Year in Review, 2019: “Victory at IAD” and Other Alternative Facts

It’s the year that Donald Trump said  that in the war against Great Britain, “Our army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do, and at Fort McHenry, under the rockets’ red glare, it had nothing but victory.”

Hard for anything else to compare, but let’s try, starting with inveterate liars…

January. Stephen Moore, “economic analyst”:

February. Scott Walker’s knowledge of tax policy history on display

March. More from Stephen Moore, “economic analyst”

April. Ramesh Ponnuru confuses me…

May. Judy Shelton’s economic theories.

June. I wonder what Edward Tufte would say about this graph….

July. When a “study” is not a study.

August. No comment necessary.

September. Winning!

October: 4% growth would be easy!

November. Trump on economic statistics.


December. Still waiting for that recession in California.

For the year.





14 thoughts on “Year in Review, 2019: “Victory at IAD” and Other Alternative Facts

  1. pgl

    Gold bug Judy Shelton took it for the May award! Maria Hasenstab had an interesting discussion of why going back to the gold standard makes no sense:

    “Commercial banks and Federal Reserve banks had a gold reserve requirement. They had to keep reserves of gold in their vaults equal to a fraction of the money they issued. “For every Federal Reserve dollar that was issued, the Reserve Bank had to have 40 cents worth of gold in its vault downstairs in the basement,” explained David Wheelock, vice president and deputy director of research. And then the Great Depression hit. People hoarded gold instead of depositing it in banks, which created an international gold shortage. Countries around the world basically ran out of supply and were forced off the gold standard. The U.S. came off the gold standard for domestic transactions in 1933 and ended international convertibility of the dollar to gold in 1971.”

    And why not go back some might ask?

    ‘There are significant problems with tying currency to the gold supply:

    It doesn’t guarantee financial or economic stability.
    It’s costly and environmentally damaging to mine.
    The supply of gold is not fixed.

    “The U.S. mines a lot of gold, but we’re not the biggest producer,” Wheelock said. “The bigger suppliers of gold would have more control over our monetary policy, and there’s no reason to have it because we can get the advantages of the gold standard and avoid the disadvantages without being on a gold standard.’

    It turns out that China, Russia, and Australia produce more gold than does the U.S. Of course maybe this is the Trump plan – turn monetary policy over to a couple of Communist regimes!

  2. Willie

    We elected a TV reality show. I guess his supporters feel gratified to know that they are smarter than the people in power and want to keep it that way. Maybe they should brush up on their Russian language skills.

  3. joseph

    You overlooked the one where Trump ordered his Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to order NOAA to change the weather report after the fact because Trump had embarrassed himself in front of the entire nation.

    It is one thing when the thin-skinned orange man orders his press secretary to lie about the size of his adoring crowds but it is entirely another thing when the president has to order the weather service to lie about the weather people can see outside their own window. This kind of lying can actually get people killed.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      joseph: That was worthy of mention, but I unfortunately did not do a post on that particular crime (as I recall, misstating weather information *is* a crime).

  4. Moses Herzog

    Found out overhearing NBC’s little jingle while someone was watching trash TV out in the living room:

    At first glance it appears to be an appropriate move. However it’s exponentially confusing how much more this puts Americans soldiers at risk, right after we ran out like cowards on our allies the Kurds. How can a person say they’re removing troops to protect Americans, betraying an ally, then turn right around roughly 10 weeks later and make an assassination attempt on arguably one of the top 3 most powerful men in all of Iran—- along with a PMU militia lieutenant. Whether you believe it to be a good chess move or a bad one, it’s hard to imagine how it doesn’t greatly increase risks to American troops lives, and how it doesn’t get a response in one form or another. Those guys in Tehran aren’t going to sit there despondent after 2 major players are taken off the chess board in the blink of an eye.

    Again, I am not saying this is necessarily a wrong move—but that it doesn’t make sense in correlation with the abandoning of the Kurds.

    1. ilsm

      Quds and PMF were instrumental in defeating ISIS/al Qaeda/al Nusra (Sunni) in Iraq and Syria, after US organized “forces” were routed. Weakening Shi’a Iraq supposedly to get at Iran makes a whole lot of sense.

        1. ilsm

          Pompeo’s. same as Powell, Clinton and Kerry’s, regional “partners” are all Sunni monarchies. What happens when the Iraqis suggest the US leave?

          I think US drone strikes the past 48 hours are aimed at weakening the Shi’a in Iraq. The body count tonight is 6 more Shia/”Iran backed” militiamen. Will we begin to get the body count in the 7:00PM network news, like it was 1971?

          Make a case that the Middle East insanity that W Bush ‘sold’, and Obama enlarged into Syria, has not descended to US siding with the Sunnis in their ancient schism.

          1. pgl

            “I think US drone strikes the past 48 hours are aimed at weakening the Shi’a in Iraq.”

            Seriously? When they kick us out of Iraq – the Shia will be all powerful. The loss of two people has not weakened them in the least. Come on man – we know you’re beyond dumb so you do not need to try so hard proving what is well known over and over.

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