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Archive → June 3rd, 2017

Deputy AG says he still thinks it was a good idea to can Comey

Deputy AG says he still thinks it was a good idea to can Comey

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The White House blamed President Donald Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey on a memo written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Then there was some chatter that the deputy AG was frustrated to have taken the heat for the controversial move. Now Rosentein says it’s all good.

“It is a candid memorandum about the FBI Director’s public statements concerning a high-profile criminal investigation,” Rosenstein told lawmakers Friday. “I wrote it. I believe it. I stand by it.”

In prepared remarks, Rosenstein added: “Notwithstanding my personal affection for Director Comey, I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader.”

Democrats who had hoped to used the deputy AG’s discontent over being fingered as the primary reason for Comey’s firing are, to say the least, a little frustrated at the moment.

As reported by The Hill:

House Democrats are increasingly frustrated with Rod Rosenstein after the deputy attorney general briefed lawmakers Friday on the investigation into Russia’s actions in the presidential election and possible ties to the Trump administration.

The Democrats left the classified, closed-door meeting in the Capitol basement saying Rosenstein refused to answer “simple yes-and-no questions,” in the words of Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), fueling concerns that the President Trump appointee overseeing the Justice Department probes may be influenced by the White House.

“The skepticism persists,” Sánchez, vice chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, said while leaving the meeting.

“We got a lot of, ‘Trust us, we’ve got integrity, we’re straight shooters, we don’t have ulterior motives.’ I mean, it’s basically, ‘Trust us,’ ” she said. “And I’m operating under [the approach of], ‘OK, trust but verify.’ We need the … factual information.”

A visibly angry Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) was even more forceful, saying the “useless” briefing only escalates the distrust between Congress and the Justice Department.

And of course they’re upset. The deputy AG just removed their ability to claim that Trump somehow put Rosenstein up to penning the damning Comey memo.

Now the Democrats have to rely on the results of former FBI director Robert Mueller’s investigation to provide actual evidence of the left’s repeated claims that there’s a massive Trump/Russia conspiracy afoot.

More and more, it’s looking like Trump’s main worry is probably not even tied to allegations that he was somehow helped by Russia during the election but rather whatever other nastiness the investigation may accidentally uncover.

Source: Will County News

Could statins sabotage your health?

Could statins sabotage your health?

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I haven’t taken a poll of my friends to find out how many are taking statins, but quite a few are over age 45 — those most likely to be on these drugs. If they are taking a cholesterol lowering drug, I hope their doctors have warned them of the myriad of health risks associated with taking them. But honestly, I doubt they have.

I’m well aware of the dangerous side effects of these drugs as my mother has taken Lipitor (Atorvastatin) for as long as I can remember.

After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved statins in 1987, they were so effective at shrinking cholesterol levels that some doctors (jokingly?) said they should be added to the water supply. Others advocated making them an over-the-counter drug available to everyone.

Statins became the most-prescribed prescription drugs ever developed and generated blockbuster profits for the drug companies.

However, by 2012, accounts of serious side effects had piled up to an extent that the FDA slapped new warning labels on statins: Liver damage. Type 2 diabetes. Muscle weakness. Memory loss and confusion.

But as dire as they were, the warnings weren’t enough to keep doctors from singing statins’ praises and suggesting prescribing them to an even-larger group of people with cholesterol numbers below the current criteria. This would essentially add millions more people to the list of statin users.

Unfortunately, the FDA omitted one very important warning on their new labels. They didn’t warn patients that statins not only lower your cholesterol — but they deplete your body of Coenzyme Q10, better known as CoQ10.

And that explains a lot about my Mom’s debilitating fatigue, joint and hip pain and brain fog.

Why do statins deplete CoQ10?

Statins lower cholesterol by blocking the enzyme HMG-CoA, which is necessary for cholesterol synthesis. The problem? The HMG-CoA enzyme is also required for CoQ10 synthesis, which all cells need for their energy metabolism.

In other words, by preventing the formation of cholesterol by the liver, statins also inhibit the body’s CoQ10 production.

CoQ10 has been compared to a spark plug that jump-starts the body’s “engine” by igniting energy production within your cells. That cellular energy is essential to fuel healthy biological functions in every part of your body. When you lose CoQ10, your cells lose the ability to make energy.

What’s so important about CoQ10?

When your cells can’t make enough energy, you not only lose muscle strength and stamina — you can develop lots of debilitating problems: soreness… hypertension… fatigue… premature aging… even stroke and heart failure.

That’s why it’s so important for people taking a statin to replace lost CoQ10 with a supplement.

It’s ironic that people are put on statins to decrease their risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks — but by reducing CoQ10, statins have been shown to increase that risk.

Research shows CoQ10 not only keeps your cholesterol and blood pressure at healthy levels, but it’s also important to many other aspects of heart health. CoQ10 has been found to:

  • Help support a healthy cardiovascular system and reduce inflammation
  • Reduce the risk of a major heart event by 50 percent
  • Promote healthy systolic blood pressure without significant side effects
  • Spark energy production and scavenge free radicals that cause damage

When I talked Mom into regularly taking the daily recommended 100mg of a CoQ10, she soon regained the spring in her step and many of her annoying problems started clearing.

But it’s difficult to find a CoQ10 supplement that can be fully absorbed by your body. And supplementing with the right CoQ10 is very important.

So how do you find the most absorbable CoQ10 supplement on the market? Well, it all has to do with the way it’s made.

Many CoQ10 products consist of capsules filed with the raw CoQ10 material — dry powder crystals the body can’t absorb. Some manufacturers use a process to break the crystals into separate, absorbable molecules. But it’s difficult to get the CoQ10 molecules into capsules without recrystallizing due to temperature fluctuations during production, which again makes the CoQ10 very hard to absorb.

Due to a unique manufacturing process, in just one soft-gel of Peak CoQSol10 CF you’ll get 100 mg of 100 percent crystal-free CoQ10 in the form of Ubiquinol. In comparison to conventional CoQ10, that gives you superior absorption, higher CoQ10 blood levels and the heart protection you need — especially for those taking cholesterol lowering drugs, like my Mom.


Sources:

Axe, J. All About CoQ10: Benefits, Foods, Supplements & More. Dr.Axe, Food Is Medicine. https://draxe.comall-about-coq10/
Coenzyme Q10 and Statins. Pharma Nord. pharmanord.com/news/coenzyme-q10-and-statins. Nov. 30, 2016.

Mercola, J. Statin Drugs Create Over 60,000 New Diabetics Each Year. Mercola.com. articles. mercola.com/sites/articles/arcchives/2012/o5/06/fda-warning-on-statins.aspx. May 6, 2012.

Richard. Crystal-free Coenzyme Q10 supplements. Q10 Facts. q10facts.com/crystal-free-coenzyme-q10-supplements/. Aug. 7, 2016.

Source: Will County News

Are we nearing the next financial danger point?

Are we nearing the next financial danger point?

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Could recent economic data be showing that subprime auto loans may be the next danger zone in the economy?

I have noticed that auto loans have been getting a lot of attention lately. In a recent issue of Barron’s, two unrelated articles discussed auto loans as a potential source of worry for the economy and regulators.

Since the financial crisis, auto loans have been one of the major sources of credit. Indeed, the volume of auto loans grew steadily, until just recently.

One concern is that the standards used to make the loans were gradually relaxed in recent years. The practices helped to cause consistently strong auto sales since the financial crisis ended but also could have added credit risk.

CarMax, the used car seller, was the subject of one of the Barron’s pieces. The article reported that the company’s imminent quarterly earnings report was likely to have bad news about loans on its books. It pointed out that defaults and delinquencies on auto loans have been rising across the nation. Also, the residual values of cars are declining (as we anticipated in Retirement Watch about a year ago), and that means less collateral backing the loans.

Sure enough, when CarMax issued its earnings report, it included a higher loan loss provision. Even so, some analysts said the increased loan loss provision wasn’t high enough. The company’s stock price peaked in late January and has been declining steadily lately.

Another article reviewed the general changes in the auto loan market summarized above and cited several analysts. One analyst, Stephanie Pomboy of the MacroMavens consulting firm, said that the auto loan bubble has gone bust. A major problem is that during the boom, automakers kept raising vehicle prices. To make the vehicles affordable, lenders extended auto loans from the traditional three years to five years and then seven years. This risk is coupled with lower lending standards and that put vehicles in the hands of a lot of people who can’t afford them.

With the glut of used cars on the market, many vehicles aren’t worth enough to cover the loan balances and repossession costs after borrowers default.

One of the investors featured in The Big Short who saw the housing crisis coming and sold short mortgage securities recently said that subprime auto loans are the next crisis he sees.

There are going to be some problems in the next year or so for owners of auto loans as defaults increase and the large supply of inventory decreases used car prices. But this isn’t likely to be anything like the mortgage default crisis.

Banks and other major financial institutions don’t have nearly as many auto loans on their books as they did mortgages before the financial crisis. Most of the damage will be concentrated in specialized auto loan lenders that are mostly captives of the auto manufacturers and firms such as CarMax. Some investors, such as money market funds, also buy packages of syndicated auto loans and might suffer some losses.

Problems from increased defaults on subprime auto loans shouldn’t be widespread. We aren’t facing the kind of systemic problem that was the case with housing. Bad mortgages caused problems throughout the financial system. Banks and other institutions that were key to the financial system had severely impaired balance sheets because of mortgage losses.

That isn’t likely to be the case with auto loans. However, the situation warrants monitoring and I plan to follow it closely.

Check out my latest recommended reading on my public blog. If you want my investment recommendations, try my Retirement Watch newsletter by clicking here.

Bob Carlson wrote the book on retirement and retirement planning — twice: The New Rules of Retirement (Wiley, 2nd ed. 2016) and Personal Finance after 50 for Dummies (with Eric Tyson; 2nd ed. 20-15). He also is the lead writer for the www.RetirementWatch.com website.

Source: Will County News

Jordon Peterson talk at Harvard: The Mask of Compassion: Postmodernism and neoMarxism:

Jordon Peterson at Harvard University in mid-April on the use of compassion as a mask for the advance of the profoundly anti-western postmodern and neomarxist doctrines. There was a fair bit of controversy surrounding the invitation (which accounted in part for the relatively confrontational tone of the interview/discussion). There were protesters in attendance, one of whom insisted (as is quite common) in speaking out of turn, because, of course, her comments were so important that putting them forward justified breaking the agreed-upon rules. That said, the protesters were civil.


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Source: Will County News