Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Failure to Yield

Well I know what's right
I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushing me around
But I stand my ground
And I won't back down
--Tom Petty

So far long bond yields refusing to back down. Recent sideways work helps relieve near term overbought conditions.

Lots of eyes on 3% if/when...

no positions

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Surveys and Emotional Capture

John Cutter: Am I supposed to trust you?
Charles Rane: Trust your instincts.
John Cutter: My instincts are to wax your ass all over this floor.
Charles Rane: Those are your emotions acting without the benefit of intellect.
--Passenger 57

As these pages have previously noted, few events stimulate emotional capture more than mass school shootings. Politicians know it.

So do their media lackeys, particularly those who make it a habit of surveying people about their views on gun violence just after a mass shooting, and then report huge increases in percentages of people who favor increased gun control measures. Example here.

What they won't report is that such surveys always show spikes higher immediately following a mass shooting event. In fact, any poll taken in the wake of a tragedy is prone to indicate that more people are willing to cede liberty to government in the name of security.

Then, as time unfolds and people gather their wits, the survey numbers recede as emotions wane and reasoning processes are re-engaged.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Perfect Competition, Imperfect Theory

Those one track minds
They took you for a working boy
Kiss them goodbye
You shouldn't have to jump for joy
--Tears for Fears

Tom DiLorenzo reviews economist attitude toward antitrust action. It hasn't always been positive. He notes that nineteenth century economists were generally chilly to the idea of regulating business to 'prevent monopoly.' In fact there is little evidence that late 1800s 'robber barons' were actually robbing anyone at all, as quantities were generally increasing while prices were decreasing in nearly all sectors.

He quotes Hayek, who believed that the idea of 'perfect competition' as conceived by the economic profession in the early 20th century, where price equals marginal cost, strips away competitive behavior from industrial activity. Instead, the perfect competition model assumes that government oversight must be present to squash such behavior.

Perfect competition and its regulatory facilitator comprise bad theory that has been a drag on productivity and competitive position of US industry for more than a century.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Marching Left

The impression that you sell
Passes in and out like a scent
--The Fixx

When I saw this headline, I assumed that California Democrats were endorsing a more centrist candidate. After all, who could be further left than Diane Feinstein?

Beyond the its collective psychosis related to President Trump and Russia (or perhaps because of it), the Democratic Party's march further left is emerging as one of the biggest stories in US politics.

Don't hold your breath for broad media coverage, however. Because the mainstream media is moving in lockstep with the collective, they are deceived by the illusion that the entire group is standing still.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Institutional Failure and Self Defense

"Sorry, boss, but there's only two people I trust. One of them's me. The other's not you."
--Cameron Poe (Con Air)

All individuals have the right to defend themselves from physical aggression. The right to self-defense stems from our broader right to life--and the right to live our lives in pursuit of what each of us individually deems important. Individuals can rightfully pursue those interests as long as they do not forcibly interfere in the pursuits of others.

These rights are not granted by a politician or by a piece of parchment. They are ours naturally by birth and founded in our humanity. We may choose to surrender the right to self-defense--as Christ did during the Passion. But no one can forcibly take the right to self defense from someone else.

When their scopes are properly defined, institutions of government exist to help individuals protect their lives and liberty. Without those institutions, individuals would be less free as they would need to dedicate more of their lives fending off acts of aggression rather than peacefully pursuing their interests. The workers who populate those government institutions are in fact hired guns--strong armed agents hired to help secure life and liberty.

Contracting security duties to government agents does not absolve individuals from primary responsibility for their own self-defense. This is because institutions and their agents can fail to adequately protect their principals.

One source of institutional failure is unintentional error. In a resource-constrained world, acts of aggression often take place because there are not enough government agents to prevent all crimes from occurring. Instead, 'officers of the law' must be called to the crimes scenes reactively, and often arrive after acts of aggression have resulted in loss of life and/or property. Not being in the right place at the right time plagues the effectiveness of law enforcement agencies.

Institutional failure might stem from mistakes in cognition and judgment. As demonstrated by the recent Florida school shooting, law enforcement agencies at both federal and local levels ignored potential leads about the shooter prior to the crime. Once called to the scene of the crime, it appears police officers violated protocol by remaining outside the school rather than quickly entering and engaging an active shooter. None of these mistakes were likely intentional. Instead, they probably stemmed from 'human' causes such as information overload, poor understanding of procedure, or downright fear.

Unfortunately, institutional failure can be intentional as well. Recognizing the tremendous power wielded by government force, government agents might choose to employ that force in pursuit of their own interests--rather than in protection of the interests of others. This presents an ominous situation: Strong armed agents who turn their guns on the principals that they are supposed to protect.

Unintended or not, institutional failure is one reason why individuals must remain armed in their own defense.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Logical Scramble

"Where I come from, we pick locks. With your permission, I'll replace your old rusty one with a new deadbolt. The kind only .357 Magnums can open up."
--Jake Phillips (The Principal)

The Left's capacity for deranged thought process is never more evident than when it is in gun-grabbing mode. The sad school shooting in Florida last week provides another case in point. Consider, for example, this meme that circulated in the wake of the shooting:

Test your powers of logic for errors in the analogy attempted above. You might start with the fact that, post 9/11, knives et al were banned on commercial airplanes. At last check, knives, box cutters, and liquids of more than 3 oz have not been subject to nationwide bans (as the Left proposes for assault weapons).

The more fitting analogy would be this. Just as we ban knives and other life-threatening weapons (including AR-15s) on airplanes, we should ban those weapons in schools. The problem for the Left, of course, is that those weapons have been banned in most schools--including the Florida school that was shot up.

Obviously, those bans have not stopped school shootings. In fact, there is reason to believe that such bans invite school shootings.

A primary difference between the airport and school situations has been enforcement. To enforce the weapons ban on airplanes, airports have been turned into gestapo-like inspection stations. In most schools including the Florida site, no such rigorous inspection processes have been put in place.

As costly and as unpleasant as they would be, formal inspection stations would be a plausible way to improve school security. As in the commercial airline case, threat would not be eliminated--but it would be reduced. And, indeed, dialogue has escalated on this subject since last week's shooting.

Because such a remedy doesn't directly serve their gun prohibition interests, Leftists seem more likely to move on to a new logical scramble.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Big Inflation Scenario

Don't need money
Don't take fame
Don't need no credit card to ride this train
--Huey Lewis & the News

First, interest rates start to rise, driven by a combination of factors such as: Fed increasing short rates, general expectations of a strengthening economy, evidence of rising prices and wages in some areas, and realization that more federal debt will floated to fund a growing budget deficit.

This is where we are now. Then the following sequence of events unfolds:

The rising rates tank the financial markets and cool interest rate sensitive markets sectors such as housing.

The Fed responds, as it always does, with a bail out. Despite evidence of rising prices in goods and services, the Fed lowers the Fed funds rate.

Interest rates do not move lower, particularly at the long end of the curve, as market participants fear further inflationary effects of the Fed's easy money policy.

The Fed responds again, this time by beginning another program of 'quantitative easing' to buy bonds directly to push rates lower.

The money that the Fed prints out of thin air to buy those bonds gets circulated into the economy, thereby stoking inflation fear and evidence some more.

Big Inflation thus arrives.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

This or That?

So I guess the fortune teller's right
I should have seen just what was there
And not some holy light
--Natalie Imbruglia

Elongate the time horizon on the gold chart and what do you see? Some might see what looks like a monster head and shoulders pattern nearing completion. This is bearish.

Others might see a declining pennant pattern in the midst of a long term uptrend. This is bullish.

The great debate long raging inside my head may be nearing resolution.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Environments of Aggression

Daniel LaRusso: You really think I can beat that guy?
Miyagi: No matter. Wacko teacher attitude rest in fist. Stupid but fact of life. Win, matter. You make good fight...earn respect...then nobody bother.
--The Karate Kid

Central to principled self-defense is to be ready. To anticipate danger. Part of this involves knowing factors that foster environments of aggression.

Two conditions attract aggressors like flies: weakness and surprise. Aggressors prefer to attack people who are incapable of defending themselves when attacked. And they like to attack unannounced. Weakness and surprise increase the likelihood that aggressors will be successful.

Here is a one question quiz that tests your understanding of environments that invite aggression:

Schools have always been target rich environments for bad guys. Lots of kids who are relatively weak and unprepared. Adding a promise of no guns on the premises essentially transforms schools into defense free crime zones.

Although the concept seems counter intuitive to some, schools that voluntarily arm themselves reduce conditions of threat in their environments.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Left in Psychosis

"You want to know something? I don't think Mozart's going to help at all."
--Midge Wood (Vertigo)

Cognitive dissonance-->Trump derangement syndrome-->psychosis.

Hard not to wonder whether Left will ever pull out of it...

Sunday, February 18, 2018

South Side Skyway

Well the South Side of Chicago
Is the baddest part of town
--Jim Croce

When driving to Chicago, one of my favorite parts of the journey is the leg from Gary, Indiana to Chicago's South Side. Lots of old factory buildings including a panoramic view of the US Steel Gary Works. Periodic glimpses of Lake Michigan shoreline add to the treat.

The leg also features the Chicago Skyway, a toll road that includes a giant bridge spanning the Calumet River just over the Illinois state line. When the City of Chicago leased control of the Skyway in 2005, it marked the first privatization of an existing toll road in the US. In my travels, upkeep of the Skyway has been far superior under private ownership.

Above is a pre-Skyway pic of the Calumet Harbor taken in 1929. Today, the Skyway crosses the Calumet at the High Bridge after the river bends to the left. The commanding view afforded from the High Bridge suggest things have changed little in nearly eighty years. Perhaps a few less smoke stacks, but still lots of old steel-laden infrastructure from a golden age of production.

Insight into yesterday worth today's toll bridge price.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

God's Gift of Politics

When they kept on questioning, he straightened up and said to them, "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."
--John 8:7

I sometimes wonder whether God gifted us with politics primarily to teach us about hypocrisy in the human condition. Yes, Christ provided a seminal lesson captured in John 8:7. It seems, however, that He desires to regularly reinforce that lesson with examples conveyed by routine political practice.

Hypocrisy is the act of engaging in behavior that one claims to be morally reprehensible in others. It tends to be difficult to see in ourselves but easy to identify in others. Because they tempt individuals to engage in duplicitous behavior on a daily basis, political environments are breeding grounds for hypocrisy.

By regularly observing the pretense and insincerity of politicians, we are reminded once again to take a good look at ourselves before casting stones at others.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Read the Paper

Ah you're breathing faster
Silence the only sound
There's no need to be nice on the way up
'Cause you're not coming down

It's been a long time since I've heard this much chatter about rising inflation. With supporting evidence too.

Take, for example, my old sector. Pulp and paper has been suffering from overcapacity and declining demand for so long that durable price increases were a pipe dream. Now look:

As noted before, once inflation--both perception and reality--gets going, it's hard to stop.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Get the Picture

I've been living so long with my pictures of you
That I almost believe that the pictures
Are all I can feel
--The Cure

Connected to our earlier post, here's a picture of how the deficit and corresponding debt balloon with the new spending bill.

Source here.

A Million A Minute

So turn on the TV one more time
And see that everything is fine
--Flesh for Lulu

Judge Nap reprises Rand Paul's recent calculation. The budget deficit since 2016 has the federal government borrowing at the rate of $1 million/minute. With the recently passed spending bill, the deficit is forecast to widen at least $5 trillion over the next three years. This will push the borrowing rate up close to another million a minute.

As such, Judge Nap suggests that the greatest threat to liberty in this country is not some external entity such as Russia or ISIS. It's debt.

Rand Paul adds that, once voters wrap their heads around the enormity of the problem the the GOP-led spending bill has exacerbated, incumbent Republicans should not be surprised if they are tossed out on their ears in upcoming elections.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Inflation Heat

The shadow's high
On the darker side
Behind the doors
It's a wilder ride
--Glenn Frey

Stock futes flipped over this morning after CPI numbers printed higher than expected. Not exactly 'hot' though, as the core CPI came at at 2.1 vs 1.9 exp.

In the scheme of things, measured CPI still looks tame. However, market participants may be waking up to the reality that the Fed Funds Rate has been below the core CPI for about 10 years--by far the longest period in history.

Central banks who, by their easy monetary policies and negative real rates, have been trying to stoke inflation should be careful for what they wish. Once released, the inflation genie is difficult to get back in the bottle.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Negative Real Rates

"You know, the funny thing is, tomorrow if all this goes tits up, they're gonna crucify us for being too reckless. But if we're wrong and everything gets back on track? Well, then, the same people are gonna laugh till they piss in their pants because we're gonna look like the biggest pussies God ever let through the door."
--Will Emerson (Margin Call)

The difference between the nominal interest rate and the inflation rate is known as the real interest rate. If a fixed income instrument yields 5% annually but the purchasing power of the yielding currency is declining at 6% rate, then the 'real' yield is -1%.

A few years back, central banks embarked on policies known affectionately known as NIRP (negative interest rate policy). The idea was to make central bank yields so low that, when coupled with inflation, they discouraged saving in favor of spending. Presumably, this policy would be reversed as economies subsequently firmed.
The 'official' numbers tell us that, here in 2018, we stand in the ninth years of a global economic expansion. Yet, as indicated above, every developed country central bank in the world is maintaining negative real central bank lending rates.

Maintaining such easy money policy in the face of strong economic data signals one of two things. Either the 'official' numbers are wrong, or this is the greatest example of incompetence in the history of central banking.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Spending Means Taxing

Should five percent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
--The Beatles

Rand Paul tells Republicans that, "If you're for tax cuts and for increasing spending, that's hypocritical."
When taxes go down and government spending goes up, the difference must be funded by borrowing (read: debt). Who is on the hook for paying back creditors who buy that debt?


If governments want to spend more, then they must ultimately tax more.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Night and Day

Julie Goodyear: You know what else I miss? Pizza.
Greg Goodyear: Toilets that flush.
Daryl Jenkins: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Robert Kitner: Dude, we're living Call of Duty. And it sucks.
--Red Dawn

The commencement of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang finds many in the mainstream media waxing poetically about near neighbor North Korea, located on the other side of the 38th parallel about 100 miles away. The country and its rulers are wonderful, so goes a popular narrative, with North Korean representatives displaying charming examples of synchronized uniformity at the Games.

In past generations, the media uttered similar ruminations about the former Soviet Union, about Communist China, and about Cuba.

In reality, North Korea is similar to its socialist predecessors. It is a murderous police state where people live in conditions of squalor that would place poor people in the US near the top of social strata in North Korea.

We can only hope that bits and pieces of the nearby Olympic games that sneak past the propagandist firewall offer a vision of what could be to citizens of North Korea--a vision that inspires a movement to reclaim the liberty that is theirs by natural right.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Intuitive Bounce

Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?

After probing the aforementioned 200 day moving avg a couple of times yesterday, the SPX vaulted about 90 handles in about 20 minutes before settling with 1.5% gain on the day. In retrospect, this was an intuitive level for the bulls to make a stand.

Does this 'successful test' of support sound the all clear? Perhaps. Were I a bull, however, I'd post sentries at the 2550 Maginot as I suspect the bears will be back soon for another assault.

position in SPX

Friday, February 9, 2018

Danger Zone

Out along the edges
Always where I burn to be
The further on the edge
The hotter the intensity
--Kenny Loggins

Currently the uptrend line in place since early 2016 and the 200 period moving average coincide with the fast approaching SPX 2500-2550 zone, which reinforces the thought that bulls will dig in their heels to defend this turf if/when.

Continue to sense, however, that if they close heavy today, chances of a real bloodbath early next week go up.

position in SPX

Spineless GOP

In violent times
You should have to sell your soul
In black and white
They really, really ought to know
--Tears for Fears

Congressional GOP members revealed their RINO core once again by teaming with Democrats to pass a two year spending deal: H.R. 1892, the Bipartisan Budget Act. The Act promises to elevate annual federal budget deficits north of $1 trillion--a level matched only by the early Obama administration years (Quick quiz: How must such budget deficits be funded? Answer to be discussed in a future post).

A few Republicans (e.g., Rand Paul, Thomas Massie, Justin Amash) held firm. Much of the same crowd that held firm on Obamacare repeal. Some of their pushback that calls out the GOP hypocrisy is captured below.

Judge Nap follows with this question:
What kind of politician, your honor? Why, the spineless GOP type, of course.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Hammer Time

The chart's legit
Either work hard
Or you might as well quit
--MC Hammer

Been a long time since we've segn this kind of volatility--defined as big intra- and inter-day moves. Yesterday's 'inverted hammer' candlestick turned out to be prescient, as today the bears dropped the hammer on the bulls.

Relentless selling in the afternoon found markets closing on the lows with ~4% losses. Dow was down over 1000 pts once again.

As noted earlier, intuitive place for bulls to make a stand is the 200 day at SPX 2500ish--which is now only a percent or so lower.

Hard not to think of the end-of-week tremors that have preceded some of the largest market bloodbaths in the following week.

no positions

Correlated Decline

I'm sick and tired of you setting me up
Yeah, setting me up
Just to knock-a knock-a knock-a me down
--Bruce Springsteen

Many investors expect stock and bond prices to move in opposite directions. In the present environment in particular, many believe that there will be a 'flight to safety' toward bonds if stocks sell off.

That may be true in the very near term, but there is an argument that, over time, stock and bond prices are positively correlated. After all, there have been secular bull markets in both stocks and bonds over the past three decades.

Is it possible that we could see the opposite? Stocks and bonds in correlated decline as interest rates refuse to be managed by bureaucrats any more and climb higher? Are we seeing early signs of such now?

no positions

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Pleasant Dreams

Only shadows ahead barely clearing the roof
Get to know the feeling of liberation and release
--Crowded House

After probes lower, higher, and lower yesterday morning, bulls decided to take charge and stampede higher by a couple of percent. The rally is continuing this am and has currently retraced over half of Monday's losses.

Investors, conditioned to expect the rare downdraft over the past couple of years to be short-lived, seemed to be breathing a collective sigh of relief once more.

Not sure the dream will end as pleasantly this time.

no positions

Tuesday, February 6, 2018


Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty
How can you lose?
--Petula Clark

Overnight futes were deeply red. Dow was down another 700 at one point last nite. After subsequent gyration, domestic mkts opened about 1% lower. Then came the requisite bounce which took them green.

That has since stalled and markets have begun rolling over. Best guess (which is worth next to nothing, of course) is that if bulls can't rally 'em right around here then we're headed downtown.

The bears, having been scorched so many times in these situations over the past few years, are likely to be tentative in their actions. They'll particularly be on the lookout for policy maker signals that investors backs are still protected.

Absent that, the 200 day moving average below at 2550ish seems an intuitive level for the bulls to make a solid stand.

no positions

Monday, February 5, 2018

C Words

"This is it! I'm telling you this is it!"
--John Tuld (Margin Call)

Domestic markets were splattered today. The SPX was down about 4%.

The Dow closed over 1000 pts lower and was down 1500 intraday. That's the first time the Dow has lost 1000+ in a session.

Carnage continued after hours, with major indexes quickly approaching their 200 day moving averages--a level that seemed so far away just a short time ago. Nikkei futes have been indicated about 8% lower.

This bring to mind two c-words. Crash and contagion. They are not unrelated.

no positions

Ron Paul's FISA Take

Drawn into the stream
Of undefined illusion
Those diamond dreams
They can't disguise the truth
--Level 42

Adding to our commentary yesterday, Ron Paul notes three lessons learned from the FISA memo. One is that the memo (and I would suggest the blow back from intelligence agency officials and their minions in the aftermath of the memo's release) demonstrate the veracity of the Deep State that does not want the election of a presidential candidate who campaigned on better relationship with Russia and on rethinking NATO to threaten its existence.

A second is that the memo demonstrates that neither Republicans or Democrats generally care about surveillance abuse on American targets. The FISA abuses detailed in the memo were known long before the memo's release--and long before the FISA expansion was re-authorized by Congress. Echoing Judge Nap, Dr Paul argues that the committee did not want the American people to see how corrupt the surveillance system really is lest they begin to call their representatives and demand that they allow the FISA amendment to expire. He observes that the lead author of the memo, Republican Devin Nunes, was one of the most vocal proponents of FISA expansion during the recent re-authorization debate.

Finally, hawks on both sides of the aisle have used claims of Russian meddling in the election to build animosity toward Russia among average Americans. As Paul sees it, the primary goal of this exercise is to keep the $1 trillion military gravy train rolling down the tracks toward a new Cold War with Russia.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

GOP as FISA Facilitators

"I think that when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos."
--Sir Thomas More (A Man for All Seasons)

The aforementioned House Intelligence Committee memo was finally released on Friday. Despite comedic attempts by Democrats to portray it as illegal, obstructionist, misleading, much ado about nothing, etc, the memo brings to light abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Security Act (FISA) by the Dept of Justice and FBI w.r.t. the Trump 'Russian collusion' investigation. Whether officials in these agencies are brought up on charges remains to be seen.

Republicans are not innocent in this process, however. As Thomas Massie's question implies (and as Judge Nap previously observed), the fact that the GOP-led House Intelligence Committee delayed the memo's release until after the FISA expansion vote implicates them in preserving this statist institution.
The fact is that it is the mere presence of the FISA institution that invites abuse. Anyone who has voted for it or supports it is complicit in the wrongdoing. FISA supporters include many Republicans.

The newly released memo outlines only one example. There are surely other instances of abuse that have yet to see the light of day. And such abuses will surely continue as long as FISA is on the books.

If Republicans are truly outraged at the improprieties sketched by the 'memo,' then they will reverse FISA legislation and toss it onto the scrap heap of history. Anything less implicates them in this and all other FISA abuse episodes.

Saturday, February 3, 2018


"I feel it."
--Jack Goddel (The China Syndrome)

The Dow was down over 650 pts yesterday, marking the largest single day decline in several years. Because the Dow has risen so much over the past few years, however, the absolute decline translates into a 2.5% relative loss--well within the systematic distribution of inter-day moves in the index.

Moreover, yesterday's decline broke thru only the near term-uptrend line. Longer term technical trends remain firmly intact.

Market participants would be foolish to dismiss the recent price action, however. It could be that higher rates are finally starting to weigh on investor psyches.

Today's tremor could be tomorrow's earthquake.

no positions

Friday, February 2, 2018

Ten Year Itch

Phil Connors: Do you ever have deja vu, Mrs Lancaster?
Mrs Lancaster: I don't think so, but I could check with the kitchen.
--Groundhog Day

Most important chart in my world continues to be the 10 yr yield chart. It blasted above 2.80% this morning.

Yes, stochastics et al suggest this particular move is getting toppy. Then again, stocks have made relentless multi-month move with stochastics twisting high all the while.

no positions

Thursday, February 1, 2018

FISA Expansion and Abuse

"The government's been in bed with the entire telecommunications industry since the 1940s. They've infected everything. They get into your bank statements, computer files, email, listen to your phone calls...Every wire, every airwave. The more technology used, the easier it is for them to keep tabs on you. It's a brave new world out there. At least it'd better be."
--Brill (Enemy of the State)

Judge Nap offers current thoughts on happenings related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Several weeks back, the House Intelligence Committee drafted a memo summarizing results of its investigation into spying abuses by the NSA and FBI. The abuses purportedly sketched by the memo span the last year of the Obama administration and the first year of the Trump administration.

Since the memo's existence became known, calls have escalated for releasing the memo to the public so that the people can understand what the investigation and its findings entail. If what some members of Congress who have read the memo (but are sworn not to divulge its details while it remains confidential) say is true, then the findings will be quite revealing regarding the subversive activities emanating from the Deep State.

During the time that the House Intelligence Committee was sitting on its memo, Congress was putting the finishing touches on legislation that would expand FISA-related surveillance power of the federal government. After passing the House, the bill passed the Senate with no votes to spare and subsequently signed into law by President Trump.

Judge Nap contends that if the memo had been made public prior to the congressional vote, then there was no way that the 'FISA expansion' law would have passed the Senate. Further, he argues that members of the House Intelligence Committee are guilty of misconduct in office by concealing evidence of spying abuses by federal agencies while their congressional colleagues were debating and voting on the very issue of domestic spying.

The Judge also poses the question: Why would members of the House Intelligence Committee engage in such misconduct? His answer is that the intelligence community today exerts tremendous influence over elected officials. Because it possesses capacity to reveal politically charged information at its discretion, the NSA flexes its muscles in the face of government officials who are supposed to be the regulators. In reality, the NSA regulates the government officials.

Subsequent to the passage of the FISA expansion, Congress and the president have signaled their intent to release the memo. This has the intelligence community backpedaling. Several of them, including the Deputy Director of the FBI, have already hit the eject buttons.

If the memo made public and reads as advertised, the perhaps a critical number of eyes will be opened to the infringement on liberty being perpetrated by the feds.