#MSM

Juncker deserves a stiff drink after that

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President Trump strode into the Rose Garden with EC President Jean-Claude Juncker where, together, they announced the elimination of tariffs on industrialized goods.

No stranger to slapping people in the head, Juncker understood that when the leader of the strongest nation in the world slaps you back it is often worth paying attention to. There is much left to be desired about the unorthodox methods used to achieve such outcomes but if such deals are achieved that should be hailed as a success.

On top of that, Trump received commitments from Juncker to increase purchases of soybeans from American farms and to purchase large amounts of LNG, something likely to upset the puppet-meister.

So NATO members have promised to get their act together on honouting commitments to spending to display their new bonafides and the EU has seen that they are no longer dealing with a pushover.

Undoubtedly the mainstream media will overlook this and devote coverage to a tape recording instead of acknowledging that sometimes bluster works when the counterparts are truly pushovers in the end. Theresa May, are you listening?

How much do Americans care about Russia?

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According to Gallup, in a list of concerns for Americans, Russia ranks less than 1% and has been falling. Regardless of the media noise on collusion, election meddling and treason these polls show how irrelevant the issue appears.  Over 40% see illegal immigration and draining the swamp as key issues. There is no question that Trump’s presser with Putin was a howler but despite the media’s constant negative coverage of the event, the MSM don’t seem to be hitting a nerve with Main Street.

Here is a classic 10 min video released before the election in the poorest county in West Virginia. The folk feel forgotten. Calling them uneducated, stupid, bigoted or any other insult is hardly the stuff of winning them over. They are not living the dream. One even called Trump a blow-hard and a buffoon but he will vote for him as he looks to provide his family a better way out of financial destitution he is in. One person, one vote. Still even if we wanted to think Russian collusion, CM applauds Putin for keeping 10s of millions of registered voters at home on Election Day.

For more details on the Gallup poll please refer to this link.

How the fishy mainstream media keep getting stuck on their own clickbait – hook, line and sinker

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They can’t help themselves. There is not one attempt to be objective. The mainstream media is so fueled with Trump hatred that they won’t let facts get in the way of a good story. The full video of Japanese PM Abe emptying his fish food by tipping the box before POTUS followed suit was actually pointed out by someone progressive, presumably tired of seeing this biased one-sided reporting. Indeed he knows full well that the mainstream media risks alienating even their own ranks if there is no attempt to be impartial. Remember the “we got ‘em!” statement from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow referring to Trump’s tax returns? The insane thirst to play the man not the ball, which back-fired so badly that even the left turned on her for being so obtuse and showing that he legally paid a lot of tax.

Yes, the President has many short comings but trying to beat him up over trivial things like paying taxes or tipping a box of fish food only proves why trust in the media languishes well below his own sub-par rankings.

Therein lies the problem. It seems media is completely dominated by ‘clickbait’. Every journalist hoping that they get the ‘break’ which sends them to the top of ‘trending’. So regardless of content quality, a clickbait headline and heavily edited video is enough. Sadly it doesn’t take long for it to be disproved by some other video footage showing the opposite. Yet they never learn.

However the people that seem to trend are those who come from utter obscurity. Take former Arizona Police officer Brandon Tatum whose videos went viral because of the content. Over 70 million views of his first video. He now works at the Conservative Tribune.  Such was the ‘content’ that the media came for him, not him chasing the platform for glory.

Is it any wonder profitability of the mainstream media wallows. A strong driver for this blog was because I became sick and tired of one-sided reporting from both sides.

Yet I will never ask for likes or shares because that is for you, my audience, to decide for yourselves. That is the ultimate test of any product – a value proposition. If the growth of the blog doesn’t take off then it is a problem of content or the delivery. That is perhaps the most fascinating element of writing the blog – to see which subjects actually engage. It is growing, so to that extent I need to work out why, but I won’t be commentating on exciting topics such as fish food delivery do’s and don’ts.

New York Times – true to its word

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Whether it The Guardian passing the begging bowl or New York Times offering its uncompromising journalism for 60% off media has changed. The biggest problem with bragging about oneself is that the ultimate judge and jury are paying readers. The New York Times stuck to its word and ended its 60% off campaign is ad. Fear not it is still running with the 50% off campaign (below).

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It seems that Fairfax Holdings is going through another round of cuts in Australia after trimming 120 staff almost one year to the date.

If these media giants wrote articles which drew in paying customers encouraging them to open their wallets perhaps 50% off specials or begging wouldn’t be required. They are stuck in the mindset of not willing to reflect that maybe their journalism is the problem.

What has Trump trumped every president-elect on in the last 64 years you might wonder?

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Make America Great again, right? As the mainstream media continues to wallow in self pity through self inflicted narrow mindedness, it is worth following what is really going on. They can’t find much to praise him for. Almost everything he does is laced with ridicule and bias. White supremacist, racist, bigoted or a buffoon. The same media mob that missed the heartbeat of the electorate is blind to think it has unparalleled insight on something it has no idea about.  One chart I often look to as an indicator is the official number of “unemployed persons“. As you can see over 66 years it’s been a formidable leading indicator for recessions or downturns. However it would seem that Trump has managed to inject the most confidence in markets than any other president elect in the last 64 years.

This was one of my key indicators in thinking Trump would win the election. He was appealing to the people who were worried about the future. The ones who saw jobs post GFC increasingly become low paid menial tasks with little growth or career prospects. The Democrats would bang on about their great record under Obama and that HRC would be a continuation of that theme. How wrong they were. They bragged about low poverty and high standards of living when those they were really talking to were experiencing the pain in real time. Is it any wonder that the electoral map looked like it did  – many in the regional areas had had enough of the false promises which delivered nothing to them. It wasn’t #whitelash it was #blindarrogancelash.

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Don’t get me wrong. I’m one of the biggest bears around but I do think the unemployed persons trend could break the 66 year streak if confidence (the biggest missing ingredient in a zero/negative interest rate world for the last 8 years) continues like this. I keep banging on about “confidence” – that without it, the world economy will continue to head toward cliff. We are by no means out of the woods but the one thing central banks have craved is “confidence” in them. It has been sorely lacking leading them to resort to aggressive asset purchases to persuade us into thinking we’re already in Utopia. It has been nothing but an unmitigated disaster. What the group thinkers in the world’s central banks have forgotten is simple – People and companies invest because they see a cycle, not because interest rates are low. Trump is actually giving people and companies hope in a new cycle. Central banks have achieved next to nothing and are no left with next to no tools to fight any slowdown. The only fix to the global economy is thrusting more control in the hands of people rather than trying to exert bigger government.

I looked back at the rate of change of unemployed persons from October to November in election years going back 60-odd years. No president has got close to Trump in absolute or percentage terms. You can see the results in the following two charts – red denoting Republican and blue Democrat. For a first term president-elect, no other has got close to Trump with perhaps the exception of Ike Eisenhauer  Not even Reagan had a surge. Bush Senior – minisculy. Bush Jr – No. Bill Clinton – No. JFK – No. Nixon – No. Carter – No. Only Trump and to a lesser extent Ike has had a meaningful first term cut in unemployment before taking the Oval Office.

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Unemployed persons fell by almost 480,000 (-6.1%). That tells us that corporates are backing The Donald. It isn’t an exact science to be sure but usually election victories by the non-incumbent party give much hope or despair for corporations. As I’ve written in previous posts, small business in the US has been reluctant to hire because of burdensome red tape and regulation (incl Obamacare) that has made them uncompetitive. Now with the prospect of lower taxes and a lifting of restrictions we can place a reasonably safe bet that corporations are celebrating ‘hope’ more than anytime in the last 64 years.

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Yes Obama often pats his own back over the low unemployment rate but that can be flattered by falling participation. The unemployed persons index is a raw figure. No, it wasn’t a send off for Obama but a resounding boost to business (most likely small) confidence to meet the likelihood of lower taxes and more domestic production. Hallelujah!

Now to be fair to Obama, the GFC did not exactly help him post a great 2008 figure but even after 4 years, his legacy didn’t fulfill companies with much hope.

None-the-less We should continue to loom for other positive consumer or business confidence figures to follow in December to see if this trend is ongoing. Black Friday looked good too.  The National Retail Federation reported from this year’s Black Friday:

$3.34 billion: The amount of money spent online on Black Friday, setting a new record, surpassing the three-billion-dollar mark for the first time, and marking a 21.6 percent increase year-over-year. For comparison, last year’s total was $2.74 billion.

$5.27 billion: The total amount of money spent online on Thanksgiving and Black Friday combined, a 17.7 percent increase year-over-year. On Thanksgiving specifically, online sales came in at $1.93 billion.

$1.2 billion: The amount of mobile shopping revenue on Black Friday, a 33 percent growth year-over-year, making Nov. 25, 2016 the first day in retail history that sales from mobile passed the billion-dollar mark.

For me – it paints a positive picture that Americans are putting a lot of faith that draining the swamp will pay big financial dividends.

I remain extremely bearish on the global economy but Trump actually gives me hope that he can restore confidence in America and should it manage to come back to a 3%+ sustainable economic growth trajectory that is a big shot in the arm for a sick and tired world. Less government is the answer. The world should hope he Makes America Great Again. We need it because no other government I see around the world has much of a clue other than more of the same tired old response to something they have little understanding of. It takes a lot of convincing to make me ‘believe’. I’m becoming a believer now.

The biggest threat or the biggest minority?

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I’m sure many of you thought I was going to drag out the M word.Wrong. To the mainstream media, the biggest threat to civilization by their reckoning is the old, white , poor, uneducated  (i.e. stupid)  xenophobes (OWPUX). In a world where we are increasingly restricted from making any comments about other’s colour, creeds or religious affiliation for fear of being branded a racist, bigot or worse the OWPUX is fair game. In today’s world of political correctness, where is their safe room?

This incessant push by these inner and increasingly outer totalitarians is that they cannot accept a fact. The calls to remove voting rights from these people is an appalling attempt to drown out free speech. The elites living in the West End have no comprehension of how tough these so called OWPUX are doing on the fringes. Poverty in the UK is now 25% of the population. 15.2mn Brits live below the poverty line. 2mn more than 2009. The IFS showed that the cost of living was pushing them deeper into poverty.As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, 47% of Americans (in a Fed survey) can’t raise $400 in emergency cash without selling something. That is an alarming statistic. 32% of Aussies would not be able to fund their obligations if unemployed for 3 months.

In the lead up to the referendum there was a spreadsheet doing the rounds on social media which listed those world leaders (Obama, EU leaders, multiple Prime Ministers which were mistakenly called Presidents, Kofi Anan etc), a plethora of economists, think tanks, environmentally organisations, the IMF, World Bank etc etc in support of Remain which sought to belittle Leavers by likening them to Trump, Putin and ISIS. It was this typically arrogant elitist view that somehow Leavers were stupid and without an Oxbridge education were not well placed to make an informed judgement on the referendum. I would argue the reverse. Those that voted leave came from a far broader spectrum if we sliced all 17mn of them. They came from Labour’s own heartland. They weren’t all OWPUX. What they do know is that they do not want basic democratic liberties removed.

This idea that the “youth” were robbed by the elderly in this referendum. Some even calling for an age cap on voting suggesting that senility, bigotry and the fact they won’t be around for much longer is reason enough to remove democratic rights. Disgraceful. It is a democracy and the message to these young educated people who are seemingly so self entitled in their teflon coated kevlar lined lives is that you can’t always have the outcome you want. They have proved without a shadow of a doubt that lowering the voting age is an absolute no no. Many of you have revealed you are too immature already for that. Calling for a new referendum was shameful. 28% of people didn’t show up. They had a democratic right and chose not to exercise it. All the social media around getting people to bully their MPs to get the motion to stop. I watched all of David Cameron’s replies in the House of Commons. The idea of a second referendum were shut down and the process of separation is already in effect.

Such is the divide in established party politics. This is not a fine surgical scalpel incision on the surface this is division to the core with a sledge hammer. People are sick and tired of the political class betraying the principles they promised their constituents they would uphold.  They aren’t getting it. It is the same as in the US. The rise and rise of Trump (and you can forget the polls) is because he is listening to these people who are suffering from decades of being ignored by the establishment. Brexit once again was used to defile the OWPUX in the mainstream media’s attack on Trump. It won’t work and it will only further push these people the other way. They are past the point of caring about being branded. To all these parties that brand Trump as racist he has got the highest approval from blacks, hispanics and gays of any Republican in history. Hardly a reflection of someone who so openly holds these views.

The mainstream media doesn’t get it. But as soon as Brexit was decided, the vilification of Leavers was outrageous. Once again they were mocked for being uneducated with the Washington Post suggesting that the surge in Google searches for “what is the EU?” after the result was indicative of their  having no understanding of what they had just voted on. On any measure, this doesn’t pass any smell tests. The only smell test it passes is the mainstream media’s utter inability to report facts, present unbiased informed and balanced views and these so called “uneducated” do get their livelihoods are at risk. No wonder so many media outlets are losing money and going out of business. It isn’t just about the way media is consumed it is mostly to do with content (or the lack thereof)

Branding people as bigots and racists because they don’t support the prevailing consensus view (proved wrong yet again) is unnecessary. I am sure on the fringes there is an element of that but this was a vote for protecting freedoms and the right to govern oneself not to be dictated to. Ironically, the OWPUX are a minority in today’s politically correct world. Ironically they are the group that least wants “protection”, “safe spaces” and other laws to prevent their fragile egos. They just voted for democracy for ALL, not just themselves.

This Monty Python sketch from the Holy Grail sums up the idea that the poor expect the same rights as the rich.