We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, February 23. 2021
Solar panels in Sahara could boost renewable energy but damage the global climate – here’s why
Quillette: Remembering Karl Popper
Hypotheses must be falsifiable
New Studies Suggest One COVID Vaccine Shot May Be Enough for Some Patients
Malevolent Elf and Undercover Bug-Chaser Anthony Fauci: We May Be Returning to "Normality" by... 2022, and Even Then, "Normality" Will Vary By User Experience
Despite Successful Vaccine Rollout, Jen Psaki Threatens 'Months and Months' of 'Sacrifice' and 'Suffering'
Hey Jen - enough optimism?
White People, Europeans Obsessed With Time, WA State Official Says
White people (only white people) believe that "On time means 5 minutes late."
Today’s blacklisted American: Amazon blacklists book for criticizing transgender movement
Democrats take first steps to censor conservative TV channels OANN, Newsmax and Fox News
The "Muppet Show" disclaimer "This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures."
Mainly Scandinavians. I am 10% Scandinavian and I resent their stereotyping. In fact, it diminishes my sense of personhood...
90% White Man Disproves White Supremacy by Insisting He's Black and Qualifies for Affirmative Action
After Democrats Destroyed the Restaurant Business in New York with Insane COVID Policies, Democrat Senator Schumer Is Pushing for $25B in Relief from the Federal Government
Who does that $ come from?
ANDREW CUOMO’S LEGAL WOES
Biden AG Pick Merrick Garland: Far-Left Rioters Attacking Federal Courthouse Not Domestic Terrorism Because It’s At Night When Court Is Closed
Yes, these idiots are "threatening the USA":
Merrick Garland Won’t Promise to Protect Durham Investigation
What Durham investigation?
Joe Biden brings America back to bad Obama days: Goodwin
Ex-DHS Chief: ‘Far-Left’ Biden Immigration Bill Signals To Traffickers ‘It’s Okay To Come,’ ‘Extreme Incentive’ For Future Illegal Immigration
Duh. Can we focus on Legal Immigration?
How the GOP can win back Congress
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As long as the Fed has an interest rate target, it's not printing money to pay for stuff. Anything it prints is sterilized by selling debt in open market transactions to hit the interest rate target. It burns the proceeds.
The thing lockdown fanatics fear the most is the perception that the pandemic is ending of its own accord simply because there are few if any people left to infect i.e. herd aka population immunity. They have to preserve the fiction that 'effective government policies' had or would have had a significant impact. If it largely ends before spring as appears possible it will be simply impossible to credit the guy who's only been in office since 21 January 2021. They can try to keep pushing the counterfactual that they would have gotten on board with Trump if he had just advocated mask wearing but I think there's enough evidence that they would have reflexively opposed anything Trump did (travel ban, HCQ) and that most government interventions were at best inconsequential.
I'm not sure why you say the fed having an interest rate target means that it is not printing money. It really means it IS printing money.
The Fed prints money when it buys securities with money it does not have. Normally, it buys US bonds but lately it has been buying mortgage backed securities. The Fed's balance sheet has been growing since the sub prime mortgage meltdown from a little over $1T to over $7T now. I suspect that the threat of the Fed coming in the market to buy bonds has kept bond vigilantes (traders who believe interest rates are too low and thus would sell bonds putting upward pressure on interest rates) at bay. That will be a temporary situation and we will all pay when it ends.
A few enlightening links:
It's nevertheless keeping the money supply at whatever maintains its interest rate target. If the money supply happens to be increasing, so is the capacity of the economy to match it. If not, it will be selling debt and soaking up the extra dollars.
The Fed meets once in a while to decide on a new target, a little higher or a little lower, depending on leading indicators of inflation compared the inflation it wants.
Anything else it does is sterilized by this open market operation.
The fact that there is an interest rate target just means that the Fed either buys or sells bonds to maintain that target (which is one way of restating your position). Choosing a historically low rate means that it has to be a net buyer of bonds to achieve that target and the fact that their balance sheet continues to grow is evidence that that rate is artificial. If the market determined the rates (as it used to), they would not have to intervene in the market and continue to buy bonds and thus their balance sheet would not continue to grow.
The way the Fed injects money into the economy is by buying bonds which is exactly what they are doing. Injecting money is just a euphemism for printing money.
All they're doing that's different is targeting where the dollars go instead of letting the market absorb them. Nevertheless where the sterilizing dollars come from is the market, via open market operations.
So there's an additional dollar loop in and out, but no net new dollar change beyond what the market requires. Which is to say that the interest rate target sterilizes printing dollars as long as they have one.
I’m not sure what you mean by “sterilize.”
Where are the dollars going and why doesn’t the market absorb them?
“... beyond what the market requires...” Are you saying that the act of choosing a target rate means the money required to defend that rate isn’t really printed? Does it matter what rate they choose?
Any new dollars you print go into the economy, but it's sterilized by selling debt to take other dollars out of the economy, owing to having to hold the interest rate that you've targeted.
The effect is the number of circulating dollars is the same but the institution that the Fed is bailing out holds them instead of the new bondholder.
Are you saying that the Fed is net neutral in the bond and MBS market? Then what would be the point? and why is the Fed's balance sheet still growing?
Also, the number of circulating dollars has not remained the same, as shown by the increase of M2 (https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/M2).
"...the institution that the Fed is bailing out holds them instead of the new bondholder."
I'm sorry, you completely lost me with this. How is the Fed bailing out institutions and what are those institutions holding? Where did they get them? Who is the "new bondholder?"
The fed buys stuff for its balance sheet. The former holders wind up with printed money instead. That's targeting of the recipient of printed dollars by the fed.
Simultaneously, owing to the interest rate target, the fed sells debt, soaking up the same number of dollars from sombody who winds up with bonds
Net change, zero in dollars in circulation.
Add the complication that the economy may demand more dollars or fewer dollars in addition, which the open market operations also take into account via the interest rate target.
My point is that the interest rate target always gives you the right number of dollars out there, regardless what other intervention the fed makes at the same time.
I called this sterilizing the other fed operations, after what it was called in the 70s when the foreign desk sterilized operations of the domestic desk. Undoing the monetary effect of, it means.
So you are saying that the Fed is net neutral in the bond market. If that were true, the Fed’s balance sheet would not grow as I’ve shown you that it has. Also, being net neutral would mean there would be minimal impact on the price of the bonds. In order to raise the price of a bond, the Fed would have to be a net buyer. And given the size of the market, the purchases would have to be sizable. As I’ve explained and shown, the Fed’s balance sheet has been increasing which means that they must have been purchasing bonds, reacting to upward pressure on interest rates and thus increasing the money supply. I’ve also provided documentation that the money supply is indeed expanding.
There is nothing magical about declaring an arbitrary interest rate target. It requires market manipulation that is no different from what the Hunt brothers did with silver in the ‘70s. Well, there actually is sort of a difference because the Hunt brothers only wanted to impart upward pressure on the price of silver whereas the Fed wants a particular interest rate, but in reality, the Fed has to continue to buy bonds to support their price. There is little downward pressure on rates as evidenced by the Fed’s growing balance sheet and the ballooning M2.
You assert that the Fed’s defending an arbitrary interest rate target provides the correct number of dollars for the economy. I don’t know about that, but I’m not prepared to argue that there is too much money in the economy at the moment. Prices have been pretty stable so lately the demand for money vs goods has been relatively stable.
The Fed does not have unlimited money to defend an arbitrary interest rate. At some point either they will decide they can’t or won’t do it anymore and/or the bond traders will decide they have enough bonds and that will be the beginning of a really bad time.
Re: Despite Successful Vaccine Rollout, Jen Psaki Threatens 'Months and Months' of 'Sacrifice' and 'Suffering'
Well, we're back to striving for mediocrity again. And now the Muppets are racist? Well, I guess that about wraps it up for Sesame Street. It isn't easy being green ...
Speaking of legal woes: Has anyone heard the status of the people who face charges for participating in the Jan 6th protests?As you may or may or not know, many/most were denied bail and are still in jail. How many are in jail? How many face serious charges? How many have had their day in court, beyond the arraignment? If they haven't, why the delay? I'd like to know if evidence was presented and the nature of that evidence, do they have legal representation, is there a defense fund? Thank you.
Pure speculation: the prosecutors are having trouble finding evidence that each particular protester entered unlawfully (i.e., using force) vs. were let in by the Capitol Police. "Beyond a reasonable doubt" and all that.
We can win back Congress! Vote Harder!
I wonder who'll be counting the votes next time, somebody different? Where will the GOP lawyers and poll watchers be - next time - since they didn't seem to be anywhere last time.
The Democratic Party: Striving for leadership-by-lowest-common-denominator. Its supporters get to watch the Party's collective IQ pass by them on its way down. Now, the question: Name the successful political system that leads by convincing its followers that policy choices should be nonsensical to the point of denying self-preservation.
It should be easy to combat, unless you're Republican.
Time and Whiteness. I'm whiteish. I'm retired. Time is always getting into the future. It doesn't stop, and ya can't go back. Still, in my Fortress of Solitude, time DOES slow doooooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnn.
With regard to the Muppets, one criticism that I've not seen that I was expecting is the amount of domestic violence within the relationship between Kermit and Miss Piggy (the paragon of toxic femininity if there ever was one). I wonder if it's the fact that a female character is emotionally manipulating and physically abusing a male character has anything to do with it.
Bit it true defense of the show, it has to be remembered that first, like all cultural products it was a creating of its times, and second, Harry Belafonte and Leslie Uggams, among the most outspoken civil rights activists in the entertainment industry of the day, both appeared as guests on the show (Belafonte even reprising one of the songs he performed on the show at Jim Henson's funeral).
Our Military’s SJW-Driven Abandonment of Warfighting Is Going to Get Troops Killed by Kurt Schlichter
See, the problem with me and the other vets who are disgusted by the brass’s choice to focus on SJW priorities instead of, you know, successfully deterring or defeating America’s enemies, is that we actually listened to what we were taught when we were coming up. Most of us were trained by the heroes who put the shattered American military together after the Democrat war in Vietnam broke it. We learned about leadership, about putting mission first but taking care of people always, and about objectives and how to attain them.
None of that’s a thing anymore.
“When Harry Became Sally: Responding To The Transgender Moment” is available in several formats from Barnes & Noble.
Of course European people are obsessed with time (as are many Asians). Unlike much of the world, they finished evolving in a cold climate. They used their time in the summer to prepare for winter or they perished. Because of that, they conquered the world and invented most of modern technology.
As we've seen over the past 5 years, 'The process is the punishment'. But that's not the whole story. So, the FBI is investigating Andrew Cuomo? And what do we think will come of that? Like the Durham investigation, 'the process' is the 'bread-&-circuses' show designed to appease the voters into thinking justice will be done. Or, like the Supreme Court again declining to consider the clear violations of election law in Pennsylvania because (this time) 'it's moot'.
The 'the process' has become the substitute for the application of justice. The Cuomo investigation is designed to placate New York's Democrat voters. But courtroom verdicts are a thing of the past. The decision is now made offline, extra-judicially, and the script is crafted accordingly: Guilty, and your life will become a burning hell for you and your family until your resources are depleted and there is nothing left but anguish. Innocent, and it will be slightly unpleasant for a while, and then life will resume once the media follows through and lets it fade away.
Our Supreme Court Goes Full Nicaragua in PA Election Case
What the Supreme Court codified yesterday, and what it started with the Texas rejection, is that election laws and procedures cannot be challenged beyond a state court, at any time, regardless of how badly those states shred the United States Constitution, and regardless of the major consequences to the other 49 states as a result. They don’t ever say that per se, but the results of what those two rulings have done are just that. Period.
Those trying to challenge Pennsylvania’s obviously corrupt and rigged election system have been told that they cannot challenge the laws ahead of the election, because there is not yet a victim. They’ve been told that fellow Americans impacted by Pennsylvania’s corrupt system cannot challenge, because of standing. Now they’ve been told that they cannot challenge after the election, because it’s after the election - and therefore moot.
The irony is that if the claim had been that voting rights were being abridged by race, gender, etc., the response of the court system, state and federal, would have been entirely different.
Has anyone else noticed? February has typically been President's month. This is due to the fact that we respected both the presidents whose birthdays are in this month--Washington and Lincoln. The two most important president's in this country's history. However, Google has decided February is Black History Month as opposed to january which is Marin Luther King Day. So now they have two months in a row honoring black guys. Most importantly by taking away February they have reduced the attribution paid to white guys!
There you go with that White People time thing, trying to make us all slaves to the clock and calendar. Hey y'all, we on CP time now, a day late and a dollar short.
I remember February as black history month being observed as far back as 1972 when I was in HS. We had an assembly to emphasize it and they played a 'black national anthem' for which we were all supposed to stand.
MLK day didn't come along until 1986.
Sheriffs Can Arrest Feds Who Violate Citizens’ Gun Rights, New Missouri County Ordinance Says
I have a sticker saying I voted....it's from 2020, the second time I voted for President trump, here in massachusetts. I look at it fondly because it is the last time I will vote.
Well, you have to follow your conscience Judith, but I would beseech you to reconsider.
Local elections matter. If you don't like the RINO candidate for national office, vote for the Constitution Party or Libertarian Party candidate. At least you make your voice heard that way.
Staying home is just what the Dems want you to do. They will crow about having a mandate if we all stay home and that their agenda has been accepted by the American public. If we stay home they don't have to cheat. We need to force them to cheat in every single election.
As Rush said, don't ever give up on our country.
You need to keep voting.
But NOT just voting.
Sign up to be a poll worker, ballot counter, or observer.
Harass your local politicians about what they are going to do to bring confidence back to the voting process.
Run for office, or give money AND time to your LOCAL candidates (city and county level).
Have you looked at what the alternative parties/candidates in massachusetts are? I don't lightly refer to this state as the asylum and it's citizens as inmates.
The GOP is going to have to win back over half of their own registered voters before they start thinking of winning back Congress.
And the only way they can do that is jettison their RINOs and the members that voted for impeachment. Jettison them good and hard.
Great strategy comrade. Purging the ideologically suspect always works.
The constituents of those RINOs at least deserve a choice.
I really think that this might be "it". The turning point on our freedoms and everything we take for granted. Biden isn't running the show more probably Obama is and a couple hundred rich special interests. They are passing laws and executive orders intended to reverse our constitution. The Democrats have been infiltrated by communist. This has been going on for years but they feel so confident that they have the upper hand that they no longer hide it. At the center of the anti-American policies is the massive push for amnesty and immigration. Make no mistake these are replacement citizens/voters/workers. The plan is to destroy the middle class, divide the country and in the resulting mayhem to seize power and take total control. There will never be another fair national election again. As bad as the Democrats are and as bad as Schumer and Pelosi are they are only the front of this coup the people behind it are far worse and they are winning. They did steal the 2020 election, they did it blatantly without caring that we all found out the truth. They know we know that they stole the election, the know we know that they are lying about it and they don't care. Now they are going to take control.
They didn't cause Covid, they didn't plan for it or know about it ahead of time. But they recognized that this pandemic would allow them to get away with things that they could not otherwise get away with. They have used it to further there plans. You have been duped and covid was used as cover.
SCOTUS screwed the pooch. They weren't complicit but simply absent and didn't do their duty. I think for one or two key justices it was a never Trump thing. For too many Republicans the never Trump sickness has replaced their patriotism and they have not put America first. A shit storm is coming.
Yes, i agree with you, but from where is the
"shit storm coming"? I think January 6 was all there is ever going to be.
Here in my home state the R party was just swept into office by a major landslide and all they asked for-- all they tried to get done--was to move back the last day of registration to Friday before the election. With the majority in both the house and senate, they could not even get that--they were negotiated down to a late registration deadline of the Monday before the Tuesday of election day. They didn't try to get mail in ballots abolished. They didn't try to mandate a registration date of at least 30 days in advance. They didn't even try to get rid of voting machines, or . . .
As is often the case, once installed in office, the deal-making commences off to the side in the comfort of privacy.
It's no use complaining. Voting is notthe end-point for participation in government; one must dig into the machinery of government to throw sand into the right gears.
But there is an owner's manual for this!
legiscan.com. Sign up for an account: It's free if you sign up for one state (your home state).
And with this tool, you can review each and every bill that is being brought through committee in each legislative body before it's voted on. Read the bills, identify & highlight the bad parts, harass your elected official, Rinse and Repeat. Better yet, Organize!!! A grass roots group that divvies up the labor here can be extremely effective because they will be highly informed, equipped to put the medicine precisely where the pain is, and an informed presence, hopefully in formidable numbers, that politicians cannot ignore.
In a shitstorm the winds can blow from the right or from the left. This will be a left wing driven shit storm. Take a look at H.R 1. Or the massive unprecedented invasion/immigration we face or the massive debt and inevitable Venezuelan style inflation we will endure. Weakening of our military will likely encourage the worlds most aggressive countries to test us. Another great depression, an "overly exuberant" stock market that can not last. A fragile energy system and food supply. The only real question is which of these threats precipitates the coming crash.
Re the approaching shit storm. Should we be stocking up on toilet paper again ?
My parents told me that during the great depression you could by food and necessities if you had money but no one had money. So stock up on money, real money. During WW II most necessities were in short supply even if you had money it was difficult to buy some things. Figure out what is important and make sure you have what you need. Can you heat your home, cook your food, have safe drinking water, wash your clothes and stay safe if you lose those utilities you have come to take for granted? Can you stay in your home if you lose your job? If not do you have a plan B? We all need a plan B. Maybe more than one plan B.