Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Hanson Hits It Right on the Head: It's the GDP Growth Stupid

This paragraph should be framed and put into the Oval Office.
But it’s far more likely that Trump’s fate will hinge on his economic reforms. Achieve 4 percent–plus GDP growth rate and then Black Lives Matter, the residuals of Occupy Wall Street, the hysterical House Democrats, and the assorted unhinged fringe of Michael Moore, Lena Dunham, and Madonna will recede into the woodwork.
If he lifts all of America's boats vis-a-vis the economy then all of that residual nonsense drifts away as happy Americans spend and enjoy themselves. Living Well is the Best Revenge.

This Boston Globe Reporter Shows Exactly Why People Don't Trust Globalists

I think this is case-in-point of the Ivory Tower mentality of the press in America.
To be clear, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with allowing US companies to take advantage of cheap Mexican labor. Indeed, it’s part of the point of agreements like NAFTA.
By moving operations to Mexico, businesses can save money and pass the savings onto consumers — in the form of affordable clothing and cars, for example. And in the process, the whole US economy can become more productive, shifting routine tasks to lower-skilled Mexican workers while freeing American employees to move into higher-skill industries.
The problem is these companies do not "pass the savings onto consumers" they simply buy back their stock or have it go into some other non-productive avenue. The idea that these workers can move into "higher-skill industries" is short-sighted as well. There needs to be some training program in place. And even then what a person learns on the assembly line does not translate to coding or some other booming industry. This part especially shows why the Dems lost the Midwest to Trump.
But note that there are over 145 million jobs across the United States, plus more than a million new ones in any decent year. Against this scale, 40,000 lost jobs barely registers, even when you account for the fact that many are concentrated in the Midwest. We don’t have a trade agreement with China, yet competition from that fast-rising country sucks away roughly 200,000 US jobs a year.
That is 40,000 families Mr. Globalist. They barely register in Boston but they devastate the Midwest. This same view sacrificed coal jobs to placate environmentalists. The idea that the working man had a place in the Democratic party seems to have been a fantasy from a bygone era.

CDC Cancels Climate Shindig: I'm Not Sure Why they Were Going to Have it in the First Place

I guess Climate folks are running scared in the age of Trump.
The government's top public health agency has canceled a conference next month on climate change and health but isn't saying why publicly.
But a co-sponsor said he was told by the CDC that it was worried how the conference would be viewed by the Trump administration.
The incoming administration did not ask or order that the meeting be canceled, said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association.
I'm sure they would have run the thing without issue if Hillary was boss. What I don't understand is how Climate Change got caught up with public health in the first place. This seems very skechy.
Benjamin called the CDC's decision understandable but worrisome. He was echoed by Kristie Ebi, a professor of global health at the University of Washington in Seattle, who was invited to speak at the conference.
"In the long run, climate change is affecting the health of Americans," she said. "At some point, I hope they will go forward with the conference."
The long run probably means decades even if we get the scare tactics warming that we were supposed to get. You would figure they would use their scarce money on actual diseases currently afflicting people. I guess Trump saved us the cost of flying out a bunch of people like Dr. Benjamin and Dr. Ebi to kibbutz about climate change when they are supposed to meet in November anyway. Saved some carbon there I bet.

Monday, January 23, 2017

I Like this Rumored White House Science Adviser Pick Named David Gelernter

A computer scientist is exactly what is needed in today's world.
“The gap between the public & the sciences has grown so gigantic, it's dangerous,” he said. “People rely every day, sometimes every hour, on computers & the net—often without knowing even vaguely how they work. The 'educated public' no longer has the vaguest idea what physics is doing. Which means, in turn, that science & tech will increasingly be the work of an elite priesthood that does exactly what it likes.”
He added: “Science has never been less articulate, less interested in communicating its own excitement and wonder and fascination.”
Um "every hour?" Try every minute for anyone with a smart phone. I bet you couldn't find 1 person in a 1000 that knows how a computer works or how the network their phone connects to operates. He looks like a very unconventional choice but the Trump White House is "try something new because the old way isn't working."

Holy Crap! The Ohio Class Submarine is the Worlds Deadliest Weapon?

I'm glad it's on our side.
If you do the math, the Ohio-class boats may be the most destructive weapon system created by humankind. Each of the 170-meter-long vessels can carry twenty-four Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) which can be fired from underwater to strike at targets more than seven thousand miles away depending on the load.

As a Trident II reenters the atmosphere at speeds of up to Mach 24, it splits into up to eight independent reentry vehicles, each with a 100- or 475-kiloton nuclear warhead. In short, a full salvo from an Ohio-class submarine—which can be launched in less than one minute—could unleash up to 192 nuclear warheads to wipe twenty-four cities off the map. This is a nightmarish weapon of the apocalypse.
In short one Ohio Class sub off the coast of North Korea could destroy every large city in that nation in less than a minute. We have 14 of these monsters. That is some scary stuff indeed. What's even scarier is this man can launch their payload at will.

The Dems are Still Missing the Point on the Working Class : #It's the Economy, Stupid

I think 2018 will be bad for the Dems unless they figure out what really went wrong.
“I think there’s a sense that some portion of the Democratic Party shares the blame for what happened,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told reporters. “The Democrats acquiesced in many ways to policies making people’s lives worse.”
He was referring obliquely to the legacy of former President Bill Clinton ― deregulating high finance, gutting welfare, feeding mass incarceration ― which leaders of a party ostensibly devoted to empowering the powerless have been reluctant to acknowledge
Okay this is exactly why Trump won working-class voters in the Midwest. They don't care about deregulating high finance. Jailing banksters does not help them get a job or bring back the plant or mill that left for Mexico. They don't want to be on welfare unless its absolutely necessary. Welfare amounts to failure in their eyes. And going to jail is incredibly shameful to them so mass incarceration doesn't factor into anything. 

Empowering the powerless (calling them powerless is an insult in itself) is protecting their good jobs and making sure that they don't leave for Mexico or China. This is exactly what Trump did and got their votes for it. Again Carville is 100% right when he says this.
“The Democratic coalition lives in the economy, all right?” former Bill Clinton campaign manager James Carville told reporters. “The idea that somehow it’s only white working-class people that live in an economy …  blacks, Hispanics, unmarried women, gay people ― they’re like everybody else.”
Yes and they all would like good jobs and a booming economy. They don't want minimum wage hikes or someone to call them "powerless." It was Carville who said "It's the economy stupid." Um Dems "It's the economy stupid." 

Wait Didn't Madonna Just Threaten the Presidents Life: Maybe she Should be Investigated

I think the Secret Service needs to check into this.
Madonna made a surprise appearance at the Women's March on Washington and in her remarks said, "Yes, I'm angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House ... But I know that this won't change anything. We cannot fall into despair."
That is an overt threat against the President which is a crime. I think the Trump people need to crack down on this kind of loose talk before some crazy Madonna-lover actually tries it. You can disagree with Trump or work to vote him out in 2020 but these kind of threats are beyond the pale.

Friday, January 20, 2017

That Didn't Take Long: Chris Matthews Calls Trump Inaugural Address Hitlerian

Um shouldn't it be Hitler-like?
“He said today ‘America first,’” Matthews said as President Obama departed D.C. by helicopter on screen. “It was not just the racial—I shouldn't say racial, I should say Hitlerian—background to it. The message I keep thinking is: What does [U.K. prime minister] Theresa May think of this when she picks up the paper and says, ‘Oh my God, what did he just say? He said America first. What happened to the special relationship?’ What if you’re Putin? You’re probably pounding the table, saying, ‘That’s what I’ve been saying! Russia first!’”
Oh no what does the UK Prime Minister think! I guess that tingle in the leg for Obama just went right to Matthews brain. What is hilarious is that every country in the world thinks this way. It is only the US that has to knee-cap their industries for Global Warming while the Red Chinese say they will reduce emissions in 2030 maybe. Also Obama didn't think about the special arrangement with Britain all through-out his 8 years in office.

Trump Getting Ready to Cut $10.5 Trillion (Yes Trillion with a T!) in Spending over 10 Years

I guess we might need to get used to seeing commercials on Public Television.
The departments of Commerce and Energy would see major reductions in funding, with programs under their jurisdiction either being eliminated or transferred to other agencies. The departments of Transportation, Justice and State would see significant cuts and program eliminations.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized, while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.

Overall, the blueprint being used by Trump’s team would reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years.
Thankfully this might also mean no more Piss Christ sponsored with Tax Payer money. I guess they might roll Commerce into Treasury and maybe Energy into Interior. I would be willing to bet Energy will probably drop all of its conservation work and maybe roll out its lab work to Universities or what-have-you. I also wonder if State would get rid of its security force as well? In any case this is why the tax cuts will be revenue neutral because they are going to cut spending by a bunch.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

I Just Figured out the Trump Presidency: He acts Crazy and his Cabinet walks it Back

I think I understand the Trump Presidency now. He acts like a crazy man and freaks out China or Germany and his people walk it back. Its Good Cop vs Crazy Cop. Trump comes out firing on Twitter and elsewhere so when the actual plan is hatched it looks reasonable. So Trump goes after the One China policy and Tillerson then calls the Red Chinese and assures them that he will talk Trump down. Then they get a currency plan/trade policy/whatever passed because "the alternate would be un-thinkable." Very canny policy and very tricky as well.

It Seems that the Trump Cabinet Might be Quite a Calming Influence on Trump Judging from Mnuchin Testimony

I guess Trump makes big sweeping statements and its his cabinets job to walk things back.
Mnuchin also provided a bit more clarity on the “border taxes” Trump has been tweeting about, saying Trump has no plan to institute across-the-board tax cuts on imports. Instead, those taxes would be levied only on specific companies that move jobs out of the United States and import products back into the country. “He’s referred to a small number of companies moving jobs and putting products back into the United States,” Mnuchin said. “In no way has he contemplated a broad 35% border tax.”
With that statement we have some clarity as to a border tax. It is only going to effect some companies (this might be restraint of trade but might not hit the WTO) and not every import into the country. So Apple brings the iPhone production back into the US and they don't get hit with the tax but if they keep it in China they might get the tax. You have a ton of questions (when is the tax triggered, who levies it, etc.) but at least you have more transparency and it isn't some broad tax tweeted out at 3am. I was also waiting for this tid-bit.
Like Wilbur Ross, Trump’s nominee for Commerce Secretary, Mnuchin outlined plans to revamp trade deals with Mexico and China that sound less draconian than what has come out of Trump’s own mouth. With regard to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump faults for killing American jobs, Mnuchin said, “I’m optimistic we can renegotiate that deal in a way that is advantageous for us and advantageous for Mexico, and is a win-win for both countries.”
So it goes from "Trade War with China and Mexico" to bilateral trade talks with each country with a win-win scenario in mind. It's what a CEO would do with a negotiation with a difficult supplier. Sit down and figure a way for both of parties to profit and come away with something decent. If all goes well we might have 3-4% US GDP growth and maybe get Mexico's GDP growth up from that dismal 1%. If you improve their economy then the immigration problem might disappear because Mexicans might stay home and make a better wage then risking their lives to cross the border.

Um #Wall Street Journal a Powerful Venture Capitalist named Time Draper Just Accused Your Reporter of Taking a $4 Million Bribe for Exposing Theranos

I think he wants to not believe that he was taken by Theranos and their Steve Jobs worshiping CEO.
Draper said he wasn't troubled by the initial report about problems at Theranos. By the second report, he had already identified what he called a "vendetta."
"I dismissed it because there are always writers who want to take down big successes," Draper told Axios. "Then after the next one I realized there was some strange vendetta. Maybe it had to do with money. The guy is getting $4 million to continue this charade."
Emphasis ours, because it's worth pointing out here that a venture capitalist just accused a reporter of taking a four million dollar check.
I wonder who in Draper-world was supposed to be writing big checks to this reporter? Was it a bonus from the WSJ for "destroying Theranos?" Was it money paid from a competing lab service? Was it Alien astronaut theorists? That's where my bet is. Elizabeth Holmes is actually a Grey and the Lizard People paid this reporter to "expose her." Just standard stuff.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Very Good Idea: Embed Young Reporters in the "Battleground States" in the Off Season

This would be a very interesting experiment in "getting outside of the bubble."
I’m confident that broadcast news viewers can learn a lot more from dispatches on issues and trends, filed from places like the Rust Belt and the New South―than they can from the predictable talking points doled out by the new administration’s White House spin machine, which has already proven itself adept at exploiting political journalism’s process-obsessed tendencies.
Editors and bureau chiefs: Instead of adding another body to the already overcrowded White House press corps, why not send that eager young journalist off to live in Ohio or Florida for a year, wielding a small video camera and keeping tabs on how the lives the people who elected Trump are being affected by his presidency?
They might have been able to have caught the Trump wave before it started and let the "bubble dwellers" in Washington know about it. You might even get a nice fish-out-of-water story where a young East Coast liberal that went to an Ivy goes down South and "embeds" with the locals for a year. Instead of finding endless redneck racists he finds salt-of-the-earth Americans while finding love or whatever. Kind of a real-life reality show without the fakery. 

It would be cheap because the reporter could Facebook Live the whole thing and simply file dispatches with a selfie stick. It might be pretty compelling TV depending on how charismatic the reporter is as well. But I will be willing to bet that some of them will go native and come back not as liberal as when they left. However, that would really improve the news rooms in Washington and New York though.

Wait? What? Half of All Adults in Detroit are functionally illiterate?

This is a crazy stat if true.
If Detroit’s charters are hardly world-class, they are demonstrably better than the city’s traditional public schools, which is the most relevant metric for Detroit parents. The traditional public schools have failed abysmally for generations (about half of adults in Detroit are functionally illiterate).
Wow I guess its true according to this report. That is a travesty and its sad that no one seems to care about that happening in America.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

According to History (which is a Terrible Indicator) the Market Should go Up 18.5% by Year End

As always the past does not predict the future. However if it did we are going to be sitting on a pile of cash by year end.
What happens when the first five days of January finish higher and the month of January finishes higher during the first year of a presidential cycle? Good things!
During nine instances in which both the first five days of January and the month as a whole finished higher during the first year of a presidential cycle, stocks have closed the year in positive territory 8 times.
The average annual return? 18.5%.
I'll take half of that and be very happy for the year.

One more for the Inaugural Event: Sam from Sam and Dave: Why Don't they Have Ordinary Americans do the Event

Well I guess that is something.
Sam Moore of soul/R&B duo Sam & Dave has announced that he will perform at the “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration” on January 19 in Washington, D.C. “I was a participant in the civil rights movement and have seen many positive changes and advancement in my 81 years of living in this wonderful country, but I know we must all join hands and work together with our new President,” the “Soul Man” singer said in a press release. “I honestly believe that if we can accomplish this, the best is yet to come. We all as Americans need to unite behind our new President and give him a chance. He needs everyone’s support to make America greater, stronger and an even better country.”
Why don't they have a bunch of non-famous Americans play at the gala? They could make it like a pseudo American Idol but audition them first. Then they can play a handful of songs at the actual event. It is probably too late to bring something like that together but it would be interesting. It would show the grass-roots nature of the Trump win.

40 Dems to Not show up for Trump Inauguration: Um So What?

Here is a list of the various Congress-folk that will not show up for a peaceful transfer of power.
More than 40 Democratic lawmakers have announced they intend to skip Donald Trump’s inauguration this week to protest the president-elect’s plans for the country. The boycotters now make up one in five of all House Democrats, and their decision to protest represents a break with tradition that they say is warranted by Trump’s agenda.
Of course every one of them is from a safe liberal district and are actually probably big heroes due to their boycott. In any case let them sit out because they are soon to be very insignificant for the next 2 to 4 years.  

The End of the Clinton Global Influence Peddling err Initiative

I guess the money train has pulled into the station for a part of the Clinton machine.
But after the election, some of the foundation’s donors acted as if the causes CGI supported were no longer worthy. The Australian government said it did not intend to continue its donations to the Clinton Foundation; it had given $88 million over ten years. After dramatically increasing its yearly donation in 2014 and 2015, the government of Norway chose to reduce its donation by 87 percent after the election
I bet Australia and Norway were getting ready for the inside tract to the ear of the new President. Instead they are out in the cold with the rest of the countries trying to curry favor with the Trumps.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Wait! What? Conservatives are better Looking Than Liberals? Have you Seen Donald Trump?

You can say what you want about Donald Trump but good looking is not one of those things.
According to a study published in the Journal of Public Economics, attractive-looking politicians have an advantage when it comes to winning votes — and researchers have also concluded that conservative party members from Europe, Australia, and the United States tend to be “more beautiful” than liberal candidates.
Responding to previous research that found a connection between appearance and electoral success, a team of researchers from Sweden, Prague, and Germany theorized that Republicans are better-looking than Democrats and that voters who lean right value beauty more in a “low-information setting.”
I guess since these researchers are from Europe they had to get that dig about "low-information" in there. However, I don't think this applies when it comes to Donald Trump. He looks like a beady-eyed, wizened man-baby with a freaky blond comb-over. Hillary looked like a typical grandma but not seriously ugly or anything. Maybe they compared Bernie Sanders to Paul Ryan or something.

Kind of Poetic Justice: Soros Loses a Billion Dollars during the Trump Rally

Oh well, I guess you win some and lose some.
Billionaire George Soros lost nearly $1 billion after the stock market surged following Donald Trump 's unexpected Nov. 8 election victory, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The hedge-fund manager's former deputy, Stanley Druckenmiller, however, foresaw the rally and gained a sizable profit, the Journal reported, citing people close to the matter.
I guess Druckenmiller decided to bet his wallet and not his ideology as Soros seemed to have done.

Nicole Kidman Says We Need to Support Trump: Watch Hollywood Take Her Down

I would be willing to bet she will lose roles over this.
"He is now elected and we as a country need to support whoever is president because that's what the country's based on," the dual Australian-American citizen and Oscar-winning star told the BBC this week.
"However that happened … He's there … And let's go," she concluded in response to the interviewer's question on what Kidman thought of the president-elect.
You can support the good stuff and fight the bad stuff. That is what I plan to do.