Morning Report: Productivity and Quantitative Tightening 9/2/15

 

Stocks are higher this morning after Chinese markets rallied to almost unchanged after an early swoon. Bonds and MBS are down.

Mortgage Applications rose 11.3% last week as purchases rose 4.1% and refis rose 16.8%. The 30 year fixed rate mortgage was steady at 4.08%. While the bond market has been pretty volatile, TBAs have been much more steady, tending to fade the moves of the bond market. This means you might see a big drop in the 10 year yield, hope to lock at a great rate, only to find that rates are lower, but not as much as the big move in Treasuries would suggest.

The ADP jobs report showed payrolls increasing by 190,000 jobs, which is less than forecast. July was revised lower as well. The Street is forecasting an increase of 218,000 in the official report on Friday.

After a couple big quarters, unit labor costs fell in the second quarter by 1.4%. This number tends to be volatile, as does productivity. The Fed pays close attention to these numbers.

The ISM New York Index fell pretty dramatically in August, from 68.8 to 51.1. The 68.8 reading was unusually good, while the 51.1 reading was unusually bad.

Factory orders rose 0.4% in July, lower than the 0.9% forecast. Ex-transportation, factory orders fell 0.6%.

Productivity rebounded in the second quarter to an annualized rate of 3.3%. Overall, productivity growth has been in a downtrend for the past dozen years or so. This is one reason why wage inflation has been so hard to come by – productivity growth has been declining. Take a look at the chart below. You can see productivity flatlining around 2% in the 1980s, then a big acceleration in the 1990s as the personal computer goes from a glorified typewriter to an indispensible tool on everyone’s desk. That continues into the early 00s as the internet helps business become more productive. Finally, you see the decline as the PC and Internet phenomenons become played out. While the mainstream media mocked Jeb Bush for talking up the importance of productivity, he was right.

Is “quantitative tightening” the new buzzword? Not yet, but as central banks worldwide begin to let go of some of their reserves, it may become more common. For the past two decades, central banks (especially China) have been accumulating reserves as they manage their trade balances and their currencies. The net effect has been a bid under Treasuries and a release of money into the system. As China slows, this is reversing as they sell Treasuries to support their currency. When they sell Treasuries, they put pressure on US interest rates and the withdrawal of liquidity acts like a tightening. Punch line: this is the second-order effect of the global slowdown – you might see upward pressure on interest rates, a rising dollar, and a withdrawal of liquidity. This would compound the effect of any Fed tightening. Which means a bumpier road ahead as the Fed pursues normalization. This might explain why the Fed has chosen to not sell (and even to keep re-investing) its portfolio of Treasuries and MBS that it bought during QE.

As world markets recover from last week’s bloodbath, the probability of as Sep rate hike is increasing.

118 Responses

  1. Finally! Frist, Kevin Willis, frist!

    Like

  2. Restaurant automation goes up one level on the trendiness scale.

    “If fast food’s core value was speed, and fast casual’s core value was speed-plus-freshness, Eatsa’s is speed-plus-freshness-plus-a lack of human interaction. It’s attempting an automat-renaissance during the age of Amazon and Uber, during a time when the efficiency of solitude has come to be seen, to a large extent, as the ultimate luxury good. Which is to say that it has a very good chance of success.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/09/the-restaurant-with-invisible-waiters/403297/

    Not about being cheap anymore, but not having to interrupt your interaction with your mobile device to deal with a person.

    Like

  3. I note that Uber drivers are fleeing the Libertarian paradise that they created. 🙂

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  4. They aren’t. It’s three guys whining in San Francisco.

    If they don’t like the fact that Uber doesn’t provide benefits, then they shouldn’t drive for them in the first place. It’s not like it’s a surprise.

    Like

    • jnc:

      It’s three guys whining in San Francisco.

      Hard to imagine how someone could confuse San Francisco for a libertarian paradise.

      Like

  5. I can see it, based on the mindset of Silicon Valley. Obviously not the city government.

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  6. Sigh: low inflation is not a “plague”, it’s the preferred state of affairs.

    “JACKSON HOLE, WYO. — Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer argued Saturday that the persistently low inflation that has plagued the country in recent years could finally begin to reverse, but would likely rise slowly.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/08/29/top-fed-official-good-reason-to-believe-inflation-will-rise/

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  7. Scott, apparently the 1970’s have now passed from institutional memory.

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  8. If they don’t like the fact that Uber doesn’t provide benefits, then they shouldn’t drive for them in the first place

    C’mon, jnc, you didn’t really expect that I wouldn’t troll you and NoVA about the class action suit, did you?

    Like

  9. Sigh: low inflation is not a “plague”, it’s the preferred state of affairs.

    Too low inflation creates problems when interest rates are at the zero bound. If inflation falls below 0%, real (inflation-adjusted) interest rates rise, which acts as a tightening… That is the issue. The Fed would like to see it around 2% – 3%.

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  10. @Michigoose: “I note that Uber drivers are fleeing the Libertarian paradise that they created.”

    I would not drive for Uber. Fortunatley, no one is going to make me!

    It’s an opportunity for an alternative to Uber to do a better job with its drivers and its customers. But I think a lot of the hostility towards Uber has to do with entrenched taxi companies historically protected by expensive licensing and laws crafter to keep a few vendors in a perpetual oligopoly.

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  11. @jnc4p: “Not about being cheap anymore, but not having to interrupt your interaction with your mobile device to deal with a person.”

    My primary social existences is online in some form or fashion, and I don’t even do it that much. This next generation . . . whew. AI applications will be anticipating our needs and delivering things to us so we don’t have to get off Facebook or Instragram or Snapchat or whatever social media poison we’ve picked. Amazon Dinner Delivery is coming.

    Like

  12. Uber has to do with entrenched taxi companies historically protected by expensive licensing and laws crafter to keep a few vendors in a perpetual oligopoly.

    NYC taxi medallion pricing has fallen from $1.3 million to $900k.

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  13. I wonder what it else it costs, medallion wise, In bribing local and state regulatory officials to keep the heat on Uber. Can’t be cheap.

    Like

  14. Fred Thompson ‏@fredthompson 2m2 minutes ago
    At fundraiser, Obama tells story of how Derek Jeter conned & hustled him on golf course. But this Iran deal is a solid bargain, right? #tcot

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  15. Brent, get a good lawyer for when you are dragged to The Hague:

    “Is Gentrification a Human-Rights Violation?

    A Brooklyn-based group is arguing that the displacement of longtime residents meets a definition conceived by the United Nations in the aftermath of World War II.

    Saki Knafo

    No one will be surprised to learn that the campaign to build a national movement against gentrification is being waged out of an office in Brooklyn, New York.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/09/gentrification-brooklyn-human-rights-violation/402460/

    Apparently purchasing distressed property and fixing it up is akin to the Holocaust. Can we please just split the country up and go our separate ways now?

    Like

    • jnc:

      Can we please just split the country up and go our separate ways now?

      Not without a knock-down drag-out, I am quite sure. If the left was inclined to allow those who disagree with them the freedom to act on that disagreement, they wouldn’t have destroyed federalism and we wouldn’t need to separate.

      HL Mencken characterized puritans as having the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, was happy. I think modern day liberals can be accurately characterized as having the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, disagrees with them.

      Like

  16. Just looking for their mordida. Give them a boost in teat money and it goes away.

    Jackson/Sharpton shakedown tactic.

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  17. Hard to imagine how someone could confuse San Francisco for a libertarian paradise.

    I posit that there are more libertarians in San Francisco per capita than anywhere else in the world.

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  18. Jackson/Sharpton shakedown tactic.

    that’s about how I see it… This is New York.

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  19. Anyone think it is funny that every time a white person kills a black person that has a tinge of race to it, the media works overtime to tie it to Republican politicians, but has been dead silent on #BlackLivesMatter and obama?

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  20. This libertarian is at the beach and blissfully unaware of the latest news.

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  21. you aren’t missing much.. greg sargent has been tallying the iran votes… he is so for the deal you would think he works for the other side….

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  22. This libertarian is at the beach and blissfully unaware of the latest news

    Slacker!

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  23. Sean Davis ‏@seanmdav 17h17 hours ago
    For progressives aghast at that Kentucky clerk: D.C. officials are openly defying federal court orders regarding concealed carry permits.

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    • Brent:

      For progressives aghast at that Kentucky clerk: D.C. officials are openly defying federal court orders regarding concealed carry permits.

      But that’s totally different because…hater.

      Like

        • Mark, re sanctuary cities/SSM marriage:

          The issue to me is more of an ethical one than a legal one. Sanctuary cities may not be legally obliged to enforce federal immigration laws, but I think they are ethically obliged not to actively thwart/flout those laws. From an ethical point of view the situations are analogous. For progressives to make such a big deal of this woman from Kentucky while championing sanctuary cities or Obama’s refusal to enforce immigration law is a clear case of hypocrisy.

          Also, from the article:

          Rather, Davis and other county clerks are being ordered to administer their own state and local programs in conformance with the Constitution, as interpreted by federal courts…

          Are states (and hence state employees) obliged to administer state laws in conformance with the Constitution, or in conformance with SCOTUS claims about the Constitution? There is a difference.

          (BTW, I think the woman is ethically obliged to issue the licenses unless the State legislature and Governor tell her she is not.)

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    • In May or June a Fed Judge struck down DC’s administrative requirement for an applicant for a gun permit to show a “good reason” why s/he needed a gun.

      I cannot find anything about whether DC is in contempt of this Preliminary Injunction. Where does Sean Davis report that DC is violating the PI? If DC officials are in contempt, surely the matter would have been raised in the same courtroom where the PI issued.

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      • Update: that case was Wrenn v. D.C. and y’all can find it on Google. In June, the DC Court of Appeals Stayed the mandate of the Preliminary Injunction pending appeal, which is in no way unusual, but that allows D.C. to impose its surely unconstitutional restriction of “good reason”, temporarily.

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  24. Just to be on the record, I hate the term “cisgender” and I think everyone who uses it seriously is an enemy of coherent thought.

    That being said, new arrivals at the University of Tennessee better be prepared to start asking people what their preferred name and pronoun is. If you call some dude a “he” and he thinks he’s a “ze” or a “she” or a “zhe” or whatever, then you’re discriminating!

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/08/28/call-me-ze-not-university-wants-everyone-to-use-gender-inclusive-pronouns.html

    Like

    • Kev, gender inclusive pronouns are “youse” in NJ and “y’all” in TX and I think TN.

      I’m OK with calling everyone “y’all”, myself, although when I get called “y’all” I do always look around for the other one[s].

      Also, the “Y’all Room” and the “Youse Room” would still be a crap shoot.

      Instead of butchering the signs, replace them with “Fast Stand Up Only”, “Slow Sit Down Only”, “Slow or Fast, Pick ‘Em”, and “Diapering and Baby Refuse, Only”. American Standard, Kohler, and Bemis will all thank us for the proliferation of porcelain ware production as the fad catches on.

      Actually, I’m just too old to give a damn who is in the next stall. Doesn’t this seem like a problem basically that women will get in a bunch about? ‘Goose, suppose there were Men’s, Anybody’s, and Women’s rooms, wouldn’t you just pick Women’s unless the line was out the hall into the lobby?

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      • Women generally have two complaints with sharing restrooms with men, security and cleanliness. Perhaps modesty, but since stalls have doors that seems like a weak argument.

        Back in the 1980s the Georgia World Congress Center was built with gang restrooms which could be combined or separated. It’s not uncommon for arenas to switch mens rooms to ladies on the fly for events which are heavily female such as figure skating competitions or Michael Buble concerts.

        I was at a urinal before a Melissa Etheridge concert when several women walked in and said they were commandeering the toilet stalls since we didn’t use them anyways. I had no problem with that.

        For pronouns I use the plural third person (they, them) as singular when gender is either unknown, variable, or ambiguous. But I’m a rebel.

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  25. I would bet the “rule of law, you bagger” crowd that is bent out of shape over this KY clerk have no issues with sanctuary cities…

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  26. I suppose I’d have to care if a broad wanted to take a shit next to me.

    Or vice versa.

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  27. Trump signs the pledge. Sorry hillary…

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  28. Quite a blow to the Patriarchy!

    Dyslexics, untie!

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  29. The press conference was a thing of beauty.

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  30. Twitter is blowing up that he signed it August 3, 2015 so it is not legit…

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  31. Lisa Murkowski’s a huge supporter of Loyalty Oaths!

    Just ask Senator Joe Miller.

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    • Good point at NR, re Kentucky’s now-imprisoned County Clerk:

      http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/423519/only-yesterday-defiance-marriage-law-was-bold-and-heroic

      Consider a few of the precedents for her conduct:

      In 2004, Mayor Gavin Newsom directed city officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in defiance of California state law.

      In 2004, Mayor Jason West of New Paltz directed city officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in defiance of New York state law.

      In 2010, attorney general Jerry Brown declined to answer legal challenges to California’s marriage law, which, after Proposition 8, was that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid.” His job was to represent the state of California in legal matters and defend its laws, including those he didn’t like.

      In 2013, D. Bruce Hanes, an official of Montgomery County, began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in defiance of Pennsylvania state law.

      None of these people went to jail, as far as I know.

      Like

  32. the totalitarian left in action…

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  33. Everyone of them should have been fired! Alas, harder to do with elected offices, as you’d have to recall, but still . . .

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  34. If you tell dudes it’ll increase their chances of getting laid, they’ll go.

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  35. Her crime is worse?

    Related,

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/423540/kim-davis-gay-marriage-prison

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    • McWing:

      Good line from Williamson:

      There are many honorable men in the federal government, but there are no honorable federal officials, because one cannot honorably serve a dishonorable government.

      Truer words…

      Like

      • How to Restrain the Supreme Court

        http://thefederalist.com/2015/09/04/how-to-restrain-the-supreme-court/

        I think that the right should organize massive protests against the 4 lock-step liberals, and they should make it personal. These protests should be taken to their homes. Literally. Such things are generally out of character for the right, but the time has come to make these imperial progressive “judges” feel the wrath of a people angry over the abdication of their constitutional duty, and their embrace of political partisanship. Most politicians are held to account at the ballot box, but these “judges” are immune to that, so they must be made to suffer the repercussions of their politics in other ways.

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  36. @Scottc1: “They are elected officials, like the KY county clerk, and so can’t be fired. That, presumably, is why they imprisoned her rather than simply firing her.”

    Where elected, they should reorganize a recall. If there’s no remedial options (such as temporary suspension) available to those above her on the food chain, they should maybe think of addressing that. What law was she violating where jail was more appropriate than suspension? Jail was *really* the only available option?

    To quote Mayor Quimby: “This stupid country.”

    Like

    • KW:

      Where elected, they should reorganize a recall.

      Who is “they” exactly? It is a problem if the electorate that voted her into office actually support her actions, which they may. Remember that SCOTUS imposed SSM on Kentucky against the popular will.

      Strictly speaking it is absolutely correct that she should be held in contempt if she refuses to follow the court’s order. Her proper course of action would be to resign if she cannot, in good conscience, do what her job requires. But what irritates me is the fact that such a principle regarding actions of conscience is routinely ignored in other circumstances by the very people and ideology now braying for her head. Employers are routinely required, by law, to make accommodations for the religious practices of their employees, and get sued when they don’t, to the cheers of the left. As Scalia has pointed out, if Justice Brennan et al had a conscience objection to enforcing the undeniable constitutionality of the death penalty, then the proper course was for them to resign from the bench, but instead they simply pretended that the constitution matched their conscience, to the cheers of the left. If the conscience of Governor Jerry Brown caused him to object to enforcing and defending a CA constitutional provision, then the honorable course of action was to resign his office. Instead he simply abrogated his duty, to the cheers of the left. The list of examples is endless. So to hear the left now wringing its hands over a county clerk following her conscience instead of her legal obligations rings awfully hollow.

      As usual, the left shows itself to be completely bereft of principle. Actions which it embraces and celebrates in pursuit of leftist desires are condemned and punished when used in pursuit of non-leftist desires.

      edit: Can one “hear” someone wringing their hands? Doh! The perils of the mixed metaphor.

      Like

    • Kev and Scott, FWIW the Court offered the clerk several obvious options, such as not personally signing any certificates, because her whole staff are authorized to do so. She went so far as to order her staff not to comply. she pointedly refused to accept any alternative other than one which made her clerk’s office her captive fiefdom. That his how she found herself in civil contempt, the kind she can purge by accepting any number of alternative responses other than that she continue to operate her little agency outside the law.

      Further, the marriage license issue is not a discretionary function toward qualified applicants, unlike, say, prosecuting, or acting as Attorney General, where there are conflicting legal and ethical duties to be resolved in many decisions. Why would any conservative person WANT a government clerical functionary to have personal, extralegal, decision making authority? That boggles my mind.

      Her action was akin to some IRS guy making up a violation on the spot. Which also has happened, and which rightly pisses us off.

      Addendum: the ethics I refer to here are not morals, but published ethics applicable to lawyers and state’s attorneys. I always use ethics to refer to “rules” which are known within the profession or community and shared.
      Sometimes “ethics” and “morals” are used interchangeably in our language and thus the distinction I am making here, for clarity.

      Like

      • Mark:

        Why would any conservative person WANT a government clerical functionary to have personal, extralegal, decision making authority?

        I think I have been clear that I think if the woman had a legitimate objection of conscience, the proper course was for her to resign. What I object to is not the legal consequences, but rather the clear double standard of those on the left who celebrate such defiance of the law and abdication of official obligations in the service of their own partisan politics.

        Her action was akin to some IRS guy making up a violation on the spot.

        No, her action was more akin to the San Fran mayor’s instruction to city employees to issue SSM licenses in defiance of CA law. The only difference was that her action didn’t result in anything that couldn’t be easily gotten around or remedied, while the the SF mayors action resulted in people getting married that CA could not unmarry.

        Like

  37. Why limit the protests to the Justice’s homes? Why not protest all the Senators that voted to confirm?

    Let’s start with CJ Roberts and protest him out of the country? I can get on board with that, I’d travel to D.C. to do my part.

    Like

    • McWing:

      Why limit the protests to the Justice’s homes?

      No reason to limit it to that, but ultimately Senators care more about the ballot box. As long as Chuck Schumer keeps getting elected, he isn’t going to change his votes no matter how many protests are organized.

      Let’s start with CJ Roberts and protest him out of the country?

      I disagree with that. We should start with the worst “judges”, who are undeniably the contemptible quartet of the left. Whatever his faults, the Constitution would be exponentially better protected by 9 Justice Roberts than it would be with, say, 9 Justice Ginsbergs.

      Like

  38. CJ Roberts about face re Obamacare shows he’s exceedingly susceptible to left-wing pressure ergo he is the worst Justice and should be the first to go, his being forced from the country (I’m not kidding) will send a Roosevelt Court-packing lesson that hopefully will last as long as that did. Then, they should be highly encouraged to re litigate Willard v Filburn.

    Or, the next R President should attempt to pack the court themselves, with Adler like justices and let them relitigate it.

    Like

    • McWing:

      CJ Roberts about face re Obamacare shows he’s exceedingly susceptible to left-wing pressure ergo he is the worst Justice

      If susceptibility to the pressure of left-wing ideology is the measure of a bad Justice, it is hard to understand how you could think Roberts is worse than any of the Fab Four. In politically contentious cases they ignore the constitution in favor of leftist ideology without exception. Even if Roberts did so fully 75% of the time, he would still be better.

      Roberts’ performance may be more disappointing than that of the leftist quartet, but only because we have no expectations that D-appointed “judges” will do their job, so when they don’t we are not disappointed. That doesn’t make Roberts an objectively worse judge from a constitutional standpoint.

      Again, whatever Roberts’ constitutional transgressions may be, they pale in comparison to RGB, Kagan, Breyer, or the WL.

      Like

  39. Like

  40. The point of the protest is to influence behavior, the behavior I’m trying to influence is the most recalcitrant justices, targeting Roberts is the lowest hanging fruit with the biggest payoff, forcing him from the court and the country will take much less effort than, say, Sotomayor, but will certainly have an influence on her behavior. The quicker the victory the more leverage you have on those remaining. Quitting a job due to pressure is one thing, forcing them to leave the country because they feel unsafe remaining will have an exponentially bigger impact.

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  41. I want Roberts literally fleeing the country because he thinks his and his family’s lives are in danger, I suspect anybody Obama replaces him with will become Adler like without much trouble. Remember your Freidman: The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing.

    The thought I want in the other Justice’s heads is “If this is what they’ll do to someone on their side, what will they do to me?”

    I’ve picked Roberts over Kennedy because Roberts has demonstrated a very weak, susceptible character, he can be broken quickly.

    Like

    • McWing:

      I would hope that results could be achieved with methods short of literally scaring justices out of the country. Especially when it isn’t even the ones most guilty of shredding the constitution.

      Like

  42. @ScottC1: “But what irritates me is the fact that such a principle regarding actions of conscience is routinely ignored in other circumstances by the very people and ideology now braying for her head. ”

    That’s different. When liberals do it, it’s noble. It’s civil disobedience. And damn the rule of law. It’s why liberals object to Big Government conservatism, despite finding the government the answer to all life’s problems in other circumstances.

    “Who is “they” exactly?”

    Whoever would be responsible for such action as to relieve her of duty. I don’t know specifically in this case. The electorate, her superiors, the governor. Someone has responsibility to relieve someone who stops doing their job in the middle of a term. Granted, it might take forever . . .

    I’m with you on Roberts. He’s better than any of the fab four. I actually like him . . . but Clarence Thomas still wins top prize as most awesome jurist in my lifetime.

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  43. @Scottc1: “Whatever his faults, the Constitution would be exponentially better protected by 9 Justice Roberts than it would be with, say, 9 Justice Ginsbergs.”

    In the latter case, the Constitution would have to be protected from Ginsberg. She wouldn’t be protecting it!

    Like

  44. Scott, that ship has sailed, we are at that stage.

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  45. Some good observations on Trump:

    “It’s hard to say this word in conjunction with such a sexually unappealing person, but his message is a powerful aphrodisiac. Fuck everything, fuck everyone. Fuck immigrants and fuck their filthy lice-ridden kids. And fuck you if you don’t like me saying so.

    Those of us who think polls and primaries and debates are any match for that are pretty naive.”

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/donald-trump-just-stopped-being-funny-20150821?page=3

    See also:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-gop-is-now-officially-the-party-of-dumb-white-people-20150904

    Like

    • jnc:

      I am struggling to find a difference between Trump’s approach to selling himself to his audience and Taibbi’s. “Fuck you if you don’t like my saying so” is pretty much taken directly out of the Taibbi stylebook, no? I would have thought that Taibbi would have a certain respect for Trump as a fellow practitioner of the art of being deliberately outrageous.

      Like

    • jnc:

      Just read your second link. Taibbi’s view of Republican voters is as thoughtful and nuanced as Trump’s is regarding Mexicans. Again, the similarity between their styles is obvious.

      Like

  46. I think he’s nailed why Trump is appealing though. I think McWing likes that approach for one.

    Like

  47. @Scottc1: “I am struggling to find a difference between Trump’s approach to selling himself to his audience and Taibbi’s. “Fuck you if you don’t like my saying so” is pretty much taken directly out of the Taibbi stylebook, no? I would have thought that Taibbi would have a certain respect for Trump as a fellow practitioner of the art of being deliberately outrageous.”

    Yes, but Taibbi is on the right side of history. So it’s ok.

    Like

  48. @Scottc1: Remember the Jesusland map? Or the Dumbfuckistan map?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesusland_map

    I remember Michael Moore posting the map shortly after the 2004 election and talking about how we just needed separate countries now, how he wanted the south to secede, etc. The worthlessness and racism of Bush voters. I’m not sure how all that is different from Trump’s comments on illegal immigrants, except the Bush voters would have all been American citizens, I would assume.

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  49. If Obamacare subsidies were not contingent on states setting up there own Exchanges, then why did any states do it? Why aren’t the government officials that set up state exchanges guilty of malfeasance?

    Like

    • Thought experiment, George:

      States are explicitly offered the choice of setting up their own Exchanges or relying on the federal government to do it. Further, states, in my hypothetical, are given the latitude to design their Exchanges.

      In that case, why shouldn’t the states seize the opportunity?

      Like

      • Mark:

        In that case, why shouldn’t the states seize the opportunity?

        Because of the obvious cost. There isn’t much real benefit to designing one’s own exchange, since the exchanges must adhere to federally mandated rules anyway. So, huge cost, no real benefit.

        Like

        • You guys are cynical while I am merely skeptical. I think Texas could use the fed money and design a program that would be more effective, more efficient, more likely to actually exclude undocs, and still have more rapid phone response/live human contact [favored constitutents?] than the fed program. More political points, less cash, more service? Why not?

          But you could be right, I see that.

          Like

  50. @novahockey

    Hey, NoVA–will you and MrsNoVA be watching the ND game tonight?

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  51. Seize what opportunity? To send money to their favored constituents to build something somebody else was building? Again, how is that not malfeasance?

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    • McWing:

      Again, how is that not malfeasance?

      I am with you. If the admin’s argument about the availability of subsidies was true (we all know it wasn’t, though) then any state that wasted their own money doing what the Feds would have done for them were either guilty of malfeasance or the victims of fraud.

      Like

  52. She went so far as to order her staff not to comply. she pointedly refused to accept any alternative other than one which made her clerk’s office her captive fiefdom.

    That, AFAIC, is where she crossed the line.

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    • Mich:

      That, AFAIC, is where she crossed the line.

      Did the SF mayor cross your line when he ordered city workers to issue SSM licenses in contravention of the CA state constitution?

      Like

    • Mich:

      Had the SCOTUS (or any other court) said that they couldn’t?

      The law said that they couldn’t. There was no question about what the law said, as evidenced by the fact that at the same time it was issuing licenses, the city was also suing the state, claiming that the law it was violating was unconstitutional (ie the state constitution). City officials knew they were breaking the law, but they didn’t like the law so they did it anyway. Just like the woman in KY.

      Like

  53. Had the SCOTUS (or any other court) said that they couldn’t?

    Like

  54. Just like the woman in KY

    No, not “just like”. She was told, directly, that she had to do her job. She chose not to.

    http://images.dailykos.com/images/162562/large/11990643_10107219743637694_4558826486589166856_n.jpg?1441366853

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  55. Vs Newsome, who was told directly not to do something and did it anyway?

    Is it the pleasure of compulsion that animates the left?

    Like

  56. Unlike Ms Davis, Mayor Newsome did, actually, obey the court.

    On March 11, the Supreme Court of California issued a stay ordering the County of San Francisco “to enforce the existing marriage statutes and to refrain from issuing marriage licenses not authorized by such provisions” pending further review by the court. Mayor Newsom agreed to abide by the order

    So no, not “just like”. Wrong again.

    Like

  57. So, only court orders have to be obeyed, not laws?

    Asking for a friend currently jailed for breaking a law.

    Like

    • McWing:

      So, only court orders have to be obeyed, not laws?

      Exactly the right question.

      But you know as well as I that the only thing that matters to the left is leftist results. They have no principles, so it is a waste of time to point out their double standards and inconsistencies. They don’t care.

      Like

  58. Good piece in the Atlantic on the unintended consequences of all the “privilege” self examination.

    “The academic left casts all proponents of color-blindness as naive. Perhaps they’re correct that the ideal of colorblindness alone will never bring about an America where anti-black racism is no more prevalent than anti-Irish racism is today. But isn’t it more naive to imagine that masses of white people will identify more strongly with their racial tribe and then sacrifice the interests of that tribe?

    There is no precedent for such a trajectory.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/the-lefts-attack-on-color-blindness-goes-too-far/403477/

    This country will be radically different if caucasians start voting as a racial block instead of based on ideology and individual preferences. I suspect that as the country becomes more “majority minority” it won’t lead to a progressive promised land, but rather to an ethic balkanization ala the Middle East and the former Yugoslavia where everything becomes about who benefits from the racial spoils system that at this point appears to be a permanent part of American politics..

    Like

  59. As Scott was saying:

    Like

  60. I think this proves women are nuts.

    Like

  61. I don’t think it is about women… If a gay dude refused to do straight weddings, the left wouldn’t care either, and the right wouldn’t try and put him in prison.

    That said, IMO this woman is using government to push her religious views on other people which I cannot accept, even if I think the social justice warrior left is a bunch of intolerant assholes…

    Like

    • Brent:

      That said, IMO this woman is using government to push her religious views on other people which I cannot accept, even if I think the social justice warrior left is a bunch of intolerant assholes…

      Agreed. But this is why the left is winning the culture wars. They will make any incoherent argument, apply any double standard, suffer any charge of hypocrisy, support any leftist, oppose any non-leftist, to assure the survival of progressive policy preferences. They are willing to debase themselves intellectually in order to achieve their goals. (Just look at the absurd and idiotic constitutional arguments made by leftist “judges” and embraced by the wider left.) We are not. They are winning and will continue to do so, right up until the nation collapses.

      Like

  62. They are winning and will continue to do so, right up until the nation collapses.

    I’ll probably be dead or too old to care by the time they achieve their totalitarian goals.

    Like

  63. It’s not hypocrisy when you view the Constitution as a living, breathing diocument. It means whatever your preferred judges want it to mean.

    Like

  64. I think the idea is to create a hostile environment for men the way feminists considered college to be a hostile environment to women.

    Like

    • Brent:

      I think the idea is to create a hostile environment for men the way feminists considered college to be a hostile environment to women.

      I think these new university policies are themselves clear violations of Title IX itself, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

      Like

  65. But again, going back to our discussion above. The left isn’t interested in consistency, so there cannot be discrimination against men.

    Call it sexual reparations…

    Like

  66. I think the idea is to create a hostile environment for men the way feminists considered college to be a hostile environment to women.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/07/why-college-educated-women-can-t-find-love.html

    Good thing hypergamy’s just a tool of the patriarch.

    Like

    • McWing:

      Good thing hypergamy’s just a tool of the patriarch.

      That link reminds me an old thread here from early last year. Perhaps Princeton Mom’s advice was more sensible than she was given credit for.

      Like

  67. The single women I know want to be treated as if they are princesses. but they don’t want it to look like they are being treated like princesses. I don’t know, fly causal.

    They also have impossibly high standards. so high i think they are lying when they say they want to meet someone.

    Like

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