With the quickly approaching Long Last Weekend of vacationing almost here, I’ll drop back into our “B-mode” today and tomorrow. Short, punch, broadcast writing, since time is tight. Especially if you’re heading out…
The main point his morning – despite the temporary insanity being spread virally around Internet, there are still signs that all home is not lost. Our first assortment of data points:
- Gas Prices are Up – but not at record levels. Triple A shows $2.838 as the national average this morning. But, the old record highs are up at $4.114 – so it could be worse and has been in past years. What’s more, oil is holding – for now – under $70 on the futures. At these prices, something approaching stability is possible: Prices are high enough that drillers can make money and low enough so life is somewhat affordable. To put it into consumption terms and driving tactics: The gas price increase over last year is about 18%. If you had wisely listened to our advice (“Buy the highest mileage ride you can stand…”) moving from a 26 MPG midsize ride to something getting 31-MPG would have kept your gas spending level on a cost-per-mile basis.
- Stock Futures are Down: Normally, the market rallies going into holidays (about 65% of the time). Despite this being a record-setting rally, weakness right after Labor Day is not unusual. The decline Tuesday following last year’s Labor Day was about 234 down points, Friday close to the Tuesday-after.
- Social Media’s Becoming a Tune-out: Great article in the British “Guardian” worth a read: “Logged off: meet the teens who refuse to use social media.“
- Phone Etiquette’s Gaining Traction: CBS Television – New York – report “ Restaurants Increasingly Banning Diners From Using Their Cell Phone.” Hallelujah! I hold to the notion that if someone talks on the phone when I’m out for a meal, I’m not picking up the tab. (I don’t get out much.)
- Capital Punishment’s Return: While we support due process, we notice that the “do-overs” affording by American legal process may be part of a global trend of going too far down “rehab road.” “Brazil presidential hopeful: let police kill criminals.” Extreme? Oh, hell yeah. But, when repeat offenders are on the rise, it’s the kind of thinking that might clean up countries on the verge of social chaos. Toss in prosecutorial screw-ups like “3 Suspects From New Mexico Compound Go Free After Prosecutors Miss Procedural Deadline” and there’s more to be said on topic…
The rest of the news doesn’t have such emerging-sanity driving it. In fact, the opposite….
Three Time Loser?
Not only do we read how “Mueller wants to review emails between Manafort, former lawyer” over on Politico, but we get the sense that not only isn’t justice fair and even (with the Hillary skate) but now is could be called “Mueller’s Revenge? Special Counsel Won’t Rule Out Going After Manafort in Third Trial.”
Near as we can figure it, Mueller’s crew is not only proving Justice really is Blind, but it is also getting senile (*having or showing the weaknesses or diseases of old age, especially a loss of mental faculties.) Manfort’s been convicted…so why keep throwing the books at him? Unless, prosecutors really are unethical, mean, and running and agenda, of course.
Speaking of which, did you happen to catch representative Jim Jordan on Fox News Wednesday talking about the Bruce Ohr testimony on the hill?
One of our biggest concerns is that the Mueller team will release a report within days of the November elections, and it will be used to influence the outcome…
For a contrasting view of Bruce Ohr, see the NY Times piece “Trump Target in Russia Probe Questioned by Republicans.” Two-thirds of the way in, Ohr’s wife’s working for Fusion GPS is mentioned….
Daily Dose of Data
Just out from the Bureau of Economic Analysis – personal income and consumer spending…
“Personal income increased $54.8 billion (0.3 percent) in July according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income (DPI) increased $52.5 billion (0.3 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $49.3 billion (0.4 percent).
Real DPI increased 0.2 percent in July and Real PCE increased 0.2 percent. The PCE price index increased 0.1 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.2 percent.
This kind of news might buoy the market but…oh wait! Markets are irrational…how soon we forget.
Dow futures down 56 after the data release as Stock market’s advance grinds to a halt on China concerns.
Headlines that Matter
EU deeply disagrees with U.S. on trade despite detente. Yeah, su7re, whatever. But start paying for NATO.
And here’s a story easily condensed “Campbell Soup to sell units, leaves open option of complete sale.”
And in politics of the “new left” ‘Can You Stop Lying?’ Cynthia Nixon and Gov. Andrew Cuomo Square Off in Heated Debate” No, maybe he can’t. Anyone who says “America wasn’t ever great” should be barred from holding any office.
And Those That Don’t
PETA wants to build large gravestone in memory of dead lobsters in Maine. Want to put up a drawn butter memorial…
Moron the ‘morrow, then….