That’s it.

Don’t bother getting out of bed. Futures are up 70, and save the Italian election referendum, there’s little real “news” to talk about.

In fact, our Monday here started off with a Win-10 update and a Western Digital Synch update for the home network attached storage units, so it has been one of those “hyper- intensive yet refreshingly non-productive” starts to the week.

Still, there is hope.

Gallup is just out with a Consumer Spending Measure. And since the country has been on speed since the Trumpedency vote, this ought to come as no surprise:

“November (consumer)  spending averaged $98/day up from $93 per day in October.”

While we’re on it, American support for the Electoral College has bumped way up, so looks like the mob-orchestrators will have to park their popular vote yammering for a while.

With that, economic confidence is at highest levels since at least 2008, as well.

All of which should be extremely bullish for markets into mid-Spring.

The usual on the dried eggs and rubber chicken circuit this week a couple of Fed-heads. Toss fairly minor data reports – like International Trade and Productivity and Costs tomorrow – and it shapes up as an ideal week to skip-out early or take an ultra-extended lunch hour to go spend money while it’s still worth something.

Bring in the Brains

There’s a report in the WaPo this morning that Ben Carson will be named to lead the department of Housing and Urban Development.

Damn fine move, that. Especially appreciated by those of us who have read Carson’s story and understand that he’s got a crystal-clear, ground-level view of how poverty and housing go hand-in-hand and ways out.

Now if Trump can just put Mitt Romney back into retirement…

On the Way to the Door

We see the lame-duck-in-chief will be visiting Pearl Harbor with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.

Europe in Crisis – Thanks Italy!

The constitutional referendum in Italy this weekend has resumed in prime minister Matteo Renzi resigning. It’s hardly an issue unless you have a condo on St. Peter’s Square. But it serves to underscore the major question that few have articulated; namely what is the European Union and tell us again, how does another layer of government bureaucrazy (sic) and costs (and retirement funding etc.) really HELP the little guys in the lands of the double-speaking hold-up?

The EU, for it’s part, is spewing mumbo like “We trust the Italians will manage the situation.”

But everyone knows that’s code for “Please, fix it quick, so it doesn’t propagate like the flu…”

Which it could.

Problems arise when a formerly independent country, like Italy, are ordered into “economic reforms” crafted by those gov’t-sprouts in Brussels.

SF Body Count Rising

Up to 33 in that rave fire over the weekend.

Officially, so far as our searches have gone, the cause has not been determined. But we don’t give much credit to the theory that a cigarette lit off a grass fire that burned to the building and then caught it ablaze.

Ure’s news nose that knows news worries there’s more to this yet to come. The tossed cigarette story doesn’t sound right. The rate of spread seems too fast, at least without human assistance.

Our skepticism of accidental/random comes from a formula:

Fire load = (combustibles in kg) x calorific value in kcal/kgFloor area in square meters.

See also the D. Gross paper “MEASUREMENTS OF FIRE LOADS AND CALCULATIONS OF FIRE SEVERITY.” And along with “Estimation of Fire Load and Its Risk Assessment in Warehouse” you may find why the “news nose” twitches. But remember, extremely intense fires leave little or no trace of accelerants. For now, it’s “of unknown” origin.

Prepping: The Revenge of Global Warming

Got your outside faucets covered?

Good supply of hot soups and back-power plans at the ready?

Some way to keep that stored water from freezing?

AccuWeather has an advisory on how a major blast of Arctic air is due to arrive in the U.S. from up north this week.

Here in the East Texas Outback, we could see 27°F  Thursday night into Friday morning.

One of the few upsides? When we get the old Beechcrate out for a spin (to charge the battery and keep the cam from rusting), airplane performance in very cold weather is nothing short of spectacular.

So are complaints from the co-pilot.

46 and rain here this morning.  We’re into one of those few short periods during the year when this part of Texas begins to resemble Adak, Alaska…in July.