Whither Sentiment?

Look toward gasoline prices (and a few other things).

Figure 1: University of Michigan consumer sentiment (blue, left scale), and real gasoline price 1982-84$/gallon (tan, right scale). NBER defined peak-to-trough recession dates shaded gray. Gasoline prices monthly average of weekly data; August 2022 core CPI from Cleveland Fed nowcast as of 9/4. Source: University of Michigan, BLS, EIA via FRED, Cleveland Fed, NBER, and author’s calculations.

Over the 2021M02-2022M08 period (using the Cleveland Fed nowcast for August core CPI), one sees that gasoline prices predict pretty well household sentiment.


Figure 2: University of Michigan consumer sentiment (blue), and predicted using real gasoline price 1982-84$/gallon (tan). Gasoline prices monthly average of weekly data; August 2022 core CPI from Cleveland Fed nowcast as of 9/4. Source: University of Michigan, BLS, EIA via FRED, Cleveland Fed, and author’s calculations.

The adjusted R2 of a regression of Michigan sentiment on real gasoline prices is 0.73 (hence the correlation coefficient is about 0.86). One notable aspect is that sentiment hasn’t rebounded as much as predicted by the model (but the prediction is well within the plus/minus 2 standard error prediction interval).

Interestingly, gasoline prices explain a lot of Biden’s approval rating.

Figure 3: Biden approval rating among likely voters, trend from 538 (teal), and predicted using real gasoline price 1982-84$/gallon (tan). Approval rating is monthly average of daily values. Gasoline prices monthly average of weekly data; August 2022 core CPI from Cleveland Fed nowcast as of 9/4. Source: Fivethirtyeight, BLS, EIA via FRED, Cleveland Fed, and author’s calculations.

The adjusted R2 is 0.64, and the correlation coefficient between the two variable is about 0.81. Each 2021 dollar increase in gasoline prices is associated with a 13 percentage point decrease in approval rating. Since linearity in this relationship is not very appealing, one can look at the regression of the logit of Biden approval, i.e., log(x/(1-x)) where x is approval rating in decimal form. This wouldn’t allow for negative or greater than 100% approval predictions, but as it happens doesn’t change the goodness of fit metrics very much. Either specification indicates that the rebound is overpredicted.

So, which way for sentiment (and approval ratings)? Gasoline futures prices are in backwardation, through the February 2023 contracts (5% implied decline); oil prices are in backwardation through November 2024 (and beyond).



Reader Erik Poole wonders if gasoline prices were really as high as I show in Figure 2. Figure 2 shows the predicted value of UMCSENT using gasoline prices.

For real gasoline prices (if you want to cross check my data), see below, direct from FRED (thru July, not using any nowcast):



73 thoughts on “Whither Sentiment?

  1. pgl

    Remember how many times JohnH has told us this lie?


    Of the many falsehoods that the Kremlin has spread since the war in Ukraine began more than six months ago, some of the most outlandish and yet enduring have been those accusing the United States of operating clandestine biological research programs to wreak havoc around the globe. The United States and others have dismissed the accusations as preposterous, and Russia has offered no proof. Yet the claims continue to circulate. Backed at times by China’s diplomats and state media, they have ebbed and flowed in international news reports, fueling conspiracy theories that linger online. In Geneva this week, Russia has commanded an international forum to air its unsupported assertions again. The Biological Weapons Convention, the international treaty that since 1975 has barred the development and use of weapons made of biological toxins or pathogens, gives member nations the authority to request a formal hearing of violations, and Russia has invoked the first one in a quarter-century. “This is the military biological Pandora’s box, which the United States has opened and filled more than once,” Irina A. Yarovaya, the deputy chair of Russia’s lower house of Parliament, the State Duma, said last month. She is leading a parliamentary committee that was formed to “investigate” American support for biological research laboratories in Ukraine and elsewhere. Virtually no Western officials or experts expect Russia to produce, during the weeklong gathering, facts that corroborate the accusations. If the past is any guide, that will not stop Russia from making them. Experts say Russia is likely to use the mere existence of the investigative session, much of which will take place behind closed doors, to give its claims a patina of legitimacy. Russia’s propaganda campaign has sought to justify the invasion ordered by President Vladimir V. Putin, who in April cited a “network of Western bioweapons labs” as one of the threats that forced Russia to act. More broadly, though, the flurry of accusations has sought to discredit the United States and its allies — Ukraine’s most powerful supporters and, increasingly, the source of arms being used to fight Russian forces.

    Anything to distract from Putin’s war crimes. And we thought Trump and his minions were disgusting.

  2. Moses Herzog

    general good-natured nonsense (you know, my usual)
    Good quality post, but semi-casual post, and I am semi-casual guy, so why not??

    Gonna go get some adult drinks Tuesday. “Attention!!! Attention!!!~~blog YT garbage bin busy on Tuesday” (mental problems). I been listening to the local Police scanner. I gotta say this Labor Day weekend makes the local police scanner highly entertaining. The weird things people do in their homes, in their cars, in their own backyard, on the street. And those are just my cousins [ rimshot ]. Highly recommended for its degenerate sicko entertainment value. It almost makes me feel less guilty for emailing or posting when I’m drinking. Let’s see…… even more degenerate and harmful to society behavior or minutely minutely degenerate behavior, while wasting a PhD economist’s time. Which is worse?? I’m gonna have to think about this awhile. I know the correct answer is “Don’t do either”, but wow, that’s a bummer man.

    I gotta campaign slogan for Biden. It’s for aristocratic/literati types. Ready?? “I’m voting for Joe!!!~~as long as gas prices are low”. It’s a rhyme thing. Too abstract??

    How about a series of TV commercials that are like a “concept album”, only it’s not a concept album, it’s commercials?? Work with me people.

    It was between those and “Dark Brandon To the Rescue”, but I was afraid old people like Pelosi and Barkley wouldn’t get the whole “meme” thing:

    1. Moses Herzog

      I gotta nuther one , I gotta nuther one, wait, wait……. “Susan Rice Was the Better VP Choice Than Harris, But I Lost My Balls While Visiting Paris”. OK, a little drawn-out and vulgar for a national campaign slogan, but I think it would grow on people over time.

  3. Macroduck

    Biden’s current approval rating is about the same as Clinton’s, Reagan’s and Trump’s at this point in their presidencies. Obama’s approval rating was at times as low as Biden’s is now, but not at this point in his presidency. Clinton, Reagan and Obama all won second terms. Trump did not. Voter approval of Clinton, Reagan and Obama improved on the way to re-election. Aproval of Trump remained below 50% throughout his presidency. Biden may not need much more decline in gasoline prices to make him an odds-on favorite for a second term.


    Biden’s age sets him apart from Clintom and Obama, not so much from Reagan, so it’s not clear age will scotch a second term for Joe. Trump’s presences as a “will he? won’t he?” candidate may increase the importance of presidential approval in the mid-term races, but we won’t know until votes are counted. In general, though, party preference usually matters more than presidential approval in mid-term elections.

    The generic ballot tracker at 538 has Democrats up 1 percentage point over Republicans, the best Democratic showing in about ten months:


    I don’t know how long a period is used in the 538 tracker. If one uses only polls taken since the mid-August, using only B+ or better polling agencies, the Democratic advantage is more like 2 ppt. (I use this set of data to cut down on math.) As I’ve mentioned before, the new gerrymander makes it hard to know how large a gerneric ballot advantage, if any, corresponds to a Democratic majority in the House.

  4. pgl

    Liz Truss wants to be the next Thatcher but this blast from the past is a bit embarrassing:


    Liz Truss , who declared Britain importing two thirds of its cheese a DISGRACE in an infamous speech to Tory conference, imports almost half of her department’s food. The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs admitted today only half of the food served in its canteen comes from British producers.

    Hey I like cheese. And when I lived in the British Isles, I got why they imported a lot of their food. The UK does not produce much cheese and what it produces is not up to par with cheese imported from the EU. Let them eat cake!

    1. Rick Stryker


      In the last 10 years, the U.K. has had an explosion of productivity in developing artisanal cheeses, and now produces almost twice as many varieties as France. You lived in the British Isles before that I would bet (and not in the U.K. I would bet) so how would you have really known even back then?

      1. pgl

        Gee Rick – nice statements but we are to trust you since you provide no data or reliable discussion. Two seconds on Google turned up thisL


        Number of varieties is one thing but what about total production. After all the US has lots of microbrews (varieties) with most of them producing limited quantities. As far as I can tell from reliable data sourced easily from the web, it does seem Brexit has increased total UK cheese production by about 25%. So maybe the UK imports less than it did back in 2015 but they still import cheese.

        Now your point was? Oh Pepperdine did not teach you to do real research. Got it! But wait a Pepperdine Ph.D. favors trade protection? Weird.

        1. Rick Stryker


          Since you professed to be a cheese lover, the number and variety of artisanal cheeses is the relevant metric, not total volume of production.

          1. pgl

            Yea it has all about me I guess. But a Prime Minister is responsible for the entire economy. But you have yet to explain how you got your alleged Ph.D. from a free market institution like Pepperdine with your anti-trade attitudes. Art Laffer may be checking your academic record as we speak.

    1. Anonymous

      see the minority view from the us’ strategic bombing study done after ww ii.

      as well as experience from artillery prep softening up beaches prior to assault

      what matters is boots and bayonets

      something missing in kiev

      1. ltr


        October 11, 2003

        Revisiting McNamara and the War He Headed
        By Stephen Holden

        If there’s one movie that ought to be studied by military and civilian leaders around the world at this treacherous historical moment, it is ”The Fog of War,” Errol Morris’s sober, beautifully edited documentary portrait of the former United States defense secretary, Robert S. McNamara. Mr. McNamara, who was 85 when the interviews that make up the bulk of the film were conducted two years ago, served under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to early 1968. He has been widely vilified as a major architect of the Vietnam War, which cost more than 58,000 American lives and, according to Mr. McNamara, the lives of 3.4 million Vietnamese.

        Subtitled ”Eleven Lessons of Robert S. McNamara,” ”The Fog of War,” which has the first of two New York Film Festival screenings this evening, organizes his reflections into a list of maxims about war and human error, with the cumulative message suggesting that in wartime nobody in power really knows anything….

      2. Macroduck

        Nonsense. Worse than nonsense is you lying about the state of affairs in Ukraine.

        Ukrainians have performed well on the battlefield relative to Russia’s forces. They lack the resources Russia has, and so are at a disadvantage, but still managed to push Russian forces away from Kiev (where you say Ukrainian forces are lacking). Russia has chosen to disengage from much direct contact with Ukrainian units because Russian losses are so high when contact is made. Russia has turned to greater reliance on longer-range weapons, and Ukraine has acquired the weapons to answer in like manner.

        Now, Ukrainian forces are putting infantry units against dug-in Russian forces in an effort to retake territory. And here’s anonymous, a member of the poodle brigade, claiming Ukrane is unable to do the very thing it’s doing – the hard work of retaking territory with ground troops.

        1. Ivan

          Another advantage is that Russia is running out of competent infantry soldiers. They are sending new recruits there who have not gotten much of any training. So their infantry is not hitting the military targets. Lots of boom but no bang for the bucks. Ukraine on the other hand has much more high precision munition – so much more of their booms get a bang. Ukraines ability to fire, then move the heck out of there is way beyond what the Russians can do. So Ukraine has the upper hand in use of the trails from fired munition to target the equipment that fired it. The Russian WW2 strategy of pulverizing enemy positions then roll over the ashes is failing because they can’t get the pulverization to hit the military targets. That is why they have been stuck for so long, even where they put a lot of troops in to take the rest of Donetsk.

      3. Ivan

        Kiev may be low on boots and bayonets – but they are way outdoing Putin when it comes to brain power. They refuse to fight the war of their enemy and instead have devised a strategy that hammers straight at their enemy’s biggest weaknesses.

        They are now within 30 miles of the western bank of every single point on the Dnipro river. That means every supply crossing point from the Russian side is within reach of high precision weapon at Ukraines disposal. Every point where Russian supply can cross that river has been diminished or blocked. One Russian/Donetsk regiment refused to fight because they can’t even get supplied with drinking water.

        Russias weakness has always been that they have one supply truck for every fighting vehicle (the West use two). That requires large depots (ammo, food, water) close to the front line. If you put supply depots too far away, they cannot support the outdated “eradicate, then role over” tactic. Ukraine has been eradicating Russian supply depots and is now probing front line points where reduced shelling from Russians indicate a reduced supply. They are using a brilliant “attack-pull back” strategy where they don’t get into costly dogged fights where there is still Russian strengths, but quickly take over places where supply and morale problems make the Russian defenses soft. This save Ukraine soldiers, with a slower advance being the only cost. Moving slow doesn’t matter if Russia don’t have a big reservoir of spare assets to move to the front lines – and they have deployed all they can (without using conscripts).

        Importantly, Ukraine is using this tactic across the whole 1500 mile line of fighting from Kherson to Karkiv. Having pulled large number of Russian assets down south with a heavily advertised push towards Kherson, a lot of softness is located further north – and they are taking advantage of that (and Russias inability to quickly shift resources and supply lines as the battlefield changes). They could never fight along that long a stretch using a WW2 strategy, but “attack-pull back” is viable even when the defenders outnumber you as a whole – you just have to have ears and eyes to point out where the weak spots are.

      1. pgl

        I remember watching this gripping discussion back in 2002. I suspect the time of the release was to serve as a warning not to invade Iraq. Alas Bush continued to listen to Rumsfeld and Cheney so we had to repeat our Vietnam mistake.

  5. Anonymous

    gasoline prices would be even more positive if the station signs did not show diesel….. not declining month on month.

    diesel, goes with heating oil, goes with low national stock of transport/heat/electricity fuel that can substitute for natural gas,

    many households do not track natural gas in summer or otherwise.

    1. Macroduck

      I’m beginning to think today’s anonymous is struggling to write in English. That’s a mess. Since not all of his/her writing is that inept, I’m also beginning to wonder if anonymous is one person. I think a Russian troll farm is just throwing their weak trolls at us under the “anonymous” monicker, which makes sense. The arguments offered are never all that smart, but the writing here is crazy bad.

        1. Moses Herzog

          It’s hard for me to believe Hemingway and some others didn’t do some quality writing while sauced. It can be done. Maybe requires a tad more self-editing, but it can be done. I’m sure some like Stephen King would tell us cocaine is much more facilitative to writing but he can keep the white powder to himself.

        1. AndrewG

          You’re ignoring the entire modern history of war, including what the US did in WWII. It’s all logistics and equipment. Just like a modern economy.

  6. ltr


    July 22, 2022

    Xinjiang region sees booming tourism with more domestic, foreign visitors, a strong response to smears: regional spokesperson
    By Liu Xin

    The booming of tourism in China’s Xinjiang region with more domestic and Chinese tourists showed that more people are seeing through the lies and the tricks by anti-China forces from the US and the West, Xu Guixiang, spokesperson of the Xinjiang regional government, said in a press conference on Friday.

    Recently, Xinjiang has become a hot tourist destination. In June, the region marked 23 million trips, an increase of 66 percent from May, and tourism revenue reached 17.4 billion yuan ($ 2.5 billion), an increase of 89 percent from the previous month, according to data released on Friday.

    The booming of tourism in the region benefits from the social stability, effective prevention measures and multiple preferential policies , Elijan Anayat, spokesperson of the Xinjiang regional government, said at the conference.

    Images of the traffic congestion along the Duku highway have gone viral on China’s social media with many joking about the great number of people that swarmed into the region to enjoy the gorgeous, magnificent landscapes along the highways.

    On July 9, there were 28,000 vehicles on the Duku highway, five times the designed capacity of the road. To solve the traffic congestion, local governments along the roads have taken measures to ensure the safety of visitors and helped with evacuations, Elijan noted.

    Xu Guixiang, another spokesperson of the regional government noted that the region’s brand has become known in recent years despite the smearing from the US and some Western countries. With the peak in tourism, more Chinese and foreign visitors have come to the region to see its social development and the happy lives of local residents.

    The lies made by anti-China forces on Xinjiang cannot fool the international community. More people are seeing through their tricks and are voicing their support for Xinjiang in a strong response to the anti-China forces in the US and the West, Xu said.

    1. ltr


      July 5, 2022

      Booming tourism tells of a flourishing, stable, open Xinjiang

      Covering an area of 1.66 million square kilometers, Xinjiang boasts rich natural resources, marvelous landscapes, a variety of ethnic customs and cultural heritage, making tourism one of the fastest-growing industries in the region.

      Tourists used to be bothered by the fact that many attractions are often hundreds of kilometers apart. But the development of transportation has greatly facilitated the travel of tourists.

      Over the past 10 years, the number of civil airports in Xinjiang has increased from 0.96 to 1.51 per 100,000 square km. With 24 civil airports in total, Xinjiang has the largest number of airports among all provincial-level regions.

      According to the regional transport department, from 2016 to 2020, Xinjiang’s fixed-asset investment in transportation exceeded the total of the previous 60 years.

      According to official data, Xinjiang received a total of 4,026,400 tourists, with tourism revenue of 2.48 billion yuan (around 371 million U.S. dollars) during the six-day Labor Day and Eid al-Fitr holiday.

    2. Menzie Chinn Post author

      ltr: If you are going to refer us to state-owned media, please just provide the link, and a *short* excerpt. As I noted before, reproduction of entire articles is not welcome – and particularly not welcome when they are merely parroting the views of a government.

      1. Barkley Rosser

        And we have already seen this tourism argument about Xinjiang several times, they being kept away from the “education camps” for sure, although not as frequently as your notorious 4 in a million number.

      2. Moses Herzog

        Most of ltr’s comments I can just let float off into the ether. But it’s these type ones that are hard just to let sit there.

  7. ltr


    September 4, 2022

    Chinese mainland records 384 new confirmed COVID-19 cases

    The Chinese mainland recorded 384 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Saturday, with 314 attributed to local transmissions and 70 from overseas, data from the National Health Commission showed on Sunday.

    A total of 1,464 asymptomatic cases were also recorded on Saturday, and 24,079 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation.

    The cumulative number of confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland is 244,708, with the death toll from COVID-19 standing at 5,226.

    The latest tally of confirmed cases in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and Taiwan region is as follows:

    Hong Kong: 390,146 (75,770 recoveries, 9,716 deaths)

    Macao: 793 (787 recoveries, six deaths)

    Taiwan: 5,408,641 (13,742 recoveries, 10,028 deaths)

    Chinese mainland new locally transmitted cases


    Chinese mainland new imported cases


    Chinese mainland new asymptomatic cases


        1. Moses Herzog

          I know for a fact there was concealment of deaths at the start of the pandemic in China. Hell there were many deaths from Covid-19 that were hidden/ lied about in the USA by coroners/MDs as “pneumonia” and other related ailments when the real trigger/cause was Covid-19. So it doesn’t take much imagination to think deaths are still being hidden in China.

          I’m gonna go into “broken record” Uncle Moses mode here, you know I have love/hate feeling towards China. And I don’t want to offend Menzie or anyone else, I really don’t. And I differentiate between 3 things pretty strongly, I see as “definitively distinct” these 3 groups—Chinese government, mainland Chinese citizens. and Chinese born in other nations/ and or ex-patriots (honestly I kind of bind together ex-patriots and those born outside of China together, and even they are different in distinct ways). But referring to the mainland Chinese populace, there is something inherent in the culture which normalizes and is apathetic to lying. It’s almost like it’s ingrained. It’s a HUGE problem there, and so is trust. Is lying also a problem in American culture??—obviously yes, but I would argue not to the same extent as mainland China.

          7 years living there gives me “license” to be blunt. I think.

          1. Moses Herzog

            I should add, the lying problem here in America, is like “regressing” now—Lying in America is getting worse and worse. So it’s like the “gap” of the problem in lying is narrowing between the two countries is getting closer to the same level–only China is not improving on lies, it’s getting closer to the same level because America is getting worse about lying.

            And I agree with President Biden, I 100% agree with President Biden on this—America is at an “inflection point”. And if donald trump isn’t punished or put in prison in a serious/punitive fashion, I really kinda see it as a “point of no return”. America will have lost its soul and any moral standing at that point. And I see it in a very very negative outlook from there on, if donald trump and his associates in crime aren’t punished. It’s like 1949 China at that point. Straight down the crapper.

    1. Ivan

      “One dose of Ad5-nCoV showed a 57·5% (95% CI 39·7–70·0, p=0·0026) efficacy against symptomatic, PCR-confirmed, COVID-19 infection at 28 days or more postvaccination (21 250 participants; 45 days median duration of follow-up [IQR 36–58])”

      So about 60% efficacy of the Ad5-nCoV that was injected into most Chinese. Not good when the mRNA vaccine is over 90%.

      The inhaled vaccines sounds good if you are not an immunologist. Just remember that the inhaled flue vaccines require live viruses and are not any better than the “shot in the arm” kind. The respiratory viruses that gives us problems/diseases are the one that have found go around the respiratory immune system. A robust peripheral response including T-helper memory cells induced by a shot in the arm may actually be more effective.

  8. David S

    I’ve been waiting for this post– thank you Menzie. The only thing that’s missing from the comments is Moses boasting about paying $2.99 a gallon—but based on the rate of decline that’s probably 6 weeks away. If Americans were smarter, we would be complaining more about prices of communication services than the price of energy.

    A casual observation worth making is the decline in appliance prices over the past few months. Granted, there are some shortages of stupid, high-end stuff, but it’s clear that some of the major brands built of inventory over the year and now are desperate to unload it.

    1. Moses Herzog

      “boasting” Heh, maybe it’s slightly annoying if you live in the states where prices are higher. But I try not to make it take on the tone of a boast. The main thing is people do their best to by the cheapest gas in their locality–that will help with national ave prices. If I went out to my favorite station (my fav station is whoever the hell is cheapest and it’s not a drive to Alaska) is now $3.03. I will probably fuel up tomorrow on my way home from grocery shopping (or what I affectionately call, my “liquor run”) That way, something that would be an 8 mile drive round-trip becomes a 4 block drive diversion from shopping.

    1. Moses Herzog

      Danny, you’re not going to tell us that USA supermarkets will be out of food in three days on what prepper foods we are supposed to buy for “the coming crisis” are you?? I bought 10 My Pillows this week, and switched over to “Advantage Medicare” and my monthly stipend for con men is dry.

  9. ltr


    September 4, 2022

    “Just one breath”: China approves world’s 1st inhaled COVID-19 vaccine
    By Gong Zhe

    The world’s first inhaled COVID-19 vaccine has been approved by National Medical Products Administration of China (NMPA) to be used as a booster dose, the developer CanSino Biologics said on Sunday.

    The vaccine, named “Convidecia Air,” is the inhaled version of the Tianjin-based company’s adenoviral vector vaccine, Convidecia.

    It “provides a non-invasive option” for people who prefer not to take a jab, the company said, adding that the new vaccine can establish immunity against COVID-19 after “just one breath.”

    The company said the Phase III trial results published * in the medical journal The Lancet indicate that the new vaccine can induce strong humoral, cellular and mucosal immunity to achieve triple protection and effectively contain the infection and spread of the virus.

    There are many kinds of COVID-19 vaccines from different companies available in China, including Convidecia. More than 3.4 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been taken in the Chinese mainland, according to data from the National Health Commission (NHC).

    The Chinese mainland has collectively reported 244,708 COVID-19 cases since late 2019, NHC data also showed. Among them, 233,284 have recovered and 5,226 passed away.

    * https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)02753-7/fulltext

  10. joseph

    So, wait, after Rick Stryker’s dumb struck silence following the release of the Trump office photo of Top Secret documents, he resurfaces to argue about —- cheese?

    Recall that Stryker — “I’m quite knowledgeable about legal matters actually” — claimed that the search warrant was illegal, yet in the judge’s ruling today she said “The court agrees with the Government that, at least based on records to date, that there has not been a compelling showing of callous disregard for Plaintiff’s constitutional rights.”

    Note that this is a judge appointed by Trump and confirmed by 56 Republican lame duck votes a week after his 2020 election loss. So, who knows, perhaps Stryker does have more knowledge of “legal matters actually” than a Trump judge.

    1. pgl

      To be fair – I raised the cheese issue. But I was pointing out that UK’s new prime minister flip flops a lot about trade issues. The French get it as they turned the Iron Lady into the Iron WeatherCock,

      You’re right but Rick’s lack of legal skills but I submit he is a better lawyer than an economist. If one can’t handle trade issues – then WTF is one doing on this blog?

      1. Rick Stryker


        Why do keep bringing up trade issues? I don’t recall making any comments about international trade.

        1. pgl

          Brexit has nothing to do with international trade. The issue between the Brits and the French over cheese has nothing to do with international trade? Ricky boy – Art Laffer is calling as he wants you to know your Ph.D. has been canceled.

    2. Rick Stryker


      I didn’t bother to comment before since pictures of items the FBI/DOJ already acknowledged seizing changes nothing legally. We already knew they had them.

      You misunderstand the judges ruling. She did not rule on the legal issues I mentioned since those issues weren’t before the court. Trump’s lawyers filed a Rule 41(g) motion, which is a motion for a court to assume equitable jurisdiction in cases in which a plaintiff alleges some property may have been illegally seized in the absence of criminal charges. In these cases, the court will apply the Richey test and one of the tests is whether the search showed “a callous disregard.” The judge correctly in my view did not find a callous disregard for Trump’s constitutional rights, which just means that the FBI followed a legal process in the search, i.e., they got a warrant, got it signed off by a magistrate, followed the language of the warrant, etc. That there was no “callous disregard” has no bearing on the legal issues I raised.

      Trump won the 41(g) motion decisively, as he should have. Garland should have asked for a special master himself. That he didn’t tells us a lot about what’s going on Interesting to see whether the DOJ will appeal.

      One very interesting fact that came out in the ruling was Biden’s direct involvement in triggering these actions. Biden essentially waved Trump’s executive privilege claims to NARA, a dangerous precedent and probably illegal. Never really been litigated. The judge ordered that the special master should also consider questions of executive privilege, a point the DOJ argued vehemently against.

          1. pgl

            Better than that BS you just peddled. You wanted to claim the FBI search was illegal. This “judge” said it was not. But leave it to you to selectively read what she wrote.

      1. joseph

        You still haven’t provided any grounds for your claim that the search was illegal. And tellingly, neither has Trump or his lawyers. The only thing they have claimed using 41(g) is that of the 11,282 stolen government documents 64 documents might belong to Trump as medical, tax or client/attorney privilege,

        One thing for sure. Trump is not getting back the 103 stolen classified documents. This special master might delay the process for a while but this investigation is not going away. But all Trump has right now is a delaying strategy, hoping somehow he can keep himself from being indicted long enough to get re-elected in 2024.

        Given your apoplexy concerning Clinton’s email server on which not one single classified document was found, it interesting how blase your are about Trump keeping dozens of Top Secret documents unsecured in his hotel office where guests routinely stroll through.

        1. Rick Stryker


          I went through the legal argument in a previous comment, citing a couple of highly relevant cases.

          Don’t be so sure that the special master will just delay the inevitable. The DOJ went through the docs assuming that executive privilege didn’t apply. Now the judge says it may. If that holds, Trump can make the argument that the prosecutors and indeed the prosecution are tainted by an investigation based on protected docs they never should have seen in the first place.

          I’m looking to see if the DOJ appeals. If they do, it means they want to remove the executive privilege issue from impeding a potential prosecution. If they don’t, I think it means they are not really that serious about prosecution.

          1. baffling

            “I’m looking to see if the DOJ appeals. If they do, it means they want to remove the executive privilege issue from impeding a potential prosecution. If they don’t, I think it means they are not really that serious about prosecution.”
            well rick, the doj has appealed. looks like they are serious about prosecution.

        2. pgl

          “You still haven’t provided any grounds for your claim that the search was illegal. And tellingly, neither has Trump or his lawyers.”

          Even Trump’s hand picked incompetent judge said the search was legal. Yea Ricky boy just skipped over that little detail.

          And former AG Barr has had a lot of sensible things to say which directly refutes the amateur analysis from Ricky the Stooge.

        3. pgl

          It is a well established fact that among the multitude of lawyers Trump has hired over time, most of them have no ethics, they lie a lot, and are generally incompetent. I guess Rick Stryker has decided he fits quite well with this crowd.

      2. Baffling

        William Barr, the trump attorney general, seems to disagree with rick on these issues. He believes trump is in the wrong. He supports the doj actions.

        1. Baffling

          It is interesting rick does not seem concerned about trump leaking highly classified nuclear documents.

      3. pgl

        “One very interesting fact that came out in the ruling was Biden’s direct involvement in triggering these actions. Biden essentially waved Trump’s executive privilege claims to NARA, a dangerous precedent and probably illegal.”

        What a load of rubbish. There has been no involvement from the White House on the DOJ investigation and you know it. But of course all you have is lying. BTW the dangerous precedent would be to let a former President have national security documents in his little resort all mixed up with the wife’s panties. Oh wait – that one got you excited I bet.

      4. pgl

        If your property is not promptly returned after a seizure for forfeiture, your attorney might file a “Rule 41(g) for Return of Property.” Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(g) provides that “[a] person aggrieved by an unlawful search and seizure of property or by the deprivation of property may move for the property’s return.”


        I’m not a fancy lawyer but these people are and they have just called out your dishonesty here. Even you said the search was legal (OK you have incorrectly said it was illegal but either you lie or you are an idiot).

        Trump was aggrieved? By what? Oh yea – those nasty FBI agents were sniffing Melanie’s panties!

      5. pgl

        “Garland should have asked for a special master himself.”

        Every competent and honest lawyer I have listened to has noted there was no need for a special master. None of them have suggested this would be standard or appropriate practice. But I guess mob boss Donald Trump in different in your view. Of course Garland gets what “without fear or favor” means. You apparently do not.

  11. joseph

    Rick Stryker: “The DOJ went through the docs assuming that executive privilege didn’t apply. Now the judge says it may. If that holds, Trump can make the argument that the prosecutors and indeed the prosecution are tainted by an investigation based on protected docs they never should have seen in the first place.”

    So you are claiming that the case based on stolen Top Secret documents must be thrown out because investigators may have seen putative privileged documents?

    Wow, what a great loophole. You just take your bag of cocaine and always keep it wrapped up in your tax return. Then if busted you get the court to throw out the cocaine evidence because investigators illegally viewed your tax return when they seized the cocaine. Tainted he says.

    Brilliant legal analysis from the keyboard lawyer who claims “I’m quite knowledgeable about legal matters actually — and cheese!”

    1. pgl

      The idea that an ex-President has Executive Privilege is perhaps the dumbest idea ever put forward. The idea that Executive Privilege allows Trump to sell national security secrets to Putin is beyond dangerous. But keyboard legal master Rick Stryker actually thinks Executive Privilege applies here because some Trump appointed bimbo judge who had no real standing in this case gave Trump a get of jail card. I guess Rick thinks this is nothing more than a game of Monopoly. We do have a new winner for dumbest troll ever – Rick Perry Mason Stryker!

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