Thursday, July 24, 2014

Global Warming Is Still Dead...Again

Hey, remember when I said the world - the developing world especially and China in particular -  wasn't going to go along with the West's bullshit global warming schemes? 

More on that here.

Just to remind you, I said China's global warming climate change policy was going to be: Appease, Learn, Use Carbon

bingo...
China’s chief climate official Xie Zhenhua said China should not be subject to the same rules for greenhouse gas emissions as the United States and other rich countries, signaling that Beijing will oppose any attempt to impose them at next year’s world climate conference.
“We are in different development stages, we have different historical responsibilities and we have different capacities,” Xie told reporters.

CNBC's Insana Looks At Charts, Denies Reality

Ron Insana didn't just make a "no inflation" call, he got all pompous like in the faces of "inflationistas".
I will make a bet with this country's leading inflationistas, who continue to warn that inflation is about to surge, that they are dead wrong. 
I'll bet a truckload of scarce limes, or a couple bushels of wheat, that inflation is about to fall, and fall hard.
I don't buy his argument because it's not a very good one.  Corn and soy futures are down?  So what.  This has no bearing on whether your chicken or corn flakes prices are going to be lower in the future.  Supply and demand dictate prices, not input costs.

Beyond that prices are just simply going up.  That's inflation.  Mars, maker of M&Ms and much else that is chocolatey, is raising its prices 7%.  Chipotle - menu prices up 6.5%.  Starbucks - bagged coffee up, drinks up, multiple times.  General food prices (i.e. beef, pork, chicken, eggs, milk) are rising a lot.

Services too.  Netflix raised its prices.  Amazon raised them for Prime.  Electricity - don't get me started on phony baloney energy like wind and solar - is going up.  Home prices...up.  Stamps...up.  Health insurance...up (sorry ObamaCarebots).

We are well past the crapify stage, the first stage of inflation, and getting deeper into the outright price increase phase.  We will shortly come to the constant (semi-annual, annual) price rise phase. 

And all the wage/input-push people, like Insana, will be proven wrong again.

Because There Is Some Kid Somewhere Who Could Try to Sell Unauthorized Lemonade

Mark Perry asks a Good question.

Answer:  Because we have a enormous bureaucratic state whose petty tyrannies must be enforced lest they be serially ignored by the common-sense general public, thus obviating the need for enormous bureaucratic state.

Remember?

THIS !!

Also, remember all the leaked whispers that Obama actually dismissed Romney as presumptuous in running for POTUS, an office for which Obama felt Romney didn't have the chops???

An insult is one thing.  But having an insult come from a buffoon like Obama, who is the poster boy for not having the chops, is the worst.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Big Evil Oil Company Generous With Retirement Bennies. Facebook Not So Much

So, we all know that rapacious evil corporations are always and everywhere screwing over the worker and denying the working people their due.  But which companies are relatively more rapacious and skinflint than others?

I'm guessing big evil oil companies are the worst, they have to be, right?  And enlightened, progressive Silicon Valley icons are shining counter examples, amiright?

Whoops.
A first-of-its-kind ranking of 401(k) plans at the 250 biggest companies in the U.S. found that ConocoPhillips and Abbott Laboratories are among those that provide the most lucrative retirement benefits. Among the least generous are Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Whole Foods Market Inc.
ConocoPhillips, a Houston oil and natural gas producer, topped the Bloomberg News rankings of the largest public companies’ 401(k) plans, largely due to a matching formula that contributes 9 percent of annual salaries for employees who save as little as 1 percent of their pay.
Facebook finished last in the Bloomberg rankings, which were based on 2012 data, the latest available for all companies. The Menlo Park, California-based social media company didn’t offer any match at the time. It started making contributions in April to its 401(k) plan.  
Time to rethink the narrative?  Nope.  It's NEVER time to rethink the narrative.  The narrative is all.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Hallbig Case Goes Against ObamaCare

Will be appealed but, for now, no ObamaCare subsidies for non-state run exchanges, which means a lot of them.

Bad blow for ObamaCare.  Good for liberty and correcting this historic mistake.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Obama Was Always Destined To Be A Liability for Dems

John Fund writes of the Obama Albatross as we get into the early innings of the 2014 mid-term election season.

Just so you know, I was talking about this years ago.  The re-election win put a temporary lid on the underlying tension, but it was bound to be...well...temporary.  Dems may have been hoping the Potemkin Happy Happy would last past November 2014, but dense-pack scandalapalooza and incompetence-a-gogo have thrown the lid off early.

It is a credit to Dear Leader's political skills that he got through six years without this inevitability coming to the fore.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

World Cup Or Not, Argentina Is Still a Dedabeat Nation

Argentinians are feeling their oats a little bit after their semi-final win in the World Cup...
In the aftermath of Argentina’s semifinal World Cup win last night, crowds broke into the usual victory chants, praising the homeland and poking fun at the British, their longtime nemesis in the Falkland Islands.
But a less traditional song could also be heard in the streets of Rosario, Argentina’s third-biggest city and the birthplace of team captain Lionel Messi: a profanity-laced taunt of the hedge funds that have battled the government over defaulted debt since 2001.
“Vulture funds,” a group chanted amid celebrations at the city’s National Flag Memorial. “Stop messing around and agree to the swap.”
Even if Argentina wins the World Cup (which they won't), they'll still be a bunch of deadbeats.  Pay your damn debts you deadbeat losers!

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Lefty Hypocrisy/Logical Fail of the Day

Here is your lefty cognitive dissonance of the day via TTAG.
Gun control advocates talk about “easy access to guns.” They don’t want to deny guns to law-abiding Americans. Just certain types of guns. And ammunition magazines. I mean, just “bad guys.” And mentally ill people. How do you make the distinction? Background checks! If everyone who wanted to purchase a gun had to go through a background check, only the good guys would get the guns. Wrong. But anyway . . .
What document do you suppose Uncle Sam requires for these federal background checks? The same document the courts (via Uncle Sam) are forcing Arizona to make available to illegal immigrants shielded from deportation by Executive Order: a driver’s license.
Hello? A driver’s license in the hands of a non-American citizen allows them to purchase a firearm. Which means the federal push to give so-called dreamers and “undocumented Americans” opens the floodgates for illegal sales/straw purchases. Here’s the AP story . . .
Yup.  More vehicular deaths over gun deaths in America, but let's give anybody who crosses the border a driver's license and subject law-abiding citizens to intrusive background checks in order to deny them their rights. 

I mean if it saves just one life, right?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Let Me Leave You With This Thought

Thought of the day is a simple, yet insightful, demolishing of an annoying trope of Obama's.  From Prof. Instapundit...with paratheticals provided by yours truly.
Government, we are sometimes told, is just another word for things we choose to do together.
Like a lot of things politicians say, this sounds good. And, also like a lot of things politicians say, it isn't the least bit true.
Many of the things government does, we don't choose (just one off the top of my head...funds Hamas). Many of the things we choose, government doesn't do (i.e. enforce border security). And whatever gets done, we're not the ones doing it. And those who are doing it often interpret their mandates selfishly (IRS targeting).
Might I also add that things we choose to do together are often done together via things like churches, civic organizations (Tea Parties?), and corporations.

Have a nice weekend.

Pure Genius: From the Grave, Texas Billionaire Keeps Government's Grubby Paws Off Billions

Here is an amazing story.  It's about a billionaire whose billions are arranged just so, and things seem to be happening just so, that his heirs are going to save a boatload on estate taxes. 

I love it, it's pure genius.  The author thinks it is amazing too, but I am sure he disapproves big time.  You gotta read the whole thing, because it's a tad complicated, but here is a gist...
Here are two facts about the federal estate tax:
  • The estate tax rate for 2013 and 2014 is 40 percent of the value of the estate.4
  • The executor can choose to determine the value of the estate either on the date of death, or on the "alternate valuation date," which is the date six months after the date of death.5
For Harold Simmons's estate, that alternate valuation date is tomorrow -- six months from his death. Today is the last trading day before that valuation. How's Valhi done in the last six months?
Source: Bloomberg
Oh.6 The stock closed yesterday at $6.01, reducing the value of the estate's holdings by $2.8 billion -- and its estate-tax liability by $1.1 billion -- since Simmons's death.
Of course, this brings up the tired old debate about the estate tax...yadayadayada.  For my part, I love this.  The money is theirs and not the government's and I applaud Simmons for keeping as much of it as possible from the government to waste on its silly utopian schemes and/or its lazy, sclerotic and contemptuous bureaucratic hordes.  (For another pro-inherited wealth argument go here.)

But that is not the point I want to make today.  The point is that Simmons's setup was cooked up in response to the last "strengthening" of the estate tax laws, which were designed, no doubt, to combat the previous tax avoidance schemes, and on back through history ad infinitum

Those that are outraged and inclined to design newer and better regulations and laws to combat this example of tax avoidance, well, you'll only be launching the next wave of estate-tax planning and tax avoidance artistry that will outrage you all over again years hence.  So, stop trying to build the perfect estate-taxing mousetrap.  Give it up and live with a simple, low and reasonable estate-tax regime and you'll never have to read an article like Levine's again.

ADDENDUM:  If you catch the drift of what is going on here, it is not hard to conclude that the stock will most likely go back up.  I don't promote stock tips on this website, so that's not a tip, just a capital markets curiosity for all to ponder.  Chalk it up to the intellectual debate over Efficient Market Hypothesis.

Economics Is Not Hard, Although We've Made It Hard

The shale boom was made possible by a few key things, not least of which is secure property rights, in this case mineral rights.
A wide variety of factors—from favorable geology to deep capital markets to mineral rights for property owners—helped the shale boom take off in the U.S., and have made this energy revolution devilishly tricky to replicate abroad.
This will come as no surprise to anyone who has read one of the most important economics books that no one has ever heard of.

We have the answers, we just don't like them.

Lefty Logical Disconnect of the Day

Hot on heels of the latest lefty crusade - college sexual assault, where the logic goes something like this: college, which we've been encouraging and subsidizing for decades, is actually a villainous hive of violent sexual predation - we have a new charming disconnect.

We all know that America is irredeemably racist.  Even the notion of a half-assedly policed southern border is obviously horribly racist toward Hispanics.  Yes, we are so racist that parents feel the need to send their children hundred of miles unaccompanied to this land of hatred.  And, to do so by dint and at the hands of cutthroat, mercenary, and violent traffickers of their self same race.

As AmmoGirl at Powerline notes, can't have it both ways:  America is racist or these Honduran or Guatemalan or whatnot parents are some damn shitty parents.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

"We Didn't See This Coming At All"

Of course, you didn't.

Alternate headline:  "After Marinating the Culture in Sex and Violence, Hollywood Is Shocked That One of Its Own, Murders Out Of Sexual Frustration."

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lib: Yes, We Lied, But Righties Are Still Wrong, Because They're Mean

Jonathan Chait has discovered why conservatives don't like ObamaCare…and it is refreshingly not the fact that the Lightworker is black.  James Taranto reveals the big reveal…
Chait imagines that he's found out his ideological adversaries. His big reveal:
But at least conservatives are now representing their true bedrock position on Obamacare. It is largely a transfer program benefitting people who either don't have enough money, or pose too high a health risk, to bear the cost of their own medical care. Conservatives don't like transfer programs because they require helping the less fortunate with other peoples' money.
Wait, ObamaCare is just a big wealth redistribution scheme!  Who knew?  I didn't, after all, it wasn't proposed as such.  It was a way to improve healthcare, to lower costs, and to fix a "broken" system.  If I had known it was just to take money from some people and give it to others in the form of healthcare services, then I could have pointed to Medicare and Medicaid and said, "Wait, we already have such programs, one for the elderly and one for the poor, why do we need another?"

Which, of course, would have led to uncomfortable debates about Medicare and Medicaid's inferior health outcomes and on top of their cratering fiscal outlooks.  And the Obamacrats weren't out to have that discussion, they were simply out to sell a shiny new thing to a citizenry ready to buy whatever because of that nice seeming (and black) salesman.

Bottom line, we were right in analyzing ObamaCare for what it really was, but wrong for having done so; and, lefties weren't wrong for lying because what they lied for was right, in their view?  Sounds about right.

#NarrativeFail: College Kids Actually Want Wall Street Jobs

90,000 college undergraduates applied for 1,000 internship slots at MorganStanley.

First they were telling use those crazy college kids were shunning Wall St. for Washington (i.e. "public service" on the heels of the Obama wave.  Maybe they don't want to be associated with all that anymore given how the IRS, HHS, VA et al. haven't quite covered themselves in glory as of late.)

Then it was start-ups...

Doesn't seem to be actually playing out that way.

Shocking: Person Who Maintained Her Innocence, Declared Innocent

Here is a very curious headline...
Brooks Acquitted After Weeks of Evading Blame
Here's a thought...she was evading blame because she was innocent of blame, which is why she was...acquitted.

Funny that, people who believe in their own innocence (vindicated by the legal system) actually evading blame.

But for the Murdoch-hating MSM, there is just no believing there nothing evil deep down at work.  Note, Bloomberg is a competitor to the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal.

Green Losers Get Shock When They Go To Sell Their Homes

Here is another example of the "Rubes Don't Get It/What's the Matter with Kansas" mentality from the elitist media clerisy.  Solar panels on the roof of your home drive down the value of your home...because, well, people are stupid and they can't recognize a good thing when they see it...
“Homeowners don’t understand what they’re signing when they get into this,” said Sandy Adomatis, a home appraiser in Punta Gorda,Florida, who created the industry’s standard tool for valuing the systems. “You’ve got another layer to add on top of finding a buyer for the house. It’s not a plus.”
and in case you didn't get the point...
“They’re essentially moving into a home with a lower cost of ownership, a lower cost of energy,” so a solar lease shouldn’t make it harder to sell a house, said Jonathan Bass, a spokesman for SolarCity in San Mateo, California. “It becomes a selling point instead of a point of misunderstanding.”
Stupid homebuyers, it's a selling point, despite what you might think...
Scott Vineberg, a SolarCity customer, received multiple offers for the Scottsdale, Arizona, home he sold in January. The lease made the deal more complicated because the buyers were reluctant to take over the contract and asked him to pay off the balance in advance, about 10 years of payments.
“I don’t think they understood it,” said Vineberg. He refused to pay off the lease, and instead provided years of documentation to verify the monthly energy savings. After the sale closed, the buyers opted to pay off the lease, and Vineberg installed another SolarCity system at his new home.
Rubes...

Monday, June 23, 2014

How Do You Say, "Do Me A Solid?" In German?


New York ObamaCare-Compliant Premiums Going Up 25%?

File under "ObamaCare is working".

Remember how I've chronicled how health insurance costs for my small business in New York state has ballooned over the years even pre-ObamaCare?  Well, post ObamaCare is actually worse, and the hits just keep on coming.  I just got my Notice of Proposed Rate Change for 2015 for my OA EPO HSA Comp 5000 100 PY plan from Aetna.

25.3%.  Yup. After tripling from 2008 to now, I can expect another massive increase in healthcare insurance premiums.  Of course, I don't qualify for subsidies, so that is why ever-increasing amounts are being extracted from me.  Subsidy-qualifiers, I'm sure will not see even near that increase if they see any.

I have to run the numbers, but I am pretty sure I am going to self-insure in 2015.  I have to weigh the penalty versus being involved in this ridiculous wealth distribution scheme.

ASIDE:  Speaking of life at my small business, I am required, by the SEC, to archive my emails, so that every incoming and outgoing email is archived for a period of five years.  The cost for this service (actually, this service plus more in the bundle) is $100/month.  Now, obviously it wouldn't be $100/month for the IRS but given economies of scale, the per user rate for email archiving should be vanishingly small for an organization the size of the IRS if it weren't for legendary government procurement prowess and, ahem, other concerns.