Questions and Observations

Free Markets, Free People

Economic Statistics for 21 Jul 16

Existing home sales rose 1.1% in June, to a solid 5.570 million annual rate. Sales are up 3.0% on a year-over-year basis.

The Conference Board’s Index of leading Economic Indicators rose 0.3% in June.

The Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey fell from 4.7 to -2.9 in July.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index rose from -0.51 to 0.16 in June.

The FHFA House Price Index rose 0.2% in May. The index is up 5.6% on a year-ago basis.

Initial weekly jobless claims fell 1,000 to 253,000. The 4-week average fell 1,250 to 257,750. Continuing claims fell 25,000 to 2.128 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -1.8 points to 42.9 in the latest week.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $8.8 billion last week, with total assets of $4.480 trillion. Reserve bank credit rose $7.7 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $25.0 billion in the latest week.


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Setting history straight

This. A black man recounts history … real history, not the fable that sustains the left and Democrats today:

I did my bit today. I sat with the OR resident leftists- a couple of hearts on their sleeves white folks who keep telling me how horrible Republicans are and why I should agree with them that religious people are the source of every problem in the world, and that American police love to kill black people.

Well, this black man let them have it. I walked them through the history of the Republican party, the speeches and writings of Frederick Douglas… and I was just getting started. I told them who founded the KKK, and which states in the South were for segregation and which party their governments belonged to. I kept going, indices of economy, family stability, education of black people in America and how that has declined since welfare. Some idiot in the corner piped up about how blacks in WW2 were not educated and welfare and the 60’s had changed all that. Well, I happen to have a picture of a Tuskegee P51 Mustang as my laptop wallpaper…. I waded in with their glorious history. I spoke of the honour and character of the American “Negro” at the height of segregation and contrasted that with the black lives matter hooligans today. I quoted excerpts from Martin Luther King’s speeches and contrasted them with those of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

It was dead quiet. And then, I put on my Texas operating hat… and walked out, but not before saying.. “next time I’m in the tea room… we can really talk about the state of the American black.. and who exactly is to blame for his current state.”

It has always troubled me that blacks in America, for the most part, and this guy being an obvious exception, don’t know the history of the left or Democrats.  They love to talk about the Bull Conner’s of the world without recognizing or perhaps realizing that Conner led the Alabama delegation at the Democratic National Convention in 1948. They laud the Civil Rights legislation of the ’60s but never seem to understand that Democrats filibustered it and 100% of the Republicans voted for the bills.  It was Republican Dwight Eisenhower that sent in the 101st Airborne soldiers to desegregate Little Rock schools and Democrat Orval Faubus that stood in the school house door barring the way.

They apparently don’t know that the first Republican (and many subsequent Republicans) from the post-Civil War south elected to Congress was … black.

Yet when this is brought up, it is all simply waved away with this popular myth of the Democrats being the black’s best friend that has somehow taken root among much of the black population.

I’m also old enough to remember something that struck me about the black civil rights protesters that Dr. Martin Luther King led.  Their dignity. And it was their dignity and the honor they showed throughout the horrendous process they endured that won over so much of the white population at the time.

Unfortunately this entitled bunch who call themselves Black Lives Matter lack both dignity and honor. They spend their days alienating those their grandparents spent their time and energy winning to their cause.  They have no idea what racism, as endured by their grandparents, really was like. Instead their fascists.  They take perceived slights as grounds for destructive protests even while many of the leaders of the movement lead entitled lives at some the the nation’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning.  They’re led by professional race-baiters and the same type of people who founded the KKK and tried to block civil rights legislation in the ’60s, but are ignorant of that apparently.  They don’t understand that they’re both expendable and being used to further the political agenda of people who really don’t care about them.  They’re sort of like the Palestinians of the Arab world, with the Democrats being the Arabs.

So this fella did do his bit today.  Good for him.  And apparently it stopped the usual suspects cold in their tracks.  Facts are powerful especially when their wielded outside the echo chamber I’m sure those he addressed usually reside in.

We need more like him spreading the facts in the liberal enclaves who’ve helped keep blacks “in their place” for decades.  Time to break out.  Hope he keeps this up.

~McQ

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Ironic and encouraging

And that’s despite this administration doing everything in its power to impede this:

Hydrocarbon trade between the Middle East and the United States has historically been something of a one-way street, as petrostates have made billions selling off their prodigious oil reserves and Qatar has solidified its position as the world’s largest exporter of liquified natural gas (LNG). But the American shale revolution is shaking up the status quo, and two recent shipments of LNG have recently punctuated that shift. . . .

A decade ago, the United States was busy building massive, costly LNG import facilities along its Gulf Coast. What a difference ten years and an energy revolution can make, as those import projects have been idled in favor of export terminals, where workers are chilling America’s substantial stores of shale gas into liquid form and sending them off to ports around the world. The first shipment went to Brazil, but since then cargoes have made their way to Europe and, now, the Middle East.

Like its oil counterpart, the global LNG market is well supplied at the moment, with Qatar and Australia already exporting larger and larger volumes while the United States looks to become a major player in the coming years as more export terminals come online. It’s a buyer’s market, too, as prices have steadily come down both as a result of contracts that have included linkages to oil prices (which are today less than half of what they were two years ago) as well as sluggish demand coupled with surging supplies.

Selling LNG to Kuwait and Dubai won’t suddenly make the Middle East beholden to U.S. suppliers, but it does signal an important and ongoing change in global energy dynamics. And, as more Middle Eastern countries look to derive less of their electricity from costly and relatively inefficient oil-fired power plants, LNG demand should rise in the region. If and when that happens, there will be plenty of producers here in the United States willing to step up and subvert the traditional energy flows between the Middle East and America.

Capitalism, risk taking and innovation are the reason this is happening.  Government was an impediment because government was sure it had a better way, despite the evidence to the contrary.

Government picking the “winners and losers” in an economic situation is simply another form of socialist tyranny, where it acts as though it is the owner of the means of production and rewards the industries it backs while finding ways to punish those in disfavor.  Thankfully, at least in this case, government – specifically the Obama administration – has been out maneuvered by the shale industry and it’s favored industries have all but gone bust.

More irony – the administration tries at every opportunity to take credit for the hydrocarbon boom in the US.

~McQ

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Observations: The QandO Podcast for 15 Jul 15

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There’s a coup in Turkey, and we don’t know how it’ll turn out…but probably badly. Another terrorist attack occurred in Nice, France. Also, Driving While Black is a real thing, but some people just need to be shot by cops. Oh, and we should distribute income better.

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

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Economic Statistics for 15 Jul 16

Consumer prices rose 0.2% in June, both overall, and with prices less food and energy—the so-called core rate. On a year-over-year basis, the CPI is up 1.0% overall, and 2.3% at the core.

Retail sales rose 0.6% in June, with sales less less autos up 0.7%, and sales less autos and gas up 0.7%.

Industrial production rose 0.6% in June, while capacity utilization in the nation’s factories rose 0.5% to 75.4%.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey fell from 6.01 to 0.55 for July.

Business inventories rose 0.2% in May, while a 0.2% sales increase kept the stock-to-sales ratio at 1.40.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index fell a sharp -4.0 points to 89.5 in the preliminary July reading.


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Stray Voltage

We were told this was something which would never happen:

On Monday the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Ammon Target store where an adult female says a person taking pictures of her while she was inside a changing room trying on clothes. The woman noticed the person reaching over the wall of the changing room with a cell phone to take pictures. The victim confronted the subject who ran from the store.

Detectives interviewed witnesses and security footage from Target which led them to 43-year-old Sean Patrick Smith, who also identifies as Shauna Patricia Smith, a transgender female. After interviewing Smith she was taken into custody by Detectives and booked into the Bonneville County Jail for one felony count of voyeurism.

Like I’ve said many times, leftists get an “F” in “Human Nature 101”.

Laugh of the week from one of the most irony impaired women on the planet:

Hillary: “Can you imagine electing a vindictive man who might … send the IRS after his critics?”

And, of course, Legal Insurrection has it right:

Hillary has one thing going for her here. The media has pretty much abandoned all reportage of the IRS targeting scandal. How many average Americans even know Obama used the IRS to silence tax paying Americans in the run up to the 2012 election and got away with it?

I don’t know about you, but I can certainly imagine a vindictive Hillary Clinton doing exactly what she’s trying to project on Trump.

All you need to know about the lie that is ObamaCare:

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Say, Mr. Obama, where’s that $2,500 dollars of savings you promised we’d all experience if we went along with your scam?

Had enough of Barry in the White House?  Well, if Hillary has her way, he may have a new lifetime community organizing gig in his future:

At a campaign event in Iowa Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton told the crowd the next president may have to appoint up to three Supreme Court justices. When one attendee mentioned Mr. Obama as a contender, she seemed excited by the recommendation.

“Wow, what a great idea. No one has ever suggested that to me, I love that, wow,” Mrs. Clinton said. “He may have a few other things to do, but I tell you, that’s a great idea.

“I mean, he’s brilliant, he can set forth an argument and he was a law professor,” she added. “So he’s got all the credentials, but we would have to get a Democratic Senate to get him confirmed.”

If you think he’s taken a wrecking ball to your liberties these past 8 years, make sure he ends up on the Supreme Court.  He’ll make the last 8 years seem like a walk in the park as concerns your freedom and the Constitution.

Law professor – ha!

Nice, France.  Ban assault trucks … no one needs a truck that big.  Enough said.

Your “feel good” story of the week.  A kid who wants a college degree badly and the town which rallied to help make that a reality.  Oh, and a cop is featured in this and he doesn’t even shoot the kid, even though he’s black.

Have a great weekend.

~McQ

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