Questions and Observations

Free Markets, Free People

Economic Statistics for 23 Jun 16

New home sales fell -6.0% in May to a 551,000 annual rate.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index fell to -0.51 in May, from the previous month’s 0.10. The 3-month moving average fell to -0.36.

The PMI Manufacturing Index Flash rose from 50.5 to 51.4 in June.

The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators fell -0.2% in May.

The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index rose from -5 to 2 in June.

Initial weekly jobless claims fell 18,000 to 259,000. The 4-week average fell 2,250 to 267,000. Continuing claims fell 20,000 to 2.142 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 2.1 points to 44.2 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $9.2 billion last week, with total assets of $4.482 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $6.6 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $40.4 billion in the latest week.


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The administration’s ISIS problem exposed

Interesting points today from some who has “been there and suffered that”.

The Yazidi woman, Nadia Murad, who escaped captivity in 2014, testified before the Senate Homeland Security committee about the horrors of living under ISIS, CNN reported.

“The USA must act. We must terminate Daesh [Islamic State] and all such terror,” she said through a translator. “Daesh will not give up their weapons unless we force them to give up their weapons.”

Murad spoke out about the Orlando massacre that left 49 people dead, offering condolences to the victims and saying she was not surprised by the terror attack. “I knew if ISIS were not stopped, they would deliver their crimes everywhere,” she said.

She also confronted the Obama administration on its inability to act in protecting Americans as the president pays lip service to fighting ISIS but does nothing serious to eradicate the radicals.

“If a country as strong as your country cannot protect its citizens in Orlando, or in Belgium or in France,” Murad asked, “how come a small minority like us can protect ourselves while we are in the heart of the land where the radicals are?”

But the USA isn’t going to act.  It has a chief executive that can’t even bring himself to identify the problem or the enemy.  And you have to admire her question.  It’s to the point, isn’t it?

The reason we can’t – or won’t – “protect ourselves” is there is no will to do so among those charged with the duty to do so.  And, after the latest massacre, they’re intent on removing everyone else’s ability to do so by railing against guns, the NRA and whatever other ideological boogey man they can throw into the mix.  It’s election time dear – you life, the lives of Americans, the lives of anyone are not as important is realizing the Democrat’s election goals.

Oh, and this point was pretty telling too:

Calling on the Islamic community to act, Murad said “The Muslims must be the first ones to resist this.”

“We have not seen that Daesh have been labeled as an infidel group within Islam by any Muslim country,” said the woman who had six of her brothers and her mother executed by ISIS in one day, CNN reported.

Well think about that … why haven’t we seen so-called “moderate Islamic countries” label or declare ISIS an “infidel group”.  Well it’s fairly simple I would assume – they’re more afraid of ISIS than the US and the US has likely brought no pressure to bear on them to do so. Either that or they have no problem with what “Daesh” is doing.

This woman came through hell to sit in front of the US Senate and tell her story.  Her confusion about why a nation as “strong” as this one does nothing and can’t even manage to identify the enemy or utter its name are understandable.

Weakness.  Fear.  Lack of leadership.

Obama.

~McQ

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Economic Statistics for 22 Jun 16

A slow week for economic data begins with Redbook’s weekly retail sales report, which shows year-on-year, same-store sales up slightly better, but still weak at 0.9%, compared to last week’s 0.7%.

Existing home sales rose 1.8% in May, to a 5.530 million annual rate. Sales are up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis.

The FHFA House Price Index rose a smaller than expected 0.2% in April, though the idea is up 5.9% from a year ago.

The MBA reports that mortgage applications rose 2.9% last week, with purchases down -2.0%, but refis up 7.0%.


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The tantrum in the House

Sigh.  I guess the old maxim “you get the government your deserve” certainly rings true today.  House Democrats are staging a sit in because the Speaker of the House won’t call a bill to the floor that violates the Constitution and denies due process to people who are placed on its secret no-fly and terrorism lists.

They’d like you to believe it is a “gun control” bill.  In fact, it is a “due process denial” bill, and we ought to refer to it that way.  Their claim is expanding government’s authority to defy the guarantees of the Constitution will help curb gun violence.

Really?  How?  Will it stop someone who ends up on the list and still wants to buy a gun from getting one?  Certainly not as just about any criminal can tell you (and as study I linked a few posts back revealed).  Again, that “Human Nature 101” thing seems to stump these deep thinkers.

And the irony is that one of those leading the charge for violating the Constitution and denying due process – civil rights icon John Lewis (okay, it’s a bit of double irony) – was once placed on a no-fly list without due process.

So what has been the result of not getting their way and denying you due process protection?  They’ve been reduced to throwing a collective tantrum and harkening back to the good old days when they were protesting Vietnam or whatever.  They even come up with a clever chant – “No Bill. No Break”.  You see they’re supposed to take a legislative break and now, apparently, the desire to deny you your rights is so strong they feel called to pretend they are Social Justice Warriors and act accordingly.

Where’s “Black Lives Matter” when you need them.  Now here is a perfect protest for them to hijack and they’re nowhere in sight.

~McQ

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I can’t wait until we can “omit” this administration

 

omitted

Not that I necessarily believe there’s anything better coming along behind it, but this one is just blatant with its disregard for both the law and our traditions.

To say I was aghast at the decision to censor the 911 call from the Orlando murderer (even though what was said was widely known) would be an understatement.

I immediately asked “why”?  Now, I’m not a conspiracy theorist at all so I don’t subscribe to much of what some are saying out there.  To me it speaks of three things, in this order – 1) politics, 2) fear and 3) arrogance.

One … If they acknowledge that fact that this was a terrorist attack by a representative of a sworn enemy that the administration (and by extension, the leading Democratic contender for President) has badly mismanaged to the point that they are regularly striking random targets here – well, that reflects pretty badly on the “home” team.  So let’s pretend it’s something else and let’s divert attention to things like guns, Christians and the NRA.

Two … They’re afraid of ISIS and what ISIS can and will do.  So they handle that fear by ignoring it and pretending it doesn’t exist and hoping it will go away, or at least leave us alone.  If they call it’s name (i.e. Islamic terrorism) and acknowledge its existence, they’ll be called upon to do something.  They haven’t a clue about how to do that.  So again they divert.  The US Attorney General, in attempting excuse the “omitting” of parts of the transcript of the 911 call talked about her ‘greatest fear’ – and it ain’t ISIS or attacks on Americans:

Speaking to the audience at the Muslim Advocates’ 10th anniversary dinner Thursday, Lynch said her “greatest fear” is the “incredibly disturbing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric” in America and vowed to prosecute any guilty of what she deemed violence-inspiring speech.

“The fear that you have just mentioned is in fact my greatest fear as a prosecutor, as someone who is sworn to the protection of all of the American people, which is that the rhetoric will be accompanied by acts of violence,”she said.

Three … pure arrogance.  While other examples of censored releases were blamed on “glitches” (French President’s remarks, State Department briefing), they didn’t even try on this one.  It’s rather hard to blame “glitches” when actual words are replaced with the word “omitted” or actual words are changed to other words (Allah/God). The administration isn’t even playing the game anymore. No more blaming it on glitches, just pure and plain censorship because the words said by the killer don’t help support the narrative this fearful administration has been trying to push on the people for almost 8 years.

And now, the Attorney General of the United States says her greatest fear is “rhetoric” against Muslims?  Really?

Pitiful.

Speaking of rhetoric, “the most transparent administration” ever has forever made it clear that transparency is campaign rhetoric for consumption of the rubes in flyover country only.  They won – they’re your rulers.  They can do whatever they want.

Suck it up, buttercup.

~McQ

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Observations: The QandO podcast for 17 Jun 16

Podcastlogo 150x150

Brexit looms, or not. Christians and the NRA are responsible for an ISIS-inspired murderer. The Left finally comes clean about wanting to eliminate the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th and 14th Amendments. The terrifying reality of firing an AR-15. And, finally, who overturns the Supreme Court?

 This week’s podcast is up on the Podcast page.

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Stray Voltage

After this past couple of weeks, it is hard to decide which idiocy or outrageousness to talk about.  So I’ll use a couple of pictures to make a point:

homicide_51yr

This, my friends, is the number of homicides, by any means, within the US, since 1950.  It points out that we presently have the lowest homicide rate in 51 year.  OK, chart number 2:

guns_manuf

Here we have the number of guns in the US, by year.  It is acknowledged that there are over 300 million guns in the hands of US citizens.

So, given the homicide rate, where again is the problem? Where is the crisis? Well, there isn’t one … at least not the one the idiots on the left would have you believe.  It’s kind of like their climate change argument, even if the numbers don’t support the conjecture, they go ahead with the conjecture as if it is truth anyway.  And when the facts are presented, they simply turn their head, cover their ears and yell “la la la” like a 3 year old.  It is an amazing thing to watch.  Guns are not the problem.  The problem in Orlando was the product of a culture that is incompatible with ours.  I wonder, if he had nailed all the entrances and exits shut and burned the place, would they be talking about banning matches?  Would they even be talking about matches?  Nope. Probably something just as outlandish like blaming an event carried out by a self-declared Muslim terrorist on Christians.  Oh, wait …

How hysterical has it gotten on the left?  Well, they’re all involved in demonizing a gun that wasn’t even used in the massacre so they can ban it.  And the uncritical among them? Well they’re acting fairly typically.  Like this restaurant owner in Maine:

A restaurant owner in Portland, Maine, has come under attack by gun advocates after she announced she would not allow assault rifle users to eat at either of her venues.

Anne Verrill, announced on the Facebook page of her fine-dining restaurant Grace that after the massacre in Orlando gay club Pulse on Saturday, owners of AR-15 assault rifles were not welcome there or at her other restaurant in Falmouth.

Of course an AR-15 is not (let me say this again for the slow out there – NOT) an assault rifle.  Or, said another way, the AR-15 is not equivalent to an M-16 – which is, in fact, a military grade assault rifle.  The difference, of course, is between automatic and semi-automatic.  And it also includes some much beefier parts for the real assault rifle – the M-16 – that aren’t found on the AR-15.  The reason for those beefier parts is the requirement it be able to fire automatically and sustain that without being damaged.

Why is that?  Regulation?

Semi-automatic AR-15s for sale to civilians are internally different from the full automatic M16, although nearly identical in external appearance. The hammer and trigger mechanisms are of a different design. The bolt carrier and internal lower receiver of semi-automatic versions are milled differently, so that the firing mechanisms are not interchangeable. The design changes were done to satisfy United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) requirements that civilian weapons may not be easily convertible to full-automatic.

So, there you go. Oh, and as mentioned above, the AR-15 had zip to do with Orlando.  But hey, facts, who is worried about those?

Anyway, back to poor misguided Anne of the Mooseville Inn, Chili Parlor and Law School.  After many angry responses, she deleted the post and did a little quick step to the rear on her former hysterical rant.  And here’s the laughable part:

‘I don’t want to take away guns of responsible gun owners,’ the second post said. ‘I don’t care if you have 12 hunting rifles if you are a responsible hunter. I want people to not have the power to own weapons of war.’

See above concerning what this weapon is – it is NOT – (once again NOT) a weapon of war any more than those “12 hunting rifles” the “responsible hunter” may have.  In fact, if I were to guess, many of those 12 hunting rifles are much more powerful than an AR-15.  Since this is picture day, let’s try this one:

13445728_10156902865430417_8867146244243324600_n

Yes you can get a 556 AR-15, but the most popular of them is the .223.  It’s a varmint rifle, for heaven sake.  Here, I’ll tell you what, how about another picture?

Picture-3

OK, see the round on the right?  That’s a .223 round.  The center round? A .308 – a very popular round for hunting.  And finally, the big guy on the left?  The ever popular 30.06.  Hunting rounds.

So, Anne, what were you thinking?  That just because an AR-15 might look like an M-16 that it was exactly like an M-16? If you slap wings and a tail on a car, does it make it an airplane?  Ignorance, dear lady, is what put you in this position.  That echo chamber you’re a part of is not your friend.  But you’ll now suffer the consequences of your ignorance because, as I understand it, there are a whole lot of folks in Maine who like to hunt and also like the AR-15.

Bah!  I’m too frustrated with the level of ignorance out there to continue with this.

Have a good weekend!

~McQ

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Economic Statistics for 16 Jun 16

Consumer prices rose 0.2% in May, at both the headline and core rates. On a year-over year basis, the CPI is up 1.0% overall, but up 2.2% ex-food and -energy.

Despite a raft of negative details in the report, the overall Philadelphia Fed Survey rose from -1.8 to 4.7 in June.

The nation’s current account deficit widened in the 1st Quarter, to $-124.7 billion from an upwardly revised $-113.4 billion in the 4th Quarter. 

The NAHB’s Housing Market Index, after holding unchanged for four straight months, those 2 points to 60 in June.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 13,000 to 277,000. The 4-week average fell 500 to 269,250. Continuing claims rose 45,000 to 2.157 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell sharply, down -1.1 points to 42.1 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $9.3 billion last week, with total assets of $4.472 trillion. Reserve bank credit increased $8.7 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $12.7 billion in the latest week.


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Economic Statistics for 15 Jun 16

The Federal Open Markets Committee’s newest economic projections show a maximum GDP growth rate of 2.2% until after 2018.

May Producer Prices for Final Demand rose 0.4%, while prices less food and energy rose 0.3%. Less trade services, however, prices fell -0.1%. On a year-over year basis, PPI-FD were down -0.1%, up 1.2% less food and energy, and up 0.8% less trade services.

Industrial production fell -0.4% in May, while capacity utilization in the nation’s factories fell -0.5% to 74.9%.

Foreign demand for long-term U.S. securities in April fell by $-79.6 billion, fully reversing March’s $78.1 billion inflow.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey rose into positive territory again, rising from -9.02 to 6.01 in June.

The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -2.4% last week, with purchases down -5.0% and refis down -1.0%.


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A nation gone mad

I’m still sitting here shaking my head as I watch and listen to the left react to the Orlando massacre.

If you simply read their screeds you’d have concluded by now that it was the work of a right-wing Christian (or just a plain old “toxic male”) with an AR-15 instead of a Sig wielding Muslim who had pledged allegiance to ISIS in a 911 call prior to the massacre and was a registered Democrat.

In fact, the AR-15 meme has taken on a life of its own with such luminaries of the left as lyin’ Michael Moore and domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and some wimpy NYT metrosexual calling for its ban.  On what grounds one wonders, but hey, they’re leftists – fantasy is their business if it helps them move their agenda one inch further to fruition. Ignore the facts, full speed ahead.  Moore even made up stuff about the round(s) the AR-15 fires claiming they are banned by the Geneva Conventions.  Uh, no.  Not even close.  Pure fiction.

Sally Kohn, a CNN contributor, went on a bigoted anti-Christian rant that attempted, in however a tortured manner, to make a moral equivalence between Christian disapproval of homosexuality and Islam’s death sentence for homosexuals.

Milo Yiannopoulos, a right-wing gay activist, explains the difference for those who lack the ability to discern it:

There are eleven Muslim countries in which I could be killed for being a homosexual. The state penalty is death. One hundred million people live in country where the penalty for homosexuality is death. This is not radical Islam. This is mainstream Muslim society.

And this isn’t some hazy made-up claim like Michael Moore’s, it’s their law.  Guess who is taking political donations from those countries?

Instead of facing the truth of Orlando, the left, as usual, has chosen to divert and pretend the problem is on the right.  That way, their agenda remains viable and they don’t have to confront nasty little ideological conflicts they’re trying so damn hard to avoid:

“Look what’s happening in Sweden. Look what’s happening anywhere in Germany, anywhere there are large influxes of a Muslim population. Things don’t end well for women and gays. The left has got to make a decision. Either they want female emancipation and it wants gay rights or it wants Islam. It’s got to pick.”

But, at this point, it refuses to do so.  It is more afraid of being called Islamaphobic than it is of condemning a religion/ideology that throws gays off of buildings, burns them or hangs them and treats women as chattel.

That’s what the Sally Kohns, Michael Moores and Bill Ayers of the left should be doing.  Instead they’re after a weapon that wasn’t even used in the massacre and a Constitutional amendment that gives us the freedom to defend ourselves.

Mad.

~McQ

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