Not at all Baffling

Last weekend, the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams played an NFL football game. With four seconds to go in the game, and the Rams in possession and down by ten, they went for—and made—a field goal. No time left, and the Rams lose by seven. Had they gone for a touchdown (not a pipe dream, the line of scrimmage was the 49ers’ 20 yard line) and made that, they would have lost by three (or two had they then chosen a two-point conversion). Fail on the touchdown try, and they’d have lost by those ten. Some folks thought the Rams’ decision was “baffling.”

Buying Battery-Operated Cars

My then-new gasoline-powered 2022 Ford Escape and my wife’s new 2023 Ford Maverick hybrid, each one level down from Ford’s top tier, each cost in the low- to mid-$30 thousands. Joanna Stern, The Wall Street Journal‘s Senior Personal Technology Columnist, evaluated a number of battery-operated cars under $60,000 to see which one of those she liked best. The ones she looked into were the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Tesla Model Y, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and Volkswagen ID.4.

Drug Price…Foolishness

President Joe Biden (D) and his associates over in Medicare have identified the drugs of which he’s willing to pretend to negotiate the price. The particular drugs aren’t important; what matters is the precedent being set regarding the Progressive-Democrat-run administration’s view of what constitutes negotiation in Party’s lexicon. Readers interested in which drugs are targeted for now can find the list at the end of the linked-to article.

What’s important here is this.

Increasing Choice

New Jersey’s Progressive-Democratic Party Governor Phil Murphy’s Newspeak definition of increasing choice as he applies it to vehicles he will permit his subjects the citizens of New Jersey to buy goes like this:

“There’s a lot of misinformation about what this order does,” his climate director Catherine Klinger said in an interview with ROI-NJ that was published this week. “It requires that new vehicle sales in the state are zero emission by 2035. More than 50% of vehicles that are sold in the state are used. And there is absolutely no change to the used vehicle market.”
If you like your Jeep Cherokee, you’ll still be able to buy a used one….

SEIA’s Response to Bidenomic’s Tariffs

The Wall Street Journal‘s editors correctly noted the internal—and intrinsic—contradictions in the Biden administration’s “renewable” energy demands and its trade policy. The administration is pushing ever harder to shift our economy, for good or ill (mostly ill IMNHO), to energy sourced to non-carbon-based, but renewable only—nuclear need not apply—producers. Then comes Gina Raimondo, Commerce Secretary, and her decision, backed by that same Joe Biden, to apply tariffs as high as 254% to solar power-related products imported from five People’s Republic of China enterprises, never minding that these companies are American domestic solar power producers’ primary sources of the needed articles.

Chip Manufacturing

The Biden administration is bent on bringing computer chip manufacturing back into the United States. On its face, that would seem beneficial. However, the administration team he’s formed to oversee the matter and its $39 billion of taxpayer dollars allocated to the program is populated with

investment bankers, private-equity investors, and management consultants.

And apparently no chip engineers or anyone familiar with supplying chip factories.

Uh, huh.

The Manhattan Project and the crash program to develop treatments for the Wuhan Virus were populated, strongly preferentially, with experts in the field, and they just as strongly deemphasized the moneybags experts.

Biden’s Tightrope

That’s what the editors over on The Wall Street Journal calls President Joe Biden’s (D) move to bar US investments in certain People’s Republic of China technologies and enterprises.

President Biden’s executive order on Wednesday restricting US investment in Chinese military technologies tries to balance national security and business interests. The problem is that Beijing doesn’t distinguish between the two, which is why business risk in China is rising.

Right, But for a Different Reason

The Wall Street Journal‘s editors’ headline and subheadline is on a reasonable track:

Punishing Banks for Regulatory Failure
Regulators want to saddle midsize banks with new capital rules.

The editors the proceed to disparage the regulators’ move, and they’re correct about that. They’re mistaken in their lede, though, and that leads them to the erroneous aspect of their disparagement:

Silicon Valley Bank failed owing to rising interest rates and lapses by regulators, not a shortage of capital.

It’s true that a shortage of capital did not cause SVB’s failure, except as the proximate outcome of the real cause of the failure, an outcome that made the failure inevitable.

A Thought on Russia-PRC Relations

The subheadline on a Wall Street Journal article that was centered on falling exports from the People’s Republic of China says it all regarding the growing relationship of the PRC with Russia.

Slide in outbound shipments reflects fraying trade ties with the Western world, even as exports to Russia boom

Inadequate Electricity Infrastructure

There is a move afoot, spearheaded by a number of car companies, to expand the number of battery car charging stations in the US. says that planned expansion is inadequate. The company’s Executive Analyst Karl Brauer:

[E]ach of these fast chargers can cost $50,000 or more to install, and this joint effort claims it will utilize 100 percent renewable energy to power the new chargers, which can only mean higher costs for each unit[.]

And that’s just for a few midwestern States.

Bauer is right about the infrastructure’s inadequacy, but the shortfall is much deeper than just battery cars’ electricity demands.