February 1, 2013

Bits Bucket for February 1, 2013

Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-02-01 01:10:59

January 31, 2013, 4:00 P.M. ET
Defense Companies Aren’t Taking the Sequester Seriously. Why Not?
By Sam Mamudi

With the fiscal cliff shenanigans thankfully in the rear view mirror, we’re now (sleep)walking towards another man-made crisis, with the enactment of the budget sequester set for March 1 — across-the-board cuts which would see a $1.2 trillion reduction in federal spending over the next 10 years.

The sequester was put in place in August 2011, with Congress hoping the threat of such swingeing cuts would force…well, Congress to sit down and come up with a sane and rational budget.

Fat chance. Instead, we’re just weeks away from the cuts. Cue panic? Well, not so far, at least in the defense industry, which seems sanguine in the face of this:

Comment by oxide
2013-02-01 06:48:06

I still find this puzzling. Do these contractors have inside information we don’t know about? Are they playing pump and dump? Are they intending to lay off worker bees knowing that this will allow them to still hit the numbers for their investors? Are they just going to wait and then say “no one could have expected?”

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-02-01 08:31:53

If the defense contractor CEOs are playing pump-and-dump, their optimal strategy would be to make public statements to the effect that they believe Republicans in Congress are bluffing and plan to roll over when push comes to shove. Then they should sell on the evening of the decision. Whether or not the sequester happens, this strategy would be sure to make the sellers a bundle of money.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-02-01 11:03:07

I thought of an even better approach, which is to augment the above strategy by purchasing out-of-the-money call options on defense company stocks on the eve of the sequester votes. In the worst case, a defense company manager would make a bundle selling stocks the night before the sequester was voted into effect. In an even better state of the world, those out-of-the-money calls would skyrocket in value compared to the underlying in case the sequester was cancelled.

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Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 09:48:29

“Do these contractors have inside information we don’t know about? ”

There’s a reason they contribute to candidates, PACs, and Super PACs. The ROI on that investment almost certainly includes insider info, although no one will ever admit it.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-02-01 09:58:32

These contractors have stopped making long-term decisions–they are not yet making big CUTS, but the uncertainty has affected their forward planning.

I am aware of one such contractor that has put an expansion on hold pending the result of the sequester. The shame of it is that even if there were defense cuts, what they are working on would likely continue, and so the expansion is likely delayed, not stopped.

But in the meantime, the legislative uncertainty is keeping a many more construction workers NOT working.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-02-01 01:13:12

Whether or not they go through with the sequester, you have to wonder how many man (or woman) hours were spent planning for it.

National parks may lose $100M under sequester
Reduced hours, visitor service cuts likely, memo says
Jan. 31, 2013 11:57 PM

WASHINGTON — Unless Congress prevents $85 billion in across-the-board budget cuts before March 1, iconic national parks such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, Death Valley, the Grand Canyon and the Great Smoky Mountains will take a financial hit.

A memo by National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis tells park officials nationwide to prepare to make $100 million of cuts if the budget sequester becomes a reality.

Like most agencies, the park service would have to cut 5.1 percent of its budget this year as part of the congressionally approved process to trim the national debt. The Defense Department faces spending reductions of about 7.3 percent.

California parks that face the ax include Yosemite ($1.43 million in potential cuts), the newly re-designated Pinnacles National Park ($172,000), Death Valley ($435,000) and Sequoia/Kings Canyon ($820,000). Joshua Tree National Park, which annually draws about 1.4 million visitors to the desert, is not listed among the cuts.

“We expect that a cut of this magnitude … will result in reductions to visitor services, hours of operation, shortening of seasons and possibly closing the areas during periods when there is insufficient staff,” Jarvis wrote in the Jan. 25 memo.

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 06:34:26

Or there could be a 5.1% cut in the government employees’ pay/benefits/pensions and keep the parks operating normally.

Or they could get rid of 5.1% of the deadwood.

But that would not cause ANY pain to the citizens who use the parks. And they NEED to feel the pain of government.

They need to understand that ANY cuts to government will cause them lots of pain.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-02-01 06:53:56

“They need to understand that ANY cuts to government will cause them lots of pain.”

Not only them but lots of other thems who depend on the first group of thems getting paid.

There is a ripple effect to consider.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 09:38:43

You’d be surprised how many people who work at the national parks are temps and volunteers. And even though the volunteers don’t receive a salary, there are overhead costs associated with them.

I also wonder what percentage of the costs for the National Parks are direct labor. Simply cutting pay 5% for everyone won’t balance the books. There are a lot of maintenance costs that are not tied to labor: equipment, supplies, etc. A lot of the projects are also handled by outside contractors (as goonie will remind us). Roads have to be repaved, dead, parasite infested trees have to be culled, etc.)

That the National Park System will have to cope with less will be a fact, but simply cutting salaries and bennies 5% alone won’t cut it. The fact that they are saying that services will be cut implies that a lot of the seasonal temps won’t be hired this year.

Comment by polly
2013-02-01 09:48:46

“Or there could be a 5.1% cut in the government employees’ pay/benefits/pensions and keep the parks operating normally.”

A 5.1% cut in employee pay/benefits/pensions wouldn’t come close to cutting 5.1% of the budget of the parks department.

Comment by goon squad
2013-02-01 07:18:50

how many man (or woman) hours were spent planning for it

Discussed here:


Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 10:27:01

Being that I live about 40 minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park, I know more than a few people who worked there. From what they tell me it was a low paying, thankless job, which is why they quit and moved on.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-02-01 01:16:22

How many hours and staff resources are federal agencies spending on planning for the sequester?

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-02-01 01:17:26

Planning for sequester: Tell us what your agency is doing
Posted by Lisa Rein on January 31, 2013 at 6:00 am

eye-opener-logo6Federal agencies from the Environmental Protection Agency to the federal courts are now engaged in detailed planning for the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration. If Congress does not reverse the cuts by March 1 — and it’s looking more and more likely that it won’t — agencies will need to shave $85 billion in spending over the rest of the fiscal year.

We’ve been covering this issue and how it affects federal workers and the public.

Please help us educate our readers about what’s really happening with planning at your agency. No detail is too small.

Here’s our call for information, where you can fill us in. Thank you, feds!

Comment by oxide
2013-02-01 05:42:47

I don’t have an exact number, but it seems that various levels of management are having one-hour meetings of 5-6 people every couple days to decide which contracting projects to cut. My little corner of gov has been trying to reduce staff resources for some time. They offered a few specific buyouts, and tried to streamline some administration systems.

I suspect that they aren’t getting the attrition that they were counting on. One co-worker told me that they were paying the elementary school tuition/fees for their granddaughter. I guess that’s the problem with having a good stable income — the kids know you have money and hit you up for it.

Comment by joesmith
2013-02-01 06:24:17

I wouldn’t call the fda a little corner of the govt. Also, cuts on science research or medical reg seem really crazy and self defeating. Congress is full of idiots, though. In case anyone forgets this, take a peek at chickenhawk ted cruz’s questioning of chuck hagel yesterday.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-02-01 06:33:17

“Also, cuts on science research or medical reg seem really crazy and self defeating.”

Why can’t they just outsource to China or India?

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Comment by joesmith
2013-02-01 06:37:02

Because I.P. Is one of the few things the federal government actually cares about and gets right more often than not.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-02-01 07:40:26

“Why can’t they just outsource to China or India.”

From China and India’s point of view why should they spend their own money on R&D. Have the U.S. do the all the financing and then they can just steal what they need.

Comment by oxide
2013-02-01 07:47:39

Because the Indian and Chinese STEMs who have the capability for lateral and critical thinking necessary for basic and innovative research are probably already in the US anyway.

Comment by Arizona Slim
2013-02-01 08:05:54

Because the Indian and Chinese STEMs who have the capability for lateral and critical thinking necessary for basic and innovative research are probably already in the US anyway.

True, dat.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-02-01 08:35:24

“From China and India’s point of view why should they spend their own money on R&D. Have the U.S. do the all the financing and then they can just steal what they need.”

RACIST ALERT: Thin-skinned multi-culturally sensitive types might not want to read this post.

I’ve noticed it works this way with PTA organizations in school settings with lots of well-to-do Asian immigrant families. They tend to leave the volunteer activities to American households, while fully enjoying the free services provided.

Comment by zee_in_phx
2013-02-01 10:35:55

CIBT: i think there is a cultural factor here that the 1st gen. immigrant Asians (the ones not born/raised here) don’t do volunteering - its menial work culturally associated with ones of a lower economic class. The concept of ‘ownership’ as in owning your local area of concern all the way to the elected legislature is alien to them, they have a ‘us’ versus ‘them’ mentality, where ‘them’ is the governing body. I have a seen a different attitude towards volunteering among the younger immigrants and the ones that are born/raised here.

Comment by ahansen
2013-02-01 11:04:44

Or maybe they don’t volunteer because they feel intimidated and excluded by people who stereotype their motivations?

Have you considered inviting one along as your guest? Introducing them to the group? Making the effort to find out if they even know what a cheese nacho booth or a Thanksgiving Day pageant IS?

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-02-01 12:14:34

They are missing a great opportunity to connect to the wider community. They may be unaware of the volunteer opportunities.

And if they have 2 working parents, it can be difficult to get involved in school activities. I took up soccer coaching when my children were young, because it was a way to contribute that I could do on my schedule - after normal business hours.

Comment by In Purgatory
2013-02-01 12:40:29

What is it today? Beat the asians day?

Obviously can’t say bad about blacks and hispanics….Asians are a fair game?

{not an asian}

Comment by sean
2013-02-01 05:46:19

The Pentagon has been running budget drills on cutting contract costs and civilian furloughs since the beginning of the year. Letters have been drafted for each branch of service and are waiting final approval.

Comment by measton
2013-02-01 08:37:46

The one person I know in defense just got laid off and said there was downsizing going on.

Comment by snowgirl
2013-02-01 09:13:27

We’re a Lockheed Martin town. The ones I know don’t talk much as the jobs involve security clearance but I have heard some concerns about changes in income and hopes they won’t have to leave the area.

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Comment by AZtoORtoCOtoOR
2013-02-01 01:19:22

It is Black Friday everyday at the WalMart gun counter. If you want to purchase an AR15, show up early and take a seat in the lawn chairs setup near the gun counter and see if anything comes in for the day. First come, first served. If I was out of work, it could be a nice little business, buy the gun then immediately sell it. The 40% profit is in the bag!

The guns can be purchased with no money down, just charge it. Just don’t get caught holding the bag when the market collapses!!

Have a great weekend.

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 06:18:45

Just like every other bubble.

Government intervention + easy money = prices always go up

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 09:42:30

No one is keeping Bushmaster from making more guns. This shortage is being caused by irrational paranoia.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-02-01 09:59:03

I’m sure they are making them as fast as they can. The shortage IS driven by paranoia. Whether it’s irrational remains to be seen.

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Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 10:32:38

I’ll bet that most of the buyers already have one or more AR-15’s. Maybe they need one for each arm, a la Rambo?

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-02-01 10:36:13

I suspect they feel they need one for all potential kids and grandkids if they are never going to be available again. And probably most of them dream of being that guy who bought a Thompson in 1933 that’s now worth a ridiculous sum.

Comment by HBB_Rocks
2013-02-01 11:28:04

I had a friend who never mentioned shooting a gun before in his life (probably been skeet shooting twice with the boy scouts or something) who bought one. It’s crazy irrational.

Comment by MightyMike
2013-02-01 16:04:28

How much does an AR-15 cost?

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-02-01 18:36:34

Until recently it was $500-$1000+ depending on the quality of the ingredients and whether you cooked it up yourself or not. Now it seems the sky is the limit.

Comment by ahansen
2013-02-01 21:58:31

The new Beanie Babies. Invest now!

Comment by MightyMike
2013-02-01 22:33:06

I bet a lot of these rushing out to buy these things really can’t afford them.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-02-01 01:20:16

Foreign central banks’ US debt holdings fall - Fed
NEW YORK | Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:29pm EST

Jan 31 (Reuters) - Foreign central banks’ overall holdings of U.S. marketable securities at the Federal Reserve fell in the latest week, data from the U.S. central bank showed on Thursday.

The Fed said its holdings of U.S. securities kept for overseas central banks fell $1.55 billion in the week ended Jan 30 to stand at $3.25 trillion.

The breakdown of custody holdings showed overseas central banks’ holdings of Treasury debt fell by $89 million to stand at $2.91 trillion.

Foreign institutions’ holdings of securities issued or guaranteed by the biggest U.S. mortgage financing agencies, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, fell by $2.275 billion to stand at $306 billion.

The Fed said its holdings of so-called “other” securities held in custody and reported at face value rose by $819 million to stand at $36.9 billion. These securities include non-marketable U.S. Treasury securities, supranationals, corporate bonds, asset-backed securities and commercial paper.

Overseas central banks, particularly those in Asia, have been huge buyers of U.S. debt in recent years and own more than a quarter of marketable Treasuries. China and Japan are the biggest foreign holders of Treasuries.

Comment by rms
2013-02-01 06:47:11

“The Fed said its holdings of U.S. securities kept for overseas central banks fell $1.55 billion in the week ended Jan 30 to stand at $3.25 trillion.”

And the fed’s “accommodative policies” are $100 billion per month?

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-02-01 01:22:50

Moody’s downgrades Canadian banks based on heady housing prices
Canadian and U.S. flags at a 9/11 commemoration. (Tom Hanson / Associated Press / September 14, 2001)
By E. Scott Reckard
January 29, 2013, 5:23 a.m.

Canada’s elevated housing prices and the extra debt taken on by consumers as a result could be problems for its banks should the economy hit bumps in the road, Moody’s Investors Service said in downgrading its credit ratings for six major financial firms.

Canada’s banks are still highly rated, Moody’s said Monday, tied for second place among the world’s financial institutions, behind Singapore.

The affected banks — Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, Caisse centrale Desjardins, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, National Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank — continue to have excellent credit ratings.

But Moody’s said it was raising a cautionary flag because consumer debt was greatly outstripping gains in wages.

As of Sept. 30, “Canadian household debt to personal disposable income reached a record 165%, up from 137% as of 30 June 2007,” Moody’s said.

“Growth in consumer debt has been driven by rising house prices, which have increased by approximately 20% since November 2007.”

Canada’s housing markets escaped the deep recession that hit the United States and Europe after the financial crisis struck, but Moody’s said the Canadian economy has been flagging of late.

It said several of the banks also have heavy exposure “to volatile capital markets businesses.”

Comment by rms
2013-02-01 06:52:27

“Canada’s banks are still highly rated, Moody’s said Monday…”

“No skin in the game” Moody’s says so.

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 06:55:17

Canadian banks ALREADY have a built in TARP.

Expect all losses to be paid by the Canadian taxpayer.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 10:34:10

Who will console themselves with all of the unrealized gains they once had.

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Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-02-01 10:56:45

“Growth in consumer debt has been driven by rising house prices, which have increased by approximately 20% since November 2007.”

That makes no sense—only the fraction of owners who purchased since 2007 should have had their debt-levels affected by the price increases.

For all other owners, their debt-structure was already in place, and the price of their house going up would NOT increase their debt. Unless they choose to cash-out refi, of course…

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-02-01 02:04:07

“Demand for housing continues lower as defaults, delinquencies and foreclosures continue to rise driving prices ever lower.”


Avoid housing at all costs. If you buy a house now you will lose alot of money. ALOT of money. Beware.

Comment by joesmith
2013-02-01 06:25:48

65 percent, to be exact.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-02-01 06:38:54

ALOT of money.

Comment by joesmith
2013-02-01 05:50:43

Imagine if the media spent half the time covering financial crime, housing policy, or the federal reserve as they spend on the super bowl.

Then again, America gets the media it deserves I guess. Sponsors spending 4 mil per 30 second ad certainly seem to know what the masses want to watch.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-02-01 06:17:15

49′ers are gonna get the beatin’ of their lives.

Comment by joesmith
2013-02-01 06:28:13

Over/under on players leaving game with concussions is 2.5

I’ll be in nevis seeing up a book if anyone wants to place a bet. ;-)

Comment by azdude
2013-02-01 06:28:34

do they they will call on alex smith during the game at any point?

Comment by ahansen
2013-02-01 11:07:49

The Sooper Bowl has gotten so tedious anymore I’ve started watching it for the game.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-02-01 06:23:59

Will the housing market finally bottom out after the Souper Bowl?

Comment by azdude
2013-02-01 06:30:14

the party is back on in so cal. not enough homes to go around. get your million dollar view.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-02-01 06:40:19

Dump it while you still might find a buyer.

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Comment by Robin
2013-02-01 18:09:17

Couple of new short sale offers and one back-on-market here in 92831 this week.

Big rise in number of listings.


Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-02-01 06:41:31

Our rent has stayed the same for several years running, but our family income has gone up, so that our rent has been a shrinking percentage of the family budget.

Meanwhile the only person I know who recently sold a ‘million dollar home’ in San Diego (last fall) ended up settling for $500K less than the initial asking price.

Go figure!

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Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-02-01 06:44:14

our family income has gone up, so that our rent has been a shrinking percentage of the family budget.

Yes…. You keyed in on this fundamental. And this trend will continue until it reaches the long term trend of 25% of gross annual.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-02-01 08:39:53

For the record, our rent is under 20% of pre-tax income and steadily declining. I suspect this reflects falling real housing prices masked by wage inflation.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-02-01 08:44:41

And it’s coming right out of the wallets of home-debtors. It’s a beautiful thing isn’t it?

Comment by joesmith
2013-02-01 06:35:02

Locally, if rioting occurs afterwards the “cool” areas may see a dip.

NFL disabled vets may drive a rise in demand for ranch houses because of blown out knees and concussions.

Win or lose, pizza and beer sales are going to craaaaaater for 7 months!!!!11

Probably 65 percent, too :-P

Comment by oxide
2013-02-01 07:17:17

DC fatoid:

The stairs at the National Building Museum in DC have a very shallow rise-over-run which makes them much easier to climb. The museum used to be the old Pension Building, and was designed by Montgomery Meigs, Quartermaster General during the Civil War. [same guy who chose Robert E Lee's property for Arlington National Cemetary.] He knew that many former soldiers, who had had their knees literally blown out, could more easily climb shallow steps to pick up their military pension checks. Also notable: elevators were invented at about the same time as the building was designed. Meigs wanted an elevator, but there was no budget for it. He put in a shaft anyway, figuring that someone would put in the elevator later. He was right.

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Comment by Arizona Slim
2013-02-01 08:06:56

Note to self: Be sure to visit National Building Museum in DC.

Comment by oxide
2013-02-01 08:18:53

Speaking of which, are you still planning to visit DC? Haven’t had a meet-up in a long time.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-02-01 08:41:10

Oxide, there is a slight chance I will be out in DC in May. If so, I request a meetup with you and Polly (if we can talk her into it…).

Comment by Arizona Slim
2013-02-01 08:42:02

@oxide, I am indeed planning to visit DC. Don’t know when, but it’s on my short list of travel destinations.

Right now, I’m working on an exhibition proposal for my first solo show as a photographer. So, good vibes, por favor.

As for the article pitch to Bicycling magazine, no reply to my January 23 e-mail. So, I packaged up my pitch materials and sent ‘em by Express Mail on Wednesday.

Comment by Bad Chile
2013-02-01 09:05:19

I love the National Building Museum - it is a beautiful building, true to its structural roots.

The elevator, though, is tiny. I recommend riding it when/if you get the chance.

Comment by snowgirl
2013-02-01 09:17:07

“Note to self: Be sure to visit National Building Museum in DC.”

Agreed, we were in the Building Museum last year and the whole family, even my kids, loved it.

Comment by oxide
2013-02-01 09:34:36

Two of my Saturdays in May are shot, but we’ll see how this goes…

National Building Museum is having a funding crisis of some kind. You can walk around the building for free but you now need tickets for the exhibits. Great gift shop tho.

Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 10:02:59

AZ slim - if you come to dc, check out this place: http://home.bikestation.com/washingtondc

You’d really like the biking culture and that place is part of making it much easier. I keep one of my bikes there in case I have to take the train in to work. It’s right outside the main entrance of Union Station and then I can ride down Mass. Ave pretty quickly to get to work, not needing to involve a taxi or a long walk.

Comment by polly
2013-02-01 10:30:25


Weren’t you thinking about coming to DC for fotoweek? That is what I remembered from your last discussion.

Remember, mi aerobed es su aerobed.

Comment by jane
2013-02-01 20:01:31

Slim, if you are arriving any time in May, June or whenever, I hope that the meetup details are liberally posted for a long period of time. I’d take a D on a problem set to meet you and shake your hand!

Comment by ahansen
2013-02-01 22:24:47

I would certainly try to make a DC meet-up in May. What a hoot to cycle around town, hit the museums, confront our Congresspersons en masse, quaff a few. Count me in!

Comment by goon squad
2013-02-01 07:28:04

Imagine if the media…

You won’t hear it from the cheerleaders on CNBC, but C-SPAN had a good segment this morning, in which at least one caller asked the key question of why hasn’t anyone involved in creating the financial crisis gone to jail.

“Jon Hilsenrath talked about his Wall Street Journal article on Americans’ “trust deficit” toward major institutions such as government and the financial sector, which could be holding back the economy.”

Comment by oxide
2013-02-01 07:45:10

The MSM leaves the “thinking” crap to PBS.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-02-01 08:03:14

Maybe Al Jazeera is the New and more improved PBS……..

The Recession is OVER!!!!! No more Jobs council
Al Jazeera America Has Received More Than 8,000 Applications

Lots of competition for just 160 positions.

Within 24 hours of posting openings for the majority of their new positions, Al Jazeera America received 5000 applications for open positions, a number that has grown to 8,063 over the past three days, a network source told BuzzFeed.

Al Jazeera caused a stir earlier this month when it was announced that the Qatar-based network had bought the struggling liberal channel Current from Al Gore for $500 million, and would use it to expand into American coverage.

It further stoked speculation in the media world when it posted 160 digital and editorial positions. The ads were placed on Al Jazeera.com and Current.com as well as other prominent job listing sites like the New York Times, Washington Post, and LinkedIn.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 09:50:41

Right now I give Al Jazeera far more credibility than any of our networks. And to compare it to PBS, when it’s privately owned, is amusing at best.

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Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 10:05:43

Yeah, I was going to say, the Al Jazeera deal is great. First, economically, they will pump some investment and get a better return out of the cable access Current was under-utilizing. They are even creating jobs! Secondly, sometimes outsiders have unique viewpoints that are more valuable than just another MSM spinjob.

Comment by ahansen
2013-02-01 22:29:40

A-J is the most credible news source in America outside of CSPAN and PBS Newshour. Its international coverage and commentary is superb.

Comment by In Purgatory
2013-02-01 12:32:40

PB$ leaves thinking to group thinking of a couple of quarters in the country.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 09:47:24

I’ve never understood the mania associated with the Souper Bowl. I really don’t give a rat’s rear orifice who wins or who is even playing. I could understand some people being interested if the local team was playing, but why should I get so excited over this? Needless to say, I’m not going to watch it.

Comment by michael
2013-02-01 09:50:36

i know a dude that doesn’t like ice cream.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 09:56:19

I still don’t get it. Why should I care if Baltimore and San Fran are playing? I have no emotional interest vested in either team and don’t care who wins.

Will the level of play be different from a regular season game? I doubt it. Will it be more exciting? Probably not, most Souperbowls are blow outs. The half time show? Yawn, even if a starlet “accidentally” exposes one of her boobs. The commercials? Oh please. Those will be on youtube later anyway.

The event, unlike ice cream, is a highly overhyped non event.

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Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 10:12:47

I wouldn’t watch it if the local team wasn’t playing. So this year I’ll probably watch most of it, but most years I’d barely even notice.

As far as: ” will the level of play be different from a regular season game”, I actually think yes in this case. These two particular teams may kill each other. Or at least draw more attention to the potential medical issues associated with the sport in general…

Comment by michael
2013-02-01 10:34:17

Get off my lawn you crazy kids!!!!

Comment by polly
2013-02-01 10:34:34

Puppy Bowl!

I think a lot of people watch the super bowl as an excuse to indulge in snacks. At least the ones who don’t care about either team and don’t generally follow football.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 10:40:01

Or at least draw more attention to the potential medical issues associated with the sport in general…

That was covered this morning on Democracy Now. The NFL’s concern is that once parents learn that sport can cause irreparable brain damage to their Pop Warner and High School team kids, that they won’t let them play and thus deprive colleges and the NFL of their cannon fodder. I doubt that they will be severely affected, too many kids in the ghettos and the south will play regardless.

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-02-01 13:15:55

My mother refused to let my brother play. He was 6 feet tall and 120 pounds in HS. She couldn’t stop him from playing pickup games with his friends, but at least they were more his size. He used to take me out after supper to throw the football for an hour or so. Consequently, I can throw a perfect spiral with either hand - but not very far.

My kids were too short - around 5 feet at 15. And they had no interest.

Texas is nuts about football. They will continue to play no matter what.

Comment by rms
2013-02-01 13:13:41

“i know a dude that doesn’t like ice cream.”

But Nina Agdal won’t be there. :)

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Comment by sfhomowner
2013-02-01 12:49:00

If the 9′ers win no one here will get any sleep Sunday night.

Horn honking, driving up and down the streets hooting, fireworks, etc. It gets crazy here It was like that when the Giants won the World Series.

Personally, if the waves are good, I always go surfing during the super bowl. Never crowded.

Comment by cactus
2013-02-01 13:35:37

I walked by the under construction 49’s stadium wedsnday while in Santa Clara. immpressive giant thing

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Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 06:13:38

Even the Boston Herald gets it….

Economy Shrinking, Debt Soaring, And Obama’s Talking…”God, Guns and Gays?”
Boston Herald | February 1, 2013 | Michael Graham

Our weak economy is stumbling yet again. America’s GDP actually shrank during the last three months of 2012, after three years of Obama’s “recovery.” Jobless claims jumped last week “unexpectedly.” And a new report says our national debt will soon be 200 percent of our entire national output — or twice as high as that of Greece.

Since the inauguration, what have President Obama and the White House been talking about? Jobs, the economy and debt?


It’s been gun control, same-sex marriage, women in combat and illegal immigration.

I’m so old I remember when campaigning on divisive wedge issues was a bad thing.

Do you go to bed at night worrying about high-capacity magazines for guns, or doing more to make it easier for illegal immigrants to stay in America?

Not me. I’m out looking for a job; I’m trying to figure out how I’m ever going to pay Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposed new income tax hike and the health costs driven up by Obamacare.

Meanwhile, this economy that Obama and the Democrats have pumped trillions of borrowed Chinese dollars into for “stimulus” and Solyndra-style green jobs is shrinking, not growing.

Nancy Pelosi promised us that unemployment checks “create jobs faster than any other initiative you can name.” Well, we spent three years extending benefits, and the percentage of able-bodied adults in the workforce is smaller today than when Obama took office. That’s part of the reason household incomes are still lower, not higher.

Falling incomes, a crappy economy, not enough decent-paying jobs. An economy that’s fallen into negative growth, while debt is exploding. Isn’t this the point in the movie where someone shouts in terror “We’ve got to do something!”

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-02-01 06:25:57

”God, Guns and Gays?”

He wouldn’t waste his breath if those weren’t such important topics for his Republican opponents.

Comment by joesmith
2013-02-01 06:41:43

Obama was right about the guns, god, and gays thing. His mistake was saying out loud what everyone knows. In America that is a liability. Tons of mouth breathers like cabana boy can be summoned by the hannity dog whistle.

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 06:52:56

Obama and the democrats have it down perfectly.

Thank gawd there was no “toe tapping” involved. That would have been serious even for the national press to report it.


Bob Menendez’s foreign underage prostitution story stubbornly not going away.
January 30th, 2013 | Moe Lane

Background: just before the election a story broke alleging that Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey had taken advantage of the hospitality of one of his campaign contributors to go down to the Dominican Republic (via the aforementioned contributor’s private plane) and use the services of at least two prostitutes (one of whom may or may not have been underage). Worse, he allegedly refused to pay said foreign partially-underaged hookers the full amount that Menendez allegedly promised to pay – and, let me note again this in passing: to patronize a prostitute is hardly a moral act. But if you must do this, pay what you said that you were going to pay. There is a difference between being uncouth, and being a cad.

Anyway, life may get very interesting for Senator Menendez:

FBI agents late Tuesday night raided the West Palm Beach business of an eye doctor suspected of providing free trips and even underage Dominican Republic prostitutes to U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J. — who has denied what he calls the “fallacious allegations.”

Bottom line here is this: when the FBI does a raid, it’s usually as per a script that has already progressed quite far and will end with somebody being arranged in the near future. Dr. Melgen is probably the current scapegoat, but honestly… the prosecutor won’t want a Florida eye doctor when s/he can get a US Senator. No prosecutor ever BECAME a Senator from putting a Florida eye doctor in jail.

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Comment by joesmith
2013-02-01 07:08:39

Menendez needs to go. Its time for cory booker.

Comment by palmetto
2013-02-01 07:13:30

“Its time for cory booker.”

Christie will appoint him.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-02-01 08:42:30

‘Thank gawd there was no “toe tapping” involved.’

Wasn’t the toe tapper a Republican congressman? Me confused…

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 08:55:34

Yeah - and he resigned.


Wasn’t the toe tapper a Republican congressman? Me confused…

Comment by goon squad
2013-02-01 09:01:15

The toe-tapper was Idaho Sen. Larry Craig. Busted looking for some sweet down-low action in Minneapolis airport bathroom.

Menendez is just as much of a pervert, but at least he’s not married. Most of the “family values” types looking for glory-hole fun and twink-boi Congressional pages are married Republicans.

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 09:16:13

Yes - because have no standards means you never have to say you are sorry.

Just what the country needs - a party and leaders with no standards.

Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 09:50:10

Lindsay Graham - closet case that has never married

Mark Kirk - closet case who was married very briefly

Comment by ahansen
2013-02-01 11:15:37

DC is FULL of “closet cases” as you call it. And a good many are in long-term marriages of convenience. Power tending to expand one’s options and all that….

Comment by oxide
2013-02-01 06:59:14

breaking: 157K new jobs in January.

Probably lucky ducky jobs. But then, who’s buying the lucky ducky services?

Comment by Robin
2013-02-01 18:15:36

Bought a $10 Pizza Hut pizza last night. MMMMM!

Am I helping? - :)

Comment by rms
2013-02-01 19:05:30

“Bought a $10 Pizza Hut pizza last night. MMMMM!”

We tried one of those $10 Pizza Hut pizza, but the oily grease was running from everywhere. We’ll stick with the Mormon folks in town and their $26 XL fresh vegetarian.

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Comment by goon squad
2013-02-01 07:32:10

The deregulation and outsourcing and crony capitalism that has destroyed this country’s middle class were a bipartisan effort over the last 30+ years.

But keep telling yourself that Obama phones are bankrupting the country :)

Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 07:48:11

Chickenhawk Ted Cruz knows how to fix the economy, don’t worry.

We just need a war with Iran, that’ll do the trick.

Also, LOL @ the GOP’s credibility on these issues. Obama is problematic but look at who the GOP provided to us as alternatives. McCain and Romney. LULZ.

Comment by Northeastener
2013-02-01 09:42:51

For a professed “Conservative” voter, you sure do enjoy bashing the GOP. What’s the agenda? Why not just come out and say you’re actually a progressive in disguise, here to push liberal talking points…

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Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 10:18:32

What part of today’s GOP do you think is conservative?

When people propose or even joke about “bombing Iran” or anything like that, it really makes you question their fitness to lead, doesn’t it?

Also, Ted Cruz is a chickenhawk. I don’t go around randomly calling all GOP politicians chickenhawks. In Cruz’s case, it really needs to be said. Chickenhawk.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 10:22:05

Probably because the GOP leadership is not anywhere near conservative, but instead are reactionary extremists.

Just a guess.

At least that’s what I hear from other more moderate conservatives I know.

Anecdotal, to be sure.

Comment by Northeastener
2013-02-01 10:33:08

I understand the sentiment, especially regarding the Neocons and Iran. Having said that, the reality today is we have a 2 party system and the Democrats are just as moonbat, wingnut crazy as the Republicans, only more so…

Take your pick, crony capitalists or socialists… either way, I’m sure there is a wedge issue out there to make you choose. Just be honest about the choice. While I don’t agree with the Neocons or religious fanatics in the GOP, I don’t frequently bash them because I view the socialists, progressives, and liberals as the greater threat to my person (and liberties). When both choices suck, choose the choice that sucks less…

Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 10:36:00

“GOP leadership is not anywhere near conservative, but instead are reactionary extremists”

I’d say most of the leadership are military shills, bible thumpers, and only want to shift spending around, not cut it in a serious way. Just look at the last 2 nominees for President. They did not provide a reasonable alternative to Obama. And look how they treated Ron Paul & his delegates. What a joke.

Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 15:16:51

The only Dem I voted for this year was Obama. I’ve said it a lot but it’s worth repeating, - - I know Obama has flaws, but what Romney represents and how his people treated the Paul people was my motivation. That said, I respect Romney for being a massively successful legal tactician. The Republicans has possibilities who would’ve been more suited to the office, but they chose not to nominate them. Did Huntsman ever get more than 10% in any primary or caucus? Has anyone considered why Gary Johnson decided to run as a Libertarian even if it meant taking votes from Mittens? I’ll be watching in a few years to see what happens if some reasonable, moderate, competent Republican runs and can’t make headway because of gay rights or abortion stances. Teabillies would never let someone like Chris Christie get the nomination.

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-02-01 16:36:25

“Take your pick, crony capitalists or socialists… either way, I’m sure there is a wedge issue out there to make you choose. Just be honest about the choice. While I don’t agree with the Neocons or religious fanatics in the GOP, I don’t frequently bash them because I view the socialists, progressives, and liberals as the greater threat to my person (and liberties). When both choices suck, choose the choice that sucks less…”

Hence, the wedge issues. I view the crony capitalists, neocons, and religious fanatics as a bigger threat to my person and liberty than the socialists, progressives, and liberals.

Comment by Avocado
2013-02-04 14:25:31

I wish someone could give me a real example of something Obama did that was “socialists.” I can give you dozens that say he is a crony-capitalist like his predecessors. Heck, corp profits are at all time highs! Stock market is at 14,000, and we are killing people all over the world over oil. socialists dont do that.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 10:18:17

Another numbers free, reference free, post.

This why you aren’t at the front counter, cabana boy.

Comment by sleepless_near_seattle
2013-02-01 10:35:14

I felt it. Calendar Q4 suuuuuucked. Q1 ‘13 looking a little shaky too.

Comment by MightyMike
2013-02-01 15:40:04

When has Obama mentioned God lately? Did he make some sort of generic reference to God in his inaugural address the way that every president does?

Comment by ahansen
2013-02-01 23:22:12

Invocation, address, musical interludes, benediction, all were full of nonsensical and specific “god” references. The only thing that was “god”-free was Blanco’s poem, and even that referenced “prayers”. Just once it would be nice to see a national celebration that doesn’t make our country look like a bunch of superstitious nitwits.

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 06:31:00

Ok - so I talked last night with an old neighbor who put in solar panels about four years ago on his house. The house is in the NE.

Total cost for installation: $52,000
Total subsidies (Federal and state): $26,000
Total electrical savings per year: $1500

So it makes no economic sense even with the MASSIVE subsidies. There is no ROI EVER.

But here is the kicker.

When the panels were installed, the local electric company was forced to buy “green energy credits” by the government - these were worth about $500 per credit. The neighbor’s house used to generated about 10 credits per year.

So, the solar panels actually had a payback of about 5 years with the green energy credits.

Last year - the value of the credits has crashed to about $100. Payback just went from 5 years to 20 years (if ever).


The ENTIRE solar energy industry is pretty much a scam (anywhere but SW) and relies on massive government subsidies and massive government “green energy credits” to basically fund 100% of the purchase price.

I am so glad our bankrupt country and states can find the money for this.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-02-01 06:42:06

“There is no ROI EVER.”

Correct. Unless fuel oil and electricity takes a massive leap.

Comment by ahansen
2013-02-01 11:27:19

I prefer to take the long view. The transition to sustainable private energy sourcing from fossil-based fuels and centralized distribution centers isn’t going to happen overnight. It took 60 years to fully electrify the USA.* It will probably take the same to solarize it.

In the meantime, people who use sustainable sources enjoy a degree of independence and the knowledge that they’re in the vanguard of a social movement. Moreover, as more and more people switch over and demand better and more reliable product, the technologies will evolve exponentially.

The TVA cost a boatload of taxpayer money, too. As did the Apollo Project and the Interstate Highway System. It’s what organized societies do to advance civilization.

*Fully 40% of the permanent households in my area have never been hooked up to the grid.

Comment by oxide
2013-02-01 14:04:52

+1 allena.

Obama is picking up where Carter left off. He knows that we need at least 25 years, or closer to 50, to wean us from fossil fuels. If for no other reason than peak oil. The research and transition HAS to be done, even if the research happens in stops and starts and only when a Dem is in the White House.

Oil companies are living in the Now. We have oil today, renewables can go hang. A few oil companies pretended to be interested in renewables after 9/11,* but it was soon revealed as greenwashing so they went back to their fossil ways.

Maybe this is why Obama is keeping quiet on the fracking and the Keystone pipeline. He knows we need energy. He knows we can’t afford a huge push to renewable. So he’s pleasing the fossil crowd while securing funding for the research that HAS to be done.

*BP had a big solar facility outside of Frederick, Maryland. The building had a futuristic shape with a big triangle of solar panels and big BP SOLAR lettering, and it conveniently sat right next to a major highway. Can you say showing off? Well that building is now empty and for lease.

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Comment by azdude
2013-02-01 06:53:05

he is helping air quality and the environment.

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 06:59:27

All depends.

There was a lot of pollution made manufacturing, shipping and installing the solar panels. They will have to be replaced in 20 years and put in a landfill.

Is that equal or less than the pollution of the electricity saved?

he is helping air quality and the environment.

Comment by Avocado
2013-02-04 14:34:07

duh! lets just stick with oil and all drive F150’s, we will be fine.

amazing lack of planning for the future if you are a redneck.

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Comment by joesmith
2013-02-01 07:02:00

Sadly, not really. Solar panels take a lot of energy to manufacture. Lotsof rare earths used in them and also in the battery systems. Those panels are wasted in the northeast, but would make sense in the s.w. Or maybe the plains states. Subsidizing their installation in the n.e. Is a waste.

N.e. Has the most media and political influence so of course the feds won’t discriminate against the n.e.

Comment by joesmith
2013-02-01 07:06:36

I looked at a panel system from solar city last year. I quickly realized from their site eval numbers that it didn’t generate enough power. We have at least some clouds on most days. And october to april we have mist/fog/precipitation 8 or 10 days a month. A few hours of fog or clouds a few days a week makes a significant diff.

Comment by rms
2013-02-01 07:31:57

“And october to april we have mist/fog/precipitation 8 or 10 days a month.”

We can double your mist/fog/precipitation 8 or 10 days a month if overcast is included in the rankings, and lets precede all of them with freezing. Yessiree, gimme that freezing fog!

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Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 07:52:33

The same panels installed in the mid atlantic would generate only a fraction of the power as they would if installed in Santa Fe. The gov’t shouldn’t even consider subsidizing home solar systems outside of a few areas. And in the areas where they should do it, the subsidies could be pretty small because the solar system would actually pay for itself. Kind of like the one Bluestar did.

Comment by measton
2013-02-01 09:09:37

1. Your friend got ripped off. I know people who installed 5 years ago and expect ROI of 10 years.
2. Solar panel costs have cratered since then.
3. Energy prices will continue to rise.

Comment by Northeastener
2013-02-01 09:51:06

Energy prices will continue to rise.

The US has an abundance of Natural Gas and Coal, both fuel sources for power plant electricity generation. There is no discernible reason for “energy prices”, other than crude/refined oil, to continue to rise for the foreseeable future… unless the government and the environmental activists decide to make it so in an attempt to raise revenues.

Point in case, the current agenda by the former head of the MBTA in Massachusetts to push an increase in the gas tax by $0.20/gallon to help pay for the transportation disaster “The Big Dig”.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 10:26:53

I’ll give you the one and only reason that matters: because they can.

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Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 10:46:15

The US has an abundance of Natural Gas and Coal, both fuel sources for power plant electricity generation.

We also have an abundance of brown clouds and air pollution in our cities.

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Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 10:38:34

Yeah, re-reading that deal, his friend really did get ripped off. Or else he has a legit mansion (not McMansion).

My guess would be he just got a horrible price.

That said, I still don’t think solar systems would work in most places in NE. And if gov’t wants to subsidize solar, why not run a far smaller pilot program in a defined area (southwestern US)?

Comment by Bluestar
2013-02-01 11:38:10

Why do you want everyone to be a slave to the utility monopolies?
Do you have the specs for this system, # panels, total wattage? Anyway, anything bought 3-4 years ago even with subsidies will look expensive compared to a system bought in the last year. Thanks to all those pioneers who bought the first generation of DVD players, Flat panel TVs and cell phones, the technology advances and foreign labor that eventually cut the costs of these products by 80%. All of those things have one thing in common though, they consume your money for entertainment or convenience. Solar is a whole different category and it’s not for most people anyway, location not withstanding. If you rent or move every 5 years it’s probably not a good investment. Based on the only number I can estimate from is the “$1500 savings” quote and I would guess he had a 5KWH system. My system is 6.5KWH and it costs less than $20,000 in Dec 2010 and will cover 100% of my annual usage for 20+ years regardless of future rates. In 20 years I predict you could buy a 10KWH system for $8,000.

Use this site to estimate your solar potential: http://www.nrel.gov/rredc/pvwatts/

Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 10:25:49

Yes, your friend did get ripped off.

Also, energy prices will rise. Forever. They are never, never, never going to go back down. Ever. Unless you make your own power.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 10:47:53


Some day, we will wax nostalgically over $4/gallon gas.

And solar panel prices are cratering. In a few more years I might even install some one the house.

Comment by sfhomowner
2013-02-01 12:53:05

I’d like to go solar, but not until the price of materials comes way down and I can install it myself.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 14:31:42

Go on-line. What you want already exists.

Comment by Avocado
2013-02-04 14:31:23

i would think SF is too grey for solar. Just become energy efficient.

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-02-01 16:48:00

Our grid is pretty reliable. If it was as bad as India’s, the cost would not be as much of a factor as the ability to generate electricity on site.

Comment by Avocado
2013-02-04 14:30:10

he paid to much, my sis in law’s paid for themselves in 6 yrs. but she had a huge electric bill from being out in the country with no nat gas nor propane.

1. insulate and switch to LED lights, then see what your bill drops too. most fools don’t do the obvious first. They add solar to a drafty old house with halogens.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-02-01 06:31:59

Why would anyone expect firms hired by banksters to behave other than the firms described in this article did when offered fistfulls of printing press money?

P.S. We used to live within a few miles of the foreclosure home in the linked image. I guess things have slowed down a bit from the heady days when homes like this were selling for north of $400K?

Investment Banking | Legal/Regulatory January 31, 2013, 9:06 pm
Doubt Is Cast on Firms Hired to Help Banks
A worker removed furniture from a foreclosed home in Richmond, Calif., in July.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Federal authorities are scrutinizing private consultants hired to clean up financial misdeeds like money laundering and foreclosure abuses, taking aim at an industry that is paid billions of dollars by the same banks it is expected to police.

The consultants operate with scant supervision and produce mixed results, according to government documents and interviews with prosecutors and regulators. In one case, the consulting firms enabled the wrongdoing. The deficiencies, officials say, can leave consumers vulnerable and allow tainted money to flow through the financial system.

“How can you be independent if you’re hired by the entity you’re reviewing?” Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, who sits on the Senate Banking Committee, said.

The pitfalls were exposed last month when federal regulators halted a broad effort to help millions of homeowners in foreclosure. The regulators reached an $8.5 billion settlement with banks, scuttling a flawed foreclosure review run by eight consulting firms. In the end, borrowers hurt by shoddy practices are likely to receive less money than they deserve, regulators said.

On Thursday, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Representative Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, announced that they would open an investigation into the foreclosure review, seeking “additional information about the scope of the harms found.”

Critics concede that regulators have little choice but to hire outsiders for certain responsibilities after they find problems at the banks. The government does not have the resources to ensure that banks follow the rules. Still, consultants like Deloitte & Touche and the Promontory Financial Group can add to regulators’ headaches, the government documents and interviews indicate. Some banks that work with consultants continue to run afoul of the law. At other times, consultants underestimate the extent of the misdeeds or facilitate them, preventing regulators from holding institutions accountable.

Comment by joesmith
2013-02-01 06:57:48

It’s actually the regulators who are hiring the consultants for help.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 10:27:57

Damn federal union employees.

Oh wait…

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-02-01 06:47:07

Treasurys are trying to price in heightened inflation fears on the strong jobs number. I guess rates can stay low so long as QE-to-infinity-and-beyond remains in force?

Comment by azdude
2013-02-01 06:55:08

treasuries will stay low as long as the govt debt is high. If the keep the interest low they can borrow more.

Buy some stocks so goldman can hose you again.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-02-01 06:51:38

PIMCO’s Gross tweets ‘Great Rotation’ skepticism
January 31, 2013, 10:55 AM

PIMCO’s Bill Gross is apparently doubtful that the so-called great rotation out of bonds and into stocks is actually happening.

Large money flows into equities this month that have driven the S&P 500 SPX to its best January — through Wednesday — since 1997

But Gross tweeted Thursday that flows at PIMCO “show few signs of bond/stock rotation.” Instead, Gross suggested “Cash/money markets may be the source.”

In a longer monthly note, Gross compared the declining impact of credit easing to boost the economy with an explosive supernova that runs out of heat and energy even as it continues to expand, noting:

Each additional dollar of credit seems to create less and less heat. In the 1980s, it took four dollars of new credit to generate $1 of real GDP. Over the last decade, it has taken $10, and since 2006, $20 to produce the same result.

He suggested three approaches for investors:

a) Seek inflation protection in credit market assets/ shorten durations.
b) Increase real assets/commodities/stable cash flow equities at the margin.
c) Accept lower future returns in portfolio planning.

– Tom Bemis

Comment by rms
2013-02-01 07:41:57

But Gross tweeted Thursday that flows at PIMCO “show few signs of bond/stock rotation.” Instead, Gross suggested “Cash/money markets may be the source.”

All of this cash-flow information is recorded down to the last cent, so why doesn’t Gross simply check-it-out with his homies?

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
Comment by goon squad
2013-02-01 07:35:31

There are better reasons to boycott Applebee’s, namely that their food sucks.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-02-01 07:51:22

Yeah, but Chelsea Welch is a freakin’ cool name to have as a handle. I love a good distraction, what can I tell ya?

Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 10:29:42

Yep. Food sucks. All the reason required.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-02-01 21:18:00

But,but, but there was a long wait at my local Applebees…..

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Comment by sfhomowner
2013-02-01 12:58:20

Never been to Applebees. Couldn’t go even if I wanted to: there are none here.#whyilikeSF

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-02-01 13:55:49

Reminds me of how Boulder likes to try to keep chains out. They kept Walmart out a while back, but it looks like they’ve found another way in. Lots of weeping and wailing in the local paper about how evil they are. Meanwhile everyone shops at Target and thinks it’s great.

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Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-02-01 08:07:04

The applebees in my part of town just shut down, the food there was terrible, but they always seemed to have a lot of cars outside. The first time DUI laws in Arizona have become extremely punitive, alcohol sales have to be down at most of these places, could have a big impact on their total revenue.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-02-01 08:14:30

Or One of you could be the designated driver…my brother was and he got into see so many concerts, events for free…..they paid his ticket….

Comment by Arizona Slim
2013-02-01 08:09:46

I boycott them because of the crummy food.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 10:54:43

I haven’t set foot in one in years. The quality of their food has really gone downhill, not that it was ever great.

Comment by Avocado
2013-02-04 14:40:03

All of those type of restaurants are awful: Chilis, APplebees, Olive Garden, Cocos, Dennys, Maria Cal, Carrows.

Outback Steakhouse for a burger (only) is decent. Mac Grill is OK, but the plates are huge (share one)

Target is just a cleaner Wallmart for white people.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 10:53:07

Nice! After making her snide remark about tithing, the pastor completely stiffed her for the tip, and then got her fired. What a Pharisee.

Comment by ahansen
2013-02-01 11:33:42

“More than eight people in her party” and she’s whining about a six dollar tip?! That takes some true pastoral gonads.

Comment by oxide
2013-02-01 12:46:52

Applebees fired the waitress for revealing the identity of a customer — don’t know if that’s legit. I’m not sure whether to boycott Applebee’s or the church.

I like to tip high, but at the same time I’m afraid to tip high. It just gives the restaurant even more excuse to pay the servers even less than minimum wage. 15% has already turned into 18%.

Comment by ahansen
2013-02-01 12:57:16

Tip in cash, and let the server know you’ll be tipping in cash when they leave the check.

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 07:00:42

Well, it is a technique…


Bear trap fails to snag burglar
New Castle News ^ | Jan 30,2013 | Debbie Wachter

NEW CASTLE — A bear trap failed to prevent a burglar from entering a home in the 400 block of Countyline Street.

That’s because the trap wasn’t set.

Someone broke into the house around 12:20 p.m. Sunday and stole two cordless drills and chargers and a bag of tools.

The resident told New Castle police she normally keeps a large bear trap set at the bottom of her basement steps, but she had forgotten to set it that day.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-02-01 09:27:35

She dodged a heck of a lawsuit there. Even somebody who openly admits they were there to rob her could probably win a big settlement for that. A lawyer would have a field day with it…

Comment by polly
2013-02-01 11:31:20

Do you really think she has liability for someone who broke in and stepped into a trap at the bottom of her basement steps? Or are they talking about external steps which is pretty much just as bad, but possibly could be distinguished because at that point the injured person had only committed a misdemeanor (trespass) and not a felony (breaking and entering).

If you get injured after committing a felony to actually enter someone’s house (with intent to rob them) you might get some medical expenses out of the home owners insurance just to get rid of you and even that is a long shot. A judge would laugh you out of court and a local jury isn’t going to have much sympathy for a guy breaking into their neighbors’ houses stealing stuff.

Now, you are going to have liability if you put a bear trap across a well worn path that crosses part of your property that school kids have been using as a short cut for decades. No question about that. This is a little bit different.

Comment by ahansen
2013-02-01 11:41:03

My understanding is that it’s not only illegal to rig up an intruder trap that is intended to cause bodily harm, but that it will also subject the homeowner to prosecution and liability for injury.

The reasoning being that emergency personnel like police, fire, EMT, responding to a call risk serious injury or death from such devices. Then there is the unintended risk to neighbors, kids, house guests who might enter the premises unexpectedly, etc.

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Comment by polly
2013-02-01 13:22:19

Hmm…thanks. I had no idea. After I posted, I did consider that even owning and/or setting the bear trap might be illegal in some places.

I’m still not sure that you would get much of a tort suit out of it. Usually doing something illegal is a great way to get stuck with liability in a tort case, but I still think a jury of your neighbors might be inclined to either let you off or give the guy $10 depending on the instructions given to them by the judge. Think about it. The guy suing you presents his side of the case with pictures of the mangled leg, testimony about the pain, info about how he isn’t going to be able to walk again, etc. Your attorney walks up and asks him, “So, Mr. Smith, why were you at the bottom of Mr. Jones’ basement stairs?” Given that the first responders weren’t hurt because the thief sprang the trap, the reason for the rule is less compelling. Juries are emotional in PI cases. Well, in lots of cases really, but especially in PI.

The only time I was considered for a PI case for jury duty, I got out of there as quickly as I could manage it and the judge bought the sob story. She should have been ashamed of herself. The criminal court guy was a much harder nut to crack.

Comment by cactus
2013-02-01 13:39:27

The reasoning being that is they can get money out of you

Comment by cactus
2013-02-01 13:43:21

what I hear is you have to kill any intruder on your property, if you only wound them they will sue you to bankrupcy


Comment by Carl Morris
2013-02-01 14:00:58

I still think a jury of your neighbors might be inclined to either let you off or give the guy $10 depending on the instructions given to them by the judge.

Is the jury more likely to be your peers or his?

Comment by polly
2013-02-01 15:42:25

The tort happened where you live so that is where it gets assigned. I guess it depends on how big your county is and how close to home the intruder does his work. And I wouldn’t be too sure of a jury of his peers letting him off either. People who live in neighborhoods where criminals live are the most victimized. Just remember, it is tort law for money and criminal law for going to jail/other government imposed penalties. They aren’t the same thing.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-02-01 18:39:01

I thought juries in those types of cases were particularly sympathetic to mangled limbs and that sort of thing. Stuff you can show really gory pictures of. Easy to imagine the person who did it as evil and all that.

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 11:46:46

Yes - a burglar can sue you if he gets hurt in a trap you set in your own house while he is robbing it.

And no, the judge is not going to laugh you at of court.

You will get sued and you will be out lots of money just defending yourself.

There is no tort reform in America because trial lawyers are the some of the biggest campaign contributors to the democratic party.

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Comment by ahansen
2013-02-01 13:01:14

There’s “tort reform” all over California, and there has been for decades. For example, the $250K limit for pain and suffering in medical malpractice suits went into effect in 1975. Not sure about the rest of the country.

Comment by polly
2013-02-01 13:24:21

Texas has medical practice tort reform too. Has had no impact on medical costs. See Atal Guande article in the New Yorker (google his name) for the information. Medical costs vary based on whether the docs own the testing/surgical centers and the doctor “culture” of the area.

Comment by polly
2013-02-01 15:43:46

I think that is Atul Gawande.

And getting sued isn’t the same as having make a pay out. You can sue people for almost anything. Doesn’t mean you will win.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 10:32:00

Hidden camera.

Cheaper, safer, hard to defeat if you can’t find it and airtight evidence in court.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-02-01 10:38:42

Camera stuff is complicated. And she just has that bear trap sitting around doing nothing.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 10:45:10

:lol: Right?

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Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-02-01 11:28:56

And she just has that bear trap sitting around doing nothing.

Maybe she was trying to catch the bear that kept breaking into her house?

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Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 12:12:36

What do you do with the bear once you catch it?

Comment by sfhomowner
2013-02-01 13:02:39

Cameras are useless if no one can identify the person in the camera.

Our school got robbed big time this year (about 50K worth of computers). There was a camera and it caught one on of the thieves. You can clearly see his face. So what? No one at the school nor the police knew who it was.

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Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 07:15:58

Why is it that NO ONE actually wants to live under liberals/progressives and their insane governments?

Hopefully, all these “immigrants” from New York, Illinois, New Jersey and California don’t vote for liberals/progressives (and their policies) and turn their new home into the socialist hell-holes they just left.

And gawd help you if you own a house or business in New York, Illinois, New Jersey and California…


How The South Will Rise To Power Again
http://www.forbes.com/ ^ | 01/31/2013 | Joel Kotkin

The common media view of the South is as a regressive region, full of overweight, prejudiced, exploited and undereducated numbskulls. This meme was perfectly captured in this Bill Maher-commissioned video from Alexandra Pelosi, the New York-based daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Given the level of imbecility, maybe we’d be better off if the former Confederate states exiled themselves into their own redneck empire. Travel writer Chuck Thompson recently suggested this approach in a new book. Right now, however, Northeners can content themselves with the largely total isolation of Southerners from the corridors of executive power.

Yet even as the old Confederacy’s political banner fades, its long-term economic prospects shine bright. This derives from factors largely outside the control of Washington: demographic trends, economic growth patterns, state business climates, flows of foreign investment and, finally and most surprisingly, a shift of educated workers and immigrants to an archipelago of fast-growing urban centers.

Perhaps the most persuasive evidence is the strong and persistent inflow of Americans to the South. The South still attracts the most domestic migrants of any U.S. region. Last year, it boasted six of the top eight states in terms of net domestic migration — Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia. Texas and Florida alone gained 250,000 net migrants. The top four losers were deep blue New York, Illinois, New Jersey and California. These trends suggest that the South will expand its dominance as the nation’s most populous region. In the 1950s, the South, the Northeast and the Midwest each had about the same number of people. Today the region is almost as populous as the Northeast and the Midwest combined.

Comment by goon squad
2013-02-01 07:38:42

If we want to be surrounded by the Earth is only 6,000 years old, Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs like horses, we have to destroy the world to save Israel to hasten the Rapture crowd, we can drive an hour to Colorado Springs. We don’t have to move to the South.

Comment by ahansen
2013-02-01 23:39:49

“…Why is it that NO ONE actually wants to live under liberals/progressives and their insane governments?”

What an idiotic comment. Tell that to the majority of Americans who voted for President Obama. Twice. The South is America’s subset, and the literal laughing stock of the rest of the planet. Go ahead and “exile” yourselves and see how long your tax-sucking confederacy lasts in the world economy without the support of liberal/progressive America.

Comment by palmetto
2013-02-01 07:44:38

Yeah, rats deserting their sinking ships. Which of the Northeast/Mid Atlantic states will be the first to “go Detroit”? Close race between NY, NJ and CT. My money’s on NJ.

Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 07:59:59

“Close race between NY, NJ and CT. My money’s on NJ.”

First off, upstate NY has already won the race. It’s dead up there.

Second, NJ is the opposite of detroit in many ways. Very diversified economy, the top place for Big Pharma, I believe they are 2nd or 3rd in per capita income (behind Maryland and maybe CT). One of the best, if not the best, public school systems. Anchored between NYC and Philly, and firmly on the NE corridor as a whole. NJ also has a fairly balanced gov’t that is not dominated by one party (although of course they don’t support social conservatives in Presidential races, but no educated state does that). To the degree NJ has a problem it is fixable because it’s a spending problem not a revenue problem. NJ has very high revenues.

Detroit has a relatively low quality workforce, not suited to the present (or future). The city is overwhelmingly African American. The schools are terrible. They have a revenue problem. A revenue problem is much, much harder to fix.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-02-01 08:10:04

Joe this is where my War on Ebonics comes in to help solve Detroit’s problems.

Mandatory English classes for any public assistance, No summer vacations for those who fail in school. It’s the present racist polices of the administration that we should all object to.

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Comment by ahansen
2013-02-01 23:48:00

In seven years of you complaining about other people’s use of the English language, I’ve yet to see a single post that doesn’t contain at least one syntactic or grammatical error.

Comment by palmetto
2013-02-01 08:15:39

Revenue leaves when those who provide it, leave. As in Detroit. And leave NJ they will, and are. The Research Triangle in NC has been the beneficiary of much of that. Heck, Cary was basically colonized by refugees from NJ. And there’s no end in sight. It’s just a matter of time.

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Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-02-01 08:40:53

What was the acronym for Cary? Containment Are for Relocated Yankees?

Comment by palmetto
2013-02-01 09:01:03

Something like that, lol. Then there’s the “halfbacks”, the folks who move from the NE/Mid Atl to Fla, and then halfway back to NC.

Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 09:56:10

“refugees from NJ.”

Yes, lucky ducky ones.

Wake me up when researchers, bankers, tech guys, accountants, lawyers, etc. start leaving.

You act like the high income areas are just foolish. It’s quite the opposite, they are very in-tune with what’s going on. I think the interesting exceptions are California and upstate NY.

Your basic problem is you look at a state and decide that all populations are equal. The NYC area may lose some population, but it’s generally people who are below median, plus retirees. Looking at aggregates betrays a simplistic world view. People who are “winning” the economic war (high skill, high wage) are not moving to Cary, NC or any other random part of the south.

Comment by oxide
2013-02-01 11:48:31

People who are “winning” the economic war (high skill, high wage) are not moving to Cary, NC or any other random part of the south.

Do you know ANYthing about Cary, NC?

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 11:55:26

I will check in with Detroit and get back to you.

So I guess what you are saying unless you a great high paying job to afford the high taxes and high cost of living - don’t let the door hit you in the @ss on the way out.

and I thought liberals were so caring….

Comment by In Purgatory
2013-02-01 12:18:59

Do you know ANYthing about Cary, NC?

He’s googling right now. The time will be billed against the client. Client will bill the government.

Wonderful world of high wage and high skill.

Comment by palmetto
2013-02-01 12:57:02

“The time will be billed against the client. Client will bill the government.”

ROTFLMAO! He’s not the worst offender, either. Except the hall monitor’s firm gets to bill the government direct. And you always know when they’re off work or on vacation, because then they’re not posting here.

No wonder these folks have such contempt for regular working stiffs. People who screw others over always have contempt for the screwees.

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 09:00:40


Run by public unions
Insane property taxes
Some of the highest income and sales taxes in the nation
Still in a housing bubble.
Truly the home of the looney left

There is NO outcome that will not end badly…

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Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 08:02:15

People who move from the NE to the south are usually older (retirees) or relatively low skill workers seeking lower COL. It’s infinitely easier to live on Lucky Ducky wages in Georgia or Florida than it is in the NE.

I personally wouldn’t want to send my kids to a public school in the south, so it would be hard for me to explain why people with kids would make the move, unless they are moving to one of the few legitimately nice areas (like a college town, e.g. Chapel Hill or Athens)

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 09:02:41

Property taxes are low in the south.

For the $15,000 in savings you can send two kids to an excellent private school if you wish.

It is amazing what can be done with a little more competition and a little less public union…

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Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 10:00:04

A family with 200k income is better off paying those taxes and sending their children to excellent public schools in Manhasset NY or Alpine NJ.

Equivalent jobs are rare in the south. Plus, in the south you get to be around more fats, olds and WTs.

You act like people irrationally choose to live in NJ or NY, as if they could get the same job and make the same money in the south. For people who are in good jobs, that is extremely unlikely.

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 11:42:56

Well then, I guess it is good to be rich in the liberal NE.

Not so much fun for anyone else.

I am glad you progressive have their back.

A family with 200k income is better off paying those taxes and sending their children to excellent public schools in Manhasset NY or Alpine NJ.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 12:14:42

Property taxes are low in the south.

Not in Texas or Florida. And my brother who lived in Raleigh, NC pays more property tax than I do, even though his house is assessed lower than mine.

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-02-01 18:13:28

I knew folks in Charlotte, NC who had to pay property tax on their dog.

Comment by MightyMike
2013-02-01 15:29:26

People who move from the NE to the south are usually older (retirees) or relatively low skill workers seeking lower COL.

There’ still the possibility of a lot of Big Pharma jobs moving south because corporate management chooses to move them to a low cost area. If you look at the list of companies in the research triangle - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_Triangle_Park - there are quite a few pharma/bio comanies there already. Considering all of those companies, as well as all of the software companies in that are, there must be a fairly significant number of well-paid, highly educated professionals in the region.

On the other hand, there are benefits to staying in New Jersey as well. There was an interesting article in the New York Times a few years about the importance of medical research and the pharmaceutical industry to whole northeast corridor. It’s underpinned by institutions like the biological research laboratories associated with MIT and hospitals asscociated with Harvard Medical School, all the way down to the NIH in Bethesda, MD. Those are all institutions which are not going anywhere.

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Comment by palmetto
2013-02-01 08:05:33

Many of those from the Northeast/MidAtlantic who have money have become wise over the years to using the Southern states as “tax havens” of sorts. As early as the 1990s, when CT instituted its state income tax, those who could manuever, did so. We had a client who used the trick of purchasing a dinky little condo in Fla and declaring it their primary residence for tax purposes, while retaining their manse in CT as a “second home”. Did they spend six months and a day in Fla? Doubt it, but who could or would prove it?

Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 08:10:05

Well this point is true, the more well off NE’ers are snowbirds when they retire. And they may use FL as a tax haven before then. Few would actually live there.

The people who actually move are usually below-median earners or people who can retire early on pensions then get a similar job in FL while receiving their pension at age 50. It’s not like we’re going to see a migration of pharmacologists, bankers, or media types in a rush to move to FL and send their kids to the schools.

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Comment by palmetto
2013-02-01 08:32:29

Look for some of the NE/Mid-Atlantic states to re-think the state income tax in favor of increased sales taxes, to stop the bleeding. Pharmacologists have and are moving to places like Cary. Not to mention the bankers already ensconced in NC.

“media types in a rush to move to FL and send their kids to the schools.”

LOL, had to laugh when I caught a segment on the local news last night about Jerry Penacoli. Seems he’s one media types who was in a “rush” to move to Florida (to be near his family, lmao). What a comedown, he’s hosting some early morning “Daytime” segment on one of the affiliates.


That’s what he used to be, but the link is a little behind the times. He’s now burnishing his skills for the cooking segments at 6:00am, lol.

Comment by palmetto
2013-02-01 08:46:06

Actually he seems like a pretty nice guy and I already feel like a turd for making fun of him. Gigs are hard to come by for the middle media folks. Glad he found something here. They bumped some local gal in favor of him, because she “wants to spend more time with her family”.

Why am I not surprised? Reminds me of when Ben used to post about the collapse of the “oil patch” in Texas and grown men were fighting with each other over paper routes.

Don’t git too uppity there, joe. You, too, may some day be begging for a gig at some PI firm here in Florida. Morgan and Morgan is always looking and if you’re photogenic and well spoken, they’ll put you on one of their commercials to shill for clients. Of course, it helps if you’re a former member of the NFL, a former Florida governor or one of the Morgan family. But, if you have something to bring to the table.

And don’t worry about the schools, there’s always home-schooling!

Comment by palmetto
2013-02-01 08:53:58

Heeeeeere’s Jerry!


Next up, Nancy O’Dell.

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-02-01 09:04:13

‘media types in a rush to move to FL’

A little off your topic; one of my favorite TV shows was SCTV. They had these hilarious skits, where a group of the local “celebrities” would spend several minutes telling each other how great they were, each topping the last. Then finally one lady would practically scream, “I want to have your children!”

Yesterday, I was driving and listening to Rush Limbaugh. This guy calls in and says something like, “I love you Rush, I would have your baby if I could!”

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 09:08:23

Is that equal or worse than real “journalists” offering to give President Bill Clinton a BJ?

Comment by palmetto
2013-02-01 09:12:32

“This guy calls in and says something like, “I love you Rush, I would have your baby if I could!”

Now THERE’S a mental image for ya, rofl!

Taking it even more off-topic, (or maybe not), I’ve noticed the proliferation of various TV (cable, over the air, etc.) shows during this extended recession. I had expected to see some massive layoffs in this industry, and yet they never materialized.

But are they materializing now? Something tells me there’s a “media bubble” about to burst.

Comment by palmetto
2013-02-01 09:19:40

“Is that equal or worse than real “journalists” offering to give President Bill Clinton a BJ?”

Hmmm. That’s some real food for thought, there. Of course, I’m no expert on these matters, but I think Clinton might have the edge in the looks department.

Comment by Montana
2013-02-01 10:20:27

Ahh, I loved SCTV too. Wasn’t there some guy who did a Merve Griffin impression? Is that where “Ooooh!” came from?

Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 10:41:25


Take off, eh! Now how about that Celebrity Farm Blow-Up?! It blowed up reel gude!


Comment by polly
2013-02-01 11:37:34

A transition from state income taxes to higher state sales taxes is outrageously hard. You know why? Because that means that the old people who have already earned and paid taxes on their money, have to pay taxes again when they spend the savings. Old people vote. And they have a lobbying group.

Don’t count on a transition.

Now, the places that don’t have state income taxes might increase or add a sales tax or they might expand it to cover services, but getting rid of the income tax to transition to a sales tax only system? I’m not holding my breath.

Comment by palmetto
2013-02-01 12:42:42

“A transition from state income taxes to higher state sales taxes is outrageously hard.”

When it comes to taxes, no transition is too hard for bureauocrooks.

Nobody gives a fark about the old people, least of all the AARP, which isn’t much of a lobbying group anymore, but a vehicle to sell insurance and other crap to old people. Don’t think the “old people” don’t know this. I live in the state that has probably the highest percentage of “old people” in the country. Maybe not officially, but it does. AARP is a huge joke here. Many dropped their membership like a hot potato.

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 09:04:05

Sounds like the “John Kerry” and “Ted Kennedy” rule for taxes.

Taxes are for the little people…

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Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 10:46:49

Leona? Is that you?

Why do you sound so much like Mitt?

Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 10:35:14

The south will rise again?






teh stupid, it burns!

Comment by goon squad
2013-02-01 08:00:40

Wall Street Journal - Morgan Stanley to Boost CEO Salary

Because it’s not cheap to “retain talent”, especially of those so talented at crashing the economy and raping the middle class.


Comment by goon squad
2013-02-01 08:06:31

Wall Street Journal - Americans Rip Up Retirement Plans:

“Nearly two-thirds of Americans between the ages of 45 and 60 say they plan to delay retirement, according to a report released Friday by the Conference Board. That was a steep jump from just two years earlier, when the group found that 42% of respondents expected to put off retirement.

The increase was driven by the financial losses, layoffs and income stagnation sustained during the last few years of recession and recovery, said Gad Levanon, director of macroeconomic research at the organization and a co-author of the report, which is based on a 2012 survey of 15,000 individuals.”


Welcome to the recoveryless recovery.

The future belongs to Lucky Ducky.

It’s gonna get worse, and then it’s gonna get more worse :)

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 09:06:23


But banning guns, bigger and bigger government and higher taxes should solve this problem pretty soon…

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 10:06:36

Right, this has nothing to do with offshoring entire industries to countries where wages are $1/hr and environmental regs are so lax and unenforced that the air is unbreathable and tap water is unfit for human consumption.

Comment by Cracker Bob
2013-02-01 10:49:02

Of course the Waltons are all Democrats.

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Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 12:47:50

What does that have to do with jobs being offshored? We already know that neither party has our best interests at heart.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 10:48:29

Surely you don’t expect them to “eat cake”?!

Why the very nerve….

Comment by goon squad
2013-02-01 08:12:23

Wall Street Journal - Crop of New Law Schools Open Amid a Lawyer Glut:

“Law school applications are at their lowest in a decade, but that hasn’t stopped a handful of colleges and universities across the nation from opening new law schools.

The numbers don’t favor these new schools. Last year the pool of law school applicants shrank to about 68,000, down about 13% from 2011 and more than 30% from the past decade’s peak of about 100,000 in 2004″


Go to third or fourth tier University of CostCo Law, borrow $200,000, graduate and get a legal temp gig making $40,000/year. Sounds like a winning plan.


Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 10:11:48

Looks like the word is getting out. Much like with biz (and other) schools, unless you attend an elite school (which means you are very above average) then you are wasting your time and money.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-02-01 10:17:29

It’s a filter. If too much of the coarse stuff is getting through, we just add another filtering stage. If you don’t understand then you’re part of the coarse stuff and those jobs aren’t for you…

Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 10:32:44

If federal loans didn’t exist and weren’t incredibly easy to get a big chunk of law schools would shrink and eventually close. Right now, Cooley can charge as much as Yale simply because the loans are available. And schools like GULC and GWU now have 500+ students in their 1L entering cohorts, so even good schools are exploiting the situation by admitting very large numbers (HYSCCN still very selective, though).

It’s just insane that the ABA has accredited so many schools. Law schools are cash cows because 1L classes are taught in large lectures (50+ students in a lecture). I think my 1L section was ~80 students. So there is basically no prof/student interraction. I mean, sure you go to office hours a few times or stop by the podium after class, but even then it’s usually the gunners in each section who try to monopolize the prof’s time. In 1L you’re basically paying a lot of money to teach yourself and perhaps collaborate with a few friends on outlines for open book exams. So 1L is just an enormous cash cow. 2L and 3L make more sense, as these are small sections and the profs actually have to prepare for the specialized topics. A lot of people think 3L shouldn’t even exist, which is another subject in and of itself.

Comment by polly
2013-02-01 15:50:41


I get Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Chicago, and Columbia. But N? NYU? Really? Before Bolt Hall, Virginia and Michigan?

Comment by goon squad
2013-02-01 08:26:09

Bloomberg - Time Warner Cable Shares Fall as Forecast Misses Estimates:

“Time Warner Cable fell 11 percent to $89.34 at the close in New York, where it’s based. That was the biggest one day drop since March 9, 2009.

Adjusted earnings per share will grow 10 percent to 15 percent this year to a range of $6.33 to $6.61, Time Warner Cable said today. That missed the average estimate of $6.91, or 20 percent growth, of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.”

And the crux of the article:

“The cable operator lost 129,000 residential video customers. The basic cable subscriber base has declined every quarter since 2009 as customers switch to TV services offered by phone and satellite companies.”


Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 10:13:56

My understanding is that Dish Network is also losing customers.

Comment by goon squad
2013-02-01 11:01:48

Converter box from Wally Mart: $40
Rabbit ears from Radio Shack: $10
DVD’s from Denver Public Library: Free!

Yes, we pay Comcast $40/month for their lowest price internet only.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 12:17:48

Plus the fact that there’s almost nothing worth watching on all those cable channels.

With on demand available over the internet growing by leaps and bounds the days of “appointment TV” are numbered.

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Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 14:35:36


Comment by palmetto
2013-02-01 11:06:23

I think we have a media bubble that’s going to burst big-time. The visual media, anyway. Not surprising, with FB and YouTube and texting and whatnot, younger folks especially are more absorbed with their own personal little soap operas and “sporting events”, etc. They’re the stars of their own shows!

The future belongs to World Star Hip-Hop!

Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 10:54:14

Cry me a river.

I have basic cable and the channel choices and actual shows on prime time suck nasty things through a firehose.

Comment by goon squad
2013-02-01 08:34:15

Bloomberg - Chevron Fourth-Quarter Profit Hits Record as Refining Surges:

“Chevron Corp. (CVX), the second-largest U.S. energy company, said fourth-quarter profit increased 41 percent to a record $7.25 billion as it reported stronger refining results and a gain from an Australian natural gas field swap.

Net income rose to $3.70 a share from $2.58, or $5.12 billion, a year earlier, the San Ramon, California-based company said in a statement today. Chevron was expected to report per-share profit of $3.06, based on the average of 19 analysts’ estimate compiled by Bloomberg.”


We got to fill up once, just once, for $2.59/gallon a few weeks ago. Now it’s back to around $3 here. And expect that after the post-Souper Bowl home buying season begins on Monday, it will go even higher, on the increased demand of buyers racing around from listing to listing trying to outbid each other to buy houses.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 10:22:00

We got to fill up once, just once, for $2.59/gallon a few weeks ago. Now it’s back to around $3 here.

Gas prices are always sticky on the way down, but rise meteorically. I’m guessing that the Japanese will keep chipping away at electrical cars until they are practical, and when they are other manufacturers CEOs will slap their heads in dismay, and blame the unions for their sudden lack of competitiveness.

As for how we will charge these electric cars, we could take two approaches.

1) Go the “American Exceptionalist” way and burn fossil fuels to generate the power.

2) We could go the limp wristed sissy way and put up more windmills (which already generate 50% of Colorado’s juice after hours, which is when we would recharge our cars)

But who wants that? Real men drive pickups with truck nutz dangling in the rear.

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 12:03:23


3) We could let the market dictate when the electric car is ready for prime time. WITHOUT massive government subsidies or giving BILLIONS to campaign contributors that are friends of the administration to build $100,000 electric cars for the wealthy.

It will happen one day. All without a huge government mandate.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 12:31:43

Who said anything about a mandate or subsidies? I was talking about how to generate electricity to charge the cars overnight. I really do wonder about your reading comprehension skills sometimes, but then realize you’re just a troll.

And yes, I agree there should be no subsidies, especially when our auto industry isn’t really making any electric cars yet.

Anyway, my point was that the Japanese, unlike our own short sighted captains of industry who can’t see beyond next quarter’s numbers and who won’t spend a penny on R&D without a subsidy, are investing in electric car R&D because they know that some day gasoline will become prohibitively expensive. And when that happens the Big three will be caught with their pants down (again) and spend a decade or two trying to play catch up, and maybe needing another bail out along the way.

So while we make bigger and bigger trucks, they are investing in the future.

Churchill was right about us. We will do the right thing, after trying everything else first.

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Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 09:10:13

It is how the 47% get paid…

Now get back to work and pay your fair share.


Welfare boss resigns in wake of $$ report
The Boston Herald | February 1, 2013 | Chris Cassidy

The state’s embattled welfare chief was forced to step down yesterday in the wake of a shocking internal report that found that a staggering 47,000 families receiving taxpayer-funded benefits are unaccounted for — and nearly $30 million in food stamp money went to recipients who were not eligible.

Comment by goon squad
2013-02-01 09:32:43

So you are suggesting that we increase the size of government to crack down on the fraud and abuse, right? Or better yet, maybe the state of MA can hire some contractors to do that?

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 10:01:21

Something tells me that it will cost more that $30 million to eliminate the fraud and abuse in MA, which amounted to a whopping $638 per year per recipient.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-02-01 09:39:34

Maybe we should ask how can you afford that Iphone at the initial interview.

Oh yeah thats racist

Comment by Northeastener
2013-02-01 10:01:05

And yet, our illustrious governor “Cadillac” Deval Patrick is pushing hard on his new budget proposal for 2013, which includes an increase of the income tax by 1% as well as doubling of fees for things like auto registration, driver’s license renewals, auto inspection stickers, etc.

Seems we need more money for schools and transportation… maybe they should try accounting for the money they already collect from us.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 10:03:57

Nothing is stopping you from moving to low tax, low cost of living flyover, which in general is far friendlier to gun enthusiasts like yourself. You could probably pay cash for a McMansion here with just the equity in your MA house.

Comment by Northeastener
2013-02-01 10:24:16

Nothing is stopping you from moving to low tax, low cost of living flyover

Actually, a few things are stopping me:
1. My wife’s job is not transferable to most areas and she needs to go back to school to change careers if she is to find gainful employment elsewhere
2. Our in-laws and extended families are all in the area and help with the child-school thing, given my wife and I both work full time.
3. We like the parochial school our kids go to now and they have a number of friends in the area. I am loathe to disrupt that at their age (8 and 6). Once they are a little older, that feeling may pass.
4. We would need to sell our house, and while Boston may be booming again, the outer burbs/exurbs of Boston are certainly not.

We are in the process of planning for a move in the future, whether it be 6 months or 3 years out, but it isn’t as simple as just “packing up and heading to flyover”. It will happen, though whether it’s to NH, NC, TX, or some other state is to be seen.

Much also depends on the progress made with my start-up. While I could find a good-paying software development or DBA job anywhere, if my startup gets funded and grows, I’ll be able to locate an office just about anywhere. That would be the ideal scenario…

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Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 11:04:00

I guess those new taxes aren’t so onerous after all.

Comment by Northeastener
2013-02-01 11:18:58

As I said before, we are planning our move: it could be in 6 months or in 2 years, but we will be moving, very likely out of the state of MA.

And it isn’t just the income tax… now there is talk about adding a mileage tax, where you pay per mile driven, in addition to the gas tax increase. Then there are the local taxes, the high cost of insurance, the high cost of utilities, the increases in fees for just about everythinge… Can I absorb all those tax increases? Yes. But the writing is on the wall and so we are planning our exit.

The rest is a personal decision regarding the politics of the region… I can’t stand the limousine liberals and “People’s Republic of Cambridge” types who run the politics of this state and think those of us, primarily Republican, in the more rural areas don’t count because the wretched refuse in the inner cities vote Democrat and continue to get their government cheese.

Then there are the government workers and Unions. One third of the working population in the state of MA works for the government and also votes for the “government cheese” albeit in the form of wages, pensions, etc. Add in all the government corruption, and you have a situation that gets worse every year.

The way things are going, in 10 years, MA will be little different than CA, only without the immigration problems… rather it will be the geriatric population dying off and the exodus of the working class moving out of the state.

Comment by palmetto
2013-02-01 11:23:52

You got a point.

Me, I found much of the Northeast depressing as I got older, with the exception of the summer resort areas, those were fun. The Cape, coastal RI, etc.

However, when I wuz a pup, nothing could beat suburban NY for growing up. Truly an awesome experience I wish all kids could have.

Comment by Northeastener
2013-02-01 11:37:48

when I wuz a pup, nothing could beat suburban NY for growing up. Truly an awesome experience I wish all kids could have

My kids have a pretty good thing going here, and being kids, aren’t aware of the financial pressures, politics, “deals with the devil”, etc. that mom and dad deal with daily.

Between private school, karate, gymnastics, swimming, soccer, and skiing, not to mention days at the beach all summer long, spending time with both sets of grandparents weekly, friends and cousins nearby, trips to Martha’s Vineyard and Boston, etc. they are enjoying a childhood that surpassed mine or my wife’s… but it isn’t cheap and it isn’t easy.

As I said, every day we get closer to that exit… my own aunt and uncle are just waiting for my grandmother to pass and they will be off to North Carolina. My parents have already said they would move where ever we decide to go (barring NH, as they don’t want more cold). My guess is a few more deaths in the family and the true exodus will begin.

Comment by palmetto
2013-02-01 12:47:48

“Between private school, karate, gymnastics, swimming, soccer, and skiing, not to mention days at the beach all summer long, spending time with both sets of grandparents weekly, friends and cousins nearby, trips to Martha’s Vineyard and Boston, etc. they are enjoying a childhood that surpassed mine or my wife’s… but it isn’t cheap and it isn’t easy.”

Yes, childhood ignorance can indeed be bliss. My parents sure did right by me, just as you are doing with yours.

When the reality of being an adult in the Northeast hit me full in the kisser, I screwed off to Fla to extend my childhood, lol.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-02-01 13:19:17

I would love a mileage tax verify my mileage each year and it MUST be coupled with a mandated Insurance DECREASE

Why should I pay the same rate as someone who drives 30K miles yr when i drive 5k miles yr?

At least the gas tax is fair. we need at least another 25 cents to get serious about the roads and highways

now there is talk about adding a mileage tax, where you pay per mile driven, in addition to the gas tax increase.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-02-01 14:23:36

If you can already tax the fuel at whatever rate you want, what is the advantage of a mileage tax? To me it just seems like another way for the government to know what you are doing without a good reason. I realize that people charging their electric car with solar panels have an advantage with only a fuel tax, but I’m OK with that for now.

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-02-01 22:08:41

“I am loathe to disrupt that at their age (8 and 6). Once they are a little older, that feeling may pass.”

I would do it before the older one turns 11. That will give them time to settle into a new social group before hitting their teens.

Comment by ahansen
2013-02-02 00:17:23

NE, it sounds as though you’ve a lovely quality of life and the blessing of a close-knot extended family despite your issues with the taxes and the ideology in MA. But did it ever occur to you that those taxes and ideology might be what nurture that excellent lifestyle? And the desirable neighborhoods and amenities?

I live in a land of minimal taxation, minimal governmental interference, and minimal-to-non-existent public amenities and services. (And the schools, public and private, are abominable). What you save in ideological aggravation in a place like this might very well suck the soul out of your hard-worked enterprise. Do you really want to hang out with political knuckleheads and raise your children amongst them? Does your family? Are the sales contacts and opportunities better available for you in a less-academicly-oriented area?

Once your enterprise gets off the ground and gets off and running, the proportionate profit and ease of doing business may very likely offset the heavy-handedness of the local and state governments and actually come to protect and help you advance your market. It’s a trade off, and contacts are everything when it comes to business. I hope it works out for you and your wife and kids. A lot can change in three years. :-)

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 09:13:25

Can obama blame obama?

Unemployment Rises, More Quit Looking for Work
CNBC.com | 2/1/2013 | Peter Morici

The economy added 157,000 jobs in January and unemployment rose to 7.9 percent as the economy slowed in the fourth quarter. Unemployment would have been worse had not even more adults -169,000- chosen to join the ranks of those neither working or seeking employment.

Hiring and layoffs tend to lag other economic indicators. GDP fell 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, fears of a government shutdown slowed consumer spending in December and encouraged businesses to cut inventories. Even if the economy doesn’t slip into a recession, unemployment would rocket

Comment by goon squad
2013-02-01 09:35:58

Obama can blame Obama, and Bush 43, and Clinton, and Bush 41, and Reagan, and Carter, and Ford, and Nixon, and Johnson. There, fixed that for you :)

Comment by sleepless_near_seattle
2013-02-01 12:08:59

…and Wall Street (publicly held companies focused only on shareholders) and people having too many kids, and…

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 10:03:22

Can obama blame obama?

Well, it is just amazing this happened right AFTER the election.

Like all the gun control and gun banning bills.

Like higher taxes.

Like a shrinking economy.

Like amnesty for illegals

Just amazing the timing. And just as amazing that obama and democrats ran for re-election on ONE OF THESE ISSUES.


On This Day In History, Gas Prices Have Never Been Higher
Tyler Durden - 02/01/2013 - zerohedge

Between Hess’ plant closing and scheduled maintenance, the squeeze appears to be on the refining space and wholesale gasoline prices are smashing higher. Along with flares in geopolitical risk (Ankara today and Israel/Syria earlier in the week) driving underlying crude prices, Gas prices (at the pump) are surging - to record highs for the first week of February as per AAA, hitting an all time high of $3.465 for this day and just surpassing last year’s price of $3.455; and based on where wholesale prices are (given the lag), we could be seeing $4.00 gas at the pump in the next few weeks.

Comment by goon squad
2013-02-01 10:32:10

We don’t care how much gas is because Obama is paying for it!


Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 12:42:44

Like amnesty for illegals

So far it’s nothing more than talk, and I expect that’s all it will be, posturing. And IIRC, dubya proposed the same and the last prez to actually grant amnesty and start chain immigration was St. Ronnie Reagan. You can thank Ronnie for having to “Press 1 for English”

Comment by palmetto
2013-02-01 13:20:22

“So far it’s nothing more than talk, and I expect that’s all it will be, posturing”

From your lips to God’s ears. I’m hoping this will sink Screwbio’s congressional career like a stone, that he’s finished before he even got started. Can’t wait to see him end up like Mel Martinez, who up and quit one day for seemingly no good reason, “to spend more time with his family”.

Pathetic POS.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 12:44:29

we could be seeing $4.00 gas at the pump in the next few weeks.

And you’re the guy who hates electric cars.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 14:41:06

The cognitive dissonance is something to behold, isn’t it?

Comment by Northeastener
2013-02-01 10:12:23

Per the discussion yesterday regarding Colorado firearms background checks, I wasn’t aware how backward Colorado was. In Massachusetts, when we purchase a firearm, our fingerprint is taken electronically and compared to a State database of fingerprints taken when one applied for the LTC or FID (firearms licenses). Additionally, a check is made against the FBI database. All this is electronic and happens instantaneously to either approve or deny the purchase.

Where Massachusetts gets backed up is with the “License To Carry” firearms license applications. These can take months to get because the background check is more in depth, manual, and performed by the State Police, in addition to the local Police following up with references, etc. FWIW, the State Police petitioned Beacon Hill to provide more funding to help pay for the increased volume of new gun license background checks, which by law are supposed to be done in a timely manner.

And we pay for that license here in MA… $125 for a six year license, $100 of which goes to the State Police and $25 to the local Police to help with the costs of processing applications. As far as purchases go, there is no backup and it is very streamlined while still maintaining checks and balances against those who aren’t allowed to purchase (felons, mentally ill, those with restraining orders against them, etc.).

Comment by goon squad
2013-02-01 10:22:12

We bought a revolver back in April before all the current hoo-hah happened and it took about 15 minutes for the background check. Our Ohio CCW permit expires this year, it does not have reciprocity with Colorado, but we can use the training certificate from Ohio to get CCW here. Cost in Arapahoe County for this is $150, no idea on what the processing time will be.

Comment by Montana
2013-02-01 10:25:27

Why do they need fingerprints if they have your drivers license. That’s all we need here. But since I have a carry permit I don’t have to go through that anymore.

Comment by Northeastener
2013-02-01 10:40:45

Why do they need fingerprints if they have your drivers license.

To prove that you are who you say you are… a motor vehicle license can be stolen and the picture faked. A fingerprint is a much more difficult thing to steal and fake (CIA operatives being the exception here).

FWIW, if the fingerprint system isn’t working or the reader can’t take a good electronic print, each firearms license holder is provided a unique PIN number for the system to use to bypass the fingerprint check. If you forget or lose or your PIN and the fingerprint system is down, then you are SOL.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-02-01 10:19:51


I think you’ll like this (I read the article, didn’t listen to the video):


From Kyle Bass…

“One of the best performing equity markets in the last decade has been Zimbabwe,” he added. “But now your entire equity portfolio only buys you three eggs.”

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 11:58:48

Should have invested in egg futures.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 14:42:34

Some days chicken, some days feathers. :lol:

Comment by Avocado
2013-02-01 11:39:46

If you need proof of So Cal, multiple offers and craziness, call on this one and see what happened: http://www.redfin.com/CA/Laguna-Niguel/28802-Avenida-Del-Caballo-92677/home/4883733

Comment by Northeastener
2013-02-01 11:45:27

Housing related news from Boston:

Boston condos for $500k

Buyers closed deals on 3,324 condos in the city’s core neighborhoods last year, 28.9 percent more than in 2011, according to LINK, a Boston-based company that tracks the local condo market. At the same time, the median sale price, or midpoint price, rose to $501,250 — the steepest ever — a 5.69 percent increase over the 2011 figure

Link here

Boston area real estate (i.e. the domain of the wealthy and the DINKS) is rising while the burbs for the most part of languishing with limited inventory, soft pricing, and lagging sales volume. Is this the start of the next move up, with recovery in the wealthy nabes happening first, only to trickle down to the rest as the shift becomes more pronounced (and easier to identify)? Or, is this an anomaly, with prices to continue to stagnate or fall as the economy falters?

Comment by Northeastener
2013-02-01 11:53:03

On the subject of environmentalism and economics:

Conservation group calls for complete closure of cod fishery

New England fishermen suffered devastating cuts in how much cod they can catch. Now, a prominent environmental group is calling for the complete closure of the region’s cod fishery to avoid what it says could be the commercial collapse of the stock.

“the New England Fisheries Management Council continued a long and irresponsible track record of putting short-term economic interests over the long-term health of New England’s cod fishery

Link here

To me, that’s the money quote, and why I can’t stand “environmentalists”. What is mentioned here as “short-term economic interests” is actually jobs and livelihoods. Make no mistake, these new cuts will force boat owners out of business and force fisherman into the unemployment lines. And to make matters worse, it’s based on faulty “science” from NOAA. The population modeling methodologies were inaccurate and the statistical models faulty… but it’s the fisherman who pay the price.

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-02-01 22:30:30

Collapse of the fish populations would be catastrophic. In situations like this, I think it is reasonable for the government to provide short term financial support to the fisherman and processors. Give the fish populations a chance to recover and then reopen the fishery. It also needs buy in from other countries that fish there or it is wasted effort.

Comment by jane
2013-02-02 05:26:37

It’s not just overfishing. It’s failure of the fish stocks (?term) to recover because their food chain has been degraded by bottom trawling, which destroys the kelp beds, corals and ‘benthic environment’ required for the ?spawn (baby fish) to live after hatching. The fishery is a complex socio-technical enterprise: the fish and the fishermen are only part of it. Politics, interest groups, corporate overseers, bottom trawling equipment vendors, and graft at all levels also play into the collapse of the fishery.

It is a real collapse. NOAA oversees the fishery, so at its root the big gorilla - with its directed findings and failure to examine the problem at its root - is once more crushing the system through ignorance and greed, regulating the wrong thing, and being paid off not to do the right thing.

We should really decompose the “politics” element here. The hogs in Congress are so busy raking in the booty that failure to regulate bottom fishing was likely a result of rationing who to see on the basis of the likely payout. Corporate interests will tender the highest payouts, so they are seen first, crowding out public interests. The executive branch hogs whore after the common man, with fanfare. The federal civil service will support the hogs whoever they are, since every regulation guarantees a staff to “oversee” it. More drooling morons pushing paper. What’s not to like?

In this case, the common man (e.g., the fisherman) clamors in vain. He is skrood no matter what happens. Even if the hogs were to ban bottom fishing, it will take a couple of centuries for the ocean bottom to regenerate, and become a viable ecosystem to promote survival of the spawn. By 2250, if the ocean bottoms aren’t covered over in spilled oil gunk, nuclear fallout stuff, or asteroid leavings, they may be regenerated enough to provide the little organisms etc. that baby fish need to survive to a ripe old age. So, the fishermen are skrood now, no matter what happens, especially if they are in hock for equipment to hasten ecosystem destruction. They will be skrood for a couple of hundred years. They just don’t know it yet, or they don’t want to know it.

The fishermen picked the wrong industry. They will need to retool to become I-Phone app developers.

We live in a fascist state. The fishery is doomed as a result of being one more instance of the tragedy of the commons, hastened by the ham-fisted oversight of the bought off hogs. The fishermen are willfully ignorant, hoping to survive till retirement on harvesting the incremental ton of a vanished stock. We all know the returns to be harvested from the top end of diminishing returns.

Happy, respectfully, you don’t know what you’re talking about. “Support” a doomed industry on my dime? To do what? Re-tool as I-Phone code monkeys? Or in a jobz program to continue to cast off every day (even though it is known there ARE NO MORE FISH), striving mightily to pay off the loans on their boats and equipment? That is what the puppetmasters would like. In Combo’s construct, extract the last dollar by means of keeping hope alive.

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 12:10:47

Shrinking government, shrinking taxes and reducing the welfare state.

If only obama could go to Sweden to see the “European Way”…

Nordic thaw: They are Shrinking the state in…Sweden?
Hotair | 02/01/2013 | MARY KATHARINE HAM

It is a rare report on any country that gives me hope any of us can tackle our mounting, disastrous debt problems, so I think I’ll revel in this one, from the unlikeliest of places— Sweden.

Sweden has reduced public spending as a proportion of GDP from 67% in 1993 to 49% today. It could soon have a smaller state than Britain. It has also cut the top marginal tax rate by 27 percentage points since 1983, to 57%, and scrapped a mare’s nest of taxes on property, gifts, wealth and inheritance. This year it is cutting the corporate-tax rate from 26.3% to 22%.

Sweden has also donned the golden straitjacket of fiscal orthodoxy with its pledge to produce a fiscal surplus over the economic cycle. Its public debt fell from 70% of GDP in 1993 to 37% in 2010, and its budget moved from an 11% deficit to a surplus of 0.3% over the same period. This allowed a country with a small, open economy to recover quickly from the financial storm of 2007-08. Sweden has also put its pension system on a sound foundation, replacing a defined-benefit system with a defined-contribution one and making automatic adjustments for longer life expectancy.

The welfare state of the Nordic countries is still certainly generous, but it’s encouraging to see a society so defined by and proud of that lavishness can actually make some pretty fundamental changes. I mean, defined contribution pension plans and huge drops in tax rates and government spending as a percentage of GDP? I would have thought, if it sounds this good to me, it can’t be happening in Sweden, right? Wrong, and then there’s this:

Most daringly, it has introduced a universal system of school vouchers and invited private schools to compete with public ones. Private companies also vie with each other to provide state-funded health services and care for the elderly. Anders Aslund, a Swedish economist who lives in America, hopes that Sweden is pioneering “a new conservative model”; Brian Palmer, an American anthropologist who lives in Sweden, worries that it is turning into “the United States of Swedeamerica”.

Why are the Nordic countries doing this? The obvious answer is that they have reached the limits of big government. “The welfare state we have is excellent in most ways,” says Gunnar Viby Mogensen, a Danish historian. “We only have this little problem. We can’t afford it.” The economic storms that shook all the Nordic countries in the early 1990s provided a foretaste of what would happen if they failed to get their affairs in order.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 12:38:33

49% of GDP is still WAY higher than we are. Our ratio is closer to 25%. And they don’t have a bad ass military like we do either. You can sleep well at night, cabana boy, Sweden is still a socialist paradise with socialized healthcare, free college, and high wages.

We already discussed this last year. I guess the Drudge Report is running out of talking points.

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 13:07:19

You do realize under obama our public debt is now 100% of GDP?

Almost as bad as Greece.

It is almost a dream if we could ever get the debt to 37% of GDP.

You keep dreaming your progressive dreams.

We have to keep the 47% happy and voting with free cheese…

Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 15:03:02

Your posts make Trinidad James look well-spoken.

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Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 16:42:29

You mixing up your numbers, dude. Public spending is not the debt. You’re thinking that Sweden’s public debt is 49% of GDP vs our 100%. Go back and carefully read what you posted. They are talking about SPENDING, not debt.

Though I’m certain that socialist Sweden lives within its means (unlike us exceptional capitalists), as they tax and spend as opposed to borrow and spend like we do, even if their public spending vs. GDP is twice what our ratio is. You see, that’s how they provide socialized heathcare and free higher ed.

After taking a quick looksie I confirmed that their debt/gdp ration is about 37%. Since their spending is a whopping 49% of GDP and they aren’t borrowing to cover it, there is only one conclusion: they are taxing 50% of GDP to cover their spending. Which isn’t surprising, as Sweden is a socialist country.

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Comment by In Colorado
2013-02-01 16:53:59

If you lived in Sweden, Cabana boy, you would be horrified onpayday, when you saw just how much is withheld from your paycheck.

Comment by goon squad
2013-02-01 13:07:32

the Drudge Report is running out of talking points


It is a bottomless well of memes, including such golden oldies as:

Obama is a muslim and impementing Sharia law (Breitbart)
Occupy Wall Street = dude taking dump on police car (UK Daily News)
Obama phones (Youtube, Rush Limbaugh)
No climate change (any media coverage of cold weather)
Iran threat (any rhetoric about Israel)
Obama taking guns away (unfortunately, this one is now true :()
Black on white violence (assorted sources)
Any stats on increase in food stamps, disability, etc (assorted sources)
Any article about Obama on vacation (assorted sources)

The general theme of the memes Drudge serves is to stoke the allegedly righteous indignation of “Real Americans”, fuel their resentment of poor black and brown people getting any kind of freebie that Whitey is paying for, and most importantly blow the racist dog whistle about having a black man in the White House.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-02-01 15:05:54

Lets start a new one Ohbewanna is a racist…..white people on Staten island cant even get a tent in 30 degree weather


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Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 12:19:49

I just noticed a certain 12MM property pays *zero* property taxes.


It’s the Under Armour/Ravens performance facility and it’s apparently considered exempt for “Parks & Recreation” status. But under “use” it clearly states “commercial”. It’s also sitting on a little over 200 acres of prime real estate.

I wonder if this was a sweetheart deal from balt county to make sure the facility wouldn’t be put in the city or in harford, anne arundel, carrol, or howard county.

Tax deals for corporations… it’s the American Way.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 14:46:44

The only thing that matters is po’ folks pay no taxes!

Tax breaks for the rich creates jobs!

… for the rich.

Comment by joe smith
2013-02-01 15:01:58

It’s probably also undervalued at 12 mil. because of the amount of acreage and location. And the sq ft’age just says 100,000 sq ft. which is almost certainly an underestimate.

Comment by michael
Comment by rms
2013-02-01 13:38:10

I sort of figured this is how the wealthy would eventually be scooping up all the shadow inventory, 5% down with Joe Sixpack guaranteeing the balance as well as a tidy return.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-02-01 12:54:36


Romney’s “let them foreclose” strategy is looking better and better compared to what we are getting.

The gems from the CFPB servicing rules:

1. Servicers CANNOT start foreclosure processing until a loan is more than 120 days delinquent (4 more free months…yay!);
2. The servicer must consider “all foreclosure alternatives” to help the borrower keep the home;
3. No foreclosure sale until “all other alternatives” are considered (more and more short sales?).

All this will slow down release of inventory onto the market…

Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 13:10:16


Let the market work and foreclosures take place.
Get rid of Bernanke.
Get the US Government out of the housing market.
The US government spends way to much

To at least 50% of HBB - he was evil incarnate.

So now we have the obama Housing Bubble v2.0.

Comment by Avocado
2013-02-04 14:45:26

Corp profits at ALL TIME HIGHS!! Wars ending!! Oil imports down. Roads being paved!
OBL is dead!
what else do you want?

you cant go full blow austerity with a out a full blown depression.

Remind me of those GOP plans the last 4 yrs? or how we got in this mess? (hint: increased spending *war and cutting revenue.)

Comment by cactus
2013-02-01 13:25:58

Part of our test lab is going to be turned into a “mommy room” its the law

I suggested they turn the HR office into the mommy room

I guess this is why I’m not in management

Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 14:48:16

I LIKE the way you think! After, “human” is their name!

Comment by ecofeco
2013-02-01 14:50:20

“after all”


Comment by 2banana
2013-02-01 13:27:17

Welcome to the housing bubble v2.0

And does anyone believe these loans are “safer?”


No-money-down mortgages are back
Market Watch | February 1, 2013 | AnnaMaria Andriotis

It’s 100% financing—the same strategy that pushed many homeowners into foreclosure during the housing bust. Banks say these loans are safer: They’re almost exclusively being offered to clients with sizable assets, and they often require two forms of collateral—the house and a portion of the client’s investment portfolio in lieu of a traditional cash down payment.

In most cases, borrowers end up with one loan and one monthly payment. Depending on the lender and the borrower, roughly 60% to 80% of the loan can be pegged to the home’s value while the remaining 20% to 40% can be secured by investments. On a $2 million primary residence, for instance, the borrower could get a $2 million loan, which would require a pledge of assets in an investment portfolio to cover what could have been, say, a $500,000 down payment. The pledged assets can remain fully invested, earning returns as normal, without disrupting the client’s investment goals.

While these affluent clients may be flush with cash, this strategy allows them to get into a home without tying up funds or making withdrawals from interest-earning accounts. And given the market’s gains combined with low borrowing rates in recent years, some banks say clients are pursuing 100% financing as an arbitrage play—where the return on their investments is bigger than the rate they pay on the loan, which can be as low as 2.5%. Some institutions offer only adjustable rates with these loans, which could become more expensive if rates rise. In most cases, the investment account must be held by the same institution that’s providing the loan. See: Home improvement gets a makeover

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-02-01 19:20:28

I guess it all depends on how you feel about margin loans.

Once the lender feels that the margin is no longer safe (usually 30% equity required for any borrowings against securities; Max $700 borrowing for $1,000 in securities), they simply liquidate the position.

So, if you borrow $700 on the $1,000 (not advisable), and the value of the stocks fall 10% in a day to $900, the lender can automatically sell some of the $1,000 to remargin the account…in this case they would turn around and liquidate $234 worth of stock, and pay down the $700 to $466.

Then you have a loan of $466 on total securities of $666…bam…remargined.

They’ll keep selling as long as the values keep falling.

That’s why most people that I know who use margin do it only sparingly…like 20-25% of the total value of securities, so your portfolio would need to fall by about 65% before you got that dreaded margin call.

Comment by frankie
2013-02-01 15:58:54

US military struggling to stop suicide epidemic among war veterans

Last year, more active-duty soldiers killed themselves than died in combat. And after a decade of deployments to war zones, the Pentagon is bracing for things to get much worse


I hope they are wrong and it gets much better. A poem of Kipling keeps running through my head

I WENT into a public ‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, ” We serve no red-coats here.”
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ” Tommy, go away ” ;
But it’s ” Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it’s ” Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-’alls,
But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ” Tommy, wait outside “;
But it’s ” Special train for Atkins ” when the trooper’s on the tide
The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
O it’s ” Special train for Atkins ” when the trooper’s on the tide.

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap.
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul? ”
But it’s ” Thin red line of ‘eroes ” when the drums begin to roll
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s ” Thin red line of ‘eroes, ” when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Tommy, fall be’ind,”
But it’s ” Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind
There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
O it’s ” Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! ”
But it’s ” Saviour of ‘is country ” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An ‘Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

Comment by Resistor
2013-02-01 19:13:25

Rick Scott circa 2013: It’s about teachers, not tea party

TALLAHASSEE — For Gov. Rick Scott, it’s now about teachers, not the tea party.

Cutting spending is out. “Investing” is in.

The governor who once showed indifference to state workers now wants to give them cash bonuses, in addition to his $480 million plan to give every teacher a $2,500 raise.


Comment by nickpapageorgio
2013-02-01 19:47:24

Party like it’s 1999!

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