the chances of that happening?  
    • You know, I can see how the idea might come up for discussion at Bethel. Despite my innocuous take expressed about it—a take that has mostly played out (but may someday not)—there certainly were military overtones in JFKs speech rallying Americans to support a moon launch.  We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say that we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours. There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon...We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.
    • Good start. Just noticed the latest post. Does Russell make any distinction for 1844 other than to suggest it was a great disappointment for the second coming churches? Did he use 1844 to further his calculation? Does he mention 1844 to be part of his calculation? Does he stipulate 1910-1911 is referenced in scripture? It far more interesting, that some continue to project Russell as an Adventist, when Russell was “clearly” criticized for having a negative view of Adventist. It speaks volumes to those that continue to portray a false narrative. “So today, when prophetic time or anything relating to the Lord’s Second Advent is mentioned, many Cry ‘Adventist,’ as if to say, ‘Can any good thing come out of Adventism?"- even though they admit that many prophecies containing time are not yet fulfilled, and that the second coming of the Lord is the most prominent topic of Scripture." "We have great sympathy for both the First Adventists (the Jews) and the Second Adventists, though only a few of either realized the truths they So nearly apprehended, yet failed to grasp, each being blinded by false expectations. Our Adventist friends have failed to recognize both the manner and the object of the Lord’s return as taught in the Scriptures; consequently they have not been expecting to ‘see him as he is,’ but as he was. They consider the object of his coming one which will fill the hearts of all except the saints with dismay and terror; that his object is to gather the elect, destroy all others of mankind, and burn up the world."   Interesting how conflicted people start with William miller’s account of chronology, 1844. I wonder if Brown and Miller were the only ones to make calculations on the 1260 days, 2520 days. CHRONOLOGY--Prominent Dates. Q76:1: QUESTION (1910)--1--Should we consider it necessary to call attention to other Prominent dates than 1874, 1878, 1881 or 1914? Should 1911 be included?   ANSWER--I am glad that question is there, my dear brothers and sisters. You will notice that in my own teachings and writings I am careful to avoid any other dates than these. I know nothing about other dates. In the third volume of Scripture Studies there is a suggestion, but it is offered only as a suggestion, merely that a certain measurement in the Pyramid (not in the Word of God) Looks as though it might point down to 1910 or 1911, but we do not say that it does mean anything, but merely throw out a suggestion. Don't anticipate, don't say things are to occur, for we do not know, at least I don't, and don't believe anyone else does. My advice is to follow the Apostle when he says, "We speak those things that we know." Don't say anything about those things that you do not know. Quite likely you will wish you had not after a while. Nineteen hundred and fourteen is the time when the "Gentile Times" will end. What does that mean? I do not know, but I think it is when God lets go in a general sense of the word, and permits things to take their course; and we can readily suppose, as the Apostle says, that the course of nature would be set on fire, because of strife. In the world of mankind, I shall expect a time of great trouble, which the Bible marks out as having its beginning about October, 1914, but I think, dear friends, that it is more important, instead of telling of the time of trouble, to tell about the good things. The poor people who get into the time of trouble will have all they want of it then. I have enough now, and so have you. The Scriptures say that through much tribulation shall we enter the kingdom, and if we pay attention to our duties, we will get enough without taking time to tell them about the time of trouble. The world will not be profited by our telling, either. We do not wish to scare anybody. It is indeed a spectacle, when that kind of suggestion is made by a conflicted person. Were there any earlier works of Miller 1844 disappointment? History shows, there were some. Some that paint a more precise picture than that of Miller. Therefore, Russell did not have any influence with Miller’s 1844 prediction nor did Russell use it as basis for comparison. "When the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; when the earth and the works that are therein shall be burnt up."   At the present time the blessings of peace seem to be nearly general throughout the nations of the earth. This I deem a very favourable sign. War, however, with its train of abominations, may not finally terminate till about A. D. 1914, or perhaps A. D. 1956; neither do I think that the seventh thousand years, or great Sabbath of the world, or the beginning of Christ's third day, will commence before A. D. 2046 ; and this belief or conclusion I take to be no less deducible from a variety of the prophetic numbers, than from the figurative language employed by Christ concerning the three days, and the three measures of meal, during the time of which the whole world shall be gradually leavened by the kingdom of God.   As I have calculated the prophetical numbers, it will be 206 years from A. D. 1840, before the beginning of the seventh thousand years, or the great Sabbath of the world, when God's rest shall begin to be glorious, and when Christ, that glorious Sun of Righteousness, by the brightness of His coming into those temples, It is indeed sad when people try so hard to end up empty. As stated earlier by an architect of misrepresentation said, it’s an embarrassment. I agree it is.
    • It is worth a simulated launch, I guess—presenting the idea—but I’m glad that it blew up on the pad. It would have been lost on most people. Relatively few catch the implications of anything. They take it at face value—“Space: The final frontier: these are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise—it’s continuing mission: to seek out new world’s, to boldly go where no man has gone before.” On a flight to Damascus, Bill had a vision of such. Some odd fellow that he took for an angel presented the idea to him right there on the Shatner wing. Like Paul, it disoriented him completely for a time, and the other passengers heard of the disturbance, sure enough, but witnessed nothing themselves. As a boy, I never once trembled when they launched a rocket from Cape Canaveral. I always took it in the spirit of advancing technology, advancing exploration. It’s one of the few accomplishments of men that has NOT been quickly put to military use, as airplanes were.  In contrast, WWI was not only perceived by just about everyone, but it was instantly perceived as a negative. Probably that’s what the other—how many were there then—GB members pointed out, sending Bert and his co-astronauts scuttling off to the pantry for a donut. Robocalls from the cloud, on the other hand, ARE perceived as an instant evil, as any time-share owner in the Everglades knows.
    • If you think they use it for their own purposes then why do you donate?  That is not logical. It depends on what you define as own purposes, private purposes, public purposes, necessities, etc.  I think you really should be more thankful to be associated with the organization and what it does for us.
    • My donations are always by check, and written thereon is "for local needs". It's like paying taxes, some of which are used to make hydrogen bombs, and ICBMs. Not my problem. Jesus and the Apostles needed NONE of those things you mentioned, Arauna. If you are NOT inspired of God, as the GB admits they are not ( February 2017 Watchtower), you do need all of those things you mentioned. They are actually essential, as I would freely admit. .... and HEY!, I am just guessing about all of this ... as is everyone else. And Arauna .... did you get NOTHING out of the "Follow Jesus" Assemblies? Jesus set the example . We are either following that example, or ..... WE ARE NOT. The fact of the matter is that the GB DOES use the billions for their own purposes. but, I am, as you stated, "no one to criticize" ... as I do not follow Jesus' example either. If I had that kind of money, I would buy a Chinook double rotor helicopter, instead of Rolex watches, and cartoons of Caleb and Sophia, etc. uh ... for Witnessing on beautiful Pacific Islands, of course ....    
    • Just one question for you:  when you go to meeting or field service you get to use many videos that were made to be easily accessible for all ages and peoples.  Do you have any clue what equipment costs?   Many poor congregations in Africa receive projectors from the organization because they cannot afford it. They do still print bibles and watchtowers etc. Do you think they must remain in the Jurassic age when it comes to using technology or will it be ok by you if they venture to use the newest tech to support the brothers? You have a budget to fulfill your responsibilities at home.....dont you?  Why not broaden out and see that they also need money to provide services in almost 1000 languages?   I think we need a little more gratitude and less criticism...  ALL you see is "billions" which you try to imply are used for their own purposes....  They are always in need of funds to make it stretch further..... because we do get all our spiritual needs fulfilled without cost.  You need not give any donation if you feel they waste it.  You can use all amenities without giving a dime!   
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