January 3rd, 2019

#6477: The problem China faces

Karl Denninger lays it out here, but I can summarize it: China needs the US more than the US needs China.

China's current economic model is built on one thing: exports. They further are holding a rather significant amount of US treasury bonds. If China did something we really did not like we would not necessarily need to counterattack; simply lighting all those bonds on fire and closing our markets to them would represent a significant punishment for their actions.

One would assume, or hope at least, that China wouldn't be stupid enough to start a war before they'd prepared for this kind of reaction--but those preparations alone would be (or should be) an indication that they were going to try something.

A China that can't sell stuff to the US is a China that's going into a major economic depression. A US that won't buy stuff from China has a recession while US manufacturing switches back on, and stuff is more expensive than it used to be, but there's still plenty.

Oh, so you can no longer buy six pairs of tube socks for $10 from Walmart? We'd live. But the people in China's "tube sock city" would starve, and riot.

The advantage of trade among nations is that--allowed to continue long enough--nations no longer wish to fight wars, because they end up alienating trading partners. The pocketbook comes first.

...assuming all actors are reasonably rational and not complete lunatics like Hitler or Stalin.

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Gun control working about as well as it always does. If you make guns illegal, only criminals will have them. Trite but true.

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YouTube tutorials are wonderful things. They let you learn how to do things without having to leave your house.

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Apple missed its sales estimates, but still made a profit; nonetheless, everyone panics. Pixy Misa discusses it.
Tim Cook blames the trade war with China. Customers blame the fact that the A$2389 iPhone XS Max lacks features found in a A$159 Android blue-light special.
Could be worse, I suppose.

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So, space probe news:

Ultima Thule is a Kuiper Belt object that we can see from here, as a fuzzy dot; New Horizons went screaming past it and managed to collect a crapton of data, which will trickle back to Earth over the next eighteen months at the stunning speed of 256 bytes per second. Already we have a better picture of the object than we've ever had before, though.

China landed a probe on the far side of the Moon. Also interesting.

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Well, at least tomorrow is Friday.

#6478: This will be entertaining.

First day of the new Democrat-run House of Representatives and they're already talking "impeachment". Because Trump fired an FBI director, something any President can do at any time for any reason.

Here's what I think Democrats think: the House, run by them, passes the impeachment; and then they use the press to pressure the Senate into convicting. "Oh, those Republicans are such partisans," the Democrats will complain, and their shills in the press will echo it faithfully, talking about how the conviction vote will break "along strict party lines" and lauding to the heavens the one or two asshole RINOs who vote for conviction with the Democrats.

Thing is, though, it's obvious to all and sundry that this is a partisan hack job, Democrats impeaching a President they don't like soley because they don't like him. Democrats think nothing's changed since their salad days of the 1970s, and threatening to impeach Trump will force him out of office.

But it is not 1974. Recall what Clinton's impeachment did for him? It did not make him less popular among his supporters, and he demonstrated that a President who does not want to leave office, and who has a majority in the Senate, can stick it out and win.

And there was a better case against Clinton than there is against Trump. Clinton actually did lie under oath, and he was impeached for committing that perjury; Trump had every right to fire Comey, and he could fire Mueller any damned time he wanted to. The director of the FBI serves at the pleasure of the President. Impeaching a President for doing something he has a right to do is probably not going to convince enough Republican Senators of his guilt to remove him.

And even if they did, then what? Mike Pence becomes President.

Is that what you Democrats want? Choose wisely.

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This elevator chime has given up.

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Wonder how long this will last. Of course, it is racist to emplace a curfew.

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Tomorrow is Friday. Can't wait until it's quitting time on Friday evening. Next week I move to my permanent schedule, which is later in the day; I'm out of training, finally.