Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.
James Pethokoukis identifies “The 7 most illuminating economic charts of 2011.” Yep, this baby is still Number One:
Go see the others, especially the last.
14 years in the making — “Two UAW officials sentenced to prison for strike-related extortion.” The story: “… the two former United Auto Workers officials agreed to end an 87-day strike at a GM plant in Pontiac, MI back in 1997 – but only after General Motors agreed to hire Campbell’s son and the son of another UAW official for high-paying jobs they were evidently not qualified for.”
I want to know who paid for their decade-plus defense. I sure hope it wasn’t the UAW or the union’s legal services plan, but I’m guessing it was one or the other.
This (HT PJ Media) is a really long read, and yes, it’s an “advertorial.” But it makes a lot of important, easily verifiable points, especially in its section about the utter failures of Detroit during the past 50 years (“How Socialism Came to America … and Destroyed Detroit”).
The link’s Detroit recitation leads to a question, which I believe is every bit as relevant to several other U.S. cities as it is to Detroit, two of them (there are several others) being Cleveland and Baltimore. The question is this:
In the history of the human race — not just the history of the U.S., but in the history of the entire human race — has any nation’s government at all levels anywhere in the world taken so many decades of consciously chosen steps which have led to such huge depopulations (Detroit, 61% in 60 years; Cleveland, 56% in 60 years; Baltimore, 34% in 50 years) while leaving behind such serious ruin? If so, name one.
Memo to lefties: If you can’t (and I doubt you can), these and other cities stand as unique monuments in the history of the human race to the failure of big-government, paternalistic, largely union-driven, dependency-creating, civic bankrupticy-causing socialism.
Here is more evidence (as if we need it) of the Obama White House’s boorishness, even toward people who are overwhelmingly on their side (“Journalists complain the White House press office has become overly combative”; HT The Blaze).
Among the lowlights:
- “a screaming, profane diatribe that lasted two or three phone calls …”
- “National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor, reacting to comments (Politico reporter Julie) Mason made in a TV discussion, sent her an e-mail that included an animated picture of a crying mime — a visual suggestion that she was whining.”
- “they either favor you or try to punish you, depending if they see you as friend or foe.”
- “They don’t seem to realize or care that [e-mails sent from the White House] will become part of the official archives of the presidency.”
Thanks to that lack of care, history will show that this White House was an immature collection of punks — imitating their leader.
Predictions are that December will be a very good month for car sales — “New-vehicle retail sales in December are projected to come in at 1,033,700 — the first time retail sales will top 1 million since the Cash for Clunkers federal rebates drove strong sales in August 2009 …”
Oddly (or ominously), as commenter dscott pointed out at the Christmas Eve off-topic post, finished gasoline shipments have dropped significantly in the past eight weeks or so, and by far more than the normal summer vs. winter differences would explain (especially since prices have declined a bit since summer). There’s no way that gas mileage improvements in new vehicles vs. old would explain the drop-off. The only other alternatives I can think of are either that the economy is seriously slowing down (Can the “experts” be badly blowing their predictions of 2.5%-plus annualized fourth-quarter growth?) or that we’re suddenly importing a lot more gas (not crude oil, finished gasoline, which I think could only be coming from Mexico, Central America, or Canada).
Other less pessimistic suggestions are welcome.