Sunday, August 18, 2019

Trump’s Trade War With China Is Triggering A Recession, Possibly A Global One, and...

August 14 was the worst day of the year for the stock market. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 800 points, or 3% and that makes for a net loss of almost 7% in the past three weeks. Additionally, the inverted yield curve has been flashing for weeks, and it has been a reliable predictor of impending recessions for the past 50 years. The last time it manifested was in 2007, in the ramp up to the 2008 housing bubble bursting. The inverted yield curve occurs when longer-term bonds, which offer higher rates of return, are passed over in favor of shorter-term bonds. The yield curve inverts when yields on the shorter-term debt exceeds those on longer maturity debt. It is a classic sign that people don’t trust their government. Washington Post: This phenomenon, which suggests investor faith in the economy is faltering, has preceded every recession in the past 50 years. “The stars are aligned across the curve that the economy is headed for a big fall,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank. “The yield curves are all crying timber that a recession is almost a reality, and investors are tripping over themselves to get out of the way.” Now here’s Donald Trump’s take on the matter. ..Spread is way too much as other countries say THANK YOU to clueless Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve. Germany, and many others, are playing the game! CRAZY INVERTED YIELD CURVE! We should easily be reaping big Rewards & Gains, but the Fed is holding us back. We will Win! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2019 Yeah, that “crazy inverted yield curve!” What a silly thing that is. If only Jerome Powell would get his act together, everything would be simply dandy. Meanwhile, the rats are running down the ropes, because they know what’s coming. Several White House officials have become concerned that the economy is weakening faster than expected, but they are not working on proactive plans to change its course. The Treasury Department has had an exodus of senior advisers in recent months, and the White House just announced a replacement for its chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers…. The Twitter posts reflected a growing anxiety within the White House about problems in the economy, which many advisers believe will determine whether the president wins reelection. Just a few hours earlier, Trump offered a contradictory assessment, saying the inverted yield curve was a good sign because there was “Tremendous amounts of money pouring into the United States. People want safety!” ,,,the escalating trade war between Trump and Chinese leaders has stopped many businesses from investing. And there are signs that the large tariffs he has placed on many Chinese imports is costing U.S. businesses and consumers billions of dollars. “The big concern is around trade,” said Dan Ivascyn, group chief investment officer at Pimco. “The longer we remain in limbo, the more damage to the global economy.” Small wonder #TrumpRecession is trending on Twitter. On Twitter, Wajahat Ali, a contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times, rattled off several of Trump’s failed promises that preceded fears of another crash. “Trump promised to eliminate the debt in four years; he increased it,” Ali tweeted. “He promised to win the easy trade war with China; he […]
Wall Street Journal / YouTube Can the Democrats Ride a Blue...

Could 2020 be 2016 on steroids in the primaries?

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo   Meditation enlightenment chant Calm your mind grasshopper, there are many long miles to go until this journey is complete. Or maybe not. Seems to me that we’ve been down this road before, and it turned out to be more of a trip to the mall than a cross country trek. Back in October of 2015, two and a half months before the Iowa caucuses, I posted an article online at Daily Kos, where I predicted that the GOP nomination was Trump’s for the taking. There was no crystal ball required (sorry Marianne Williamson), it was simple math. There were 17 candidates in the GOP field, and Trump was running in the high 20’s to low 30’s, and nobody else was even in double digits. Most, if not all of the early GOP primary states were “winner take all” primaries, which meant that Trump could bank all of the primary delegates from those states with only around 32% of the vote. This would allow him to amass such a huge delegate lead that by the time the field winnowed down, he would be almost impossible to catch. That’s what happened in real time. The problem with a large, unwieldy field is that if a single candidate jumps out to a big lead in the polls, especially in early primary states, he’s halfway there. Because, when people start to drop out, it won’t be the ones closest to the front runner, it will be the ones farthest behind. And when they do drop out, their 1-2% isn’t going to help anybody above them appreciably cut into the front runners lead. And while that culling out process continues, the front runner keeps banking early primary state delegates. I am seeing the same dynamic at play so far in the 2020 Democratic primaries, but with even ore exaggerated implications. There are 24 active candidates as we speak, and well more than half of them are polling at under 4%, most of them at 1-2%. Again, the dropping out of any of these candidates, even two or three at a time are not going to help a second tier candidate to make much of a push upwards. And while in this case, there are other candidates in double digits, namely Sanders, Warren, and in some polls Harris, Biden is near or over double digit leads against them, and 1-2% isn’t going to close the gap much. There are a couple of other factors in play here that weren’t present in the GOP primaries of 2016, and they are going to work against anybody whose last name isn’t Biden. First of all is the trajectory of the primary itself. In most primaries, they are basically popularity contests to start with, between the personas of the individual candidates, as well as their positions on issues. That doesn’t seem to hold true as much this time. Persistent polling shows that the #1 issue for Democratic primary voters is finding the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump. As the front runner, Biden is already perceived as having the best shot at beating His Lowness, and any other candidate is going to have to prove that they’re a better option, which is going to be difficult to do unless Biden implodes on his own. And that dynamic plays into another similar aspect. Americans love a […]

An “Embarrassment of Riches”

Ah, what a time to be alive, eh? If you’re a Democrat, the old refrain is as comfortable as the chorus of “Me and my Bobby McGee.” Democrats suck in the midterms due to a depressed voter turnout caused by a lack of voter enthusiasm when there’s not a presidential candidate at the top of the ticket. Apparently, controlling the House and Senate, and their own state legislatures just aren’t as exciting as the newest products on the Home Shopping Network. And in 2016, we took it to another level, when voter apathy for the first woman president, combined with a false sense of security that it was in the bag, led us to the reign of Emperor Numbus Nuttus. There have even been rumblings in the rumpus room that is political punditry that the Democrats may have trouble in 2020 in finding a candidate that can ignite the base to match the passion of Trump’s slobbering horde of Trombies. To me, this is just another reminder that there are plenty of people out there who will try to stir up controversy, even where none exists, in their perpetual quest to make themselves sound all important and knowledgeable and stuff. Polling continues to show that the number one criteria for a Democratic candidate among Democratic primary voters is someone who can kick Trump’s pasty ass out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, so he can begin starring in his upcoming reality show, “Orange is the new Gilt.” Voters even say that they’ll vote for a candidate with whom they disagree on fundamental issues, as long as it means that the SS Trumptanic finally gets to tour Davey Jones Locker. Democratic candidates are now uniformly bashing His Lowness instead of each other, and reporting from the Iowa State Fair seems to indicate that this is popcorn for the souls of Iowa voters. But even setting that aside, going into 2020, the Democrats are indeed suffering from the embarrassment of riches that I spoke of in the title. Trump in 2020 is like a Las Vegas buffet, there’s something for everybody in the Democratic base to turn their noses up at. If the Democrats in 2020 can’t motivate every last voter to come out and punch a hole, then we may just as well turn the party into a gigantic sewing circle, and start trying to come up with a new flag for The United Banana Republic. The racism issue speaks for itself. The Democrats did a fine job of finally coming right out and calling Trump a racist, and some even referring to him as a white supremacist. This clearly stung Trump, and he even admitted in a moment of candor that it “wasn’t helpful.” They don’t have to constantly refer to Trump as a racist, just call out and denounce the sure-to-follow racist statements Trump will make about urban cities and Latino immigrants. African Americans know that “shithole cities” are a short step from “shithole countries,” and Latinos now know that Trump has put a target on their backs. Even Puerto Ricans and Cubans in Florida, who may not normally align tightly with Mexicans and Central Americans, should be smart enough to know that the average Trump maniac doesn’t “fine tune” when it comes to the shade of brown. Hell, even Hawaiians may […]
DonkeyHotey / Flickr Donald Trump Caricature...

The GOP divides with race, the Democrats need to unite with it.

All men are created equal. Some are just more equal than others.  Old Joke Most pundits are fond of saying that the 2020 election will be a “base” election. Then again, most pundits, including me, have our heads so far up our asses that we can see our lungs. Reference how many times we’ve all predicted Trump’s certain demise for some stupid thing he’s said or done. But when you come right down to it, every election is a “base” election, who can turn out their base supporters, and hopefully snag a share of the ever dwindling pool of true “independent” or “undecided” voters out there. And 2020 will be no different. But as we all know, raw numbers are not always dispositive. Hillary Clinton garnered almost three million more votes that His Lowness, and yet The Great Pumpkin still occupies the White House, due to the vagaries of an antiquated electoral college system. It’s not always a matter of how many you turn out in electoral politics as where you turn them out. Every time I mention the contention that race is an issue that may not work out well for Trump and the GOP in 2020, I am respectfully reminded in the comments that the use of race is nothing new for the Republicans, in fact, they’ve been thriving on it for more than 40 years. And I have repeatedly agreed with that. But as I remind people, the systemic racism that the GOP has successfully exploited for nearly a half a century comes with a thin veneer of respectability and whitewash to it. Nixon spoke of “law and order,” and Reagan of “welfare queens.” But here’s something else for the race nay sayers to chew on, and it’s something more dispositive. Simple question. If Trump’s vitriolic rhetoric and actions against “shithole countries,” and crumbling, mostly minority large cities, and Mexican drug runners, murderers and rapists are such a 100%, guaranteed winner for the GOP in 2020, hell, even in 2018, then why aren’t more mainstream Republicans in the House and Senate rallying behind Trump with those statements? They aren’t parroting Trump. In fact, they’re fleeing from him, for one simple reason. Because that shit only works for Trump, and with his base. For everybody else out there in GOPland, it’s pure, undiluted poison, and they know it. Race is going to be an issue in this election for one reason, and one reason only. Because Donald Trump made it one. And he’s going to keep right on doing it, to try to keep his base motivated, and the hell with everybody else on the GOP side. But properly used, it can also rev up the Democratic minority base. There’s a damn good reason why Republicans like to claim that Democrats are “playing the race card” all of the time. Because every time the Democrats bring it up, the GOP has just done or said something stupidly racist that they can’t afford to get caught at. A simple reminder. In 2016, Donald Trump won the electoral college by a combined 77,000 votes spread over three states, WI, MI, and PA. A statistical comparison shows that if Hillary Clinton had motivated African American voters in Milwaukee the way that Barack Obama did in 2012, she would have blown Trump out in WI. The same thing with Detroit and Philadelphia. We wouldn’t […]
FOX 4 News - Dallas-Fort Worth / YouTube New details on Beto O ...

Don’t Miss These Late Summer Hits!

Traditionally, even in presidential years, this is the slowest time of the year for political news. Congress is on their August recess, and most vacations are over with, or just wrapping up. Parents are just finishing up last minute back-to-school shopping, or are collapsed on the couch with the little monsters safely back under somebody else’s watchful eye, and the President himself is somewhere away from the office, giving us our summer reprieve. Thus close to Labor Day, normally the summer blockbuster movie season is winding down. All of the alleged monster hits having already been released when there are more people likely to park the kids in a dark place for a couple of hours. But even in a summer movie season as bereft of really good fare as this one was, all of a sudden, there are several political thrillers that could be box office blowouts, all looking to come out around the same time. Keep an eye out for these. Escape From Mitch Mountain – Everybody thought that it was hysterical when Joe Scarborough of MSNBC seriously tagged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with the oh, so elegant moniker of Moscow Mitch. The cherry on the sundae was the way that the nickname drove Yertl McTurtle absolutely insane, forcing him to the floor of the Senate to piss and whine about how his oh, so honorable name and integrity were being impugned by a bunch of vicious lefties. We’re now starting to see just why McConnell went to Defcon 5 so quickly. Several newspapers, along with Rachel Maddow of MSNBC are starting to lay out a very clear timeline of Moscow Mitch’s Machiavellian interference in ensuring that sanctions against Putin aligned aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska were lifted, despite overwhelming bipartisan support for them to stay in place. Within days, Deripaska’s company ponied up $200 million for a new aluminum plant in the most distressed part of Kentucky. This is blowing up in everybody’s faces. The Kentucky legislature is now royally pissed at the way the state’s Governor deceptively marketed the plan to the legislature in the closing hours of the session, some now claim under false pretenses. The machinations of former Senator David “The Hooker Magnet” Vitter as a go between, and a federal appeals court slot for his totally fruitcake wife are just adding fuel to the fire. This could end up leaving McConnell himself with a full omelet on his face. Deripaska’s company has already threatened that any scrutiny of the deal could cause the company to pull out. Well, the deal is now getting more scrutiny than a new strain of virus, from the media to the KY legislature. McConnell is going up against a female former marine fighter jock, with in state popularity of 32%. If this thing mushroom clouds on him, especially if Deripaska bails out leaving him holding the bag, we could see a Crying Game ending, with McConnell tearfully bitching that everybody in Washington is being mean to him, taking his shriveled old balls, and going home. The Hunt For Beto October – Normally, campaign reboots, especially this early are not a good sign for a campaign. A campaign 2.0 is normally a dead-in-the-water signal flare, and a campaign 3.0 reboot means that the bow just slid under the water. We’re now in the opening credits of Beto 3.0, […]
Guardian News / YouTube Five times Donald Trump refused to...

National Slampoon’s “Trumper Vacation”

I swear, I’m not really that big of a dumb ass. But can I help it if every time I reach a totally logical conclusion, some paddlefoot comes clomping in and demolishes the whole thing, like it’s a six-year-old’s sand castle? Although it seems like forever ago in the Land of the Misfit Mango, it was only a couple of weeks ago that I wrote that the battle lines for the 2020 August recess seemed drawn. 2020 would be the Democratic equivalent of the GOP 2009 ACA town hall hijackings. In 2009, activists took over incumbent town halls with screams of “socialized medicine,” and “death panels for Granny!” And that’s the way I saw 2020 shaping up, only this time with Democrats at the helm, storming their own incumbent’s town halls to loudly demand that impeachment hearings begin for Donald Juan Trump just as soon as Congress could reconvene. And early reporting was confirming that premise, with activists charting town halls on calendars, and making sure that activists would be there, GOP town halls as well as Democratic ones, making their feelings on impeachment known. Well, there goes another perfectly good plan, shot to shit. Did you ever notice how hard it is to catch a fly, with the way they keep changing direction on a dime, and never ending up quite where you and the fly swatter thought they’d be? Well, welcome to activism in Trumpmenistan, you gotta be quick on your feet, and you’ve got to be adaptable, because the best laid plans are subject to change without notice. It all began about a month ago. Trump started out with a perfectly sane political strategy of painting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of The Squad as far left ideologues, and trying to make them the face of the “new” Democratic party ahead of 2020. But of course, having the social skills of a honey badger, Trump couldn’t contain himself. He had to make it personal, he had to make it racial, and he had to make it sexist. And when His Lowness told the whole damn bunch of ’em to “go back where they came from,” the racism pot went to simmer. But with Trump, racism is like eating one salted peanut. Next, he had to haul off on House Oversight chair Elijah Cummings, as well as the entire city of Baltimore. And since he was on a roll, he threw in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. All places, you’ll notice, where he won’t bother campaigning. If it were possible, Trump would have signed executive orders making them independent nations, just so he could refer to them as “shithole countries.” And the racism pot hit boil. And then last Saturday, one week ago today: A white supremacist piece of shit drives 10 hours to El Paso, fuels up with breakfast to make sure his aim is good, an then strolls into a Walmart like he owns the place, and kills 22 innocent people and injures 24 more. His reason? As a retaliation for the immigrant “invasion” turning Texas into a vassal state of Mexico, and as a warning to future invaders. You know, the ones that President Bone Spurs has been bitching about constantly? He referred specifically to it in some racist dung he posted online, […]

Kentucky Democrats Make $200K in 48 Hours Selling ‘Moscow Mitch’ Memorabilia

I love capitalism. Mitch McConnell is still squirming from his “Moscow Mitch” nickname, and Kentucky Democrats are taking it all the way to the bank. Good for them. For some reason, McConnell’s most recent nickname rankles him. He didn’t mind “Cocaine Mitch.” As a matter of fact, he enjoyed it, and sold tee shirts with the moniker himself, at $34 a pop. Cocaine Mitch arose because drugs were allegedly found on a ship owned by a company in which McConnell’s wife’s family had an interest. McConnell also enjoyed “Grim Reaper” and made a joke out of it. “For the first time in my memory I agree with Nancy Pelosi.” But Moscow Mitch is different. You remember McConnell’s speech a few days ago, to a mostly empty chamber, railing about McCarthyism, and “lies.” That being the case, it’s most likely that the Moscow Mitch paraphernalia which has flooded Kentucky for two days, swelling the coffers of the Kentucky Democratic Party’s war chest, is yet another burr under his saddle. And who broke the story? Would you believe Fox News? Capitalizing on McConnell’s ire, the Kentucky Democratic Party on Wednesday rolled out an array of “Moscow Mitch” merchandise online, including a T-shirt, a hat, drinkware, stickers and buttons. Nearly all items come with the phrase “Just say nyet! to Moscow Mitch.” “People are sick of [McConnell’s policies], and this is their way of expressing their outrage,” Kentucky Democratic Party spokeswoman Marisa McNee said in a press release. “This campaign has really caught the imagination of voters in Kentucky and across the country.” The Kentucky Democrat Party said it’s gotten orders for the merchandise from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. A Kentucky Journalist named Marshall Ward coined the phrase “Moscow Mitch” in an editorial he did April 24 for a local paper. Braidy Industries, a Kentucky aluminum mill, accepted a $200Mil investment from Rusal, a Russian firm. Rusal is owned by Oleg Deripaska, whom you may remember used to finance a great many of Paul Manafort’s projects. The Treasury Department decided to lift sanctions on Rusal in January, and then shortly thereafter, all that money flowed into Kentucky. Coincidence, much? At the very least, it might explain why McConnell got so hot under the collar when called “Moscow Mitch.” The optics of this are lousy, to say the very least, and to that end Braidy Industries retained the services of a public relations firm run by one of McConnell’s former staffers to put these issues in a more positive light. Rotsa ruck. What is hilarious about this, is that John McCain accused Kentucky’s other senator, Rand Paul, of being in cahoots with Russia, in March of 2017, when Paul objected to the inclusion of Montenegro into NATO. Here’s a snip from a piece I wrote then. The quoted material is a transcript from C-SPAN. “You are achieving the objectives of Vladimir Putin… trying to dismember this small country which has already been the subject of an attempted coup.” McCain continued: “If they object, they are now carrying out the desires and ambitions of Vladimir Putin and I do not say that lightly.” ____________ Them’s fightin’ words apparently because the good senator from Kentucky put down his mic and stalked out of the room. ____________ “I note the senator from Kentucky leaving the floor without justification or any […]
MSNBC / YouTube Donald Trump Had A Terrible Horrible...

Who’d a thunk it. Trump really IS the “Uniter in Chief.”

As I write this, Trump is on the ground in Dayton, stop one of his “Greatest Shits” tour. Maybe he can stop by and autograph the Trump Baby Blimp, that would be a nice gesture. For four long years now, I’ve long held the belief that the only things that Trump could unite were his upper plate and his lower plate, preferably through the middle of a bacon double cheeseburger. That just goes to show what an incredible dumb ass I can be when I put my mind to it. But it turns out that The Mango Messiah has grown wonderfully into the job of Uniter in Chief. Just cast your mind back a scant month or so. What was happening? Well, Nancy Pelosi was engaged in a school yard pissing contest with the unsinkable Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez, and by association, with the rest of The Squad as well. It was quite the little squabble, and the GOP was lapping it up like a kitten with a pint of cream, gloating about how AOC and her crew were tearing the soul of the Democratic party apart, radicalizing it for the election. And then what happened. Well, in the words of one sage journalist, “The Democratic caucus was in a traditional Democratic circular firing squad, and into the middle wandered Donald Trump, and focused all of the incoming on him.” And that’s exactly what happened. With his racist Trumper tantrum against Ilhan Omar and the rest of The Squad, Trump united not just Pelosi and AOC, but the entire Democratic caucus. Pelosi and AOC held their secret summit, and while I’m sure there are still swollen fee-fee’s on both sides, they’ve buried the hatchet somewhere else but each other, and are presenting a united front against Il Douche. Now fast forward your minds to two weeks ago. The Democratic Presidential primary field, after a couple of debates hosted by CNN moderators who obviously wanted to bulk up their resumes to go along with their applications for spots at FOX News, tore each other apart in front of millions of people. Speed dial to four days ago. Twenty-two people, many of Mexican or Hispanic heritage are murdered in an El Paso Walmart, and twenty-four more are injured. And where does the attention immediately shift? To the racist diatribes of Emperor Numbus Nuttus, thanks in large part to the identical insane rantings contained in the steaming pile of shit that the El Paso murderer posted online within an hour of committing his atrocity. And instantly, every Democratic candidate on the stump is united, locked arm-in-arm against Trump and his hateful, racist rhetoric, which are tearing the country apart. This is what I keep writing about. The election is now less than 15 months away, and you can pretty well set your watch by the fact that on more or less a monthly basis, Der Gropinfuror is going to pull some insane shit that unites the entire Democratic party, along with the rest of the right thinking world, against him. Hey, dog’s gotta howl, right. But now is when every Democratic presidential candidate, as well as all congressional and Senate challengers, should make hay while the sun shines. Get your A#1, top of the line, bestest sound bites ready, and get them caught on camera. […]

Trump Gloats On Economy, Writes Himself 3rd Person Love Note

Donald Trump congratulated himself Saturday on strong economic indicators continuing, which he believes will handily carry him into a second term of office. Our Country is the envy of the World. Thank you, Mr. President! https://t.co/2h8mvu16YX — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2019 You may recall Larry Kudlow admitting to Chris Wallace on Fox […]

Those cute hashtags work. So try using the concept more, Democrats.

Moscow Mitch. Just two simple words, but oh, how they warm the heart. Those two words are devastating for Mitch McConnell. They’re simple. They’re direct. They’re catchy. They stick in the memory. And they lend themselves to the kinds of images that the Democrats are putting on t-shirts, bumper stickers, mugs and glasses, and billboards, and raising a ton of money off of. And oh, yeah. For a guy in s deeply conservative state that doesn’t like Russians much, has been in the Senate for 35 years, and is running against a former female Marine fighter pilot? Good luck with that one. And now apparently, while I was sacked out, #LeningradLindsey is climbing up the charts. Again, a deep red state, with a large older population who remember the Cold War, and a candidate with long years in the Senate who panders to a President who has his head so far up Putin’s ass that he can see his lungs, it can be wonderfully effective. And the mere thought that Trump’s bromance with Putin could lead to even the possible removal of two of the biggest thorns in the Democrats side just makes it that much more satisfying. I hope that the Democrats running for President are paying attention. And not just to the Russian themed hashtags, although the more they use them in their speeches, the more firmly they tie those barbed wire bow-ties around McConnell and Graham’s necks. I hope they’re paying attention to the concept that is turning out to be so wonderfully effective, the quick, catchy, long lasting bumper sticker phrase. Because that can help with something that all of the Democratic nominees are currently struggling with. Messaging. Just look at the two most recent debates. On Tuesday and Wednesday night, the candidates spent a combined 80 minutes dealing with the healthcare issue alone, more than enough time to make their points. And out of that hour and twenty minutes of talking time, how much of it resulted in a clear, concise, easy to understand and follow discussion about the candidates healthcare plans? I’d say about a buck forty eight. Tops And that’s being generous. In their quest to savage the other guy’s plans, and to show the brilliance of their own, they got so far down into the weeds on things like “Insurance company greed” this, and “Big Pharma profits” that, and “zones of coverage” the other that it was incomprehensible! And it wasn’t just healthcare either. They did the same damn thing on immigration, the economy, and climate change and global warming.Because their basic plans just aren’t all that different, they tried to differentiate themselves by picking more nits than a mother gorilla with her baby. And it sucked. Look guys and girls, you aren’t speaking to a convention of climate change scientists, insurance company executives, or immigration attorneys. You’re speaking to the American people, and the American people really only want to know three things about all of this shit: what do I get out of it, what do I lose, and how much is it going to cost me. That’s what you have to concentrate on. Explain your plan simply, stick with the broad concept, what it does, and leave the nuts and bolts to the mechanics to install later. This is something […]

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