February 7, 2014

Bits Bucket for February 7, 2014

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

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 04:09:36

“If you borrow 300K, you’re on the hook for 300K. Plus taxes. Plus interest. Plus carrying costs. Plus whatever miscellaneous fees go into brokering the transaction.”

Plus losses to depreciation.

The mere notion that even a new constructed house is somehow worth $300k is laughable.

Remember…. We and our competitors build profitably for $55-60/sq foot irrespective of location.

Comment by azdude02
2014-02-07 08:43:33

my house is appreciating so rapidly I cant spend the equity fast enough.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 08:47:05

How are you going to pay it back?

Comment by oxide
2014-02-07 14:33:54

Presumably by selling the house. It would work if the house didn’t fall in value. Which, I guess is what everyone thought would happen. :roll:

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 16:01:30

But the house still owns him. Which is what we know always happens when you get suckered into paying a 250% premium for a depreciating asset.

Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by azdude02
2014-02-07 08:55:01

I would like to extend an offer to you. I would like to offer you a first deed of trust for 25000 USD on my CA real estate in exchange for a percentage of my future equity gains over the next 5 years.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 09:05:16

houses depreciate rapidly

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 04:13:32

“Why would pay more than new construction cost ($55 per square foot) for a rapidly depreciating 20+ year old resale house?”

Let me guess…… Because realtors tell you that the cost of a house cannot be evaluated using math?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 04:14:33

“A ‘housing recovery’ is falling housing prices to dramatically lower and more affordable levels by definition.”

Considering housing prices were never allowed to correct to the long term price trend, it appears housing hasn’t recovered. Nor will it recover…… until prices fall to dramatically lower and more affordable levels.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 04:15:57

“Resale housing is currently prices 40% higher than new construction costs (materials, labor and profit).”

And considering new construction prices are massively inflated, resale housing is overpriced by 250%.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 04:17:00

…..”as far as “baby boomers” go, they’re exiting SFR’s and entering assisted living facilities. This trend will continue leaving an additional 35 MILLION excess empty houses on the market. That doesn’t include the already bloated inventory of 20-25 MILLION excess empty houses.

The boomer retirement fad has long since passed years ago.”

Skyrocketing housing inventory, collapsing housing demand, collapsing household formation, doubled borrowing costs….

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 04:18:26

If you take on mortgage debt at current massively inflated housing prices, you’ll enslave yourself for the rest of your life.

“Debt is bondage.”~Suze Orman, May 11, 2013

In other words, don’t buy housing at these massively inflated prices.

Don’t Be A Debt Donkey®

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2014-02-07 07:13:26

Most recent push notification from the RAL app this morning:

“YoY home prices fell 69% in Intercourse, PA.”


Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 07:16:08

Good Morning Liberace.

Where is your private party gig tonite?

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2014-02-07 07:31:30

An early gig at Inakaya then late night @ Paddles.

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Comment by overpaid government contractor
Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 08:14:33

You are so screwed if you buy there.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 09:27:39

You are so screwed if you buy there.

I meant this to post under the Intercourse post but I guess it works for paddles too.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 04:19:57

“Remember… Housing is a depreciating asset and always a loss. Your losses are magnified tremendously if you paid more than $40/sqft for a used house. Your losses are irrecoverable in your lifetime if you financed it.”

You better believe it.

Comment by overpaid government contractor
2014-02-07 07:46:09

“I have so much money left after “throwing money away on rent” every month that I don’t know where to throw it.”


Comment by rust belt blues
2014-02-07 11:29:24

There are plenty of houses in Detroit that are available for pennies per sq ft. Have you snapped these up since it is far under your threshold of $40/sqft? Why or why not.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 12:43:14

Pennies? Tens of dollars a square foot is all any used house is worth.

Comment by rust belt blues
2014-02-07 13:26:10

So a 2500 sqft home in Detroit for 4K is a good deal? That works out to about $1.60 per

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 17:25:25

Is it?

Comment by 2banana
2014-02-07 06:05:07

It is for the children.

Besides, republicans want to put blacks back in chains…

The Most Corrupt Village in America
FrontPage Magazine | February 7, 2014 | Daniel Greenfield

When the police stopped Luvina Mobley Smith, they found a pound of pot in her car and five EBT food stamp cards which drug dealers often take in payment for drugs. It would have been an ordinary enough story except that Smith, despite being a convicted felon, was also the Deputy Clerk of Alorton.

Luvina is the daughter of Callie Mobley, Alorton’s former mayor, who had collected double her salary and served time in jail for income tax evasion. Mayor Mobley, who had been the mayor of Alorton for two decades, had been doing the same thing back to her days as liquor commissioner.

St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly warned, “Alorton City Hall is becoming a criminal narco state at the expense of the citizens of Alorton.”

Alorton’s violent crime rate has been as high as ten times the national average. Its biggest employers are health care, fast food, welfare and education. The unemployment rate for black men is at 31%. Half the people in Alorton live below the poverty line. 70% of poor households consist of single mothers.

Mayor Randy “Rambo” McCallum Sr. came into office telling cops, “I run this mother___” and ordered them to rob competing drug dealers and split the money with him. When drug dealers were busted, the seized drugs and money were brought to his house where he pocketed the money and resold the drugs.

Baxton Sr. had replaced Alorton’s former police chief, Robert L. Cummings, who had been locked up for income tax fraud that included paying the parents of eight children to let him claim tax deductions for their offspring. His brother, Streets Superintendent Ronnie Cummings, who had a previous conviction for selling cocaine, was locked away for attempting to obtain a high capacity gun that he planned to fire through a bag to catch spent casings.

Determined not to let Alorton’s police department hog all the glory, fire chief Carlos Darough’s car was searched after he ran a stop sign. Inside the car were pot, crack cocaine and a scale. When cops showed up at his house, Carlos’ wife Lanella was caught trying to dispose of more drugs. At another of his homes where undercover police had bought drugs, they found more cocaine and a whole lot of guns.

Mayor JoAnn Reed, Alorton’s current mayor, faced her own set of charges before the election for smuggling a cell phone into jail after her niece had attacked a pregnant woman. The niece posted “I’m in jail but auntie snuck me my phone don’t tell no 1″ on Facebook.

Despite these charges, Reed won the election.

Reed, a former records clerk in an Illinois sheriff’s office, was not exactly a criminal mastermind. Back in 2004, she had been arrested for threatening the son of Mayor Randy McCallum with a flashlight that she pretended was a gun. During her time as a records clerk she accidentally sent a fax reading “Dismiss this case. The guy is the son of one of our deputies” to a newspaper, instead of to the village attorney.

These stories can go on being told forever not just about Alorton, but about hundreds of Democratic Party controlled towns, villages and cities. What these places have in common is that their corruption emerges from the absolute rule of one party.

By giving away their votes wholesale to the Democratic Party, African-Americans have handed over power to a corrupt political machine that offers them no alternatives; only poverty, theft and misery.

Comment by azdude02
2014-02-07 08:16:14

have you guys noticed the stigma of foreclosure, food stamps, bankruptcy, unemployment seems to be lessening every year?

Comment by MacBeth
2014-02-07 08:44:19

Have you notice that, simultaneously, Washington DC grows larger and wealthier?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 08:47:52

Yes, the stigma of shafting your nation also is lessening every year.

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Comment by MacBeth
2014-02-07 08:50:51

They ARE laughing at you, Dan.

So are government contractors, as this board repeatedly illustrates.

Comment by overpaid government contractor
2014-02-07 09:00:32

Repost from a few days ago:

“The federal government has long relied on outside contractors to provide it with weapons systems and other goods. But starting with the Reagan administration, there has been a determined shift of work from government employees to private contractors, on the theory that they could do it better and cheaper. For a time, that was true. Much of the early outsourcing was for lower-skilled clerical and maintenance functions for which government workers received pay and benefits well above the market rate. Or it was for the design and operation of new computer systems that automated the work of government and had never existed before.

But in recent years, much of the outsourcing has been driven by politics and ideology.

To demonstrate their commitment to “shrinking” the size of the federal government, both Republican and Democratic politicians set about shrinking the federal workforce and then capping it at 2 million workers, despite continued growth in the economy, the size of the federal budget and demand for government services.

“This obsession with small government is a sham,” declares Daniel Gordon, who headed the Office of Procurement Policy in the first Obama term before joining the law faculty at George Washington University.

In the end, taxpayers are not only indirectly paying the higher salaries they refuse to pay directly to government employees — they also wind up paying for the contractors’ profit and the costs of winning and managing contracts.


Comment by overpaid government contractor
2014-02-07 09:08:24

And P.S. I’m not at work posting on government time, as Ben’s IP log will confirm I’m posting from a residential address. Taking a vacation day to run errands and catch a matinee of Inside Llewyn Davis.

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2014-02-07 09:12:18

I no longer work on behalf of gov contractors. Please direct commentary to goon and BillinOrangeCounty.

I’m still laughing though. I was at Jenner & Block and the flow of J&B attorneys between the DOJ and private practice was amazing. I posted before that the former TARP inspector general (http://jenner.com/people/NeilBarofsky ) joined the firm as soon as he was allowed after leaving TARP. Then there is Tom Perrelli who was the top lieutenant of Eric Holder (http://jenner.com/people/ThomasPerrelli ). A former J&B partner is the General Counsel & EVP of L-3. I could go on forever, the point is these people just grease the wheels for every single imaginable program you can think of that violates your privacy. I can’t say the exact things I worked on, but read some wikileaks or snowden materials, you’ll get the flavor.

The whole idea that private contractors are more efficient or better for taxpayers is just laughable. LOL for days. Contractors spend tons of time & money lobbying the government and helping to write laws and regulations. Then they go solicit business on those regs. This would not happen if the fed gov’t wasn’t in bed with contractors.

Comment by jose canusi
2014-02-07 09:38:41

I used to kick up a fuss about gov’t contractors and workers posting to this board at taxpayer expense, however, I’ve undergone a sea change on this issue. Much as it’s terribly unfair that I have to post on my own dime and others don’t, at this point I think the world would be a much better place if EVERYONE in government spent their time posting to this blog. Well, almost everyone.

I mean, if we had Kerry, Nuland and Biden and company on here, there’d be less time for them to interfere in Ukraine and Syria. Chris Stevens might still be alive if he had posted here. Let’s get Lindsay Graham and McCain posting here, then they wouldn’t be so preoccupied with bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. Eric Holder could yell at us for being cowards and racists, but maybe that would have prevented him from implementing Fast & Furious. If members of Congress posted here, there would be less time for them to dream up ways to sell out their constituents.

Come on, Feds. Post here. It would save lives and lessen misery.

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2014-02-07 09:47:59

@ jose - Posting on a message board during worktime would be about the least offensive thing that gov contractors do. These bootstrapping fellows often violate the laws of the countries they are in, destroy gov property (going dune riding in gov trucks, for example), and so forth. Not to mention all the time they steal while on the clock and all the mistakes they make since many are not property trained for the jobs they are assigned to.

Comment by jose canusi
2014-02-07 10:09:04

I believe it.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-02-07 22:21:25

I no longer work on behalf of gov contractors. Please direct commentary to goon and BillinOrangeCounty.


I have been posting enough since July of last year reminding that I am in a different career and I am not a contractor. I am working pure commercial. One business we are partnering with sells surgical equipment to hospitals worldwide. Another business we partner with creates hardware TPMs that I am hoping will help strengthen our own information from the snooping of the government agencies. Sneer as much as you want - the more you sneer the more foolish you make yourself out to be.

I will become a contractor again in the future. But my aim is to be working the same stuff I’m now doing.

Comment by overpaid government contractor
2014-02-07 06:10:31

Denver Post - Parts of Denver and Aurora still make list for flipping homes

“Although there were fewer fix-and-flip homes in Colorado in 2013, two metro Denver area codes are rated among the best markets in the United States for real-estate investors to flip homes to “hipsters.”

In 2013, Colorado saw 3,071 fix-and-flip sales, defined as a purchase and resale that occur within six months of each other. That is down from 3,492 in 2012 and 5,001 in 2011.

But RealtyTrac said in a report released Thursday that the top 20 ZIP codes for profitable flipping to hipsters — defined as people ages 25 to 34 — included Denver’s 80204 and Aurora’s 80010.

ZIP code 80204 is roughly bounded by 6th Avenue on the south, Sheridan Boulevard on the west, West 17th Avenue on the north and North Speer Boulevard on the east.

ZIP code 80010 is roughly bounded by East 1st Avenue on the south, Peoria Street on the west, East 26th Avenue on the north and Yosemite Street on the east.

The analysis noted that homeownership rates for hipsters was 41 percent in 2012, which is below the average homeownership rate of 46 percent from 1982 to the present.

The report said real-estate investors can still make sizable profits from flipping homes to those in the 25-to-34 age bracket in each of the 20 hot ZIP codes.

In Colorado, for instance, fix-and-flips in 2013 remained profitable, generating average gross profits of $62,037 compared with the U.S. average of $58,081.

The report said that as the recession fades, hipsters will likely enter the homebuying market at a greater rate than they are now.

For real-estate investors, this means there are potentially millions of first-time homebuyers looking to find a home they can afford. And for investors, said RealtyTrac, this means finding affordable homes in cities with a strong hipster demographic.


Comment by 2banana
2014-02-07 06:16:01

Alex - What is a churn operation for $200…?

Number of Obamacare sign-ups is greatly inflated
Washington Examiner ^ | February 6, 2014 | Byron York

Democrats from President Obama on down have been touting Obamacare’s sign-up numbers. Even after the system’s disastrous rollout, they like to point out, roughly three million people have signed up for private insurance, while 6.3 million have signed up for Medicaid.

“Already, because of the Affordable Care Act, more than nine million Americans have signed up for private health insurance or Medicaid coverage,” Obama said in the State of the Union speech. “Nine million.”

First, Medicaid. This week, the health consulting firm Avalere found that only 1 to 2 million of the 6.3 million who signed up for Medicaid were new enrollees brought into the program by Obamacare. The rest were people who were eligible and would have signed up for Medicaid irrespective of Obamacare, in addition to people who were already on Medicaid but were renewing their status. (The researchers reached their conclusion by comparing the Obamacare sign-ups with a recent period before the new health law went into effect.)

If the Avalere report is accurate — and experts are taking it seriously — then less than one-third, and perhaps less than one-quarter, of the new Medicaid sign-ups cited by the administration were previously uninsured people gaining coverage because of Obamacare. That’s a major shortfall.

“It’s a surprise because of all the outreach and the fact that Medicaid is free — there is no premium paid by individuals,” said health care analyst Bob Laszewski. “This really is perplexing — they can’t give it away!”

A McKinsey and Co. survey cited by the Journal found that just 11 percent of private insurance signups were people who previously had no coverage. Other surveys found that about one-quarter of new sign-ups were previously uninsured.

Whatever the precise number, it appears that a large majority of the activity in Obamacare private coverage sign-ups is essentially a churn operation: The system throws people out of their coverage, and then those people come to the system to sign up for new coverage, and that is reported as a gain for Obamacare.

Put the two together — Medicaid and private insurance — and it’s clear the response of the nation’s uninsured to Obamacare has been far less enthusiastic than the administration claims. Which means that the Affordable Care Act has gotten off to a terrible start at its core mission, insuring the uninsured.

Comment by 2banana
2014-02-07 06:21:55

It can’t be - the most beloved, most intelligent/intellectual, the most congenial, the most clean and articulate, the most healing the planet, the most gayest president ever offering not to campaign for his fellow travelers..oh! the humanity…

What went wrong?

Maybe obama just needs some extra time to work on his kill list.


Obama offers to help Democrats by not campaigning for them
NY Post | 2/07/14 | Geoff Earle

WASHINGTON — President Obama is offering to help Senate Democrats get re-elected — by staying as far away as possible.

The president broached the sensitive topic of his political toxicity in some parts of the nation during a meeting with the Senate Democratic conference Wednesday.

“He said he knew he is not popular in some of the states, so he would not be offended if he were not invited to visit them this year,” one senator later confided to The Washington Post.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 06:36:18

Obama…. a LIEberals dreamdate.

Comment by overpaid government contractor
2014-02-07 06:54:05

2014 could be a good year for the GOP.

But within the next decade, they are demographically doomed.

Tell us again why the Free Sh*t Army will vote for candidates who campaign on a promise to take their free sh*t away?

Permanent Democrat Supermajority

Comment by MacBeth
2014-02-07 08:49:34

But within the next decade, they are demographically doomed.”

I don’t agree with your premise. Since when are women, blacks and hispanics forever destined to view the world in ways that favor Big Government?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 09:08:55

Since when are women, blacks and hispanics forever destined to view the world in ways that favor Big Government

As long as they are making significantly less than white males, they will have an incentive to vote for the party of transfer payments. I can see women moving out of this group, and some blacks and Hispanics and many Asians but the democrats do have the demographic inside track but not as much as the democrats think. However, if the pool of poor people gets constantly renewed which will occur if amnesty if granted due to chain migration, the Republican party is toast.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 09:10:27

Auto correct should be

. However, if the pool of poor people gets constantly renewed which will occur if amnesty is granted due to chain migration, the Republican party is toast.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 15:38:53
Comment by Anklepants
2014-02-07 17:58:06

I wonder what percentage of the FSA actually votes? I’d the percentage of welfare recipients that do is pretty small.

Comment by Anklepants
2014-02-07 18:14:34

I’d wager. Missed a word.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-02-07 06:22:24

Welcome Relief for Homeowners, Then the Tax Bill

Published: Wednesday, 5 Feb 2014 | 6:40 AM ET
By: Shaila Dewan

Come tax time, JPMorgan Chase will be able to write off the $1.5 billion in debt relief it must give homeowners to satisfy the terms of a recent settlement.

But the homeowners who receive the help will have to treat it as taxable income, resulting in whopping tax bills for many families who have just lost their homes or only narrowly managed to keep them.

They are not alone. A tax exemption for mortgage debt forgiveness, put in place when the economy began to falter in 2007, was allowed to expire on Dec. 31, leaving hundreds of thousands of struggling homeowners in financial limbo even as the Obama administration has tried to encourage such debt write-downs.

(Read more: JPMorgan Chase ready to make long-awaited deal)

Congress routinely allows tax breaks to expire and then reinstates them, usually retroactively, as it did last year. But the stakes are high for families dealing with large declines in their home values, and reinstatement of the tax breaks is more uncertain because of a movement in Congress to broadly overhaul the tax code, which, despite its long-shot prospects in an election year, could end up eclipsing smaller tax issues.

Loss of the exemption is a financial body blow to homeowners already struggling to make ends meet. “I’m in a hole here — I’m trying to work my way out,’” said Eric Heil, 50, a hospital imaging technician who said a divorce and reduced income were forcing him to sell the house he has owned for 18 years in Parma, Ohio. “And the government’s going to say you have to pay taxes on it?”

Mr. Heil owes $250,000 on his mortgage, and has found a buyer willing to take the house for $150,000. The bank has agreed. But if Congress does not extend the exemption, he will be forced to count the $100,000 difference as income. That would mean a $28,000 tax bill, and Mr. Heil has no idea how he would afford it.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 07:14:57

“That would mean a $28,000 tax bill, and Mr. Heil has no idea how he would afford it.

Strange how these “affordability” issues come up after they finally realize that housing is always a depreciating asset and a loss.

Comment by azdude02
2014-02-07 07:35:40

file bankruptcy and start over.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 08:51:53

Except despite his protests, I think we are looking at a strategic default and he wants to pocket all the equity he took out of the home.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 08:54:55

For clarification, I think he has spent the windfall but he does not want to pay back any of it. Free from paying the mortgage, he could move to a rental and pay the taxes but where is the fun in that?

Comment by phony scandals
2014-02-07 07:49:47

“That would mean a $28,000 tax bill, and Mr. Heil has no idea how he would afford it.”

“the house he has owned for 18 years in Parma, Ohio.”

“Mr. Heil owes $250,000 on his mortgage”

So he paid $250,000 for his house in Parma, Ohio 18 years ago?

Maybe $120k tops, if he had saved some of that Good Time cash out refi money and not paid for his now ex-wifes’s boob job etc. he could have paid his $28,000 tax bill.
Parma, Ohio

Estimated median house or condo value in 2011: $115,800 (it was $113,500 in 2000)

Median resident age: 41.5 years
Ohio median age: 39.3 years

Zip codes: 44129.

Estimated median household income in 2011: $46,490 (it was $43,920 in 2000)


Estimated per capita income in 2011: $22,243

Parma city income, earnings, and wages data

Estimated median house or condo value in 2011

Mean prices in 2011: All housing units: $138,834; Detached houses: $139,214; Townhouses or other attached units: $128,354; In 2-unit structures: $156,091; In 3-to-4-unit structures: $109,061; In 5-or-more-unit structures: $105,984; Mobile homes: $98,322

Median gross rent in 2011: $689.

Read more: http://www.city-data.com/city/Parma-Ohio.html#ixzz2seDylqbj

http://www.city-data.com/city/Parma-Ohio.html - 260k -

Comment by overpaid government contractor
2014-02-07 08:36:08

As a former longtime resident of NE Ohio, I can concur with this:

“Parma, Ohio is a southwest suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, which has been known for decades as being extremely racist. The federal government actually sued the city over blatant discriminatory housing practices. At a city council meeting in the ‘70’s, a former Parma City Council President famously said, “I do not want Negroes in the city of Parma,” It is not uncommon to hear of a reported cross burning or other hate crime that the white residents employ to keep the blacks out of Parma. This tactic does work, as Parma’s black population is less than 2%. Black motorists will drive out of their way to avoid Parma because if you have so much as one light out, the Parma Police will shake you down. If you are a black motorist and you plan to drive through Parma, you need to have your automobile in perfect working condition, turn off the thump in the trunk, obey all traffic laws, and most importantly, leave your weapons, that bag of weed, rocks or blow and all paraphernalia at home.”


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Comment by 2banana
2014-02-07 06:28:42

Imprisonment and then obamacare? I don’t care what you’ve done, that’s cruel and unusual punishment.


Jails put inmates on Obamacare, costing millions and boosting enrollment numbers
Colorado News Day | February 6, 2014 | David Martosko, Us Political Editor

Obamacare’s enrollment statistics will also increase artificially as inmates are enrolled as soon as they are booked and fingerprinted

Jails in 6 states put inmates on Obamacare, costing the federal government millions and boosting the program’s enrollment numbers

Cash-strapped counties in six states are enrolling inmates in Obamacare health insurance plans as a way to shift costs to the federal government – a tactic that’s legal.

The Affordable Care Act prohibits the enrollment of full-time prisoners serving sentences, but many prisoners awaiting trial in prison jumpsuits are being enrolled purely to save county governments money – and shift costs to the feds – when they lengthy hospital stays are required.

Obamacare is fast becoming a tool to save counties money that they would otherwise spend on health care for inmates who have not yet been convicted of crimes

‘It makes you wonder,’ the Senate staffer said, ‘when the president gets excited about enrolling a few million people: How many of them are criminals?’

On January 28, San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi asked the city’s Board of Supervisors for permission to sign up inmates for Obamacare as soon as they’re fingerprinted and processed. His office estimates that the local government will save $2,500 in the long run for each inmate it enrolls.

Obamacare’s enrollment statistics will also increase artificially as inmates are enrolled as soon as they are booked and fingerprinted

County officials estimate that between 70 and 80 per cent of their inmates are eligible.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 08:16:11

Do the male prisoners get free birth control?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 06:53:19

Worthless housing…. worthless worthless housing…. It’s worth less and less with each passing day.

Comment by azdude02
2014-02-07 06:56:01

buy stocks because this recovery has legs.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 07:02:01

How many legs?

Comment by azdude02
2014-02-07 07:46:31

I believe central banks can create with with a printing press.

Comment by overpaid government contractor
2014-02-07 07:05:42

Legs as real as the ones Oscar Pistorious has.

Comment by rms
2014-02-07 12:51:13

“…Oscar Pistorious…”

He’ll end up in prison when his bank account is empty. d’bytch.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 07:04:51

Woodbridge, VA Housing Prices Slide 5% YoY; Declines continue


Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2014-02-07 07:11:06

Picking up on the natural gas discussion from yesterday — (@ josecanusi)

First off, Asheville is unlike to have much natural gas infrastructure. It’s not in a dense area, there are natural barriers to laying pipe of any diameter (esp large diameter), a lot of the area around it is probably natural forests, etc. Since you’re not going to actually be _in_ Asheville proper, I rate the chances of NG availability as near-zero.

Second off, how many deaths from NG are there in the entire US each year? Far less than electrical problems, that is for damn sure. Our utility replaced all of our pipes into the house (they actually ran a new pipe of a different material through the existing pipes). They also replaced the meter and trenched all the streets to examine the pipes. My understanding is that they are changing over to safer technology that will keep gas at a higher pressure all the way to your meter where it comes into your house. Along the pipeline, there are shutoffs that are automatic anytime the pressure drops too much in a certain area (like if there was a break).

To azdude02 — if you’re paying $1 per therm for NG, either your state doesn’t have supplier choice OR you’re including your taxes and fees along with the commodity price. I can’t see why your NG would cost more than 2x what mine does. Perhaps your fees are included in that per-therm price, whereas many utilities charge a flat fee per customer. (In MD, you can choose your gas supplier and then BGE still maintains the pipelines/meters and bills for that. You get one bill but you can see broken down what the charge is for the gas vs what the charge is for grid maintenance.)

As AQ Dan pointed out, oil would cost far, far more than NG to heat a house. Something like 4-5x more. That doesn’t include the costs for the storage tank beneath your house and the delivery costs when you have truck make a delivery. And storing oil or propane at your house is, like electricity, more dangerous than Nat Gas.

Comment by azdude02
2014-02-07 07:43:49

ok dude the gas from pg&E is 1.00 / therm. there are a little bit of taxes and some other garbage fees. So the 62 therms I used in january cost a grand total of 73.00. Those are the numbers. I guess we are getting ripped off. this is CA.

plus I can only use 2 therms / day to get that rate. If I go over it goes to 1.30/ therm.

A therm is about 100 cubic feet of gas at a specified temp and pressure.

So what they are sending me a therm is about a box 1′ wide x 10′ long x 10′ tall

I keep the thermostat at 66 and turn off heater at night.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 07:51:19

$1.17/100k btu’s is very cheap energy however the crux of the biscuit is how efficiently it’s used.

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2014-02-07 07:59:22

New natural gas furnaces are 95% efficient. (You can get 99% but conservation probably makes more sense.) A programmable therm is cheap. Insulation has greatly improved, as have windows. No one forces someone to buy a McMansion to heat/cool, just like no one forces people to take 30 min hot showers.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 08:12:11


You’re not going to get 95% out of any single pass standard gas boiler or $hitbox furnace. And I don’t care how much loss you took on overpriced windows and insulation… if you’re firing central heat and moving it to unoccupied spaces, you’re losing $$$ no matter how efficient.

Comment by azdude02
2014-02-07 08:13:05

r u going to get a nest?

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2014-02-07 09:00:22

I did blown in cellulose myself with help from a bro. Only did that below my roofline and 2nd floor. My house is pretty tight otherwise, concrete block/brick/plaster.

The only windows I had done cost me like $100/each at HD and they were just some hopper type windows in my basement bc the old windows down there were rusted shut.

I know that it doesn’t make sense to replace most things. I’ve been saying that for years–if you pay $300 or more per window, it will take you a decade to break even on that, so conservation is better. (The real argument for replacing windows, IMO, is comfort. If your bedroom is drafty, that’s an issue that supercedes saving a few bucks, it’s worth some money to be comfortable in your own house. I don’t have that issue, but in my area many houses are 80-100 yrs old so I know people who have done this.)

Even if my furnace was 80% (which I don’t think can even be sold legally anymore… I think 90 is the minimum) it still pencils out better than electric heat. That’s even considering that electric is nearly 100% efficient. My elec price is 8cents/kwh but with transmission/grid fees it’s like 12c/kwh. Nat Gas crushes that.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 09:07:52

I don’t care what’s less costly. There isn’t a standard gas boiler or $hitbox air mover @95% efficiency.

Comment by aragonzo
2014-02-08 08:47:33

Technically speaking, a heater is 100% efficient because inefficiencies manifest themselves as heat losses. The only way this doesn’t happen is if the light and sound created by the heater escape from the house or if the combustion is incomplete and unreacted fuel is vented from the heater.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-02-07 09:23:31

Interesting. We pay about 65 cents with all the junk fees and we don’t have a tiered pricing system either.

Comment by jose canusi
2014-02-07 07:57:18

While I appreciate your point of view, Joe, and it certainly is valid, natgas is just not for me. Maybe it’s because of the situation that hit so close to home. When you have an entire nabe evacuated and people going to the hospital as happened in Riverview, it’s enough to give me some serious pause.

I’m not trying to make an argument for electricity here, just what I’d be most comfortable with. Now, I may be way off base on this, but I think electricity has been around way longer than natgas as an energy source. I also think it’s been used by many more people for far longer. When natgas and electricity reach par for longevity and use by similar numbers of people, then comparing deaths or accidents caused by each would make more sense to me.

My main concern is limiting my exposure to incidents caused by others. Usually electrical incidents and fires are limited to the residence or building affected, although a fire can, of course, spread. If a neighbor has a short that causes a problem, usually you don’t have to evacuate the neighborhood.

Something about gas (as opposed to gasoline) gives me the willies. What can I say? But thank you for your opinions and information.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 08:14:50

Electric heat is a beautiful thing. The capex for equipment is cheap cheap cheap and El is 100% efficient, no loss. The price /btu makes it unattractive… at least right now.

Comment by jose canusi
2014-02-07 08:25:45

Yep. I like it. Cheaper isn’t always better. Anyway things change. In the fullness of time, I believe natgas will be seen as a mistake. This is not based on fact, but just a feeling or instinct I have.

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Comment by jose canusi
2014-02-07 08:43:42

One thing I’ve learned about Western North Carolina, though, is that whatever you decide to do for heating, be sure to have a wood-burning stove at least for back up in case of power outages. And some folks use it as a main source of heat.

Heat pumps? Fuhgeddaboudit. Utterly useless if the temps go below a certain level, I think it’s 34 degrees F.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 08:43:55

As the San Bruno pipeline explosion showed you don’t even have to use NG to be endangered by it. We do need better inspections of pipelines. I use NG at my house and NG is quite cheap in NM, we are a major producer. I feel safe with it and if a reasonably NGV comes out along with the $500 home fueling device that is said to be on the way, I will be fueling my vehicle with NG. My parents’ house used NG and I guess that might be why I feel comfortable with NG. Like everything in life, it is a balancing of risk reward and part of that balance will include an emotional factor. Since more electricity will be produced with NG over the next few decades it is very difficult to see how electricity will ever be competitive with NG. One other thing I like about ,NG is if the electricity goes out, I can still cook with my gas stove. For a limited time, I can use it to still keep the house warm but you certainly have to worry about co poisoning if you do that for an extended time.

Comment by azdude02
2014-02-07 08:47:41

is heating with candles efficient?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 08:50:54


We had no idea the extent you got ripped of on your depreciating house.

Would you like us to take up a collection to feed your kids?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 09:00:51

Speaking of producing electricity from NG, more signs of collateral damage from the war on coal:


Comment by jose canusi
2014-02-07 09:04:04

When it come to power, it seems that nothing is totally safe. I acknowledge that all kinds of bizarre stuff can occur with electricity, it’s the nature of the beast. When I wuz a pup, I remember during one Christmas season coming in from playing outside in the snow and my mom asked me to plug in the Christmas lights on the tree. I can’t recall if it was that my hands were wet or if I still had my woolen mittens on with gobs of snow clinging to them, but I went to comply with her wishes and only by great effort was I able to disconnect my hand from the plug. I’ll never forget that feeling of being “grabbed” by the current.

I also recall back in 2006 reading about some subcontractor up in Clermont, Florida who got electrocuted trying to hook up a dryer in a new home, even though the main power to the house had been shut off. Turned out, the wiring job had been so bad that the steel supports in the walls had current running through them even with the main power source off.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 09:31:53

I just look at the weather forecast two weeks out and SoCAl looks to be much hotter and dryer than normal. Combine that with the electricity shortage, I would not be surprised to see power outages.

Comment by mathguy
2014-02-07 12:28:03

HA : >Electric heat is a beautiful thing. The capex for equipment is cheap cheap cheap and El is 100% efficient, no loss. The price /btu makes it unattractive… at least right now.

You’re ignoring huge portions of the pipeline to get electricity to you. All that electric has to be generated somehow. It is less efficient to burn fuel, heat steam, drive a turbine, regulate its frequency into a high quality form of energy, transform the voltage high, transform it low, then just waste all that into a resistor, vs just burning nat gas in a simple vented burner in your house. The only thing that might be more efficient about delivering heat via electricity is maintenance on the delivery grid system. Even then, once the nat gas pipe is buried, I don’t think it’s too expensive to maintain it over its 30-50 year lifespan…

Or maybe you were just being facetious … ? (special pause ellipses for you all out there)

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 12:41:36

No. Efficiency at the end point. You’re talking about inefficiencies resulting from losses to generation, transmission and distribution. The retail price/btu’s is the comparison to make in order to nail down the least costly means of heat. Fuel oil combustion in a boiler is at the bottom rung. Electric is 100%(except maybe some losses between your panel and t-stat) and somewhere in-between is the compressed gas fuels and kero. The best fossil fuel efficiency is done in a multi pass gas condensing boiler. Shooting from the hip, they might be 96% efficient under perfect atmospheric conditions for combustion. Nothing beats electric in terms of efficiency but it’s costly at current price/kW relative to fossil fuels. In the northeast anyways.

Comment by rms
2014-02-07 13:05:22

“The price /btu makes it unattractive… at least right now.”

We’re still less than $0.04/kW-hr up here next to the Columbia river. Have to add that once the mercury drops below 10-degrees our all electric spec house struggles to remain warm as the heater runs continuously, and we “dry-out.” We have to place water bottles next to the bed.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 21:20:16

That is the bargain of bargains right there.

Comment by rms
2014-02-08 01:33:21

“That is the bargain of bargains right there.”

+1 Lots of companies share your thoughts too.

We have had steady growth in employment around these parts though-out the recession due to abundant low-cost contract power. FWIW, I didn’t plan my move up here on account of this; just my dumb luck.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-02-07 07:36:49

‘F**k the EU’: Tape Reveals US Runs Ukraine Opposition

Daniel McAdams
4:51 pm on February 6, 2014

In the latest debacle for the US State Department and the Obama Administration, US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was caught on tape micro-managing Ukraine opposition party strategies with US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. That the Ukraine regime-change operation is to some degree being directed from Washington can no longer be denied.

The tape (listen below for full effect) was released today, on the eve of Nuland’s second trip to meet with Ukrainian protestors and opposition leaders in the past two months — last time she passed out cookies to protestors.

The taped conversation demonstrates in clear detail that while Secretary of State John Kerry decries any foreign meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs, his State Department is virtually managing the entire process. The “F**k the EU” part is her expressing anger that the EU is not moving fast enough with regime change in Ukraine and her plan is to get the UN involved in the process.

As the Kyiv Post reports:

In a conversation leaked online and posted to YouTube on Feb. 6, voices closely resembling those of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland discuss loosely the roles of Ukrainian opposition leaders and the United Nations, and frustration over inaction and indecision by the European Union in solving Ukraine’s political crisis.

The voice allegedly of Nuland adds that [Ukrainian opposition leader Vitali] Klitschko should not be given a role in government.

“I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t think it’s a good idea,” she says.

“Yeah… I guess… in terms of him not going into the government, just let him sort of stay out and do his political homework and stuff,” Pyatt says.

Before the call ends, Nuland tells Pyatt she has “one more wrinkle” for him.

Commenting on European pressure put on Yanukovych – or lack thereof – she explains that she has spoken to the United Nations and has gotten an official there who said that Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, agreed to send someone to Ukraine to “help glue this thing and to have the UN glue it.”

She adds: “And you know, fuck the EU.”

“Exactly,” Pyatt replies. “And I think we got to do something to make it stick together, because you can be sure that if it does start to gain altitude the Russians will be working behind the scenes to torpedo it. Let me work on Klitschko, and I think we should get a Western personality to come out here (to Ukraine) and midwife this thing,’’ he adds.

The call is concrete confirmation of what we have been writing here at RPI for some time. This is a cruder and more violent version of the US-sponsored Orange Revolution.

Particularly interesting from the recording is the treatment of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon as some sort of junior errand boy for Washington. That explains his cowardly move to rescind Iran’s invitation to participate in the Geneva II talks as soon as Secretary Kerry demanded it.

One can only wonder why the government of Ukraine does not rescind Nuland’s visa and send her packing back to Washington, along with the US ambassador. No normal country on earth would allow foreign officials to actively plot inside the country with those seeking to overthrow the government.

A final bit of irony in the US government reaction to the bombshell tape is State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki directly accusing the Russian government of being behind the tape and expressing shock — shock! — that a foreign government might be spying on the US. “A new low,” she called it. It’s only OK if we do it!

http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/fk-the-eu-tape-reveals-us-runs-ukraine-opposition/ - 35k -

Comment by jose canusi
2014-02-07 08:04:03

Listened to the clip yesterday evening. There was something chilling about Nuland’s demeanor in the conversation. Very clinical and detached. And this:

“A final bit of irony in the US government reaction to the bombshell tape is State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki directly accusing the Russian government of being behind the tape and expressing shock — shock! — that a foreign government might be spying on the US. “A new low,” she called it. It’s only OK if we do it!”

It really speaks to the utter lack of empathy, self-examination and personal responsibility members of government seem to have.

Comment by 2banana
2014-02-07 08:14:20

Kinda like the way government exempts itself from laws the rest of us must follow…

Comment by jose canusi
2014-02-07 08:22:29

If I were tasked with the rehabilitation of one of these turds, the first thing I’d do is lock ‘em down in a hospital with the victims of their actions until some glimmer of remorse surfaced.

The second step in the program would be to strip them of every asset and ability to communicate with friends, family and colleagues and ship them off to the area they’ve devastated, at which point let God sort it out. Let’s see how resourceful they can be in making up the damage they’ve caused.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 09:21:48

Putin is standing in the way of the one world government crowd. He is corrupt but he is a nationalist. Usually our government can get its way by threatening to expose corruption but his corruption is so well known he is immune from such pressure.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-02-07 08:08:43

The Green Police

U.S. sets up ‘climate hubs’ to help rural communities affected by extreme weather

By Faith Karimi, CNN
Wed February 5, 2014

(CNN) — The Obama administration plans to announce Wednesday the creation of seven “climate hubs” to provide information to rural communities facing extreme weather conditions.

The hubs by the U .S. Department of Agriculture will provide scientific knowledge to help farmers, ranchers and landowners battle risks associated with climate change, including drought, floods, pests and fires.

“For generations, America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners have innovated and adapted to challenges,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

However, he said, rural communities face more complex challenges today because of climate change.

“USDA’s climate hubs are part of our broad commitment to developing the next generation of climate solutions so that our agricultural leaders have the modern technologies and tools they need to adapt and succeed in the face of a changing climate,” Vilsack said.

The hubs will be in Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon and New Mexico.

Additional sub-hubs will be set up in various other states, including Michigan and California.

Climate hubs will focus on regional issues, and will equip local communities with knowledge to help them adapt.

“Sub hubs will support the hub within their region and focus on a narrow and unique set of issues relative to what will be going on in the rest of the hub,” the White House said in a statement.

Rural communities have been especially hit by climate change.

In the Midwest, for example, the fire season is 60 days longer than it was three decades ago, the statement said.

In addition to affecting food supply and rural economies, climate change comes with a hefty price tag.

“Drought alone was estimated to cost the U.S. $50 billion from 2011 to 2013. Such risks have implications not only for agricultural producers, but for all Americans,” the statement said.

The hubs are part of a broader commitment by President Barack Obama to make climate change a priority.

Vilsack will introduce the hubs at the White House on Wednesday.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/05/politics/obama-climate-hubs/ - -

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 08:20:55

I just wonder when the NOAA police are going to arrest me. They will probably subject me to seeing Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth over and over. Then, as a prisoner sign me up for Obamacare. No, I am going out like the ex-cop in California before I take that abuse. JK NSA!!!

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 09:41:11

However I like to live dangerously, it is February 7, 2014 do you know where your global warming is? Maybe it is time to put it on a milk carton:


Comment by Albuqquerquedan
Comment by 2banana
2014-02-07 08:25:02

Because these things never happened before “climate change”

And how come we don’t call it global warming anymore?


The hubs by the U .S. Department of Agriculture will provide scientific knowledge to help farmers, ranchers and landowners battle risks associated with climate change, including drought, floods, pests and fires.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-02-07 08:43:07

Global warming researcher gets stuck in ice

Debra J. Saunders
Published 3:39 pm, Monday, December 30, 2013

A funny thing happened during Australian climate-change professor Chris Turney’s venture to retrace a 1912 research expedition in Antarctica and gauge how climate change has affected the continent: Two weeks into a five-week excursion, Turney’s good ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy got trapped in ice. It turns out, global warming notwithstanding, that there’s so much ice down under that two ice-breaking vessels sent to rescue the research team cannot reach the Australasian Antarctic Expedition.

Years ago, global warming believers renamed the phenomenon “climate change” - probably because of pesky details like unusually cold weather undercutting the warming argument. Now, just as advocates argue that Earth is approaching a tipping point, there’s so much ice floating in Antarctica during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer that the Australasian Antarctic Expedition posted in a statement: “We’re stuck in our own experiment.”

http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/saunders/article/Global-warming-researcher-gets-stuck-in-ice-5102720.php - 97k -

Comment by MacBeth
2014-02-07 08:57:28

Sounds like a Cheap Trick “Dream Police” parody is needed.

How about it, phony?

Comment by phony scandals
2014-02-07 09:24:37

More like just the “Police”

Every breath you take
And every move you make
Every bond you break, every step you take
I’ll be watching you

Every single day
And every word you say
Every game you play, every night you stay
I’ll be watching you

Oh, can’t you see
You belong to me?
How my Green heart aches
With every step you take

Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake, every claim you stake
I’ll be watching you

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 09:34:15

I am always amazed how that stalker or police state song is a staple at weddings.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 08:29:28

The battle between physical and paper gold continues with the Asian nations piling into the physical:


Comment by phony scandals
2014-02-07 08:30:54

Obama asserts executive privilege over Fast and Furious documents

10:00 AM 06/20/2012

President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege over documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious. The move followed Attorney General Eric Holder’s last-second request for him to do so, ahead of a scheduled House oversight committee vote to begin contempt of Congress proceedings against Holder.

Obama granted the 11th-hour request after negotiations between Holder and the committee’s chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, fell apart again on Tuesday evening after a 20-minute meeting. Holder had agreed beforehand that he would provide internal DOJ documents to Issa ahead of the meeting. He did not bring the documents. On Tuesday evening, Issa gave him one final chance to provide the documents before the 10 a.m. scheduled vote to hold Holder in contempt.

Holder again did not provide the documents to Congress. Then, on Wednesday morning, minutes before the meeting, it was announced Obama had agreed to assert executive privilege over those documents.

http://dailycaller.com/2012/06/20/holder-asks-obama-to-assert-executive-privilege-over-fast-and-furious-documents/ - 96k -

Brian Terry - Armed With Bean Bag Gun, Doomed To Die

Political Realities ^ | 02/06/14 | LD Jackson

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in the line of duty while protecting our borders from the onslaught of illegal immigrants and drug smugglers. As such, he should be awarded every honor that is available. That is an established fact. Another fact is that his death helped bring the end to a government gun running operation known as Fast and Furious. He was killed with one of the weapons the Obama administration allowed to “walk” into Mexico, in the hopes the guns could be tracked back to the gangs that purchased them. That was the stated purpose, but I am not the only person who believes it was also intended to create evidence that would show how American guns were being used in the drug wars in Mexico. But, that’s another story for another time. Today, I want to focus on Brian Terry and the tragedy that is his death.

It is easily argued that had the Obama administration not been conducting the Fast and Furious operation, Brian Terry might still be alive today. Much as not been known about what really happened the night he was killed until now. Court documents are shedding light on those events and what we are learning is troubling, to say the least.

Fox News - Federal court records released Tuesday provide the first official account of the firefight along the Arizona-Mexico border that killed Terry in December 2010. Among other details, they reveal two of four federal agents at the scene that day actually fired bean bags — not bullets — at a violent drug gang carrying assault rifles. Weapons from the botched anti-gun trafficking program were found at Terry’s murder scene.
Documents show that on Dec. 14, 2010, Terry’s team was on a hill above a ravine. A ground sensor went off alerting them to the approaching smugglers. When agents yelled “police” in Spanish, the smugglers turned and fired. According to the documents, this happened at 11:08 p.m. Just 52 minutes later, Terry would have been relieved by a second BORTAC team and gone home for Christmas.

“I saw some members of the group point their weapons at us,” Agent Gabriel Fragoza declared to the court. “Agent Castano and I deployed less lethal bean bag rounds as the individuals began to shoot at us. I saw muzzle flashes coming from the individuals, then heard Agent Terry say ‘I’m hit! I’m hit! I can’t feel my legs’.”

Agent William Castano gave a similar account, saying, “I heard shooting which was coming from the wash. I heard Agent Terry say ‘I’m hit.’ I went to Agent Terry to administer first aid. At this time, he said, ‘I can’t feel my legs. I’m paralyzed.’ Agent Terry soon lost consciousness and died at the scene.”

It is a given fact that the job Brian Terry and his fellow agents were charged with doing is a dangerous job. They were not confronting a group of men armed with peashooters. They were facing AK-47 assault rifles and men who were willing to kill whomever stood in their way. The first and most obvious question is why were some of the agents firing bean bags, instead of real bullets. For the record, those agents could have used lethal force, but chose not to do so because of the guidelines set forth in their training and the rules of engagement. That, my friends has to be about the craziest thing I have ever heard.

Posted on Thursday, February 06, 2014 6:04:04 AM by LD Jackson

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3119804/posts - 19k -

Comment by 2banana
2014-02-07 08:36:27

“Most transparent administration in history”

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 08:45:41

“Most transparent administration in history”
Yes, transparently corrupt and inept.

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2014-02-07 09:01:56

There is no way that the F&F documents should be withheld. The modern presidency has become increasingly powerful over the years and I bet they will withhold them. Gross.

Comment by jose canusi
2014-02-07 09:10:17

That’s because Congress has, for all intensive purposes (snort), neutered itself and is pretty much reduced to sniping back and forth across the aisle.

Comment by 2banana
2014-02-07 09:35:01

Accusing people of being racist if they oppose the president’s agenda and power grab tends to shut up your opposition

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Comment by jose canusi
2014-02-07 10:16:57

Yes, it does. That IS the weapon that’s being used against people to shut them up or even purge them. It’s so evil I can’t stand it.

Comment by overpaid government contractor
Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2014-02-07 09:16:57

New head of the FDA is a former VP of Monsanto.

Just some food for thought, people.


Comment by overpaid government contractor
2014-02-07 09:48:33

Annie’s Homegrown Macaroni & Cheese 10 for $10 at Kroger this week

“We Partner With People & Places We Trust… to grow the organic wheat to make the flour for our macaroni and to produce milk for our cheese to make your meal wonderfully wholesome & delicious!”

No Artificial Flavors, Synthetic Colors or Preservatives

A Good Source of Calcium & Protein

Cheese from Cows not Treated with the Growth Hormone, rBST

Comment by cactus
2014-02-07 11:27:46


How do you know it’s organic and not GMO ?

“GMO Wheat Found In Oregon Field. How Did It Get There?

“We are not in favor of commercializing any biotech trait unless it’s gone through regulatory approvals in the U.S. and in other countries,” says Steve Mercer, vice president of communications for U.S. Wheat Associates. Many countries, including some that import wheat from the U.S., are quite hostile to genetically engineered crops.

Monsanto dropped the wheat project. It never asked for government approval, and it ended its field trials of wheat in 2005.

Fast forward eight years. About a month ago, a farmer in eastern Oregon noticed some wheat plants growing where he didn’t expect them, and they didn’t die when he sprayed them with Roundup.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-02-07 10:42:09

America’s deportation machine

The great expulsion

Barack Obama has presided over one of the largest peacetime outflows of people in America’s history

Feb 8th 2014 | SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS | From the print edition

IT IS the drowsy after-lunch slot in one of San Antonio’s immigration courts, housed anonymously on the third floor of a squat brown office building, when the case of Pedro Rochas begins. Most of the men who appear before immigration courts tend to favour hardly worn suits with matching shoes, as if going to church. Mr Rochas, a slight 33-year-old, is dressed less smartly in jeans and a red sweatshirt. He came to America at 16 and works as a part-time cook in a retirement home in Cedar Park, a town on the outskirts of Austin, where he met his wife. They have three children, all born in America. The offence that placed Mr Rochas in court on a cold day just before Thanksgiving was the purchase of a Social Security card, which allowed him to get work. He will probably be deported for it.

While this has been going on, the number of people entering America illegally via the south-western border has dropped. There are no official numbers on how many people become illegal immigrants by overstaying their visas. But the data that are collected, combined with estimates to fill the gaps, suggest that in the past couple of years, for the first time since people started to talk about illegal migration, the outflow has been greater than the inflow.

On one measure this is a great success. It is hard to find many areas where the federal government is so effective in implementing laws passed by Congress. Yet it is harmful—not just for the deported, who often have a miserable time once they are expelled (see article), but for the country they leave behind, something which even the deporters have come to recognise.

It is also a political problem for Mr Obama. The president was heckled while giving a speech on immigration in California in November by a man who shouted that he had the authority to halt the deportations and ought to use it. “Actually, I don’t,” replied Mr Obama: an unusual thing for a president to say. At the other end of the political spectrum, his administration is criticised for not deporting enough people. When the deportation numbers for 2013 were released Bob Goodlatte, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, said that the slight decline compared with the year before was “just more evidence that the Obama administration refuses to enforce our immigration laws.”


Comment by jose canusi
2014-02-07 11:06:32

“Yet it is harmful—not just for the deported, who often have a miserable time once they are expelled (see article), but for the country they leave behind, something which even the deporters have come to recognise.”

Deporting people for cause is harmful to the US? I don’t see how. Two little girls would still be alive up in Oregon, and those citizens who have been killed or maimed by illegals in this country (mainly due to drunk and other driving offenses) might still be alive and of sound body. Those who have hand their identities stolen would not have had to experience the misery of straightening out a tough situation.

Illegal immigration is a matter of security and health for citizens. And income. And community.

How does getting rid of this guy harm the US? His wife and children are welcome to go with him. If they value being in this country over being with their father and spouse, that’s their choice. BTW, children born in the US of Mexican parents
automatically have Mexican citizenship, so it’s not a problem for them to relocate with their parents.

They just don’t agree with the laws that citizens have to abide by.

Comment by jose canusi
2014-02-07 11:16:49

You know, it’s also an issue of fairness under the law. Before even one illegal would receive legal status of any kind, including the “dreamers”, EVERY person who has applied to immigrate into this country legally should receive their green card or citizenship or whatever, unless there’s an issue of criminality or disease.

Comment by Albuqquerquedan
2014-02-07 11:17:56

While I often read the Economist, it promotes globalization more than just about any mainstream publication:


Comment by jose canusi
2014-02-07 15:38:43

“Such was the case with Vasilio Martínez, a 39-year-old irrigation worker, who was caught in Arizona trying to return to his wife and five children in Washington state, where he had lived for nine years. Since he had been deported previously, he was jailed for 2½ years. Then he was shunted to deportation facilities in South Carolina and Georgia.”

Previously deported. FIVE children. Tell me, has this guy been a net asset or net liability to the country? This is the information that is missing, but chances are, even with his irrigation job, each one of those children received myriad subsidies from American taxpayers, education, health care, aid to dependent children, etc. Possibly subsidized housing and other payments. Again, we don’t know. Because god forbid these details should be included.

The one part of this article that was encouraging was how some of these folks go back and work with vigilantes to rid their country of cartels. Perhaps, having lived in the US, they wish to create a better place to live in their homelands. That’s a positive.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 15:45:49

Excerpt from an article that will soon post:

A ruthless border gang that began in the jails of El Paso sent teams into Mexico so members could be trained as cold killers by the notorious Zetas drug cartel, a former hit man has testified in Texas federal court.

Barrio Aztecas gang member Jesus Ernesto (El Camello) Chavez Castillo testified that two groups were dispatched to the Mexican city of Torreon, where they learned skills such as how to kill people inside moving cars, he testified this week, according to the El Paso Times.

Comment by rms
2014-02-07 16:41:04

“Such was the case with Vasilio Martínez, a 39-year-old irrigation worker, who was caught in Arizona trying to return to his wife and five children in Washington state, where he had lived for nine years.”

Likely in Mattawa or Othello, WA. These places have free comprehensive medical and social services for all agriculture workers.

Comment by jose canusi
2014-02-07 17:29:53

“Likely in Mattawa or Othello, WA. These places have free comprehensive medical and social services for all agriculture workers.”

Same around here (South Hillsborough County, FL). What started out as a free clinic funded by farm owners to provide care for their workers morphed into something else when they turned it over to the county. Of course, it does provide care for other county residents, who pay sliding scale or qualify for the county funded insurance. But we have an incredible number of subsidized housing complexes for these people, complete with swimming pools, tot lots and jitneys to take them to and from work, doctor appointments, schools, etc. I am not kidding or exaggerating, I’ve been to three out of the six complexes myself. All USDA funded. And as one of the snotty ‘tino beyatches told me when I got burned out of my apartment and was looking for another place to live, don’t even think about applying unless you work in the ag industry.

Vasilio needs a vasectomy.

Comment by rms
2014-02-07 20:13:29

“I am not kidding or exaggerating, I’ve been to three out of the six complexes myself.”

+1 Yes, it is amazing, and very unfortunate that the agriculture business is so out of sync with reality. Maybe agriculture simply can’t exist without economic supports?

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-02-07 10:45:00

By the way, I was just introduced to the JP Morgan (publicly available) “Guide to the Markets” recently.


Data porn…and new for my quarterly reading list.

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2014-02-07 10:53:36

Truly valuable data is insider info. This report is just a trough of data.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-02-07 11:38:31

Yes it is (just a trough of data).

I find the different ways of slicing and dicing data quite interesting…it adds texture to my thinking about markets.

And yes, truly valuable data is inside information. I can tell you though, if you have access to such information, it is best that you avoid acting on it, and treat it like radioactive waste.

My wife used to be at a big law firm that did work with big tech companies (she did a lot of M&A work with those companies). While we had (and still have) a strict policy in our house of not talking about non-public information, I purposefully avoided investing in tech companies at that time. Even though I didn’t get any information from her, the risk that someone would point a finger at her was too great for me to even bother dabbling in the stocks of companies that her firm represented.

Thankfully she now is out of that environment and works mainly with one public company, so I only need to avoid trading that one company’s stock.

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2014-02-07 12:25:59

“I can tell you though, if you have access to such information, it is best that you avoid acting on it, and treat it like radioactive waste.”
What are you talking about? This is how the entire hedge fund industry works. If you believe that anyone who has the ability to charge 2 & 20 to clients isn’t doing it with (wink wink) an “information advantage” you are delusional.

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Comment by Rental Watch
2014-02-07 14:33:09

Yes, and it’s working out great for the hedge funds now, isn’t it?


The fact of the matter is that if you want to trade public securities using insider information, you are breaking the law. End of story.

If despite the legal risks, you want to utilize inside information for your own benefit, go for it…personally, I haven’t.

Comment by Sean
2014-02-07 11:42:53

Interesting article about people and large purchases:


How Big Number Short Circuit Your Brain and Your Finances

Cordes points to one study conducted by researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the University of Lausanne and Columbia University interviewed a set of subprime mortgage borrowers, asking them a series of questions designed to test their ability in mathematics. Then, they divided those subprime borrowers into 4 groups in order of their mathematical skills. The bottom two groups showed foreclosure rates of over 20 percent, the top group had a foreclosure rate of 7 percent.P

“Basic numeracy abilities seem to be important for financial planning,” says Cordes. “There have been a number of studies showing that your ability simply to answer basic number questions like ‘What is half of 500?’ seems to be related to their tendency to default on a mortgage or to make better decisions on pension plans and other financial decisions.”

Comment by cactus
2014-02-07 12:53:35

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global equity markets rallied on Friday as investors pegged a poor U.S. jobs report on bad weather, but bond yields and the dollar fell as the data showed employers hired far fewer workers than expected in January, suggesting economic softness.

Non-farm payrolls rose by 113,000, well below the consensus of 185,000, although the unemployment rate hit a five-year low of 6.6 percent, the U.S. Labor Department said.

The dollar fell broadly while safe-haven gold and U.S. government debt prices rose on the unemployment report. Equities also rose, with investors writing off the weakest two months of U.S. job growth in three years on inclement weather.

Comment by Ella58
2014-02-07 13:07:07

Are we allowed to post individual listings here? Apologies in advance if not, but this made me laugh -


“Features include mostly finished walls.”

Wow, and for only $800k? Plus 10k a year in monthly fees? Where do I sign up??

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 14:12:16

Hotel California. The beast is the housing bubble.

Comment by Michael Viking
2014-02-07 14:39:48

Cool! It even features “uninstalled kitchen cabinets”!

Comment by oxide
2014-02-07 14:54:21

The shower is missing entirely. But it doesn’t look like it would take much time or money to spiff it up.

I don’t know the market in Hollywood, but the price is on par with older condoes in downtown DC.

Comment by Ella58
2014-02-07 15:17:03

I imagine West Hollywood and Downtown DC are quite similar, with many affluent, single young people all wanting mid-size semi-luxury starter condos (or investors who think they can flip or rent to this demographic).

To give you an idea of the WeHo market, here is an apt in the same line but a few floors down, which sold in a 2011 short sale for $425k -


So prices have literally doubled in this and every other WeHo building, and up until last month they were actually selling too.

The $800k one looks like a flipper who ran out of money. Fingers crossed this is just the beginning of a tidal wave of insolvent flippers!

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Comment by oxide
2014-02-07 14:49:31

Of course you can post individual listings, as long as you’re not trying to sell the actual house.* I used to do it all the time, and labeled it “Today’s House.”

*well, you could post a listing in the hope of selling it, but you would be laughed off the board.

Comment by Ella58
2014-02-07 15:24:01

“I used to do it all the time, and labeled it “Today’s House.”’

What a good idea, any chance you’ll resume?

Individual listings can be really indicative of general sentiment, and it would be interesting to see similarities/differences between markets. Plus, the humor factor - I saw some doozies in 2013 and I’m sure there will be plenty more!

Comment by phony scandals
2014-02-07 15:46:36

Unsellable Mansions: Luxury Property Mistakes | Video - ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/unsellable-mansions-luxury-property-mistakes-22370429 - - Cached - Similar pages
2 days ago … You’re about to go inside one of the ugliest houses in the country. At least from a

Comment by phony scandals
2014-02-07 14:47:05

A Former Ally of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Says its REAL Goal Was Confiscation

Calls it a vehicle for Bloomberg’s ‘personal gun control agenda’

7 hrs ago
by Dain Fitzgerald
Staff Writer

Those accused of being paranoid about gun control measures just got a handful of ammunition.

A former member of the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns claims that the group’s real agenda involves outright confiscation, reports the Free Beacon. Republican Poughkeepsie, New York mayor John Tkazyik recently wrote in the town’s paper of record that MAIG, formed under ex-mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2006, had a goal far more ambitious than it’s publicly let on:

I’m no longer a member of MAIG. Why? It did not take long to realize that MAIG’s agenda was much more than ridding felons of illegal guns; that under the guise of helping mayors facing a crime and drug epidemic, MAIG intended to promote confiscation of guns from law-abiding citizens.

I don’t believe, never have believed and never will believe that public safety is enhanced by encroaching on our right to bear arms, and I will not be a part of any organization that does.

The 34-year-old Tkazyik further claims that MAIG “became a vehicle for Bloomberg to promote his personal gun-control agenda,” and that its anti-Second Amendment motives were an impediment to “initiatives that could actually work to protect our neighborhoods.”

Via the Free Beacon.

http://politix.topix.com/story/10314-a-former-ally-of-mayors-against-illegal-guns-says-its-real-goal-was-confiscation?comments=1 - 208k -

Comment by rms
2014-02-07 16:48:58

“…Bloomberg’s ‘personal gun control agenda’…”

Didn’t Adolf Hitler have a similar agenda?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-02-07 15:15:51

Article trying to put lipstick on a pig, U.S. consumers going further into debt:


Comment by phony scandals
2014-02-07 15:22:55

First lady to college applicants: ‘Don’t leave money on the table’

Posted by
CNN’s Mary Grace Lucas
1 day ago

Washington (CNN) – For students wondering how they’ll pay for college, First Lady Michelle Obama has a bit of advice: applying for federal student aid is easy and worth it.

“That’s my message for you and for students across the country. Fill out those forms,” Mrs. Obama said. “Don’t leave money on the table.”

Speaking in Alexandria, Virginia’s T.C. Williams High School, Mrs. Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan encouraged a group of high school students to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

“Through FAFSA, the Department of Education provides more than $150 billion every year in low-interest loans, in grants that you don’t have to pay back, and work study programs that can help cover your educational expenses,” Mrs. Obama said. “And I was a work study student all throughout college.”

According to the Department of Education, more than 14 million students receive federal student aid annually to help cover the costs of tuition, fees, books, room and board, dependent care, and more. The department says that most students are eligible for some degree of aid. Race, gender, and field of study don’t affect eligibility. And, while income is considered, it does not automatically disqualify applicants.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/05/first-lady-to-college-applicants-dont-leave-money-on-the-table/comment-page-1/ - 85k -

Comment by Anklepants
2014-02-07 18:21:02

A single article about the crappy jobs report and countless blathering posts on Nat Gas? We have met the shills, and they are us.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-02-07 21:28:29

You’re right.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2014-02-07 23:26:27

I think Boulder would be a great place for a techie like me to work. But the thing is - it’s not a place that will encourage fitness swimmers. I doubt there is a good quality 4 lane 25 yard indoor pool operating year round.

I’d eat my hat.

I was telling the boss man that Phoenix has great qualities - no tornados, no quakes, no hurricanes, no tsunamis. He said “but the heat….”

Boulder has no hurricanes, no tornados, no quakes, no heat…but the floods!

Comment by Carl Morris
2014-02-10 10:04:21

Bill, I know this is very old, but if you see this response I can point you to the rec centers that I believe have the pools you are looking for. And the flood was in theory a once in many hundreds of years event.

2014-03-31 01:16:16

I all the time used to read article in news papers but now as I am a user of internet so from now
I am using net for posts, thanks to web.

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