June 26, 2014

Bits Bucket for June 26, 2014

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

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Comment by Combotechie
2014-06-26 03:53:17

This is an old article (from 2010) but I believe it still has relevance.

The University of Phoenix Recruits the Homeless.

“Benson Rollins wants a college degree. The unemployed high school dropout who attends Alcoholics Anonymous and has been homeless for 10 months is being courted by the University of Phoenix. Two of its recruiters got themselves invited to a Cleveland shelter last October and pitched the advantages of going to the country’s largest for-profit college to 70 destitute men.

“Their visit spurred the 23-year-old Rollins to fill out an online form expressing interest. Phoenix salespeople then barraged him with phone calls and e-mails, urging a tour of its Cleveland campus. ‘If higher education is important to you for professional growth, and to achieve your academic goals, why wait any longer? Classes start soon and space is limited,’ one Phoenix employee e-mailed him on Apr. 15. ‘I’ll be happy to walk you through the entire application process.’

“Rollins’ experience is increasingly common. The boom in for-profit education, driven by a political consensus that all Americans need more than a high school diploma, has intensified efforts to recruit the homeless. Such disadvantaged students are desirable because they qualify for federal grants and loans, which are largely responsible for the prosperity of for-profit colleges. Federal aid to students at for-profit colleges jumped from $4.6 billion in 2000 to $26.5 billion in 2009. Publicly traded higher education companies derive three-fourths of their revenue from federal funds, with Phoenix at 86%, up from just 48% in 2001 and approaching the 90% limit set by federal law.”

Link to follow.

Comment by Combotechie
Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 06:14:59

Is posting multiple self-replies a sign of mental illness?

Go back to bed.

Comment by Combotechie
2014-06-26 06:34:46

“Is posting multiple self-replies a sign of mental illness?”


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Comment by Jingle Male
2014-06-26 13:32:30

Fav seems obsessed with mental illness. A sure sign he has it! HA!

Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 18:43:30

It’s a funny schtick JFraud. Bankruptcy is not.

Comment by Combotechie
2014-06-26 04:03:55

The above article meshes well with an article from today:

“Fewer Head For college — Which Might Be a Good Thing”


Comment by Combotechie
2014-06-26 04:29:41

One competitor of University of Phoenix is Corinthian Colleges Inc, and here’s what is going on with them (Article from June 19, 2014):

“Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit college chain under investigation for allegedly falsifying grades and job placement data, said it might have to cease as a going concern after the government limited its access to federal student aid.

“The U.S. Education Department put Santa Ana, California-based Corinthian on heightened financial oversight after repeated requests for information, the department said today in a statement. Corinthian will now have to wait 21 days after submitting enrollment data to draw on student-aid funds, rather than a maximum of 72 hours.

“Corinthian plunged 67 percent to 28 cents in New York, the biggest drop since it began trading in February 1999. The stock has lost 84 percent of its value this year.

“’The company’s cash balances will be insufficient to sustain it through this transition period,’ Corinthian said today in a regulatory filing, adding that talks with banks about a bridge loan have been unsuccessful. An inability to find alternative financing ‘would cause the company to be unable to continue as a going concern.’

“For-profit colleges are suffering enrollment declines amid investigations by Congress, the Justice Department and state attorneys general into their recruitment and student borrowing practices. While students can improve their job prospects with online, for-profit college programs, too many of them are left with debt and no degree, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in March.”

Comment by oxide
2014-06-26 05:33:37

Corinthian plunged 67 percent to 28 cents in New York

So the only punishment for Corinthian is that that they have to wait 21 days instead of 3 to get their hands on government money. And this alone is enough to kill the stock. That alone tells me all I need to know about what these places are REALLY after. It’s just a scam to get their grubby hands on taxpayer money and please the stockholders.

IMO my tax money is better spent on Obamaphones.

Comment by Combotechie
2014-06-26 05:57:54

“So the only punishment for Corinthian is that that they have to wait 21 days instead of 3 to get their hands on government money.”

Yeah, well there’s also this:

“… it might have to cease as a going concern …”

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Comment by Combotechie
2014-06-26 06:04:27
Comment by Combotechie
2014-06-26 06:07:48
Comment by azdude
2014-06-26 07:34:38

looks like a value play.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-06-26 07:51:14

Yeah, well there’s also this:

“… it might have to cease as a going concern …”

It couldn’t happen to a nicer “school”.

Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 06:27:38

Why not both LIEberal?

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Comment by jane
2014-06-26 14:24:34

To be fair, consider this analogue. If a systems shutdown lasted for more than seven days, nine out of ten small to medium sized businesses - those with 100 or fewer employees - went out of business over the past ten years.

So, I’m not feeling a lot of love. Corinthian sounds like a place whose productivity is only limited by the speed at which they can print out the diplomas.

Comment by Combotechie
Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 06:13:39

Jeez that’s a lot of spam. A single article would do. What is the agenda you are pushing?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-06-26 06:53:58


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Comment by cactus
2014-06-26 09:20:47

That if you get a expense college degree your losses are incalculable

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-06-26 16:33:08

speak engrish

Comment by goon squad
2014-06-26 04:47:09

What Benson Rollins needs now is a $500,000 starter home!

Comment by frankie
2014-06-26 05:14:59

And if one of the seventy new student makes it, well image the newspaper stories and web articles about it.

Comment by aNYCdj
2014-06-26 05:20:14

The odds aren’t that much different then Walmart opening a new store and getting 6000 applications for 300 jobs and most of them part time

Notice how that isn’t news anymore..its expected.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 07:47:38

Reporting on it undercuts the narrative that Obama has improved the economy.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-06-26 08:26:22

The odds aren’t that much different then Walmart opening a new store and getting 6000 applications for 300 jobs and most of them part time

Notice how that isn’t news anymore..its expected.

I keep hearing about how being on welfare is the equivalent of having a 60K job. If that is true, why does anyone still work at WalMart?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 08:48:30

TANF will only pay so many years.

Comment by Combotechie
Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 06:18:38

They are all a ripoff. Education top to bottom is a scam to make money for some people. It starts out as warehousing in elementary and ends up with massive debt and no real job prospects at the college level. And it is mostly worthless. But it has been set up so you need a piece of paper to get in the door.

All these people with fancy Ivy League notions being manipulated by the rich. Did Eddie Van Halen or Jimi Hendrix “learn” sitting behind a desk?

Comment by rms
2014-06-26 06:23:00

“But it has been set up so you need a piece of paper to get in the door.”

Indeed, the game [is] rigged.

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Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 06:29:51

That is not exactly what I said or meant though.

I do not mean that on an individual level you cannot succeed by making wise choices, hard work and grit. You can. But it is hard and getting harder and people are weak and being encouraged to be weaker.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-06-26 07:53:18

I know my employer now expects at least a Masters Degree for new hires.

Comment by cactus
2014-06-26 09:28:02

I know my employer now expects at least a Masters Degree for new hires.’

Yea same here and I only have a 2 year associates degree. They would never hire me now good thing I got in very early.

I got my degree at night while working so no student debt plus it was cheap back in the 1990’s.

Now its all FUBAR

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-06-26 12:09:37

My sister in the health care field has been getting by barely without a degree. She keeps saying the ones with degrees get better jobs. It does take time. If I was her and had no degree, I would have saved like a squirrel for sure to have some cash for backup for several years of not working just in case. But I’m not her.

Comment by cactus
2014-06-26 13:11:29

Save like a squirrel is good advice !

Save as much as you can and even more important save EARLY

I’m finally starting to see the payoff now 30 years later.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-06-26 13:27:33

Then there are those who say you should spend as soon as you can because you might not be around tomorrow. Well if they chain smoke, drink too much, eat junk, don’t exercise and stay out in the sun to get cancer then they are right. But the fact is a whole foods diet and exercise extends the lifespan of the average person. Sure I could get in a car wreck today and die. But tragedy is not common. If tragedy was a common thing for humanity there would not be humanity.

Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 18:49:06

Maybe not either extreme? Saving is good, but you must spend time. Spend it wisely.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-06-26 10:11:09

They are all a ripoff. Education top to bottom is a scam to make money for some people. It starts out as warehousing in elementary and ends up with massive debt and no real job prospects at the college level. And it is mostly worthless.

That reminds me of the novel “The Forever War”, where humanity gets into war with aliens that spans over 1000 years. Since their is a lot of time dilation in interstellar travel, soldiers often return to Earth after being gone for decades, or even centuries.

When the hero of the story returns to Earth he finds a world he doesn’t recognize. One element is that the economy is fubar’d beyond recognition and youth have useless educations.

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Comment by Elanor
2014-06-26 12:47:50

Good sci fi is often prescient.

Comment by rms
2014-06-26 06:20:10

“Such disadvantaged students are desirable because they qualify for federal grants and loans, which are largely responsible for the prosperity of for-profit colleges.”

Follow the money.

Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 06:32:34

An obvious criminal scam that is being allowed to go on right below the noses of the supposed law enforcement tasked with dealing with this type of stuff. Wow, as I typed that, I realized this could also be applied to the entire housing market and banking as well.

To quote Wilt Chamberlain in the second Conan movie, Conan, The Destroyer, “Thieves should be hanged.”

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 08:01:37

“Thieves should be hanged.”

They were in England but part of that was when a criminal was executed his estate escheated to the King which provided a powerful economic incentive for the death penalty.

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Comment by oxide
2014-06-26 13:22:39

How is this scam “being allowed” to go on? This article is all about the government NOT allowing it to go on. Or at least not being allowed to take taxpayer money for it.

The financial aid was cut off because Corinthian was lying about its placement numbers. If they reported placement numbers which were real and low, then no one would choose the school. If the placement numbers were real and higher, then they wouldn’t be a scam.

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Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 18:47:13

Big deal, one gets slapped on the wrist while many more go on and continue the fraud. Just like the banks. It is a scam because all of those For Profit colleges are crooked liars scamming the poor morons who enroll. And the Dept of Education not only lets it go on, but encourages it. They’ve been called out for years.

Comment by Michael Viking
2014-06-26 07:13:36

Phoenix salespeople then barraged him with phone calls and e-mails

It’s interesting that a homeless guy can be barraged with phone calls and emails.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-06-26 08:29:26

Email accounts are free. You should see how many homeless people come to our local public library to use the computers.

As for phones, he probably has an “Obamaphone”.

Comment by Neuromance
2014-06-26 07:20:39

The Duke student who became famous / notorious for being involved with, ahem, adult, productions, writes a surprisingly clear-eyed article in Time Magazine. In it, she talks about her reasons for going into the line of work she did, and the core cause of runaway education costs. And that reason is government intervention. As in so many other areas, a massively deep-pocketed institution starts pumping in seemingly endless money, and surprisingly manages to push prices up for all participants in that market.

‘Duke •••• Star’: I Lost My Financial Aid
by Miriam Weeks
June 16, 2014

Demand for education, kind of like demand for p••n, is pretty inelastic. Kids like me have been told our whole lives that higher education is the only way to be successful in America. President Obama made it clear he wants to keep that demand high in a speech in Austin, Texas.

“I want us to produce 8 million more college graduates by 2020, because America has to have the highest share of graduates compared to every other nation,” Obama said. Toward that end, he increased the amount and number of Pell Grants.

Colleges today have zero incentive to lower tuition or make college more affordable. Either way, demand is high and the money will keep flowing. So why bother with thrift?

Sheldon Richman, vice president of the Future of Freedom Foundation and author of Separating School: Liberating America’s Families agrees:

“What drives the inflation of tuitions are the various forms of government financing. This is basic economics. If the government stimulates demand through grants and loans, other things equal, prices (tuitions) will rise. It’s supply and demand. It is unsurprising that much of the money goes to administrative bloat. That’s how bureaucracies usually behave.”

[You'll have to copy and paste - and replace the @ with an 'o']

Sounds like a familiar problem.

Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 07:31:44

And when has such a bloated bureaucracy ever been ended or brought into line? Never. Everything keeps growing and growing. The limited gov types really need to think about how to answer this question in the real world on the chessboard we actually play on, not some hypothetical wishlist of pie in the sky.

For cripes sake, we are still subsidizing Elmo.

Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 07:46:55

Time to start kicking out the geriatrics in power. (Reply to own post and sign of mental illness acknowledged).

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Comment by In Colorado
2014-06-26 07:54:36

For cripes sake, we are still subsidizing Elmo.

I thought he was in jail or something.

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Comment by goon squad
2014-06-26 09:07:06

Obama will pardon Kevin Clash on his last day in office, because if you like your underage boys, you can keep your underage boys.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 10:14:41

It is racist and homophobic to say that about Obama.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-06-26 09:19:38

Weird thing about University of Phoenix.

Driving east on I-10 from the Phoenix SkyHarbor rental car center to the Elliot road turnoff you pass two or three clusters of mid-rise buildings. 9 or 10 stories. They are all for University of Phoenix. Weird to have three campuses so close to each other.

I wonder if the CEO is still alive and kicking. Last I read, he’s in his 90s and very active in running that business. It used to be the Apollo Group, if I’m not mistaken.

Comment by Arizona Slim
2014-06-26 10:54:29

That is an impressive complex. I’ve seen it too.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-06-26 03:59:32

Quicken Loans. Engineered to Enslave.© See your local Lying Realtor© for details.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2014-06-26 05:38:49

Free coffee and free advice is now being offered at your local bank branch.

Why not drop in today and take advantage of these opportunities while they last, and while you are there ask them about their Dotted Line Special.

Comment by azdude
2014-06-26 05:53:20

uncle FED and stock buybacks are the only game in town for stocks.

Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 06:19:59

Coffee is for closers only. Amy has not closed a deal in a while. She’s going to start offering better incentives.

Comment by azdude
2014-06-26 07:26:39

quicken loans is the new countrywide

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Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-06-26 11:16:16

Candy is dandy, but Amy is quicker.

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Comment by frankie
2014-06-26 03:59:36

China signalled it would buy bonds when Greece issues debt again, in a show of support for a financially-stricken nation that hopes to become a gateway into Europe for Chinese products.


Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Wednesday met top leaders of China’s ruling Communist Party, the latest European leader to beat a path to Beijing’s door hoping to attract more investment.


Unfortunately while transforming New Zealand into a giant feedlot might satisfy China’s appetite for kiwi cattle, it won’t do the same for sheep. Despite the fact that New Zealand’s 31-million-strong flock outnumbers its people seven to one, it’s not nearly enough, and Australia might have to step in to fill the void.

And as China’s upper class grows, so will its already ravenous appetite for meat, putting a strain on the world’s meat and grain supply. China’s grain consumption is growing by 17 million tons per year, and it now buys around two thirds of soybean exports in the world, a crucial ingredient in animal feed.

China is already buying up vast tracts of arable land in foreign country to meet this demand, one of its latest purchases being 3 million hectares of Ukrainian farmland.


Were all saved the Chinese are coming.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-06-26 08:00:12

Were all saved the Chinese are coming.

A good time to be a farmer, I guess.

Comment by oxide
2014-06-26 05:27:20

Mortgage rates sink as economy shrinks
By Polyana da Costa • Bankrate

The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.28 percent from 4.33 percent the previous week. …One year ago, that rate stood at 4.61 percent.

…”Wall Street may be doing well, but I don’t really see the rest of the economy going well, not when I talk to people like landscapers and plumbers,” says Bob Moulton.

…Another factor that has contributed to rates staying low is that lenders have become more competitive as they face a significant reduction in the volume of refinance applications, says Derek Egeberg, a branch manager at Academy Mortgage in Yuma, Arizona.

Refinance applications, which accounted for more than 80 percent of the mortgage activity in early 2013, are now about 52 percent of total applications, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.



Does Bankrate realize that when someone needs come up with some down payment cash, mortgage rate (i.e. PITI) is no longer the limiting factor in buying?

Comment by goon squad
2014-06-26 06:01:01


Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 06:21:08

What happened to buy now because mortgage rates are sure to rise?

Comment by azdude
2014-06-26 07:33:18

can the treasury afford rate increases?

Comment by In Colorado
2014-06-26 08:36:21

Raising interest rates would probably bankrupt most governments across the globe. Individuals and businesses would get clobbered too. In most countries there is no such thing as a fixed rate mortgage. Imagine the wave of defaults and foreclosures as mortgage interest rates across the globe climbed from say 3% to 12%.

Interesting times are waiting for us.

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Comment by sleepless_near_seattle
2014-06-26 09:13:50

I’d like savings rates of 8 or 9%, so I’m not eating Alpo as a senior. It’s tragic that it’d be a tragedy to get there.

Such is the depth of addiction.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-06-26 10:03:21

What happened to buy now because mortgage rates are sure to rise?

It’s like “don’t buy now because prices will crater”. It will happen eventually.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-06-26 05:56:07


Not even zero cost cash will resurrect toxic housing.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-06-26 06:22:10

Meanwhile, the Fed’s creation of trillions of dollars out of thin air to enrich the .01% is starting to produce…gasp…INFLATION! Who’d have thunk it (other than anyone who remembers Weimar Germany).


Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 06:53:02

I am shocked I tell you shocked.

Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 07:32:55

Do people understand who Raymond K Hessel is? Nice moniker choice.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-06-26 11:01:22

What does it mean? I would also like to know the meaning of the word “graft”, which was used by you and at least one other person on this blog.

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Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 18:50:35

You no have Google?

Comment by rms
2014-06-26 06:26:52

“Not even zero cost cash will resurrect toxic housing.”

+1 Ditto for the automobile companies.

Comment by goon squad
2014-06-26 06:35:56

Buying a house today will result in a lifetime of incalculable losses.

Comment by azdude
2014-06-26 07:21:19

u cant live in a stock certificate.

Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 07:48:42

I am thinking of opening up a chain of poorhouses. I think it is a growing industry.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 08:03:32

You can’t live in the foreclosed house after the sheriff throws you out either.

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Comment by azdude
2014-06-26 08:31:04

that could take years. enjoy the free rent and save some cash for you 3% down for your new home.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-06-26 09:22:10

“that could take years. enjoy the free rent and save some cash for you 3% down for your new home.”

How many years? The pendulum of permissiveness is going to swing the other way at some point.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-06-26 11:03:46

It is not possible to save cash. Everyone knows that money burns holes in pockets.

Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 06:39:00

When you look at the economy on a macro level and there doesn’t seem to be any real driver of growth but things aren’t collapsing, it makes you wonder. That feeling of, hmmm, this doesn’t seem to make sense is getting stronger and stronger. The same way it did when I used to see all of those people driving nice cars or new SUVs and wondering how the heck they could afford them. They couldn’t then and they can’t now.

With the current smoke and mirrors everyone is desperately ignoring all the pain and misery experienced only a few short years ago. It was real and it was hard and it ruined many and a great many are still ruined from it. Those who fall for it again deserve what they get.

Comment by azdude
2014-06-26 06:51:01

stocks and homes will make you wealthy.

Comment by cactus
2014-06-26 09:55:50

Gordon Gekko: “The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. “

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Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-06-26 11:06:39

Sell everything you have and go whole-hog into the stock market today.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-06-26 07:07:13

“That feeling of, hmmm, this doesn’t seem to make sense is getting stronger and stronger.”

Yep. Even the clueless are expressing doubt now.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-06-26 12:17:01

I think most of those SUV and Lexus / Infiniti / Audi / BMW drivers are renters and not home owners.

My experience is that in the part of LA where I lived it was mostly apartments and the cars around that community were all two or three times what mine cost.

Over in my part of Orange County people drive Hondas and Toyotas and American cars mostly. Low end imports and American cars. And my part of Orange County is mostly SFHs.

There are a lot of 30k millionaires.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 07:06:20


This is huge there was a major divide between the groups just days ago. If this divide is now closed both Assad and Iraq should be very worried.

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-06-26 07:25:17

‘The Obama administration’s embrace of targeted killings using armed drones risks putting the United States on a “slippery slope” into perpetual war and sets a dangerous precedent for lethal operations that other countries might adopt in the future, according to a report by a bipartisan panel that includes several former senior intelligence and military officials.’

‘The group found that more than a decade into the era of armed drones, the American government has yet to carry out a thorough analysis of whether the costs of routine secret killing operations outweigh the benefits.’

‘The report is especially critical of the secrecy that continues to envelop drone operations and questions whether they might be creating terrorists even as they are killing them.’

“There is no indication that a U.S. strategy to destroy Al Qaeda has curbed the rise of Sunni Islamic extremism, deterred the establishment of Shia Islamic extremist groups or advanced long-term U.S. security interests,” the report concludes.’


Comment by iftheshoefits
2014-06-26 07:38:05

‘putting the United States on a “slippery slope” into perpetual war’

Methinks we’re already there, and have been since 1991 or so. Remember “no-fly zones”?

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-06-26 09:24:06

There is a senate bill in California that, if it passes legislature and gets signed by Jerry Brown, will automatically register young men for the draft when they get their California driver’s license.

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Comment by iftheshoefits
2014-06-26 10:41:38

Really? Straight from the heart of the “anti-war” crowd, (or so I use to believe, anyway).

The last couple years have been a eye opener for me. The Democrats have shown they are about as interested in scaling back our military misadventures as the Republicans are in fiscal reform. Which is to say, not at all.

I did volunteer work for Jerry Brown when he ran for president in ‘76. I got to see him in person when he spoke at my college in my home state of Maryland, and he ended up winning the primary against Carter. How times have changed, huh.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-06-26 11:39:01

This has been tried five times and failed. Tried in 2002 and 2011.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-06-26 11:44:22

AB 2201 passed the California house on May 27 with strong bipartisan support.

Currently being considered for vote in the California senate.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 12:46:54
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Comment by drumminj
2014-06-26 13:31:00


I can’t wait until some outside country (china? russia?) start funneling money to the US to train and arm rebels here.

Or is it bad when *someone else* does it?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 07:38:55

NYT had an article on June 25th on how Iran was using drones in Iraq did not mention if they were armed drones.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 08:29:15

About the Middle East here is a comment from me back in 2011 when events in Egypt were taking place:

Comment by albuquerquedan

2011-01-30 12:26:41

No it was not out of our control in Iran. We made a decision not to support the Shah by making it clear we would not support a crackdown. It was a disaster for our country and ironically for the people of Iran, who were progressing under the Shah.Even though he was a dictator, he had raged a tough war to break the power of the mullahs and could have done it again but it would have been ugly. In the real world tough choices have to made. We give over 1.5 billion dollars to Egypt a year and the military will back up a friendly regime, if we give them a green light. The sad reality is true democracy in that region leads to radical Islam. Neither Carter, Bush II or Obama understood that reality and they have all paid for it, as has this country. Reagan, Clinton and Bush I only wanted cheap oil and friendly regimes. The cheap oil during their terms was not by accident. The question for Obama is whether he will reverse course.

Ironically, Iran just put down a similar revolt and Obama seemed less critical than he is of Mubarak. BTW, I think he will need to go but the question is whether the new government is going to use the methods used by Iran to put down their revolt.

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Comment by azdude
2014-06-26 08:34:37

we should give the iraqi’s some home loans.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-06-26 08:39:20

we should give the iraqi’s some home loans.

As goonie might say, those Iraqis need to buy $500,000 starter homes in Baghdad.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 08:39:44

They are going to need them:


The strategy is very clear ISIL is moving on hydro dams and gas fields and electric plants. They will not need to invade the South to cut-off large amounts of the Shiite oil. They are going to cut the electric grid. Need to go to a meeting.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-06-26 10:16:55

I remember reading that the Shah had a secret police force called SAVAK that was notorious for using torture to crush dissent. One form of torture that I recall involved taking pliers and pulling out fingernails.

This was well known to the CIA and the US government in general, which supported the Shah nonetheless. That support was pretty constant regardless of which party held the White House.

The rationale for supporting these thugs around the world was generally, “he may be an SOB, but he’s our SOB.”

I doubt that the American people ever approved of such policies.


Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 10:53:50

Do you think human rights improved after Khomeni took over?

Comment by MightyMike
2014-06-26 11:08:53

I don’t know the details. I imagine that some things got better and some things got worse. The difference is that there are no longer any American fingerprints on the oppression in Iran.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 11:30:50

No, they got very much worse. A thousand times the executions and torture. Ten year olds made to run through mine fields, and an economy in ruins. Our fingerprints were all over it since we pressed the Shah to relax his grip on the Islamic fundamentalists. The Islamists the Shah was fighting were very much like Boko Harum. So how many children must die in bombings before the police when they catch one decide that they need to get information by any means necessary? I hope we never reach that point but if continue to let in Islamic fundamentalists in this country we may fact the same moral dilemma.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 11:37:24

if we continue

Comment by MightyMike
2014-06-26 11:45:22

If you read the Wikipedia page that I linked to, you’d see the following:

One well known writer was arrested, tortured for months, and finally placed before television cameras to ‘confess’ that his works paid too much attention to social problems and not enough to the great achievements of the White Revolution. By the end of 1975, twenty-two prominent poets, novelist, professors, theater directors, and film makers were in jail for criticizing the regime. And many others had been physically attacked for refusing to cooperate with the authorities.[19]

So they weren’t just torturing terrorists, they tortured poets and novelists as well. This was an agency that the CIA helped to set up.

Regarding the possibility of police in America using torture to get information, I think that that is pretty clearly contrary to the constitution.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 11:54:33

Your article only mentions one writer tortured and twenty five others detained. The Islamists when they came to power tortured and killed tens of thousands of people for being for democracy. You still ignore the simply reality Carter made things a thousand times worse for the people of Iran and hurt the national interest of this country by his naïve policies.

Of course torture is against the constitution but hard cases make bad law and hard situations will cause people to ignore the constitution.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 11:59:12

Also from Wikipedia:In a talk at the Fayzieah School in Qom, 30 August 1979, Khomeini warned pro-imperialist opponents: “Those who are trying to bring corruption and destruction to our country in the name of democracy will be oppressed. They are worse than Bani-Ghorizeh Jews, and they must be hanged. We will oppress them by God’s order and God’s call to prayer.”[131]

The Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and his family left Iran and escaped harm, but hundreds of former members of the overthrown monarchy and military met their end in firing squads, with exiled critics complaining of “secrecy, vagueness of the charges, the absence of defense lawyers or juries”, or the opportunity of the accused “to defend themselves.”[132] In later years these were followed in larger numbers by the erstwhile revolutionary allies of Khomeini’s movement—Marxists and socialists, mostly university students—who opposed the theocratic regime. Following the 1981 Hafte Tir bombing, Ayatollah Khomeini declared the Mojahedin and anyone violently opposed to the government, “enemies of God” and pursued a mass campaign against members of the Mojahedin, Fadaiyan, and Tudeh parties as well as their families, close friends, and even anyone who was accused of counterrevolutionary behavior.[133]

In the 1988 executions of Iranian political prisoners, following the People’s Mujahedin of Iran operation Forough-e Javidan against the Islamic Republic, Khomeini issued an order to judicial officials to judge every Iranian political prisoner and kill those who would not repent anti-regime activities. Estimates of the number executed vary from 1,400[134] to 30,000.[135

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 12:03:55

Also from Wikipedia and why Khomeini hated the Shah:

In January 1963, the Shah announced the “White Revolution”, a six-point programme of reform calling for land reform, nationalization of the forests, the sale of state-owned enterprises to private interests, electoral changes to enfranchise women and allow non-Muslims to hold office, profit-sharing in industry, and a literacy campaign in the nation’s schools. Some of these initiatives were regarded as dangerous, especially by the powerful and privileged Shi’a ulama (religious scholars), and as Westernizing trends by traditionalists (Khomeini viewed them as “an attack on Islam”).[50] Ayatollah Khomeini summoned a meeting of the other senior marjas of Qom and persuaded them to decree a boycott of the referendum on the White Revolution. On 22 January 1963 Khomeini issued a strongly worded declaration denouncing the Shah and his plans. Two days later the Shah took an armored column to Qom, and delivered a speech harshly attacking the ulama as a class.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-06-26 14:30:01

My point wasn’t that the Shah was better than the Ayatollah. I’m just saying that when we supported the Shah, we supported a tyrant who had a nasty secret police agency that engaged torture and other nastiness. I don’t want my country to support such regimes.

If your argument is that it’s ethically preferable to support such regime because the alternative was worse, I disagree. Though there’s not much point in having a debate about morality on this blog.

Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 18:52:49

Though there’s not much point in having a debate about morality on this blog.

Not much point in debating a shill either.

Comment by reedalberger
2014-06-26 23:49:09

We will have to fight the militant islamists to the death one day. It will have nothing to do with oil, wmd’s, Israel or drones. It will about protecting the lives of non muslims from these savages, not just in the middle east, but around the globe. In other words, WWIII.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 08:20:51


It is not just Obama’s drones that have caused this disaster.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 07:09:42

Thursday, June 26, 2014


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What is counterfeit plastic?

General Motors (GM.NYSE) announced in a filing with US safety regulators on Tuesday that a defective ignition switch was manufactured by Chinese-based Dalian Alps Electronics, Reuters reported. The switch was used in nearly 3.4 million Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo, Buick LaCrosse and Lucerne, and Cadillac DeVille and DTS cars that were recalled on June 16, marking the second time this year an auto manufacturer has discovered a problem with a China-made part. In February, British car maker Aston Martin recalled most of its sports cars built since 2007 after discovering a Chinese sub-supplier was using counterfeit plastic.

Comment by azdude
2014-06-26 07:19:34

going cheap often costs u n the long run.

Cheap import ac capacitor = 8 bucks
GE/genteq = 25

A lot of people would buy the 8 part and be stranded in the AZ when it goes out.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-06-26 08:06:53

What is counterfeit plastic?

Plastics have quality categories. Not all polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene or polycarbonate, etc. are of the same quality. Perhaps they were substituting a lower grade versions for a higher one. The resulting part would be weaker.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-06-26 08:07:52

Also, some plastics can only be recycled so many times before they become weaker.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 10:23:35

Yes, I understand I was being sarcastic about the concept of counterfeit plastic, it reminded me of ads that promise genuine imitation leather.

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Comment by m2p
2014-06-26 16:46:12

Vegan leather.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 07:19:01
Comment by goon squad
2014-06-26 08:26:54

As I said, Dannyboy, 2014 will be a Republican landslide, but just a bump on the road to the Permanent Democrat Supermajority.

There’s a lot more Free Sh*t Army than there are of you.

Comment by azdude
2014-06-26 08:33:08

it is unethical for banks to foreclose on the same people they duped into a predatory loan.

Comment by taxpayers
2014-06-26 09:03:38

in the dc area they are the same- spend-a-holics

we shoot back fcta.org

Comment by azdude
2014-06-26 07:41:09

Is it it time for Wall street and the FED to see who is swimming naked?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 07:44:22

It sounds so much like the South Vietnamese Army:


Comment by MightyMike
2014-06-26 07:51:39

Hillary Clinton’s New Image: Cool Grandma. Can She Maintain It?

Monica Potts
June 25, 2014

Her attitude—unabashedly feminist, casually in charge—was captured most effectively toward the end of her stint as secretary of state. Can she keep it as a candidate?

When did Hillary Clinton become cool? Was it during her globe-trotting as secretary of state in caftans or with her hair pulled back in an ironically hip scrunchie? Was it when she traded funny letters with the actor Jason Segel? Or when she starred in her own Tumblr meme?

Whenever her ascent began, it reached a peak in March, when GQ published an interview with musician Pharrell Williams. In one of the most convoluted sentences ever recorded in the English language, he not only endorsed Clinton for president in 2016 but also predicted her win, one that would usher in purple-tinted national unity and a worldwide pro-choice matriarchy: “When we are a country and we are a species that has had a Martian Rover traveling up and down the crevices of this planet looking for water and ice, okay, and we’ve had a space station that’s been orbiting our planet for sixteen years—but we still got legislation trying to tell women what to do with their bodies? Hillary’s gonna win. Listen, I’m reaching out to her right now. She’s gonna win.”

Her attitude—unabashedly feminist, casually in charge—was captured most effectively toward the end of her stint as secretary of state. On a military plane bound for Tripoli, Libya, two photographers, Diana Walker for Time and Kevin Lamarque of Reuters, took similar photographs of Clinton. She was wearing sunglasses and checking her smartphone. “This picture of her just pops up on my Facebook feed, and it’s like, ‘What is this picture?’” says Adam Smith, a 31-year-old, Washington, D.C.–based communications director. “It just stuck with me that it was this great picture of her. It made her seem so strong and powerful.”


Comment by iftheshoefits
2014-06-26 10:43:38

LOL I guess this new “Hillary is cool” bunch don’t read much, judging by recent book sales…

Comment by plasmacutter
2014-06-26 13:04:31

“Her attitude—unabashedly feminist”

And this is why this moderate’s voting R this coming election.

Feminists have imposed blanket censorship of peer-reviewed statistics and salient criticism across 80% of social media and news comment columns as they pursue a sexist and toxic legislative agenda designed to turn government into a tool of abuse for female bad actors.

The R’s only sell your job to off-shoring firms, but at least they don’t attack fundamental human rights like free speech and due process.

Comment by goon squad
2014-06-26 15:48:59

That sounds really Red Pill / MGTOW, are you sure you’re on the right blog?

Comment by plasmacutter
2014-06-27 10:23:07

It’s objective.

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Comment by plasmacutter
2014-06-27 10:26:21

it’s objective goon squad.

They’re a totalitarian hate movement.

Comment by Kidbuck
2014-06-26 18:18:40

Hillary became cool when she farmed out the B Jobs and tuna scented cigar manufacturing to the interns.

Comment by rms
2014-06-26 23:06:42

“…she farmed out the B Jobs and tuna scented cigar…”


Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 07:52:52

Checking in from Region IX. What does the card say for today?

Comment by goon squad
2014-06-26 08:23:25

Region VIII checking in.

The card says Dianne Feinstein, Michael Bloomberg, and President Obama want you to turn in all your scary looking guns to the friendly, helpful DHS agent knocking at your door.

And you’ll do it, because it’s “for the children”, but just those white children at Sandy Hook Elementary, not for those black children in Chicago and other cities, because when it’s time to “never let a crisis go to waste”, some children are more equal than others…

Comment by drumminj
2014-06-26 08:32:22

Conveniently, I do not much care for children, so “do it for the children” really has no sway with me…

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-06-26 09:39:48

“Do it for the children.”

That is a double-entendre.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 10:31:52

Comment by goon squad

2014-06-26 09:07:06

Obama will pardon Kevin Clash on his last day in office, because if you like your underage boys, you can keep your underage boys.

Kevin Clash: “Do the children”.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-06-26 09:57:03

Obama cares about white not children but not black children? This is getting complicated now.

Comment by goon squad
2014-06-26 10:28:50

MikeyMite, they are just pawns in his game to advance the grabber agenda. Trayvon Martin was a pawn to eliminate Florida’s “stand your ground” law. The dead kids at Sandy Hook were just crocodile tears for the Dictator Obama.

At its core, it’s not about race, and it’s not about children. It is about absolute power and control. The 100+ million guns in the hands of private citizens are the only thing keeping the grabbers from turning this country into Stalinist Russia.

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Comment by MightyMike
2014-06-26 11:31:09

Gee, I don’t know about that. Wouldn’t it be safe to assume that Obama is going to follow Bill and Hillary’s example after he leaves the White House by going around the world and giving speeches for $200k a pop? I don’t think that getting rich in that way would be permitted under a Stalinist regime.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-06-26 15:50:14

“What does the card say for today?”

First you have to get into character by hyperventilating, then you read the card.

Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 07:59:07

Wow over 300 posts yesterday. Are gas prices threads the new AGW?

Comment by iftheshoefits
2014-06-26 08:06:52

But higher gas prices will solve AGW right? I mean, if either of the two really matter at all.

How’s that for pouring gas on the fire…

Comment by MightyMike
2014-06-26 08:08:06

Is the counting the number of posts yesterday a symptom of mental illness?

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-06-26 09:37:34

You don’t have to count them. The number is displayed at the top of the page.

Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 18:57:14

Thanks Auntie. By JFraud’s definition above Mikey is also mentally ill.

He suffers from wellziphroenia. Well, I’m not sure … Well, some of that is not always true.

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Comment by MightyMike
2014-06-26 20:11:14

Occasionally, I’m not sure about things. Somehow many others who post here are brimming with certitude, even after their lack of facts is pointed out to them.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 08:08:17

And we did it without Lola, so we may have missed a few of Maxine Walters’ talking points.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-06-26 08:38:53

But we had his better(?) half Liberace.

Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 18:59:39

Lola must be on the mother of all benders with FIGA in town.

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Comment by goon squad
2014-06-26 08:07:35

“The two-year attempt to push immigration reform through Congress is effectively dead and unlikely to be revived until after President Obama leaves office, numerous lawmakers and advocates on both sides of the issue said this week.

The slow collapse of hopes for new border legislation — which has unraveled in recent months amid persistent opposition from House Republicans — marks the end of an effort that both Democrats and Republicans have characterized as central to the future of their parties.


Comment by goon squad
2014-06-26 08:56:11

Linked from Drudge - Baltimore Mayor Speaks Out Against ‘Knockout Game’

“After two recent “knockout games” left several people in Baltimore injured, the city’s mayor has decided to speak out.

WNEW Annapolis Bureau Chief Karen Adams reports that Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is disgusted by the attacks and says they are not a game.

Rawlings-Blake said Wednesday that adults in the city can help to prevent these crimes by being more involved in the lives of children who may be roaming the streets.”

The Democrat Party owns this. Kids don’t need fathers as long as they have Big Daddy Government to give them free sh*t for their entire lives.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-06-26 09:34:16

Are you being sarcastic? Republicans insist that anyone who works less than 12 hours/day, 6 days/week is a lazy bum who deserves to starve.

Comment by plasmacutter
2014-06-26 13:22:12

And democrats subsidize divorce through laws which give massive payouts to wives who jettison their husbands AND the state for breaking up families..

In addition to incredible gender bias in the distribution of assets in a divorce, Title IV-D (the bradley child support expansion), gives states billions of dollars to break up families in the form of federal grants to their general funds matching whatever they can pillage from fathers. The result: marriage is now a slavery license and divorce is a guaranteed 200k in payments to the average suburban housewife. All they need to do is unilaterally file the no-fault papers and sack him dry.

So yes, “Kids don’t need fathers as long as they have Big Daddy Government to give them free sh*t for their entire lives.”, and Wives don’t need husbands when Big Daddy Government can hold him up at gunpoint to support “the lifestyle to which she has become accustomed”.

Comment by taxpayers
2014-06-26 16:30:01

illigit birth rate tripled sine the great society was created

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Comment by goon squad
2014-06-26 16:52:18

Well, then you better “man up” and marry one of these single moms or just keep paying your taxes with none of the deductions/exemptions that these brave, brave womyn so brave for bringing multiple children into the world without regard for who their father is, or who is going to pay for all of it.

Comment by goon squad
2014-06-26 17:02:31

Correction: deductions/exemptions ANDcredits

Here, the IRS table (WARNING: pdf) shows the sweet spot for getting the maximum EITC of $6,044 is the taxable income range of $13,450 to $14,350:


Comment by goon squad
2014-06-26 09:03:08

More Hope and Change linked from Drudge

“Ninety percent of the mostly-teen illegal immigrants flooding over the Mexico-U.S. border won’t show up for their immigration court hearing, meaning at least 135,000 of the youths will simply vanish into the country this year alone, according to a key House committee chairman.”

Vanish until they turn 18, register to vote, and vote Democrat for life.

“An unaccompanied minor from Central America who entered the U.S. illegally has been confirmed as having the Swine Flu, also known as the H1N1 flu.”

This is the fundamental transformation of America that Obama promised.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-06-26 09:28:37

I was once told by an ex-Brazilian that Hispanics don’t recognize “adolescence” as a stage of life, especially for girls. You can be a child or an adult, with nothing in-between. The parents of these minors do not consider themselves to be responsible for them anymore. We, on the other hand, consider ourselves to be responsible for their kids.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-06-26 10:24:05

That’s probably been the case for most cultures for most of human history. In America, teenagers as we know them were more or less invented in the 1950s as a result of the growing post-war prosperity.

Prior to that period, humans were children and then they became adults with no transitional stage in between. In the good old days before that horrible FDR came along ten year-old kids worked in mines and factories.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 10:36:29

Show me that we did not have laws keeping ten year-old children out of mines and factories prior to FDR.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 10:48:29

People do not understand that most states had prohibited that practice prior to a federal law in 1938. However, until FDR the constitution was respected and the decision to address child labor conditions was decided on a state by state basis since it was held that the federal government should be restricted to authority granted by the constitution such as provided for the national defense.


Comment by MightyMike
2014-06-26 10:49:01

There may have been some state laws previously, but ending child labor federally didn’t come about until the New Deal.

The National Child Labor Committee, an organization dedicated to the abolition of all child labor, was formed in 1904. By publishing information on the lives and working conditions of young workers, it helped to mobilize popular support for state-level child labor laws. These laws were often paired with compulsory education laws which were designed to keep children in school and out of the paid labor market until a specified age (usually 12, 14, or 16 years.)

In 1916, the NCLC and the National Consumers League successfully pressured the US Congress to pass the Keating–Owen Act, which was signed into law by president Woodrow Wilson. It was the first federal child labor law. However, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the law two years later in Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918), declaring that the law violated the Commerce Clause by regulating intrastate commerce. In 1924, Congress attempted to pass a constitutional amendment that would authorize a national child labor law. This measure was blocked, and the bill was eventually dropped.

It took the Great Depression to end child labor nationwide; adults had become so desperate for jobs that they would work for the same wage as children.[citation needed] In 1938, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act, which, among other things, placed limits on many forms of child labor. However, The 1938 labor law giving protections to working children excludes agriculture. As a result approximately 500,000 children pick almost a quarter of the food currently produced in the United States.


Comment by MightyMike
2014-06-26 11:27:03

Your link doesn’t have much detail about which states had laws prohibiting child labor. It may be hard to find those details, but it’s probably safe to assume that there was plenty of child labor going on in the South.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 11:35:40

but it’s probably safe to assume that there was plenty of child labor going on in the South

Since it was being run by racist democrats that is a safe bet. Nevertheless, it does not justify ignoring the constitution which could have been changed to allow a federal involvement in labor law instead of just deciding we have a “living constitution” where the law is whatever a few judges decides it to be and Congress is allowed to ignore any constitutional restraints on its power. That leads to what we have today which is no rule of law but rule by corrupt people.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-06-26 14:24:31

That’s quite a torrent of words to confirm that my original statment was correct.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 15:57:43

Really? I think that it is clear that you missed the bigger point.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 16:01:33

As you did with Iran. It is not a case of morality it is a case of common sense, you do not hurt your own security and make millions of people suffer to claim some high level or morality. FDR certainly did not avoid bombing civilians or being an ally of the brutal Stalin to prevent a greater evil.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-06-26 16:09:16

Which point is the bigger point? One point that you made is that some states had laws prior to 1938. That doesn’t contradict my point. Another point that you introduced had to do with the constitution, which also does not contradict my point. I was well aware that much of the New Deal was constitutionally controversial. We went over it in history class in 11th grade.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-06-26 16:15:39

I also didn’t “miss your point” regarding Iran. I disregarded whatever point you were trying to make. You can say that it’s not about morality, but that’s a moral argument that I disagree with. The purpose of acting morally is not to make claims.

Comment by taxpayers
2014-06-26 09:23:39

OT: does the ipo market make sense to anyone?

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-06-26 09:26:06

IPOs can make or lose a lot of money. I don’t think you should buy into one right now though, since stocks are overpriced.

Comment by goon squad
2014-06-26 09:37:29

GoPro IPO is up 30+ percent today.

Comment by azdude
2014-06-26 09:49:13

remember what happened to all those dot.com ipo’s? people re chasing stocks right now. Its like a casino atmosphere.

Comment by goon squad
2014-06-26 09:58:58

Linked from Google News - Forbes: Too Much TV May Be Linked To Early Death In Young Adults

“A new study from the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that the more TV a person watches — separate from other sitting activities — the more likely he or she is to die an early death. It’s certainly not the first study to show the connection between TV-watching and early death, but it suggests a link between TV and mortality in younger adults — the average age when the study started was just 37. Other sitting activities, like driving and working on the computer, were not linked to death, which suggests that there may be something different about sitting and watching TV.”

Comment by tresho
2014-06-26 10:53:55

there may be something different about sitting and watching TV.
Drain bamage.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-06-26 11:57:30

I have a theory about a recent series of reports that if you sit all day at work you have 2 years less of living than those who have physical work.

I think that study is bogus.

Another study about life extension based on calorie restriction claims you can extend life and youth if you are always hungry. But some blog claims it’s total calorie intake. Not net calorie.

Not net calorie?

That means the “always hungry” people better be sedentary because they will otherwise be too anorexic.

See the two studies contradict each other?

My own theory is that you eat a whole foods diet. No processed foods, no added sugar, moderate sodium. And you eat extra calories and you be active. But you don’t have to be active all day.

Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 19:05:11

than those who have physical work

That is the key right there. Ability to sit v. Doing something physical means it is harder to get fat.

Now, let us discuss the concept of the cheat day and its resetting the metabolic setpoint.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-06-26 12:01:19

The road from liberals’ intentions is littered with bodies of economic catastrophe. What a fuster cluck.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 10:19:32

Link will post soon:

A nightmare for Affordable Care Act supporters has been the possibility that only the sick would be left to purchase insurance through its exchanges, driving premiums up and insurers out. While the law’s boosters have been quick to dismiss the possibility that such a so-called death spiral could occur, data published in the Wall Street Journal suggest that this chain of events may not be so far-fetched after all.

The findings are significant not just for what they say about how Obamacare is working now, but also for their impact on the political debate over its future.

At its base, the data show that people insured through the law’s exchanges have higher rates of serious medical conditions. Of the enrollees who have seen a doctor or other health-care provider in the first quarter of this year, 27 percent have significant medical problems, including diabetes, cancer, heart trouble and psychiatric conditions. That rate is substantially higher than that for patients in nonexchange market plans over the same period. And it’s more than double the rate of those who were able to hold onto their existing individual market insurance plans after President Barack Obama was forced to allow them to keep them.

Comment by Arizona Slim
2014-06-26 10:57:38

Slim checking in from Tucson. In addition to this blog, I’m an avid reader of Naked Capitalism.

Today, there’s a post about the GDP hitting an air pocket. Reader comments include this tidbit from a local real estate agent:

I sell homes in Tucson and I am not seeing economic growth here. It seems we are in survival mode and slowly going backwards (no income growth and costs going up). This is not a community that is adding jobs. Price increases have stopped and most of our market is now classified as a buyers market. Homes between $150K and $250K still sell. Above is dead and below is slow. Commercial activity seems to be food related and urgent cares (the new Walgreens, one on every corner). Seeing more strip shops vacant which is the local business owner. We, real estate agents, know that home prices need to retreat to come inline with our local incomes. The Move Up buyer remains absent which is creating a real problem for the Move Up home seller. I do not know what the Boomers will do when there are no buyers for their homes and at the prices they had expected.

Comment by oxide
2014-06-26 12:04:30

Why would homes less than $150K sell slowly? That should be the fastest market.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-06-26 12:32:50

Maybe because they are in undesirable (gang banger) neighborhoods?

Comment by Arizona Slim
2014-06-26 14:24:28

And a lot of them need a TON of work.

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Comment by sleepless_near_seattle
2014-06-26 15:19:58

I’d wager that $150-250k is the middle class sweet spot; those with decent, stable careers/incomes (but not enough to move comfortably into the higher priced shacks). Below are folks who can’t qualify/don’t have down payments. Above are folks who probably don’t change houses much.

Comment by sleepless_near_seattle
2014-06-26 15:23:03

Oh, and good to see you, Slim…

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Comment by rms
2014-06-26 23:25:54

“We, real estate agents, know that home prices need to retreat to come inline with our local incomes.”

Yet the NAR continues to lobby for reduced borrower standards to increase access to credit and more government guarantees, which drive prices beyond household income.

Comment by tresho
2014-06-26 11:03:14

ABQ - UNM halts plans for ‘College Town’
Jackrabbits living near the UNM Arena can relax – at least for a while. Albuquerque’s stuck-in-a-rut economy is forcing the university to put the brakes on plans for an ambitious restaurant and retail development plan for the area.

UNM’s partnership with Ohio-based developer Fairmount Properties has dissolved into the dust of the still-vacant land set aside for development near Lobo Village, where nearly 1,000 students live.

University developers told our news partners at Albuquerque Business First that nobody wants to pay enough rent to cover the costs of site development and construction.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 11:40:20

Hey Lola, how are you doing or should it be who are you doing?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 11:45:39

BTW, why do you think ABQ articles bother me. The problems in New Mexico flow are very similar to the problems in Brazil since they flow from left-wing anti-business policies and are having the same impact on both entities. The Latina Republican governor is doing a good job but she is facing an overwhelming democratic majority in both houses. But unlike Obama who has a much friendly legislative body even controlling the Senate she does not cry and blame all the time she actually makes compromises with the Democrats.

Comment by goon squad
2014-06-26 12:22:57

Pay attention, Dannyboy, because if you did you’d know that tresho lives near Akron, OH and is not a Rio alias.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 12:41:04

How do I know that Rio/Lola does live in Akron Ohio? Do you know Rio, not in the biblical sense like Liberace but just know her? Besides for some reason Tresho has never denied being Lola despite me stating this numerous times.

BTW, Disclaimer, Lola and Liberace are fictional characters any resemblance to anyone living or brain dead is entirely coincidental.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 12:57:10

does not live in Akron.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-06-26 16:59:35

Liberace. Lola.

Comment by Pete
2014-06-26 13:18:21

“or should it be who are you doing?”

I thought we were done with that crap. Sheesh. I shouldn’t have so much faith.

Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 19:21:39

We might be done with Lola if the binge goes on much longer.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-06-26 11:21:02

June 26, 2014, 7:27 a.m. EDT
Kevin Warsh: Fed policy is ‘reverse Robin Hood’
By Ben Eisen

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — The Federal Reserve’s easy-money policies are benefiting the rich at the expense of the poor in a “reverse Robin Hood” scenario, said Kevin Warsh, a former member of the Federal Reserve System Board of Governors. In an interview on CNBC Thursday, Warsh, who is currently a fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, criticized the central bank’s current low-rate policies, which he said are nearly as strong as they were during the depths of the crisis. He suggested that normalizing interest rates would help jump-start business investment and speed up economic growth. Warsh said that “We need to get a normal-looking interest-rate curve,” adding that the Fed needs to overcome the sense that it’s stuck in a zero-rate environment.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 12:43:34

I said that in 2008.

Comment by oxide
2014-06-26 13:38:21

Ben and the Prof were saying it in 2005. There were months and months of speculation over an inverted yield curve.

Comment by drumminj
2014-06-26 13:44:53

Presumably the poor don’t have savings (part of being poor and all that), so how exactly is debasing the currency “stealing” from them?

Sure, the flood of new money may be benefiting those who are connected the most, however, I don’t think anything is being taken from the poor and given to the rich.

The purchasing power of newly earned (and any held) dollars is diminishing, however.

I’m far from poor, and I’d given that my savings is largely in cash, I’d argue that the fed is more actively “stealing” from me than from someone with no savings. And my current earnings are getting debased as well.

I don’t think this is about rich vs poor. I think this is about the politically connected vs those who are not - whether they’re worth $1 or $1million.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-06-26 11:47:15

Lose “flow”

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-06-26 14:22:34

How do people ask $300k + for a house in Phx?

Comment by MightyMike
2014-06-26 14:32:49

Part of it has to be amnesia. People must have forgotten that the main attraction of the area is its cheapness.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-06-26 17:50:26

“How do people ask $300k + for a house in Phx?”

I would like $300k + for my house in Phoenix.

Comment by FavelaTouro
2014-06-26 20:19:23


Seriously, keep your powder dry, the market is done.

Comment by azdude
2014-06-26 15:19:11

what will be the catalyst to change from greed to fear in the stock market this time around?

Comment by goon squad
2014-06-26 17:09:08

Every problem with housing today can be directly attributed to Barack Hussein Obama.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-06-26 17:19:59

American Dream, Recurring Nightmare: Mortgage Meddling and Moral Hazard

This is a nightmare we’ve had before

by Dan Sanchez | LewRockwell.com | June 26, 2014

In response to the U.S. government gearing up to go to war in Iraq again, in spite of the disastrous failure of the last war, Justin Raimondo recently tweeted: “American foreign policy is a recurring nightmare.”

The same, unfortunately, can be said for American economic policy as well. The Obama administration seems intent on making a recurring nightmare out of the Inception-style, artificially-induced “American Dream” of widespread government-supported home ownership.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced in a press release earlier this month that “Preserving the Dream” was this year’s theme for “National Homeownership Month.” The press release is replete with both the right- and left-wing variants of “American Dream” rhetoric—the “Ownership Society” palaver of the Bush years and the egalitarian pandering of the Clinton era—all to justify continuing the disastrous policy of artificially expanding housing credit to as many people as possible, on the easiest terms possible. In particular, it highlighted its “Blueprint for Access” (BFA) document that it released earlier in the year, “outlining the additional steps the agency is taking to expand access to credit for underserved borrowers.”

This is all in keeping with the policy direction that the Obama administration announced over a year ago through its mouthpiece The Washington Post, in an article titled “Obama administration pushes banks to make home loans to people with weaker credit.”

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers lenders taxpayer-backed insurance against defaults for certain mortgages. However, HUD and the Justice Department have, especially since the housing crash, undertaken investigations of loans that go bad, and have, in addition to other penalties, withheld coverage from lenders if they uncover wrongdoing (the BFA calls these “back-end enforcement actions”).

Read more

http://www.infowars.com/…/ - 72k -

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-06-26 17:27:17


Argentina nears default - somehow I don’t recall any mention of this today on CNBC. Bullish for stocks and housing, right?

Comment by phony scandals
2014-06-26 17:27:18

Abandoned Wal-Mart Considered as Feds Explore Immigrant Shelter Options

Feds look more than 1,500 miles inland to warehouse with leaky roof

by Adan Salazar | Infowars.com | June 26, 2014

Scrambling to secure accommodations for the overwhelming surge of Central American minors crossing into the U.S. illegally, the federal government is looking at several sites in New York as potential shelters, including a rundown former Walmart building.
Though the location has been vacant for about seven years, and is in many respects what some might term a “fixer-upper,” the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and General Services Administration are looking at an old Walmart store in Sweden, New York, “to determine whether it may be used as a facility for temporarily housing children who have come into the United States from other countries without an adult guardian.”

The proposal is not without opposition, however. The town’s supervisor, a New York congressman and residents all say it’s a terrible idea.

“It’s an old retail store that’s been empty for seven years and has had quite a few roof leaks,” says Sweden Supervisor Robert A. Carges. “I just couldn’t get behind it, no way. … It’s just a warehouse.”

Congressman Chris Collins, in whose district the potential shelter lies, says New York taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to cover the costs of another Obama administration policy failure.

“It is unacceptable the federal government is trying to force the hardworking taxpayers of New York to foot the bill to house undocumented immigrants,” Collins said in a statement.

“I don’t believe New York should be on the list,” Collins elaborated. “..[B]ecause ultimately, if not immediately, I’m convinced there will be a cost that will be passed on to the New York taxpayers.”

While the community is told the shelter wouldn’t lead to any immediate expenses, NBC affiliate WHEC correctly notes “the costs will be covered by the federal government, but those costs will be covered by your federal tax dollars.”

Collins says feds should try to keep immigrants close to the border they illegally penetrated.

“I would just suggest not here. My comment is, they’re crossing the border in Texas and Arizona, that’s where they should be,” Collins told WHEC.

Residents are also worried housing the immigrant influx could raise the town’s taxes and could bring a criminal element.

“I mean if they could get over into the United States without any help, they could be out on the streets and getting into trouble. It’s hard to tell,” one worried resident said.

Two of the five sites considered in New York, Byblos Niagara Resort in Grand Island and the Lexington Commerce Center in Greece, have already failed the sniff test.

In more government bumbling, the feds erroneously believed the fully-occupied Byblos resort to be a vacant structure.

HHS says only three military bases, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Naval Base Ventura County-Port Hueneme in Oxnard, California and Fort Sill in Oklahoma, have been converted to temporary shelters, however, earlier this month Judicial Watch.org revealed from a high-level inside source that a hanger on the Biggs Army Airfield, in El Paso, Texas, was also being used as an immigrant processing facility. Unsurprisingly, the Pentagon refuted the report.

Comment by goon squad
2014-06-26 18:49:16

Did somebody say Permanent Democrat Suoermajority?

Comment by goon squad
2014-06-26 19:21:26

Before any one of them become citizens, they will declare allegiance to the Democrat Party for life

Permanent Democrat Supermajority

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2014-06-26 21:30:14

Why I will also mail severely used underwear to them, out of my generosity.

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-06-26 17:45:00

Japan’s white-hot central bank printing press may be forced to cease and desist, as “Abeonomics” - not so different from the Fed’s “No Bankster Left Behind” quantitative easing - has just spawned the worst inflation jump in 24 years, while household spending is collapsing (gotta eat, ya know). Coming soon to a crony-capitalist, centrally-planned Keynesian economy near you.


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-06-26 20:17:01


Chickens are coming home to roost in Japan. This is what the voters get for installing an administration whose economic centerpiece (like the Bush-Obama continuum) was launching a Keynesian orgy of money-printing to “spur economic growth” (translation: artificially drive up the stock market and debase the currency to remain “competitive” as an exporter, while screwing over savers and those on fixed incomes with ZIRP.)

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-06-26 20:20:01

Pelosi rushing to the border to hobnob with future Supermajority Democrat-on-Arrival voters/entitlement consumers.


Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2014-06-26 21:27:53

She is a politician.

And that means she is a prostitute.

Not news.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2014-06-26 20:48:21
Comment by rms
2014-06-26 23:32:35

“Household debt levels on the rise.”

+1 Indeed, mo credik.

Comment by cactus
2014-06-26 21:46:57
Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-06-26 23:57:48

Got stag?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-06-26 23:59:51

Trying to remember how this movie turned out in the late-1970s; wondering if this version has the same unhappy ending in store?

‘Dreaded conflict’ for the Fed: slower growth and faster inflation
June 26, 2014, 11:33 AM ET

The numbers coming out of the Commerce Department on Thursday morning weren’t on their face alarming for the Federal Reserve, but they certainly didn’t make lives any easier — inflation is heating up while consumer spending seems lackluster. The PCE measure of inflation rose to 1.8% year-on-year — getting closer to the central bank’s 2% target — while consumer spending rose just 0.2% on the month to take the year-on-year move to 3.7%.

“This report seems to present the Fed with the dreaded conflict between its objectives: slower economic growth but faster inflation,” said Mike Moran, chief economist at Daiwa Capital Markets America.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-06-27 00:00:50

At least the US isn’t the only place on the planet where the nasty winter weather slowed down economic growth.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-06-27 00:02:06

June 27, 2014, 2:51 a.m. EDT
French GDP growth stalls in first quarter: Insee
By William Horobin

PARIS–The French economy failed to grow in the first three months of the year, data from statistics bureau Insee confirmed Friday.

Growth in the euro zone’s second largest economy was weighed down by a fall in consumer spending and investment by non-financial companies. France only avoided an overall economic contraction in the first quarter of the year due to government spending and companies rebuilding their stocks.

Insee’s publication Friday was the second reading of gross domestic product. Since the first reading, the statistics bureau has forecast the French economy will grow only 0.7% in 2014, below the government’s forecast of a 1% expansion.

Growth at 0.7% will be insufficient to bring down unemployment, ministers have said.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-06-27 00:03:37

Not to worry folks…this is not the onset of a recession.

Or so the experts tell us.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-06-27 00:06:23

Samantha Sharf Forbes Staff
I cover markets, millennials and money.

Investing 6/25/2014 @ 8:35AM
U.S. GDP Dropped 2.9% In The First Quarter 2014, Down Sharply From Second Estimate

The latest data shows the U.S. economy contracted significantly more than previously estimated in the first quarter of this year.

On Wednesday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released its third and final estimate of real gross domestic product for the first three months of 2014. The release showed output in the U.S. declining at an annual rate of 2.9%. This is relative to fourth quarter 2013, when real GDP grew 2.6%.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-06-27 00:08:37

US economy shrinks at fastest rate since recession as harsh winter bites
Output as measured by GDP fell at rate of 2.9% in first three months of 2014, but Wall St confident decline only temporary

Larry Elliott, economics editor
The Guardian, Wednesday 25 June 2014 10.22 EDT

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-06-27 00:16:51

U.S. GDP’s Deep 1Q Fall Surely Means Recession is ComingBut Every Other Indicator Disagrees
By Alex Planes
June 25, 2014

If you could give the first quarter of 2014 a tag line, it would surely be the ominous mantra of Game of Thrones‘ Stark clan: “Winter is coming.” It began in April with advance reports of just 0.1% U.S. GDP growth in the first quarter, which was blamed on a terrible winter that held much of the country in its grip throughout 2014’s first months. That Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) estimate in May was revised down past the red line to show a 1% contraction, a fix again blamed on weather-related weakness.

Now, with its final revision released today, the BEA has produced something nearly as shocking as the Stark-slaughtering Red Wedding that capped Game of Thrones‘ gory third season: first-quarter GDP contracted at a shocking 2.9% rate, well into depths that tend to signal recession and well below any previous nonrecessionary declines in nearly 70 years of tracking:

US Real GDP Growth Chart

Comment On June 25, 2014, at 5:10 PM, tomcorar1 wrote:

You lost me with the “Game of Thrones” linkage. Like a large majority of the American public I have never seen the show. Why restrict your audience needlessly?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-06-27 00:17:51

How is China’s housing bubble holding up these days?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-06-27 00:20:42

‘Major, major’ housing bubble is Achilles’ heel of Chinese economy
June 23, 2014, 10:31 PM ET

There’s no escaping bubble talk these days. Especially when it comes to the Chinese housing market.

Is there a bubble? If there is, has it burst? And, if it hasn’t, what will happen when it really pops?

Speaking at a session of the FundForum conference in Monaco on future investment prospects in Asia, Lieven Debruyne, CEO at Schroders Investment Management Ltd. in Hong Kong, warned “that the Chinese housing market is one of the major factors that could hamper growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

The property market, or the property bubble, is without a doubt the Achilles’ heel for China. That’s where the problems will start manifesting themselves. There’s no doubt we are dealing with a major, major bubble in the property cycle.

And if anyone questions his thesis, here are some numbers to back it up: Last year 2.5 billion square meters of new residential property was added to the market in China. Assuming an average apartment in the country runs about 100 square meters, that translates into an increase of 25 million new apartments. Putting this into perspective, there were 2 million surplus homes in the U.S. at the height of the housing market.

At the same time, Debruyne, residents of many Chinese cities face some of the highest residential-property prices in the world.

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