Sunday, October 29, 2023

The Return of the Bond Vigilantes

The bond market is sending a message to Washington; get your act together. 

It looks like Wall Street is no longer willing to look the other way at the habitual dysfunction and fiscal profligacy in the nation's capital. With the national debt now exceeding $33 trillion (not including unfunded future obligations) and Congress paralyzed by partisan bickering, investors are no longer prepared to lend the US Government their money at dirt cheap interest rates. The yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury bond has been flirting with 5% for most of the last week. That's the highest it's been since 2007. As the route in the bond market continues, with its potential to spook stock investors, the threat may go beyond the much steeper costs of borrowing by the Federal government. It is starting to effect interest rates for mortgages, car loans, credit card debt and borrowing money by businesses and state/local governments. In other words, if DC doesn't take steps to calm the bond market, it could start to affect the broader economy. 

CNBC's take.

On the other side of the debate, Warren Buffet disagrees. He thinks US government debt remains relatively risk free and current yields are attractive, especially for longer term investors. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Casual state dinners?

The US hosted the Prime Minister of Australia at a state dinner last night and President Biden showed up dressed like an undertaker. You would think somebody in the White House would have a clue about protocol. 

The GOP: Is it time for a divorce?

End of an era: It’s time for the Republicans to break up

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Quote of the day

He is unquestionably mentally unstable, and he is racist, bigoted, misogynistic, xenophobic, vulgar and prone to violence. There is simply no rational argument that could lead me to vote for someone with those characteristics.”

-Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) in a 2016 email to Chris Christie following Christie's endorsement of Donald Trump

Friday, October 20, 2023

Bibi Netanyahu

According to a new poll roughly 80% of Israelis hold Benajamin Netanyahu responsible for the pogrom of October 7 and the deaths of more than 1400 of their countrymen and fellow Jews. That number includes 69% of people who voted for Netanyahu's Likud party in the last election. 

Politically, Netanyahu is a dead man walking. The question is not so much will he have to resign, but rather how long will the other members of the emergency government be willing to allow him to remain PM? My guess is that as soon as the immediate crisis is passed, he will be gone. It's likely that there are already discussions taking place behind closed doors over the shape of the post Bibi political world.

Whatever one may think of his politics, I think Netanyahu is a tragic figure. This calamity will be the defining legacy of a man who dominated Israeli politics for more than a quarter century. I was going to compare him to the captain of the Titanic, but I think a better analogy might be J Bruce Ismay, the director of the White Star Line. The Titanic's captain went down with his ship. But Ismay stepped into a lifeboat at the last minute and survived, for which he was vilified and probably spent the rest of his life wishing he had died that night. Bibi may be doomed to a similar fate.

Monday, October 16, 2023

On forgiveness and the state

In times past, kings wielded the power of life and death in God's name. But with that terrible power came the duty to exercise not only justice, but also mercy. I fear this is something we have largely forgotten in the modern world.

I found this to be quite powerful. 

Sunday, October 15, 2023


Whatever Israel's sins, and there are many, they cannot excuse this butchery. This was a modern-day pogrom and should be so labeled. Hamas and the Nazis are differentiated only in minor details. The former being motivated by religious fanaticism and hatred, the latter by bizarre ideals of racialism. But they both share the same objective, the extermination of all Jews within their reach. And they need to handled the same way. 

There can be no negotiation with Hamas. No matter the cost, they must be crushed. 

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Sunday, October 08, 2023

The House GOP Is a Failed State

...McCarthy’s ouster is dramatic evidence, if redundant, about the state of the modern GOP. A party that used to have an instinctual orientation toward authority and order — Democrats fall in love, went the old chestnut, while Republicans fall in line — is now animated by something akin to nihilism. The politics of contempt so skillfully exploited by Donald Trump is turned inward on hapless would-be leaders like McCarthy with no less ferocity than it is turned outward on liberals and the media.

The GOP dissenters who joined Democrats in evicting McCarthy professed to be concerned about controlling spending, and some surely are genuine about that. In the case of Gaetz, the ringleader, it is clear the dispute is primarily about personal animus, not ideology. He wanted McCarthy’s antlers on the wall of his rec room, and he got them. Needless to say, there are many Republicans who are now hunting for him.

And, yet, in the nihilistic spirit of the age, it is worth asking of these intraparty feuds: Who cares? Certainly, in McCarthy’s case, it is far from obvious that anyone should care that much. He simply never made the case for being consequential.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, October 04, 2023

Two on the Catholic's Big Synod

HT: Dr. Tighe

FTR I am not a fan of Monomakhos' fairly reliable cheerleading for the Putin regime. My views on that organized crime syndicate masquerading as a government are well known to regular readers. But I think they have pretty much hit the nail on the head with respect to the heretical tyrant now sitting on the throne of Old Rome. Some see him moving the Roman Church closer to Orthodoxy. He is not. He is moving it towards (il)liberal Protestantism. 

Tuesday, October 03, 2023

Video of ultra-Orthodox Jews Spitting at Christians Sparks Controversy

A video of ultra-Orthodox Jews spitting on the ground beside a procession of foreign Christian worshippers carrying a wooden cross in the holy city of Jerusalem has ignited intense outrage and a flurry of condemnation in the Holy Land.

The spitting incident, which the city’s minority Christian community lamented as the latest in an alarming surge of religiously motivated attacks, drew rare outrage on Tuesday from the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and other senior figures.

Read the rest here.

Pope Francis Hints at Homosexual "Blessings" and Openness to Female Ordination

The crisis in the Catholic Church is obviously accelerating at an alarming rate. The mainstream press/media are almost giddy at the revolution that appears to be in progress. In the meantime, the question must be asked; how long will "orthodox" Catholics remain in communion with open heretics? 

Details from what Fr. Z aptly refers to as "the fishwrap."