Author Archive: Stephen Green

FLORIDA MAN FRIDAY [VIP]: She Drove That Ambulance Like She Stole It (Because She Did). “It’s time for your much-needed break from the serious news and this week we have our first stolen ambulance story in months, Robbing Bank for Dummies, and the Michigan politician who knows how to AMERICA! better than almost anyone.”

THIS WAS CNN: CNN Death Spiral — Ratings Drop to 396,000 Total Viewers. “CNN is really collapsing in the most important arena, the 25-54 age demo that determines advertiser rates. CNN averaged only 80,000 demo viewers during primetime and 69,000 throughout the total day.”

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG:

Christopher Rufo said, “They are in a full-blown panic,” and he must be right.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. It’s time to dump ‘ethnic studies’ mandates. “Ethnic studies will be offered in all California high schools by the 2025-26 school year, and will be a graduation requirement by 2030, reports Molly Gibbs for Bay Area News Service. But what will be taught?”

Marxist grievance culture. Next question?

TURNABOUT: China says EU mandated its EV firms turn over ‘unprecedented’ amounts of data.

The Commission, which oversees trade policy for the 27-nation strong European Union, last week slapped extra duties on imported Chinese EVs following the probe, prompting rebuke from Beijing and spying allegations from Chinese state media. China has also launched a dumping investigation into EU pork imports.

“The type, scope and quantity of information collected by the European side was unprecedented and far more than what is required for a countervailing duties investigation,” He Yadong, a commerce ministry spokesperson told a news conference. He was responding to a question from Chinese state radio over whether Brussels had been seeking to spy on China’s EV industry.

The Commission “mandatorily required” Chinese automakers hand over information concerning sourcing raw materials for batteries, manufacturing components, and pricing and developing sales channels, the spokesperson said.

China makes similar demands for data from Western firms all the time — when they aren’t just stealing it. The only problem with the EU’s turnabout is that there isn’t nearly enough of it.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEFING: Confirmed — Joe Biden Is No Ladies’ Man. “The latest news about a once-reliable demographic for Biden and the Dems must have them shotgunning Pepto-Bismol these days. Well, most of the Dems; Biden’s days are spent wondering if Corn Pop will be coming over after school to have some Ovaltine.”

EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Jobless Claims Exceed Estimates, Philly Fed Index Declines, Housing Starts And Permits Fall Sharply.

In May 2024, housing starts saw a significant decline, dropping 5.5% month-over-month to an annualized rate of 1.27 million. This was a decrease from a revised 1.352 million in April and fell short of the 1.37 million forecast.

Single-family housing starts decreased by 5.2% to 982,000, while starts for buildings with five or more units were at 278,000.

Building permits also dropped by 3.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.386 million in May 2024, down from 1.44 million in April, the lowest level since June 2020 and below the expected 1.45 million.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s general activity index fell by 3 points to 1.3 in June, the lowest since January 2024 and below the forecast of 5.2. The current shipments index decreased by 6 points to -7.2, its lowest since December. The new orders index, while still negative, improved from -7.9 in May to -2.2 in June.

The employment index rose but remained negative for the eight straight month, indicating a continued overall decline in employment levels.

Regarding prices, both price indexes suggested ongoing overall price increases. The prices paid index rose 4 points to 22.5, while the current prices received index soared 7 points to 13.7.

None of this sounds like the claims made by the White House and the Mainstream Media, but I repeat myself.

GROWTH: Nvidia’s Gains Have Made It Bigger Than Europe’s Largest Stock Markets.

Nvidia (NVDA) shares continued to rise on Thursday, extending the AI chipmaker’s lead on Microsoft (MSFT), which it overtook as the world’s most valuable company on Tuesday.

Nvidia’s rise in the ranks of the world’s largest companies has been meteoric to say the least. Its market value has already doubled this year, after tripling last year. It has added $1 trillion in market capitalization—more than Warren Buffett’s storied Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), in the 23 trading days since May 20, according to a Deutsche Bank note distributed Thursday morning.1

And with a market capitalization of more than $3.4 trillion, Nvidia has in recent weeks become larger than the respective stock markets of Germany, France, and the U.K.

I don’t know if Nvidia can maintain a valuation like that or if it’s just the main driver of an AI bubble that’s sure to pop. But two other US tech firms, Microsoft and Apple, aren’t far behind Nvidia — nearly the size of “the respective stock markets of Germany, France, and the U.K.”

If there’s any tech innovation left in Europe, it isn’t easy find.

BLUE STATE BLUES: Democracy Just Died a Painful Death in California. “In a stunning anti-democratic move, the California Supreme Court ruled on Thursday to block an anti-tax initiative from appearing on the ballot.”

I’m not usually a huge fan of ballot initiatives but the court’s decision appears to be nothing but slobbery government-loving partisanship.

SUSTAINABILITY:

It’s a good thing Milton Friedman isn’t running the show anymore or this would be bad.

PROBABLY BECAUSE OF MY SUV: Earth’s rotating inner core is starting to slow down — and it could alter the length of our days. “Since scientists started mapping Earth’s inner layers with detailed seismic activity records around 40 years ago, the inner core has rotated slightly faster than the mantle and the crust. But in a new study, published June 12 in the journal Nature, researchers found that since 2010, the inner core has been slowing down and is now rotating a bit more slowly than our planet’s outer layers.”

No word yet how this will affect hurricane season but you know it will be bad.

XI’S GOTTA HAVE IT: ‘Only Pirates Do This’: China Wields Axes and Knives in South China Sea Fight.

The Chinese coast guard came in small boats with axes, long knives and spears.

They used the crude weapons to slash and puncture the Philippine military’s rubber craft. One Chinese boat rammed a Philippine boat at high speed, severing the thumb of a Filipino seaman who was holding on to the side of his ride.

During Monday’s frantic events in the South China Sea, the Chinese coast guard crew also boarded a Philippine boat, smashed its outboard motor and communications equipment, and grabbed the Filipino crew’s cellphones. They seized seven disassembled rifles that were packed in cases for delivery to a Philippine outpost, the Philippine military said.

“Only pirates do this,” said Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., the Philippine military’s chief of staff. “Only pirates board, steal, and destroy ships, equipment and belongings.”

The incident, described by the Philippine armed forces, marked a sharp escalation in China’s use of forceful tactics and intimidation against a U.S. ally in the South China Sea. Its coast guard had never wielded bladed weapons and spears in its previous sea confrontations with the Philippines.

There’s hardly anyone around able to push back, so of course, they escalated.