The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 7.9% last week, with purchases up 5.0% and refis up 10.0%.
Consumer prices fell -0.2% at the overall rate in August, while the core CPI, which excludes food and energy, was unchanged. On a year-over-year basis, both the headline and core CPI are up 1.7%.
The nation’s current account deficit narrowed to $-98.5 billion in the 2nd Quarter, down from the 1st Quarter’s revised $-102.1 billion.
The NAHB housing market index for August rose 4 points to 59 in September.
The Fed’s newest forecast for GDP growth:2014: 2.0 to 2.2 %; 2015: 2.6 to 3.0 %; 2016: 2.6 to 2.9 %; 2017: 2.3 to 2.5 %; longer run: 2.0 to 2.2 %. In other words, sub-par economic growth for as long as they can foresee. As a reminder, the trend rate of growth for mature economies should be in the 3.0-3.5% range.
The Federal Open Markets Committee announced that interest rates will remain unchanged, with a Fed Funds Rate target of 0-0.5%.
ICSC-Goldman reports weekly retail sales fell -2.6%, and rose 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. Redbook reports retail sales rose 3.6% on a year-ago basis.
Producer Prices for Final Demand were unchanged in August, and were up 0.1% less food and energy. On a year-over-year basis the PPI-FD is up 1.8% overall, and up 1.6% less food and energy. Other relevant numbers from this release:
PPI-FD less food, energy & trade services – M/M change: 0.2%
PPI-FD Goods – M/M change: -0.3%
PPI-FD Goods – Y/Y change: 1.7%
PPI-FD Services – M/M change: 0.3%
PPI-FD Services – Y/Y change: 1.9%
Foreign demand for long-term US securities fell $-18.6 billion in July.
It’s up on the podcast page.
Business inventories rose 0.4% in July, while a 0.8% rise in business sales that Kept the stock-to-sales ratio unchanged at 1.29.
August retail sales rose 0.6%, while sales less autos rose 0.3% and sales less autos and gas rose 0.5%
August export prices fell -0.5%, while import prices fell -0.9%. On a year-over year bases, export prices rose 0.4% while import prices fell -0.4%.
The Reuters/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index rose 2.1 points to 84.6 in August.
The newest podcast episode is up. Go to our new Podcast page to see it.
Chris and I took some time to head down to La Jolla on today and take some photographs. The coast at La Jolla is home to loads of marine life, and they’re so used to people that you can get pretty close to them without frightening them. Which we did. All the pics are clickable for hi-res versions.
Eric Holder – “You don’t want to go there buddy”.
That covers it doesn’t it? A nice summary of the attitude of this administration acting like ‘gentlemen’ from Chicago. Covers 6 years really. Budgets, Fast and Furious, Gun control (but, as Mr. Twain observed, I repeat myself, and so will they), Benghazi, IRS Scandal, Obamacare and “If you like your health plan…”, Government spying, Immigration…
“You don’t want to go there buddy. You don’t want to go there, okay?”
Oh man, how I wish we hadn’t already gone there.
“You don’t want to go there buddy”
or what Eric? You going to come across the table and bust him up? Or are you going to do it administratively? Use your agency to do some investigating? A few phone call records you got from the NSA, maybe a little IRS investigation? Have Harry Reid mention on the Senate floor that he he heard someone say something. Check out his campaign finances, his personal finances, his dog’s rabies vaccination?
What does that even mean, “you don’t want to go there”….should we call you ‘General’ or ‘Mr. Thug’.
Don’t go there buddy? That sounds, as they say here in Texas, like fighting words, certainly the prelude to fighting words. So what was that other than the opening of a threat. Why not complete the sentence Eric? “Or…”.
Makes you wish you were writing Gohmert’s lines right? “Or what?” That would have been my preferred response at that point. You must keep in mind my “esprit d‘escalier” is awesome.
“Or what, Mr. Holder? Don’t go there, orrrrrrrr?”
If I was scripting for Holder we wouldn’t have gotten to that point though. Because I’d probably have started off his opening with a little thuggish honesty…
“This is a nice little Congress you got here Mr. Gohmert (looks around appreciatively), be a shame if something was to happen to it eh? (smiles and winks).
Which is why I’ve, uh, come to, uh, visit here today (straightens his suit), to let you know, that (bows head and raises hands in halting motion), we’re done with these…(locks eyes with Gohmert) investigations and questions. Mr. Obama has had enough of this “reparte”, and he wants me to give you a message….”.
I just can’t decide if he should deliver it as if he was from Newark New Jersey, or Birmingham England. A nice Brummie accent would work but only if Jason Statham is playing Gohmert. But then we’d require stunt men for at least one of the starring characters, certainly for Holder.
Yes, this was a long week for little Eric.
He and the boss are planning on another gun grab attempt while ‘protecting’ those 2nd Amendment rights by letting us have biometric/electronically linked weapons. You can bet they’ll grandfather all of those non complying guns out of existence and transform their owners into felons for failing to yield them up.
Then he tells us he has discretion (which he admittedly does) on what he prosecutes. It’s just going to remain remarkably focused on administration foes.
He sort of threatens a member of Congress while treating Congress with continued contempt over his contempt of Congress charge; and for flair manages some high dudgeon about it for publicity sake.
and plays the race card on anyone daring to question him or his performance as AG.
Did I miss anything?
Oh yes, I missed the huge guffaw he probably gave off when he heard that Congress has cited Lois Lerner for criminal behavior and is waiting for him to prosecute her.
Probably not much danger in you going there, eh buddy?
UPDATE – 4/12/2014 – AP – this was recovered after I botched an attempt to make a correction to Jason Statham’s name and sent the whole shebang into temporary oblivion. Tis is the net after all, and nothing is ever really ‘gone’ (except the President’s college transcripts of course).
I attempted, from my GRENDEL to correct a spelling error on my last post. Heh and the fat finger progression (several) led to, not a correction but an obliteration of said last post.
I ain’t hardly rethinking anything I said with regard to Holder’s contempt of Congress, except for the misspelling of Jason Statham’s name.
And yes, between Silk browser and my fat fingers this IS a GRENDEL, not a Kindle.
My apologies for the bad comedy. The absence of the document is nothing more than dumbfoolery on the high interweb.
Let’s talk about immigration, no, let’s talk about inmate costs, well, both of them, and throw in a sample of how crappy unintended deliberately misinterpreted and probably profitable laws are crafted in the hallowed halls of Congress.
My last post was, sort of, about White House fibbing; largely the prevarications of the immigration policy it’s forwarding, with a dash of their fictitious healthcare policy advertising tossed in for spice. My head was kind of in the Immigration game, and it’s my amateur opinion we ought not hand out citizenship to 11 million people based merely on the qualification they could sneak in without being caught. I don’t want to hear how I’m a racist and hate immigrants. I’m only 2nd generation American myself. My great grandparents, documentably, could neither read nor write in English. When I’m in a lighter mood maybe I’ll do a post about how great I think a nation of immigrants really is (note to self…)
Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions issued a critical alert yesterday questioning the legitimacy of the claim that Barack Obama is now “Deporter in Chief of the United States”. Sessions points out that what we used to consider deportation, which was catching them in the heartland and removing them, is now what we call catching them at the border. Border enforcement isn’t deportation, unless you work for the same administration that pretends our unemployment rate is 6.7% these days. I was glad to hear we were catching them at the border. Not real happy deportations from the interior are down. And definitely not happy that the numbers are being used to mislead. I wandered down that path a little but was having a hard time getting really exercised there. When you get lied to nationally on a daily basis by half a dozen official government agencies, it loses it’s anger generating potential after a bit.
Not that I didn’t try. That was when I ran across a mention of immigrant inmates in privately run prisons going on a hunger strike. So I checked that out. During that zig off the path I ran across this thing called ‘the bed mandate’.
The bed mandate deals with incarceration of potential deportees, be they illegal immigrants or now undesirable legal immigrants. If you’re curious, you can do a search on ‘the bed mandate’ but I included some links below. Here’s a nifty link to a Bloomberg article on it that mostly does it justice.
According to a lot of folks, the ‘bed mandate’ requires our various rounding up agencies, ICE, Border Patrol, etc under DHS (we have waaaaaay too many agencies that are responsible for rounding up people in my opinion) to lock up 34,000 illegal immigrants a day.
Remember now it’s called the bed mandate, not immigrant detention mandate.
Like a cop ticket quota (but which they swear is NOT a quota), they’ve decided they have to have some fixed number of PEOPLE in jail for immigration reasons every day, 365 days a year, every year since 2009 when Robert Byrd, sainted Democrat and former KKK grand wah-zoo, added the ‘mandate’ to the Federal budget (which doesn’t exist, but let that slide, after all, we’ve let it slide for 6 years and counting…). Out of partisan waspishness I remind that when statesman Bob “Klansman of the Senate” Byrd added it the Democrats owned the Senate and the House, and the White House. Damn those evil immigrant hating Republicans and their colored folk hating laws!
Before anyone starts doing three cheers and a tiger for the GOP recognize they’ve allowed it to continue,
I’m not going to bore you with the statistics on prison populations, or cost per inmate per day in private prisons versus cost per day in Federal, State, local government prisons and holding facilities. It’s a lot of samolians, let’s just say that. We can assume it’s profitable or private corporations wouldn’t do it (except in Moonponeia where companies don’t worry about making profits ).
Most of the articles I read say this year we’re mandated to keep 34,000 people locked up every day. Again and again and again, (I could go many more agains) they insist we must incarcerate 34,000 people, specifically illegal immigrants to fill a bed, every day. The Bloomberg article points out that Texas Republican Congresscritter Michael McCaudoes insists that not doing so is a violation of the statute. Then again ICE seems to think that’s what it means also, so maybe that’s why all the various and sundry aforementioned do too.
We go out and hunt people down, illegal aliens, to fill the 34,000 beds a day? I mean, something that, I don’t know, ridiculous Soviet factory quota Stalinesque, must be a statute of a least a couple of paragraphs full of ‘heretofores’ and ‘with respect to’s’ and ‘as governed bys’. There must be stipulations or guideline or …you see where I’m going don’t you, you perceptive devils.
I got crazy and looked at the budget (hah, reconcilitation) for this year.
It’s not a section, or paragraph, hell, it’s barely it’s own sentence. As tortuous as these bills are, and this is the usual, the ‘mandate’ is a ‘furthermored’ chunk of a run on sentence that even I wouldn’t write. It’s about 20 words, if you count a date as one word.
It says “That the Secretary of Homeland Security shall prioritize the identification and removal of aliens convicted of a crime by the severity of that crime: Provided further, That funding made available under this heading shall maintain a level of not less than 34,000 detention beds through September 30, 2014:…“
BEDS? Not raids and roundups? Beds. That must be why it’s called the bed mandate.
There must be a disconnect here. I don’t see where it says I have to have a person IN the bed or even in the room where the bed is, or even in the building where the room where the bed is. I see budgeting for minimum capacity sheltering. My inexpert reading says I have to have accommodations (a bed) for no less than 34,000 immigrants in detention on any given day. It does NOT say I MUST arrest 34,000 immigrants and lock them up. I’m not a genius or hot doggin government cool guy, so I could be wrong but this doesn’t mention being required to arrest people to fill (n) number of beds.
How ICE gets “you must arrest and detain (n) immigrants” out of that is curious. But I personally think the senior agency people say that to try and convince us we need to cut their funding because they’re big meanies. Head of ICE won’t lose their job, right? Someone has to do the harrumphing and phoney baloney work because I doubt this President appoints anyone to head ICE who is really extra primo keen on enforcing immigration law. That ain’t how this administration rolls.
Yes Franz Kafka would recognize this one. You just know they’ve striven mightily to go to the effort of rounding up the bed minimum number of immigrants a day and locking them up, or keeping them locked up to ensure capacity usage. The average stay turns out to be between 26 to 29 days a month. The system has managed to keep suspiciously close to whatever number the budget specifies for whatever budgetary year after 2009. People, admittedly illegal aliens, locked up, every day, for the last few years to meet a quota. And when they caught more than the minimum allowed, being part of the executive branch and trying to let us know how awful it was that someone would hold the President to HIS plan they let some go to punish us for the sequester, remember?
Is it about enforcing immigration law or meeting a quota? I’d be happier if I thought it was enforcing the law, but I don’t believe that. I’ll let you figure out what happens if they accidentally catch more a day on a regular basis than they can hold.
Now somewhere there are rules and laws on minimum prisoner facility requirements. Housing, feeding, medical care, security requirements. Some government accountant can probably be made to convince us that it costs as much to have the bed as it does to keep someone IN the bed, and watch them, and feed them. I don’t know if they give them a nice orange jumpsuit to wear for a month or so. But those laws, rules, whatever, weren’t considered when an old coot added 20 words to a budget item without any thought to the actual cost. I don’t know if he helped ICE misinterpret them once they were approved.
A few hopeful lights suggested that isn’t what that sentence should mean. and that including a quota like minimum number reduces ICE’s flexibility in dealing with immigrant incarceration and handling and in the end costs more than we might otherwise have to spend. But Congress and the Executive branch, they’re still arguing over how many people they’re going to lock up, not if that’s what those 20 words actually mean or even if those words should really be there.