About that V-shaped recovery thingy

It’s become something of an article of faith that the stock market is delinked to the real economy. This isn’t accurate since the stock market isn’t valuing businesses, or the economic environment, of today. The market is looking six months or more ahead.

The market is looking for what is simplistically called a v-shaped recovery in which a sharp economic downtown (like the one we’re in) ends with a very sharp economic upturn. For this to occur, the economic pain needs to kept at a minimum through countercyclical spending, which government has been doing, and we need stimulus to provide the boost back to normal growth.

It’s that last part where the market isn’t seeing the trouble on the horizon. The Republicans have all but ended any debate on additional stimulus while the Democrats are hard at work on the next package. The question is how long it takes the market to realize that the recovery it’s already pricing in is in trouble? At what point do participants decide to take risk off their balance sheets given that Senator McConnell and President Fats have concluded they’ve done enough?

My guess is we get the first taste of it tomorrow. And I bet by the end of the week the tune in Washington changes back to the one called by Speaker Pelosi.

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The most inane thing you’ll read in the WaPo this morning

Christ on a motherfucking crutch… this country has two papers of record and one of them ran this today.

Why bother writing about differences in policy between the candidates when we can do light and fun pieces about viral moments!

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Win With Warren

I didn’t start off this primary season behind Senator Warren, I was more for Senator Harris. However, during the course of these few months, Warren has jumped out ahead in terms of campaign quality and seriously stepped up how well she delivers her message. She is now best in the field and her central theme, I Have A Plan For That, fuels hope in people who’ve long since abandoned it in the face of Trump’s glaring and consistent incompetence. Further, it ties together her campaign with a simple message that anyone, of any education level, can grasp and understand.

I don’t know whether she started out with this point in mind, but she has taken complex issues, created solutions that are both workable and cost effective on a ton of issues, and then pulled it all under one, neat, hard to dislodge message.

What’s so beautiful about it from a messaging perspective is that it feeds into an essentially American ethos, that we are masters of ourselves and can fix what’s wrong ourselves. There’s no need to blame anyone or even worry about them. Americans just need get to work. This appeals unbelievably well to the new voting majority below the age of 50.

It also has a very destabilizing effect on Trump’s messaging.

Make America Great Again? She Has A Plan For That!

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American-style Healthcare in the UK

THIS definitely caught my eye this afternoon…

Donald Trump, the US president, confirmed that the US would want to include access to the NHS market in any US-UK trade talks. Woody Johnson, the US ambassador, said this at the weekend, and Trump was asked if he agreed with Johnson that the entire economy should be on the table in trade talks, including the NHS. He replied:
“I think everything with a trade deal is on the table. When you’re dealing in trade, everything is on the table – so NHS or anything else, a lot more than that, but everything will be on the table, absolutely.”
But, as my colleague Patrick Wintour points out, Theresa May had to explain to Trump what the NHS was.

You folks are getting it wrong… he actually means it. Ask the Chinese because they’ve been making it increasingly plain that they’re good with American trade demands… except for privatization and an end to subsidies of state owned enterprises. To explain, it’s like asking someone to burn down their own house and then give you half the insurance settlement.

To our friends in the UK… you better start calling your MPs asking them to completely reject ANY input from the US on healthcare. Trust me, you don’t want our system… most of us want yours.

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The NRCC shoots its popgun at Shannon Hutcheson

In what has to be the lamest press release since Rick Perry announced he was abandoning the 2016 Republican Presidential race along with his hopes of being a real person, the NRCC decides to stick with proven to fail language against a candidate in the Democratic Primary for TX CD 10…

“Shannon Hutcheson is just another carpetbagging socialist Democrat running to be a rubber stamp for all of the left’s extreme policies, from the oil and gas killing Green New Deal to socialized medicine. Hutcheson’s entry into the primary ensures that whichever socialist comes out on top will be broke and badly damaged heading into next November.” – NRCC Spokesman Bob Salera

The post on the site is by Bob Salera who loves himself so much that he quotes himself. Since I am no stranger to self love, here are some quotes from me.

“I really think Shannon Hutcheson is an exceptional candidate to take on Rep. McCaul because she’s not named Mike or McCaul. She’s also a woman, unlike Rep. McCaul who is not. ” -McBlogger

“Shannon is exceptionally well positioned to win this race, especially since she believes that women (who make up more than half of CD 10) can make medical decisions for themselves without the help of Rep. McCaul or Bob Salera.” – McBlogger

“Tootsie DOTS are really the perfect candy for anything from a movie, to a road trip, to watching a Democrat finally retake CD 10 from Rep. McCaul.” -McBlogger

“Now, I’ll be the first to say I’m not the smartest person in the room most of the time, but in this case it’s really puzzling to me why you’d reuse the same old attacks like ‘socialist!’ and ‘carpetbagger!’ and ‘socialist!’ that didn’t work so well the last time your guy was at bat.” -McBlogger

“It takes a world class pair of low hanging huevos to suit up and do battle on behalf of a chickenhawk bitch like Rep. McCaul, a man whose greatest achievement in life is marrying well and who will go down, much like the President, on any Russian he can find.” -McBlogger

Look, I get it, you’re the spokesgolem for the NRCC and you’re holding the kind of losing hand that would even make the toughest poker player collapse in a fit of rage induced crying. We’ve all been there… but you gotta dig deep and find something better than ‘socialist’. Shit just don’t work the way it used to.

It’s also a good idea to have staff post to your blog if you’re going to quote yourself.

Go throw some support Shannon Hutcheson’s way!

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BitchBoy and the Capital Whining Caucus

Of all the silly commentators who are still phoning it in, Matthew Dowd stands out for his delusions about compromise and ‘the way things should be’.

In this latest piece of trash, Dowd calls out Rep. Tlaib for using the word ‘motherfucker’. His first line of attack is the vulgarity of the word motherfucker because apparently profanity is a big deal for Dowd and his kids who apparently are living in a bubble in 1952.

His second issue is that this doesn’t help the Democrats…

Second, from a purely political perspective, her comments aren’t helpful to the Democratic party in bridging divides and accomplishing what I know she wants to accomplish. In order to achieve success in politics, one must bring consensus to get the common good, and this kind of talk goes in the opposite direction of that. If she really wants the Democrats to succeed in Congress, and pass public policy, then her party is going to need the support of people who don’t feel the way she does. She is going to have to be part of building bridges with people who don’t think like her or talk in that way. And to that goal, her language sets her back.

Actually, from an electoral standpoint, the Democrats ARE the consensus… there is no divide to be bridged. Lookit, it’s simple… the Republicans are a continuously sliding slice of the pie, in no position to expect or demand anything. They compromise with us or there is no compromise… as Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer have made quite clear, we’re willing to go the distance on anything to stop the bullshit. There is no point trying to appeal to the better nature of Republicans… they just don’t have one anymore.

Finally, Dowd cribs from MLK and alludes to Michelle Obama (think ‘When they go low, we go high’) , completely missing that we are the majority and the time for ‘being nice’ has passed.

Frankly, ABC would be far better served with someone less clueless. Just as it’s ridiculous to keep giving a platform to folks like Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Sanders, it’s stupid to give one to Matthew Dowd who frankly is about as disconnected from reality as the President at this point.

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The dumbest thing you’ll read today

Here. This from the guy who couldn’t predict a bubble in the housing market despite some very easy to see warning signs (like the extension of credit by instrument).

Penny Marshall dies and this motherfucker just goes on living. Tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor.

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OMG! WTF!?!?? or, Pardon me, but could you tell my why my 401(k) is in the toilet?

The market has whipsawed back and forth like Florida Man on a meth bender. There are ton of answers as to why, but the simplest one that underlies everything is ‘instability’. Markets like to look 6 months into the future. That is about as far as they can go with any statistical reliability and that’s not saying much about the group who didn’t understand they were being sold trash at a premium in 2006-07. If they don’t feel comfortable ‘seeing’ six months out, then you have a prescription for instability. Everything becomes magnified… a trade spat between China and the US? Disaster. Interest rates going up? Disaster. A minor problem with a GS bond issue? Disaster. Leveraged loan issues increasing? Disaster. The Fed raising interest rates? Disaster.

That is what Trump has brought to global markets. Investors and traders feel like there’s no ground underneath them and they quickly rush to the relative safety of bonds and cash. These leaves a liquidity hole that causes an aggressive down draft in equity markets.

What is most shocking to me is that the Fed is actually feeding into this. As an economy, we are in uncharted territory. We have never seen a central bank carrying a balance sheet of $4 trillion and the question is, what to do about it? The answer is to let the balance sheet liquidate of it’s own accord, or runoff. There is no need to actively reduce assets through sales, they need only to let the assets ‘pay off’. Instead, they seem hell bent on aggressive sales of assets, just the thing you’d want to do when demand for credit is high and inflation is moderate to non-existent. Add to this the Fed’s desire to ‘normalize’ interest rates, without even a thought to the idea that we may be IN a new normal, and you have all the makings of a panic.

Over the long term, this will amount to little unless Powell continues to drive rates up DESPITE moderating inflation. My biggest fear right now isn’t a trade war with China, it’s Chair Powell deciding to continue on in the wrongheaded direction he’s been going.

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Andrew White : Fuck you, Ted Cruz was right (and Beto SUCKS)!

In today’s episode of OMG,THIS IS WHY I DIDN’T VOTE FOR YOU, Andrew White shares his feelings on how things went for Democrats this year…

I hate to admit it, but Ted Cruz was right. Beto O’Rourke was too liberal for Texas voters. Despite his magnetic charisma, unending work ethic and $70 million war chest, O’Rourke lost — and he lost even though he had almost double the votes of any other Democrat in Texas midterm history. So, what happened? The 254-county strategy didn’t work as planned.

Well, that’s one way of looking at it… another would be that he was touring the state to raise name ID and media interest. Which worked. Sure, I think there was a little bit of doe eyed belief that he could convince rural Republicans to vote for him. I remember hearing a story about how warmly he was received at a Dairy Queen in Pampa and I explained to the person who told the story that people in West Texas are very nice. They’re Texans… polite, willing to listen, and fully capable of shaking your hand and wishing you well without any intention of voting for you. But ultimately, I don’t think he believed he was going to peel off enough R votes in the rural counties to win.

And I feel pretty confident about this because Beto isn’t a dumbass.

Andrew, of course, can’t stop himself and continues the erroneous belief that somehow we have to have rural votes without really understanding what happened this year…

But I think O’Rourke might have missed the point. My father’s advice wasn’t just about visiting rural counties, but also about representing them, and it’s clear that didn’t happen. Rural voters sided sharply for Ted Cruz, giving him 75 percent of the vote in Texas’ 191 rural counties, which made up 11 percent of the total electorate. With Democratic strongholds in urban centers and gains being made in the suburbs, O’Rourke lopsided rural loss proved to be the deciding factor.

And it shocked absolutely no one because it’s gone that way in every election since, what, 98? 2002? To return to the story above, let me tell you about meeting with a large group of farmers from the Tulia area in 2006 and having one of them tell me that they liked what Hank Gilbert, who was running for Ag Commissioner, had to say but they were absolutely going to vote for the Republican. They didn’t care who he was, they were going to vote them.

The more important thing that’s apparently lost on Andrew is that Republicans have maxed out in the rurals and it was barely enough to hold them this cycle. That won’t be the case in 2020 and especially not in 2022. The growth is in the metros and D’s are gaining there. Beto made up one million votes on the margin between Cornyn and Alameel in 2014. Republican votes did increase massively in 2018, but the D votes went up way more, that’s going to continue as the millennials become more engaged. What will also continue? The death of the Republican base… you can see it in an actuarial table.

Andrew White should be able to see this but he’s still too wound up with anger over losing in a primary runoff to a candidate without a real campaign. I would like to wish him well… but really, what’s the point? He’s a petty bitch.

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What New Normal?

Folks still waiting on the religious right to see the light?

Mobile, Alabama Ashland Place United Methodist Church member Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III quoting biblical verse to justify inhumanity is the continuation of this country’s long history of toxic Christianity, much from the American south. Using this “faith” to crush righteous outrage is not only strategy, but a way of life of more than many of us want to admit.

Frederick Douglass: “I assert most unhesitatingly, that the religion of the South is a mere covering for the most horrid crimes–a justifier of the most appalling barbarity, a sanctifier of the most hateful frauds, and a dark shelter under which the darkest, foulest, grossest, and most infernal deeds of slave holders find the strongest protection. Were I to be again reduced to the chains of slavery, next to that enslavement, I should regard being the slave of a religious master the greatest calamity that could befall me. For of all slaveholders with whom I have ever met, religious slaveholders are the worst. I have ever found them the meanest and basest, the most cruel and cowardly, of all others.”

Knowing what some family members and friends think of immigrants is not surprising, but what really hit hard is their base cruelty towards these children and parents.

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