January 24, 2013

Bits Bucket for January 24, 2013

Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here. And check out Chomp, Chomp, Chomp by a regular poster!

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Comment by goon squad
2013-01-24 03:59:44

After yesterday’s spirited partisan debate about the merits of Party X versus Party Y, a necessary reminder: “Oligarchy, it’s a big club & you ain’t in it”


Comment by michael
2013-01-24 06:53:10


it’s like professional wrastlin.

Comment by frankie
2013-01-24 06:57:13

I think it been said before


Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 08:05:33

Just out of curiosity.

If both political parties are exactly the same and here is no difference between them.

Why do 99% of all unions support and give money solely to democrats?
Why do 99% of all environmental wackos support and give money solely to democrats?
Why do 99% of all trial lawyers support and give money solely to democrats.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-24 08:29:45

Both parties are the same if you desire something completely different than what we have now.

Comment by michael
2013-01-24 08:52:49

they divide us on abortion, free contraception, war on women, war on christmas, gun control, etc. while raping the treasury at the expense of our children and grandchildren.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-01-24 10:18:02

+1000. The wedge issues work. Only the true left and the true right are trying to protect this country from a crony capitalism but they cannot join together due to the wedge issues.

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Comment by Carl Morris
2013-01-24 10:47:13

It seems like some could agree to disagree on the wedge issues and just work on what they agree on, but from the presidency down to OWS and TP they so easily get sidetracked onto wedge issuese.

Comment by michael
2013-01-24 11:06:40

i think the division on the wedge issues is orechestrated by the ruling class, the Banksta TBTF, and their willing accomplices in the media.

but hey…did you hear that beyonce lip synched the national anthem?

what’s up with that?

Comment by michael
2013-01-24 12:09:43

OWS and the TP had a central grass roots theme that could be very damaging to the PTB. The ruling class and the media were able to quickly re-characterize the movements as nothing more than the rants of a bunch of white inbred racist and dirty defecating hippies. The miss-haracterizations were eagerly and ignorantly accepted by the party technocrats.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-01-24 13:19:34

Sure, but even the president and congress do it. Here we sit, talking about guns every day because they are talking about it. They could have actually gotten something done with the support of the people if they wanted to. But they’d rather go down that rabbit hole.

Comment by joe bobo smith
2013-01-24 11:39:48

I see you have that sweet innocent grandmother Nancy (D’Alesandro) Pelosi on there. Her inclusion is apt. Both her father and her brother were mayors of Baltimore. This is her son:

In another layer of connections, GGP was the family business of Thomas Friedman’s wife (longtime Maryland/Bethesda family). Thomas Friedman being a longtime admirer/supporter/fluffer of Nancy’s political career.**

When you look at any of the top people in government, finance, media, law… there are so many connections.

** I can never believe anything Friedman writes anymore, given that he advocates for “green energy” and other causes, despite living in an absolutely massive house in Bethesda. If you want to see what I mean, just use Google.

Comment by BetterRenter
2013-01-24 12:51:08

jbs wrote: I can never believe anything Friedman writes anymore

What’s the problem? He’s part of the ruling class. The ruling class makes the rules, for the rest of us; they don’t have to actually follow those rules. That’s why they’re the ruling class. Americans have to stop believing in this “republic” crap and start submitting to the real political order, which is the imperial model. We’re subjects of an empire, not citizens of a republic.

Comment by oxide
2013-01-24 13:20:52

The libs gave the name “Friedman Unit” to a six month time period, because he used the phrase constantly in describing when things would get better in Iraq.

As for the house, I guess Friedman likes to “entertain.” I wouldn’t last 10 minutes in an environment like that.

Comment by joe bobo smith
2013-01-24 11:50:07

Oops, Thomas Pelosi IV is her nephew, not her son. Her son is named after her husband (Paul). She also has 4 daughters… who strangely married incredibly well.

Comment by MiddleCoaster
2013-01-24 12:59:38

Money likes to marry money. Keeps it all in the club, you know.

Comment by rms
2013-01-24 13:10:38

Money likes to marry money. Keeps it all in the club, you know.

Anna Nicole Smith liked marrying money.

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Comment by Carl Morris
2013-01-24 13:21:06

Apparently money didn’t like marrying her.

Comment by rms
2013-01-24 20:29:32

“Apparently money didn’t like marrying her.”

+1 Sad to see people fight over money that neither earned.

Comment by AZtoORtoCOtoOR
2013-01-24 12:30:39

If you think either party is looking out for you, then you must believe that the real estate agent is looking out for your best interest - whether you are a buyer or a seller.

Comment by joe bobo smith-flacco
2013-01-24 12:33:21

Another point about oligarchy… anyone find it funny that NJ is going to have a hotly contested Senate race (Lautenberg is something like 90 years old! no way he runs again…) and Chris Christie and Cory Booker are *not* going to run against each other?

I wish I was kidding, but I feel like Mark Zuckerberg has something to do with it. Plus both of those guys have a load of Wall Street backers. Remember when Cory Booker came to Mittens’ defense last summer? Or when Christie embraced Obama after Sandy?

Watch for both of these guys to run in the ‘16 primaries with handsome financial support from TPTB.

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-24 04:10:09

Filed under: yes, you are a looser

“A study conducted jointly by two German universities found rampant envy on Facebook, the world’s largest social network that now has over one billion users and has produced an unprecedented platform for social comparison.

The researchers found that one in three people felt worse after visiting the site and more dissatisfied with their lives, while people who browsed without contributing were affected the most.

“We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry,” researcher Hanna Krasnova from the Institute of Information Systems at Berlin’s Humboldt University told Reuters.

“From our observations some of these people will then leave Facebook or at least reduce their use of the site,” said Krasnova, adding to speculation that Facebook could be reaching saturation point in some markets.

Researchers from Humboldt University and from Darmstadt’s Technical University found vacation photos were the biggest cause of resentment with more than half of envy incidents triggered by holiday snaps on Facebook.

Social interaction was the second most common cause of envy as users could compare how many birthday greetings they received to those of their Facebook friends and how many “likes” or comments were made on photos and postings.

“Passive following triggers invidious emotions, with users mainly envying happiness of others, the way others spend their vacations and socialize,” the researchers said in the report “Envy on Facebook: A Hidden Threat to Users’ Life Satisfaction?” released on Tuesday.”


Comment by oxide
2013-01-24 06:13:14

“We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry,”

These geniuses figured this out just now? I knew that years ago, which is why I avoided Facebook like the plague. And now I’m all lonely frustrated and angry that I didn’t apply for grant money to conduct this study myself. :mad:


Comment by michael
2013-01-24 06:58:10

i just use it to post pics and videos of my children…i live 1,000 miles away from my family so its a great way my relatives can watch and see my children grow up.

Comment by frankie
2013-01-24 08:31:53

I wish I lived a 1,000 miles away from my family.

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Comment by In Colorado
2013-01-24 11:56:40

In the USA:

100 miles away is close, and 100 years in the past was a long time ago

In Europe:

100 miles is far away, and 100 years ago was like yesterday.

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-24 04:23:02

Politico - Washington, D.C.-area lawmakers brace for sequestration:

“Some of the lawmakers with the most to lose from sequestration — those who represent Washington’s suburbs packed with defense contractors and federal workers — have lost their optimism that Congress could avoid it.

A Pentagon hiring freeze, a new March deadline for sequestration and spending drama are compounding the problems faced by the U.S. military and defense contractors in already austere budget times.

“I’m not optimistic. I’m not even hopeful,” Rep. Jim Moran, whose Virginia district includes the Pentagon itself, told POLITICO. “In the next three months, six months, I think only bad things can happen. I think the president gave up his leverage, and I think this is going to be a very trying time for the country.”

His Virginia colleague, Rep. Gerry Connolly, said defense cuts have been a significant concern for the Beltway delegation since last summer, when deep, across-the-board sequestration cuts started to look more likely.

“As much as 8 percent of our GDP in the metropolitan region and in Northern Virginia could be at risk over just defense cuts,” Connolly told POLITICO. “You’ve got a lot of expertise built up over generations here in Virginia, especially in Northern Virginia, that could be also at risk. That’s lost expertise just walking out the door … on national security, homeland security, defense, intelligence.”

In the Virginia Democrats’ Beltway-adjacent districts, a shrinking defense industry would mean joblessness and economic instability.

“People know that ultimately before we get through this long sequence of crises, there are thousands of people who are going to lose their jobs,” Moran said. “The entire workforce is going to become demoralized. This is no way to run a government.”

Defense budget analyses show that as many as 200,000 jobs could be lost in Virginia, and about 100,000 are at risk in Maryland, Moran said.

“You’re going to see a real economic slowdown in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church,” he said. “And then people in the retail services sector are going to realize how important the federal employment base and the federal contracting base are to their businesses. These are the people who buy the products they sell and the services they provide.”


Comment by MacBeth
2013-01-24 06:48:00

“…and I think this is going to be a very trying time for the country.”


So it’s only just now that things are going to become “trying for the country”?

Only a D.C. doughhead could be that oblivious.

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-24 04:44:15

Rush Limbaugh - Obamaism Will Fail Because Socialism Always Does:

“All of this that’s happening is going to implode, just like it imploded in the Soviet Union. Folks, socialism has never worked anywhere. It always implodes. It always fails. And Obama is nothing special. He’s not a messiah. He doesn’t have a magic wand that can turn a demonstrated failure of a system into a success. It is going to go the way of the dinosaur. The question is when, and how much damage is done in the process. It’s a question of timing.

It could be hastened if we had a little bit more political activism and leadership at the elected level, but this can’t be sustained. It can’t work. It never has worked. What’s going to happen is what Margaret Thatcher said: The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of the other guy’s money. You run out of other people’s money. Now, in our case, we can print money. Italy can’t print money; Greece can’t print money. We can. So we can continue this charade longer than other nations have been able to.

But at some point this is going to collapse on itself. The objective is to make sure the country is not permanently destroyed in the process of this happening. But this that Obama is trying, this that he wants to do cannot work. It cannot work mathematically. It cannot work politically. It cannot work ideologically. It never has. Nowhere has it ever worked at any time in human history. Obama’s way has never worked. What will happen eventually is that the beneficiaries — the people who think that they are the beneficiaries, the people who are totally relying on government — at some point (and it may not be my lifetime, I don’t know, but at some point) it’s gonna stop.

The gravy train is going to end. They’re in for a huge shock and surprise. The low-information people are going to be stunned into reality at some point. There’s no avoiding it. Now, hopefully we can hasten this with future elections. I know that looks bleak. But at some point, everything Obama believes in is gonna go down the tubes, because it always has. Call it whatever you want: Liberalism, progressivism. It is all built on a foundation of lies.”


Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-01-24 06:05:32

Take it from a bloated, bloviating narcotics addict…

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-24 06:41:55

Instead of refuting his argument, you make it personal.

That’s weak, Professor Bear.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-01-24 07:12:39

Nobody put a gun to his head and forced him to become a narcotics addict.

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Comment by goon squad
2013-01-24 07:30:04

Rush Limbaugh is laughing at all of you. Four hundred million laughs :)


“Even if I fell, I land on a bunch of money” — Jay Z, the Black Album

Comment by MacBeth
2013-01-24 08:21:20

“Nobody put a gun to his head and forced him to become a narcotics addict..”

Very true.

But the government IS putting a gun to my head, forcing me to support programs I don’t agree with.

Should a day come when Limbaugh sticks a gun to my head, forcing me to support of one of his causes, I may consider your point with some seriousness.

But since Limbaugh isn’t the one forcing me to do anything against my will, your point is merely of fleeting interest.

The real issue of the day is how to prevent out-of-control government, since what it does affects everyone in very direct ways.

Comment by sfhomowner
2013-01-24 10:43:50

But the government IS putting a gun to my head, forcing me to support programs I don’t agree with.

What percentage of my taxes goes toward the military?

Depends on who is tallying, but even by conservative estimates, it’s close to 30%, excluding interest being paid on past war expenses.

Comment by Diogenes (Tampa,Fl)
2013-01-24 15:23:25

We don’t know what percentage of taxes go to anything since the DEMOCRATIC Senate hasn’t passed a BUDGET in 4 years to tell us, the citizens, how it proposes to spend our money.
It just votes “continuing resolutions”, against the law, by the way, to continue the spending up to the debt limit.
It’s like living in the twilight zone.

And all the Democratic supporters here have NO PROBLEM with these antics. That way the PRESS can focus on the Congress, and rake the Republicans over the coals for every comment they make or suggestion they propose.

Harry Reid needs to be impeached for dereliction of duty.

Comment by oxide
2013-01-24 16:34:31

Of course we know what percentage goes to what program. There’s a nice pie chart printed right on every tax booklet. If you want something more exact, the CR is easily googleable. As for the Dems not passing a budget… oh you mean they don’t agree with the all the pork and poison pills in the budget coming out of the house. Well, learn to cope.

Comment by Montana
2013-01-24 07:30:43

ad hominem is the new hotness, goon.

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Comment by MacBeth
2013-01-24 06:50:28

You say this yet live in La-La land where the overall meme is to spend ’til you drop?

Talk about being an addict…

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-01-24 07:26:29

- One man’s pundit is another man’s political mouthpiece.

- One man’s “argument” is another’s propaganda rant.

- Only a moron would proudly call himself a “ditto-head.”

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Comment by MacBeth
2013-01-24 07:48:55


I don’t listen to Limbaugh.

I must say, though, that you come across as the mirror image of how he’s proported to be.

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-01-24 20:00:04

La La Land is great (You are referring to California right?)! Nice rain today and cool outside. But facilities better work on my side (the east side) of the office area. About seven people are affected by VERY hot temperatures. The west side of the area is cool though.

Ben Bernanke is dumping $ all over and we complain about the liberalism of loose money. Why not instead play by their rules and buy lotsa stocks and gold? The Fed is making my net worth go up. I’m a grasshopper and I’m fiddling, but yes I have taken some money off the table. Still working too.

Think if you have a lot of $ in stocks and stock funds, their prices and NAVs will continue to go up relative to houses. Key word: “relative.” So be part of the game, cash out in 2015 and use your stock winnings to buy a country home for prepping. Make sure you are well supplied with guns and ammo and have a good sized pantry.

Liberalism works for me.

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Comment by ahansen
2013-01-24 12:42:36

Something tells me Mr. Obama’s legacy will be around significantly longer than Mr. Limbaugh’s. How many folks remember Joe Pyne? But they still talk about that Kennedy guy.

Rush takes his comfort in mind-numbing narcotics, poor Andy Breitbart’s heart explodes, Colter’s social life revolves around the South Beach tranny scene. What does this tell us about the state of these actor’s consciences?

Comment by cactus
2013-01-24 20:49:00

Colter’s social life revolves around the South Beach tranny scene.’

what / really ? Ann coulter the right wing lady ?

What about Victor Davis Hanson I think he lives in the Central valley you could almost be neighbors ?

My friend at work really like’s that guy and when I read his web stuff Ann Coulter is often pictured in the side bar sellin a book

she looks Amazonan

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Comment by ahansen
2013-01-24 23:27:15

Victor Davis Hanson is a war-monger masquerading as a public intellectual, and Ann Coulter’s Adam’s apple is highly suspect. That’s all I have to say on the subject.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-24 07:38:09

It always implodes. It always fails.

What doesn’t?

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-01-24 09:10:58

True Love.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-01-24 17:05:59


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Comment by Northeastener
2013-01-24 19:16:19

As you wish.

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Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 13:05:29

“The low-information people are going to be stunned into reality at some point.”

We all better hope not or the cities WILL burn again

The again, Mairie Antoinette didn’t get it either.

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-24 05:21:41

According to the Wall Street Journal, the sky is NOT falling

The Myth of a Stagnant Middle Class

Household spending on food, housing, utilities, etc. has fallen from 53% of disposable income in 1950 to 32% today

“A favorite “progressive” trope is that America’s middle class has stagnated economically since the 1970s. One version of this claim, made by Robert Reich, President Clinton’s labor secretary, is typical: “After three decades of flat wages during which almost all the gains of growth have gone to the very top,” he wrote in 2010, “the middle class no longer has the buying power to keep the economy going.”

This trope is spectacularly wrong.

It is true enough that, when adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index, the average hourly wage of nonsupervisory workers in America has remained about the same. But not just for three decades. The average hourly wage in real dollars has remained largely unchanged from at least 1964—when the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) started reporting it.

Moreover, there are several problems with this measurement of wages. First, the CPI overestimates inflation by underestimating the value of improvements in product quality and variety. Would you prefer 1980 medical care at 1980 prices, or 2013 care at 2013 prices? Most of us wouldn’t hesitate to choose the latter.

Second, this wage figure ignores the rise over the past few decades in the portion of worker pay taken as (nontaxable) fringe benefits. This is no small matter—health benefits, pensions, paid leave and the rest now amount to an average of almost 31% of total compensation for all civilian workers according to the BLS.

Third and most important, the average hourly wage is held down by the great increase of women and immigrants into the workforce over the past three decades. Precisely because the U.S. economy was flexible and strong, it created millions of jobs for the influx of many often lesser-skilled workers who sought employment during these years.

Since almost all lesser-skilled workers entering the workforce in any given year are paid wages lower than the average, the measured statistic, “average hourly wage,” remained stagnant over the years—even while the real wages of actual flesh-and-blood workers employed in any given year rose over time as they gained more experience and skills.

These three factors tell us that flat average wages over time don’t necessarily support a narrative of middle-class stagnation. Still, pessimists reject these arguments.”

We reject these arguments.


Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-01-24 06:14:11

Wages are held down by immigrants. Never thought of that, I guess we need to allow even more then. (LOL).

Comment by oxide
2013-01-24 08:07:12

Since almost all lesser-skilled workers entering the workforce in any given year are paid wages lower than the average, the measured statistic, “average hourly wage,” remained stagnant over the years—even while the real wages of actual flesh-and-blood workers employed in any given year rose over time as they gained more experience and skills.

Did the WSJ just say straight out that lesser-skilled workers aren’t actual flesh-and-blood???

Comment by WT Economist
2013-01-24 08:13:16

This was a reasonable argument 20 years ago, but has now been proved false.

Fringe benefits stopped rising and started falling for younger workers, who lost their retiree health insurance and then their pensions and then their worker health insurance.

The benefits of innovation have been limited to certain sectors. Yes, people today are better off in an IT sense. That doesn’t affect other things.

And you can’t rebut an argument that workers have been falling behind since the 1970s by making comparisons with 1950. There was a huge increase in well being from 1950 to 1973.

Basically, the fall in wages was disguised by the income of women in the workforce, and then by rising debts. It is no longer disguised.

Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 08:32:47

Yeah - usually by a union who sold them out so that the older union”brothers” could get everything.

Of course - you still have to join the union as a condition of employment. And, of course, you will pay the same mandatory union dues as your older union brothers whether you like it or not…

Fringe benefits stopped rising and started falling for younger workers, who lost their retiree health insurance and then their pensions and then their worker health insurance.

Comment by tresho
2013-01-24 09:40:28

And you can’t rebut an argument that workers have been falling behind since the 1970s by making comparisons with 1950.
You can trying rebuttal using that worthless comparison, and will succeed with the true believers. Otherwise, it’s BS.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-24 09:07:21

this wage figure ignores the rise over the past few decades in the portion of worker pay taken as (nontaxable) fringe benefits

Fringe benefits have been increasing over the past few decades? Where has that been occurring?

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-24 09:58:48

the portion of worker pay taken as (nontaxable) fringe benefits

Oh, now I get it. It means pay has gone down, and then probably counts medicare and SS paid by the employer as ‘fringe benefits’.

Comment by polly
2013-01-24 12:17:36

Pay has gone down. The portion of health insurance paid by the employer has gone up, especially if the employer subsidizes family coverage. Of course, the health insurance increases are probably going way down as high deductible plans are adopted, but that is fairly recent and may not show up that much in the statistics. I doubt anyone is counting the employer portion of payroll taxes as a fringe benefit.

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Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-24 20:15:01

I doubt anyone is counting the employer portion of payroll taxes as a fringe benefit.

You give them too much credit, polly. Besides, even though the cost of health care coverage has skyrocketed in the last 20 years, I suspect the percentage of people who get it paid by their employers has gone down. Including SS and medicare is the only way I can imagine their claims being ‘true’.

Comment by WT Economist
2013-01-24 10:45:40

The cost of health insurance benefits has been going up. But so has required employee contributions to those benefits. Meanwhile, a rising share of workers were losing employer-funded health insurance altogether.

But employer pension obligations have been going down, first by shifting to a 401K in the early 1980s recession then by eliminating the employer contribution to the 401K over the course of the next two recessions.

I think the WSJ is using a mean including the rising perks for top executives.

Comment by oxide
2013-01-24 11:16:14

Top executives are not “non-supervisory” numbers. In fact, how many middle class are actually non-supervisory, that is on the bottom of the ladder?

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Comment by sfhomowner
2013-01-24 10:45:07

No mention of housing costs? WTF?

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-01-24 13:03:26

Things apparently look pretty good from Wall Street windows, according to the Magical Journal. By my very rough estimate, Household income now provides roughly the same standard of living that Head of Household income did back in the 60s. Dual wage earners and a mountain of debt just trying to keep up with the dream.

Comment by DinOR
2013-01-24 13:36:04

Blue Skye,

Often wondered what that view looked like myself? Just noticed, the Gov. of FL did a photo op granting teachers a $2,500 annual ‘raise’. FL has the lowest avg. teacher salary in the nation.

Just found it ironic in the consensus is that’s about to the penny what the avg. tax hit looks like it’s going to be? In one pocket and OUT the other…

Any FL educators out there?

Comment by m2p
2013-01-24 19:16:05

Any FL educators out there

Which raises another question, where’s muggy ?

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Comment by ahansen
2013-01-24 23:40:38

He’s here. Resisting.

Hi, m2p. Good2cu.

Comment by m2p
2013-01-25 10:07:31

He’s here. Resisting.

Thank you, My flowchart of names must be clogged. If the HBB comment search worked with IP addresses I’d have it made.
Good luck on your “venture” and see you soon.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 13:19:46
Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 05:42:19

Democrats and gun bans and higher taxers and bigger government - it all goes together so nicely.

Can’t wait for the entire US to end up like Chicago. No law abiding citizens can own a gun except if they are politically connected.


Gun ban said to include handguns, shotguns
UPI | January 24, 2013

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 (UPI) — A retooled U.S. assault-weapons ban to be introduced Thursday was to include handguns and shotguns in addition to rifles, The Washington Times reported.

The bill, by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., titled “The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013,” was also expected to decrease the number of military-style features a gun may have before it’s considered an assault weapon to one from two, the newspaper said.

Feinstein’s bill would also create a national gun registry for the government to track lawful gun owners, the Times said.

Magazines, or ammunition storage and feeding devices within or attached to a repeating firearm, would be limited to 10 rounds, the newspaper said.

Comment by moral hazard
2013-01-24 07:47:07

“Feinstein’s bill would also create a national gun registry for the government to track lawful gun owners, the Times said.”

The Right to Arms

Edward Abbey

If guns are outlawed
Only outlaws will have guns
(True? False? Maybe?)

I don’t think I’m a gun fanatic. I own a couple of small-caliber weapons, but seldom take them off the wall. I gave up deer hunting fifteen years ago, when the hunters began to outnumber the deer. I am a member of the National Rifle Association, but certainly no John Bircher. I’m a liberal–and proud of it. Nevertheless, I am opposed, absolutely, to every move the state makes to restrict my right to buy, own, possess, and carry a firearm. Whether shotgun, rifle, or handgun.

Of course, we can agree to a few commonsense limitations. Guns should not be sold to children, to the certifiably insane, or to convicted criminals. Other than that, we must regard with extreme suspicion any effort by the government–Iocal, state, or national–to control our right to arms. The registration of firearms is the first step toward confiscation. The confiscation of weapons would be a major and probably fatal step into authoritarian rule–the domination of most of us by a new order of “gentlemen.” By anew and harder oligarchy,

The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state-controlled police and military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. Not for nothing was the revolver called an “equalizer.” Egalite implies liberte. And always will. Let us hope our weapons are never needed–but do not forget what the common people of this nation knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny.

If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military. The hired servants of our rules. Only the government–and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws.

http://luna.moonstar.com/~acpjr/Blackboard/Common/Essays/RightArms.html - 8k -

Comment by oxide
2013-01-24 08:41:36

How about a compromise? The US gov requires that you register all modern weapons, but you can collect as many muskets as you want without telling anyone.

That should keep the libs AND the strict Constitutional Constructionists happy.

Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 08:55:50

Liberals are funny when they talk “compromise”

You (the gun owner) need to give up lots of your freedoms.

I (the gun control nut) did not get everything I wanted (this time)


I don’t think you know the meaning of the word.

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Comment by Blue Skye
2013-01-24 09:16:42

You are apparently surprised by the language of Abuse.

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-24 09:04:55

How about the coastal elitist bedwetter libtards keep their “gun free zone” utopias like DC and Chicago, and flyover will decide what’s best for flyover?

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Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 09:19:32

How about the coastal elitist bedwetter libtards keep their “gun free zone” utopias like DC and Chicago, and flyover will decide what’s best for flyover?

“That preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”
President Obama’s Inauguration speech
January 21st, 2013

Comment by tresho
2013-01-24 10:49:46

“My fellow Americans, we who were made for such a moment, will now seize whatever we can, as much as we can, while we can, until the system seizes up!”
Not in President Obama’s 2nd inaugural address, January 21, 2003. But it might as well have been.

Comment by Young Deezy
2013-01-24 09:25:31

Sure. We can also ban/severly restrict all speech via electronic media, but printing presses are unlimited. Sounds good to me.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-01-24 11:04:18

So should the first amendment only apply to the printed press and not to any other type of media?

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Comment by oxide
2013-01-24 13:25:47

Only if you object to the Consitution being a living document.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-01-24 13:36:49

So a living document covers new media technology but not new rifle technology?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-01-24 13:45:58

If you mean by that there is no anchor to its meaning and that people can subjectively decide how it has evolved then I do object. I think the constitution should only be changed by constitutional amendment not by judge’s changing opinion about what is modern. Yes, change is slower but it is by consensus. If you want guns outlaw you should have to change the constitution not just the judges or even the elected officials.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-01-24 14:22:53

outlaw= outlawed.

Carl, that is the problem with the “living document” approach, who decides your question and what is the criteria used? The irony is that the power that the new media gives people is at least as dangerous as the increase in firepower of the weapons. A Hitler was able to use the power of radio and we had similar wackjobs in this country during the same era. Violent video games have been involved in all the mass shootings. But to regulate them we would have to amend the constitution. Since it is political speech that needs to be primarily protected I would have less of a problem with that than a restriction on my right to resist tyranny with armed rebellion, which was the purpose of the 2nd amendment.However, I do not even want to start going down that road because people would try to restrict true political speech.
The problem with registration of weapons is if the government knows who owns weapons they will confiscate them precisely when they are most needed to oppose the government. Plans where a background check is performed and the paperwork destroyed are easier to defend but there is the problem of whether the information is truly destroyed.

Comment by DinOR
2013-01-24 13:43:03

Interesting point. It’s recently been reminded that at one juncture, our military actually USED muskets! And shotguns etc.

I’d like to see the specific language and application ( as would any reasonable person ) before signing on.

Edward Abbey sounds a lot like many of us. We could visit, start a pool game neither of us felt like finishing and just wind up at the bar..?

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Comment by sfhomowner
2013-01-24 15:19:01

Why not a license and registration system for guns, like the one we have for cars.

Anyone here have a problem with the fact that cars must be registered and that you need to pass a test to drive a motor vehicle?

Why should a gun be any different?

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-01-24 15:45:22

See above. Guns should not be easy to confiscate when a government moves over to tyranny. Leaving a paper trail makes that very easy.

Comment by ahansen
2013-01-24 23:45:16

Moreover, it’s a lot harder to run over the revenooers with your Prius than it is to just shoot ‘em as they’re comin’ up the drive.

Comment by mathguy
2013-01-24 16:09:02

How about this compromise. We register all the modern weapons and keep the old muskets, but since that is our second amendment protection, no one can be prosecuted for shooting a federal employee with a musket.

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Comment by Carl Morris
2013-01-24 16:27:30

Can we call anything over 100 years old a musket?

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-01-24 09:13:40

“Feinstein’s bill would also create a national gun registry for the government to track lawful gun owners, the Times said.”

Canada just got rid of their gun registry, deleted, gone. We are way behind the curve.

Comment by polly
2013-01-24 12:23:43

“Of course, we can agree to a few commonsense limitations. Guns should not be sold to children, to the certifiably insane, or to convicted criminals.”

To even get to the point where current practices are up to this “commonsense” limitation, a whole heck of a lot would have to take place. No exception to background checks for gun shows and private sales is the most obvious, but you would also have to have a good database against which to run the check for being a convicted criminal or certifiably insane.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-01-24 13:11:07

“certifiably insane….”

First of all there is no such thing.

Secondly, psychosis tends to come in waves. It’s not a constant.

Thirdly, crazy people often test very well. They are often promoted to positions of responsibility over the lives and deaths of others.

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Comment by polly
2013-01-24 13:25:44

Then the authors commonsense limitations can’t be enforced. We still aren’t doing anything even close to it at this time.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-01-24 13:24:19

No exception to background checks for gun shows and private sales is the most obvious, but you would also have to have a good database against which to run the check for being a convicted criminal or certifiably insane.

I think most NRA types are OK with this. So why are we talking about magazines?

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Comment by polly
2013-01-24 13:35:50

Most NRA types might be OK with it, but the my guess is that the NRA itself isn’t and the organization (specifically its executives) controls the conversation.

Also, the implementation problems are so huge as to be almost beyond scope. We have toddlers who got stuck on the no fly list and suspected terrorsists is a short list. A comprehensive NATIONAL list of some subset of criminals and people who have been diagnosed as mentally unstable? Plus a perfect way to reliably distinguish John Smith the violent criminal from John Smith the guy down the street? Call me when you have an infinite amount of money and 20 years. Until then, the poiticians are going to talk about other stuff.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-01-24 16:44:28

I dont have a problem with this if it includes black people. But Obewanna is a racist…..

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-01-24 19:32:09

He must be pretty conflicted then.

Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 05:52:14

This is so wrong.

The bigger government becomes - the more corrupt it gets.

Today, all government care about is taking as much money from its citizens as possible. And rewarding those who are politically connected. For the average citizen - there is no escape.


Checkmate: Who’s Letting Debt Collectors Terrorize Consumers
SF Weekly | Wednesday, Jan 23 2013 | Denise Grollmus

Yet Orr says her woes didn’t lead her to write a bum check at the grocery store. “Sure, we’ve fallen on tough times,” says the 54-year-old from Riverside. “But I’ve never bounced a check before in my life. I’ve always been on top of my finances.”

Accidentally overdrawing one’s bank account isn’t a crime. It is, however, a hyper-lucrative business, allowing banks to collect $30 billion a year in overdraft fees while their customers frantically swim back to the surface. Such is the bounty of faulty math.

So Orr was shocked when she received a letter from the Riverside District Attorney’s Office accusing her of fraud.

In May, she wrote a check for $91 at an Albertson’s grocery store. A few days later, while reviewing her bank account, she noticed that the check had bounced. Orr headed back to Albertson’s to make good on her payment. But she was told that the store had already placed her in collections. It was out of the grocer’s hands.

A month later, Orr received a letter from the district attorney’s office. It inexplicably accused her of intent to commit fraud, noting that she was now eligible for “up to one year in the county jail.” The only way to avoid criminal charges: participate in the county’s “voluntary” bad-check restitution program.

“The letter really made me think I’d go to jail if I didn’t,” she says.

But the DA wanted more than $91 back. Though California law restricts the penalty on bad checks to $25, the letter demanded $333.51, which included $175 for a “voluntary” financial accountability class she’d have to take.

Orr didn’t even consider arguing her innocence. She just wanted the problem solved. So she called the phone number on the letter to make arrangements to pay in cash at the sheriff’s department. When she was told she could only send a check to a P.O. box, Orr grew suspicious.

“That’s when I asked if I was actually talking to someone in the DA’s office,” she says. “And they said no, that they were a company being paid to represent the DA.”

In fact, Orr had contacted Corrective Solutions, a private company from San Clemente. According to its website, it handles bad-check cases for 140 district attorneys nationwide — jurisdictions that oversee 65 million people, from Colorado to Florida, Michigan to Washington.

Consider it the privatizing of justice. Instead of investigating bad-check complaints, prosecutors simply pass them along to Corrective Solutions. The company then uses official DA letterhead to threaten jail time if consumers don’t pay up. Corrective Solutions also runs the “voluntary” financial-accountability classes, and prosecutors get a cut of the profits while barely lifting a finger.

Corrective Solutions didn’t respond — but the threatening letters kept coming.

“When no one wrote me back, I’d had it,” Orr says. “I’d tried everything, even calling the district attorney’s office directly. No one could help me. I just don’t see how this is right, or even legal.”

Debtors’ prisons were outlawed in 1833, when America decided it was counterproductive to imprison people for being broke. In truth, most people avoid their bills simply because they can’t pay them, not because they’re on the make.

Corrective Solutions paid handsomely for the bill. Between 2003 and 2006, the company spent more than $660,000 on lobbying. It also slathered donations on key senators like Connecticut Democrat Christopher Dodd, who would later leave office after accepting a sweetheart deal from a mortgage company.

The exemption essentially allowed companies like Corrective Solutions, BounceBack, and Check Diversion Program to operate above the law. They can send out notices on DA letterhead, threaten people with jail time, and rake in upward of $200 in fines per person. And it’s all perfectly legal.

Comment by MacBeth
2013-01-24 06:58:26

As I said a month or two ago:

The bigger the government, the more (and bigger) lies it must tell to justify its actions.

Government operates at a net loss to society. In order to grow, it must lie more often.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-01-24 07:14:49

MacBeth’s battle cry:

“Anarchy now!”

Comment by MacBeth
2013-01-24 08:05:51

Yes. I cry for that daily. Hourly, even.

That said, why do you post dozens of times more or less daily? Hourly, even?

You have that much to say?

Seems to me you have a great deal more in common with Limbaugh than you might imagine.

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Comment by ahansen
2013-01-24 12:49:51

If you have to cry “anarchy”, you’re not an anarchist.

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Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-24 07:58:48

The bigger the government, the more (and bigger) lies it must tell to justify its actions.

But this is an example of the government outsourcing to the ‘free market’, essentially making itself smaller.

Some tell us that this is always a good thing. But it seems to bring up all sorts of interesting issues.

Comment by MacBeth
2013-01-24 08:30:30

It doesn’t get smaller as it outsources. It gets bigger. The money spent grows larger. And so do the lies.

Where does the money come from to pay those contractors?

And, if I understand correctly, those “private sector” contractors make more income than “public sector” contractors would.

If that’s true, government spending is growing at a faster clip now than when it didn’t use “private” contractors.

Rather than cut spending, it has shifted the focus of spending and increased it.

It’s akin to big business sending jobs overseas, but in reverse.

With neocons everywhere (including in the White House and in both houses of government), what else would you expect?

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Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-24 09:27:06

If your point is that the privatization of government is counterproductive, and doesn’t really make ‘government’ any smaller, I agree.

Here we see a perfect example of the problems that arise when a private company takes over a government function.

Comment by ahansen
2013-01-24 13:01:00

Aren’t we really talking implementation rather than structure? There will be corruption in any system.

The more people within any given system, the more interactions there will be. The more interactions there are, the more opportunities for conflict of some sort or another. The more conflict, the greater need for common resolution. Corporations, warlords, prophets, monarchs, elected officials, once a society grows beyond the tribal stages, there will form bureaucracies.

“One size does not fit all” vs “Some common civility must be maintained”. THAT is the quandary. To what degree? is the argument.

Comment by tresho
2013-01-24 09:43:48

this is an example of the government outsourcing to the ‘free market’, essentially making itself smaller.
Makes. no. sense. This example is better described as rent-seeking, government farms out petty harassment of citizens to privateers, who can make a profit out of this.

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Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-24 10:03:40

This example is better described as rent-seeking,

Perhaps, but it’s also farming out what used to be a government job- the enforcement of contracts (in this case checks)- to the free market. The problem lies in the grey area of where the government’s authority ends when it’s being administered by a free market agent.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 13:25:10

You people have a problem with corporate communism?

After all, it’s just captialism and the free market, right? And if you are too poor, you are obviously guilty! (of something you worthless scum)

Comment by DinOR
2013-01-24 13:54:46

No one’s saying that. Straw at best.

Had ‘Corrective’ Solutions been responsive to this woman’s call and complaint, charged what is just, reasonable and fair, there wouldn’t be any problem. The city has farmed out parking citations for years.

If D.A’s want to outsource this, FINE, but ultimately they’re still accountable to citizens. They need to monitor these pvt. contractors and hold their feet to the fire, not put them up on a desk…

Comment by DinOR
2013-01-24 14:18:32

Arizona Slim,

( Keep losing your post upon re-fresh but..~! )

Good to see lots of the old gang here as well. btw, more liberal leaning posters here aren’t wrong, you can’t have your cake and?

All throughout the 90’s we were cheerleaders for privatizing all kinds of gov. functions. From edu. to prisons etc. But every TIME someone gets awarded a contract; just like DoD vendors; suddenly it becomes the proverbial lic. to STEAL.

That shizz ain’t right. If GSA *were* a trustworthy organization, they’d be the natural fit to oversee this stuff. But uh…

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Comment by oxide
2013-01-24 16:42:41

They need to monitor these pvt. contractors and hold their feet to the fire, not put them up on a desk…

Also known as “babysitting contractors who do the real work.” And the libertarians want to get rid of those monitor employees because they supposedly aren’t doing anything. So which is it?

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-01-24 05:55:06

Did all of California’s fruits and nuts relocate to Florida?

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-01-24 05:58:04

At least the guy didn’t literally try to eat his fiancée, the way the bath salts guy tried to eat the homeless guy…

Florida man reportedly tried to force fiancee to swallow engagement ring, deputies say
Published January 24, 2013

A Florida man has reportedly been arrested for trying to force his fiancée to swallow her diamond engagement ring because she no longer wanted to live with him.

ClickOrlando.com reports that Faron Thompson was arrested Sunday on charges of battery via strangulation and child neglect.

Thompson’s girlfriend of four years, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, said she was arguing with Thompson about moving her things out of her home and left the ring on the kitchen counter. When she went to retrieve it, she realized Thompson had the ring, according to deputies, adding that he tried to force the ring down her throat while holding her down.

Thompson also threatened to burn the woman’s house down, prompting her to call him a “psycho,” Orange County sheriff’s deputies said.

Comment by moral hazard
2013-01-24 06:40:43

“Did all of California’s fruits and nuts relocate to Florida?”

You don`t have to worry about the fruits and nuts leaving California, but you might want to worry about the dudes that pay a lot of your taxes.

Phil Mickelson scolds himself for candid comments about California tax rates

This doesn’t mean Mickelson is eager to embrace the federal and state tax hikes that are in the offing. But he, like many Californians, is torn.

Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 5:33 PM

“I’ve never had a problem paying my fair share,” he said.

“I don’t know what that is right now, but I’ve never had a problem paying my fair share.”

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more-sports/stupid-dumb-phil-scolds-tax-talk-article-1.1246144 - -

Comment by tresho
2013-01-24 09:45:47

Mickelson should have stuck strictly to professional golf and paid endorsements. If he wants to make comments on public issues he can adopt a pseudonym & post stuff on the internet like normal people do.

Comment by Cracker Bob
2013-01-24 11:07:42

Enbrel gets most of its sales from Medicare/Medicaid - Medicare/Medicaid get all of their funds from taxes - Enbrel pays x-amount of millions to Lefty to advertise - Hence, Lefty is paid in tax revenue to advertise Enbrel.

Conclusion: Lefty is an a**hole.

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Comment by oxide
2013-01-24 12:29:46

Libs are speculating that Mickelson is using taxes as an excuse to retire without admitting that his game is on its way down. I don’t follow golf so I don’t know if it’s true.

Comment by DinOR
2013-01-24 14:06:34

Phil’s had a great and storied career. He’ll go down as one of the all time greats. I shouldn’t think he’d need an excuse if he wanted to spend more time w/ his family? But people are gonna’ talk, what can any of us do?

In terms of his being taxpayer subsidized..? Check your inseam cuzz’ that was one helluva’ stretch. Would it be better if Enbrel was unavailable to sufferers? Because we can do that too…

Comment by Arizona Slim
2013-01-24 14:08:30

Hey, DinO! Long time, no post!

Welcome back to our big dysfunctional family!

Comment by DinOR
2013-01-24 14:30:31


Wah-ZING..! For ‘dysfunctional’ the atmosphere seems a good deal more balanced than last I checked.

We’re all pretty sure where the 20% of either extreme end of the spectrum hardliners stand? So that wouldn’t really interest the 60% of us in the middle that have been shouted DOWN over the last dozen or so years.

It was genuinely crushing to see a great MANY blogs turn into nothing more than e-versions of Wisconsin. At the end of the day when you’d have to get up out of your chair you’d do a shoulder check to make sure the casters on your office chair weren’t slashed..!

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-01-24 06:00:04

So much for the theory that Republicans are better at creating fiscal balance than Democrats are.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-01-24 06:03:41

Gov. Jerry Brown gets passing grade on budget
Published 8:21 pm, Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A balanced state budget is a rare and beautiful thing in California, so unusual that it deserves a hard look from Sacramento’s independent fiscal watchdog. The verdict from legislative analyst Mac Taylor should please Gov. Jerry Brown and the rest of the state: The spending package is balanced and relatively gimmick-free.

Last week Brown produced a $97.7 billion budget plan built on a reviving economy and tax increase approved by voters that boosted levies on the wealthy, along with the sales tax. In weighing the numbers, Taylor said the spending plan was “roughly in balance” and devoid of smoke-and-mirrors features of past budgets that delayed paying bills and robbed special funds.

The praise came with a warning, though. The governor’s numbers will hold up only if the Legislature can resist adding back money it cut heavily in the past two years. Also, the budget doesn’t have a sizable rainy-day fund or make inroads on tens of billions in future retirement and health costs for state employees and teachers.

The budget also leaves untouched its major weakness: a heavy dependence on wealthy taxpayers, whose stock-market dealings are notoriously volatile. Brown’s numbers take advantage of the present good times, which could flip the other way if the economy sours.

Overall, Taylor’s outlook remains reassuring: This state has a prudent spending plan - at least for the moment.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-01-24 06:17:53

I would like someone other than a government employee make that statement. They always use a static analysis when evaluating budgets, a ten percent increase in taxes results in a ten percent increase in revenue. It never works like that in the real world. After a few more months we will know whether it really is a balanced budget and how much the tax increases will generate.

Comment by azdude
2013-01-24 06:36:24

I thought the facebook failure screwed up the budget? That budget is so bogus only a fool would believe the numbers.

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Comment by michael
2013-01-24 07:04:40

yes…a fool.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-01-24 11:23:08

A good reason to be cautious on the projections:


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Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 07:50:11

Hey look - I balanced the budget!


I ignore the insane promises made to public unions
I assume liberals and democrats won’t add in massive amounts of new spending (and they control ALL of California’s government)
And I assume increasing taxes results in increasing revenue to the state (which at certain point it fails to do).

But hey - no smoke and mirrors and gimmick free!

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-24 08:52:10

AND, if we don’t pass a budget, we don’t get paid…

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Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-24 09:35:38

It’s All Hands On Deck at Kochtopus HQ. A Democrat has balanced California’s budget, at least in part by raising taxes on the wealthy.

Sound the alarm! This will not stand!

Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 10:51:57

I will put $1000 down that the CA budget is a sham and it will not balance. You also put up $1000.

We can both give the money to Ben.

Come 24 JAN 2014:

If the CA budget is balanced - you win and keep all the money
If the CA budget is not balanced - I win and keep all the money

I know you won’t take me up on it because the CA budget is a sham.

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Comment by polly
2013-01-24 12:27:35

Why do you expect Ben to act as a go between on your bet for no compensation?

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-24 20:38:41

Who defines ’sham’?

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-01-24 06:06:40

Jerry Brown’s second act: With California budget balanced, what now?

Gov. Jerry Brown will give his State of the State speech Thursday – a week after saying the state is no longer running deficits. Now he has to lay out a new vision.

By Daniel B. Wood, Staff writer / January 23, 2013

Gov. Jerry Brown points to a chart showing an increase in education funding during a news conference where he unveiled his proposed 2013-14 state budget at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., last week.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-01-24 06:11:42

I guess we’ll never know what Moneybags Meg would have done with the budget.

Comment by ahansen
2013-01-24 13:27:32

“…we’ll never know…”
Thank the gods.

Btw, my money’s on Jer. He’s left the State with a surplus before, and everyone in Sacto is scared sheetless of him. It’s that Jesuit thing….

Comment by DinOR
2013-01-24 14:37:48

Shouldn’t they at least take gander at entitlements and get off the payday loans before talking about balancing anything? If anyone’s ’scared’ of JB, it’s only b/c he’s really beginning to LOOK like a psychopath?

No offense but they need to fail, default and move on.

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Comment by ahansen
2013-01-24 23:58:00

I think they’re planning to leave that up to the counties and municipalities. Seriously. That’s how the State budget will balance.

Comment by oxide
2013-01-24 06:07:40

I’m surprised nobody posted this yesterday, for AZ Slim:

Toll Brothers Plans to Develop Luxury College Dormitories

John Gittelsohn (Bloomibergi 1/23/13)

“Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL), the largest U.S. luxury-home builder, is beginning development of high-end college dormitories, according to Chief Executive Officer Douglas Yearley Jr.

The dorms will be off campus, starting at two East Coast universities the company will identify later. The buildings won’t be affiliated with the schools, giving Horsham, Pennsylvania-based Toll greater control of the properties, such as managing the rent, Yearley said. They will feature such amenities as a bathroom for every resident, movie-screening rooms and gyms.”

These aren’t really “dorms,” they’re off-campus apartments, meaning that they aren’t subject to campus dry laws or dry enforcement. No wonder they need a bathroom for each resident.

I wonder if people realize that high-end dorms is just another example of privitizing profit and socializing losses. The profit from this high-end value-added room and board is funneled directly to Tool Broos, but guaranteed by government-backed student loans. Well why not. Corporations have gotten the government to pay for on-the-job training for decades. You could even consider the liberal-arts degrees to be a form of people-skills training for work at Applebee’s.

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-24 07:24:19

That’s housing for the kidz of the 1%, not for the Lucky Ducks. There may not be that many junior 1%ers, but there’s enough of them to create demand for this.

We once rented a 4BR duplex off campus at State U for the princely sum of $131.25 per person per month.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-24 10:14:57

My first college house was $200 per person, utilities included. Private bedroom, shared bath, block and a half from campus, great shady front porch to watch the girls go by.

Et ego in arcadia fui.

Comment by Arizona Slim
2013-01-24 11:02:38

Here in Tucson, there’s a whole lotta student apartment building going on. To the point where one of our city council members recently said that the market MAY be getting a wee bit over-saturated. Just a wee bit.

IMHO, if you liked the bubblegum burst all over the face of the SFR housing bubble, you’ll love the current student housing bubble.

Oh, did I mention that our local rental vacancy rate is around 16%? Meaning that we need more rentals like we need a hole in the head.

And did I also say that our current crop of high-end student rental complexes compete fiercely for a very limited pool of customers? I know this via a good friend, whose son used to manage one of those complexes. He got his complex up to 92% occupancy, and that took quite a bit of work.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 13:36:13

Seems kinda stupid condersing the rich kids can live anywhere they want, in the first place.

Comment by Arizona Slim
2013-01-24 13:40:02

What’s even stupider is where these complexes are located.

Right now, in Downtown Tucson, construction is underway on one called The Cadence. One of its two buildings is next to a very busy set of Union Pacific tracks.

This is the very same UP line that runs past the former location of a friend’s art studio. Every time a train went by, you literally could not hear the person sitting next to you.

When my friend and her (now deceased) husband moved to another house, they bought one that had a guesthouse in the back yard. Guest house became my friend’s much quieter studio.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-01-24 06:10:34

That story I tried to post last weekend is finally available online:

Cover Stories
Realty’s new reality | San Diego Reader
Bunny, bunny, bunny…
By Siobhan Braun, Jan. 16, 2013

I am in a conference room at the Hillcrest Keller Williams office among roughly 75 realtors that are pretending to be bunny rabbits. A middle-aged woman places her hands in front of her face, simulating buck teeth. She shouts, “Bunny, bunny, bunny!”

A woman in a pink-and-black-striped sweater lifts her lanky arms above her head, giving them the appearance of floppy ears. She hops in place before yelling, “Bunny, bunny, bunny!”

A man with a microphone hushes the bunnies.

“Very good,” he says enthusiastically. The room applauds.

“That was about lowering your inhibitions,” he continues. “Moving out of that fear of this will make me look stupid is really valuable in real estate. This next game pushes that teamwork thing even further.”

He instructs the agents to break into groups of 12. One person will pretend to be a tree; two are to imagine they are something related.

“I’m the tree,” says a man in a three-piece suit. He stretches his arms, making them branch-like.

“I’m a Christmas present!” a petite woman says, rolling herself into a ball at his feet.

“I’m a little girl opening that Christmas present,” says a blonde in a tight blazer. She bends down and pretends to unwrap the woman.

A spiky-gray-haired agent to my left says with a cynical sigh, “And what exactly does this have to do with real estate?” She looks exasperated.

A nearby realtor raises a judgmental eyebrow.

Five minutes later, the announcer again hushes the room. The realtors fill the available seats. Some must stand at the back of the room.

“That game is a great example of what real estate is really about,” says the announcer. “We have no idea what’s going to happen next.”

Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 07:54:03

Except we expect out 5-6% commission no matter what advancements in technology.

We always say it is a good time to buy.

We will always sell you a load of crap at a price we know you can’t afford.

That the MID is a great thing for everyone.

And we will always say - But don’t worry - you can always refinance later when the house appreciates!

“We have no idea what’s going to happen next.”

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-01-24 10:36:10

Plus: we will always say that renting is throwing your money away. Even when house prices are depreciating thus making owning more expensive than renting.

Comment by DinOR
2013-01-24 14:42:28

And to think in ‘07 we thought realtor prayer meetings were creepy? I love a good Kabuki as much as the next guy but…

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Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-24 10:23:15

“I’m a Christmas present!” a petite woman says, rolling herself into a ball at his feet.

“I’m a little girl opening that Christmas present,” says a blonde in a tight blazer. She bends down and pretends to unwrap the woman.

I kind of liked where that one was going…

Comment by ahansen
2013-01-24 13:29:56


Comment by wittbelle
2013-01-24 15:35:44

Boom chicka wah-wah…

Comment by Arizona Slim
2013-01-24 11:03:43

I do similar warmup exercises in my acting classes.

And here’s the point: They’re ACTING classes. Not business classes.

Comment by oxide
2013-01-24 12:33:54

For raeltors, acting is probably more applicable than business.

Comment by Arizona Slim
2013-01-24 12:54:43

True, dat.

But acting, if you want to do it well, takes work. A lot of work. And you have to audition for EVERYTHING. Which involves rejection.

I don’t think that a lot of real estate types have that in them.

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Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 13:43:56

There’s a “breeds like rabbits” joke in there somewhere! :lol:

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-01-24 06:13:57

Don’t tell me that Steve Jobs is dead!

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-01-24 06:16:16

It looks like Apple got nuked.

Futures: S&P 500 -0.2% DOW +0.1% NASDAQ -1.3%

Apple shares down 9% in premarket trading
Nasdaq futures falling as Apple gloom takes hold

Nasdaq futures are off more than a point in the wake of Apple results that disappointed investors. Talk of more nuclear testing from North Korea also hits sentiment. Jobless claims are seen rising later.
Will Apple lose its Wall Street support? (The Tell)

Comment by azdude
2013-01-24 06:34:27

should I buy the dip in aapl this morning? the experts were sayn it was a generational buying opportunity at 550.

Should I back up the truck on aapl?

Comment by michael
2013-01-24 07:08:24

i got an ipad mini for christmas…i took it back.

the apple clerk seemed a bit flabbergasted that i was taking back and apple product for no particular reason other than i did not want it.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-24 10:29:35

Why didn’t you want it?

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Comment by michael
2013-01-24 11:09:33

it’s basically a bigger iphone 3 but you can’t make calls.

they just put some lipstick on a pig to sell to their cult followers.

Comment by michael
2013-01-24 11:11:02

oh yeah and i forgot the most important part….for 400+ bucks.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-01-24 07:16:46

Never been a better time for dips to buy Apple stock. Go for it!

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-01-24 10:40:10

At these prices we are probably close to a near term bottom and there might be a tradeable bounce. However, I would not buy and hold since I think Apple’s margins will be under pressure for a while. I am not going to buy this since the risk/ reward ratio does not appeal to me.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-01-24 11:07:06

I still like platinum and palladium and stories like this make my more bullish:


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Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 13:45:37


Comment by moral hazard
2013-01-24 06:19:26

San Francisco Rental Prices at All-Time High, to Absolutely No One’s Surprise

By Carly Nairn
Posted January 3, 2013 3:00 pm

As Executive Editor Tim Redmond of the San Francisco Bay Guardian noted, Bay Area rents may be “too damn high,” but both rents and home prices have continued to increase drastically, even during the recession.

The Chronicle’s chart of housing prices throughout the Bay Area shows an increase in all counties, and even though the growth in San Francisco rents last month was not quite 3 percent, the city still had a median average rent of $3,100, the highest of all counties.

Scary stuff, and Mission Local’s reports on Mission District apartments and commercial rents suggest that the trend won’t be abating anytime soon.

http://missionlocal.org/2013/01/san-francisco-rental-prices-at-all-time-high-to-absolutely-no-ones-surprise/ - 52k -

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-24 07:11:12

An economy based on facebook likes, twitter tweets, and farmville crops will sustain the rent and price increases to infinity.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-01-24 07:17:46

As long as we all keep believing, things will turn out just fine.

Comment by MacBeth
2013-01-24 08:33:25

Spoken like a true Californian.

(hey, I hear you guys have a “balanced” budget out there!)

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Comment by oxide
2013-01-24 08:36:51

I still think it’s based on 2-3 incomes shacking up into apartments built for 1-2 incomes.

Here’s a senario: Tom can afford $1000 for rent. Both LL A and LL B offer a place for $1000, so Tom rents for $1000 from LL A. LL A raises the A rent from $1000 to $1200 and dares Tom to pay or move. Meanwhile, LL B starts a “price war” by raising the B rent from $1000 to $1150.

Tom decides it’s not worth the hassle to move from A to B for 50 bucks, so he takes in roomie Ted. Ted also can afford $1000 for rent. They have $2000 to pay $1200 of rent. T&T now each pay $600 for rent, and each has $400 left over for goodies. LL A raises rent to $1400 and dares them to pay. No problem, says T&T. They still each have $200 left over for goodies.

LL B sees that T&T are easily making the rent in A, so B starts a “price war” by raising the B rent from $1150 to $1350. T&T don’t care. But now Angie, who lives in B, can only afford $1200, not $1350. She takes in roomie Abigail who can also afford $1200. Now A&A have $2400 to pay $1350, and each has $525 left over for goodies. Both LLs see T&A clubbing it up on extra cash and think it’s time to raise the rent again.

This is how the rent can inexplicably keep going up, and how price wars still result in price increases. There is still capacity for youngsters to shack up especially. In the areas With Jobs, you run out of apartments before you run out of roomies. Roomies come in from home, from college, from another state. The only things that will stagnate rents is to run out of jobs, or to dump such a huge new inventory that apartments outnumber roomies, like the imminent dumping of 28000 new units in DC.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-24 08:54:30

Yup. Far too little housing has caused overcrowding to be a major problem in CA.

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Comment by oxide
2013-01-24 11:24:22

Well the funny thing is that all those new apartments in DC are priced even a little higher than the old ones, not in the least because the new apartments are shiny high-rises full of goodies like granite and glass walls. Rents need to be high to offset the cost of land and construction. So even if there were enough apartments to go around, people couldn’t afford them singly, and they would shack up anyway.

And notice that adding even one roommate causes a huge flexibility in what people can afford — up to a ~$600 viable window, give or take. Now that the usual first-month-free comes in the form of lower introductory rent, it’s hard for rents to follow hard-and-fast rules of supply and demand.

Comment by Bronco
2013-01-24 16:36:54

Oxide, you are really missing the big picture here. Your microanalysis of increased affordability via taking a roommate is correct. The macro reality is that if there are 2 apartments and 2 tennants, and the tennants decide to share one apartment that creates a 50% tenancy rate– one of the landlords gets no rent at all! This puts major downward pressure on rental rates. The landlords will compete with lower rates to get their vacancy filled.

Comment by oxide
2013-01-24 16:52:13

Bronco, in an area with jobs, there are usually enough people to fill all the available housing. As I said, there are always people coming in from college dorms or low-skilled who don’t want to live at home, foreign students, illegals… There tend to be more people than units unless there’s a huge dump of inventory.

And it’s heavily regional. In an area with high concentration of office buildings and/or a metro stop and people who don’t want to drive and pay for parking, it does no good if there are a lot of apartments even five miles away.

Also factor in that the only way to keep cheap rent is to move every year. People are willing to pay a little more to stay put. I know, I’ve been there.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-01-24 17:02:37

Ms. Realtor and Rental Pimp~

This is quite the charade you have going here.

Pssst….. nobody believes a word you say.

Comment by Bronco
2013-01-24 17:14:33

I don’t disagree that there are areas in the country with burdensome rental rates, bay area california is one of them. It has to do with high demand, with relatively static housing stocks.

You are confusing cause and effect. The taking of roommates is the RESULT of high rental rates, not the CAUSE.

Comment by moral hazard
2013-01-24 17:37:48

“Ms. Realtor and Rental Pimp~”

I read this while Mrs. hazzard was walking by and she asked…. What are you laughing at?

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-24 19:37:47

You are confusing cause and effect. The taking of roommates is the RESULT of high rental rates, not the CAUSE.


I disagree.

If the tenants can’t afford the rents, landlords drop the rents…people being willing to double up to live in the neighborhood of their choice allows the landlords to keep their rents high. If people were unwilling to double-up, rents would fall.

Comment by Bronco
2013-01-24 20:02:19

You are wrong. Doubling up puts downward pressure on rents.

Comment by Bronco
2013-01-24 20:31:23

“Higher rents lead to higher vacancy which leads to lower rents.”


Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-24 23:32:12

What comes first, the doubling up, or the rental listing?

Rental listing. If the rent is too high, people don’t rent unless they are willing to double up to pay the rent. Doubling up is a response to lack of supply/higher rents. The more people double-up because of lack of supply, the easier it is for landlords to raise rents.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-24 23:56:47

“Critical MAS is the blog for Michael Allen Smith (MAS) of Seattle. My interests include nutrition, fitness, finance, travel, coffee and web development.”

His blog posting was in April of 2011, deriding a projection that rents were going to rise by 10% by the end of 2012 (about 1.75 years after the report.

He noted that “I’m going to make the case that rents will NOT increase, and most likely drop as 2012 comes to a close.”

From April 2011 to December 2012, estimated rents per square foot in Seattle (the home of the blogger), according to Zillow, increased by approximately 15%…

He doesn’t seem to know what he’s talking about.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-01-26 08:38:50

And neither do you. Worse yet, you’re lying about Seattle.

Comment by michael
Comment by goon squad
2013-01-24 07:20:16

Note that £222,000 = $350,000 USD at current exchange rates.

Considering that the future belongs to Lucky Ducky, and that there is no recovery except the recoveryless recovery, we call BS on this.

It may “cost” $350K, but how much of that will be provided by the taxpayers in the form of free Head Start, free school breakfasts, free school lunches, SNAP cards, child tax credits, earned income tax credits, et cetera?

Comment by In Colorado
2013-01-24 08:38:13

The lion’s share would be section 8, and we know that’s being rationed.

Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 07:58:19

Is $250,000 of that for college costs?

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 13:48:33

READING the artcle will clarify that for you.

Comment by Neuromance
2013-01-24 07:30:07

Lanny Breuer may be leaving DOJ after airing of The Untouchables on 1/22/13. Not sure whether this is a trial balloon to deflect blame and attention or if it’s real. Time will tell. It’s clearly not a sacking, with unnamed sources and no specific departure date. If the public reaction is this instead of this, then it might just be reported as a big mistake and things go back to normal.

Lanny Breuer, Justice Department criminal division chief, is stepping down
By Danielle Douglas, Published: January 23
Washington Post

Lanny A. Breuer is leaving the Justice Department after leading the agency’s efforts to clamp down on public corruption and financial fraud at the nation’s largest banks, according to several people familiar with the matter.

It is not clear when Breuer intends to leave his post, nor what he plans to do once he departs, but it is certain that the prosecutor’s days in office are winding down, according to people who were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.


Comment by rms
2013-01-24 09:00:40

Lanny Breuer worships at the same franchise as the fed, treasury, wall street, etc., so don’t be surprised with the lack of high-level indictments.

Comment by Arizona Slim
2013-01-24 11:05:12

Good riddance to bad rubbish! Let’s get Elliott Spitzer in there and watch some prosecutions happen.

Comment by joe bobo smith
2013-01-24 11:11:54

This isn’t some admission of guilt or shame. It’s routine for these guys to do short stints. We just had a top DOJ official return to our firm as a Partner and they threw a big event for the occassion. The entire firm was invited but the only people who really mattered were the GCs of clients, his DOJ colleagues, and the heads of various agencies. When an event is “open” in this way, the firm isn’t bound on how much it can spend, since the money isn’t directed at government officials or clients.

Being in a top position at DOJ, like being at Treasury or GAO or DoD, is an honor, but it’s also a big pay cut.

The DoD’s top lawyer is returning to private practice at Paul Weiss RW&G this month as well. These guys make 5-10x as much as partners as they do even at the top government jobs.

See http://www.law360.com/governmentcontracts/articles/409312?nl_pk=9d07ff26-0986-46de-917f-4b7f3ce1f9dc&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=governmentcontracts

(”Pentagon’s Top Atty Returns To Paul Weiss
Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP said Tuesday that Jeh Charles Johnson, former general counsel for the U.S. Department of Defense, has rejoined the firm as a partner in the litigation department at its Washington office.”

Comment by rms
2013-01-24 13:06:33

“We just had a top DOJ official return to our firm as a Partner and they threw a big event for the occassion.”

Sounds like “revolving door cronyism,” IMHO.

Comment by Neuromance
2013-01-24 13:22:20

Former head of FCC, Michael Powell, left to become the head of a cable lobbying group:


It’s a farce.

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Comment by michael
2013-01-24 13:41:23


Comment by Ryan
Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 08:01:39

The beauty of government contractors is that when you no longer need them or can afford them - you just don’t renew their contract.

No legacy costs. No 30 years pensions to maintain. No unemployment compensation.

The day the contract ends is the last day you need to shell out any money.

Comment by michael
2013-01-24 08:08:16

that’s fascist talk!

Comment by Ryan
2013-01-24 08:10:47

Amazing to see the disconnect. Liberal-minded folks defend unions as the only ones who will protect the worker from aggressive employers…..in a market regulated by the Government. Yet here we are talking about our own Government treating it’s employees in a manner other than what would be considered prudent by the union.

As these guys are defense contractors, they are different as should be their treatment.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-01-24 10:38:37

What’s the disconnect? A worker can’t trust the market or the government to give him a fair shake. Hence unions. Unions aren’t reliance on government. Unions are reliance on each other.

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Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 11:06:29


When a worker has to join a union as a condition of EMPLOYMENT and then the union takes out its unions dues before the worker even get his/her paycheck as a condition of EMPLOYMENT…

is NOT

a fair shake
reliance on each other
a worker not trusting the market or government

Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-01-24 12:44:34

IF the scabs were upstanding citizens, they would refuse to accept union/contract pay and benefits, and just take what the company offers them. What’s fair is far.

But (as I observed repeatedly), they never do. In fact, the worst of the scabs got the best of both worlds……didn’t pay dues, crossed picket lines and made the big bucks working O/T during the strike, and go retroactive pay raises when the strike was settled.

Even this caused problems for unions in “right to work” states, because the non-members (usually all the Boostrapping Republican-types) got the same pay, benefits, and union-representation (sometimes…….about all the union guys could do about scabs was put their grievances on the bottom of the stack……if you were a scab, and filed a grievance, it might take 2-3 years to get a hearing), but paid ZERO dues, and crossed picket lines during strikes

The Machinists Union locals at the aerospace OEMs were never sure how many of the scabs would actually cross, and how many might decide to join the union in the event of a strike.

So they usually ended up signing crappier contracts, thanks to their scabs/backstabbers.

Needless to say, scabs whining about “union thugs” who keyed their cars, or cut their tires didn’t gain much sympathy from anyone….even some of the management.

(Some of the lower/mid-level management didn’t like scabs either. Their view being: “If these guys don’t mind screwing the people they work with every day, how are they going to screw us?)

(Not that the union is perfect…….our department had issues that the union guys never addressed, until our department became one of the 2-3 biggest in the company)

Comment by Avocado
2013-01-24 09:56:03

Lay off Halliburton! They get no bid contracts and tax breaks. Ahhh… corporate welfare! gotta love the hypocrites that are for it and against single moms getting food stamps.

Comment by Bluestar
2013-01-24 12:38:46

Well yes and no… General Dynamics is a defense contractor who had a contract to build the Navy A-12 which Dick Cheney canceled back in 1990. 18,000 people lost their job in the space of 3 month but GD had a loophole, they had a clause in the contract that paid them a huge termination fee. That termination fee was added to the balance sheet while the layoffs were book as one-time losses and carried on their books as a tax credit. The DoD is still trying to get their money back to this day.

Comment by joe bobo smith-flacco
2013-01-24 13:23:58

The way private contractor costs are calculated actually understates how m uch they cost the gov’t. There are many things that the government has to pay for that are related to the K but can’t/aren’t paid directly to the contractor.

And then, as you mention, there are reimbursement costs, overhead costs, termination costs, etc. It’s a game. A complex game wherein the real incentives and motives are below the radar of your average rah-rah moron who likes memes and talking points.

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Comment by joe bobo smith-flacco
2013-01-24 13:20:48

“The beauty of government contractors is that when you no longer need them or can afford them - you just don’t renew their contract.”

This rarely happens. In the rare cases where an incumbent loses a contract (not because the K was cancelled, but bc another contractor won it) it’s rarely based on price or price realism or anything like that. It’s usually based on a technical deficiency in the RFP, causing a bid protest (which results in corrective action 41% of the time). In other words, it’s very expensive and contracting money is never cut. Republicans freaking LOVE defense contractors, especially. We pay defense contractors a ton but we don’t take care of servicemen or veterans very well.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 14:59:41

That’s because soldiers are not producers!

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Comment by goon squad
2013-01-24 08:09:45

Without getting into details, we became aware yesterday of a contract termination in a field office of another agency that is not the DoD that will result in about 60 contractor analyst/financial/admin staff getting laid off by the end of March.

Comment by Montana
2013-01-24 09:39:54

Well that’s supposed to be the beauty of outsourcing. Do people seriously want full time permanent employees hired on to do every friggin thing government does?

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-24 10:15:31
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Comment by joe bobo smith
2013-01-24 11:24:01

We recently won a protest for a client and are filing a request for the agency (Air force in this case) to pay the fees associated with the protest.

Best part? The client contractor fits certain parameters (basically “disadvantaged” status) that will allow them to recover their *full* costs, which means over $400/hr for associate time, over $750/hr for partner time, and so forth. Usually at GAO recovering costs isn’t worth it because they’ll only grant maybe $100/hr for a partner who bills out at $750+. And you may get denied, because for large contractors, it’s pretty hard to prove that any particular agency decision really causes them a loss since they already have massive budgets to handle these things.

My point? If the work we contract out was actually done by Fed Gov employees, this is yet another cost that wouldn’t exist.

Comment by joe bobo smith
2013-01-24 11:28:16

Also, Goon, I think I posted this ~10 days ago…

LMCO *by itself* accounts for something like 15% of the Pentagon budget (not sure what percentage of this is LM and what percent is wholly owned subs)

Teabillies complain about Linda the Lunchlady living lavishly (TM) but largely have no problem with Lockheed.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 15:04:48

That’s because Lockheed helps kill them backward, goat “lovin,” Hajis!

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 15:03:07

“Do people seriously want full time permanent employees hired on to do every friggin thing government does?”

Apparently as federal contract employees outnumber regular federal employees.

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Comment by Ben Jones
2013-01-24 08:09:20

The comments to this are telling:

‘Toronto housing sales plummet 50% in a year’


Something about a housing bubble brings out the nastier side, even in Canada.

Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 08:43:33

Let me get the cycle on paper:

Cheap money and government guarantees for the banks
Housing bubble
Everyone wants to live here
Get on the property ladder before you are priced out forever
The economy is great! Even is no one can afford a house.
Sales slow
Hey - I am not going to GIVE away my house
Prices stagnate
Sales slow even more
More houses come on the market
Prices come down (but sticky)
Still not going to give away my house
Sales slow even more
Hey, let’s chase the market down with price cuts
People with 0% down loans start walking away
People with lost of home equity loans start walking away
Short Sales
I am a victim
The economy is tanking! Worst recession since WWII!
Government needs to do something!
Trillions in bailouts
Trillions more in “stimulus”
Easy and cheaper money will SAVE US!

Housing bubble v2.0 begins

Did I miss any of the steps?

Comment by oxide
2013-01-24 09:17:02

The economy is great! Even if no one can afford a house.
Physically run out buyers
Sales slow
The end of the grace period on the risky loan* nears
Prices come down (but sticky)
I’m should probably sell, but…
Still not going to give away my house
Sales slow even more
My mortgage just went up $426! Now I HAVE to sell.
Hey, let’s chase the market down with price cuts
No takers because we already ran out of consumer buyers
Bottom feeders and investors not yet ready to bottom feed
People with 0% down loans start walking away
People with lots of home equity loans start walking away
The economy is tanking! Worst recession since WWII!
Shack ups make it possible for rent to keep going up
Government needs to do something!
Easy and cheaper money will SAVE US!
Bottom feeders make their move
Housing bubble v2.0 begins

*According to CFPB, loans with a expiring grace period like ARM, I/O, neg-am, or balloon anything, where payments go up, is defined as “risky.”

Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 09:23:48

Good comments.

So sad it is just so predictable.

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Comment by ahansen
2013-01-24 14:26:26

LOL, Ben. It’s HBB c. early 2006. Love it!

Comment by rms
2013-01-24 23:20:16

“The comments to this are telling:”

+1 Great comments indeed.

Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 08:52:30

Actually - that is a pretty cool house. And you never have to replace the roof!


Have you been living under a rock? Mexican family converts 131-foot stone in desert into a home
The Daily Mail Online | January 24, 2013 | Helen Pow

Most people think living under a rock is something to avoid.

But for one Mexican family, it’s a dream come true. Farmer Benito Hernandez knew since the age of eight that he wanted to make a 131-foot rock formation in Coahuila, Mexico, his home.

It took him 20 years to buy the land but as soon as he was able, Hernandez and his wife Santa Martha constructed a sun-dried brick house beneath the awe-inspiring formation.

Located about 50 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border near the remote community of San Jose de Piedras, the home is small.

But it was large enough for the couple to raise seven children over the 30 years they’ve inhabited the cave-like property.

‘I started coming here when I was 8 years old to visit the Candelilla fields and I liked it here,’ Hernandez said.

‘I wasn’t married and I didn’t have a family yet, but I liked it and I had to keep coming to put my foot in because lands here are won through claiming them.’

Though Hernandez installed a wood-burning stove, electricity is unreliable in the dwelling, which in located in the arid desert.


Comment by In Colorado
2013-01-24 09:25:22

Located about 50 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border near the remote community of San Jose de Piedras, the home is small.

LOL, that’s funny. Piedra means stone or rock.

Comment by frankie
Comment by oxide
2013-01-24 11:35:18

installed a wood-burning stove, electricity is unreliable in the dwelling, which in located in the arid desert.

Got solar?

Comment by ahansen
2013-01-24 13:43:52

I have so much respect for that couple, it’s not even funny. What a story their children must tell!

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 15:11:26

Yeah, the one where they couldn’t wait to leave and live somewhere with electricity, TV, Playstations and hot and cold running water. :lol:

Comment by Mark Lapham
2013-01-24 09:20:40

Strong economic growth requires strong and sustainable growth in home building. We are currently experiencing a recovery is residential building, but not a boom (1.5 to 2.0 million starts). To achieve that boom and sustain it without diving back into the problems of 2009 we must reorganize our financial institutions to reflect a basic reality: consumer banking, including mortgage lending, does not inherently earn an economic profit.

Applying the principles of the old Glass-Steagall Act to a 21st century environment, we need to recreate a thrift industry, highly regulated, admittedly subsidized, and separated in ownership, management, and basic objectives from commercial and investment banking. Please see letsfixamerica.net for a full exposition and opportunity to participate.

Comment by Arizona Slim
2013-01-24 11:06:28

Ummm, Mark, a little hint: Nothing wrong with wrapping your URL into your online handle, but we kind of frown on building traffic to our websites. Just sayin’…

Comment by ahansen
2013-01-24 14:07:41

Some good ideas in your essays, Mark. Why not summarize and post them here for comment?

In particular I was struck by your observation that when banks used to require 20% downpayment on a mortgage loan, an appreciable part of that sum would likely be borrowed from relatives, thereby obligating the borrower to consider not only their own skin and the bank’s, but that of the spousal parents as well — thus ensuring another level of accountability for repayment.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 15:13:04

Thanks, but I already do business with a credit union.

Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 09:27:23

Socialism sounds good until you actually have to live under it.

Then it is not so fun anymore.

But it amusing seeing those who supported these policies get shafted by the very some policies that they voted for.

Sadly - most will not learn any lessons from it.


Enjoy the schadenfreude!: College professors face layoffs because of Obamacare
January 24, 2012 | Derrick Hollenbeck, staff writer

The excited grins we saw in the sea of faces at Barack Obama’s second Inauguration told us we lost and the socialists won.

They made sure we understood that. Liberal talking heads on television and radio as well as in print and in the blogosphere have been taunting us since November and there is no reason to think they will stop any time soon.

Their jobs are now safe for as far as the eye can see. “..segment of Obama supporters are learning that elections have consequences and being on the winning side doesn’t guarantee good times ahead.

America’s college professors, especially adjunct (part time non-tenured) professors are “getting it” now. Harvard University’s Center for Responsive Politics has complied data on the political leanings of those who teach at America’s colleges.

It reports that on average college faculties donate to Democrats over Republicans by a rate of 4 to 1, but in some schools that rate goes up to 99% as in the College of William and Mary. “…these professors are learning real life economic lessons courtesy of the provisions of Obamacare.

The stories of colleges beginning to cut back teaching hours for their adjunct professors (the foot soldiers of America’s higher education industry), are making their way to public knowledge.

In December, only a month after he most likely voted for Barack Obama, an adjunct professor at an Ohio school, opened a letter telling him that “in order to avoid penalties under the Affordable Care Act… employees with part-time or adjunct status will not be assigned more than an average of 29 hours per week.”

The cut will cost him $2,000.00 a year, and this guy crying that he can’t afford the cut. Gee aint that a terrible thing?….

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-24 09:36:42

And when they or their kidz get sick or injured and go to the ER with no health insurance, you’ll *still* get to pay for it.


Comment by In Colorado
2013-01-24 09:40:18

And not just pay for it, but you’ll pay twice as much for it as you would in a socialist hell hole like Germany.

Comment by Avocado
2013-01-24 09:50:32

Do we even have any Socialist countries to know if it works? We certainly don’t have real Communism, nor real Capitalism.

time for a new “ism” And that is what we are moving towards

Comment by joe bobo smith
2013-01-24 11:13:16

Living in Sweden/Norway/Denmark/Germany/Switzerland would be *awful*.

Comment by ahansen
2013-01-24 14:11:17

It’s a sad day in America when we don’t pay our professors enough to take their kid to a doctor.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 15:17:16

Adjunct professors and teaching assistants have always gotten the stinky end of the stick.

Blaming it on Obamacare is just propganda.

The inner politcs of higher education is a dirty, dirty business.

Comment by wittbelle
2013-01-24 15:51:07

Seems like critics want to blame Obama, Obamacare, socialism, etc… when this stuff has been going on for decades. People really ought to try and think for themselves. Otherwise, they just look ignorant.

Comment by Avocado
2013-01-27 10:08:22


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Comment by tresho
2013-01-24 16:08:52

The inner politcs of higher education is a dirty, dirty business.
Shirley Jackson’s 1948 short story “The Lottery” is said to have partly been inspired by politics within Bennington College where her husband was a faculty member.

Comment by Avocado
2013-01-24 09:40:15

Looking for advice…
I am in cash after selling my houses in 06 and 09, I cant stand getting .25% in the bank, so I am looking for other places to move the money.
REIT’s pay over 10%, heck (TWO) is at17%
I am thinking of taking $100k and spreading it out over 10 stocks that pay over 10% divs to generate $20k + a yr!! AM I NUTS? I dont want to buy a house ( a house is not an investment). I am also going to wait to buy once the crash has taken us down 10% on the DOW. (Bob Brinker sees trouble ahead)

Any suggestions? It is only money, right?

Comment by Avocado
2013-01-24 09:48:32

$20k if i put all $200k in. Yes, i timed the bubble and kicked arse!

Comment by tresho
2013-01-24 09:52:10

I cant stand getting .25% in the bank, so I am looking for other places to move the money.
Try a casino. Your money will really move there, and afterward you can complain how getting even less for it.

Comment by Avocado
2013-01-24 11:32:36

sour grapes???

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-01-24 10:07:30

Bob Brinker, now that’s a name from my past talk radio listening era. He flip-flops, so I determined he was a yutz.

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-01-24 10:11:07

The stuff he (Bob) was saying during the dot com bubble was just so bad, we cashed out our options using him a contra-indicator. Made some good dough on it. His timing was off, but our gut wasn’t.

Comment by Avocado
2013-01-24 11:39:10

I agree, he is bad. he is now bragging about the S&P doubling, but fails to mention he rode it all the way down, so any one in for the last 7 yrs is just back to even.
they are all clowns

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Comment by cactus
2013-01-24 13:03:14

I sold my Townhouse in 2006 while Bob Brinker was saying “no bubble ” I didn’t beleive him and still don’t it’s like guessing.

Bob Brinker 10% correction OK the market goes up 20% from here and then has a 10% correction is Bob right or wrong ?

Low interest rates and Government debt are todays stories

stock market just is along for the ride

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Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 10:32:37

Usually stocks that pay exceeding high dividends have some serious issues.

Do your homework!

Comment by Avocado
2013-01-24 11:36:58

uhh… this is homework… I even called 4 of them, spoke with CFO.

banana- this is not for you. But if I need to make moonshine or pull my own teeth, ill ask you for sure.

Comment by joe bobo smith
2013-01-24 11:15:33

How old are you? Do you have children? Would you like to leave them a legacy? Or are you merely investing for your own income? Other than this cash you speak of, what are your other assets?

Many questions would need to be answered before anyone could give you good advice. It’s really not going to happen on the internet, not even HBB.

Comment by Avocado
2013-01-24 11:35:09

45, single, 2 kids, just the cash and basics, car…trailer…etc And i rent a great place. Love the freedom of renting after being an owner since 1989.

I just want to see my $ grow vs, sit. I was in “don’t lose any” mode for the last 3 yrs. It worked, now looking to grow it.

Comment by joe bobo smith
2013-01-24 11:46:10

Assuming you’re in good health, if I were you I’d talk to an accountant, lawyer, and business broker. Not just any random ones you’ll find via advertising, but get recommendations from successful people you know. If you buy certain assets, you can create tax advantages that will outweigh those investment gains, especially since investment income will be taxed. Moreover, if you play your cards right, you can make it look like the assets are losing you money on paper.

This is not legal advice, get your own lawyer, etc. etc.

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Comment by Avocado
2013-01-24 12:12:26

What would a vague example be of a “certain asset?”

thanks, for getting my brain spinning ;)

Comment by joe bobo smith-flacco
2013-01-24 12:25:41

Examples I’m familiar with- coin op laundry, stripmall, pizza shop/carryout* ^ #, multifamily housing bought cheaply with cash (rowhouses built from concrete block with brick veneer are fantastic), 2nd hand store, consignment store

* this does not mean a sit down restaurant, because those require skilled employees and constant oversight; too many patrons would pay by credit card which is another issue

^ make sure to get licensed to sell lottery tickets and have Keno and other games of chance on hand

Comment by Avocado
2013-01-24 12:52:49

I have sold a few businesses in my time and bought a couple as well. The seller usually wins, from my experience and watching others get hosed.

Comment by joe bobo smith-flacco
2013-01-24 13:29:06

“I have sold a few businesses in my time and bought a couple as well. The seller usually wins, from my experience and watching others get hosed.”

I agree with this. Sellers lie about the “gross income” of their business. Buyers fall in love with the idea of having a small business, etc. Restaurants are a classic case.

You probably weren’t around whatever day it was that I riffed on how important it is for small businesses to “lose money” on paper, employ almost no one, and be able to claim a lot of depreciation. The importance of a cash business also can’t be overstated.

Comment by HBB_Rocks
2013-01-24 14:41:40

So joe wants you to spend $200k to make $1500 a month in rental income with a boatload of actual work attached to it. You might even have some employees if you open a take out restaurant or consignment store! I’m sure depreciation will cover all that. Or you can spend all night by yourself making pizza to keep those employee costs low!

Or you could do a coin-op laundry, and have the only one in your entire city! There are 300k residents in mine, and one coin-op laundry. I’ll bet those things are just profit machines!

That sounds like a great plan!

It’s a good thing you are a lawyer dude.

Comment by joe bobo smith
2013-01-24 14:59:58

@HBB_Rocks - Your post says more about you than it does me. Why would he buy 1 unit for 200k? Why not buy a unit for 40-50k straight cash. My own house didn’t cost me nearly 200k, why would I be the kind of person advocating for buying rental housing for 200k?

Also, I would not propose assuming that any properties will rise in value, especially rental properties. Which is fine, because this guy is 45 and should be aiming to pay off the house, not refi it. My parents refied a few of theirs when they were younger and used them to buy other houses which were then very cheap.

You’ve made similarly bad assumptions about how a coin op or a carryout should be run. LOL @ the idea of making your own pizzas or buying in an area saturated with coin ops. But most of all, LOL @ not realizing that the real way to run a business like these successfully is to buy the land under the business for cheap (no rent), be in it for the long term, and be extremely aggressive on all legal and accounting issues. Getting paid in cash & racking up tax deductions is king. And this works best when your own family income is high so that deductions and “losses” from your small business help your personal returns.

Because of how our tax code works and how f***ed up our economy is, people who intend to run a small business and follow the rules get screwed. One needs to be shrewd.

Comment by Avocado
2013-01-24 15:10:20

just opinions…

Hey, some people watch Honey boo boo, some John Stewart, some cant turn off Fox… too each his own.

pizza to laundromat, not interested in the least. Not sure if Buffet has any…

Comment by east-west
2013-01-24 21:28:33

joe, you know there’s a strategy difference between money managment of millions and money accumulation starting with a few hundred thousand? You can’t get aggressive with ‘accounting and legal’ issues with a small business, because the margin in those decisions is not enough to make any difference. You can still do your taxes yourself with a small business- that’s getting ‘aggressive’ with accounting with the businesses you suggest. And you will never even deal with a lawyer beyond some small things which you can pay for by the hour, the same you would doing personal law for life events.

In short, the things you think are important, just aren’t at that level of investment.

Comment by cactus
2013-01-24 12:57:37

Any suggestions? It is only money, right?”

Stay out of treasury bonds

I like Vanguard mutual funds they have low expenses

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-24 23:40:13

I’d be careful about the higher dividend yielding stocks…anything over 10% says to me that either a) the dividend is at risk, or b) that their business model is highly dependent on current market conditions continuing (low interest rates, etc.).

If it sounds too good to be true…it just might be…

I would look at investing in Equity REITs with an attractive FFO/price ratio. Even if they are not paying out all of their FFO as a dividend, what they don’t pay out in dividend goes to either invest into more assets, or pay down debt…adding to the capital value of the asset.

Again, I’ve thought about investing in mortgage REITs that pay over 10%…that just makes me nervous, since I don’t understand how that can be sustainable without taking some significant interest rate risk.

Comment by Avocado
2013-01-27 10:11:23

Dont fear what you dont understand. Try to understand it.

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-01-24 10:04:57

Congrats on the Bicycle Magazine contact. I wish you the best. You deserve it.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-01-24 10:56:22


Comment by Arizona Slim
2013-01-24 11:08:05

Thank you!

No word from the editor yet. But it’s not like I don’t have other things to do. Am in the midst of building a client’s website, and I need to get that done before midday.

Be back here later…

Comment by frankie
2013-01-24 11:05:35

Japan’s new government is barely a month old, and already one of its most senior members has insulted tens of millions of voters by suggesting that the elderly are an unnecessary drain on the country’s finances.

Taro Aso, the finance minister, said on Monday that the elderly should be allowed to “hurry up and die” to relieve pressure on the state to pay for their medical care.

“Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. I would wake up feeling increasingly bad knowing that [treatment] was all being paid for by the government,” he said during a meeting of the national council on social security reforms. “The problem won’t be solved unless you let them hurry up and die.”


Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-01-24 12:50:21

At least he tells it like he thinks it is.

Our Republicans will never admit they think the same thing…….they just advocate policies that will make it happen.

Comment by MiddleCoaster
2013-01-24 14:28:28

My poor old almost-92-year-old Dad has certainly become a drain on his and Mom’s finances. Medicare benefits ran out, and he still has too much money to be eligible for Medicaid. One month in a nursing home cost $11,000. On the bright side, he’ll be able to qualify for Medicaid very soon at that rate. But if he gets approved any time after the first of the month, he has to wait until the next month to get Medicaid. So, another $11,000 down the drain.

There is a better way, but unfortunately it isn’t legal anywhere except Oregon. Absolute madness, the way we treat our elders.

Comment by polly
2013-01-24 15:20:49

There actually was a long term care insurance provision in the ACA for a while. It got stripped out. My guess is that someone did enough number crunching to figure out that the revenue provisions weren’t going to be close to enough to pay for the benefits so the dems gave in when repubs demanded it be taken out (though that is completely a guess). This problem is just going to get bigger and bigger and bigger. If Medicaid ever gets block granted, watch that the long term care provisions are the first ones that states will strip out.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 15:23:58

This is the best country in the world… when it comes to taking other people’s money.

The elderly are no exception to the crime.

Comment by In Purgatory
2013-01-24 15:31:41

the way we treat our elders.

Have the parent move to your basement and pray for an European heat wave. Cheaper that way.

Comment by tresho
2013-01-24 16:11:04

Medicare benefits ran out, and he still has too much money to be eligible for Medicaid. One month in a nursing home cost $11,000. On the bright side, he’ll be able to qualify for Medicaid very soon at that rate.
We used to call that “spend down.”

Comment by mathguy
2013-01-24 16:17:48

You’re saying it’s a shame that taking care of your dad is costing him his savings!?! Would you rather he just die so you can take it? Isn’t the whole point of working hard during your earning years so that you can provide for your old age, and hopefully have a couple kids to lend a hand? Would you rather he just had all his savings confiscated in the first place so that he was poor the entire way along just to get medicare benefits after 65?

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-01-24 22:39:36

One of the things that worries me is spending down savings to support one spouse. The surviving, more healthy spouse may having nothing left to live on at the end of the first spouse’s life.

Long term care insurance is supposed to protect against this, but I am not at all certain that long term care insurance will pay out when the time comes. In 30 years, will the company still be around? If they guess wrong about how much they will need to pay out, they may declare bankruptcy before I need it.

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Comment by MiddleCoaster
2013-01-25 09:11:34

Thanks, Happy. You get it. Mathguy’s rant sort of stings, although he obviously isn’t aware of the situation with my dad. Medicaid does take into consideration the needs of a surviving spouse to some degree.

Comment by MiddleCoaster
2013-01-25 09:08:03

No, what’s a shame is that he can’t be helped to die with dignity as he wishes. And $11,000 a month on custodial care is a lot, for someone who wishes to die.

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Comment by tresho
2013-01-25 15:03:14

The closest thing I’ve seen to ‘dying with dignity’ is to go to sleep in your own bed and not wake up, ever. Even then there tends to be a mess to clean up. All other forms of dying are less dignified even when covered up with drugs.

Comment by m2p
2013-01-24 19:11:29

There is a better way, but unfortunately it isn’t legal anywhere except Oregon

and Washington state since 2008.

Comment by Neuromance
2013-01-24 19:44:55

Wow, harsh. They should just print their way out of it. Debt doesn’t REALLY matter, growth will just bring it down to a “sustainable” level.


Comment by moral hazard
2013-01-24 11:05:40

Dianne Feinstein - “Church-state separation. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., asked Roberts whether he believed in the separation of church and state as set forth in the First Amendment. She quoted President John F. Kennedy as having said in 1960, I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. … My question is Do you”

“But I believe that the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein opens up anti-gun presser with a prayer

January 24, 2013 | 11:16 am

As Sen. Diane Feinstein opened her press conference on gun control, she invited Dean of the National Cathedral Rev. Canon Gary Hall to offer a prayer.

Hall spoke briefly before the prayer, calling for Washington legislators to stop fearing the gun lobby and fulfill their “moral duty” to restrict guns.

“Everyone in this city seems to live in terror of the gun lobby,” Hall said. “But I believe that the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby.”

Hall said that he could no longer justify a society that allowed ordinary citizens to keep and bear “assault weapons.”

During the prayer, Hall asked God to “bless our elected leaders with the wisdom and the courage needed to bring about the changes that the people demand.”

Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 12:58:30

It is sad that US Senators can’t even read the US Constitution at its most basic level.

The words “separation of church and state” appear nowhere in the first amendment or the US Constitution.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Democrat senators. They ignore the 2nd Amendment as plainly written as it is yet somehow think abortion is the very foundation of the 4th Amendment.

It is what happens when democrats say “the US Constitution is a living and breathing document and we can use it to justify just about anything we want…”

Comment by ahansen
2013-01-24 14:14:50

Do you have a uterus, nanners? Is anyone requiring you to carry a pregnancy to term? If not, please STFU about abortion?

You see, (altogether now) It’s really none of your business.

Comment by MiddleCoaster
2013-01-24 14:30:22

What she said.

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Comment by polly
2013-01-24 15:23:50

Me three.

Comment by moral hazard
2013-01-24 14:32:19

“Do you have a uterus”

Rusty and Dale from Vacation - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up8siWU92yI - 222k -

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Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 15:25:48

Must…resist… cabana boy… snarky… remark…. :lol:

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Comment by mathguy
2013-01-24 16:20:17

Ahansen, I will agree with you only if you agree that the father should have termination rights as well.

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Comment by ahansen
2013-01-24 16:31:29

I’ll give you this, math: If the woman decides to have a child the man does not want, and he legally registers that fact, it’s her financial responsibility to raise it. Period.

Comment by Bronco
2013-01-24 16:52:10

ahansen, I’m impressed with your enlightened position.

Comment by goon squad
2013-01-24 13:12:39

We invite Feinstein to personally register the squad arsenal at our residence.

Comment by moral hazard
2013-01-24 13:33:30

Feinsteins packin heat, 10 weapons at her side.

Here’s the list of guns Dianne Feinstein wants to ban

Posted by The Right Scoop on January 24th, 2013 in Politics

DAILY CALLER – California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein staged a dramatic press conference Thursday on Capitol Hill with 10 weapons at her side and unveiled legislation instituting a government ban on more than 150 types of firearms, including rifles, pistols and shotguns.

Flanked by other anti-gun liberal lawmakers, including New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, Feinstein announced the introduction of the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2013.”

The legislation being pushed by Feinstein — who has long history of calling for gun bans — would prohibit the sale, transfer, importation and manufacture of certain firearms.

http://www.therightscoop.com/heres-the-list-of-guns-dianne-feinstein-wants-to-ban/ - -

Comment by moral hazard
2013-01-24 14:19:37

Promag AK 10 Round 30 Magazine 7.62×39mm, Black Polymer
Out of stock
Promag AK 10 Round Magazine 7.62×39mm, Black Polymer
Out of stock
Saiga Rifle, 7.62×39 with Standard AK Forend
Out of stock

Comment by Avocado
2013-01-24 15:11:47

gotta love it! so good for the Chinese economy!!

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Comment by moral hazard
2013-01-24 15:31:31

Chinese economy?

The Saiga rifles are developed at Izhmash factory by the father of AK-47 rifles Mikhail Kalashnikov. Saigas, therefore share most of its design with the world-famous AK-47 and basically are the AK’s hunting version. These rifles are intended for hunting big and medium-sized game under different climatic conditions. These rifles are brand new & come with 16 inch chrome lined barrels , side mount rail for mounting optics, 1 ten round magazine and all new construction in the famous Russian Izhmash factory.

http://www.riflegear.com/p-1425-saiga-rifle-762×39-with-standard-ak-forend.aspx - 98k -

Comment by Avocado
2013-01-24 19:03:34

Dont the Russians borrow from the Chinese too? They buy gas from them.

I prefer a good shotgun, my Rem 870 never fails.

Comment by tresho
2013-01-24 11:10:08

A modest proposal: “The Global Economic Disease in 8 Points and the Cure in 4 Points”
Some good stuff here, but he lost me at this:

The citizenry will have to accept that promises issued on the basis of delusional, unrealistic projections of endless growth and debt expansion must be renounced, just as debt based on phantom collateral must be renounced.

Were these four points implemented, the re-set would be difficult but brief, as truth, trust and resilience would be restored to the political and financial systems.

I agree the citizenry will be forced to accept the limits of delusional promises, but there will be much kicking and screaming. The re-set will be far more than difficult. Survivors, if any, may work out truth and resilience among themselves as best they can. Personally, I hope for miracles.

Comment by joe bobo smith
2013-01-24 11:29:58

Not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet, but today marks the 10th anniversary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security…

Comment by Arizona Slim
2013-01-24 11:55:49

Heard it on NPR this morn. And I asked my radio what Homeland Security has done other than costing us a lot of money.

No reply from the radio.

Comment by joe bobo smith-flacco
2013-01-24 12:27:26

I liked Tom Ridge up until the point when he became the head of that dept.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 15:28:33

Heil das Vaterland!

Comment by Avocado
2013-01-24 11:41:52

is S&P 500 http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=%5EGSPC+Basic+Chart&t=5y
on 5th leg up?
any Elliott wave followers?

Comment by moral hazard
2013-01-24 11:51:46


Comment by moral hazard
2013-01-24 12:02:14

He stole $931 and he still had more than $900 when police took him into custody? Man if you want to get away with this you are just gonna have to tip better.

Bank robber who fled via taxi nabbed after cab driver talks to authorities

By Alexandra Seltzer
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Posted: 10:21 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013

Authorities were able to arrest a man wanted for a Palm Springs bank robbery this month after the taxi cab driver he allegedly paid to take him away from the scene told law enforcement where he dropped the man off.

Thomas R. Stone faces a federal charge of bank robbery in connection with the Jan. 10 robbery of the Wells Fargo at 1662 S. Congress Ave. in Palm Springs.

Stone allegedly approached the bank teller’s window around 9:30 that morning, placed a backpack on the counter, demanded cash and said, “This is a robbery,” according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal complaint.

The teller handed him around $931 which Stone placed in the backpack. He fled the scene by way of a taxi cab that was waiting for him outside.

Law enforcement authorities located the cab and cab driver who then told authorities that he dropped the man off in the 2300 block of Dolan Road.

Palm Springs Police drove to Dolan Road and located Stone, who matched the description that the bank teller provided.

After taking Stone into custody, police found more than $900 in the backpack as well as a hat and a pair of sunglasses that Stone allegedly wore during the robbery.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/bank-robber-who-fled-via-taxi-nabbed-after-cab-dri/nT5yT/ -

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 15:31:11

Marie Antoinette didn’t get it either. :lol:

Comment by joe bobo smith-flacco
2013-01-24 12:41:21

Wow… AAPL… a lot of mom & pop investors probably bought this thing on the hype. Sad.

Remember: the real money in the stock market is not available to retail investors. The best deals aren’t publicly traded. And on publicly traded stocks the real money is made pre-IPO.

Comment by Neuromance
2013-01-24 13:25:55

The clients really are the muppets.

And with stocks, you don’t make money till you cash out.

Comment by Neuromance
2013-01-24 13:31:53

“Where Are the Customers’ Yachts?” by Fred Schwed


The story has various forms, but the one I heard was that a stock broker took a beautiful model to the French Riviera and pointed out the brokers’ yachts. She asked, “Where are the clients’ yachts?” The broker had no answer.

Comment by Arizona Slim
2013-01-24 13:36:42

Because there were no yachts for the customers.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 15:36:48

“Wow… AAPL… a lot of mom & pop investors probably bought this thing on the hype. Sad.”

Really? Looks like they would have doubled their money since 2009. That’s just 4 years ago.

Jan 2, 2009 - $90
Jan 23, 2013 - $450

Yeah, I’ll take that kind of “sad” all day long, thank you very much. I’m just sad I couldn’t afford any back then. :sad:

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 15:39:14

Er, “quadrupled”

Ooops. :lol:

Comment by cactus
2013-01-24 12:51:03

The market is insane

“The Hamptons real-estate market has not only recovered. It’s soaring past its pre-crisis peaks.

An estate in New York’s Hamptons.Sales of homes priced at $2.5 million or more jumped 98 percent in the fourth quarter on Long Island’s East End, according to the luxury realty agency Brown Harris Stevens.

Prices in some Hamptons communities have doubled, with the average home price passing $2.1 million in the South Fork. More than 90 homes sold for more than $2.5 million in the Hamptons East End in the quarter.

“A lot of the deals and bargains are gone,” said Christopher Burnside, senior director of Brown Harris in the Hamptons. “It’s been very sudden.”

The Hamptons has long been the beach playground for the New York elite, especially from Wall Street. While the market fell immediately after the crisis, it’s been fairly stable for the past two years. But the fourth quarter saw a rush of deals that are marking new highs in prices and volume.

Brokers say much of that was driven by taxes. As part of the “mansion cliff,” sellers were willing to take discounts if they could close a deal before January 1, when the tax rate on capital gains was scheduled to increase.

Brokers say some sellers were willing to shave hundreds of thousands of dollars off the price of their multi-million-dollar listings in order to get a quick deal.

While those deals are gone, sales continue. Burnside said that he has 15 listings now and “I’m showing constantly.” He’s about to hire another assistant to help with all the showings and deals.

“The market is insane, I’ve never really seen anything like it.”

Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 13:05:27

Welcome to the housing bubble v2.0

Brought to you by obama and his $6 trillion in deficit spending.

This is hope and change.

It is what the American people wanted.

Comment by joe bobo smith-flacco
2013-01-24 13:30:18

Hamptons real estate prices reflect how the .1% is doing.

Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 13:34:16

Follow the $6 Trillion in bailout money…you will see it flow through the wall street bankers right to the hamptons

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Comment by Avocado
2013-01-24 18:55:37

banananananahead, Bush spent all the money, left Obama with the credit card bill and is hiding in Texas.

Now, what did Clinton do?

we laugh at people who think this is all O’s fault.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 15:44:58

“But dahling, we simply must have a place by the sea.”

Comment by rms
2013-01-24 23:48:31

“But dahling, we simply must have a place by the sea.”

“But dahling, we simply must have a summer place by the sea.”

Comment by Albuquerquedan
Comment by ahansen
2013-01-25 00:39:24

Indeed it is.

Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-01-24 13:11:17

Assertions by “government is worthless” types, I’m finding more and more that it’s the civilian/private marketplace that is all effed up.

Promising things they can’t deliver. Committing to a project, then disappearing/not answering the phone. Balls being dropped, because staff/employees have been cut, and the remainder can only juggle so many balls at one time.

Customer contact positions filled by contractors, whose motivation seems to be suspect (try getting a personal commitment from one of them).

Nobody stocks spares/parts, they are all in regional warehouses near airline hubs, so your project comes to a screeching halt for a day or two if you run into something unexpected/unscheduled. Unless you want to pay $40 overnight shipping on a $5 part. Otherwise you wait until the part shows up, then make a second trip to the airport……a problem when it’s 25-50 miles each way.

Nobody has parts for anything over 5 years old. Nobody will even attempt to fix anything over 5 years old. If we ever get in a pizzing contest with China, they won’t have to declare war, just an export embargo……our whole aerospace/transportation industries will be shut down in about 30-45 days.

Ran into all of these issues yesterday, working on my “on the side” deals. Pi$$ed away most of the afternoon and into the evening, trying to come up with “Plan B”, because one supplier dropped the ball on “Plan A”. Pi$$ed away the rest of the evening, trying to locate a $5 garden-variety part locally.

Of the 6 plus hours I put into this, I might get paid for half of it, at best.

Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-01-24 13:15:42

And no, Obama isn’t to blame. These trends started back when Raygun was running the show, and accelerated rapidly under Bush Deuce.

Comment by joe bobo smith-flacco
2013-01-24 13:32:01

Re: parts… do you think a machine tool shop is the type of thing that will do good business in the future?

Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-01-24 15:06:23

As in everything, it depends……


Doing what?

In aerospace, the OEMs don’t want to screw with building parts for “legacy” airplanes (”Legacy” = an airplane not in current production).

Their problem is, unless they support their legacy products for a decent period of time, their “value” drops dramatically.

Exhibit “A” for this is the current Hawker Beechcraft Chapter 11 filing…….their Hawker 4000/Horizon “super-mid-size” jet has been the red-headed step child from the word “Go”. They recently petitioned the court to be allowed to drop all warranties and product support for the aircraft.

Asking price for this airplane on January 1, 2012, was somewhere north of $20 million. “Value” with no warranty or product support? A local guy just bought a brand new one for about $3 mil….. figures he can recoup the money by selling charter trips on it until the first big inspection comes due, then scrap/part out the airplane.

Needless to say, the guys that paid $20 million plus before the Chapter 11 filing are pretty pizzed. Their lawyers keep making threatening noises, but it all falls back to the “blood from turnips” deal.

The question becomes: “Is the market for Component “A” big/profitable enough to justify jumping thru all of the hoops to build it from scratch?”

Similar things are happening in other industries. Nobody fixes/repairs anything because “new” parts (of variable quality) cost less than USA rebuilds.

Of course, what we are starting to see is that now that the Chinese have killed the home-grown competition, their prices are going up. But not enough to make it profitable to restart production/overhaul back in the USA.

And if you own something oddball, you are basically screwed.

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Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 13:32:56

So you are saying you wished the DMV ran your parts department?

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-01-24 15:23:54

So you’re saying you want USAirways to run the airforce?

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 15:47:03

“…they won’t have to declare war, just an export embargo……our whole aerospace/transportation industries will be shut down in about 30-45 days. “

Exactly the same with ALL our digital euqipment.

Comment by 2banana
2013-01-24 13:57:20

Another example of government destroying their economy and people.

German electric prices are up over 60% since 2000 due to “green energy” initiatives and taxes.

The consequence?

800,000 Germans can’t pay their electric bill and more and more Germans are using wood to heat their homes.

Yes - they have gone back to 18th century energy due to 21st century environmental policies.

Gee - I hope here in the USA obama gives billions more to his green energy contributors. It is the way forward.


Lomborg: Electricity prices for German households have increased 61% since 2000 – renewables blamed
Watts Up With That? ^ | January 23, 2013 | Anthony Watts

Pursuant to my earlier story today about the article in Spiegel, Bjørn Lomborg writes on his Facebook page:

Real German electricity prices for households have increased 61% since 2000. One quarter of household costs now stems directly from renewable energy. Also, the increase is *not* because of increasing production costs (which have actually slightly declined since 1978).

The increase is due to dramatically increasing taxes, most noticeably from the Renewable Energy Act (EEG). In 2013 the EEG will increase 50% to 6.28 euro-cent (5.28 cents plus 19% VAT).

In June 2011, Chancellor Angela Merkel famously promised to keep EEG prices stable, but this promise has now clearly been broken. The German household will pay 24% of its electricity bill to renewables.

Perhaps this is why more people are stealing wood from German forests and likely why up to 800,000 people can’t pay their electricity bills.


Europe Today: Stealing Wood, Burning Wood

January 20, 2013 - http://nofrakkingconsensus.com

Last month, I took a six-hour train ride from Munich to Berlin. As we swept through the German countryside, I noticed a great deal of firewood.

It was piled high, close to houses and outbuildings. It was stacked in long rows against stone walls and fences. My guess is that we burn a comparable amount of wood in Canada and the US during the winter, but I hadn’t expected to see so much of it in a nation as environmentally conscious as I imagine Germany to be.

I have no idea whether burning wood is good or bad from a CO2 emissions perspective. It isn’t difficult to find a range of opinions on that question (see here, here, here, and here). I do know that residents of San Francisco get harassed for lighting their fireplaces by inspectors concerned not about greenhouse gas emissions but about air quality in general.

What’s more interesting to me is that some Europeans apparently feel so pinched by their heating bills that they’re now stealing firewood. The weekly German news magazine, Der Spiegel, is currently running an English-language story titled Woodland Heists: Rising Energy Costs Drive Up Forest Thievery.

We hear a great deal about Germany’s aggressive pursuit of renewable energy. What we hear less about is the fact that renewable energy is expensive. Germans reportedly purchased 400,000 new wood stoves in 2011, and have been doing so in increasing numbers since 2005.

In Greece, renewable energy policies have also been wreaking havoc. Reuters reported last September that that country’s

electricity system came close to collapse in June when market operator LAGHE was overwhelmed by subsidies it pays to green power producers as part of efforts to bolster solar energy. [backup link]

Some Greeks are apparently coping with rising prices and cold winters by felling trees in public parks for firewood.

Increasing the amount of renewable energy in the national mix is also pushing prices higher in the UK. One result: a reported 180,000 homes there had a wood stove installed in 2011 (backup link).

A UK activist organization claims that some people had to choose between heat or food over the Christmas holidays. According to another activist group, elderly people “living in the coldest homes are three times more likely to die a preventable death than those living in warmer ones.”

In the 21st century, in a country as affluent as Great Britain, it’s surely a scandal that elders are spending their twilight years cold and miserable rather than warm and comfortable.

There is no perfect source of energy. In the real world, every option available to us has pros and cons. The facts are quite simple: the more green energy our society produces, the higher the price climbs.

Unless something changes, the remarks of the blogger over at Sunshine Hours may not be much of an exaggeration:

This is your future. Huddled around wood stoves to keep warm because electricity is too expensive because of subsidies paid to rich people who own wind farms and solar panels.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-01-24 14:32:52

The Economist Magazine had an article recently that Germany is turning more to coal these days to produce electricity. The green sources have driven up the costs to the utilities and natural gas is very expensive in Germany, so to average out their costs they are burning much more coal. The question is whether this is short term problem or long term but with the closing of Nukes it looks like it will persist for awhile.

Comment by Bluestar
2013-01-24 14:40:08

Freedom ain’t free dude. Having your own solar array is a special kind of freedom you can’t appreciate. No company or government can tax or control the sun. It’s not perfect because we still need a cheep storage system but that will come soon.

Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-01-24 15:10:45


It’s part of the plan dude. Freeze the oldies/parasites/non-producers, so they aren’t sucking the blood/taxing the producers.

Let them burn bootstraps.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-01-24 15:52:43


“But experts have pointed out that with many energy-intensive major industries either exempt from the tax or paying a reduced rate, the costs of the energy revolution are unfairly distributed.”

Context, context, context.

Comment by ahansen
2013-01-25 00:47:50

Consider the source.

Comment by moral hazard
2013-01-24 14:02:32

So the plan here is to buy all these houses and collect rent from people who spent the last 5 years not paying their mortgage?

As prices rise, rental home investors seek new markets

Julie Schmit, USA TODAY7:56a.m. EST January 22, 2013

Major institutional investors are amassing a $10 billion war chest to pursue the single-family rental market, estimated JPMorgan Chase in a recent research report.

They’re betting that they can get distressed homes on the cheap, fix them up and rent them out, often to families who lost homes to foreclosure, and make money on home price appreciation in a few years.

The companies generally seek three-bedroom, two-bath homes in the $100,000 to $125,000 range that can rent for more than $1,000 a month, analysts say.

With $10 billion to spend, that would roughly equate to 80,000 homes, although the investment funds continue to raise money, says JPMorgan’s analyst Anthony Paolone. Nationwide, there are currently 12 million single family rentals, most owned by mom-and-pop investors, Paolone says.

The Blackstone Group, for one, has spent $2.5 billion since early last year buying 16,000 homes. It’s now adding 2,500 homes a month, it says. It’s believed to be the biggest player in the group, but most are private, so information is limited.

Colony Capital expects to invest up to $150 million a month this year to acquire single-family rentals. It bought 5,000 homes last year, it says.

Waypoint Homes, one of the market’s pioneers, expects to own 10,000 homes by the year’s end. It started four years ago in the San Francisco Bay Area and owns 3,300 homes, says managing director Doug Brien.

Like many of the big investors, Blackstone started investing in Phoenix. It next moved into California, then Atlanta, Tampa, Orlando, Chicago, Las Vegas and Charlotte.

Blackstone has accelerated its buying because home prices have risen faster than it expected, says Jonathan Gray, Blackstone’s head of real estate. In some markets, the window to buy before prices rise too much “is closing faster” than in others, he says.

While investor buyers have helped prop up prices, they’re making it tougher for regular home shoppers to compete.

Tom and Cyndi Vander Ven have been shopping for a home in Atlanta since September. The retired couple, both teachers, want to downsize.

They’ve lost out on three bids so far, even though they offered more than the asking price. All of the homes got multiple offers. After bidding on one, they found out it was being considered as part of a bulk sale to investors.

They would have made more offers by now but other homes they see listed are sold “before we can even move on them,” he says.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/01/21/rental-housing-investors/1851187/ - 33k -

Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-01-24 15:20:51

How do I “short” Blackstone?

Using my local S&L’s “Mortgage Calculator”, a 30 year mortgage on a $125K house, 3% down, including taxes, etc. is about $673/month.

Good luck with that $1000/month plan, at least out here in BFE.

And where in SoCal or the NYC/DC metroplex are you going to find decent houses for $125K?

Meet the new plan, same as the old plan……..buy cheap, (try to) run up the price, then dump.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-01-24 23:45:47

“Using my local S&L’s “Mortgage Calculator”, a 30 year mortgage on a $125K house, 3% down, including taxes, etc. is about $673/month.

Good luck with that $1000/month plan, at least out here in BFE.”

Um, exactly. Look to rents first in the markets where they are buying…it is a unique time indeed where it costs more to rent than own…and such an inversion to “normal” doesn’t last for long.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-01-24 15:22:23

“So the plan here is to buy all these houses and collect rent from people who spent the last 5 years not paying their mortgage?”

Either that, or drive them into the streets.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
Comment by Albuquerquedan
Comment by moral hazard
2013-01-24 17:55:50

“With first-time homebuyers often unable to obtain mortgages, what’s being built and sold are new homes aimed at “wealthier buyers with access to credit,” Quint says.

This is what happened to the last Quint I knew.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mABrYy9rB9w - 157k -

Comment by moral hazard
2013-01-24 17:43:58

Web Search Results

1 - 10 of about 413 for Snork the magic Deadbeat

Comment by Resistor
2013-01-24 20:32:37

Let it go.

Comment by ahansen
2013-01-25 00:54:58

He’s right, moral, it’s kinda dumb. And when you put quotes around it you get exactly three listings. All from you.

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-24 18:20:49

Just remember…If your doing it, they want to know — If you have it, they want it.

Statist - The masters of other people’s affairs and resources.

Global Progressives - Promoting and Defending the Indefensible since 1900.

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-24 22:49:58

Darn, my auto post script posted the word statists as statist. I will have to adjust that.

Since I have a minute, I have to comment on the Ghoulish commercial put out by the pro abortion crowd celebrating the anniversary of Roe v Wade.

I consider myself politically pro choice, but personally pro life. You pro abortion people are sick anti human ghouls and your politics reflect that as well. No wonder you want the Obamacare death panels, you embrace death and dying, now I can fully understand your kinship with Islamic Radicals.

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-01-25 00:42:21

While you are correcting it, change it to “If you’re doing it”.

I have not seen the commercial you mention. I think laws against abortion put women’s lives at risk, as a recent case in Ireland demonstrates. Ireland has an exception for health of the mother, but an Indian woman was denied an abortion until the fetal heartbeat stopped. At that point, it was too late to save her life. I think Plan B, the morning after pill, should be legal and covered. It takes care of most rape cases, although underage cases are still problematic.

My understanding of the death panels issue was that Obamacare provided coverage for discussion of end of life issues. This is something that families and doctors deal with whether it is covered or not. For medical and legal reasons, doctors are reluctant to take sole responsibility for end of life decisions.

I saw this article a few days ago about mercy killings in India. Is this worse than death panels? Is it better to have an independent review of when to stop treatment, so that neither doctors nor family members have to carry the whole burden of the decision? When is medical care simply prolonging the agony?


“Michael headed for work at a textile mill, leaving his wife, children and infirm mother at home in this impoverished part of southern India. When he returned a few hours later, his mother’s body was propped up in a chair surrounded by villagers and decorated with flowers, poisoned by his wife with a potion in a local form of mercy killing known as thalaikoothal.

Three decades later, he harbors no ill will toward his wife. “My mother had been sick and in pain for 20 days and wasn’t eating properly,” said Michael, 62, who like many southern Indians uses one name. “I was thinking of doing it myself. It was time, and there wasn’t enough food to go around.”

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-25 06:10:04

darn, another mistake in my automation. Thanks for the heads up.

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Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-25 06:14:09
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Comment by ahansen
2013-01-25 01:01:45

Dang, those prunes must have worked pretty well…

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-22 21:00:32

“… I will be busy with a personal venture for the next couple of months, so all of you cowards can reset your JTE’s ….”

Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-01-25 02:55:23

The phone in my Limo was busted, so I couldn’t get a hold of my bi.ches. We are in communication now and I will proceed with my venture. My script will still run at random times to post my thought for the day, however I will not be able to parry the usual Alinsky style blows.


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