Coincident Indicators of Recession: VMT, Heavy Truck Sales, Sahm Rule

Ever wonder whether vehicle miles traveled (VMT) does a good job of predicting recessions. Wonder no more. First take a look at what VMT does over recessions, versus heavy truck sales (suggested by Calculated Risk at some points), and the eponymous Sahm Rule (real time version).

Figure 1: 12 month growth rate in the vehicle miles traveled, n.s.a. (teal), in heavy truck sales, s.a. (tan), and Sahm rule indicator – real time (black). Sahm rule is 3 month moving average unemployment rate relative to lowest unemployment rate in last 12 months. Orange dashed liine denotes threshold for Sahm rule indicator. NBER defined peak-to-trough recession dates shaded gray. Source: FHA via FRED, Census via FRED, FRED, and NBER.

It’s hard to see, but the 12 month change in VMT declined a few months ago (the level is lower than pre-pandemic), while heavy truck sales are up, y/y. The Sahm rule is near zero (it needs 0.5 ppts to breach the threshold).

How do these variables do in predicting recessions (peak-to-trough, as defined by NBER BCDC, not the amorphous definition used by certain individuals)? Here’re the probit regression results over the 1970M01-2022M10/M11 period (where I convert the Sahm rule variable to a dummy variable (Sahmruleindex) taking on a value of 1 if the Sahm rule variable exceeds the 0.5 threshold).

Notice that the y/y growth rate of VMT doesn’t explain a lot of recessions, according to the McFadden R2. The y/y growth rate of heavy truck sales actually explains the most. The Sahm rule index has an intermediate explanatory power of 18%. The Sahm rule is supposed to signal a recession has started, not necessarily a recession is currently ongoing.

Below I plot the predicted probabilities associated with the estimated VMT and heavy truck sales probits, and the implication of the Sahm rule (nonestimated).

Figure 2: Probit estimated recession probabilities from 12 month growth rate in VMT (teal), in heavy truck sales (tan), and implication from interpretation of Sahm rule (black). NBER defined peak-to-trough recession dates shaded gray. Source: NBER, and author’s calculations.

Since it’s hard to see what’s going on, particularly in recent recessions, I focus in on the period starting just before the Great Recession (corresponding to Figure 1).

Figure 3: Probit estimated recession probabilities from 12 month growth rate in VMT (teal), in heavy truck sales (tan), and implication from interpretation of Sahm rule (black) (detail). NBER defined peak-to-trough recession dates shaded gray. Source: NBER, and author’s calculations.

Now, VMT would’ve done better if I truncated the sample at 2019M12, given the extreme nature of VMT behavior during the pandemic. However, the McFadden R2 only rises to 12%, and still  wouldn’t have breached the 50% threshold for the 2007-09 recession (but would’ve predicted a recession in 1996).

Hence, I remain skeptical of Mr. Kopits’s assertions (in a rejoinder to Macroduck’s comment) that VMT is the lodestone for recession declarations, viz:

…so you’re saying there were 1.1 m more jobs and gasoline consumption and VMT were falling at the same time? So not only did those extra 1.1 m workers not drive to work, those with jobs were also driving less. It’s possible, sure. But if I have to adjudicate between the CES and the HH survey, the data is more consistent with the HH survey. But that’s not what Menzie did. And neither did you. But I did, and as it turned out, that inference appears to have been correct.

My point is that VMT is particularly unreliable from a formal standpoint, and it is reasonable to presume a structural break in the employent-VMT relationship given recent developments, including working from home.

To illustrate the potential break in this employment-VMT relationship, I convert to quarterly data the monthly, and run a regression in first log differences. A recursive residuals one-step-ahead Chow test rejects stability around the pandemic.

Figure 4: Recursive one-step ahead residuals from indicated regression (blue, right scale), 95% interval (red dashed, right scale), probability of no change (blue circle, left scale). NBER defined peak-to-trough recession dates shaded gray. Source: author’s calculations using EViews.

In sum:

• One shouldn’t rely on VMT to infer employment given the structural breaks identified in the data.
• There is little indication that as of November 2022, or in 2022H1, that the economy was in recession (as defined by the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee).

Of course, random observers can define a recession any way they want, so as to make their declarations valid. I.e., one could call a recession one where the Michigan index falls below a certain value. But that would be outside of the spirit of the business cycle literature.

Mr. Kopits also suggested use of gasoline use. I also estimated a probit regression using 12 month growth rate in gasoline supplied (EIA). While the coefficient on gasoline is statistically significant, the McFadden R2 is low (0.04), and fails to predict any recession save the 2020 one (using a 50% threshold).

65 thoughts on “Coincident Indicators of Recession: VMT, Heavy Truck Sales, Sahm Rule”

1. Macroduck

I suppose if one relies on the Covid recession alone for historical evidence, one might get the impression that VMT is a coincident indicator of recession. Relying on the example of the Covid recession is unholistic, not to mention bad economics.

2. Moses Herzog

We’re up to 7 Speaker vote tallies today. Donalds has 20 votes (still in the middle of the sixth vote tally) and by all appearances seems to be McCarthy’s main Republican competitor. I mean there’s no more popcorn left in the house to eat while enjoying Republicans laying in their own MAGA refuse, I’m gonna have to convert to my little boxes Reese’s Pieces and generic skim milk. If this keeps up I’m going to have to get some “Red Hots” on my next grocers outing/ alcohol run.

If this goes into late january~~~Leftover Little Debbie Christmas Cakes and DD coffee?? Suggestions welcome.

1. pgl

McCarthy either has the same result or a worse result each time they vote. But he persists for some odd reason.

1. Moses Herzog

He’s wagering on lethargy setting in. Pure and simple vote fatigue. And it will very likely work. His main competitor is Donalds, and no one is going to take Donalds serious. Donalds is just a dead house fly laying on the surface of McCarthy’s soup.

1. pgl

If there are enough Republicans who vote present and the Dems keep voting for Jeffries, Jeffries may actually end up with the majority of those voting. Just saying this could back fire on the Republlcans.

1. Moses Herzog

I would not say that’s impossible, but very very very unlikely. I put that somewhere around 0.5% chance.

But if it was just dependent on wishful thinking I could get Jeffries there on my wish engine alone.

2. baffling

it will be interesting if the vote is only for McCarthy or Jeffries. no third party involved. what will the maga crowd do then? as long as they keep adding a third party and everybody votes, Jeffries cannot reach 218.

3. Moses Herzog

7th vote tally a failure for McCarthy. There’ll be an 8th vote and I assume that will be later today. Whether Republicans want another teepee meeting in-between the 7th and 8th vote tally, your guess is as good as mine.

Republican groomer of underage girls and statutory rapist Matt Gaetz cast his Speakership vote for donald trump. Taylor Greene was smiling next to him like their class was just awarded a pizza party,

4. Moses Herzog

I may be misreading the picture, but if I am reading some of these media sources correctly Tom Emmer may be in the picture for House Speaker. It seems like they are on the hunt for someone who can gain more consensus among Republicans as a Speaker candidate, as nobody thinks Donalds could actually carry that many votes. There’s also some hints that McCarthy could still carry the votes soon if he relinquishes some more of the Speakership powers.

Very sharp journalists are still saying this is up in the air still at 2:00pm eastern time Thursday.

5. Moses Herzog

8th vote tally is a failure for McCarthy. He doesn’t have the votes. Possible 9th vote tally later today.

6. Moses Herzog

I want to make it clear, and be on record, I see no way in Hell does this ever happen. I see the odds of this happening roughly the same as donald trump becoming the next leader of the Teamsters Union. But…… some sharp people seem to agree with our blog’s native Georgian, that this is in the realm of possibility, or in the playing cards.

Not gonna happen. But makes for fun conjecture either way.

2. Macroduck

I kinda wonder if, for the likes of Boebert and Gaetz, this isn’t obstruction for obstruction’s sake. They don’t actually have an agenda. They have a rhetorical style. Tearing things down (democracy, the Constitution, the rule of law) is their thing.

Yahoo’s will be yahoos.

If tearing things down is the goal, when is a compromise reachable? McCarthy can’t win without them, but his majority within the GOP caucus is still very large. Quitting without a clear path to some other outcome would be crazy. What outcome do the yahoo’s offer?

1. baffling

democrats should begin to negotiate. they can give mccarthy the gavel. or they could possibly choose a more suitable republican. it need not be McCarthy. is there a republican that the democrats would find acceptable as speaker? they could make that happen easier than the republicans, ironically.

2. pgl

Some of the Never Kevin 20 are mad that the negotiations last night were leaked to the press. But it was not McCarthy that leaked. It was
Gaetz – a member of the 20. Gaetz is a flame thrower who only wants one thing – some fat cat to pay for his next 17 year prostitute.

3. Macroduck

Somewhat on topic –

If we enter a recession, or simply a period of uncomfortably slow growth, what then?

It seems unlikely that a Republican-contolled House would allow fiscal stimulus – better the economy tank and millions lose their incomes than to pass up an opportunity to blame Biden.

Where does the domestic economy stand? What are the imbalances? How long is a recession or a mere slowdown likely to be? How deep is a recession likely to be? How much can the Fed actually help?

We know that savings accumulated during the Covid stimulus period by lower and middle-income households have mostly been spent. Better-off household account for any remaining increase in savings. We know there is still a housing shortage which, with lower mortgage rates, could spur some increase in construction. However, turnover is part of that formula, too, and job loss is bad for housing turnover.

The U.S. trade deficit tends to be counter-cyclical, but with China and Europe in the dumps, we can’t expect much help from trade.

And so on. Love to see some non-partisan thoughts.

4. ltr

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

January 4, 2023

a ) There were 5,226 coronavirus deaths in China on May 26, 2022.
b ) There were no coronavirus deaths from May 26, for nearly 6 months, through November 19.
c ) From November 20 through January 3, 2023 there have been 27 coronavirus deaths in China, bringing the total from 5,226 to 5,253.

d ) During the nearly 6 months of no coronavirus deaths in China, there were 300 to 500 coronavirus deaths each day in the United States.
e ) Coronavirus deaths in the United States continue at 200 to 400 each day.
f ) There have been 1,118,757 coronavirus deaths in the United States through January 3, 2023.

1. ltr

https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-is-chinas-price-for-rejoining-humanity-mrna-variant-western-vaccines-quarantine-new-zealand-singapore-11672431753

December 30, 2022

Covid Is China’s Price for Rejoining Humanity
Beijing botches a ‘reopening’ that many of its Pacific neighbors pulled off gracefully.
By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. – Wall Street Journal

[ Understand the way in which China is being demeaned and vilified. The writing is typical. This is the sort of pernicious writing that came out of Germany during the 1930s. The methodical devaluation of a people was a prelude to the Shoah. ]

1. Moses Herzog

@ “ltr”
Your comment implies that Americans (and arguably much of the western world) “hates” China, more than they supposedly “hate” the vast panoramic of other Asian races. I wonder what mental gymnastics you used to contort that one out?? If it was because of success, wouldn’t Americans of 2022–2023 hate the South Koreans, Japanese, Singaporeans etc more because their populations by-and-large are happier than mainland Chinese??

Who made the decision to disallow mRNA vaccines being imported into China?? Not any leaders of Japan, I can promise you.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/11/15/national/science-health/daiichi-sankyo-mrna-covid-vaccine/

” Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo Co. said on Tuesday its mRNA-based vaccine had proven successful as a COVID-19 booster shot. In a trial of about 5,000 Japanese adults, those who had received the vaccine, known as DS-5670, developed levels of COVID-neutralizing antibodies that were as good as or better than those of people who had had other mRNA shots, the company said in a release. Based on the results, Daiichi Sankyo will file a new-drug application to regulators in January 2023.

Approval would give Japan a home-grown source for mRNA vaccines, which have made up the bulk of its COVID inoculations to date.

Japan has relied on imports of shots developed by U.S.-based drugmakers Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc.”

Hearing a lot of criticisms of Japan’s public health policy related to Covid-19 recently?? Have we?? No?? Hmmmmm…… must be some kind of obvious bias of western nations. Perhaps Americans love samurai movies more than ninja movies?? Or is all of the absurdist humor here on the blog better left to “ltr” ??

Have you looked at the graph of cases/deaths in Mexico lately?? Would you have any theories on why Mexico’s numbers are much better than China’s??~~ since about April of 2021 to now, and WHY that is a fact?? Think hard now. Use some of those super-powered Han genes of yours.

Still confused about Mexico’s far superior public policy versus China’s waft of distinctive crematorium air perfume??

“The vaccine shipment, produced at Pfizer’s Kalamazoo, Michigan plant, marks the first time the drugmaker has delivered abroad from U.S facilities after a Trump-era restriction on dose exports expired at the end of March, the source said.”

1. ltr

Still confused about —— far superior public policy versus —— waft of distinctive crematorium air perfume??
Still confused about —— far superior public policy versus —— waft of distinctive crematorium air perfume??
Still confused about —— far superior public policy versus —— waft of distinctive crematorium air perfume??

1. Moses Herzog

@ ltr
But before I seek “professional guidance”, you’re required to answer one elementary school level question:
“ltr”, Which Chinese leader made the decision to disallow mRNA vaccines being imported into China?? Which one?? Or is Beijing so worthless it was a “group decision”?? Are Beijing leaders so brainless they had to huddle before making that judgment, to disallow imports of mRNA vaccines??

“ltr”, You know Japan’s leaders were a little smarter than Beijing and happily took mRNA vaccines from the USA, and they aren’t burning their own citizens in crematoriums right now and pretending nothing is happening. Does it bother you ltr that the Japanese leaders were so much more intelligent and effective compared to Beijing?? Does that register on your gauge AT ALL?? Just wondering if thousands of Han people’s deaths even bothers you now. We already know the deaths of Uyghurs and Tibetans doesn’t bother you. Now you’re telling us mass deaths of Han doesn’t bother you either?? Is there any human ethnic group you care about?? Just ONE ethnic group you care about?? We know at least 3 ethnic groups you couldn’t care less about now, so, if you could just tell us which ones you do actually care if large numbers are dying for no reason, it would be super cool if you’d let readers know.

2. Macroduck

In the movie “The Madness of King George”, a flock of medical practitioners were rounded up to diagnose and treat the King’s condition. One of the medical men, Pepys (not Samuel) insists on reporting on condition of the King’s stool and has no other contribution to make. This continues despite Pepys being told:

“When will you get it into your head that one can produce a copious, regular and exquisitely turned evacuation every day of the week and still be a stranger to reason?”

Nothing reminds me of Pepys’ obsession with poop so much as ltr’s endless repetition of bogus Chinese Covid data. Sadly, a fixation on bogus public health data can do tremendously greater harm than a bit of poop humor.

3. King John's Return

Why aren’t ltr daily comments about China death tolls deleted by admin from the comments section? They have no bearing on current discussion and just clog up the thread.

1. Menzie Chinn Post author

King John’s Return: Because once I start making decisions on what is not germane, I need to do it for all comments. That takes time. Takes enough time to screen for misogyny and racism (there’s plenty of that already).

1. baffling

if you screen for and prohibit links from ccp sources, it may reduce your effort and positively impact the blog. the overhead may not be all that great. but nevertheless, we all do very much appreciate your efforts on running this blog, prof. chinn.

1. Moses Herzog

I admit to vacillating on this topic from time to time. Especially when we get to where we’re providing cover to something near bordering genocide or at the very least cultural genocide. But in my opinion (If Menzie’s own personal sanity can weather it) it’s better to allow even the opinions on the far outskirts of reason, and sometimes we can even learn from it.

Semi-random example: If we observed the “ltr” types, and observe how easy it is to brainwash some people, or get them to play along in the power game (even when they are not naive to it) would we have seen much earlier what a threat to American democracy donald trump was, and spent less time laughing at him in the early months during and after he came down that escalator?? I think these “ltr” type cats could make us more vigilant. Shoving the ltr’s to the shadows makes us think they don’t exist.

I had confessed to listening to Alex Jones here on the blog, mostly for laughs . You know I can still get his free podcast and subscribe to it in my RSS reader?? I will listen to Jones once every two months or so. Why would I do that?? Because it shows you, there is a market out there which will consume what his hyperbole is like it’s a package of Hershey Kisses. It spells out a portion of American society which exists, and is very possibly growing.

2. baffling

“I admit to vacillating on this topic from time to time.”
I would agree. it is volume that becomes problematic. if ltr simply posted ccp propaganda once a week, it is probably tolerable. it is the incessant posting of ccp propaganda daily, and identically on repeated posts, that is so bothersome. why do we need to see the exact same link and comment posted on three consecutive blog posts by prof chinn? it is terribly rude of ltr to take such advantage of prof chinn like that. give an inch, and ltr takes a mile. she thinks because she does so politely, it is not rude or wrong to behave in such an egregious manner.

1. Moses Herzog

I assume that’s 8pm Eastern time since the person I was reading resides in DC. So obviously 7 central.

1. Moses Herzog

I presume “Anon” is very weakly attempting to imply Democrats are like Star Trek’s “The Borg”. But I have a hard enough time guessing average Americans’ brain processes, much less Alex Jones fans, so I may be way off mark here.

1. Noneconomist

You should, but that’s never stopped you.
No doubt you’ll keep rolling with those in depth, witty, and perceptive questions .

5. Macroduck

Job openings and hires both weakened a bit in November but remain historically quite strong. Hires remain slightly above 6 million, a level cracked only once prior to the Covid recession. Openings remain 38% above any month prior to the recession.

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=YqwZ

Layoffs, meanwhile, remain far below the level in any month prior to the recession.

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/JTSLDL

My sincerest apology that this is not an holistic approach to employment; we are looking only at jobs in, jobs out and jobs offered but not filled. That is nowhere near as holistic a view of employment as offered by, for instance, vehicle miles traveled. Jobs in and jobs out have nothing really to do with net hiring. The amount of fuel run through automotive engines, on the other hand, tells us everything there is to know about the labor market.

6. Moses Herzog

Voted to adjourn tonight. Will resume 12pm Eastern time tomorrow (Thursday). “Grievances” were aired in the afternoon. McCarthy still sees pathway to Speaker, not quitting.

7. ltr

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

January 5, 2023

a ) There were 5,226 coronavirus deaths in China on May 26, 2022.
b ) There were no coronavirus deaths from May 26, for nearly 6 months, through November 19.
c ) From November 20 through January 4, 2023 there have been 32 coronavirus deaths in China, bringing the total from 5,226 to 5,258.

d ) During the nearly 6 months of no coronavirus deaths in China, there were 300 to 500 coronavirus deaths each day in the United States.
e ) Coronavirus deaths in the United States continue at 200 to 400 each day.
f ) There have been 1,120,040 coronavirus deaths in the United States through January 4, 2023.

8. AS

Professor Chinn,
Thanks for the probit models, always instructive.
Looking at today’s release of ADP private employment data, with actual results at 235K, recession seems to be stalled.
Bloomberg’s consensus was at 150K and Econoday’s consensus was at 145K with a range of 115K to 230K.
Nonfarm employment due for release tomorrow shows a Bloomberg consensus forecast of 200K. Econoday’s consensus forecast is at 200K with a range of 150K to 230K.
Looking at the new claims for unemployment at 204K, compared to Bloomberg’s consensus forecast at 225K and Econoday’s consensus forecast at 225K, perhaps nonfarm employment could show stronger reported data than forecasted.

Using 17 employment category data from November without adjustment, my nonfarm employment FWIW forecast is at 239K change for December 2022.

9. Macroduck

The ADP employment report counts 235,000 net new jobs in December. Just a reminder – ADP is count-based, not a survey. No chance of distortion from a birth-death estimate.

Hiring is uneven across firm size and sector. Large firms shed jobs, while medium and small firms added. Trade, transport and utilities shed 24,000 jobs (more losses coming from Amazon), finance shed 12,000, factories dumped 5,000. Other sectors all added, including 123,000 new jobs in liesure and hospitality – 52% of the total.

That’s bad for hourly earnings for compositional reasons. Liesure and hospitality workers have enjoyed some of the biggest wage gains during this , but start from a low base. So, troll choir, don’t be misconstruing whatever the hourly wage data show in tomorow’s jobs report. That means you, Johnny.

An interesting tidbit – construction added a whopping 41,000 jobs. That’s despite weather which was not particularly favorable for construction.

1. Macroduck

By the way, the NFIB hiring plans index remained well aboved the historic average in November. Lack f qualified workers remains the top problem, with 40% of firms planning wage increases – no sign of weakness. Like ADP, this is independent confirmation of the strength of the labor market. I mention this for those seeking an holistic assessment of the labor market.

The NFIB hiring plans index typically leads turns in the wider labor market. The drop in jobs among large employers is an oddity, but anecdotal reports suggest its not just a one-month anomoly.

10. pgl

Kevin Drum alerted his readers to this news on US exports and imports:

‘The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that the goods and services deficit was \$61.5 billion in November, down \$16.3 billion from \$77.8 billion in October, revised.’

But as Kevin notes, net exports rose because the fall in imports was larger than the fall in exports:

U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services Deficit
Deficit:
\$61.5 Billion
–21.0%°

Exports:
\$251.9 Billion
–2.0%°

Imports:
\$313.4 Billion
–6.4%°

In other words, economic activity may be slowing down but in the US and abroad.

11. pgl

Rudy Giuliani – sexist sexual predator! Why does this not surprise me?

https://www.thedailybeast.com/noelle-dunphy-files-sexual-harassment-claim-against-rudy-giuliani?ref=home

A New York woman who claims she had a romantic relationship with Rudy Giuliani is now suing the former mayor—alleging that he sexually harassed her while she was working under toxic conditions at his company. She also alleges that Giuliani fired her last year and then warned her to keep quiet, noting his ties to former President Donald Trump. Giuliani’s attorney said he “categorically denies all of the allegations of this frivolous complaint,” but did not comment on whether his client and the woman were romantically entangled. “Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former US Attorney, once hailed as ‘America’s Mayor,’ is a sexist sexual predator and abuser,” the accuser, Noelle Dunphy, wrote in a summons filed Wednesday in New York Supreme Court.

In the summons, Dunphy states that she was retained for “business development work and other work” by Giuliani and his companies in January 2019. During that time, the 43-year-old alleges, Giuliani made frequent racist and antisemitic remarks during “confused and hostile alcohol-laced tirades.” She noted that Giuliani’s alleged “abuse of alcohol” was fueled by his divorce and mounting political and legal controversies. Dunphy also alleges that Giuliani “sexually harassed” her and demanded sexual favors until she was fired without substantial compensation in 2021. Giuliani allegedly demanded that Dunphy say nothing about her association with him. “At these times, Giuliani threatened [Dunphy] with further retaliation if she did not stay silent, stating that his private investigators and political connections to President Trump enabled him to retaliate in other ways, express and implied,” Dunphy wrote in the summons.

12. pgl

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/liberal-rep-ro-khanna-floats-speakership-deal-if-republicans-eet-two-conditions/ar-AA15YL81

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) is open to giving Republicans a lifeline from their speakership turmoil if they meet two conditions and select the “right kind” of Republican. If Republicans vow not to use the debt ceiling as a political weapon and cut a deal on subpoena power, Khanna said he could support a Republican such as Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) or Mike Gallagher (R-WI) for the gavel to break the GOP stalemate that has ground Congress to a halt.

13. pgl

I hate to rehash how JohnH has fallen on his face with respect to just about every detail on this high lumber price issue but his latest protest must be a retail duopoly where Home Depot and Lowe’s are getting huge profits instead of the real story that the sawmills have increased wholesale prices for lumber is a REAL HOOT:

Lowe’s Vs. Home Depot: A Successful Duopoly
Jul. 10, 2020 2:14 AM ET The Home Depot, Inc. (HD), LOW

Paul Franke never once mentioned this lumber issue. And why would he since he wrote this many months before the surge in lumber prices. Once again Jonny boy could not even understand the DATE of his own link.

Now I have asked Jonny boy to check the 10-K filing for these companies which sell a LOT more than lumber to see how he might identify the segmented financials for lumber sales. Of course Jonny never does.

But notice something about the data Franke cites – the gross margin for Home Depot in 2019 was over 34%. I checked the financials for Home Depot for 2021 and it seems its gross margin was lower in 2021 (when lumber prices soared) that it was in 2019.

YEA Jonny boy’s latest gotcha falls flat on its face.

BTW – there may be a market power story as I have repeatedly noted but it is with the concentration of the sawmills – not the retailers. Jonny boy does not even get the market structure of the lumber sector.

14. pgl

Kat Cammack said Democrats have been drinking during the speaker vote. AOC responds to this smear on Twitter:

If only! If Dems took a shot every time McCarthy lost a Republican, we’d all be unconscious by now.

15. pgl

Some sanity from the South Carolina Supreme Court:

The South Carolina Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a ban on abortion after cardiac activity is detected — typically around six weeks — ruling the restriction violates the state constitution’s right to privacy. The decision comes nearly two years after Republican Gov. Henry McMaster signed the measure into law. The ban, which included exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest or pregnancies that endangered the patient’s life, drew lawsuits almost immediately. Since then, legal challenges have made their way through both state and federal courts.

“The State unquestionably has the authority to limit the right of privacy that protects women from state interference with her decision, but any such limitation must be reasonable and it must be meaningful in that the time frames imposed must afford a woman sufficient time to determine she is pregnant and to take reasonable steps to terminate that pregnancy,” Justice Kaye Hearn wrote in the majority opinion. “Six weeks is, quite simply, not a reasonable period of time for these two things to occur, and therefore the Act violates our state Constitution’s prohibition against unreasonable invasions of privacy.”

16. pgl

Best speech in this year’s House started with:

212! 212! 212! 212! 212! 212! And today – 212!

The House Democrats are united behind Hakeem Jeffries. The Republicans are incompetent wastes of time.

17. pgl

The Never Kevin 20 are now voting for Kevin Hern of Oklahoma. was ranked number 7 in the United States House of Representatives by total number of stock trades while in office between January 2020 and January 2022 violating The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act of 2021.

18. pgl

The 9th Speaker vote is on and it is already apparent Kevin McCarthy will fail miserably. I feel sorry for the ladies who have to count the votes over and over as even they know the outcome this time will be the same as it has been the previous 8 times.