Friday, January 31, 2014

Bank Failure Friday: Boise, Idaho Bank Is Third To Fail In 2014

Syringa Bank, Boise, Idaho, failed today, the third to do so in 2014, costing the FDIC $4.5 million.

The irrelevance of real money to the global fascist banking cabal

Jeffrey Snider, here, fascist emphases added in red for your reading pleasure:

For as long as there has existed the dollar, there has existed the temptation to make it pliable enough to fit the fancy of its masters. In the context of the economic system as it has developed since the earliest stirrings of industrial transformation.

In the current age, there is no mistake about where the dollars strings attach. The Federal Reserve sets policy but does not really operate the "printing press", that is reserved for the global banking cabal including eurodollar participants. There are relatively persuasive arguments on both sides as to which end is in actual control, the banks or the Fed, but in my mind there is no degree of separation, at least not meaningfully in this setting. The banking system operates as the business end of policy. Banking interests have become fully aligned with policy directives as the banking system has been re-oriented in that direction by progression in the past six or so decades.

A full part of that changing systemic character has been the gradual reduction in the relevance of real money. Convention always marks 1971 as the end of the gold era, but it really began its demise far earlier. The Bretton Woods system was plagued almost from the start by this impulse toward dollar pliability, whether for US government purposes, US banking purposes or global trade. The formation of the London gold pool in November 1961 was a symptom of market forces attempting to re-assert authority over currency; and how far government control would be stretched to wrestle free of any competition over monetary monopoly.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hey Rush Limbaugh, Maybe Mormons Stayed Home In 2012!

Alex Beam in "Did Mormons Want Romney To Win?" for The Boston Globe suggests Mormons weren't ready for a Mormon presidency, here:

“No one would ever come out and say it, but I suspect what you are thinking is probably true,” says Matthew Bowman, a Mormon professor of religion and author of “The Mormon People.” “The whole Romney campaign was a shock to the system for a church that generally wants to move very slowly and is used to hashing out things out [sic] internally over a long period of time.”


Mormons in the US number about 6 million, but Kimberley Strassel has pointed out that Romney lost the election by fewer than 350,000 total votes in just four states: Florida, Virginia, Ohio and New Hampshire. 

GDP Under Obama Is Nearly 42% Worse Than It Was Under George Bush

Obama's latest GDP performance report for Q4 wraps up 2013 at a measly 1.9% real GDP for the whole year, quite an achievement when the second half of the year was as good as it was.

It's possible the second and third estimates will be better than the initial report of 3.2% for Q4, but that is not likely to change the overall number for 2013 very much.

As it stands, Obama has now had an average annual real GDP report of just 1.24% vs. George Bush's 2.13%.

Obama's performance remains the worst ever since World War II.

When he said he'd transform the country, he meant it.

Q4 2013 Real GDP At 3.2% In 1st Estimate, Q3 Remains At 4.1%

The BEA reports here.

Change in private inventories added far less in Q4 than in Q3, just .42 points vs. 1.67.

As good as the second half of 2013 appears, real GDP for 2013 still clocks in at an anemic 1.9% vs. 2.8% in 2012.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Abenomics is a fart in a windstorm

Good Help Is Hard To Find: Drudge Leads With A Typo For Five Hours And Counting

You know the "artic", up north where the artists live, in "artica", as opposed to their southern home in antartica.

Obama's Reduced Carbon Emissions Come Mostly From Americans Driving 2.6% Fewer Miles

Since Obama was elected in 2008, American travel by road has declined and leveled off, averaging 2,959,600 million miles per year (rolling average), 2.6% off the peak year of 2007 when travel totaled 3,038,900 million miles, according to the latest report for November 2013 here.

The difference from peak on average has been 79,300 million miles per year.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates here that the average vehicle emits 423 grams of CO2 per mile, so that's 36.9 million tons of CO2 not being emitted annually, or about 184.7 million tons over the five years (or 167 million metric tons, or 33.4 million metric tons per year).

Politifact here points to figures showing that for the eight years to 2011, carbon emissions have been reduced a total of 363 million metric tons, or 45.375 million metric tons per year on average.

That means as much as 73.6% of the reduced emissions under Obama has come from reduced driving by Americans . . . probably because there are fewer jobs to drive to, and gasoline costs too much, averaging between $3.20 and $3.80 per gallon for the three years 2011-2013.

In April 2008 Obama campaigned that gasoline at $3.60/gallon was nearly a crisis.

Yikes, Now Laura Ingraham Repeats Stupid

Just now Laura Ingraham said on her radio program that 3 million Republicans stayed home on election day in 2012.

The story was debunked in late November 2012 already, by Kimberley Strassel for The Wall Street Journal.

She's starting to sound as dumb as Rush.

Get up to speed people!

Hey Obama! Job Change Is A Fact!

Americans in October 2013 are driving like it's still 2005!
Maybe all that reduced carbon pollution Obama is so proud of came on the backs of workers who have millions fewer jobs to drive to: miles-traveled has been stuck at 2004/5 levels for Obama's entire presidency, reducing carbon emissions. Only a blind communist would boast of increased food supplies because he starved his people to death.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mark Levin Is Smokin' Something, Too

Tonight Mark Levin's calling on the US House to pass a resolution declaring our lawless president's executive orders null and void.

You know, the same House which is about to betray the people who put them in charge up there by passing another illegal alien amnesty.

The same House which just screwed veterans out of their retirements.

The same House which completely botched the so-called government so-called shutdown.

The same House which capitulated on the sequester and raised spending.

And that's the litany of woe for just the last couple of months.

Let's face it. This House isn't worthy of conservatives' support. And we aren't worthy to be called Americans if we support it.

Baby It's Cold Outside

Minimum temps in the US for 1/28/14

Self-Identifying As Middle Class Is Down 17% After 5 Years Of Obama, As Lower Class Up 60%!

Self-identifying as middle class is down 9 points since 2008, which is a 17% decline.

Self-identifying as lower class is up a whopping 15 points, or 60%.

Identifying as upper class is down almost 29% under the regime.

Graph seen here at

Balance Sheet Recession Continues To Restrain Aggregate Demand: US Halfway Through Its First Lost Decade

So says Stephen Roach for Project Syndicate, here:

As research by the economists Richard Caballero, Takeo Hoshi, and Anil Kashyap has shown, Japan’s corporate “zombies” – rendered essentially lifeless by their balance-sheet problems – ended up damaging the healthier parts of the economy. Until balance sheets are repaired, such “zombie congestion” restrains aggregate demand. Japan’s lost decades are an outgrowth of this phenomenon; the US is now halfway through the first lost decade of its own.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mish: Credit Dwarfs Money Supply

Just as the Fed's overnight window dwarfed TARP in the 2008 panic.

Mish hits a homer, here:

I have little doubt the Fed (central bankers in general) will step on the money supply spigot in response to another slowdown. But credit dwarfs money supply. Once again, those who view inflation and deflation in the myopic eyes of money supply alone will come to the wrong conclusions about prices of goods, services and assets, just as they did in 2008 when they thought hyperinflation was just around the corner. Those who understand credit and credit market to market will get the picture right. I repeat my claim that I made in 2007. The US will go in and out of deflation over the course of a number of years. Deflation is once again nearly at hand, but Europe will be first.

US Electricity Consumption Remains 3.35% Off The 2005 Peak Through 2011

click image to enlarge
2011 consumption per capita was 13,246 kWh.

Rush Limbaugh Must Be High Again: Now Blames Tea Party For Staying Home In 2012

Up until now I haven't heard Rush Limbaugh blame the Tea Party specifically for staying home in 2012. It's always been the Republican "base" which he's been blaming for staying home, first 3 million of them, then 4 million. 

But now he's saying specifically that it's the Tea Party which stayed home in 2012, here on Friday:

CALLER: Hi, Rush, thanks for taking my call. Hey, I was just wondering if the Tea Party is so strong, what the hell happened to us in 2012?
RUSH: Stayed home.
CALLER: I would have walked over broken glass to vote against Obama.
RUSH: Yeah.
CALLER: Nothing could have kept me from it.
RUSH: Yeah, but four million of you didn't.


Rush got this "stay home" meme in his head from some uncritical knee-jerk repetition of provisional reporting right after the election suggesting whites stayed home, based on admittedly incomplete exit polling data, which is kind of an irony since Rush used the same airtime on Friday to highlight how a false story about a country singer couldn't be erased no matter how hard she tried. Well this false story is well nigh impossible to erase from Rush's hard drive, and it's just getting worse now that he's singling out the Tea Party, which is probably more responsible for Romney's actual better performance than McCain's than people realize.

Within weeks of the election the whole idea that McCain got more Republican votes than Romney was decisively trashed by Kimberley Strassel for The Wall Street Journal here and by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air here. Strassel points out the only losing state where McCain bested Romney was Ohio.

In point of fact, Strassel's numbers show Romney could have won the election but for 334,000 votes in just four states:

In the end, it was 334,000 votes—in Florida, Virginia, Ohio and New Hampshire—that separated Mr. Romney from the presidency.

In McCain's loss to Obama in 2008, the election similarly turned on just 1.4 million votes in the swing states. And for all the close states Romney lost to Obama in 2012, not just those four, the election turned on half that many in total.

So actually Romney did much better than McCain, it's just that Obama deployed his resources on the ground very effectively in a targeted manner, especially in Ohio, while Romney can't be said to have deployed much at all. Turning out your peeps in contested territories is key even if you lose those. Peeling off votes even in small numbers can increase the value of your turnout elsewhere in the same state, which is the point of campaigning on the ground in Hispanic and other minority strongholds, as Strassel points out. You don't have to win them, just weaken them.

Why Rush Limbaugh just keeps phoning it in on this issue is anyone's guess. But it is clear from much of what he says on the show that he increasingly relies on others to do his show prep for him.

Sympathetic critics of Rush Limbaugh are embarrassed for him, and Tea Partiers in particular can't be too happy. 

Energy From Solar Remains "Absolutely Inconsequential" Despite What Obama's Smokin'

Seen here at

"Renewables are great, but solar generated 0.1 percent of [U.S.] electricity, and 0.5 percent across the globe. It's absolutely inconsequential," [Paul Genoa of the Nuclear Energy Institute] said. "It's growing rapidly and maybe will get up higher, … but we're not going to power New York, Tokyo and Mumbai with solar. It's a pipe dream."

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Republicans Preach Unity After Eating Their Own

Republicans were preaching unity this week at their meetings, as reported here by, but those few of us out here who have politicians who actually represent us in our values and ideas can only cry, "Hypocrites! Liars! Cannibals!"

Republicans these days specialize in nothing if not eating their own. Unfortunately they always choose unwisely from the menu. They enjoy a soupçon of conservatism here, and another there, when what they should be devouring is a full plate of Bushmen.

That's because there's only one kind of unity in the Republican Party anymore: Republican Establishment dictated unity, which is to say, rallying around liberalism in the vain hope of forestalling criticism from Democrats.

If you are a social conservative like Gov. Mike Huckabee or Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema of Michigan or Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, then shut the hell up, which is just what Democrats yell in the direction of Republicans all the time. It is another aspect of the way in which there isn't a dime's worth of difference between the parties.

The moment in history when this sorry fact became memorialized was in the 1920s when Democrats and Republicans conspired to fix representation at 435 so that they didn't have to listen anymore to the voices of the great unwashed from central and southern Europe who had swelled the population for forty years, nor have to rub shoulders with them in the House of Representatives.

If you want to hear that kind of crap on a regular basis, tune in to the likes of Royalist Republican David Frum. But I, for one, am sick of it. As far as I'm concerned the Axis of Evil runs from the Speaker's office to Reince Priebus' office to wherever Jeb Bush happens to be at the moment.

Republicans can go to hell with the Democrats for all I care. Democrats never get my votes, and this year Republicans won't.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Broad Market Declined About 2% This 24th Of January, 2014

Bank Failure Friday: Two YTD In 2014

Bank failure number two of 2014 is The Bank of Union, El Reno, Oklahoma, costing the FDIC $70 million. 6,891 institutions remain members of the FDIC.

The Civilian Labor Force Level Is Flashing A Warning: Are Students Having Trouble Finding Part Time Work?

1) Civilian labor force level 2007-2013
After falling during the financial panic and its aftermath, the civilian labor force level has been trying to climb out of a deep hole, a hole which got close to, at the very end of 2010, but did not reach as deep as, the pre-recession level in the winter of 2006-2007.

In point of fact, the civilian labor force level has reached a new all-time high in the now much missed and lately departed summer of 2013, above the 157 million mark. That said, the prior trend looked at as an annual average indicates that the level should be much more like 165 million by now (graph 2). We are way behind in the growth of the labor force, which is as much an abortion problem as it is a demographic problem which includes not just retirements but smaller families of the baby boomers going on to have no families. At any rate, growth of the civilian labor force hit a major speed bump in the financial panic and aftermath, from which it is only slowly just lately showing signs of recovery.

As graph 1) shows, steady progress has been made since 2010 with steadily higher highs and ever shallower lows in the civilian labor force level, until recently. The steepness of the drop since the summer of 2013 is nearly as severe as the drop in 2009.

Normally the measure of the level of the labor force peaks in the summers, as does the number saying they work usually full-time. Then both measures retreat in the winters. I'm assuming this has to do with students who work full-time jobs in the summers going back to school in the winters, when, characteristically enough, the measure of those working usually part-time rockets up. The students leave their full-time summer jobs and get part-time ones during the academic year, or take on part-time work schedules at their old jobs while they hit the books. Seasonal holiday work by non-students also boosts the usually part-time measure. But after reaching a peak of 28.106 million in March 2010, usually part-time peaks have been flat to declining: 28.068 million in November 2010 (the level never got to 28 million in 2011), 28.096 million in February 2012, and 28.050 million in April 2013.

As the level of the civilian labor force has recovered to higher highs each summer, the level of the winter lows has fallen to ever shallower levels, but the recently logged level for December at 154.408 million narrowly undercuts the March 2013 low of 154.512 million, with three months to go. Maybe this year we are witnessing students, who are normally classified as not in the labor force, having trouble finding part-time work. Hence they have dropped out, again so to speak.

That's not good news.

2) Average annual civilian labor force level since 1950 hit a speed bump in 2008

Ann Coulter's Wrong Again: Obama's Dope-Induced Paranoia Makes Him Successful At Least At One Thing

Successful only at spying . . . because he's paranoid.

For this I'll lift my ban on quoting Ann Coulter:

"Potheads are incapable of following simple instructions and getting a job done," Ann Coulter said on Wednesday's broadcast of Piers Morgan Live on CNN. "You can't get anything done with a pothead...I'm going to be paying for their food, housing, now for their health care apparently, because they can't perform any useful jobs."

It's 2014 But The Economy Is Falling Apart

Jeffrey Snider, here:

As much as these specialists of economic canon project their abilities as something like science, the reduction of economic benchmarks for success shows that it is nothing more than ideology, more closely operating as religion than science. Science is observation, leading to predictable and replicable results. Everything about the past five years is the opposite for the orthodox economist. Everything about the Panic of 2008 was as well - there was no predictability nor replicability in any of the orthodox models or theories. It is all blind faith.

The economy is falling apart, not recovering as you hear from every mainstream outlet. It is a false narrative given cover by the fact that the very definition of recovery has been altered into something that only a few years ago would be easily recognizable as dire malfunction. Even in the highly adjusted statistical economic accounts that show as such are now couched as if they are representative of the opposite, as their meaning has been subverted by this ideology. And where measures of economic accounts clearly diverge from that narrative, such as the labor force participation and the more recent decline in the labor force itself, it is ignored as irrelevant to the heroic monetary chronicle.

Wisconsin's Governor Walker Says Surplus Is Taxpayers' Money, Michigan Governor Snyder ... Not So Much

Reported here on January 17th:

Wisconsin's budget surplus was projected Thursday to reach nearly $1 billion, money that Gov. Scott Walker and Republican legislative leaders are eyeing for income and property tax cuts. ...

"The additional revenue should be returned to taxpayers because it's their money, and my administration will work with the Legislature to determine the most prudent course of action," Walker said in a statement.

Reported here on January 10th:

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and state lawmakers are looking at $971 million in new one-time and ongoing revenue as they begin work on the next fiscal budget, setting the stage for a debate over possible tax cuts, rebates and new investments. ...

Michigan House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled an updated action plan that emphasized tax relief for residents. Gov. Rick Snyder has also signaled he is open to the idea but has stressed the need for long-term planning rather than knee-jerk cuts.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Last Market Crash Was Preceded By 11 Months Of Corrections And Complacency, More Complacency And Then Fear

From the October 12, 2007 S&P500 high of 1561.80, the market corrected over a period of 11 months to 1255.07 on September 19, 2008, down 306.73 or 19.6%, just shy of bear territory.

Did we believe it would continue lower? No.

Then over the next 5.5 months the market crashed another 45.6%, 571.69 points, to 683.38 on March 6, 2009 (and fully 28% in less than a month between September 19th and October 10th, 2008).

The total decline was 878.42 points, or 56.2%, and took 16.5 long months to unfold.

After all that did we believe it had bottomed? No, in large part because by Thanksgiving 2008 the carnage seemed to be over, but it wasn't: From 800.03 on November 21 the market went on to lose another 14.6% over the next 3.5 months. At that point it was very hard to believe it was over.

The three dead cat bounces on October 31st at 968.75, January 2nd at 931.80 and February 6th at 868.60 tortured the hopeful all the way down.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Contempt For The Middle Class Was Standard Communist Fare In The 1920s, But Noemie Emery Never Mentions It

Here, in "Obama's polls fall as middle class gets his number":

Fred Siegel of the Manhattan Institute, whose latest book, The Revolt Against The Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class, explains all you wanted to know about Obama, and much else. ... Siegel points to an alternative point of dissension: a contempt for the middle class, for commerce, and thus for most of the American culture, that predated the New Deal by more than a decade, and poisons our waters today. From this angle, the road to perdition (and/or Obama) was paved around 1920, when the best and the brightest, depressed by the Great War and the funk that came after, decided all was not well in the world and the nation, and the great middle class was to blame.

The progressives of the 1920s drank deeply from the well of Marxist disdain for the middle class and drew inspiration from it, for example from the likes of Bela Kun writing in Pravda, May 4, 1918, here, in "Marx and the Middle Classes":

“The internal enemy” of the proletarian Russian Revolution is constituted first and foremost by the lower middle classes. ... [T]hough the representatives of various shades of lower middle-class Socialism are constantly referring to Marx, in reality there is no greater sacrilege than this. ... The lower middle-class is not fit to wield power, and a long government by it is unthinkable. ... [T]he lower middle-class masses are the most dangerous enemies of the dictatorship of the proletariat. ... [T]he lower middle class attitude — attachment to the idea of private property, more or less open striving to uphold credit, terror of every fundamental social disturbance — is in practice the greatest internal enemy of the proletariat and the proletarian revolution.

Given Obama's early and deep appreciation of Marxism through the influence of people like Frank Marshall Davis, the pussy-footing around of people like Noemie Emery has gotten more than a little annoying at this late stage of the game. Obama is nothing more than a Trojan Horse trying to bring this communist vision into the present disguised as helping the middle class when what he really wants to do is wipe it out. He's off to a good start.

The black Florida Republican recently investigated by the Secret Service for suggesting Obama should be arrested, tried and hung as a traitor may be more right than he knows.

Commenters At Libertarian National Center For Policy Analysis Sure Do Hate The Baby Boomers And Their Houses

See the comments to this story at the website of the organization run by frequent Forbes contributor John Goodman.

Libertarian Free-Trader Immigration Amnesty Supporter Stephen Moore Moves To Heritage From The Wall Street Journal

Demented Jim DeMint makes good on his promise to make overtures to the libertarian movement by making Stephen Moore of Club for Growth fame its chief economist.

Story here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Central England Temperatures In 2013 107th Warmest Going Back . . . 354 Years!

2013 just barely made it into the top third of the warmest years in the last 354. Hey, it beats 118th, the piker.

As reported here:

"Last year was also the 107th warmest on the full CET record, going back to 1659, tying with 1900."

"The longest instrumental temperature record" in existence (here).

Gee, how come 1900 was so similarly warm without all those contributing human factors we have today? NASA claims it was the 7th warmest year since 1850.

Flashback 9/12/12: Obama Lumped-In "Acts Of Terror" In General With The "Brutal Acts" Of The Benghazi Attack

Mitt Romney famously overlooked the phrase "acts of terror" from President Obama's Rose Garden remarks the day after the Benghazi attack during the second presidential debate of 2012: "You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you're saying?"

It came up again here recently discussing a new documentary about Mitt Romney's campaign:

"How bad was it?" asked one Romney family member in the green room immediately after the debate, but before Romney himself had returned.

"It wasn't good," said another.

"Who briefed him on [Benghazi]?" one of the sons asked. "Someone got it wrong."

Of course, the video of the president's remarks in the Rose Garden shows that the "acts of terror" statement was simply the obligatory cya type of generalization he had to make in a situation like that. The whole tenor of the ensuing weeks' comments from the regime blaming Benghazi on an anti-Muhammad video was set at the outset of the president's Rose Garden remarks when he stated rather abruptly and intrusively without mentioning that video: "We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others." The attempt to shape the event in that way looks increasingly like a diversion in light of the number of CIA on the ground in Benghazi revealed last summer and the military's ignorance of the annex just recently revealed in the Senate's report on the incident. Unfortunately for Mitt Romney, those things came out way too far after the election to do him any good. Something obviously still stinks in Benghazi.

(at about 4:18, here)

"Feminists are the main reason why we have broken families, high divorce rate, illegitimacy"

Phyllis Schlafly, quoted here:

Radical feminists, Schlafly said, still think men are the enemy, but the feminists, she contended, are “the main reason why we have broken families, high divorce rate, illegitimacy.”

“I think the feminists have been responsible for destroying the family,” she said. “They are the biggest enemy of the family.”

Is Obama's Interminable Recourse To Racism Charges Marijuana-Induced Paranoia?

Obama recently blamed the sudden drop in his popularity on racism in the country, a surprisingly paranoid response from someone who has won two national elections rather decisively.

Maybe he's still smoking more than cigarettes in the White House (on the night of Benghazi, perhaps?):

Christian Thurstone, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado and the head of the teen rehab center Adolescent STEP: Substance Abuse Treatment Education & Prevention Program, told ABC News recently that 95 percent of patient referrals to the program are for marijuana use.

“Anecdotally, yes, we’re seeing kids in treatment here who have paranoia and seeing things and hearing things that aren’t there,” said Thurstone. “Adolescent exposure to marijuana [raises] risk of permanent psychosis in adulthood.”

For more from this story, go here.

Nat Hentoff Says Obama Wasn't Fully Qualified To Teach Constitutional Law At The University of Chicago

Here, but that's just for starters:

Hentoff called this the worst state the country has ever been in, “Even worse than Woodrow Wilson’s regime, when people could be arrested for speaking German.” Compounding the problem he says, is the digital age, which has allowed the president to engage in unprecedented domestic spying with the apparatus of the National Security Agency. WND asked if Obama really posed such a threat, considering he was a professor of constitutional law. “People forget, he taught a course that he was not fully qualified to teach. But nobody seemed to care,” Hentoff observed.

He also pointed out that Obama was the only editor of the Harvard Law Review to never publish an article, something that went virtually unnoticed when voters considered his qualifications. “See, that was a case of affirmative-action and people feeling, ‘Hey we ought to do something important, symbolically, and here’s a black guy, and he’s articulate, so we’re gonna do this.’”

Hentoff mentioned that former U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, the man Time Magazine once called “the most doctrinaire and committed civil libertarian ever to sit on the court,” once personally lectured him that “Affirmative-action on a racial basis is a total violation of the 14th Amendment, no doubt about it.” And, referring to Obama’s presidency, the journalist said, “That’s what that kind of affirmative-action did for us.”

He told WND that he firmly believed the president does not care about due process, the separation of powers, the concept of a self-governing republic or many other basic American ideals. And that’s why, he said, “What Obama is doing now is about as un-American as you can get.” Hentoff wanted to make sure no one thought he was engaging in hyperbole. He said it was literally true that Obama is “the most un-American president we’ve ever had.” And just to make sure everybody heard him, he added, “I hope the FBI got all of that.”

Monday, January 20, 2014

Obama thinks he has achievements, which must mean he is suffering a psychosis

From the long story in The New Yorker, here, by image-accommodating biographer David Remnick:

As Obama ticked off a list of first-term achievements—the economic rescue, the forty-four straight months of job growth, a reduction in carbon emissions, a spike in clean-energy technology—he seemed efficient but contained, running at three-quarters speed, like an athlete playing a midseason road game of modest consequence; he was performing just hard enough to leave a decent impression, get paid, and avoid injury.


Let's see.

Starting with the economic rescue, Obama said at the time in early 2009 that he had more than enough on his plate without having to worry about the financial crisis.

So who fixed that?

Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve. While everyone was fixated on the controversy over TARP and the crony capitalist, fascist character of that bailout in the mere hundreds of billions of dollars as millions of Americans were losing their homes, behind the scenes the Fed was providing multiple trillions of dollars of short-term loans to just about any bank or business in the world which was in trouble, at rock-bottom low interest rates which homeowners could only dream about, right into 2010. They all got fixed while 5.6 million Americans went on to lose their homes through 2013.

And what did Obama do in response to that?

Disgracefully fire Bernanke in public by saying he'd overstayed his time at the Fed, but that came only long after everything looked like it was truly stabilized. And I do mean "looked". The fact of the matter is extraordinary measures remain in place at the Fed because the banks' condition is still not healthy enough to do without them. When those end, the crisis will be truly over, not before. The rescue is still underway, with no end in sight.

Then there's the 44 months of job growth claim. Well, the truth is we are in the 72nd month of the jobs recession as we speak today, the longest jobs recession in the history of the post-war by a long shot. Bush's had been the longest previously, at 47 months. And it is estimated that the current jobs recession will not be over for another 6 months, which means we'll finally have matched the number of payroll jobs which existed at the time the recession began, but only after about 6.5 years have gone by.

But that says nothing about a return to normalcy. Include the shortfall which exists in the numbers because of net population growth over the period and the country will still be in a serious jobs deficit once the jobs recession is over, and for a long time to come without some major driver for jobs appearing on the scene.

Finally, I'm not sure how anyone measures a reduction in carbon emissions when China keeps them billowing into the air at a record rate, burning coal and oil in huge quantities. Obama can point to the closing down of coal power plants in this country if he wants, but all that does is make American electricity more expensive as China's waves of pollution waft ever eastward over the Pacific, polluting our air, water and farmland.

But if anyone's contributing to the reduction in carbon emissions in this country, it's the American worker who isn't working. Travel on the road in this country has been stuck at levels first reached between 2004 and 2005 for five long years because so many people no longer have a job to which to commute. Every month that goes by shows the same statistical result: no progress in miles traveled back to the levels of the 2007 peak. It's an odd thing to be taking credit for.

If it is clear from these facts that Obama is delusional and lives in a separate reality, it is also clear from Remnick's story that Obama has to work hard at crafting it, even about what is probably at the heart of his mental problems in the first place: 

When I asked Obama about another area of shifting public opinion—the legalization of marijuana—he seemed even less eager to evolve with any dispatch and get in front of the issue. “As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”

Is it less dangerous? I asked.

Obama leaned back and let a moment go by. That’s one of his moves. When he is interviewed, particularly for print, he has the habit of slowing himself down, and the result is a spool of cautious lucidity. He speaks in paragraphs and with moments of revision. Sometimes he will stop in the middle of a sentence and say, “Scratch that,” or, “I think the grammar was all screwed up in that sentence, so let me start again.”

Why does the smartest president ever have to edit everything, all the time, until it makes sense to him?

Who do you call to have the president committed?

Like Obama, It Turns Out Texas' Abortion Champion Wendy Davis Hasn't Told The Whole Truth

The Dallas Morning News here has some of the details she "blurred":

Davis was 21, not 19, when she was divorced. She lived only a few months in the family mobile home while separated from her husband before moving into an apartment with her daughter.

A single mother working two jobs, she met Jeff Davis, a lawyer 13 years older than her, married him and had a second daughter. He paid for her last two years at Texas Christian University and her time at Harvard Law School, and kept their two daughters while she was in Boston. When they divorced in 2005, he was granted parental custody, and the girls stayed with him. Wendy Davis was directed to pay child support.

In an extensive interview last week, Davis acknowledged some chronological errors and incomplete details in what she and her aides have said about her life. ...

Davis defended the accuracy of her overall account as a young single mother who escaped poverty, earned an education and built a successful legal and political career through hard work and determination. ...

“I had a baby. I got divorced by the time I was 19 years old,” she testified in a recent federal lawsuit over redistricting. “After I got divorced, I lived in a mobile home park in southeast Fort Worth.” ...

Jeff Davis said ... around the time the final payment on their Harvard Law School loan was due. “It was ironic,” he said. “I made the last payment, and it was the next day she left.”

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Hey Obama! Your Popularity Is Down Because You're A Liar, Not Because You're Black!

Refinery Capacity Utilization Is Down Almost 7% From The 1998 Peak Through 2012

US Gasoline Consumption Is Down 6.5% Through 2012 From The Peak Year In 2007

Obama Exports 2.5 Times More Gasoline Per Day Than Bush, But Consumers Now Pay 1.5 Times More

Over the span of eight years of George Bush finished gasoline exports from the US averaged just 135,000 barrels per day. But over the first four years of Obama the average soared to nearly 345,000 per day, 2.5 times more.

Under Bush gasoline's average annual price for all formulations was just $2.13/gallon, but under Obama it has soared to $3.16/gallon for the five years 2009 through 2013, 1.5 times higher on average.

So who's the bigger friend of Big Oil, George Bush or Barack Obama?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Tom Coburn Is Mistaken: He Thinks Changing The Actors In Washington Will Change It

It won't.

This is the conceit shared by many Republicans, and by many of their supporters in the country, but it is mistaken.

We have the government we deserve, and it sucks because we do, and it will keep on sucking until we stop sucking as much as we do.

And what do you think are the chances of that changing?

Video here.

Both Shiller p/e and Tobin's q warn stocks are seriously overvalued

As reported by Brett Arends, here:

Smithers found that over the past century the Shiller PE had an R-squared to subsequent returns of 0.52, the “Pseudo-Indicator” one of 0.61, and the q an astounding 0.79.

So if the past is any guide, if you want to get a good estimate of the future returns from today’s stock market you should completely ignore the low yields on cash, certificates of deposit, or bonds. You should pay more attention to the Shiller PE, and you should pay the most attention to the Tobin’s q.

And what do these tell you? “As at the 31st December, 2013,” says Smithers, the “q indicated that U.S. non-financial equities were overvalued by 73% and CAPE indicated an overvaluation of 76% for equities, including financials.”

Friday, January 17, 2014

Road Travel In November 2013 Still At 2004-2005 Levels Despite New Car Sales Up Big

The November 2013 travel trends report is out here.

It shows travel still stuck at levels first reached sometime between 2004 and 2005.

This is despite the fact that light weight vehicle sales are up big.

As the average age of a vehicle on the road continues to climb to new all time highs, one can only conclude that recent sales have been pent up demand expressing itself, without which average age of vehicles on the road, now at 11.4 years, would be much higher than it already is.

Some things just have to be replaced. You know, like presidents and underwear.

Average annual vehicle sales for 2013 is 15.49 million units.

The First Bank Failure Of 2014 Is DuPage National Bank, West Chicago, Illinois

The first bank failure of 2014 is DuPage National Bank, West Chicago, Illinois, costing the FDIC $1.6 million.

Bill Binney, 32-Year Veteran And Critic Of NSA, Says America Is Now A Police State

Too bad he had to say that here, where they believe 9/11 was an inside job:

The main use of the collection from these [NSA spying] programs [is] for law enforcement. ... [N]one of the NSA data is referred to in courts – cause it has been acquired without a warrant. [Law enforcement agencies] have to do a “Parallel Construction” and not tell the courts or prosecution or defense the original data used to arrest people. This I call: a “planned program[m]ed perjury policy” directed by US law enforcement. ... [T]his also applies to “Foreign Counterparts.” This is a total corruption of the justice system not only in our country but around the world. ... This is a totalitarian process – means we are now in a police state.

Michigan Ranks Third Worst For Employment But Gov. Rick Snyder Wants More Immigrants

Here's our insane governor last night:

"We need to encourage immigration in our state," said Snyder, who has backed national reform efforts. "That's how we made our country great. We need to focus on legal immigration to make sure Michigan is the most welcoming place."


Too bad Michigan isn't a more welcoming place for the unemployed who already live here.

Dear NSA: Collect This You Muthas

Thursday, January 16, 2014

White Hat Hacker Says Security On Is Worse Now Than In November

David Kennedy, quoted here by NBC News:

“The reason we’re concluding that this is so shockingly bad is that the issues across the site are so varied. You don’t even have to hack into the system to see big issues – which means there are [major problems] underneath. Nothing’s really changed since our November 19 testimony. In fact, it’s worse. Some issues still include critical or high-risk findings to personal information."

Corelogic Foreclosure Rate In November 2013 Still 119% Above Normal Pre-Crisis Rate

As reported here on January 9th:

There were 46,000 completed foreclosures in the United States in November 2013, down from 64,000 in November 2012, a year-over-year decrease of 29 percent. On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures decreased 8.3 percent, from 50,000 in October 2013. ... Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure. As a basis of comparison to the 46,000 completed foreclosures reported for November 2013, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006 before the decline in the housing market in 2007. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 4.7 million completed foreclosures across the country.

5.6 Million American Homes Repossessed 2006-2013

As reported here:

Including the 2013 numbers, over the past eight years 10.9 million U.S. properties have started the foreclosure process and 5.6 million have been repossessed by lenders through foreclosure.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Is It A Coincidence John Roberts' Law Clerk Is A Utopian Progressive?

Birds of a feather flock together.

Joshua D. Hawley, here, clearly a friend of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic":

Christians’ purpose in politics should be to advance the kingdom of God—to make it more real, more tangible, more present. Or should I say, to immanentize the eschaton.

Laura Ingraham and Raymond Arroyo Discuss Spanish Slaughtering The Language

After which Raymond Arroyo uses the English phrase "full plethora".

You know, the opposite of which is the empty plethora.

Just now on the radio show.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Estimating Retirements Added To Those "Not In Labor Force" 2009-2013

It is often forgotten that retired people are classified as not in the labor force. The measure of those "Not in labor force" has grown to a staggering all time high of 92.338 million, not-seasonally-adjusted, as of December 2013.

Between 2009 and 2013 alone, the figure has grown by 11.05 million, and people like Rush Limbaugh thump loudly about all these people "not working" because of the bad economy.

The question is, though, how many of these are retirements?

I say it's theoretically possible that all of them are.

Those turning 66 years of age each year from 2009-2013 were born between 1943 and 1947.

And here are births from 1943 to 1947:

3.1 million 1943
2.9 million 1944
2.9 million 1945
3.4 million 1946
3.8 million 1947.

How many of these survived to age 66?

The CDC publishes annually the life tables, the latest of which came out a few days ago for the year 2009. A person aged 63 in 2009 (born in 1946) was among the 86% who survived to 63, according to the tables. In the 2008 tables from a year ago, that same person at age 62 was among the 87% who survived to 62. In the 2007 tables at 61 he was among the 88% who survived to 61. Extrapolating forward to 2012, we will estimate that at 66 he was among the 83% who survived.

So for persons born earlier than 1946 we can estimate their survival rate as follows:

Born in 1943, retiring at 66 in 2009: 80% survive, or 2.48 million
Born in 1944, retiring at 66 in 2010: 81% survive, or 2.35 million
Born in 1945, retiring at 66 in 2011: 82% survive, or 2.38 million
Born in 1946, retiring at 66 in 2012: 83% survive, or 2.82 million
Born in 1947, retiring at 66 in 2013: 84% survive, or 3.19 million.

Total theoretically possible retirees: 13.22 million, 2.17 million more than actually left the labor force.

Obviously, not everyone retires at 66. Some keep working. And especially these days some keep working because they have to. The employment level of the 55 and over set has grown by 4.5 million over the period 2009-2013.

It appears to be the case, however, that an even larger number are deferring both Social Security benefits and work because they can afford to: Social Security reports that retired workers and their dependents receiving benefits grew only 5.6 million from the end of 2008 to the end of 2013.

Of the 11.05 million added to "not in labor force", I'd estimate at least 5.4 million are well off enough to forgo both work and Social Security until they reach age 70, and perhaps more than that if Social Security recipients who continue to work according to the rules are counted instead as part of the labor force.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Is The All-Time High In Temporary Help Forecasting A Recession?

Why still isn't fixed: Obama regime quietly dumps CGI Federal on Friday, to hire Accenture which built California exchange

WaPo reports here:

The Obama administration has decided to jettison from the IT contractor, CGI Federal, that has been mainly responsible for building the defect-ridden online health insurance marketplace and has been immersed in the work of repairing it.

Federal health officials are preparing to sign early next week a 12-month contract worth roughly $90 million with a different company, Accenture, after concluding that CGI has not been effective enough in fixing the intricate computer system underpinning the federal Web site, according to a person familiar with the decision who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss private negotiations.

... it is not yet able to automatically enroll people eligible for Medicaid in states’ programs, compute exact amounts to be sent to insurers for their customers’ federal subsidies or tabulate precisely how many consumers have paid their insurance premiums and are therefore covered.

... As federal officials and contractors have been trying to fix various aspects of the Web site in the past few months, about half the new software code the company has written failed when it was first used, according to internal federal information.

"Bad" job reports for two years have been great for higher corporate earnings

Barry Ritholtz, here:

It has taken quite a long time for many investors to understand that reduced labor costs, greater productivity and ever-increasing efficiency has led to higher earnings. The basic assumptions about “good” or “bad” job reports may not be accurate relative to what equities do over time.

That's correct. The latest employment situation report indicates that there hasn't been much change up or down in jobs for two years running even as the stock market made over fifty new all-time highs in 2013.

Additions to non-farm payrolls have been averaging 182,000 and 183,000 a month in 2013 and 2012. Same old same old.

To the unemployed: The L-shaped "recovery" continues . . . without you.

Obama draws a red line in America . . .

. . . of job losses, the worst in the post-war, 71 months and still counting.