That ain’t mayo, baby!

Talk about getting more than you paid for:

MAY 3–A woman last week contacted Florida cops to report that she believed a pair of chicken sandwiches purchased at KFC “contained semen,” according to a police report.

The unidentified customer went to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and told officials there that she bought the sandwiches from a Bradenton restaurant.

This reminds me of the girl in my junior year biology class that asked the teacher if cum had a high concentration of sugar (fructose) why it tasted salty, then realized she had just admitted to being a fun date. That or maybe this chick was just looking for a pay day.

I never worked in fast food, although I did a brief stint in a restaurant my parents owned, but I have plenty of friends that have told me stories that make it very clear that you avoid this stuff unless you can watch them make it. Sully was not available for comment…

Sully Panics

With the GOP race basically over (Trump won Indiana overwhelmingly last night), Andrew Sullivan has emerged from hiding to pen a piece for the New Yorker that sites Plato, Sinclair Lewis and Eric Hoffer to argue that Trump represents the end of our democracy.

Seriously.

For Trump is not just a wacky politician of the far right, or a riveting television spectacle, or a Twitter phenom and bizarre working-class hero. He is not just another candidate to be parsed and analyzed by TV pundits in the same breath as all the others. In terms of our liberal democracy and constitutional order, Trump is an extinction-level event. It’s long past time we started treating him as such.

No, he’s not.

I’ve said this before and I expect to say it again a lot over the next six months, especially if Trump begins to close in the polls or, Heaven help us, wins. Trump is not Hitler. At worst, he is a low-rent George Wallace. We can survive him. And we will.

Nick Gillespie has a great response:

The most important thing to understand about Trump is that he is not the start of anything new but the culmination of a long degenerative process that has been at work for the entirety of the 21st century. He is a sterile mule in the end, not a jackass who might have hideous offspring. He is the effect, not the cause, of the ways in which the two major parties have destroyed themselves by refusing to take their own rhetoric or govern seriously. The Republican Party said it stood for small government when virtually every major action it has pursued at least since the 9/11 attacks has yielded the opposite result. The Democratic Party, still trying to maintain a disparate collection of special-interest groups that started morphing and changing and expiring by the mid-1960s, lays claim to the mantle of caring about regular Americans even as its last three major presidential candidates (John Kerry, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton) long ago achieved escape velocity from caring about anything resembling everyday reality.

The century was ushered in under the single-most-contested election in U.S. history, with each party suddenly adopting the other’s philosophy in pursuit of victory. The Republicans called it a federal matter while the Dems wholeheartedly embraced state’s rights (this switcheroo would repeat itself in the Terri Schiavo affair). The deep-seated recognition by voters that each party is uncommitted to anything approaching its core values is what’s driving the 2016 election season. While enjoying complete control of the federal government for years under Bush, the Republican Party didn’t just go war-crazy but spending-crazy, regulation-crazy, and entitlement-crazy.

Gillespie argues, not unconvincingly, that Trump was the only GOP candidate who seemed to stand for anything. And I would add that Sanders’ popularity was because he was the only candidate who seemed to stand for anything. Ultimately, the Democratic establishment had more control over their process than the GOP did of theirs (and, as Conor notes, has not invested as much in toxic rhetoric). But you can almost imagine the American voter echoing the dying words of Shepherd Book: “I don’t care what you believe in, just believe in it.”

My take is slightly different. The country isn’t 100% conservative or 100% liberal. Or even 51%. Or even 30%. Issues have be resolved with compromise and deal-making and no one gets everything they want. Reagan, to cite the most obvious example, had strong conservative principles but compromised to get a conservative agenda passed.

But what’s been going on in Washington for the last 15 years has not been compromise between two principled if opposed ideologies; it’s been mindless gamesmanship and selling out. “Wall Street reform” that further empowered big bangs. “Health care reform” that made health insurance more expensive. Budgets that never go through a real budgeting process. Wars started stupidly and managed poorly. A “War on Terror” that mainly eats the privacy and freedom of law-abiding citizens.

Trump is indeed the end stage of that: an uninformed unthinking demagogue who makes ridiculous promises that can’t possibly be fulfilled. Maybe if such a candidate crashes and burns, we’ll see a better saner GOP emerge from the rubble.

Or not. I wouldn’t complete discount the “stockpile food and ammo” approach here. The last few months have been rough. I’ve been blogging less, in part, because I’m simply sick of it. We’ll get a brief respite now as both candidates try to consolidate their parties. And then I’m anticipating unrelenting ugliness from the conventions to the election.

Maybe I’ll just start blogging about cats or something.

Still, despite Sully’s hysterics, I expect the country to soldier on. We are more than our government. It holds us down, it ties our hands, it beats our asses. But we keep trudging along: going to work, raising our kids, doing our best. As long as that stays true, no politician, not even Donald Trump, can be an “extinction-level event”.

Let it burn…

So as was expected, Puerto Rico defaulted on a debt payment for over $70 billion in outstanding debt. From the article:

Puerto Rico, whose residents are U.S. citizens, has been mired in recession for a decade and borrowed heavily to balance budgets. Despite the shaky economy, investors snapped up its debt for years thanks to generous tax incentives. The borrowing spree, however, did little to create economic opportunity on the island, and residents have steadily left for employment on the U.S. mainland, eroding Puerto Rico’s tax base.

So this problem was caused by leftist government that wanted to spend more than the economies they crippled could sustain, to buy votes of all reasons, borrowed massive amounts of money to balance their budgets. Does this sound familiar to you at all? At least some Puerto Ricans affected by this stupidity had the ability to skip town and go to the US, whether it was to find gainful employment or just move to some blue state and suck at the government’s teat there, to avoid the catastrophe. Where are those of us in the US going to go when we face this reality?

Government economic policy that is set up to make participants in any economy dependent on buying favors from the members of said governments, always end up producing pain and do little to produce economic growth. But it sure makes a lot of connected people wealthy and in turn puts a large amount of cash into the campaign coffers of the political class that has implemented this machine. Hence, despite the massive debt buyout in Puerto Rico, there was no economic benefit. Again I ask, does this all look familiar to anyone? It seems quite obvious that what we are seeing in Puerto Rico can directly be inferred as the future of many US blue states as well as the US economy in general under the Obama administration.

Back to this issue at hand. As the article points out, republicans rallied by Paul Ryan in congress are pushing legislation that would restructure Puerto Rico’s debt. My concern is that this is nothing more than a totally temporary bandaid solution, and that it will not only not fix the underlying issue, which is that these fuckers will keep borrowing to buy votes and do nothing that would fix their abysmal economic conditions, but just delay the inevitable: Puerto Rico basically asking the US tax payer to foot the bill for all the squandered money. I feel this way because of news like this. And once Puerto Rico gets what amounts to a bailout, you can bet that Illinois, California, and every other blue state out there that has the same model of borrowing so they can spend on vote buying while all that spent money does nothing to improve economic conditions in general, will all show up in DC and ask for the same.

Whatever crap congress puts together should also destroy the blue state economic model as it exists today. Without that, we are just pushing the problem out and increasing the final cost of bailing out these idiots. The blue state model needs to die before it kills the country as a whole.

Replace with Obamacare for a view of our future healthcare system

The future of Obamacare, which should have been repealed in toto had it not been for Obama’s veto in January of this year, and which now obviously after such abysmal failures and fiscal disasters shows clearly that it was intended from the start to destroy healthcare as we know it in the US so the left could force a single-payer system on us, will end up looking like this:

The UK has one of the worst healthcare systems in the developed world according to a damning new report which said the nation has an “outstandingly poor” record of preventing ill health.

Hospitals are now so short-staffed and underequipped that people are also dying needlessly because of a chronic lack of investment. The verdict, from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), will make embarrassing reading for David Cameron who denied the cash-strapped NHS is heading for its worst winter crisis.

Staff are too rushed to improve levels of care that have in many areas fallen below countries such as Turkey, Portugal and Poland. Almost 75,000 more doctors and nurses are needed to match standards in similar countries the OECD said in its annual Health at a Glance study comparing the quality of healthcare across 34 countries.

While access to care is “generally good” the quality of care in the UK is “poor to mediocre” across several key health areas, obesity levels are “dire” and the NHS struggles to get even the “basics” right, the report said citing a lack of investment over the last six years.

Britain was placed on a par with Chile and Poland as countries still lagging behind the best performers in survival following diagnosis for different types of cancer. The UK came 21st out of 23 countries on cervical cancer survival, 20th out of 23 countries on breast and bowel cancer survival and 19th out of 31 countries on stroke.

Here is the takeaway from this obvious revelation of fact: in a system that measures success of a given healthcare system with metrics that are heavily skewed/biased to favor collectivist bullshit over actual performance, the British healthcare system, which is a collectivist government controlled healthcare’s dream state, fails abysmally. It always comes down to the fact that there are limited resources and cash, and too many people that want free shit. When government takes over allocation of the limited resources, it always goes bad. Fucking always. In places where abundance masks the fact that there is an economic reality it might take longer to show that, but eventually it will be shown, as is the case here.

Things are going to go from bad to worse in this country because of the direction forced on us. Obama, was our Lenin. If Hillary wins, she will be our Stalin, and she is gonna do it with gusto. The problem is that whatever it may be we are fucked with these people.

Reality always bites…

Back in the day the collectivist cheerleaders told us this to sell their garbage. Reality is things like this, and then things like this.

Collectivist, SJW type revolutions are sold as trying to make it better for the masses, but the truth is that it is about replacing the people in charge with new ones whom practically always take abuse and misery of the masses to new levels. I hope Venezuelans know how to make pruno, cause life is about to get even worse for the masses without that Polar crap swill.

Collectivism is evil, but I am sure this is somehow Boosh’s fault…

The Price of Regulation

The Mercatus Center has a new study out claiming that regulations are enacting an enormous toll on our economy.

Economic growth in the United States has, on average, been slowed by 0.8 percent per year since 1980 owing to the cumulative effects of regulation:

If regulation had been held constant at levels observed in 1980, the US economy would have been about 25 percent larger than it actually was as of 2012.

This means that in 2012, the economy was $4 trillion smaller than it would have been in the absence of regulatory growth since 1980.

This amounts to a loss of approximately $13,000 per capita, a significant amount of money for most American workers.

Caveats first: it is possible, even likely, that Mercatus is significantly overestimating the impact of regulations. The reason is that their analysis is cumulative. They find that regulations knock 0.8% off our economic growth every year. Well, if you multiply that exponentially over 32 years, you get a huge amount. Their study only goes back to 1980. So … if they extended it back to 1950, how much would they say regulations are costing us? I addressed this before when some numbnuts said our economy would be four times bigger without regulation. When you play with exponential numbers, you get big results.

Moreover, regulations have an economic benefit, as Ron Bailey notes:

According to agency calculations, American families would see up to $7 in health benefits for every dollar invested through the Clean Power Plan. By lowering particulate, ozone, and nitrogen oxide pollution, the EPA argues, Americans will gain the health equivalent of $55 to $93 billion annually; the yearly costs will be only $7.3 billion to $8.8 billion by 2030.

Garbow added that EPA regs don’t just stop harms but spur technological innovation. He specifically cited regulations that support the deployment of renewable energy supplies, and he pointed out that there are now more jobs in the solar power industry than there are in coal mining.

Those caveats having been made, however, I think Mercatus is probably in the ballpark or at least in the parking lot. Other estimates have generally been in the 10-20% range and I don’t think anyone would argue that regulations have no cost on our economy. Even if Mercatus has overestimated the impact of regulations by 100%, that would still be a 10% hit on the economy and $5,000 out of each our pockets.

Moreover, as Bailey notes, the supposed benefits of regulations are probably overestimates themselves. Many are based on past regulations when we did think like stopping companies from dumping toxic chemicals in water or belching smog into our neighborhoods. But there is a huge difference between reducing smog to very low levels and reducing it to zero. The former has huge health benefits and low cost. The latter has high cost and low benefits.

Most importantly, as Megan McArdle argues, regulations do not exist in a vacuum. They exist on top of and beside existing regulations.

“In one year,” wrote Warren Meyer in 2015, “I literally spent more personal time on compliance with a single regulatory issue — implementing increasingly detailed and draconian procedures so I could prove to the State of California that my employees were not working over their 30-minute lunch breaks — than I did thinking about expanding the business or getting new contracts.”

I know what you’re going to say: Employees should have lunch breaks! My answer is “Yes, but.…” Yes, but putting the government in charge of ensuring that they get them, and forcing companies to document their compliance, has real costs. They add up.

An economy with but one regulation — employees must be allowed a 30-minute lunch break, and each company has to document that it has been taken — would probably not find this much of a drag on growth. But multiply those regulations by thousands, by millions, and you start to have a problem.

(Meyer runs the oustanding Coyote Blog where he opines on economics, business and climate science. Those of who are in the climate skeptic camp could find a lot in his recent series on global warming, where he argues for the “lukewarmer” position. More germane to this, you should read his recent post about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the massive amount of paperwork it is imposing on businesses so that lawyers can file lawsuits we can achieve pay equality.)

One regulation on pollution is not a big deal. But the cumulative weight is crushing, especially on small businesses. Over the last decade, through Bush II and Obama, we have seen a steep decline in new business and IPOs. A huge number of businessmen and economists think is because of over-regulation (particularly the Sarbanes-Oxley law). Maybe the EPA is right about the economic benefits of those regulations. But even if they are, those regulations are on top of a million others, eradicating most of the supposed benefits. Taking away ten hours of a businessman’s time is nothing … unless you’ve already regulated him so badly he only had ten hours left to expand his business.

Look, no one opposes all regulation. We don’t want to go back the days when we had lead in our water, air and food. But we have long passed the point of diminishing returns. And it’s holding back our economy in a big way. McArdle again:

All of these costs have to be carefully weighed against the benefits of regulations — and not just on a regulation-by-regulation basis, as is currently done, if such cost-benefit analysis is done at all. Each hour of a firm’s time that is sucked up by compliance is an hour that is not spent growing the firm, improving the product, better serving the customer. And as the number of the hours so spent increases, and the number of precious hours spent on growth and operations shrinks, each added hour we take is more costly to both the business and to the rest of us. With labor markets lackluster and growth underwhelming, that’s a cost that none of us can well afford.

To be fair, a huge part of the problem is state and local regulation. That needs to be addressed on a state-by-state basis. But the Federal government could set the tone quite easily. The GOP Congress could pass a law that:

  • Puts a two-year moratorium on new federal regulations.
  • Mandates agency-level review of each and every regulation on the books (which might have the side benefit of actually documenting in one place how many regulations we have — no one actually knows).
  • After two years, only re-enables regulations that the agencies have documented are critical to a clean environment or worker safety or some other concrete goal.

They could set a broad goal of cutting the number of regulations in half. And then dare Obama (or Clinton) to veto it.

The biggest problem with our government right now is that our leaders are asleep at the wheel. They have let regulations, tax codes and spending grow without real supervision. That can work fine for a few years. But eventually, the clinking, clattering, cacophony of caliginous cogs and camshafts that is government starts grinding the country to a halt. Periodically, you have to take a hatchet to the regulations if the country is to function. It’s been 23 years since we did that. We are long overdue.

Science!

Who would have think that a tyrannical asshole like Nye would fall this low? Well, I did. These supposed scientists, like Nye and DeGrasse-Tyson, are nothing but left wing shills with delusions of grandeur.

Leading climate activists are warning moviegoers to shun the May 2nd nationwide one-day theater screening of “Climate Hustle,” a new film debunking climate alarmism and its big government solutions.

Bill Nye (not a real “science guy,” FYI), who entertains the idea of throwing climate skeptics in the slammer, warned the film’s producer, Climate Depot publisher Marc Morano, that “Climate Hustle’s” content endangers not just the nation, but also the world:

“I think it will expose your point of view as very much in the minority and very much not in our national interest and the world’s interest.”

U.N. Climate Scientist Michael Oppenheimer has, likewise, condemned the film – without even viewing it – for daring to dispute climate alarmism. “Marc is a propagandist,” the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scientist cautions viewers.

Yeah, think hard on that. If you really believe the stuff you are peddling is science, you wouldn’t be this worried about contrary opinion. If you are peddling bullshit, having others point that out however will be detrimental. Basically a shorter Bill Nye is “drink our koolaid, and don’t let the facts get in the way”.

I am gonna buy a dozen tickets to this movie.

Cruz-Fiorina 2020

This smacks of desperation:

Ted Cruz formally named Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate Wednesday — a last-ditch move to regain momentum after being mathematically eliminated from winning the GOP presidential nomination outright.

“After a great deal of consideration and prayer, I have come to the conclusion that if I am nominated to be president of the United States that I will run on a ticket with my vice presidential nominee Carly Fiorina,” Cruz said during a rally in Indianapolis.

Fiorina joined the Texas senator on stage, and Cruz’s staff changed the podium in between Cruz and Fiorina’s remarks to display a new logo featuring both their names.

Indiana and California are the last chance for Cruz to derail Trump. I’m guessing he thinks Fiorina will boost him in California. I’m also guessing he’s wrong. No one ever voted for a President based on his Vice President. In fact, given some of the hamsters we’ve had as Vice Presidential nominees — Palin, Gore, Quayle, Mondale, Agnew — I’d say the running mate is almost irrelevant to a candidate’s prospects.

I bet the LSM will not blame this on the crooks in charge…

Can I ask if you are surprised to find out that now that we have experienced Black Jesus’ “Hope and Fundamental Change” in action, that we are seeing European level of anemic economic performance and being snowed into thinking it is not the fault of the bullshit policies of these crooks? From the article:

The U.S. economy expanded in the first quarter at the slowest pace in two years as American consumers reined in spending and companies tightened their belts in response to weak global financial conditions and a plunge in oil prices.

Gross domestic product rose at a 0.5 percent annualized rate after a 1.4 percent fourth-quarter advance, Commerce Department data showed Thursday. The increase was less than the 0.7 percent median projection in a Bloomberg survey and marked the third straight disappointing start to a year.

Shaky global markets and oil’s tumble resulted in the biggest business-investment slump in almost seven years, and household purchases climbed the least since early 2015, the data showed. While Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday acknowledged the softness, they also indicated strong hiring and income gains have the potential to reignite consumer spending and propel economic growth.

First off, low oil prices, unless you are in the criminal green industry or in the oil business itself, are awesome for any business. Lower oil costs means lower fuel costs, which for every business that moves shit around means lower costs period, and more profits. Investments are slumping, not because of the drop in oil prices – I have made a killing myself investing in oil companies right now – but because too many people are catching on that the stock market rise is mostly from devaluation of the dollar (makes assets worth more on paper) and because there was nothing else that was safe to invest in. The problem is that since the 2008 crash any growth has come without a growth in employment numbers, and whenever it happened otherwise, because government pissed money propping up junk industries that will die sooner than later. We have had morons lie to us that the economy was growing when all it did was stay on life support while massive government spending and borrowing tried to hide that fact.

“The fact that personal consumption is a bit on the soft side is a disappointment, especially in light of the low gasoline prices,” said Thomas Costerg, senior economist at Standard Chartered Bank in New York, who correctly projected first-quarter growth. “Consumption seems to be stuck in a low gear.”

Yeah, that slump happens because fewer people are employed you moron, hence less cash to spend, and those of us that are still employed realizing we better hide our money in assets that government can’t fuck us over for having. Yeah, I know the LSM has been touting the stupid unemployment numbers that totally hide the fact so many people have dropped off the rolls and so many more are working part time because they can’t get full time employment, but I remind you that when these numbers were lower during a republican president, they were then falsely touted as signs of an abysmal economy. We have that now, but because of Black Jesus and the fear of pointing out this Keynesian shit doesn’t work, nobody wants to say we are fucked.

Businesses are also aware of the existing shitstorm and the potential doubling down of this shitstorm. Can you blame them when you have a party where the 2 candidates, one a criminal and the other a prime example of life’s losers with a grudge against his betters, competing about whom will steal the most from the productive sector to buy votes with? If I was one of these companies, I would definitely be looking at how to hide assets. Especially when the LSM never reports on how full of shit these vote buying collectivist scumbags really are screwing us. Bernie, whom sadly is the lesser of the donkey evils, wants to give us free college, but nobody points out how well government controlled free lower education has worked out for us. The criminal on the other hand is trying to out communist the communist. Who do you think will pay for all this free shit?

None of this stops the cheerleaders from trying to convince the serfs that despite the abysmal reality, that improvement they have been telling us was just around the corner or had arrived, for more than 7 years now, is just around the corner:

The dismal performance in the first quarter, however, is unlikely to carry over in the spring, most economists contend. They view the labor market as a better indicator of where the economy is headed than the more backward-looking GDP report and they point to strong job creation early in the year as evidence that growth is stable.

The case for a spring rebound will get the first big test next week when the government issues the employment report for April. Economists predict an increase of around 200,000 new jobs, matching recent gains. Only a big shortfall in new jobs is likely to set off alarms about the second quarter.

Here is my bet on how this plays out: they tell us that we have finally made it, only to revise the numbers – always downward and indicating things are terrible -some months later. And when they do this, it will all be “unexpected”. And we are all supposed to believe them despite the fact that we have seen this same shit for close to 8 years now. We have never recovered, and if you look at home ownership trends, it is obvious that these morons have been lying to us. The real estate sector doing well is basically Chinese oligarchs gobbling up everything still of value. And for all their talk about social justice and sticking it to the “haves”, the Obama SJW machine seems to have really created some serious imbalance between the rich and the poor, but definitely not in the direction they pretend they want to move it. The fact is that friends of the crime syndicate in power now are rolling in the dough, while others are not doing so well.

Things suck because the people in charge have made it far worse. That’s the facts, Jack.

End Game

Last night came very close to ending the Presidential primaries. Trump won all five primaries by decisive margins, outpacing Cruz and Kasich combined by over 300,000 votes and taking, according to one analysis, 110 of the 118 delegates. Barring a complete collapse in Indiana and California, he is likely not only to have a plurality of delegates but a majority. The hopes of a contested convention would appear dashed.

This was obvious to me a while ago when Paul Ryan took himself out of the running for a contested convention. It would have been political suicide for him to offer himself as a candidate if Trump won. I think that Ryan, being one of the smartest people in politics, saw the writing on the wall and wanted no part of that. I also think this is why Christie and others have been flocking to Trump since this election season has shown that a) endorsements don’t ultimately make a difference in the outcome; b) endorsements do make a difference in cozying up to the nominee. And, the more I think about it, the more I think Cruz and Kasich saw this as well. The last few weeks, it has seemed more like they are running for 2020 than 2016.

So this is it. Trump 2016. Despite a media insistence that it wouldn’t happen, despite an onslaught of opposition, despite constant “gaffes”. I think we can finally retire the notion that media elites know what they’re talking about.

I don’t expect this will go well. Trump might win. His opponent is Hillary, after all. But the possibility of an electoral massacre looms large. Trump is trying to pivot to the center but I don’t see that working for two reasons: Trump can’t keep his damned mouth shut; Trump is already well-known. This isn’t like Romney where he could rebuild his image to a public that hadn’t been paying attention.

There will be a lot of post mortems and I’m sure the media will find a way to blame it on Southerners or something. But make no mistake: Trump won almost everyone in the GOP tent. He won the supposedly more intelligent and urbane East Coast elites by massive margins. The only people who opposed him were midwesterners and Mormons, the latter of whom overwhelmingly rejected him. So I don’t want to hear any more crap about the supposed intellectual deficiencies of people in flyover country or the supposed craziness of Mormons. They were the only ones who kept their wits about them.

Clinton won four of five states, increasing her delegate lead to the point of being insurmountable. I’m sure there will be a lot of post mortems of the Sanders campaign, too. My take? Well, Sanders did way better than anyone expected, mostly because people don’t like Hillary Clinton. But, in the end, Clinton had too many advantages: heavy support among blacks, backing of the party elites, support from unions and special interests, name recognition. Moreover, as the campaign went on, Sanders was exposed as a guy who was long on rhetoric and short on policy detail. His foreign policy credentials didn’t exist. His plan to pay for all his new spending didn’t work. His answers to detailed questions got increasingly evasive. You can only go so far with huge glittering promises of free shit.

So here we are: the contest no one wanted. Clinton v. Trump in the contest to see who the voters dislike more. If the Libertarian Party can’t get a significant part of the vote this year …