Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Once again Trump demonstrates that he has no principles: Confiscate guns without due process

It didn't take long for the office to go to his head, but go it has. The man is now a clear and present danger.

Who will stop him? Mike Pence? Paul Ryan? Mitch McConnell?


“I like taking the guns early, like in this crazy man’s case that just took place in Florida ... to go to court would have taken a long time,” Trump said at a meeting with lawmakers on school safety and gun violence.

“Take the guns first, go through due process second,” Trump said.

Some roaring economy: 4Q2017 real GDP revised DOWN today to 2.5% in second estimate

That's down from 2.6% in the first estimate.

3Q2017 real GDP was 3.2%, indicating the economy slowed down on an annualized basis in the fourth quarter by almost 22%.

Blame it on the hurricanes if you want, but growth for all of 2017 comes in at a paltry 2.3%. That's up from 2016's measly 1.5%, but so far, Trump's 3%-4% growth is nowhere to be seen.

And neither is The Wall.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Leader of the free world my foot: Trump White House says it's up to China if it wants to turn back toward autocracy

Li Datong, a former editor at the state-run China Youth Daily, posted a draft letter urging legislators to vote against the move -- which would abolish term limits set in 1982 under Deng Xiaoping to prevent a return to the decades of chaos under Mao Zedong.

"It was the highest and most effective legal restriction meant to prevent autocracy or putting individuals above the party and the state," said the letter. It was not sent to legislators but shared with hundreds of people in a private group on China's WeChat phone messaging app.

"Lifting the term limits of national leaders will be ridiculed by civilised nations all over the world and also sow the seeds of chaos for China," said the text posted on Monday. ...

"The president has talked about term limits in a number of capacities during the campaign and something that he supports here in the United States, but that's a decision that's up to China," said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

More here.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Supremes decline to rule on DACA ahead of court of appeals, could take another year to reach Supremes again

Illegality isn't an emergency to the Supremes. Neither is the challenge to the Executive branch's constitutional authority in the matter.

You live by the courts, you die by the courts.

If Trump had any balls, he'd ignore the courts and deport them all. Let the courts try to enforce their rulings.

Story here.

Peter Morici: Republican opposition to regulating prices will bring Medicaid-like single payer to USA

To Richard Brookhiser of National Review, illegal immigration isn't even a thing, and conservatism's biggest hypocrites are among the Religious Right

Here, where strong national defense, cultural and New York intellectual conservatives, and free-marketeers all receive his scorn:

Trump’s conservative admirers have had to abandon and contradict what they once professed to hold most dear.

The most egregious example is the religious Right. The religious Right is the latest version of an old model of American politics, variously incarnated by Puritans, abolitionists, and William Jennings Bryan. It, like its predecessors, has argued that America and individual Americans need to have a godly or at least moral character to thrive. Now the religious Right adores a thrice-married cad and casual liar. But it is not alone. Historians and psychologists of the martial virtues salute the bone-spurred draft-dodger whose Khe Sanh was not catching the clap. Cultural critics who deplored academic fads and slipshod aesthetics explicate a man who has never read a book, not even the ones he has signed. Followers of Harry Jaffa, the most important Lincoln scholar of the last 60 years, rally round a Republican who does not know why the Civil War happened. Straussians, after leaving the cave, find themselves in Mar-a-Lago. Econocons put their money on a serial bankrupt.

Poor fella. No one listens to him anymore.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Laugh of the Day: Incompetent Sheriff Israel thinks he's Sheriff Joe

Quoted here:

"Jake, I can only take responsibility for what I knew about. I exercised my due diligence. I've given amazing leadership to this agency—" Israel started.

The tongue really had to lube the lips for that one.



Nikolas Cruz called the cops on himself, but not even they listened, or cared

Are you listening, America? To anyone?

The New York Times reports, here:

Mr. Cruz, 19, himself called the authorities just after Thanksgiving, describing how he had been in a fight and was struggling with the death of his mother. “The thing is I lost my mother a couple of weeks ago, so like I am dealing with a bunch of things right now,” he said in a childlike voice, sounding agitated and out of breath.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The problem with Trump at CPAC is that he made it sound like the Second Amendment is negotiable

“By the way, if you only had a choice of one, what would you rather have — the Second Amendment or the tax cuts?”

More here.

Friday, February 23, 2018

I don't know what's more revolting, Rubio and Sheriff Israel appearing with Trump, or Trump proudly featuring the photo


Hey Trump, why not make 'em wait 'til 26?

There's no there there, just pure, unadulterated reaction.





Not only does Florida's Broward County Sheriff have four incompetent deputies, his political loyalties are to incompetents, too

More here.

Marco Rubio entertains infringing the Second Amendment

How about the First Amendment, Marco? Or the Sixteenth? or the Fourteenth? You skull full of mush.


"If we are going to infringe on the Second Amendment, it has to be a policy that will work," Rubio said in an interview Thursday with AP.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Ironman estimates stock repurchases by corporate America of $628 billion in 2018 due to tax cuts


What we find is that 2018's projected total of $628 billion in buybacks will break the previous record of roughly $589 billion worth of stock repurchases that was set by U.S. corporations in 2007, which would work out to be about a 7% increase over that previous record.

Time will tell if share repurchases were the right thing for the companies that are choosing this action to have done with the benefits they received from U.S. corporate income tax reform.

Surprise, the tax cuts are showing up in, not your wallet, but enormous stock buy-backs by large corporations, which explains the rising stock market

In other words, so-called sideline cash coming into the market is really nothing more than taxcut cash reallocated to stock buy-backs by corporate America.

Marketwatch reports here:

But now, courtesy of Goldman Sachs, we know where the tax cut is really going. Surprise! It’s paying for stock repurchases by corporations, as Corporate America despairs of investing in much other than dividing the pie provided by near-record profitability into fewer and larger pieces.

Buyback announcements are up 22% this year to $67 billion in just six weeks, Goldman said in a note to clients. This follows a report by benefits consulting firm Aon Hewitt finding that 83% of large companies don’t expect the tax cut to boost salaries at all — just help pay for small bonuses companies like WalMart and AT&T gave workers, which reporters soon discovered were, themselves, skewed toward higher-paid, longer-tenured employees in many cases.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Maybe the obvious just isn't obvious in the South

You know, like slavery being wrong: Durham County North Carolina District Attorney drops all charges against Confederate monument vandals, even though there's lots of film.

On the other hand, they must call it North Carolina for a reason.




Monday, February 19, 2018

Just words: A total joke endorses a total joke

Mitt Romney, running for Senate from a shithole Utah, accepts endorsement of President Trump.

Story here.



Sunday, February 18, 2018

Today's installment in unserious America: A movie is a defining moment for Black America


Might as well be talking about Bill Cosby in "I, Spy", or Oprah beating Donahue, or Roots.

What vaporous, ignorant and meaningless lives we live that we elevate the fantasy du jour on a pedestal of meaning, and imagine we find it there.

Antietam September 1862 was a defining moment for black America. All other moments, especially this one, pale in significance.

Indictment of 13 Russians says interference efforts began in 2014, long before Trump was a candidate

Jonathan Turley, here:

Now, the special counsel and the deputy attorney general are saying that there is no evidence of knowing interaction of campaign staff with Russians interfering with the election. The paucity of such evidence follows a year of intensive investigation and the much heralded plea bargains with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and campaign adviser George Papadopoulos and the expected plea with former campaign official Rick Gates. There is still no evidence of anyone “wittingly” or knowingly colluding with these Russians. Moreover, the indictment says that the Russian efforts began in 2014, long before the candidacy of Trump.

Friday, February 16, 2018

The scam known as Informed Electorate PAC is quite the little money maker for its operators

A commenter has provided the website information from the State of Utah where the Informed Electorate PAC discloses its financials:

https://disclosures.utah.gov/Search/PublicSearch/FolderDetails/1414465

If you are one of the many contributors to this so-called PAC, your full name, address and contribution level are listed there.

And wow, there's an awful lot of gulls out there in America. It's a goldmine of a mailing list, free for the taking.

You'll also be fascinated to learn that for the "privilege" of paying these grifters to take your opinion, for that is what they are in my opinion, shameless grifters, they netted about $1.91 million in contributions in 2017 alone, of which about $1.79 million was expended.

On what? you ask.

Never heard of 'em, right? Most people haven't, which kind of gives the lie to their objective of informing anyone. I search in vain for itemized expenditures under "public relations". Instead I see lots of consulting fees and W-2 payrolls, evidently going to the principals.

Nearly $336,000 in 2017 went straight into the pockets of the President, Brett Payne, a board member Rob Andra, and someone named Joseph Demma, who appears to be related to Stacy Demma the Vice President (who is also the only other listed board member), and presumably the CFO Kenneth Kohfel and other unnamed employees. The reports show that the consulting fees in 2017 stopped being paid in July, and that the W-2 payroll line items start appearing once a month beginning in June.

A company named Fiercecom gets large sums regularly for data management, telephone services and fulfillment. Other regulars include Airespring, Heartland Payment Solutions and Skymail International.

One wonders if any of this PAC's principals have any personal business interests in any of the businesses which provide services back to the PAC.

Someone really ought to look into it, like 60 Minutes, or maybe the FBI.

I wonder what they'd find?

At any rate, for the umpteenth time, no legitimate polling organization asks YOU to pay to give your opinion.

The wonder of it all is that these snakes have found the ones that will pay, and that Utah has listed them all for the whole world to laugh at.

This is just one month from the disclosures, October 2017


Stock market boom? What stock market boom? It's been a bear market for return since August 2000 . . .

. . . and it could easily continue to be a bear market for return for three more years. The average length of the last three secular bears was 20 years, and we're only at 17.4 years through January 2018. Or, it could all end Monday in tears. Have a nice weekend!

As good as you think it's been, average return is underperforming the long term average of 9.13% by almost 38%.



The legacy of Mueller and Comey is yet more FBI incompetence revealed today: Tipster phone call to FBI ignored

From the story here:

PARKLAND, Fla. - Gov. Rick Scott called on the FBI director to resign Friday after the agency admitted that it failed to investigate a tip in January about the Parkland school shooting suspect. ...

The FBI confirmed Friday that a tipster who was close to Cruz called the FBI on Jan. 5 and provided information about Cruz's guns, desire to kill people, erratic behavior and disturbing social media posts.

The FBI said the caller expressed concerns Cruz could attack a school.

Laugh of the Day, 2.0: Terrible day at Cape Canaveral


Laugh of the Day: Map of countries with cars in space (Elon Musk, eat your heart out)


Thursday, February 15, 2018

We have met the enemy and it's corporate America, for supporting amnesty

Farcebook, IBM you bm we all bm, Microsoft, Marriott and NAM, the National Association of Manufacturers.

Gee, US manufacturers want the cheap foreign labor just as much as the hotels. What was that again about bringing the manufacturing jobs back to America, Mr. President?

Corporate America ADMITS they hire illegals instead of you, here:

Ending protected status for DACA recipients would push them out of the legal workforce – costing companies as much as $1.8 million a day in restaffing, according to the think tank New American Economy. America's corporate titans have cited the potential damage to the nation's labor force in urging Congress to find a solution for those workers before the program officially winds down March 5.

More FBI incompetence: "Unable to further identify the person who made the comment 'I'm going to be a professional school shooter'"

According to the story here.

These malcontents can get a FISA warrant on the basis of Democrat opposition research to surveil Trump, but somehow can't get to the bottom of whose YouTube account was used to post what appears to be the Florida shooter's threat.

Reminds me of James Comey, the former head of the FBI, testifying about the San Bernardino shooting that he did not know how guns are purchased on the internet (they are not).

As I recall, Google can be compelled by a court order, but the FBI was obviously keeping the court busy with something "more important".

I don't remember ever seeing this during the Obama administration


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The president doesn't need any stinkin' reason to revoke any Executive Order, legal or otherwise

The judges in this country need a good ass whoopin'.

If Trump has any balls he'll ignore this.

The story, "Court orders full restoration of DACA program", here.

Obamas' gay artist Kehinde Wiley uses four to ten assistants in Beijing to produce art cheaper, admits some of his paintings are complete frauds

Kinda like the former president himself, wouldn't you say?


The spectacle is always carefully staged, particularly with “the boys,” which can sell for more than $100,000. “There are certain ground rules,” says Wiley. Eight to ten paintings per show. Men, usually. Street casting: Wiley goes out with a team to recruit young men as models. Back in the studio, they leaf through art-history books, and the subject gets to decide which old-style work he wants to be portrayed as. He poses for photos, and the photos become templates for full-size paintings, which Wiley produces with his assistants in New York, Dakar, and Beijing.

Or not. In many cases, Wiley acknowledges, none of that official process—the street casting, the selection of poses from art books, the painting based on those ­poses—happens at all. “The clothing, sometimes completely made up,” he says. “The models themselves, brought in from a fashion agency.” And in at least one case, the “boy” is in fact a girl. “Oftentimes, if there’s a show of ten paintings, four of them will be complete frauds.”



Brian Wesbury is back in the excuse-making business for future GDP

Here, complaining that the upcoming two-year Republican $300 billion discretionary spending extravaganza will crowd out the private sector.

Really?

Republicans were quite content under Obama to permit deficits of $7,313 billion over eight years, and Wesbury chirped the whole time about his good old Ploughhorse Economy which produced, for him, passable GDP.

Republicans now are rewarding their constituencies through spending, no less than Democrats did under Obama. The constituencies are different.

We'll see if the spending gets as out of control as it was formerly, but the handwringing, given the disparities, is misplaced. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Friday, February 9, 2018

Investors Business Daily forgets that Bill and Hillary Clinton had FBI files on hundreds in the 1990s

Here in "Russia-Trump Investigation: How Did Hillary Clinton Get FBI, FISA To Do Her Political Dirty Work?".

The Clintons have lots of information on lots of people and have had for a very long time, since they occupied The White House for eight years from 1993-2000. Their unethical and illegal acquisition of the FBI files, Filegate, was a huge scandal in 1996.

That's how they run the FBI.

It's called blackmail.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

YOUR average hourly earnings are NOT up 2.9% as widely reported, for example by Larry Kudlow this weekend

Yes, average hourly earnings of TOTAL PRIVATE, seasonally adjusted, is up 2.9% year over year in January 2018.

Well, whoop dee do. Not seasonally adjusted it's up only 2.2%.

What to believe?

Average hourly earnings of TOTAL PRIVATE reports as much of the total universe of earnings as possible, but that's not the universe of 80% of American workers. It includes everybody, including the higher rollers in the top 20% whose big increases can skew the reported number dramatically. 

80% of American workers inhabit the world of production and nonsupervisory workers, whose average hourly earnings have always been tracked by the government going back to 1964.

Seasonally adjusted those earnings are up 2.4% year over year in January, but not seasonally adjusted BARELY 2%, a below average figure for the measure which is in keeping with what's been going on since 2008.

The little guy in this country has been getting crumbs from the masters' tables since 2008 when the routine increases averaging 3.4% before that went away. The new era averages a gain of 2.2% year over year, a cut of 35%.

The biggest gain in recent memory was 2.8% for January 2017, meaning most workers got their best increases since 2008 in 2016, not in 2017, and the 2% gain for 2017 means . . . THIS IS NOT A BOOM.

When the average worker starts getting ROUTINE year over year increases above 3% you'll know things are better.

They aren't.


Saturday, February 3, 2018

You blinked and missed the boom: The best January for full-time job growth since the Great Recession remains January 2015


The Nunes memo simply shows what we've all known for years: The Swamp is evil, yes, but more importantly incompetent

If the entire intelligence community, including the head of the FBI, can conspire with the Democrat Party and the Russians to try to keep Trump from being elected AND FAIL, you just gotta say . . .

Way to go, Brownie!



Rush Limbaugh's "Not Working But Still Eating" soars to new record in January 2018: 96.7 million

Some economic boom, huh.


Friday, February 2, 2018

FBI ex-director belongs in jail for conspiracy, theft of government property, espionage violations, illegal spying, etc.


Rep. Lee Zeldin uses Twitter very effectively to summarize the meaning of the so-called Nunes memo





NY-1 has a good one here. Everything you need to know in about seven short lines.

According to Trump's own government, he's either destroyed 72,000 jobs a month since his election or created 182,000 per month, take your pick

And if it's +182,000 per month, that's not a jobs boom. 

A jobs boom would average well north of 200,000. Even the most recent three month average is south of that, at 192,000 per month.

Year over year in January total nonfarm is increasing at best by 176,000 per month, or 2.1 million a year, not the 2.4 million Trump claimed in his SOTU message.

Lies, damned lies, and statistics. But these are Trump's, both the lies and the reality.




Thursday, February 1, 2018

Grand Rapids, Michigan, Climate Update For January 2018

Grand Rapids, Michigan, Climate Update for January 2018


Max temp 58, Mean Max temp 48
Min temp -11, Mean Min temp -3
Av temp 24.9, Mean Av temp 23.7
Precip 2.12, Mean precip 2.05
Snowfall 12.6, Mean snowfall 18.5
Snowfall season to date 46.1, Mean Snowfall season to date 41.4
Heating Degree Days 1235, Mean Heating Degree Days 1271
HDD Season to date 3678, HDD Mean Season to date 3759

It takes a cuck to make a cuck: Another president betrays his supporters



The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age — that covers almost three times more people than the previous administration. Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States.