Monday, March 5, 2018

Just Another Manic Pun Day

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, trump, tariff, steel, aluminum, cowboys, Putin

Wait! Please hold your groans until all of the cartoons have appeared...

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, trump, tariff, steel, aluminum, cowboys, Putin

Okay, NOW you can groan. Although chances are pretty good that you were already groaning after stocks nosedived about 500 points when Trump announced his new tariff on imported steel and aluminum.

We don't personally have the economic insights to address the tariff with any expertise, but sources we usually respect - like the Wall Street Journal - are calling the tariff a yuge mistake. It will unquestionably raise the cost of many consumer items, perhaps negating the effects of the tax cut for some people, and may actually lose more American jobs than it creates.

Or maybe it will be a gigantic success, because who the heck can predict the outcome of any bare-knuckle dust-up between Trump and Reality these days?

For now, all we can do is watch, wait, and beg your forgiveness for the puns above.


  1. He promised the tariffs, and came through. That alone is a noteworthy accomplishment. Too bad more politicians haven't blazed that trail.

  2. It looks like Smoot-Hawley all over again. Remember what followed that?

  3. Groan .....groan ....groan .....these are so bad I have already shared them all over the place ...

  4. Damn it..... it looks like I missed the Oscars .....again....I can't even tell you how many decades in a row this makes ....... maybe next year ....or.....

  5. And finally I really like the idea if we have to go to a an actual war we won't have to ask our enemies to sell us the stuff for supplies that we need ........

  6. Is it possible that there is a tax the democrats do not like? Nawwww. With the stock market going up and down, would Otis Elevator be a good investment? There, my groaner.
    It really doesn't matter what President Trump does, both sides hammer him. We have that nitwit Schumer that will not vote for a white judge for the lamest of reasons picked cleanly out of thin air however, it is o.k. for him not to give up his seat to a black person. The hypocrisy of the liberals is mind boggling as in what part of "shall not be infringed" do they not understand? I have read the gist of the FL laws they want which is nothing more than a freedom grab. They do not do a thing to "protect" children or adults.

  7. Although I am a little rusty, I will get the lead out and endeavor to steel myself for today's post.
    Trump having the brass to impose the tariffs will no doubt cause the market to fluctuate like a ferrous wheel, but once everything gets ironed out, it should be good as gold in the long run.
    BTW, I give today's toons a definite "tin".

  8. These tariffs on steel and aluminum seem like an either ore proposition.

  9. DJT has long been feed up with countries using the US as a dumping ground for their products. I love hearing them squeal now that the Pres. has stepped up to the pump. Now, we'll find out just who our real friends are. Remember, this guy's a poker player. He raised the bet and the other players are cringing while staring at their low-ball hands. Can't wait to see who holds and who folds. Enough of footing the bill for the world's wanna-bees. Time for them to start paying their own way and make their own economies work instead of us pulling their fat out of the fire every time their socialist policies backfire. Tick, tock, tick tock.......

  10. No need to be on puns and needles. Trumps threat of tariffs may bring offending nations around to his way of thinking without having to impose them. Or not. What the Hell do I know?

  11. @REM1875 wrote, "Damn it..... it looks like I missed the Oscars .....again.."

    Wait...the word is "Oscars"? Well, this is embarrassing.

    Actually, I created that just before my power went out Friday afternoon here in Little Rhody during that ass-kickin', tree-topplin', wire-downing, hellish Nor'easter. After power was out for about an hour, I figured it might be a while, so I called my buddy a few towns over and he still had power, so he said "Come on, over." As I was taking the exit near his house, my phone chimed, but I already knew what it was. Cuz I could see the traffic light was dark at the end of the exit.

    While I was waiting my turn at "OK, I'm gonna g...oh,you're going? Well, go...", etc, I saw his text said his power had just gone out about two minutes before. No power Friday. No power Saturday. No power all day Sunday UNTIL....of course, after going out and buying another couple of bags of ice for the cooler. It came back about 10 minutes later(a little after 5:30), which was plenty of time for me to not watch The Arse-kiss.

    And apparently, Mother Nature is still pissed about that whole Chiffon thing.

    Cuz she rode us hard and put us away wet. LOL

  12. WTF? Is there some strange connection between prolific punsters and those of us who have to pee at 3 in the morning?

  13. Yeah, my parents were in the iron and steel business ... All day, my mother would iron and my father would steel. Oooggggg, where's my moonshine?

  14. Pun: Dry, earthy wit, the lowest form of humus.

    Tariffs are imposed because a domestic industry is being undercut by a foreign industry. I would like to see industry leaders explain to the public exactly why the foreign industry can undercut them. And if they say it is because of a significant wage disparity, ask for more details.

    Oh, BTW, is the push for raising the minimum wage still going on? Are the leaders of this movement part of the crowd applauding tariffs?

  15. So long as tariffs are mild enough to 'level the playing field' I am all for them. So long as 3rd world countries with little or no pollution control/OSHA/intellectual property rights/etc. overhead are allowed to operate by their hosts we are fighting a losing battle. The ONLY reasonable tool at our .gov's disposal to fight this is a tariff.

    Yes American industry can do better than 3rd world 'holes but there is a limit to how much even we can overcome.

  16. @Geoff King- You win.

  17. much irony, I can't Barium.

  18. Countries like China have been using tariffs for years, while we have allowed them to sell their goods in the U.S., thus affecting the balance of trade. Tariffs in general do nothing but raise prices, and if on one hand the steel and aluminum industries in the U.S. are able improve their bottom lines as a result, other U.S. industries, such as heavy equipment producers and the oil drillers, will suffer. Their ain't no free lunch.

  19. Hurry buy used beer cans and get into metals!

  20. Does anyone else remember all the issues with cheap Chinese steel and aluminum several decades ago?
    Perhaps they have improved their product, but if not, I am all for paying a modestly higher cost for a quality product.
    After all I suppose I COULD buy oats for Dunny horse that had already been through another horse cheaper than premium feed, but I will not.

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Some of theses comments remind me of that old workout video: "Puns of Steel."

  23. I am still laughing at y'all. Love the humor, folks. Couldn't top any of them. Well, I guess I AUtta gold before I make a fool outta myself.

  24. Cowboy, I well remember when U.S. Steel was "vibrant" I worked for the company in the accounting department in 1963. The company was beginning to feel the effects of cheaper products from the Pacific Rim countries, even though at first, the quality did not yet match that of U.S. steel. I worked for a branch of the company in Pittsburg, California for one year, right after graduating from college. The products were nails, sheet steel, reinforcing bar, and similar products. I was the cost-accountant for nails. These were in the days of hand-cranked desktp-calculators and printouts produced by giant old computer banks that were fed by cards spewed out by the keypunch operators.

    The half-mile long steel mill has been closed for years. Luckily, I saw the demise coming and went back to college in order to get into dental school. Besides, as a natural loner,I hated the corporate life. My boss thought I was crazy to make such a change, and was not pleased, considering that the company had spent time and energy to train me for the job.

  25. This level of groaning is not a good way to start off a week. Are we done yet?

    I'm not a big fan of trade wars. The big problem is the knowns vs the unknowns. It's pretty easy to calculate the number of jobs that have been quelched due to cheap imports from a certain industry. What is much harder to guess is the number of jobs that benefit from cheaper imports. For example, is the known number of jobs lost in domestic aluminum production more than the jobs that exist because things we make out of aluminum can now be made cheaper and more prolific? And are those jobs comparable? Does it make sense to replace a job that paid $30-an-hour with two that pay only $15-an-hour?

    And then there is the ugliness of the politics involved. Altering trade in this manner ultimately creates winners and losers, which is always politically dangerous, because of the unknowns. Trump is obviously doing this to appeal to his middle-America industrial base. He cares far less about Wall Street and the rent-seeker class that will likely be hurt more by this. But those people people weren't his people anyway, so he doesn't care.

    As for Friday's market reaction, I'm not writing too much into that, yet. (It's already the better part of a percent back as I write this) As I've previously said, a correction was inevitable and Friday's hit was just an add-on to the recent instability. In fact because of the recent volatility, this might have been the perfect time for Trump to do this. In fact, he was probably waiting for an inevitable correction to do it. With the market already in a bit of turmoil due to the correction, why not dump all of the market-disrupting policy now to get the decks cleared going into the fall mid-terms and 2020? If the economy continues to grow at better than 2%, the Democrats have nothing to use. If it grows better than 3%, they're screwed.

  26. Trump also considered putting a tariff on copper, but decided not to when the U.S. Mint told him it would make no cents.

  27. The industry in which I worked back in primary career uses a great deal of quality steel and it was usually a long-lead item; one of the first things contracted for supply & ordered. Even when large equipment packages like turbines, generators and large motors sometimes required 3 years for delivery, rolled steel shapes and tubulars in the required grades & quantities was the key material. And many nations' products were NOT acceptable.

    It was pretty much impossible to purchase ultra large supplies of US domestic steel on the spot market here or anywhere due to lack of production capablity. We often had to contract for entire mills runs for periods of time, and otherwise had to buy from the better overseas mills for both quality and quantity.

    I'm OK with addressing the trade imbalance because of security as well. As someone said above it's best to be reasonably self-supporting; plus the jobs; albeit at home here now they my be overpaid or over-benefitted for the world market.

    It's never made sense to transport so much scrap steel around the world to re-mill it back into new foreign steel and ship it back. That would be new US steel without the forbidden mining; way too smart for government. One thing we can thank for that is lack of domestic electric capacity for steel furnaces at any reasonable cost because environmentalists & EPA who don't know shit about how the world works have shut down most proposed new us power plants. China has been building 500 of the dirtiest coal pants in a 10 year program (turns out to be one a week. Also look at United Steel Workers union and their politics.

    If we are so damned determined to bring illegals in, make a way that IS legal and require them to work for fair wages and with a clean record, pay taxes in US, including good jobs in new steel mills and elsewhere for a minimum 15 years before they can vote here. In other words give them a real chance to provide wheat we need. Meanwhile don't support the already-here citizens and locals who don't want to work.

    By the way: Some in the industry also tried using valves & valve bodies imported from China for petroleum and chemical projects. They were problematic.

  28. Remember the sheetrock from China that ended up requiring rebuilds for many contractors? Remember the dead pet puppies from poisoned Chinese dog food? (At least they executed the exec responsible for that shoddy deal.)
    Seems as if there is a reason for 3rd world products being cheaper besides labor costs...I have run across so much from 3rd world places that had a low expectation of quality for cheaper inlaw family made shitloads of money providing steel pipe for all kinds of uses from scrap sources...torn-down tanker cars provided overpass flowthrough conduit pipe for highway department projects, etc., new steel being high cost and hard to get.
    Red China bought a big part of their scrap copper and other main metals, I loaded thousands of pounds on flatbeds destined for our yellow brothers over there in Asia.
    If there is a question on who knows business better and who knows business well enough to appoint the right people to run the American government, Trump or Obongo...please ask the Magic 8-Ball...most of us here already know who knows, and it ain't the Shadow.
    I love sending scrap over there and getting back low-impact product does seem too good to be acceptable to the Dreamers who ran the country for so long...

    Do windmills power any foundries yet? Treadmills with genetically altered mice? Solar Cells maybe?

  29. Trade wars benefit no one, but one sided tariffs only benefit one side and doubly hurt the other. Guess which side the USA (and Canada) are on?

  30. As an NRA member I do my part for the economy by investing in rare metals such as brass and lead to keep our country strong.......

  31. @Geoff King,
    You zinc so?

    Tariffs... I've worked in the metal cutting industry for 35 years, and yes, this will hurt short term; maybe even for a year or two. We buy steel from Europe because the crap we tried from China was, well.... crap. And the only reason we buy from European companies is, no domestic suppliers offer the free cutting, non lead steel we need. I'm hopeful that domestic mills will jump on this and start ramping up production.

    Then again, can the Executive Branch actually impose tariffs without Congressional approval? I would think not.

  32. @Regnad Kcin: I am a life member of the NRA and am fed up with idiotic articles that post NRA members as being anti-American. Those who publish such tripe and misinformation have no idea what they are talking about, are not NRA members, have no idea what NRA stands for (other than what they read in the MSM), having fallen prey to preaching to their own liberal choir.

    Whenever mass murders occur, I can expect (and rightfully so) the MSM and liberal politicians to immediately blame the NRA and its millions of members as being the direct cause of shootings. The ignorance about the NRA is nothing short of appalling, but there are those who find it easier to find a scapegoat than investigate the root cause of such crimes: kids who don't bond to their parent(s), resulting in their becoming rage-filled psychopaths by the time they become teenagers.

    The largesse of the federal government (starting with the "War on Poverty"), masked as benevolent welfare, has wreaked havoc for the last five decades (or possibly longer) by creating a culture that glorifies single-parenthood where fathers are not welcome in the family equation, and where the committment of marriage is sneered at. Not just sad, but outrageous; and the charade is still passed off to this day to the electorate by vote-greedy politicians. An equally-greedy welfarian community is also always there to accept their freebies, while accepting no responsiblity. When human byproducts of this outrageous system cause pain to the survivors of those they murder and maim, who gets blamed? The NRA!

    At least NRA members stand up for what they believe, unlike the pink-pantied RINOs in D.C.

  33. The NRA recieves $0 in taxpayer money per year and has been involved in the deaths of zero people in it's over 140 year history.
    Planned Parenthood is responsible for around 1 million deaths a year, and recieves over $500,000,000 a year in taxpayer money.
    Need I say more?

  34. @ Geoff
    no, but please do.
    I zinc I'm not alone in this! :)

  35. @Alfonso Bedoya, I guess if it was only occasionally that an actual NRA member was responsible for any kind of actual mayhem, there'd be an argument. Alas, it's mentally unstable Democrats who are usually responsible. And yet, they'll blame the NRA.

    And as you state, it's been exclusively Progressive policy that has created the environment for these criminals, even to the point of intentionally not labeling them as criminals, lest they be recognized as criminals.

    It's so insane, that one really has to assume that it was the plan all along.

  36. So, she had sex with the creature from the Black Lagoon. That makes this the film of the year?

  37. Re: my last post, (SPOILER ALERT) I went to the trouble of downloading the movie torrent of "The Shape of Water" and found it to be one of the most asinine movies I have ever watched.

  38. @Keith- While I'm not enthusiastic about the tariff, I will give him points for sticking to a campaign promise.

    @Shonkin- If the tariffs really come into play, our concerts may be a Smoot point...

    @REM1875- Yeah, the "new tariff in town" was bad enough, then I came up with the "metaling" gag while trying to come up with a title for today's post. Rather than choose between them, I just decided to go with both and then offer a blanket apology (grin).

    On a more serious note, I do like the idea of America being able to independently produce any materials we might need for military purposes. There are some big cost/benefit ratios that need to be considered, and we don't have anything remotely like enough data to really get a reading. The question is whether Trump had that info...or preferred to move without it.

    @James Daily- Trump regularly does get attacked from all sides. I cited the Wall Street Journal, which is an important resource to me - and they lay into Trump regularly (and liberals ALWAYS). However, I don't take their well-written opinions as gospel, as they bring a business perspective to anything: they're against The Wall because business likes getting cheap labor. Of course, that's only "cheap" for the employer on payday...the rest of us have to make up the difference (and more) in tax paid benefits for the workers and their families.

    So I'm interested in the WSJ's take...but I still have an open mind wondering if Trump has a strategy that might succeed here.

    @Geoff King- Oh fine, we're all having fun and then someone has to come along and use up all the good puns. (grin)

    @Mike aka Proof- You have just received the slow clap of awed approval. Good one!

    @Regnad Kcin- I've given up trying to predict what will or won't work for Trump. There is simply no precedent for this guy. I still can't accept the idea that he's a master strategist, but I do have to concede that he racks up more wins than seem statistically probable.

  39. Ted Kennedy’s Oldsmobile killed more people than all of my 100+ firearms. Don’t recall marches and a loud outcry against GM. I had a professor in college that said, “A pun is the highest form of comedy.” RIP Professor “Bull Schumann.”

  40. @Bruce O'Hara- I think you speak for all of us, and most eloquently, when you say of Trump "What the Hell do I know?" If the previously unassailable laws of political physics were still in play, Hillary would have had all of us in internment camps by now.

    @Jason Anyone- I liked your graphic and the wordplay! And Wow, there's been a lot of wild weather up your way. I'm reminded of the saying "an ill wind blows no good," and Bill Clinton's response, "Still a good deal for 5 bucks."

    @Rod- Good observation! I post the cartoons at 12:01 and I'm always amazed at the number of night owls who immediately jump in. Frankly, it's fun for me to crank up the computer over my morning coffee and see lively discussions already happening!

    @Mike aka Proof- You made a wee joke there, laddy!

    @Fred Ciampi- For some reason, it seems you should have popped up from a cornfield - Hee-Haw style - to tell that joke. (grin)

    @Boligat- Excellent point. One of the reasons many American jobs have gone overseas is that industry (especially those in which unions control the labor) have made producing competitively priced products impossible. The prices MUST be high to cover the domestic overhead...and the trickle down (if I may borrow that term) is that the price of pretty much everything goes up, whether it's made domestically or is a foreign item with a tariff "tax."

    Like you say, there are limits to how much independence we can have in this unstoppable global market.

    @TrickyRicky- Geoff is invited to choose any prize from the lower shelf. Granted, it's all slum (as we say in the Carny vernacular).

    @Gee M- You can make enemas with a joke like that...

    @Alfonso Bedoya- Well and efficiently summed up. There ain't no free lunch.

    @Anonymous- There may be truth in what you say. I may have to start hoarding my soda cans.

  41. @American Cowboy- Failure to really do good quality control on products and materials coming from China should be unacceptable. Those scoundrels were selling poison dog food and treats for quite awhile, and I'm not aware we did anything about it. I'm hardly a steel magnate, but I've totally changed my buying habits when it comes to certain items from China.

    @CenTexTim- Wasn't that an assercise tape?

    @Sandy Link- Look at you, scoring a double through crafty use of the Periodic Table of Elements! Well done!

    @Alfonso Bedoya- Sounds like you made a good career choice. Not to mention that dentistry is a job that can't really be outsourced overseas. Yet.

    @John the Econ- The complexity of how all this will play out can hardly be overstated. And unfortunately, "let's try it and see what happens" isn't really a good gamble to make with the economy.

    Regarding the market reaction, my stocks were only down a little on Friday, and today they've seen a very nice bounce upwards (much bigger than the one day loss).

    @CenTexTim- Well played, sir!

  42. For those of you who find fault with puns, just remember that the pun is the lowest form of "I wish I'd said that".

  43. @Rod- Great insights from someone who clearly has real experience. Thanks for sharing!

    @Gee M- The Chinese beat the "quality control tests" for dogfood by adding chemicals which gave false readings in the test. The only downside is that those chemicals were poison, and thousands of dogs died. I don't want those same means of fooling quality inspectors used when we accept steel with which to erect buildings.

    And you make a MAJOR point when you talk about how the Left's universal opposition to anything like real energy sources keeps us from being competitive in many areas of manufacturing.

    @CDH- To hear Trump talk, he seems to think that China has everything to lose and we have nothing to lose. But tell that to the Trump supporters when the price of darn near everything goes up by the percentage as those tariffs. People who are living on the financial edge - and there a lot of them - could see a real decline in buying power and quality of life. Which would make them ripe for Democrat promises (ie, lies).

    @Regnad Kcin- And you have the thanks of a grateful nation.

    @Colby Muenster- You used that pun just in the nickel time. (Ba-da-BOOM!) . And again, thanks for the insights from someone who actually knows what he's talking about. I know nothing about metal-cutting, but when the topic finally turns to cutting the cheese, I'll be ready to go!

    @Alfonso Bedoya- BOOM! Absolutely right! The reason the Left is so quick to attack the NRA is that they know (well, the more intelligent ones do) that it is their policies that have contributed to this mess. Destroy the family structure, and all else falls with it.

    @Geoff King- You can't make it any clearer than that.

    @Gee M- I've not yet surrendered in this pun tournament, and don't plan to. After all, this isn't my first Rhodium.

    @John the Econ- While Occam's Razor usually suggests that I don't look for conspiracy in anything which sheer stupidity, I agree with you. This destruction of families is critical to creating government dependency. After so much time, money, and proof of the havoc this is causing, I can only assume that the intent is deliberate.

    @Geoff King- I'm keeping my mind open on "Shape of Water." I tend to like what Guillermo del Toro does.

  44. Great points made, re: the NRA. As a benefactor level having purchased legacy life memberships for each of my children, it is apparent how highly I value their service to the country through their vigilance against threats to the 2nd Amendment.

    I recently made a post on my blog regarding the crime statistics of NRA members, albeit using the population of CPL holders as a surrogate (after all: when someone is arrested, no-one gets asked whether they are a NRA member - but the majority of CPL holders are, and their CPLs are part of their legal record). In that post, I indicate how paltry the number of criminal surrogate NRA members is compared to the US population as a whole - and most of these "crimes" are violations of the terms of their CPLs, which invariably appear ti be written just to trip the holder up! (You cannot carry in a stadium on the second Tuesday following a harvest moon, and the like.) Do they blame the NRA because NRA members are criminals? No. They blame the NRA because idiot consumers of "the news" will buy it, and the NRA stands between them and what they so dearly want: a disarmed populace.

  45. @Emmentaler Limburger- I'm currently considering NRA membership in protest of the anti-NRA mania in the media, and to help fund their work defending the 2nd amendment. Nothing good can come from disarming the honest and conscientious gun owners.

  46. @Stilton,
    I find it IRONic that the company I work for made a concerted effort to switch to steel that contained no lead (lead is a fantastic additive to improve machining) to please our customers in Europe (RoHS compliance), and found our selves forced to buy steel from Europe because domestic manufacturers did not offer the alternative.

    In other strange news:
    It would appear Dick's Sporting Goods and WalMart really stepped in it with their new age restrictions. WalMart will survive, but this is going to kick Dick's right in the balls.

  47. Re no outsourcing of dentistry. I have a friend in Thailand who promotes dentistry holidays there. A high standard but cheaper (esp with implants).
    Re free trade. Over the past 30 years it has become a religion like the climate religion and for much the same reason. All Western countries have had their industry and workers disenfranchised with this policy. I know those of you who trade shares on Wall St, and regard Wall St as the be all for economic policy, but while you get rich, other people are jobless. So you pay a bit less for clothing, goods. But I remember when whitegoods lasted 15 years. Now you are lucky to get 3 years. Electrical fittings used to last 40 years. Now Chinese light fittings crumble into dust after a few years and it is hard to get a domestic made replacement because China has run them out of business.
    I have found the best explanation for what has gone on is at