Thursday, January 31, 2013

Operation Co-Opt Business Dupes a Success

The phony-baloney jobs council, which was never meant to do anything other than toss out optics for the media to counter Obama's well-deserved anti-business reputation, has served its purpose and will now end.
President Barack Obama will let his jobs council expire this week without renewing its charter, winding down one source of input from the business community even as unemployment remains stubbornly high.
A full list of the dupes is here. Actually many of these people were willing dupes.  Does anybody think that Laura D'Andrea Tyson's or Penny Pritzker's role here was anything other than a Potemkin show?

You Heard It Here First: Menendez Is Horrid

As a life-long observer of the Garden State's political scene, I've known for years that Bob Menendez was not just a run-of-the-mill political hack, but a truly loathsome political whore.  (And speaking of whores, the noose is tightening around Menendez regarding his debaucherous escapades with underage hookers in the DR.)

But more interesting to me is not the run-of-the-millness of a sex scandal involving a well-known valueless and character-deficient man, but the phony edifice of nobility that is erected around these characters by the supporting cast institutions.  This kind of rhetoric is just so revolting to any one with a brain.
Bob Menendez is “committed to ensuring that every young person is able to reach their full potential,” read a 2012 fundraising solicitation for an October campaign event with the New Jersey Democratic senator, hosted by a political committee called “Women for Menendez.”
It is a double whammy of vomit-inducement.  First, it detracts from actual, real empowerment of women and second it seeks to paint over the horridness of Bob Menendez with a phony gloss of ennobling attributes.

Billions of Tax Avoidance-Driven Income Hits the Tape

Wow.  This is really gratifying to see for many reasons.  First, people took my tax avoidance advice to heart.  Second, companies went along with the plan.  Finally, the economists flailed miserably.  Keep listening to these bozos though, America.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Iranian Oil Rig Sinks

Faced with US sanctions that prohibited the importation and use of key modern oil and gas extraction technologies, Iran has been trying to home-brew its energy services infrastructure.  How's it going?

LONDON - Iran Wednesday confirmed it was seeking ways to recover a natural-gas platform made by an affiliate of Iran's Revolutionary Guards after it sunk in the Persian Gulf, a setback for the country in its effort to cope with international sanctions.
Divers have been deployed to see how the $40 million, 1,300-metric-ton platform can be pulled up, in the giant South Pars field, the state-owned Pars Oil and Gas Co. Ltd., said on its website.
However, a full-scale recovery has yet to start because of unfavorable weather conditions in the Persian Gulf, it said.
The platform sunk to the bottom of the Gulf as it was being installed by POGC and its builder, Iranian Marine Industrial Co., or Sadra, which is controlled by the Guards.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Shocker: Backwater-Type Corruption in South American Backwater's Suit Against Chevron

Many people may not know that Chevron, the large US oil company, was fined $18 billion dollars for supposed environmental misdeeds that occurred decades ago, by a company that wasn't even Chevron (Texaco at the time).  This trial and judgement was always known to be a farce and Chevron was never going to pay the award, but, still Chevron had to show that this was a sham in order to retain any ability to stand tall in the court of public opinion. 

Now, it appears that the case is unraveling it is revealed that it was a classic case of Third World backwater justice.
A former Ecuadorian judge has acknowledged his direct involvement in orchestrating a fraudulent judgment against Chevron Corp. in the environmental trial against the company in Lago Agrio, Ecuador.
In a sworn declaration filed Monday in New York federal court, Alberto Guerra, who presided over the case when it was first filed in 2003, reveals that he was paid thousands of dollars by the plaintiffs' lawyers and a subsequent judge, Nicholas Zambrano, for illegally ghostwriting judicial orders issued by Zambrano and steering the case in the plaintiffs' favor. Guerra, who is no longer a judge, attests that the plaintiffs' lawyers were permitted to draft the $18 billion judgment in their own favor after they promised to pay Zambrano a $500,000 bribe out of the judgment's enforcement proceeds, and that Guerra then reviewed the plaintiffs' lawyers' draft for Zambrano before the judge issued it as his own.
This crap just hurts Ecuador and its people.  Sigh.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Kaboom Underground in Iran?

Powerline highlights this:
Reza Kahlili served the CIA Directorate of Operations as a spy in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. He tells the story in A Time to Betray. Kahlili now asserts that an explosion at Iran’s underground nuclear facility at Fordo has destroyed much of the installation and trapped about 240 personnel deep underground, all “according to a former intelligence officer of the Islamic regime.” The explosion is said to have taken place on Monday. Israeli news stories — here and here — on Kahlili’s account rightly emphasize that the account remains uncorroborated by any source.
 Again, there has been no corroboration of this report.  But it should be noted that a certain someone predicted, well...
- Something Deep, Deep Underground in Iran Blows Up: Above-ground things are blowing up left and right and we are constantly told that the Big Bad Nuke Stuff is way underground where we can't bomb it. Well, maybe not with airplanes. We/they/whoever scores a big one with a KABOOM underneath the feet of the mullahs.
UPDATE:  Iran denies.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

What a Country!

Paraphrasing:  I thank God and my country that I got to bang this chick and didn't have to face the consequences of my actions.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Quick Musing

“Is there anything I can do for marriage equality or anti- bullying over the next couple of weeks to harness this Super Bowl media?”

So, some guy who plays linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens wants to use the media attention surrounding the Super Bowl to draw attention to marriage equality gay marriage.  There are a few things to be said here, some more profound than others.

The first thing to be said, unfortunately, doesn't speak well for the intelligence of 20-something year old athletes.  What Mr. Ayanbedejo fails to grasp is that the media attention is feeding a demand for information, no matter how trivial and meaningless, about football.  Change the subject away from football and the attention goes away.  Certainly, the moment that Super Bowl-playing football players start to expound on the great moral issues of the day is the day that the media circus gets deflated and there is nothing to harness.  

Secondly, and more importantly, is the small-minded, sadly modern, view that a great issue of our day is just a matter of marketing, like a product to be sold.  Ayanbedejo's motivations are all too common and conventional  - if we can just get more media exposure, more celebrities to speak out, more "awareness" then people will come around to our point of view.  As if deep moral questions or questions of societal mores are not formed by religious belief or study of history or human understanding or life experience.  

As one who is indifferent to the notion of gay marriage - neither for it or against it - I just shake my head at the tactics used by advocates to sway skeptics or opponents.  It is typical leftism, no persuasion, no reasoning, just demonizing opponents and ramping up the marketing.  I doubt they'll have much success in advancing their cause with this playbook.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

HRC: "What Difference Does It Make?"

Well, for starters I want to know whether the people at the highest level of our government are complete f**king morons (or think that we are f**king morons). 

Barring that, I want to know if the people at the highest level of our government are shameless f**king liars. 

Barring that, I want to know if people at the highest level of our government understand the prevalence, motivations, aims, and tactics of Islamic terrorists. 

If they don't, why?  If they do, does the Benghazi attack represent a miscalculation?  If so, how will that miscalculation...ah, phooey, who I am kidding.

Help Wanted: Must Cook, Clean, Be Beaten and Raped...

Here is a harrowing expose of Saudi abuse of expat women brought in to be maids.  Jist:  Asians didn't take to well to being raped, beaten and killed, so now the Saudis have to import Ethiopians.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, has imported female servants for decades. The Indonesian government stemmed the flow after the beheading of an Indonesian maid convicted of killing her employer in June 2011. Maids from the Philippines had also stopped arriving, after Filipino lawmakers wrote a report on alleged abuses, including rapes and beatings.
So the Saudis turned to Ethiopia, across the Red Sea, where most people live on less than $2 a day. “Saudi Arabia will choose the most compliant country,” said Walden Bello, chairman of the Overseas Workers Affairs Committee in the Philippine House of Representatives.
Steel yourself and read the whole thing. Then repeat to yourself over and over:
"1) All cultures are equally valid, no culture is better than another, and 2) Republicans in America are waging a war on women by not giving them free birth control."

Don't stop, keep repeating...

Girls Just Wanna Have Guns

Here is some unconventional perspective that you won't get in the MSM, but the copywriting savvy was non-existent here as the play on Cyndi Lauper's '80s anthem is beyond obvious, and imperative actually.  Sing it with me..."They Just Wanna, They Just Wanna-aa-aa..."

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Private Sector Looks to Profit Where Public Sector Fails

Anytime there is a real problem to be solved, private enterprise usually provides a solution.  In the instances where there are competitive solutions from the private sector and the public sector, the private solution is usually quicker, better, and cheaper than the government solution.  Case in point is maritime piracy, which is a scourge as old as seafaring itself but newly resurgent in the wake of a global epidemic of namby-pambiness and which costs global consumers $7 billion annually.  There is an age-old solution to this age-old problem.  There is even an effective stop-gap measure to contain but not eradicate the problem.  However both of these solutions doesn't meet with the very modern sensibilities of some market participants, thus the market need for non-lethal piracy deterrence.  As such the the navies of the world have been patrolling piracy-ravaged sea routes at enormous expense and have not been effective - piracy still occurs just outside the reach of international naval forces' watch or it has moved elsewhere. Ineffectiveness at enormous cost is an unsustainable solution, so one would expect a private sector solution to emerge, and perhaps it this filling the namby-pamby market niche.

The Economist "Retreats with Honor" from Global Warming Battle

I said global warming was over.  Check this out from the gold standard of Euro-flavored, lefty economic conventional wisdom (ht Instapundit).
“This is pretty much where we’ve been for some time: the global approach to reducing CO2 emissions is a dead end, and while the overall science about the climate seems well established, there are some significant fiddly bits that haven’t yet been worked out. There may be more surprises like soot in the works, some good, some bad, but in any case the details, the timing, and the consequences of climate change are less clear than the overall arc, and the case for particular policies is often significantly weaker than the overall case that climate change is under way.”
I love it!  "Fiddly bits."  Also, known as "details"...?  Sounds like this is a "retreat with honor", i.e. we lost but we won't admit to being wrong.

Without the communitarian approach, euphemistically dubbed "global," all that is left is for individual countries and regions to compete in pursuit of economic development.  Progressives call "competition" a "race to the bottom".  Watch for this catchphrase to surge like a new gusher.

Obama Says We're Not "Takers" As He Seeks to Enshrine Taking

We all know that wealth redistribution is the sine qua non goal of lefties the world over and has been throughout time immemorial.  No need to rehash why and why it is a terrible idea here though.  What I do want to touch on briefly is how the lefties are moving on to something that should be the DEFCON 5 for those interested, and thus standing vigilant over, our liberties.  For the past four years, lefties have hidden their goal behind the patently ridiculous argument that wealth redistribution had economic benefits in which we all share.  This is poppycock but that is how they advanced the notion, because they didn't want the rest of us to see their real motivation.  The most famous of this ruse in action was then-presidential candidate Obama's interaction with Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher, where he insists that we all do better when we spread wealth around.  (Again, we don't, but that is not my point here.)  We've continued to hear this theme over the years, such as in when Nancy Pelosi says that unemployment benefits create jobs.

Now, however, lefties are moving on to the real deal, and the best that can be said is that at least the economic nonsense may take a back seat.  That is hardly a consolation as the next phase is the enshrining of "taking from the making" into the fabric of life.  This is done through the concept of "positive rights."  Michael Kinsley gives you the primer:
The president’s second fascinating gloss on the concept of rights has to do with negative and positive rights. In the U.S., when we think of rights, we think mainly of negative rights: rights against the government. The Bill of Rights is largely a list of things the government may not do to you. It may not prevent you from having your say, or praying to your own God, or living unbothered in your own house. It may not discriminate against you on account of race, religion, and so on. But it has no positive duty to feed or house you.
There is another view of “rights” that sees them in positive terms, as obligations of society to all its citizens. The right to education, to food, to a job, to health care, and so on. These are the kind of rights that engage Obama.
While it sounds good on the surface, there is a reason that "positive rights" were not part of our founding as a nation and have, throughout time, not been a key concept of constitutional design, at least not in parts of the globe where freedom and liberty are valued.  This is because "positive rights" are a recipe for the destruction of free societies.  The reason is simple: negative rights don't cost money, positive rights cost money.  It doesn't cost you or me any tangible resources to allow our fellow citizens to speak their mind, worship their god or live unmolested in their home.  But when you have a positive right to a home or to food, that has to be paid for with actual money.  Who pays for that?  We do.  The government has no money of its own, it can only tax or borrow...or confiscate.  So, we wind up paying, always.  Someone has to have a home, because it is their right, so we have to pay for it.  What is yours - your money, your property, your business - becomes secondary because people have rights to things and these things cost money.  Standing up to confiscation in any form - excessive taxation, trampling of creditor rights (see Chrysler bailout) or outright confiscation - is recast as denying your fellow citizens' rights.  Now what it is yours is no longer yours.  Someone else has a right to what is yours.  "Taking" is now not only not taboo, not merely virtuous, it is imperative.  That is where Obama and his ilk are taking us.

UPDATE:  Powerline noticed the same thing and they analyze in more depth.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Jeff Immelt Complicit in Jobs Council Charade

I am pretty sure that GE CEO Jeff Immelt didn't just fall off the turnip truck, so the fact that he - and the others on the "jobs council" - have been used as props by Dear Leader, means that they allowed themselves to be used as props by Dear Leader.  I sure hope they got something for it, the American people sure haven't.
President Barack Obama's Jobs Council hit a notable milestone on Thursday: one year without an official meeting. The 26-member panel is also set to expire at the end of the month, unless Obama extends its tenure.
The group, formally known as the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, last convened on Jan. 17, 2012 for a White House session where it presented formal recommendations to Obama. It was the panel's fourth official meeting since it was created in early 2011.

A spokesman for Jobs Council chairman Jeffrey Immelt, who's the CEO of General Electric, referred questions about the panel's future to the White House.
This is much the same as Warren Buffett and Paul Volcker allowed their reputations to be co-opted by Obama the first time around.  What do they see in this guy that they are OK with being used like this?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Inspiring the Young of America

Hey, if the President can have made-up girlfriends, so can you.

Or do you have to be from Hawaii?

Bloomberg: Why Are Companies Complaining About Obama?

Remember how I told you that the Pelosicrats and Obamacrats have achieved an amazing feat of dissonance - a crappy economy for the lower and middle classes but a pretty decent one for upper classes.
Mark Perry has a post up today that perfectly illuminates what I (and others) have highlighted about this economy - it sucks for the lower skilled but isn't too bad for investors and owners. Perry notes a guy who laments the sad state of the manufacturing recovery using Census data, while Perry highlights, using Census data as well, that manufacturing profits are booming. That's what Washington has created for us, a modest recovery that is accruing to capital and not to labor.
Bloomberg touches on this phenomenon in an article titled "Corporate Profits Soar as Executives Attack Obama Policy".  
Such complaints, echoed by corporate executives throughout President Barack Obama’s first term, obscure one fact: American business has never had it so good.
U.S. corporations’ after-tax profits have grown by 171 percent under Obama, more than under any president since World War II, and are now at their highest level relative to the size of the economy since the government began keeping records in 1947, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Of course, leave it to Al Hunt & Co. to get the story entirely wrong, mistaking coincidence with causality.  Corporate profits are up for, more or less, four reasons:
1) Layoffs and Restrained Hiring - Companies laid alot of people off in the wake of the financial crisis.  They have not hired those people back because of intensive regulatory expansion from the Obama administration, uncertainty over Obamacare's rules, and outright hostility and attacks on business.  Companies have made the conscious decision to do more with less, which is translating to higher productivity and profits.
2) Restrained Capital Expenditures - The uncertainties and hostility that the Obama administration has inflicted on the economy is keeping companies from making major project commitments.  Capital not spent on undertaking new projects is an expense not incurred, an expense not incurred is a profit earned.
3) Cheap Dollar Drives Exports to Growing World - The rest of the world, barring Europe, is trying to get on with business and grow, so there has been very little of the anti-business sentiment like there has been in the US.  And they need US-made goods.  A dollar weakened by profligate spending and hyper-expanionary monetary policy makes those US-made goods cheap, so companies sell more abroad.  More sales helps profits.
4) Low Interest Rates - In a vain attempt to counter the economic malaise pervading the US economy, the Fed has held interest rates at historically low levels, which has enabled corporations to refinance their debts and reduce interest costs by hundreds of millions of dollars.  Lower interest costs are higher profits.

So it is Obama's policies that are driving US corporate profits up, but not in a good way.  Obama's policies are making companies defensive and tentative and reluctant to invest in the future.

Saudi California

California is sitting on oceans of oil.  You've heard me say it here, when they sink too far into the fiscal abyss they'll start drilling for all that oil, big time.  It's the only way they'll be able to pay their bills.  Are they there yet?  Hard to say.  A few more years of sliding into the fiscal hole and a few more years of fading global warming hysteria, and they'll get there alright.

Fox Butterfield, Professor of Economics?

Largely thanks to James Taranto of the WSJ's Best of the Web blog, multitudes are aware of and understand the Butterfield Effect.
The New York Times’s Fox Butterfield is famous for repeatedly reporting with astonishment that crime rates went down as the prison population went up without giving much heed to the possibility that the two trends might be correlated rather than (as the paper’s house ideology insists) contradictory. 
 Of course, the Butterfield Effect is not limited to criminology, it can easily extend to other realms.  All that is required is a blinding false ideology and/or ignorance of actual cause/effect relationships.  The Washington Post demonstrates the Butterfield Effect in the economy.

Last July was a good month for factory workers in Anderson, Ind., where a Honda parts supplier announced plans to build a new plant and create up to 325 jobs. But it was a grim month in the Cleveland suburbs, where an industrial plastics firm told the state of Ohio it was closing a plant and laying off 150 people.
Nearly all of the Ohio workers belonged to a labor union. Workers at the Indiana plant don’t. Their fates fit a post-recession pattern: American factories are hiring again, but they’re not hiring union members.
U.S. manufacturers have added a half-million new workers since the end of 2009, making the sector one of the few bright spots in an otherwise weak recovery. And yet there were 4 percent fewer union factory workers in 2012 than there were in 2010, according to federal survey data. On balance, all of the job gains in manufacturing have been non-union.
The trend underscores a central conundrum in the “manufacturing renaissance” that President Obama loves to tout as an economic accomplishment: The new manufacturing jobs are different from the ones that delivered millions of American workers a ticket to the middle class over the past half-century.
There is no conundrum.  The fading influence of unions is the cause of the resurgence in manufacturing.  Unions made firms uncompetitive, so they failed or left.  Now that they can come back and be free of unions, they are...wait for it...coming back.  Right to work states have been and are outpacing their forced-unionization competitors in economic development and growth.  Indiana, used in the example in the opening paragraph, is a right to work state.  Ohio, in contrast, beat back an attempt at passing right to work law.  Alas, this is a conundrum to the Butterfield Effected scribes at the WaPo.

No Sympathy for Blue Model Failure

Walter Russell Mead (Democrat and Obama voter, mind you) continues to astutely dissect the bankruptcy of the "Blue Model".  Here is yet another insightful installment.
"California’s cities have been going bankrupt left and right over the past few years. But what is it actually like to live in a bankrupt city? A new New York Times profile of post-bankruptcy San Bernardino paints the picture, and it isn’t a pretty one...
This is what a blue death spiral looks like. Years and years of unsustainable pension promises, profligate spending and poor fiscal leadership slowly add up until the money runs out and there’s nothing left to pay for the services that keep the city running. Bankruptcy can help get a city’s finances back on track, but it’s extremely difficult to run a city on a shoestring budget, as San Bernardino is now learning.
 Spot on, except for this false note:
It is truly unfortunate that the good citizens of San Bernardino are caught up in this mess. In the meantime, this should serve as a warning to the rest of us.
Wrong.  Citizens get the governments that they deserve.  Years of baldly rapacious and/or malignly clueless governance is the consequence of years of deficient citizen oversight, involvement and vigilance.  Proper civic engagement could have kept this all at bay.  The misfortune befalling the "good citizens" of San Bernardino is their own fault.  Those who didn't care to know or keep an eye out are likely now ruing their decision.  Those who thought it could never come to this or thought it all was a good thing have been proven wrong.  There are penalties for being wrong and there are penalties for not showing up.  It's penalties all around for the good citizens of San Bernardino.  All, fully deserved.

It's for the Children

Don't you know it...’s worth asking: how may kids who sent a letter to the president asking him to solve a gun violence issue sent their letter because they wanted to, and not because some Democratic candidate-supporting teacher union goon forced the kid to do so?
And if we're using kids as political props, how about this...
John Boehner sits in his office. He is surrounded by children and heaps of letters from other children.
He smiles and bounces one of the children on his knee.  The camera comes into sharp focus on Boehner's face. He explains that all these children surrounding him, and all the children who sent these letters that are piled before you, have only one wish. 
Stop the deficit spending by holding the debt ceiling.
DB says, forget about abusing the poor kids, our current fiscal path will blow up in our faces within ten years easily, maybe much sooner.  The kids have a hope of crawling out of the wreckage by the time they hit adulthood, it's us we're royally screwing.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Anti "Breeder" Win for ObamaCare

Truly committed progressives hate children.  The fever swamps of leftism teem with disdain for "breeders".  It's all part of their self-loathing nature.  With that in  mind, this result of ObamaCare is a feature not a bug.
WINDBER, Pa. (AP) — A southwestern Pennsylvania hospital will stop delivering babies after March 31 because its obstetricians are either leaving or refocusing their practices, and because hospital officials believe they can't afford it based on projected reimbursements under looming federal health care reforms.
This is a progressive homerun - stop the breeders and do it out in the hinterlands!

Progressives Want Guns to Fight Right Wing Government

This is genius.  Makes me feel great about my donation to Project Veritas.

But for the coup de grace, go to and/or perk up at 9:45, where a liberal Star-Ledger columnist let's you know that progressives actually feel they'll need guns eventually to fight government tyranny "when the right wing takes over."  Wait, you mean the tyranny of reforming Social Security and funding things like birth control and Big Bird, because last I checked, the crazed right wing wingnuttery was about smaller government, doing less and getting out of your life, no?  I can just see it now, progressives armed to the teeth taking to the street demanding their birth-control pills and Big Bird.  Oh wait, maybe this is a threat, maybe they'll be taking our money to fund all this stuff at the point of a gun...?

Is This Obama's Most Arrogant Stattement?

Here is a statement so clarifying, so infuriating, and, well, so...ARGGGGGHHHHHH!
In the weeks after the UN vote, Obama said privately and repeatedly, “Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.”
First, this is indicative of the overarching progressive mind set that they know better than you what is good for you.  It is the very definition of arrogance.

Second, this trait is alone perfectly embodied in Obama, whose arrogance seems to know no bounds, one cannot possibly see things differently from him without either having base motives or being completely ignorant.

Finally, and this has to be the most infuriating, is that the arrogance rests on nothing.  There is no basis for it.  It is not the arrogance of knowledge or of achievement, it is the arrogance of power, the arrogance of self-referential regard.  To understand this, ask yourself, "Has Obama even ever been to Israel?"

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Smartest POTUS Ever Can't Even Build a Cabinet of Mediocrities

Here is your real headline of the day, as opposed to what you read in the "news".

"Supposedly Smartest President Ever (Who Some Feel Is Sort of a God) Is Having Trouble Putting Together a Cabinet of Completely Undistinguished People."

More here on flailing.  More here and here on Lew.  Kerry, we know is a world-class doofus and Hagel is a big Meh who will grate on the entire military.

Deficits, Debt, Inflation and Have a Nice Day

I have made some market calls here, expressing my pessimistic view regarding US Treasuries based on the major political developments of the day.  I am heartened that no less than WSJ Op-Ed legend George Melloan agees with me.  He takes to those familiar pages today to warn us, Obama - with Bernanke's complicity - is basically destroying the dollar, the Fed, and ultimately, our standard of living.  It's a must read.

Now might be a good time for people to get acquainted with the Debt Theory of Inflation, most ably espoused by U of Chicago economist John Cochrane.  Here is a quick read on it and here are a few nuggets:
As a result of the federal government's enormous debt and deficits, substantial inflation could break out in America in the next few years. If people become convinced that our government will end up printing money to cover intractable deficits, they will see inflation in the future and so will try to get rid of dollars today — driving up the prices of goods, services, and eventually wages across the entire economy. This would amount to a "run" on the dollar. As with a bank run, we would not be able to tell ahead of time when such an event would occur. But our economy will be primed for it as long as our fiscal trajectory is unsustainable...
The key reason serious inflation often accompanies serious economic difficulties is straightforward: Inflation is a form of sovereign default. Paying off bonds with currency that is worth half as much as it used to be is like defaulting on half of the debt. And sovereign default happens not in boom times but when economies and governments are in trouble.
Most troubling is that establishment types don't see it this way, in a classic case of the Reaganite truism that it isn't that liberals are dumb, it is that so much of what they know is wrong.  Says Cochrane:
Most analysts today — even those who do worry about inflation — ignore the direct link between debt, looming deficits, and inflation. "Monetarists" focus on the ties between inflation and money, and therefore worry that the Fed's recent massive increases in the money supply will unleash similarly massive inflation. The views of the Fed itself are largely "Keynesian," focusing on interest rates and the aforementioned "slack" as the drivers of inflation or deflation. The Fed's inflation "hawks" worry that the central bank will keep interest rates too low for too long and that, once inflation breaks out, it will be hard to tame. Fed "doves," meanwhile, think that the central bank can and will raise rates quickly enough should inflation occur, so that no one need worry about inflation now.
Even if they're looking, they're looking at the wrong things.  Elites have failed us before you know.  One iron rule of Donny Baseball's Highly Refined and Usually Correct World View is that your real risk is not what/where you think it is. Cochrane says "check".
All sides of the conventional inflation debate believe that the Fed can stop any inflation that breaks out. The only question in their minds is whether it actually will — or whether the fear of higher interest rates, unemployment, and political backlash will lead the Fed to let inflation get out of control. They assume that the government will always have the fiscal resources to back up any monetary policy — to, for example, issue bonds backed by tax revenues that can soak up any excess money in the economy. This assumption is explicit in today's academic theories.
While the assumption of fiscal solvency may have made sense in America during most of the post-war era, the size of the government's debt and unsustainable future deficits now puts us in an unfamiliar danger zone — one beyond the realm of conventional American macroeconomic ideas. And serious inflation often comes when events overwhelm ideas — when factors that economists and policymakers do not understand or have forgotten about suddenly emerge. That is the risk we face today. To properly understand that risk, we must first understand the ideas underlying our debates about inflation.
Bottom line, we are in absolutely uncharted territory, and the elites are dismissing the dangers because they feel that they have it all figured out.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

MSM Will Give "Unexpectedly" Another Shot In Obama 2.0

Here we stand on the cusp of Obama 2.0 with all it portends - unrelenting expansion and entrenchment of the $1.3 trillion in-the-red-annually entitlement Leviathan coupled with raging anti-business fervor - and news of economic malaise is still "unexpected".  Good f**king God.

Jobless Claims in U.S. Unexpectedly Increased Last Week

More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign improvement in the labor market remains uneven.
Jobless claims increased by 4,000 to 371,000 in the week ended Jan. 5, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a drop to 365,000. The prior week’s figures were revised to 367,000 from an initially reported 372,000.
The media pulled off a remarkable feat for over four years, incessantly advancing the notion that with a completely clueless economic illiterate, who never had a real job, occupying the White House, some how, some way, inexplicably, economic data was persistently disappointing.  Now, with four more years of malaise at best teed up, is the MSM is going to try to keeping foisting this on us.  Obama 2.0 is Obama Unleashed and yet somehow, some way these economic statistics remain peskily malaise-ish.  Unexpected indeed.  The corruption in the MSM is galling, they are simply too willfully blind to see. 

Is There a Rick Monday Out There Among Today's Youth?

No, I don't worry that there's not a budding young serviceable outfielder for some pro ballclub in the future.  I'm wondering if there is a reflexively courageous, proud American young man or woman out there who, if someone wants to desecrate the flag, has the fortitude to make that person really really want to desecrate that flag by having to be held accountable right there on the spot...

Maybe there is, but not in Chapin, South Carolina it would seem.
The Lexington-Richland District 5 teacher is accused of throwing down the American flag and stomping on it in front of his honors English classes. 
When Michael Copeland overheard his teenager talking about what her honors II English teacher did with the flag in their classroom, he pressed for details. 
"He drew a couple of symbols, like one of them was a cross, and he said, 'What does this represent,' and everybody said, 'Christianity,'" said Copeland. 
"Then he proceeds to take down the American flag, and said, 'This is a symbol, but it's only a piece of cloth. It doesn't mean anything,' and then he throws it down on the floor and then stomps on it, repeatedly."
Is there a Rick Monday out there among our favorite generation of "deluded narcissists"??

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Think This Will Sway the Governor?

Dear Governor Cuomo,
Don't take my guns.  I need my guns because unionized school teachers want to kill me.

Will Lefties Get This?

I'm not sure liberals will understand the point here...

What's wrong with Stalin?  He made the trains run on time!!!

DB: Maybe that why MD had to throw Hitler in there, just to extra clear...

The Key to Energy Development

Mark Perry's blog is a font of energy data, notably production figures, that the average person would do well to peruse and understand.  But for us deep in the weeds of energy economics and issues, many of the charts can be hum-drum, we know that US production is racing ahead and we know that US production will continue to race ahead.  But today, Prof. Perry has a graph that is insightful for us all since it shows us why certain energy production is booming and certain energy production is not.

I have talked about "speed" as a corporate value before, not that this is Earth-shattering intellectual thinking since any dodo understands that time is money.  But the the most dynamic corporations look to maximize speed within other constraints (i.e. safety, risk) and seek to manage it where they can.  One of the great myths of China's boom was that it's cheap labor was so attractive to foreign companies.  Yes, the labor was cheap, but there is cheap labor all over the world.  What China understands and excels at is getting things done quickly.  Here in the US, there is an abundance of oil and gas, so where do you spend money drilling?  You spend it where there is the shortest amount of time laying out the dough for the rights to the land and laying out the dough for actual drilling.  Smart states looking for goose economic development understand this.  Clearly the Feds don't, although I am of the opinion that of course they understand it, and the excessive delays are a feature not a bug.

Obama 2.0: Only Question is Whether It's the B Team or the C Team?

Kerry, Hagel, and now Jack Lew.

Obama 2.0 is very clearly going to be run by the B Team.  And that's being charitable, C Team is closer to reality.

Sad News in the World of Economics

James M. Buchanan has died.  God speed.

UPDATE:  Mark Perry has unearthed a great Buchanan quote.  Click through, but let me tempt you with this:
"...we have not yet become a bevy of camp-following whores.”

Time to Play "What Do They Have in Common?"

Let's fire up the wayback machine to dredge up a post that riffed on a micro-meme that was "out there" for a nano-second.  Take our top poor (once-great or at least proud), God-foresaken sh*thole cities and try to figure out what they have in common.  OK, I gave it away.

With that in mind, let's play the game again.  Michigan, Texas, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee.  (And these all are late to the party, says Virginia) What do they all have in common, aside from budget surpluses???  Humming Jeopardy tune...

Wouldn't you love to see political ads that cut to the quick:
"Democrat cities=shitholes, Republican states=budget surpluses"  Full stop.  Have a nice day.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Holy Cow, Phish Punks Musics' Elite

This is simply astonishing.  I detest the band Phish, but it appears that they have just punk'd the musical establishment in the oddest way that few could appreciate.  Read Steve Heyward's whole blog post here and watch the video, as Heyward says, if you can bear it.

By accident of family history, as a young boy I spent numerous hours under the tutelage of my older cousins who introduced me to things that I should not have been introduced to at my young age (or perhaps ever), among them Tuborg beer, Hustler magazine, the New York Islanders, the 1979 Plymouth Road Runner, and the very very early music of Genesis.  Thus as a small tyke of 12 years old, my record collection already contained Trick of the Tail, Foxtrot, Wind & Wuthering, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Nursery Cryme, and Selling England by the Pound.  I shudder to think what I'd be worth today had I stuck that money into T-bills instead of a near complete Genesis 1970s discography.  So I can attest that "Watcher of the Skies" is about as obscure and, more importantly, one of the least melodic of early Genesis tunes.  Had they played "Afterglow" or the title track to Trick of the Tail they would have also stumped 99.99% percent of the room with early Genesis but at least would have provided some tolerable entertainment.  As I said, Punk'd.

Again... Global Warming Is Over

This may be rank propaganda or it may not, but it makes my point nonetheless - developing, oil-producing countries (with authoritarian polities or not) simply will not stand for the success of any major global climate change-inspired carbon mitigation regime.  More bluntly, they will not tolerate demand destruction of hydrocarbon energy.

For years, the Elites of the West have cranked up the myth of Man Made Global Warming as a means first and foremost to control the lives and behaviors of their populations. Knowing full well that their produce in China and sell in the West model and its consequent spiral downward in wages and thus standards of living, was unsustainable, the elites moved to use this new "science" to guilt trip and scare monger their populations into smaller and more conservatives forms of living. In other words, they coasted them into the poverty that the greed and treason of those said same elites was already creating in their native lands.
Which is exactly what I have said many times:
 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...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.
It's over, at least globally.  If individual countries want to commit economic suicide via climate change legislation they are free to do so, but the developing world and the petro-states aren't coming along for the ride.

Friday, January 04, 2013

A Sage Observer Gets the Falklands Wrong

Walter Russell Mead is usually sharp as a tack but he gets this one terribly wrong:
The Falklands, windswept rocks a few hundred miles from the Argentinean coast, are home to no more than 3,000 people, most of whom claim descent from the UK as well as a stark loyalty to the land of their ancestors. The islands offer little value, aside from an unknown (possibly negligible) amount of oil under the seabed, and vast quantities of kelp.
Yes there is alot of meaningless organic material there - like miles of foot deep penguin shit, which members of my family can attest to - but paltry sums of oil is not quite right. 

But exploration and production around the remote, wind-swept islands -- best known as the location of a brief, bloody war 28 years ago -- have been handicapped by a harsh climate and dicey politics.
Analysts say that as much as 60 billion barrels of high-grade oil could be found in the 200-square-mile economic zone surrounding the islands. That could make the Falklands one of the world's largest oil reserves, comparable with the North Sea, which so far has produced about 40 billion barrels.
Yes, Argentina gets all hot and bothered and attempts to divert attention when they mismanage things at home as is the case now, and maybe perhaps, although doubtful, that David Cameron can burnish his Thatcherite bona fides by looking tough on the Falklands, but WMR is simply wrong that this is a godforsaken pile of rocks that no one should care about.  The Falklands have, as they say in the oil biz, "prospectivity".  And with several hundred billion dollars worth of infrastructure and oil services development being spent in not to far away Brazil right now, with an eye to making Brazil the next Saudi Arabia, even a modicum of oil development in the Falklands will be quite economic if it can piggyback on the Brazilian oil boom.  The Falklands look more strategic for Britain everyday and the Argentinian claim looks like it always has...damn lame.

Hagel for SecDef

So, Chuck Hagel looks to be the pick for SecDef in Lightworker 2.0.  So, this pick, based on this analysis, means that Obama has been lying his ass off for four years.

But there is another interpretation.  Obama does not have access to the A Team.  He can only populate with B and C Teamers.  Hagel is decidedly that.

Take your pick.

UPDATE: Let it be noted that prominent pro-Israel intellectuals, who were nonetheless Obama supporters,  like Alan Dershowitz, have been played for fools.  Either that or they are not as smart as they seem.  IMHO, it doesn't matter how smart you are, tribalistic voting preferences are often too hard to resist.

T-Bills and the Trillion Dollar Coin

The Treasury market is off to a piss poor start in 2013.  Gee, I wonder why...

Fire up the wayback machine to...the day after Election Day!
Treasuries: near term neutral, long term bearish - Treasury yields can't get much lower, Obama will tack on $5 trillion more debt in O2.0 and Bernanke will inflate, inflate, inflate.  You will lose your shirt loaning money to Obama 2.0's US of A.
 or February 2011 if you will
In my view the next crisis is the sovereign crisis, more specifically, a US sovereign debt crisis brought about by the prevailing approach of spending gobs of money (and locking in much bigger government, call it the Rahm Emmanuel UnWasted Crisis Effect) to cure what was essentially a monetray panic. We've institutionalized a response that is no longer needed and that we can't afford (we couldn't afford the pre-crisis level, but at least we had breathing room - we've since removed any breathing room). Thus, US debt will get a hefty mark down in the coming years. There is no political solution to this problem, bondholders will have to grab the reins.
or May 2010 even
A basic tenet of corporate finance is that equity returns are based on the risk-free rate plus an equity risk premium. In English this means that it is riskier to hold equities than the risk-free asset, traditionally US Treasuries, so investors require more return to hold equities. I believe that we are in the early stages of a fundamental breakdown of this bedrock assumption....The US government is positioning its fiscal future to resemble those European countries that today are facing a painful reckoning the likes of which we haven't seen in decades. Yet we are still supposed to operate according to the paradigm that equities should pay us a premium over lending to the US government?...Equities are massively underpriced and treasuries are massively overpriced. The bear market in treasuries could be of the scale and duration of the great bond bull market that began in the early 1980s when your mortgage was 17% and money market funds were paying 14%. The bull market in equities could be just as powerful as the last ten years was anemic.

Santelli Channels DB!

Santelli channels Donny Baseball !!  Yeah, who are the lunatics?

Time we tell these overseas observers to STFO and/or FOAD.  They are all a bunch of statist Keynesian knobheads.  We've been kicking their economic asses for a century while they dabble in war, genocide, socialism (but I repeat myself), and cultural disintegration; and, it is precisely when we decide to imitate them that we start heading into the toilet.  Let's call these schmucks out, oh wait, I did...
Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan is a bloody ignoramus.

We here in the US have the largest sovereign debt in the history of the world and that is just the bonded debt.  Our total actual liabilities are easily five times larger.  We have the highest corporate tax rates in the world, one of the most progressive tax regimes, and yet we still can't afford the level of government we have as evidenced by four straight fiscal years of $1 trillion plus deficits.  Our deficits have been running nearly as large as all of Australia's GDP.  We're getting deeper in hock to the tune of one Australia every year.  We're doing this by subsidizing the the retirements and artificial hips of the wealthiest cohort of people to ever walk the planet, allowing teachers to retire at 55 with $2 million annuities, and putting 15% of the nation on food assistance.

And the folks that want to put an end to this are the crazies and the cranks?  You sir, are a fool.


They faked the numbers on the AIDS "epidemic" in Africa, and now we know they constructed the phony, science-free scare mongering over "Franken-foods".

If you fear genetically modified food, you may have Mark Lynas to thank. By his own reckoning, British environmentalist helped spur the anti-GMO movement in the mid-‘90s, arguing as recently at 2008 that big corporations’ selfish greed would threaten the health of both people and the Earth. Thanks to the efforts of Lynas and people like him, governments around the world—especially in Western Europe, Asia, and Africa—have hobbled GM research, and NGOs like Greenpeace have spurned donations of genetically modified foods.

But Lynas has changed his mind—and he’s not being quiet about it. On Thursday at the Oxford Farming Conference, Lynas delivered a blunt address: He got GMOs wrong. According to the version of his remarks posted online (as yet, there’s no video or transcript of the actual delivery), he opened with a bang:
We'll be hearing many mea culpas like this about Global Warming, Climate Change, Climate Chaos (or whatever they are calling it these days) in the not too distant future.

Of Scary Charts

The Business Insider is labeling this the scariest employment chart ever.  I am not sure about that, but it is scary indeed.  I know exactly why this chart looks the way it does.  I've gone over this many many times, the key analysis being this one, which, coupled with a chart of the stock market, tells an interesting tale about Democratic leadership - it's never really about the little guy for them, all that is just talk.

To my mind, this chart is much scarier.  The Bushwhacker's "war on the credit card" is pure pikerism compared to the Lightworker's pedal-to-the-metal progressive welfare state, which is beyond "on the credit card."  Trust me, very shortly the "credit card" that is funding Obama's wealth redistribution will look alot more like a "payday lender."

Dumb Dumb Dumb

Jeez, when are we going to abandon the dumbass notion that wives of Presidents are qualified to be President?  I guess the answer has something to do with the fact that we've already abandoned the notion that there are any qualifications that matter for President to begin with...

Hope and Change, Baby!

The unemployment rate for blacks is up (while already high), but, hey, that unemployment check is in the mail...

Again, why won't the simple pitch work?

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Why the Stampede to Buy Guns?

Victor Davis Hanson has written a superb article, ostensibly about skyrocketing firearm sales but that hardly mentions firearms.  Instead he brilliantly catalogs the subtle sense of foreboding and incipient dread that liberty-loving Americans feel right now and that is driving them to purchase firearms at an astonishing rate. 

I've had enough conversations with people that range from hating guns to just being slightly skeptical of them to have heard the reductio to which most debates arrive, which is, "it can't happen here".  While most rabid anti-2Aers will insist that the second amendment was drafted solely for citizen militias to wield muskets against the forces of monarchical Britain and nothing more, these are mostly a small number of hard-core lefties.  Most people with a good sense of the political philosophy of the Founding era, the motivations of the Founding fathers, and the purpose and design of the US Constitution understand that the second amendment is the generalized free citizen's bulwark against a generalized governmental tyranny.  So most people who want to maintain their skeptical view of firearms but yet have to be intellectually honest about the 2A, arrive at the "it can't happen here" argument, which is the short version, I guess, of saying that America's democratic institutions are so strong that the risk of tyranny is remote.  They may well be right, but it's worth seeing history clearly for what it is and my stock rejoinder is that "seventy years ago, in the very heart of Western Civilization, armed agents of the government went door to door to round up people to send them to their deaths, by the millions."  That's the nitty-gritty of the Holocaust.  It's not just 'Oh, Hitler was bad and Jews died.'  The reality is 1) disarmed population, 2) armed government agents, 3) door to door searches 4) death camps.  In the land of Goethe, Kant, Hegel and Schelling.  Hell, it's not as if we haven't rounded up citizens en masse here in the US before.  So my basic point is, it can happen anywhere.

Now, stop and think of what Americans are seeing and hearing every day.  First, their government just concluded a massive and contentious, but ultimately successful, effort to demand that they buy a product which many do not want and/or cannot afford.  This is on top of thousands of smaller petty tyrannies, such what lightbulbs one can use, how much water a toilet or washing machine may use, or what processing must be done to the milk you buy.  Then Americans look to some of the policy ideas that get put forth here and there, such as forcing the installation of tracking devices in all automobiles ostensibly so that government can tax you by the mile (good heavens, no, never to track your movements) or taking your retirement nest egg in return for a government provided annuity.  These are serious proposals put forth by credentialed people with access to those in power.  Furthermore, just look at the musings of similarly situated credentialed people.  These are just some the notions that appear ingrained in the credentialed professoriate:
- Global Warming skeptics are akin to war criminals and should be treated as such
- the entire economy should be under government direction
- the US Constitution should be abandoned
These are not idle musings.

Finally, we see our elected representatives passing laws that no one has read let alone analyzed carefully.  Sometimes they do this in contravention of the rules and sometimes even with a sickening pride in bypassing the rules.  We have other officials suggesting the suspension of elections and there are countless examples were those in power don't seem to want or tolerate the rules applying to them, so we are increasingly living under a set of rules that the elites have exempted themselves from.  And I haven't even mentioned what to many is an obviously bloody-minded statist President who no one would ever accuse of valuing modesty in the exercise of power.

This is what Americans see (and not just the denizens of the Tea Partying Jesusland fever swamps).  This is what is swirling around us.  In the aggregate, it is hardly subtle.  Thus, more and more Americans are not believing the "it can't happen here" line, if they ever believed it.  Americans see dark clouds.  Thus the stampede.

ADDITIONAL:  Yale Law School prof Stephen L. Carter: “Support for stricter U.S. gun laws hasn’t jumped as fast or as far in recent weeks as many liberals had hoped and expected. If you’re wondering why, maybe the reason is the shakiness of the public’s trust in government itself. . . . We are now approaching four years since the U.S. Senate enacted a budget. The last was in April 2009. And bear in mind that federal law requires an annual budget. Imagine the ire of the senators toward a private firm that treated legal requirements so casually. Amid such ineptitude, ‘Trust us, we’ll protect you,’ isn’t a very persuasive case to make to the tens of millions of Americans who have guns — often very powerful ones — in their homes. And directing fury at gun owners for their lack of trust isn’t likely to increase their faith in government.”

MSM's Disappointment Meme Is Gross

Media narrative:
"Obama had seemed poised a few weeks ago to become at last the political leader the country needs. He won a brilliant election victory, using political tools so sophisticated that Republican strategists have been trying ever since to reverse- engineer them so they can avoid humiliating defeats."

Obama seemed poised a few weeks ago to at last have to answer for his failures and lack of leadership.  However, he won a cynical victory, using political tactics so retrograde and Earth-scorching to depict a decent, successful, and hard-working man as some sort of vampire that Republican strategists have been trying ever since to figure out just how do they reach an audience of such low-information toadies without sacrificing their principles, only to be confounded and depressed.

I have nothing nice to say about Ignatius and his ilk.  They foisted this guy on us and now they are putting forth this despicably phony disappointment act.  Eat your "lack of leadership" Ignatius.

It All Makes Sense If You Start With the Right Premise

After the WSJ Op-Ed writers chronicle the vomit-inducing pork and graft in the fiscal cliff bill, they have this to say: 
Even as he praised the bill full of this stuff, Mr. Obama called Tuesday night for "further reforms to our tax code so that the wealthiest corporations and individuals can't take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren't available to most Americans."
One of Mr. Obama's political gifts is that he can sound so plausible describing the opposite of his real intentions.
Translation; Obama is a bullshit artist.

On another issue, Jennifer Rubin wonders why Chuck Hagel is still in the mix for SecDef:
Let’s start with an issue that should concern the Obama administration and its allies, namely the significant policy differences between Hagel and the president. President Obama  believes in tough sanctions against Iran; Hagel does not. The president insists that he wants good relations with Israel (and thereby can influence its decision-making with regard to Iran); Hagel has displayed a poisonous animosity toward the Jewish state. Hagel has advocated direct negotiations with Hamas; Obama has never gone this far. The difficulty in articulating to foes and friends our positions on an array of issues is greatly magnified when a critical cabinet officials has a long track record of disagreement with the president, or at least what the president says is his current policy.
Baffling indeed.  Unless, of course, you start with the premise that Obama is a bullshit artist.   Start with that premise and almost everything makes perfect sense.

Leftists In All Their Glory

Some guy named Donald Kaul in the Des Moines Register:
"Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal."
"If some people refused to give up their guns, that 'prying the guns from their cold, dead hands' thing works for me,"
Translation:  We need to kill certain people, to keep them from killing people.

On Obamacare:  In a long-awaited interpretation of the new health care law, the Obama administration said Monday that employers must offer health insurance to employees and their children, but will not be subject to any penalties if family coverage is unaffordable to workers.
Translation (by Glenn Reynolds): So under the Affordable Care Act, care doesn’t have to actually be, you know, affordable.

In case you haven't figured it out, it's about control for them - 110% about controlling how you live your life.  And frankly, it looks like America wants to let them.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Good Question

Hey, why are those "moderate" chaps in the newly all-powerful Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood talking like they were Iran or something...?"

Umm, because they are the new Iran, maybe?  Good thing we're sending them $3 billion and 20 or so F-16s.

Hey, About That First 2013 Paycheck...

Apparently businesses are finding it hard to explain to employees their smaller paychecks.

Everyone's paycheck is about to take a hit, and it's not the boss' fault. But some business owners say it's a tough talk to have.

The rate of workers' payroll taxes, which fund Social Security, has been 4.2% for the past two years. As of Jan. 1, it's back to 6.2%, on the first $113,700 in wages.

That forced Mike Brey, who owns four Hobby Works shops near Washington, D.C., to notify his store managers about the upcoming change during a conference call Monday. He called the experience uncomfortable. "These are the people who can least afford it," Brey said.
The conversation shouldn't be hard at all.  It should go something like this:
Employee:  "Boss, I don't like my new, lower paycheck."

Boss:  "Tough shit.  You and your countrymen voted for this.  We had the chance to elect a successful, pro-business candidate and we opted to re-elect a deeply anti-business, closet socialist.  We warned you.  So quit your whining and suck it!"

Not hard at all.

Fiscal Cliff Confirms Post-Election Macro Call

Well, I guess I can't claim to run a 'markets/economics' blog without commenting on the "fiscal cliff deal," huh?  There alot of commentary out there already and the day job has me busybusybusy, but I'll say this...the fiscal cliff deal sucks for the country, but is awesome for me.  Well, not "awesome" but much better than I would have hoped (Thank You Democrats and Mitch McConnell for preserving most of my Bush tax cuts!).  My taxes will be going up, but not too much, and with an aggressive (but totally legal) tax avoidance strategy, I should come out relatively unscathed.  So, for all you OWS people, general libtards and any other such petty socialists, I am happy to say "Suck It!  This 4%er is raising his glass to maintaining at least some economic liberty despite your protestations."

As for the macro call in the wake of the fiscal cliff sh*'s the same call that I made post-reelection of the Lightworker:
- Treasuries: near term neutral, long term bearish - Treasury yields can't get much lower, Obama will tack on $5 trillion more debt in O2.0 and Bernanke will inflate, inflate, inflate.  You will lose your shirt loaning money to Obama 2.0's US of A.

- Equities: near term bearish, long term bullish - businesses will hunker down, hoard cash, avoid growth initiatives, but the prospect of losing your shirt in Treasuries will keep some demand under equities.  You will need a multi-year time horizon for returns in equities though.

- Commodities:  bullish - inflation is coming, good and hard.

- Real Estate:  bearish - property taxes are going up massively for everybody, the local fiscal imbalances will get pushed off and get worse, and the bill is going to be sent to people who can't react quickly.
Even if Obama got 500% of what he was asking for, we still couldn't pay our bills.  He got 37% of what he was asking for and spending is going up, not down.  Traveling down the road to national bankruptcy, we have just stepped on the gas pedal slightly more.  When we re-elected Obama, we all but cemented in stone four more years of $1 trillion+ deficits and $20+ trillion in debt; the fiscal cliff deal just confirms it.  Creditworthiness is not just not on the mind among the Obamacrats, they are actively laughing at and taunting the very notion of US creditworthiness.  It's a dangerous game.  I can't see the Bond Market Vigilantes standing for it much longer and Ben Bernanke only has so much juice.  The Treasury market is in for violence.  Inflation is coming and you hedge that via equities and commodities.  The name of the game is the same.

Epic Takedown (and a Warning)

I don't know if it's still called "fisking" but this one is a must read.  U of Chicago economist John Cochrane takes on the NY Times's editorialists and exposes them as the daft hacks that they are.  It's brilliant.  Alas, Cochrane has a vastly smaller platform and the NY Times's nonsense, as Churchill put it, is halfway around the world before Cochrane can even put on his pants.  At least the world we live in is trending where something like Cochrane's blog is making great strides in influence and has massive potential for growth in influence, and the NYT's influence is waning and has little hope of regaining it's ongoing losses of influence.

It's long, but every bite is delicious.  Except the last bit...
It is a mistake to dismiss this clear editorial. This isn't the Village voice, or the Berkeley Free Press. This is the New York Times. This is how a wide swath of our fellow citizens, and majority of our fellow voters, see the world.   This is the agenda. They could not have been clearer if they had said "first we annex Austria and move against Czechoslovakia. Then we invade Poland and swing North and West." Heed them.

Russia Out of Kyoto

Russia is bowing out of the Kyoto Protocol, much as I said it would long ago in outlining how developing/oil-producing countries had finally had it with all the global warming bullshit.  Any country not betting the farm on extracting lucre from the rich, developed countries and that is actually pursuing actual development on their own will eventually bow out of Kyoto, like Russia has done.

As I have said, Global Warming is dead.  Not that many aren't propping up the corpse in the hope that it springs to life miraculously.