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2018-03-15 08:45 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 129 references
[Comments enabled]  

Let's get the elephant in the room out of the way right up front: Kudlow has a known, public, past drug addiction problem, and it was a serious one.  It is also not at a time that would fall under "youthful events" either.  While this is not necessarily a bar to a security clearance standing alone it certainly is going to get looked at in some detail.  I do not know what policy is in the White House (never having been asked to serve nor aware of the internals of their process) but in general the issue with clearances is whether the conduct in question raises issues of compromise either personally in your judgment (e.g. your conduct) or pressure that can be placed on you (e.g. can you be blackmailed or threatened over it?)  It is thus fair to speculate over whether he could be denied a clearance on that basis, but that's all it is -- speculation.  Here is the salient regulation from the "general" perspective; exactly how this aligns with Kudlow from that time to today is unknown.

Given what is publicly known I suspect Kudlow passes that review, but not without very close examination -- but again, there's law and regulation and then there's informal policy, which the White House is free to make more-stringent.  On the other hand Trump knows Larry and his history, so I suspect that he had already run this past the appropriate people and assuming there has been no relapse it is likely known he'd pass that review.

With that out of the way how about Kudlow as an adviser?

I disagree vehemently with Kudlow's sloganeering (e.g. "free market capitalism is the best path to prosperity") while he cheers on everything but free-market capitalism -- health care monopolists and restraint of trade, tech monopolies, abuse of private data, etc.  I've never heard him go after a single hospital administrator or tech giant -- not once -- and I've heard his spew for over a decade pretty-much continuously.

In addition he believes in monetary fantasies -- that one can grow their way of a hole when debt in the system as a whole is expanding faster than GDP.  He knows that's false as he's not stupid, but he pretends its true on TeeVee.  What he actually says in private I do not know, but the public face doesn't represent reality, and that I object to strenuously.

And finally, I'm not sure where he actually stands on trade.  Wage and environmental parity tariffs, along with those intended to countervail intentional monetary distortions (aka the Japanese or European central banks buying stocks!) are absolutely necessary if you are to have so-called "free trade."  Without that you get bent over the table and assaulted -- repeatedly.

That's the negative.

But there is a positive to counterbalance that.  Kudlow is one of the few people you can have a fervent disagreement with on policy and actually shake hands at the end.  For that I give him well-deserved credit, even though on many policy points he and I would have said fervent disagreement.  Further, unlike many, I do believe Kudlow understands the job he's being asked to do and understands that he's serving at the President's pleasure, not the other way around -- which is important.

So, in final judgment...... we'll see.

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2018-03-15 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 198 references
[Comments enabled]  

... as the excruciating pain of the 17 year old you invited to sleep over stabs you with the knife he bought the previous morning.  In the instant of your eyes flashing open you remember the jokes you told about the Muslim faith and see his crazed eyes as the knife is withdrawn and begins to move toward you again.  You're reasonably sure the next stab will kill you.

At that moment, having not banned Muslims, not banned knives, and not imposed a 3-day waiting period to buy a knife, never mind not requiring that someone be 21 to possess either a knife or convert to Islam, the one thing you want right now more than anything else is:

1. Strong language to condemn the imminent murder about to be committed upon yourself.

2. A desire for more laws so the next crazed 17 year old Muslim cannot be created, nor can he obtain a knife.

3. To express regret for the jokes you told that insulted the murder's "prophet" and the hope he'll not stab you again.



You've never faced that eh, or anything close to it?  Never been walking to the bus, your car or train after work, maybe after dark, and you notice a group of young, aggressive men obviously tailing you?  Never been stuck up or menaced? Never looked down the barrel of a weapon pointed at you and remember counting the rifling in it as if time stood still?  Never had someone tell you, with blood in their eye, that they intend to kill you, in detail, and you're quite sure they meant it?  Never woken up in the middle of the night to the sound of breaking glass or your door being jimmied?  Never been a young woman catching a fleeting glimpse of some jacked-up thug furtively stalking you as you walk to your car -- when nobody else is around? Never been sexually assaulted by force?

Those who have had such an event occur and survived it tend to have a rather focused point of view when it comes to the right of self-defense - - a right that predates all political entities, and which our Founders well-understood.

I think you can figure out how they see things, just as the dead -- and nearly so -- in Palm Beach saw it at that instant in time.  People may play the nuanced political game later, but at the moment I'll wager there's exactly one response every single person in that situation will choose.


Cut the crap folks.

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2018-03-13 07:11 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 104 references
[Comments enabled]  

This is truly amusing "snooz"....

Allegedly Kudlow, of CNBC "fame", is the front-runner to replace Cohn -- who has "resigned."

Kudlow, of course, is an avowed globalist.  He "hates" the announced tariffs, never mind that other nations tariff the hell out of our products.  Few people know this, but autos headed to Europe pay a 10% tariff -- the other way is ~2%!

Maybe you can tell me why, when Europe and the US have similar labor and environmental standards, our manufacturers should pay 5x what theirs do for the same product?

That just might have something to do with the dearth of US-built vehicles on EU roads!

Kudlow has known Trump a long time, and I guess "friends and family" is an accepted and "ok" point of view on adviser appointments, but quite-honestly I don't think this matters one bit.  Nor do I have any particular belief that Kudlow would be "good" in that position; he's quite-clearly a market crooner and pumper of asset values, which is exactly what Trump wants but exactly what we don't need with systemic leverage and price:sales ratios at or beyond Naz bubble levels.

Then again if he happens to survive for more than a month in the position he might well get to enjoy watching the blowup from the inside, which would certainly warm the cockles of my heart -- especially if he gets blamed for it.

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2018-03-10 09:25 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 165 references
[Comments enabled]  

Trump has "praised" the blatantly unconstitutional gun control law just passed (and signed) by the state of Florida.  The NRA has sued, and I predict they will win.

The "law" is blatantly unconstitutional and thus no law at all, according to the US Supreme Court (118 US 425):

An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; it affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation as inoperative as though it had never been passed.

And this means any attempt to "enforce" same is not a law enforcement action at all, but rather are the acts of a gang of armed thugs -- and I'm sure you can figure out the rest.

Now of course if you actually take the obvious course of action that one would expect when said gang of armed thugs attempt an assault you will almost-certainly be killed; the NRA's choice to sue instead of calling for mass-disobedience doesn't come with the near-certainty of immediate death.  This does not, however, change the Supreme Court's true statement on the facts.

That state agencies and instrumentalities choose to violate the Constitution with wild abandon and take reactionary measures without the full facts being in possession even by them, say much less by the public so an honest debate can be had, is nothing new.  In fact it's utterly commonplace.  I've outlined hundreds of such instances in these pages since 2007.  So are official coverups of malfeasance or worse by various state and local agencies, including those already known in this specific instance.

However, for a sitting President to cheer on such lawless behavior is another matter.  Sure, we've had Presidents that have engaged in such personally before when it comes to various matter of policy but this is quite a new and outrageous act.

I've opined here that it would be unconstitutional for Mueller to indict Trump.  My opinion has changed: I no longer care.

Trump has taken upon himself to cheer wanton and outrageous violations of the Constitution by a State -- an act that is a direct violation of his oath of office. Indeed, he had a duty to direct Sessions to sue Florida and seek an immediate injunction himself, not the other way around.

For this reason Trump's presidency (with a little "p" from here on) must be destroyed -- and I no longer care if the means of doing so is Constitutional or not.  A person who declares that the Constitution's highest and best purpose is to wrap fish no longer has standing to rely on its defenses.

Therefore I want to see Mueller indict him and every single member of his family and close associates.  All of them.  I don't care if said indictments are Constitutional or not with regard to Trump himself, or for that matter, with regard to anyone else.  I further want to see the Democrats win the House and halt all action in the Congress except to debate and hear endless bills of impeachment.

In short I no longer care how he is forced from office -- I just care that he is. Before the Constitution nothing else may be placed.  Not jobs, not trade, not anything.  If you're willing to place Trump before the Constitution and ignore his intentional pissing on same then you have no place on my forum, no place in my life, and no place in association with myself in any capacity.  You're free to disagree, of course, but for those who do I have two words for you: Get out.

I'll revise my opinion when we have a head of the Executive that actually respects both his or her oath of office and the Constitution -- and not one second before.

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2018-03-09 18:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 140 references
[Comments enabled]  

Here we go again...

CDC’s latest Vital Signs report found that in just over a year, emergency department visits for suspected opioid overdoses increased 30 percent in all parts of the U.S. The most dramatic increase was in the Midwest, which saw a 70 percent jump in opioid overdoses.

First, you allowed drug companies to sell billions of product of questionable (at best) efficacy with known severe, life-threatening side effects.  Then you promoted a drug war along with the rest of the Federal Government that destroyed the ability of people who were addicted to get product of known quality and potency, making overdoses inevitable.  And finally, you and the rest whine about not only the deaths that were utterly expected given your actions and the violence that has been brought by same and claim you know "what to do next."

Well, you created the problem.  I hope you're happy with it.  Tens of thousands of dead Americans -- from the drugs alone, never mind all the homicides from the drug dealers shooting at each other (and they suck as marksmen too which means they hit innocents all the time by accident) is a body count that you're directly responsible for.

Oh, I know, you'll say it's not you because you're "just" the CDC.  Well, last time I checked the CDC was part of the Feral Government, so you can go join Jeff Sessions, the DEA and the rest of the evil bastards that have run this crap over the last 30+ years, never mind the pharma lobby.

Death, after all, sells big government and a jackbooted response.  Just like it did with Parkland, where a minuscule fraction of 1% (about 0.0033% in fact) abuse rate for a legal, common device has led to calls for banning same never mind that the Constitution says you can't.  That hasn't bothered anyone before and won't this time, right up until some group of Americans decide they've had enough and then things are going to get really nasty.

When will that day come?  Who knows.  Maybe never.  Maybe the American public will march right into the "showers" and let the door be bolted...... 

It's happened before, you know....

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