Tuesday 18 December 2012

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Photo, above: At Newtown High School in Connecticut, Adam Lanza had trouble relating to fellow students and teachers, but that was only part of his problem. He seemed not to feel physical or emotional pain in the same way as classmates. It's been remarked that both most suicide bombers and most mass killers in the US are teenaged boys. See: The Myth of Martyrdom: What Really Drives Suicide Bombers, Rampage Shooters, and Other Self-Destructive Killers, by Adam Lankford, assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Alabama.

Photo, below: Security officials in Pakistan say they now believe the vast majority of those involved in suicide bombings in the country are teenage boys, groomed by the Taliban.  In April, two suicide bombers attacked a Pakistani shrine packed with thousands of devotees, killing scores of people.  One of the attackers, 14-year-old Umar Fidai, survived the attack.  He told the BBC's Aleem Maqbool he regretted being involved in the bombing.

 

JOHN BATCHELOR

Larry Kudlow, The Kudlow Report, CNBC; and Cumulus Media radio

Tuesday 905P Eastern Time: Larry Kudlow, in re: 

Tuesday 920P Eastern Time: Phil Izzo, WSJ new editor, in re:  U.S. vs. World, Mortgages, Keynesianism; Hysterical Economy, Sandy Costs, Fed Criticism. "US is the cleanest dirty short in the laundry pile."  We at least beat the lowered expectations; doing better than most other [developed] countries. After the fiscalcliff thing, maybe we'll do even better.  BoJ hullaballoo; markets responding to easy money.  Banks industrials, materials, commodities, consumer discretionaries, and tech: all looking [relatively] good.  We've had headwinds for years; no sector now is actually subtracting from growth.  The housing market is stronger than we had reason to believe, and is continuing.   People coming back into mkt, households being formed – but so  much of the mortgage mkt has been nationalized – Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginny Mae – and FHS-insured.   If lots of defaults, the taxpayer is on he hook. The housing bust was six years ago – and people do still need to live somewhere. Catching up with inventory blt during the boom.  Gold: price going down because risk is diminishing? "I love it when gold goes down because the money is being put into something more productive. A slump in gold is a good thing."

Tuesday 935P Eastern Time: Lee Ohanian, Ctr for Advance Ec Study, Arizona; Hoover, in re: Abt 40% of what the avg Am earned wd go to the govt; 60% for households – 8 to 10 percentage points higher than a decade ago; still less than Europe. Depress hiring, investment, and incentives to workers. What happens when tax rates rise? Europe ahs done htat experiment: no job creation of business creation for over ten years.  $25-35K pa: implicit tax rates up to 70%, risk losing Federal [[benefits?]]  A single parent w two children earning $29K/year is better off than that exact same person earning $70K per year because of Federal safety nets.  I was consultant to the St Louis Fed; sat next to a woman in the train: "I don’t think I’ll  take this promotion because lost earned income tax credits and other benefits"  Dodd-Frank: restricting flow f capital to productive users contributes to sluggishness. There are fewer jobs today than there were at the depth of the financial crisis. Less bank lending today as a fraction of economic income.  We've put in place financial regs – yet to be written – that bankers don't understand.  Dodd-Frank was to solve "too big to fail" – but ossified it into those considered systemically important vs those not. Overall output is 13% lower than it wd have been had we continues on the pre-2008 trend. We've lost three years of economic growth – haven’t been here since the 1930s.    How to raise revenues without depressing incentives.

The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it will take unprecedented steps to bolster the economy, saying it will continue to stimulate growth unless the unemployment rate falls to 6.5 percent or the inflation rate reaches 2.5 percent.   It was a historic move that for the first time explicitly spells out the Fed's goals for the economy and how it will respond to changing economic conditions. The Fed says it will also begin purchasing $45 billion in Treasury bonds a month, on top of $40 billion a month it is already buying in mortgage bonds.  The statement amounts to a major new commitment to reducing unemployment but also shows that Fed officials remain concerned about the long-term prospects for the U.S. economy.    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/federal-reserve-wraps-up-2012-sti...

Tuesday 950P Eastern Time:  Victor Davis Hanson, senior Fellow, Hoover, in re: California, here we stay.  from the horselessness of Washington to the leglessness of California.  California is the direction the US is moving: the rich flee, the dependent stay.  Cal ballot proposition is retroactive; 2% of tax base is paying 50% of the state's aggregate tax income. Republicans lost the Latino vote to wishes for higher taxes on the rich.   . . . Arthur Laffer in IBD:  This trend has gone on for years. VDH: We’re 49th in schools – better only than Mississippi.

Tuesday 1005P (705P Pacific Time):  Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; Lara M Brown, Villanova, in re: update on gun control and Washington - what is to be done: last evening, with the roundtable of Avlon, Fund and Goddard, we focused on mental illness and guns.  Tonight, consider mental illness (all the single male shooters look to be mentally ill); also, we see the public wants something to happen, but it's unclear what.  Yesterday's call from Sen Joe Manchin, lifelong member of NRA and poster child for gun support: "I'm ready to move on gun control."

Tuesday 1020P (720P Pacific Time): ):  Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; Lara M Brown, Villanova, continued:   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/18/opinion/what-drives-suicidal-mass-kill...

"The National Rifle Association shut down a key Twitter account last summer in the aftermath of the Aurora, Colo., theater shootings. On Saturday, one day after the unthinkable shootings at a Newtown, Conn. elementary school, the NRA took a more drastic measure by deactivating its Facebook page after celebrating getting to 1.7 million fans on the social site earlier in the week."

"While the group has not commented since Friday's tragedy, it appears to have staked out a strategy to take its brand out of the social media picture in the wake of a mass-shooting news event. Given its guns-rights cause, the social media buzz after such events seems to be an unenviable conversation for the organization to participate in."

Tuesday 1035P (735P Pacific Time): Abheek Bhattacharya,   , in re:  Wal-Mart in India.  Ravi Shankar, his contributions to the music of the world; his two daughters.

Tuesday 1050P (750P Pacific Time):  Larry Johnson, NoQuarter, in re: Secy Clinton is criticized in a report.  Puzzle over the concussion that prevents her from testifying to COngress on Benghazi. What was the intell activity being carried our  in connection with Syria?  Qatar, Saudi Arabia and, most importantly, Turkey.  Broadwell won’t face federal charges—the David Petraeus biographer whose aggressive emailing launched the federal investigation that brought down the CIA director will not be criminally charged with cyberstalking, the U.S. attorney’s office in Tampa announced Tuesday.   http://politi.co/VPbukM

Tuesday 1105P (805P Pacific Time):  Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal editorial board, in re: "A Narrow Internet Escape."

Tuesday 1120P (820P Pacific Time): Bryan Bender, Boston Globe, in re: John Kerry for Secretary of State.

Tuesday 1135P (835P Pacific Time): Adam Lankford, assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Alabama, author of the forthcoming book, The Myth of Martyrdom: What Really Drives Suicide Bombers, Rampage Shooters, and Other Self-Destructive Killers. and NYT, in re:

Tuesday 1150P (850P Pacific Time):  Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re: Iranian minister denies Syria's Assad about to fall: "Syrian army and the state machine are working smoothly," says the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister. "Not true," says Reza.

Tuesday/Wed 1205A (905 Pacific Time):  Robert Zimmerman, behindtheblack.com, in re: Toutatis Revealed by Chinese Spacecraft. Chang'e 2, a Chinese spacecraft that was orbiting the Moon 18 months ago, has wowed space-watchers around the world by returning detailed images of asteroid 4179 Toutatis taken during a close-in, high-speed flyby.

Tuesday/Wed  1220A (920 Pacific Time): Robert Zimmerman, behindtheblack.com, in re: Climate. IPCC AR5 draft leaked, contains game-changing admission of enhanced solar forcing – as well as a lack of warming to match model projections, and reversal on ‘extreme weather’  http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/13/ipcc-ar5-draft-leaked-contains-gam...

Tuesday/Wed  1235A (935P Pacific Time): Lee Ohanian, Ctr for Advance Ec Study, Arizona; Hoover, in re: Abt 40% of what the avg Am earned wd go to the govt; 60% for households – 8 to 10 percentage points higher than a decade ago; still less than Europe. Depress hiring, investment, and incentives to workers. What happens when tax rates rise? Europe ahs done htat experiment: no job creation of business creation for over ten years.  $25-35K pa: implicit tax rates up to 70%, risk losing Federal [[benefits?]]  A single parent w two children earning $29K/year is better off than that exact same person earning $70K per year because of Federal safety nets.  I was consultant to the St Louis Fed; sat next to a woman in the train: "I don’t think I’ll  take this promotion because lost earned income tax credits and other benefits"  Dodd-Frank: restricting flow f capital to productive users contributes to sluggishness. There are fewer jobs today than there were at the depth of the financial crisis. Less bank lending today as a fraction of economic income.  We've put in place financial regs – yet to be written – that bankers don't understand.  Dodd-Frank was to solve "too big to fail" – but ossified it into those banks considered systemically important vs those not. Overall output is 13% lower than it wd have been had we continues on the pre-2008 trend. We've lost three years of economic growth – haven’t been here since the 1930s.    How to raise revenues without depressing incentives.

The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it will take unprecedented steps to bolster the economy, saying it will continue to stimulate growth unless the unemployment rate falls to 6.5 percent or the inflation rate reaches 2.5 percent.   It was a historic move that for the first time explicitly spells out the Fed's goals for the economy and how it will respond to changing economic conditions. The Fed says it will also begin purchasing $45 billion in Treasury bonds a month, on top of $40 billion a month it is already buying in mortgage bonds.  The statement amounts to a major new commitment to reducing unemployment but also shows that Fed officials remain concerned about the long-term prospects for the U.S. economy.    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/federal-reserve-wraps-up-2012-sti...

Tuesday/Wed  1250A  (950P Pacific Time): Exeunt. Sid Perkins, Science Now, in re: Space tourism and medical checkups: a preflight checkup for future space tourists -  who could face a variety of ills.

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