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Messages - DougMacG

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 APRIL 19 2024

Noted economist Mohamed El-Erian hints that the markets ignoring escalating Middle East tensions may be missing potentially dire consequences.

"recent escalation of tensions between Iran and Israel...significant consequences not only for an already unstable Middle East but also for the wellbeing of the global economy and the stability of its financial system."

"the global economy ... is already too fragile to handle a large new economic shock. Specifically, a further round of military escalation between Iran and Israel would undermine already low and fragile global growth, push up goods inflation at a time when services inflation is still too high, and impose demands on fiscal and monetary authorities that have already used up much of their policy flexibility and have limited operating space."
"First, two of the potential engines of global growth — the already-stressed Chinese and European economies — would be hit relatively hard given their high dependence on imported energy. 

Second, US inflation would prove even more stubborn at a time when progress in reducing price pressures has already disappointed this year, thereby acting as a bigger counter to early rate cuts by the Federal Reserve. 

Third, the strong dollar would get a further appreciation boost, undermining trade and financial intermediation.

And finally, with worsening economic and geopolitical situations, risk premia would increase. This would lead to higher borrowing costs than might have prevailed otherwise. "
"There is no doubt that the latest round of Iran-Israel hostilities has crossed many lines and durably raised the geopolitical temperature in the region. Yet markets seem keen to brush this aside, comforted by the fact that we are yet to reach the boiling point of significant human casualties and physical damage in these retaliation rounds — a point that would cause significant economic and financial dislocations. Given that this is a region that is vulnerable to errors of judgment, insufficient understanding of adversaries, and implementation accidents, that could well prove too complacent a reaction."

I would add this war conducted by the Houthis is already having an effect.

Are ships that once passed through the Suez canal really going all the way around the Horn of Africa?  And Biden, NATO et al have no answer for it?

We live in a troubled world.  [Invest accordingly.]

Here I am, posting analysis from Slate:

Jurors chosen are the ones who best hide their views and most persuasively say they will keep an open mind to the facts and the law.

They all seem to get their news from the New York Times.  Does anyone inside of NY know that is the radical left wing publication that led the phony Russian collusion story for 2 years and never recanted it - among all their other left wing activisms.

Every juror is either from NY or moved to this most urban, most liberal jurisdiction by choice.

There were limits on how many objections the defense team could make.  Every time they block one, one more comes up from the same pool.

My take is that there may be one, two at most who stand strong against a wrongful guilty verdict.  A not guilty verdict is not possible.

Politics & Religion / Re: Finland's bold new policy
« on: Today at 09:12:27 AM »

Wow! Pretty easy to imagine how this could be successful.

"a proactive strategy to enhance national security..."

A few thoughts come to mind.

Mass shooters and other criminals love unarmed venues and unarmed citizens.  Even the suicidal ones seek out places where they unlikely to see immediate return fire.

An invading force, Russia for example (or Sweden?) might not want to go house to house against a heavily armed citizenry.

And of course, protecting people against the possibility of their government becoming tyrannical, as they watch that happen in so many other places.

We don't want the government owning our gun ranges, but... there certainly could be more classes offered at the community ed level.

Instead our government does everything it can to hinder our preparedness.

Politics & Religion / Re: Alexander Dugin on India
« on: Today at 09:00:26 AM »]

Yes.  VERY interesting post, especially with the endorsement of ya that he has his history and perspective essentially right.

So many angles to it.  First to me is, why can't WE do that, and why don't other developing countries follow their model.

The parallels to Russia are interesting. 

Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics
« on: April 20, 2024, 05:30:15 AM »
Paraphrasing a meme:

'I've never understood why it is greed to want to keep more of your own money and not greed to want to take more from someone else.'


sounds like teachers want more pay more spent on schools.
(don't blame them)

not clear their views of their unions are.

so do we increase property tax more to spend more ?

Thanks ccp for finding the link.

Here's an example with round numbers.
Minneapolis Schools spends $20,000 per student per year.

Assuming 30 kids in a classroom, the number teachers complain about, that's 600k per teacher.  Take away let's say 5000 for heat, lights, water and maybe 10k for the use of the room in a hopefully paid for school, that leaves 585k. Now assume that teacher makes 85k in salary, a half million from every classroom is going to something else, administrators and diversity officers and so on. 

If you want to pay the teachers more, do just a little less of all the other crap.

If 85% of the money isn't making it to the teachers anyway, why would we think having more money would?

Politics & Religion / Re: 2024
« on: April 19, 2024, 09:34:57 AM »
The Rep House is incoherent.

If I were Speaker, I would be organizing a coherent effort to play chicken:

Pass HR-2 in exchange for $$$ for Ukraine.  Defend America's borders as price to defend Ukraine's borders!

Nice idea but it doesn't look like one additional law or funding will cause this administration to change its ways.

The Venezuelan who murdered Laken was on parole for reasons outside of the current law. So we pass more laws?

Impeachment had no effect.  We didn't even get a trial.

More like withhold all funding of everything until they do their job but obviously the majority aren't willing to go there.

Politics & Religion / Re: Politics by Lawfare, and the Law of War
« on: April 19, 2024, 09:18:47 AM »
A jury of his political enemies peers

Like in the old South, a black man facing an all white jury.

So true.  The zip code of the trial should not determine guilt or innocence.

He has no chance at unanimous acquittal,  so will be stained with hung jury or felon no matter what happens.

I'm not against charging a former office holder with a crime,  but it should be rock solid, crystal clear case to take any American from private life to incarceration, and this is not.  It must be a crime that ANYONE who committed that act would be charged with.  Clearly this is not.

Judge could have ruled the state had plenty of time to try this case not during the campaign.  He did not.

A state conviction cannot be pardoned by a President....


"most brutal and relentless interrogation of a senior administration official I have ever seen, certainly in the space of eight minutes."

Politics & Religion / Re: 2024
« on: April 19, 2024, 06:15:13 AM »
Biden is the nominee because:
a. He is a great President,
b. He is the only one who can beat Trump,
c. Democrats don't admit their mistakes, or
d. The Dem field is really that bad.

Correct answer IMHO is combination of c. and d.

Biden made a resurgence in (2) polls, which makes no sense,
but is trailing or tied in all swing states.

Trump was campaigning in New Jersey this week, promising to expand the map.  (Make Biden come out.)

Trump could be competitive in MN if he solves the suburban voter deficiency.

Larry Hogan (R) (ino) leads by double digits in Maryland.  Manchin's seat is already lost. The next 5 flip opportunities favor Republicans. Potential gain for Republicans 7.  Potential loss for Democrats 7.  Total swing potential 14. The Senate is lost for Democrats, hopefully for a generation or more.

The Republicans House is a mess. Still it's hard to imagine if Trump is so bad that voters support Trump but swiing to Democrats for the House. Maybe in hope of divided power but it's the policies, not the man they favor. The country needs all 3 to get the policies changed, otherwise it is 2-4 more years of stagnation decline on the road to total destruction.

Money is an issue. Democrats know how to raise it.  Republicans only know how to alienate people with solicitation texts and emails every hour.

I will give but it would be nice if it was part of a coordinated effort, and if the money went to messaging swing voters, not just for more solicitation of more money from me.


Foreclosures up 117%.

The banks can just find another buyer. Oh wait, if there was another buyer it wouldn't have gone into foreclosure.

Last foreclosure crisis I bought homes for 15 cents on the dollar of previous sale. That was for homes. People need homes. People don't need office buildings.

Not enough new businesses starting up and growing into successes is a hard thing to measure, until all commercial real estate is vacant. Then you start to see it.

Of the last 16 years counting this year, 13 were either under either Obama, Biden or Covid. Of the three remaining Trump years, 2 were under the Russian collusion delusion and then Pelosi retook the House.  The private sector has had a hard run, masked by markets doing okay as 5 or 6 huge companies took all the business. But apparently Google, Apple and Amazon don't want or need your local office building.

What do the construction workers and construction firms that build office buildings do when 30% of the existing ones are vacant. Build more? Why? With whose money? Maybe they can learn to code.


She's in her 60s (69).  The President who would pick her replacement is in his 80s.  Schumer and Durbin are nearly that. Her mom lived into her 90s.  She lives with Type 1 diabetes. Minchin and Sinema are not reliable votes.

What part of lifetime appointment don't they understand.

Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education
« on: April 18, 2024, 07:01:32 PM »
80% of K-12 teachers think schools have gotten worse in the last 5 years.
  - Pew Research study, 2024

Politics & Religion / Re: Shooting in and Around Cars
« on: April 18, 2024, 08:29:33 AM »
""generally stay in my lane by teaching beginning and intermediate transitioning stuff."

  - Thanks for this BBG. I just want to add that beginner-intermediate level material is appreciated as well. I can attest, not all here are experts.

Politics & Religion / Re: Biden: Moment of Truth
« on: April 18, 2024, 08:04:01 AM »
"Mr. Putin wants to subjugate the people of Ukraine and absorb their nation into a new Russian empire. The government of Iran wants to destroy Israel forever—wiping the world’s only Jewish state off the map.

America must never accept either outcome—not only because we stand up for our friends, but because our security is on the line, too."

1. Not paying attention at the beginning, I wondered who the author was.  Seeing the byline, President Joe Biden, I'm still wondering who wrote this.  Very well argued.

2. Listing our defense needs they conspicuously omitted the more immediate threat that is our southern border.

3. What we should do now depends on all the facts, capabilities and costs.

4. We don't want to be the world's policeman, but we don't want any of these 3 outcomes either, adding Taiwan to that list.

5. Knowing the author, why do we send money and arms to Israel while telling them not to defend themselves. A bit of a contradiction?

6. Ukraine has partly done well in this war against a far larger stronger invasion force, better than expected, but did he say they can win? Is that true?

7. Not mentioned in this article this election year, why did our adversaries all pick this particular timeframe to attack, conspicuously skipping over his predecessor's 4 years.  We have to shell out all this money but refuse to learn anything from it?

We wouldn't want doing the right thing to get in the way of reelecting the scoundrel.

Ya gotta have priorities and defending our best ally isn't one of them right now.

Appeasing terrorism and tyranny is how you keep energy prices down?  Funny I never heard that in econ class.

My view is that peace (and prosperity) come through strength, not cowardice.

Meanwhile, don't travel abroad while the US telegraphs weakness.,journalist%20focused%20on%20the%20region.

Politics & Religion / tik tok US user data sent to China
« on: April 16, 2024, 09:00:08 AM »

Wait, I thought they denied this.

Tik Tok is banned in India.  And in China!
A former senior employee at TikTok said he was ordered to send American user data to Beijing-based parent company ByteDance, contradicting TikTok’s public claims of operating independently from China, according to a Fortune report published Monday. Evan Turner, a senior data scientist for TikTok from April to September in 2022, told Fortune that every two weeks TikTok had him email spreadsheets containing millions of American users’ data to ByteDance employees in Beijing, including the users’ names, email addresses, IP addresses, and demographics. Turner said he "literally worked on a project that gave U.S. data to China"

Politics & Religion / Re: 2024
« on: April 16, 2024, 08:43:59 AM »
Great post. The actions described tell why Oct 7 might not have happened under Trump.  And the Russian Ukraine invasion.  The action against Soleimani means the next Soleimani must wonder if the next attack he orders will be his last.

Moving the embassy was bold.  Abraham Accords are game changing.

Just backing Israel verbally and in the phony UN is a major step up from what we have now.

We visited the beautiful Golden Gate bridge Sunday.  Yesterday it was blocked by "Free Palestine" protesters.  Good grief. Hope they don't block the airport today.

Whatever "Palestine" is, wouldn't throwing Hamas out be the first step?

In Florida, blocking traffic is against the law.

The Chicago convention will show what a mess the Dem party is. Besides the liberal Jews with no political home, are the gays excited about Jihadists taking over their party? 

Politics & Religion / Re: Politics by Lawfare, and the Law of War
« on: April 16, 2024, 08:01:45 AM »
Trump accused of tearing the Do Not Remove tag off his mattress, first time this has ever been elevated to a felony.

Politics & Religion / Housing costs, new home
« on: April 15, 2024, 11:29:15 AM »
According to CBRE data, the average monthly payments on a new home soared to $3,322 in the third quarter of 2023. This marks a sharp 90% increase from late 2020, when it stood at just $1,746 before Biden took office. Rising rent and the end of pandemic-era protections are contributing to the homelessness crisis.

Politics & Religion / Bidenflation
« on: April 15, 2024, 11:24:18 AM »

Despite a decrease from the highs of mid-2022, many families continue to face significant inflationary pressures. Prices have increased by 18.8%, while real wages have declined by 2.5%. Average hourly earnings for all employees dropped 2.5% to $11.11 in March 2024 from $11.39 in January 2021 when Biden assumed office. According to Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, the typical U.S. household now requires $1,069 more each month (equivalent to $12,828 annually) compared to three years ago, $784 more per month compared to two years ago, and an additional $227 per month compared to last year. The Allianz Life study found 67% are more concerned about paying bills now than their financial future.

    Bidenflation and the Fed’s eleven rate hikes to reduce inflation have made housing unaffordable for many people and caused displacements. According to CBRE data, the average monthly payments on a new home soared to $3,322 in the third quarter of 2023. This marks a sharp 90% increase from late 2020, when it stood at just $1,746 before Biden took office. Rising rent and the end of pandemic-era protections are contributing to the homelessness crisis.

    Therefore, it is unsurprising that inflation and food prices emerged as top economic issues among Americans in a recent nationwide TIPP Poll.

Politics & Religion / Re: My congressman, government surveillance
« on: April 15, 2024, 10:14:34 AM »

This is an issue where my own view has flipped perhaps more so than on any other.  In the early 2000s I believed the agencies needed every possible tool to stop terrorism. Investigating (suicidal attacks) after they happen isn't good enough.  And there was no real reason to believe our trusted agencies would misuse this potentially excessive power.

Now I fear the agencies more than I fear the terrorists.  The government agencies are not using the tools they already have to protect us, cf border wall, law enforcement, courts, prisons, foreign intelligence.

The agencies (deep state) have tragically proven themselves untrustworthy, often an enemy of the people. The list of evidence to support that is very long. IRS targeting, 'Russian collusion", false FISA warrants, lying to Congress, eavesdropping and so on. They have been personally and politically motivated at the highest levels, and conspiratorial, and our security is the victim. "Emergency" powers must end.  Amend the constitution if you want more federal power.


Like buying a suit or whitening your teeth, you're doing it to get ready for the campaign but it is a personal expense.

If he had done it the other way around, taken a personal expense as a campaign expense, they would have scrutinized that as well.

Show me the man, I'll show you the crime.

The charge was elevated from misdemeanor to felony because it was committed to cover up a crime, that wasn't a crime.

The only real question for the court is can they find one honest juror.

Politics & Religion / whack a mole and jawboning inflation policies
« on: April 14, 2024, 10:53:03 AM »
Policies that don't work.

This is deficit fueled inflation.

It's the spending stupid.

Anything that doesn't go after the excess spending is BS, counterproductive.

EVERYTHING Biden does involves more excess spending.

   " Biden’s advisers have reviewed polling that shows criticism of Republicans for cutting taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations resonates with voters, and they intend to step up such an attack in the coming days and weeks."

"Aha, now we see the central problem. Economic policy is being driven by what polling suggests “resonates with voters.” Not, for example, what basic economics suggests might actually work."

Literally,  they think we are small children and the policy is to hand out candy.

Politics & Religion / Re: Woman: I am a married bisexual
« on: April 14, 2024, 10:40:59 AM »
Yes, wouldn't it be nice if they would fully exercise their cherished right of privacy.

Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics
« on: April 14, 2024, 10:37:58 AM »
Under current policies, government debt outstanding will grow from 100% to 200% of GDP.

Not mentioned in short term, rear view mirror reports of debt to gdp decreasing is that interest rates on the debt tripled.

Federal government spending $2 billion per day - on interest.

Politics & Religion / Gender News (2020), Men and Women are Different
« on: April 14, 2024, 09:44:09 AM »,with%20time%20and%20with%20purpose.

"Acccording to new research from the University of Utah. Males' upper bodies are built for more powerful punches than females', says the study, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology... For years, Carrier has been exploring the hypothesis that generations of interpersonal male-male aggression long in the past have shaped structures [as if there was no Designer] in human bodies to specialize for success in fighting... It's already known that males' upper bodies, on average, have 75% more muscle mass and 90% more strength than females'. But it's not known why. ... "

I don't even know how to make fun of them anymore.  Warming causes drought, Right?  Or excessive rains?  Which is it?

Now is this because the polar ice caps melting?

Wasn't it just a short time ago the Great Lakes were disappearing because of global warming, climate change?

How stupid do they think we are?  Don't answer that...

Politics & Religion / Re: question
« on: April 13, 2024, 11:11:02 AM »
True but to simplify, it's the excessive spending.

There is no possible Fed policy that accommodates this level of excess spending without doing damage.

Both parties spend too much, but Democrats in our lifetime are always on the side of spending more, way more, no matter how far past reasonable or affordable we have already gone.

To make things worse,  their spending is harming the people it's allegedly intended to help.  Small things called dependency and disincentives to work.

Politics & Religion / Political Economics, Bidenflation = 20%
« on: April 13, 2024, 10:21:12 AM »

18.8% already rounds to 20% and we still have the rest of the year, still going up at twice the criminal theft targeted rate.

Inflation compounding trivia question, if every 4 year Dem President takes 24% of your wealth, how much do you have left in 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, etc.?

My answer, stop electing Dem Presidents and Dem policies.

Politics & Religion / Re: Tucker
« on: April 12, 2024, 08:26:30 PM »
Very talented guy but not someone I'm with on all issues especially relating to foreign policy.

We can have an honest debate about US involvement in anything, but rational people should be able to agree on which side we favor, and it isn't Hamas and it isn't Putin in my view..

Politics & Religion / Rep. Ilhan Omar D-Mpls
« on: April 12, 2024, 11:31:06 AM »
Just want to take a moment to wish Ilhan Omar and her (ex)husband a happy siblings day.

Politics & Religion / California, blue states, Colorado etc.
« on: April 12, 2024, 06:31:55 AM »

Can Colorado be flipped back?  (Minnesota too.)

Cut 10 points off their margin.  Margin of victory or defeat matters.

1. Message   
2. Money 
3. Winning strategy
All intertwined.

GOP needs to be more competitive in Colorado (and California) (and MN) (and Virginia) and so on.

We are currently vacationing in Berkeley, studying the blue model up close.

Hong Kong BTC ETF expected to trade by end of this month. This will bring a lot of Chinese money.

More sales, more demand, but they aren't increasing the supply...

Politics & Religion / Re: Sure looks like Duterte was bought
« on: April 10, 2024, 06:26:19 AM »

I can't figure out Philippine politics but the landslide election of 2022 certainly was a game changer for the US coalition against Chinese expansionism.

Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. John Thune on Myorkas trial
« on: April 10, 2024, 05:45:50 AM »

of course, 67 votes needed to rid us of this lying treasonous criminal, but a trial would at least further expose him.

Right.  A trial would expose him, not remove him.

The article gives the example of how to avoid the trial. Biden could replace Mayorkas since it is the individual, not the administration being impeached. That seems to be the only way out other than schedule the trial for after the election.

Otherwise, aren't they constitutionally mandated to have a trial?  Wouldn't it take 60 votes to outright dismiss the charges? 

Schumer's last act as Majority Leader: whatever they choose, Senate Democrats are feeding a movement destined to put them in the minority. 

Thune wants to be Majority Leader and seems to be saying the right things in this case.

Let's see which affects swing state voters more, Trump's business valuations trial or exposure of the administration's collusion with the Mexican cartels to bring 10 million illegals into our country, including fentanyl that killed more than the Vietnam war,  human trafficking that's now greater than the drug trade, violent crime to our cities and suburbs, and terror and espionage cells.

Politics & Religion / Re: US-Russia
« on: April 10, 2024, 05:23:20 AM »
Interesting times of lost opportunity.

In my view, the US leftward turn during Bush's last two years and then in Clinton's first two years blurred the lines of what a new Russia needed to do to compete in the western world. Why would they turn to freedom while we were turning away from it?

To follow Reagan, America chose Bush over Dukakis in 1988 when the right answer in my view  was Jack Kemp to take economic freedom in the west to the next level using what we learned in Reagan's 8 years.

So we had 4 years of undoing Reagan in the US while potential freedom in Russia was in it's infancy. By the end of the decade Russia had KGB for a leader and their chance at free elections, free economy and a free people was squandered.

'increasing energy prices and less reliable power'

  - The March by design away from prosperity to becoming a third world country.

Our electric bills are already, in my view, 40% electricity, 60% mandates.

My last home phone bill was 60% tax, 40% phone.

Shrinking real incomes is a feature not a bug of this regime.

It's not the rich who are paying the insufficient and unreliable energy mandate taxes.

He goes to the same winning (sort of) playbook when he is in trouble - even though the Supreme Court already said no.

Why does he think major spending and debt issues, billions affecting millions doesn't have to go through Congress?

On each of these tired initiatives, there is a possibility like Lucy pulling away the football that people won't keep falling for it.

Of course he wants the issue, not the policy.  The young people still owe the money no matter how he reassigns the debt.  What part of $35 Trillion and climbing after we die don't young voters understand?

87% do not have student loans, but in a sense they will after the debt is reassigned.

Regarding the inflation forecast debate, I add my view:

Whether double digit or high single digit inflation is coming or more moderate rounding to 4 or more per cent per year compounding inflation is coming, it is still criminally reckless negligencebeing committed by our policy makers in my view. (With blame going back to the voters.)

In my view the "2% inflation target should be 0.2%. The 2% target that hits actual averages close to 4% long term is destroying our currency and destroying our country.

"During the observation period from 1960 to 2022, the average inflation rate was 3.8% per year. Overall, the price increase was 903.96%.",the%20price%20increase%20was%20903.96%25.

The Fed is enabling the Confessional spenders.

Under what economic theory can we spend 40% more than we take in, only getting worse, borrow and or print the difference, interest costs going up exponentially, and this has a 'soft landing'? How? Where? When?

I realise they are only forecasting this calendar year, but this calendar year, other than an election, includes no long term course correction. And the promises being made in the election preclude a major course correction after.

What I'm asking is, what part of unsustainable don't the experts, even on our side, not understand?

Or am I wrong, 'everything is fine Doug'.

Politics & Religion / Hamas worse than we can imagine
« on: April 09, 2024, 05:51:16 AM »

"...she skips over some relevant details in that brief word “killed”. Daqqa and his PFLP comrades did not just kill Moshe Tamam, they tortured him to death. They gouged out his eyes and castrated him. Then they murdered him."

Politics & Religion / California Fascism: Barrier to exit
« on: April 08, 2024, 11:30:56 AM »
The government policies forced the business out of business, and now they get sued for closing.  Welcome to the Third Reich, I mean California, and as California goes, so goes the nation.

One more time, are you fkg kidding me?

Politics & Religion / Government overreach in Housing, real estate
« on: April 08, 2024, 11:26:17 AM »

I can say landlords left places empty when government took away all ability to enforce a contract.  I called the policy 'third world' at the time.

Turns out the misguided policy hurt the people it was intended to help.

Always does.

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