Chait stains: Boy, Obama really revved up the economy and now Trump is going to get credit…

Jobs report out this morning. Unemployment is down to 4.7% or something. Now, we had a warm winter and have cheap gas… so you account for that, then maybe after you can discern a ‘Trump effect’ that anticipates pro-business policy, and that gooses employment. Not like I’d actually give Trump credit for that, though.

Chait pooh-poohs the notion of the ‘slow growth Obama years’ and is concerned Trump is going to ride an economic boom on a keel Obama laid.

I quibble with this. Thing is, to say Obama’s economic policy succeeded and is yet to bloom even more is to say Obama had an economic policy. One that say could be distinguished from status quo economics by some implementation of Democrat / progressive values.

There wasn’t anything like that.

He/they stewarded a recovery from the 2008 crisis… by backstopping the bad mortgage debt for the banks. Safe to say that probably would have happened under a Republican \ John McCain.

We had a stimulus package that kept govt spending steady amidst a precipitous revenue drop. Safe to say that probably would have happened under a Republican \ John McCain.

There were some tax hikes on high earners. Some tax cuts (I think I probably pay less than I would have under GWB tax rates, as a moderately affluent earner with dependents…). Nothing substantial. The Democrats pre-eminent platform plank of wealth inequality was not addressed at all.

The alternate history of what would have occurred under the GOP is probably that we would have rode it out with Hoover-ite thrift, let the bad debt and budget shortfalls hamstring whoever got stuck with them…. No, would not have happened. There was only one path, and it would have been the same one Obama took.

I’m painting a pretty deterministic picture here, but it’s not like it was all pre-ordained. Obama could have pursued some socialistic / populistic solutions, could have gone contrarian, could have gone counter-intuitive, but he didn’t. You get back to that notion of stewardship…. What they choose to do reflected a wisdom, and they deserve credit for not being too clever by half or crazy.

But it’s to say, it was all stuff that is within the 40 yard lines of American economic thought… and there is no Obama economic policy. I, and Chait for sure, can articulate all the ways Obama was different and progressive on climate and law and foreign policy and health ins…. Can’t be done with Obama domestic economic policy, there is nothing discernible. He let the fed run the economy in a status quo manner. This low-low rate regime has been in place since 9/11.

And that’s fine. Normative US economics work pretty well., and Trump wouldn’t be unwise to keep riding this wave / horse we’re on. If he did, and it worked, he’d deserve credit, that ambiguous presidential credit for a good economy. If he changes stuff in ways that constitute a reform, he’ll deserve credit or change for that.

And another thing on this Woody Kaine deal

Here and there I’ve already observed conservatives complain that Ramsey County didn’t charge the Kaine mutineers with felony riot or some such. Ya know, like the fix is in… That might be a matter of mere jurisdiction, as it appears things are being properly attended to in the St. Paul city attorney’s court.

St. Paul will charge them with something, as they have been referred provocative police reports that recite provocative behavior. Don’t worry, they won’t get off completely.

But is it felony level? Depends on the law, but if you are a prosecutor and can make a felony charge stick rather than a disturbing the peace charge that these protesters shrug off, you pursuit that because someone could have gotten shot here and this kind of confrontation needs to have a greater legal disincentive to discourage it. Ya know, like the goofball that stirred it up with the BLM people last summer. He’s getting a stiff punishment.

That’s an analogy, same deal.

The Woody Kaine riot

In my last post on this, this morning, I kinda ground a cultural axe…

Irrespective of the ‘who’… the what and where are not really being adequately distinguished from normal lefty protest tomfoolerry and contemporary campus hijinks. But what Woody and his pals did at the Capital is way more provocative.

These guys went into the capital, into a public gathering, with black masks on and started throwing fireworks around.

I’m somewhat surprised they didn’t end up shot dead. Cuz any armed security present would have had ironclad justification to do just that. To the extent that didn’t happen, ya know, its merely because in this country we know that the black bloc is the black bloc and not Hezbollah, and the normative, implicit assumption is the black bloc doesn’t throw grenades.

But any proximate security would have had justification to shoot masked intruders throwing ‘bombs’.

They are playing with fire there. Its going to be a pity and a waste borne of stupidity when some of these fellas die for a revolution that never comes.

Dots w/ jots 3/8/2017

I wrote something wrong yesterday… because my brain is bad, like Donald Trump’s….

I was briefly riffing on asset forfeiture, and was to point out an irony that the left (in this case Vox) states it cares about asset forfeiture, but that Neil Gorsuch would certainly never take the side of a citizen over the police, because he’s a creature of the prosecutorial bar.

Wrong guy, meant to say Merrick Garland, who is among other things, a Vox favorite. Garland makes the ironic point I was going for where Gorsuch would not.

In any event, senior commentor counters with observation of irony that the Sessions DOJ would appear to be a bit "fire and brimstone / law and order", and that this is in opposition to the sensibilities of the blog here.

Yeah, has the potential to be true… though I seem to recall Sessions as a sentence reformer, which would put him on the side of the progressives and libertarians.

Two things oyther about Trump and "law" generally that do disappoint the blog are 1) the Sessions DOJ breathing new life into the war on marijuana 2) an apparent desire by DHS to pat down more 78 year old grandmas at the airport. I had been optimistic there was broad consensus these things were not fruitful.

We’ve had reason to contemplate Sessions a lot in the past weeks, and notably, as a perjurer. Meh… that wasn’t perjury, that thing up there in front of Franken. Not remotely.

I recall this well, and meant to bring it up in recent weeks… this was perjury.

I’m caught up on The Americans, and was ready to go on season 5, but we don’t have cable with the FX tier…. So I was thinking it could be pulled down from the FX mobile app or something, and spent a bit of time trying last night. Wasnt true at the time, might be now that I look, says ‘1 full episode available’

There’s something happening here, obviously but if the suggestion is supposed to be that this stuff comes from the Pepe / Reddit goofballs or the white supremacists, I just don’t see anything to stand that up… My best guess would be its these young pathetic down and outers that pledge to ISIS.

Woody Kaine is a black bloc-er, apparently Ya think permissive, liberal upbringing might explain this nonsense right… Well, Tim Kaine has another kid in the Marines, so… I doubt Tim is paying Woody’s rent there in Minneapolis. That’s good. Woody had a quarter million or 300K education at Carlton amirite. I think this is the problem, you got a certain kind of affluent kid who graduates from these places, and they all have a lot of time on their hands because their education was too good for a $30k entry level office job upon graduation, and they don’t want to "work for the man" anyway, they are all waiting for an associate outreach director spot to open on someone’s friends dad’s non-prof ya know, but they are in a line, they have to to wait their turn, may happen by the time they are 27 or 31. In the interim, they cause all kinds of trouble, like this Middlebury riot or Berkeley. They got all kinds of observations about who benefits from labor and capital but do not trod that path where you start out making near minimum wage at at age 24 and are earning good professional money at middle age… This is why Trump won…

Dots w/ jots 3/7/2017

Everyone hates the Republican health care bill…. both thoughtful Republicans and ‘burn it down’ Republicans.

I don’t like it myself. The pieces of wisdom that I’ve incorporated over the years are… 1. healthcare is expensive, as a value added proposition (ie, lots of value has been added here in modernity, which needs to be paid for…), and this so-called ‘competition’ that the GOP would seek to introduce into the system making people shop with their HSA money and vouchers…. this is not going to work, cuz there’s already plenty of meaningful competition. Reality: It costs what it costs and it aint going to be bought down with mere competition. 2. healthcare is something of a right, and healthcare is expensive, and it is in societies interest to pay for poor peoples health care…. for lots of reasons. So, GOP plan doesn’t mind any of those truths, doesn’t fix anything…. Good news is, it won’t pass. See McArdle’s line about ‘Visigoths’.

Russkies under every bed… Ya know, or as you know…. I think the Trump / Russia angle is generally overthought, such that the Wikileaks were about the 10th most powerful reason Hillary lost. And by the way, as an aside, you still hear people on the left complain about Comey having done this or Comey having done that… What’s never mentioned is he was basically provoked into this role of awkwardly assertive / transparent FBI head by the optics of the Lynch / WJC meeting on tarmac in the Gulfstream in Phoenix. That’s how a great piece of this chaos started, but we never seem to revisit that event eh, the one that started this chain reaction… anyway, I still read Lambo’s ravings where they appear on WWP and FB, and he points today to Josh Marshall’s writings on the Trump / Russia nexus.

I find the Occam’s razor / innocent explanation arguments pretty persuasive. I think the minimum impression one should take from the granular details is that, yeah, Trump and his business associates are shady and should have been disqualified from the Presidency.

As another aside, this quasi relative of mine on the FB, he’s an urban liberal, works at the U…. He posts this thing today that’s viral on the left about the Dunning-Kruger effect and its diagnoses to Trump as a guy who’s narcissism and illusory bias makes him unable to see his own incompetence….

I’m not saying this phenomena doesn’t exist, but I think the left should worry this is too easy a reach. But ya know, that having been spelled out, the illusory bias of ones own competence, ya know, pilot fishing with that is the illusory bias of ones own ethics…. We got a syndrome for that? Trump and his group certainly would seem to be afflicted with it. These people really think they do clean business, or maybe find reasons to justify their participation in shady business…. Very Sopranos like quality to the tapestry painted there in the articles.

Voxsplained: Hey those conservatives are coming around on civil forfeiture reform

The whole issue is in truth, moved by conservative and libertarian energy, but I’ll give you another irony: I doubt there’s any chance Neil FING Gorsuch takes the side of a citizen in a due process / civil forfeiture case. Guy is totally a creature of the prosecutorial bar.

Trump’s wire

I think the Obama DOJ was probably doing some fishing, was eavesdropping…. I doubt Obama had any participation at all. I don’t know that I’d call it ‘political targeting’. They shouldn’t have been doing it though, and any of these agents who were doing it in service to ‘national security’ have, ya know, an illusory bias of their own ethics that hides their own real motives. Like, same thing as that witch Lois Lerner.

I need a gig 2017 edition, day 31: Job acquired


…And it’s really kind of depressing, because I had a great time without a job and got a lot done here at the manor and money wasn’t a problem…  It’s like, I want to do that forever!

I start my new gig Monday.

My rate regressed a little, I took $48/hr.  Had a couples gigs in a row at $55/hr.  But this new one was close to the house here and in this business when earnest people offer you a gig with adult wages like that, you don’t look that horse in the mouth.   You take the work.   It’s not a let down.

Blogging will pick up when I get back to cube land.  Been very healthily detached from politics.  It’s like, a person can get by without it!

I have to go do a urine test now and fill out an I-9.  Trip into the city on this fine day, bleh.