Morning Report: The Fed takes down its rate forecast 12/17/15

Stocks are lower this morning, reversing the post FOMC rally. Bonds and MBS are up.

As expected, the Fed rose the Fed Funds target rate by 25 basis points. The statement generally focused on how the economy has improved. The biggest surprise in the statement and the projection materials was the forecast for rates going forward. The Fed lowered their expected Fed Funds range going forward. You can see the September versus December dot graphs below:

In the projection materials, they took up their forecast for 2016 GDP up a hair and took down their estimate for 2016 unemployment by a tick.

In response to the rate hike, banks hiked their prime rate to 3.5% from 3.25%. A lot of consumer debt, especially credit cards, are tied to the prime rate, which means consumers will feel the pinch.

The Philthy Fed Manufacturing Index fell to-5.9 from 1.9. while initial jobless claims fell from 282,000 to 271,000.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to 40.9 from 40.1.

The Index of Leading Economic indicators fell from 0.6% to 0.4%.

The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.

The FHFA is taking more steps to push lenders to provide financing to more multi-fam properties.

72 Responses

  1. If these cocksuckers aren’t Muzzies, why were they buried as such?

    https://ca.news.yahoo.com/exclusive-san-bernardino-shooters-buried-quiet-funeral-following-003855115.html

    Why do they deserve any buriel at all?

    BTW, what’s the argument against nuking Raqqa?

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    • McWing:

      If these cocksuckers aren’t Muzzies, why were they buried as such?

      Was there a dispute over whether they were?

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      • I keep hearing from Obama that they are terrorists but do not represent Islam. If that’s the case, then why were they given a muzzie burial?

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        • McWing:

          I keep hearing from Obama that they are terrorists but do not represent Islam.

          Presumably Obama would say that there is a difference between “being” Muslim and “representing” Islam. Of course, what Obama seems not to get is that even if terrorists are not “representative” of Islam as a whole, that doesn’t meant that Islam is not central to the terrorist ideology.

          As I have said in the past, I have no idea whether or not Muslim terrorists are acting on a “true” understanding of Islam, but neither, I suspect, does Obama despite his claims to the contrary.

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      • I think what “true Islam” is remains to be determined. There’s a bit of a dust-up about that. let’s see who wins first.

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    • What’s your argument for?

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      • Killing the enemy and destroying their infrastructure and resources without jeapordizing American or Allied lives. Also works as a message to future locals considering cooperating with ISIS. Seems unimpeachable to me.

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      • A black, woman astrophysicist rips into Chief Justice Roberts for daring to question the value of racial diversity in a physics class.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/17/opinion/the-benefits-of-black-physics-students.html?ref=opinion&_r=1

        Bizarrely, she does so by pointing out that at her (historically black) alma mater:

        When I walked through the doors, my professors asked me if I wanted to understand physics, not what “unique perspective” I might bring. I did want to learn physics, so they told me that I was in the right place.

        Ummm…that was pretty much Roberts’ point. The value a physics student might bring has nothing whatsoever to do with any “unique perspective” he brings as a result of being black. Yet when Roberts poses his question to make this same point, somehow it gets twisted inside her head to be “…the tacit implication that black students must justify their presence”. Huh? That is exactly backwards. It is the existence of, not the absence of, racial preferences that implies that black students must justify their presence by providing that “unique perspective”.

        I guess when your self-worth is all wrapped up in your racial identity – she’s not just an astrophysicist, but “a black woman and an astrophysicist” – to hear the value of race being questioned at all represents a personal attack. The capacity for identity politics to turn otherwise smart people into dopes is quite amazing.

        (She also totally mis-represents Scalia, too.)

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    • Perhaps we should have just stuck their heads on pikes at a TSA checkpoint.

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  2. I believe it’s that there’s nothing there worth nuking. i’m not convinced.

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  3. The questions as to why they deserved a burial at all . . . we bury everybody, right? Or have some sort of service. It’s just how we roll.

    As far as them not representing “Islam”, they represent “Islam” more than they represented “people who wear clothing” but perhaps not nearly as much as they represent “crazy people who want to kill innocent people”.

    I am fascinated by the impulse to worry over a negative backlash to Muslims when some Muslims shoot up the place, but there’s no worry (or need to be sweet and kind to) Christians when some nominally Christian dude shoots up Planned Parenthood. In fact there seems to be a lot of presumption that any domestic, not-oviously-Muslim terrorist or shooter is a Christian, when often that is by no means obvious. Timothy McVeigh being the obvious example of someone who seemed about as Christian as any person who attended and fell asleep in church, but was in no way pursuing some sort of purist Christian jihad.

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    • I’m not sure anybody associates Timothy McVeigh with the Christianist right which bombs abortion clinics but rather the backyard militia set who obsess over government over-reach. His case is complicated because the event which set him over the edge was the ATF destruction in Waco, which was because of a charismatic Christian cult leader.

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      • I’ve seen it amongst the PLers and Facebook posters, among others who advance him seriously as the Face of Christianity, along with Hitler. KKK folks. Agree the McVeigh issue more complicated than “terrorist agnosticism”. Just sayin’, we gotta remember that whatever any Christian does, that Christian does not represent Christianity! Because fairness.

        David Koresh apparently claimed he was Jesus or the 2nd coming or something, in addition to being a pedophile, so while calling himself Christian he was both heretical and blasphemous . . . so, in truth, kinda the opposite.

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      • But Koresh is seen as a martyr by the militia movement.

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      • Koresh was almost certainly guilty of statutory rape, at least.

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  4. Ace’s commentary on the quadrupling of H2B visas portends the doom of the GOP Establishment. And the ongoing involuntary giving of electoral enemas to GOP establishment types by increasing incensed Tea Partiers:

    http://acecomments.mu.nu/?post=360624

    We’ll make our poor people poorer, and our Middle Class poorer, all to give Disney a 25 cent boost on the stock market, and import more non-Americans to replace American workers. (And eventually, when those non-Americans get comfortable and begin demanding American-style wages – we’ll have to import fresh non-Americans to replace them.)

    This is the Republican Way of Doing Business, and if you have a problem with any of this, you’re a goddamned extremist and racist who should be shat upon.

    And somehow, somehow, after fucking over every working class and Middle Class voter in America, the GOP predicts… it will somehow pick up a Senate seat here or there, and then we’ll get Supreme Court justices.

    And we’ll need them — because at this pace, we’d be lucky to win a political contest for dog catcher. Apparently our gameplan is to alienate every single American worker so that our only hope is an extralegal court of unelected, lifetime tenure superlegislators.

    So drink up! This is the Golden Age of Republican Incompetency and Corruption.

    Oh: To be fair, the GOP sold out everyone to get the one big thing we desperately needed: the right of oil companies to sell their oil for slightly higher prices on the foreign spot market.

    So, as you can see, it was all totally worth it.

    We’re More Globally Competitive (TM) now.

    Once we’re all receiving our gruel rations in government welfare camps, we’ll be even More Globally Competitive (TM).

    I get the sense that Ace is not the only person who feels this way about the GOP.

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  5. Annual global temperature from 1880 to 2010:

    The Climate’s Gonna Kill Us!

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/12/climate-panic-where-do-humans-live.php

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    • If anything, the creator of this graph is leaving some flatness on the table. Using the y-axis range from -10F to 110F is just as arbitrary as using 55F to 60F like Philip Bump does. Using the Fahrenheit scale at all is silly since it is offset 473 degrees from absolute zero. As for the upper end, the hottest temperature in the solar system is 15,000,000C at the sun’s core. On that scale, the temperature rise of the last twenty years is dead level.

      You could use even higher temperatures as the upper range if you went back to the beginning of the Big Bang but that would be ridiculous.

      The more interesting point of the article is the very obvious shift in the Denier community from “It isn’t happening.” to “So what if it is?” By citing historical extremes, the current situation doesn’t sound so dire. The only problem with warming trends versus the colder anecdotes he cites is that you can always put more sabertooth tiger furs on in cold weather but it’s tough to wear less than a loincloth when the thermometer stays in the triple digits year round.

      An article in the New Yorker on how AGW is affecting Miami Beach points out that during the Ice Age, the beach was fifteen miles further away. Think of all the money real estate developers are going to make building oceanfront condos in Valdosta a century from now.

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      • yello:

        The more interesting point of the article is the very obvious shift in the Denier community from “It isn’t happening.” to “So what if it is?

        It isn’t new. People, including me, have been saying that for years.

        https://all-things-in-moderation.com/2011/11/05/climate-change-carried-forward/comment-page-1/#comment-6911

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        • FYI, yello, the benefit of actual reading the critiques of AGW theory instead of simply dismissing them with the “denier” bullshit, is that one is able to find out what the arguments actually are. Most critiques of AGW have long revolved not around “denying” that there has ever been any warming, but rather challenging 1) the claim that human activity is certainly responsible for any warming and 2) that the planet is doomed as the result of it.

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        • challenging 1) the claim that human activity is certainly responsible for any warming

          Pretty much the textbook definition of Denialism. My Dad the Birther blames sunspots. What’s your theory?

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        • The lack of sunspots, correct? Less solar activity resulting in an increase of cosmic rays hitting earth? Causing more clouds?

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        • Hah, you bagger. I bet you believe in magic beans, too!

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        • yello:

          Pretty much the textbook definition of Denialism.

          Which pretty much proves what a mindless, bullshit characterization it is.

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        • My main problem with “denialism” is that, like so much in political discourse, it’s propaganda word meant to suggest that skeptics, critics, and optimists are “denying” a “truth”, and it’s association with holocaust denial (something for which there is a huge written and photographic records, as is enormously documented, making “disagreeing that the Germans engaged in the wholesale slaughter of Jewish people during World War II” clearly “denial”, by the textbook definition.

          But the human propensity to find dismissive descriptives for those the disagree with—or consider themselves superior to—is universal. Generally, I prefer to use the descriptives people use for themselves (if they aren’t entirely propaganda: while I understand it is a group name, I think Tea Partiers were kind of inviting the epithet “Tea Bagger”, while AGW skeptics are simply being mislabeled as “deniers” (or, because that was not explicit enough, “denialists”) because of the connotations of the terms and its convenience for putting those folks in an easy, though inaccurate, box.

          Terms like “Birther” seem more descriptive, and I don’t see it as being much more than shorthand, even though, of course, used by derision of those who disagreed with the “Birthers” admittedly bizarre obsession over Obama’s pedigree. But there is a difference between being derisive and using a word and constantly inserting it into the conversation in order to create an inaccurate association or perception (though I suspect this is often unconscious, and in some ways just a more urbane way of calling people stupid enough to disagree with our obviously right take on the world as stupid).

          It also works to avoid responding to specific observations or critiques and just kind of lump everything in the same kettle. Ergo, if you don’t think a warmer planet will result in the end of humanity, that becomes the same as thinking that human beings don’t have any effect on global temperature, which becomes the same as saying the planet is steady state and never varies in temperature, which then becomes the same thing as saying the earth is flat and we faked the moon landing. Which is crazy.

          And I could back that up: thinking that carbon offsets and carbon taxes will have no real positive net benefit to the environment becomes the same as believing in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, so you’re obviously anti-science if you don’t agree that a carbon tax and investing tax payer money in questionable business ventures with friends well-placed in politics will save the planet.

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        • Ergo, if you don’t think a warmer planet will result in the end of humanity,

          Nothing like refuting other people’s logical fallacies with a good solid strawman.

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        • How else am I going to scare the crows?

          But, speaking of birds, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Almost everybody constructs a straw man when trying to illustrate something at some point.

          I meant that generally, illustrating a progression of lumping things together that don’t necessarily go together (which happens all the time in these kinds of discussions), though only a small percentage view AGW as an existential crisis (although some obviously do, or pretend to in order to scare the rubes: I’ve heard thing like “the planet will be fine, there just won’t by any humans on it” just recently from some guy on the teleo-visual box).

          Ah: the power of Google. If it’s a straw man, I don’t think it’s just mine:

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3131160/Will-child-witness-end-humanity-Mankind-extinct-100-years-climate-change-warns-expert.html

          http://www.skirsch.com/politics/globalwarming/Extinction.htm

          And there’s more! So somebody thinks so. But, to be clear, I wasn’t saying that was your argument, nor am I claiming one ideology has a monopoly on the “lump it all together” strategy. Mostly, I’m just running my mouth, just using my fingers to do it.

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        • KW:

          Almost everybody constructs a straw man when trying to illustrate something at some point.

          I don’t think what you said was a straw man at all.

          I meant that generally, illustrating a progression of lumping things together that don’t necessarily go together (which happens all the time in these kinds of discussions)

          And your point was perfectly illustrated by yello himself. In his original charge about a “shift”, the “Denier community” was defined as having argued that “It isn’t happening”. Yet when I pointed out that in fact most critiques did not claim it isn’t happening, but merely questioned scientific certainly over its cause, that suddenly became “Pretty much the textbook definition of Denialism”. And based on the alleged “shift” that yello thinks is happening, we can see he is also prepared to label as “deniers” those who simply argue that any warming will not be cataclysmic.

          Your point was spot on.

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        • And based on the alleged “shift” that yello thinks is happening, we can see he is also prepared to label as “deniers” those who simply argue that any warming will not be cataclysmic.

          Goalpost moving is a very common tactic amongst groups who have a vested interest in minimizing the perceived impact of anthropic global warming. To say that ‘nobody’ has ever outright denied that it is happening is as falsifiable as there not being any apocalyptic scaremongers out there. Paul Krugman had a whole taxonomy of the levels of Denier and it moves from outright denial to the view that there is nothing worth doing to mitigate it, which arguably is not technically being a Denier. Krugman also points out that denying that denial occurs is an observable trend.

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        • Pretty rigid dogma ya got there. Which is worse, apostasy or heresy?

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        • McWing;

          Pretty rigid dogma ya got there. Which is worse, apostasy or heresy?

          Perhaps we should start calling the faithful “AGW Jihadists”.

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        • yello:

          Goalpost moving is a very common tactic amongst groups who have a vested interest in minimizing the perceived impact of anthropic global warming.

          It also seems to be a very common tactic among groups attempting to dismiss critiques of AGW theory as “denialisms”. Again, your posts are the epitome of it.

          To say that ‘nobody’ has ever outright denied that it is happening is as falsifiable as there not being any apocalyptic scaremongers out there.

          Straw man. No one here said that nobody has ever outright denied it.

          Paul Krugman…

          …is a dishonest hack and so should not be taken seriously about virtually anything, not even his area of academic expertise (which has nothing to do with AGW).

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        • BTW, yello, I should also point out that even for anyone who actually has shifted, as you claim, from arguing that “it isn’t happening” to “So what if it is”, it is incorrect to characterize this as “moving the goal posts”.

          In rhetorical terms, moving the goal posts refers to an informal argument in which a previously or implicitly agreed standard of evidence for a claim is shifted to a different standard once it becomes clear that the original standard can be met. But as I pointed out a couple years ago, in order for the politics of the Alarmist community to be sensible, the alarmists must establish many different things, not simply that warming is happening, and an objection to Alarmist politics could sensibly derive from a failure of the Alarmists to establish any one or many of those things. To argue that warming is not happening is not to imply that, if it is, all the other conditions necessary to make Alarmist politics sensible exist, or that there are no other reasons to object to the Alarmist litany.

          Therefore simply because one might shift from disputing the very existence of warming to disputing one of the many other claims in the Alarmist litany does not mean one has “moved the goalposts”. The very position of the Alarmists sets up many different goal posts, each of which must be met on its own terms independently of the others.

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        • In any argument, there are people who have vested interests, sometimes financial but often emotional, that skew their perspectives. Thus, I’m sure Krugman could document “denialists” who appear to be denying AGW for financial renumeration or purely from a tribal “I believe this because my tribe does” perspective.

          This actually says nothing about the larger debate. There are people who takes sides on any issue without much knowledge, and there are people who are swayed by the effect taking a particular side will have on their career, their job prospects, their salary, their significant other, or how popular they are with members (or a particular member) of the opposite sex. Or the same sex, I guess, depending on how they swing. Point being, there are always those people, in every debate, all the time.

          It says little about the quality of their conclusions or arguments, and less about the objective truth of the issue as a whole.

          Krugman’s not always dishonest. He said death panels were exactly what healthcare needed to control costs. And given the vast majority of healthcare costs are end-of-life, I think he’s right.

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        • KW:

          There are people who takes sides on any issue without much knowledge

          I would suggest that with regard to AGW, the vast majority of people who take sides do so without much knowledge. Or, at least, without much knowledge relevant to the subject.

          Krugman’s not always dishonest.

          I am sure that is true. But he is dishonest enough often enough that no one who is trying to decide how to think about an issue about which they have little information should look to him for edification.

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        • ScottC: “I would suggest that with regard to AGW, the vast majority of people who take sides do so without much knowledge.”

          I do! I admit it. Climate is complicated. So are physics. So I have to conclude based on evidence I can see and understand, my general experience, and other limited inputs.

          “But he is dishonest enough often enough that no one who is trying to decide how to think about an issue about which they have little information should look to him for edification.”

          But he has a Nobel prize!

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        • @yellojkt: “To say that ‘nobody’ has ever outright denied that it is happening is as falsifiable as there not being any apocalyptic scaremongers out there. ”

          To quote ScottC: “Most critiques of AGW have long revolved not around “denying” that there has ever been any warming, but rather challenging 1) the claim that human activity is certainly responsible for any warming and 2) that the planet is doomed as the result of it.”

          Most is not all. And, even 20 years ago, skeptics were using example of ice ages and the Medeival Warm Period as an argument that the climate cycles. It was ten or fifteen years ago I heard about the 30 year warming/cooling cycle. Rarely did I ever hear anything approaching the argument that the planet exists in a steady and unchanging state, thus it was impossible that the planet was warming or cooling. I did hear arguments that “global warming” as described by the hockey stick simple was not happening, but that is not the same as saying “the climate never changes”. Thus I don’t think this is a case of moving goal posts, but rather a fair amount of consistency on both sides of the argument. We get stuff like this from the Green Peace dude:

          http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/mar/17/patrick-moore/climate-change-skeptic-patrick-moore-says-earth-ha/

          Which is an argument that global warming has not been happening in a finite time period, recently. And his current, so Patrick Moore is not moving his goal posts. And there was the global cooling meme going around a few years ago:

          http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/427980/Global-warming-No-the-planet-is-getting-cooler

          But I am not and have never suggested (that I recall, anyway) that the climate does not change or that it was not getting warmer over time (though I question the reliability of the data, as I am dubious our measurements of temperature over a century are not skewed by data collection, or intentional “corrections” to collected data limited by the time it was collected, what sort of adjustments are made for urban heat sinks, etc). Still, I haven’t moved my goal posts. I still think man’s contribution to climate change are likely small or non-existent, that the models used for predicting climate are mostly slight-of-hand or so limited that any actual prediction they might do is mostly accidental, and that irrespective of the truth of AGW, the policy proscriptions being advocated for, and often billed as stopping the raising of the oceans or saving the planet, will do almost nothing. So we had better hope I’m right about climate change, because if I’m wrong carbon offsets aren’t going to save us.

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        • KW:

          (though I suspect this is often unconscious, and in some ways just a more urbane way of calling people stupid enough to disagree with our obviously right take on the world as stupid).

          I think it is used either by propagandists or the propagandized. Either way, it is a bullshit term.

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        • “Pretty much the textbook definition of Denialism. My Dad the Birther blames sunspots. What’s your theory?”

          My mom the liberal blames conservatives. Though I’m pretty sure her carbon footprint is at least as large as mine, if not larger. She does a lot of traveling.

          I blame macro seasons, and cycles of them moving at different elliptical time scales. It would tend to explain how we can have a warm period in the middle ages, and why we had an ice age about 12,000 years ago without any human industrial activity to alter the climate. When you have regular summer during mini-macro summer during maxi-macro summer, you have a hella hot summer, and something akin to the Medieval Warm Period. When you have a mini-macro winter during a maxi-macro winter, you get an ice age (there may be a fourth seasonal cycle on top of that, as well). Any any case, the historical evidence would tend to support that kind of interpretation more so than the theory that human industrial activity is having a huge effect on the climate.

          Another question would be: what would be the conclusion if we were in the middle of a winter macro-seasonal trend, and it was getting colder and the arctic ice sheet was enlarging? It would seem we would almost certainly conclude, if cooling temps had been the trend over the past 50 years, that human beings industrial activity, aerosol cans, or something else was causing this cooling and if we didn’t do something soon, a new ice age would be upon us. The problem with hugely complex systems is an equally compelling argument could be made for why human industry was causing the planet to cool in an unprecedented manner. Because it’s a system with thousands of categories of inputs, and something could be making the heat bounce back off into space, thus causing our planet to be colder.

          A more general issue is the human susceptibility to memes and our narcissism. The same narcissism that made gods in our image and believed that a drought was caused by humans (by having displeased the gods) and that rain could be summoned by humans (by pleasing the gods, or dancing exceptionally well) could conceivably be at work here as well. It just makes intuitive sense to many people that we must be affecting the climate of the planet (and that the universe revolves around us) because we are in the very center of our personal universes, and our tribe is in the center of our tribal universe, and both things radically skew our emotional perspectives.

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      • “If anything, the creator of this graph is leaving some flatness on the table. Using the y-axis range from -10F to 110F is just as arbitrary as using 55F to 60F like Philip Bump does.”

        In fact, illustrating that is the point of the graph.

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  6. Your desiring to nuke anybody is ridiculous, McWing. Have fun with that.

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    • I’m unwilling to risk American lives. Interesting that giving priority to the lives of American’s is “ridiculous”.

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      • “I’m unwilling to risk American lives. Interesting that giving priority to the lives of American’s is “ridiculous”.”

        You and Truman. you’re thinking like a Democrat, McWing!

        Frankly, I think they want war. Maybe they even want us to nuke the cities they are holed up in. If not all of them, then enough of them. I’m kinda dubious nuking solves the problem, given the preponderance of domestic Muslim terrorists in the west (i.e., folks who don’t spend a lot of time in the nukable territories of the middle east). Not sure what the answer is in the present day, but I’m guessing it’s not nukes.

        I’m also pretty sure it’s not all the madrasas masquerading as Charter Schools and indoctrinating young 2nd and 3rd generation Muslim children on the evils of the west on the tax payer’s dime. But that’s a different issue, I suppose.

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    • Mich:

      Your desiring to nuke anybody is ridiculous, McWing.

      Is it ridiculous to want to engage in conventional bombing?

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    • If want to a nuke a large foreign power that had declared war on us. Or anybody who nuked us first in some capacity.

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  7. This is the current policy on employment of nuclear weapons by the United States (2013).

    The President’s new guidance:

    –affirms that the United States will maintain a credible deterrent, capable of convincing any potential adversary that the adverse consequences of attacking the United States or our allies and partners far outweigh any potential benefit they may seek to gain through an attack.

    –directs DOD to align U.S. defense guidance and military plans with the policies of the [Nuclear Posture Review], including that the United States will only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies and partners. The guidance narrows U.S. nuclear strategy to focus on only those objectives and missions that are necessary for deterrence in the 21st century. In so doing, the guidance takes further steps toward reducing the role of nuclear weapons in our security strategy.

    –directs DOD to strengthen non-nuclear capabilities and reduce the role of nuclear weapons in deterring non-nuclear attacks.

    –directs DOD to examine and reduce the role of launch under attack in contingency planning, recognizing that the potential for a surprise, disarming nuclear attack is exceedingly remote. While the United States will retain a launch under attack capability, DOD will focus planning on the more likely 21st century contingencies.

    –codifies an alternative approach to hedging against technical or geopolitical risk, which will lead to more effective management of the nuclear weapons stockpile.

    –reaffirms that as long as nuclear weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal that guarantees the defense of the U.S. and our allies and partners. The President has supported significant investments to modernize the nuclear enterprise and maintain a safe, secure, and effective arsenal. The administration will continue seeking congressional funding support for the enterprise.

    Nuking Raqqa does not appear on that list.

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    • And? Is it unchanging dogma, like AGW, never to be changed, challenged or questioned?

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      • Your wish to trivialize using nuclear weapons is noted.

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        • Your belief that prioritizing American lives over our enemies is “ridiculous” is also noted.

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        • This is a false choice. There are other options, such as not engaging in ground combat with enemy states. We can stick the aerial bombing and drones, or stay out of it. If we stay out of it, the American death rate will likely be and remain negligible. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were, in part, to avoid a million American servicemen dying in a ground assault on Japan. I just don’t see that nuking anybody is going to reduce the likelihood of American deaths, given both the wide distribution of ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups and cells, and the fact most of the recent terrorist attacks have been conducted by people rarely or never in areas we’d likely attack. “Cut off the head” and a new one will just pop up, although if you nuke entire cities that does make that admittedly more difficult. Then whack jobs go rouge, and Americans still die.

          There is some question as to whether or not dropping a nuke would, ultimately, be prioritizing American lives. Unintended consequences and all.

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        • I didn’t pull an Obama and state a stupid “some say” argument. What I said was that IF we have to be involved then I choose the actions that will most effectively destroy our enemies and their ability to wage war as well as send a very strong message to those thinking they may wish to join the battle against us while prioritizing American and allied lives. To me, that means that nukes are a very viable option, we’ve used them before quite effectively. Sorry for being tired of having Americans killed because of muzzie extremism. I understand YMMV, I don’t understand a dismissal of a proposal to change a policy by citing the current policy. That’s an AGW response.

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        • I’m not sure he’s trivializing, but it’s an academic argument. We’re not going to use nukes in a first strike attack on anybody. There’s not a politician whose going to do it, and precious few who would even want to suggest they would.

          And while nobody likes terrorists, if we’re on the attack because of their kill rate, we also need to nuke the car manufacturers, the pharmaceutical companies, distillers and brewers, and I guess anyone who makes ammunition for guns. Given that the existential threat they have thus far represented, even including 9/11 in the mix, is negligible . . . I’d rather us pull out and take all financial and military assistance with us than fire off a nuke.

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      • To quote Ygritte, you know nothing, McWing.

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      • Accusing me of prioritizing terrorists over American lives is truly a low blow, McWing.

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      • Terribly sorry, I should have to being accused of being “ridiculous” more magnanimously.

        Frankly, I thought she was sugar-coating it in the name of ATiM ground rules for civility. Calling for the pre-emptive (or non-emptive in the case of an opponent which doesn’t have a nuclear capability) use of nuclear weapons in a non-hyperbolic way is a pretty extreme policy position, not that it hasn’t been at least hinted at by the current crop of candidates.

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    • Mich:

      Nuking Raqqa does not appear on that list.

      I think McWing’s question was “Why shouldn’t we nuke Raqqa?”, not “Is Raqqa on the president’s list of nukable targets?” or “What is the president’s policy on using nukes?”.

      Like

      • ScottC: “Why shouldn’t we nuke Raqqa?””

        My answer would be that nukes are expensive and that would be wasteful. Also, unlikely to accomplish anything positive. And, ultimately, a moot question because we will never do it. We’d conduct an expensive and bloody ground war for decades before we’d drop a nuke on the place.

        Also, I expect somewhere oil politics play into it. I’m betting Exxon/Mobile would not approve of a nuke strike near where the oil comes from, or might come from in the future. 😉

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      • We shouldn’t nuke Raqqa because it does not fall within the parameters of our stated policy.

        I realize that McWing is just trying to stir the pot. This is a stupid way to do it.

        Like

        • Mich:

          We shouldn’t nuke Raqqa because it does not fall within the parameters of our stated policy.

          So you think the very existence of a given policy is a compelling reason not to change the policy?

          Like

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