Thursday, October 2, 2014

That Which Does Not Kill Us Makes Us Stronger; Movie Trivia - October 2, 2014

Unemployment Rate For September

I am going to close out the poll on the sidebar at the right that asked whether the September, 2014, unemployment rate would drop below 6.0%? In less than 12 hours we will know the answer.

I will leave the poll up until after the government releases the September data, but the poll is officially closed. Will the unemployment rate drop below 6.0% for September, 2014:
  • the percent that said yes: 28%
  • the percent that said no: 72%
[Upate: the rate for September, 2014: 5.9%. Very, very nice.] 
Reading the tea leaves.

Obviously the President knows the answer. With everything going on in the world right now -- EbolaWar, ISIL, Secret Service -- the timing of an economic speech earlier today is interesting. And again, the president's schedule/calendar is worked out weeks in advance for speeches like this, so perhaps the timing of the speech is completely unrelated to world events.

But just for argument's sake, let's say the speech was timed to coincide with tomorrow's unemployment data. Even if it wasn't, the speech would have been tweaked once the president knew the September numbers.

Here is how ABC News saw the speech:
President Barack Obama acknowledged his pivotal role in the midterm political campaign Thursday, arguing that the November congressional elections are a referendum on his economic policies and blaming Republicans for blocking his efforts to boost wages and create more jobs.
In a speech at Northwestern University that marked a shift in attention from foreign entanglements to domestic concerns, Obama laid claim to an economic recovery that he said has made steady progress, yet he conceded that many families have not benefited from lower unemployment, beefed-up corporate profits and a pumped-up stock market.
Obama offered a lengthy defense of his policies, from bailing out the auto industry to his health care law, and he renewed his call for a higher minimum wage and equal pay legislation. He said that while he's not seeking election in November, "these policies are on the ballot, every single one of them."
Promoting pocketbook issues in the homestretch of the midterm election campaign, Obama fluctuated between bullish assurances that the recovery was real and recognition that joblessness and low wages still afflict millions of Americans.
I didn't hear the speech so I don't know the tenor or tone of the speech, though it seems more and more the president is simply reading his speeches, getting through them as quickly as possible. Blaming the Republicans (in the lede) is not surprising but one can argue that if the unemployment rate was below 6.0% for September, I think the speech would have been more upbeat (though President Obama has trouble being upbeat on anything it seems). Maybe it would be better to say that had the September rate dropped below 6.0% for September, President Obama might have stressed a few more ways that he "fixed" the economy. The fact that the news story leads off with "blaming the Republicans" suggests someone knows the unemployment number tomorrow will not be all that surprising or exciting. 

What Will Saudi Arabia Do?

I find "the Saudi Arabia" question the most intriguing question right now. "What will Saudi Arabia do?" Even Reuters/Rigzone is now asking the question. I plan to use that post to chronicle "what Saudi Arabia will do over the next 12 months." OPECs next meeting is in November (2014). If I remember, I will put up a poll shortly before then to see what folks think.

The best thing that might come out of this -- the Saudi Arabia question -- is how "solid" the Bakken is. Depending on what Saudi Arabia does, this could be the biggest challenge facing the Bakken. Winter is just around the corner. The new flaring rules are now going into effect. That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Movie Trivia

What do the two Coen brother movies No Country For Old Men and Inside Llewyn Davis have in common?

Probably a lot of things.

But this is really cool.

In the past two weeks I think I have watched ILD a dozen times. 

On the other hand, it's been a long, long time since I've seen NCFOM.  I was eager to watch it again when it came out on Blu-Ray, but had forgotten about it until I happened to see it at Target a few days ago. For the past two nights, I have been watching the movie and the bonus features.

A supporting actress is singled out in the "Makingof NCFOM" for her excellent west Texas accident. Tommy Lee Jones is quite effusive how well the actress has the west Texas accent. The actress? Kelly MacDonald, a Scottish actress from Glasgow.

Meanwhile, the incredible supporting actress with a wonderful New York City accent was Carey Mulligan. Ms Mulligan is English.

T Bone Burnett, who produced the soundtrack for Inside Llewyn Davis, said something to the effect how "lucky" the Coen brothers are.

Once, perhaps, lucky. But not twice.

[One of the main characters in NCFOM is named Llewelyn. And although there is only one cat in ILD, the cat plays a prominent roll; in NCFOM cats seem to pop up all the time, but none have a starring or prominent role.]

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