Category Archives: Politics: The Party of Sleaze

A Very Illuminating Chart

I knew there was a big difference, but not this big:

It’s even more striking when you consider that historically the FBI and other federal law enforcement bodies were strongly Republican. And in my lifetime, the GOP has made much more noise about ‘law and order’ too.

And of course we can reasonably expect the Trump number to balloon…

Posted in Politics: The Party of Sleaze | 3 Comments

Random Fact

Maryland has no statute of limitations for attempted rape, according to a web page at RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network):

I mention this à propos de rien.

Posted in Law: Criminal Law, Law: The Supremes, Politics: The Party of Sleaze | Leave a comment

Sick Joke

In Michigan gas is now cheaper than water. But only one of them is unleaded.

It’s making the rounds.

Posted in Politics: The Party of Sleaze | Leave a comment

Tell Us What You Really Think

Former chief of staff to Sen. John McCain unloads on Ted Cruz:

Although I find Sen. Ted Cruz’s “lonely man of principle” act as tired as it is phony, I should give the devil his due. Cruz has given Americans exasperated with Washington gridlock hope that Congress can, when sufficiently motivated, find consensus and act.

In this instance, the consensus is that Ted Cruz is a jackass.

Posted in Politics: The Party of Sleaze | Leave a comment

Beyond Trumperdome

This kind of talk, from a WashPo piece quoting supporters at yesterday’s rally, is what powers the Trump machine:

Cheryl Burns, 60, was on a road trip from California when she heard that Trump would be in Alabama. She turned her car around and got in line, warning people of what happened to states when liberals took them over.

“There is no more California,” Burns said. “It’s now international, lawless territory. Everything is up for grabs. Illegal aliens are murdering people there. People are being raped. Trump isn’t lying about anything — the rest of the country just hasn’t found out yet.”

Various online commentators have suggested that the two attackers of a homeless Hispanic man in Boston, who cited Trump as their motivation, are the forerunners of American Brownshirts. And, certainly, Trump’s weak initial reaction was yet another indication of his general ugliness. Trump did get around to a proper condemnation of the attack after two days; either Trump didn’t want to upset his base, or (equally likely) he’s terribly staffed: either is pretty bad.

As a big fan of It Can’t Happen Here, I’m always alert for those brown signals, but I didn’t find nearly as strong signal in the actions of a couple of thugs (so long as it remains just a couple…) as I do in quotes like the one above. If large numbers of voters are living a reality-distortion zone in which California is now Mad Max land, anything is possible.

Posted in 2016 Election, Politics: The Party of Sleaze, Politics: Tinfoil | Leave a comment

Nutty, Even By Relaxed Modern Standards

TPM, With Eye on Fiscal Armageddon, Texas Set to ‘Repatriate’ Its Gold To New Texas Fort Knox.

On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation that will create a state-run gold depository in the Lone Star State – one that will attempt to rival those operated by the U.S. government inside Fort Knox and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s vault in lower Manhattan. “The Texas Bullion Depository,” Abbott said in a statement, “will become the first state-level facility of its kind in the nation, increasing the security and stability of our gold reserves and keeping taxpayer funds from leaving Texas to pay for fees to store gold in facilities outside our state.” Soon, Abbott’s office said, the state “will repatriate $1 billion of gold bullion ((As you will see if you read the article, this is malarky. There is no such $1 billion in gold from the Federal Reserve in New York to Texas.” In other words, when it comes preparing for the currency collapse and financial armeggedon, Abbott’s office really seems to think Texas is a whole ‘nother country

Just read it. And weep.

PS. Bonus crazy:

Indeed, Texas has no gold bars in the Federal Reserve’s New York vault. And what the state has is not worth a billion dollars. Instead some 4,200 gold bars bought in 2011 by the University of Texas’s endowment fund (the second largest in the country after Harvard’s) are stored in the basement vault of HSBC’s headquarters at 450 5th Avenue in New York City, just south of the New York Public Library. For the last four years, the endowment has paid an estimated $1 million per year to store their gold there. (If it had been at the New York Fed the cost would have totaled about $15,400 over that period). And the new depository law does not require the university’s endowment fund to relocate the gold to Texas.

How did UT end up holding actual gold?

In 2010 and 2011, … the University of Texas Investment Management Company’s board of directors … put nearly 5% of the then-$19 billion university and pension fund they manage into physical gold by converting options into bullion. …

When the endowment fund bought the gold, their basis for calculating a return – called their cost basis – was $1,150.17 per ounce. The fund eventually traded a third of their physical gold stake for gold futures and other equities, but never reduced their overall exposure to gold. That’s why they still own about 4,200 bars worth just under $500 million. After a significant run-up and subsequent fall in 2012, gold traded on Monday at $1,186. Over more than four years that just a 3% gain for the fund before you account for the cost of housing the gold in New York [which is $1 million / year] and the transaction costs that will be incurred if and when the endowment fund ships the bars back to Texas or sells them to a buyer. Over the same period, the S&P 500 index – a broad measure of owning stocks – gained 60%.

Posted in Econ & Money, Politics: The Party of Sleaze, Politics: Tinfoil | 3 Comments