Morning Report: Here comes Irma 9/6/17

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P Futures 2465.0 5.3
Eurostoxx Index 374.0 0.3
Oil (WTI) 49.2 0.6
US dollar index 85.3 0.0
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.07%
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 103.33
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 104.21
30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 3.8

Stocks are up this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are up on dovish Fed-speak yesterday.

We had two doves speaking yesterday (Lael Brainard and Neel Kashkari). Brainard suggested that the Fed had more work to do on getting inflation up to its target level, while Kashkari mused that the Fed’s rate hikes may have damaged the economy. Congress will try and get tax reform done this year, however that is probably a long shot. Absent tax reform, it is hard to see how rates don’t gradually drift lower to pre-election levels. Growth is better than 2016, but not that much better.

The ISM Non-manufacturing index (a survey of the services industry) rose in August to 55.3. Business Activity, new orders, and employment drove the increase. We are seeing some positive comments in the construction sector as well.

Mortgage Applications rose 3.3% last week as purchases rose 1% and refis rose 5%. Yesterday, bond yields touched a 2017 low and are back at levels immediately after the election. The 30 year fixed rate mortgage went out yesterday at 3.8%.

Hurricane Irma is expected to hit Florida this weekend and could be a bigger storm than Hurricane Katrina. Between Harvey and Irma (and Jose who is a few days behind Irma) FEMA will run out of money. Irma is going to be much more dangerous than Harvey, which was largely a slow-moving flood event. Expect a quick resolution to the debt ceiling. Nobody is going to be grandstanding over the national debt with this going on.

US economic confidence increased in August, according to Gallup. We are starting to see a small divergence between current conditions and future conditions. For most of these confidence indices, we have been seeing higher future confidence than current confidence. In the Gallup index, future confidence is lower. Not sure if this is a one-off, or the current sturm and drang in Washington DC is beginning to have an effect. Business and consumers have generally been ignoring politics.

Confidence will probably take a hit over the next month as Harvey increases gasoline prices. Hurricane Irma is expected to hit other commodity markets like sugar, orange juice, and natural gas. The consumer confidence indices are generally inversely correlated with the energy indices – in other word, prices and the pump increase and consumer confidence falls.

The commercial mortgage backed securities market is having a good month, with $16 billion in the pipeline for September. The new Dodd-Frank risk retention rules kicked in at the end of last year and issuers are becoming more comfortable with them. Hopefully this will translate into more residential MBS issuance. The private label MBS market remains dormant.

115 Responses

  1. Incredible amount of concern-trolling out of the left wing blogosphere over ending DACA…

    Like

  2. I think Trump should troll all of those on the left screeching about ending DACA by introducing a new executive order called deferred action on corporate assessments, which gives US corporations a “temporary” tax holiday…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good observation:

    “In moments of national fragility, history rears its head. The past becomes a vast storehouse of grievance.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It sure is a mystery NYT.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Silicon is liberal except where it effects them personally.

      Like

      • But that is just it… they are for higher taxes on themselves for income redistribution.

        Of course, the question refers to “taxes on the wealthy” which can mean anything. I’ll bet the answers would be way different if the question referred to taxes on the respondent personally.

        Which makes sense. The left is trying to gin up support for higher taxes, so they are going to couch the question in the format most likely to get them the answer they want.

        Like

        • But higher taxes on them doesn’t really impact them. They have to pay a little more at the high end and can probably shelter it. It’s where the government really starts becoming an obstacle that they suddenly become “conservative”. Where it has a legitimate impact on their life. If open borders meant they couldn’t get venture capital or had to become a cubicle drone so that the corporate ladder could be more diverse, they’d definitely be less excited about it.

          And sometimes they willfully ignore impacts the government has on their lives, and blame it exclusively on conservatives.

          Like

        • “if the question referred to taxes on the respondent personally.”

          Based on the piece, they were interviewing the exact people who would be paying the taxes. Tech millionaires and billionaires.

          Like

  5. It is better that statutory immigration policy be made by Congress. So those of us who see a rationale for having a DACA should make our voices known to Congress and not be bitching about DJT, who simply reversed an Executive Order of questionable sustainability, and did so with an open invitation to Congress and a reasonable time delay.

    I think very poorly of Trump so it is always with difficulty that I give him credit. The opportunities to give him credit remain rare, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good piece:

    “Liberals must take seriously Americans’ yearning for social cohesion. To promote both mass immigration and greater economic redistribution, they must convince more native-born white Americans that immigrants will not weaken the bonds of national identity. This means dusting off a concept many on the left currently hate: assimilation.

    Promoting assimilation need not mean expecting immigrants to abandon their culture. But it does mean breaking down the barriers that segregate them from the native-born. And it means celebrating America’s diversity less, and its unity more.”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/07/the-democrats-immigration-mistake/528678/

    But I don’t see liberals or more precisely progressives taking this advice, as promoting assimilation and not celebrating diversity is seen as tantamount to racism.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Interesting read:

    “Steve Jobs gave us President Trump

    By David Von Drehle Columnist
    September 5 at 7:24 PM ”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/steve-jobs-gave-us-president-trump/2017/09/05/f4f487e4-9260-11e7-aace-04b862b2b3f3_story.html

    Like

    • He’s describing the consequences of the Internet more than the iPhone. Mobile internet was already happening when the iPhone debuted. Jobs just did it better. But some form of this was going to happen the minute they developed PPP protocol.

      Like

    • Which is why Facebook, Google, and Twitter are quietly scrubbing conservatives while letting the left run amok.

      It will be interesting if Gab takes off. Conservatives will find someplace to congregate, but the left will target anyone who has anything to do with them.

      I do think it is funny that Peter Daou and Hillary are creating some new media thing that will ban conservatives and the far left… Everyone goes into their own silos these days…

      Liked by 1 person

      • They are scrubbing (or demonetizing) prominent conservative voices. Run-of-the-mill conservatives are still communicating. They aren’t doing much of anything to block the hoi-poloi because that’s half their business. They assume they cut off the head (Milo! Diamond and Silk!) they’ve killed the beast. But regular conservatives are still all over Facebook (and discoverable via Google).

        Like

  8. Good piece

    “Want To Represent Workers? Listen To Them
    Chris Ladd

    Last month employees at the Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi overwhelmingly rejected a unionization bid. Union advocates complained of scare tactics by the company, but the enormous margin of the loss following such a focused campaign should inspire reflection. When it seems like people are voting against their interests, I have probably failed to understand their interests. Thinkers and organizers on the American left have lost almost all connection to the cultures, values and interests of lower-wage workers. If they hope to appeal to these voters on some basis beyond race or ethnic identity, they will have to abandon the condescending paternalism that has poisoned their efforts and start listening.”

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisladd/2017/09/04/want-to-represent-workers-listen-to-them/

    Like

    • I agree, but I don’t see this happening. “Demographics is destiny” is the Promised Land of the progressive religion. They’ll only abandoned the dream of victory through identity politics when the world is in flames. Maybe not even then.

      Like

    • I agree with the idea that there isn’t much left for a union to do. Heck the Longshoreman’s union is merely negotiating how fast the ports replace labor with automation.

      What is left to fight over? maternity leave and child care. most dudes couldn’t care less about that…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paternity leave!

        Higher wages for less work!

        6 months vacation per year!

        I think part of the problem is that unions become political organizations that spend more time advocating for candidates and legislation than the workers, and when they do advocate for their workers there are “unintended” consequences that result in fewer benefits or lower pay . . . or replacement with automation.

        Like

  9. WTF is wrong with people?

    https://hotair.com/archives/2017/09/06/town-hall-questioner-says-sen-toomeys-daughter-kidnapped/

    These Antifa types (or, at least, this dude must be a sympathizer) are obviously not trying to win any popularity contests.

    Like

  10. America Horror Story’s new monster this season is Trump, effectively:

    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/371445.php#371445

    They did a kind of light, 1980s version of this when Reagan was president. He got 8 years. Would have gotten 12 if he could have run again.

    I think Hollywood misapprehends the nature of its influence.

    Like

  11. Holy. Shit.

    unlicensed DJ providing entertainment.

    I’ve read that unlicensed DJing is responsible for more than .3 deaths per year.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/09/06/mit-fraternity-cited-for-unsafe-conditions-underage-drinking-labor-day-weekend-party/g33tzrHjfrzH6LNEp7d1GJ/story.html?s_campaign=bostonglobe%3Asocialflow%3Atwitter

    You need a license in MA to DJ.

    Let that sink in.

    Like

  12. Where does “I am sick of hearing about it” fit on the scale?

    https://www.mrctv.org/blog/racism-scale-risk-your-safety-blacks-or-youre-racist

    Liked by 1 person

    • So if I say “I’m not racist but I like pie”, then I’m subconsciously racist? Makes sense.

      Not only do you have to put your safety, health and freedom on the line to not be racist, you have to defer leadership solely to people of color. Trying to be at the center (if you are not a person of color) makes you at least somewhat racist, I guess. Or not perfectly non-racist.

      “I don’t see color” is on the justification/denial area, which I love because, in my opinion, it’s the only non-racist position. Constant consciousness of race–yours and everybody else–is racism. What “I don’t see color” means is your skin pigmentation makes no difference to me in how I relate with you.

      But that’s racist now because not acknowledging that their race makes them different and special is racist.

      Which they seem to believe without irony.

      Like

    • I stopped reading when he said Trump’s ideology is white supremacy…

      Like

      • I’d read the whole thing. It’s a better version of the usual weak argument that says the same thing, but if one actually believes it (and I believe that Coates and a lot of progressives do) then it’s going to lead to some pretty uncomfortable conclusions.

        Coates is really calling out the Bernie Sanders and Nicholas Kristoff’s on the progressive side.

        Like

        • jnc:

          I’d read the whole thing.

          I took your advice, as difficult as it was to continue after each ridiculous thing he said. Coates’ writing suffers from his complete inability to see beyond race as the fundamental cause of everything. His analysis is inevitably one big exercise in question-begging.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I didn’t read it but I’ve read him in the past. What I get from him is that racial animosity is more than a social construct. He won’t say it’s genetic, but he strongly implies that whitey is born racist.

          Liked by 1 person

        • That and that he’s Jewish and the Wall Street Senator.

          IYKWIMAITYD.

          Like

        • Coates’ writing suffers from his complete inability to see beyond race as the fundamental cause of everything.

          He seems to think there will be a point where, if he just writes about it enough, there will be a critical mass of wokeness on the left so that even white progressives can recognize their complicity, their racism, and the innate moral superiority of non-white races to their fallen and corrupt caucasian counterparts.

          This is not a winning ideological argument.

          Like

      • If I were going to stop reading it, I would have stopped here: “His political career began in advocacy of birtherism”

        He was dabbling in politics way before that. His political career started well before the Obama era.

        But Coates is a black supremacist. So his positions make some sense

        For example, the rest of the sentence: “that modern recasting of the old American precept that black people are not fit to be citizens of the country they built.”

        As a matter of course, all sorts of people built America. Italians, Irish, English, Germans, Europeans, Chinese, Maylasian, even Native Americans. In addition to black people. But, when you are a black supermacist, as Coates is, the only thing that counts is the experience and efforts of people of color (and, in his case, African Americans exclusively).

        “and railed against “lazy” black employees”

        Presented without citation. The following quote could be interpreted as a belief about competence or intelligence, but not willingness to work.

        I actually see his point here: “It is often said that Trump has no real ideology, which is not true—his ideology is white supremacy, in all its truculent and sanctimonious power.”

        Because Coates clearly defines all “old money families” as being inextricably linked to white supremacism.

        “Trump’s rise was shepherded by Steve Bannon, a man who mocks his white male critics as “cucks.””

        Is this true? I can’t find a reference to it, but that may be the net-nanny. But I don’t see evidence of it. Which is important to me, because I dismiss everybody who uses to word “cuck” seriously as being mentally ill and unfit to participate in society.

        But whereas his forebears carried whiteness like an ancestral talisman, Trump cracked the glowing amulet open, releasing its eldritch energies.

        Boy, this would be another good place to stop reading. OMG. Go write the hot Trump/Bannon erotic fantasy fanfic you so clearly want to, dude.

        The repercussions are striking: Trump is the first president to have served in no public capacity before ascending to his perch.

        Of all the complaints I have about Trump, that’s not one of them.

        and then strolling into the White House.

        Admittedly, he is in there. But he didn’t exactly stroll. And, let’s be honest, it’s identity supremacists like Coates that helped put him there. Trump would never have gotten there without them.

        But that is the point of white supremacy—to ensure that that which all others achieve with maximal effort, white people (particularly white men) achieve with minimal qualification.

        So I could just call up The Atlantic, present my old white male credentials, and immediately become a regular contributor? I didn’t know that’s how things worked. Damn, that would have been handy to know.

        But Trump’s counter is persuasive: Work half as hard as black people, and even more is possible.

        Just what I’d expect a black supremacist to say.

        But the bloody heirloom ensures the last laugh.

        Coming soon from Ta-Nehisi Coates, the epic fantasy series: The Eldritch Chronics, about the evil Wizard Trump and his use of the Bloody Heirloom and his dread White Army to enslave all people of color, including the important ones!

        But Donald Trump arrived in the wake of something more potent—an entire n***** presidency with n***** health care, n***** climate accords, and n***** justice reform”

        Huh. Yet beat Hillary Clinton, who was also arriving in the wake of all those things (and won the Democratic nomination), and was about as friendly to middle-to-lower class urban voters as any other Anglo-Saxon ice queen.

        I’m trying to think of places where identity politics leads to prolonged victories inside democracies, and I’m not coming up with anything. Progressivism, sure. Liberal social policies, sure. But where they think of everything in the terms of the racial identity of their opponent? And themselves?

        We are now being told that support for Trump’s “Muslim ban,” his scapegoating of immigrants, his defenses of police brutality are somehow the natural outgrowth of the cultural and economic gap between Lena Dunham’s America and Jeff Foxworthy’s.

        True or not, it’s a more rational explanation than one based on skin pigmentation.

        he collective verdict holds that the Democratic Party lost its way when it abandoned everyday economic issues like job creation for the softer fare of social justice.

        What kind of “social justice” are we talking about? The “social justice” message of the Clinton campaign was “first woman president”.

        “The utter contempt with which privileged Eastern liberals such as myself discuss red-state, gun-country, working-class America as ridiculous and morons and rubes,” charged the celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, “is largely responsible for the upswell of rage and contempt and desire to pull down the temple that we’re seeing now.”

        Again, this position is present absent any real data, but it certainly makes way more sense than Trump is a reaction to Obama because he wasn’t sufficiently pale.

        Those who approved of Trump were “less likely to be unemployed and less likely to be employed part-time” than those who did not. They also tended to be from areas that were very white: “The racial and ethnic isolation of whites at the zip code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.”

        This is true of every Democratic/Republican face-off. It tends to grow more with each election cycle, in no small part because of the identity politics that Coates is practicing.

        Trump’s white support was not determined by income.

        No, it was determined by perception. The perception is that the Democrats think you are a racist and stupid and they hate you, but vote for them because, you know, social justice. Even economic factors are more perceptions of economic status than actual data.

        The left would much rather have a discussion about class struggles, which might entice the white working masses, instead of about the racist struggles that those same masses have historically been the agents and beneficiaries of.

        I’m not sure that’s true–I really don’t think it is–but if it was true, it would be because making it about class struggles at least stands a chance of winning elections.

        Moreover, to accept that whiteness brought us Donald Trump is to accept whiteness as an existential danger to the country and the world.

        Gee, I wonder why a black supremacist is a fan of that narrative. Imagine rephrasing that (as equally irrational as it would be) about Obama and people-of-coloredness?

        I won’t go on. The rest remains not so much idiocy as detached and unhinged racial hatred.

        He may carry the day with many progressives and all purveyors of identity politics as the end-all, be-all of political life, but I doubt it will win many elections.

        Like

        • KW:

          Is this true?

          I had the same question re Bannon and “cuck”. My guess is that Bannon himself has not ever referred to anyone as a “cuck”, and that Coates is just attributing anything that has ever been said on Breitbart to Bannon himself.

          Liked by 1 person

        • There’s a whole lotta stuff about Bannon based on nothing. He was the left boogieman. Who inherits the title now that he’s out of the WhiteHouse?

          Liked by 1 person

        • I don’t necessarily think the term “black supremacy” fits people like Coates. They don’t think they are a better race, but they blame someone else for all of their problems and think other people owe them something. He isn’t a racial huckster like Sharpton either. I have been trying to come up with a term for these people and I have been struggling…

          Liked by 1 person

  13. As big of a dumpster fire the Trump Administration is, reversing the weaponized bureaucracy is something I very much applaud..

    https://reason.com/blog/2017/09/07/betsy-devos-rape-ocr-title-ix-campus

    Like

    • I hope it happens, but I don’t see it happening much at the campus level (and in some cases the disappearing federal mandates are being enshrined into state law), except by losing students and successful lawsuits.

      Like

  14. Yep, he’s a Democrat deep down.

    “Trump, Schumer agree to pursue plan to repeal the debt ceiling
    By Damian Paletta and Ashley Parker
    September 7 at 12:25 PM

    President Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) have agreed to pursue a deal that would permanently remove the requirement that Congress repeatedly raise the debt ceiling, three people familiar with the decision said.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/09/07/trump-schumer-agree-to-pursue-plan-to-repeal-the-debt-ceiling/

    This will lose him votes on net.

    Like

    • Good luck cozying up with the party that thinks you are Literally. Hitler.

      Liked by 1 person

      • He’s a political Democrat. Not an ideological Democrat. I’ve said from the start he could be the most cooperative president with the Democrats that they’ve ever seen, if they can give him ego-boosting wins. That the best way to get Trump is not by attacking him, but by feeding his ego. He has no ideological horse in this race.

        If they’ll let him end his term as “the great unifier”, he’ll give them anything they want.

        That being said, while I wouldn’t vote for Trump in any case, the debt ceiling thing wouldn’t make a difference to me. The debt ceiling has accomplished nothing. It’s always raised. It does nothing to stifle Washington’s profligate spending.

        Like

      • What’s fascinating is that the lefties really hate Schumer.

        Liked by 1 person

    • President Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) have agreed to pursue a deal that would permanently remove the requirement that Congress repeatedly raise the debt ceiling, three people familiar with the decision said.”

      Mark should be happy.

      Like

      • I don’t care. The debt ceiling was always political theater. Like Trump’s “not taking a salary”. If you have a debt ceiling but will not significantly cut expenditures, or touch the most expensive things the government does (defense and healthcare) . . . it’s just theater.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Debt ceiling removal forever? Yep.

        But not because I think deficit financing when there is no war or recession is a good idea. But because I think a debt ceiling is an absolutely empty gesture that encourages deadline decisions, omnibus bills, and shotgun weddings. I’m for regular order. Do the committee work. Don’t rely entirely on NoVA.

        BTW, how many years in the last 12 has spending been mainly through an Omnibus?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Do you agree that without completely new leadership on both sides in House and Senate that Omnibus bills will be the norm?

          Name a leader, aside from Trump, who has willingly relinquished power?

          I cannot think of one.

          Regular order is a thing of the past, fortunately. Prior to the disasterous Obama Presidency, Regular order was responsible for all of the debt, the horrific Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid bills and use of force authorizations. I don’t see how a rational person could morn [edit:mourn] Regular Order, frankly.

          Like

        • Mark:

          I’m for regular order.

          Me too! I just think regular order should include elected representatives explicitly and regularly authorizing the issuance of additional US debt. Making the amount of debt that can be legally issued by the US open ended and unlimited by anything other the spending whims of those representatives is, to my mind, the exact opposite of regular order.

          BTW, what do omnibus spending bills have to do with the debt ceiling? I thought that an omnibus spending bill was simply a bill that consolidated several of the annual spending bills required by regular order of congress into a single bill.

          Like

        • ouch.

          Liked by 2 people

    • an “i’m sorry” would be nice now and then. this demanding stuff? F that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • And it would be a legalization, not citizenship.

      Like

    • Deport parents when youngest turns 18.

      Because of timing if we keep the debt ceiling use old Gebhardt rule – ceiling goes up automatically with spending authorization.

      Omnibus bills are mainly just continuing authorization plus leadership frills never seen by members.

      I love both watermelon AND p-ssy Mr. Coates. So there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Deport parents when youngest turns 18.

        Nope, they’ll then require regularization and they’ll be (already are) taking jobs from Americans. If the DACA illegals end up in an orphanage, so be it. Also, they should never receive citizenship. The benefit of this status should be to make them second class citizens, this will somewhat discourage others in the future.

        Like

        • It doesn’t matter, either way. Robots and AI are going to be taking way more jobs from Americans in the next decade. Pass the Dreamers Act and attach a rider that all jobs displace by automation must purchase American-made robots. This was use the lefts obsession with the battle that’s soon going to be over to win the battle to come.

          Like

        • If the DACA illegals end up in an orphanage, so be it. Also, they should never receive citizenship.

          I could see that. Maybe permit a path to citizenship through military service?

          Like

        • No, if we’re not going to open borders than the rules must be severe and exceedingly discouraging.

          Like

        • George, I’m OK with that. Humane treatment for kids, but a no tolerance rule for adult illegal aliens. Humane certainly does not have to include a path to citizenship.

          I suggested military service because we both know it would be politically a popular move in both parties to reward an honorable discharge.

          The other day I saw a guy with a Tee-shirt that said “I don’t need no fucking college I have a DD214.” I am thinking of getting one for myself.

          Like

      • Mark:

        Because of timing if we keep the debt ceiling use old Gebhardt rule – ceiling goes up automatically with spending authorization.

        That is just a removal of the debt ceiling by stealth.

        Omnibus bills are mainly just continuing authorization plus leadership frills never seen by members.

        Right, so how is that impacted by a debt ceiling?

        Like

        • That is just a removal of the debt ceiling by stealth.

          No, Scott. the time to budget and appropriate is the same time to deal with ceilings. Otherwise Congress appropriates and commits the govt. to contracts which a later discovery of debt ceiling threatens to cause breach. That’s a stupid way to do business for anyone.

          To the extent that Congress willingly puts itself in that hole the ceiling is merely a farce. To the extent that it does so unwittingly, as when projected revenue falls short because of recession or projected expenditures wildly increase because of war it creates a trap for the unwary.

          Right, so how is that [bad Omnibuses] impacted by a debt ceiling? Indirectly and partially. Concentrating on debt ceiling impasses at the end of each session keeps the Congress from doing its tedious committee work and producing an actual budget and a detailed appropriations bill. But so does devoting half the session to raising funds for the next election. There is a lot of stuff here to fix, I don’t know how to fix it, but ridding the artifice of a debt ceiling that crashes down on the gummint AFTER it commits to pay for something – anything is a no brainer IMHO.

          If the debt ceiling actually had the effect of reigning in appropriations that would be different, but it doesn’t, and as an afterthought that arises a year behind the appropriations it cannot.

          Like

        • Mark:

          No, Scott. the time to budget and appropriate is the same time to deal with ceilings. Otherwise Congress appropriates and commits the govt. to contracts which a later discovery of debt ceiling threatens to cause breach. That’s a stupid way to do business for anyone.

          I know why you don’t like a ceiling. I was just pointing out that maintaining the pretense of a ceiling while ensuring that it can never actually have any effect (which is precisely why you like this as an option, no?) is simply eliminating the ceiling by stealth rather than doing so explicitly. I don’t see how that is an inaccurate characterization, even if your reasons for objecting to a ceiling are entirely justified.

          To the extent that Congress willingly puts itself in that hole the ceiling is merely a farce.

          Certainly no more of a farce than one that automatically increases upon increased spending. At least now reps are forced to explicitly and repeatedly declare it a farce via vote. Your idea would give them a pass and turn it into a farce without anyone taking responsibility for doing so.

          Concentrating on debt ceiling impasses at the end of each session keeps the Congress from doing its tedious committee work and producing an actual budget and a detailed appropriations bill.

          We have had a statutory debt ceiling since 1917, and prior to that congress had to explicitly approve the issuance of any US debt on an individual basis. But the inability to pass a budget is only a very recent phenomenon of the last 5-10 years, suggesting to me that that inability is unrelated to the existence of a debt ceiling.

          And frankly, to me anything that keeps congress from focusing on how it is going to spend more money is a good, not a bad, thing.

          Like

        • At least now reps are forced to explicitly and repeatedly declare it a farce via vote.

          I see that as the other side of the coin, and somewhat plausible. Alternatively, being made conscious of the debt ceiling at the time of legislating may be more of a prophylactic than divorcing it by a year. You’re right that I don’t see any place for a debt ceiling at all, considering its history. If it actually meant something no one would risk doing business with the federal government for fear of getting stiffed – everybody knows that won’t happen in the end, so what possible point does debt ceiling have that is other than symbolic and a chance for the majority to stuff more down the throat of the minority?

          Point of curiosity – NoVA probably knows – when was the last time that the bulk of appropriations was not by an Omnibus? I am guessing we lost track of it all after the Second Iraq War began, anyway. Paying for wars outside the budgeting process sort of messes with the accounting.

          Like

        • Mark:

          If it actually meant something no one would risk doing business with the federal government for fear of getting stiffed

          On the contrary, I think that if it actually meant something, it would imply that we have more responsible spending and hence the government would be more reliable.

          BTW, the vast, vast majority of government expenditures goes to entitlement and discretionary spending, not to people who have contracted into a quid pro quo arrangement with the government. So in any kind of liquidity crisis created by the inability to issue more debt, the government could and should prioritize expenditures, and could quite easily pay anyone to whom it actually owed money, directly out of tax revenues without the need to borrow at all.

          Like

        • @scottc1: “Certainly no more of a farce than one that automatically increases upon increased spending.”

          I argue it is less of a farce, as there is no pretense that our elected representatives have any intention of being fiscally responsible or good stewards of our money. The removal of the pretense eliminates the most farcical aspect. The result is the same, and equally irresponsible, but will reduced farciness. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

        • Scott: And frankly, to me anything that keeps congress from focusing on how it is going to spend more money is a good, not a bad, thing.

          If only that ever happened!

          We need to create dynamic term limits where a congress person starts with like 50 years, but every spending bill or appropriations bill they vote for subtracts some fixed amount of time from their limit. We round down to avoid lots of special elections–if they don’t have two years left at the next election cycle, they can’t run for reelection.

          Or campaign finance reform that creates spending limits on candidates directly related to their spending in congress. That’d be fun!

          Like

        • BTW, the vast, vast majority of government expenditures goes to entitlement and discretionary spending

          Indeed.

          Medicare and “health” spending being $1 trillion of it, and almost as much as Social security, unemployment, and labor. Compared to expenditures that might potentially be worthwhile, like transportation. The architecture is such that entitlements will not be significantly cut, and spending will not be reduced. But I’d like to point at the military budget and the healthcare budget and suggest we be very cautious about entering new wars or healthcare programs.

          Like

      • “I love both watermelon AND p-ssy Mr. Coates”

        well that’s a t-shirt that needs to be sold on the Ocean City boardwalk.

        Liked by 2 people

      • “I love both watermelon AND p-ssy Mr. Coates. So there.”

        I feel that’s the kind of statement that, in the current nomenclature, totally proves your a white supremacist.

        😂

        Liked by 1 person

  15. I laughed.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The DOJ is arguing that you shouldn’t have to bake a big pink penis gay marriage cake if you don’t want to.

    https://reason.com/blog/2017/09/07/justice-department-takes-bakers-side-in

    Like

    • Ensuring homophobia into law! … that being said, was anybody obligated to bake a genital cake? That seems different than baking a generic wedding cake, or even one decorated with rainbows. In that forcing a Christian baker to bake an actual penis, not being of their normal cake shapes, would be more in the vein of telling a car dealership they have to provide a car in the shape of a hotdog. Not that isn’t where it’s all going.

      Like

  17. it’s been awhile since we’ve had this argument. new evidence to present.

    http://io9.gizmodo.com/the-best-christmas-movie-of-all-time-is-being-turned-in-1802147703

    Like

    • What happened to the Die Hard franchise is really sad, though. It makes watching the first one bittersweet now, knowing what it eventually became.

      Like

    • Is there a difference between a movie that takes place during Christmas vesrsus a movie about Christmas? For example, Lethal Weapon’s activities occurred during the Christmas season though you’d be hard pressed to argue it was an essential plot point versus, say Christmas Vacation, which also occurred during the Christmas Season but which the Holiday and its trappings was essential to the plot

      In Lethal Weapon, Riggs at one point watches a sporting event on TV,does that make Lethal aweapon a Hockey Movie?

      Now, someone who disliked the Star Trek reboot probably thinks Die Hard is a Christmas movie. It’s a sad world we live in.

      Like

    • “It’s unfortunate that Die Hard, the best Christmas movie of all time, isn’t really a film you can watch with your kids.”

      Bullshit. You absolutely should watch it with the kids. I liked the first three.

      Liked by 1 person

Be kind, show respect, and all will be right with the world.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: