Wednesday, October 16, 2019

We need to define terms

Anyone who has ever listened to a conservative talk knows that they're not fond of defining certain terms. For example to a conservative the words communist, fascist, socialist, liberal, democrat and ooga-booga all mean the same thing to them.

Conservatives also like to confuse normal people about the real meaning of other words. Even the word conservative is not really understood by most people, the implication is that they're trying to conserve or protect something. A conservative will tell you that they're trying to protect their values or morals but of course by their nature they possess no positive values or morals. 

Published studies show that conservatives have brain abnormalities that are revealed on a CT scan, specifically an enlarged amygdala and a diminished anterior cingulate. The effect of these abnormalities show up on an MRI when a conservative tries to think, the areas of the brain that light up don't match those of a normal brain.  A conservative will either try to tell you he's a very stable genius who came up with every rightwing talking point himself or that it simply came to him through his faith, you know, magic. It's really just neurobiology and constant exposure to rightwing hate media. 

The amygdala is the most primitive part of the brain that we inherited from lizards and it controls the fight or flight response. A conservative brain is constantly marinating in fear hormones which is why they are racked with paranoid delusions and display irrational anger toward anything they don't understand.

You've noticed that conservatives are easily outraged over a range of issues, it turns out that their outrage is triggering the fight response in order to get a shot of endorphins, much as endurance runners and such do through exercise to get the "runner's high". The effect is the same as using opioids, the outraged conservative is nothing but a junkie. It's why you can't talk sense to a conservative about their favorite outrage because you are trying to deny them their fix. 

The anterior cingulate produces feelings of hope and trust. A conservative doesn't have this and it makes is obvious why conservatives were so offended by Obama's meme of "Hope and Change", they can't conceive of such a thing, it wasn't just racism. 

In simple terms the conservative is hardwired to suck up and kick down. He defers to anyone he perceives as powerful and views the weak as justifiable prey. Anyone who gets in the way of this is the enemy to be stabbed in the back at first opportunity. 

I'm not saying you shouldn't engage conservatives, it can be educational and even fun when you learn how to handle them, like keeping a dangerous reptile as a pet. Just don't expect them to change, they'll always try to bite you. -

Thursday, October 3, 2019

While you're laughing at the clowns you become aware of a hot breath on the back of your neck

In case you've been pre-occupied laughing at the Orange Clown as he's being chased around the circus ring by Keystone Kops with butterfly nets, it's time to look around and notice that the lions are out of their cages. There are a few people trying to keep the lions busy by tossing them steaks but that's only going to work for a little while.

I'm referring of course to the pending collapse of the banking system and in turn the teetering economy that it's been propping up.  The Federal Reserve was recently forced to inject $80 billion into the overnight lending market when the the lowest bid interest rate jumped from 2% to over 10%. Remember this is banks lending to other banks, when the best deal any bank can get is to pay credit card rates to get an overnight loan you know things are bad. 

Apparently the Fed's willingness to jump in has calmed the savage beasts for now but the central bankers are not in a position to fix any of the underlying problems. Low wages have created an economy propped up by ever increasing debt and then you add on forced debt in the form of student loans and medical debt and this gives you a balloon that's eventually going to pop.

Trump has been demanding that the Fed cut interest rates and they have but Trump sees other countries with negative interest rates and he wants that too. Negative interest rates are when you actually pay people to take a loan, the idea being that if you maintain spending, the economy will right itself and not roll over like a sick goldfish. Sprinkling more fish flakes or rather shoveling them into the tank isn't really going to help. 

Trump has been cutting the margin that banks are required to maintain in reserve in order to get them to lend more and the hedge fund dark money lenders that have over half of the corporate market are using Trump's tax cut money to overextend business loans. With paper thin margins any disruption will cause this money to stop flowing you'll see a sudden rash of corporate bankruptcies and then the cascade of failures across the economy will start. 

The Bush crash was never really resolved, Obama wrapped it up with duct tape but the Republicans successfully blocked any real change. Not that the corporate Dems are interested in any real change either. If the progressives don't come to power in the next election we are all truly screwed. 

The Green New Deal, cancelling student debt as well as eliminating medical debts and co-pays through a universal Medicare system will go a long way. Infrastructure spending, a protectionist trade policy, a realistic minimum wage and a return to unionized labor will fix our worst problems.

All of this hinges on taking power away from billionaires, Republican and Democrat, nothing less will work.  -

Saturday, August 10, 2019

today's question

Isn't there now, a whole bunch of "bad debt", on company books, that is currently being listed, as "assets" ?

 Most bad debt has some book value if there is any possibility that it can be collected. Then there is outright fraud claiming totally worthless junk is AAA rated liked the bundled mortgages under Bush which is probably much more common again with the orange fraudster in charge. 

The biggest risk comes from Trump having rolled bank bank reserve requirements which means if the default rate begins to climb the banks start dropping like flies and this cascades into other sectors as it did during the Bush Crash. There is also the dark money lending run by hedge funds that's probably over half of business lending.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

With some practice the kids will probably put a gold coin through a rat's head clean across the yard

The Federal Reserve is poised to cut interest rates from a level that's already historically low for an economy that Trump declares as, "the best economy ever". The big question is the Fed appeasing the orange moron or do they see the big flashing red warning lights of an impending collapse?

We do have a couple of huge debt bombs strapped to the pillars that support the economy as we've come to know it. Consumer and student debt are at record levels as are the default rates on both that continue to climb. After the 120 consecutive months of steady growth that Trump takes credit for, we should not have such problems. 

If you noticed that the "120 consecutive months" in that Trump claim seemed wrong then you're not a calendar challenged conservative. He's a bright orange Banty rooster strutting around the yard taking credit for his crowing making the sun rise. Of course is was Obama that did this, just as Trump alternates his racist tweets with claims that he lowered the Black unemployment rate to a new record low while it was Obama that cut the number in half and it ticked down just one more point under Trump. Trump calls Black Congressmen racist and ends the tweet with #BlacksForTrump2020 or in reality #chickensForTheColonel. 

The very stable genius's claim of a 3% growth rate just evaporated with revised government numbers. The easy to compile numbers looked good but when you dig into what is really going on there's a lot of rot. 

Trump has been cutting regulations on banks allowing them to issue riskier loans while maintaining reserves too small to cover the defaults from even a modest down turn in the economy. 

Then there is the Dark Money credit market that accounts for half of business borrowing that isn't regulated at all. Good time to invest in a 'board up service' because retail stores will be going under at a record rate once the shit hits the fan. 

The ballooning Federal debt is rarely even mentioned anymore. Remember when Republicans screamed about Obama's deficits when he inherited trillion dollar short falls from Bush and then cut them in half? Conservatives don't seem to notice that Trump has 1.25 billion deficit and it will be higher every year into the future.

The Federal debt isn't an actual problem because the Treasury has no problem selling all the bonds it offers at very low rates that are now starting to fall. Rich people and their corporations have more money than they know what to do with thanks to low taxes and government debt is the only safe place to put it. After the Bush crash they were paying the government a premium for bonds so rather than it costing to borrow, the government made money on every bond it sold. The rich have never invested their tax cuts in anything that would trickle down to the rest of us and they never will. 

Today's pro-tip: shotgun shells will make an excellent barter item for the post Trump apocalypse world, light and small for their value and always in demand. You can buy them now surprisingly cheap in bulk. Or if you prefer gold, maybe you can hunt rats using a slingshot loaded with a Krugerrand.  -

Monday, June 17, 2019

Deep State to the Rescue

It has come to light that US military has been screwing with the Russian power grid. This was apparently a yuge surprise to Commander in Chief Bone Spurs who accused the "failing NY Times" of treason for reporting it. You need to translate that from Trumpeze to understand that when the Orange Egotist says "treason" he means against him not against the United States which he could care less about.

Nobody in the intelligence establishment is upset with the revelation that they've been actively going after the Russians probably because they want to make sure they know it was the US and not China. 

Trump is spitting Big Mac chunks all over the Oval Office because this makes him look bad to his handlers in Moscow. Intelligence officials are making it clear that they're operating behind the Leaker in Chief's back because they know he'd either stop them or report it directly to Putin. Trump's biggest concern with Putin's reaction to this that this could make the Russian's withdraw their support for Republicans in the next election. 

Ironically this is actually an example of the "deep state", the real meaning of the phrase comes from Turkey where the military and government bureaucrats have been keeping religious fanatics out of power since they became a democracy. The way Trump uses 'deep state' is to describe law enforcement and counter intelligence agencies whose job it is to keep crooks and spies out of our government. 

Now a line has been crossed into actual sedition where they are acting against the Commander in Chief's obvious wishes, perhaps even acting in violation of the law. All though it's certainly possible that Putin's lap dog signed the order without reading it. 

Unlike the anonymous functionaries in the White House who told us they were thwarting Trump's worst inclinations while preserving the things they wanted like tax cuts for the rich, the people behind this are risking everything to protect us from a hostile foreign power and its operative in the White House. We'll probably never know who they were. They know that this isn't the sort of thing you get a medal for, just an anonymous star on the wall at CIA headquarters if you're caught.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Rotund Orange Rooster, A Bed Time Story

The rotund Orange Rooster had been strutting around for a week or more squawking about putting tariffs on trade with the farm next door if they didn't stop refugees from the farm called Honduras crossing their farm to get to his farm. The Orange Rooster thought he could do whatever he wants to the farm because 20% of the animals voted to put him be in charge of the Hen House. 

Things were tough down on the farm called Honduras since the American Foxes drove out their leader a decade ago and put a Fox in charge of their Hen House. Things that used to be provided freely to all in their farm yard like healthcare, education and water to drink are now privatized and everyone must pay and pay. American Foxes profited mightily while the farm fell into chaos. 

Packs of dogs roamed the streets victimizing the poor animals while the foxes in charge did nothing. So the widows of animals killed by the foxes and the dogs gathered their young and fled north hoping to find refuge on a great farm where all animals said to live in freedom. 

The rotund Orange Rooster is outraged by the caravans of animals and their young walking thousands of miles to come to 'his' farm. He is only outraged because the Foxes that put him in charge of the Hen House tell him to be. You see the Orange Rooster doesn't care about anything but how much scratch grain he can steal for himself and exploited the poor foreign animals in his own businesses all the time.  

The Orange Rooster is worried about the report from the Wise Old Owl that says the Orange Rooster knew the Russian Bears interfered in the farmyard election in order to get him elected and that he committed crimes to try to hide it. So after returning from his trip across the Big Pond honoring the many animals who fought and died to make all animals free, which the Orange Rooster made all about the Orange Rooster, he began to crow about his great success in the Great Trade War. 

The Orange Rooster crowed that his threats of tariffs had forced the farm next door to block the caravans of frightened and suffering animals from crossing their farm. The only problem is that everything in the new trade agreement with farm next door had been agreed to months before. So all the squawking, strutting and crowing was just for show. 

Putting on a show was what the Orange Rooster had always done to hide his life of crime.  Meanwhile in the House elected by the animals the faint sound of an ax being sharpened could be heard. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Trump's best hope for re-election

Some people are taking the thick black smoke rising up from the bond market as some sort of signal about the economy. Huh? Trump says he can't  be impeached because he's responsible for the greatest economy ever. But we make a yuge mistake by assuming that a good old fashioned market crash will in anyway change Trump's re-election chances. Trump thrives on chaos, he can convincingly argue to people stupid enough to vote for him that they need him to fight for them. 

Remember that Trump is a minority President, I don't mean because he's orange, but because he got less than half the vote from the less than half of Americans that voted. Trump really represents 20% of Americans, this includes the 15% that are conservative plus people that are otherwise liberal but buy into the bullshit conservatives peddle on one issue or another.

So how do you make sure your candidate wins when more than half the population hates them? Pick the schmuck who running against them. This was supposed to make Hillary President, it doesn't always work. Big money poured into her campaign but the former middle-class wouldn't vote for another Clinton. Oddly they hold a grudge about free-trade forcing their families into poverty. Trump was able to ride this to the White House much to everyone's shock.

The big money has since decided that Trump isn't so bad after all (apparently somebody hid the nuclear football) and so the big money is just pouring in but the really strategic big money is going to Democrats. Biden is the conservative money's choice, if he wins he'll give them four more years of Reagan/Clinton policies. And he's guaranteed to produce a low voter turn-out because he's got all of Hillary's baggage and more, a low turnout favors Trump and all the Republicans who would otherwise be voted out get a real shot. 

The big money isn't just going to Biden, a number of faux progressive candidates are getting a nice stipend to help make Bernie's numbers look weak. Of course Biden is getting a huge boost in the polls by weighting the results with the assumption that people under 50 won't vote. Ironically that will be true if Biden is the candidate. 

Trump is doing his part by blustering about Sleepy Joe and the media then pumps up Biden by saying Trump is afraid of him because Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania will go for Biden. The former middle-class in those states won't be so inclined when Biden's record is splashed around anymore than they voted for Hillary. The Big Money intends to give us a choice between extra flavorful Orange Fascism and Pale Fascism Lite. It's a killer hang-over either way. -

Thursday, May 23, 2019

China fires a ranging shot

It's been speculated for some time that the reason China has acquired over a trillion dollars in US Treasury bonds and several trillion in cash (not literal cash but bank holdings) is to use it as a weapon. In reality it was just a tool being used to back China's vast trading and asset acquisition policy. They've been buying copper mines, oil fields, ports and well just about anything all over the world for decades. 

It appears that now with a belligerent orange idiot in charge of the US who has been firing the relatively competent people around him and replacing them with sycophants that China may have decided that it's time to hammer the plowshare into a sword. Ever since the Bush Crash the Chinese have been quietly inserting their own currency into trade all over the world. Since China makes everything and the US makes nothing there is no country that isn't willing to trade in Renminbi (the People's currency) instead of insisting on USD.

China typically does its trading of US debt quietly through proxies but this week they dumped $20 billion of US debt for no apparent reason. That is a tiny amount but it was done right in the open, much the way an artillery battery fires a single round deliberately short of the enemy position to test the range. 

Wall St ran for the fox holes but the pundits are mostly saying China isn't really going to do this. Meanwhile in China, President For Life Xi, who Trump thinks is totally in awe of his Orange Greatness, is giving policy speeches at multiple appearances where he is invoking the history of the Great March. He's saying times will be hard for a decade or more but that China will prevail. Yeah....  Have you got your canned goods?  -