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Hey Fox Business, It Only Seems Like Obama Was in Office for 9 Years March 30, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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Fox Business News has an article titled “Obama’s Final Economic Record Not Great,” which isn’t really news, but it’s always nice to hear that other people have noticed. Sadly though, the article was a bit flawed, containing both a hit and a miss. First the hit:

The U.S. economy may have grown faster than expected in the final three months of the year, at a pace of 2.1%, but that won’t do much to improve President Obama’s economic legacy. Including the latest Commerce Department figure, the average GDP growth rate during his tenure was about 1.5%. The only president with a worse economic record since 1930 is Herbert Hoover.

Yup, no problem there. But then the author whiffs it:

It’s no secret Obama inherited a distressed economy. In December 2007, just two months before Obama officially took office, the Great Recession officially began and the U.S. economy shrank at a rate of 0.3%. During the recession, which ended in June 2009 according to economists, unemployment rates reached as high as 10%.

Seeing as President Obama didn’t take office until January 2009, the Great Recession had been wreaking havoc for 14 months before he took office. It ended 5 months later, so President Obama only presided over the last quarter of it. As we’ve pointed out at this very site, the recovery began before President Obama began his errant economic fumbling.

Getting Your Exercise Ball Out From Underfoot March 29, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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We used to have an exercise ball, but it was underused and always in the way. Finally gave it to our local charity. But if I’d seen this post a few years ago, we’d probably still have it.

Trust the Japanese to figure out how to conveniently store an exercise ball:

ExerciseBall

Out of the way, but easy to get to every other year when the desire to exercise overwhelms you.

Expect the Unexpected March 28, 2017

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Remember back in the Obama era when we used to make fun of the media whenever we got bad economic news, and they would always say “unexpectedly?” Things are a little different now:

U.S. Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Surges to a 16-Year High

Not Impressed With Tax Payments of Illegal Immigrants March 28, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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Same sort of analysis as last post.

A cute young illegal immigrant posted this to Facebook:

SisaTax

Note, of course, that she doesn’t mention what she can benefit from:

  • DREAM Scholarships (up to $25K for a bachelors, or up to $80K in certain states)
  • In-state tuition (they charge $10.6K for in-state, and $26.5K for out-of-state)
  • Financial aid from the college or university
  • K-12 Schooling/School lunch & breakfast programs
  • Emergency medical care

But hey, she’s contributing the tax base, right? CNN is quick to point out that a recent study showed that illegal immigrants pay almost $12 billion in taxes per year. Count those smackers, racist trogolodytes!! But since there are around 12 million illegals (give or take a million), that’s only about $1000/illegal.

But taxpayers as a whole paid $1.5 trillion last year. That’s about $4300/person. If we just eliminated the all thetax contributions of the illegals, it would decrease tax revenues by a mere 0.8%.

So, while I’m somewhat gratified that Ms. Belen tried to follow the law as much as she was able, the contribution of she and her fellows is paltry in total, and disproportionately small per capita.

AP Analysis Shows No Economic Impact of Bathroom Bill on North Carolina March 27, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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That is not, of course, the way they present it. Anyway, the AP has a terrifying report on the devastating damage to the North Carolina economy as a result of keeping bathrooms the way they have always been:

‘Bathroom bill’ to cost North Carolina $3.76B, report says

Despite Republican assurances that North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” isn’t hurting the economy, the law limiting LGBT protections will cost the state more than $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years, according to an Associated Press analysis.

That sounds pretty bad, but . . . hey, wait a minute.

$3.76 billion over 12 years is $313 million/year. Is that a lot?

Not really:

HB2 supporters say its costs have been tiny compared with an economy estimated at more than $500 billion a year, roughly the size of Sweden’s.

So $313 million out of $500 billion is: . . . . . 0.06%.

What they should have asked is how much it cost Paypal to change its plans. That might have been interesting.

Because there’s no story so far as North Carolina’s economy is concerned.

The Dollar Takes a Beating March 27, 2017

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The value of the dollar soared after Trump’s election, but has lost much of that gain since. Why? Well, first take a look at the federal rate for the past 10 years:

FederalFundsTargetRate2017

So the first thing you notice is that the Fed was essentially unable to raise the rate for the entirety of Obama’s inglorious reign (they changed it once: from 0.25% to 0.5% at the end of 2015). They talked about raising on numerous occasions, but were never able to pull the trigger, for fear of killing off our already-anemic recovery.

Until Trump, when they were able to raise it twice

What does this have to do with the value of the dollar? Well, Zero Hedge put up this chart today, which I think tells the story pretty effectively:

20170325_dollar_0

You see the post-election boom, and then a jump at the first rate hike due to excitement over the benefits of higher interest rates to the banking/finance industries. But then reality for the rest of the world sets in, and the dollar starts sliding.

Stock markets are taking a big hit as well, since the market’s confidence in Trump’s ability to stimulate economic growth have eroded after the Obamacare modification debacle.

I think the Fed may have been a bit aggressive, and it would sure be nice if Congress would restore the wind under the president’s wings.

Because I’m kind of fond of prosperity.

 

CNN Devolves March 22, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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If you haven’t seen this yet, it’ll be your first opportunity to gape in awe at how far CNN (once the gem of news media) has fallen:

STAIRS-600x405

Sniper Fashion March 21, 2017

Posted by geoff in Fashion.
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You all are so lucky, because Yes! It’s time for another fashion post!!

Today we have a fashion statement reminiscent of Tom Berenger in Sniper. Potentially unisex (if the gents don’t mind showing a little leg)?

Get close to your target and celebrate haute couteur at the same time! I present you the the grassy smocky hoody thing!

SniperFashion

Satisfaction vs. Unsatisfaction March 21, 2017

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Via Digg we have the most satisfying video in the world (5 minutes of everything working just right):

…aaaaannnnddd the most unsatisfying video in the world (where everything is off). OCD people should not watch this one:

The Daily Beast Can’t Fact Check Either March 20, 2017

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The Daily Beast gets this one completely wrong. (“Either” in the title refers to WaPo’s notoriously bad fact-checking)

Apparently President Trump tweeted this on Saturday:

…Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!

The Daily Beast then ponderously points out that there is no NATO bank account for Germany’s money, so Germany doesn’t actually “owe” anything. It has just not kept up with its promised military expenditures. They point this out, then quote the Brookings Institute on the matter, then mention other (anonymous) experts who concur.

But none of that matters.

Trump is, as usual, staking out a negotiating position. He is speaking of a moral debt and an unfulfilled treaty obligation, not actual cash due to some bank account. There’s no question that Germany has been falling 40% short of its NATO obligations for years, as admitted by the Daily Beast. Trump wants use that fact to guilt Germany into a vulnerable position in future negotiations.

And what exactly is he after? He says he wants compensation for the US’s expenditures to protect Germany (and Europe). He probably won’t get it, but he’ll get something. Which is awesome.

The Daily Beast rated Trump’s tweet as “False.” I would rate their rating as “Stupid Critique and Waste of Bandwidth Based on a Misunderstanding of Trump’s Tweet.”

Treating a moral statement as a bank ledger is a silly mistake: the kind of mistake made by rabid anti-Trumpites. So I guess we know where they stand.

Wakey, Wakey March 20, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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Hopefully you’re up early with a slightly different motivation than these poor fellows.

Dang I like me some funk.

Maybe Friday we can do Party Train.

Multicultural Appropriation March 19, 2017

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It’s funny to me that the same people who are fervent advocates of multiculturalism are the same people who screech about cultural appropriation.

Multiculturalism is supposed to enrich the parent culture with language, customs, food, etc. But now it has become “You can look but can’t touch.” If you try to actually incorporate other cultures into your life, you’re an eeevil appropriator.

Not very enriching.