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Free Markets, Free People

Your Monday laugh

Desperate Mary Landrieu has an ad out saying:

“This is Congressman Cedric Richmond. Have you heard the crazy stuff Bill Cassidy, Bobby Jindal, and the Republicans are always saying about President Obama? They have shown our president so much disrespect. They said he wasn’t a U.S. citizen, they even sued him – and if Cassidy wins, they will impeach him.”

Uh, no.  He’s not going to be impeached.  With two years left, he really isn’t worth the effort even if he deserves it.  That would be “raaacist”.   And anyway, we all know who the VP is.  Why trade an incompetent narcissist for an incompetent clown?  Well the comic relief would be refreshing.

On second thought, maybe not a bad idea – Biden would then be able to run as the incumbent.

Hmmm ….

~McQ

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Economic Statistics for 26 Nov 14

The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -4.3% last week, with purchases down -10.0% and refis down -4.0%.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 21,000 to 313,000. The 4-week average rose 6,250 to 294,000X. Continuing claims fell 17,000 to 2.316 million.

October durable goods orders rose 0.4%, almost entirely on a 45.3% increase in defense aircraft orders, without which, orders actually fell by a sharp -0.9%. On a year-over-year basis, orders are up 5.5%, and ex-transportation orders are up 6.4%.

Both personal income and spending rose 0.2% in October, while the PCE Price index rose 0.1% at the headline level and 0.2% at the core.

The Chicago PMI fell -5.4 points in November to a still-strong 60.8.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 2.2 points last week to 40.7, the highest level since December 2007.

The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell -0.6 points to 88.8 in November.

New home sales in October came in at a weaker-than-expected 458,000 annual rate.

The pending home sales index fell -1.1% to 104.1 in October.


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Economic Statistics for 25 Nov 14

GDP growth in the 3rd Quarter was revised upwards unexpectedly, coming in at 3.9% annualized. The GDP Price index was also revised upwards slightly to 1.4%.

Corporate profits in the 3rd Quarter came in at $1.873 trillion, following $1.842 trillion for the 2nd Quarter. 

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell -5.8 points to 88.7 in November.

FHFA House Price Index was unchanged in September. On a year-over-year basis, the index is up 4.3%.

The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index rose 0.3% in September, and is up 4.9% from a year ago.

The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index declined sharply from 20 to 4 in November.

The State Street Investor Confidence Index fell -1.1 points to 114.0 in November. 

ICSC-Goldman reports weekly retail sales rose 2.2%, but on only rose 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. Redbook reports retail sales rose 4.2% on a year-ago basis.


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A few thoughts on Ferguson

As I watch this nonsense in Ferguson, I’m simply reminded of the daily fare of poor television that reality shows bring us.  That’s all Ferguson is.  Give a promise of fame, indulge self-importance, ignore facts and film. That’s the formula.  It’s “good TV” and the media has been as complicit as anyone in the result.  In fact, they’ve egged it on.  Remove the spotlight and the interest wanes.

Instead we’ve seen a steady drumbeat of coverage, almost a countdown to the Grand Jury findings and, as usual, a trial by media.

The facts don’t matter.  The findings of the Grand Jury have to be racist because the court of public opinion, sans few if any concrete facts, has already found the officer guilty.  Does anyone even pretend to believe that if that crowd last night had been able to find officer Wilson that he wouldn’t have later been found hanging from a lamp post?

This, as with the Trayvon Martin case, is a media event.   You only have to look at all the disparate groups who’ve camped out in Ferguson since the Brown killing to gather that.  The usual groups have gone through some incredible contortions to make Brown’s death relevant to their cause.   And, of course, with the media lights on, the usual suspects among the race baiters are there as well, preening and goading.

Are there grievances?  I’m sure there are.  But burning out your neighborhood isn’t the way to settle them.  I’m still trying to figure out what Panera Bread did to deserve to be torched other than be in the wrong location.  This is beyond “civil disobedience”.  This is criminal destruction.  And yet, when this is all said and done, the denizens of the neighborhood are going to demand these businesses build again.  I know what my answer would be – “you made a desert, now live in it”.

Anyway, the bottom line here is I don’t take reality shows seriously.  Nor should you.

~McQ

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Legalizing their servants

Short one today (Hagel is gone … meh, no surprise), but so indicative of the leftists we’re most familiar with – in this case Hillary Clinton:

While speaking at a swanky event Friday night in New York City, Hillary Clinton speculated about the immigration status of the people serving food and beverages at the gala.

“This is about people’s lives, people, I would venture to guess, who served us tonight.”

Ah, the “little people.”  The people there to serve her highness and her ilk (and to fall in line and vote properly, of course).  Can’t have a plantation without a few slaves.

What do you say about something like that? Amazingly disconnected.  Absurdly condescending.  And, of course, a slap in the face of all those who played by the rules and did it within the law.

But she wants to be your chief law enforcer if you’ll just vote for her.

~McQ

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Poverty at 50 year high, labor participation at 36 year low – we need more low wage workers!

It simply doesn’t make sense in any sort of context that says the job of the President of the United States is to look after the welfare of the country’s citizens:

The official U.S. unemployment rate has indeed fallen steadily during the past few years, but the economic recovery has created the fewest jobs relative to the previous employment peak of any prior recovery. The labor-force participation rate recently touched a 36-year low of 62.7%. The number of Americans not in the labor force set a record high of 92.6 million in September. Part-time work and long-term unemployment are still well above levels from before the financial crisis.

Worse, middle-class incomes continue to fall during the recovery, losing even more ground than during the December 2007 to June 2009 recession. The number in poverty has also continued to soar, to about 50 million Americans. That is the highest level in the more than 50 years that the U.S. Census has been tracking poverty. Income inequality has risen more in the past few years than at any recent time.

The true indicator of the actual unemployment rate is the labor participation rate. It is at a 36 year low. The fudged numbers used by the US government hides the actual depth of joblessness problem. And, frankly, it’s a “buyers market” in the labor market. Lots of labor competition for few jobs. That’s one reason you don’t see incomes rising and you do see underemployed Americans.

So let’s introduce about 5 million illegal workers from other countries and enable them to compete in an already depressed labor market and while we’re at it, let’s agitate for a raise in the minimum wage.

Mind blown.  How do you square that sort of action with your oath of office if you’re the President of the United States?

Idiot-in-chief.

~McQ

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“This isn’t about legalizing Latin American immigrants, it’s about legalizing Latin American-style government.”

That’s Dave Burge’s take (IowaHawk) on last night’s venture into banana-republic style government by Obama.

Hard to beat that. So I just visualized it:

ObamaGeneralissimo

You just know he really, really wants to wear that suit, but Valerie Jarrett won’t let him

Billy

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