Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Clinton Tax Plan Looks Like Ass: Congress Won't Pass them so No Big Deal

I think the Dems are just addicted to tax hikes for whatever reason.
Clinton’s plan would lead investors to postpone realizing their gains -- and would therefore reduce capital-gains tax collections by $374 billion over 10 years, according to an analysis released Tuesday by the Tax Foundation, a research group whose board of directors includes corporate executives. The group has not yet published an analysis of Sanders’s proposals.

Clinton’s tax plans, which would also cap itemized deductions that tend to benefit higher-income taxpayers, appear to raise $498 billion over 10 years, according to the foundation’s analysis. But the group’s report also said Clinton’s proposed tax increases would reduce U.S. gross domestic product by 1 percent over the long term -- resulting in actual collections of $191 billion over the next decade.
There is nothing like a 1% GDP hit to get only $19 billion a year to waste on some crap. I guess this would be called share the pain plan for almost no gain plan. I wish I could vote for someone decent in this election but everyone sucks.

Cowardly Trump Ducks Debate: If You Can't Handle Megyn Kelly He Can't Handle Putin or Angela Merkel

I thought he was just a blowhard but now he is a cowardly wimp as well. When the going gets tough Trump ducks out.
Trump on Tuesday withdrew from the televised encounter, scheduled for Thursday night in Des Moines, Iowa, irritated at host Fox for allowing Kelly to moderate after her questioning had angered him in a debate last year.
He is just like any other bully. When you confront him and stand up to him he hides like a wimpy bitch. I can just hear the cries of "Angela Merkel is such a bimbo. I'm not going to the state dinner" or "Putin is so unfair I'm not going to the summit talks." His image as a person that gets things done has taken major damage from his cowardice.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fox News Spits Shade at the Donald and its Very Funny #DumpTrump

There might be some wit left at Fox News.
“We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president,” Fox News said in the statement, adding this gem: “A nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.”
I think they should put an empty lectern on the stage or maybe just direct questions to Jimmy Fallon dressed as Trump. You will probably get the same sort of sound bites from an actual Trump on stage.


Damn! The Mongols were Bad-asses: A Letter Sent to the Mamaluk Sultan in 1260 AD

Now this is how you write a threat.
From the King of Kings of the East and West, the Great Khan. To Qutuz the Mamluk, who fled to escape our swords. You should think of what happened to other countries and submit to us. You have heard how we have conquered a vast empire and have purified the earth of the disorders that tainted it. We have conquered vast areas, massacring all the people. You cannot escape from the terror of our armies. Where can you flee? What road will you use to escape us? Our horses are swift, our arrows sharp, our swords like thunderbolts, our hearts as hard as the mountains, our soldiers as numerous as the sand. Fortresses will not detain us, nor armies stop us. Your prayers to God will not avail against us. We are not moved by tears nor touched by lamentations. Only those who beg our protection will be safe. Hasten your reply before the fire of war is kindled. Resist and you will suffer the most terrible catastrophes. We will shatter your mosques and reveal the weakness of your God and then will kill your children and your old men together. At present you are the only enemy against whom we have to march.
Qutuz wasn't a slouch either. His reply was to kill the messengers and have their heads displayed on a gate to Cairo. People didn't fool around in those days.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Talk About Break even: $27 is what the barrel the oil comes in costs?

It seems that $27 might be the lowest a barrel of oil can go.
At $27, the cost of filling a barrel of oil is less than the purchase price of the barrel itself. While there is growing evidence that Saudi Arabia won't be rescuing the market anytime soon, legendary investor T. Boone Pickens believes that the U.S. may be able to balance the supply glut on its own.
It seems that rig count might finally be dropping and the bottom might be in when it comes to oil.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Palin Endorses Trump: So What? I Thought her 15 Minutes was Over

I hate when they put idiot Palin in as if she is some sort of kingmaker.
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump received a key endorsement Tuesday from conservative heavyweight Sarah Palin, giving the billionaire businessman a potential boost with some voters less than two weeks before voting begins with the Iowa caucuses.

"I am greatly honored to receive Sarah's endorsement," Trump said in a statement announcing the support of the former Alaska governor and former running mate of Sen. John McCain in his 2008 bid for the White House. "She is a friend, and a high-quality person whom I have great respect for. I am proud to have her support."
She is part of the reason why the GOP has dumbed itself down to the level it has in recent years. She is everything that is wrong with modern conservatism.  Her TV shows failed and I thought she moved off to Alaska so we don't have to pay attention. Instead she cozied up with Trump to make herself look relevant again.

Geman Military in Sad State: Cannot even Make Night Flights

You figure this would be quite an embarrassment.
The six aircraft sent to Syria are fitted with surveillance technology, and had been touted as being capable of taking high-resolution photos and infrared images, even at night and in bad weather.

But Bild reported that night flights were impossible as pilots are blinded by the cockpit light which is far too bright.

A defence ministry spokesman admitted that there is "a small technical problem that has to do with the cockpit lighting".

"It is possible that the night goggles worn by pilots result in reflections," he said, adding that the ministry was looking at resolving the problem within the next two weeks.
I guess that idea of German precision does not extend to their air force.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Its a Dyson Swarm I Tell Ya! Strange Star Dims and its Not Comets

Hmm I think its an alien megastructure.
To make his discovery, Schaefer had to dig deep down into the astronomy archives at Harvard. It turns out, astronomers have data on KIC8462852 dating back as far as 1890.

By analyzing over 1,200 measurements of this star's brightness taken from 1890 through 1989, Schaefer found that the irregular dimming of KIC8462852 has been going on for over 100 years. Schaefer published his findings in the online pre-print server arxiv.org.

What's more, he explains in his paper that this "century-long dimming trend requires an estimated 648,000 giant comets (each with 200 km diameter) all orchestrated to pass in front of the star within the last century," which he said is "completely implausible."
Yeah that comet theory is out the door. What is interesting is that the star had been studied but it came up empty.
Schaifer isn't the only one interested in learning more about KIC8462852. Late last year, astronomer Doug Vakoch and his team at the new organization called SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) International — not to be confused with the SETI Institute — went hunting for aliens around KIC8462852.

They searched for signals that an alien civilization might be beaming toward Earth either in radio or visible wavelengths, but ultimately they came up empty handed. So, if it is aliens, then they're being awfully quiet.
However, that doesn't mean that they use radio or visible waves to communicate. Perhaps they use a form of telepathy that allows instant communication. The idea that they can build something that can block 20% of the light of the sun would make their technology pretty advanced indeed.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

ISIS Money Gets the Bunker Buster Treatment

Time to put the stranglehold on the money with ISIS.
On Monday, defense officials told CNN that the U.S. dropped a pair of 2,000-pound bombs on a building in Mosul, Iraq, that contained potentially millions in currency belonging to ISIS.

Officials said that intelligence efforts had determined that the site, now reduced to rubble, was a "cash collection and distribution point” for ISIS, which is believed to take in tens of millions of dollars each month.
The mission seems to be an extension of the recent Defense Department push to pinch ISIS in its wallet by hitting the extremist network’s oil infrastructure.
I wonder why this didn't happen months ago. Or even years ago for that matter. Obama dropping the ball on stopping ISIS again.

Well the Bottom is In: Royal Bank of Scotland says "Sell Everything!"

Whenever you get a call that says to panic sell everything you know the bottom is in.
Western stocks will fall by 20 percent. Oil will trade at $16 a barrel. Emerging markets will crumble as China assumes the role of Lehman Brothers in the not so eagerly awaited sequel to the 2008 financial crisis.
That preview of the next 12 months is brought to you by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

“Sell everything except for high-quality bonds,” RBS credit chief Andrew Roberts writes in a note to investors that reads like the voice-over in a trailer of a finance-themed horror film. “This is about return of capital, not return on capital. In a crowded hall, exit doors are small.”

Whenever you have this kind of hysteria you know the you can start to buy and you can grow off of that point.

Woman Heckles Trump at Diner: My heckle would Be Worry About My Wallet and Not Mexicans or Muslims #DumpTrump

It takes courage to yell at a candidate.
“Enjoy your burger, racist!”a young woman shouted from the back of the restaurant before walking out.

Outside, the heckler identified herself to ABC News as Jane, but declined to give her last name. She said she was visiting the state from South Carolina, and was unaware Trump would make an appearance as she enjoyed lunch.
“I’m really struck by his racism and Islamophobia,” Jane said. “I wanted to make sure people remembered that he is racist, and that he’s using it to rally voters.” 
Hopefully she paid for her lunch before she stormed out. I just want him to tell me his economic plan or how we can grow at like 4% GDP or how he can cut my taxes. I don't care about his stance on Mexicans, the border, or Muslims. In any case I would probably freeze up if I saw him and just notice how weird his hair looks.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Wow OPEC left $541 Billion on the Table with their Quest for Market Share

Now these are some big numbers to leave on the table in 2015.
Would that strategy have cost them market share? Sure, a small amount. But assume they then pumped 34.5 million bpd at $80/bbl. That’s just over a trillion dollars in annual revenue. If instead they pump 36.5 million bpd at $35/bbl — which is actually more than they are getting as I write this — that’s $466 billion in annual revenues. The annual difference in those scenarios is $541 billion. OPEC already lost out on that much in 2015 from the sharp drop in prices. If prices remain at these levels for most of this year, the foregone revenue for OPEC in 2015 and 2016 will easily top $1 trillion since that November 2014 meeting.
That $541 billion could have been used to buy more defense against the hated Iranians. Or it could have been used to lobby hard against the Iranian nuke deal or to get their own nuke program off of the ground.

5000 Idiots Want to Bring Back Lucas for Star Wars IX: I Have One Word for Them: "Prequels"

This has to be the dumbest petition I have ever read about.
“We have no problem with Colin Trevorrow, but he’s not the right guy to direct Star Wars Episode IX . George Lucas as director of Episode IX would be the perfect way to end this new trilogy and make an epic farewell between the Father of Star Wars and the whole universe of the galaxy far, far away.”

Not sure that 5000 signatories will sway Disney from its current course, but it’s worth a try if it’s what you really, really want to happen.
I will go on record that if Lucas directs Episode IX I will have no interest in seeing it. The prequels have proved that he is terrible at doing anything in the universe he created. Jar-jar Binks and the host of racist "aliens" should be enough to keep him from touching anything Star Wars. I am a pretty big fan again after seeing Force Awakens so I would hate for Lucas to ruin that.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

T Boone Pickens Says $30 Oil is the Bottom

Well, I know people are trying to ride oil higher so I would love for the bottom to be in.
The recent rout in oil has prompted many investors to ask what could be in store for 2016, as many speculate that crude will continue to trade in the $30s for the foreseeable future.

"Close to the bottom. I was just a year off. We will be back to $70 to $75 by the end of the year," Pickens said.


The oil tycoon added that the world is currently using approximately 95 million barrels a day, and is oversupplied by about 1 million barrels of oil. Therefore he does not believe that it will take much to balance the market. When that occurs, the price of crude will move up fast.  
The problem is that where will that 1 million of barrels of supply will dry up from. It probably won't be from the Saudis or Iran because they need money for proxy wars and subsidies. The need to break the US shale oil industry and hold on to market share is probably greater then losing money. I think the US Shale industry will blink first and they will cut production or go bankrupt. 

I Kind of Understand why the Smart Watch isn't Catching On and Apple is Suffering

I have to agree 100% with the sentiment in this article.
It’s the same thing with the smartwatch. Sure, it does what it’s supposed to. Many of these devices even look really cool on your wrist. But they’re pricey, and hard to use. And it doesn’t make sense when I already have an expensive phone that does all of the same things. I mean honestly, what situations are people ever in where pulling their phone out of their pocket is too inconvenient?
If you need proof that the smartwatch isn’t catching on, take a look at the Apple’s AAPL Apple Watch. With Apple’s massive brand name and an operating system that was easy to navigate for millions of users already familiar with iOS, the Apple Watch soared after its release, quickly becoming the top-selling smartwatch on the market.

That part about having a phone in your pocket that does the same thing is a big one. The redundancy of service is kind of a killer when it comes to a smart watch. People rarely make or get phone calls on the cell phones but mostly text, Instagram, or Snapchat one another. It is simply easier and more socially acceptable to type on a phone pulled out of the pocket than talk into a smart watch. You also really cannot play games or surf Facebook on a smart watch. Was it so hard to reach into ones pocket to look at a phone?

So what the watch does do well is tells time and maybe keeps track of your fitness. You can do that at half the price or less from other sources. The smart watch is still looking for its killer app. The thing that makes you want to leave your phone in your pocket. The only thing that would come close is swiping your watch to pay for something. That might be pretty cool but it still isn't much of a difference then taking your phone out of your pocket.  

Tom Brady and Gisele B√ľndchen's Diet: Sounds like Something out of Orwell's 1984 or maybe the Gulag #SadRichPeople

Yeah I agree that this is definitely NOT comfort food.

Of course, these are two people whose bodies must be in tip-top shape for their careers, so they’ve learned to adjust. And Campbell says they love it. The kids are happy eating brown-rice sushi, while Tom and Gisele like eating Campbell’s bowl meals. “I’ve just did this quinoa dish with wilted greens. I use kale or Swiss chard or beet greens. I add garlic, toasted in coconut oil. And then some toasted almonds, or this cashew sauce with lime curry, lemongrass, and a little bit of ginger. That’s just comfort food for them.”


So quinoa, which is awful by itself, is added to wilted greens and that is comfort food? Of course this guy didn't use tasty greens like lettuce or sprouts but horrible bitter greens like kale, swiss chard, and *shudder* beet leaves. Adding a little garlic cooked in some strange way or ginger is not going to make that mess any more palatable. What is crazy is that it is comfortable to them? They sound like they are suffering from Stockholm syndrome or something.

I agree with the article writer that it makes you feel a little sorry for these beautiful, rich, and talented celebrities. I can eat a bunch of cheese fries right now and never have to eat hated beet leaves for any reason what so ever. I don't fly on a private jet but I will never have to eat awful brown-rice sushi just to stay thin or have to pay a guy to starve me.

The life one lives where comfort food is a bowl of quinoa is a miserable life any way you slice it. Gisele is a model so I guess eating like a political prisoner would make sense. But Brady is a football player who uses a ton of calories every day. He could afford to eat a huge bowl of pasta or a dozen weenies or something and he wouldn't gain an ounce from it. 

Liberal Media Talking about Bill Clinton's Rape Allegations with a 2016 Mentality to Believe the Victim First

Hmm this is an interesting development coming from the left.
So far, this issue has mostly been raised by conservative media and Republican politicians like Prudhomme-O'Brien. But it's a substantive issue worthy of coverage from non-right-wing outlets as well. There really are multiple accusations of sexual assault against Bill Clinton, accusations that have too often been conflated with his much better-established and much less morally concerning history of adultery. Are the women making these accusations survivors who deserve to be believed, to borrow Hillary Clinton's language? Or, as she later insisted, have their accusations all been found to be baseless?
This article goes on to talk about Juanita Broaddrick and how her rape allegation would be treated quite differently if it hadn't come to light in the 1990s. The article disproves some of the "attack the victim" stuff that the Clinton-istas pulled back in the day. It's interesting that this issue really is cognitive dissidence with liberals. Believe the victim unless she is raped by Clinton then look the other way. 

Monday, January 04, 2016

2016 Predictions

I might as well turn in a few predictions for 2016: I predict fireworks and some interesting times.


Politics:

1. Hillary Clinton beats Donald Trump in a landslide victory. The Donald wins only the southern states but does not carry any of the key battleground states and loses Florida quite handily. He only gets about 9% of the Hispanic vote and it turns into a referendum on immigration. The rise of the Hispanic voter becomes the key issue in politics this year. The GOP barely holds onto the Senate but retains the House with only a few notable losses.

2. The GOP Congress finally gets some things done now that Paul Ryan is in charge. They send a bunch of symbolic bills that are defeated by a lame-duck Obama. The reactionary wing of the GOP calls for Ryan's ouster by the end of the year.

3. Obamacare is dealt a blow from Democrats who try to alter it after hearing it from their constituents who are having trouble with high co-pays. Insurance companies mostly pull out of the exchanges and the price of health insurance does not go down by any appreciable margin.

4. Obama becomes very active at first but peters out as he takes many foreign trips. Almost all of the news will be about the Election and he quietly works well with the Ryan Congress. Trump and Hillary suck the air out of the room and Obama's ego is bruised.

5. Hillary is indited but the FBI does not pursue the case until after the election. She pretty much gets out of any blame for the illegal email server and it becomes a non-issue after the election.

6. The US becomes slightly less partisan by the end of the year with both parties staying away from the extremes after Trump implodes.


World:

1. ISIS starts to collapse as recruits leave the fold and the bombing starts to get results. The Iraqi army pushes ISIS out of Iraq and regains a firm grip on their country. However, ISIS becomes even stronger outside of the remnants of the "Caliphate" as young radical Islamists fight the West from the comfort of their own homes. Several more terrorist attacks are planned and carried out but nothing as big as the Paris attacks happens in 2016.

2. The Chinese economy slows but does not enter a recession. A mix of stimulus and number fudging carries them throughout the year. The Chinese stock market gyrates wildly but ends the year down only 2% from the start of the year.

3. Oil prices stay low throughout the year but spike briefly as the Saudi/Iranian crisis looms. There is much posturing and sabre rattling but there is no outright warfare between the two. However the Sunni-Shia divide becomes the defining characteristic between the Great Powers going forward. The Sunni side is championed by the Saudis and the gulf states and Iran champions the Shiite powers. Both lead states are backed with petro-dollars and both now have a free hand due to the Iranian nuclear deal. A clandestine nuclear program is found in Saudi Arabia and an arms race begins.

4. Russian power finally extends into the Mediterranean as Syria falls into their sphere of influence. By the end of the year the Syrian war becomes the "Russian Vietnam" with advisers training and re-arming Assads troops. Russian MIGs fly more sorties then the Western powers combined. Assad's troops push back ISIS and retake much of Syria while a massive Russian presence looms in the Levant.


Economic Predictions:

S&P 500: 2300

Dow: 18100
Nasdaq: 5700

Crude Oil: $65
Gold: $1200
EUR/Dollar: 1.24
10 Yr Bond: 2.54

Sports Predictions:
NFL: Arizona Cardinals

NBA: Golden State Warriors
MLB: San Fransisco Giants
NHL: Montreal Canadiens
Premier League: Arsenal
Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund (probably Bayern Munich though)
NCAA Football: Alabama Crimson Tide
NCAA Basketball: Kansas