Baron Creek

National Train Your Brain Day

  
By:  Baron Creek  •  Nonsense and Ramblings  •  3 weeks ago  •  17 comments

National Train Your Brain Day
It’s also a couple of other national days, but I ain’t going there, as I try to stay abreast of social norms.

The CPI-U and W and E and C.O.L.A.

The CPI-U rose 1.4% Y/Y and 0.2% on the month, at 260.280. The CPI-W 3 rd Qtr. average (253.412) rose 1.28% from last year (250.200), so 1.3% is likely the C.O.L.A. That translates to roughly $20 per month for the average SSA recipient. For those on Medicare, the base rate had been forecasted as increasing $8.70, but the impact of Covid has yet to be calculated. That will come next month.

The R-CPI-E (62 and older) was 279.587 last year and now at 283.593+. The R-CPI-E is located here and you must scroll to data and download the xlsx file. (September data not uploaded at this writing). Over time, the cost of living for this group has outpaced the official inflation by about 8.8%. You probably already knew that or at least… felt it.

My own tracking and spending has risen 2.549% Y/Y. The Full Release.

Odd things that run through my mind

I have concluded that most people do not read seeded links, rarely the content and focus on merely the headline or whatever near off topic comment I make. Of course, some of the problem is likely my inability to clearly state my position, so pardon me… or not. Generally, what I mainly struggle with… is deciding if I care.

Grocery Shopping

I am noticing an uptick in “items not available.” Some of it is attributable to seasonal issues, such as soup ingredients and some would be occasionally short, even prior to Covid-19. But the list does seem to be getting a bit longer, just as I was moving into maintaining the status quo. I suspect prospect of a long winter and associated outlook might be pushing consumers to fill up pantries, etc.  Also, the freezer backlog still exists, so take it from there. Vacuum sealing supplies and canning supplies also seem to be in short supply.

Call me crazy, but when canned goods from the store AND canning supply shortages occur at the same time, it seems to indicate stockpiling. I’m okay with that, but I imagine a lot of food being tossed, when this thing is over.  

Elections

At this time in 2016, the forecast was D308; R180; 3 rd party/undecided- 90. Day before the election it was D233; R191; and t-114. Currently- D279; R125; Undecided-134. Undecided seems to be making a big move.  

As for election night, it would be easy to see a D213 and R125 called relatively early, lest you think California and New York might go red. Same for West Virginia and Mississippi going the other way. The polls in individual states began breaking towards the republican candidate in 2016, but the current margins in many states is greater than the margins of 2016. That would apply to Michigan (16), Minnesota (10), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), Pennsylvania (20), Wisconsin (10). Waiting in wings would be Arizona (11), Florida (29) and North Carolina (15). Trump’s path is a much steeper climb this time around. He may have Coney, but he needs a Comey.

So, imo, the election will not be decided on election night, but likely by end of the week. Any concession is where the fun will start. Can you envision a lame duck president and senate packing the court? Yeah, there be weird stuff running through my mind.

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Baron Creek
1  author  Baron Creek    3 weeks ago

Soon it will be time to fix some popcorn and watch the hilarity ensue.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Baron Creek @1    2 weeks ago

One should summarize and indicate the gist of an article with a headline, and not use it to mislead the readers.  I once pointed out how the American media had done that, with an example from the Israel - Gaza conflict, reversing what one surmised from the headline buried in the third or fourth paragraph of the story.  

Question:  If a lame duck POTUS and Senate were to pack the court - i;e. add 2 or 4 more judges to it, can that action be reversed by removing those additional judges by a newly elected POTUS and Senate from a different party?

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
1.1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1    2 weeks ago

I guess nobody can answer that question.

 
 
 
Baron Creek
1.1.2  author  Baron Creek  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1    2 weeks ago
If a lame duck POTUS and Senate were to pack the court - i;e. add 2 or 4 more judges to it, can that action be reversed by removing those additional judges by a newly elected POTUS and Senate from a different party?

Yes, via the impeachment process. There has only been one justice impeached and he was acquited by the senate. Samuel Chase 1805.

In actuality, any hypothetical addition of supreme court judges would require the house and senate to alter the 1869 judicial act, which set the number at 9. Prior congressional action had the number from 5~10. If the number of sitting judges exceeded those previous acts, attrition was the method of reduction. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
1.1.3  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Baron Creek @1.1.2    2 weeks ago

Would not the impeachment process require cause?  I assume that it wouldn't be easy to find cause in a judge who had passed the muster and was sitting.  I suppose if all three levels of government were in the hands of the same party then the Judicial Act could be amended and the POTUS could nominate more judges, otherwise the paranoia about the court being packed is moot, is it not? 

 
 
 
Baron Creek
1.1.4  author  Baron Creek  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.3    2 weeks ago

Impeachment is not a judicial process and more a political process. SCOTUS has ruled on this a couple of times, so in effect... the House can make up just about anything and indict (impeach). Gerald Ford famously stated that the articles of impeachment are whatever the House wants them to be. 

As to the amending of the Judicial act to allow for more judges, while possible... I don't think it is likely. It would almost certainly become a political issue in 2022, imo, and I doubt you could get enough democrats to push the legislation through the house, let alone the senate. It's all about how one spends the political capital that  is available. 

 
 
 
Dean Moriarty
2  Dean Moriarty    3 weeks ago

Good article thanks for taking the time to gather the data and posting this article. Unfortunately the Fed has recently decided to change course and do further harm to the purchasing power of our savings with inflation. They are now planning to let inflation rise above the two percent that was their target for many years. This combined with near zero interest rates is driving people out of safe investments and into riskier investments that offer a better chance of keeping up with inflation. I feel bad for those that spent their life saving for retirement and are now faced with losing ground to inflation if they purchase bonds or treasuries at this time. 

 
 
 
Baron Creek
2.1  author  Baron Creek  replied to  Dean Moriarty @2    3 weeks ago

I consider the members of the FED as being smarter than me, but my limited knowledge leads me to think the FED is running out of ammo. I base that on 3 simple charts.. excess reserves , IOER , and on the Trade Weighted dollar index . I realize the FED is worried about deflation and is taking big steps to "inflate". The FED can talk and talk, but there is only about one bullet left to fire, imo. Heaven help us, if they go that route.

 
 
 
Split Personality
3  Split Personality    3 weeks ago

Damn, I thought they were bringing back National Train Day

National Train Day was a holiday started by Amtrak in 2008 as a method to spread information to the general public about the advantages of railway travel and the history of trains in the United States. It was held each year on the Saturday closest to May 10, the anniversary of the pounding of the Golden spike in Promontory, Utah , which marked the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the U.S. Events were held at major Amtrak stations as well as railroad museums across the country and often have passenger cars and model railroad layouts on display. The largest events took place in Washington, D.C. , Philadelphia , Chicago and Los Angeles . [1] National Train Day was discontinued after 2015 due to budget cuts within Amtrak, [2] although other rail organizations continue to observe the holiday.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
3.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Split Personality @3    2 weeks ago

What surprises me is that America has not upgraded its rail system to super-speed trains that can travel at 300 to 350kph, like Japan and China have done.  But I guess America simply does not bother spending money on infrastructure.

 
 
 
MUVA
3.1.1  MUVA  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3.1    2 weeks ago

People like to drive their cars so the can sightsee not enough people would  use it now but maybe one day.

 
 
 
charger 383
3.1.2  charger 383  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3.1    2 weeks ago

Airline interests are too powerful

 
 
 
Baron Creek
3.1.3  author  Baron Creek  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3.1    2 weeks ago

I think there is a plan for the "northeast corridor", but is not scheduled for completion until 2040. It is very difficult to build a new highway and grade considerations come into play for rails... meaning lots of excavation. There are all the objections with litigation surrounding endangered species, as well as taking of property, etc. 

TransCanada proposed the Keystone XL pipeline in 2008 and where is it now? It might appear to be a different animal from a railroad, but the issues raised, excluding oil spills, will be very similar.

 
 
 
charger 383
3.1.4  charger 383  replied to  Baron Creek @3.1.3    2 weeks ago

Northeast corridor, old Pennsylvania RR main line now Amtrak , is grade separated and in good condition but has some curves too tight for very high speed,  160 is top speed I believe,  PRR was able to run 130+.in places in 1950s

 
 
 
Split Personality
3.1.5  Split Personality  replied to  charger 383 @3.1.4    2 weeks ago

That derail in Philly was on a track limited to 50mph because tracks throughout Phila were built fpr local transportation and end of route hubs.

There is no straight route that will support high speed without major rerouting and expense

 
 
 
charger 383
3.1.6  charger 383  replied to  Split Personality @3.1.5    2 weeks ago

I don't know if they could get the land to straighten it out for real high speed.  The right of way was laid out early in railroading and built up all around and they are stuck with it, The PRR ran both passenger and freight here with electric power and some freight still runs on sections.

 I am not sure how the tilting idea worked out.  

I have heard of plans of high speed  (110 mph) passenger railroading south of Washington and rebuilding the removed Seaboard Air Line route and improving Richmond to Norfolk,. Virginia and Amtrak have bought right to rebuild 3rd track Washington to Richmond and some other things

 
 
 
Baron Creek
4  author  Baron Creek    2 weeks ago

Follow-up on the r-cpi-e.. September, 2020 - 283.885 v September, 2019 - 279.587.  That is a 1.53% increase compared to the CPI-W of 1.28%. Historically, the r-cpi-e has risen 9% higher than the CPI-U and 11.9% above the CPI-W. Of course, if the r-cpi-e were used for SSA increases, the "trust fund" would be much lower and subsequent troubles... much sooner. Win some lose some.