Morning Report: Uncertainty

Vital Statistics:

 

  Last Change
S&P futures 3809 17.3
Oil (WTI) 51.67 0.94
10 year government bond yield   1.09%
30 year fixed rate mortgage   2.82%

Stocks are higher this morning despite a pretty lousy jobs report. Bonds and MBS are down.

 

The jobs report showed a loss of 140,000 jobs in December, which was well below the expected 50,000 gain. The unemployment rate slipped to 6.7% and hourly earnings rose by 5.1% YOY. The labor force participation rate was flat at 61.5%.

 

Given the riot that happened yesterday in DC, I am surprised to see bonds continuing to sell off. My gut tells me that part of the reason is that the bond market is still adjusting to the surprise result in the GA Senate runoff. Yes, we will get more stimulus which is theoretically inflationary. That said, all of the chaos in DC should be considered bond bullish, and I do think the stock market is in a state of denial. This is setting up for an unfriendly business environment.

As things settle down, I suspect the watchword for the business community will become uncertainty. Uncertainty is the reason for not hiring, not spending, etc. Ultimately, Biden is a bit of a blank screen, and until the business community knows whether we are getting Bill Clinton or Barack Obama’s regulatory state it will choose to sit on its hands. Someone remarked that the DC riot is the left’s 9/11, and they want revenge. An angry left is not conducive to commerce. All you can do is hunker down, play it safe and wait for the storm to pass.

I will be willing to bet that the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index will take a dive the next time it is released. Ultimately, this state of affairs should be considered bond bullish, and I suspect rates will be headed back down. The stock market is still being elevated by the Fed and speculative activity (I read somewhere that 6% of the volume in the market has been in one name: Tesla).

Ultimately, if the economy slows (which seems to be the case), the Fed’s bond purchases will have to stay in place. This means that mortgage rates should have a lid on them for the foreseeable future. While I don’t see a return to the economy of 2009-2010, I do think the pre-COVID economy is probably not in the cards for a long time. This is why I think rates are headed back lower.

 

 

187 Responses

  1. Recovery timing and amplitude will be a function of vaccinations and how well targeted the stimulus is. I am, as ever, focused on small biz. I think shotgunning $2K checks is fairly ineffective and wasteful. I would recommend a focus on 1] rolling out vaccines, 2] more aid to small biz, 3] extending unemployment bennies and SNAP, and 4] rental and mortgage supplements for the now underemployed. Focusing on 1] and 2] will reduce the cry or need for 2] and 4].

    Or so I think.

    If JB goes in the direction I am suggesting it is predictable that his left wing will whine. Will it revolt? IDK, but probably not is my guess.

    Vaccination support [$3B or so covers all the governors asking for it so say a little less than that] will get R support from affected R states and R govs. Small biz support should get a lot of R leaning lobbies [NFIB, for example] on board. Extending the traditional countercyclicals could be postponed IMHO, but I think the Ds would demand it as part of a package.

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    • idk. i think the hard left is ascendent in DC, and that will weigh on sentiment.

      if the left decides to spend their time with small-ball cultural things like forcing people to list their pronouns that would be encouraging, but these people are rabid.

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    • i went on social media briefly (been avoiding it like the plague) and one of my high school buddies, an ordinarily sober Air Force vet was saying the DC rioters should be sent to Gitmo and waterboarded.

      These are not good times.

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      • These are also the same people who said that the rioters who were firebombing the federal courthouse in Portland were peaceful protesters and that Trump was provoking it by sending in more federal law enforcement.

        Everyone gives their side a pass.

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        • Yep, and the left is going to pull out all the stops to suppress the right.

          How that encourages things to cool off is beyond me.

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        • Would it work on them, if it were the right doing it? It would not.

          Out of sight, out of mind. Possibly a product of a world where all problems are always solved by some adult somewhere, so if you don’t like it you go complain to teacher and they fix it.

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        • Like

        • More accurately described as a war on right-leaning or anti-federal-government dissent.

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        • This problem seems to be getting worse, the It’s Okay If You’re On My Side. There are plenty of folks on the actual right (not just the neocons and NeverTrumpers) condemning the Capitol Hill riot. And calling it a riot, although it was certainly less riotous than a lot of things the Democrats and the press refused to call riots this summer. But I’m not sure how long that’s going to be the case.

          It seems to me like we’re headed towards Calvinball rules for everybody, for everything.

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        • It seems to me like we’re headed towards Calvinball rules for everybody, for everything.

          I think that ship sailed.

          What’s more, this is the rule for culture, which has zero rules and is controlled by the hard left. The Cultural Mob can ruin you. Who needs the state?

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        • That’s why the smart people will keep their heads down. And stay off Twitter and Facebook at a bare minimum.

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        • No twitter. No Facebook. Better world.

          It is all spyware. That was the reason I never went near it.

          Microsoft is very intrusive, too. Which is why I am on Ubuntu.

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        • Social media was better at the outset. As with so many things, the effort to improve them with algorithms and newsfeeds and so on and so forth (a) defeats their original purpose (b) makes them more addictive, thus driving more engagement, but of less actual utility to the users.

          Kudos for Ubuntu. I’m on MacOS at home and at work (although also on Windows for work, because have to be).

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        • More accurately described as a war on right-leaning or anti-federal-government dissent.

          Libertarians they are coming for you

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        • Facebook works great for it’s intended purpose which is sharing travel & food pictures and cat videos.

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        • Just don’t be wearing the wrong thing or culturally appropriating the food.

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      • This seems universal, too. People on my side: they should be immune to laws and rules. People on the other side: the rules and laws aren’t adequate, they should be punished much more severely. The whole concept that the law should be applied evenly and fairly and that justice should be blind . . . well, it doesn’t seem a particularly common sentiment these days.

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        • KW:

          This seems universal, too.

          Certainly there are instances of it on all sides. But I continue to think that it is far more prevalent on the left than the right, precisely because of ideological predispositions. In my experience, conservatives tend to place a lot of value on the process of seeking justice, sometimes even to the point of defining justice as result the process produces, while progressives tend to be mostly focused on outcomes and how they align with their own pre-established notions of justice. If you think about it, this is precisely the kind of split we see on the Supreme Court, where “strict construction” conservatives look for the correct outcome in the words of the Constitution, while “living constitution” progressives look for the correct outcome in their own consciences. And so I do think that progressives are more likely to think they should be immune from the rules they impose on others precisely because the outcome of justice is more important than the process of following the rules.

          I think this is one reason why 1) you will find fewer instances of people on the right than the left engaging in violent protests in the first place (or frankly protests of any kind) and 2) when it does happen you will see more genuine condemnations from people on the right who may sympathize with the underlying cause than on the left. Sure, politicians of all stripes will make pious statements condemning violence in the abstract (“violence is never acceptable”), But I think there is a difference between saying “I don’t care what you grievance is, this is unacceptable” and saying “Well, of course violence is unacceptable, but we shouldn’t let it overshadow the cause.” I heard an awful lot of the latter this summer, but I am hearing a lot more of the former today. And I think that is because conservatives are ideologically more likely to care about the process of seeking justice than progressives are.

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        • Often, when things seem universal it’s because there are examples of both sides, though mismatches in quantity. But ultimately you don’t have to have more than 10% of either side consistently doing something for it to become problematic. And for the other side to say: “Look! This is what they do! This is who they are!”

          Predisposition to respect law and order would no doubt prevent many if not all on the right from trying to achieve aims through violence or extralegal means, so long as there are legitimate and fair pathways to pursuing justice or remediation.

          And so I do think that progressives are more likely to think they should be immune from the rules they impose on others precisely because the outcome of justice is more important than the process of following the rules.

          Again, I agree: but if the rules never apply to you and only apply to me, I will start ignoring them too at some point, just because there ceases to be any point in obeying them if there’s no equal application or benefit.

          I hear a lot of conservatives sounding like progressives in terms of how to address political opponents these days (anecdotal). The only reason that most of them aren’t engaging in extralegal tactics probably has more to do with them having a job and a family to watch out for than anything.

          When on side gets to perpetually ignore the rules, eventually the other side will to if it becomes the only game in town. And I think you’re seeing a lot of that now.

          That being said, there are always examples of why non-violent rule violations are good for the goose but not the gander. I have seen it from both left and right. I typically find the right arguments more compelling but have to assume I am influenced by my own biases.

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        • KW:

          When on side gets to perpetually ignore the rules, eventually the other side will to if it becomes the only game in town. And I think you’re seeing a lot of that now.

          I totally agree.

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        • it’s a barely more sophisticated argument than “my shit doesn’t stink”

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        • I am in EMCON A on social media right now. Cleaned up my friend’s list and they only time i do anything is to tweet my blogs and articles. Or wish someone happy birthday.

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  2. NoVA – an observation. I popped by the PL regulars thread and saw your exchange. I’ve written PL off as a totally toxic place and you may wish to consider whether or not there would be any repercussions to you if you were doxxed by them.

    Because there’s a contingent there that would literally kill you if they could (no hyperbole, I mean this), and is sufficiently motivated and with enough time on their hands to actually try and do something especially in the current environment.

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    • You pay for a subscription? They’ve locked it down so, as far as I can tell, no way to get the comments without having a sub. Which I am unwilling to do. So I’ll never know!

      That being said, I think you’re warning is not inaccurate. Last time I was there, there was a non-trivial amount of people who I could see tossing a Malatov cocktail through a random window if they thought they had discovered your address.

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      • Yes. From a while ago. There’s a cheap one you can get if you allow them to deliver the physical Sunday paper to you. It’s tied to maintaining their print circulation for the advertiser base.

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    • I’ve used the IL over there, so it might not be seeing things.
      it got a little heated this morning. but thank you.
      i think its probably best that i step away.
      mostly becuase of what it’s doing to me.

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      • Graypse is a sociopath. Along with whomever is the guy who constantly spam posts about myself, you and MNR. I believe it to be a sock puppet of Cons.

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        • oh, I have him on IL.
          But, it must be bad for you to issue a warning.
          Which I very much appreciate. I did see a posting from someone saying that something was “uncalled for” the other day. Probably Graypse.
          someone calls me NoVADerp over there.. can’t remember who .. IL’d him. But it was the same handle that name drops you and MNR.
          doesn’t matter, i guess.
          It’s not worth it.
          Thanks, time to bail.

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        • I suggest you go read it yourself without being logged in. Just so you know.

          Normally I write it off as the usual BS, but they are spun up after Woke 9/11, and have enough time on their hands to be posting regularly.

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        • was there a particular exchange i should look for?

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        • The ones you were in. I’d reread them to see what the people you blocked said.

          There’s also a thread that’s just about you from two days ago.

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/01/04/how-biden-will-try-fix-our-vaccine-rollout-mess/?outputType=comment&commentId=03217ced-2558-4f8c-8d6b-e5c4a3f5aab1

          I could be overreacting, but I thought it was worth bringing to your attention.

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        • “He’s going to discover, like the rest of us have, that the world has no interest in his plans or preparations. One day, bad things come to us all.”

          what’s interesting is … that’s exactly what i’ve been saying! your fidelity to a system that doesn’t care about you isn’t protecting you.

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        • I read Joe’s link to NoVa bashing. I had enough of that for both of you and me to quit that site years ago. I see the same people are there – especially the guy in Vietnam.

          Meanwhile, I think that for straight reportage the WSJ is about as good as it gets. But I also think that about The News Hour on PBS.
          Both try to keep the line between reporting and opinion clear, although it still is not as clear as it was in 1970. The WSJ seems less inclined to jump on a story without substantial corroboration than the others, which I view as a positive.

          I have been musing about the federal felony-murder rule, which is not as clear cut and intense as the Texas rule. In Texas, if the bank robber shoots a teller the getaway driver is also guilty of murder. In Texas, if anyone dies during a burglary – say the aroused homeowner shoots his kid by accident while aiming at the burglar – the burglar is guilty of murder. When I last encountered the federal doctrine in the 90s, the getaway driver in the first example would get charged with accessory to bank robbery, but on sentencing would get big enhancement points for the murder. I don’t know if that is still the federal doctrine.

          So the breaking into the Capitol Building by busting doors and windows fits the Federal burglary statute. So in Texas, the woman who got killed by the cop while busting a window is considered the victim of her co-burglars. Maybe under 18-1111, as well. I don’t know. And everyone in the room where the cop who died was pressured by the crowd?

          Just food for thought.

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        • Sure, that’ll help, kill em all.

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        • I don’t think that there’s much to be gained by parsing their responses. I just wanted you to be aware of it.

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  3. Twitter bans Trump.

    Presumably he’ll go to Parler and give them the biggest boost they could have possibly had.

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  4. All knees shall bend:

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    • Interesting. And so I can just access Parler through my browser–unless, of course, Google and Apple start censoring what’s available through their browsers, and other browsers unless they also enforce the censorship list? Presumably that’s next.

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    • The left has never gotten over losing sole possession of the megaphone. They are trying to put that genie back in the bottle.

      Not sure if it will be successful though.

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    • Part II:

      “First, Apple and Google removed the app from their app stores because they said it had not sufficiently policed its users’ posts, allowing too many that encouraged violence and crime. Then, late Saturday, Amazon told Parler it would boot the company from its web-hosting service on Sunday night because of repeated violations of Amazon’s rules.

      Amazon’s move meant that Parler’s entire platform would soon go offline unless it was able to find a new hosting service on Sunday.

      “Big tech really wants to kill competition,” John Matze, Parler’s chief executive, said in a text message. “And I have a lot of work to do in the next 24 hours to make sure everyone’s data is not permanently deleted off the internet.””

      I’d view this as straight up collusion in restraint of trade, but I doubt the Biden Justice Department will pursue an antitrust case.

      See also:

      https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/johnpaczkowski/amazon-parler-aws

      And of course:

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      • so we have a set of affairs where the biggest companies are fully in bed with an authoritarian government.

        there is a name for that, but it escapes me… begins with an f…

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        • With this,

          https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/clarissajanlim/teen-names-mom-trump-supporter-dc

          We have this to look forward to,


          Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
          “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

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        • Good read:

          https://tinyurl.com/y4zdp6ld

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        • Mark:

          From the article:

          “We noticed that some people were watching things that we weren’t happy with them watching,”

          Confirming everyone’s concern about YouTube’s nefarious goals.

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        • I read it. In a monopolistic industry this becomes nefarious. YouTube is not nefarious because it chooses what to publish, it is nefarious because of its near monopoly power, through Google. The answer is anti-trust action, I think.

          Ironically, in a competitive industry, this is excellent – every medium gets to determine what it publishes.

          I think this is Kev’s point as well. I suspect you agree.

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        • Mark:

          YouTube is not nefarious because it chooses what to publish, it is nefarious because of its near monopoly power

          I think it is nefarious because it lies about what it does (for starters, it claims it is not a publisher) and because it seeks to silence those who have political views it disagrees with. The justifications about “safety” and “misinformation” is all just window dressing to hide what it is actually doing.

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        • Call it what you will, or what they will, it is private enterprise and it can and should do whatever it wants, within applicable law, in a competitive environment. But it is not in a competitive environment. So it either has to face anti-trust… or be …regulated.

          I prefer anti-trust and a whole bunch of competitors to government regulation of what YouTube can show.

          But those are the real choices.

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        • Mark:

          Call it what you will, or what they will…

          It is actually an important point. Because it is classified as a “platform” rather than a publisher, it is protected from getting sued for anything that appears on it. This makes sense if it is open and does not control what people say on it. However, it if exercises editorial control over content – which it plainly now does, quite deliberately in an attempt to prevent people from seeing things they “aren’t happy with them wathcing” – it should be legally accountable for the things it allows in its platform.

          If YouTube was able to be held legally responsible for libel, defamation, etc. the way that a publisher is, it would completely alter the way they exercise editorial control, something they claim not to do, but which even you seem to recognize is false.

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        • While I don’t want to see a repeal of section 230–and I definitely don’t, unintended consequences and all that–when it comes to all the tech giants colluding to prevent not just people they don’t like from having access to normal use of the Internet, and certainly killing competition (Parler, Gab, and eventually they’ll go after Mastadon) I think racketeering charges or lawsuits against anti-competitive practices are entirely reasonable.

          The deplatforming of Parler and Gab is pretty much horseshit and always has been. Both platforms have terms of service (just like Twitter and Facebook) that forbid planning of illegal activities among the other things that the tech companies are using as an excuse for the deplatforming. That’s where they should get nailed, IMO, not a repeal of 230–which would kill Parler and Gab and most other competition. Indeed, it’s my opinion that with Facebook and YouTube and Twitter, part of this is preparing themselves to be treated like a publisher, and come down much heavier on content in the years to come–with the convenient excuse of lacking 230 protections.

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        • It s a loophole of sorts, but they aren’t censoring anyone. Just pulling their recommendation cross indexing. It remains, technically, a platform.

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        • Mark:

          It s a loophole of sorts, but they aren’t censoring anyone.

          Of course they are.

          https://www.wsj.com/articles/youtubes-political-censorship-11600126230

          That is just one example. There are plenty of others that are quite well-known, although perhaps not reported by the WaPo or NYT. Indeed they are quite open, even proud, of their censorship policies. That they also stifle voices that they “don’t want people to hear” in ways that fall short of full-on censorship doesn’t mean they aren’t also engaging in full-on censorship.

          It remains, technically, a platform.

          It is classified as such, but wrongly so because it is exercising editorial control, which is my point. Even you called it a publisher, correctly recognising reality if not the legal fiction. Your original argument, that outside of being a monopoly it should be able to “determine what it publishes” only makes sense if it is a publisher and not a platform.

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        • I actually must admit that I have no idea what rules apply to “platforms”. So I will take your word that they are violating “platform” rules.

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        • Mark:

          I actually must admit that I have no idea what rules apply to “platforms”.

          This is a reasonably quick summation of the issue, from a couple years ago. This has been an on-going problem for some time, and it seems clear that Google et al have only been emboldened by the failure of the courts and DC to fix it.

          https://www.city-journal.org/html/platform-or-publisher-15888.html

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        • Will read today.

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        • I concur, 100%. Collusion to deplatform is the problem here, whether or competitive or ideological reasons (and probably both).

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        • I’m prone to agree with mark, as YouTube lying about what it does is relatively mundane in the world of corporate flam-flam. It’s the monopoly powers these actors have obtained in areas that started out small but have now become oppressively dominant that is the fundamental problem. And these problems have become universal.

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        • Brent:

          there is a name for that, but it escapes me… begins with an f

          I have to admit that I am staggered at people who don’t see this.

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        • Scott,

          I think Jonah Goldberg described the left’s grasp of what fascism is…

          He likened it to Judge Smayle when he asked Danny Noonan if he stood for “goodness or badness”

          To the left, fascism is “badness” and it is the dumping ground term for anything they dislike.

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        • Also from the article:

          ““It turns out that human nature is awful,” Farid tells me, “and the algorithms have figured this out, and that’s what drives engagement.””

          Who could have guessed that? I personally think a large chunk of the problem could be solved by letting people opt out of the algorithms recommending/selecting content.

          Also see the arrogance implicit in this quote:

          “We noticed that some people were watching things that we weren’t happy with them watching,” says Johanna Wright, one of YouTube’s vice presidents of product management, “like flat-earth videos.”

          Go back the pre-algorithim days of searching for content manually and a straight chronological news feed.

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        • “I think it is nefarious because it lies about what it does”

          Sure, but whether or not it’s nefarious shouldn’t matter.

          I agree with Mark’s point that the problem is monopoly power limiting the alternatives to “nefarious”.

          The other alternative is to make them public utilities which I think would be worse.

          Greenwald makes the same argument about monopoly:

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        • “It is actually an important point. Because it is classified as a “platform” rather than a publisher, it is protected from getting sued for anything that appears on it.”

          This nicely sums up the hypocrisy of Apple, et.al.

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        • “I actually must admit that I have no idea what rules apply to “platforms”. So I will take your word that they are violating “platform” rules.”

          The whole debate over Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is that it only provides protection for platforms from liability for what other people publish.

          Once they start exercising editorial control, those protections lessen and they can be held legally liable for the content.

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        • I think I knew that much – but I read somewhere [not source material I cannot vouch for it] that they can limit incitement, hate speech, and porn, but if that is so the definitional problems are either resolved by regulation, statute, or court or administrative court opinions. So I was looking for a deep dive that I would have to do with my own lazy butt. Probably won’t, will assume Scott knows they have overstepped and is correct, until someone disabuses me of that notion.

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  5. Sullivan has this all wrong:

    https://email.mg2.substack.com/c/eJxVUk1vozAQ_TXhFuQPIPTgQ7tNpESFKrtpk-0FOXgAJ45NsVkKv75OspdKY8t-zzPPmjcld1CbbmStsS64boUbW2AaBqvAOeiC3kJXSMHSeBEtSBIIFgmcxmkgbVF1ABcuFXNdD0HbH5UsuZNGXxMSTBc4aFgCPEkFQVEEKVpAQoHTGDhUD7EQCFd3Wd4LCboEZrQab4UDxRrnWjujjzOy8sG16Py_eqXkP65D2x-t4-U5LM3Fs61frpF27sM1MK94CXNT3c61aefaDHPB4xldOXMGPaPPMG5wSd7HA1Hn9clE-a5E-bQmL782w5Hm6D8-ZbslyZ-3Y_ZnkHy_Qh77yk_LIdtto9fd2_V9W9JMvsrNIPZr57kpn5bS45O_3_BrvZfDRv3d54jvH_q1RuEYkWo70UNWf7ar1nbHxYfA9v2jmp7edr9PKDt9TWnT6Cf9GEhGEMEIo5RQGsdJiMNPSnsHVCltZhG61ORHR4KODdJ3yp6tZ21pz5iEpquvLhWev_RaurEAzY8KxN1Adx-Dm6VFDRo6Px6i4I7hxGtH6UOcxIjeDfMOU4yTKCI48MLC-CzNfnr0DdUBzxU

    This Is The Face Of The GOP Now
    The descent from conservatism to nihilism is now complete

    The argument is the Capitol rioters are now the GOP. When CLEARLY that’s not the case. How many in the GOP supported the rioters? Anybody? Most of them wanted Trump out, and have now turned as quick as a wink on him. Almost as if the riot was cover for them to do so.

    This is just ass backwards. It’s the face of the Trump rump portion of the party, which would be mostly voters and activists and some local pols.

    Ah, well.

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  6. Apples argument for rejecting the Parler app is that allowing people to communicate means it allows for dangerous content. That same logic could be applied to Apple’s own phone app and messaging app.

    Discord had already kicked a TheDonald group off its servers.

    This is some unbelievable shit.

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  7. The contrast between the MSM media coverage of Trump riots and BLM riots is telling and disgusting.

    Now the cops and other “victims” of the riots (i.e. journalists) are the sympathetic ones and the protesters/rioters are the villains.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/brian-sicknick-capitol-police-officer-dies/2021/01/08/5552e036-51bc-11eb-83e3-322644d82356_story.html

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/media/2021/01/09/he-was-documenting-chaotic-scene-when-suddenly-trump-supporters-turned-their-ire-him/

    The redeeming thing is it’s so blatant that it’s going to backfire in terms of further reducing trust in the media as Taibbi often points out.

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  8. Nice quip:

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  9. I know this probably won’t go over well here but I kind of thought some of the quotes were interesting from Trump’s most rabid supporters………….and I know not all of them are rabid but these Qanon folks are a bit on the strange side………IMO

    QAnon conspiracy theorists, praying for years that Trump would flush Satan-worshipping pedophile elites out of Washington, tore apart any scrap of data from the video to prove that he was playing one final trick. They subjected the time stamps to numerology, thinking that there was a secret message encoded.

    “In no way did Trump say he conceded. He said: transitioning to a new Admin. As in, he gonna clear this one out and bring a new one,” tweeted We The Inevitable, a conspiracy account, getting more than 3,000 retweets within the hour. The account’s followers agreed that this was surely a sign that he was getting rid of Vice President Mike Pence — now cast as a MAGA traitor after participating in the certification of Biden’s win — and that on Jan. 20, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, now a full-fledged QAnon patriot, would replace him in Trump’s second term.

    And there was anger. It was directed at Trump for letting things get this far. Over on Parler, the social media platform beloved by the MAGA community for its lax moderation policies, users erupted in a fury, calling him a number of expletives, a “dildo,” and “100% THE SWAMP.”

    https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/08/maga-internet-turns-on-trump-456490

    I do have to say that I’m pretty happy I don’t have a Twitter account, quit facebook years ago and gave up on Instagram last year because of all the conspiracy theories touted by people I knew regarding the virus, vaccines and Trump.

    It’s just hard to find truthful news these days!

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  10. Greenwald and Scott see pretty much eye to eye:

    Like

  11. A good summation of how the left sees the current moment:

    https://www.politicalorphans.com/there-will-be-no-peaceful-end-to-this-crisis/

    Like

    • Why would anyone want people like this in charge of healthcare?

      Seriously.

      Like

      • I don’t want the bureaucracy in charge of healthcare now in charge of healthcare. I want catastrophic insurance and that’s it. But that would have to be universal. And that’s not going to happen.

        Like

    • Now that is a funny link!

      Like

    • I love how the narrative is ALWAYS something like this: “By the mid-1890’s, this “Fusionist” party controlled every statewide office and had begun to implement meaningful reforms, undercutting the power of railroads and banks and improving workers lives.”

      It’s never a “some things were getting better, other things did not, there were some unexpected consequences”. It’s always a narrative of “a diverse group of progressives were in charge, and everything got better across the board with no costs at all!”

      “However, their efforts had still failed to restore white control of the state’s largest city”

      Are they saying blacks had control of Wilmington? Really? That’s the other thing that’s certainly universal with progressives now. All white control of anything is diverse and and fine, so long as they are all white progressives. A mixed group of conservatives from all spectrums, on the other hand, would be considered “white control”–just as the Proud Boys is considered white supremacist, when in fact it has people from every race and sexual-preference in there.

      “Northern publishers like Collier’s Weekly would describe the incident as a “race riot” stirred up by Black agitators.” This sounds familiar. But maybe not the way they mean.

      “White supremacist mobs, with support and occasionally even leadership from law enforcement, will begin a campaign of intimidation against minorities and Democrats in places like Texas, Nevada, Arizona, North Carolina and Georgia, where they sense they are losing control.”

      Fascinating. For progressives it’s always going to be the 1890s, I guess.

      “while shedding their attachment to whiteness”

      Ugh.

      “White supremacy is far more important than any national ideal to a majority of American white folks.”

      What. The. Fudge? I’m sorry, these people seem mentally ill, to me.

      “Winning the 2020 Election just means Democrats have won command of the military and security services. If they lack the will to use that power, they’ll lose it, and everything else, very soon.”

      Well that implication isn’t subtle.

      “Customers and employees need to press this matter relentlessly, denying any platform or resources to Republicans who fomented the January 6 coup”

      Which I assume is everybody non-progressive, so basically all 70 million people who voted for Trump plus others who look like they would have.

      “Every avenue of access to commerce should be shut down for Republicans who don’t disavow sedition.”

      … and they get to define sedition, which will be defined as any disagreement to any degree with them.

      Like

    • one of my hs buddies was an AF vet and is currently a senior DOD official. Dude was yelling for GITMO..

      If the government thinks like this, then you wanna unplug from social media.

      Like

  12. The truth that will never be admitted:

    “Rage at Capitol assault makes excuses for summer riots all the more disgraceful
    By Andy Ngo

    January 8, 2021”

    https://nypost.com/2021/01/08/rage-at-capitol-assault-makes-excuses-for-summer-riots-all-the-more-disgraceful/

    Like

  13. On an unrelated (or perhaps related) note, this was interesting:

    What’s interesting is AOC made a similar observation/complaint in an interview she did.

    “Ocasio-Cortez argued that there are no viable alternatives for House or Senate leadership at the moment because the caucus’s current leaders spent a number of years concentrating power without any “real grooming of a next generation of leadership.”

    “A lot of this is not just about these two personalities, but also about the structural shifts that these two personalities have led in their time in leadership,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “The structural shifts of power in the House, both in process and rule, to concentrate power in party leadership of both parties, frankly, but in Democratic Party leadership to such a degree that an individual member has far less power than they did 30, 40, 50 years ago.”

    This dynamic is what pushes the “really talented members of Congress that do come along” to leave or run for statewide office instead. But Pelosi has also indicated that this upcoming term could be her last, “and the left isn’t really making a plan for that either,” Ocasio-Cortez added. “So I do think that it’s something that we really need to think about.” ”

    https://theintercept.com/2020/12/16/aoc-nancy-pelosi-needs-to-go-but-theres-nobody-to-replace-her-yet/

    Like

  14. BTW…biggest thread in ages.

    Like

    • I am at an offsite meeting so I probably won’t write anything till Thursday

      Like

      • Brent:

        I am at an offsite meeting so I probably won’t write anything till Thursday

        That means the thread will get bigger!

        BTW…an offsite? I didn’t think those were allowed any more.

        Like

  15. jnc…agreement with you on the monopoly front:

    “This Schmittian political landscape has urgent lessons for us in Europe: we need to disentangle ourselves from America’s political chaos as urgently as we do from China’s industrial and economic stranglehold,” British war reporter Aris Roussinos wrote recently. “The result of the free-market ideology trading under the name ‘conservatism’ is that we have handed control of information to California’s tech oligarchs just as we have handed control of industry to the Chinese Communist Party.”

    The tech-lash censoring of the president and a bunch of conservatives is similar to the king realizing during Magna Carta that it’s the feudal lords who hold real power, not him. It is the duty of historians to add that conservatives have only themselves to blame if they lose the war with the tech neo-feudalists.

    They had years to break up monopolies. They didn’t. Vae Victis. The coming consequences will be severe.

    https://thefederalist.com/2021/01/11/the-global-consequences-of-the-tech-lash-will-be-severe/

    Like

  16. Interesting post from an early ATiMer on The New Monopolies from way back in 2011.

    When an outfit is as huge and dominant as any of [Google, Amazon, and Facebook] are and still seeking to expand its reach, even if it’s relatively new in the marketplace, it’s still a monopoly with all the dangers that implies. We love the services and sometimes breathtaking opportunities we get from companies like this, but in some fundamental ways, I think we should be wary. I’m just not sure how.

    She was right. And now we know how.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll take conversations I entirely forgot I ever had for $500, Alex.

      That was an interesting discussion. I have revised my opinion about Amazon, Google, et al, having clearly seen them as more benign and in a competitive space at the time. I think they have been laboring hard to make the space much less competitive.

      Like

  17. The “conservative” viewpoint in the NYT today:

    “Bret: I hope we never forget Jan. 6, 2021, as one of the darkest days in American history. Even though the loss of life was much less, it was, in a moral sense, worse than Dec. 7, 1941, or Sept. 11, 2001, when we were attacked by foreign enemies. On 1/6, we were attacked by domestic enemies, led by the president of the United States. He violated his oath of office. He slandered his vice president. He directed an attack on the Congress. He incited the sacking of the Capitol. He did nothing helpful while the barbarians were inside the gate, and even blew them a kiss on Twitter. He attempted to stop an election for the purposes of stealing it. He kept faith with the most despicable Americans among us: neo-Nazis, Neo-Confederates, the QAnon conspiracy lunatics and the morons in Viking suits. His followers killed a Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick.

    Had Trump gotten his way, it would have started a massive counterprotest movement. It could have sparked a civil war. It would have sent democracy into a death spiral, as Mitch McConnell rightly put it, and hastened the end of Constitutional government.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/11/opinion/jan-6-capitol-riots.html

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not to put too fine of a point on it…

      Liked by 1 person

    • “ad Trump gotten his way, it would have started a massive counterprotest movement. It could have sparked a civil war”

      or if he’d won. don’t forget that part. do we really believe that had he won, the other half of the country would have kicked the dirt, put their hands in their pockets, and gone, ah, we’ll get it next time?

      Like

      • I figure it would have been significantly worse had Trump won. Mostly with roles reversed and the press full-throatedly on the side of the rioters, however the expressed their displeasure.

        Like

    • That’s some beautiful writing, it’s like it came out of the John Hughes days at National Lampoon!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bret Stephens is an over-emotional moron.

      In 1915 the Senate Reception room was bombed by a Harvard professor.

      In 1954 a group of Puerto Rican separatists opened fire with hand guns on the House floor, injuring 5 reps.

      In 1971, a bomb was set off in the Capitol Building by the Weathermen. In 1972, Obama pal Bill Ayers bombed the Pentagon. In an 18 month span from 1971 to 1972, the US averaged 5 domestic bombings a day at the hands of leftist radicals who quite literally wanted to overthrow the US government.

      In 1983 a group called the Armed Resistance planted and exploded a bomb by Robert Byrd’s Senate office in the Capitol building. (One of the perpetrators was pardoned by Bill Clinton and now sits on the board of an organization that raises money for BLM.)

      This is not to mention things like the Oklahoma City bombing or, of more recent vintage, the weeks/months of rioting and looting committed by BLM/Antifa protestors.

      But last Wednesday was one of the “darkest” days in American history perpetrated by domestic enemies? Bret Stephens has completely discredited himself.

      BTW, this:

      He directed an attack on the Congress.

      …is simply a lie. Why is what Trump does never bad enough on its own, such that NeverTrumpers always feel the need to lie about it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • “Why is what Trump does never bad enough on its own, such that NeverTrumpers always feel the need to lie about it?”

        Zeal of the convert?

        Like

      • (One of the perpetrators was pardoned by Bill Clinton and now sits on the board of an organization that raises money for BLM.)

        That would be Susan Rosenberg.

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

        Like

      • Meh, he knows his audience.

        Like

      • Why is what Trump does never bad enough on its own, such that NeverTrumpers always feel the need to lie about it?

        I think it’s not so much lies as a kind of received truth believed in a kind of religious revelation or more mundane religious sense.

        As the pious man might sense God in everything and see God’s hand in disconnected events these folks see the greater truth. They listen as Trump speaks in tongues and then they translate—and that translation is a received truth more important and deeper that mere facts.

        Like

  18. FYI: House flood schedule just updated

    **Members are advised that the House will meet on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. First votes are expected at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

    A second vote series is expected to occur later in the evening on Tuesday. The House will consider H.Res. 21 – Calling on Vice President Mike Pence to convene and mobilize the principal officers to activate section 4 of the 25th Amendment (Rep. Raskin – Judiciary).

    On Wednesday, January 13, 2021, the House is expected to meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to consider Articles of Impeachment.

    Further information will be announced as soon as it becomes available.

    Like

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