Saturday, September 29, 2012

Econ 101

The Republicans are still talking about jobs, as if none of this was their fault. They are even claiming that fewer people are working now than when Obama became President, as if they weren't to blame for all of this.

Here is one simple economic fact. The answer to the question, 'what creates jobs'? It's a one word answer and an incredibly simple concept that should be a requirement to graduate fifth grade. Demand. Demand creates jobs. Nobody, no matter how rich, no matter how little they pay in taxes will create a single job without a demand for the goods or service that they sell. 'Demand' of course requires somebody to 'want', and be able to 'pay'. 

If you want to create 'demand' out of thin air, the only entity that can do that is government. Government can print money or borrow from people who have it in order to buy goods and services at anytime. The Egyptians had this down, why do you think they built pyramids? The Romans mostly built useful stuff, like roads, viaducts, harbors, and on and on. The United States has done this from the beginning.

The other way to put money into peoples hands is to pass out money to the poor. Ancient kings did this all the time, 'alms for the poor' wasn't just to be nice or please the gods. Increasing payments to the needy and raising the minimum wage to historical levels (about $12-14/hour) would do wonders for the economy.

There is the problem of imports to deal with or the money simply drains away to China. Hamilton had this all figured out in 1790, and it worked fine until 1980. We can learn from history, we aren't Republicans.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Shock Poll

Drudge is finally back in the polling business. They link an article from a PA rag claiming that Obama leads Romney by 2 points is headlined, 'Shock Poll'. In reality Obama leads by closer to 10 points. The Super-Pac money left 2 weeks ago. Those people are Nazis but they aren't stupid with their money (well, corporate money they stole from you). 

The shaping of the future is at hand

Initial jobless claims fell back to a more reasonable number last week indicating that the pace of growth could be picking up. Gasoline prices are starting down, speculators simply can't hold the price up with 30% of refinery output being exported. There is no good reason that we should have to pay more than a dollar per gallon for what is essentially refinery waste. Don't cry for the Wall Street bankers, they make money as the price goes down too.

A more powerful indicator of a turnaround is the hiring plans of the major retailers for the Christmas season. At the same time that the corporate CEOs are relentlessly painting a gloomy picture for the economy based on their uncertainty about Obama's policies, they are hiring big time. This isn't based on their belief that Romney will be President, they aren't stupid.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has revised the job creation numbers up by nearly 400,000 for the year to date. This is despite all of the efforts of Republicans to hold the economy back, after the election you can expect things to really pick up speed. This 'rosy' prediction is based on several factors: there is a huge pent up demand in the consumer sector, corporations would like to go back to making money instead of trying to make Obama look bad, the housing slump is at or near bottom, and the Fed has committed to printing money as needed.

That's not that I'm saying everything is good and go donate the canned goods to the food bank. The banks are still too big to fail, and we have no national economic policies that make any sense. We also have a tremendous parasite load in the 0.01% that must be dealt with. If you think you can relax because Obama will be re-elected, you are simply crazy. An intelligent Congress is just as important, but that isn't an impossible goal thanks to Romney-Ryan.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

USN Seals don't die cheap

Since the concept of the October surprise goes back to 1968, and we have on tape proof of Treason by Republicans in the past, we must consider the following speculation. Was the attack on the US Consulate in Libya an attempt to affect the election?

While we have no direct evidence, there are some facts to consider. The attackers were not simply a mob, they were heavily armed and obviously rehearsed in advance of the attack. Two of the Americans killed were former Navy Seals who were there to improve security. Some people say that one Seal is equivalent to fifty ordinary soldiers, that's probably a fair assessment. We don't know what really happened, you can be sure the animation on TV is wrong, you can be sure the Seals gave them Hell.

We will probably never know exactly who attacked our people, but we know it wasn't a popular movement. Local Libyans have made that clear by overrunning and destroying the Islamist militias rumored to be involved. We need to hold to principle and not be distracted or intimidated, nor can we rest for a second. Obama is winning by double digits, but it will take more than that to take back America. It will take Americans to take back America. 

Conspicuous by it's absence

I read Drudge, so you don't have to. Not that there is any actual writing on Drudge, it's just a collection of links, but the page composition talks. It's sort of like watching a culture grow, you can learn things. For the first time in months, maybe years, there is no polling data about how bad Obama was doing. Apparently they couldn't find anything to link to that was up to there 'standards', that is one that 100% of the people who can read wouldn't laugh at. Yesterday, they were down to running a national poll that claimed that Obama and Romney were still tied. Even that's gone now, the Petri dish has changed color (it still smells bad).

They're down to running pictures of Obama and Michelle in the least flattering shots that they can find. Also photo of an elderly black woman who got a free phone from a program that connects the poor to the phone system who says she'll vote for Obama. This proves it's all about 'free stuff' of course, even though most of the people getting a leg up from that program are white. They don't mention the trillions that Wall Street steals from the 99.9%. That doesn't seem to count as 'free stuff', rich people deserve it. Never mind that giving the poor telephones helps them get jobs, reduces healthcare costs and so on. Drudge doesn't want to get people out of poverty, what would they 'write' about.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How many laps can Obama lead by?

There are (maybe) reliable reports that Ryan and his staff have taken to calling Romney, "Stench" as in 'stench of death', and Romney advisers are calling Ryan, "Gilligan" as in a 'goofus'. [this maybe just satire, but it sounds credible] Ryan has figured out that the Romney campaign is dead, and has started running the Ryan 2016 campaign. The far right loves him because he gives them specifics with charts and graphs. The numbers on his graphs come in two types, real numbers that he totally misinterprets, and completely made up numbers that justify the suicide pact he wants them to sign. The slide show is a shiny thing designed to keep the crowd from booing him when he says his stupid things, charts make it seem like he isn't responsible for what he's saying, he's just reporting the 'truth'.

Romney is getting all freaked out by being upstaged by Ryan, even stopping the crowd from chanting Ryan's name when he introduced him.

The far-right never admits it's wrong, they like the atmosphere in their bubble. If they get shown up by reality, it's their front man's fault for not being far right enough. Let's look at the past 30 years, not even going back to the infamous Nixon or Ford. Reagan was a failure, but they'll never admit it. Bush I was a failure, but only because he was a traitor by raising taxes. Clinton gave them everything they claim to want, you know, a huge budget surplus, ended welfare and stuff like that, but they hate him. Bush II was a disaster but they pretend he never existed. Obama has been cleaning up the mess and making their lives better, killed Bin Laden, saved GM, but they hate him most of all.

Speaking of GM, Obama now leads Romney among NASCAR fans, as redneck a bunch as you could ask for and proud of it. Why the shift? NASCAR fans are overwhelmingly Chevy owners. They are also in the class of people who really benefit from Obamacare. While your typical NASCAR fan is 'unsophisticated', they aren't stupid. Romney thought he could court NASCAR fans by saying that while he didn't know anything about racing, he is friends with several team owners. If Obama was white, he would lap Romney.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nothing like a little rioting to disrupt The Force

Rioting in Spain as the middle-class objects to being forced to dig through garbage to find food. The corporate government response is to padlock the dumpsters.

Rioting at one of the huge Foxcom factories in China where the workers are little better than slave labor. Romney's Bain is a big player in the development of China's industrial sector by crating up factories here and moving them to China. He just loves the factory-dorm system that the Chinese use at Bain's factories. They are really only one or two steps above work camps.

Spain is on the list to become a cheap labor work floor for the trans-national corporations. If nothing else they can make things bad enough so as to use them as an example to anybody that rebels. Sort of like using the Death Star on the rebel planets. Spain was quite prosperous before the banking crash, a budget surplus, low unemployment and rapid development at high wages. That had to be ended. Will Obi Wan feel the Spanish cry out as one?

The plan of course it to move production from China when the workers start expecting a middle class lifestyle. China might have something say about that, or maybe not, we'll see.

Romney knows what he likes, it's what the Republicans like, they want the old south back again. Only they want it everywhere, not just in the south. It isn't a southern thing, it's a rich oligarch thing.

Monday, September 24, 2012

He can fix the Navy too

I thought it was an Onion story that Mitt Romney thinks airplanes should have roll down windows in the passenger cabin. Screen doors in the submarine, moon landings were faked and that sort of thing, but it's true. His remarks were prompted by the dancing horse lady's scary experience on a campaign flight last week when the cabin filled with smoke briefly.

Here's Mitt, "When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous. And she was choking and rubbing her eyes. Fortunately, there was enough oxygen for the pilot and copilot to make a safe landing in Denver. But she’s safe and sound."

The pilot and copilot do have their own oxygen system, but those oxygen masks in the cabin are connected to small chemical cylinders that generate oxygen in case of a cabin pressure failure. They are deliberately designed to not activate in case of a fire. In case you weren't paying attention in 3rd grade science (maybe because you were busy bullying the weaker kids), adding oxygen makes a fire burn better, a lot better. Not a good idea when you're trapped in an enclosed space. You know what works even better? Blowing fresh air on the fire.

Now he does have a valid point, the air masks could be designed to provide fresh air instead of oxygen. However it would be an engineering nightmare to create a system that would be reliable in an emergency. Not to mention that it would be really heavy, it would make more sense to get rid of the stuff that in an airplane that can burn, but airlines have always resisted that. It takes government regulation to make them do anything, something Mitt absolutely opposes. Even his window idea would never happen in a 'free market', even if it wasn't stupid.

This further illustrates why people on the right can never be taken seriously. They think they know 'stuff' without benefit of actually learning about anything. It doesn't occur to them to even ask the questions.

Don't believe what I say, believe what I tell you

Mittens told Scott Pelley on 60 minutes that his comments during his 47% speech were just his 'personal remarks', and not the position of his campaign. Some people might think this is crazy, but it's just Willard's world view that a corporation, in this case Romney/Ryan 2012 LTD (incorporated in The Cayman Islands), can be separate from the guy who actually makes the decisions.

In Romney's world a corporation can literally operate like a pirate ship carrying off booty and the Captain is not responsible, and of course the reverse is true also. The corporation can distance itself from the Captain of the pirate ship if he gets caught.

Romney has now extended this to a new level of absurdity by claiming that he's not personally responsible for his own remarks because the campaign holds a different position. Believe what my PR people tell you, not what I say. When I said that some people might think this is crazy, I take that back. You have to be a crazy Republican to accept an argument like this.

Willard has also stated several times in response to awkward questions about the Ryan budget, that Ryan's policies are not his. This is literally true, but right up until the implications of the Ryan budget (passed  twice by the Republican House) sank in, Romney thought it was "marvelous", and still was in the 47% speech. Ryan is taking the same position about Mittens being in charge, but his budget was the one and only answer to our problems until the minute when Romney started disavowing it.

Ryan is starting to distance himself from Romney on some of the crazy stuff, probably since his back-up plan to keep his seat in Congress is in doubt. They still call Ryan's home state of Wisconsin a toss up, despite the 14 point lead that Obama has picked up. It was fairly close before Ryan.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The horse won't dance, beat it harder

The media has been trying to maintain all year that there has been this horse race between Romney and Obama. The truth is that the horse simply won't dance, that's because it's dead, and every time that Romney tries to sell the Republican horse liniment the smell gets worse.

The current headline that Obama leads in some battleground states and is tied with Romney in the rest is simply not true. They are now defining 'tied' to mean that Obama doesn't lead by more than the margin of error in the polling. A margin of error number that gets bigger every day. How do you 'legitimately' increase the margin of error number? You simply poll a smaller number of people each time, this is then interpreted mathematically to be less accurate, so you get a bigger margin of error percentage number.

They don't mention that there are dozens of polls being taken using different methods and when to aggregate the results from more and more sources the margin of error approaches zero. You can't include Republican fluff polls in the equation when you do this, or you could prove the world is flat.

Even the right-wing pundits have given up cheering for this horse, and are simply trying to keep the Republican myth alive that they represent anything more than the naked greed of the 0.01%. These days the only sound coming from the Republican stables is the buzzing of flies.