Friday, December 28, 2018

Week Minded

"It is a truth universally acknowledged," as Jane Austen once said, "that no one gets a damn thing done between Christmas and New Year's." That happens to be our opinion too, and you're seeing the results of it right now. Oh, we TRIED to come up with a fun topical cartoon and witty commentary, but at the moment the interior of our holiday-wracked skull is rather like a conch shell- filled only with the distant sound of breaking waves and a whiff of rotting fish.

Among the stories that couldn't quite get our pulse racing, the mainstream media raked President Trump over the coals for not giving our troops a holiday visit, after which it was revealed that he and the First Lady were visiting troops in a war zone, after which the media congratulated themselves for "shaming" him into it. It was subsequently revealed that the trip had been in the planning stage long before, at which point the mainstream media offered sincere apologies. Just kidding! They simply changed their stories to claim that they'd been complaining about Trump not visiting the troops for months and months, so their claims of shaming him into decency are still applicable. Which is why we think CNN and MSNBC should join forces in a new network called STFU.

The stock market might have made for an interesting post if we, or anyone else, could figure out what the hell it's actually doing. On Christmas Eve, the market took another huge nosedive. The day after Christmas, the market came roaring back with its biggest one day gain ever. The day after that (which is when we're writing this) the market was way down again - assuring that this will officially be the worst December for Wall Street since the Great Depression. Albeit with fewer intestines on the sidewalks. (Note: subsequent to our writing this paragraph, the market crept upward again, more or less making Thursday a "break even" day.)

Meanwhile, the (ahem) "government shutdown" continues with virtually no one actually noticing or caring much. It turns out that the "non-essential" employees of the government are pretty much exactly that, and the non-essential things that they don't do very well at the best of times aren't much missed by the general public.

Democrats, preparing to take over the House of Representatives in January, have announced an ambitious slate of new spending bills (Medicare For All!) and other initiatives (Guns For None!), none of which amounts to actual news, and none of which requires commentary from us beyond opining that the Dems should spend some quality time with a rolling donut.

And so we find ourselves reluctantly surrendering to the ennui of this Twilight Zone-ish "week between." But be of good cheer: Monday will bring our epic annual "year in review" edition of Stilton's Place, followed by another 12 months of fresh idiocy!


Hankiepoop said...

Well summed up........the infamous "nothing" days, both in Government and Civilian entities - worked in both and have only found useless management trying to "fit" bs work in the nothingness work days, only to end up a thorn in the side of the real workers, after the New Years holiday ............ nice

Jim Irre said...

Yes, and with family in town until January 3rd, coming out of this state of doldrum will be even more difficult!

REM1875 said...

And I will soon be writing checks dated 2018 for the next month and a half .....and we carry on the festivities (of doing nothing because of the holidays) till little Christmas or around the 6th of Jan ......... Then we shift in low gear to get to ground hog day ........ Sometime after St Patrick's Day we start getting with the program ........sort of......

Anonymous said...

You did not dig deep enough my friend.

The grubbermint shutdown means nothing to nobody but the worker bees not coming home with a paycheck and now looking at the prospects of that gas station job because with a shutdown you are NOT unemployed so you do not qualify for unemployment benefits and made too much money to qualify for ANY of the grubbermint benefits handed out to people in their "unexpected" positions that may now drag on "as long as it takes" to quote our dear President!

The big old nasty fly in the ointment will "quite suddenly and unexpectedly" rear its slime-coated head come Feb.1, 2019 when there will be NOBODY at the Dept. of Agriculture to issue those food-stamp benefits to the roughly 38 million Americans living that way month to month.

Since this is the new Millenia it means that every single SNAP "creditcard" will NOT work when they try to do their monthly groceries and if you want a preview of what will happen seconds after THAT word gets around DA-HOOD just do a quick google/utube search of what happened the last time the ole creditcards for Da - Po - people stopped working and you can watch as many riots as you can stomach.

This will be a spontaneous event happening nationwide with the east coast leading the way because of the time zones and it will snowball as word breaks out heading west that their cards will not work either.... people will not even bother to try them and just grab their ANTIFA gear and weapons to try to secure as much food as possible until the Po-Po try to shut it all down.

When armed people with no morals have to watch their children starve the anarchy will not take long to begin.

Rod said...

I've been out of step with many others for decades since in my primary career, which hardly believed in Holidays at the time until it became more international later... the last month or two of the year meant two things: (A) Unspent budget money was up for Use it or Lose it; and (B) We could get a jump on next year's projects since invoices for their early work would not be received until next year. Thence A, B, (C): This was often a busy time of year in a demanding & schedule driven industry. Well, of course not for all. Busy in some ways but quiet in others was another form of blessing for workaholics. One could get a lot of things done, undisturbed; specially if they didn't have kids yet. And even now this is a time of summing things up; regrouping, and planning. But it's odd this year because I hardly want to look back on 2018 except for financial matters which did well. So it's mostly: We got through 2018, I just had a nice vacation which improved attitude, we've been helpful to others, suffered some of life's worst times mostly with dignity, I've learned to ignore much of the nutty BS called politics & media. So let's CARRY ON! Just being able-bodied and having a mind, family & friends to enable that is a huge blessing.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

I got an excuse. Spent four hours on Christmas Eve driving through the Ozarks to visit friends, and six hours driving back on Boxing Day. I'd say the scenery was lovely, but the mountain fogs obscured much of it. :) So, Thursday was spent in an enervated heap, with much the same expected through the weekend... :D

Anonymous said...

The MSM continues to struggle to keep up the illusion they are relevant. That 'their' opinion really matters. But the genie is out of the bottle - it is easier to find other sources of information, much of it MSM would rather keep under wraps.

Too bad - so sad.

Only four of us in the office today, same as the previous two. Another four day weekend coming up - the phone might have rung a dozen times all day. ALL DAY.

Boss has been letting us out early this week, likely the same today. No problemo.

Have a great New Years Day ! If you are drinking, stay off the roads or the Po-po might arrest you.

Gee M said...

I'm still watching Christmas movies...

Jess said...

During the Reagan years, I was over a project in a federal park. There was a shut down, and the ranger told me he would not be available until the shutdown was over. I asked if we could still work. He said we could, and I finished the job without having to deal with people being in the way.

Fred Ciampi said...

So, speaking of illegal aliens, a police officer in Sanctuary California was gunned down in cold blood just hours after taking his last picture with his wife and five month old son on Christmas Eve. The chief of police was in tears during the news conference. They know who he is and are not releasing his name. Probably don't want to embarrass Jerry the Moonbeam Brownie. Maybe when they find him he will resist arrest and the arresting officers will put approximately 8,723 bullets in him. Approximately. Oh, well, one can hope.

Other than that I pray everyone has a very Happy New Year and stay the hell off the road especially if you have had a drink.

Geoff King said...

This year, on New Year's Eve, I vow to stay up all the way to 9:30 or so.

Rod said...

@ Geoff King: That's funny. Great minds think alike. We may last a little later but the Midnight hoopla is worthless and it's going to be cold here. I'd rather have an early start on 1 January 2019

AmyH said...

That was so sad Fred. Just horrible. But illegals are just trying to have a good life, they are not bad....hork!

I've been nursing the Cold From Hell since Saturday. Started losing my voice Monday, had 5% Tuesday and 2% Wednesday. 5 year old started coming down with it Tuesday evening. Both of us went to Immediate Care and were seen 2 1/2 hours later (so much for "immediate"). Doesnt help the mood when a local "Socialite"-wanna be comes in stating she "fell outside Round The Clock (local 24hr restaurant), I was bleeding, 2 men helped me but the restaurant never called for medics!" Reception asked when this happened and she says Monday evening. She just wants to get checked out before filing a police report. I kept mumbling under my breath "why the F didnt you call for a medic? Take out your cell since you were blabbing on it when you walked in showing how "important" you are and call for an ambulance. Why didnt you go to the ER Monday night or Tuesday? Oh wait, it wasnt THAT bad." She sat for all of 5 minutes and was called back. I still sat there for an hour then an hour in the room. Grrr. Yesterday was the best I've felt in a week, today is the best morning so far. 5 year old had a fever that spiked to 103.1 before bed. Hopefully, today is better. This is a nasty, nasty cold going around. Some people it takes 3 weeks to recover. Im thankful SO is working an unGodly amount of hours so he hasnt been exposed as much. He cannot call off. Side note: his plant manager sent an email to the 7 guys in his department (1 could have been skipped but this has been a year+ long stretch of OT and even though he's on In House Medical Leave since the beginning of December because of the OT) stating he realized it has been a very rough year and to help them, they can take an extra day off with pay. Oh, ok. Give every one MORE OT. Makes sense. How about fire management that put them in such a predicament?

Has anyone noticed, stocks have been going gang busters since Election Day 2016 and have now tanked after Election Day 2018 when democrats got majority in Congress? Hmmm. Maybe in 2020 when all 3 are solid R again, stocks will be gang busters again.
Of course the democrats are spewing "spend, spend, spend" thats all they do. At some point, these millennials will grow up and realize they can have more money in their pockets when they vote R. That money can be spent on charities of their choice not forced.

Here's to a better '19 politically and personally. May the Mueller "report" come out soon and we find nothing. Then the President can really get down to business.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Richard Cann- It really is a weird and unproductive time.

@Jim Irre- Now you've got me thinking of a new Christmas song: "The Little Doldrummer Boy."

@REM1875- And then there's that long unproductive period between Valentine's Day and Halloween...

@Anonymous- I'm not without sympathy for those "worker bees" who, despite the promise of reimbursement, live check to check and so may be enduring some current hardship. More serious is the scenario you describe when the freebies stop flowing to the masses, which could turn ugly fast. I just don't see it happening, though. The Dems could head it all off (if they want to) by giving Trump his $5 billion (which we'll just borrow and never pay back anyway) and paint it as ransom money.

So the scenario you paint is possible, but I'm thinking "not yet." I hope I'm right.

@Rod- Great post with much wisdom. We could all do well to follow your example.

@M. Mitchell Marmel- Still, visiting friends is a dandy thing!

@Anonymous- The MSM certainly isn't relevant to me, apart from the intentional damage they do. For that matter, I have little faith in most of the advocacy news outlets online, either. I think we can approximate some sort of truth by looking at a lot of "news" sources and trying to ferret out the few spots when the Venn diagrams intersect on actual facts - but I don't know how many people take the time and trouble to do that anymore.

@Gee M- If "Die Hard" isn't on that list, it should be.

@Jess- Great story! I always worked twice as hard, twice as fast, and with twice the output when I was left unsupervised.

@Fred Ciampi- I saw that heartbreaking photo. I, too, hope that the unnamed culprit resists arrest.

@Geoff King- A man after my own heart. I don't give a tinker's damn about the actual change of year at midnight.

@Rod- Exactly. And why don't people stay up till midnight to watch every change of the calendar page if it's such a big freaking deal to them? I don't get it.

Stinking Bishop said...

Well, idiocy is a natural resource that will never be depleted, so you're in luck

REM1875 said...

"@REM1875- And then there's that long unproductive period between Valentine's Day and Halloween.."

But Halloween is the start of the holiday season than includes Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years and little Christmas !!!
Damn I already written the whole year off and it hasn't even started yet ........not that it wasn't in my plans from the beginning ......
Well that does cut down on the stress ......

TrickyRicky said...

@Anonymous- I have no sympathy for the "worker bees". They will be paid in full when the absurdly named "government shutdown" is over. Seems to me like a paid vacation. If the government workers, who in general make more than private sector employees in similar work positions, can't get by for a couple of weeks on savings and credit cards all I can say is boo freaking hoo.

As per Stilton's comment above, the dems could end this impasse instantly if they weren't so unhinged by Trump Derangement Syndrome. Pelosi said recently that the wall is:
1)Immoral...absurd on the face of it.
2)Ineffective...ask Israel and some of the central European countries about that.
3)Expensive...$5bn is about 0.2% of the current $4.4tn federal budget. It's less than Ma Barker "lost" during her tenure as Secretary of State.

The dems want to end our borders, and by association destroy our country. That is the bottom line. I don't think that the average American is down with that. FOR MORE YEARS!

John the Econ said...

Don't stress it, @Stilton. Nobody's getting much work done this week. I've thrown in the towel and am going skiing.

The Media & Trump's War Zone Visit: Just the media getting in a bit more beclownment before the end of the year, setting a standard that will be hard to beat in 2019. Not that they won't try.

Stock Market: Isn't that fun? I like when it takes a dip, and then Progressives go off about what a failure Trump is. Then hours later it's up 5% in a day and I get to point out their stupidity.

IMHO, the market couldn't care less about the shutdown. It's never really cared before. It's been due for an adjustment for the better part of a decade. The Fed's decision to proceed with raising interest rates is the probably the biggest factor. It's the end of the year, so there are a lot of adjustments that people and institutions are making before the end of the year regarding options, contracts, and taxes. Brexit isn't going smoothly. This will all settle down by the end of January.

The Shutdown: The shutdown, which only affects about 1/7th of the Federal government is more theater than substance. Everything that is important is still working. Personally, I like the idea that the only people not working this week are the ones who don't personally know me and who I will never know who are spending have spent one week lees looking for ways to meddle in my personal life.

The Democrats: Note that "guns" has re-emerged as an issue for them, now that they are safely past the elections. It's just virtue signalling for the base as they know that they'll be getting nothing past the Senate and President.

I can't be so certain for "Medicaid for All". Even before Trump was elected, I predicted that he's propose some form of "single payer" before the elections in 2020. I'm still standing behind that.

Have a nice weekend, and perhaps we can reboot next week. I'm outta here...

MAJ Arkay said...

The whole shutdown cry from the lame stream media is mostly bogus. Why? Because the civil service pay schedule works on the two-week system. The current pay schedule runs from 23 Dec to 5 Jan, so no one is not getting paid right this minute. The pay from the previous schedule, 9 Dec to 22 Dec, is paid on or about 28 Dec, from monies allocated in the previous continuing resolution authority. The pay to be sent out on 11 Jan is in danger, though, as are the subsequent bi-weekly schedules.

That said, less than 25% of the federal government is shut down. The other 75% was already funded. And of that 25%, those considered mission essential will continue to work, often without the higher up bureaucrats getting in the way.

Personally, I loved the between Christmas and New Year's time at work. I could close out the calendar year files and archive them as law requires, then set up the next calendar year's files and be ready to launch on 2 Jan. No hot meetings to attend, no office full of yammering folks who got in the way of doing my work, no hysterical phone calls. And since DoD works on the fiscal year system for funding, all the budget hysteria was taken care of in September, before the FY began on 1 Oct -- it was a wonderful time of year to be at work.

Fritzchen said...

So tell me Stilt, at what level of Hell would Dante have placed Pelosi, Schumer and Democrats in general? I'll not ask about academe or journalists for there is no level low enough for them.

As for myself, I thank you for being a voice of reason in a time bereft of same. A most happy and prosperous New Year to you and yours!

Stinking Bishop said...

@Fritz Brohn, if I may interject, I think they'd be in the Eight Circle, the Bolgia of the Evil Counselors.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

@Fritz: Picture the lowest level of Hell. Now, picture the sewers below the lowest level of Hell. The spot where the sewers empty into? Right there. ;)

Susan said...

You forgot somehow managing to get around the Hallmark holiday St Valentines day.

MAX Redline said...

I kind of prefer having the government "shut down". Frankly, I'd like to make it permanent. And I notice that while Trump is foregoing holiday vacations, Pelosi's partying hard at a $900 per night Hawaii resort, Mad Maxine's in the Bahamas, and so on.

james daily said...

I can imagine that after this life, Pelosi, Waters, Schumer chained to each other and enjoying each other's company for eternity. Just for fun, have Alexandria Ocasio Cortez
as moderator. Maybe Shelia Jackson Lee visit about three weeks at a time. The negative Karma these people are putting on their spirit can only be second to what the MSM is doing to theirs.

Meanwhile the stock market as mentioned will fluctuate. Back when I was gambling on stocks, I used a trailing stop-loss which did save the majority of losses. Not perfect but better than scared to look at your portfolio.

Those out of work feds that live beyond their means will feel the pinch as common folks do soon when the phone calls start coming in. That will be fun.

Rod said...

About now at end of year I'd be composing a blunt letter to my states' Democrat U.S. Senator regarding their TREASONOUS positions on national border security; but in 5 more days Missouri isn't going to HAVE a Democrat U.S Senator. YEAH! That's a good thing to remember about 2018. Only downside is the lying two-faced crooked Barry-supporter is probably coming back here.