Morning Report: Personal Incomes fall

Vital Statistics:

S&P futures4,2648.8
Oil (WTI)73.520.42
10 year government bond yield 1.5%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 3.23%

Stocks are higher this morning after we get a deal for an infrastructure package. Bonds and MBS are down small.

Personal incomes fell 2% in May, according to the Bureaus of Economic Analysis. Incomes have been volatile over the past year due to stimulus payments, and this month is no different. Personal consumption was flat after a series of big increases over the past few months. The headline Personal Consumption Expenditures Index, which is the Fed’s preferred inflation measure rose 3.9%, while the index ex-food and energy rose 3.4%. Commodity push inflation is driving the inflation indices higher, although that is expected to moderate after COVID-driven supply shortages are satisfied.

The White House has named Sandra Thompson to fill the role of interim FHFA Chair. She has been with FHFA since 2013, and prior to that worked at the FDIC. As far as priorities, she is going to be big in community lending and increasing homeownership. “As a longtime regulator, I am committed to making sure our nation’s housing finance systems and our regulated entities operate in a safe and sound manner,” Thompson said. “We can accomplish this, and at the same time have a laser focus on mission and community investment. There is a widespread lack of affordable housing and access to credit, especially in communities of color. It is FHFA’s duty through our regulated entities to ensure that all Americans have equal access to safe, decent, and affordable housing.”

What that means is that the restrictions on high LTV / low FICO loans are as good as gone. Investment and second homes might fall under the “operate in a safe and sound manner” comment. As noted before, NOO loans are highly profitable for the GSEs, so that could fall under the rubric of GSE financial stability.

Yet another private equity firm is getting into the single-family rental business. KKR is launching a new venture called My Community Homes, which will focus on suburban homes. KKR recently backed Home Partners of America, which it sold to Blackstone for $6 billion. It made a 20% IRR on that investment. Those sorts of returns are still looking possible given that cap rates are in the mid single-digits and real estate is appreciating at double-digit rates. It looks like the first time homebuyer is going to find it even harder to find properties and win bidding wars.

Consumer sentiment slipped in June, according to the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey. You can see we are back to more or less historical averages.

68 Responses

  1. This type of ignoramus is better than a Trump appointee?

    Time for some Biden-voter apologies.


    • Shows the type of officer that got promoted in obama’s military.

      god help us next war. they will use inclusivity to inform battlefield tactics.


      • An alternative explanation:

        “What is Behind Gen. Mark Milley’s Righteous Race Sermon? Look to the New Domestic War on Terror.

        The overarching ideology of Pentagon officials is larger military budgets and ongoing permanent war posture. Their new war target, explicitly, is domestic “white rage.”

        Glenn Greenwald”


        • And “domestic white rage” will equal anything not endorsed by the DNC and Blue Checkmark Twitter.

          Welcome to the USSA. Time to act like a gray rock


        • I have my doubts that they enlisted ranks (and officer ranks, as worthless as they are) made up of predominantly red state working class individuals are going to strafe and or nuke their fellow citizens. Senior military leadership will certainly give the order as they don’t give two shits, but the enlisted? No.


        • I think you are probably correct on that. But I’m not sure if that’s the point–or the genuine impetus, whether conscious or unconscious.

          I feel like this is how you keep endless war going. This is where the consultants for the defense contractors see things going, on where companies who have technologies that are just great for domestic terrorism see things going when they have their junkets or employee some general’s brats or come up with fat consulting contracts for whomever. I don’t think an outcome of bombing Baptist church’s is a goal at all. And I kind of doubt the concerns about domestic “white rage” is terrible relevant or particularly authentic.

          Who gets money from whom and how . . . I think are probably the real relevant issues, but not a topic for public discussion.


        • They may be a practical outcome but I think the motivations have more to do with money in some form or fashion, and what sort of virtue signaling needs to be done to open the cash spigots. Feeding the fears or just ideological prejudices of the folks who make the budgets may have been judged the best way to get the money.


        • I think the left fully intends to criminalize dissent.

          That is what this is all about.


        • I think the left fully intends to criminalize dissent.

          I imagine many of them want to but . . . I think that might not work out as well as they hope.

          We are a country full of people who like to figure out how to game the system. To turn the new political tools created against the people who created them.


        • They don’t think that far ahead. As long as I have observed the left, they always think once they get power they will never lose it.

          Plus, now they have the private sector in their pocket, which makes things easier. Make Twitter, Google, and Amazon do their dirty work.


    • No, not better, and his weren’t always that great. But this is . . . dysfunctional. But generally praised on Twitter so I guess that’s the yardstick we measure by now?


  2. Supreme Court lineups today are… unexpected. Courts are different than politicians.

    TransUnion v. Ramirez. Reversed/remanded, 5-4. Kavanaugh’s opinion, Thomas dissents with Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, Kagan dissents with Breyer and Sotomayor. Only some of the class members suing TransUnion for inaccurate credit reports have shown concrete harm, so no standing for the rest. BK says “No concrete harm, no standing.” Thomas says:

    Ultimately, the majority seems to pose to the reader a single rhetorical question: Who could possibly think that a person is harmed when he requests and is sent an incomplete credit report, or is sent a suspicious notice informing him that he may be a designated drug trafficker or terrorist, or is not sent anything informing him of how to remove this inaccurate red flag? The answer is, of course, legion: Congress, the President, the jury, the District Court, the Ninth Circuit, and four Members of this Court. I respectfully dissent.

    Thomas writing the best “liberal” dissent of the four.

    Holly Frontier Cheyenne Refining v. Renewable Fuels Assn. Reversed, 6-3. Gorsuch’s opinion, Barrett dissents with Kagan and Sotomayor (males vs. females). Small refineries can get an extension on their hardship exemptions under RFP even if previous exemption has lapsed.

    Yellen v. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation. Reversed/remanded, 6-3? Sotomayor’s opinion (Alito doesn’t join Parts II-A and II-B). Gorsuch dissents with Thomas and Kagan. Alaska Native Corporations are “Indian tribes” for the purposes of receiving CARES Act money.


    • Mark:

      Courts are different than politicians.

      I’m very skeptical that is true, but to whatever extent it is true, it certainly would be less so if Trump hadn’t been President and this conscienceless sack of shit had made it to the Court.


      • I tell my son that the legal system is run by, and for the left.

        Unless you really want kids of your own, the economics of marriage or cohabitation are awful. The legal system is not on your side. Best to avoid it as much as you can.

        Marriage for me? Sure. 21 years. Happy as hell

        Sometimes you get lucky… I sure as hell did….

        But I don’t advise people to play the lottery just because one of my tickets hit.


        • I would never advise a male to marry, ever. It’s a sucker’s bet financially and the odds of finding a lifelong mate are low. It’s an invitation to sign over half their finances for the rest of their lives.


        • He’s getting solid advice from objective military professionals on the need for Endless Wars in the name of American Security and stuff.


        • George, isn’t the following a corollary to your advice?

          If as a male you feel compelled to marry, limit your field to women who are either wealthier or who have greater earning capacity than you.

          For the male who wants to have and raise a kid or kids there are few avoidance mechanisms out there. I do have a since 1960 female friend who is a retired professor who never wanted to marry but liked sex with men and wanted a kid. At the age of 40, with her clock running fast, she made a deal with a colleague who never wanted to marry but wanted a kid and they did it, lived in the same college town until the kid was 19, co-raised the kid, and kept their own personal lives and finances relatively in tact. Only case I know of.


        • Another rare case: a female successful wildcatter never married but raised a daughter on her own. The daughter went on to the Olympic trials as a 15 year old hurdler, was the first woman lawyer to win a case in the Texas Supreme Court, was a female pilot in WW2, and also was a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica and a PhD. She has a teaching excellence award at UT named after her.

          After negotiations, she married a successful FW lawyer and insurance company executive. They negotiated five year written contracts which included pre-nups and property partitions and priority clauses. The had
          two children together and renewed their contracts with revisions every five years until they were in their late 60s when they decided they did not need to have any more contracts.

          As they were both successful and wealthy separately and both were skilled lawyers they made a suitable arrangement for themselves which had a higher probability of success in George’s formulation then the risking of property and also of mental health that seem to accompany so many marriages.


        • I would just warn them the getting married is like playing the lottery. It’s a suckers bet. Out of every 25 people I know who are married, one of them won the lottery. About 10 lost, couldn’t pay their losses, and got their legs broken. Or worse. The remaining 14 get some equivalent of buying a $5 scratch off and getting a $4 win off it. Sometimes a $5 or $6 win.

          My point would be: you ALWAYS think you’re winning the lottery. You think that you’re getting the million dollar pay out. Best case is more likely that you’re going to get $5 on a $5 lottery ticket. Or less. Worst case is that a couple of guys rough you up and burn down your apartment and start making threatening comments about how they know where your mother lives.

          Understand that your chances of winning the lottery are actually very low and your ability to judge those chances is–for most people–non-existent.


        • Congrats to all of us who have good marriages. It took me just three times.

          What remains of the VRA invites scrutiny of the GA voting law changes. Whether Garland’s case is strong or not I have no idea, but “conscienceless sack of shit” does not fit either the case or the AG.

          Off hand I would expect that ID proof requirements will be upheld but that restrictions like limiting the number of polling places in black neighborhoods will be struck down, with varying results across the spectrum of changes. I also think that permitting state legislative intervention after the vote in a federal election is unlawful under federal law, which does permit court challenges, of course. But that issue may not be ripe for adjudication untll some state lege actually tries to do it.

          The interesting VRA case up for decision is the Native American suit in the Supremes regarding the AZ changes. Its result may dictate the relief available in VRA cases.

          Joe, this Thomas dissent was delicious for the snark, I agree.


        • Mark:

          Whether Garland’s case is strong or not I have no idea, but “conscienceless sack of shit” does not fit either the case or the AG.

          He asserts that the voting laws he is challenging derive explicitly from racist intent. He has no evidence that is the case, it is almost certainly a falsehood, and it is a slander against every legislator who voted for those laws and the governor who signed them. That makes him a conscienceless sack of shit in my book, and confirmation that efforts to keep him off of SCOTUS were entirely justified. He’s a political hack.

          … restrictions like limiting the number of polling places in black neighborhoods will be struck down…

          The text of the law specifically identifies “black neighbourhoods” as places where the number of polling places must be limited? Really?


        • Sec. 2b, still in effect:

          If in a proceeding instituted by the Attorney General under any statute to enforce the .guarantees of the fifteenth amendment in any State or political subdivision the court finds that a test or device has been used for the purpose or with the effect of denying or abridg-ing the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color, it shall suspend the use of tests and devices in such State or political subdivisions as the court shall determine is appro-priate and for such period as it deems necessary.
          Purpose or effect, Scott. Context, not text.

          I noticed that you have adopted Brit spelling!


        • Mark:

          Purpose or effect, Scott. Context, not text.

          Garland said explicitly that the suit was challenging “changes to Georgia’s election laws [that]were enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of Black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color.”

          As for the specific law that you were referring to, I would still like to see the text because I am not aware of any such law either in intent or effect.

          I noticed that you have adopted Brit spelling!

          I am too lazy to re-correct the autocorrect on my British iPad!


        • Garland grew up in Chicago. His presumption of racism on the part of Georgia is typical bigotry from northerners, IMO. From Chicago to Harvard to DC doesn’t give you a lot of “lived experience” in the actual south. Want to talk about folks still re-litigating the War of Northern Aggression, there you go.


        • Mark:

          Off hand I would expect that ID proof requirements will be upheld but that restrictions like limiting the number of polling places in black neighborhoods will be struck down…

          I’ve looked into the Georgia Election Integrity Act of 2021, along with Garland’s suit against Georgia, and seems that what you are probably referring to is the provision regarding absentee drop boxes, not polling places, as there is no charge that polling places in black neighborhoods are being restricted. Indeed, far from limiting the number of polling places (in black neighborhoods or anywhere else), the new law explicitly provides for more polling places. Section 18b requires that precincts in which long wait times for voting (more than 1 hour) are experienced in any given election must either be divided in order to reduce the size of the precinct (and thus shorten wait times) or have additional poll workers and voting equipment added prior to the next election.

          Garland’s scurrilous charges against the Georgia legislature/governor do include allegations about restrictions on absentee ballot drop boxes in black neighborhoods, and so I assume this is what you were talking about. Unsurprisingly, Garland’s charge is completely dishonest/deceptive.

          Provisions for the existence of secured absentee drop boxes have never existed before in Georgia election law. The use of drop boxes were introduced into the 2020 election by the State Election Board as an emergency measure related to Covid. Such emergency provisions, of course, lapse along with the emergency conditions, so provisions for the use of drop boxes and the rules regarding that use, if they were to be used in the future, had to be formally introduced into Georgia election law, and were.

          The new law requires that all Georgia counties must have at least 1 drop box, and it caps the number of drop boxes to no more than 1 per 100,000 voters or one per early voting site. The drop boxes are required to be inside of an early voting site. This differs from the emergency measures imposed by the Election Board for the 2020 election in that there was no cap on the number of drop boxes, and the only requirement for location was outside of a government building. So it is possible that in future elections, there will be some counties with fewer drop boxes than they had under the emergency measures imposed in 2020, and that some of those counties may include black neighborhoods.

          But characterizing this eventuality as a “restriction” on the number of polling places in black neighborhoods is in fact a complete inversion of reality. First of all, drop boxes are not “polling places”. But more importantly, the new law is actually increasing, not restricting, the means by which voters can vote. Election law prior to the 2021 changes did not provide for any drop boxes. It now provides for at least one in every county. In no honest way can that be deemed to represent a “restriction” on anyone’s voting, much less strictly on black people, done for racist reasons.

          Of course, when using the term “restriction”, the necessary question one must answer is, of course, relative to what? For Garland, the answer is, indeed can only be, relative to a single year in all of history, a year during which elections took place under emergency measures rather than democratically enacted state election law.

          Garland’s suit explicitly alleges that the cap on the number of drop boxes “…will cause a precipitous decline in drop box availability in the counties that are home to the largest number of Black voters in the State.” But this is true only relative to the 2020 election, not relative to any other election is all of Georgia history, nor relative to any future election that might be held under previously existing election law . The 2020 election took place under “emergency” measures adopted by the State Election Board. There is no reason in either law or common sense to think that measures imposed by the executive branch explicitly for emergency purposes establish a standard by which subsequent, democratically enacted legislation must then be measured. The only way to credit Garland’s claim is to think either that any legal limitation on the number of drop boxes represents an unconstitutional restriction, or that appointed State Election Boards acting in self-declared emergency circumstances have both more wisdom and more legal authority than democratically elected legislatures to establish what those limits should be. Both of those beliefs are absurd.

          I don’t know if Garland will lose on this count, but if he doesn’t, it is just more evidence of the politicization of the courts.


        • If there is no way to prove either effect or intent to discriminate then the federal case is a loser.

          I did not use an example drawn from the facts on the ground and did not address drop boxes. I invented a suitable hypothetical to illustrate what might happen in litigation.

          Repeal of a liberalized election law that encouraged increased participation of black voters would certainly weaken but not cripple the defense based on showing a simple return to prevous non-emergency related law, if in fact more black voters by % had turned out under the COVID year rule, and there was credible testimony that the turnout was related to the ease of access. I don’t think that is an easy road for the Fed’s case at all – there is a good chance turnout was driven by Warnock and Abrams’ efforts and that credible evidence would sustain that more drop boxes were incidental and their effect speculative.

          Have you read the entire complaint? Does it have other specific allegations? I have not but now probably will.

          As for Section 2 of the VRA generally, the decision in the AZ case before the Supremes may affect it, going forward.

          As for whether Garland alleged discriminatory intent in bad faith, I will wait on the evidence he produces.

          Drop box addendum: apparently Fulton County had 20 drop boxes in 2016, increased to 39 for the COVID year, and now will be limited to 8. If that is repeated in all urban counties [rural counties are simply not affected by that change] then the Fed case gains some strength. I got that info from the FOX5 Atlanta website, not Garland’s complaint, which I have yet to read.


        • Mark:

          If there is no way to prove either effect or intent to discriminate then the federal case is a loser.

          I would hope that is the case, but given the politicization of the courts, I wouldn’t bet on it.

          I invented a suitable hypothetical to illustrate what might happen in litigation.

          I certainly agree that if we assume the existence of some hypothetical VRA violation, it makes sense to think that it would be struck down in some hypothetical litigation over it. More interesting to me, however, is how the court will rule regarding the actual laws being challenged.

          Repeal of a liberalized election law that encouraged increased participation of black voters would certainly weaken but not cripple the defense based on showing a simple return to prevous non-emergency related law, if in fact more black voters by % had turned out under the COVID year rule, and there was credible testimony that the turnout was related to the ease of access.

          As another hypothetical, sure. But in the actual case at hand, there has been no repeal of any liberalized election law, nor has there been a “return” to previously existing law. There has been the statutory introduction and regulation of certain methods of voting that were temporarily implemented as emergency measures in a pandemic situation.

          And, again, I reject the notion that statistics established under emergency measures are a proper and sensible baseline from which any new voting regulations should be viewed. Of course the number of people voting via absentee ballots increased significantly during the 2020 election. That was, at least ostensibly, the very point of the emergency measures, ie to keep people from congregating together on election day by encouraging them to vote early and absentee. That doesn’t mean that the legislature must therefore encourage absentee voting in perpetuity. And just because those measures had the ancillary effect (if indeed it did) of increasing voter participation among people who otherwise couldn’t be bothered to do what it takes to vote doesn’t mean that the VRA requires that those emergency measures must be codified as permanent law even after the emergency conditions that justified them in the first place are no longer extant. If the VRA did not require an unlimited number of drop boxes to exist in the election of 2016, and the VRA has not been amended in the intervening years, how can it be possible for it to require an unlimited number of drop boxes to exist in 2024?

          Have you read the entire complaint? Does it have other specific allegations?

          I skimmed over most of it, and only read in detail the section on drop boxes. The full complaint has lots of specific allegations about other aspects of the law, in addition to the drop box issue. My guess is that most of those are equally meritless. But again, I didn’t dig into those in any detail.

          As for whether Garland alleged discriminatory intent in bad faith, I will wait on the evidence he produces.

          At what point do you conclude he has none? At what point do you finally accept that Garland is just doing what Dems have routinely been doing literally for decades?

          …apparently Fulton County had 20 drop boxes in 2016

          I have searched for any indication that drop boxes have been used in Georgia prior to the 2020 election, and can find none. Even Garland’s complaint says that voters were “allowed” to use drop boxes as a result of the emergency measures adopted by the election board on June 9, 2020, the obvious implication being that, in the absence of those measures they would not have been allowed to do so. If they were used in 2016, under what authority were they used?

          But frankly I don’t think it matters either way. The 15th amendment and the VRA prohibits states from “denying or abridging the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color”. Establishing a specific set of means, to the exclusion of others, by which all voters are allowed to cast ballots is not, by any reasonable understanding of the words, denying or abridging the right to vote at all, much less on account or race or color.


        • I tell my son that the legal system is run by, and for the left.

          True for child protective, and by extension, family law, I think, if all else is equal.

          However, the legal system is heavily weighted in favor of those who can pay to play. Surely that is no surprise to you. We used to say never get in a fight with the Disney company – it will crush your client and you. Disney was one of many large corporations that simply would out spend your client. I had a few clients over a lifetime who could afford to go toe to toe – I locally repped the Sealed Air Corp [bubble wrap] and Employers Casualty Insurance. Life for the lawyer is easier with those clients. Professional investigators? No problem. Pay for endless discovery until the other side was out of cash? Why not Most criminal defendants are poor. The prosecutors have a team of professional investigators. The prosecutors have crime labs and pet expert witnesses. This has no bleeding heart bias, I can assure you.


        • We used to say never get in a fight with the Disney company – it will crush your client and you.

          The left owns Disney. All those corporations are now run by woke supremacists.

          I seem to recall a system of government where the corporations and one political party are working together to advance an ideology.

          Begins with an f…


        • If only there’d been a candidate for POTUS that had established bonafides for pushing hard against China that Romney coulda supported.


        • Romney has signaled his virtue. He’s done all he can do here. Let’s move on.


        • Scott, ran across this which you may be interested in. The conundrum of if Georgia passes the same election laws as a blue state does that mean both or neither are racist?

          “So something you’ll hear on the right is that all these liberals — like me, frankly — have their hair on fire about Georgia, we’re attacking Georgia’s voting laws. But there are all these blue states that have similar or worse laws on the books.

          So, for example, Georgia’s being attacked for limiting no-excuse absentee voting, but if you look at Connecticut, you look at New Hampshire, you look at New York, all of them currently block no-excuse absentee voting, which is a kind of broad mail-in voting, altogether. Georgia has 17 days of early voting. Connecticut and New Hampshire don’t have any. Some other blue states only have 10. That infamous provision, you just mentioned it, banning third parties from giving away food and drink within 150 feet of a polling place, you can see it in New York too.

          If liberals were just worried about access to the vote, the argument goes, they’d be just as hair-on-fire about a bunch of these blue states that have very, very restrictive voting laws too, but they’re not. So why?”

          This would be the argument that I suspect will carry the day at the SCOTUS. Things can’t be illegal just because a red state is doing it. It’s also why the Democrats have screwed up by insisting that the Voting Rights Act only apply to states they don’t like.


        • jnc:

          Scott, ran across this which you may be interested in.

          Thanks…its a good point. Although I suppose the D’s might feel justified in thinking that the VRA should only apply to states they don’t like because some sections of the VRA do, in my view unconstitutionally, only apply to certain states.

          On the Ezra transcript more generally, I find the whole “making voting harder” argument simple minded and tedious. Quite literally any regulation on time, place, and manner of voting is “making voting harder” than it otherwise would be. Does Ezra think that there should be literally no regulations at all on time, place, and manner of voting? If not, then condemning any particular restriction simply because it “makes voting harder” is just disingenuous.


        • If the DOJ case is that weak it should be a loser, indeed.


        • I also make the lottery argument. In my anecdotal experience, about 1 out of every 25 hits. Some people are just good at finding someone that they are really compatible with. But lots of people aren’t nearly as good at that as they imagine themselves to be.

          And the number would be higher, I think. I know several people about 10-20 years younger than me that were basically just about to married or were actually engaged and then everything blew up. Thus, they were spared marriage to a person who would have inevitably blown it up a year or 5 down the line with much greater radius of destruction.


        • I also make the lottery argument. In my anecdotal experience, about 1 out of every 25 hits.

          half of all marriages end in divorce, and women initiate 80% of them.

          So, if you assume that you will have to give up half your shit and half your income for over 20 years, the numbers get ugly.

          You make $100k, that is $50k for 20 years.

          A million bucks.

          50% chance of divorce makes the expected value a loss of half a million dollars.

          That is a heck of an entry fee. And you have to wonder what you get for it.


        • Unless you’re desperate for kids the answer is nothing. In an era of free internet porn and sex tours of Thailand my advice is run, don’t walk, away from marriage.


        • To me, the final word on the legal system is that alimony and child support are the only debts that can get you sent to prison. Nothing else.

          Not back taxes. Nothing else.

          Avoid the US legal system as much as you can if you have a tallywacker.


      • I think it’s more true of courts than politicians but there are obviously activist courts and judges.


    • SCOTUS Blog link:

      Edit: There’s no snark like Thomas snark:

      “Had the class members claimed an aesthetic interest in viewing an accurate report, would this case have come out differently?”



    This is what I understand about CRT – it was one thing, but has become another in the current usage. The critiques of this book and of the 1619 “project” are well taken.

    I agree with with Prof. Bernstein that this book should not be approved curricular material in public secondary schools. He gives a primer on its factual errors which is useful if you want to fight your school board about it.

    I also agree with his opinion:

    To my mind, the debate over CRT is too abstract, and people are talking past each other. It’s more useful to focus on works that are actually being used in classrooms, particularly below the college level.


    • Great article. And this is excellent:

      199-200 “Rocky.” Hardly the worst thing in the book, but to depict Rocky as a racist movie simply because it depicted a white boxer against a black boxer is silly. Apollo Creed’s circle of accomplished black advisors seem much more desirable than Rocky’s working-class white friends and neighbors. Rocky himself is a hood working for a loan shark, he sexually assaults Adrian, tells a 12-year-old neighborhood girl not to be a whore… Rocky loses the match, and the arc of the story is that he and Apollo become good friends.

      I find that discrediting of Kendi as much as anything. It suggests an inability to even be aware of the facts of an entertaining and engaging movie. If so, how do you trust him on much denser (and distant) and more complicate historical events?

      So wrong about Rocky. So wrong.

      but to a large extent the push for harsher penalties for crack came from the Congressional Black Caucus, whose constituents were being devastated by the externalities from crack cocaine sales and use in predominately African-American neighborhoods.

      And that’s something where I’ve always believed the traditional narrative, that the harsher sentences for crack cocaine was racist and primarily advanced (I had believed) in a bi-partisan effort by white politicians. You learn something every day!

      206 “Reagan’s economic policies caused unemployment to skyrocket.” Unemployment went up at the beginning of the Reagan administration, then went down for the rest of it to lower levels than when he started.

      He doesn’t touch on this in this article, but I believe the skyrocketing unemployment disparately impacted white mostly white, white-collar classes during down-sizing and right-sizing. Am I wrong about that?

      214: Re Clarence Thomas: “his work as an activist got him into fancy schools.” This is just false. He grew up very poor, got a scholarship to a non-fancy Catholic college that I’ve otherwise never heard of, then did well enough to get into Yale Law. What “work as an activist” they are talking about is beyond me. He didn’t become a conservative political activist until after he graduated Yale Law and read the works of Thomas Sowell.

      And the constant dismissiveness of successful black people by these “antiracists”–because they think the wrong thoughts–always amazes me. Not only was Clarence Thomas a black person who grew up poor and got himself into Yale Law, is wrong-think came from Thomas Sowell, another black person who grew up poor and became highly accomplished. The whole chain of events there is “afro-centric”–but it doesn’t count. Because wrong-think.

      Science says the race are biologically equal. So if they’re not equal in society, the only reason why can be racism.” This is the heart of Kendi’s ideology, and it’s simply false.

      It’s also fairly clear that races are not (and rationally would not be) equal in all categories, just as individuals are not. Black people excel in many sports where white people just don’t. Though there are other sports where whites excel.

      Making an overall value judgement on one race because of inherent differences is foolish, because the differences are in narrow vertical bands of advantage, and there is more in common between the races than not. But if we lived in a society where wealth was dictated by other factors, power and wealth would likely accrue more to one race/identity-group than another–there would be some unevenness.

      I have an issue with IQ results as I think all intelligence testing is biased on multiple levels, but it also makes sense that there are some collective differences in terms of predilection, interest, and capacity in narrow categories. And that in every racial group there will be outliers–perhaps many–that contradict the averages. So having a society that is equally open to everybody on merit by far the makes the most sense.

      But, yes. Great article. This kind of garbage, at best, should be taught at the collegiate level to students getting themselves into insurmountable debt to learn skills and knowledge that will make them unemployable in an actual job market where you have to accomplish things.

      You know, like we did with Zinn’s “A People’s History”.


  4. Sanity may be returning:


    • “Voters were offered a false dichotomy between justice and public safety by the Adams rhetoric,” said Sochie Nnaemeka, the New York state director of the Working Families Party. “We worked hard to dismantle that framework, but that dog-whistling does strike the real fear that people have when our streets are increasingly unsafe. It’s a very human experience.”

      false dichotomy? i guess that talking point will work on CNN and MSNBC, but nowhere else.


      • Are the streets increasingly unsafe or not? Also, if we want to lower incarceration rates we’re going to get more crime, it is what it is. I don’t really mind as I’m not going to suffer from it, so I say go for it.

        Finally, I love the dog whistle reference, because New Yorkers are notoriously susceptible to it, that’s why Trump won the city and state.


        • What they think of me.

          Liked by 1 person

        • What they think of me.

          Also indicative of what they think of their readers, and everybody who is not them specifically: that they are idiots. That everyone who isn’t exactly like them is a moron.

          Love the picture of Trump. I’ve always argued the GOP as a political party does a horrible job, overall, with minority outreach. They’ve done very little to create a bench of great minority conservative candidates–and they could. It’s low-hanging fruit. They are just–like much of the left–entirely involved in navel-gazing and self-aggrandizement that any larger political strategy seems unnecessary.

          Of recent Republicans, the one to do the most minority outreach was Donald Trump. And yet he is their avatar for “neo-confederatism”. He had more minorities as speakers at the RNC than I think any Republican candidate previous. And he was doing that to appeal to people opposed to multi-racial democracy?

          They have to think their readers are idiots, and they have to be at least somewhat right about that.


        • Or if you want lower incarceration rates, stop arresting white-collar criminals. In many cases you could release non-violent recreational drug users/purchasers. But that’s not whose getting out.


      • It’s not going to mean anything to voters on the ground in high-crime neighborhoods. They will still get votes from those people–the low information voters–whose votes are usually solicited or harvested, anyway. But for the politically active in those areas, that means nothing.

        But it means everything to those living in safely gated communities who want to feel good about how virtuous they are.


    • My intuitive sense is that NYT’s first sentence is not how you win over minority voters:

      Can progressives win broad numbers of the Black and brown voters they say their policies will benefit most?

      It may be hard to believe but a non-trivial number of minorities to whom their ethnic identity is central to their lives STILL don’t respond positively to white progressives identifying them by their skin color first and primarily.

      And there are minority Democrats who consider themselves people, first and for most, not their race–and they definitely don’t respond to attempts to balkanize them.

      In the general election, Donald J. Trump made gains with nonwhite voters, particularly Latinos, as Democrats saw a drop-off in support that cost the party key congressional seats, according to a postelection autopsy by Democratic interest groups. In the 2020 election, Mr. Trump made larger gains among all Black and Latino voters than he did among white voters without a college degree, according to the Democratic data firm Catalist.

      That the NYT is actually putting that in print suggests that, indeed, they are panicking. Interesting.

      On issues beyond criminal justice, data indicates that Black and Latino voters are less likely to identify as liberal than white voters.

      I would argue that’s because progressivism is self-evidently the new home of white racism, of an elitist and academic bent last seen in the 19th and early 20th centuries so unfamiliar as just straight racism to most of the white progressives seduced by it.

      I find this particularly telling:

      Extrapolating national trends from the idiosyncratic politics of New York is a bit like ordering a bagel with a schmear in Des Moines. You’ll probably get a piece of bread, but the similarities may end there.

      The ignorance is amazing. I can guarantee you that if you know where to go, you can almost certainly find an excellent bagel in almost any mid- to large-sized city in America. I’m sure there are more places to get a great bagel with schmear in NYC than Des Moines, but there’s probably at least a couple of decent places to get a perfectly servicable if not great bagel in Des Moines. There was a bagel place in uptown Memphis (uptown not referring to the class-level of the area, which was definitely lower-middle to middle-middle) that had awesome bagels. Not a traditional Jewish deli but the bagels were all made on site, and they were great.

      Still, the traction some more conservative Democratic candidates like Mr. Adams have gained in Black and Latino communities threatens to undercut a central tenet of the party’s political thinking for decades: demographics as destiny.

      From a party standpoint, this was always. Parties exist not to advance a specific ideology or set of policies but secure political power. At some point the parties would both change to match changes in demographics and act accordingly, and at some point the electorate would be–as a majority–disappointed with the ruling party and kick them out. Demographics as destiny, even when it manifests, is a temporary road to political power at best.

      But a growing body of evidence indicates that large numbers of Black and Latino voters may simply take a more centrist view on the very issues — race and criminal justice — that progressives assumed would rally voters of color to their side.

      Again, for this to be appearing in the NYT suggest a full-on panic mode from some quarters on the left.

      The limited public polling available showed nuanced opinions among voters of color on policing. A poll conducted for the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, found that just 17 percent of Black voters and 18 percent of Latinos wanted to decrease the number of police officers in their neighborhoods. But 62 percent of Black voters and 49 percent of Latino voters said they supported “defunding” the New York Police Department and spending the money on social workers instead, the poll found.

      And this. OMG. I mean, this polling was doe many, many months ago and could have been picked up by the NYT at any time but if this is (as I suspect, though I may be wrong) the first time they decided to report it–again, panic at the Old Gray Lady.

      Some scholars and strategists argue that Black and Latino voters are more likely to center their political beliefs on those kinds of experiences in their own lives, taking a pragmatic approach to politics that’s rooted less in ideology and more in a historical distrust of government and the ability of politicians to deliver on sweeping promises.

      The NYT is soooo white and privileged. That this would be a sentence they would put it an article “for some strange reason minorities are more concerned about getting shot or stabbed in the subway than in our beautiful rhetorical speeches and the 1619 project” indicates an amazing level of out-of-touch arrogance that . . . is most impressive.


  5. Worth noting:

    ““My attitude was: It was put-up or shut-up time,” Barr told me. “If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it. But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bullshit.””


    • jnc:

      Worth noting:

      I find the framing irritating…”doggedly loyal AG finally had enough”. I think Barr was a stand-up, no nonsense guy who called things as he saw them all along. That is why what he says carries weight with me. But for the Atlantic, what Barr says carries weight only when it aligns with its anti-Trump agenda. As long as Barr is saying/doing something that favors Trump, he’s just a “doggedly loyal” toady. Only when he’s “had enough” of being that toady does he say/do anything that might hurt Trump.


      • It is. And while I suspect there was an unusual amount of fraud in the 2020 election–for a variety of reasons–I don’t object to Barr refusing to go on what, for the DoJ, would be a fishing expedition. I’d prefer they never do that.

        But especially regarding the elections. I believe the states are responsible for investigating charges of fraud (or incompetence) and either taking necessary remedial action or coming up with a report that suggests legislative action to prevent fraud (or numerous questionable practices) from continuing on into the future. I would just as soon not see the DoJ targeting local elections when someone in DC does not like the result.


      • Anything that’s written by the MSM about Trump will always have an irritating framing. I was more interested in what Barr himself had to say. This struck me as true as well:

        ““You know, you only have five weeks, Mr. President, after an election to make legal challenges,” Barr said. “This would have taken a crackerjack team with a really coherent and disciplined strategy. Instead, you have a clown show. No self-respecting lawyer is going anywhere near it. It’s just a joke. That’s why you are where you are.”

        Interestingly, Trump didn’t argue when Barr told him that his “clown show” legal team had wasted time. In fact, he said, “You may be right about that.””


        • They did. To the point I have an unfounded suspicion there was intentional sabotage going on with a lot of the accusations, not necessarily from his clown-show of a legal team directly but they were being fed very bad ideas from people intentionally trying to make the conspiracy-theorizing appear idiotic and evidence-free. The whole “Venezuela” thing, for starters.


        • jnc:

          Anything that’s written by the MSM about Trump will always have an irritating framing.

          True enough.


    • I just assume the media is lying through its teeth about things like this, all the time. I will continue to assume that almost nothing the MSM has to say about Republican and conservative figures growing in popularity, like DeSantis, is anything but lies and propaganda. And with exactly zero information to go on to make that judgement, time will prove me to be exactly right most of the time.


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