Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Daily Note

February 9, 2019, T+38, day 15 of open border negotiations and amnesty. Pending. I'm sure something will come up.
February 8, 2019, T+37, day 14 of open border negotiations and amnesty. How serious are the Dems about AGW. Nancy Pelosi establishes a small, inconsequential sub-committee on "climate change"; populates it with junior representatives; and, does not place the #1 AGW advocate (Occasional-Cortex) on the sub-committee.

February 7, 2019, T+36, day 13 of open border negotiations and amnesty. Virginia Lt Gov: we must believe the woman's accusations. And the Dems complain about "Exec Time" on Trump's daily schedule.

February 6, 2019, T+35, day 12 of open border negotiations and amnesty.

  • Fox News (11.1 million) + Fox (4.2 million) = 15.3 million
    NBC, CBS, ABC  = 19.7 million

See February 3, 2019, note. Considering how much time President Trump's schedule is devoted to "executive time," he is incredibly efficient, getting more done in two years than most presidents get done in eight years. And why was this a headline story. The Catholic Church and anti-Semitism was well documented in WWII. Link here.

February 5, 2019, T+34, day 11 of open border negotiations and amnesty. The "Draft Beto" event in California drew six people. I'm blogging at a local McDonald's. They are airing MSNBC. I did not know that was allowed in Texas. Oh, that's right -- I'm near Dallas tonight and I'm in Beto country. Wow, I cannot believe how intelligent those millennials on MSNBC are. This story has legs although the mainstream media is desperately trying to change the narrative:
Link here to the rest of the story.
February 4, 2019, T+33, day 10 of open border negotiations and amnesty. MSNBC with "hour-long special" slamming former Starbucks CEO Harold Schultz -- that tells me "they" are really, really worried. Meanwhile, this past weekend, making America great:
February 3, 2019, T+32, day 9 of open border negotiations and amnesty. They call Trump an extremist. Rank-and-file Dems are jumping on the a) fourth-trimester abortion bandwagon; and, b) 90% tax on the "wealthy." I guess the definition of "extremist" is in the eye of the beholder. Met with "Meet the Press," CBS. No legal requirement to release Mueller's report; it's a DOJ report that reports to the Executive office. After years (decades?) of calls to request his tax filings, they have never been released. Congress, of course, will sue to have the documents released, but the US Supreme Court will not take the case, and if it does, will follow constitutional law. Meanwhile, Trump can say he will release the document but due to national security concerns -- remember, this has to do with Russian collusion -- he needs to ensure that sensitive/classified national security information is not released. Perhaps he will release it after the 2020 election. LOL. Assuming, of course, Mueller even completes his investigation by that date. [Later: it appears I'm wrong. President Trump says he has no control over whether the Mueller report is released. Whether the report is released rests with the DOJ.]

February 2, 2019, T+31, day 8 of open border negotiations and amnesty. Scott Adams calls this "fake news." Apparently he is one of the few watching THAT movie. Again, the governor reiterated that there would be no restrictions on infanticide / fourth-trimester abortions if that's what the mother wants.

Later: if you can't figure out what's going on in the screenshot below, you weren't paying attention during the Kavanaugh hearings.

February 1, 2019, T+30, day 7 of open border negotiations and amnesty. Actually, they have only met for five days. Trump is sending more troops. I think his plan will work. Brilliant.

January 31, 2019, T+29, day 6 of open border negotiations and amnesty. Spokesman for Kamala Harris says she misspoke -- she's willing to work with those 177 million Americans that have private insurance. The current debate has morphed from Roe vs Wade to infanticide and fourth-trimester abortions. Regardless of what side of the issue one is on, the arguments are quite interesting. I won't listen to "emotional" arguments, but philosophical/moral/theological arguments are most interesting. The best emotional argument for infanticide/fourth-trimester abortions was used during WWII by those who were aware of the events in Germany but refused to get involved: I am neither Jewish nor German, so there is no reason for me to be involved. I think "Lucky Lindy," perhaps the most famous American at the time was a strong Nazi supporter, would have used that argument. 

January 30, 2019, T+28, day 5 of open border negotiations and amnesty. Tea leaves: Kamala Harris is done as a serious candidate. Unless CNN can spin her story and help her recover after her ObamaCare comment and campaign promise of "Medicare for all her candidacy is over. O-V-E-R. Seniors greatly outnumber the number of millennials. And unlike the millennials, seniors vote.

January 29, 2019, T+27, day 4 of open border negotiations and amnesty. Global warming is failing us. Polar vortex hits the US; global warming unable to moderate the temperatures. We might see coldest temperatures recorded in 20 - 50 years. Well said:

January 28, 2019, T+26, day 3 of open border negotiations and amnesty. Apparently Tom Brokaw stepped in it also. When will these guys ever learn?

January 27, 2019, T+25, day 2 of open border negotiations and amnesty. We learn that MSNBC's "Morning Joe" broadcasts from Florida six months a year to escape paying Connecticut state taxes.

January 26, 2019, T+24, day 1 of temporary government opening of the partial government shutdown. Since the departure of General (ret) Mattis, have there been any additional departures?

January 25, 2019, T+23, day 35 of the partial government shutdown. I don't know if walls are immoral (the Vatican has a huge wall) but I do know that a country as "rich" as the United States holding federal workers hostage is incredibly immoral. Nancy Pelosi, a multi-millionaire taking a photo-op at a local food kitchen for those working-without-pay federal employees is incredibly immoral. I hope President Trump does not stoop to that. This is a Friday; this is the second paycheck that furloughed workers will miss. Later: President Trump mentions that a deal has been reached to open the government for three weeks -- will get us through the Super Bowl. Based on his speech, it's my feeling that Trump got what he want; did not cave. Pelosi et al will say Trump caved; that's fine. Based on what I heard Trump say, I would argue he did not cave. He is still one of the few adults in the room.

January 24, 2019, T+22, day 34 of the partial government shutdown. There were two arguments against "the wall": a) too expensive; b) immoral. Now that it is agreed by everyone that the shutdown has cost more than what Trump was asking for, that argument becomes moot, and at some point will be used to promote funding for the wall. The second argument had no legs once it was revealed that the Vatican had one of the biggest/highest walls of any wall in the world -- not the longest: China has bragging rights for the longest wall. Both the Democrat bill and the GOP bill failed to pass in the US Senate but there does seem to be some negotiating going on. Publicly Pelosi seems unwilling to give anything on the wall; Trump is willing to give something. 

January 23, 2019, T+21, day 33 of the partial government shutdown. While the US House is pre-occupied with the inanities of Occasional Cortex, the US Senate will move ahead with confirmation hearings for 51 Trump judicial picks. It looks like I'm wrong. I thought the narrative would move from "the wall" to "right-sizing the government" but it now appears the far right could lose big time. There is talk of "the wall" morphing to "all-out amnesty." In exchange for "the wall," Jared and team are willing to consider green cards for DACA/dreamers. It's the right thing to do but only if the wall is secure and laws are changed regarding "one foot on US soil" and "anchor babies."

Militarizing The TSA
Posted January 21, 2019

Based on the number of federal civilian (non-uniformed) employees, Homeland Security is bigger than the US Air Force, almost the same size as the US Navy, and not much smaller than the US Army. For round numbers, there are about 200,000 civilian employees in each of those "agencies": 200,000 civilians in each of the USAF, USN, USA, and Homeland Security.  Homeland Security is literally a drawer-full of acronyms and agencies, everything from the TSA to SWAT teams. The TSA has, again in round numbers, 60,000 civilians. The US Coast Guard has, again in round numbers, 90,000 folks -- that's the entire workforce for the US Coast Guard.

Right now, about 7 percent of TSA screeners are calling in sick. If the number goes over 15%, there will be crisis in US airports. Later: about two hours after posting that I noted that The Boston Globe was reporting that 10% of TSA screeners called in sick on Sunday, January 20, 2019.

Could a case be made for militarizing the TSA screeners?

TSA and the Airlines
Posted January 20, 2019

Up until a day or so ago I was concerned about the backlogs at airports due to TSA shortages. It is being widely reported that TSA workers are working without pay. True. I assume they can apply for unemployment benefits, but I don't know. If not, surely that can be rectified. But let's say the issue becomes problematic. First of all, there is no requirement that airports use federal employees/the TSA. At regional airports around the country, non-TSA, non-federal agencies provide security at airports. If "it" becomes an issue, the airlines will step in to insure their own security. [It's my understanding that some airlines at some US locations have their own customs/passport control.] 

And finally, it's  my impression that the Israeli military manages security at Israeli airports. The US won't let airport security fail. At last resort, they will call in the military. I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't already plans on the table for the US military to provide "TSA" security if needed.

The "Real Wall"
Posted January 20, 2019

The "real wall."

Posted by Rob Port over at The Dickinson Press.
Consider this: “We are in a situation that come this fall, North Dakota will be without any full-time federal judges,” a reader who also happens to be a practicing attorney told me this week.
Former District Court Judge Ralph Erickson was nominated by President Donald Trump to serve on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The U.S. Senate confirmed him to that position on a 95-1 vote in September of 2017.
He took office there, and vacated his District Court office, in October of 2017.
That’s more than a year ago, and yet to date there has been no nomination made for his replacement.
President Trump: "clever like a fox." 

All those immigration cases? Backlog for years. Sure, lot of backlogs elsewhere, but the "scheduling judge" will prioritize cases. And:
  • more nuisance, frivolous cases will fade away
  • more cases will be settled out-of-court
  • district attorneys will work for more plea bargains
January 20, 2019

Even Chris thinks Shelosi has thrown the Dreamers under the bus.

The Wall
Posted January 20, 2019

Presidents are change agents. Change agents look out 20 to 30 years. With regard to "the wall" how far out was Trump looking?

My guess: for Trump, to shut down the government was a tactical strategy. The wall itself is part of a multi-decade strategy. The longer this plays out, the more the tactical strategy looks like a long-term strategic ploy.

The far right absolutely, positively does not want any compromise on illegal immigrants, even those who were brought here decades ago and are now young adults: Dreamers who have known no other country than the US.

With regard to the Dreamers, President Obama was correct: some remedy was needed. He only wrote a memo; he expected Congress to "follow through." Congress did not.
The far right absolutely, positively does not want any pathway to legality (much less citizenship) for the hundreds of folks in the convoys from Guatemala and Honduras. 

It appears that a "physical wall" will help stem the tide but it won't solve the problem. 

"Clever like a fox." With the partial government shutdown the backlog for the immigration courts is now measured in years, not months, and more likely, soon to be measured in decades. The recent arrivals will be in limbo for the rest of their lives. 

Meanwhile, if the Dreamers thought they were close under the Obama administration, even if an "open border" candidate were elected president in 2020, the adjudication of each Dreamer application has now been lengthened by another four to five years. 

Trump was willing to fund a huge number of immigration courts and judges to manage the backlog but his opponents were unwilling to work with him. The backlogs will end up grinding the entire immigration process to a halt. [Later: that is now being reported "everywhere" -- the stalemate has actually made the problem much, much worse.]

Grinding the legal apparatus to a halt is the "real wall." 

"Clever like a fox." Another note. Another analogy. You are being attacked by a pack of hounds. What to do? Throw them a bone. What better way to slow down a legislative body held by one's opponents than to throw them a bone -- "the wall," in this case -- to fight over. While Shelosi and the House are fighting over this one bone, a lot of other initiatives are simply f(l)oundering.  

I think Shelosi knows that; that's why she has tried to stop efforts to impeach the president. [Later: there is now a report that many of the newly elected young Democrats are not keen on a kangaroo court on the way to impeachment.] Pelosi knows that the impeachment process will bring the US House of Representatives to a halt. Unlike Nixon, Trump won't resign. Unlike Clinton, the process won't happen quickly. Trump has an army of lawyers; he has experience in this area; he knows how to fight. So, if the US House moves to impeachment, it takes up the entire political agenda for the next year. And something tells me the American public will not be impressed.
I think Shelosi knows that. 

By the way, I'm still waiting for the "real" scuttlebutt on why Mueller went public for the first time explicitly saying the media got it wrong. [Later: Buzzfeed has doubled down, standing by their story.]

Fake News? 
Posted January 18, 2019

From The Atlantic:
The basic theory—explained to me between weary sighs and defeated shrugs—goes like this: Washington is at an impasse that looks increasingly unbreakable. President Donald Trump is dug in; so is Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Democrats have public opinion on their side, but the president is focused on his conservative base. For a deal to shake loose in this environment, it may require a failure of government so dramatic, so shocking, as to galvanize public outrage and force the two parties back to the negotiating table. 
Remember: The Atlantic has "IMPEACH" across the cover of its current issue.

I'm not convinced that the "Democrats have public opinion on their side." I think The Atlantic predicted Hillary to win, also, citing polls. In fact, the only major national poll that I was aware of that consistently had Trump out-polling Hillary was the ultra-liberal Los Angeles Times.

I don't think the president is focused on his conservative base. It's a Venn diagram at best.

It would be more accurate to say the President is focused on keeping a campaign promise. This, apparently, is something not often seen in Washington. At least not since the days of ... Abraham Lincoln?

I also don't think he's dug in. He's been in the White House ever since things came to a halt waiting to negotiate. The House Leader has been to Hawaii; the House Dems took a junket to Puerto Rico; and, the latter were about to party in Brussels (which in and of itself seems odd) -- all while the partial government shutdown continues.

The Speaker of the House has disinvited the President -- I don't think that happened even during the darkest days of the US Civil War, WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War.

One doesn't have to be dug in when one party doesn't even want to see you. It takes two to tango. 

By the way, I posted earlier, "crazy like a fox." If I have time this weekend, I will expand on that.

The market, by the way, is driven by "fear" and "greed." The market has been on a tear since the beginning of the year and seems to be getting stronger as the impasse drags on (the Dow is up another 330 points as we speak) . That suggests to me that, although "aides in Washington" may be afraid, the market certainly is not.

That -- the market being so strong -- is actually something to be afraid of, I suppose.

My hunch is that if there is one data point both sides are looking at it would be the stock market. That was certainly being suggested by talking heads a few weeks ago when the market was tanking. 

January 22, 2019, T+20, day 32 of the partial government shutdown:

I have some house-keeping to do.

The 116th US Congress convened January 3, 2019. That should be day 1 of the new series. I will have to go back and re-number "the daily note."

So, re-numbering here, January 17, 2019, is day 15 of the new Congress.

It's hard to believe the partial government shutdown is soon to reach a full month. It seems it is receding into the background. So little news is coming out regarding the partial government shutdown, Ms Pelosi had to get the subject back into "headline news" by dis-inviting the president suggesting she can't guarantee his safety in her US House of Represenatives. 


If this is AGW, give me more.

Today the high in our area will be 61 degrees; tomorrow, the forecast is for a high of 68 degrees.

But then this weekend -- an Arctic blast. Oh, well.

ISO New England

Link here. Doing well. The morning spike stayed well below $100/MW -- spiked to about $80/MW. Percentage of coal: 4%; renewables at 10%.

The Daily Note

The New Congress
Day 23 - present
Day 1 -- Day 22 

After The Midterms (partial govt shutdown)
Day 1 -- 57: from the election to the new Congress

Iran Sanctions
Days 67 -- 85

Fight's Back On: Let The Trade Wars Begin (A Bust)

Fight's On: Trump Exits "The Iran Deal" (A Win)
Fight's On: Let The Trade Wars Begin (A Bust)
The 38 Days Following The Schumer Shut-Down (A Bust)
The 2 Days of The Schumer Shut Down (A Bust)
The Last 65 Days of His First Term
Days 331 - 365
Days 301 - 330

The Trump Presidency (201 - 300)
The Third 100 Days
The Second 30 Days 
The First 30 Days

Between Election And Inauguration (1 - 100)
The Third 10 Days

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