Wednesday, February 25, 2015

You Think "It's Bush's Fault" Is Bad...?

You think that the Obamacrats continuing to blame George W. Bush for the ongoing economic problems is bad...

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa is blaming apartheid for rolling blackouts and an impending total blackout.  Apartheid ended in 1994 and the ANC has been running the show since.  Endemic corruption and incompetency has destroyed the electricity infrastructure to the point of crisis, but hey, it's whitey's fault.

There are some voices of reason, but as you could imagine, race is making this debate toxic.  Hey, I'd say that if whitey built an electricity-generating system that would last 20 years before cratering, then they did a damn good job!

"Do Black Lives Matter?"

If they support the narrative, absolutely.  Otherwise, you're guess is as good as mine.

BBTW, the daily BLM protest in Grand Central that I pass everyday is down to, perhaps, six people.  I guess since even Eric Holder's DOJ has passed on pursuing hate crime type stuff in both the Trayvon Martin and the Michael Brown cases, it's only the bitter clingers that are persisting...

Keystone Pipeline Veto Is Obama's Ongoing Gift to Buffett

Holman Jenkins gets exactly right the causes and effects of the "oil by rail" boom except for one not so small point.  Don't worry though, you can always count on DB to be way ahead of the mainstream media, even the likes of the excellent Jenkins. 

What do you do if you are running for President and have zero credibility with the business community?  You do something to get kind words from a guy who is everybodies' proxy for the business community.  In that vein, how do get re-elected despite horrendous management of economic policy resulting in a stagnant economy?  You keep it up.

Friday, February 13, 2015

RB Ginsburg: Up a Tad In My Estimation

It's true, you need heavy fortification to withstand his Royal Smugness.

And I love it…"Opus Something or Other…"

Yeah, something or other.

Sounds like the chambers at SCOTUS are more fun than one would imagine.

Hashtag Idiots

It is too facile to point out the irony here, but how f**king stupid are college kids these days to plan a fossil fuel protest in the middle of February?

#HuhWhatGirls? Update

I said anything short of a Navy SEAL team and "our girls" were gone for good.

Sadly, I was right.

Those in power who engaged in the ridiculous posturing and empty feelgoodism over those girls ought to hang their heads in shame and be a parish among us...but they won't.  This is how the empty (mostly leftward) politicians among us burnish their images.

Markets Update

So some news...

The S&P 500 index has reached an all-time high today.  Remember folks...I've been bullish AND I've told you why...the Lightworker is done and getting doner (just look at the data!).

Well, with President Selfie Stick's foreign policy now in tatters, as even the liberal MSM readily admits, the stock market roars ahead.  And it is set to continue, unless, of course, geo-political messiness transmogrifies into a large, hot war, which it could. 

On the home front, three years ago, big time CEOs were kissing Obama's ass hoping not to get skewered by his Chicago gangster crew transplanted to Washington.  Now, those CEOs are much less afraid, witness Randall Stephenson of AT&T saying "we'll sue your ass."

I didn't think it was possible for Obama to have less mojo, but he's setting new standards in the negative mojo he can bring to the office of POTUS.  At some point that's bad for stocks, but not yet...and maybe not ever given the 22nd Amendment, beautiful thing that it is.

Oh, and I've been bearish on Treasuries - and dead wrong, I might add - but now Nobelist Robert Shiller seems to coming around to my view.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Our President Is An Asshole, Episode 358

Lefty "Not Even Wrong" On Share Buybacks

I was quite prescient way back in the early days of the Lightworking Era in predicting that share buybacks would skyrocket.  And they have, and I've been keeping you, dear readers, apprised (somewhat).

As I would have expected, now comes along a lefty with a day-late-dollar-short lament.  Reading this screed against "corporate buybacks" I am reminded of Wolfgang Pauli's criticism of shoddy work being "not even wrong."

This guy seems to think that corporate profits 1) must, 2) aren't and 3) formerly automatically  "flowed through the broader economy in the form of higher wages or increased investments in plants and equipment."

This is so wrong, I don't know where to begin.  Perhaps, with a fundamental definition - a profit generated by a corporation is the newly created property of the owners of that corporation, called shareholders.  Every time a profit is generated - remember, it's newly created - shareholders have a decision to make as to what to do with that new capital.  Do they reinvest it to make future profits?  Do they spend it on consumption?  Do they do one or several of numerous other things with it?  Profits never flow automatically anywhere, they flow according to their owners preference at any specific time given prevailing conditions.  That they once were reinvested in new plants or higher wages is not reason to believe that they always will or should.  This is the fundamental flaw here, the typical leftist view that private sector profits are somehow all of society's property.

A further mistake here - one that doesn't make the important point I noted above - is this guy even gets the technical, economic aspects wrong.  When corporations buy back shares, they are not burying money in the ground, they are actually paying real dollars to shareholders for their shares.  This money is still there to do all the beneficent things that lefties feel it must do, it has merely been transferred from corporate coffers to individual coffers.  So, even though "corporations" (which is really just its owners) have taken a pass on reinvesting this money productively, the individual former (or now smaller) shareholders are now faced with the fresh choices that come with fresh money in the bank.  It seems that they too have taken a powder on recycling that money into the economy.

So the lament here is really that NOBODY seems confident enough in the investment landscape or the direction of the nation's economy to make investments - not just "corporations".  If that's the case you have to ask yourself why that is, but lefties generally don't do that, and in this case aren't asking because they are afraid of the answer.

Economy Sees Light At End of Obama Tunnel

The economy is clearly doing much better, but that does not necessarily mean good.  Relatively better, I'd say but not good based on an objective standard.

Still, the MSM and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) are crowing.  Powerline picks up the theme...

Let me remind readers that the economy is doing better because Obama is a mostly spent force - there is zero in the way of important legislation that he can push through to damage the economy any more than he has already done.  Dear Leader is still messing with us on the margins, as in this recent push for "net neutrality", but that stuff will be litigated well into his tenure as an ex-President, so its effect is small at this point.  Add in that the Lightworker is bogged down with a series of intractable foreign policy problems, mostly exacerbated by his own fumbling, and the Obama economic policy agenda is clearly stuck in the mud, thank heavens.

Thanks to voters in 2010 and again in 2014, businesses can mostly see the light at the end of the Obama tunnel.

Friday, February 06, 2015

The Middle East Hot War Is Coming

So I was having a coffee with my deep inside expert on politics and the Middle East and is discussing ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh/whatever you call the motherfuckers, he affirmed two emerging (as in we are beginning to understand, clarity is emerging, not the situation is emerging) realities.  First, Obama actually desires the lid to come off in the Middle East.  See VDH here.  Second, the result will be a conflagration that may or may not draw in others, but it will certain be big and substantially roil the region.  His leading candidate was a Shiite vs. Sunni throwdown once Saudi Arabia decides it can no longer stomach Iranian-allied Shiite victories on the Arabian peninsula...

Less than 24 hours later, the Shiite rebels are claiming ownership of Yemen.  He's actually most concerned with Bahrain, but who's gonna split hairs, next door is next door.  Shiite insurgencies on the peninsula will get Saudis guard way way up.  if they had the clear military advantage they'd be taking care of bidnis as we speak.  As it is, the pot must boil a little further.

Maybe Obama can find time to golf, take a selfie or be interviewed by some C-list celeb.  Cheers all.


Six years into the Obama Recovery, Velveeta is making a comeback because people are rediscovering how delicious it is poor.
Anielle Troyan, a call center worker in New York, shops at discount retailers such as Family Dollar for items like soap and detergent as well as groceries like Kraft macaroni and cheese and small-sized condiments.
It's "expensive to cook for one," she said. "I'm 25, I'm poor, I'm usually going to buy what's cheapest."
Customers like Troyan are one reason why Kraft Foods Group reversed course after considering stopping the sale of single-serve packages of Velveeta cheese sauce, which wasn't moving in traditional grocery stores.
Young, single gal?  Sounds just like an Obama-supporter.  Enjoy that free birth control though Anielle!

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Obama Is So Awfully Banal

The Crusades!!

So banal.  Great.  Fine. Whatever.

As opposed to 500 years ago, or even 50 years ago, who is the source of atrocity and barbarism TODAY...?   Who is a danger to me and mine TODAY?  Who is a threat to our way of life TODAY?

It ain't Christians, pal.

UPDATE:  Great minds think alike.

UPPDATE:  I like this...
We will be happy to keep an eye out for runaway Christians, but it would be nice if he would face the reality of the situation today. The Medieval Christian threat is under control, Mr. President. Please deal with the Radical Islamic threat today.” 
mockery has its well-deserved place.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Another Terrible "Rape Culture" Hero Is Exposed

Once again the left has chosen its heroes...poorly.

Emma "Mattress Carrier" Sulkowicz is one of various talispersons (taliswomyn?) for the crusade against "rape culture", which is euphemism for "our crusade against men for not being everything we want them to be."

It is very clear from the evidence, that young Emma was quite taken with her non-committal lover Paul.  She tries to play chill but she can't deny her feelings and pursues him with a variety of fairly typical tactics, 1) casual interaction/friendship, 2) emotional aggressiveness, and 3) yes...wait for it...sexual venturesomeness. 

When Paul fails to respond in the way Emma wants, sexual activity morphs into "rape" as the vast majority of these cases do. 

Actual, violent rape is problem, mostly in other parts of the world, but feminists can be bothered with that.  What bothers them is these young women, poisoned with the strident rhetoric of modern feminism, is they can't stand the prospect of feeling they've lost the emotional chess game that youthful sexual encounters often can be.  It hurts, but it's not rape.  Only that is not what their professors and the putative adults at our colleges and universities are telling them.  Rather than admit the poison of this idea, these adults would rather see one half of the population of Americans stripped of their due process rights, preferably with the blessing of the government.

We can only hope that sense prevails and society rejects this phony "rape culture" crusade.

Venezuela Enters Crisis Mode...the $700 Pack of Condoms

Socialism leads to shortages - among other things, like mass death - and Venezuela has provided us with a recent reminder with all its stories of shortages for basic items like bread, milk, eggs and toilet paper.  Now, we are headed into crisis mode...

Of course, smart socialist regimes keep the people anesthetized with sex and booze/drugs (note this article about Putin's Russia ramping up subsidies for vodka).  Alas, Chavismo is too broke to even do that.

Get This Straight: Everything is Recyclable

So here is a ridiculous story, but I highlight a particular piece of ridiculousness within the bold...
In 2013, Keurig Green Mountain produced 8.3 billion K-Cups that were brewed on millions of machines around the world -- enough to circle to globe 10.5 times. Last year, production rose to nearly 9.8 billion, and most of those pods are not recyclable.
Let me assure you, dear readers, everything is recyclable.  What this article should have said to be accurate is, "most of those pods are not recyclable at a reasonable cost borne by a willing party."

To wit, this is recycling too.  Not your mind's eye of recycling, but recycling it is.  If those behemoths can be recycled, so can K-Cups.  The difference is in the cost to do so.  No one is willing to bear the costs, in time and money, to recycle K-Cups, thus they are 'not recycled' rather than "not recyclable."  Big difference.

"Cause-Related" Marketing Is a Pox Upon Capitalism

It is now high science in the field of marketing and it goes by many names, but when I made my bones in marketing it was called "cause-related marketing".  Now it is called so many things, like "corporate responsibility messaging" and "corporate reputation building", and it has reached its awful, sucky apotheosis in the dreadful, downer Nationwide ad that aired during the Super Bowl with the cut kid who did shit because he died.

It perhaps started earlier, but the textbook case of cause-related marketing was Anita Roddick and The Body Shop.  The premise was simple, 'how do you cut through the clutter of a bazillion companies and products catering to women and women's desire for good looks and eternal youthfulness?'  Every possible message had been tried, why not try appealing to women's social consciousness (whether it is real or only self-perceived)?  Brilliant.  Now by buying this product women can feel good about themselves - younger looking skin and saving the planet!

Whether The Body Shop was actually a force for good, who knows and who cares, they set in motion a trend that has turned into a disaster.  Every damn company has taken focus off their products to tell you how caring they are (remember that pompous Audi commercial?).  McDonald's wants you to call your Mom and tell her love her?  Stupid (and such frustration is captured in this op-ed today in the WSJ).

To add insult to injury, Nationwide's excuse is more painful than the ad itself, they claimed it was not meant to sell insurance, but to "start a conversation."  Thrice bad.  First, that's bullshit, it was designed to sell insurance, albeit in a terribly lame and condescending way.  Second, "starting a conversation" is the most overused and empty platitude in modern America, it means nothing.  Third, shareholders of Nationwide ought to asking, 'If you are to be believed, why the hell are you spending money to NOT sell insurance, but to "start a conversation"?  I don't hold shares so that you can start conversations."

The truth is that somewhere along the way, selling good products that people want to pay money for became outré, the mundane act of buying something had to be imbued with some sort of cosmic meaning that it doesn't have.  Sure, companies should be responsible and do more than generate profits, but the arms race to convince consumers that your motives are other commercial has bred a sort perversity (so perverse that a CEO will run tens of millions of dollars of feel-good bullshit advertising while skimping on operational safety and, well...).  And it has culminated in crap like the Nationwide ad.