The Ego Knows No Bounds
Trust me pal, you ain't that interesting...urban progressive from central casting who's won an election or two? Ho Hum.
Manny Mota...Mota...Mota (OK, not a helpful title...this blog is mostly about Economics, the Markets, Politics...and during the football season also about the New York Giants)
With treasuries and stocks looking bad, usually what happens is capital flows to real estate (think 2002). I think it is fair to say that 2011 is far enough away for the collective memory of where we are today with real estate to have faded by then. I predict another real estate boom circa 2012.Well, it may not be a boom yet, but check this out via Mark Perry...
RE/MAX is saying that "2012 has become the year of the housing recovery," and the housing sales data so far this year and for July supports that statementI sure hope my readers incorporated real estate into their "Avoid Taxes under Barack Obama" plans. Just sayin'.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government says RWE AG (RWE)’s new power plant that can supply 3.4 million homes aids her plan to exit nuclear energy and switch to cleaner forms of generation. It’s fired with coal.
The startup of the 2,200-megawatt station near Cologne last week shows how Europe’s largest economy is relying more on the most-polluting fuel. Coal consumption has risen 4.9 percent since Merkel announced a plan to start shutting the country’s atomic reactors after last year’s Fukushima disaster in Japan.and it's not a temporary thing:
“Angela Merkel’s policy has created an incentive structure which has the effect of partially replacing nuclear with coal, the dirtiest fuel that’s responsible for much of the growth in the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions since 1990,” Dieter Helm, an energy policy professor at the University of Oxford, said by phone Aug. 17. Building new coal stations means “locking them in for the next 30 years” as a type of generation, Helm said.and of course natgas is so expensive in Europe and the price ain't coming down because fracking is either banned outright or difficult
Much of Europe’s gas, however, lies under Poland, where Exxon Mobil said early results suggest extraction may be unprofitable, and France, which outlawed fracking in July after environmentalists and wine producers raised alarms about water pollution....
Not so in Europe, where environmental concerns about fracking persist even after a study commissioned by the EU concluded that current legislation is adequate to protect the environment.Oh well, enjoy that coal.
While I predicted that Obama would meltdown almost on the day that he took office, we sit on the cusp of his re-election battle and he has stubbornly hung on to stay in contention, at least superficially. So I am making another prediction, actually more of an update, I guess, to my original meltdown trajectory. So here goes. The Obama presidency/campaign/phenomenon will shortly implode. Yes, "implode", as in spectacularly fail and wind up in ruins.Shortly after, Chief Justice Roberts saved Obamacare by converting the mandate to a tax, so I was looking dead wrong. But look what has happened since:
A homeless Cuban refugee, chanting and apparently deranged, went on a rampage with a sword aboard a Staten Island ferryboat yesterday and killed two people and wounded nine others before being subdued by a retired police officer at gunpoint.
Wielding a two-foot ornamental blade apparently purchased in Times Square, the assailant pursued, hacked and stabbed victims on two decks of the rumbling, 310-foot ferry, the Samuel I. Newhouse, at about 8:45 A.M. as the boat passed the Statue of Liberty, bound from Manhattan to Staten Island.Two dead. Nine wounded and the rest just damn lucky that a retired cop packing heat was onboard that ferry.
Police say a clerk at a Las Vegas Dairy Queen shot and killed a sword-wielding, masked man who tried to rob the restaurant.No deaths. None wounded. No cop present. What was the difference?
Detectives say the suspect was shot twice and was lying just outside the doors when officers arrived around 12:15 p.m. Sunday.
The suspect died at a hospital.
Metro Police Lt. Les Lane tells the Las Vegas-Journal the sword was at least three-feet long.
what if not only did HRC pass on the VP slot, but if she did it embarrassingly to Axelrod & Co. Wouldn't that be more in keeping with my theory about the Clintons reclaiming the party from Obama's thug Chicago crowd? Yes, I think it would.but this could top that
How would she do that? Well, she could wait until Uncle Joe made a few of his typical, bone-headed gaffes. The Clinton machine could then get some of its friends in the MSM and in the blogosphere to kick start up a "swap HRC for Biden" meme, after which it is leaked that HRC has already told the Smartest President Ever, the Some Sort of a God, Lightworking Nobel Peace Prize Laureate..."Um, thanks but no thanks."
Barack Obama cancelled three operations to kill Osama bin Laden before finally going ahead with the mission at the insistence of Hillary Clinton, according to a new book.
The explosive allegation is contained in an expose by journalist Rich Miniter, who argues that the White House’s carefully-crafted narrative of Obama as a decisive leader who dispatched the al-Qaeda leader despite the doubts of advisers is a myth.Actually, I think there is more of this to come...Bubba ain't messing around.
Maria Mendes is returning to the land of her birth four decades after she fled war and revolution.
Hers is no sentimental homecoming, however. Cold economic reality is forcing her and tens of thousands of other Portuguese to seek a new life in Angola
"You can't get by on a pension here," says the 60-year-old retired teacher as she stands in a line for visas that stretches outside the Angolan consulate in Lisbon.
"Salaries there are at least three times higher,” she adds. “That makes it worth all the difficulties.
Mendes, whose husband is already in Angola, has accepted a university teaching job there.She was among more than 500,000 Portuguese who joined an exodus from Portugal's African colonies when they gained independence in 1975 after 14 years of anti-colonial war.But with their economy in the grip of the euro zone's debt-driven recession, many are now flocking to seek new opportunities in a Portuguese-speaking country whose economy is enjoying a spectacular oil-fueled recovery after a 30-year civil war.
Twice as many business executives around the world say the global economy will prosper better with President Barack Obama than with Mitt Romney, according to a poll out Friday.This is sheer poppycock. I talk to business executives all the time. I am in the business of talking to business executives, and nobody I speak to says that Obama is good for the economy. Nobody. Some folks that I speak to like him, many do not like Republicans, but no one says the economy will prosper because of Barack Obama. No one.
- Romney/Tea Party, A Marriage Made in...Well, Just Made: Mitt Romney (who is FINE btw) chooses a VP nominee that solidifies his support with true conservatives just enough to complete his primary electoral strategy of 1) be the "non-scary" Republican that independents and moderate Dems can feel comfortable voting for and 2) be good enough for conservatives and libertarians to turn out like they need to turn out to defeat the constitutional democracy/individual liberty disaster that is Barack Obama. Likely choices are Chris Christie, Bob McDonnell, Jim DeMint, or Paul Ryan. I say it's Romney/Ryan because we need this one badly and Ryan adds tremendously to the ticket (Republican poo-bahs move Heaven and Earth to get Ryan to sign up).UPDATE: BTW, the Greatest Prediction Ever is STILL the Great Prediction Ever!
- 2012 Election is Close Until Sep-Oct When Obama Blows It ala McCain in 2008: Obama's political skills are awesome, but his political instincts are terrible. He will do quite egregious things to please his base (wow! as if on cue). He will run neck and neck with Romney/Ryan until he blows it with a policy gaffe that conspicuously reminds voters what an amateur and/or liberal fascist he is. The gaffe could even be a Clintonite engineered self-destruction conspiracy. (Wow! I could be early on this one!)
Why not?With that last line, um,er, can someone say "preference cascade"?
Almost all of my friends are Democrats; all of them voted for Barack Obama in 2008.
Ask them these days, as I have, if they plan to vote for Obama this November, and they’ll give you an “Oh shucks” sad smile, look down, look back up with guilty eyes and say “I’m disappointed.”
Then they play the party line and say. “But Romney? But Ryan?”
I’m not talking about those African Americans, Latinos and lockstep Democrats who’ll blindly vote for Obama no matter how high unemployment may be or what shape this country may be in.
I’m talking about a good number of intelligent, caring, middle-class Democrats who are a soft nudge away from casting their vote for Romney.
All they need to know is that they’re not alone.
I think it's a great idea, let's build some redundancy into the global trading system. Royal HaskoningDHV and Ecorys are to carry out the study which is costing $720,000 and is due to be completed early 2013.
The canal will cater for larger ships than the Panama Canal and will be Central America’s second main waterway, the consortium says.
You’re seeing these sad people everywhere these days, especially in large East-and West-Coast urban areas and on college campuses. At parties they alternate between a melancholy, far-away wistfulness and a muttering “why me?”-belligerence. They’re touchy and quick to blame others, and they seem to suffer from night sweats and vague feelings of persecution.
Tom Wolfe exposed an extreme version of this cohort in his essay on the Black Panthers hosted by Leonard Bernstein in his elegant New York apartment. Wolfe contributed the term “radical chic” to the language to describe the Bernsteins and their wide-eyed guests. What we’re dealing with here is not quite radical (though Obama may in fact be plenty radical himself, the semi-beautiful people who support him are not), nor is it wholly chic. It is a sort of “consensus chic,” though I appreciate the aroma of contradiction the phrase communicates, since that which is genuinely chic exists self-consciously apart from the consensus of hoi polloi.
First time around, these people voted for Obama, giving themselves a little frisson of self-satisfaction when they pulled the lever and, even more, when the emitted condescension about anyone who happened to vote for John McCain — they didn’t encounter such people often, but it always gave them a little thrill of self-satisfaction when they did. It wasn’t long, however, before doubts began to accumulate. The seas didn’t subside, as promised, nor did the unemployment figures. By now, they’re thoroughly depressed. Their man has clearly let them down, and the inadvertent comedy of Joe Biden screaming that Republicans are going to “put y’all back in chains ” isn’t helping. Even worse is the news that team R&R, the Romney-Ryan express, is surging among young voters . It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way.Kimball thinks we should offer these people succor.
The deep problem now is how to help the vast regiments of disillusioned liberals.I am not in agreement. I want an admission of guilt. The damage has been so great, the error of such world-historical proportions that I am in no mood to give quarter. I am in mind of Colonel Nathan R. Jessup who told Danny Kaffee: "I want you to ask me nicely...what I do want is for you to stand there in that faggoty white uniform and with your Harvard mouth, extend me some f**king courtesy."
Political progress in combating climate change has been slow, but the battle for hearts and minds, especially of the younger generation, is being won. That political capital can be lost in an instant if the environmental movement allows itself to be equated with opposition to one of the lone sources of growth – and of good blue-collar jobs – at a time of global economic stagnation.Let's compare that to what someone who has not been similarly lauded had to say, um, a long time ago:
The world has just received a lesson in what happens when people stop consuming oil. From American drivers driving less to Chinese factories producing less goods, "demand destruction" has been the buzz phrase of the second half of 2008, and for many countries around the globe who rely heavily on the production of oil for their economic health or their very survival, the picture isn't pretty.
Each of the countries I have named, and many others that are in the same position on a smaller scale, stand to fall into disarray or be denied dreamed-of living standards at the hands of the next great global climate change initiative. Thus, it will not stand. Individual countries may do what they please to limit hydrocarbon fuels, but only a global initiative stands a chance of doing something meaningful, so the greenies tell us. Just as developing economies won't sacrifice their shot at economic opportunity in order to indulge the developed world, countries reliant on oil production won't vote to kill off global demand for the one industry on which their future rests. The lesson in demand destruction that we've just experienced has shown a large part of the world our potentially green future and I am certain they will have none of it.
Campaigning in Missouri Valley, Iowa, yesterday, President Obama announced yet another government spending program -- this time designed to inflate meat prices in Midwest swing states. "Today the Department of Agriculture announced that it will buy up to $100 million worth of pork products, $50 million worth of chicken, and $20 million worth of lamb and farm-raised catfish," Obama explained to reporters in front of a drought-stricken cornfield.When you create additional demand, you raise prices. Higher prices mean things are more expensive for consumers.
"Prices are low, farmers and ranchers need help, so it makes sense," Obama explained. "It makes sense for farmers who get to sell more of their product, and it makes sense for taxpayers who will save money because we're getting food we would have bought anyway at a better price."
We enthusiastically endorse Governor Mitt Romney’s economic plan to create jobs and restore economic growth while returning America to its tradition of economic freedom. The plan is based on proven principles: a more contained and less intrusive federal government, a greater reliance on the private sector, a broad expansion of opportunity without government favors for special interests, and respect for the rule of law including the decision-making authority of states and localities.And yet MSM doofi like Ezra Journolist Klein will still publish things like "Romney vs. the Economists". Although I warn you not to go to Klein's Wonkblog, the obsessing over Paul Ryan is a bit nauseating. Paul Ryan appears to be to Ezra Klein as Sarah/Trig Palin was to Andrew Sullivan.
Applying these principles, Governor Romney would:
In stark contrast, President Obama has failed to advance policies that promote economic and job growth, focusing instead on increasing the size and scope of the federal government, which increases the debt, requires large tax increases, and burdens business with many new financial and health care regulations. The result is an anemic economic recovery and high unemployment. His future plans are to double down on the failed policies, which will only prolong slow growth and high unemployment.
- Reduce marginal tax rates on business and wage incomes and broaden the tax base to increase investment, jobs, and living standards.
- End the exploding federal debt by controlling the growth of spending so federal spending does not exceed 20 percent of the economy.
- Restructure regulation to end “too big to fail,” improve credit availability to entrepreneurs and small businesses, and increase regulatory accountability, and ensure that all regulations pass rigorous benefit-cost tests.
- Improve our Social Security and Medicare programs by reducing their growth to sustainable levels, ensuring their viability over the long term, and protecting those in or near retirement.
- Reform our healthcare system to harness market forces and thereby reduce costs and increase quality, empowering patients and doctors, rather than the federal bureaucracy.
- Promote energy policies that increase domestic production, enlarge the use of all western hemisphere resources, encourage the use of new technologies, end wasteful subsidies, and rely more on market forces and less on government planners.
President Obama has:
In sum, Governor Romney’s economic plan is far superior for creating economic growth and jobs than the actions and interventions President Obama has taken or plans to take in the future. This November, voters will make a fundamental choice between differing visions of America’s economic future.
- Relied on short-term “stimulus” programs, which provided little sustainable lift to the economy, and enacted and proposed significant tax increases for all Americans.
- Offered no plan to reduce federal spending and stop the growth of the debt-to-GDP ratio.
- Failed to propose Social Security reform and offered a Medicare proposal that relies on a panel of bureaucrats to set prices, quantities, and qualities of healthcare services.
- Favored a large expansion of economic regulation across many sectors, with little regard for proper cost-benefit analysis and with a disturbing degree of favoritism toward special interests.
- Enacted health care legislation that centralizes health care decisions and increases the power of the federal bureaucracy to impose one-size-fits-all solutions on patients and doctors, and creates greater incentives for waste.
- Favored expansion of one-size-fits-all federal rulemaking, with an erosion of the ability of state and local governments to make decisions appropriate for their particular circumstances.
A California school district is shouldering $1 billion in interest on a $105 million bond in a deal intended to defer most of the payments for 35 to 40 years.
The Poway Unified School District, in San Diego County, structured its 2011 sale of capital-appreciation bonds to avoid debt service until 2033, with the largest sums -- more than $300 million each -- due in 2046 and in 2051, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.That'll make for a great slogan for attracting home buyers to Poway circa 2030, "Come to our town and sign up for your share of $1 billion in debt that you never benefited from!!"
"...it is One Term City for the Big O...this guy's well of goodwill is a mile wide and an inch deep"Here is Paul Rahe today:
"Obama’s support is a mile wide and a quarter of an inch deep."Also today, Rahe traces the arc of destruction that Obama has left upon his own party:
In consequence, none of these psephologists has reflected adequately on the significance of the emergence of the Tea-Party Movement, on the meaning of Scott Brown’s election and the particular context within which he was elected, on the election of Chris Christie as Governor of New Jersey and of Bob McDonnell as Governor of Virginia, and on the political earthquake that took place in November, 2010. That earthquake, which gave the Republicans a strength at the state and local levelThat would be the same arc I traced in October of 2010:
although it is obvious, seems to be long forgotten ancient history - the anti-Obama electoral wave started with New Jersey and Virginia and rolled on up to Massachusetts. (What's more, the Dems didn't just lose these races. In the case of New Jersey they spawned, in republican rock star Chris Christie, what to them is surely a Frankenstein monster loose in the land.) So in looking at the entire string of events from Virginia, New Jersey, and Scott Brown to what is shaping up to be a very bad Nov 2ndJust sayin'.
Papa John’s warns it will have to raise the price of its pizzas due to President Obama’s health care law. John Schnatter, CEO and founder of Papa John’s, said pizza will cost up to 14 cents more when the Affordable Care Act goes into effect in 2014. “We’re not supportive of Obamacare, like most businesses in our industry"Still this is only letting the word out, I would like to see these costs itemized out on bills so that consumers have a daily reminder of what stupid laws like Obamacare are doing to the economy.
Climate Change Legislation - Calculate the cost of compliance with any climate change legislation on a per unit basis and make that cost transparent to your customers. A half of a penny on every can of Pepsi or $100 on every new car...whatever it is, put it right there on the package. Let the buying public know that climate change legislation costs them on everything, everytime they buy.
Universal Healthcare - Take the increased costs out of cash wages and show the numbers to all of your employees. Stuff a leaflet in every paycheck that says, "Universal healthcare mandates costs us $X per employee over our previous healthcare arrangements, thus your cash wages have been reduced or your potential raise been scaled back by an equivalent amount. Please note you are earning the same but your compensation comes more in the form of healthcare than cash remuneration."
The personal saving rate, which measures savings as a percentage of disposable income, jumped to 4.4% in June from 4% a month earlier and a recent low of 3.2% in November, the government said Tuesday, as consumers squirreled away cash amid the weak economy.
Spending on everything from vacations to clothes was largely flat in June. Spending fell less than 0.1%, after easing 0.1% in May, even though Americans’ income after taxes rose 0.4%, the most since March. Consumer spending is the biggest single driver of the U.S. economy, accounting for roughly two-thirds of demand.Let me guess, would it perhaps have something to do with the state of the economy being essentially the only potential obstacle to four more years of the Smartest President-Lightworker-Some Sort of a God fellow occupying the oval office???
The trends are an economists' horror movie. Real GDP seems not to be recovering at all -- no period of swift growth to go back to a trend. We seem stuck at 2.4% growth forever. The CBO is giving up on us too. Employment will not recover as a fraction of population until the economy recovers. We seem stuck at low employment forever. And now we seem headed to a 1970s productivity slowdown as well.RTWT here.
I don't view this as contentious, outside of Presidential politics. Paul Krugman thinks the economy is pretty awful too.
What to do? If only it were so simple as to have the Fed print up another two trillion dollars, or have the Treasury borrow another $5 trillion and blow it on stimulus boondoggles. We're stuck in sclerotic growth, and to everyone but a few die-hard extremists, that means growth-oriented policies are the only way out.
The Ford Foundation awarded a $500,000 grant to the Washington Post to expand its government-accountability coverage, the foundation’s second major grant to a for-profit newspaper this year.
The foundation made its first for-profit newspaper grant to the Los Angeles Times this spring—an award of $1 million to enlarge coverage of local immigration and ethnic communities.
The grants come as newspapers continue to struggle with print revenues declining much faster than digital revenues are growing, forcing closures and job cuts throughout the industry. The Washington Post’s newsroom, for instance, has shrunk to around 600 people today from about 1,000 at its peak in 2000.
The one-year grant to the Post, which is owned by Washington Post Co., will fund four reporters to work on “special projects related to money, politics and government,” under the paper’s investigative unit, according to a memo from Post editors.
“The Foundation’s support enables us to build on one of our central missions, and the terms of the grant give us complete independence,” the editors said.After all, why would they suddenly be interested in "government accountability" 98 days from another four years of Obama?
“When it is no longer safe to attend a movie without being mowed down by automatic weapons recently purchased by someone visiting a psychiatrist for possible mental illness, it is time to reexamine the beliefs we are holding so dear . . . I can’t figure out how assault weapons have a place in our society.”I won't get too deep into rebutting that other than to dredge up this story that I remember quite well from my days as a wee lad.
A homeless Cuban refugee, chanting and apparently deranged, went on a rampage with a sword aboard a Staten Island ferryboat yesterday and killed two people and wounded nine others before being subdued by a retired police officer at gunpoint.
Wielding a two-foot ornamental blade apparently purchased in Times Square, the assailant pursued, hacked and stabbed victims on two decks of the rumbling, 310-foot ferry, the Samuel I. Newhouse, at about 8:45 A.M. as the boat passed the Statue of Liberty, bound from Manhattan to Staten Island.So let's see if we can't revise Mr. Ponder's ruminations
“When it is no longer safe toAlso note, it was a man with a gun that stopped the killing spree on that ferry boat in 1986, who just happened to be a retired cop. Folks were lucky there just happened to be that retired cop onboard. But there is no reason that it needed to be a retired cop, it could have been any responsible, self-trained citizen. And the odds would have been greater that more carnage didn't take place if New York wasn't a gun control paradise and ferry riders didn't have to rely on mere luck.
attend a movietake the ferry without being mowed downslashed by automatic weaponssamurai swords recently purchased by someone visiting a psychiatrist for possible mental illness, it is time to reexamine the beliefs we are holding so dear . . . I can’t figure out how assault weaponssharp blades have a place in our society.”