Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Notes From All Over, Mostly Politics -- November 30, 2016

OPEC. If indeed this headline is correct, "Why Saudi Arabia Shocked The Skeptics With An OPEC Deal," shorts are getting hammered today. Had OPEC not cut a deal, the price of oil would have slumped, possibly below $40, taking oil companies down with it.

Pelosi wins. Jill Stein asks about a recount.

Priorities. Early in his presidency, Barack Obama brings a law enforcement officer and a Harvard professor together over a glass of beer. Before he was sworn in as president, Donald Trump saved 1,000 jobs in Indiana. No alcohol involved. 

Bully. The mainstream persists in meme-ing the mainstream left's portrayal of Trump. One of the memes: Trump is a bully. (Wow, I hear that from my wife on a daily basis, that Trump is a bully.) Now that Trump has bullied Carrier into keep the Indiana plant open -- I did not hear MSNBC or CNBC use the word "bully" or "bullying" when describing Trump's success in Carrier agreeing to keep at least some jobs in Indiana instead of moving "everything" to Mexico. I guess, like pornography, "bullying" is in the eyes of the beholder.

Tax relief. The new SecTreasurer-appointee said there would be no tax breaks for the top 1%. At least that was on one of the bullets on CNBC today. I doubt any Hillary supporter even saw that. The caps on deductions (like mortgage) will be capped. Those caps will not affect the "average" American.

Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead: I don't think folks have any idea how fast Trump plans to move. One of the things that slows down the first 100 days is a) Senate confirmations; and, b) the constraints of the House calendar where tax and spending bills begin. If Trump gets any push back, if he sees any hint that there is any political delay he will have the "Obama Pen" that was handed to him on January 20th. The Obama Pen:
  • executive orders
  • czar appointments (Reagan had one; Obama had 38)
From wiki:

Ready to move day 1: I doubt many caught it but on CNBC this morning, the SecTreasurer-appointee appeared to have really "startled" the "expert" journalists. Mnuchin (the "munchkin") outlined very clearly the Trump plans. The "expert" journalists appeared surprised that the appointee appeared to be talking directly from a very well-laid-out plan. My hunch is that the plan is 90% draft; will be completed over the Christmas holidays; and line items will be laid out by January 20th, and with a series of executive orders, legislative actions, presidential bullying, tweeting, 24/7 attention-to-detail, the line items will be checked off one-by-one.

Presidential bullying. By the way, when did the concern about "bullying" become so noteworthy. If one wants to talk "bullying," one needs to read the biography of LBJ. I just checked my Funk and Wagnall's: next to the entry for "bully" there's a photo of LBJ. But let's go a bit more mainstream. One of our greatest presidents -- in fact, the big national park in North Dakota is named after him -- from wiki:
This term was coined by President Theodore Roosevelt, who referred to the White House as a "bully pulpit", by which he meant a terrific platform from which to advocate an agenda. Roosevelt used the word bully as an adjective meaning "superb" or "wonderful", a more common usage in his time than it is today.
So, the question again, why is "bully" all of a sudden becoming an issue? One word: "cupcakes."

Legacy: on November 11, 2016, I asked the question, "how long is a presidential legacy expected to last?" I suggested that Obama's legacy could be erased before Trump is even sworn in. I'm beginning to think that the Obama legacy is not much more than the smile of the Cheshire cat. The cover of this week's The New Yorker suggests the same thing.


BHI to build a new FRACKING and CEMENTING services company in North America. Data points:
  • new company: under the BJ Services brand
  • headquarters in Tomball, TX
  • Baker Hughes, CSL Capital Management, and Goldman Sachs fund West Street Energy Partners are backing the new firm
  • Warren Zemlak, current president and CEO of Atlanta-based Allied Energy Services will serve as CEO of the new company
  • Zemlak has worked as a senior exec with both SLB and Sanjel (two names well known in the Bakken)
  • "will renew the BJ Services legacy"
  • BHI acquired BJ Services in a $5.5 billion deal that closed in mid-2010
  • CSL and WSEP together will own 53.3%; BHI will have a 46.7% stake
World Chess Championship

King Olaf vs The Tsar.

Tiebreakers will begin this afternoon. Data points here:
  • First, a mini-match of four rapid games will be played. Each player gets 25 minutes for all of his moves, plus 10 bonus seconds after every move played. Four games.
  • If the players remain tied after those four games, they will play a mini-match of two blitz games. Each player will get five minutes, plus three seconds after every move. They’ll keep playing those, if the two-game mini-matches are tied, for up to five total mini-matches (10 total blitz games).
  • Finally, if none of that settles it, they’ll play one sudden-death game using a format known as Armageddon. White gets five minutes and black gets four minutes, but a drawn game counts as a win for black.
Meanwhile, TutorTime will begin teaching chess to 3-year-olds after the first of the year.

Sophia is already getting ready. The best part is going to be ringing the bells when one has made his/her move (and the M&M treat whenever an opponent piece is captured).

Sophia has already told me she is going to replace/rename the chess pieces, to include:
  • the front row will be eight Disney princesses instead of pawns
  • the rooks will be miniature Barbie doll houses
  • knights will be small unicorns or "My Little Pony" 
  • bishops will be Harry Potter wizards
  • the King: papa
  • the Queen: Sophia, of course

 On a side note: people may laugh at TutorTime introducing chess to 3-year-olds, but TutorTime is nationally-recognized leader in childcare. There is no question that they have researched this to the nth degree. So, let's google "chess and three year olds": in 0.68 seconds, there were 3,880,000 results.

"Chess at Three" was the first non-ad hit. And, then, of course, YouTube. At 2:26 in the video note the highly sophisticated move this kid makes -- castling:

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