Thursday, May 5, 2016

The permanent sunset of the Republican party - bumped from 2012

By Donald Sensing

I originally posted this the day after the 2012 presidential election. With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump facing off in November, I stand by every word.
The 2012 election forms a Rubicon that, now having been crossed, this country will never cross back. Forget all the pundit talk (like Ed Rollins this morning on Fox) that elections go through cycles and this one was just another example. Forget the mid-terms of 2010. Forget the Tea party; it's finished forever.

The basic, fundamental nature and character of the American electorate has changed, and will not be changed back. Ever. The Republican Party can foresee nothing but diminishment  henceforth. There are no rising superstars who can save it. Jindal? Nope. Rubio? Nope. Rand Paul? Nope. Paul Ryan? He's done already. And there is absolutely no Republican whom Romney ran against in the primaries who has a ghost of a chance in the future.

What every Republican from Speaker John Boehner down doesn't get is that this election ("close" as it's being called, but it was not close) really shows that the Republican Party does not matter any more. For the next four years, no one will care what Boehner has to say about any issue.
Why? This morning an 85-year-old World War II veteran told me the most succinct analysis of the election that I have heard: "The people voted for Santa Claus, not Scrooge."

There is a story of a sixth-grade race for class president. Candidate Jimmy made the first speech. He promised to be loyal to the class and stand up for them if they thought the teachers were unfair. He proposed ways all the kids could work together to help each other with homework. He said, "I will be your friend."

Next, candidate Susie stood  up and clinched 90 percent of the vote with one simple sentence: "If I am elected, I will host an ice cream party for everyone after school."

Forget the split of the votes cast Nov. 6: What the data really show is that a super-majority of the American people either do not care (non-voters) or want the government's free or subsidized goodies to continue (like these). Overall voter turnout was significantly less this year than in 2008, with tens of millions of eligible votersnot voting, meaning that Romney's loss (Obama's vote plus non-voters) was absolutely crushing.

There is no way the Republican Party can reinvent itself to overcome this deficit. Facts are facts: The Republicans presently can count on exactly one voting bloc:
  • White men
That's it. Any parsing you read about income brackets, education or anything else don't mean squat compared to the fact that the only reliable voting bloc for Republicans today is white men, and Romney got only 60 percent of them. And start sounding taps: White men are demographically the fastest-shrinking voting bloc of all.

On the other hand, the Democrats simply own the following voting blocs:
  • Women
    • Married, employed women broke for Romney, but single women of all ages broke for Obama, especially unmarried women with children.
    • More women voted for Obama than men voted for Romney.
    • The fastest-growing women's demographic is unmarried women and right behind them, unmarried women with children. This is a permanent demographic shift. Today, 40 percent of all childbirths are to unmarried women. At least half of single mothers live in poverty and they will never vote for Scrooge over Santa Claus.
    • So: Years to come will see ever-fewer women's votes being cast for Republicans and because women voters outnumber male voters by several percentage points, the gap is larger than it seems.
  • Blacks
  • Hispanics
  • Other minorities generally
Understand that the traditional Republican appeal to fiscal discipline, America's founding principles, self sufficiency, decreased corporate regulations and lower taxes will never turn any of the Democrat blocs toward the Republicans in any but trivial numbers. There will never be a future equivalent of Reagan Democrats. Understand that Democrats always promise most of these things, too. But they keep getting the Santa Claus voters because everyone know they don't mean it and Republicans do.

The Republican Party cannot stay true to its historical principles and win again. For most of the last eight decades, the American Left has taken over, successively, American political theory, opinion leaders, university academia, the media, mainline churches, public education and finally the entire Democrat party. They Left has suffered only rare and temporary setbacks in their Great March. Now it is ensconced and it is permanent. Generations younger than the retiring Boomers literally do not have the historical knowledge or intellectual tools to grasp the concept of inherently limited government and restricted, delegated powers.

No matter who is the Democrat nominee in 2016, no matter the state of the economy, no Republican will win the White House without presenting himself as a Democrat-lite. But why will people vote for a Democrat-lite when they can vote for Democrat-heavy?

I am tempted to say that only a severe national-security crisis will turn the electorate toward a Republican candidate again. But I yield not to that temptation.

Goodbye, party of Lincoln. It was fun while it lasted. Last one out turn out the lights.

Before Democrat voters rejoice, they should soberly consider what this means:
  • A permanent decline in your standard of living and especially that of your children,
  • A permanently-growing federal government, consuming growing proportions of America's wealth,
  • And expanding government control or outright ownership of the country's financial activity,
  • Per-capita shrinkage of economic activity,
  • An expansive federal bureaucracy, with exponentially exploding regulatory authority over the way you live your daily lives in ways you cannot even imagine yet,
  • And therefore greater and greater restrictions on your freedoms to say what you want, do what you want, possess what you want, except you will have federally-funded sex lives without restriction, because Democrats think that you will acquiesce to being stripped of all your freedoms without protest as long as they pay for your sex. And they are right. You are already gladly exchanging your liberty for censure-less rolls in the hay. 
  • Crony capitalism? You ain't seen nothing yet. Increasingly, government contracts and stimulus money (by whatever name) will be funneled to the ideologically pure. You, the ordinary Democrat voter, will be frozen out of this largess. You are of neither use nor concern to the Party except on election day. You are a mere prole. Get used to it.
  • Diminishment of your health and shorter life spans because Obamacare is absolutely designed for the benefit of government and its licensed financial allies, not you,
  • Expanding federal debt almost without end, meaning that even as your own personal income falls, you will pay an ever-higher proportion of it in taxes of one kind or another (but don't worry, you will blindly drink the Kool-Aid that only "the rich" are paying more taxes),
  • "Almost without end," because the end will come to the gravy train, and it will be truly apocalyptic when it does. "Chaos" does not even begin to describe it; in fact, chaos will be the best outcome you can expect. Oh, when this happens (when, not if) you will lose absolutely everything you own. Ev. Ry. Thing. Because there is no one to bail America out.
But remember: you asked for it on Nov. 6, 2012. As H. L. Mencken said, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." You just got what you want. The hard part that you cannot even fathom is now being born.

UpdateRoger Kimball:

I fear that what an English friend just wrote me is true:
You just don’t care about being a Great Power any longer. That’s what this is about. The world should start sucking up to China instead now, as Americans have shown they’ve no appetite for world leadership any longer. You’ve had a century in the sun, and now you’ve decided to become Sweden instead of shouldering the burden. The 47% have won and you’re going to slip into social democracy and in 4 years time no-one — Christie, Rubio, Ryan — will be able to do anything about it.
RIP American Exceptionalism
Robert Stacy McCain at American Spectator, "Doomed Beyond All Hope of Redemption":
Even before the unmitigated political disaster of November 6, 2012, a date that will live in infamy, the prospects of salvaging the United States were not particularly hopeful. Now, however, we are permanently and irretrievably screwed.
My only 2016 update:

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Rafael Cruz, destructor of all that is good and holy!

By Donald Sensing

Donald Trump said - and Ted Cruz admitted! -  that Ted's father, Rafael Cruz, was directly linked with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

First Trump, being interviewed on Fox News and reacting to some comments made by Rafael:

Next, Ted Cruz's startling admission to the JFK assassination involvement and more!

But wait, there's more!

The secret league of history researchers at Facebook have uncovered documentary, rock-solid evidence that Rafael Cruz can be tied directly to the most tragic events of history!

That dastardly man!

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Hillary sets political record!

By Donald Sensing

Hillary Clinton is surely the only politician ever to claim that she quoted herself out of context!


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Monday, May 2, 2016

Whatever you subsidize . . .

By Donald Sensing

... you get more of: Here's Why Govt. Housing Vouchers Cause More Poverty

Federal officials spend more tax dollars on Section 8 housing vouchers than they do on cash welfare, and the program often perpetuates poverty rather than alleviating it, according to an urban housing expert. 
“Its incentives are completely skewed,” Howard Husock, vice president for policy research and director of the Social Entrepreneurship Initiative at the Manhattan Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. 
“You’ve ‘hit the lottery’ and you’re set for life,” said Husock, referring to those who receive housing assistance for decades, a lifetime or even generations, while others wait for years on a waiting list. “Not only do you hit the lottery and you can sit back and have a housing unit for life, but remember, your deal is you pay 30 percent of your income in rent, but what it means is for every additional dollar you earn, you pay an addition [sic] 30 cents in rent," he said.

Voucher recipients pay 30 percent of their income in rent no matter how much they earn, which stifles motivation to earn more, Husock said. Federal housing assistance, unlike the five-year cap imposed on welfare benefits in 1995, has no time limit. Husock, author of, “America’s Trillion-Dollar Housing Mistake: The Failure of America’s Housing Policy,” calls it “welfare unreformed.”
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Friday, April 29, 2016

Oil Prices Just Hit a 2016 High - Unexpectedly!

By Donald Sensing

Here's Why Oil Prices Just Hit a 2016 High - Fortune:

It has to do with a surprise drop in
U.S. crude stockpiles.

Crude oil prices hit 2016 highs on Tuesday on the back of a rally in the gasoline market and after an industry group reported a surprise draw in U.S. crude stockpiles.
Analysts seem always to be taken entirely by surprise.

Are we witnessing The Collapse of the Old Oil Order?
Sunday, April 17th was the designated moment. The world's leading oil producers were expected to bring fresh discipline to the chaotic petroleum market and spark a return to high prices. Meeting in Doha, the glittering capital of petroleum-rich Qatar, the oil ministers of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), along with such key non-OPEC producers as Russia and Mexico, were scheduled to ratify a draft agreement obliging them to freeze their oil output at current levels. In anticipation of such a deal, oil prices had begun to creep inexorably upward, from $30 per barrel in mid-January to $43 on the eve of the gathering. But far from restoring the old oil order, the meeting ended in discord, driving prices down again and revealing deep cracks in the ranks of global energy producers.

It is hard to overstate the significance of the Doha debacle. At the very least, it will perpetuate the low oil prices that have plagued the industry for the past two years, forcing smaller firms into bankruptcy and erasing hundreds of billions of dollars of investments in new production capacity. It may also have obliterated any future prospects for cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC producers in regulating the market. Most of all, however, it demonstrated that the petroleum-fueled world we've known these last decades -- with oil demand always thrusting ahead of supply, ensuring steady profits for all major producers -- is no more. Replacing it is an anemic, possibly even declining, demand for oil that is likely to force suppliers to fight one another for ever-diminishing market shares.
Methinks the writer has missed the boat. Saudi Arabia definitely wanted (and still wants) oil prices to rise. The Saudis make a very good profit at $70 per barrel, which happens to be the price point where American fracking becomes marginally profitable. So in the Saudis' mind, seventy bucks is an optimum price: it funds their programs and lifestyles and is not high enough to bring massive fracking operations back into the market.

Besides, if Doha was the "debacle" the writer says, then why did spot-market oil hit its year high today? Let's take a look at oil prices since the April 17 (a Sunday) "debacle," using as a proxy the United States Oil Fund, which rises or falls in a 1:1 direct ratio with spot prices. That is, if spt oil rises two percent, USO's share price rises two percent. Here is USO's chart starting April 18, the day after Doha's "debacle."

So if you had bought USO at opening on April 18 (disclosure: I am not invested in this fund and never have been) at $9.985, you could sell today, 11 days later, for $11.39, a 14 percent profit! Some debacle!

Here is USO's chart for the last three months.

Note the rise since the beginning of April. The Doha conference came and went and pretty much no one noticed. After all, no one in the oil biz expected Doha to do anything. The pretty much shrugged it off before it was held and after it adjourned.

I covered why Iran's promise to pump at full capacity means nothing much because they can pump all they want but they can't ship it anywhere.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

When you've lost the gays on the bathroom issue . . .

By Donald Sensing

... maybe it's time to rethink the whole LBGT thing, ya know? Drop the T.

We are a group of gay/bisexual men and women who have come to the conclusion that the transgender community needs to be disassociated from the larger LGB community... .

There are several areas in which the ideology of the trans community is at odds with or actively hostile to that of women and gay men; among the most important are: ...

• The infringement of the rights of individuals, particularly women, to perform normal everyday activities in traditional safe spaces based on sex; this is most pernicious in the case of men claiming to be transgender demanding access to bathrooms, locker rooms, women’s shelters and other such spaces reserved for women.
Wonder what Bruce Springsteen has to say?

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What do Leftists really want?

By Donald Sensing

They want to be approved by the the people they approve of. Leftism is one big circle of self congratulation.

Liberals embrace the smug life

And they win and give approval to one another through controlling the language of the debates. I don't know about you, but I never let the Left define the terms I use.

How Democrats Win Debates by Corrupting English

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

"Worth more than 10 battleships ..."

By Donald Sensing

"Worth more than 10 battleships or five armed divisions is a sense of American political resolve" - retired US Marine Gen. James Mattis. 

And today we have none of the above. 
Mattis: 'I Don't Understand' Speculation about Presidential Run

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Iran's tanker problem

By Donald Sensing

Iran Is Ready To Flood The World With Oil

Iran reportedly has about 50 million barrels of oil floating off its coast in Iran-owned tankers, about half of which departed for Asian ports this month.

The problem for Iran is that it has no more than 60 tankers in its fleet. About half of them are parked for storage and another 20 or so are not seaworthy, at least not for sailing the open oceans. So all Iran has to do is rent foreign-flagged tankers, right?
There is just one problem: nobody wants to give their spare tanker capacity to Iran.

According to Reuters ship owners, who are not short of business in a booming tanker market, are unwilling to take Iranian cargoes.

One stumbling block is residual U.S. restrictions on Tehran which are still in place and prohibit any trade in dollars or the involvement of U.S. firms including banks – a major hurdle for the oil and tanker trades, which are priced in dollars.

As a result only eight foreign tankers, carrying a total of around 8 million barrels of oil, have shipped Iranian crude to European destinations since sanctions were lifted in January, according to data from the tanker-tracking source and ship brokers.
I beg you to pardon me for a moment while I break down and cry that Iran can't make more billions of dollars to pay terrorists.

Furthermore, tanker companies are not standing in line waiting for Iranian bids.
Whether it is due to politics or simple business precautions, Paddy Rodgers, chief executive of leading international oil tanker company Euronav, said at present there was “no great urgency to do business in Iran”.

“There is not a premium to do business in Iran and there is plenty of other business – the markets are busy, rates are good. So there is no stress on wanting to do it,” he told Reuters. “I don’t really want to set up a euro bank account in Dubai in order to trade with Iran – that would crazy.”

Michele White, general counsel with Intertanko , an association which represents the majority of the world’s tanker fleet, said: “We have witnessed a reluctance by our members generally to return to Iranian trade given the prohibition on use of the U.S. financial system – essentially no U.S. dollars.”

One can almost smell Saudi intervention here, which we first described two weeks ago when we reported that not only has Saudi Arabia banned Iran from sailing in its territorial waters, but has taken proactive steps to slow Iran’s efforts at increasing oil exports, interfering with third parties and making Iran’s procurement of vessels virtually impossible.
And then they told me that Iran can't ship their oil anywhere!
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The giant sucking sound of evaporating Chinese wealth

By Donald Sensing

This Will Be The Largest Evaporation of Wealth In Modern History

The Chinese people are fanatical savers; even the poorer adults save an average of 30 percent of their income, and the wealthier save 60 percent or more.

But if diversification and asset allocation are the key to preserving wealth, then the Chinese get an F!

The reason: 75% of their wealth is in real estate, with the rest largely in cash. They’ve over-invested in one illiquid and bubbly asset that they wrongly believe can only go higher. Relative to income, China has seven of the 10 most expensive cities in the world.
Seven of the 10 most expensive cities in the world, relative to income, are in China. Ratios of 30:1 for dwellings are common in "Tier 1" cities.
In urban areas, real estate has bubbled up between five and seven times just since 2000. It’s even greater than the unprecedented housing bubble in Japan in the 1980s, which suffered a 60% collapse that it’s never recovered from – even 25 years later.

A 60% collapse is the minimum the Chinese should expect. But it would actually take 80% to get back to the pre-bubble values of early 2000.

This would be devastating to the Chinese. It is estimated that household wealth in China is $27.2 trillion, or about three times GDP. With 75% of that in real estate, that comes out to $20.4 trillion.

If real estate falls 60% as it did in Japan, that would mean $12.2 trillion in wealth would just disappear.

And if it falls 80%-plus due to the larger size of China’s bubble like I expect, we’re talking $16 trillion or more evaporating!
The ripple throughout the rest of the world's economies will be deep and long lasting.

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Socialist Power!

By Donald Sensing

Venezuela to ration electricity in power crisis

Which tells you everything you need to know about the power of socialism.

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