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Open thread 4/8/24

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  • azlibertarian April 8, 2024, 8:05 AM

    OK. I’ll say it.

    This is 2024. We’ve been experiencing partial and total eclipses for some time.

    Is anyone else taken by the near-hysteria given to this week’s event?

    • John Venlet April 8, 2024, 8:17 AM

      I’m with you, az. It’s almost a hysteria event.

    • ghostsniper April 8, 2024, 8:28 AM

      Taken? No.
      Disappointed? Yes.
      Ya know, it’s getting to where the insanity is more than I can bare.
      ALL of it.
      As my friend Steve said about 12 years ago, in disgust, “There’s too much information out there!”

      I look at google news in the early morning but then do not visit it again until the next morning.
      I’m spending less and less time online and one of these days I’ll just quit.

      It’s warming up around here, about 70 degrees at 11:30am, suns shining, I’ll be outside doing stuff.
      Probably get a gun out and do some shootin.
      Gonna do burgers on the grill for supper.

      Eclipse? shrug…..just don’t care.

      • jwm April 9, 2024, 7:19 AM

        “I’m spending less and less time online and one of these days I’ll just quit.”
        I hear you. My morning tour through the bookmarks has become a peek out the window.
        It’s like the worst buzz imaginable: Take a hit of outrage, and chase it with a shot of futility. Repeat until uncomfortably numb.


    • Richard G. April 8, 2024, 10:48 AM

      “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” is a study of crowd psychology written by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay, first published in 1841.
      Such a silly people. I anticipate pagan sacrifices and possibly witch burnings in some large cities. (There was a Hilary sighting at Wellesley. Always the optimist.)
      “How do you know she’s a witch?”-Sir Knight
      “Look at her nose!”-peasant 1
      “She’s a witch! Can we burn her?”-peasant 2
      “That’s not my nose, it’s a carrot!”-witch
      “She turned me into a newt!”-peasant 3

  • ghostsniper April 8, 2024, 11:40 AM

    Just put the glasses on and took a look.
    The moons coming in at about the 4 o’clock angle on the sun and at 2:38pm is about halfway across the sun.
    Here, it’s supposed to reach “totality” (EEEEK!!) about 3:04pm and start out the other side about 3:10pm. Frankly, I’m terrorfied.

    It is kinda cool though, that they were able to calculate so accurately how this was going to happen. Prolly due to all them DIE hires.

  • ghostsniper April 8, 2024, 12:16 PM

    3:12pm, it’s over.
    It seemed to be about 8pm at the peak.
    I could see the red light on a cell tower in the distance.
    As the moon was closing in the birds were gathering at the front porch for their bedtime snack.
    Then, they disappeared, to their lairs – thinking it was night time.
    It will take the better part of an hour for the moon to uncover the sun completely.
    At this moment it is still slightly dark, like maybe at 6pm or so.
    When the pinnacle happened people in the distance were setting off fireworks and shootin gonz.
    Now everybody can pack their shit and get out of here.
    And don’t come back….or else.

  • ghostsniper April 8, 2024, 2:29 PM


    “At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move all the tables and chairs out of the way, and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theatre.” – Frank Zappa

  • ghostsniper April 8, 2024, 2:38 PM
  • ghostsniper April 8, 2024, 2:41 PM

    When the gloves finally come off assholes like this will get their comeuppance.
    — sharpening my claws —

    Misinformation has Americans depressed about the economy
    The American economy is objectively strong and improving — but right-wing media tell the public the opposite


    PUBLISHED 04/04/24 5:10 PM EDT

    A panel on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Thursday highlighted the role right-wing misinformation is playing in distorting perceptions about the state of the economy and the rate of inflation, which a majority of Americans incorrectly believe is headed in the wrong direction.

    Wall Street Journal economic reporter Greg Ip drew attention to the enormous disparity between perception and reality when it comes to consumer sentiment about the economy in an April 4 article, titled “What’s Wrong With the Economy? It’s You, Not the Data.” Ip pointed to public opinion data showing that a vast majority of respondents incorrectly believed inflation has gone up in the past year, when indeed it has fallen significantly and stabilized in the nearly two years since peaking in June 2022. Furthermore, Ip highlighted a survey showing that by 40-to-60 point margins, respondents think the overall U.S. economy is getting worse while their own state economy is getting better. He also cited data indicating that by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, a majority of Americans wrongly believe the economy — which has enjoyed robust job creation and GDP growth — has gotten worse over the past year.

    Ip’s article spurred a conversation on the set of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, where co-hosts Mika Brzenski and Joe Scarborough and New York Times columnist and CNBC anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin keyed in on the role played by the partisan misinformation ecosystem in fomenting pessimism and distorting reality.

    “The misinformation that’s been put out across the country about this issue is so shocking, because of the way people feel versus the actual reality of the numbers,” said Sorkin. “It’s hard to tell people that you shouldn’t feel one way, and I know that is true, but the numbers are directionally, shockingly, going in a good place.”

    NBC News national affairs analyst John Heilemann chimed in that while the economy has improved, the tapering of inflation happened slowly, and that from a political standpoint for the Biden White House, “You cannot argue people out of their feelings,” with Heilemann recommending a different approach.

    “You have to figure out a way to say to them, hey, we know that prices are still too high, we know you’re still feeling it in your pocketbook now, but look at all the progress we’ve made,” Heilemann said. “Give us some more time, because you know it’s just going to be worse with Donald Trump. He’s not on your side. We’re on your side, we fixed a lot of stuff. This thing still, we need some work, we’ve made some progress, but not enough.”

    Indeed, liberal and conservative economists agree that Trump’s policies would make inflation worse — but mainstream media outlets have barely covered this.

    Scarborough then contrasted the poll findings that people thought their own state economies were doing well while the rest of the country was doing badly, then turned the question back to the sheer volume of right-wing media misinformation.

    “I’m sorry but, you know, if you looked at certain cable news channels you would think we were in the middle of a Great Depression, that illegal immigrants were racing through schools across America stabbing people in the face, and that leprosy is going to be spread by migrants going across the border, and that trans athletes are coming to your middle school to beat up your, you know, sixth-grade girl,” Scarborough declared. “I mean, seriously, turn it on any time. Turn it on any time, and it’s the economy is in free fall, migrants are coming to kill you, and trans athletes. I mean, it’s constant — it’s a constant, constant churning of these messages. And it has an impact on polls after [airing] 24/7.”

    Right-wing media have often painted the completely false picture of the dystopian, even post-apocalyptic America that Scarborough described. On those exact topics that Scarborough mentioned, for example, Fox News has ignored or dismissed positive economic news, falsely depicted a “war on fossil fuels” when in fact the country is producing more energy than ever, and depicted minimum wage increases as a danger to the economy and American way of life. Fox has also run an obsessive level of coverage depicting migrants as a criminal threat to the country, and hyped supposed new threats without any empirical evidence. (Scarborough’s reference to immigrants purportedly carrying leprosy was actually a Fox News narrative from 2018.)

    And of course, Fox has engaged in a vast culture war against transgender people, and the network drastically picked up its coverage in 2021 as soon as Democrats took control of the White House and Congress. This intense coverage has continued for years, including targeted hate campaigns, treating urban legends as if they’re real news, and whipping up new cultural battles via days of relentless coverage and dishonestly edited footage.


    Journalist ERIC KLEEFELD


  • ghostsniper April 8, 2024, 2:43 PM

    If you take it as a given that just about everything out there now is a GD lie and gauge your behavior accordingly you’ll be that much better off.

    Biden says U.S. economy is world’s best. Trump calls it a ‘cesspool.’ Data is clear.
    Rebecca Picciotto

    President Joe Biden is fighting to persuade Americans that the U.S. economy is the world’s best.
    His opponent, Donald Trump, routinely depicts the United States as a commercial wasteland.
    By the numbers, Biden is correct: America’s economy is stronger than that of other developed nations.

    President Joe Biden is fighting to convince inflation-weary voters that the U.S. economy is healthy.

    “America has the best economy in the world,” he told NBC’s “TODAY” on Monday, laying out an argument that is central to his reelection campaign.

    America’s economic standing in the world is becoming an early flashpoint on the campaign trail, where former President Donald Trump routinely depicts the United States as a commercial wasteland.

    “We are a nation whose economy is collapsing into a cesspool of ruin, whose supply chain is broken, whose stores are not stocked, whose deliveries are not coming,” Trump shouted at a Georgia rally last month.

    But the numbers paint a different picture, one more in line with Biden’s narrative of American economic dominance than Trump’s apocalyptic warnings.

    Inflation has fallen sharply from its 2022 highs, although it has ticked back up in the past several months.

    “On inflation, it is too soon to say whether the recent readings represent more than just a bump,” Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, U.S. gross domestic product grew 2.5% in 2023, significantly outpacing that of other developed economies, according to a January report from the International Monetary Fund. The IMF projected that the U.S. will hold that lead in 2024, though it expects the rate to come down to 2.1%.

    Two other large advanced economies, Canada and Germany, lagged with 2023 GDP growth at 1.1% and negative 0.3%, respectively.

    “The U.S. economy is leading the way for the global economy. It’s driving the global economic train,” Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi told CNBC.

    As economists watch U.S. inflation’s wobbly descent, the numbers still remain hot in developed economies worldwide. In Canada, for example, the consumer price index rose 3.9% in 2023 while in Germany, the inflation rate was 5.9%.

    Countries calculate inflation differently, which makes direct comparisons difficult.

    But Zandi said that even adjusting for the calculation discrepancies, the U.S. still looks good on the inflation front.

    “Using the same methodology as let’s say the European Union, the Fed’s already at target, inflation is already below 2%,” he said.

    And even as interest rates spiked, the labor market has stayed strong. In March, U.S. private companies added 184,000 jobs, payrolls processing firm ADP reported on Wednesday, well ahead of the Dow Jones upwardly revised estimate of 155,000 jobs. It is the fastest employment growth the U.S. economy has seen since July 2023.

    The stock market has also made record gains over the past several months and housing values have soared, though they have now begun to decline as inventory improves.

    Besides sticky high prices that are projected to cool in the coming year, Zandi said that the fundamentals of the current U.S. economy are nearly ideal: “The economy is picture perfect. It’s hard to argue with it.”

    ‘Policy and luck’
    The U.S. economy’s recent outperformance is the result of several factors.

    “It’s both policy and luck,” said economist Joseph Gagnon of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a think tank based in Washington, D.C.

    In response to the economic quake of the pandemic, the U.S. government injected roughly $4 trillion of stimulus into the economy to support individual households and businesses.

    “We had more fiscal stimulus than any other country and that is part of the reason why the U.S. has recovered from the Covid depression better than any other country,” said economist Josh Gotbaum, a former White House and Treasury Department official in both Republican and Democratic administrations and currently a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution.

    America’s stimulus safety net came with a hefty price tag, leaving the U.S. with a much larger budget deficit than other countries. But it also kept the economy afloat, by providing a cushion so that companies did not have to execute mass layoffs that might have spiraled into a recession.

    That labor market resilience has stuck. Even as the Federal Reserve sharply raised interest rates, the unemployment rate has remained below 4% for the past two years, though it edged slightly higher in February.

    Meanwhile, Canada’s unemployment stood at 5.8% in February, a .1-percentage-point increase from January. The European Union’s unemployment rate was 6.0%, according to Eurostat.

    The U.S. economy’s position on the global stage is also a product of its resilience in the face of geopolitical crises and the unique setup of the American financial system.

    As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted global energy and food prices, for example, the U.S. was not hurt as much as areas like Europe and Japan, which rely more heavily on Russian energy and food imports.

    “That’s the luck part,” said Gagnon.

    The U.S. economy’s resilience is also a result of its unique debt structures.

    U.S. households were more insulated from spikes in global rates because of the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, which allowed households to lock in extremely low mortgage rates from the early days of the pandemic. That 30-year mortgage rate, which is mostly unique to the U.S. financial system, protected households as rates later heated up.

    “Our banking system takes a lot of interest rate risk, but in the rest of the world, they shove it on to the household, on to businesses,” said Zandi. “That was really important this go around.”

    Not ‘free and clear’ yet
    Even as the U.S. economy stays ahead of the rest of the developed world, there is still room for setbacks in the recovery.

    “I don’t think we can conclude that we’ve soft-landed, that we’re free and clear,” said Zandi.

    For now, the Federal Reserve remains hawkish on interest rates, despite previous indications the central bank would issue three cuts this year.

    Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic now expects just one rate cut this year, likely toward the fourth quarter.

    “The road is going to be bumpy,” Bostic said Wednesday in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

    And while the path of the U.S. economy’s recovery is still uncertain, experts are optimistic.

    “We’re basically on or above the track we were on before the pandemic hit,” said Gagnon, of the Peterson Institute. “So that’s pretty darn good.”


    Journalist Rebecca Picciotto

    24 years old, graduated college 2 years ago, has no understanding of the subject matter in which she writes.

    • Snakepit Kansas April 9, 2024, 6:17 AM

      There exists absolute mountains of gubmint debt that cannot be repaid, at least how any one of us commoners borrowing money would have to. Joe Blow average will pay for all this debt through inflation or the inflation will reduce the amount of value of their respective retirement fund. Plus, with inflated housing, you pay more property tax, even if your rate does not increase. Your retirement investment increases and you pay more capital gains taxes. You are either screwed or you are screwed.

      • ghostsniper April 9, 2024, 7:22 PM

        The US gov’t accounting dept has been out of control for decades to the point it is not even possible to know how much money they have spent. 20 years ago G Gordon Liddy estimated THEN that the gov’t was more than $2,000 trillion in debt.

        It was at that point that I came to the idea of “The Rule of Eight”.
        Whatever amount of money the gov’t mentions in and capacity, multiply it by 8 and you get the more realistic amount.

        Ex.: If the gov’t says something is going to cost $5bil, by the time it’s said and done, the real cost will be at least $40bil. 5 x 8 = 40

        But. It doesn’t matter, unless you think it does.
        See, I’m not in the habit of ASSuming other peoples expenditures.
        In fact, I have a looooong history of going waaaaay out of my way to avoid them.
        All right minded Patriots should do likewise.

  • DT April 8, 2024, 4:08 PM

    Eclipse Summary
    Here it comes.
    There it goes.

    Clear bright skies here but the effect was so minor that had I not known, I’d never have guessed.

    (But totality is so much different than 99% … almost dead vs actually dead … glad I caught the less-hyped 2017 totality – and the less spectacular but interesting annular version last year. Likely my last such events.)

    Like midnight New Year’s Eve 1999, the world did not come to an end in spite of MSM and guv trying to claim it so.

  • ghostsniper April 8, 2024, 4:44 PM

    I guess there’s more retards out there than I knew.
    biden voters mostly.
    Bloomington is a blue college town in a red state.
    Oh yeah, Shatner’s 94 year old ass was there.


  • Anne April 9, 2024, 9:49 AM

    My grocery bill tells a much different story! My auto insurance (no accidents in 60 years) has also gone up. I guess that’s just because we had another birthday! Just sayin.

  • Anonymous April 9, 2024, 11:54 AM

    Buckle up. This is a real eye opener.


    • ghostsniper April 9, 2024, 12:57 PM

      dood comes across as a fake faggot

      • Anonymous April 9, 2024, 2:34 PM

        That’s all you can say?

        • ghostsniper April 9, 2024, 2:55 PM

          What were you expecting me to say?
          I only watched a few mins.
          He was bloviating and bragging more than anyone I have ever seen.
          It would seem that if his position/function is real he’d be a little less of a braggart.
          Did he come across as being truthful to you?

          • Anonymous April 10, 2024, 7:34 AM

            You comment is Very Telling

            • ghostsniper April 10, 2024, 8:26 AM

              As was yours.

      • Daniel K Day April 9, 2024, 9:44 PM

        Lose the “fake”. Go down to the end of this post:
        “the journalist apparently made this connection with the target on a gay dating website.”

        • ghostsniper April 10, 2024, 3:12 AM

          HA! Good catch Daniel!
          I hadn’t been over to Big Country’s place for a few days, so I hadn’t seen that.
          My mistake was in NOT putting a comma between fake and faggot.
          I still think he’s fake.
          In light of what you’ve revealed, perhaps he was bragging to catch that date?

  • Jim in Oxford April 10, 2024, 3:47 AM

    I for one thought the eclipse a most glorious experience (aren’t many so transitory?). The blah-blah-blah out there did not distract nor did it diminish the ability to enjoy and wonder. We were well within the totality zone, and even though seeing the corona (safely, of course) was spectacular, it was the effects on the ground and in the surrounding skies that amazed us, e.g. “dusk” in mid-afternoon, complete with stars! We were really lucky for it to have been a beautiful day all around.

    • ghostsniper April 10, 2024, 4:54 AM

      Captain Kirk was over here in Bloomington for the event and afterward delivered a speech about it.
      He said something about the corona being an engagement ring between the sun and the earth.
      We saw the wild birds “go to bed, and rise” twice that day.