An interesting strategy for the midterms

September 18th, 2018

An interesting strategy for Darth would be not only to do every single thing the Left hates, but to tout it in a televised Oval Office address (the MSM won’t censor it since they see it as a deathbed scene), be it (1) Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, (2) the FISA release, (3) unemployment for the disadvanteged, (4) nutty global warming, (5) tearing up the Iran deal, (6) North Korea, (7) China tariffs, (8) Israel Jerusalem, and so forth.

We know that the above is not the way our distinguished media wants the world to work, but it would be cool to see televised, a week or so before the midterms, an aggressive Oval Office address touting two years of accomplishments, with each 1-8 accomplishment written by Darth on a blackboard in plain sight, at the same time he is speaking.

(25th Amendment, WHERE ARE YOU? ARRRRRGGGHHH!!!!!!!!)

So after the brief address with blackboard 1-8, he says his interest is in “dialogue.” Thus, he introduces the two guys sitting on the mini-couches in front and on either side of the Oval Office desk. The first to speak is 95 year old Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and the second is 41 year old Kanye West. Their brief and friendly comments to and about Darth are interesting to the audience, since they show that the holy MSM have been feeding a pack of horrible lies to the public for two years now. Yikes!

All of a sudden, the networks go silent, though stations re-run ancient episodes of Gilligan’s Island, I dream of Jeannie and her zombie apocalypses, the Munsters, etc. After that, silence

Here’s a game for you

September 18th, 2018

FISA documents. No wonder Darth was so polite, even Presidentially so, regarding the Kavanaugh delay. Here’s a little bit of what’s going on. “Please choose which you’ll yell most loudly about.” Maybe both at once? Well played.

Something is very odd

September 18th, 2018

We don’t know what’s going on with this Kavanaugh business, but something smells very strange indeed. Stay tuned. BTW, we heard that this bad guy assaulted someone named Christine, not once but as many as 14 times!

Between 11:59,59 and midnight on New Year’s Eve

September 17th, 2018

The question that should always be asked, rather publicly, by the Stupid Party, is: what’s the dirty trick going to be at the eleventh hour, fifty nine minutes and fifty nine seconds? There’s always going to be one, so advertise that it’s coming soon, and then wait. Of course it will arrive. So when it arrives, you can yawn, assuming the audience has been prepped in advance. The Stupid Party did not do this with Ford, and so people are scurrying around instead of yawning. Having said that, we missed something: how do you spell vile? Hint: it begins with an F.

Funniest ever

September 17th, 2018

Orson Welles on Johnny Carson.

Fish stinks from the head: Crooked FISA Judges, Crooked DoJ, Crooked FBI, etc.

September 17th, 2018

Slightly redacted from a piece by Thomas Lifson that includes Andy McCarthy, Scott Johnson, an ex-FBI AT contributor, and others:

The original FISA order, when the target is a US Person such as Carter Page, lasts for 90 days. A FISA order can be renewed, but the renewal is NOT granted on an “if at first you don’t succeed, try try again” basis. To get an extension on a FISA – and let me say here that I completely agree with McCarthy that the initial FISA was pure BS – the FBI has to either:

1) make a reasonable showing that it is making progress in its investigation as a result of its use of FISA, i.e., it is moving forward with additional evidence gained through FISA that tends to confirm the presentation of the case that was made in the initial application, or

2) in the absence of such progress, the FBI must make a reasonable showing that the extension is likely to produce progress.

No extension should be granted unless one or the other condition is met; if not, the FISA should be shut down.

Yet in this case three extensions were granted – despite the fact, as McCarthy convincingly shows, that there is absolutely no reason to suppose that either condition was ever met. We’ll know for sure when President Trump finally declassifies these documents, but any fair reader of the redacted versions will be forced to McCarthy’s conclusion: The FBI never had a case.

We’re confused. The Steele Dossier was commissioned in April 2016 as opposition research, some of it quite silly at that. But it’s of a piece with the Access Hollywood tape that the WaPo released on October 7, 2016, so maybe it was considered the latter of a one-two punch. That’s the ticket!

The FISA court application to spy on some guy named Page wasn’t done until October 2016, too late to have any impact except as the two punch in a one-two punch, since it had plenty of references to pee-pee. OK, that makes sense, and the Clinton campaign could have released the “Top Secret” nonsense after the 10/19/16 final debate if they thought it would be helpful. Evidently they didn’t think it was necessary. Oops!!!

Along came November 8 and suddenly everything changed. In keeping with the Dinocrat’s law that accusers create crimes out of Projection of their own, it was time to find nasty Russia collusion by Trump, when of course, as Scott Johnson observes, the real collusion was the other way around. Fortunately for the Deep Staters, they had guys like Carter Page and Paul Manafort, who had done lots of stuff involving Russia, and had been previously been spied on by the US government, to go after. New objective: impeachment or worse.

This is the moment when everybody became crooks, or, as they no doubt thought, servants to the better angels of their nature. The FISA judges continued to approve spying on Page, Mueller got hired in 3/17 to deep six the Trumpster, and guys like Manafort got indicted (10/17) – on money laundering and being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal – in hopes he had something on Trump and could be flipped. It’s very interesting that the Deep State creeps in the DoJ, FBI, etc. couldn’t find one thing to indict Page on after a year of Deep Spying.

Perhaps we’re wrong, but at the moment we’re inclined to see the new Manafort plea deal, which replaces centuries in prison by 10 years max, as the possible start of a climb-down by Mueller, since Deep State Democrats and Obama officials are beginning to be targeted. We’ll see.

No No No

September 17th, 2018

We regret we ever said that the SEC should investigate the trillion dollar market cap companies Google, Facebook (not Fakebook), Twitter, etc. for their lying to shareholders about their algorithms being unbiased. We didn’t realize until just now that they were simply moving and grooving to the Al Gore Rhythm. Sorry!

The Cortez solution

September 16th, 2018

Raise the minimum wage. What a genius!

All the way down sir

September 16th, 2018

All the way down sir. The highly elevated government scum that manufactured Russiagate, or rather, Nothinggate, should be in jail forever with the key thrown away. We don’t have the patience to deal with all the details, but we’re sure glad others go — here and here, for example.

Birds of a feather flock together

September 16th, 2018

Hey who was this nice lady just praising?

Journalism

September 16th, 2018

’nuff said?

Making a list and checking it twice

September 16th, 2018

Marketwatch:

Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is spearheading an effort by Democratic senators to bring a bill that would require public companies to disclose more information about their exposure to climate-related risks. The bill, called the Climate Risk Disclosure Act, would direct the SEC, in consultation with climate experts at other federal agencies, to issue rules within one year that require every public company to disclose:

• Direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions
• All fossil-fuel related assets it owns or manages
• The effect on the company’s market valuation if climate change continues at its current pace or if greenhouse gas emissions were restricted in compliance with the Paris accord goal; and
• What strategies are in place to address the physical and transition risks posed by climate change.

The bill is co-sponsored by Warren’s fellow Massachusetts Democratic Ed Markey and Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Kamala Harris of California and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. It comes more than a year after President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement, which has the goal of limiting the global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius by reducing greenhouse emissions. That goal is a crucial one as insurers have said anything higher would make the world uninsurable.

In 2013, former Vice President Al Gore wrote in a blog that investors typically overlook the risk to their portfolio of climate change and made some recommendations. “First, identify carbon asset risks across portfolios…Second, engage corporate boards and executives on plans to mitigate and disclose carbon risks…Third, diversify investments into opportunities positioned to succeed in a low-carbon economy.” Gore, who in 2006 starred in an Oscar-winning documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” about his campaign to educate citizens about global warming, strongly supports the measure.

“Senator Warren is demonstrating strong leadership by introducing legislation to assess the financial risks of climate change and require that they be disclosed to the public. This is a critical step toward breaking our addiction to fossil fuels and accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy,” Gore wrote in a press release issued by Warren. The bill directs the SEC to develop disclosure requirements that are tailored to different industries and to require additional disclosure requirements for companies specifically engaged in the commercial development of fossil fuels.

Warren also received a letter of support signed by twenty-nine organizations, including The Sierra Club, Greenpeace and the Center for International Environmental Law, that strongly support the Climate Risk Disclosure Act of 2018. “The bill is a necessary step to ensure that shareholders have the information they need to adequately mitigate financial, physical and legal climate-related risks to their investments. By ensuring that private capital can appropriately assess climate-related risks, the bill will help accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels to cleaner and more efficient energy sources and reduce the risk of financial instability,” they wrote.

Making a list and checking it twice; gotta find out who’s dumb as mice. But wait, what about distinguished professors like Mann? Oh yeah, him. Hey, don’t believe us; go ask Lindzen. And finally, whatever you do, don’t forget to Hide the Decline.

Stuck on stupid

September 15th, 2018

Here’s one from today, this fellow Kristol. What’s up with this guy? Seriously. He’s got a president who is doing a fantastic job and he’s upset for some reason. We really don’t understand. And here’s stupid from a few years ago that would get every kid from the fifties thrown out of school.

Bendel bonnet

September 15th, 2018

As we jogged up to Central Park from Rockefeller Center on 5th Avenue yesterday, a song appeared of course. We saw Ella do it live decades ago, very nice indeed. The lyrics are remarkable, kind of a snapshot history of Western culture and technological developments from the Roman Empire to the 20th century. Bow wow wow.

University endowments at idiotic and destructive work – climate and diversity

September 15th, 2018

People with calm rich lives still have to make up religions and hobgoblins to find things to worship and things to fear, and things that let them bask in their own superiority and control others. Today on the Left we have 2 powerful religions for the stupid, climate change and diversity, neither of which is about what they claim.

As for climate, we’ve seen temperature changes of 120 degrees in one year! Oh yes, and Florida didn’t disappear off the map. We doubt that one in a hundred climate alarmists could identify the amount of that awful CO2 in the air…hmmm, why is that number interesting? Yet it’s a thing at universities. Unbelievable that such nonsense claims attention.

The other horrible religion is diversity. Mark Steyn has it exactly right: “The more diverse you get, the more stupid you get, the more authoritarian you get.” Diversity isn’t about diversity, as the Asians suing Harvard know. And as the Nobel committee on physics and every NFL team knows. But there you go again, more university idiocy (and wasted cash).

So there you have 2 of the most idiotic phony religions of all time, and if you don’t think such idiocy is powerful, see if you can keep your job at Google if you dispute them.

We don’t need no edumacation; we don’t need no thought control. Who knew those guys were so brite?

For future reference

September 15th, 2018

We’ll know to skip over anything written by this fellow Tomasky.

A Bert Kaempfert moment, or moments

September 15th, 2018

Surely you’ve had moments when a song you think is a TV theme is playing in your head but you can’t remember the show. (Shirley you jest.) And when you google what you think might be the answer, the answer comes up wrong. And google gets it wrong time after time, with the 50 greatest game show songs etc. But then somehow you find out the right answer, and all is good – hey Swingin’ Safari was only the Match Game theme 1962-1967. So Bert Kaempfert wrote the song, but he also wrote this. Yikes!

The shame of 9/15/2008

September 15th, 2018

Our apologies. These pieces were penned in the heat of a terrible moment, about which we’ll say now, that it was government idiocy on the level that created the Great Depression, to let Lehman Brothers fail without a strong and stable purchaser.

First, Lehman I: So much for inflation. The underlying trend in many major asset categories has been deflationary for a while, fundamentally on account of ever-restricting credit standards in the marketplace. This has been masked by the speculative bubble in commodities, which would appear to be over. If it isn’t over yet, the (necessary but sad) Chapter 11 filing of Lehman Brothers, the shotgun wedding of Merrill and BofA, and the meltdown of AIG, are all moving us further and further down that path. Oil is now off $50 from its high, and in our view may well have the better part of another $50 yet to fall. WSJ:

Light, sweet crude for October delivery was recently down $5.40, or 5.3%, at $95.78 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. October Brent crude on the ICE Futures exchange, which expires Monday, was down $5.24 to $92.34 a barrel. Nymex crude earlier fell to $94.13 a barrel, the lowest price since Feb. 14

Meanwhile, China is trying to address future anemic growth through easing lending restrictions, which as we have said many times, probably won’t be enough to keep growth where it needs to be in that country.

Then an update: Oops, the day got a little worse. WSJ:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which languished with a loss between 200 and 300 points for most of the day, saw its losses accelerate in the last hour of trading. It ended down by 504.48 points, off 4.4%, at 10917.51. All 30 of its components fell, led by a 60.8% plunge in American International Group. The Federal Reserve on Monday asked Goldman Sachs Group and J.P. Morgan Chase to help make $70-$75 billion in loans available to the company, according to people familiar with the situation…

Bank of America was also a big decliner among Dow stocks, off 21.3%…Goldman was off 12.1%, while Morgan Stanley fell 13.5%…Washington Mutual tumbled 26.7% as investors feared it wouldn’t be able to find a buyer…”We’ve re-established ‘moral hazard,'” a person involved in the Lehman talks told the Journal…”Is that a good thing or a bad thing? We’re about to find out.”

One hopes that, in allowing the failure of Lehman Brothers and the stampede that followed, the current crop of regulators is steering a course to avoid some of the really devastating mistakes of the past.

And a month later, considering the 9/15 folly:

And after The bankers seem to have made the same mistake twice, and it nearly brought the system down again. The Fed Chairman who is a student of the Depression and the Treasury chief who was CEO of Wall Street’s perhaps most storied name, appear to have repeated one of the critical mistakes in judgment that brought about the Great Depression — and they have been scrambling to recover from this mistake for a month. In 1930 the Fed let the Bank of United States fail, the dominoes fell, and the Great Depression was born. On September 15, 2008 the Fed let Lehman Brothers fail, and once again the US is courting financial catastrophe.

One month ago, the Fed and the Treasury let Lehman Brothers go bankrupt, and all hell broke loose, not just because of mortgages, but because of Lehman’s systemically toxic CDS’s — unregulated insurance policies without reserves with other banks — that could bring down the entire industry. This is also the view of the French finance minister. Telegraph:

Mrs Lagarde — attributed with playing a key role in brokering a bailout deal among G7 finance ministers in Washington last weekend — dubbed Mr Paulson’s decision to let the bank go under “horrendous” as it triggered panic in markets and banks to the brink of a 1929-style financial meltdown.

The entire banking system seized up; the banks were set up like dominoes to sequentially fail. Short sellers had a no risk strategy to bet on bank failures and the Treasury had created a Doomsday Machine that would take them down, one after another. Credit and stock markets crashed, and good news had become irrelevant.

In effect, the US government had created one of the conditions that turned the recession of 1929 into the Great Depression. In that earlier time, the New York Clearing House banks allowed the small bank with the big name, Bank of the United States, to fail. After that failure, which would have been so easy to avoid, another 8000 banks failed. Of course, the government at that time had to wait until 1933 for the creation of the FDIC and other tools to stem the runs on the banks.

For a month the government has been improvising various solutions to the Lehman mistake, and often it has looked like making sausages. It hasn’t been pretty, and no one knows whether it will be ultimately effective. But the actions of the Euro-zone countries, after their initial stumble, are encouraging. Likewise, the reaction to the revised Paulson plan, which has morphed from buying $700 billion in mortgages to providing a much needed $250 billion in new bank capital, also appears positive. It is possible that we have seen a version of 1929-1933 play out in a very short time (as events are often accelerated these days). But there was still a long way to go for the US economy to recover after 1933.

UPDATE
— Andy Kessler has a good summary in the WSJ of what US and European authorities are trying to do with their remedial measures.

Darth is coming, beware!!! – or maybe 2 Darths

September 14th, 2018

The charming NYT:

F.T.C. Hearings Add to Efforts That Threaten Tech Industry – The F.T.C. hearings, the first of 15 to 20 over the next several months, are one of several efforts underway on the federal and state level that threaten to limit the expansion and power of tech companies. Later this month, Congress will bring executives from top tech companies to testify on proposals for privacy laws. The Justice Department has warned it may start investigations into whether Google and other social media sites are biased against conservative voices.

The field of antitrust law has focused for 30 years on whether prices increase when there is limited competition. Some academics and consumer groups have called for regulators to rethink that gauge. Amazon and Google, they say, defy that metric of antitrust law because the companies are gaining power even as they offer cheap or free goods.

One proponent of this change of thinking, Lina Khan, is an assistant to a Democratic commissioner at the F.T.C. Her focus on Amazon has been buoyed by Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, who has criticized the company and its chief executive, Jeff Bezos, for contributing to income inequality.

“The issue about Amazon is not just that the wealthiest person on earth, Jeff Bezos, is paying workers unlivable wages. It’s about the ‘new economy’ and the degradation of the human spirit — breaking down people, spitting them out and simply replacing them with new bodies,” Mr. Sanders said last week in a Twitter post.

Amazon has disputed Mr. Sanders’s accusations, saying the company offers stable pay and benefits for its employees. It has also disputed concerns the company has violated antitrust laws, saying it does not have a dominant market share of the retail market. (Yeah, right!)

Janet L. McDavid, a panelist at the F.T.C. hearing and a lawyer at Hogan Lovells, said simply going after companies because they were big was dangerous. The “amorphous” concepts of big and fair in antitrust law could lend itself to political decisions, Ms. McDavid said. “Which we certainly should eschew, especially now in the current political environment”

Nice video you’ve got there Google. An FTC inquiry is fine, but we’re waiting for the SEC to tackle companies with a trillion dollars of market cap making obviously false press releases and public statements. That should be fun.

After the Roaring Twenties?

September 13th, 2018

SCMP:

Chinese GDP rose by a staggering 1,100 per cent between 1992 and 2010. The global share of goods exports grew from 2 per cent to over 17 per cent. Income per head rose 970 per cent, 10 times faster than in the United States. A full half a billion people were lifted from rural poverty to middle-class comfort. No country in history has accomplished so much in so short a time for so many people.

When I stood on Jingshan in 2010, it was widely assumed that this meteoric rate of growth would continue – we were entering China’s decade – the decade when China’s economy would become bigger than the US’.

One of the lessons of investment, however, is that just when things are looking their best, the best may be over. The Shanghai Composite Index, the stock market and bellwether of an economy reflecting 8½ years of economic activity, is actually down 17 per cent since January 1, 2010. The yuan is also weaker against the US dollar. It reminded me that a full four years ago, I mused in these columns that the 2010s might be China’s lost decade, so as an update, I surfed the International Monetary Fund and World Bank databases.

The data shows Chinese annual economic growth has fallen from the over 10 per cent per annum to around 6 per cent this decade.

Interesting. When we saw Shanghai 6000 eleven years ago, we compared things to the Roaring 20’s in the US. Maybe we were more correct than we thought.