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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

Satisfaction vs. Unsatisfaction March 21, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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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

Posted by geoff in News.
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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

Posted by geoff in News.
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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.

Our Dwindling GDP Growth March 19, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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I made this point several years ago (and even earlier here), but this chart I lifted from Zero Hedge makes it even more clearly:

3-united-states-gdp-growth-annual@3x-1024x477.pngThat right there is your basic real (inflation-adjusted) growth rate over the past 65 years. And as you can see, it seems our fortunes have been declining over the past 20 years.

The article at Zero Hedge claims that this shows that Keynesian economics doesn’t work. I think it shows that Congress is incapable of properly applying Keynesian economics, that the global economy has become more competitive, and that increased regulation has stifled growth.

But regarding Keynesian economics in particular, I think it’s unlikely that our government would ever succeed in applying it. It requires discipline and a better understanding of economics than we currently have.

And an absence of greed.

NyQuil is for Pussies March 15, 2017

Posted by skinbad in Nature Shit, News.
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Ask your doctor if getting shot in the ass with a bear tranquilizer is right for you. Side effects may include sleeping through the winter months and a decreased desire for sex in the missionary position. What else ya got?

 

One Man’s Apocalypse is Another Man’s Freedom March 13, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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The usual suspects are chattering away about the evils of Trumpcare. This NYT article by Paul “I’ve never made an accurate prediction in my life” Krugman is typical:

Trumpcare vs. Obamacare: Apocalypse Foretold

The Congressional Budget Office report on Trumpcare is out, and it’s devastating: 14 million people losing insurance in the first year, 24 million over time, with premiums soaring for older, lower-income Americans — in many cases, the very people who went strongly for President Trump.

I’m going to admit straightaway that I haven’t looked at Ryan’s bill, so I have no idea what Trumpcare is all about. But, unlike Paul Krugman, I can read a CBO report and process what it says. Here’s what it says about those 14 million people:

Most of that increase would stem from repealing the penalties associated with the individual mandate.

Aha. So the bulk of those people who would not have insurance are those who didn’t want to pay for insurance in the first place. The young and healthy, who were dragooned into buying insurance by the individual mandate.

Yes, Paul, those people would now be free to choose how to spend their money. I guess that seems like the Apocalypse to you.

*With regards to the “soaring premiums,” I can only say that the CBO did a crap job in assessing the impact of the new legislation on insurance premiums. I say this because they only accounted for the effect of the young and healthy leaving the market, ignoring the effects of coverage changes and tax reduction.

Catching Up With the CBO’s Latest Budget Report March 13, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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I haven’t been keeping up with current events, pal, but the CBO released a review of the 2016 budget last month, and it contained a lovely depiction of the deficit for the past 50 years:

CBOFederalDeficitsThrough2016

So President Obama can proudly note that he was above average in deficit spending for all but one year of his 2 terms.

When you total up the impact of all that spending, you get the federal debt:

CBOFederalDebtThrough2016

I think President Obama’s idea of “The Surge” was completely different than his predecessor’s.

I’ve Become a Sex Curmudgeon March 13, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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Emma Watson showing some skin in a Vanity Fair photo shoot has many people accusing her of hypocrisy, since years ago she had criticized other stars for exposing themselves and becoming sex objects. It prompted this column in the New York Post:

‘Feminists’ are confusing nudity with liberation

But I think that confusion extends more broadly among the liberal set. It seems like every time an issue comes up, liberals disrobe. Attention-getting? Sure, but for all the wrong reasons.

My take is that if you have to take off your clothes to get people to pay attention to your cause or issue, maybe your cause/issue aren’t that important. Maybe your arguments aren’t compelling, and playing “Strip Debate” isn’t going to help them.

Kind of goes with the liberal preoccupation with sex. Nothing wrong with sex – I myself have dabbled in it once or twice. But from the left’s perspective, sex is all-important.

The gender silliness* underscores this: for some reason, who you want to love or have sex with defines you. Forget your background, your hopes and ambitions, your job, your family – none of that matters. What does matter is that you’re a left-handed reverse polarity furry trapped in a hairless body, with a predilection for sex with carnival folk.

And of course, you can’t have a successful marriage without great sex – that’s the number one criterion by which marriages are judged these days. Sexuality is so important to them that they keep trying to teach it to elementary and junior high school kids.

So let me just say this about that:

Sex just isn’t that important

The fact is, you can have a great life with bad sex. Or no sex. The other fact is that nobody cares about your sex life, unless it’s really, really funny. So shut up about it and keep it private: stop trumpeting your preferences to the world. They’re unimportant and uninteresting.

And keep your clothes on.

*I think Facebook UK now has 71 different gender categories.

Lovely Lady, We Will Miss You Always March 11, 2017

Posted by lauraw in News.
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Our beautiful Lipstick has gone on.

Please share your thoughts and memories.

farewell

Exports Data Stirs March 10, 2017

Posted by geoff in News.
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I think I skipped the exports chart last month, but this month I’m getting back on track. Exports data is two months behind, so this is through January 2017. Like the other economic data, maybe, just maybe, we’re starting to see something good happening. Time will tell, but while you’re waiting with bated breath, you can enjoy this colorful chart:

ExportsRealityvsObamaJanMarchReport

Next month we’ll start to see the Trump bars in gold, as contrasted with the Obama bars, newly depicted in fanciful rainbow (as with the manufacturing chart, though I picked a different rainbow gradient for this chart).