11/16/18

Jim Acosta — Exclusive Interview

So, the Big Red Car scored an exclusive interview with Jim Acosta of CNN. You will recall that he recently was put in timeout by the Trump administration for misbehaving at a Presidential press conference.

In case you don’t know who he is, here is a picture of Jim at the White House before a press conference.

“Dear Diary, look it’s me and President Trump. Wow, look at me. Great hair, huh? Had it styled for today. That son-of-a-bitch Sam Donaldson had a bald noggin and a fake toupee. I have real hair and I’m real news. Real hair. Real news. Jimmy the Reporter Acosta. Yeah!”

As we are headed to print, a Federal Judge has ruled that too many people are being mean to Jim and that he should get his press pass back because he’s nice enough.

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11/15/18

Corporate Welfare – Incentives

Corporate welfare, Big Red Car? Huh?

Big Red Car here on a sunny, cold Texas day. Ahhh, winter is here at 41F at dawn, but 65F now. Winter is hard in the ATX, y’all.

So, the Interwebs are all aghast at the gargantuan incentives provided to Amazon (richest guy in the world, Jeff Bezos, at your service) by New York and Virginia to get half of the new HQ2.

The gainsayers and the naysayers are in full throated-uproar, but nobody is really keeping score on these things, are they?

Let’s go back and explore a recent deal — the Tesla SolarCity Buffalo, New York incentivized transaction.

Image result for images elon musk

Oh, my, what have I done now? Solar City? Rooftop solar panels? Was that me?

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11/12/18

Strength of the Economy

Big Red Car here, snowing in the Panhandle and going to be 30F in the ATX tonight? Yes. Snow tonight? Nah.

So, I like to take a look at information below the surface to prove or disprove what the surface currents seem to indicate. One of my favorites is to plumb the depth of the job market and its inverse, unemployment.

Anybody with a brain knows that U-3 — the measure of unemployment that the media uses — is not very accurate for a number of structural reasons. While, folks also know that BLS U-6/7 is a better snapshot.

One other area I like to look at is full time v part time employment.

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11/12/18

Mature Startups

Big Red Car here on another cold, rainy Monday in the ATX.

So, I’m chatting with a seasoned startup CEO, and he asks, “What is the first sign that a startup is bursting through the crawl, walk, run continuum, Big Red Car? What are the things you look for?”

Says I, “When they start their own training program, conduct offsites regularly, and have an industry leading conference as part of their marketing program.”

To which he says, “Do tell, Big Red Car. What does that mean? The industry leading conference part?”

Related image

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11/11/18

Send Me

Big Red Car here on a rainy Austin By God Texas day, a Veterans Day.

Today in church, the minister asked veterans to rise and he had some kind words for all of us veterans.

It brought to mind Isaiah 6:8:

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”

Then I said, “Here I am. Send me!”

The veteran is the man (or woman) who upon hearing the voice of the nation asking the same question, says, “Send me. Send me to do what is necessary to protect freedom, to vanquish evil, to free the oppressed. Send me.”

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11/7/18

Voter Turnout in Texas

Big Red Car here in the post election aftermath taking a look at some numbers. One of the most interesting numbers is voter turnout in Texas in regard to l’affaire Beto (Robert Francis O’Rourke of El Paso, Dem candidate for Senate v Teddy Cruz, Rep candidate).

This is the race that the entire country was throwing money at the Dem candidate to the tune of $72MM. Ted Cruz raised $40MM, but the story today is what happened to the turnout. What did all that money buy as it relates to turnout?

Image result for images beto o'rourke

“I raised a lot of money and came in a solid second in the Texas Senate race. Maybe I should build on my success and run for President?”

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10/26/18

Typical CEO Coaching Process

CEO coaching, Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here on a grayish morning. I wonder if the guy who has been praying for rain is happy yet?

Hey, stop praying for rain.

So, the Big Red Car gets a longish email from a pal who gives him a hard time about his subject matter on The Musings of the Big Red Car. Says he wants to hear what a typical coaching process looks like.

To get rid of him, I promise to do that.

I hang out a shingle under the name of The Wisdom of the Campfire because I like the picture of sitting next to a campfire and absorbing wisdom from others gathered next to it. It’s an easy picture as I lived it in places like the DMZ in South Korea or Grafenwohr in Bavaria when I was a young Army officer.

The Wisdom of the Campfire is the imagery of what I do. I want to be that guy at the edge of the campfire, with 33 years of CEO-ing, who can talk you through the process based not on theory, but on real world experience.

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10/25/18

Bombmakers and Baloney Bombs

Having been a combat engineer and dealing with explosives of all types, the making of improvised explosive devices is something with which I have some familiarity.

We used to receive training and give training on the use of conventional explosives — to blow up bridges, fortifications, airfields, buildings as part of the mission to aid the mobility of the friendlies and to impede the mobility of the enemy. Typical combat engineer stuff.

We also used to receive and give training on the construction of “improvised” explosive devices.

We used to learn all about the explosive chain :

 1. The charge (the explosive);

 2. The initiator (the fuse or blasting cap);

 3. The activator (what activates the initiator);

 4. The power source (what activates the activator); and,

 5. The container (what contains the finished assembly)

In addition, you may add something to the device, such as nails or bolts, to injure the victims.

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10/24/18

Canadian Softwood Lumber Tariff Revisited

Canadian Softwood Lumber Tariff — what ever happened?

Big Red Car here on a drippy and rainy gray ATX day. It has been raining for almost a month.

Today, we talk about what really happened by the imposition of the Canadian Softwood Lumber 20.8% tariff back in May 2017.

Of course, the Canadians and the Americans – National Association of Home Builders – immediately began to cry foul predicting that the price of a US home would go up by $9000.

The business press said “Trump is an idiot. This will cause a huge trade war.”

Now, of course, we have some firm evidence as to what did happen. In fact, after hitting a peak of $653 per thousand board feet, the current price of lumber is $313.40/thousand board feet.

That’s right lumber has gone DOWN after the imposition of the tariff. Here is the price of a thousand board feet of lumber from the inception of the tariff until today.

Chart

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