Our inbox is full after the long holiday weekend.
One question we receive frequently was asked by Davey F. this week…
Are you a Democrat or Republican or do you tell both sides?
Well Davey, we like to think that we offend equally. For example, read editor in chief P.J. O’Rourke’s letter from our November issue, featured below.
Then, write us to let you know what you think at [email protected].
Demented Politics, Lunatic Markets
By P.J. O’Rourke
The theme of this issue is disaster. In America there is one permanent, continuing, endless disaster – politics. And, thanks to politics, we just had a disastrous midterm election.
What should we do about it? Maybe we should do what the Dow Jones Industrial Average did the day after the election and go crazy… It closed up 545 points.
I know… I know… Markets always go up after every midterm election. Supposedly this is because markets love certainty, even if the certainty is lousy. Which this midterm election certainly was – sending the socialist swineherds to tend the capitalist pigs in Congress.
If it’s true that markets love certainty of any kind, no matter what… then this confirms a suspicion I’ve had for a long time… Markets are insane.
I mean, personally, I’d rather have a little hopeful uncertainty instead of a hopeless sure thing. I’d rather have my doctor say, “Maybe this is serious” than “You’ll be dead in a week.”
Which is how I feel after the campaign season we’ve been through.
We have two political parties in America, each worse than the other.
One party thinks it’s in favor of business and economic growth. It’s not thinking very hard. The GOP has done nothing about the nation’s burgeoning debt and deficit. If Republicans were financial advisers, they’d take a look at your huge credit-card bills, delinquent car loan, and outsized mortgage debt and tell you to quit making loan payments and go on a spending spree.
You’d say, “But I’ll lose the house!” And Republicans would say, “Heck, we lost the House. So what?”
The other party is convinced that everything is free. Health care is free. College tuition is free. Parental leave is free. Not that parents need it, since daycare is also free. Democrats should go into a butcher shop and announce that beef is free… and get clocked on the head by a butcher wielding a frozen rib roast. (Except Democrats will ban meat because animals are free, too.)
Meanwhile, Republicans claim that free trade isn’t free and costs too much and this means war. Because… the way to deal with the giant Walmart that is China is to burn it down and get swell bargains afterward at the fire sale.
Which makes Democrats scared that real war will break out and, when the world is destroyed by nuclear holocaust, women and minorities will be hardest hit.
But, Republicans say, what we really should panic about is thousands of jobless Hondurans and Guatemalans invading our southern border. Never mind that with the current unemployment rate, I can’t find anybody to mow my lawn, not even for $18 an hour. So, privately, I’m thinking of the Hondurans and Guatemalans as “The March for Yard Care.”
And what’s worst of all about these two political parties is that on Tuesday, November 6 both of them won.
Now we’ve got a Saphead Senate and a House of Fools.
One chamber of Congress will be carting tax cuts to hell while the other is letting expenditures ascend into heaven. The House will squat like a toad on deregulation while the Senate confirms lizards and snakes to head regulatory agencies. Progressives will subpoena everyone in America who wears a necktie. Conservatives will console each of them with a large defense contract. One side will hobble businesses. The other will hamstring consumers. Liberals will kiss the ass of our enemies. Reactionaries will piss off our allies. The left will imagine new grievances for minorities. The right will fantasize about old majority prejudices. Democrats will lead the bull into the china shop. Republicans will pack the dog with the cat.
Refereeing this hard-fought, down-to-the-wire, tied 1-1 in extra innings contest between asshats is… President Trump.
Let us not get ourselves all a-twitter – so to speak – about what we think of President Trump. Whether you approve, or grudgingly approve, or disapprove, or abhor him with bells on… whatever you think of President Trump, he’s not exactly the person you’d pick as an umpire.
If the 116th Congress were the World Series and Trump was the umpire, he’d send both teams to the showers so that he could be the pitcher and the batter and throw every strike and hit every home run… And he’d also want to be the only hot dog vendor in the stadium.
This game is not going to end well.
Which is why – history of post-midterm market upticks notwithstanding – I was surprised when the Dow went up 545 points.
On the other hand… “Crazy” is not the same as “wrong.” Perhaps markets were trying – in their own crazy way – to tell politics something on November 7.
This is what I’d like to think the markets were attempting to say in their delirious ravings:
We’re the economy! We’re the grown-ups here! We pay the bills! We’re the parents and you political parties are the quarreling teenage kids. We’re sick of you two fighting all the time. You’re making a mess! You’re in the way! We’ve got jobs, we’ve got work to do, we’ve got businesses to run! If you’re going to fight, take your stupid fight somewhere else, someplace nobody cares about, a place that’s already wrecked – like Washington! And not only are we kicking you out, you’re grounded until 2020!
Now here’s some of the latest news we’re reading…
Corrections are normal… especially during major trends like the “Melt Up” we’ve featured in the pages of American Consequences…
Once investors get used to a one-way market, they forget that stocks go down as well as up.
CNN’s Fear and Greed Index is showing “extreme fear” in the market right now heading into the holiday season…
What emotion is driving the market now?Debt is dangerous. It piles up during the good times and is unforgiving during the bad. A vicious cycle may be inevitable…
Fueled by cheap credit, American corporations have been gorging on acquisitions. The party may soon be over.
We suspect this trend, too, is going to get a lot worse before it gets better…
“Current price levels and the trajectory of the current trends suggest that this trend has not yet seen a peak.”
I’d never heard of an “Armageddon game” of chess before. A fascinating outcome…
Over more than two weeks, more than 600 moves, 48 hours of play, one scandalous video and one black eye, the world’s top two grandmasters have now fought to a dozen straight draws.
And don’t miss this musing from P.J. on the latest food-magazine controversy…
It is the first responsibility of every hunter to preserve—indeed to propagate—the species and to conserve its habitat as well. It is imperative that vegans should thrive.
And let us know what you’re reading at [email protected].
Publisher, American Consequences
With P.J. O’Rourke and the Editorial Staff
November 28, 2018