June 4, 2008

Bits Bucket For June 4, 2008

Please post off-topic ideas, links and Craigslist finds here.

RSS feed | Trackback URI


Comment by wmbz
2008-06-04 04:37:46

More Americans eating out of tin cans… Spam sales sore… This fellow is to far left for my way of thinking, but he makes some valid points none the less.


Comment by palmetto
2008-06-04 04:49:15

“The rest of the world would be doing us all a favor if they decided to chuck the dollar and boycott US financial products altogether. That would put an end to Wall Street’s chicanery once and for all. Foreign investors should be demanding restitution and impounding American assets to compensate for the trillions of dollars they lost in the subprime/securitization swindle. Litigate, litigate, litigate; that’s the only way to make the guilty parties pay for their crimes. Either that or set up a gallows on Wall Street and get down to business.”

BOOOOOOOOOOO-YAH! What’s leftie about that? We all would be MUCH better off without Wall Street parasites.

Comment by palmetto
2008-06-04 04:51:30

You know, I don’t want to see this country in tatters. I love the US, warts and all. But I have no love for this unholy government/corporate Frankenstein monster. And if impoundment of American assets is what it takes for people to wake up and smell the coffin, so be it.

Comment by combotechie
2008-06-04 05:03:06

The trillions of dollars exported to other countries thru the years are in fact claims on U.S. assets. Impoundment can readily be accomplished by the exercise of these claims.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 05:05:23

I guess that depends in part on how fast new claims are created?

Comment by palmetto
2008-06-04 05:10:50

How does this impoundment work, exactly? BTW, apparently the South Koreans are rioting because they don’t want our “mad cow” beef. How’s the globalization working out for us?

Comment by combotechie
2008-06-04 05:17:12

“How’s that impoundment work, exactly.”

It works fine. Americans need dollars, foreigners have trillions of them. Americans then trade assets for these dollars.

Comment by combotechie
2008-06-04 05:24:01

Scroll down a bit and you’ll read about Lehman Brothers needing some of these trillions.

Comment by realestateskeptic
2008-06-04 08:28:51

If foreigners and their gov’ts tried to sell all (or I am guessing just a modest percentage) of their US Treasuries at the same time, I suspect they could collapse our financial markets in about.00002 seconds.

Comment by Rental Watch
2008-06-04 11:47:59

“If foreigners and their gov’ts tried to sell all (or I am guessing just a modest percentage) of their US Treasuries at the same time, I suspect they could collapse our financial markets in about.00002 seconds.”

Which would be fantastic for the rest of their U.S. holdings (including treasuries), and their own businesses, who sell to U.S. consumers.

I suspect such changes will be over many years, not suddenly. There is too much of an incentive to keep stability in the U.S. market.

Comment by nhz
2008-06-04 05:14:56

I think the US would get more popular again outside its borders if they can get rid of this Frankenstein monster and get back to some basic American values (but honestly, I don’t see it happening…). And getting more popular overseas would certainly help in solving the current economic problems.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by mgnyc99
2008-06-04 05:17:51

nhz- i do not know how nyc can get any more popular than it is these days

walk down any street and it is mostly foreign tourists

Comment by nhz
2008-06-04 05:28:24


I doubt if the US is getting the right kind of visitors by depreciating their currency. I sometimes hear from people who went there (often NYC) on a short shopping vacation, but after a few visits the novelty wears off. I know a lot of people (usually those with more money to spend) who won’t visit the US now because of its behavior in the international scene, and because of the harassment of foreign visitors…

P.S.: I’m seeing more American tourists in my country lately (visiting by cruiseship), but maybe that is because there are more very wealthy US tourists lately - we probably don’t get J6P here as a tourist.

Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-06-04 06:39:35

You might be seeing more tourists because most cruises are booked a year in advance. We’re seeing the same thing in Alaska. Perhaps it is a last hurrah with the HELOC money?

Comment by 85701 is overrated
2008-06-04 06:46:35

Just came back from Bryce Canyon area - it seems like everyone there speaks German or French, or has a British accent.

Comment by aladinsane
2008-06-04 07:18:10

One thing our country hasn’t screwed up, is our wonderful National Parks…

I wonder why?

Comment by Al
2008-06-04 08:22:42

“One thing our country hasn’t screwed up, is our wonderful National Parks…”

Give it time, aladinsane, give it time.

Comment by NeilT
2008-06-04 08:27:23

“but maybe that is because there are more very wealthy US tourists lately - we probably don’t get J6P here as a tourist”

Often the wealthy have little time to cruise around, they’re busy adding to their wealth. However, J6P has all the time in the world, especially since since the economy is slow and job scene is getting tougher. The US tourists you see in droves probably consist of Mr & Mrs J6P bleeding their credit card down. Since the 1980s, they have stopped worrying about debt in this country.

Comment by ET-Chicago
2008-06-04 08:32:49

One thing our country hasn’t screwed up, is our wonderful National Parks…

I wonder why?

There are certainly quite a few people in our country who view our National Parks (and what lies beneath them) as just another consumable resource, something to be exploited and abandoned.

We’ve been lucky to keep them at bay as long as we can — and I’d argue that attempts to keep Them Grubby Corporate Paws off our communally owned assets haven’t been entirely successful.

Comment by denquiry
2008-06-04 06:24:52

da boyz in dc are WS’s b*tch or azz boy depending on how you want to look at it. the pols are like the WS CEO’s. It’s a helluva lot more profitable to be a failure than to be a success.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Jwhite
2008-06-04 04:51:35

I’m offended by that! Where’s my BARRISTER!!! :(

Comment by Jas Jain
2008-06-04 06:36:14

“We all would be MUCH better off without Wall Street parasites.”

Except that these parasites have acquired complete control of the economy and the political system (USG as well as the Fed). McCain is their man, Obama is their man, and Hillary would have been their woman even more.

They will control the system as long as long there is financial blood to be sucked out of the American People and the government. After that they will leave for a healthier host in Asia.

Change? Nah.


Comment by Mormon_Tea
2008-06-04 07:12:50

There is not a dime’s worth of difference between the Republican and Democratic candidates, once again. The parties simply appeal to the distracted and emotional leanings of the voters. The true Powers That Be, to the average American, are invisible, unstoppable, and cannot be named. Very much in keeping with the secrecy established at the Jekyll Island meetings and formation of the Federal Reserve (an international banking cartel sanctioned by the U.S. Congress) in 1913.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Jas Jain
2008-06-04 08:17:56

“There is not a dime’s worth of difference between the Republican and Democratic candidates, once again.”

The two-party system is the part of the scam — You have a choice! And you CAN Change if you are not satisfied. And partisan public falls for this all the time. We got a tough two-party jam to get out of, no?


Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-06-04 11:48:51

I find that a lot of conservative voters in the last election claim that they are disgusted by both candidates in a two party election and try to convince everyone else not to vote.

Then they sneak off to the polls and vote for the Republican anyway. I think a lot of swing voters fall for that tactic.

Comment by aNYCdj
2008-06-04 05:25:55

Not to mention bridges, roads, i hit 2 major potholes on the BQE and my left strut is bottoming out…oh gee $350 for both…..glad i don’t have to drive much in the next few weeks

The Fed is trashing its balance sheet–to the tune of $225 billion–when the money could be used to provide free college tuition and universal health care

Comment by desertdweller
2008-06-04 10:48:36

“when the money could be used to provide free college tuition and universal health care”

Did you notice that Citi and other banks/lenders are taking away all college loans for community college students. They are though in fact still giving out loans to Ivy league students.
But the facts are that many junior/community colleges matriculate 60+ % to 4 yr schools. So, they are cutting off the majority of 4 yr students, and also less affluent Americans.

Well, now, elitism flourishes.

Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 11:49:19

“…Spam sales sore…”

Eat your spam before the JT gets reinserted. Ooh that is sore.

Comment by hd74man
2008-06-04 12:39:59

RE: Spam sales sore

SPAM is a top 5 survivalist food.

Thousands of European theater WW II POW US airmen were saved from starvation due to the SPAM contained in the food baskets they received from the Swiss Red Cross.

Everybody’s stockin’ up for when the Teamsters lead a nationwide trucker’s strike.

Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 18:18:13

But I wager the airmen soared and weren’t sore.

Comment by wmbz
2008-06-04 04:44:05

Hey taxmeupthebooty, Here’s one you may enjoy…. The Demons win…


Comment by holytrainwreck
2008-06-04 07:30:46

The town of Winchester should use their Winchesters to take their town back…

Comment by taxmeupthebooty
2008-06-04 07:39:53

join up or be taxed out forever

Comment by reuven
2008-06-04 08:38:14

Ha! I must admit, I support public schools, but I haven’t voted YES on a school budget or bond initiative in years.

My property taxes are higher than average for the country (even with Prop 13), I pay 8.something sales tax, and 9.something state income tax.

California has TONS of money. The fact that they don’t ever seem to have enough, shouldn’t be my problem. Even if it’s “for the children.”

Comment by desertdweller
2008-06-04 10:53:34

As much as I think we need to invest in the education of America, since I don’t have offspring, what I loathe is Americans who have ill behaved children, children that grow into ill behaved adults. Many of whom are poorly educated in the civics, history, manners/civility, and do unto others etc. What it all boils down is that I don’t want to pay taxes for children I don’t have, nor am able to discipline or teach into being decent human beings.
Until I find a way…dernit.

Comment by sfrenter
2008-06-04 14:56:02

If our taxes don’t go to pay for education, then they’ll pay for prisons. It’s an easy choice.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Ann
2008-06-04 04:45:45

Take about money management issues…


Did someone have their hand in his cookie jar or did he want godiva instead of snickers?

Had to get home equity line?

He should have been set your life..85 and he can’t work…

Comment by Jwhite
2008-06-04 04:55:16

He was a Marine fighter pilot in WWII as I recall. Too bad, but even if he didn’t break his neck, I don’t think he could have made enough to service debt in that range unless he had a lot of liquid assets to begin with.

Comment by phillygal
2008-06-04 05:28:16

Poor money management for sure. After all that Tonight Show money, his face all over the place for various and sundry concerns - foreclosure should have been the very last item on Ed McMahon’s list of Things to Worry About.

Re: money management.
A friend and I had dinner after she met with her financial adviser. She’s on the verge of retiring. She confided that she goes through money like water. I was a little surprised, because she said she had $90k in an emergency fund.
Her reply: “I didn’t know about it.”

I wish her adviser hadn’t told her it was there.

Comment by Jwhite
2008-06-04 05:37:12

Yikes, it’s gone now…

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by phillygal
2008-06-04 05:44:11

I hope not.

She said she wanted to refi her house. I asked what her adviser thought, he said NO. I told her I agreed with him. (he sounds like a decent guy). But as we all know, our earnest efforts to help our friends don’t always succeed. All I offered was this: “You don’t know how long you’re going to live, you may be here for quite a while”.

Comment by Jwhite
2008-06-04 05:55:49

Foresight? Sorry, haven’t had any of that around here since - ohhh - 1975 or so… :)

Comment by ronin
2008-06-04 07:08:53

So I called up the Captain
Please bring me my wine
He said
We haven’t had that spirit here since 1969

Comment by holytrainwreck
2008-06-04 07:17:57

Hey he’s still on those bathtub commercials..the ones that you can open the door to sit in the tub!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by reuven
2008-06-04 08:17:42

Well, first of all, you should hear a warning bell when someone who only has 90K after a lifetime and near-retirement has a “financial adviser”. Usually these types of advisers are “annuity salesmen” or trying to sell strange insurance-investment products.

(My drunken MIL who’s very susceptible to scams and get-rich-quick schemes inherited about $40K a few years back. After getting mad at us for refusing to launder it for her (so she wouldn’t lose her SS Disability!) she met with some financial adviser who promptly lost it all in a risky investment (that she no doubt made a commission selling)

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Isoldearly
2008-06-04 10:28:21

Can’t work? His ads (filmed before the broken neck) are still showing and paying him. Give me a break!!!! send him some cheese to go with that whine. Yet another greed story.

Comment by Jwhite
2008-06-04 04:47:36

US mortgage aps at the lowest level in 6 years.


Comment by mgnyc99
2008-06-04 04:53:48

mortgages? i rent luckily at this point in time

most of these j6ps are worried about how they are going to fill the fridge and their gas tanks.

just sit back and watch the carnage

the US is definately feeling the pinch but hey if we have to go throught some tough times to get to a better place i am all for it


i was in the meatpacking district last night here in nyc and it was like Mardi Gras on hudson street

the euro trash is having a blast with their inflated currency

Comment by Jwhite
2008-06-04 05:23:20

The lower end of the economic spectrum is getting restless here, you can see it at the pumps, in the grocery lines, and the doctor’s offices. Had the kid’s wisdom teeth pulled a couple weeks ago and the cost to me was $600, the lady in front of me was almost in tears when she found out from the cashier what her cost would be for her son. I don’t think she had it, but the kid went in for the procedure and she was sitting there looking stricken, knowing she would have to pay before they left.

Then all of a sudden, an ambulance arrived and the paramedics went in the back doors. Her kid had had a seizure and was going to the hospital. I swear she almost looked happy. She was dressed poorly but the kid was wearing $500 of athletic shoes, sports clothing and a huge bling bling necklace. Maybe she should divert some of that to savings?

Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-06-04 06:43:48

All the FBs HELOC’d and maxed the CCs “for the children”! Of course, when junior grows up, his generation will be stuck with the cleanup bill so that mommy and daddy could keep “their” home.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Ann
2008-06-04 08:32:24

I would say the upper end is getting nervous too..my mom use to bring the dog to the vet(no more, now she does pet supermarket line up for shots).. everything there has doubled in price!…Dentists, doctors, lawyers are all charging much higher fees..I guess less patients/clients coming in have to make up for the ones that do!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Pondering the Mess
2008-06-04 09:39:50

Considering how showy “bling” is valued far more than honesty, intelligence, and honor in post-meaningful America these days, the “bling” doesn’t surprise me.

How else is the guy going to get the ladies when he gets older? With a JOB?! Hahahaha… right!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by hd74man
2008-06-04 09:43:35

RE: most of these j6ps are worried about how they are going to fill the fridge and their gas tanks.

From the “deep doo-doo” ancedotal file…

I have belonged to the same gym for 4 years now.

As such you know who the familiar faces are.

I’m usually on the 7:30AM shift which largely includes “mommies”, who have dropped the kids off at school, a scattering of health care shift workers (female), some self-employed younger males, and a contingent of quasi/retired over 50.

In the last couple weeks, there has been this noticeable transition, whereby the number of men in their 30’s to mid-40’s men showing up in the morning has easily quadrupled.

The trend abd numbers sure has me spooked.

My guess is the number of lay-off’s is exploding.

Comment by gather no moss
2008-06-04 10:14:59

I’ve noticed this too, with playgrounds and playgroups that we go to. Probably the same is true of the library. Probably one of the biggest expenses a family can cut is daycare if only one is working. Of course, it makes it hard to look for a job if you already have the job of caring for the kids.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 04:48:24

My condolences to David Cee and all other die-hard supporters of the Big She.

June 4, 2008, 5:01AM
Obama clinches Democratic nomination
He becomes first black candidate to lead major party in the race for the White House
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

Comment by mgnyc99
2008-06-04 04:55:48

she is like Jason or Freddy SHE WON’T BE STOPPED

does anyone think Obama would choose her as a running mate?
if not then who is he going to choose?

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 05:04:06

Think Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction…

Comment by mgnyc99
2008-06-04 05:10:25

lol -

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by nickinPA
2008-06-04 05:25:42

If Obama choses her as a running mate I want to buy life insuerance on him. As my vpresident don’t I have an insu5rable intertest.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by combotechie
2008-06-04 05:59:29

Think Eva Peron.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by sleepless_near_seattle
2008-06-04 13:30:11

“I won’t be ignored, Barack.”

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by palmetto
2008-06-04 05:18:54

Obama’s between a rock and a hard place on that one. He’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t choose Hillary as a running mate. If he does, she will work to undermine him at every step, because she’ll get even one way or another. If he doesn’t, he may lose the election and the Dems will blame him for that.

Comment by palmetto
2008-06-04 05:20:28

The Dems shouldn’t have undermined Howard Dean back ‘04.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Blano
2008-06-04 05:47:53

I dunno, Palmy. IMHO any chance he has of winning dies if she becomes his veep. He has the chance to do what no one else has done….kill off the Clinton machine. Otherwise, as you say, they will haunt him endlessly.

And Mrs. Messiah won’t be too happy either.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by palmetto
2008-06-04 07:05:26

They should have run Jim Webb. I’d have voted for him despite my Republican affiliation.

Comment by spike66
2008-06-04 07:11:13

Jim Webb would be the best vp Barack could choose.

Comment by Blano
2008-06-04 08:37:54

GOP Senator Richard Luger’s name came up last night for some reason. I don’t know much of anything about him.

Comment by ET-Chicago
2008-06-04 08:56:08

I dunno, Palmy. IMHO any chance he has of winning dies if she becomes his veep.

I think you’re right about that, Blano — at the very least, she’d be a real drag on the ticket.

In terms of what to look for VP-wise, I think the smart money’s on a white guy with significant foreign policy or military experience — a Biden or Wesley Clark, for example. Richardson is a possibility for his pull in the Southwest. Someone like Sam Nunn would bring the military gravitas plus a good record as a southern Democrat.

But who knows? The veep game is always interesting.

Comment by Wickedheart
2008-06-04 09:15:07


I hope he chooses General Wesley Clark. I just love that guy.

Comment by ET-Chicago
2008-06-04 09:31:35

GOP Senator Richard Luger’s name came up last night for some reason. I don’t know much of anything about him.

Dick Lugar has a pretty low star-power quotient, but he’s an acknowledged foreign policy expert, nice guy, and well-regarded on both sides of the aisle. Both candidates could do a lot worse than Lugar, IMO.

I don’t think Obama would tap Lugar for VP — Nebraska GOP senator Chuck Hagel would be much more likely a pick.

Comment by denquiry
2008-06-04 06:33:45

barack better be careful. he might get the vince foster/ron brown therapy.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by peter a
2008-06-04 08:34:22

Naw she will pull a Perot and try like her husband pick off the split vote.
“Clinton the best independent vote”

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by CarrieAnn
2008-06-04 11:15:34

I think he needs to pick an old white guy. There’s only so much “change” people can deal with at one time.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by phillygal
2008-06-04 13:22:44

I like Tom Ridge, but then I’m partial to Pennsylvania.

I agree with you about the amt. of change people can deal with at once. I also agree with what peter a posted above you. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if HRC broke off and ran independent. That would be one big stick in the eye of all the Dem party leaders who had betrayed her.

So there.

Comment by sleepless_near_seattle
2008-06-04 13:53:58

“It wouldn’t surprise me at all if HRC broke off and ran independent.”

Another wrench regarding the damned if he does/doesn’t comments above.

I agree with some others. I didn’t realize Hagel was stepping down and think he’d be a great pick to offset any defectors should HC go indy.

Comment by ahansen
2008-06-04 07:18:53

I nurse a secret wish that Obama choose Nancy Pelosi as his running mate. Not for the politics, (let’s not even go there, okay?) but just for the bumper sticker.

Say it with me…


Comment by wjk
2008-06-04 08:46:57

“The Obama insurgent strategy the group devised instead was to virtually cede the most important battlegrounds of the Democratic nomination fight to Clinton, using precision targeting to minimize her delegate hauls, while going all out to crush her in states where Democratic candidates rarely ventured.

The result may have lacked the glamour of a sweep, but last night, with the delegates he picked up in Montana and South Dakota and a flood of superdelegate endorsements, Obama sealed one of the biggest upsets in U.S. political history and became the first Democrat since Jimmy Carter to wrest his party’s nomination from the candidate of the party establishment. The surprise was how well his strategy held up — and how little resistance it met.”


Comment by Pondering the Mess
2008-06-04 09:45:25

I think it is about time for there to be a horror movie with a Jason or Freddy like villain who looks an awful lot like She Who Must Not Be Named!

The will of the people and the rules of the convention will not stop her; she will not yield. It is her “right” to be “queen” and she’ll do whatever it takes to get there.

If she becomes VP, she’ll find some way to control Obama or otherwise remove him from the picture.

HRC is the most dangerous woman on the planet… and yet people vote for her!

Comment by phillygal
2008-06-04 14:02:56

Here’s one strategy Jason/Freddy/Hill can use:

HRC won’t bow out gracefully, and she doesn’t want to be VP. Clinton is going to try to steal the nomination away from Obama, and she’s going to use the federal courts to do so. Here is how she is going to fight in court: equal protection clause. She is going to argue that the 18 million voters who voted for her have been disenfranchised by the Democratic Party because, she will argue, the 18 million votes that she received (which she claims by her math is a majority of the popular vote) did not carry the same weight as the 18 million votes that Obama received. She will claim that the CAUCUS system disenfranchises a disproportionate number of her voters because it places an UNDUE BURDEN on those voters to participate in the caucus framework. She will argue that VOTING in a PRIMARY is a long-standing tradition of the American political system and that a CAUCUS system inherently provides an UNEQUAL voice to some votes and SILENCES others. It doesn’t matter that it was her own campaign advisors (Ickes) who created the CAUCUS system; she will argue that her supporters were denied EQUAL PROTECTION because of UNDUE BURDENS imposed by the CAUCUS system. Once again, the SUPREME COURT will decide an outcome of an election — in this case, the Democratic Primary. And don’t for a minute think that Hillary Clinton will stop before she gets to the Supreme Court. And don’t for a minute think that the Republican-controlled Supreme Court will deny her claim — because they will want to create as much havoc and CHAOS as possible for the Democratic Party. AND ALL OF THIS IS THE FAULT OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY LEADERS WHO HAVE BEEN OVERLY LENIENT TOWARDS CLINTON, perhaps out of fear of retaliation. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN FEAR IS THE BASIS OF ACTION.

will she try it?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by txchick57
2008-06-04 05:07:19

She has enough delegates to hijack the convention. If she wants the VP spot, he’s going to have to give it to her. And yet, how could there be a worse choice for him? It’s very amusing to watch.

Comment by phillygal
2008-06-04 05:20:03

“It’s never going to end,” sighed one Democrat who has been advising Hillary. “We’re just moving to a new

Comment by Matt_in_TX
2008-06-04 05:33:59

That is hilarious.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by phillygal
2008-06-04 05:47:04

“Clintonologists know that Hillary is up to something, but they aren’t sure what.”

Comment by palmetto
2008-06-04 05:29:20

“She has enough delegates to hijack the convention. If she wants the VP spot, he’s going to have to give it to her. And yet, how could there be a worse choice for him? It’s very amusing to watch.”

Indeed it is. I’m loving it. If I was Obama, I’d avoid her like a plague. Lesser of the two evils.

Comment by Skip
2008-06-04 07:52:29

When offered the VP spot, Daniel Webster replied “I do not intend to be buried until I am dead.”

Comment by bluprint
2008-06-04 09:24:26

It’s very amusing to watch.

I was a bit disappointed in the last week or so as I figured all the drama would end on June 3. It’s like finishing a good book.

Last night I had class, so I didn’t get home until bama was well into his speech. I saw that he had exceeded the delegate number for the nomination. Then I started hearing the pundits talk about Hillary’s speech and started getting excited when I realized she wasn’t going to let it go. I wish I had heard her speech, but at least we get to watch the show for a little while longer.

This DNC nomination process has been the most exciting political event that I remember. The only thing close is when Bill was elected the first time. I was in the 10th grade and went to Little Rock (about 30 mins from my house). My buddies and I were in the streets in the middle of so many people…it was by far more people than I thought I could ever see at one place at one time. That was pretty exciting at the time.

Comment by CarrieAnn
2008-06-04 11:28:59

“Last night I had class, so I didn’t get home until bama was well into his speech.”

Ah, then you missed the debacle that was John McCain’s speech. I hope no one’s looking for an inspirational candidate to get us through the next few years. (Shakes head)

There are 4th graders out there that give better speeches than that.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Isoldearly
2008-06-04 10:44:29

Oh Tx, really? You find this amusing? Both candidates offer us a chuckle here or there but amusing? As I see it, this is a good summer to turn off the television and even the computer if attempts to slander one side or the other invaded our email or this blog. Maybe it’s time for a beach trash novel or old movies (EXcluding Mr. Smith goes to Washington).

Comment by kckid
2008-06-04 05:13:40

Obama’s Mythical Intelligence


Much has been written about Obama’s “mythical intelligence” by a media completely in the tank for the boy blunder. His intelligence is , in fact, a myth. Atlas reader Carolyn wrote an excellent piece peeling back the layers of the mendacious narrative to uncover what a lightweight the Soros stooge really is.

Comment by novasold
2008-06-04 05:29:56

I’m no fan of Hillary, Obama or McCain at all but I think Obama would be stupid not to take her unless he can come up with a replacement who will be able to pull all her votes in the swing states.

My guess is that he needs to find a female conservative Democrat. Maybe even a pro-life Democrat. That would really screw things up for McCain.

Comment by txchick57
2008-06-04 06:11:32

His loony supporters would never go for that.

How about Mc having a female VP candidate?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by grubner
2008-06-04 08:45:14
Comment by peaceful
2008-06-04 08:45:58

ha! i support obama . . . i’m not loony, although i guess each side does have lots of loony supporters . . . i’m just so tired of the bush legacy, it is definitely time for change . . .

Comment by tgun
2008-06-04 08:49:47

Condi Rice…

hmmm interesting proposition

Comment by desertdweller
2008-06-04 11:02:08

She is pure slime.

Comment by CarrieAnn
2008-06-04 11:38:06

Agreed desertdweller.

I consider Condi just as much a pathological liar as Hilbillary. Either that or blindly loyal. Either is just as dangerous in my mind.

Comment by Brian in Chicago
2008-06-04 06:56:52

My guess is that he needs to find a female conservative Democrat. Maybe even a pro-life Democrat. That would really screw things up for McCain.

Forget the swing states. Obama should choose Chuck Hagel, the outspoken republican critic of the Bush admin. He’s retiring from the Senate and has worked with Obama before. They would destroy McCain in a bunch of solid republican states.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by josemanolo7
2008-06-04 19:05:20

obama does not need no stinking solid republican state.

Comment by Blano
2008-06-04 07:03:43

Moderate Republican white boy.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by oxide
2008-06-04 07:25:36

Most of those Clinton supporters will move to Obama by November, and any that don’t — well, Obama will make up for them with all the new young voters he’s attracted. On the other side, Republicans appear lukewarm at the moment, but nothing will fire them up like the opportunity to vote against a Clinton.

Hillary as VP could very well bring more votes against Obama than she would bring to Obama.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Terry
2008-06-04 09:57:50

With Hillary on the ticket, Obama knows he will be outgunned, with Bill and Hill undermining his ass. If he is going to win, he needs a southren democrat as his vice. I would think , that an Obama Edwards team would go all the way to the White House…with a landslide! This election has to be a mandate for change, unlike the past two, being a wash.

Comment by aladinsane
2008-06-04 05:30:19

“It isn’t necessary to have relatives in Kansas City in order to be unhappy.”

Groucho Marx

Comment by Mole Man
2008-06-04 05:30:50

Being smart enough to work with others is all that matters. This contest is about the rise of moderate centrism over the endless battle of right and left partisans to see who gets to be the 51% for the year. Being smart enough to look to Paul Volcker for advice regarding the economy is a bonus over and above what is needed.

Comment by Matt_in_TX
2008-06-04 05:41:10

A republican nominated by California, and Democrats nominated by (can’t bother to look it up, but a lot of states likely to go Republican (?) and the state of Puerto Rico). Who knew centrism wasn’t dead?

Now they are arguing about which one is REALLY centrist based on past experience, and which one just talks like they are centrist.

The Europeans may be happier with either. Cultures tend to be easily offended as they melt away.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by CarrieAnn
2008-06-04 12:23:11

“Being smart enough to work with others is all that matters. This contest is about the rise of moderate centrism over the endless battle of right and left partisans”

I hope you’re right, Mole Man, but when I wish for such concepts to emerge en masse, I end up w/a counterthought that it’s asking too much.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-06-04 05:43:23

Here’s what America will see in the next few month’s:

On the Left:
Obama with his wife and small children

On the Right:
McCain & and his “poor” wife and their adopted children, Rush Limpbaugh & Ann Coulter

So how do you think it will end in Novemeber? :-)

This Bud’s for you ;-)… Any Charles Keating fan members still out there?

U.S. Congressman and a growing family

McCain set his sights on becoming a Congressman because he was interested in current events, was ready for a new challenge, and had developed political ambitions during his time as Senate liaison.[66][59][67] Living in Phoenix, he went to work for Hensley & Co., his new father-in-law Jim Hensley’s large Anheuser-Busch beer distributorship, as Vice President of Public Relations.[59] There he gained political support among the local business community,[60] meeting powerful figures such as banker Charles Keating, Jr., real estate developer Fife Symington III,[68] and newspaper publisher Darrow “Duke” Tully.[60]

Comment by Matt_in_TX
2008-06-04 06:39:28

I doubt you will get Ann Coulter and McCain in the same camera frame. She has stated she would work for Clinton if nominated against McCain, feeling Clinton is better on several important issues. Does Hillary have any openings today?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Spykeeboi
2008-06-04 09:06:03

Obama’s deft victory over Clinton where it counts–in delegates–proves his talent as a calm, strategic thinker. And the free market types should appreciate that he didn’t expend any more energy than absolutely necessary in the primary round. Obama will tear McCain apart in the war or words; McCain’s nothing compared to HRC–who he has already slain, post-mortem twitching nothwithstanding.

But it’s the economy that will ultimately doom the Republican presidential candidate in the fall. And that’s why the GOP handed the baton to McCain–just like they did to Dole in ‘96. They know the veteran statesman just doesn’t have very far to run with it.

Lastly, and somewhat distantly and generally related, I feel compelled to state that the oft-referenced texts Altas Shrugged and Animal Farm are the equivalent of elementary primers in terms of political economy. I recommend Milton Friedman’s essays on monetary policy or Karl Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies for a more sophisticated treatment of the subject. (Sorry, my pet peeve…)

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by txchick57
2008-06-04 09:44:27

nobody handed anything to him. The right base was very unhappy with the outcome of the primaries.

Comment by Spykeeboi
2008-06-04 11:49:31

Of course the right flank was unhappy with McCain’s primary victory, but remember the right is a tool of the pro-corporate, K Street-coddled GOP and not vice-versa. Karl Rove knew this all too well. The smart elephant money has already left the party and will pay “security” to Obama this time around while awaiting Romney’s next run…

Comment by txchick57
2008-06-04 06:09:55

You will get no argument here. An empty suit, a vessel for the MoveOn.org crowd. I know it sounds crazy now but I don’t think he has a chance in hell of winning.

Comment by stewie
2008-06-04 08:47:31

This coming from the one who threw their hat in the ring for Fred Thompson last fall?? Thanks, your prediction has convinced me Obama will win in a landslide.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by txchick57
2008-06-04 09:29:18

I wish Fred would have stuck with it. He obviously didn’t want it very badly.

Comment by EmperorNorton_II
2008-06-04 09:40:07

But, but…

He’s so believable as a fake district attorney on the telly, I can’t understand how he didn’t win, either.

Comment by measton
2008-06-04 06:53:44

Yes a Harvard Law School grad who was elected as Harvard Law Review President is an idiot.

Why don’t you post something of substance.

Comment by aladinsane
2008-06-04 06:56:38

She’s a bettor day trader than political prognosticator…

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by lostcontrol
2008-06-04 07:53:29

I disagree-
There is an irrevocable split in the Dem party. 51/49. Neither will be satisfied. The party will never unify. Hey, we are talking about dems here, not Reps.

This looks alot like the Dem’s Convention of 68. You will see “white flight” from dem party to the Repubs. This will not only change the complexion of the Dems but alter the make up the Repubs.

Who ever gets elected will be a one termer. Neither party has addressed the critical issues and neither has a solution that has not solution other than the collapse of the financial structure of the US.


Comment by palmetto
2008-06-04 07:07:58

“Yes a Harvard Law School grad”

Didn’t Alberto Gonzales graduate from Harvad Law?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by measton
2008-06-04 07:42:01

He questioned his intelligence not his integrity, thoughts on torture, or belief in an independent non politicized judiciary.

Comment by palmetto
2008-06-04 07:55:50

Like I asked, didn’t Alberto Gonzales graduate from Harvard Law?

Comment by Skip
2008-06-04 08:02:10

Didn’t Bush graduate with an MBA from Harvard?

Comment by palmetto
2008-06-04 08:07:51

No, Yale.

Comment by Skip
2008-06-04 08:28:42

That figures! According to his official biography on the White House website they claim he graduated in 1975 from Harvard with an MBA. Sheesh!


Comment by palmetto
2008-06-04 09:05:42

Well, maybe he did. Yale was undergrad, so my bad.

Comment by exeter
2008-06-04 09:04:29

I wonder if he/she looks like coultergeist too.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-06-04 06:59:21

God, some of you people kill me…”what is Obama’s ‘intelligence’ (wink wink)? Can he appeal to ‘all Americans’ (nudge nudge)?”

The man is the child of a lower middle class single mother who became a magna cum laude Harvard law grad, authored a successful book at age 33, and pulled off the presidential nomination at age 46.

McCain graduated at the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy, made his fortune by marrying a beer heiress, and was one of the “Keating Five” who benefited from the S&L crisis, which was a trial run for the current mortgage mess.

GWB had even worse academic credentials than either McCain or Obama, but the same so-called conservatives managed to vote for him twice!

Puhhhlease. There are no concerns about Obama’s intelligence. Those of us who ’speak the code’ know what your real concerns are…

Comment by eastcoaster
2008-06-04 09:58:51

well said

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by measton
2008-06-04 11:06:42

The article is clearly propaganda. It intentionally misconstrues Peter Yu’s, the outgoing president’s, remark.

He said
Mr. Yu said Mr. Obama’s election ”was a choice on the merits, but others may read something into it.”

This was not a rebuke of Obama, to the contrary it was a complement and said that he was elected on his merits.

Prof Kennedy had similar feelings.
”For better or for worse, people will view it as historically significant,” said Prof. Randall Kennedy, who teaches contracts and race relations law. ”But I hope it won’t overwhelm this individual student’s achievement.”

ie don’t let the historical implications overwhelm Obama’s achievement.

Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-06-04 11:57:57

The article makes it look like he was only appointed chief of the law review through affirmative action. It completely ignores the fact that he graduated magna cum laude and was highly regarded by his profs and peers.

They don’t award high GPAs to people based on skin color.

This article is a complete sham and the guy (kckid) who posted it revealed more about himself than about Obama.

We can expect the race card to be played to the hilt for the next 5 months by the Republican party, since they essentially have nothing else working for them this election cycle.

Comment by warlock
2008-06-04 08:19:55

All this article really tells you is that the followers of Ayn Rand are fixated on school grades.

Forgive me, but i don’t care to be ruled by people whose chief mark of success is that they’ve memorised the text book better than anybody else, and think that that makes them a superior caste.

After all, suppose the text book is wrong?

Comment by measton
2008-06-04 08:43:41

The guy from the Atlas Shrug article is an idiot.

He tried to portray Peter Yu’s remarks as he handed the Harvard Review Presidency over to Obama as an attack on Obama but it was just the opposite.

Mr. Yu said Mr. Obama’s election ”was a choice on the merits, but others may read something into it.”

He’s saying that they chose Obama based on his merits, but that others will read something else into it.

I suspect he meant racists like the author of the article

Another professor said
”For better or for worse, people will view it as historically significant,” said Prof. Randall Kennedy, who teaches contracts and race relations law. ”But I hope it won’t overwhelm this individual student’s achievement.”

Read the NYTimes piece

Comment by aladinsane
2008-06-04 05:37:45

Barack is easily the most intelligent candidate we’ve had for President since Adlai, and his opponent isn’t like Ike this time.

He should win by a large margin…

Comment by Blano
2008-06-04 05:55:58

“He should win by a large margin…”

Yeah, just like Adlai.

Comment by aladinsane
2008-06-04 06:04:13

I can’t imagine the Republican Party being so desperate that they’d exhume Eisenhower, to run against Obama.

But you never know…

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by palmetto
2008-06-04 07:10:46

“I can’t imagine the Republican Party being so desperate that they’d exhume Eisenhower, to run against Obama.”

Why not? They’ve already exhumed one candidate. Weekend at Bernie’s, here we come!

(In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a registered Republican who is thoroughly disgusted by all the current candidates. I will probably do a write-in vote.)

Comment by reuven
2008-06-04 08:46:26

Now I’m starting to look forward to one-term President Obama! When he gets his “tax plan” implemented, I plan to take a 4-year vacation.

Under Obama’s tax plan, with my CA taxes, I’ll only keep 35 cents of each dollar I earn. It’s not worth it for me to work.

I hope to start a movement! If we all stop working, it will be fun to watch the carnage.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by txchick57
2008-06-04 05:59:39

you’re living up to your screen name.

Comment by vthousingbear
2008-06-04 06:44:26

Sour grapes. Sour grapes. ;-)

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by dagan68
2008-06-04 07:06:19

My gf is on one of the local Republican County Committees here in DFW. These powers that be in the Republican party were already panicking about McCain and his lackluster performance so far - there have also been many many gaffes and “resignations” in his campaign the last few weeks that have not gotten much scrutiny because of the Obama/Clinton brawl.

Well - they had a meeting this AM. Panic has now turned to shi%^#ing bricks after the relative performance of McCain and Obama last night. There are many people in the Republican establishment who have ALREADY GIVEN UP - noticed how few dollars are going to McCain.

My personal opinion of McCain went down about three notches last night - he truly looked old and tired - and not very presidential. He has a very strange voice during speeches - and in many ways reminds me of MoronBush. I vowed to myself that anyone I would ever vote for President again had to have an ability to speak the English language - 8 long years of mangled syntax and no vocabulary is enough for me. The person in this position represents us to the rest of the world - for Christ sake - the least they should be able to do is express themselves as well as a third grader.

Good day all.

Comment by palmetto
2008-06-04 08:05:07

dagan, you nailed it. McCain’s a loser. Already lost once to Bush because he didn’t stand up for himself. Loser with a capital L. Came out of nowhere to “win” the Florida primary. In a pig’s eye. He’s being propped up is all and he will NEVER see the White House.

I’d vote for Obama before I’d EVER vote for McCain.

Comment by ET-Chicago
2008-06-04 10:07:20

Well - they had a meeting this AM. Panic has now turned to shi%^#ing bricks after the relative performance of McCain and Obama last night.

I watched the entirety of both speeches last night. McCain’s was horrible — he looked like a robot as he turned to make eye contact with each section of the crowd. It looks like his handlers have been trying to give him a few pointers, but he was worse last night than he was a few months ago. (FWIW, I think McCain can be pretty engaging when he’s talking to an audience directly and not reading from a script.)

Comment by Isoldearly
2008-06-04 10:51:20

HEY!!! can we talk HOUSING.

Comment by EmperorNorton_II
2008-06-04 11:07:28

“A house divided against itself cannot stand”

Abraham Lincoln

Comment by josemanolo7
2008-06-04 19:21:53

last i heard from the inside — rumors, i hope — the repugs will be happy winning 10 lightly populated states. the nightmare will be only 2 states.

Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-06-04 07:05:17

GWB was the greatest political mind TX has ever produced. No, that’s not a compliment.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by txchick57
2008-06-04 08:09:59

you have no idea. Ann Richards could have been the first woman prez if she’d lived long enough.

Comment by Skip
2008-06-04 08:21:37

Sam Houston, LBJ, Eisenhower, and Sam Rayburn all had extremely high political IQs.

It should be noted that the Texas legislature meets for only 140 days every two years. I think this alone shows that Texans have a much higher political IQ than any other state.

Comment by measton
2008-06-04 08:56:05

I have to agree with TxChk on this one.

Plus, I grew up in Texas.

A couple of good Ann Richard quotes

Regarding a concealed weapons bill, she was asked if she didn’t think the women of Texas might feel safer if they could carry guns in their purses. She replied, “Well I’m not a sexist, but there is not a woman in this state who could find a gun in her handbag, much less a lipstick.”

On the subject of women in politics, Richards observed during her 1988 Democratic National Convention keynote address that “Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.”

Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-06-04 10:09:36

I would have voted for Ann Richards for prez, based on what I know of her. But it doesn’t say much for her (or the people of TX) if she got voted out in favor of GWB as the governor.

Comment by dagan68
2008-06-04 10:27:55

Anyone who wants some real laughs about Texas politics should pick up anything ever written by Molly Ivins.

She knew what was funny - and knew how to relate the idiocy of it all.

One of my favorite all time LBJ quotes -

when he was being sold a bill of goods by a famous Senator from Massachusetts –

“Umm Senator - you have to realize that my people back home in Texas know the difference between chicken salad and chicken sh$$t.”

Comment by EmperorNorton_II
2008-06-04 10:46:59

Which couple of Texan Presidents got us into wars on trumped up charges, much to our regret?

Comment by Skip
2008-06-04 13:15:15

Which couple of Texan Presidents got us into wars on trumped up charges, much to our regret?

Neither McKinley, JFK, or Bush were born in Texas.

Comment by EmperorNorton_II
2008-06-04 17:06:00

So the LBJ Ranch & Crawford Ranch aren’t in Texas?

Comment by CaptHaddock
2008-06-04 06:09:37

I hope it’s not true. Adlai was never the brain people thought he was. For instance, it seems he never read a book. Just relied on summaries by associates.

Comment by Ed G
2008-06-04 06:10:30

Wasn’t Bill Clinton a Rhodes scholar?

Barack Obama hasn’t really demonstrated any more or less intelligence than the field. Read his book, not exactly any sort of insight I couldn’t get from a ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ book.

Comment by txchick57
2008-06-04 06:13:32

Thank you. I was going to make the same point. Bill Clinton was a scholar as much as I detest the clown.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by neuromance
2008-06-04 06:47:55

To be fair, Obama has been a law professor at the University of Chicago, which is routinely rated as one of the top 5 law schools in the country. Also U of C has more Nobel Laureates associated with it than any other university.

Also, Obama not only made law review at Harvard, he was the president of the law review.

These are both extremely high levels of intellectual achievement.

On the other hand, it says nothing about how he will govern. Very smart people, since they are routinely the smartest people they know, think they can micromanage.

And no one, now matter how smart, will be able to micromanage the US government.

Just like the smartest Border Collie in the world has no chance of learning calculus, the smartest human being in the world has no chance of micromanaging the US government.

Simple intelligence does not mean that one is a good manager. Ask some Asperger-esque professor at CalTech.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by ahansen
2008-06-04 08:26:12

Ask some Asperger-esque professor at CalTech.
LOL. Oh look, birdies.

Senator Obama has MANAGED to come from near-complete political obscurity, to the likely President of the United States in less than four years.

Overcoming both the Bush AND the Clinton machines in that short amount of time took incredible executive ability in all aspects, from organizational to inspirational-both within his organization and from without IE: his advisors and liasons, (and the good judgment to listen to what they were telling him.) The results of all these efforts speak volumes as to what we might expect from an Obama presidency and that administration’s likely intellectual inclusiveness. Moreover, his presumed nomination has singlehandedly and overnight elevated the moral authority of the USA around the planet about three orders of magnitude from what Our Dear Leader has left us with over the last eight regrettable years.

Comment by James
2008-06-04 08:30:09

I have a good friend with a gifted child that has Aspergers. Really a good hearted great kid.

Really annoys the heck out of his parents though. Have to remind him practically every day to bring home his text books, brush his teeth, take a shower, eat exc.

Its amazing to watch. Kid will probably start calculus in 8th/9th grade. But so unaware about what is going on around him.

We brought home those little pop gun fireworks that shoot confetti. Tell him pull the trigger but make sure its not pointed tword your face. So, he is too gentle on the trigger and can’t figure out why it didn’t go off. Then points the buisness end at his face trying to figure out why it didn’t work.

After a couple of near misses we took the firework away so he didn’t injure himself.

Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-06-04 07:08:41

McCain barely finished the Naval Academy, ranking 894th out of a class of 899. Like GWB, hhe ain’t even remotely scholar material.

According to some quarters within in his party, his lack of academic ‘achievements’ make him imminently qualified for the presidency.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by ronin
2008-06-04 09:09:50

Say what you want about GWB- his college grades were still higher than those of his opponent, Al Gore.

But now that I think about it, what the country needs more than ever is change. I know- let’s run a candidate from Yale or Harvard for a change!

Comment by Greg
2008-06-04 09:12:16

This “academic”/”scholar” debate amazes me. Today’s educational system has almost nothing to do with actual intellectual ability (I don’t care if we’re talking about Obama, Bush, Clinton, or McCain).

Success in clout-heavy schools like Harvard, Yale, and frankly most insitutions of higher education has to do with “toeing the party line” of prevailing “wisdom” and/or having the money/clout to become well-known. The individual idiosyncracies (McCain’s POW experience) mean virtually nothing except to pull in various groups in the political process. Since these people are already so good at toeing the party line, why do you think they’re so successful in politics?

Does anyone actually expect much to change under ANY of these candidates?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Kirisdad
2008-06-04 09:43:57


Comment by measton
2008-06-04 11:15:23

Corporate America would disagree, I don’t see them hiring many people who didn’t do well in college.

I think a degree says a little about intelligence, and a lot about ones ability to organize,work hard, and finish projects.

Toeing the party line?? Seems to me politcis is about herding cats.

Comment by Greg
2008-06-04 11:29:46

My point is that doing well in college may not really amount to all that much in terms of actual intellect, common sense, ability to work hard, innovation, etc.

Comment by measton
2008-06-04 12:41:08

If you think you can graduate law school engineering sciences ect without intelligence and hard work you are mistaken. I would agree that a degree does not guarantee common sense but it doesn’t hurt.

The proof is in the pudding, people hire college grads even outside there field of study for a reason.

Comment by measton
2008-06-04 14:32:18

their, back to college for me.

Comment by tresho
2008-06-04 17:11:57

Does anyone actually expect much to change under ANY of these candidates? Yes, I expect many great changes between now and 2013 under whichever candidate becomes POTUS. Unfortunately, most of the changes will be for the worse.

Comment by polly
2008-06-04 06:35:32

There is a large gap to be filled between should and will.

Comment by Bloz
2008-06-04 17:18:22

Yep, he’ll win all 57 states.

Comment by aNYCdj
2008-06-04 05:46:42

Well Hill has $40 mill in debt to pay off $11 mill of it is her money….but that would damage the dems bank accounts, for the election.

Maybe we should all vote for Nader just out of spite of what has happened to out country.

So on Jan 20th whoever won, would have wished they hadn’t, seems to be getting truer everyday. ……..Or maybe Hill has a paralyzing stroke and Obama has to appoint a VP he likes????

Comment by lostcontrol
2008-06-04 08:00:37

Yes!!! Ralph Nader seems to be the only person with the integrity and the track record!!!

This is my write in candidate, or maybe Webb or …

Comment by lostcontrol
2008-06-04 08:05:19

…John Edwards.

We need a lawyer on our side who knows how to win in the court of public opinion/Congress/court room.

I do not know why he dropped out. He would have been a natural third choice over O and H.

I suspect that by convention time, the super delegates will be looking for someone who has consistently focused on the economic issues….

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by WT Economist
2008-06-04 05:53:06

It ain’t about Blacks and Women. People are desperate to dump her g-g-generation before we go broke, and don’t trust anyone over 50 despite the surplus under Clinton I.

Comment by A.B. Dada
2008-06-04 06:50:17

There was no surplus under Clinton. Repeat: there was no surplus under Clinton.

Just like Enron and many corporations today (still), the Clinton administration along with Congress decided to move Social Security obligations off-budget. Basically the Social Security “Trust Fund” income each year became a windfall to the Treasury instead of a long-term obligation. Under Clinton, government still grew, and grew significantly, although not as much as under Bush.

Again, let’s repeat: there was no bugdet surplus under Clinton.

Comment by measton
2008-06-04 07:46:36

I think this graf tells the whole story. Remember 2008 budget projections don’t include spending on war in Iraq ect.


(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by A.B. Dada
2008-06-04 09:02:23

Wow, I’m not sure what the graph is, but it’s one of the least helpful graphs I’ve ever seen. Did that graph come straight out of the Fed’s backroom?

That graph just shows national debt versus GDP. If GDP goes up but national debt goes up, the graph may fall. So when that graph shows numbers falling, it may not mean much.

Clinton’s Presidency got lucky because the inflation from the Fed was able to push the markets, and GDP, up, but their growth was not offset by real wealth increases. Debt increases really kicked into overdrive under Clinton, and his Presidency seemed positive because we all seemed to gain more money before prices took off. Inflation has a lagging effect in some areas, but over time as foreigners realize that the dollars they hold are being depreciated quicker than their local currencies or other world currencies, they’ll sell them off.

I don’t trust charts that are politicized. Clinton was a louse. Bush is a louse. Obama and McCain are louses. They’re all liars, and if you fall for those magical graphs, you’ll be screwed.

Comment by measton
2008-06-04 11:19:41

How about this graph


The last one has a lot of great graphs.

Comment by mariner22
2008-06-04 08:29:19

And Bush moved Soc Security on budget?

Good god, if the public only knew how much the deficit really is (adding Soc Sec future obligations and Iraq)….

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Pondering the Mess
2008-06-04 09:59:25

Level 3 accounting - you have to love it!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Lip
2008-06-04 06:27:06

No Ménage-à-trois for Obama

“Putting Hillary Clinton on the ticket for vice president creates a ménage-à-trois. Bill will be the unexpected roommate. Even if a President Obama can discipline Hillary and get her to play second fiddle, there is not the remotest chance that he can get the former president to accept such rules. Even if Bill Clinton wanted to rein in his newly prolific public expressions of rage and frustration, there is doubt that he is any longer capable of doing so.”


Which is why this election is going to be so interesting. Morris doesn’t think he’ll take her but Obama has to take her because she has so many supporters and we all know she wants the job. This could be the best reality TV show in history.

Comment by txchick57
2008-06-04 09:01:49

and if they can’t vote by text message ala American Idol, half of Obama’s disciples won’t bother to show up.

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 17:04:51

Carter Says Obama Should Not Pick Clinton as Running Mate
By VOA News
04 June 2008

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama would be making what Mr. Carter calls “the worst mistake” if the senator chooses Hillary Clinton as his running mate.

Comment by Jwhite
2008-06-04 04:49:05
Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-06-04 07:17:49

Good article. I’m very hopeful about the Bakken shale, but there is no way it will be enough to reduce the price of oil or reduce our dependency on Saudi Arabia, simply due to the difficulty of getting to it, 2 miles below the earth’s surface. No political football playing, unlike ANWR in Alaska…it is all in private hands.

They aren’t making any more land in North Dakota. I bet the RE industry is moving there in droves.

Comment by measton
2008-06-04 07:48:20

Set off a few small nucs and fracture all that rock. Sure the residents of N.D. might have to deal with earthquakes bad water and radiation. I say give each of them a new home in California during the process.

Comment by desertdweller
2008-06-04 11:17:12

After nuking their land/state, it will be just as polluted,irradiated as Utah,NV, and CO…
Google the total of nukes set off in NV alone.
The map is incredible. How much, when, where, how many yrs.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Greg
2008-06-04 09:03:29

Actually, the people looking for high-paying jobs (read: on oil rigs) are the ones moving here in droves. There’s not nearly enough housing to house everyone. Also, this isn’t really the wisest place to be building bigger cities.

My town of Minot (pop.35K-40K) has plenty of “room” to expand, but not a lot of the land is suited for development (flooding problems because of high water tables and high clay content).

Also, this country isn’t filled with the pioneer spirit the way it once was. Most Americans wouldn’t last one winter up here. Those who can handle the winters make this place the great place to live that it is.

Comment by EmperorNorton_II
2008-06-04 09:36:10

“pioneer spirit”

A year ago my wife and I were @ Valley of Fire state park in Nevada, walking on sandstone, about 30 feet above a flat 1/2 mile trail, listening in on our countrymen and women complaining about how tired they were from their walk.

It got me thinking, how in the world did our forefathers ever come west in the mid 19th century from say, St. Louis?

They had no idea really, what would transpire in their 1,500 mile journey, but it didn’t stop them…

Our country is currently just as weak physically, as it is financially.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Pondering the Mess
2008-06-04 10:02:08

True, but back then, there was a sense of community and people could rely on each other.

Today, most people are glad to take your money while feeding you lines of BS.

That lack of community and any degree of support from now far-flung family and friends reduces the desire to take risks.

Comment by Greg
2008-06-04 11:34:36

Exactly. Right now I have several friends here in North Central North Dakota who still run family farms that their parents ran and grandparents homesteaded (and others that don’t farm, but still go back to when this area was settled 130 years ago).

In the long run, I want to remain here so I can establish roots for my family that haven’t existed because my siblings and I are so far-flung from each other and our parents. This area has more sense of community than most other areas I’ve lived in.

Comment by wmbz
2008-06-04 04:49:35

‘Honest’ Abe’s quote of the Day… Sounds like he thought a person should put forth effort to achieve their goals.

“Property is the fruit of labor…property is desirable…is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.”

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-06-04 06:53:00

“…and build one for himself”

Bugs: “eh I don’t think so.”

How many “building permits” & “Zoning Ordinances” did Ole Abe have to pull before he built that 1 room log cabin? Also, was it built to “code” ;-)

Comment by Cape Town Bubble
2008-06-04 04:49:58

The following is a letter sent out by Lew Geffen (MD of Sotheby’s Realty, one of South Africa’s largest agencies) to his agents:

Recessionary Strategies - State of the market

As you know the recession is biting even deeper and strategies of 3 months ago are no longer relevant. The mere fact that the banks are requiring 25 % equity indicates strongly that they have factored that the market will drop another 25% on top of what the market has already come down i.e. plus, minus 15%.

To my mind that means that the market will come down 40% from the highs of last year which is hugely significant. Take into account that today a man who wants to purchase a R2 million property which is the average selling price in our company will have to earn in excess of R87 000 gross per month in order to qualify and if the market drops by 25% that same person will need to earn R65200 gross which is also no picnic.

There are 60% less buyers in the market than recorded at the same time last year. Attendances at showhouses are generally poor (Echoes of Sharpeville) and only when the Agent has convinced the seller to use the most aggressive parameters i.e. 40% below asking price, does the showhouse receive 10 couples or more leading to a subsequent sale. All the guns are loaded against us in this market and it will take your own courage and perspecuity in order to survive.

This morning I told a member of my own family to drop his price by 25% in order to get a quick sale and I would advise you to tell your clients the same. It’s a question of being truthful to your clients to save them severe pain by procrastinating and not accepting the offer today. Today’s low offer is tomorrow’s miracle price. This market is not going to recover anytime soon.

The tough must get going!

Comment by mgnyc99
2008-06-04 05:01:08

now if Babs corcoron or Dolly Lenz would send out a letter like that here to the nyc slimeball broker crowd she would be shot

is the spring selling season here yet?

if i hear one more delusional seller say i am going to take it off the market and wait for the prices to start going up again i will
back slap them

“Today’s low offer is tomorrow’s miracle price. This market is not going to recover anytime soon.”

will replace buy now or be priced out forever

Comment by nhz
2008-06-04 05:20:41

oh my, 25% equity … if they start requiring that in that other kind-of-Dutch speaking country the market would crater, and certainly by a lot more than 25% (assuming that buyers would have to provide the 25% equity themselves, and not get it for freem from some kind of government agency). But no, the ancestors of the SA state still think their country is special and homeprices will keep rising there forever so why require a downpayment?

Comment by Jwhite
Comment by sf jack
2008-06-04 10:05:40

“Rising Profits

Golden West, led by the husband-and-wife team of Herb and Marion Sandler, had boosted profit 172 percent in five years by selling adjustable-rate mortgages. The ARMs let borrowers pay only a portion of the principal and interest due on their mortgages: in effect, a bet that housing prices would keep rising and interest rates would stay low.

Thompson and Herb Sandler, interviewed by Bloomberg Television on a New York street corner after they announced the deal, said it would take an unprecedented decline in U.S. housing prices to slow the company. His interviewer asked how much.

“More, my dear, than has ever taken place in your lifetime,” Sandler replied.


I recall here at the HBB the howls of laughter at the time of this deal.

Contributors said Golden West’s owners were selling a soon-to-be junkshow to Wachovia and it was obvious those “unprecedented declines” were on the way!

Comment by watcher
2008-06-04 04:50:31

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., facing a sharp decline in its stock that will make it more difficult to raise fresh capital, may look to a foreign land for a strategic partner.


Comment by watcher
2008-06-04 05:00:09

David Einhorn thinks another big Wall Street bank is headed for trouble — and he is not being quiet about it.

For eight months now, Mr. Einhorn, a rabble-rousing hedge fund manager, has pilloried the venerable Lehman Brothers in an effort to drive down the bank’s stock price, which he is betting against.


Comment by aNYCdj
2008-06-04 05:58:09

Ms. Callan, 42, Man she is horrible looking at 42 are you sure they dint mean 62?

Comment by mgnyc99
2008-06-04 06:12:41

do you look like a 23 year old brad pitt?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by aNYCdj
2008-06-04 06:31:50

LOL, no, but i still don’t look my age..which is a good thing.

Comment by gather no moss
2008-06-04 11:10:32

I remember getting proofed in the liquor store when I was 28. A few years later, I decided to have a kid, I still look a little less than my age, but not by much.

Comment by Anonymous Coward
2008-06-04 08:21:22

That’s not a great picture of her. She’s actually quite attractive. I’m sure you could do (and almost certainly have done) much worse.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by NeilT
2008-06-04 09:09:07

I had the same exact thoughts when I saw the picture. I started thinking about where she went to school, probably some Ivy league, how tought the academic competition was. She may have pulled a many all-nighters, studying hard, and lack of sleep may have hurt the looks.
When I tell people my age they are surprised, I look at least 10 years younger. My keys to good health and young looks:
(1) Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
(2) Drink a lot of water
(3) Walk at least 2 miles each day
(4) Sleep for 7 hrs minimum each day
(5) Don’t go to a doctor and avoid taking any medicines
(6) Avoid debt like the plague and try to build up huge savings (that is relieve any mental stress so that when I take my walks I can enjoy the nature!)

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by CarrieAnn
2008-06-04 12:59:33

My secret to looking about 8 years younger than my age (usually the guess):

Be born to parents who look about 8 years younger than their age.


Comment by NotInMontana
2008-06-04 09:19:27

There is something odd about here…too tan? Related to Mozilo?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by desertdweller
2008-06-04 11:24:45

Tanning is the culprit.

Comment by grubner
2008-06-04 08:57:55

Yes but don’t forget that D.E. was one of the biggest shareholders of CountryWide and a board member. He didn’t see that train wreck coming. A good fund manager but fallible like the everybody else.

Comment by Ria Rhodes
2008-06-04 12:51:43

Mr. Einhorn is just another self-serving hedge guru gambling with investor moola. Research his background. He’s a noisemaker par excellence who’s creating interest for his book on the side. He bends numbers and leaves details out of his public statements about coprorations to support his own hypotheses. If you’re a principal in a hedge fund you can get real creative with your risk/reward correlations, something which your funds outside investors cannot do. If any of you think Einhorn’s onto something, put some of your money into his hedge fund.

Comment by watcher
2008-06-04 05:02:37

June 4 (Bloomberg) — Investors in the options and derivatives markets are betting Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. has further to fall amid concern the fourth-largest U.S. securities firm may need a capital injection.


Comment by Jwhite
2008-06-04 05:42:14

“They’re furious,” Mr. Hintz said. “If you get distrust of your accounting, then it affects the valuation of the company forever going forward.”

Awwww, dah poor widdle investment bank doesn’t like to have light shown on it “accounting (discounting) practices”… :)

Comment by sleepless_near_seattle
2008-06-04 14:38:50

Maybe it was another i-bank, but wasn’t Lehman being held up as one of the strong ones while the Bear Stearns debacle was unfolding?

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 04:50:37

Bernanke Bolsters Weak Dollar
June 4, 2008; Page A1

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 05:10:15

Thomson Financial News
Metals - Gold continues lower beneath $880/oz after dollar holds gains
06.04.08, 6:33 AM ET

Comment by Lucy
2008-06-04 05:46:31

Gold has been a store of value since before the beginning of recorded history. It has outlived or out performed all of the fiat currencies ever created. But perhaps you think its going to be different this time?

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 07:11:10

No — I, too, realize that gold prices always go up.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by phillygal
2008-06-04 11:49:59

I heard a blurb on the radio today for a gold-selling outfit.

This is the factoid the salesman used to predict a fantabulous run-up in gold prices:

“Right now, it’s still only 50% of its 1980 peak price - adjusted for inflation!”

so does that mean that gold hasn’t kept pace with inflation?

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 21:20:53

Does this WSJ Op-Ed document the true beginning of the War on Savers, or does it properly date back to the 1913 creation of the Fed?

Contracts as Good as Gold
June 5, 2008

People these days fear inflation. We also fear changing rates of inflation. And most of the tools we might use to protect ourselves, such as the Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities bond or gold stocks, are imperfect. TIPS are, after all, based on an inflation-measure whose accuracy is itself controversial – the Consumer Price Index.

So it’s worth remembering that, 75 years ago today, President Franklin D. Roosevelt destroyed an inflation hedge that was literally as good as gold: the so-called “gold clause.” This helped prolong the Depression and has been causing damage ever since.

The powerful deflation of the early 1930s gave Roosevelt the excuse to end the gold standard. Dirt-low commodity prices, starving farmers, bank seizures of homes, 20% unemployment: All these miseries shouted, “looser money now!” The agricultural community, including eccentric Agriculture Secretary Henry Wallace, viewed the end of the gold standard as the ultimate revenge of the farmers punishing Wall Street for its 1920s prosperity.

One night in April, 1933, FDR surprised a bunch of advisers, saying “Congratulate me.” He’d taken the country off the gold standard, and now planned to personally manage the dollar’s exchange rate and price levels. Hearing the news, colleagues “began to scold Mr. Roosevelt as though he were a perverse and particularly backward schoolboy,” recalled Ray Moley. Secretary of State Cordell Hull, the great free trader, “looked as though he had been stabbed in the back. FDR took out a ten-dollar bill, examined it and said ‘Ha! . . . How do I know it’s any good? Only the fact that I think it is makes it so.’”

Comment by slorenter
2008-06-04 07:30:42

I wonder how currencies gold has become priceless in? I’m guessing at least a couple dozen? Lets name them all and name the soon to be priceless list too.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by OhMyHowFun
2008-06-04 11:04:21

I think you are referring to seeshells.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by desertdweller
2008-06-04 11:25:51

Or the other kind, seashells.


Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-06-04 07:23:21

“”We’re trying to call a dollar bottom here,”

“Bolster” is a relative term…all I got from the article is that he is refusing to further devalue it by lowering the Fed Funds Rate to zero.

Why do I feel like the MSM view of reality is straight out of Orwell’s “1984″?

War is Peace,
Ignorance is Knowledge
Freedom is Slavery

Comment by Pondering the Mess
2008-06-04 10:06:08

Don’t forget the new addition: “Debt is Wealth”

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-06-04 16:20:05

Exactly! :-)

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 04:53:13

Collapse in Demand For Large SUVs Leaves Owners in a Bind
Tumbling Values on Trade-ins, Used Vehicles
Means Many Loans Are ‘Underwater’
June 2, 2008; Page D2

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 05:00:33

The Other Subprime Loans
The Same Team That Cooked Up Subprime Mortgages Also Thought of Auto Loans
By Charles R. Morris 06/03/2008

Comment by txchick57
2008-06-04 05:08:43

I’d be glad to take a nice late model Toyota Land Cruiser off someone’s hands at a signficant discount.

Comment by mgnyc99
2008-06-04 05:11:54

that should not be a problem tx chick

Suv’s with for sale signs is the new lawn ornament

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 05:13:27

When to Ditch Your Old Car
For a Newer (but Not New) One
June 4, 2008

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 07:41:52

“By using cash, we also avoid taking out a costly loan. The average monthly payment in May was $446 on a five-year car loan, according to Edmunds. Those accumulated monthly payments would grow to $30,903 if invested over the same five years at a 5% return.”

This is an embarrassing error so typical of financial journalists with no training in economics or finance. She forgets to offset her magic investment growth to $30,903 by the cost of the cash outlay to buy the car plus the foregone investment gains if she had invested the cash in something other than the car. Hence she massively overestimates the value of paying cash instead of using dealer financing.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by jbunniii
2008-06-04 09:09:41

Finding an investment that will return 5% annually after tax with anything approaching 100% certainty would be a neat trick, especially in the next five years.

Comment by combotechie
2008-06-04 10:08:22

Folks I work with are going to retirement seminars where the gurus are promising 10% returns for conservative accounts. My skeptical and questioning comments are ignored (as usual).

I fully expect to hear of financial moaning and groaning from these folks some years from now just as I am hearing moaning and groaning from those who retired at the peak of the dot com craze.

Wall Street: The Great Wealth Re-distribution Machine

The beat goes on …

Comment by Maria
2008-06-04 05:18:15

I am looking for Land Cruiser. Would like to buy from individual rather than Dealer.

Comment by watcher
2008-06-04 06:05:11

I saw one at a dealership the other day. A V8 with a sticker price around 65k. Advertised mileage was 13mpg in the city. I laughed and helped myself to the free food at the cookout.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-06-04 07:25:34

13 mpg and $65K? LOL! Might as well buy a Hummer. ;)

Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 10:29:47

Why get the Land Cruiser when you can get the Lexus version for a few grand more? More toys to play with!

Comment by gather no moss
2008-06-04 11:16:31

When we were looking for one of these a few years back, we found that the used Lexus was going for less, people think you need Lexus parts, but you can use Toyota parts just fine.

The older Land Cruisers are kind of collectible, from what I’ve heard.

Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 18:29:47

The 2F engine is an unparalleled piece of 6 cylinder (inline) engineering. The stupidest thing that Toyota did was go to the 8 cylinder POS. Cant tow crap out of fields. The 8’s are IMHO junk.

Comment by Robin
2008-06-04 22:45:10

Bought an inline 6-cylinder, same as the Camry, packaged in a relatively inexpensive 1993 Lexus SC300 sports coupe. Three years ago paid $7,000, now KBBs for over $6,000.

Phenomenal car - my mechanic is an honest genius - I see him for scheduled maintenance and oil changes only. Way less than $1,000 per year maintenance!

Comment by mgnyc99
2008-06-04 05:23:07

my 6 old hyundai elantra is probably soaring in value

it will be 90 degrees in nyc this weekend how many of these suv jackasses will be cranking the ac @ 4.25 a gallon?

Comment by watcher
2008-06-04 06:00:28

10 year old Geo Metros now going for 7k, I heard on the radio. Better return than the stock market.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Jwhite
2008-06-04 05:44:01

I haven’t even SEEN a Land Cruiser around here, the closest thing is it’s LEXUS cousin down the street (which doesn’t seem to get washed anymore). I’d love one of the old originals though.

Comment by gather no moss
2008-06-04 11:14:34

I don’t drive it much these days, but there is no way I’d ever give up our cruiser. Unlike a lot of folks, we actually use it off road. We bought ours used.

Comment by sleepless_near_seattle
2008-06-04 14:40:56

Yo tambien. I’ll park it next to my ‘79.

Comment by edgewaterjohn
2008-06-04 05:12:39

“Now, auto makers will have to tell consumers they need a number of vehicles designed for specialized tasks – the SUV for the family vacation, the Mini or the Honda Fit for the slog to work, the luxury sedan for the night out with business associates.”

Sorry, but this guy’s closing statements are just a pathetic pitch for continued hyper-consumerism. How could owning more cars possibly be better than owning just one large SUV and using it wisely. Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they’re free. This is the same logic that makes the people here buy scooters - while keeping a car that they still have to insure and maintain. The cost of a scooter will not cover the savings in fuel.

Oil keeps falling up. UAL’s mothballing scores of 737s and their 747s. Having been a mechanic on them I can relate that this is something they’re not doing flippantly. And, I’ll argue it has more than fuel prices behind it - they have sense that air travel volumes will decline and that capacity won’t be missed anytime soon.

Comment by Asparagus
2008-06-04 05:27:35

Maybe what UAL should do is specialize more. Use the 747’s for the family vacation, the 737’s for the slog to work.

That’s what they should do. Ask the car guys, they know.

Comment by desertdweller
2008-06-04 11:29:06


(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by twib
2008-06-04 05:39:32

That might make sense if you are renting that SUV for the family vacation, or renting that limo for the night, etc. I cannot see how owning multiple cars is to anyone’s benefit.

A suburban begins to look fuel efficient once it has more than one of its seats full. I wonder how long before folks start car pooling.

Comment by Brian in Chicago
2008-06-04 05:41:39

“Now, auto makers will have to tell consumers they need a number of vehicles designed for specialized tasks – the SUV for the family vacation, the Mini or the Honda Fit for the slog to work, the luxury sedan for the night out with business associates.”

I just had an epiphany! I’m going to start a business in which I purchase many types of vehicles and then offer short-term leases of a day or a few days. Instead of owning a fleet of vehicles, wealth-strapped Americans can simply own an economical everyday car and then come to me for the times they require something that meets their needs more specifically.

I think I will call this type of business “Car Rental”

Comment by aNYCdj
2008-06-04 06:05:54

Brian in Chicago…you should change it to BRAIN in Chicago..lol

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by ronin
2008-06-04 09:42:28

Yep. You can call it Hertz, or Avis, or something.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by exeter
2008-06-04 06:04:00

It’s the same twisted logic that suggested everyone needs a 2nd “home near grandchildren”, a primary residence and a condo in your favorite vacation destination. Now we’re quickly closing in on the hard reality that most can barely afford one shack let alone 3.

Comment by deeogee
2008-06-04 07:05:44

“This is the same logic that makes the people here buy scooters - while keeping a car that they still have to insure and maintain. The cost of a scooter will not cover the savings in fuel.”

?? my friend uses a scooter to commute to work everyday, and it burns about 2 gallons a week

I think it cost him like maybe $800 , whats that like 200 gallons or 15-20 fill ups on a regular car

Seems like with a year he will have saved more by buying the scooter

Comment by edgewaterjohn
2008-06-04 07:46:02

If they don’t have a car at all it makes sense. Otherwise, there’s still a car that will need to be insured, licensed, possible parking fees in larger cities, maintained, and kept at least a little bit fueled from time to time. Meanwhile, the car also depreciates - that all figures into the true cost - if they have both a scooter and a car that is.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by measton
2008-06-04 13:24:43

My coworker uses 500 bucks a month in her Excursion.

That would cover monthly payment and insurance and most of her gas for a small car. If she bought a used small car it would likely pay for itself in a year or two.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by caveat_emptor
2008-06-04 07:52:57

There is some logic in the multiple vehicle argument. Every now and then, you may need to carry 6 people. Or, tow something big. Or negotiate a hazardous mountain pass in a blizzard. But, carrying these capacitities around all the time (using a big SUV or truck) as your daily driver, isn’t efficient. The best efficiency, could be achieved with an assortment of vehicles… perhaps a motorcycle when you need to go somewhere on a nice day, a very efficient car when you need to carry groceries or deal with inclimate weather, a minivan for family road trips, a truck for hauling cargo/towing. If you settle for the lowest common denominator (the big truck) that can achieve all of these things, you’ll pay a big fuel penalty for driving it all the time.

Unfortunately, there are some real down-sides too:
- opportunity costs: you’ll have a lot of money tied up in the vehicles.
- storage requirements
- licensing/taxes
- insurance (I personally wish we’d apply liability insurance to drivers, rather than vehicles)
- maintenance: however, if total miles remain the same, I suspect maintenance costs wouldn’t be that much higher.

As others have pointed out, renting vehicles for some of these things is sometimes a viable alternative.

Comment by jbunniii
2008-06-04 09:13:18

As a renter, I need a moving truck every year or two. It doesn’t follow that it would make any sense for me to own one.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by LA Wallflower
2008-06-04 12:37:13

Since about 95% of the cars I see on the road at *ANY* time only have ONE person in them, I’d almost guarantee you that a very large percentage of the people in America would be fine with even something as small as a SmarteCar for everyday use and renting a larger vehicle only when they really need one, even if that’s every weekend.

People who live in snowy places probably would need something more robust, of course, but seriously, think of how many miles you actually put on your car with more than just you in it.

And though I understand that many “soccer moms” do a lot of running around driving the kids and the dog places, clearly that sort of thing is going to get very, very expensive in short order. A lot of that is going to stop. And even if you have to do it, it’s a rare family that needs a 7-place SUV (note that I don’t begrudge those who do need one); most families would do fine with a Honda Fit or a Mazda3 wagon.

My girlfriend’s ‘92 Civic is getting near what most would call the end of its life, with 265,000 miles on it, and her parents are putting pressure on her (us) to buy a new car. However, we’ve done the math and determined that even if every major component of the car fails and needs replacement within the next year, it will *STILL* cost us about HALF what a new car would cost us to buy, maintain and insure over its lifetime - and we wouldn’t have to incur debt even to fix it.

Since we want to save money (even if it’s getting savaged by inflation), we’ve pretty much decided to keep the Civic as long as possible, only use it for very local driving (she commutes 2 miles to her job), make sure we have AAA Plus in case it breaks down, and to rent cars for longer trips or special occasions.

Me, I ride a 45mpg motorcycle, and as long as we’re in SoCal I’ll probably do it every day. Cheapest vehicle to own and insure by a long shot, and traffic doesn’t slow me down.

It helps a lot that we live in a place where we can walk to all the necessity stores (grocery, dry cleaner, etc.)

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Jwhite
2008-06-04 05:14:39

Around here, the full size Tahoe or Suburban is still the vehicle of choice for the “Keepin up” crowd. In my neighborhood, at least 50% of the families have 2 full sized SUVs or trucks, 99% (we don’t) have at least 1, with several having 3 or more for even 16 year old family members. These folks are not wealthy, they have good jobs for the area and the wife is a teacher or nurse but with gas here at $3.85 a gallon, I see those things sitting more often than not with the crappy little spare car gone.

There’s a lot of worry behind closed doors here. The restaurant biz around here has taken a tumble and the little frue frue shops are as empty as a waterpark in February. Wallyworld continues to do well though. :)

Comment by aNYCdj
2008-06-04 06:49:53

JWhite its not the Number of cars but the purpose

When we were growing up we had at usually 5 cars and one time 9 cars in our driveway.

My parents had one each, my 2 bothers and i had one, we lived in a 2 family house so the tenants had 2 cars and their kids had a car each from college…so 9 cars….and none of them a “luxury” car….station wagons, VW beetle, even some classic cars 49 ford, and i remember my grandfathers ‘52 Plymouth coupe in the driveway, my father used to drive to work each day (bricklayer) after my grandfather couldn’t drive anymore in the late 1970’s…..about the only luxury car any of us had was a Orange 914 (911?) 2 seater mid engine porsch my brother wanted…..i think he paid like $3500 for it used.

Comment by Brian in Chicago
2008-06-04 07:20:46

The 914 was the only mid-engine Porsche made around that time frame. Porsche fanatics hated it, partly because it was 50% Volkswagen and partly because the only “real” Porsche had a rear engine.

These days the purists hate the Boxster because it is a mid-engine car and many of them hate the more recent 911s because they don’t use air-cooled engines. I’ll be using the Boxster hate to my advantage - nobody collects them so they have lower resale. I’m going to pick up a nice used one in a year or two. It will be an awesome deal - most objective reviewers admit that it’s the best-handling car Porsche has ever built.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Jwhite
2008-06-04 07:31:27

True, you make good points, but the families around here are the typical 2 + 2 with one kid not driving yet, the High School is 3 minutes from us and the need for a 16 year old for a full sized, extended cab, 4WD, pick-em up is suspect when the family already owns a full sized suburban and a new car for mom. They also have an average sized boat which could be pulled by the SUV. The kid roaring around in the truck is a waste of money IMHO because they have no need for it except for talking smack.

Many of the families here have 2 or 2.5 cars per driver, slightly more than 200 families out of 2700 have incomes above 100k (household median 31K), many of the really wealthy don’t even think about something like that. We’re friends with the wealthiest folk in town, he drives a 2001 Lincoln, she drives a 90’s Escort wagon. So it goes with the folk with the most assets. These folk I’m talking about are in the 100K range (maybe, probably 75-85K range) With probably 500K in debt for all the toys and bling - the houses for sure are in the 300-400K range so you can do the math.

That’s why I really look upon the car ownership issue as a sign of what we’ll be seeing around here in a few months, it’s already started with the number of homes here for sale or empty, I’m waiting to see how many of the neighbors are going to do the midnight move like the folks two houses down are apparently trying to do.

I remember the old 911’s, I really wanted one back in high school (75-79), I settled for a 70′ Fiat 850 Spyder, it was a great car for a kid in a beach town… :)

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Ouro Verde
2008-06-04 07:53:58

Yesterday I saw diesel fuel for $5.09.
This is a budget place and the prices go up everyday.
Who wants corn chips?

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 05:17:05

SUV = Supersized Underwater Vehicle

Comment by Asparagus
2008-06-04 05:19:21

The last paragraph is priceless:

“Now, auto makers will have to tell consumers they need a number of vehicles designed for specialized tasks – the SUV for the family vacation, the Mini or the Honda Fit for the slog to work, the luxury sedan for the night out with business associates.

It will be a tough sell. But they may find that many customers are already ahead of them.”

Yes. That is the answer. More cars, bigger garages, more insurance payments, more trips to the registry, more everything, consume, consume, consume.

Comment by edgewaterjohn
2008-06-04 05:21:20


Comment by Ouro Verde
2008-06-04 08:03:50

As a female person, I must admit that the uncertainty in the old “way of life” has made me shop more.
I shop just to calm my nerves and I pick up small things to make my life more comfortable. I will take a shopper’s high verses a full time panic. I’m just sayin’

Comment by jbunniii
2008-06-04 09:15:25

There’s nothing more soothing than watching your liquid savings balance grow, in my opinion.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by jbunniii
2008-06-04 09:16:14

That and a trusty single-malt at my side.

Comment by SanFranciscoBayAreaGal
2008-06-04 12:29:08

As a female jbuniii,

I agree with you about the high I get watching my liquid savings grow and knowing I’m out of debt.

I’m just not a shopper.

Comment by gather no moss
2008-06-04 11:26:18

We have three paid-off cars, My husband does all of the work on them himself. Insuring the third car (which we inherited when a relative passed away), was not much more. I don’t think it would make sense to get rid of one of them, none of them are worth much, and the convenience of having a truck when needed is good. We also have a motorcycle, but it is stored in our friend’s barn for now. Driving a motorcycle around Boston is not safe.

I also have a bike trailer which I think I am going to start using for groceries again. Not that it would save much gas, but it’s a fun way to get around.

Comment by Jwhite
2008-06-04 06:05:43

The Big Three expect 1 million fewer full sized PU’s, SUVs to be sold this year.


Comment by aladinsane
2008-06-04 06:13:28

I wouldn’t be in any hurry to pick up the SUV of your dreams on the cheap, just yet.

Once the gas shortage hits like 1973 or 1979, is when resale value plummets…

Comment by yensoy
2008-06-04 07:40:58

But they aren’t making any more SUVs, you know

Comment by WantsOut
2008-06-04 07:52:21

OK, OK, I’ll come clean. I LEASE an SUV. I didn’t purchase for 2 reasons. 1) being the potential for gas to be $5 gallon, and the other being it was a first year model. Disclaimer … My commute round trip is 10 miles.

So, my question is this … when the lease is up my buyout is around 17K. What’s the response at the dealership if I walk in with 50 $100 bills and give them a take it or leave it? I do have about 13 months remaining.

Comment by Kirisdad
2008-06-04 08:12:29

I doubt they’ll move off the buyback price. My guess is, they’ll probably ship the gas guzzlers to countries in South America, like ‘Chavezuella’.

Comment by In Colorado
2008-06-04 08:45:29

I once leased a 99 Buick Regal GS (the supercharged model). The buyout was 16K, which was 2k more than street (not trade in) value at the end of the lease. I called GMAC and offered the 14K for the car. They would not budge, so I gave it back. The lease contract had a clause that said that I was entitled to anything over the buyout price that the fetched when wholesaled. I got a letter a few months later saying that it sold for 12K. Go figure. This was in 2002.

Comment by ronin
2008-06-04 09:46:41

Dealer doesn’t care. The leasing company or the dealer will ship it off for auction. The dealer does not yet another white elephant SUV stinking up the lot.

Ask the leasing company, however.

Comment by desertdweller
2008-06-04 11:37:52

Or they will sell/ship to African dictators or Russian ganglords,Mafia dons in Russ.

Not so much S.Am.

Comment by Jwhite
2008-06-04 04:57:25

How’s Utah doing today? Hope he gets some kind of resolution for his situation out there…

Comment by Lost In Utah
2008-06-04 08:03:37

Hey, JW, I’m alive and kickin’ (and Utah’s a she not a he).

All’s quiet, the LL comes Sat. and then we’ll see what happens. The illegals I hired are coming today to strip the house of all appliances and the beautiful doors and old period woodwork. decided I’d beat her to it. Am also getting ready for the big law enforcement party that’s going to be happening the entire weekend while she’s here. It should be a blast! Thanks for askin’! :)

Comment by Olympiagal
2008-06-04 08:58:20


Comment by Jwhite
2008-06-04 09:57:33

DOH! Sorry Utah… Hope everything works out, have you worked out an accomodations plan after this event (hopefully not a free stay in the pokey)? Good luck! :)

Comment by Lost In Utah
2008-06-04 10:27:01

Hopefully not the Gray Bar Hotel! I’ll report back after she leaves on Sunday, as I plan on coming back to the house. I like living on the edge…I have a camper if things get too bizarre…self-contained and quite comfy. I also have a collection of tents which I’ve never used (I’m an outdoor gear junkie), so I could set up a camp and have different rooms for different things, just like wealthy people do (you know, the cigar room, the home theatre room (I’ll just open the flaps and watch the scenic views), the conservatory, the library, the servant’s quarters (the dogs sleep there, or maybe I have that backwards…)

But just in case, could you email me your address??? Thanks. You rock!!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by desertdweller
2008-06-04 11:39:07

Good luck Utah.

Hoping you make out alright.

Comment by gather no moss
2008-06-04 11:41:31

Don’t forget the renaissance room!!

Comment by SanFranciscoBayAreaGal
2008-06-04 12:35:10

Good luck Utah. Can’t wait to hear how everything turns out.

Can I come and visit your tent hotel if you have to set up? :)

Comment by Lost In Utah
2008-06-04 12:49:07

Hey, just got back from where my new home will be if this doesn’t work out (I take my dogs out there everyday, it’s only a couple of miles out)- I’m actually wishing I could just live out there! It’s gorgeous, wildflowers everywhere, even though it’s desert, can see for a hundred miles and nobody anywhere…it would be a great place to live (except no water)… and you’re all welcome to come stay, bring a few sticks of firewood and some polenta lasagna and Irish Creme and to heck with ciVILEization!

(And not to worry, I can always rent elsewhere if this doesn’t work out, it’s the doing of the thing that’s interesting to me…and, of course, the idea of free rent.)

Comment by Jwhite
2008-06-04 14:39:53

Well good luck, it sounds like an adventure to me. I’d bring some good beer and briam (greek veggie casserole)… Does it have net access by any chance???

Comment by Lost In Utah
2008-06-04 15:15:50

I work on a laptop (solar when I need it) with a modem that works off cell phone towers, so yes, I’d have net access. Will keep you posted, whether you want or not.

I LOVE briam, haven’t had it since I spent some time in Tampa.

Comment by CarrieAnn
2008-06-04 16:18:37

“The illegals I hired are coming today to strip the house of all appliances and the beautiful doors and old period woodwork. decided I’d beat her to it.”

Ohmigosh, you’re doin’ that? Ha Hahhhhhh!

wuz that my idea?

Comment by Lost In Utah
2008-06-04 17:31:25

Yeah, Carrie, you WIN THE PRIZE!!!! Hope to see you soon!!! Congrats!!!

Comment by edgewaterjohn
2008-06-04 04:57:39

High oil prices sure are lubricating the slide, the auto sales news yesterday and UAL’s mothballing of scores of aircraft today, make for some jarring headlines that will resonate on Main St. As our host has repeatedly pointed out - the point will come when housing takes a backseat to jobs.

Inflation and deflation - kinda like the blades of a pair of scissors - just when one blade grabs and starts to cut deep, the other comes along to finish the job.

Comment by watcher
2008-06-04 05:01:23

The USA’s air-travel map is shrinking fast, dropping scores of routes and flights that airlines simply can’t afford anymore in a world of $130-a-barrel oil.

A USA TODAY analysis of fall airline schedules shows the nation’s most popular vacation destinations will be among the biggest air-service losers. Many flights to Honolulu, Orlando, Las Vegas and other favorite vacation venues have vanished or will soon because cheap tickets bought by tourists don’t cover the cost of getting there.


Comment by watcher
2008-06-04 05:11:56

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - Citing high oil prices and the slowing economy, the International Air Transport Association on Monday sharply lowered its industry forecast for 2008, saying it now expected a collective loss of $2.3 billion.

At its annual meeting here, the association urged governments to roll back regulations that they say are damaging the industry at a time when many carriers are in a “desperate” situation.


Comment by Jwhite
2008-06-04 05:15:50

United is shrinking its fleet by 70 and cutting routes.


Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-06-04 07:29:42

I’ve already cancelled most of my business travel this year. The cost of food, rental cars, hotel, flight, and conference fees has just exploded in only 6 months.

Then AA (and soon apparently the others soon) will be charging for all checked baggage, and a “premium” for either an aisle or window seat…WTF?

Taint worth it…

Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-06-04 07:34:06

..(and *so* apparently the others soon)

Comment by desertdweller
2008-06-04 11:41:50

Post email addys. I have a chart for AAL charges that is funny. or not. But I don’t think it has a link.

Comment by desertdweller
2008-06-04 11:46:15

Try this…

Message contains attachments655F5ADE-C9DA-48C1-94D2-83D4A807C695.jpeg (86KB)

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by bkiddo
2008-06-04 09:03:45

according the the Urban Dictionary, staying at home on vacation.
It’s the new black.

Comment by danni
2008-06-04 05:03:20

hello all,
I’ve been away from the computer for a couple of months, and I’ve missed my HBB. My hubbie has complaining that all of my friends here are wrong and the prices will never go down in our area….that is, to sane levels.

Take example number one….

Ahhhh, such luxury.
Seriously, I had to get back on here and prove to him that it’s a matter of time.

Hugs and Kisses,

Comment by mgnyc99
2008-06-04 06:17:25

you live on long island right? if so is your husband visually impaired?

with soaring fuel prices i can see nothing but soaring home values on long island……..

get him on the computer stat!

Comment by danni
2008-06-04 10:38:32

LOL, he makes it a point to go thru all the listing in our town and point out that any house we may even be remotely interested in have only dropped about 20k-50k. Sounds like a lot but not really when you’re talking about a house thats 3br/2ba cape for 500k

Comment by danni
2008-06-04 11:11:18

BTW, though it is not common knowledge because my husband doesn’t want anybody to know, he IS legally blind in one eye. Does that count because, heck, that would explain a lot. =grin=

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by gather no moss
2008-06-04 11:59:16

Danni, Nice to see you back, how is your nephew?

Comment by danni
2008-06-04 12:47:37

Thanks for asking.
He’s fantastic. Made it thru the surgery better than they’ve ever seen a child do and if they’re lucky he may be able to forego a heart transplant.

Thanks, everybody, for all the prayers.

Comment by gather no moss
2008-06-04 15:54:11

I’m so glad to hear. I will keep him in my prayers.

Comment by CarrieAnn
2008-06-04 16:40:04

Glad to hear danni.

Comment by Chip
2008-06-04 05:03:31

I posted this late last night in the Florida thread, but it still irks me this morning, so here again in prime time:

I’m surprised no one mentioned this phrase:

“…funded by grant money…”

GRANT money. Where did this grant money come from? The orange trees? Almost all of the time, that is TAXPAYER money. What really gets me irate is when some sleaze “donates” $5,000 “seed” money for a $100,000 “grant,” where the other $95,000 is extorted from the taxpayers. And the SOB gets MSM credit for doing a good thing! Ya wanna be a true philanthropist, buddy? Donate the entire $100K out of your own pocket and don’t try to deduct it from your taxes. How’s that work for you?

Comment by Lost In Utah
2008-06-04 08:09:50

Interesting post, as I contemplate starting a non-profit in probably what will be known as the worst time ever in history to try for grant money. I have a very very high success rate at getting grants funded (6 out of 6 :) ). I’m seriously thinking of taking my new free digs and turning them into a clearing house for trying to help the assorted homeless animals affected by this mess in my area. Not to take in pets, but to find others who can. Wish me luck.

Comment by Kirisdad
2008-06-04 08:15:06

Good cause Lost, best of luck.

Comment by Olympiagal
2008-06-04 09:03:50

Yes, from me too. I’ll be beaming multitudes of luckiness thoughts at you right out this here window, losty. I will set up a schedule in a bit, get the beaming-times properly organized.

Comment by Lost In Utah
2008-06-04 09:17:14

Cool, will get my radar tuned to the NW…

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by ahansen
2008-06-04 10:02:10

PETA is an excellent source for local funding of this type, as are breed-specific rescue associations. Maybe a lending bank with foreclosure/PR problems would chip in– or a petfood company that used the wrong gluten?

I’m pulling for you too. Good luck!

Comment by CarrieAnn
2008-06-04 16:42:37

Very cool. Good luck.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by watcher
2008-06-04 05:04:42

Homebuilder D.R. Horton said Tuesday the industry could face tough times until 2010, and underscoring that point, Toll Bros. and Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. each reported a second-quarter loss.


Comment by txchick57
2008-06-04 05:14:47

What a scuzbag

Bob Toll: Good Time Businessman; Hard Time Socialist

No real surprise here. Toll Brothers (TOL) reported its third consecutive quarterly loss this morning. The stock is up a bit after the company said its backlog at the end of the second quarter fell 50% from a year earlier to $2.08 billion even as net contracts signed during the quarter, after cancellations, declined 44%.

But here’s something that IS interesting. TOL CEO Bob Toll, a homebuilding “businessman” during the good times, is apparently a little bit more of a socialist during the bad times. According to Bloomberg, Toll today said Congress should “jump start demand for new homes with an initiative that will bring buyers off the sidelines and into the market, and thereby stop the downward spiral of home prices.”

If only we could have Congress do the same thing for other businesses facing weak demand and oversupply, we could “stop the downward spiral” of prices and… oh yeah, CAPITALISM.

Comment by Asparagus
2008-06-04 05:42:03

I love the language.

Why would you need to “jump start” demand that has been “pent up” for so long? Things that are “pent up” are usually pretty full of energy already.

“bring buyers off the sidelines” makes it sound as if renters are not even in the game? Not only are they in the game, but they’re winning right now! Bob! What game are you playing.

Comment by measton
2008-06-04 07:02:45

Socialist suggests that he wants the gov to own parts of the economy for the benefit of the people. He is not a socialist, he is a pig at the trough.

Comment by bluprint
2008-06-04 15:05:00

Socialist suggests that he wants the gov to own parts of the economy for the benefit of the people.

There is nothing about socialism that necessitates “good of the people.” It may be there are people (whether you or I think the idea is misguided or not) that prefer socialism because they think government is always made of angels who will take care of “the people.” But there are certainly people who prefer socialism for nefarious reasons also.

Same for capitalism. There is nothing socialist or anti-capitalist about a charitable act. Someone may promote capitalism for social benefit or for personal gain. Someone who promotes capitalism may or may not commit charitable acts.

There is no relationship between form of economy and charity for one’s neighbor.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 05:15:07

It must be time to fund more tax dollars to the homebuilders, then…

Comment by exeter
2008-06-04 05:10:08

No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.
- Abraham Lincoln

How appropos.

Comment by watcher
2008-06-04 05:19:45

“When you lie to others you make them your masters” - Ayn Rand

Comment by Ed G
2008-06-04 07:12:00

I owe my life to Miss Rand. Every day that goes by I find myself living by principles that she espoused.

Comment by hllnwlz
2008-06-05 15:16:45

Or you could just have some commn sense.

Randroids drive me nuts. You guys know there are some really well-written books out there, right? No offense, Ed G, I just have a FIL who lives and dies by the words of this dead, cultish person.

Yeah, yeah, I’m a literature elitist. Sue me.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by watcher
2008-06-04 05:13:51

Prices have been soaring long enough and fast enough, economists say, that the nation is at risk of a self-reinforcing cycle of inflation like that experienced in the 1970s.


Comment by ronin
2008-06-04 09:53:39

This is nonsense. In the 70s wages also kept ratcheting up. Today they are not.

(Please note that for 2008 I have dropped the phrase “today, not so much,” since it is supposed to show everyone I am witty, but instead shows me to be an inane clichean).

Comment by matt
Comment by edgewaterjohn
2008-06-04 05:28:09

There’s whole lot of kool-aid sloshing around Will Co. Some amusing quotes in there - I wish them well with the 1Q 09 economic recovery. Say, Manhattan is near there - I wonder if they’ve gotten any takers on their $5,000 incentive to buy a new house yet?

Comment by matt
2008-06-04 07:21:10

The 355 extension is supposed to be a magnet for growth, lol.

Comment by Maria
2008-06-04 05:24:52

Bennigan’s owner in talks to avoid bankruptcy-WSJ

June 4 (Reuters) - John Kluge, the billionaire owner of several dining chains including Bennigan’s, is in talks with major lender GE Capital Solutions to avoid a possible bankruptcy filing for his restaurant group, the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday, citing three people familiar with the matter.


Comment by mgnyc99
2008-06-04 06:19:39

j6p has hit the proverbial wall…..

he would have really hit the wall but ran out of gas on the way

bennigans? my dog would not eat there crap good riddance

Comment by matt
2008-06-04 07:23:12

They used to be pretty good, chilis and the others killing them.

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 05:26:26

Serial bottom callers at it again…

Advanced economies ‘survive perfect storm’
By Chris Giles in Paris
Published: June 4 2008 09:28 | Last updated: June 4 2008 09:28

Advanced economies have survived a “near-perfect storm” in financial markets remarkably well, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said on Wednesday, as it predicted recoveries in the US and European economies next year without inflation taking root.

Comment by nhz
2008-06-04 06:53:07

well, there certainly is a recovery in loan demands in the Euro zone. Unions that strike are often turning down wage increases of 12-15% for the next 2-3 years, go figure. Any wages increase below 5% a year seems to be an insult nowadays. And the problem is they often get away with it (talking about airports, public transport, healthcare, high level government workers etc. - not always the most important jobs but certainly people who can cause a lot of damage by going on strike for a prolonged time).

Of course these huge wage demands have nothing to do with Eurozone inflation which officialy is ‘benign’ at 3.6% ;(

I think it is obvious that the perfect storm in Europe has not yet arrived, that will happen when the EU housing bubble bursts. Up to now it is just some minor fallout caused by the US housing bust.

Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-06-04 07:36:03

I’m short on Europe right now, long on Asia.

Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 08:54:56

I like that spread. I am vacillating on getting back into china - not sure until the quake damage is straightened out.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by measton
2008-06-04 13:31:12

INflation in food and energy means people will spend less on manufactured goods. This has to hit China.

Comment by ronin
2008-06-04 09:57:30

Journalists, too, can be clicheans. They love to use the words “perfect storm.” Everything cannot be a perfect storm, or there would be no perfect storms.

At one time it was easy to write a story about multiple trends converging without resorting to the words “perfect storm.” Today it is not.

(Please note that for the second time today I’ve passed up an opportunity to use the condemend phrase “today, not so much.” I am thereby able to even more thoroughly hide from those who would condemn me as an inane clichean)

Comment by qaxbami
2008-06-04 05:26:37

Eviction services a growth industry


If South Florida is a barometer for the housing crisis and the economy, the forecast does not look good. Like other areas nationwide, evictions are rising throughout the state, clogging county courts and spawning a boom in companies that specialize in “eviction services” like moving furniture to the curb.

Comment by Jwhite
2008-06-04 05:52:37

“It’s ridiculous to have to move money from my country to here,” she said. “This is not how it’s supposed to be.”

Says it all.

Comment by palmetto
2008-06-04 06:03:15

“The situation is bad for everyone — me, the landlord, the father of my kids too,” said Maria, 36, who would only give her first name because she feared her new landlord would discover her financial troubles. She added that after nearly a decade in Miami, she had started asking relatives in Guatemala for help.

“It’s ridiculous to have to move money from my country to here,” she said. “This is not how it’s supposed to be.”

Just to expand a little on your post, JWhite. Unbelievable. First of all, note that she calls Guatemala “my country”. Well, she can go back. Yeah, that’s not how it’s supposed to be. She’s supposed to be sending money to Guatemala. While she gets paid for her kids by US taxpayers. Looks like the days of livin’ large off the US dupes are over.

Comment by Jwhite
2008-06-04 06:08:57

Sure hope so, wonder what illegal immigration actually costs this country every year? The first thing to do is to revise the law to not automatically confer American citizenship on every child by just being born here. Without an “anchor baby” a lot of illegals would be on far shakier ground here (disclosure my Mother is a LEGAL immigrant).

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by spike66
2008-06-04 07:20:49

The first thing to do is to revise the law to not automatically confer American citizenship on every child by just being born here. Without an “anchor baby” a lot of illegals would be on far shakier ground here (disclosure my Mother is a LEGAL immigrant).

Absolutely agree…these anchor babies are the ticket for illegals to bleed taxpayers.

Comment by holytrainwreck
2008-06-04 07:58:17

Wouldn’t be so bad that anchor babies and their illegal families became taxpayers themselves, but this is not what happens?

Comment by ronin
2008-06-04 09:59:11

Start fighting poverty by marrying the father of your children.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by NotInMontana
2008-06-04 14:35:52


Comment by desertdweller
2008-06-04 12:01:58

Before you guys go all whacky on illegal immigration, you might want to consider that those immigrants want a better life, money to live on. Now hear me out..the Mexican economy sucks big time. And our country shouldn’t have to shoulder their bad governance.
Now here it the rub, the mexican border is the entrance way to the US for all drugs, pakistani poppies, cocaine, you name it, it is coming in by the droves on that border.
What we are doing is focusing on the people who are being raped, maimed, tortured (ever hear of a panty tree?= after rapings they throw the panties in the trees, the more panties in the tree, the other coyotes are warned, and the mules are filled with fear.) and told their families would all be killed just to help coyotes who are aligned up with the drug lords from mexico.

We have a more serious problem to the US, and that is the violence, murders, decapitations,rapes hourly around our border for drugs. And our gov, the mex gov isn’t doing squat about it. And perhaps, since there is so much money in the drugs, maybe just maybe the CIA has a hand in this?
Well, I am speculating on that point, but even though our economy is doing poorly, the drug lords are encouraging all central americans to go north. And then they get their mules, or their families die.

We do have a big problem, but it isn’t really from the people coming north to work, it is about the murderous drug lords and all who fear them.

Also, that same border is letting hezbollah, lebanese-legal and not, pakistanis etc all smuggled over into the US.
They recently caught a major hezbollah in the trunk of a car…his cell phone went off. He is in prison now. But…

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by LA Wallflower
2008-06-04 12:50:51

US State Dept. has issued a warning about this:


(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Al
2008-06-04 06:51:54

Of course none of this means anything to Wall Street. As long as phoney GDP, employment and inflation numbers look good, the PTB can still claim that there is no recession (as people continue to get evicted from their homes.)

Comment by jbunniii
2008-06-04 09:42:01

They wouldn’t be evicted if they didn’t refuse to make the contractually agree upon mortgage payments. Let’s not lose sight of that.

Comment by Al
2008-06-04 12:03:54

Agreed. It’s not that they shouldn’t be getting evicted if they can’t pay rent/mortgage, but hearing that everything’s okay from the PTB just isn’t right. And of course if numerous people weren’t losing jobs in this slightly-sluggish-but-not-in-recession economy, they could probably keep on paying.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by watcher
2008-06-04 05:28:56

Last May, Taleb published The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. It said, among many other things, that most economists, and almost all bankers, are subhuman and very, very dangerous. They live in a fantasy world in which the future can be controlled by sophisticated mathematical models and elaborate risk-management systems. Bankers and economists scorned and raged at Taleb. He didn’t understand, they said. A few months later, the full global implications of the sub-prime-driven credit crunch became clear. The world banking system still teeters on the edge of meltdown. Taleb had been vindicated.


Comment by Matt_in_TX
2008-06-04 06:25:04

As discussed here recently, I tend to agree that calling this a Black Swan meltdown is just ass covering by the melt-ees. It is only a Black Swan event to them and the NAR.

In aerospace, you always use a lot of “gain margin” to protect a control system from unmodelled effects or other unanticipated problems when peoples lives are at stake. In finance, you crank on the gain until it goes unstable and snaps, then short it into the mountain.

Comment by txchick57
2008-06-04 06:35:17

right. two planes into the WTC was a black swan.

Comment by WT Economist
2008-06-04 06:41:59

And an asteroid hitting the earth was a black swan.

But not the housing bubble/bust. Similar things had happened before, repeatedly. Lots of people saw it coming, and not just on this blog. There were books, articles.

The only people who didn’t see it coming were those not paying attention, and those getting paid on the assumption the bubble didn’t exist. Ignorance is bliss, or willful blindless.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by palmetto
2008-06-04 06:55:42

And all those planes ferrying Saudis, including Binladens, OUT of the US after 9/11 at taxpayer expense, while the taxpayers themselves were grounded, was the blackest swan I ever heard of. Boo-YAH!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by James
2008-06-04 07:18:16

I keep repeating this as well. A demonstrably unstable system collapsing isn’t a black swan.

Its only a black swan if you use a very very limited set of statistics and ignore ancient history of times like the 90s or 80s or….

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by watcher
2008-06-04 07:31:55

The collapse is the result. The black swan is the unforseen trigger; real estate triggers systemic financial collapse.

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 07:35:58

My reading of Taleb’s Fooled by Randomness is that the traders whose careers as big-earning financial players succumb to black swans meet their demise through pure or willful ignorance of recent financial history. They trade riskier bets in exchange for bigger short-term gains, ignoring the inevitability of ruin when market forces revert to historical norms — sort of like many of the world’s largest investment banks did with their subprime crapola over the past few years.

Comment by Matt_in_TX
2008-06-04 08:31:15

Having extolled the virtuous aerospace industry already in this thread… I should probably step back and mention that the history of the shuttle Challenger explosion is the same kind of gosh-it-worked-one-more-time-thus-it-must-be-safer-than-last-time, thinking.

Comment by LA Wallflower
2008-06-04 12:55:40

Matt, that’s a bad comparison. The engineers from Thiokol were practically screaming to not launch Challenger that day based on their data regarding O-ring failure vs. temperature. Lots of people were dead certain the O-rings would fail catastrophically, but they were not listened to by NASA officials in charge and even some of their own company bosses.

It was a terrible tragedy, but not an unforeseen one.

Comment by holytrainwreck
2008-06-04 07:51:06

Well, I’ve never seen a Black Swan, so…I must have faith that they exist?

But I have seen a four leaf clover though…

Comment by Lost In Utah
2008-06-04 09:25:21

Have you ever seen a holy train wreck? :)

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by EmperorNorton_II
2008-06-04 09:46:37

I’ve seen a Black Swan event, in Perth.

Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-06-04 07:38:42

Everyone acts like the Great Depression was a black swan. These things seem to happen once a century or so, for the same reasons. It’s like earthquakes in San Francisco.

Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 07:40:01

The current financial crisis and the lack of controls banks instituted can hardly be called a “Black Swan”. There were many peoples sounding the alarm (Mr. Bill Gross, 2002; Mr. Robert Schiller, 2003; Mr. Alan Greenspan, 2005 and a whole shitload of traders). Choosing to ignore the VAR is different from being blind sided as investors in General Public Utilities were when Three Mile Island poofed. A widows and orphan stock goes from 30 to 2.

Comment by Lost In Utah
2008-06-04 08:14:57

Could a black swan event even have much of an effect on an already collapsing economy?

Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 08:28:59

Sure. If an asteroid hits earth tomorrow, it would accelerate the collapse. On the reverse, if friendly aliens from star wars(?) were to visit and offer aid to the world - the markets would be off to the moon.

The more likely scenario of the extremes is a particle accelerator mishap that creates a small black hole that sucks up the world. Since there is no regulation of particle accelerator experiments, this actually calculates as a reasonably high possibility. lol

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Lost In Utah
2008-06-04 09:24:12

Anyway we could engineer a BS event that would send Wall Street to the moon (literally, not financially)??

Comment by SanFranciscoBayAreaGal
2008-06-04 12:52:58

“On the reverse, if friendly aliens from star wars(?) were to visit and offer aid to the world - the markets would be off to the moon.”

Sometimes so called friendly aliens may want to eat us. Also don’t forget “In space no one can hear you scream.”

Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 13:58:05

Thats mean! Friendly aliens wouldn’t wish to eat us. It is the nasty ugly aliens that choose to eat us.

Love to eat them pinkies
pinkies what I love to eat
bite they little heads off
nibble on they dainty feet.

Comment by SanFranciscoBayAreaGal
2008-06-04 14:04:47

LOL, hoz

Comment by Rental Watch
2008-06-04 12:23:51

The black swan was the lending of money to people who couldn’t pay it back.

Once that happened, a credit crash/contraction became inevitable.

Comment by Maria
2008-06-04 05:41:25

United Airlines cutting up to 1,600 jobs, 100 planes

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — United Airlines (UAUA:UAUA
United Airlines on Wednesday confirmed plans to reduce the number of salaried and management employees and contractors by 1,400-1,600, including the previously announced 500 employee reduction by year-end, as it removes 100 aircraft from its main fleet. The plane reduction includes a previously announced cut of 30 Boeing 737s as it reduces its domestic capacity in the fourth quarter by 14% year over year. Over the 2008 and 2009 period, cumulative mainline domestic capacity will be reduced between 17% and 18% and cumulative consolidated capacity between 9% and 10%. The move will enable the Chicago-based carrier to “build a stronger, more competitive business better able to withstand record oil prices and a softening economy.” When complete, the fleet reduction is expected to retire United’s oldest and least fuel-efficient jets, and will lower the company’s average fleet age to 11.8 years, the company said.

Comment by Maria
2008-06-04 05:45:50

ResCap Extends Deadline for Bondholders

By DONNA KARDOS June 4, 2008 7:25 a.m.

Residential Capital LLC announced a nine-hour extension of the deadline for holders to exchange $14 billion in notes so it can restructure its obligations and avoid a bankruptcy filing.


Comment by exeter
2008-06-04 05:58:27

“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

Abraham Lincoln

Comment by goirishgohoosiers
2008-06-04 06:32:44

Either Lincoln plagiarized Marx or Marx plagiarized Lincoln on this point. Either way, it could’ve been written by either of them, and what is even more ironic is that Lincoln is put forth as a GOP hero (although I doubt Lincoln would have much in common with the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Fieth crowd).

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-06-04 07:00:24

“…what is even more ironic is that Lincoln is put forth as a GOP hero”

What is even more ironic than that: Lincoln would vote for Obama ;-)

Comment by grubner
2008-06-04 09:10:10

After he was relieved of command, McClellan became the unsuccessful Democratic nominee opposing Lincoln in the 1864 presidential election. His party had an anti-war platform, promising to end the war and negotiate with the Confederacy, which McClellan was forced to repudiate, damaging the effectiveness of his campaign.


(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by exeter
2008-06-04 09:26:06

Oh my word. The irony of it all. Could it be Obama is the 21st century Lincoln?

Comment by ronin
2008-06-04 10:02:53

Lincoln lined the chicken coup with the constitution, suspending habeous corpus, summarily throwing into prison editors who disagreed with him, and shelling his own citizens who protested the war and the draft.

Comment by bluprint
2008-06-04 12:03:20

Could it be Obama is the 21st century Lincoln?

No, that would be Bush. They are both warmongers.

Comment by SanFranciscoBayAreaGal
2008-06-04 13:06:03

“To state the question more directly, are all the laws, but one, to go unexecuted, and the government itself go to pieces, lest that one be violated? Even in such a case, would not the official oath be broken, if the government should be overthrown, when it was believed that disregarding the single law, would tend to preserve it? But it was not believed that this question was presented. It was not believed that any law was violated. The provision of the Constitution that ‘The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, shall not be suspended unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it,’ is equivalent to a provision—is a provision—that such privilege may be suspended when, in cases of rebellion, or invasion, the public safety does require it. It was decided that we have a case of rebellion, and that the public safety does require the qualified suspension of the privilege of the writ which was authorized to be made.”

Comment by rocketrob
2008-06-04 14:03:24

But, Lincoln was on the winning side and his side wrote history.

I’m related to him, much to the consternation of my “Daughters of the Confederacy” grandmother. He forced this nation together and trashed the concept of a “republic of states”. He does not rate very high in my book.

True, we would not be “The United States” without him.

Comment by holytrainwreck
2008-06-04 07:49:03

Are you sayin’ Lincoln was a Commie Pinko?

Comment by tuxedo_junction
2008-06-04 10:21:47

Keep in mind that Lincoln made his living through labor (corporate attorney) not investments. Accordingly, I’m not surprised that he valued labor over capital. Not too many people know that Lincoln turned down the general counsel position of a major US railroad (NY Central). The railroad offered him a princely sum but Lincoln preferred politics and his private practice.

Comment by qaxbami
2008-06-04 05:59:06

You could do a credit default swap.

Comment by Matt_in_TX
2008-06-04 06:08:34

I worked on getting pre-qualified for a “non-contingent” house loan last night. (Essentially, saying I can buy the second (small priced) house before selling the first.) WF is willing to loan me a total of 2.8 times my gross salary for the first and second house, based on an excellent credit rating, 10% down, and presumed equity in the first house being sold.

This also ties into the auto thread only as far as the application process. They were happy to hear that we had no auto loans, but weren’t interested in adding the pittance of value of our paid off vehicles into the computations.

The loan stuff might maybe deserve its own “talk me down” thread, dunno. We were all done going through our assets when my wife pointed out that I had somehow forgetten to mention our paid off overseas vacation home. The Wells guy was quite happy to hear about it. (I must have “Expedite: PDJC” for Preffered Deficiency Judgement Customer stamped on my file now.)

So, basically, I am soon to be pre-qualified to own THREE houses at once. I should see my doctor to check for bite marks. I seem to be morphing into some kind of a penny ante version of an infestor.

Comment by Al
2008-06-04 06:55:28

You have a home and a vacation property, so what’s the third house for?

Comment by aNYCdj
2008-06-04 07:28:12

shhhhh ……don’t tell the wife she doesn’t know about it.(wink wink)

Comment by Al
2008-06-04 08:26:19

boom chica wow wow

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Matt_in_TX
2008-06-04 08:43:16

Oops, contemplating this silly 3 house situation as a (hopefully) temporary result of the process of moving 300 miles to change careers. I still hope to be able to sell our current DFW area house reasonably quickly, but trying to get all the various sales to work out together in time for a sale contingent on a sale contingent on a sale contingent on a sale… who knows how long it will really take.

If I endeavor to break the chain through renting or (gah) buying early, the timing constraints are reduced to those on the buying side only (and sadly probably his previous house sale). And I certainly don’t want to scare off any GFs with bags of dough. ;)

Comment by bulwark
2008-06-04 06:15:13

“Ed McMahon, the longtime sidekick to Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show,” is fighting to avoid foreclosure on his multimillion-dollar Beverly Hills estate.”

“McMahon defaulted on $4.8 million in mortgage loans with a unit of Countrywide Financial Corp., which filed a notice of default in March, according to ForeclosureRadar, a company that sells default data pulled from public records.”


Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-06-04 06:57:16

Hey I really liked Old Ed…I wonder what happened? :-(

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-06-04 09:01:56

“McMahon took out two loans on the property totaling $4.5 million and later borrowed an additional $300,000 against the house, according to ForeclosureRadar. The loans were obtained through Countrywide Home Loans Inc.”

Hey Ed, I guess you forgot to tell the Countrywide loan boneheads that for 30 years you were the #1 fall guy! :-0

Keep the money and give the Countrywide slime the Mold! ;-)

Comment by jbunniii
2008-06-04 09:50:28

This guy must have made hundreds of millions of dollars in his life. Where the hell did it all go?

And I would ask what mortgage lender is crazy enough to issue a mortgage to someone who is 85 years old, hence clearly incapable of repaying it in his lifetime, but of course it’s Countrywide.

Comment by nhz
2008-06-04 10:23:01

I guess all the money is safely parked in some offshore account, like many wealthy people do when they see a claim coming?

Comment by aNYCdj
2008-06-04 06:17:39

Its staggering Matt how many people graduate college and have no clue how to use a calculator….if they had most of them would have been turned down for the loan…and there would not have been a housing boom.

We were all done going through our assets

Comment by denquiry
2008-06-04 06:45:16

Its staggering Matt how many people graduate college and have no clue how to use a calculator….if they had most of them would have been turned down for the loan…and there would not have been a housing boom.
a calculator is not required to do basic mathematics.

Comment by aNYCdj
2008-06-04 07:20:19

Boy you are really over the top asking someone with $100K in student loan debt to use pencil and paper to figure out a common math problem…

a calculator is not required to do basic mathematics.

Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-06-04 07:44:29

What are those weird calculators mortgage brokers use? I wish I knew the name so I could buy one and learn to use it.

Comment by In Colorado
2008-06-04 09:02:16

Probably a financial calculator. They have built in functions for calculating installment payments. TI and HP make the most popular models.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by NotInMontana
2008-06-04 09:39:38

Most useful thing I got out of college was the time value of money and learning to use the old BA-50. They’re hard to find in stores now.

Comment by In Colorado
2008-06-04 10:26:24

I’ve seen used financial calculators for dirt cheap on EBay

Comment by NotInMontana
2008-06-04 14:40:05

I don’t hang around Ebay much. I did find a new TI at Best Buy, but the new version is kinda hokey looking and bulky, like they tried to make it more like an HP which it probably can’t compare to.

Comment by Halifax
2008-06-04 10:28:36

As a rough guide:
Over 45 y: HP-12c with reverse Polish notation -> 5 [enter], 4 [enter], X blink blink blink 20.

Under 45 y: TI BAII.

True for Alaska USA, Mr. Cuddy’s bank, Northrim, Wells Fargo (NBA), KeyBank. I’ve heard it’s also true for the older CCIMs.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by LehighvalleyGuy
2008-06-04 07:47:37

That’s true, a computer works just as well.

Comment by lostcontrol
2008-06-04 08:39:24

I hate to say this, but if you have a calculator, all you need is to push the buttons on add, subtract, multiply, divide and percentages.

The operations of life was dumbed down to these calculations. Anything more complicated was sent to experts for their evaluation. Unfortunately, due to our educational system, that is all thats required, unless your life/business is science/engineer oriented.

Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 09:16:12

Using a calculator is like doing the crossword puzzles in pencil. Real men/women use a pen.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by desertdweller
2008-06-04 13:07:18

Pen user.

Comment by Matt_in_TX
2008-06-04 09:17:56

I took an 8 hour military aptitude test once as I was finishing my masters degree in aerospace engineering. I did very well with the only somewhat depressed score of the 12 or so test battery was in math. I had done so much math daily with my calculator that my pencil and paper math skills were rusty. I was taking extra time to do problems because I wasn’t careful how I set them up. I had done several where I guess I was expecting to hit the 1/X key at the end. Unfortunately, my pencil didn’t have one of those…

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by tuxedo_junction
2008-06-04 09:36:55

Anyone remember slide rules? They are why I’ll never forget that the product of numbers are sums of their logs.

Comment by lostcontrol
2008-06-04 11:20:41

I did, however I forgot it. I am now attempting to re learn what I forgot 40 years ago.


Comment by aladinsane
2008-06-04 06:43:55

Governor to issue drought decree, press for more conservation

“Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will formally declare today that the state has plunged into a drought, putting Californians on notice that rationing could be next if conservation efforts are not stepped up.”

“The governor is ringing the bell. We’re heading over a cliff,” Lester Snow, director of the state Department of Water Resources, said in an exclusive interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune.”


California will be in the severest drought conditions it has ever faced, as it’s real estate market is falling apart…

All because of the lack of Perfect Storms~

Comment by WT Economist
2008-06-04 06:48:43

Looks like we’ll have to revive farming in Upstate New York, at higher prices. And we’ll have to accept not having salads in winter. Summer only.

Comment by palmetto
2008-06-04 07:00:35

Get out the Mason jars. Pickling and canning coming back big time. Look at it this way: At least you don’t have to wonder if some field worker crapped in your lettuce when you grow your own.

Comment by aladinsane
2008-06-04 07:15:03

Check out the all-important snow water content of what snow is left in the Sierra Nevada…

We’ve got a Flat-Liner


(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Olympiagal
2008-06-04 09:16:47

Well, palmy, I don’t like canning tomatoes and corn and stuff. It’s tedious and seems less cost-effective than just buying cases at Costco. I already make my own pickles and jams, because I like to cook. Especially blackberry, as I live in blackberry heaven. There’s going to be a good crop here this year and I am going to make 200 jars of blackberry salsa! No, 400!
And then I’m going to go crap in my OWN lettuce.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by desertdweller
2008-06-04 13:10:05

Oly gal.. LOL
After all that fruit, you just might be the one …in your own lettuce patch!

Comment by Mike
2008-06-04 07:45:11

“Severest drought conditions it has ever faced.” I wonder how many more people moved to California since the mid-70’s? More people - more water needed. Couple of points. A couple of years ago, in my area (Thousand Oaks, ca.) a British company has taken over the local water company. I’m a Brit and I know how these British companies operate. When they took over, I said to my wife (American), “This is not good. If they are buying water companies it means that water will be in demand.” This week I read that the Bush Crime Family has purchased thousands of acres of land in (I think it’s Paraguay) because beneath the land there is one of the largest fresh water lakes in the world.

I’ve also been reading a lot of books lately on historic diseases. The Black Death in Europe, etc. Nature has a nasty way of clearing out the surplus population ever so often.

However, 2 things struck me . First, we might be in climate change and there’s little doubt that carbon emissions (oil) have added to the problem but in the several books I’ve read, there is a mass of evidence that short term (months of a few years) climate change is nothing new. In places like Italy, where the normal weather was sunny, they experienced several summer’s of pouring rain which laid waste the crops and, of course, decimated the economy. Same in the UK, France, etc.

The second thing which stands out, is how global trade increases the odds for a pandemic. Dramatically. Of course, global trade over the last 1000 years has been increasing but only in the last 100 years has it really accelerated to what we see today. I’m sure everyone knows that Dinasours have NEVER ruled the earth. Microbes have ALWAYS ruled the earth and a lot of them are bad (like viruses). It’s thought that the plague, spread vias the flea, was confined to an isolted region of Russian steppes until Mongolian traders/trappers arrived to trap a local furry creature which carried the flea, then took the furs to other countries, including the flea - and thus created a world wide pandemic (Black Death) which killed millions. Whole towns were left void of people and asset values dropped to zero in many places.

My reason for posting the above is that I wonder what would happen to property if places like California fell victim to severe (very severe) drought in addition to climate change (cold). Throw in a couple of epidemics (like the 1918 flu) and it doesn’t say much for the value of those $35 million McMansions.

Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 08:18:42

“…It’s thought that the plague, spread vias the flea, was confined to an isolted region of Russian steppes until Mongolian traders/trappers arrived to trap a local furry creature which carried the flea, then took the furs to other countries, including the flea - and thus created a world wide pandemic (Black Death) which killed millions…”

Another view is the rats/fleas spread as a result of global warming -the medieval warm period. The Mongols migrated because horses cannot compete with cows on grass land. The earths warming at the time made formerly unsuitable land available for animal husbandry. Who knows? lol

Comment by ahansen
2008-06-04 10:29:30

The Mongols migrated because horses cannot compete with cows on grass land.


Horses were being raised as a food crop?
Please splain?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 11:02:23

At the start of the warming period, the mongols were hunter/gatherers. The horses are inefficient eaters and were starving. They migrated as a result of the droughts forcing the Mongol shift and the great age of the Mongol warrior started. With war power leading the way, the trading empire culminated in the largest empire the world has ever seen.

An unprecedented period in global trade. The 3degree Celsius rise in world temperatures allowed the rapid spread of diseased rats and vermin. The global trade carried by ships spread the diseases around Europe and 1/3rd of the population died.

Comment by ahansen
2008-06-04 12:06:48

Aha! High value asset threatened by its less-efficient processing of an increasingly scarce resource. Hmmmmmm (er.)

Got it. Thanx, Hoz!

Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 12:23:15

I got interested as a result of the current ‘global warming debates’. I was interested from the disease vectors and political consequences (The collapse of the Byzantine Empire, the Rus invading Russia, the Hundred year war in France) as a result of drought. The single greatest world change? The Mongols under Temujin.

I expect a substantial increase in disease in America. There is little reason that the Anopheles mosquito cannot live happily in the Mississippi valleys and swamps or abandoned swimming pools. oops

Comment by desertdweller
2008-06-04 13:17:14

Hoz, learned this so many yrs ago and it is refreshing to hear another has learned of the changes.
Funny but the things I learned but didn’t “get” are illuminating now.

Comment by Wee Willy
2008-06-04 11:26:26

There was an Australian video on pandemics. It showed that the squirrels in California carried Bubonic Plague ( Black Death ). Also there was one death in California from Black Death in the 1990’s; chap was camping ( in a State Park ) and sleeping on the ground and bitten by a squirrel. The video showed a Park Ranger closing the area. The other campers were scared.

Comment by ahansen
2008-06-04 12:20:03

A neighbor caught bubonic plague several years ago. Besides being incredibly destructive and a danger to livestock (holes=broken legs,) ground squirrels ’round these parts carry everything from rabies to hanta, to pneumonic plague. Nasty little critters, they make excellent target practice. After the diagnoses, the USFS came in with these cool little signs that read:

“Warning Plague- Keep Out.”

I snagged one to discourage the real estate ladies who were nosing about at the time…. Worked like a charm. That and the rattlesnake pits.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Jean S
2008-06-04 10:48:43

people who lived in CA during the early 80s will remember how to adapt & conserve, but all the newbies will be in for a shock.

Comment by desertdweller
2008-06-04 13:25:40

You will have to ask for a glass of water at restaurants, not just placed on the tables.

Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 07:04:19

Bubbles, Arms Races and an End to the Spin Cycle
By Steven Pearlstein
Wednesday, June 4, 2008

“…Perhaps most significantly, any bank or investment house that decided to hold the line on underwriting standards would have run a real risk of quickly losing its top-performing employees, who are constantly being recruited by rivals. Once those key players go, so go their clients, whose loyalties tend to run to individual investment bankers and fund managers rather than the financial institutions.

This arms race for talent extends to top executives on Wall Street who, because of their employment contracts, have a built-in incentive to take undue risks. These contracts make it impossible for these top executives to be fired for making bad business judgments, no matter how costly they may prove. As a result, boards of directors are forced to negotiate “voluntary” retirements, like the one that allowed Stan O’Neal to walk away from Merrill Lynch with $161.5 million in cash and stock after presiding over the loss of tens of billions of dollars of shareholders’ money.

Boards of directors aren’t stupid — they know such contracts are ridiculously one-sided. But once one or two leading companies agree to them, the others figure they have no choice but to follow suit, or they risk losing the ability to attract and retain top executives.

The fix for this kind of destructive competition is not more competition, but collaboration. In the military sphere, that means an arms control agreement. In sports, it’s a salary cap for each team. In finance, it means tough new regulations and regulators. In corporate governance, it suggests a new set of “best practices” for corporate directors that set reasonable standards on executive pay and accountability.

Which brings us back to Scott McClellan and the “culture of deception” here in Washington.

As Terry Hunt, the Associated Press’s veteran White House reporter, noted last week, spinning is nothing new to Washington, but it “accelerated markedly” during the Clinton and Bush years. The reason everyone did it was because it worked — or so it appeared. The conventional wisdom was that the only way to defeat spin was with more and better spin, creating an arms race in truth-shading, exaggeration and ignoring inconvenient truths….”


They did it because they could get away with it.

Comment by qaxbami
2008-06-04 07:07:50

Chain gang

Much of the rise in evictions comes from foreclosures, which in Miami-Dade County jumped to 311 in January 2008 from 38 in January 2007, but more renters and business owners are also finding themselves unable to pay the bills.

In many cases, one failure leads to another. Owners, banks, renters and developers have become like prisoners attached by ankle chains: when one falls, the others slip too.

Comment by A.B. Dada
2008-06-04 07:34:32

I’ve been a “lucky landlord” for many years, although never as a primary source of income. For me, renting condos out was just a way to keep them occupied and take care of the non-principal expenses. Instead of trying to rent my condos for all my costs, I just like to try to get monthly expenses plus a little interest on what the principal investment was initially. Since my condos have generally kept up fairly well with inflationary monetary value loss (although they jumped significantly recently but I ignored that), I generally don’t mind if I don’t recoup the principal over the lifetime of renting out the unit.

But before I ever rented out my first unused condos (my old bachelor pad from my 20s), I put aside almost 2 years of long-term expenses into cash, and another 2 years into gold. When tenants stopped paying, I was safe, and I was the first one to offer them options (make up the missed month as an adder over the remainder of the lease, etc). The cost to rehab a unit and find a new tenant is often more than what I’d lose if I renegotiated a lease for a few months. The upside to this is that tenants love a good landlord, and many of them got out of financial hock and became great tenants.

I’ve been on the renting side, too, in retail space, and the landlords were terrible. 6 days late on rent (not due to me, but due to the person managing the space)? Pre-eviction notice. Can’t pay in full? Pre-eviction notice. Landlords need to realize that their income relies on the stability of the tenant, and everyone has bad months.

Never will a loss of a tenant hurt me in the long run. I’m prepared for it, and I’ve always had massive equity in the units I’ve owned. Mortgages for rental properties are bad, bad, bad ways to play. If you can’t afford to own the unit(s) for real, don’t try to be a gambler. Leveraging for future profit is a bad idea in the real estate world.

Comment by aladinsane
2008-06-04 07:08:22

How about a “Debt Pool” in regards to iffy middle of the road restaurants?

Just pick the order in which they go BK.

Here’s a partial list of entrants…

Ruby Tuesday’s

Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 07:29:32

Bennigans is filing tomorrow.

Comment by matt
2008-06-04 08:14:17

I’d say chilis would be one of the last, they have a good following. The rest aren’t very unique as far as food goes.

Comment by Ouro Verde
2008-06-04 08:17:19

How can denny’s close?

Comment by EmperorNorton_II
2008-06-04 10:12:06

Denny’s is the only restaurant I know of that has photos of every entree, as to make it easier for it’s charming illiterate clientelle to choose…

Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-06-04 10:30:55

Agreed…crappy as they are, they are an institution.

Comment by bluprint
2008-06-04 12:44:03

Denny’s may do better in tough times.

I believe (correct me if I’m wrong here) that in tough times, alcohol sales go up. Since everyone goes to Denny’s when they are drunk at 2 in the morning, as a corollary to the first rule it seems reasonable that Denny’s would possibly do better as alcohol sales increase.

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-06-04 08:52:39

Yeah,…everyone wants to be a star: :-)

In April 1996, Planet Hollywood went public. The company has gone bankrupt twice. The company’s share price reached all time high of $32 on the first day of trading and went down to less than $1 by 1999.

Schwarzenegger severed his financial ties with the business in early 2000.[1] Schwarzenegger said the company had not had the success he had hoped for, claiming he wanted to focus his attention on “new US global business ventures” and his movie career.[1]

Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 07:09:37

In the banking world this is one of the better awards albeit only 3 years old. An emerging market bank has never been in the top 5 before.

Brazilian bank wins sustainable award

By John Willman in London

Published: June 4 2008 03:00 | Last updated: June 4 2008 03:00

“Banco Real of Brazil was named overall winner in the Financial Times Sustainable Banking awards in London last night, the first time the top prize in the global contest has gone to an emerging markets bank.

The judges said the Brazilian bank had pioneered sustainable banking in South America, putting social and environmental issues at the centre of all its business activities and involving its 32,000 staff in the strategy.

“Sustainability is in its DNA,” they said. “Banco Real has a radical vision for sustainability in Latin America: it believes a bank is only as sound as the society that surrounds it.”

Brazil’s third largest private sector bank was formerly part of ABN Amro, the Dutch financial services group that won last year’s award….”


Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 07:14:44

I apologize if this is a repost:

US banks fear being forced to take $5,000bn back on balance sheets

“…Analysts at Citigroup said a planned tightening of the rules regarding off-balance sheet vehicles would force banks to reconsider arrangements and could result in up to $5,000bn of assets coming back on to the books.

The off-balance sheet vehicles have been used by financial institutions to keep some assets off their balance sheets, thereby avoiding the need to hold regulatory capital against them.

Birgit Specht, head of securitisation analysis at Citigroup, said: “We think it is very likely that these vehicles will come back on balance sheet.

“This will not affect liquidity because [they] are funded, but it will affect debt-to-equity ratios [at banks] and so significantly impact banks’ ability to lend.”…


I guess it sounds better to say 5,000 billion than 5 Trillion. Giving it a conservative hedging ratio of 40:1 that is only 110B that banks would have to find. oops

Comment by aladinsane
2008-06-04 07:20:06

$5,000 bn is the British way of saying, you are so very screwed.

Comment by A.B. Dada
2008-06-04 07:52:11

I don’t necessarily like that regulators are forcing banks to do anything. I firmly believe that the only people who should force banks to do anything are those who invested in the banks via deposits or other short-term loans to the banks. If people are happy to put their money into banks that only keep a few percent as reserves, people should learn the hard way by losing all their money when the banks make foul investments.

I’m glad to watch the banks fail, and I wish the Fed would let them, but of course it would kill the Fed. I’ve spent the better part of 5 years explaining to people the benefits of a non-Fed-regulated banking industry: less inflation, better return-on-investment, and a more stable currency in general. Some banks may prefer to take a risk with zero reserves, other banks may prefer to be conservative with 80% or even 100% reserves. Let the depositor/lender-consumer decide what risk they want.

Regardless of who is President or what happens to taxes, I really wish that a bunch of us hard-money advocates could find a way to create a full-reserve bank. It would not be difficult, although it would be fairly non-competitive because loan rates would be higher, but I think there are many ways to develop a full-reserve bank even in today’s inflationary economy. Imagine a bank that actually offered 4-5% return on a simple savings account, and an even better return on a fixed-length deposit (CD). The bank wouldn’t need fractional reserve leverage to make money because it would have the money from the depositors to back up short-term loans, and maybe even focus on strong underwriting guidelines to create those loans. High FICO, positive net assets equity, and provable long term income.

The downside is that the Fed’s regulations on lending to poor people make this all impossible in today’s market, but I firmly believe that people like me (us) have billions in monetary assets that we’d all deposit to backup a bank that doesn’t overextend itself. Since the return-on-investment (interest) would be tied to the performance of the loans generated, the risk would be offset to the depositor and not to the bank. That also means that the profit would be tied to the depositor and not the bank, with the bank scraping its 0.5% or 0.75% profit from the difference between the deposit return an the loan return.

How many people here would jump at this opportunity?

Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 09:37:07

These are new FASB rules


Losses off sheet are currently in the hundreds of billions of dollars. “Consider Citigroup, which told shareholders in May that it would divest nearly $500 billion of legacy assets in two or three years. A sizeable chunk of that is QSPE material, according to analysts — and would not be a welcome sight on Citi’s balance sheet”.

This is like a nuclear bomb hitting the banking industry today.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by EmperorNorton_II
2008-06-04 09:56:07

Dr. Strangeloan: Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the debt bomb

Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 10:25:17

Hey Emperor if you liked that one try this one on for size:

“…Statement 159

The debate over what is known as Statement 159 adds to the number of accounting techniques called into question as the U.S. debt market unravels. Investors have criticized banks for booking some writedowns in an accounting category called “other comprehensive income” that bypasses their income statements. Accounting rulemakers are now proposing changes to standards that let banks use off-balance-sheet vehicles to juice earnings without tying up precious capital.

Statement 159, formally known as the “Fair Value Option for Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities,” was issued in February 2007 by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, or FASB, which sets U.S. accounting rules. It was adopted by most large Wall Street firms in the first quarter of last year and becomes mandatory for all U.S. companies this year, although they have wide latitude in how to apply it, if at all. …”


Anybody that thinks the credit insolvency issue is nearly over and is looking at buying a house should evaluate the conditions.

Emperor where is your song ‘Dark Matter’?

Comment by EmperorNorton_II
2008-06-04 11:02:39

Nice account of lack of accounting…

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

Albert Einstein

Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 12:29:57

“…The report concludes that interdependencies have important implications for the safety and efficiency of the global payment and settlement infrastructure. Tighter interdependencies have contributed to strengthen the global infrastructure by reducing several sources of settlement costs and risks. At the same time, interdependencies have increased the potential for disruptions to spread quickly and widely across multiple systems….”

(synopsis of report)

The world banks are so twisted together that it will be like dominoes.

I have to quit reading bank reports, depressing

Comment by EmperorNorton_II
2008-06-04 12:41:35

I think this is the month things fall apart…

June Gloom

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 19:04:23

Sounds like a nuclear bomb is about to put the already-depressed lending market out of its misery. Any more good news to serve up today, Hozzie?

Comment by holytrainwreck
2008-06-04 07:37:17

From Watson’s Web:

The cost of a gallon of gas gets all the headlines, but the natural gas that will heat many American homes next winter is going up in price as fast or faster.

That fact makes the scene in the languid, alligator-infested marshland here in coastal Louisiana all the more remarkable.

Only a month after Cheniere Energy inaugurated its $1.4 billion liquefied natural gas terminal here, an empty supertanker sat in its berth with no place to go while workers painted empty storage tanks.

The nearly idle terminal is a monument to a stalled experiment, one that was supposed to import so much LNG from around the world that homes would be heated and

factories humming at bargain prices. But now LNG shipments to the United States are slowing to a trickle, and Cheniere and other companies have dropped plans to build more terminals.(end excerpt)

The GCC is also facing major gas shortages. Yet let us all take care not to jump to conclusions as there are shortages and ’shortages’ created to drive up prices….

Comment by Lost In Utah
2008-06-04 08:25:31

In my little town here in SE Utah an old refinery is being refurbished and set to go online in about a month. I asked one of the guys where the crude was coming from and he looked a bit puzzled and said he really didn’t know, but there sure were a lot of geologists in town.

As an aside, if anyone wants a good paying job with the Dept. of Energy, they’re hiring for the Moab uranium tailings project. They’re moving a lot of waste from that area into storage cells about 30 miles from where I’m at. In the meantime, there are plans to open another uranium mill nearby, which will create more tailings. Job security, I guess.

Comment by lostcontrol
2008-06-04 08:54:37

so is it radioactive?

Comment by Lost In Utah
2008-06-04 09:22:20

The jobs or the town or the storage cells or the big river that goes nearby (the Colorado) that supplies water to California?

yes to all of the above


above link takes you to the jobs, very specialized

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by lostcontrol
2008-06-04 11:24:09

the tailings, which I may mis interpreted, Is the removal. Is this the jobs, the removal of same

Comment by Lost In Utah
2008-06-04 13:35:12

Sorry, Lost, yes, the tailings are quite radioactive, which is why they’re moving them (what hasn’t already floated down the river, that is). Lots of jobs to remove the tailings, while they plan to create more in a different spot. Craziness.

Comment by txchick57
2008-06-04 07:38:20

for the koolaid drinkers here:


Latest Updates on Larry Johnson’s Holy Grail, a.k.a., The Michelle Obama Tape

The pro-Hillary blog HillBuzz gives the most detailed description of the alleged Michelle Obama tape yet.

(By the way, people are still e-mailing me about the “why’d he”/”whitey” distinction, and what the references to Jena and Katrina say about the timeline. Folks, the transcript on the liberal blog is made up, it’s a hypothetical prediction of what would be on the tape. It’s no longer worth a moment’s debate.)

The HillBuzz description of the tape still raises a few questions, though. They say, “The Michelle Obama Rant Tape was filmed between June 26th - July 1st 2004 in Chicago, IL at the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Conference at Trinity United Church”, but the Rainbow/PUSH event in 2004 was held at the Sheraton, not Trinity United; did the church cosponsor it or something?

A TownHall blogger claims Rudy Giuliani’s team acquired the tape.

Finally, a media source answers my question of how Michelle Obama making these kinds of comments could escape the attention of local media: “How did the message of Trinity United Church of Christ escape the attention of the Chicago media? Or William Ayres? When you’re in the the tank, you’re in the tank.”

06/04 09:50 AM

Comment by watcher
2008-06-04 08:20:33

What flavor are you drinking; bitter grape?

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-06-04 08:44:47

O.K., here is the Charlie Brown Political Calculus:

Our US Soldiers in Iraq & Afghanistan:

Obama: 100 days

McCain: 100 years


Comment by txchick57
2008-06-04 08:58:04

It would help if the first person had the first freaking idea what he was taking about. He’s still trying to find those last 7 states he hasn’t been to.

Where’s Waldo.

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-06-04 09:10:12

So that means your not voting? ;-)

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by exeter
2008-06-04 09:10:14

Txchick…. Come clean. Based on your rhetoric, you must be a closet democrat. Seriously.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by ET-Chicago
2008-06-04 09:49:12

That’s the best you got?


(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by txchick57
2008-06-04 12:39:45

Laugh at this clownboy:

Questions Obama Needs to Be Asked [Mark Hemingway]

Barack Obama is going to be on with Brian Williams tonight, so I thought I’d start up the first of a periodic series here on The Corner where I suggest questions that the media might consider asking Obama:

Question: On your website you have listed Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias as a “bundler”, having committed to raising between $100-200k for your campaign. He’s also held fund raisers for your presidential campaign and he and his family have donated a considerable sum directly to your various campaigns and you endorsed his candidacy for state treasurer.

In 2006, while running for office Giannoulias admitted he personally oversaw the approval of $11.8 million in mortgage loans at his family bank to Michael Giorango, a convicted bookmaker and prostitution promoter, and $3.6 million of those loans were used by Giorango and another convicted felon to acquire a casino boat marina in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Giannoulias’ family bank made other loans to Giorango going back to 1992, and his involvement in those loans has also been questioned.

What’s more, while running for state treasurer in 2006, Giannoulias received a $5,000 campaign contribution from a Florida casino owner who owed $4.8 million to a bank Giannoulias has a stake in, and the Casino owner’s uncle had ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and was gunned down in what appears to be a mob hit.

Are you confident Giannoulias doesn’t have ties to organized crime, and should he be raising money for your campaign?

Comment by ET-Chicago
2008-06-04 13:02:34

Laugh at this clownboy:

Questions Obama Needs to Be Asked …

It may turn out to be something, it may not.

Johnny Maverick has a greater number of skeletons in his closet (including Jack Abramoff), but it remains to be seen whether he’s questioned seriously about those, either. My guess is he gets another free pass.

More importantly (in the short term, at least), McCain is trying to play in the Big Leagues with marginal Single-A stuff. Did you see his speech last night? He’d better sharpen up his rhetoric and his public speaking skills quickly, or he’s toast.

Comment by txchick57
2008-06-04 15:24:56

Rezko guilty on 16 counts. I’m laughing now.

Comment by exeter
2008-06-04 16:27:22

Rezko works as well as Wright. WRONG. :)

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-06-04 16:32:43

The Republicans are as clean as the virgin driven snow:

“…The 10-woman, two-man jury deliberated for parts of 13 days before convicting Rezko of scheming with…Stuart Levine,

a longtime Republican insider,… :-)

to extort millions of dollars from firms seeking state business or regulatory approval.”


Comment by txchick57
2008-06-04 15:24:56

Rezko guilty on 16 counts. I’m laughing now.

Comment by Land of Abe
2008-06-04 21:05:00

Many people are laughing. Many more are smiling with a gleam of hope in their eyes.

The next round of indictments should be real entertaining. So many choices. So little time since the US Atty has yet to be nominated for reappointment by either Illinois Senator.

Comment by measton
2008-06-04 10:04:04

And McCain is still trying to figure out the difference between Al Queda and Shiite militants in Iraq, and why that difference is important.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by txchick57
2008-06-04 11:29:52

yeah, he’s been too busy parting the waters, taking care of the sick and making the oceans rise.

what a gaseous windbag

Comment by bkiddo
2008-06-04 09:32:42

I have family members who would appreciate not going back to the Middle East, and those of us who love them will vote for BO.

Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 09:48:47

I have a family member that has been recalled to duty for overseas and he is receiving 90% disability from injuries sustained in Iraq. The president has never even admitted that there were no weapons of mass destruction. I’ll vote for Sen. Obama.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by bkiddo
2008-06-04 11:57:13

Thanks for understanding Hoz.
I treat Vietnam vets - the PTSD never goes away. So even surviving the battle, avoiding injury (good luck in the Marines, lol), they return as changed men who will never forget the horror of war. There is no pill, or therapy to cure their pain. Families fall apart, substance abuse and mental illness become all too common.
So sad.

Comment by SanFranciscoBayAreaGal
2008-06-04 13:30:57


I knew some of those Vietnam soliders when I was in the service (1975-1978). I saw the pain and could hear the pain in their voices.

I want our boys and girls home as soon as possible and be given all the help they need.

Comment by Lost In Utah
2008-06-04 14:00:31

I, too, know some of those Vietnam vets and they’re pretty messed up all these many years later. And the sad thing is, they never got the same acknowledgement that other war vets got - I know one guy who wasn’t even allowed to join the American Legion, they told him he wasn’t in a “real” war.

Comment by Lost In Utah
2008-06-04 14:04:03

OT but it’s COLD and we have snow forecast for the higher altitudes. Setting more record lows here in Utah. It’s JUNE, for cryingoutloud!

Comment by aladinsane
2008-06-04 08:01:27

“All successful revolutions are the kicking in of a rotten door. The violence of revolutions is the violence of men who charge into a vacuum.”

John Kenneth Galbraith

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 19:06:03

Mortgage market meltdown = financial revolution…

Comment by masstexodus
2008-06-04 08:07:39

And yet natural gas is still cheap relative to oil. In a perfect world it should be 1/6 the price - it’s more like 1/10 the price right now. It will probably always trade at some discount, but it is too cheap right now.

Comment by Rental Watch
2008-06-04 13:00:17

So, long short strategy? Go long nat gas, funded by shorting oil? Hope that the spread narrows to a more “normal” level?

Comment by tuxedo_junction
2008-06-04 09:04:08

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (Commerce Dep’t.) estimates GDP while the Bureau of Labor Statistics (Labor Dep’t.) produces the PPI. Below is a comparison of the GDP price deflator, used by BEA, to the PPI, a BLS product. Rates are annualized, PPI is approximate (4X quarterly change, compounding ignored).

2007, Q2: GDP Deflator 2.6%, PPI 6%
2007, Q3: GDP Deflator 1.0%, PPI 1%
2007, Q4: GDP Deflator 2.4%, PPI 10%
2008, Q1: GDP Deflator 2.6%, PPI 10%

The wide discrepancy puzzles me. While services are a big component of GDP does the difference for 3 of 4 quarters indicate that BLS believes the price of services is decreasing at a significant pace? Is the BEA simply manipulating the deflator to avoid showing a GDP decline? Am I overlooking something big? Are there better measures of US economic activity? If so, what are they?

Comment by Groundhogday
2008-06-04 09:22:03

An interestin craigslist post from Pullman, WA.

This is a big luxury home in the wheat fields, and what they don’t show in the pictures is that this house is right across the street from some sort of junk yard or salvage operation. Yep, luxury in the country with a view of rusting rubbish. It has been for sale and/or for rent on the MLS for a couple of years now, had an internet auction last month (no takers apparently) and now craigslist.


Comment by exeter
2008-06-04 09:53:21

525k for roughly 80k in materials? And people say I’m nuts.

Comment by Lost In Utah
2008-06-04 10:02:17

That junkyard location should command extra - you can just walk across the road and get whatever parts you need for your poorly built POS - salvage water heater, stove, whatever.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2008-06-04 13:09:45

Mis-allocation of resources.

Comment by Jwhite
2008-06-04 10:00:49

Moody’s may (finally) downgrade MBIA and Ambac on “concerns” (like if they go T.U. and Moody’s still got em “A” rated).


Comment by hoz
2008-06-04 10:12:14


“…It shows how Africa (30,3 million km²) is larger than the combination of China (9,6 million km²), the US (9,4 million km²), Western Europe (4,9 million km²), India (3,2 million km²) and Argentina (2,8 million km²), three Scandinavian countries and the British Isles (map gives no surface for these last two areas; I’ve rounded out the figures for the aforementioned regions).

What’s also quite bizarre is the fact that a relatively sparsely populated country such as Argentina (about 38 million inhabitants) is not that much smaller than India, the world’s second-most populous nation, which currently has a population of about 1,1 billion people…”

Is it any wonder that China is spending so much time in Africa and South America? Some neat maps.

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-06-04 13:53:40

Africa… “The Dark Continent” …is being setup for yet another plunder of it’s natural resources…wait, the leading Nations of the World wouldn’t take advantage of peoples with less education and financial acumen, I mean, we’re in the modern “enlightened” era right?

Comment by Faster Pussycat, Sell Sell
2008-06-04 15:46:13

Spare us the Marxist crap.

Africa was looted by the African elites with their fancy degrees from Oxford and ENA (”enarque-s”).

They can’t compete with Google and Microsoft. What would you have them do? Live forever in poverty? How “romantic”.

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-06-04 20:17:28

“Africa was looted by the African elites”

Bugs: “eh, I don’t think so. ;-)

What history book in your education upbringing has Belgium kings as being Russian?

Leopold II (French: Léopold Louis Philippe Marie Victor, Dutch: Leopold Lodewijk Filips Maria Victor) (9 April 1835 – 17 December 1909)) was King of the Belgians. Born the second (but eldest surviving) son of Leopold I, he succeeded his father to the throne in 1865 and remained king until his death. He was the brother of Empress Carlota of Mexico and first cousin to Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom…
He is chiefly remembered as the founder and sole owner of the Congo Free State, a private project undertaken by the King. The state included the entire area now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The extraction of rubber and ivory in the Congo relied on forced labour and resulted in the massacre and mutilation of millions of Congolese (roughly half the population at the time). He ran the Congo as his personal fiefdom; for him it was a business venture.


“…the leading Nations of the World wouldn’t take advantage of peoples with less education and financial acumen…

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by spike66
2008-06-04 17:53:31

Come on that’s easy. Both Africa and South America are rich in natural resources, and from the Chinese perspective, are equally rich in corrupt governments. There is very little in the way of labor protection, or even environmental protection.. once you’ve bought the mineral rights, you can hire on the locals for as little as you can get away with, and work them as hard as you can get away with, with no worries about safety, or days off, or health or really anything.

Comment by takingbets
2008-06-04 10:13:24

Subprime debacle may spark 2-year credit recession

Richard Bernstein, chief investment strategist at Merrill Lynch & Co Inc (NYSE:MER - News), said that in the last market cycle downturn, about 25 percent of financial firms — including brokers, banks and asset managers — “went away,” he said, referring to bankruptcies or mergers and acquisitions.

Only 7.0 percent of financial firms have failed or been acquired so far in this crisis, Bernstein said.

Bernstein also faulted U.S. government proposals to broadly modify U.S. mortgages, which may create a “moral hazard” that encourages future risky behavior, he said.

“Washington is misguided in focusing on mortgages,” Bernstein said. The federal government should focus on “job creation and people keeping their jobs,” Bernstein said. “That is the key to rectifying this situation.”


i like the message this guy is trying to send to our beloved leaders!

Comment by lmd in big D
Comment by EmperorNorton_II
2008-06-04 12:43:45

Holyfield, 45, who won the heavyweight title four times since 1990, was paid $34 million alone against Mike Tyson in the famous ear-biting bout in 1997.

Holyfield’s record is 42 wins, 9 losses, two draws and 27 KOs.
Make that 42 wins & 10 losses…

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 20:50:33

Holy shemole — two in one day! — first Ed McMahon, and then the former heavyweight champ. The Great Deleveraging is revealing that many celebrities enjoy swimming naked.

Comment by talon
2008-06-04 13:20:57
Comment by Lost In Utah
2008-06-04 13:44:48

OK, I want to set the record straight on this squatting endeavor I’m involved in:

From Wikipedia:

The term ‘squatter’ derives from its English usage as a term of contempt for a person who had taken up residence at a place without having legal claim. The use of ‘squatter’ in the early years of European settlement of Australia had a similar connotation, referring primarily to a person who had ‘squatted’ on unoccupied land for pastoral or other purposes. In its early derogatory context the term was often applied to the illegitimate occupation of land by ticket-of-leave convicts or ex-convicts (emancipists).

From the mid-1820s, however, the occupation of Crown land without legal title became more widespread, often carried out by those from the upper echelons of colonial society. As wool began to be exported to England and the colonial population increased the occupation of pastoral land for raising cattle and sheep progressively became a more lucrative enterprise. ‘Squatting’ had become so widespread by the mid-1830s that Government policy in New South Wales towards the practice shifted from opposition to regulation and control. By that stage the term ‘squatter’ was applied to those who occupied Crown land under a lease or license, without the negative connotation of earlier times.

The term soon developed a class association, suggesting an elevated socio-economic status and entrepreneurial attitude. By 1840 squatters were recognized as being amongst the wealthiest men in the colony of New South Wales, many of them from upper and middle-class English and Scottish families. As unoccupied land with frontage to permanent water became more scarce, the acquisition of runs increasingly required larger capital outlays.

Eventually the term ‘squatter’ came to refer to a person of high social prestige who grazes livestock on a large scale (whether the station was held by leasehold or freehold title). In Australia the term is still used to describe large landowners, especially in rural areas with a history of pastoral occupation. Hence the term, Squattocracy, a play on Aristocracy.”

OK, you read it here. Squattocracy…an elevated socio-economic status and entrepreneurial attitude…from upper and middle-class English and Scottish families.”

Being of Scots descent, I suddenly feel like maybe this squatting thing is bigger than me, part of my DNA.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2008-06-05 08:50:07

Lost, you were already high in my esteem just for giving the squatting a go–even before I read the above. And now it sounds like you have the weight of history behind you!

It had occurred to me that the bubble pop would provide interesting squatting possibilities, but I didn’t have the stones to seek out an FB landlord, nor to find an abandoned house to squat. I think I value stability too much–plus I just hate to move.

But my hat is off to you! I wish you a long and happy squatting experience!

Comment by lostcontrol
2008-06-04 13:45:14

I think its time to hold these govt. officials’ feet to the fire! Let them make the average income of America. If they don’t like it,then we can sub-contract/off shore their jobs. How much worst can it get?
/rant off

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 20:42:21

I am hoping the oil price bubble at least stays inflated long enough so that many Supersized Undewater Vehicle owners have to dump their automotive assets at fire sale prices.

Is Oil the Next ‘Bubble’ to Pop?
June 4, 2008; Page C6

Is there an oil bubble that is about to burst?

Like the Dot-Com Boom?

The bearish argument has grown increasingly loud over the past week. Lehman Brothers on Friday compared the rally to the one-upmanship of the dot-com boom: Wall Street analysts have repeatedly raised their price forecasts as oil prices have soared, driving new investor flows that have pushed prices to still-higher levels, leading to still-higher price forecasts. Lehman sees the “classic ingredients of an asset bubble,” with financial investors driven by a “herd” instinct and chasing past performance.

Hedge-fund manager George Soros also has chimed in. “We are currently experiencing the bursting of a housing bubble and, at the same time, a rise in oil and other commodities which has some of the earmarks of a bubble,” he said Tuesday in prepared testimony before the U.S. Senate. Mr. Soros cautioned, though, that a crash in oil markets was “not imminent.”

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 22:40:43

If it looks like a bubble, walks like a bubble and quacks like a bubble…

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 21:03:58

Lehman Brothers
Published: June 3 2008 14:49 | Last updated: June 4 2008 20:34

Lehman has raised capital, improved its liquidity position, reduced leverage and gained access to the Federal Reserve’s primary dealer credit facility in the three months since Bear Stearns imploded. It is hard to see it going the way of its defunct rival. Not least, with the Fed dealer facility open, there is simply not the same incentive for counterparties to stop trading with the firm as they did with Bear. Yet Lehman is still being battered by events as investors speculate what horrors lie on the balance sheet and worry about its future earnings power. The fact that Lehman, like other Wall Street firms, is something of a black box from the outside only helps to sap confidence. At one point on Wednesday its shares had fallen 23 per cent in three days. The onus is clearly on Lehman to bolster its financial position to the point where the destabilising uncertainty is removed. That might well involve a capital injection from a third party – whether an investment management company or a foreign bank. But a sale of the firm should not be ruled out.

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 21:06:25

Credit Strain Flares Again After Relief Since March
By Liz Rappaport and Serena Ng
Word Count: 953 | Companies Featured in This Article: MBIA, Ambac Financial Group, Wachovia, Lehman Brothers Holdings, GMAC

The relative calm that has prevailed over credit markets since mid-March, when the Federal Reserve stepped in to help a fragile system, shows signs of dissipating.

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 21:09:04

What I want to know is, when will U.S. corporate assets go on sale to the masses at fire sale prices?

Markets Remain in Gloomy Mood
By Peter A. McKay
Word Count: 1,071 | Companies Featured in This Article: American Express, Walt Disney, General Motors, Yahoo, Microsoft, in its energy sector, MBIA, Ambac, Lehman Brothers Holdings, Wachovia, Bank of America

Stocks couldn’t quite end their recent swoon, as investors weighed encouraging economic data against a potential cut in the credit ratings of America’s two leading bond insurers.

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-06-04 22:46:30

New Vigor Brought To Defense of the Dollar
Tough Talk by U.S.
Marks Tactical Shift
As Worries Mount
June 5, 2008; Page A3

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s warning this week about the dollar’s steep fall marks the latest step in a Bush administration effort that began in November to use stronger rhetoric to try to prop up the sagging U.S. currency.
[Ben Bernanke]

For now, the tough talk appears to be working. Late Wednesday a dollar bought 105.22 yen, up from 105.10 Tuesday, and the euro fell to $1.5435 from $1.5462.

Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)
Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)
You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

Trackback responses to this post