Questions and Observations

Free Markets, Free People

“ISIS is contained”

Those words were uttered by President Obama prior to the Paris massacre by ISIS.  Politico argues that the words were in response to a specific question about territory ISIS controlled.  And, frankly, if that’s the argument I think it has some credibility.  However, in the same interview, Obama said:

Until Assad is no longer a lightning rod for Sunnis in Syria and the entire region is no longer a proxy war for Shia-Sunni conflict, we’re gunna continue to have problems. … with making sure that ISIL continues to shrink in its scope of operations until it no longer poses the kind of threat that it does, not just primarily to us, but to neighbors in the region[.]”

Just as clearly, that’s a claim that the administration and it’s allies in the region will keep up their operations to ensure that “ISIL continues to shrink its scope of operations” until it is no longer a threat.  While it may not specifically state that “ISIL is contained”, it certainly implies success in “continuing” to “shrink” ISIL/ISIS’s “scope of operations”.  To me, its pretty much the same claim as “ISIS is contained”.

However, as usual, reality trumps fantasy:

Since October 10, ISIS and its sympathizers around the world have killed at least 525 people in six attacks in six countries outside its so-called caliphate.

American counterterrorism officials say that of the six attacks, three were directed by ISIS from its territory in Syria and Iraq and another two were so-called “announcement” attacks — local ISIS elements revealing their existence in dramatic fashion.

Yes, that’s right, friends and neighbors, since October 10th, 525 people around the world have died as a result of this “shrinking” of ISIL/ISIS’s “scope of operations”.  525 in 6 separate attacks.  And the fact is, our “leader” was trying to peddle the notion that ISIL/ISIS was being controlled.

Does it sound like success in “shrinking” the “scope of operations” of this terrorist group?  Does it look like ISIL/ISIS is being controlled?

Most people would read it as a very large expansion of operations by a group largely out of anyone’s control on the opposition side.

But then, most people aren’t in “denial” (and if you’re wondering, remember the correct answer is “gun control”).

~McQ

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Economic Statistics for 7 Dec 15

Gallup’s US Consumer Spending Measure reports that Americans’ daily, self-reported spending was unchanged at $92 in November.

The Fed’s Labor Market Conditions Index fell from 1.6 to 0.5 in November.

Consumer credit rose $16.0 billion in October, but revolving credit rose only at a barely-positive $0.2 billion. Non-revolving credit gains were mainly in auto and school loans.


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The President’s [yawn] speech

I’ve seen many critiques of it, but for me it was, well, boring.  Why?  Because it was so predictable.  Other than some grudging acceptance of the terrorism that has spawned in the US, it was the usual nonsense of lecturing the citizens of the US like they were children.  Jim Geraghty picked up on that too:

At this point in his presidency, Obama speaks with only one tone, the slightly exasperated and sometimes not-merely-slightly exasperated “adult in the room” who constantly has to correct his fellow Americans, who are always flying off the handle, calling for options that “aren’t who we are,” betraying our values, and so on. He’s always so disappointed in us.

At certain points, Obama sounded as if he was speaking to children. “The threat is real, but we will overcome it.” “We will not defeat it with tough talk, abandoning our values, or giving in to fear.” “We will prevail by being strong and smart.”

And yet, we’ve heard nothing “strong or smart” from the man giving the lecture.   Nothing.  For instance:

He made yet another pitch for barring anyone on the no-fly list or terror watch list from purchasing firearms. He simply ignored any of the objections, whether it’s the lack of due process or judicial review, the arbitrary, foggy nature of how someone gets on the list, or the fact that 280,000 people with no recognized terrorist group affiliation are on the list.

Sounds good to those who don’t really think about it, but is it?  Not really.  Why?  Well, that’s fairly simple:

You know who wasn’t on the no-fly list? The San Bernardino shooters. Nor was the Fort Hood shooter. Nor the Boston bombers. Nor the Chattanooga shooter. In other words, no perpetrator of any major attack on American soil was on the no-fly list.

So again, the “smartest guy in the room” acts exasperated with the “children” but offers up a whole lot of nothing – except the usual dump truck load of words – that addresses the problem.

As someone tweeted when they found out that Obama, Biden and Rice among others were meeting to address San Bernardino, “Our JV team”.

~McQ

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Economic Statistics for 4 Dec 15

211,000 net new jobs were created in November, as the unemployment rate held steady at 5.0%. The bar force participation rate increased by 0.1% to 62.5%. Average hourly earnings increased by 0.2%, while the average workweek remained unchanged at 34.5 hours.

The nation’s trade deficit increased from $-40.8 billion in September to $-43.9 billion in October.


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About San Bernardino

One – the immediate politicization of any tragedy involving guns, facts or no facts:

Just when we think that politics can’t sink any lower, President Obama once again proves us wrong by politicizing the tragedy in San Bernardino before the facts were even known. What we do know is that the American people are heartbroken by these horrific crimes — and despite what the president would have us believe — America’s law-abiding gun owners are heartbroken by these horrific crimes as well. At the same time, we are sick and tired of this president suggesting the men and women of the National Rifle Association are somehow to blame.

Why, you ask? Well because this supposed “leader” of ours is all about politics and agendas. He’s already decided what is “best” for the rest of us whether or not the actual fact match the narrative or not.

Two, which is related to One.  The hypocrisy and cowardice of the left.  Radical Islam has struck more than once here in the US the and cowards won’t acknowledge it or face it.  But they will vilify and defame those who won’t strike back and blame them for the problem such as Christians, the NRA, and the Right in general.  God help you if you believe in the 2nd Amendment.

Screen-Shot-2015-12-03-at-2.20.24-PMYes I know Jon Gabriel and yes I know he’s being totally sarcastic.  I also know he makes the point perfectly.  By the way, did you see where Bloomberg and MSNBC tweeted that the shooting was only “blocks away from a Planned Parenthood” facility.  See “One” above.  Think narrative construction.

Three – we now have the Attorney General of the United States promising to take action against US citizens if she considers their rhetoric to be anti-Muslim and “edges” towards violence:

Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Thursday warned that the Justice Department could take aggressive action against people whose anti-Muslim rhetoric “edges towards violence” and told the Muslim community that “we stand with you in this.”

Speaking at Muslim Advocate’s 10th anniversary dinner, Lynch said since the terrorist attacks in Paris last month, she is increasingly concerned with the “incredibly disturbing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric … that fear is my greatest fear.”

Who will be the arbiter?  And, why selective treatment?  See “Two” above.  They won’t face the real enemy and they want to chill speech pretending it is anti-Muslim rhetoric that is the problem, not Radical Islamists.

These three things are consistent in every shooting that involved radical muslims.  One, the attempt to initially frame it so that the right is the problem.  Then to frame it as if it was just another “mass shooting” – you know, “workplace violence.”  The cause: guns, not followers of a 7th century death cult.  Two, deny, deny, deny and try to shift the blame.  Don’t face the reality of the problem.  “ISIS is contained”. Instead of facing the problem and addressing it, Mr. Obama’s answer is to contemplate stricter gun laws by executive order that will do nothing to stop what happened in CA.  But the left believes that the criminals and killers out there will be done … even though in California had every law Obama want’s nationally in place and supposedly functioning and the Islamic Radicals still had the banned weapons.  Third, the erosion of freedom.  Now we have the AG saying she’ll decide what “edges” toward violent rhetoric and will apparently act unilaterally to arrest the “perpetrator”.  However rhetoric “edging” toward violence against any other non-protected group?

Meh!

~McQ

 

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Economic Statistics for 3 Dec 15

Chain stores are posting slightly better year-on-year sales rates in November, hinting at better news in the government’s official report.

Challenger’s count of layoff announcements fell nearly -20,000 in November to 30,953 for the lowest reading since September, 2014.

The Gallup Good Jobs Rate for November fell -0.4% to 44.9%.

Factory orders bounced back from September’s -1.0% drop, coming in with an increase of 1.5% in October.

The PMI Services Index rose 1.3 points to 56.1 in November. Conversely, the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index fell -3.2 points to 55.9.

Initial weekly jobless claims rose 9,000 to 269,000. The 4-week average fell 750 to 269,250. Continuing claims rose 6,000 to 2.161 million.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell -1.3 points to 39.6 in the latest week, the fifth drop in six weeks.

The Fed’s balance sheet rose $1.0 billion last week, with total assets of $4.478 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-11.4 billion.

The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose by $19.8 billion in the latest week.


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The Paris Conference is about income redistribution, not the health of the planet

We’ve been offered all sorts of nonsense about the importance of battling climate change.  Lately the meme has been that ISIS is a result of climate change (even though, for the past 10 years, the climate hasn’t changed).  We’ve been treated to all sorts of theories masquerading as “proof” that climate change is real.  We’ve watched the alarmists ignore contrary data and continue to tell their big lie.

Why?  How does the lie survive as an actual movement?

Well, for one thing, there is a 100 billion dollars at risk, offered by the apparently guilt-ridden alarmists of the West, and the “third world” isn’t about to let that get away.  It is about global income redistribution.  All you have to do is look at who lines up on what side.  India and China, for instance, insist they are “third world” and by George, they want a piece of that 100 billion.  So they become willing participants in this lie, not because they necessarily believe any of it, but because there’s a pay-off.

Do they plan to actually do anything to mitigate CO2 production?  Uh, not really.  And they’re not the only ones:

More than 2,400 coal-fired power stations are under construction or being planned around the world, a study has revealed two weeks after Britain pledged to stop burning coal. The new plants will emit 6.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and undermine the efforts at the Paris climate conference to limit global warming to 2C. China is building 368 plants and planning a further 803, according to the study by four climate change research bodies, including Ecofys and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. India is building 297 and planning 149. Rich countries are also planning new coal plants. The nuclear disaster at Fukushima has prompted Japan to turn back to coal, with 40 plants in the pipeline and five under construction.

Here it is in graphic form:

inline_e358737c-98_1021170a

In other words, no one is really serious at all about reducing CO2 – except the guilt-ridden, “white privilege” shamed Westerners who are more than happy to use their dubious “science” and your money to assuage their guilt. And of course, the “third world” who is quite happy to take advantage of that guilt, and your money, while ignoring the supposed “problem” completely – well, other than talking the talk.  They have no intention of walking the walk.

The big lie, told often enough, becomes “the truth” … if you let it.

This, however, is just a lie fashioned to take your money and give it to others your imperial rulers deem “more deserving”.

~McQ

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Economic Statistics for 1 Dec 15

Automobiles fairly flew off the dealers’ lots in November, as auto sales rose to a 18.2 million annual pace, a 12-year high.

Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales rose to 3.9% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s weak 1.5%. Thanks, Black Friday!

Markit’s PMI Manufacturing Index slowed from 54.1 to 52.8 in November.

The ISM Manufacturing Index slowed from a barely positive 50.1 to a contractionary 48.6 in November.

Construction pending rose a solid 1.0% in October, and is up 13.0% on a year-over-year basis.

The Gallup Economic Confidence Index remained unchanged at 013 in November.


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