The Dow Jones during the Bush Years and the Obama Years

The Dow Jones during the Bush Years and the Obama Years

UPDATED January 20, 2017 and moved to the top of the blog to show all of Obama’s term with all of Bush’s term:

Are you better off today than you were four eight years ago? The Dow Jones during the Bush years peaked and spiked, taking the market on a harrowing roller coaster ride. Well if you invested stayed in the market for the past eight years, I think the answer…

was YES! four years ago and the answer is YES!!! right now.

Here are two charts that illustrate how much better off your investments were under Obama’s tenure than Bush’s tenure:

The Dow Jones during the Bush Years

Bush-Dow-1 The Dow Jones during the Bush Years and the Obama Years

 The Dow Jones during President Obama’s term:

Bush-Dow-1 The Dow Jones during the Bush Years and the Obama Years  Obama-Dow-1 The Dow Jones during the Bush Years and the Obama Years

And what does it mean?

“I have long believed that stock markets are the best barometer of the health, wealth and security of a nation. And today’s stock market message is an unmistakable vote of confidence for the president.”

Who said that? Oh yeah, that was Reagan’s Economic Advisor Lawrence Kudlow talking about Bush back in 2007. (via Krugman)

The success of the market during Obama’s term is pretty normal. The stock market is almost always better under Democratic presidential terms than Republican terms as this chart of recent two-term presidents illustrates.

Bush-Dow-1 The Dow Jones during the Bush Years and the Obama Years  Obama-Dow-1 The Dow Jones during the Bush Years and the Obama Years  Dow-Presidents-Comparison The Dow Jones during the Bush Years and the Obama Years

I think it’s pretty easy to predict what we’ll get from Trump.

Protest Donald Trump’s Inauguration by Wearing Black

Protest Donald Trump’s Inauguration by Wearing Black

Well, we’re doin’ mighty fine, I do suppose,
In our streak of lightnin’ cars and fancy clothes,
But just so we’re reminded of the ones who are held back
Up front there ought ‘a be a Man In Black.

– Johnny Cash, from “Man in Black

Inauguration in Black

What should you wear to protest Donald  Trump’s inauguration as president of the United States of America on Friday, January 20, 2017? It’s pretty simple. Wear black, and I mean all black – black underwear, black t-shirt, black pants, black belt, black shirt, black tie, black socks, black shoes, black coat (raincoat with a hood if you live in Seattle), black accessories, and if you hair is not black – consider dying it black.

The Color of Mourning

Why wear black to protest? Black is what people wear when they are mourning, so wear it to mourn the loss of a truly sophisticated, graceful, and intelligent President Barack Obama and the inauguration of a truly brutish, immature, and foolish President Donald Trump.

Wear it to mourn the loss of democracy as we knew it. Wear it to protest the man who won the Electoral College vote but lost the popular vote by 2,900,000 votes. Wear it to protest the Republican control of the Senate even though tens of millions more people voted for Democratic senators. Wear it to protest the Republican control of the House, because it gained control through gerrymandered districts instead of the support of a majority of voters.

Inauguration Day Protests

There will be many protests in many cities across the country this Friday, so take your black-clad body out into the streets and join the protests if you can. And think about expanding your wardrobe of black clothing, because there are going to be a lot more reasons to protest in the near future.

And for those of you who think disruptive protests are wrong, well get used to them because The Resistance begins Friday, and the movement will continue on for at least the next four years.

Mac Dad’s adventures in PC gaming: Rust on Steam

Mac Dad’s adventures in PC gaming: Rust on Steam

Attn: All Mac Dads

If your kids ask for a PC for gaming, just tell them you can’t afford it. It won’t be a lie, specifically, considering how much time you have to spend updating drivers and frameworks.

cropped-Logo_Transparent-300x76 Mac Dad's adventures in PC gaming: Rust on Steam  Tonight my oldest wanted to try out a PC game called Rust. According to Steam’s Rust page, “The only aim in Rust is to survive. To do this you will need to overcome struggles such as hunger, thirst and cold. Build a fire. Build a shelter. Kill animals for meat. Protect yourself from other players, and kill them for meat. Create alliances with other players and form a town. Whatever it takes to survive.”

Sounds legit, right? I added funds to his Steam account, and told him to go ahead. Just kidding! PC gaming is so complicated that you can’t simply shove money into an account and say “go!” So after an hour of typing in passwords, birthdates, logging out, logging back in, putting my birthdate in instead of his, logging out again and then back in, I finally got through it all and then, stopped dead in my tracks by some pop-up window installer called something like “Super Easy Don’t Cheat Installer.

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The Best Albums of 2016

The Best Albums of 2016

2016 was a terrible year in many ways, but it was a great year of music. Here is my list of the best albums of 2016.

1. Skeleton Tree, by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. This album was started before Nick’s son Arthur died in 2015. Understandably, that tragedy weighed heavily on Nick as he wrote the songs for this album. The album is sad in a beautiful way. If you haven’t seen the movie, One More Time with Feeling, that played in cinemas around the globe on the eve of the release of this album, you should.

2. My Woman, by Angel OlsenThis is as close to a tie for first as you can get. I gave the nod to Nick because, well it’s Nick, and also because of the film about the making of the album.

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3. Blackstar, by David Bowie. This album was released on David Bowie’s 69th birthday on Feburary 8, 2016. He died two days later. This album is his eulogy. David Bowie was always changing right up until his death. The album doesn’t sound anything like any of his previous albums. It was an experiment in blues-jazz-rock fusion for him, and it’s beautiful.

4. A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, by Sturgill Simpson. You’ll find this album in the country section of your local record store because Sturgill is known as a country singer. Well he got the Dap Kings to play for him on this album, so it’s country spiced up with one of the best soul bands in the business, and it works! Here he is performing “Keep it Between the Lines” live on KCRW with his touring band (not The Dap Kings).

5. American Band, by Drive By Truckers. The Drive By Truckers have always written political songs, but this whole album is political. It addresses immigration, racism, guns, hypocritical politicians, censorship, police brutality, and more. I think it’s their best album in many years.

6. You Want it Darker, by Leonard Cohen. Like David Bowie, Leonard Cohen was creative right up until his death. This album was released in October, and Leonard Cohen died two weeks later in November. This album is about facing mortality.

7. A Moon Shaped Pool, by Radiohead. If you want to know more about this album, you should read Tulip Frenzy. It was picked as their favorite album of the year.

8. Rest in Chaos, by Hard Working Americans. This Todd Snider project sounds very much like The Rolling Stones from the Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street era, especially live.

9. Burn Something Beautiful, by Alejandro Escovedo. He’s getting older, but he still rocks with a little help from his friends Scott McCauhey and Peter Buck.

10. Beyond The Bloodhounds, by Adia Victoria. “I want to shine a light on the unseen, and speak the unspeakable”, says Adia Victoria, and she does just that on her debut album.

11. Plaza, by Quilt

12. Exodus of Venus, by Elizabeth Cook

13. Wild Stab, The I Don’t Cares (Paul Westerberg and Juliana Hatfield)

14. The Unseen, by The Handsome Family

15. Wilco Schmilco, by Wilco

16. Eyes on the Lines, by Steve Gunn

17. The Westerner, by John Doe

18. Real, by Lydia Loveless

19. A Weird Exits, by Thee Oh Sees

20. Introducing Karl Blau, by Karl Blau

And a shout-out to several bands that put out great music that didn’t make my top twenty: Santa Rosa by Capsula; Kin, by The Duke Spirit; Nine Pin, by Kaia Kater; Singing Saw, by Kevin Morby; Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, by Margo Price; Not to Disappear, by Daughter; The Hope Six Demolition Project, by P.J. Harvey; Execute American Folklore, by Johnny Dowd; Case/Lang/Veirs, by Neko Case, K.D. Lang, and Laura Veirs; Livin’ on a High Note, by Mavis Staples…

Russian entanglements, fear at heart of militarized Trump administration

Russian entanglements, fear at heart of militarized Trump administration

Donald Trump’s flirtations with Russian president Vladimir Putin likely started out as a give and take, leaving Trump to trust that someone as corrupt as Putin could be bullied into silence using a threat of exposing his corruption, a narcissists code of honor, or an unscrupulous attack on his reputation.

In our world, Trump is the guy who disregards all of his social obligations to focus on the privilege our social contract has afforded him, and then that guy wins a democratic election despite how obvious it is that he’s a sociopath with no goal other than enriching himself at any cost. He’s the worst of us.

But in Trump’s world, Putin is that guy. Trump found himself played by his own game and by then, Putin had everything he needed to put Trump in a bad, bad place. He tried repeatedly to lose the election. He gave it a lot of effort. He knew that he’d be Putin’s puppet forever if he managed to ascend to the most powerful office of Putin’s most powerful enemy. Losing to Hillary Clinton would give him a less dramatic undoing.

But now that he’s in, and he’s identified the long-term threat, he needs to circle the wagons and regroup. Militarizing the Executive branch must be signaling to Putin that Trump is finally understanding what’s actually happening here.

Donald Trump Tweets Flag Burners belong in Jail and should Lose their Citizenship

Donald Trump Tweets Flag Burners belong in Jail and should Lose their Citizenship

American-Flag-Burning Donald Trump Tweets Flag Burners belong in Jail and should Lose their Citizenship

Early this morning, Donald Trump woke up and sent off a flurry of tweets including this one:

“Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail”!

6:55 AM – 29 Nov 2016

What are we to make of this tweet that defies the U.S. Constitution? In 1989 the Supreme Court in Texas v. Johnson ruled that burning a flag in protest is political expression protected by the First Amendment. In 1967 the Supreme Court ruled in Afroyim v. Rusk that the 14th Amendment forbids the government from taking away the citizenship of natural born Americans. Is Donald Trump suggesting that congress enact laws to punish flag-burning protesters by incarcerating them for a year and/or stripping them of their citizenship? Based on Supreme Court decisions, if congress did pass such laws, they would immediately be ruled unconstitutional.

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Future Hazy, Shake Again

Future Hazy, Shake Again

This is insane. I can’t even begin to predict where it’s going. It’s like federal and constitutional law has never been challenged by someone like him in the role of president-elect and enforcement is something nobody planned for (I have a feeling history has seen this guy before). As though it has always been assumed that anyone interested in the presidency would also be interested in following a standard of decorum, respecting the office, and working within the framework that allows us to share a set of goals while we fight over the finer details. He has no connection to the conventional morality that we all share. We understand that bullish, self-absorbed, narcissism as personal traits would set some members of our families, coworkers, and associates against us in unnecessary ways. Did this guy ever have to hold his tongue in a meeting of colleagues, ruminate on hurting his mom’s feelings, or rethink how his actions contributed to creating a tense situation at a family gathering? 

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Donald Trump Lies about Winning the Popular Vote

Donald Trump Lies about Winning the Popular Vote

Angry-Donald Donald Trump Lies about Winning the Popular Vote
Brian Snyder/Reuters

Donald Trump rebels against anything that doesn’t align with his own version of reality in which he is a supreme being adored by everyone. So as Hillary Clinton continues to gain more and more of the popular vote – last reported as a 2.2 million vote lead – he tweeted out more lies.

“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

…and a little later

“Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California – so why isn’t the media reporting on this? Serious bias – big problem”!

There is evidence from actual vote tallies showing that Hillary Clinton leads by over two million in the popular vote, and there is no evidence that millions of people voted illegally. If there was evidence of voter fraud and the press didn’t report it, then there would be bias. But there isn’t any evidence, so there is no biased reporting.

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The Republican Party is now the Official Party of Hate, Oppression, and Fear

The Republican Party is now the Official Party of Hate, Oppression, and Fear

Racism-Hate-Fear-Tony-Puryear-sm The Republican Party is now the Official Party of Hate, Oppression, and Fear  All the racists, xenophobes, misogynists, and nationalists across our country heard Donald Trump’s dog whistle “Make America Great Again” and united to vote for Donald Trump to make the Republican party the official party of hate, oppression, and fear. They heard Donald Trump say things about groups they hate, people they want to oppress, and heard him stoke the fires of fear. All these things he said  appealed to them (“He says the things I’m thinking”), so they voted for Trump.

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Who Supported Donald Trump for President

Who Supported Donald Trump for President

Now that a few days have passed since the election, we have some demographic statistics that show who supported Donald Trump for president. We know his entire campaign was centered on racism, and disgruntled white Americans overwhelmingly voted for him. And one of those disgruntled white people was David Duke, the former Imperial Wizard for the Ku Klux Klan. He tweeted, “Our people have played a HUGE role in electing Trump!” and “Anyone telling you this was a vote for ‘unity’ is a liar and they know it!” And it wasn’t just the KKK – Trump had the support of pretty much all of the hate groups in America. Haters attract haters.

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