The Dogfather Strategery

August 20th, 2018

Strategery, ah yes. How come we just figured this out? A long time ago the Mueller people decided on an obvious and logical course, based on their long careers going after criminals like Martha Stewart, Scooter Libby, Enron, etc. They know that someone in the international real estate business has done things close to, if not over the line. And further this has got to be true of advisers, counterparties, etc.

So this was never about Russia at all, although if they caught some Russia this or that, they’d scream to the high heavens. (Expect that in the Mueller report.)

No, this was about getting a gangster, Don Trumpeone, by getting people like Fredo Manafort and Clemenza Cohen on some tax thing or other, and having them turn on the Dogfather. And if there’s no tax thing, there’s always perjury, simply manufactured by Mueller’s preferring some statement from Party X over one from the mouth of Fredo or Clemenza (truth isn’t truth as you know — cue screaming).

Unfortunately, the Dogfather does not have available anything as quick, elegant, and all-encompassing as the Baptism scene — or so the Brennan episode seems to indicate. However, we do seem to be near the climax of the movie, so stay tuned.

Upping the ante, and getting very funny as well

August 19th, 2018

This is getting hilarious, via a must watch on Bartiromo on the “rigged and disgusting witch hunt”. Giuliani on “political hack” Brennan’s threat to sue the prez: “The only thing I’d like him to give me is defense of that lawsuit that Brennan is going to bring because I think my payment for this investigation and my representation of the president is to get to depose John Brennan one of the biggest frauds in the history of this country.” Giuliani also speaks clearly and simply about Hillary Clinton’s crimes.

So one side speaks clearly and simply, while the other side hides material and makes vague accusations in an “investigation” that’s been going on for years, without one piece of evidence produced. Gee, if the country had a media that would work for a living instead of producing fake news, maybe even they could enjoy the Obama-Clinton-Brennan debacle. HT: GP

Joe DiGenova also does a great job, calling Rosenstein Rasputin, and so forth. Funny stuff — seems well above the SAT level of the opposition.

Dreary update: we tuned in NPR, Pacifica, and CBS news on our jog, and it’s all the same blather. Maybe 6 Giuliani’s and DiGenova’s could do the trick, but we doubt it. That other universe, where those news beings live, is a powerful place and more sealed off than the Fortress of Solitude.

They don’t give him any credit

August 19th, 2018

Brennan got dumped bacause oh that nasty prez, he was peeved!!! Thank goodness he chanced into the right decision! Yeah, that’s the answer. Guy knows nothing about the law or getting good advisors, knows nothing about electoral strategy, knows nothing about anything but PR — but eeewwww, those nasty tweets. Guy couldn’t get elected dog catcher, for God’s sakes. We dare him to try to get the bucks and oks to bulild some big building on 5th Avenue, giggle — yeah, that’ll show him!

Postscript: if you know an action, pretty much unprecedented, is going to raise holy hell 24/7 among all the usual suspects, and others as well, and probably impact November, and then you say you’ll do it again and again, all because you’re peeved, well, then you probably couldn’t get elected dog catcher.

Shanghai’s ups and downs

August 19th, 2018

CNBC: “The Shanghai exchange is down 25 percent from the high it hit at the end of January.” The rest of the piece says not to worry. Perhaps that’s right. Shanghai 6000 quite a while ago was Roaring ’20s stuff. And there was more craziness a few years ago. Of course the old craziness happened when the economy of China was still pretty tiny, and now it is two thirds of the US in GDP, so maybe a 25% decline is something to pay attention to. We’ll see.

The decision that’s apparently been made

August 18th, 2018

We’ll go back to the Giuliani’s going aggressive on Brennan and the decision that followed. This followed whatever discussions took place by Giuliani on the Mueller interview. It seems to us that, at least partially based on those discussions, the administration decided that Mueller is never going away, and will do aggressive things as the midterms approach. Cue WaPo to determine who’s at fault, WAHHH!!! So the White House decided that if Mueller, Brennan, Clapper, Obama, Clinton and co. have that as their strategy, the only thing to do is to act early and often — so we should see people have clearances revoked, as well as firings and worse shortly. There’s no way to predict a successful outcome for our side, but as someone said in the nineties, This is War Larry, this is War!

Update: Hey maybe one of those morning tweets should link to someone saying Mueller, Mueller. Geez, lots of that movie’s points were really relevant to today.

Things are moving in the US: China and the Brennanettes

August 18th, 2018

We’ll just link to this PL piece. In order to have a successful negotiation, you have to negotiate, Duh! As for the Brennanettes, let’s get all your outraged letters on the record, yes indeed. Then we’ll have a party.

Update: funny Kristol bit.

Tick-tock

August 17th, 2018

We mentioned Giuliani/Brennan and wondered what the game plan was. Lou Dobbs thinks it has been to get the Establishment on board before dramatic actions, and Thomas Lifson seconds that. Excellent if that’s the plan.

Flashback

August 17th, 2018

This looks quite different, at least to us, than it did on October 20, 2016, but it is none the worse for that. Media, humor, adversaries, etc. It’s quite a bit funnier now.

Ah wisdom!

August 17th, 2018

Someone who doesn’t like balloons, fireworks, Christmas trees, etc:

When commemorating lost loved ones, consider floating a small amount of native flowers or flower petals down a river or stream to provide a sense of letting go. You can also light candles, plant trees or spread wildflower seed bombs. If you must release something into the air, use flying wish papers. They create very little ash and give you the same effect of a balloon release without hurting the environment. For parties, opt for decorations that can be reused or recycled. Tissue paper pompoms, fabric buntings and tissue tassels are not only adorably eye-catching, they can be made at home in a flash — and kids love joining in on the DIY fun. If you’re looking for something a little more interactive, ribbon dancers and pinwheels are both fantastic options. Not only are they beautiful, they require people to move around to enjoy them! It’s time for our love affair with balloons to come to an end. We don’t need them. There are so many other ways to celebrate — ways that don’t kill wildlife

It could be worse, they could be white balloons, Arggh! Look, just like straws, balloons were never that great, and using them amounts to treason!.

Bonus and very serious question for Dr. Jung or Dr. Freud: what sickness does this guy Brennan have? Please define.

Where have we heard this before?

August 16th, 2018

Xinhua:

From a debt-laden steelmaker to a key supplier for new stadiums of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Nanjing Iron and Steel Co. exemplifies China’s efforts to rein in its financial risks.

After winning another order to supply around 1,900 tonnes of steel to the Persian Gulf country, the Shanghai-listed company has seen its global market presence rise and its asset-liability ratio decline.

Thanks to a debt-to-equity program as well as a greener and more innovative business model, the firm saw its net profit skyrocket 800 percent year on year in 2017, while its debt ratio dropped from over 80 percent to 60 percent.

China’s leverage ratio narrowed by 1.1 percentage points in the first quarter of the year from a year ago, while enterprises saw their debt gauge 2.4 percentage points lower and governments’ down 0.7 percentage points.

n 2017, the banking sector completed 48 of the 70 key tasks in shoring up weak links, with 40 more unveiled this year. The insurance sector also beefed up its regulatory strength.

A more rigorous policy framework has seen stricter enforcement. In the first half of this year, China’s top banking and insurance watchdog punished nearly 800 banking institutions and 175 people with access to the sector, including imposing lifetime bans.

“We used to circumvent new financial regulations as much as we could,” said an insider with a stock brokerage firm. “But now, we waste no time in amending our practices to avoid penalties.”

China’s financial risks, instead of being pervasive, are now increasingly restrained

Where have we heard this before? Ah, yes.

Brennan

August 16th, 2018

We mentioned him and Giuliani the other day. We were right.

Ralph’s and Alibaba

August 15th, 2018

WSJ:

Kroger Co. will sell its products in China on an e-commerce site owned by Alibaba Group, the grocer’s first foray into foreign sales amid a broader push into online retail. The U.S. supermarket chain on Tuesday said it plans to open an online storefront on Alibaba’s Tmall Global site, the Chinese internet titan’s platform for international brands. Kroger said the site will launch Wednesday with an initial product offering that includes dietary supplements and private-label products. For Alibaba, owner of China’s two most popular e-commerce websites, Kroger’s products could provide a leg up in the nation’s fiercely competitive online grocery market. Walmart owns a 12% stake in JD.com Inc., Alibaba’s biggest rival in China.

Jack Ma: 5 years to 24 hour delivery in China and 72 hours anywhere else.

Some good writing and talking

August 15th, 2018

A:

What the hell is with all of this taxpayer-funded animal torture and why has it all taken so long to be discovered? It seems like every time we shut down one sketchy program, another surfaces. Regardless, I’m going to find and whack these moles (no moles are harmed in the course of my activism, jokers) out of existence. The latest kitten is out of the bag following yet another an investigation by taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project, which exposed the deadly kitten experiments the agency has been secretly funding with hard-earned tax dollars and performing at their laboratory-turned-slaughterhouse in Maryland for nearly half a century. Since at least 1970, the USDA has been breeding 100 kittens per year, feeding them Toxoplasma-infected raw meat at just two months old and collecting their feces for two-to-three weeks to harvest the parasite used in other experiments. Then, the department simply kills, bags and incinerates the kittens like they’re trash, despite admitting — along with expert authorities like the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — that virtually all of them are healthy after the experiments because the cats shed the parasite following just one Toxoplasma exposure, become immune and won’t transmit to humans or other animals.

B:

If you followed the news last Friday, you know that my longtime friend Kristin Davis testified before Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury, that my longtime associate and wingman Andrew Miller was held in contempt for his refusal to testify for the grand jury, and that a subpoena was dropped on Randy Credico who, despite his public denials, was the source who first told me that Wikileaks had the goods on Hillary and would release them in October. It was a Deep State Trifecta! Andrew Miller’s contempt citation is a bit more complicated and his appeal may be problematic for Mueller down the road. Mueller is running a criminally abusive, constitutionally unaccountable, professionally and politically incestuous conspiracy of ethically conflicted cronies colluding to violate my Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights and those of almost everyone who had any sort of political or personal association with me in the last 10 years. He has conducted a supposedly comprehensive investigation of a very narrow and limited issue as an open-ended, totally limitless Grand Prosecution, with absolutely no articulable or even identifiable criminal predicate to substantiate it as a lawful investigation, even under ordinary circumstances. Mueller’s team of partisan prosecutors seek to prove the unprovable — that I received allegedly hacked e-mails from the Russians or Wikileaks and passed them on to Donald Trump. This threadbare false narrative is harped on endlessly by the slugs at MSNBC and other despicable “fake news” outlets.

Good writer, and we heard him speak recently. Clear, logical and simple. We didn’t know, however, that Nixon was in favor of school on Saturdays.

Stone’s a dog, but apparently a good doggie. Woof!!

Back to numbers, briefly

August 15th, 2018

WSJ:

data also pointed to economic headwinds. Retail sales grew, but not as sharply as analysts had expected. And unemployment ticked up to 5.1% last month, from 4.8% in June, the National Bureau of Statistics said. Spending on fixed-asset investments in China’s nonrural areas grew 5.5% in the January-July period from a year earlier, the Bureau of Statistics said. The figure matched a record low in 1999, according to data tracker Wind Information, and is down significantly from the 8.3% growth recorded for the first seven months of 2017.

The value of homes sold for the January-July period rose 16.2% from a year earlier, official data showed Tuesday. That compared with a 14.8% gain for the first half of the year. Property investment, including commercial and residential real estate, for the first seven months of the year rose 10.2% from the previous year. That compared with a 9.7% increase for the January-June period. Most of the growth was in so-called second- and third-tier cities that have looser property controls. Major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai imposed homebuying restrictions, such as raising down-payment ratios and capping the number of home purchases, to prevent the market from overheating.

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission on Saturday reported that new loans by Chinese banks totaled 1.45 trillion yuan ($210.40 billion) in July, up 75%, or 623.7 billion yuan, from the same period last year, according to preliminary statistics. The regulator also said new lending to infrastructure projects stood at 172.4 billion yuan in July, up 37% from June.

Mixed bag with credit expanding again. BTW, we don’t think Turkey is a big deal, but we’ll see. Some good Turkey background here.

BTW, we don’t think it’s a small thing that Giuliani has been tasked with going after Brennan. Stay tuned.

Charm offensive

August 14th, 2018

Harvard prof:

On one hand, universities must be open to diverse viewpoints, including those that conflict with mainstream opinion or may seem threatening to specific groups. On the other hand, there is the danger of normalizing and legitimizing what can only be described as an odious presidency.

RTWT. Wow. Aw come on Mister Professor, tell us what you really think of us.

Added fun: The young: born to be riled.

Deep, Deep, Deep in the weeds

August 13th, 2018

How deep? This deep. HT: Clarice. BTW, over at Pacifica they’ve made an elegant transition away from Russia, since the US is now sanctioning Russia, Turkey and Iran, among others. Now it’s all about the reckless starting of WWIII – “Goebbels wanted a wall” with Poland. Ugh. Sigh.

What question would you ask?

August 13th, 2018

Suppose there’s a holdup in the Bronx and Brooklyn’s broken out in fights, and there’s a traffic jam in Harlem that’s backed up to Jackson Heights. Also there’s a Scout troop short a child and Khrushchev’s due at Idlewild. What question would you ask? Answer: who’s Khrushchev and what’s Idlewild?

Gilder’s new book

August 13th, 2018

From the Amazon page:

“Google’s algorithms assume the world’s future is nothing more than the next moment in a random process. George Gilder shows how deep this assumption goes, what motivates people to make it, and why it’s wrong: the future depends on human action.” — Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal and Palantir Technologies and author of Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

“If you want to be clued in to the unfolding future, then you have come to the right place. For decades, George Gilder has been the undisputed oracle of technology’s future. Are giant companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook the unstoppable monopolistic juggernauts that they seem, or are they dysfunctional giants about to be toppled by tech-savvy, entrepreneurial college dropouts?” — Nick Tredennick, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, QuickSilver Technology

The Age of Google, built on big data and machine intelligence, has been an awesome era. But it’s coming to an end. In Life after Google, George Gilder — the peerless visionary of technology and culture — explains why Silicon Valley is suffering a nervous breakdown and what to expect as the post-Google age dawns.

Google’s astonishing ability to “search and sort” attracts the entire world to its search engine and countless other goodies — videos, maps, email, calendars. And everything it offers is free, or so it seems. Instead of paying directly, users submit to advertising. The system of “aggregate and advertise” works — for a while — if you control an empire of data centers, but a market without prices strangles entrepreneurship and turns the Internet into a wasteland of ads.

The crisis is not just economic. Even as advances in artificial intelligence induce delusions of omnipotence and transcendence, Silicon Valley has pretty much given up on security. The Internet firewalls supposedly protecting all those passwords and personal information have proved hopelessly permeable.

The crisis cannot be solved within the current computer and network architecture. The future lies with the “cryptocosm” — the new architecture of the blockchain and its derivatives. Enabling cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, NEO and Hashgraph, it will provide the Internet a secure global payments system, ending the aggregate-and-advertise Age of Google.

Federalist review here. We’ll let you know what we think after reading the book.

Highbrow and the Hipster, Starlet and the Phony Tipster

August 12th, 2018

A tune from the last post. Amusing moment: we’ve not read nor seen The Fountainhead, but recently caught the last few minutes, the trial and aftermath. When Gary Cooper signed the contract of the antagonist who never wanted to see him again, our reaction was: put a bullet in your head, which he then promptly did. Great screenwriting! WFB did not like the author BTW. Patricia Neal was only 22 when she made the movie; she really helped make A Face in the Crowd into something special. She also has a modest connection to Rocky Horror, yikes!

Serious Question

August 11th, 2018

We can’t get this far into the corrupt weeds of an FBI that is making J. Edgar Hoover look good. Heck, you don’t need Efrem Zimbalist Jr., when his associate Edd “Kookie” Burns could easily have done a better job than these corruptocrats, with or without comb.

Prez DJT is crystal clear on the big picture, and it will be very interesting to see the media and PR team (Giuliani, Hannity, etc.) decide to play it. Our view is that everything that is still being slow-walked should be declassified now, and criminal charges should be filed ASAP in any case where the evidence supports it. Oh yeah, our serious question: what exactly does this fellow Sessions do all day?

Update: no answer so far on Sessions, but we have a new question: Surfside 6, what’s that?