Morning Report – Strong Q2 GDP 8/27/15

Markets are higher this morning as yesterday’s rally held and was followed throughout the world. Bonds and MBS are down.

Second quarter GDP was revised upward to 3.7%, a strong reading. Consumption rose 3.1%, and the core personal consumption expenditure inflation index rose 1.8%. After seeing these numbers, it is easy to see why the Fed was looking to hike rates in September. That was before the global financial market sell-off. The September jobs report next week will be huge.

Initial Jobless Claims fell slightly to 271k, as we sit at more or less record lows.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to 42 from 41.1 last week. Roughly 1/3 feel positive about the economy, while 54% feel positive about their personal finances.

The sell-off in stocks has been dramatic – in fact the last time we saw this big of a downward move over several days was 1940. The more interesting market has been bonds, which have barely benefited from the big drop downward, and gave up all of those gains almost immediately. The US dollar has been getting whacked during this sell-off as well, which means foreign money is dumping Treasuries. It probably is the petro-economy states doing it, however I have been hearing rumblings of Chinese selling. Whether this is a new dynamic in the market or not remains to be seen, however the action in the 10-year feels like the path of least resistance is now down in price / up in yield.

The Washington Post has another article talking about how stocks are “rigged” based on trading on Monday. Yes, stocks were all over the place, however the structure of the market has fundamentally changed as a result of technology and regulation. There used to be professional market makers for NASDAQ stocks and the specialist on the floor of the NYSE that would be the buyer when everyone else is selling. On days like Monday, they would lose money, but make up for it in normal trading, by selling a stock 1/8 or 1/16 above where they were willing to buy it. Nowadays, with sub-penny spreads, the market maker will never make back losses on days like Monday, so they no longer do it. The only ones left are the high frequency traders, who may or may not be liquidity providers. Stocks aren’t “rigged” – investors are getting what they pay for.

Ray Dalio (of Bridgewater) explains why the Fed may hike rates a quarter of a point or so before launching QE4. His point is that there are two cycles to pay attention to: the first, which is the shorter term cyclical economy that lasts a decade or so versus the long-term cycle, which lasts closer to a century. He is making the argument that the Fed is probably going to do another big easing before the big tightening. This tightening might be 25 or 50 basis points, which he doesn’t consider a major tightening. The Fed is focused on the classic recession – expansion phase which began in 2005 and is more or less where we are today. Dalio believes we are at the end of a debt supercycle, and the last time we went through a debt supercycle deleveraging period was in the 1930s. And while US corporations (and households to a large extent) have gone through a major deleveraging, the rest of the world has not – especially China, which is just entering their deleveraging phase. Interestingly, these supercycles are not new – even the Bible refers to them as 50 year cycles followed by a massive forgiveness (called jubilees, even though they aren’t all that much fun).

92 Responses

  1. “The Washington Post has another article talking about how stocks are “rigged” based on trading on Monday.”

    That’s journalism. I suppose it’s better than “The gods were angry Monday, so punished the stock market with their magical god powers. The SEC has stepped in and demanded a virgin be sacrificed at marketing open next Monday.”

    Psst … Frist!

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  2. Blast you, Kevin Willis!

    I heard an interesting story on NPR this morning. Hungary has erected a razor-wire fence along its border with Serbia to keep immigrants out. Their logic sounds remarkably like the anti-immigrant arguments here in the US.

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    • Mich:

      Their logic sounds remarkably like the anti-immigrant arguments here in the US.

      I imagine a desire to secure one’s national borders derives from the same logic the world over.

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  3. “Their logic sounds remarkably like the anti-immigrant arguments here in the US.”

    Perhaps, but even so, razor-wire is a very bad choice for the optics.

    Also, apparently a lot shorter area to cover. And not a terribly effective fence, if people can just crawl under it or go in where the railroad tracks are. Also, apparently 90% of the immigrants leave within 90 days. So the situation is not really apples-to-apples.

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  4. I imagine a desire to secure one’s national borders derives from the same logic the world over

    In this specific case, it struck me that a large part of their objection was that they spoke a different language and were a different ethnicity.

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    • Mich:

      In this specific case, it struck me that a large part of their objection was that they spoke a different language and were a different ethnicity.

      Again, those seem like pretty standard reasons for any nation to want to secure it’s borders. To whatever extent it isn’t or hasn’t been in the US due to its history as a nation of immigrants, I think that would make the US somewhat unique. Cultural preservation is a pretty strong motivation for most societies.

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  5. Weird how the EU is fostering an increased sense of nationalism.

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  6. Open borders are incompatible with a generous welfare state… The left fantasizes that it can have both, but it will eventually have to choose…

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  7. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/slovakia/11811998/Slovakia-refuses-to-accept-Muslim-migrants.html

    this ends well. The Slovaks don’t want to take Muslims. makes sense to me.
    and the Germans are going to seize empty private homes for refugees.

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  8. Meanwhile in Austria, an abandoned truck was found with up to 50 Syrians in it literally rotting away.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/08/27/at-least-20-dead-migrants-discovered-in-a-truck-in-austria-death-toll-could-be-as-high-as-50/

    The coyote business model is very complicated because it’s a word of mouth business but you have very few repeat customers.

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  9. I thought this line was the best

    A good article emphasizing the point that wanting to be president should be a disqualifying feature.

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    • yello:

      A good article emphasizing the point that wanting to be president should be a disqualifying feature.

      I couldn’t agree more.

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  10. wanting to be president should be a disqualifying feature.”

    there was a reason we had a check on executive power. you can’t support expansive presidential powers and then be disappointed that such people seek the office.

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  11. Confession, I find Kasich as insufferable as Obama.

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  12. And the unthinking reporting continues:

    “ROANOKE, Va. — After the murder of two journalists on live television by a former co-worker, the father of one victim made a series of emotional appeals for laws that would prevent mentally ill people from buying guns, while the station they worked for observed a moment of silence on Thursday.

    “I’m going to do something, whatever it takes, to get gun legislation, to shame people, to shame legislators into doing something about closing loopholes and background checks, and making sure crazy people don’t get guns,” Andy Parker, the father of Alison Parker, said Wednesday night on Fox News. ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/us/virginia-tv-shooting-bryce-williams.html?_r=0

    Last I read, he acquired the guns legally and was subject to a background check. Unless they want to change the law to where being fired from a job automatically provides sufficient cause for an involuntary commitment for mental illness, there’s no legislation that would have made a difference here short of banning all guns.

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    • jnc:

      Unless they want to change the law to where being fired from a job automatically provides sufficient cause for an involuntary commitment for mental illness, there’s no legislation that would have made a difference here short of banning all guns.

      The Federalist makes essentially the same point today:

      http://thefederalist.com/2015/08/27/gun-control-advocates-need-to-find-some-better-arguments/

      It’s also exactly why I said over two years ago that 2nd Amendment defenders should never be reassured by gun control advocates claims to simply want “regulation” less than a total ban. Such advocates are either lying about their own intent or they will change their minds when they finally realize that regulation short of a total ban is ineffective.

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      • 2nd AmendmentReproductive rights defenders should never be reassured by gun controlanti-abortion advocates claims to simply want “regulation” less than a total ban.

        FTFY.

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        • yello:

          Reproductive rights defenders should never be reassured by gun anti-abortion advocates claims to simply want “regulation” less than a total ban.

          I’m not aware of many anti-abortion advocates who actually do claim to simply want regulation less than a total ban. They are usually pretty upfront about their ultimate goal, and that measures short of that are political compromises. Part of the reason for that is that putting an end to the deliberate destruction of the unborn is a goal in and of itself. The reason to support abortion regulations is to, well, reduce the incidence of abortion. Banning guns, on the other hand, is not a goal in and of itself. People don’t support gun-control laws in order to ban guns as an end in itself. There is always some other goal (reduced gun-related crime) that one is pursuing, so one could plausibly claim to be supporting a particular regulation less than banning all guns in pursuit of goal X. Which is what a lot of gun control advocates do claim, either honestly or not.

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  13. Confession, I find Kasich as insufferable as Obama.

    Really? He doesn’t bother me, although he lays the religion on too thick. I struggle to come up with people more insufferable than obama… Maybe Barbara Streissand. Or Michael Moore..

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  14. ;Last I read, he acquired the guns legally and was subject to a background check. Unless they want to change the law to where being fired from a job automatically provides sufficient cause for an involuntary commitment for mental illness, there’s no legislation that would have made a difference here short of banning all guns.

    Details, details… You have to show you care, which means you must do something, even if it is ineffective, costly or even counterproductive…

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  15. They’re two sides of the same coin.

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  16. I wonder if Trump missed his moment by two years. It occurs to me that if the border surge from last year happened in 2016 coupled with a stock market crash, he could have a real general election shot.

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  17. That’s exactly the right analogy Yellow. I trust Democrats to write reasonable gun regulations about as much as you would trust Todd Akin to write reasonable abortion regulations.

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    • jnc:

      That’s exactly the right analogy Yellow. I trust Democrats to write reasonable gun regulations about as much as you would trust Todd Akin to write reasonable abortion regulations.

      It’s not a good analogy because Todd Aiken isn’t saying “I have no interest in banning abortions.” He is honest and upfront about what he would do. You wouldn’t have him write such regulations not because you don’t trust him, but rather the opposite…you actually take him at his word.

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  18. What’s the worst political sin?

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  19. @mcwing: “What’s the worst political sin?”

    Losing elections.

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  20. @yellojkt: “2nd AmendmentReproductive rights defenders should never be reassured by gun controlanti-abortion advocates claims to simply want “regulation” less than a total ban.
    FTFY.”

    Fixed That For You is technically a misnomer in this case, as you expanded it to include a more general truth about humanity, which is that those who assure you they don’t want to ban the thing they do not like, simply regulate it for the sake of safety, in truth do want to ban the thing they do not like and will make the regulations as onerous as possible.

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  21. @ScottC1: “there’s no legislation that would have made a difference here short of banning all guns”

    An al out gun ban might have made a difference in this case, assuming he did not just patiently find access to illegal firearms, but in many cases (especially in gang or drug related violence) that genie is out of the bottle, and we’d turn the procurement of guns and ammunition into another version of the endless drug war.

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  22. @yellojkt: “A good article emphasizing the point that wanting to be president should be a disqualifying feature.”

    It should be like jury duty. The president is randomly selected from eligible voters (must also have high school diploma or GED equivalent).

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  23. “Millennials working in government are at their lowest levels in five years, new report finds
    By Lisa Rein
    August 24

    The study found that once they land a job in government, many employees believe their career development is shifted to a slow track, with minimal recognition from their bosses, shrinking opportunities for training and few assignments that really harness their talent.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2015/08/24/millennials-working-in-government-are-at-their-lowest-levels-in-five-yearsnew-report-finds/?tid=trending_strip_6

    Well, yes. What else did they expect?

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  24. Works for me:

    “Burning Man foreshadows a future social model that is particularly appealing to the wealthy: a libertarian oligarchy, where people of all classes and identities coexist, yet social welfare and the commons exist solely on a charitable basis.”

    http://www.salon.com/2015/08/27/why_the_rich_love_burning_man_partner/

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  25. they should put in a few years then lobby.

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  26. From the same piece in Salon/Jacobin:

    “In a just, democratic society, everyone has equal voice.”

    Everyone having an equal voice is the opposite of my definition of justice.

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  27. The study found that once they land a job in government, many employees believe their career development is shifted to a slow track, with minimal recognition from their bosses, shrinking opportunities for training and few assignments that really harness their talent.”

    Wonder what type of person this job attracts?

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  28. That’s probably true Scott. A more direct analogy would be with those state legislators in Virginia who justified new abortion clinic regulations ostensibly based on safety when the real goal was to reduce the number of facilities that would be able to comply with them as a backdoor way to ban them.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ken-cuccinelli-bullies-a-state-board-into-surrender/2012/09/20/68b84298-0101-11e2-b257-e1c2b3548a4a_story.html

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    • jnc:

      A more direct analogy would be with those state legislators in Virginia who justified new abortion clinic regulations ostensibly based on safety when the real goal was to reduce the number of facilities that would be able to comply with them as a backdoor way to ban them.

      Maybe. I don’t know all of the legislators or how they have portrayed themselves. But I think there is a fundamental difference between abortion opponents who are perfectly open about their desire to ban all abortions (and I was under the impression that Cuccinelli was, regardless of how he may have sold a particular piece of legislation), and gun control advocates who, if asked about banning all guns, would say “Of course not, I fully respect the 2nd amendment”. The former should be taken at their word while the latter should be treated with suspicion.

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  29. “Killings of Journalists Bring Gun Violence to Dark New Level
    By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
    AUG. 26, 2015”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/27/opinion/killings-of-journalists-brings-gun-violence-to-dark-new-level.html?ref=opinion

    Because presumably they are special and more important than the rest of us.

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  30. they should put in a few years then lobby

    Looking for some mentees?

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  31. Scott, even disobedience of governance on the local level, even if that’s our preferred style of governance is as important, perhaps more important that resistance of Federal overreach.

    And if I’m on that dude’s jury, I’m acquitting. Nullification now, nullification forever!

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  32. We’re soooooooo much better off with this law.

    http://thefederalist.com/2015/08/21/obamacare-provision-took-your-money-gave-it-to-insurers/

    I remember having to walk over dead bodies in 2010.

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  33. OT: I’ve had this experience (in both the private and the public sectors):

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  34. @mcwing: “We’re soooooooo much better off with this law.”

    Always loved the suggestion that Obamacare (or lack thereof) would end up with thousands dead or thousands save or whatever. The success metric (as I always understood it) was the number of American’s with insurance, not health outcomes. And there’s not an overwhelming correlation of insurance with health outcomes (for a number of reasons). If they wanted to save lives, they should have started the Obama Free Heating Oil and Air Conditioner corporation to make sure everybody was in an environmentally controlled shelter . . . now, that would increase longevity and save lives at a statistically meaningful level!

    Obamacare basically exists to make sure insurers get paid, and pre-existing conditions get covered, right? Oh, and that people feel compelled to get insurance whether or not they feel they need it.

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  35. If they wanted to save lives, they should have started the Obama Free Heating Oil and Air Conditioner corporation to make sure everybody was in an environmentally controlled shelter . .

    don’t give them any ideas…

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  36. Brent Nyitray: “don’t give them any ideas…”

    It would involve the consumption of more energy, which is bad for the planet. And the use of boring hundred year old technology to make a more practical, rather than political/ideological/self-congratulatory difference. Given the interest on the leftwards side of the political spectrum in increasing energy costs in order to “save the planet”, I don’t think they are that interested in saving lives. Making it more expensive to cool hot air or heat cold air will increase mortality rates, most likely . . . but, when they die from exposure or heat stroke, they will have been insured, and that’s the important thing.

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  37. @Scottc1: “Unfortunately he is resisting the wrong level of government, but his heart is in the right place.”

    Well, I dunno. Red light cameras are part of the ongoing effort to fund an increasingly militarized police. So, in the long run, he may be resisting at the right level. Alas, drops in the bucket and all that.

    Would also acquit. I hate those frickin’ things. And they have to be expensive to run. My daughter’s gotten two red light camera tickets, and they send a full color notice in the mail, then guide you to a website where you can watch a full video of the violation. That ain’t cheap!

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    • KW:

      I hate those frickin’ things. And they have to be expensive to run.

      When I lived in the UK, they had speed cameras posted in various spots along my daily morning drive route into the city. They were designed to take a picture of any car that was over the speed limit, and you would always see a big flash in your mirror if it got you, so you knew right away to expect a ticket in the mail. But it turns out that the cameras actually ran out of film fairly quickly (the digital age was in its infancy), and it would be days or even weeks before anyone bothered to collect and replace the film, so in the meantime the camera was busy flashing away without actually taking any pictures, leaving authorities unable to distribute tickets. Since everyone knew where the speed cameras were, traffic would always slow down in those particular areas, but I estimated that even if there was no traffic to force you to slow down and you forgot the camera was there, you still had less than about a 25% chance of getting a ticket even if the camera flashed you.

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    • Red light cameras in Baltimore were found in locations where the normal yellow light had been shortened to increase the capture rate of the cameras. This seems antithetical to public safety.

      My bigger beef is with the speeding cameras. I have found several of them in DC the hard way. Every month or so I would get a letter in the mail requesting $75 or more. They do seem to work in training drivers in specific locations. Connecticut Avenue just north of the Chevy Chase traffic circle is a wall of cars puttering along a five lane wide throroughfare at the posted 30 mph because the speeding camera there is so notorious.

      I have taken to avoiding New York Avenue into DC because the new 295/695 interchange is much quicker and avoids several red light/speeding cameras.

      My county has taken to using mobile platforms either in vans or stand-alone portable stations. My street was repaved and restriped this summer to add bike lanes and turn lanes which eliminated the parking shoulder they used to place a van just downhill from a school cross walk. Now they park the van on the grass and the sidewalk.

      I call most traffic enforcement practices “reverse lotteries” where people are selected at random to pay the government money. It’s just an arbitrary and capricious method of funding our government. And that’s before even contemplating the Sixth Amendment issues of anonymous summons.

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  38. @McWing:

    “has come under FDA scrutiny before, resulting in it being forced to change “lemon juice” to “lemon juice concentrate””

    Thank God for the DFA. Lord knows how many people died from consuming a product with lemon juice concentrate when the innocently expected non-concentrated lemon juice (which, as we all know, is completely different from lemon juice concentrate, because science).

    I get the thing about calling it mayonnaise, because if I was in charge of the Federal Bureau of Pedantry, I’d insist they call it Mayonnaise-Like Condiment Lacking Certain Ingredients Required to Accurately Fit the Definition of Mayonnaise, and it would be up to the company to fit it on the bottle. Seriously, I would, which is why it’s a bad idea to give federal agencies such autocratic dictatorial powers.

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  39. @mcwing: “”Unilever ended up having to change the descriptions of ingredients in some of its own products on its website from mayonnaise to mayonnaise dressing because they weren’t even in compliance with the very regulations they were trying to use to punish Hampton Creek.””

    Alas, big companies are big part of the problem in terms of supporting, tacitly and explicitly, these autocratic agencies because they think they can punish smaller competitors.

    “Your Heart Matters. When your heart is healthy, well, we’re happy. You’ll never find cholesterol in our products.”

    Meh. Cholesterol is good for you. We get a scientific consensus on the ambiguous meaning of correlative data, and then a cholesterol-free product gets punished by the FDA for saying it’s cholesterol free (like it’s a good thing) when they should be telling these companies being cholesterol free doesn’t frickin matter. Better to be loaded with cholesterol and Vitamin C, so your body converts the cholesterol to necessary hormones while using your healthy levels of vitamin D and Vitamin C and so on in the arterial repair process, instead of goopy cholesterol which is what your body uses when you give it no other materials to repair arterial wear-and-tear.

    Still wouldn’t let them use the name “Just Mayo”. It’s *not* Mayo. 😉

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    • The science behind AGW is Rock. Fucking. Solid.

      Climate science may be a softer science but it’s several orders of magnitude harder than psychology which is just above reading entrails.

      The problem climate science has is that it is pretty much restricted to a sample size of one. Real tough to run double blind tests on the weather.

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  40. @yellojkt: “Red light cameras in Baltimore were found in locations where the normal yellow light had been shortened to increase the capture rate of the cameras. This seems antithetical to public safety.”

    It is, and I recall a case where one of the companies who provide the service (and these private companies also issue the “tickets” and collect the money, paying the police department a percentage . . . fascist state!) had their presentation leak where they explicitly described the increase in revenues that would accrue from shortening the yellow light duration, with all the numbers spelled out. While they keep increasing the number of red light cameras in my city, they have not shortened the yellow lights.

    “I call most traffic enforcement practices “reverse lotteries” where people are selected at random to pay the government money. It’s just an arbitrary and capricious method of funding our government.”

    Indeed. My daughter’s last ticket was from a cop who pulled her for “pulling too far past the stop sign” . . . which you could easily see was too far back to allow one to actually see cross-traffic. Such tickets are complete BS and pure entrapment, but the government knows how to make money off fighting such entrapment, by charging you confiscatory court costs so that even if you win, you lose. Best thing that every happened to me with at ticket was showing up late to pay it at court. The judge wanted to get out so sent someone down the row of us waiting in line and basically voided all our tickets. No court costs or anything. I’m pretty sure they don’t do that any more.

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  41. FTFY

    Noted. And concur.

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  42. The lynching has gotten even more high tech. Sophisticated linguistic analysis software used by the New York Times has determined that Clarence Thomas borrows the phrasing of briefs submitted to the court more than the other justices. Two passages seem particularly notable:

    Since [Thomas’s] views on major legal questions can be idiosyncratic and unlikely to command a majority, he is particularly apt to be assigned the inconsequential and technical majority opinions that the justices call dogs. They often involve routine cases involving taxes, bankruptcy, pensions and patents, in which shared wording, including quotations from statutes and earlier decisions, is particularly common.
    {snip}
    Justice Thomas is often more expansive when not writing for the majority. In the last term, he filed 30 dissents and concurrences, more than any other justice. Many concerned major constitutional questions, were longer than the majority opinions they critiqued and made novel points.

    Am I hearing a bit of a sneer in the use of the words ‘idiosyncratic’ and ‘novel’ or is that just a dogwhistle?

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    • re the NYT piece on Thomas…

      A ridiculous excuse for journalism.

      Let’s see….the range of “identical language” used from briefs was only 4.2% (7.1% to 11.3%), with Thomas’ next closest “offender” being a mere .3% behind him, and this difference merits singling out Thomas alone in insinuating that he is a plagiarist?

      The NYT is the used car salesman of the media world, preying on the politically ignorant in a transparently sleazy way.

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  43. @mcwing: The pull-quote from the article: “Munafo said that the problem of poor reproducibility is exacerbated by the way modern science works. “If I want to get promoted or get a grant, I need to be writing lots of papers. But writing lots of papers and doing lots of small experiments isn’t the way to get one really robust right answer,” he said. “What it takes to be a successful academic is not necessarily that well aligned with what it takes to be a good scientist.””

    Which doesn’t even get into the numerous problems of the very concept of “consensus science” (which is practically a synonym for “not science”) and the endemic conflation of demonstrable scientific facts (carbon dioxide, like many gases, exhibits a greenhouse effect, as does, to a much greater degree, frickin’ water vapor) with far removed “consensus” conclusions that carbon dioxide’s heat retention qualities + human production of carbon dioxide = apocalypse! Or the fact that the scientific method typically involves things impossible to have with AGW, such as repeatable studies and control groups. AGW advocates never acknowledge the practical impossibility of modeling systems with millions of inputs, many of them unknown, or that the models, as complex as they are, are based on a very limited set of inputs and very limited rules of interactions that do not reflect the real world, because they can’t.

    Yet scientists, especially climate scientists, who say: “well, obviously, pollution is a bad idea, but in terms of AGW we simply have no idea and are only making educated guesses” . . . these people will not have careers. And sometimes paychecks influence our thinking on issues. Even scientists, amazingly.

    In that vein, I’ve been listening to an audiobook (The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch) where he deconstructs the whole idea of “spaceship earth” or that earth is naturally built to support human life. He argues, quite persuasively, and the Earth’s biosphere is hostile to human life and is, indeed, incapable of supporting human life in the way popular culture considers the concept, and that it is only human engineering that allows us to continue to survive and even flourish on this hostile, inhospitable planet. He makes the case pretty well. A quote:

    This much is true: if, tomorrow, physical conditions on the Earth’s surface were to change even slightly by astrophysical standards, then no humans could live here unprotected, just as they could not survive on a spaceship whose life-support system had broken down.

    Yet I am writing this in Oxford, England, where winter nights are likewise often cold enough to kill any human unprotected by clothing and other technology. So, while intergalactic space would kill me in a matter of seconds, Oxfordshire in its primeval state might doit in a matter of hours – which can be considered ‘life support’ only in the most contrived sense.

    There is a life-support system in Oxfordshire today, but it was not provided by the biosphere. It has been built by humans. It consists of clothes, houses, farms, hospitals, an electrical grid, a sewage system and so on. Nearly the whole of the Earth’s biosphere in its primeval state was likewise incapable of keeping an unprotected human alive for long. It would be much more accurate to call it a death trap for humans rather than a life-support system.

    Even the Great Rift Valley in eastern Africa, where our species evolved, was barely more hospitable than primeval Oxfordshire. Unlike the life-support system in that imagined spaceship, the Great Rift Valley lacked a safe water supply, and medical equipment, and comfortable living quarters, and was infested with predators, parasites and disease organisms. It frequently injured, poisoned, drenched, starved and sickened its ‘passengers’, and most of them died as a result.

    Ah, the natural state of our peaceful planet that we defile with our technology and capitalism.

    More here:

    http://www.reads123.com/beginning-infinity-david-deutsch?page=0%252525252C116%25252C63,24

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    • Or the fact that the scientific method typically involves things impossible to have with AGW, such as repeatable studies and control groups. AGW advocates never acknowledge the practical impossibility of modeling systems with millions of inputs, many of them unknown, or that the models, as complex as they are, are based on a very limited set of inputs and very limited rules of interactions that do not reflect the real world, because they can’t.

      Yes, more of the problems with climate science as a discipline.

      An actual practicing scientist I know frequently admonishes deniers and other anti-science types by telling them that scientists make their bones refuting their peers and finding new results that contradict old ones.

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      • yello:

        An actual practicing scientist I know frequently admonishes deniers and other anti-science types by telling them that scientists make their bones refuting their peers and finding new results that contradict old ones.

        Not in the AGW “science” industry they don’t. Which makes it extremely odd that your friend admonishes “deniers” with this since the absence of such contradiction, and the excommunication of anyone who does refute the “consensus”, is precisely one of the problems that “deniers” have with AGW “science”.

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  44. @yellojkt: “The lynching has gotten even more high tech.”

    I always wondered if that strategy during the confirmation was Thomas’s idea, or someone else’s, and I wonder how he felt about it as a strategy. It was clearly playing identity politics, something he otherwise does not seem to care for.

    “Am I hearing a bit of a sneer in the use of the words ‘idiosyncratic’ and ‘novel’ or is that just a dog whistle?”

    I think you’re probably hearing a sneer, but it’s the NYT writing about Clarence Thomas. One wonders why the sneer isn’t more obvious, like when they write about Scalia. Are they trying to walk the line of political correctness?

    “has determined that Clarence Thomas borrows the phrasing of briefs submitted to the court more than the other justices”

    Is the NYT trying to say that the black justice is lazier than the white justices? 😉

    Tsk, tsk, tsk. The Old Gray Lady’s racism is showing. There’s your dog whistle!

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  45. @yellojkt: “Climate science may be a softer science but it’s several orders of magnitude harder than psychology which is just above reading entrails.”

    This is true, but I have a larger problem with the whole concept of “consensus science”, which seems to me a process by which we confer a certain amount of certitude to something that’s practically untestable as if it is in the same class of knowledge as science derived from testable hypothesis with repeatable results done against a control group. Which is sometimes done out of necessity, but sometimes done out of convenience, or done because of the vested interests of the people advocating for the science (there are a lot of health and diet assumptions that are functionally consensus “science” that are apparently believed factual enough to make it into FDA dietary guidelines and food pyramids). Economics would be another area full of “consensus science”. The “consensus” part tends to be what makes the issue divisive.

    “The problem climate science has is that it is pretty much restricted to a sample size of one. Real tough to run double blind tests on the weather.”

    Impossible, really. At least, with present resources and technology. I think we will eventually get reliable computer models, but we will need to be able to collect far more data than we do presently (by orders of magnitude) and process it with models written by radical AI, rather than human beings. All of which I think is possible, but we are 25 years away from that point if not 50.

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  46. Is the NYT trying to say that the black justice is lazier than the white justices? 😉

    They directly address the L-word:

    “You could regard it as problematic if you thought that the opinion drafting that tracked the brief so closely was ‘lazy,’ ” [Professor Mann] added, “but that seems unlikely to me.”

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  47. “An actual practicing scientist I know frequently admonishes deniers and other anti-science types by telling them that scientists make their bones refuting their peers and finding new results that contradict old ones.”

    I’m actually very pro-science. I’m just not convinced that consensus science has value, or value in excess of its negatives, or is really scientific in the usefulness of its conclusions. Nor that many of the public advocates and politicians advocating for legislative remedies to the predictions of the climate science “consensus” any closer to being a scientist than I am. Thus I’m not in a rush to implement their remedies on that basis.

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  48. What are you willing to sacrifice for AGW?

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  49. “Unlikely” but not “impossible” or “unimaginable”, hunh.

    Keerist that high-pitch sound hurt my ears.

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  50. @mcwing: “What are you willing to sacrifice for AGW?”

    I’m willing to buy an electric car, when they become affordable and usable. I’m willing to put solar panels on the house, when it becomes cost effective. I’m willing to (at a political level) compromise with the energy industry to encourage them to pollute less without radically increasing energy costs. I’m willing to frack and drill for natural gas. I’m willing to support wind power and wind farms (and every bird that gets sliced and diced will have been sacrificed for a noble cause, and eventually evolution will fix that problem) and solar farms. I’d even be willing to have the government fund UNIVERSITY research into improved solar power output (and this is coming, and you’d better believe it).

    NOT willing to establish a bs carbon credit/carbon offset scam so huge financial entities and politicians can collaborate to bilk the general public out of more money for no reason. Will never be willing to sign off on sending money to dictators in 3rd world countries to fund their personal fiefdoms because of disparate environmental impact. A few other things.

    I love energy efficiency. I would love it if we could double the efficiency of every energy expenditure. We are bombarded with free energy from the sun every day. I’d love to be able to harness that.

    Oh, and I support damming every river that can be dammed. And upgrading any dams that aren’t producing at peak capacity.

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  51. @yellojkt: ““You could regard it as problematic if you thought that the opinion drafting that tracked the brief so closely was ‘lazy,’ ” [Professor Mann] added, “but that seems unlikely to me.””

    I dunno. Maybe it’s subconscious racism, or lots of folks on the left truly believe that conservatives are driven by their own overt racism, and will finally turn on Clarence Thomas if they realize he’s a black person. Which they will help them do, by calling him lazy, I guess.

    God should have made everybody identical. It would have solved a lot of trouble. Oh, and also made burning fossil fuels produce organically grown, nutrient rich vegetables and fruits, instead of carbon dioxide.

    Man, I could have created the universe so much better.

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  52. The NYT is the Kelly Osbourn of Journalism apparently.

    Like

  53. There is a word for a scientist who tries to contradict an AGW finding, “Denier.”

    Does anybody disagree?

    You lose points if you don’t include either “Heartland Institute” or “Big Oil.”

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    • McWing;

      There is a word for a scientist who tries to contradict an AGW finding, “Denier.”

      lol Exactly.

      The left suffers from astonishing levels of cognitive dissonance.

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  54. “There is a word for a scientist who tries to contradict an AGW finding, “Denier.”
    Does anybody disagree?”

    Well, those folks are shills for big oil, probably not even scientists, just neanderthal’s in lab coats on the take for big energy companies. Holocaust Deniers are just the average citizen, or the name given to them in order to shame them for having a heretical opinion that diverges from church consensus orthodoxy.

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  55. “There is a word for a scientist who tries to contradict an AGW finding, “Denier.”

    Also, there is another word for a scientist who tries to contradict AGW. Or several of them “outlier” is one. “in the 1%” is more of a phrase. I’ve already covered “shill”. “Paid consultant” is two words. Give me some time, I know there are more.

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    • Also, there is another word for a scientist who tries to contradict AGW.

      Scientists are more than willing to try. Again, that is how the scientific method works. It’s the non-scientists who don’t understand the scientific method (including the words “theory” and “fact” and “hypothesis”) who latch onto pop media explanations because it fits their world view who stick in my craw. I recently had to endure a long explanation from my father about how global warming is happening but that it is caused by sunspots. He also has interesting theories on where Barack Obama was born.

      Shills tend not to publish in peer-reviewed journals but some see that as part of the Lamborghini-driving AGW cartel conspiracy suppressing The Truth. As for paid consultants, all scientist are paid my somebody. Some more transparently than others.

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      • yello:

        Scientists are more than willing to try.

        This sounds like an example of the No True Scotsman fallacy. That is, scientists that are cowed by being called a “denier” when challenging the consensus are not actually scientists.

        You seem to be conflating how science is supposed to work in theory with how science is actually conducted by the AGW industry. Just because science works by having scientists challenge existing beliefs doesn’t mean that either 1) scientists are challenging existing beliefs in a given area or 2) there is not an effort on behalf of some (or even many) scientists to prevent those challenges from happening.

        And the fact of the matter is that anyone who resorts to the “denier” bullshit in labeling anyone who does challenge the presumed “consensus” on AGW is contributing to the failure of science to work the way it is supposed to work.

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        • And the fact of the matter is that anyone who resorts to the “denier” bullshit in labeling anyone who does challenge the presumed “consensus” on AGW is contributing to the failure of science to work the way it is supposed to work.

          As always, I am more than willing to serve as your strawman. Feel free to feed any words you want into my mouth.

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        • yello:

          Feel free to feed any words you want into my mouth.

          Heh. Not at all sure what words you think I fed into your mouth, but again, the cognitive dissonance is staggering at times.

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  56. If there is one thing we learned from the ClimateGate email back is that the AGW scientists were manipulating the peer review process to ensure more studies that contradicted their AGW studies. Dr.Mann et al LOVE being challenged!

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  57. The sunspot theory is not in the same category (barely even the same hemisphere) as the birther “theories”. It’s a lot closer to AGW theories, and dismissed in a similarly consensual way, though not without reason. I think it’s clear that the sun has been cooling slightly, and (fortunately) with sunspot and cosmic ray explanations, there’s not a unified consensus to pad the results and spin them as something they are not.

    “Shills tend not to publish in peer-reviewed journals but some see that as part of the Lamborghini-driving AGW cartel conspiracy suppressing The Truth.”

    There’s not a requirement for an AGW cartel conspiracy to demonstrate that peer-review is a flawed process. See:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1420798/

    http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21588069-scientific-research-has-changed-world-now-it-needs-change-itself-how-science-goes-wrong

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/hank-campbell-the-corruption-of-peer-review-is-harming-scientific-credibility-1405290747

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/03/27/fabricated-peer-reviews-prompt-scientific-journal-to-retract-43-papers-systematic-scheme-may-affect-other-journals/

    http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2013/12/problem-peer-review-scientific-publishing.html

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  58. https://www2.ucar.edu/news/how-much-has-global-temperature-risen-last-100-years

    Averaged over all land and ocean surfaces, temperatures warmed roughly 1.53°F (0.85ºC) from 1880 to 2012, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (see page 3 of the IPCC’s Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, Summary for Policymakers – PDF). Because oceans tend to warm and cool more slowly than land areas, continents have warmed the most. In the Northern Hemisphere, where most of Earth’s land mass is located, the three decades from 1983 to 2012 were likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years, according to the IPCC.

    This seems a relatively modest rate of warming. How do we honestly determine that it’s out of character for the planet, given the historical facts of the planet having, in the past, been both much hotter and much cooler than it is today? Macroseasons, I’m telling you. We’re moving into a macrosummer.

    Not getting into the methodologies of measuring global temperature in 1880 vs 1980 vs 2015. Or the relevance of urban heat sinks. Etc.

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  59. Relatedly, Global Warming is negatively impacting our planet’s gravity:

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/09/antarctic-ice-melt-causes-small-shift-gravity

    “To be fair, the change in gravity is very small.”

    Well, as long as you’re being fair about it.

    Like

  60. @markinaustin: I love it. Just gotta be careful not to mine too much carbon dioxide from the air . . .

    As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been listening to a book that I feel, currently, makes a convincing case that the natural environment of earth is our friend is poppycock, and the only reason that any of us our alive right now is due to human transference of knowledge, development of tools, and so on. This is the kind of engineering that keeps us going, not attempting to maintain the earth at an ideal temperature through the power of positive thinking, carbon credit sales, and yelling at people who you think are stupid. 😉

    But I love stuff like this. Yay, people smarter than me who don’t use it to tell me I’m too stupid to understand them, but instead make stuff like this! Which I’m too stupid to invent myself, but can fully see if awesome.

    Like

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