UNEXPECTEDLY! The Target boycott is costing more than anyone expected.
I think it’s more of a case of the cultural left being exhausted and having overreached on a variety of issues that have badly cheesed off the American public, but hey, even the Tampa Bay Buccaneers eventually turned the corner on their 0 and 26 record. But let’s check back in November before getting too excited on this one.
In the meantime though, note this item in Jim Geraghty’s post:
Enrollment at the University of Missouri is expected to decline by 2,600 students in the fall, aggravating a bad budget situation and making it likely the pain will extend for several years as the shrunken fall freshman class filters through to graduation.
Vice Chancellor of Finance Rhonda Gibler, in an interview ahead of a campus budget forum Wednesday, said campus divisions have been told to plan for 2 percent cuts to general fund budgets for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 in addition to 5 percent cuts ordered for the year that begins July 1…
The latest enrollment figures point to a decline of 1,400 first-time freshmen, to about 4,800, and 1,200 other students, Gibler said. For every 100 fewer Missouri undergraduate students who are on campus, the university loses $1 million in tuition revenue. That rises to $2.5 million for 100 fewer undergraduates from outside the state.
Related: “New York is again the least free state in the country,” the Cato Institute reports in its annual survey of “Freedom in the 50 States,” adding, “Its huge, glaring weakness is fiscal policy. If New York were to adopt a fiscal regime closer to that of California, New Jersey, or Connecticut, its overall economic freedom score would be close to theirs. As it is, New York looks set to remain the least free state for many years to come.”
What’s the second least free state in the country? Let’s just say you can’t spell the phrase “Catch-22” without the letters CA.
UNEXPECTEDLY! U.K. Unemployment Falls After Brexit.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Black Lives Matter Accuses Israel of Genocide.
UNEXPECTEDLY! Early Returns From Seattle’s Minimum Wage Experiment. “So what did they find? People are getting paid a higher wage — and yet, earnings didn’t rise much, because people are also working less.”
PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:
—John Nolte, Big Journalism, December 21st, 2013.
— Charlie Warzel, BuzzFeed, yesterday.
As Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon tweeted yesterday, guess whose name is “unexpectedly” omitted from Warzel’s article.
“Irony is wasted on the stupid.” This quote, attributed to Oscar Wilde, seems fitting in light of the Obama administration’s new campaign to block two blockbuster mergers between the health insurers Aetna and Humana and Anthem and Cigna. (It is also fighting hospital consolidation in many states.) The administration is rightly worried that this will lead to higher health care costs through reduced competition, yet it ignores the fact that its signature law, the Affordable Care Act, was specifically designed to foment such consolidation.
The central planners behind the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare – were convinced that consolidation in health care would lead to decreased health care spending by eliminating duplication, standardizing treatment protocols and incentivizing better utilization. As three of Obamacare’s primary authors wrote in The Annals of Internal Medicine in 2010, the law was designed to “unleash forces that favor integration across the continuum of care.” No part of health care was supposed to be spared – doctors, hospitals, insurers, pharmaceutical companies and others were given regulatory and financial incentives to merge.
This prediction panned out. In the six years since Obamacare’s passage, there has been a surge in health care consolidation.
All together now: Unexpectedly!
Will Smith, hardest hit.
Shades of the story of Julian Simon versus the enviro-doomsday religious left. As Jay Nordlinger once wrote, “Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute tells a story about Julian Simon, the late and great economist. He was at some environmental forum, and he said, ‘How many people here believe that the earth is increasingly polluted and that our natural resources are being exhausted?’ Naturally, every hand shot up. He said, ‘Is there any evidence that could dissuade you?’ Nothing. Again: ‘Is there any evidence I could give you — anything at all — that would lead you to reconsider these assumptions?’ Not a stir. Simon then said, ‘Well, excuse me, I’m not dressed for church.’ I love that story, for what it says about the fixity of these beliefs, immune to evidence, reason, or anything else.”
PEASANTS AND PITCHFORKS: A Wake-Up Call For Western Elites.
It is easy to get caught in the tidal wave of pessimism that has gripped the West’s chattering classes and op-ed writers. The list of real problems confronting Europe and the United States is long, and getting longer still: slow growth, exploding jihadi terrorism, uncontrolled immigration, the hollowing out of NATO, and the weakening of the European Union. Region by region, the global security equation looks equally menacing, with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) on fire amidst a Sunni-Shi‘a civil war, the fragmentation of Syria, Iraq, and Libya, and fighters flocking to the Islamic State intent on brushing aside the remnants of the Sykes-Picot system. The risk of armed conflict is growing in Asia and Europe, with China and Russia pressing their advantage, while Americans, weary of losses in what is now a 15-year War on Terror, look in vain for a viable strategy. Within the West itself events are approaching an inflection point; the liberal, globalist notions of the past two decades have suddenly (if only in hindsight not unexpectedly) run into a rapidly rising wall of popular resistance.
The forces that are reshaping the erstwhile globalist consensus are not, as critics would have it, simply “populism,” “racism,” or “lower class obscurantism,” but a 21st-century popular rebellion across the democratic West, which—warts and all—is readying itself to imprint the will of the modern demos onto what not so long ago many considered to be a progressively de-nationalized, postmodern consumer society. Steeped in resurgent nationalism, this public wave has crashed into the breach between the notional reality, which maintains that on balance Europe and America are still doing fine, and the perceived reality of high unemployment, high immigration rates, and segmented communities. It is amidst this sense of fragmentation and decline that latter-day peasants on both sides of the ocean are rising up, pitchforks in hand, against an increasingly denationalized aristocracy.
You can, by the way, purchase pitchforks from Amazon.com. With next-day delivery!
Not exactly “unexpectedly,” as this Reason TV video on federal government spending dates to April of 2009:
She’s plunged Europe into years of violence and chaos, but she’s always have that Time magazine “Person of the Year” award for 2015. I’m sure she thinks that’s a fair trade.
UNEXPECTEDLY! “College Students Protest, Alumni’s Fondness Fades and Checks Shrink,” the New York Times reports, with an actual sighting of the U-word:
Scott MacConnell cherishes the memory of his years at Amherst College, where he discovered his future métier as a theatrical designer. But protests on campus over cultural and racial sensitivities last year soured his feelings.
Now Mr. MacConnell, who graduated in 1960, is expressing his discontent through his wallet. In June, he cut the college out of his will.
“As an alumnus of the college, I feel that I have been lied to, patronized and basically dismissed as an old, white bigot who is insensitive to the needs and feelings of the current college community,” Mr. MacConnell, 77, wrote in a letter to the college’s alumni fund in December, when he first warned that he was reducing his support to the college to a token $5.
A backlash from alumni is an unexpected aftershock of the campus disruptions of the last academic year. Although fund-raisers are still gauging the extent of the effect on philanthropy, some colleges — particularly small, elite liberal arts institutions — have reported a decline in donations, accompanied by a laundry list of complaints.
Yes, who on earth could have seen this coming?
As Jim Treacher would say, “Modern journalism is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats” — and their Continental equivalent.
RECOVERY SUMMER: Construction spending falls to one-year low in June.
Construction spending declined 0.6 percent to its lowest level since June 2015 after an upwardly revised 0.1 percent dip in May, the Commerce Department said on Monday. Construction outlays were up 0.3 percent from a year ago.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending rising 0.5 percent in June after a previously reported 0.8 percent drop in May. Their June estimates were largely based on the government’s assumptions for private residential and nonresidential construction spending in the advance GDP report.
The anticipated downward revision will come unexpectedly.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Obama Talked More About Himself Than Hillary.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Draft Dem platform doesn’t even mention nuclear power.
As Glenn has noted on numerous occasions, if you don’t support nuclear power, you don’t care about carbon emissions.
EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN: Papa John’s upgraded on belief civil unrest is encouraging more pizza delivery:
Papa John’s International Inc. was upgraded to overweight from sector weight at KeyBanc Capital Markets with analysts expressing the surprising* view that diners, concerned about political and civil unrest, are choosing to stay home for pizza delivery rather than head out for a meal.
Papa John’s price target is $80, or about 16% above its current trading level.
“After speaking with several large operators and industry contacts, we believe the recent decline in casual dining restaurant segment fundamentals—traffic down 3% to 5% the past several weeks—may be the result of consumers eating more at home amid the current political/social backdrop, which we believe could last through the November election,” KeyBanc analysts wrote in a note published Tuesday.
Shades of Faith Popcorn’s “Cocooning” thesis from her much-hyped 1991 book, The Popcorn Report, written, not at all coincidentally, at the perigee of the Dinkins era in New York. Cocooning as a trend seemed to go a bit by the wayside after Rudy Giuliani began revitalizing New York law enforcement, and crime in general began to fall in the US during the Contract with America mid-1990s. I wonder if the post-Obama era will experience as quick a turnaround?
* AKA, Unexpectedly.
What we need is a law against unintended consequences.
GOSH, IT’S ALL HAPPENING SO UNEXPECTEDLY: “A document obtained by The Associated Press shows that key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will ease in slightly more than a decade, halving the time Tehran would need to build a bomb.”
UNEXPECTEDLY: Venezuela’s inflation is set to top 1,600% next year.
A shortage of medical supplies means infants and other sick patients are dying of treatable illnesses. Soldiers guard empty grocery store shelves. Inflation is so bad, the government has had to order bolivars by the planeload.
As Caracas extends its declared state of economic emergency, it’s no wonder many economists say the nation will soon have to ask the IMF for a bailout. It’s gotten so bad, the government this week handed over control of food stocks to the military, ceding even more power to the armed forces.
Thursday. My day of the week to buy staples. I head over to the local supermarket just after 10 a.m. Sixty people or so are waiting outside. They’ve come from all over the city, especially the poorer neighborhoods where food is scarcest, to stand in line. No one knows anything: what time the regulated goods will be put up for sale; which items, if any, will be offered; nothing. They just wait, doggedly, under the blistering Caribbean sun.
“This is the line of hope,” one woman says to me. “We are hoping they have something to sell us.” Nice. A little bit of gallows humor. I laugh. A couple hours later, though, with the line still at a standstill, I’m out of hope. I abandon my spot and walk away.
Socialism is about caring.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Coal Miners Exit Democrat Party.
A double-dose of “unexpectedly.”
Other than pretty much everyone, who saw this coming?
UNEXPECTEDLY: Iran Violates the Deal. Now What?
The report from the German FBI—the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution spoke of Iran’s support for terrorists inside Germany including Hezbollah and Hamas. But just as alarming was the finding that Iran made at least nine recent attempts to acquire technology for nuclear arms development. Though it claimed the majority of those attempts were thwarted by German intelligence, the agency said there was no doubt the Islamist regime would continue “its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.”
The implications of this report cannot be overestimated.
This means that despite all the happy talk from the United States and its Western allies about compliance with the terms of the nuclear pact, their confidence is unfounded. Instead of merely reaping the enormous benefits that have accrued to it from the ending of sanctions and waiting patiently for the pact to expire in ten years before resuming their push for a weapon, Iran has never stopped working to achieve its nuclear ambition.
A nuclear-armed Iran seems to have been Obama’s goal all along. The US, not so much.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Obama and company decline to speak honestly about Dallas.
Related: In sharp contrast, An Ex-Cop Organized a Black Lives Matter Protest — and Protestors Got More Than They Bargained For.
THIS IS KNOWN AS BAD LUCK: Venezuela’s democratic façade has completely crumbled, the Washington Post reports.
Note the photo atop the article, which is captioned, “A national guard member patrols a supermarket in Caracas in February of last year.”
Well, that’s the usual endgame when a nation declares “We Are All Socialists Now,” as the Washington Post trumpeted at the dawn of the Obama era, via its then subsidiary, Newsweek.
Related: Freedom Is Receding Around the World.
Unexpectedly. Or as Stuart Chase, the socialist advisor to FDR who coined the phrase “A New Deal” asked in his 1932 book by the same name, “Why should the Soviets have all the fun remaking a world?”
(Classical reference in headline.)
UNEXPECTEDLY! Leaked German police report CONFIRMS surge in child rapes by migrants in swimming pools and admits: ‘We have grave cause for concern.’ “Refugee officials have pleaded for calm after the publication of the Duesseldorf memo and have stressed they are making more efforts to educate young immigrant men about the rights of women and children in Germany.”
GANGSTER GOVERNMENT: Federal Lab Cooked the Books for Two Decades and No One is Being Punished.
NBC HAS TOP MEN WRITING THE NEWS. TOP. MEN.:
But then, this is the logical endpoint of NBC’s Tom Brokaw, who by then had over 40 years as a journalist and teleprompter reader claiming the week before the 2008 election that he didn’t know what Barack Obama’s worldview is. “We don’t know a lot about Barack Obama and the universe of his thinking about foreign policy,” Brokaw told Charlie Rose. “Unexpectedly,” as the kids say at Bloomberg, neither man was horrified at the implications of that statement. Both what it says about Obama himself, and the DNC operatives with bylines (such as Brokaw and Rose) who not only failed to vet him, but covered for him every step of the way.
THIS IS MY NOT SURPRISED FACE OR PERHAPS “UNEXPECTEDLY”: America Is Awash In Guns, And Crime Is At Record Lows.
The long march through the institutions continues.
PAGING MR. ORWELL: “It’s hard to recall a moment when the American Justice Department has looked so ridiculous as in its censoring transcripts of the 911 calls from the gunman at Orlando. George Orwell couldn’t have made it up.”
Malcolm Muggeridge famously said that there is no way any satirist can compete with reality for its pure absurdity. This administration has been a toxic combination of Orwell meets Muggeridge’s Law right from the start.
And its media enablers are thrilled to play along! “AG Loretta Lynch: Orlando gunman’s motive may never be known,” CBS reports with a straight face.
“Unexpectedly,” considering that the president of its news division is David Rhodes, brother to Ben “Lonesome” Rhodes, the now infamous “Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru” before adding to this pitiful administration’s ongoing woes.
Related: When Terrorists Can’t Be Muslims.
DWI arrests are up 7.5% in Austin, Texas since the city banned Uber and Lyft. 🚗https://t.co/iw6e3m5xU5
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) June 21, 2016
Apparently, saving lives and preventing needless arrests is less important to the Austin City Council than staying in bed with entrenched business and labor interests.
UNEXPECTEDLY! Britain: Exclusive poll: EU support falls after Jo Cox murder. Well, Britain has become a more violent place, with less civilized politics, since it joined the EU. People may rationally conclude that Brexit might reverse that trend, or at least limit it.
More thoughts here.
ARE DEMOCRATS HAPPY TO BE A PARTY OF GOONS?, asks Scott McKay of the American Spectator:
The mayor of San Jose is a Democrat. Sam Liccardo, who prior to last week was known mostly for the fact that he’s in his mid-40s and white and actually got elected to something as a Democrat, gave us a great example of how atrocious his party actually is.
Donald Trump may have his problems, and Trump’s supporters may have theirs, but Trump held a rally in Liccardo’s city — as is his right as a presidential candidate — and Liccardo’s police department provided grotesquely inadequate security given the relatively open effort by political activists sharing his party denomination to fill the streets outside the Trump rally venue with violent thugs.
This was anything but an unknown. Craigslist was full of advertisements looking for protesters willing to disrupt Trump’s rally in San Jose, and it’s hard to believe Liccardo’s police department wasn’t aware of what was coming. And it isn’t like Liccardo, and the rest of the Democrat establishment, don’t know about the effort to disrupt Trump rallies nationwide.
* * * * * * * *
Here’s a bit of advice for Remsin, and Liccardo for that matter: watch out what you wish for. You might find a few takers to bust up a rally here and there, but the vitriol and anger you think you’re entitled to is nothing compared to what you’re stoking in the people your paid thugs are brutalizing at those rallies. And if you keep it up, while deluding yourself that your rent-a-riots are justified, those people are going to respond.
And when they do, it won’t just be San Jose that looks like Weimar Germany. It’ll be the whole country. And it’ll be your fault.
But in answer to McKay’s query, as Michael Walsh would say, just think of the Democratic Party “as what it really is: a criminal organization masquerading as a political party,” and you won’t go far wrong.
UNEXPECTEDLY: David French Says He’s Not Running for President.
THAT’S OKAY, WE’RE STARTING OFF ON ANOTHER “RECOVERY SUMMER!” Employers added just 38,000 jobs in May. Unexpectedly! “Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected 160,000 new jobs.”
Yet, miraculously, unemployment dropped .3 percent!
UNEXPECTEDLY: Best-Run States Are Heavily Republican, Study Finds.
“f*ck ’em,” as the late Pat Moynihan sagely responded to the Israeli ambassador in 1975 when the corrupt UN equated Zionism with “racism.”
THE THING IS THIS HAPPENS EVERY TIME GOVERNMENT INTERVENES IN HEALTH CARE: First Rise in U.S. Death Rate in Years Surprises Experts. But, of course, it’s always unexpectedly.
During his 18 years as president of Lebanon Valley College during the middle of the past century, Clyde Lynch led the tiny Pennsylvania liberal arts institution through the tribulations of the Great Depression and World War II, then raised $550,000 to build a new gymnasium before he died in 1950. In gratitude, college trustees named that new building after him.
Neither Lynch nor those trustees could have predicted* there would come a day when students would demand that his name be stripped from the Lynch Memorial Hall because the word lynch has “racial overtones.” But that day did come.
* * * * * * * * * *
Graduates of the Class of 2016 are leaving behind campuses that have become petri dishes of extreme political correctness and heading out into a world without trigger warnings, safe spaces and free speech zones, with no rules forbidding offensive verbal conduct or microaggressions, and where the names of cruel, rapacious capitalists are embossed in brass and granite on buildings across the land. Baby seals during the Canadian hunting season may have a better chance of survival.
Their degrees look the same as ever, but in recent years the programs of study behind them have been altered to reflect the new sensitivities. Books now come with trigger warnings—a concept that originated on the internet to warn people with post-traumatic stress disorder (veterans, child abuse survivors) of content that might “trigger” a past trauma. Columbia’s English majors were opting out of reading Ovid (trigger: sexual assault), and some of their counterparts at Rutgers declined an assignment to study Virginia Woolf (trigger: suicidal ideation). Political science graduates from Modesto Junior College might have shied away from touching a copy of the U.S. Constitution in public, since a security guard stopped one of them from handing it out because he was not inside a 25-square-foot piece of concrete 30 yards away from the nearest walkway designated as the “free speech zone”—a space that needed to be booked 30 days in advance. Graduates of California public universities found it hard to discuss affirmative action policies, as administrators recently added such talk to a list of “microaggressions”—subtle but offensive comments or actions directed at a minority or other nondominant group that unintentionally reinforce a stereotype.
* * * * * * * * * *
American college campuses are starting to resemble George Orwell’s Oceania with its Thought Police, or East Germany under the Stasi. College newspapers have been muzzled and trashed, and students are disciplined or suspended for “hate speech,” while exponentially more are being shamed and silenced on social media by their peers. Professors quake at the possibility of accidentally offending any student and are rethinking syllabi and restricting class discussions to only the most anodyne topics. A Brandeis professor endured a secret administrative investigation for racial harassment after using the word wetback in class while explaining its use as a pejorative.
Yes, the degrees may look the same, but as Iowahawk has tweeted, that’s par for the course once the left has thoroughly captured an institution.
And note that the author of this piece is Democrat operative with a byline Nina Burleigh, who famously said in 1998, “I would be happy to give him [Clinton] a blow job just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.”
This time around, the theocracy is entirely on your side of the aisle, Nina. But all revolutions eventually devour their own eventually.
* Really? George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, Allan Bloom and Peter Hitchens all would have predicted it.
STUMP THE SOCIALIST: Bernie Sanders Gets In Snippy Exchange With California Radio Hosts.
Earlier: Stump the Socialist: Bernie would rather not talk about Venezuela.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Suburbs (Continue to) Dominate Jobs and Job Growth.
NEXT, HE’LL DISCOVER THAT GAMBLING IS GOING ON IN RICK’S CAFE: McAuliffe shocked over FBI investigation of campaign money, personal finances.
Related: CNBC’s John Harwood Labels VA Gov. McAuliffe a Republican Under FBI Investigation.
UNEXPECTEDLY: How Anti-White Rhetoric Is Fueling White Nationalism.
THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will skip his own Congressional impeachment hearing.
UNEXPECTEDLY: American Indians A-OK with Washington ‘Redskins’ Name.
OBAMA DOESN’T THINK RAPISTS, ARMED ROBBERS, DRUG DEALERS ARE CRIMINALS, Kyle Smith writes at the New York Post:
It’s only May, but I think I’ve found the euphemism of the year: According to Team Obama, criminals should now be declared “justice-involved individuals.”
The neo-Orwellianism comes to us from the bizarre flurry of last-minute diktats, regulations and bone-chilling threats collectively known to fanboys as Obama’s Gorgeous Goodbye.
* * * * * * *
Obama is fighting the war for criminals to get closer to you on several fronts. Last month, through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, he went after landlords, threatening them with penalties if they barred criminals from living in their buildings.
In November, Obama unilaterally ordered federal agencies to strike the box asking applicants whether they had committed crimes and referred to criminals as “folks.” This would be the same president who on Oct. 25, 2010, referred to Republicans as “enemies” and suggested voters should “punish” them. Convicted rapists? They’re just “folks.”
Related: California ballot measure blamed for shoplifting jump, AP reports:
Perry Lutz says his struggle to survive as a small businessman became a lot harder after California voters reduced theft penalties 1½ years ago.
About a half-dozen times this year, shoplifters have stolen expensive drones or another of the remote-controlled toys he sells in HobbyTown USA, a small shop in Rocklin, northeast of Sacramento. “It’s just pretty much open season,” Lutz said. “They’ll pick the $800 unit and just grab it and run out the door.”
Anything below $950 keeps the crime a misdemeanor — and likely means the thieves face no pursuit and no punishment, say retailers and law enforcement officials. Large retailers including Safeway, Target, Rite Aid and CVS pharmacies say shoplifting increased at least 15 percent, and in some cases, doubled since voters approved Proposition 47 and ended the possibility of charging shoplifting as a felony with the potential for a prison sentence.
Shoplifting reports to the Los Angeles Police Department jumped by a quarter in the first year, according to statistics the department compiled for The Associated Press. The ballot measure also lowered penalties for forgery, fraud, petty theft and drug possession.
And it isn’t just shoplifting that’s on the rise: “‘We have a problem.’ Homicides are up again this year in more than two dozen major U.S. cities,” the Washington Post adds.
As Kyle Smith writes in his article on “justice-involved individuals,” the Obama administration’s invention of this phrase “is just a step in a long-term strategy pursued by progressives, who love criminals the way little girls love Disney princesses. The goal is to sneak criminals into your apartment building or workplace or campus.” Responding to the same Orwellian euphemism, Rod Dreher warns, “Get used to it. We’re probably going to have four more years of federal rule by liberal government-involved individuals.”
This is end game of a philosophy that was first articulated in 1968, an era when there really was a relatively benign liberal dominant culture, and a far left counterculture working to undermine it. Back then, one of its most visible spokesmen famously sang, “just as every cop is a criminal, and all the sinners saints, as heads is tails…”, well, you know how the song ends, and who it’s dedicated to.
UNEXPECTEDLY! Venezuela Is Falling Apart.
The entrepreneur is one of the real people behind those zany “there’s no toilet paper in Venezuela” stories that play up the crisis for laughs, and clicks. But to Venezuelans like the present writers, and the entrepreneur, there’s nothing funny about the dark turn our country has taken. The experiment with “21st-century socialism” as introduced by the late President Hugo Chavez, a self-described champion of the poor who vowed to distribute the country’s wealth among the masses, and instead steered the nation toward the catastrophe the world is witnessing under his handpicked successor Maduro, has been a cruel failure.
Socialism always is a cruel failure. But it enriches and empowers the people at the top. All in the name of equality!
BLOOMBERG: CONGRATS ON WINNING THE WHITE HOUSE; HERE’S YOUR RECESSION — Recession May Loom for Next U.S. President No Matter Who That Is.
Note that this is running in Bloomberg, home of the Obama era “unexpectedly” whenever there’s bad economic news. President Trump obviously won’t be shown such a courtesy from the media – and based on her less than messianic coverage, likely neither would a Hillary administration, at least to the same extent as Obama has received.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Ebay Blocks ‘Draw Mohammed’ Winning Cartoon from Auction.
And building more robots to avoid minimum wage hikes. Who could have predicted such developments?!
THE ROAD TO SERFDOM, IN CARTOONS.
This was originally a pamphlet that was distributed immediately after WWII by General Motors, of all people. If only GM had paid attention to its own advice, it never would have transmogrified into first “a health-care provider that makes cars as an industrial by-product,” and then — unexpectedly! — Government Motors. But as Conquest’s Second Law of Politics warns, “Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.”
(Via Insta-reader Dev Woolwine.)
UNEXPECTEDLY: Rebound in U.S. durable goods orders below expectations.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Media Silent on the Clinton Mortgage Banking Scam.
Read the whole thing.
THE WORD “UNEXPECTEDLY” MAKES ITS EXPECTED APPEARANCE IN THIS STORY: Weak U.S. retail sales, inflation data reinforce Fed caution on rates.
U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell in March as households cut back on purchases of automobiles and other items, further evidence that economic growth stumbled in the first quarter.
Other data on Wednesday showed a surprise drop in producer prices last month as rising energy prices were offset by a decline in the cost of services.
The two reports suggested the Federal Reserve will probably not raise interest rates until later this year.
“The data solidifies the well-entrenched narrative of a very weak first quarter for the U.S. economy. For the Federal Reserve … it argues for continued caution,” said Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities in New York.
But maybe this is the year we finally get that Summer of Recovery.
No really, for some this news apparently was unexpected: “UK Equalities Chief Who Popularised The Term ‘Islamophobia’ Admits: ‘I Thought Muslims Would Blend into Britain… I Should Have Known Better.’”
Flashback: “Labour’s ‘secret plan’ to lure migrants — The Government has been accused of pursuing a secret policy of encouraging mass immigration for its own political ends.”
THE NEW YORK TIMES ON WHY TRUMP’S ANTIWAR MESSAGE RESONATES WITH WHITE AMERICA.
That’s odd – Ctrl-F “Obama” brings back zero results.
New orders for U.S. factory goods fell in February and business spending on capital goods was much weaker than initially thought, the latest indications that economic growth slowed further in the first quarter.
The Commerce Department said on Monday new orders for manufactured goods declined 1.7 percent as demand fell broadly, reversing January’s downwardly revised 1.2 percent increase. Orders have declined in 14 of the last 19 months. They were previously reported to have increased 1.6 percent in January.
The department also said orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft fell by a steeper 2.5 percent in February instead of the 1.8 percent drop reported last month.
These dismal industrial numbers, plus continued weakness in consumer spending, just don’t seem to square with the official unemployment rate of 5%.
EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN! Wall Street’s latest dirty word—stagflation:
A tightening labor market and rising inflation against a backdrop of slowing overall growth are painting an increasingly stagflationary picture for the U.S. economy.
Stagflation, or conditions in which costs are rising but growth is not, last was seen in the 1970s, before then-Fed Chair Paul Volcker had to push the economy into recession to slay the inflation dragon.
Now, with a variety of factors coming together to show inflationary-deflationary cross currents, Wall Street is bracing for another battle.
Welcome back Carter! Although as someone once warned, when it comes to foreign, domestic, and economic issues, “at this point a Carter rerun is probably a best-case scenario.”
(Incidentally, note that CTL-F “Carter” brings up zero returns in the above CNBC article. “Unexpectedly.”)
UNEXPECTEDLY: Report: New Obamacare enrollees sicker and costlier.
“Correction: sicker and pricier than YOU expected,” Iowahawk responds to CNN’s coverage of the same report.
As a reminder, in the fall of 2009, CNN featured a choir of school kids harmonizing in service of our Glorious Leader and the Obamacare wonders to come.
MISTER, WE COULD USE A MAN LIKE GEORGE W. BUSH AGAIN: Obama will leave his successor more Middle East disasters than he inherited.
CHOCOLATE RATION INCREASED: Previously Owned U.S. Home Sales Decline More Than Forecast.
Closings on existing homes, which usually take place a month or two after a contract is signed, decreased 7.1 percent to a three-month low 5.08 million annual rate after a 5.47 million pace in January, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. Sales were weaker than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
Faster growth in residential real estate is being hampered by a limited selection of available properties that has led to higher offering prices. While mortgage rates are attractive, affordability remains an issue for potential first-time and lower-income buyers whose participation would help broaden the market’s improvement.
“This number seems to suggest the trend may be a little weaker than we thought,” said David Sloan, senior economist at 4cast Inc. in New York. “Supply is fairly limited, so that is a restraint on sales.”
The Administration’s response to the popped real estate bubble was to blow the bubble back up, and now younger buyers are getting priced out of the market.
“RECENT EVENTS,” AKA, “THIS IS KNOWN AS BAD LUCK:” Regarding “Earth Hour,” “Fads come and go,” Tim Blair writes. “This year was a little different. For a start, some Europeans cities decided against turning off their street lights due to what one official described as ‘recent events’. Explaining that ‘Earth Hour is a good and important arrangement’, Swedish politician AnnSofie Andersson nevertheless cancelled the usual lights-out ceremony in the city of Ostersund. ‘This year we chose to keep the streets lit because of the recent events.’”
By that, Andersson means a surge in sexual assaults and other crimes blamed — with good reason — on Sweden’s new and extremely numerous Middle Eastern refugee population.
“The police think it’s a very wise move and that the municipality made a good decision,” Chief Constable Stephen Jerand said of the city’s decision.
“Keeping the lights on creates security and is in line with our common efforts to increase security under current conditions. “Under current conditions” is Euro-talk for “during all of these Islamic rapes, attacks and robberies”.
They’ve got a very different way of expressing themselves over there.
Or as they say over here since January of 2009, whenever any bad news strikes that could impact our semi-retired president’s poll numbers, “Unexpectedly.”
(Classical reference in headline.)
Russian President Vladimir Putin pulled his military out of Syria for economic reasons, former U.N. ambassador Bill Richardson said during an interview with John Catsimatidis Sunday.
“I think he’s up to something again,” Richardson said. “It could be Syria is a big burden on Russia … The Russian economy is in trouble. I think he may feel overextended.”
Earlier this week Putin unexpectedly announced that Moscow’s objectives in the country had been “generally accomplished” and Russia would begin withdrawing from Syria.
But Richardson, the U.S. Ambassador to United Nations and Energy Secretary under the Clinton administration, questioned Putin’s intentions.
Keep your eye on Ukraine, and the Baltics.
Violent crime is up in New York under de Blasio? Other than pretty much everybody, who could have seen this coming?
WHAT WE NEED IS A DIALOGUE ON PUNISHING FALSE ACCUSERS AND THOSE WHO ENABLE THEM: The ‘it started a dialogue’ excuse for false accusations.
Falsely accusing someone of a crime is never okay and society should never excuse it. Sadly, today’s culture allows anyone to accuse someone of rape or racism and seek forgiveness by claiming the false accuser just wanted to “start a dialogue.”
In the recent race hoax at State University of New York at Albany, where three black women started a fight on a bus and accused a dozen white people of attacking them for being black, a professor at the school claimed they were justified because they started a conversation on race.
“My white students have said this has opened up conversations,” said Sami Schalk, an assistant professor in SUNY Albany’s English department. “Things that are inadvertent, small, but that these white students have no experience with, not being a person of color on this campus.”
The three women who claimed to be the victims of a racial attack are currently being charged with assault (as videos show one of them threw the first punch) and filing a false report.
Another recent hoax, this one involving a lesbian professor at Central Michigan University who claimed she was attacked for her sexuality by a man at a Tony Keith concert, also included the “starting a dialogue” excuse. Professor Mari Poindexter said she made up the story (and punched herself in the eye to fake evidence) “because she wanted to raise awareness about the social hardships of people in the LGBTQ+ community.”
After Rolling Stone’s article about an alleged gang-rape at the University of Virginia was proven to be a hoax, media outlets — including MTV — rushed to suggest that the article “may have unintentionally started a conversation that’s bigger than the controversy itself.”
Oddly, but not unexpectedly, that “conversation” was not about avoiding a rush to judgment when accusations check all the boxes in preferred narratives, but about accusers needing to be believed.
When they say “it started a dialogue,” what they really mean is “it enabled our monologue.”
FALLACIES DO NOT CEASE TO BE FALLACIES BECAUSE THEY BECOME FASHIONS, as G.K. Chesterton said: “Now that the Oregon legislature has hiked the minimum wage, effective this July, colleges and universities in the state have a decision to make: hire fewer student employees, cut the school’s budget, or raise tuition.”
Too bad they no longer study Chesterton or Kipling there, as the Gods of the Copybook Headings wouldn’t be at all surprised at this “unexpected” development. (aka “Bad Luck,” as Heinlein would say. I doubt he’s read much there either, at least in class.) As Richard Samuelson notes on Twitter, “If students didn’t expect $15 minimum wage to hurt jobs, University should fire entire econ dept.”
Hey, the New York Times has a Nobel-winning economist (and former Enron consultant) on staff, and Bloomberg was started by a former general partner at one of Wall Street’s biggest bond trading houses, and since January of 2009, they’ve been constantly surprised by “unexpectedly” bad economic news; why should their junior wannabe counterparts in college be any different?
UNEXPECTEDLY: Walmart’s customers are too broke to shop. Fundamentally transformed!
On the losing side of automation, globalization and the “rural brain drain” our community was powerless to stop furniture factories from closing down or Wal-Mart from coming in. And after decades of decline folks were too beaten down and disorganized to fight back when pharmaceutical companies flooded the area with OxyContin. As a result, Wilkes had the third highest overdose rate in America in 2007 and busted 50 meth labs in 2013. [Overdose rates dropped 69 percent by 2011 after North Carolina responded to the crisis.]
Now, I walk into the courtroom every week and see the faces of childhood friends in a town where 23 percent of the population lives in poverty and 25 percent never finished high school.
So if there are winners and losers in America, I know the losers. They lost jobs to China and Vietnam. And they’re dying younger, caught in an endless cycle of jail, drug charges and applying for disability to pay the child support bill.
They lost their influence, their dignity and their shot at the American Dream, and now they’re angry. They’re angry at Washington and Wall Street, at big corporations and big government. And they’re voting now for Donald Trump.
My Republican friends are for Trump. My state representative is for Trump. People who haven’t voted in years are for Trump. He’ll win the primary here on March 15 and he will carry this county in the general.
His supporters realize he’s a joke. They do not care. They know he’s authoritarian, nationalist, almost un-American, and they love him anyway, because he disrupts a broken political process and beats establishment candidates who’ve long ignored their interests.
Read the whole thing. At this point, a lot of Americans hate our political class more than they love America, and that’s not a good thing, but at this point, it’s also kind of understandable, no? I’ve been warning for a long time about the consequences of having a lousy political class.
Now other people are noticing. “The rise of Trump, love him or hate him, conveys an inescapable message: The United States’ political institutions are in decay, and voters are angry at a government that they perceive (correctly) to be broken.”
That’s true. The solution there isn’t very well thought out, nor is the anger at “tax cuts” (where’s mine?) but here’s a thought: When you have a society that can’t do things that need to be done because every change threatens somebody’s rice bowl or offers insufficient opportunities for graft, you’ve got a society that is due for a reset, not for incremental change.
The thing is, resets are often kind of ugly.
EPIC WHINE BY CLUELESS MILLENNIAL GETS HER FIRED. As Rick Moran writes, former Yelp employee Talia Jane’s “first huge mistake was moving to San Francisco. It might be nice to live in your dream city where the weather is nice and you’re close to your dad, but seriously, how could anyone expect to work a minimum wage job in one of the most expensive cities in the world? It’s incomprehensible and shows a critical lack of understanding of the outside world.”
Don’t be too hard on her, Rick. Between a looming $15 minimum wage, public nudity, gun control, their “sanctuary city” policy on illegal immigration, and treating the homeless like they were an endangered species — and then openly wondering why all these crazy homeless people keep flocking to the city, San Francisco’s elites spend their days in a world of magical thinking. We shouldn’t be too surprised when a young person there does so as well.
Related: Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman “admits the cost of living in San Francisco is ‘far too high’ as one of his employees complains she can barely afford to eat.”
But that’s just the way that San Francisco’s “Progressive” elites like it. In a 2014 article at Reason titled “How San Francisco’s Progressive Policies Are Hurting the Poor,” Scott Beyer noted, “Progressive economic policies—or at least the way they are applied in San Francisco, without apparent knowledge of government bureaucracy’s pitfalls—have…caused higher taxes and living costs, poor services, regulatory barriers to entry, and a loss of economic freedom. This creates a system that the rich can endure, and sometimes exploit to their benefit, but that poorer people cannot abide, helping to explain San Francisco’s further plunge into stark class division.”
Unexpectedly, as the house organ of a billionaire socialist technocrat would say.
QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: “How can I survive in the Bay Area with $400k family income?”
The brutal, complete answer: don’t procreate. Sure, you may be the smart, thoughtful sort of person that humanity absolutely needs in its gene pool, but Silicon Valley doesn’t want you in its gene pool: you don’t make enough to own a house in a top school district. It’s sending you a clear economic signal. So, you have two options.
The first is to leave Silicon Valley. It’s expensive, exclusive, obsessed with power and success with no concern for how they are achieved, and an utterly terrible place to raise children– unless you want your kids to be the sort who bawl when you give them, as a 16th birthday present, a car that’s “only” $35,000, because the doors “open like this instead of this”. Unless you have no hope of getting a comparable income (say, $250,000 or up, considering cost of living) in Boulder, Chicago, Austin, Seattle, Boston, or New York… (ok, New York probably requires more than $300k to raise a family) I don’t know why you would stay there. The Bay Area’s fine when you’re 22 and need to establish yourself, because the benefits of being in Corporate HQ if you work at, say, Google or Apple, are pretty massive. If you haven’t made fuck-you money (so you can say “fuck you” to all the insufferable people in Silicon Valley, and even if they have more power and wealth than you, it doesn’t matter because you have enough) by child-raising age, I don’t know why you’re still there. It’s not a mark of failure to leave Silicon Valley. (Hey, I know plenty of really smart people and, statistically, most of them will never get anywhere close to $400,000.) It’s a mark of good judgment. San Francisco is just OK, and the rest of the Valley is an overrated, unattractive suburban tract. Sure, the Bay Area has an incredible 3-hour-drive radius… Napa Valley, Big Sur, Yosemite… but, let’s be honest, it takes a vacation to really enjoy a place like that and, if you lived elsewhere, the money saved on not paying Bay Area housing costs would easily cover airfare and hotels, anywhere you want to go.
And note this: “The economic signal that our society sends is that it doesn’t need or want more children.” Well, that’s certainly the signal that the Bay Area sends. It’s not a coincidence that for years, San Francisco has had the lowest percentage of children of any major US city.
“Unexpectedly,” as Bloomberg News might say, though not by anyone who’s perused the (NSFW!) back catalog of the Bay Area blogger known as Zombie.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Ex-NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer being investigated for assaulting woman.
Curiously, at least in the initial version of the Daily News’ article, Spitzer’s party goes “unexpectedly” unmentioned.
That’s so odd — CTL-F “Clinton” brings zero returns in the article text. Unexpectedly!
(Via John Nolte.)
Sen. Bernard Sanders’ surprisingly strong candidacy for president has laid bare a sharp division within the Democratic coalition, pitting its activist base against the moderate-minded establishment.
It’s a split Republicans — especially the ones focused on winning down-ballot races this fall — are now racing to exploit.
The GOP is betting that the ideological fight at the top of the Democratic ticket will filter down the ballot, exposing incumbents and establishment-favored candidates to thorny questions about their support — or lack thereof — of the self-described socialist and his polarizing agenda. The idea: Either candidates disavow support for the Vermont senator and alienate supposed progressive allies, or they embrace Sanders and suffer the consequences in November when Republicans tie them to politically problematic issues such as single-payer health care. In effect, it mirrors the approach Democrats have taken in recent presidential elections, when they have successfully tied Republican candidates to the sometimes damaging positions of their party’s standard-bearer.
The strategy has special resonance now, after Sanders’s unexpectedly strong second-place showing in the Iowa caucuses. And for a party whose candidates have been relentlessly pressed for months about Donald Trump, there’s a palpable sense of relief and delight in giving Democrats a presidential headache of their own — one they hope lasts beyond even Sanders’s White House bid.
The Democrats’ problems have been underplayed.
SHAKEUP AT CAMP CLINTON: “Having learned apparently nothing from her top-heavy, expensive, and ultimately doomed 2008 campaign, Hillary Clinton is set for a shakeup just like the one following her first unexpectedly bad Iowa result eight years ago,” Steve Green writes in his PJM Column.
And when Hillary’s lost Politico’s sycophantic Glenn “Badass” Thrush, you know she’s hit an iceberg.
NEARLY TEN PERCENT OF COUNTRY UNEMPLOYED UNDER OBAMA, BERNIE SANDERS CLAIMS:
“There’s another government statistic that comes out at the same time that does not often get reported, which looks at unemployment not only for those who don’t have jobs, but those who are working part-time when they want to work full-time,” Sanders said at an event in Manchester, N.H.
“And that’s a lot of people in this country. And those people in high unemployment areas who have given up looking for work,” he added. “When you add all that together, you’ve got 9.9 percent unemployment, which is a serious problem.”
And speaking of “All the President’s Stenographers,” naturally The Hill soft-pedals Sanders’ claim under the milquetoast headline, “Sanders lukewarm on jobs report.”
Unexpectedly — as Obama’s stenographers at Bloomberg have been saying since early 2009 whenever there’s bad economic news.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Clinton struggles again among younger voters.
UNEXPECTEDLY: “Hiring at restaurants, hotels and other leisure and hospitality sector venues slowed markedly last year in metro areas that saw big minimum-wage hikes, new Labor Department data show. Wherever cities implemented big minimum-wage hikes to $10 an hour or more last year, the latest data through December show that job creation downshifted to the slowest pace in at least five years.”
On the plus side, it’s likely doing wonders for the robotics and automation industries.