Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
- FIB Leaks
- Goolag. A couple Goolag stories this week. The first are an in-kind contribution to the Hillary campaign intended to turn out Latino voters. The second was release of a video of a group hug session following Trump’s election, with corporate officers feeling the collective pain of their employees. In the first story, Eliana Murillo, Google’s Multicultural Marketing department head discusses what she calls “non-partisan activities not designed to help any one candidate or another” later admitting the entire effort is intended to boost Latino turnout using Goolag products with company resources to elect Hillary over Trump. She wrote that the effort backfired when Latino voters the effort sent to the polls backed Trump by far higher percentages than Goolag ever imagined, a full 29% among Latinos nationwide. Although all her explanations were couched in non-partisan words, the desired results most certainly were not. The 4-page e-mail was widely forwarded in the company. The e-mail chain was first revealed in Fox News Tucker Carlson Tonight. With all the hysteria associated with artificial charges of Russian interference and collusion in the 2016 election, it remains to be seen what the very real, documented actions of a major US corporation with an office in the O’Bama WH is guilty of. When the Russians do it, big trouble. The ChiComs or Goolag, not so much. The problem for Goolag comes in the follow-on description of the effort as a “silent donation” paying for rides to polls via Latino NGOs. The effort was not intended to increase Latino voting. Rather, it was intended to increase Latino votes for Hillary. The voters Goolag intended to reach did end up having an impact on the election, just not in the way Goolag wanted them to have. Goolag is in the cross hairs. Hope they enjoy the exposure as they have earned, demanded and begged for it. https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/09/10/silent-donation-corporate-emails-reveal-google-executives-efforts-to-swing-election-to-hillary-clinton-with-latino-outreach-campaign/
- ICE. THE ACLU of Alaska reached a settlement in a case where Palmer Police Department arrested an illegal working in a bar who was beat by three men. He came to the defense of a female bartender and came out second best. Police show up, arrest the drunks. Arrest him for being illegal. They kept him in custody for a few days before turning him over to ICE. Under the O’Bama regime ICE, he was released without facing bail or deportation hearings. He and the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Palmer Police Department, the rationale being that they had no authority under Alaska law to arrest to detain anyone for being undocumented, even if ICE requests it. Note that Section 278(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act allows local and state law enforcement to enter into agreements with ICE to deputize officers to act as immigration agents. The O’Bama regime effectively gutted this part of the law, which may or may not explain Palmer Police consent decree. Among other goodies, the consent agreement included a suitably groveling apology, various statements about who is responsible for what, and topped it all off with a nice fat check for $50,000 made payable to the illegal. The ACLU press release reads a lot like “neener, neener, neener” following a local gotcha. Appears the legislature needs to pass some legislation allowing local and state law enforcement to work with ICE on detaining and handing over illegals without the ACLU coming for their checkbooks. https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-alaska-wins-settlement-and-apology-immigrant-unlawfully-detained-palmer-police-ice
- Lehman. Interesting article in Real Clear Markets a decade after the 2008 financial meltdown. It is well worth your time to read. Several observations worth your consideration:
- Housing booms like we had in the 1970s and 2000s are not signs of economic booms. Rather they are signs of impending economic difficulty. In both decades the dollar declined substantially in relation to foreign currencies. When money is losing value, hard assets are preferred rather than investing. Housing are hard assets.
- Bank deregulation via repeal of Glass – Steagall did not precipitate the crisis, as none of the financial institutions in trouble in 2008 were financial hybrids allowed under the repeal and blamed for the crash.
- Government intervention into Lehman’s failure sent the wrong signal to the rest of the marketplace. Everyone else figured they would be bailed out also. When they weren’t, there was a shock to the marketplace. And I haven’t even mentioned Andrew Weissman’s wanton destruction of Arthur Andersen.
- The SEC at the behest of the Bush Treasury Department banned short selling. This removed yet another positive market signal, and the ability of short sellers and short buyers to provide buying power, profits and liquidity at the point where the market needed it the most.
- Final point, is for any economy and market to work, the mediocre and lousy must be constantly replaced by the good and brilliant. When the government gets in the way of this turnover, disaster happens.
- Bottom line: Government intervention in the marketplace is always and everywhere harmful. The Bush administration and the Fed intervened in a crony fashion in this one, turning a minor correction into a worldwide disaster.
- Nike. I was among most of us on the right filled with righteous indignation at Nike fronting its 30-year anniversary Just Do It campaign with Colin Kaepernick. I figured they had committed economic suicide by violating the Michael Jordan Rule (Republicans buy sneakers too), irritating half their potential customer base. They made a conscious corporate decision to push their campaign at the black inner cities, those that have survived the gangs, local violence and Planned Parenthood. Quite the gauntlet, that. Well, after a couple weeks of their new campaign have resulted in their stock prices increasing after the campaign announcement. It is a somewhat mixed bag, driven I expect by Goolag shading search results. For instance, favorability of the NIke brand declined 34% to +35 favorable. Yet its online sales increased 31% since the campaign began. Nike holds its annual shareholder meeting and will release its quarterly financials five days later. I have not yet decided if these guys know their customer base better than I think they do, although that would not be a surprise with actual market data outweighing cynical observations from just another cranky old fart. It is most certainly a bold move, though business is generally like flying, you can be old, or you can be bold, but there aren’t too many people who get to be both, as they tend to get weeded out of the operational gene pool fairly quickly. I’d give a year to see how this all shakes out before paying off beer bets with your favorite leftist. Other observation is that Nike had taken no small amount of heat using low cost labor to make their shoes in China and other nations. They have been accused of using slave labor and as such were targets of the left. Now that they are running this campaign, that criticism has disappeared completely. Consider it a persuasion bank shot by Nike management. http://fortune.com/2018/09/14/nike-closes-another-record-high-wake-endorsement-colin-kaepernick/
- FIB Leaks. Woodward and Bernstein were used by FIB Deputy Director Mark Felt as a conduit for anti-Nixon leaks after he had been passed over by Richard Nixon for nomination as FIB Director. Felt, aka Deep Throat, used the Washington Post reporters to take down Nixon. Over the years, the internal culture of the FIB appears to have learned that their job is to construct a close working relationship with reporters, Bob Woodward of the Washington Post, for instance. After 50 years, things are so cozy between the FIB and reporters that Sidney (Sid Vicious) Blumenthal claims that Woodward has been a FIB asset since Deep Throat. Felt held the same position under Nixon that Andrew McCabe held under O’Bama and Trump. For years, Woodward has been pumping out books, generally going after Republican presidents, based on information his FIB handlers have fed him. The latest book is entitled “Fear.” It is a screed attacking President Trump. Fast forward to revelations out of Lisa Page, (In)Justice lawyer working at the FIB, also girlfriend of Peter Strozk. Recent text messages released between the pair talk about a leak strategy designed to get damaging information from the FIB into newspapers. They specifically discuss a “media leak strategy”, in this case leaking damaging information about Carter Page to the media to seed and inflame public opinion as cover for appointment of a special prosecutor. The information on Page was used by (In)Justice Deputy Rosenstein as a pretext to appoint Mueller. Additionally, Mueller’s attack dog, Andrew Weissman, as a ranking DoJ official met with reporters a day before a highly damaging story about Paul Manafort broke in the AP about his dealings with Ukraine officials. A dirty cop (Mueller), hires a dirty lawyer (Weissman), based on information leaked by dirty FIB agents (page and Strozk). The only remaining question about both (In)Justice and the FIB is are they past saving? Or should President Trump go full Roman on both agencies to clean up their baked in corruption like the Romans did to Carthage ? https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/09/sidney_blumenthal_bob_woodward_has_been_an_fbi_asset_since_deep_throat_.html
- O’Bama. Democrats are so certain of their upcoming victory in the midterm elections that they trotted out O’Bama to start making the rounds of blue state voters, aiming to fire them. If you ignore the whining about the economic success of the Trump administration, taking credit for the improvement, and simply speaking about himself (at an average rate of twice a minute), I suppose this would be a good idea. The drawback is twofold. First, it will help fire up Republicans, independents, and Trump voters (assuming they aren’t fired up already). Second, and better yet, as O’Bama is singularly unable to refrain from running his mouth, he will attack Trump, which while entertaining, will be a mistake. Reason? Trump is and always has been a counterpuncher. When attacked, he will green up his weapons systems and return fire with every single weapon at his disposal. O’Bama does not do well in this sort of venue, being held down by his thin skin. If he wants to mix it up with Trump, I am sure Trump will oblige. Never forget that Trump spent some time in the WWE and wrestled Vince McMahon. He understands showmanship, the heel, and the face (babyface). And he has been both. https://legalinsurrection.com/2018/09/barack-to-the-rescue-republican-voters-just-found-their-motivation-to-vote-in-november/
- Osaka. I generally stopped watching tennis after Chris Everett, Jimmy Connors, and John McEnroe stopped playing decades ago, though I did enjoy the Bobby Riggs – Billie Jean King show. Last weekend, a 20-year old player beat the reigning world’s best woman’s player, Serena Williams, at the US Open. The match was not close, and Williams responded with one of the better hissy fit meltdowns seen since McEnroe’s pyrotechnics decades ago. Things got so bad that Osaka, who idolized Williams, apologized for the win. For her part, Williams complained about sexism and officiating, and is still complaining. All in all, a despicable demonstration of sportsmanship or the lack thereof. The winner was the first Japanese lady who ever won a major tennis tournament. Her father is Haitian. https://www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/45462014
More later –