04/3/20

Paycheck Protection Program Interim Report Card — A+++

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said he would get money to eligible persons as soon as possible.

“My name is Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and I have money for YOU! Come on down, amigos. Get some. Get yours. Let’s get busy.”

But, of course, he’s the “government” and — yawn — who believes the GOVERNMENT?

First day report:

Loans made — 1,926 (as of today at 11:00 AM EST)

Funds disbursed — $756,985,761

Participating lenders — 245 banks

This element of the rescue is dealing with Main Street not Wall Street and your Big Red Car has to say: “Well played, Federal Government. Well played, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin. Well played indeed!”

Continue reading

04/2/20

Moving Markets — President Trump And Global Oil

We are living in interesting times. We are facing a pandemic, an economic crisis, a stock market brouhaha, and an oil bust.

Today, we focus on the oil bust. In case you haven’t been following things, the Russians and the Saudis got into a pissing contest as to the level of oil output by the OPEC + bunch.

OPEC + is the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries which has been around since 1960 and is in the oil pricing manipulation business. The + means Russia is in the talks.

The result of the Saudi Arabia v Russia pissing contest — the Russians would not agree to reduce production levels — was a collapse in global oil prices with some incredibly low prices — 1950s prices — which then translated into lower gasoline prices.

These two clowns wrecked the global oil business in an amateurish “who has the bigger dick” contest.

Continue reading

03/22/20

No Perfect Leaders

I have been in the leadership business since I was a cadet at Virginia Military Institute in 1969. As an Army officer, we were not converted into “wartime” CEOs, our constant context was war. That was what we were trained to do.

It is like nails on a blackboard when I hear venture capitalists describe the “wartime CEO” using the Army as a context.

All of this has drawn me to assess the leadership of the country in the context of the WutangCurse.

The nature of leaders

The WutangCurse is a crisis and it will require stalwart, sound, optimistic leadership to navigate the medical, the intellectual, the psychological, and the economic shoals of this dilemma.

We do not have perfect leaders. Life gives us leaders who may be or become perfect for that challenge.

Today, I think we have two of them: President Donald J Trump and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Winston Churchill, an exemplar

Winston Churchill was the perfect leader for England and what would become the Allies — long before the United States entered into the war — when on the heels of Dunkirk, he spoke directly to Hitler and told him England would resist the Nazis with ever fiber of their being.

In August 1941, Prime Minister Winston Churchill signalling “V for Victory”

In the Parliament of the United Kingdom, 4 June 1940, having lost his army’s heavy weapons in France, his army in tatters, Prime Minister (since 10 May 1940, the date upon which the Nazis launched their attack against the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg) Winston Churchill, rose and said in his inimitable voice:

“We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender.”

Continue reading

03/4/20

Mike Bloomberg Is Out — Exclusive Interview

So, I get a call from the Bloomberg campaign saying that Mike wants to sit down and chat about the campaign as he is “reassessing” things post-Super Tuesday.

We visit in Austin, Texas (also known as Tejas) when he flies in on one of his Dassault Falcon 900s — he owns three of them.

“So, Mike, should we start with the planes? You own how many planes?”

Continue reading

02/6/20

President Trump’s Black Support

It is a shibboleth of liberal politics that the African American community is a monolith whose support is a bedrock element of the Democrat Party. Said another way, the Dems think they own the black vote in America. Some may criticize that the Dems take it for granted.

This is supported by the historic support of Dems by the black community — Candidate Trump received 8% of black support while Candidate Mittens received 6%.

Now, President Trump has put the black vote in America into play by going after it and asking for the order.

Already, there has been an ugly rumor of increased support for President Donald J Trump from the black community.

Many Dems have taken to ignoring these reports as unfounded, but there are three reputable reports from early December 2019 that show north of 30% black support for President Trump: Emerson College Polls, Marist Institute for Public Opinion, and Rassmussen Reports. This is NOT chopped liver.

Which brings me to the BIG QUESTION: Why would the black vote be swinging to President Trump?

Continue reading

01/29/20

The Surprising State of American Satisfaction

 

I am a huge skeptic of polls as most of the polls are poorly constructed. The poorly designed samples doom the accuracy of the polls. The exception to that rule is Rassmussen and Gallup.

Of the two, I place more confidence in Rasmussen as it relates to political polls and in Gallup as it relates to “state of the state” type polls.

I was flabbergasted to read a recent late January 2020 poll from Gallup. Here is the data they report. It is quite surprising to me how favorably the country views the presidency of Donald J Trump. Nobody would ever have thought this based on the media. I am a policy guy, using the effectiveness of policy as my personal yardstick to evaluate satisfaction.

Take a look at this info which is take directly from the poll. See if you are as surprised as me?

Changes in Americans’ Satisfaction With Issues

Since Start of Trump Presidency

 

Jan 2017 Jan 2020 Change
Increased satisfaction
The state of the nation’s economy 46% 68% +22%
The nation’s security from terrorism 50 68 +18
The nation’s military strength and preparedness 66 81 +15
The state of race relations 22 36 +14
The nation’s policies to reduce or control crime 38 47 +9
The position of blacks and other racial minorities in the nation 37 46 +9
The way income and wealth are distributed in the U.S. 35 43 +8
The opportunity for a person in this nation to get ahead by working hard 66 72 +6
Satisfaction steady
The overall quality of life 80 84 +4
The influence of organized religion 56 59 +3
The nation’s energy policies 41 44 +3
Our system of government and how well it works 40 43 +3
Government regulation of businesses and industries 38 41 +3
The size and influence of major corporations 39 41 +2
The moral and ethical climate 31 32 +1
The quality of medical care in the nation 52 52 0
The nation’s laws or policies on guns 42 42 0
The nation’s efforts to deal with poverty and homelessness 23 22 -1
The role the U.S. plays in world affairs 45 43 -2
The size and power of the federal government 40 38 -2
The amount Americans pay in federal taxes 39 37 -2
The availability of affordable healthcare 39 37 -2
The quality of public education in the nation 37 35 -2
The acceptance of gays and lesbians in the nation 59 56 -3
The Social Security and Medicare systems 47 43 -4
Decreased satisfaction
The quality of the environment in the nation 52 46 -6
The level of immigration into the country today 41 35 -6
The nation’s policies regarding the abortion issue 39 32 -7

What do you think? Does it surprise you how high the general level of satisfaction is during the three years of the Trump admin? I am truly flabbergasted.

 

12/17/19

The Impeachment Paroxysm

This is the first time I have used the word “paroxysm” in a longish time. I may never have used it in this blog before. It means a “sudden, violent outburst; a fit of violent action or emotion.”

It is a word apropos for the impending impeachment of President Donald J Trump tomorrow by the US House of Representatives. [I predict Speaker Pelosi wears pink & pearls. Anybody want to make a small wager?]

“Don’t screw with me, Big Red Car, you rust bucket. I can do things to you you cannot even begin to imagine.”

In case you have been traveling or tunneling toward the center of the earth, the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee, after painstaking scrutiny of the misdeeds of our President spread over a couple of days in which we met some actual law school professors, has proposed two Articles of Impeachment which the entire House of Representatives will ponder tomorrow and approve.

[I can tell you they will approve them, because that is part of my super powers — I can see the future.]

Only Democrats will vote to impeach the President. Some handful of Dems will vote against it, but it will be hopelessly partisan.

Continue reading