January 26, 2015

Bits Bucket for January 26, 2015

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

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-01-26 04:11:33

From NYT and the additional options are additional options are moves to drive down oil prices. However, government manipulation always leads to shortages:

NEW DELHI/KIEV — Pro-Moscow rebels, backed by what NATO says is the open participation of Russian troops, pressed on with their offensive on Sunday after restarting the war in eastern Ukraine with the first all-out assault since a truce five months ago.

U.S. President Barack Obama said Washington was considering all options short of military action to isolate Russia. The European Union called an emergency meeting of foreign ministers of its 28 member states.

“We are deeply concerned about the latest break in the ceasefire and the aggression that these separatists — with Russian backing, Russian equipment, Russian financing, Russian training and Russian troops — are conducting,” Obama told a news conference during a visit to India.

“I will look at all additional options that are available to us short of military confrontation and try to address this issue. And we will be in close consultation with our international partners, particularly European partners.”

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-26 05:32:58

What is it about waning international oil demand from China and the Eurozone drowning in an ocean of supply that your high IQ brain cannot grasp?

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 07:54:56

Reality is not with him.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
Comment by Ben Jones
2015-01-26 05:53:00

Here’s one for you Mr Prediction: how long do you think your insulting the intelligence of the people on this blog will be tolerated?

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-01-26 07:53:36

Wrong answer Dan!

Comment by Jingle Male
2015-01-26 08:03:16

Censored? Mao Tse Ben?

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Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2015-01-26 08:46:45

ABQCrayon is lucky he hasn’t been banned entirely. If he wants to use Ben’s bandwidth to broadcast his employer’s interests, then he needs to do so in a way that benefits Ben too.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-01-26 08:50:14

That’s a funny one. When I first started this blog, the platform didn’t allow any restriction on who could comment and what they could say. It was a screwed up mess. Any racial slur, any nasty curse word you can imagine. So I spent a good part of every day deleting hundreds of comments after the fact. Thankfully, I don’t have to put up with that anymore.

What if I went into a restaurant and said, these people eating here are stupid! This decor is terrible! How long do you think it would take before I was escorted out? But somehow, people think they can come around here and trash talk, even after they’ve been warned, and I’ll just sit here and take it. Nope. Show some respect, or hit the road. Oh, and he was wrong about the property taxes.

Comment by Jingle Male
2015-01-26 08:21:43

I must say you were all correct yesterday about property taxes.

There is a big difference between a transfer tax and a property tax. China has no annual property taxes.

The fact that the transfer tax revenue is down 30% YoY is a telling and important fact, but you only pay that tax if you transfer property.

If you are holding property, there is no tax. That will change soon when China initiates an annual property tax.

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Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 10:00:42

As a friend of mine says, “a distinction without a difference.”

The take away that you missed is not the semantics Jingle. If real estate transfer taxes are down 30% that means land sales are down 30%. Land sales is how local government in China makes their money. Local government is where untold trillions in debt resides. How can that gaping wound be covered?

“Mao Tse Ben?”

Wow, talk about lack of insight. Show a little respect will you?

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-01-26 10:42:35

Land sales is how local government in China makes their money. Local government is where untold trillions in debt resides. How can that gaping wound be covered?

+infinity, Blue.

But one obvious way to cover that “gaping wound” would be to institute an annual property tax; of course, doing so would crush RE as the “store of value” that so many Chinese currently consider it to be.

Of course, their attitudes about RE are about to be adjusted regardless of tax-structure changes… :-)

Comment by Jingle Male
2015-01-27 04:41:36

Blue, there was no disrespect intended and I don’t think Ben took it that way. It was intended as humor about a guy who is obsessed w posting China “propaganda”.

This blog offers important insight into the housing markets worldwide. I value it immensely and support it accordingly.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-27 05:38:21

The blog owner is capable of speaking for himself Jingle_Fraud.

Comment by sleepless_near_seattle
2015-01-26 14:57:11

Dangit. And here I was all prepped to ask him if I should go all in on DBO, USO, or OIL…

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Comment by oxide
2015-01-26 05:39:51

Go time in the Northeast? Or, more accurately, no-go time.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-26 05:52:02

Snow time

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 05:59:23

Thank the media for driving everyone into a @#$%ing hysteria.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 06:56:00


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Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 06:41:43

Buy bread, eggs and milk futures!

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 07:00:03

Snow is racist

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 06:53:16

GO TIME!!!!!



Panic-buyers flood grocery stores and commuters are begged to stay home ahead of ‘historic’..
Dailymail.com and Associated Press | Jan. 25, 2015 | Kieran Corcoran For Dailymail.com and Associated Press

Panic-buyers flood grocery stores and commuters are begged to stay home ahead of ‘historic’ blizzard that threatens to drop THREE FEET of snow on New York City and up to 57million on East Coast

Huge lines were pictured in food stores and warnings flooded in to stay home amid snow falling at 4inches per hour

Bill de Blasio warned New Yorkers not to ‘underestimate’ the storm, which could drop 36inches in places

Snowfall expected to be accompanied by hurricane-strength winds blowing at up to 65 miles per hour

Comment by oxide
2015-01-26 07:21:18

Fodder for some history major’s masters’ thesis… How did people cope with snows like this in the past? Pre-WW1 farm is obvious — they were prepared all the time with canned food and a root cellar and cords of wood or coal. Heck they couldn’t even predict storms. But what about 1950’s-60’s? Are we really so much more dependent, unprepared, and just-in-time than, say, June Cleaver was?

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 07:26:08

There was a small free sh*t army then. Most people still took care of themselves and family.

We now have 50% of the population in the FSA.

They expect government to take care of them. 24/7/365.

And there is panic if there is any stoppage or perceived stoppage of government largess.

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Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 07:42:35

See also the Wal-Mart looting that resulted from temporary EBT outages

Now picture it on a nationwide scale

Got 7.62×39?

Comment by oxide
2015-01-26 08:08:11

You may not understand this, but this is the wrong thread for political grandstanding. Last I checked, my local GiantFood doesn’t stock “government largesse.” Everybody goes to the store a couple times a week for food and supplies, whether they are on welfare or have a career job. If anything, the least prepared people are not the people on welfare. It will be the hip moneyed millenials with the good Walkscores(tm) who are going to be caught out.

So maybe you could provide an answer that’s relevant to the question.

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 08:24:09

1. Almost 3/4 of the Federal Budget is government largesse

2. It buys the votes of the FSA

3. Your GiantFood does accept the EBT card. In fact, they actively promote it. The more, the merry. And better for profits.

4. The EBT card can be used to buy almost anything in the store that is not tobacco or contains alcohol.

Liberals are funny. But not in a humor kind of way.

Comment by Dman
2015-01-26 09:23:58

So one fourth of the federal budget is not largesse, because it goes toward the defense industry? 2B, you would lick the shoes of any white man in a suit if he would applaud you for not being black.

Comment by Cactus
2015-01-26 11:13:58

The Cloward–Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven that called for overloading the U.S. public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a national system of “a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty”.[1][2]

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 08:10:32

“Heck they couldn’t even predict storms…”

The barometer dropped to 29.5 inHg here last night. That’s a sure sign of a squall coming. In the winter time, that means snow.

It was my grandfather’s.

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Comment by oxide
2015-01-26 08:18:11

Skye, I understand. But the barometer is only providing 1 day notice at best — not enough time for a serious stock-up. Cloud structure gives more advance notice. But neither will predict the duration of the storm or amount of accumulation.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 09:31:25

Maybe that’s why grandma kept a pantry.

Reading the sky doesn’t help me. My skyes are always Blue.

Comment by oxide
2015-01-26 09:48:27

Well that’s what I’m asking about. Your Depression-taught grandmother kept a pantry. But sometime since then, we somehow got to where we don’t have three days of stuff in the house. Despite banana’s usual bluster, this happens at every income level. Doesn’t matter if you’re a poor person who eats hand-to-mouth out of 7-11 or a hipster who eats hand-to-mouth out of Chipotle or a lobbyist who lunches at Morton’s on K street.

When did this happen?

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 10:11:34

I have a pantry.

When did this happen? Call me crazy, but I think it happened when we became a nation of debtors. Grandma wouldn’t dream of borrowing money for things she didn’t need, and she didn’t need much. She could be down to one biscuit and she’d offer half of it to a stranger. When you start to live on credit, you take on a mindset that you can have anything you want, and have it instantly, regardless of how many pennies are in your purse. You have to believe that tomorrow will hold no surprises, so that you can pay with what you don’t yet have, tomorrow.

How can you have this instant gratification mentality and at the same time consider that the stuff you want isn’t instantly available?

Comment by palmetto
2015-01-26 11:10:41

I lived in the Northeast until I was in my mid-20s. When I wuz a pup, we had lots of snow and it was cold in the winter. On occasion, we had massive amounts, resulting in snow days. These events were bummers for my parents, I know, since they had to monitor the radio for closings and to see if the trains would be running to NY for work. But, people dealt with it. The plows came out and did their thing, we’d hear the occasional car or truck going by with chains jingling on the tires.

Mostly we were stocked up all the time. And although I’m old enough to remember the blackout of 1965, I don’t recall power outages during the winter snows, at least not enough so it would make a lasting impact. And I would remember it for sure if I was cold and in the dark for long periods of time. Don’t get me wrong, there was concern about blizzards, complete with warnings and such, but not the frantic hysteria I see nowadays.

What I do remember is having to get outside all bundled up with a shovel and clearing the walkway and the entrance to the garage and some of the parking area. I do remember that well.

I understand preparedness, but not only do I not get all the hype and hysteria, I also don’t get the widespread power outages, since we supposedly live in a more technologically advanced era.

Comment by MightyMike
2015-01-26 11:17:46

It will be the hip moneyed millenials with the good Walkscores(tm) who are going to be caught out.

It depends how bad the snow is. If you’re talking about something that lasts just a few days, the people who can walk to a grocery store do better than people who have to drive a few miles.

Comment by HBB_Rocks
Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 11:33:08

“if the trains would be running to NY for work…”

The Erie Lakawana?

Comment by palmetto
2015-01-26 12:45:53

“The Erie Lakawana?”

The old New York, New Haven and Hartford line. It’s called something else, now.

Comment by palmetto
2015-01-26 12:50:56

Thanks for the link, HBB. I’ll read it in more detail later. I stand corrected, according to that list, I never experienced anything as bad as what is predicted during my childhood and teens, and never had to live through any of those particular storms. Hurricanes, however, are another matter.

Geez, the storms that amaze me are the ones that started on a relatively balmy day and people walking home from school or whatever got flash-frozen, seems like. Hard to believe temperatures can drop so far in a matter of minutes.

Comment by Bluto
2015-01-26 14:17:38

The increase in power outages MIGHT partly be due to a reduction in tree clearance for the lines, that has been a problem on the west coast…it is expensive to do it right so some power companies have cut back on that work in order to increase profits.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 15:28:27

So tree clearing wasn’t “expensive” from 1900 to roughly 1985 when the utilities began squeezing that budget item?

You’re not making much sense.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2015-01-26 08:53:22

That’s a lot of snow, but not enough to justify panic shopping. It’s not like you can’t get out of the house with three feet of snow in front of the door.

Comment by Homeless1
2015-01-26 18:04:49

Maybe trucks cant get in with fresh supplies.

Back when grandma was canning. She also stayed home all day. Now both parents work and I know of no one who wants botulism.

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Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-26 05:50:15

The Wall Street Journal
ECB’s Coeure: Greece must repay debt
By Inti Landauro
Published: Jan 26, 2015 3:44 a.m. ET
But talks on debt-maturity extension possible

PARIS — The new Greek administration will have to repay the country’s debt, which is ultimately owed to taxpayers in the eurozone, even though talks on a debt-maturity extension are possible, European Central Bank executive board member Benoît Coeuré said Monday.

The new government to be formed in Greece in the coming days will have to respect its commitments and continue repaying its debts as talks on debt maturity start, Coeuré said in an interview with French radio.
The Syriza party leader has promised to end the austerity that sent the country into an economic tailspin without causing any “catastrophic break” with Europe.

His comments came after Greek voters on Sunday handed victory to radical left party Syriza, led by Alexis Tsipras, in a popular rebellion against the bitter economic medicine Greece has swallowed for five years and as a rebuke to fellow European countries that prescribed it.

“Mr. Tsipras must pay, those are the rules of the game, there is no room for unilateral behavior in Europe, that doesn’t rule out a rescheduling of the debt,” Coeuré said. “If he doesn’t pay, it’s a default and it’s a violation of the European rules.”

The European Union’s institutions are eager to talk and cooperate with Greece, he added.

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 06:44:00

Ha! Rules of the game!

How is this for rules of the game for Greece

Leave the Euro.
Declare all Euro debt null and void
Issue new Drachmas
Rebuild your country

You want to collect? Send some army divisions to collect from the old regime.

Comment by Shillow
2015-01-26 07:38:57

A Gyro in every pot!

Comment by Dudgeon Bludgeon
2015-01-26 07:47:27

Unfortunately there are big non military sticks too. Greece could end up like North Korea or South Africa back in the Apartheid days.
Maybe. Lol. Economic diplomacy.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 08:19:25

Like N Korea?

What does an abusive husband say to his bruised wife as she packs her suitcase to leave?

“You’ll never make it without me!”

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Comment by Dudgeon Bludgeon
2015-01-26 07:43:44

This Greek thing needs ADan’s attentions. Give the China pimping a rest, Dan and do your thing on the new Greek government and what it will mean for the Euro. Make some Grexit predictions. Who will win and who will lose? How can I play it?

Start researching and Start typing.

Comment by Jingle Male
2015-01-26 08:07:18

I think ADan just got banned for life……

Comment by Dudgeon Bludgeon
2015-01-26 19:40:50

Really? That’s too bad. He wasn’t so terrible. Was he?

Now where will I get my China Daily news summaries?

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Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-26 20:57:27

You only saw what got past the blog moderator. Since Ben is generally pretty tolerant, I have to wonder what kind of abusive language actually was terrible enough to provoke a farewell.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-26 07:58:34

“Mr. Tsipras must pay, those are the rules of the game, there is no room for unilateral behavior in Europe, that doesn’t rule out a rescheduling of the debt,” Coeuré said. “If he doesn’t pay, it’s a default and it’s a violation of the European rules.”

Someone asked yesterday what would happen if Greece defaults.The answer is that the Banking Clan will do everything possible to make life miserable for Greece. Think Argentina.

Then again, I don’t see how it could be any worse than it is already for the Greeks.

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 08:05:23

Iceland seems to be doing quite well.

And they kicked the bankers right in the gonads.

Comment by rms
2015-01-26 08:23:02

“Iceland seems to be doing quite well.”

+1 Indeed.

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Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-01-26 10:58:58

“Iceland seems to be doing quite well.”

And note that that is precisely what most of us predicted here back when it happened.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2015-01-26 09:27:11

That’s what I was thinking.

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Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-26 10:19:02

Iceland seems to be doing quite well.

And they kicked the bankers right in the gonads.

From what I read the Banking Clan made life very miserable for Iceland. The Icelanders are a sturdy people (unlike say Argentina) and they were able to “do without”. But I do remember the stories about scarcity of just about everything and how Iceland had to pay with “hard currency” for all their imports, and that said currency was very hard to obtain.

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-01-26 17:58:13

Adversity can make people stronger, if they have character and a sense of community to help get them through. People who lived through the Great Depression actually had longer lifespans, probably because they weren’t sitting behind a desk.

Comment by butters
2015-01-26 10:19:35

They will restructure the debt; forgive some, delay some. Greece will stay in EU. The new Greek leader is a liar and will fail….just like every other politician.


Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2015-01-26 08:58:50

How can a default be a violation of the rules? Lending, by nature, will be attended by defaults. That’s the way the game is played.

Comment by rms
2015-01-27 02:20:10

“ECB’s Coeure: Greece must repay debt”

Damned blue-eyed Europeans!

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 06:00:44

I forecast a Blackawk Crater.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-26 06:08:34

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 7 2012 9:42 AM
Scott Rasmussen Explains Why His Polls Didn’t Foresee an Obama Win
By David Weigel

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Until late last night, hoping against hope, conservatives clung to their favored data. The average of polls at RealClearPolitics looked lousy for Romney. So did Nate Silver’s projections. But Rasmussen Reports, which had consistently seen a fall-off in Democratic party identification, saw a close, winnable race. Romney had surged into a tie in Ohio, a tie in Wisconsin, a two-point lead in Florida, and a small national lead.

So what happened? “In general,” says Scott Rasmussen, “the projections were pretty good. The two differences I noted were share of white vote falling to 72 percent. That’s what the Obama campaign, to their credit, said all along. We showed it just over 73 percent. Also, youth turnout higher and senior turnout lower than expected. That’s a pretty big deal given the size of the generation gap. I think it showed clearly that the Obama team had a great game plan for identifying their vote and getting it to the polls.”

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 06:58:24

No Obama = Nobama

Comment by Shillow
2015-01-26 07:41:54

How is anyone going to whip up any interest in 2016? Last time it mattered there was the historic choice for a black president. Is the historic choice for a female going to cause a surge to the polls if that female is Hillary? Nope, it’ll be another stay home election.

Who does that favor?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-01-26 17:59:44

All three candidates are essentially the same: corporate statists, neo-cons, and plutocrats. Sorry, I decline.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-26 06:11:12

Romney Leads the GOP Pack – For Now

Generally, at this stage of the game, it’s mostly about name recognition, and Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, is the leader in the race to be the party’s standard-bearer in 2016.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey asked Likely Republican Voters to choose among nine of the early Republican wannabes if their state primary were held right now, and Romney earns 24% support. Three candidates are closely grouped together for second place: former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at 13%, retired neurosurgeon and conservative columnist Ben Carson with 12% of the vote and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at 11%.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-26 06:31:37

Does it seem to others that Rasmussen is biased in favor of a Romney presidency?

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 07:29:22

Ben Carson needs to win a few primaries first so Republicans can prove they’re not racist against black people (this despite the politicization of badge licking and uniform fetishism that gives them a tingly feeling in their pants every time the cops waste some black yout, justified or not)

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 06:45:30

The lead will change a dozen times just like in 2012…

Comment by oxide
2015-01-26 08:22:39

Telephone survey… did they ever fix that cell-phone problem and age bias?

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2015-01-26 09:32:54

Oh, they’re gonna replay that old hack?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 06:11:37

Clearly there are quite a few posters here with an agenda. Just what is driving their agenda?

Right here —–> http://goo.gl/kEJP8w

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-26 06:19:13


Comment by Shillow
2015-01-26 07:44:10

Yeah, but that could be a picture of how they want your wallet to look, not theirs.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 07:47:11

Good point. They’ve done a stellar job on most of the country if that’s the case.

Comment by Jingle Male
2015-01-26 08:10:18

+1 LOL.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 08:45:43

You’re exhibit “A” $250 AmonthMan.

Comment by oxide
2015-01-26 08:12:53

Shillow, sounds like a prompt for Mr. Banker.. or for TitleMax.

Empty wallet? Come on down to my office and we’ll fix you right up with our dotted lines (patent pending)! Let us fill your wallet today!

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-26 06:17:28

All of the major commodities may fall in price this year, World Bank says
By Steve Goldstein
Published: Jan 22, 2015 3:09 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch)—This year could mark the rare occurrence when all of the nine major commodity price indexes decline, according to a World Bank forecast released Thursday.

The latest report on commodities comes at a time when oil prices have seen a 55% drop over the past seven months, only topped by the 75% drop during the Great Recession, and the 67% drop from November 1985 to March 1986.

John Baffes, senior economist in the World Bank’s development prospects group, says he hasn’t seen a decline in all of the major commodities simultaneously in at least the past 12 years. Though changes in index composition make comparisons difficult, the last time there was the simultaneous decline could have been the Asian financial crisis or the downturn in 1984 and 1985.

This time, the steep decline in oil and related energy products is driving down the cost to extract other commodities. Also weighing on agriculture prices is a likely drop in biofuel production, the World Bank report says.

Baffes says he is surprised by how rapidly oil has dropped in price. “I can explain the weakness but not the sharpness,” he said.

Comment by Shillow
2015-01-26 07:46:30

Where do all those dollars pumped into the economy, trillions, go when the commodities and investments they were used to buy crater?

It’s like magic.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-26 08:02:29

Where do all those dollars pumped into the economy, trillions, go when the commodities and investments they were used to buy crater?

London, Sydney, Vancouver, New York, Silly Valley, etc. high end real estate?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 08:50:24

We’ve already seen that’s not true.

Sitting in coin and currency depots?

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Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-26 10:24:39

That too.

But a lot of it did get plowed into overpriced, bubbly real estate.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 10:33:28

…. with no way out but down.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 08:30:52

Gotta love predicting what has been happening for months. The job probably pays well.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 06:47:29

Great efforts are made to distract from falling prices of crude, housing, commodities, etc.

Notice the recent flood of discussion of solar panels on every media outlet? Do you smell the desperation?

Comment by rms
2015-01-26 08:19:34

“Notice the recent flood of discussion of solar panels on every media outlet?”

Heck, I’m still working on the under-inflated footballs. :)

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 08:59:54

Solar panels are a great way to lock in yesterday’s energy prices (and then some) for decades into the future.

Comment by mathguy
2015-01-26 13:14:22

Seems like it might make sense to lock in some % of your energy needs at yesterday’s prices… Especially if there is an official inflation target.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 13:30:20

Prices are falling. Why commit financial suicide now?

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Comment by mathguy
2015-01-26 14:15:31

Prices are falling and HAVE FALLEN. Not saying it’s time to go all in. I’m saying it might be time to make a small bet now that prices are lower. Does that seem retarded to you?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 15:25:38

Buy 2 chinese panels instead of 40?

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 15:51:22

Have the prices of solar arrays really collapsed, relative to what they were in July last year?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 16:36:35

Ya know Blue… I was thinking about the operating characteristics of solar power systems and their inherently intermittent, discontinuous nature.

Do you think it’s possible to make then continuous by calling up Mr. Sun? Maybe go outside during the day with a big glass jar and capture some rays and put them in the garage. Then at night I bring it up on the roof and open the jar to drive the panels. Better yet, what about taking the jar on sun rays and pour them into the fuel tank of my truck.

What do you think?

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-01-26 17:04:49

I once did a bunch of work on a foreclosure that was off grid and used solar, among other things like wind. It had been left abandoned for a long time. Maybe a year, who knows. It was near Winslow, so it was right out of Mad Max. Tarps flapping, dust. So I broke in and was walking around and kinda freaked out when I saw the AC display was lit. I turned on some lights and they were dim, but worked. I found a closet size enclosure full of 12 volt batteries. I guess this system was still charging and energized after all that time. They had a big generator for back up, but had taken it with them.

These new Tesla batteries might change the equation on solar. Think about it; buy a few acres, 3-D print you a house, install some sort of system with batteries that were powerful enough to run for days without sun, including an HVAC in summer or winter. Add a well, and we just turned 80% of the west into comfortable living space.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 17:20:57

Interesting question. I think rays from the sun are like heathens, you have to convert them to save them. In their natural state they are impossible to catch. At one time, I was working on converting them into air conditioning. Einstein’s refrigeration cycle was inspiring. It was a very interesting project, but then my kids started crying for food and clothes and such. So I went to work for the oil company. There’s possible and then there’s practical.

Now I will let future generations discover how to live practically. I am planning on another 20 seasons living aboard like a heathen, catch me if you can.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 17:24:44

I’m with you on the self-sufficiency effort. I just don’t want to pay for someone elses or face a tax or some other disincentive because I’m not jumping on the train. If it makes sense for me, I’ll do it but it’s not economical for my circumstances.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 17:31:43

“Tesla batteries might change the equation…”

I hope so. Long time waiting for a good battery. Lead acid is the devil.

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2015-01-26 17:49:34

Here in Las Vegas we were getting relentless calls from a solar installation company. Something about a tax credit that was ending on 12/31. There’s enough sunshine with 85% sunny days/year. Looks like someone on the next street went for it, shiny and new array covering the whole roof in front.

Comment by Homeless1
2015-01-26 18:20:22

Elon’s co will set you up at no charge and guarantee you pay less per mo than your current electric bill. You are still on the grid if the sun blows out. My neighbor did it as his house is all eclectic with a hot tub. Went from $350 a mo to $250. No up front fees, all in writing. No brainer he said. No maintenance cost either. It is more like a lease. My bill is only $55-105 a mo.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 18:31:31

No thanks. I’ll keep my air conditioning.

Comment by Ben Jones
2015-01-26 18:40:19

What do you think about mini-splits?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 18:44:41

I don’t believe inverters can adequately handle the load of any rotating equipment, in particular compressors.

Split systems are good on their own. We specify them for small electric closets.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 19:01:24

I’m unsure why you say that about inverters and compressors. I use them all the time on vacuum “compressors”. Not off a battery bank or solar panels.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 19:20:18

I believe there is a significant difference in locked rotor amperage between a vacuum compressor versus a refrigerant compressor or compressor exposed to atmosphere. In a battery/inverter arrangement, if the battery voltage is marginal, you’ll eventually fry the compressor and likely the inverter on startup. This is a bit outside my expertise but we’ve burned up plenty of equipment as a result of low voltage conditions when setting up temp power power panels in remote locations.

Comment by Homeless1
2015-01-27 12:06:27

you can still be on the grid and keep your ac - duh!

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-27 12:54:03

and you can change your username but remain the same old clown.

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 06:48:11

Seven years of hope and change…

So just who is going to buy $500,000 houses? There are just some many public union goons to go around…


How the middle class has fragmented under Obama
yahoo finance | 1/20/15 | Rick Newman

When Obama delivered his first State of the Union address in 2009, 53% of Americans considered themselves middle class. Six years later, just 44% of Americans define themselves that way…..

The middle class itself, however, has changed notably during the relatively short time Obama has been in office, as the chart below shows. The portion of Americans who consider themselves middle class has dropped (as has the portion considering themselves upper class), while the ranks who call themselves lower class have swelled.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 06:53:36

And everyone thought the previous presidents were authoritarian. This guys is the LE/Prosecutor/Asset Grabbing president of presidents.

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 06:51:41

Liberals want you to freeze in the dark. They really do. To save the planet (or at least make themselves feel good about saving the plant). Liberals/progressives do not expect themselves to freeze in the dark. That is for the “little people”…


Turn Off Your Heat: Living in a cold home will make you a healthier, stronger, better person
Slate | 23JAN2015 | Reihan Salam

My dearest wish is to one day have the pleasure of living in a small cabin in the frigid wilderness. There I will spend my nights covered in heavy wool blankets, eating smoked fish and dried fruit. Over time, my beard will grow to the point where I’ll be indistinguishable from a medium-sized woodland creature. The villagers I’ll come to know during my rare visits to town will call me “the wolfman,” not least because I will communicate solely by howling and scratching out messages with my clawlike fingernails. For now, I live in a big city, where such unconventional grooming habits are frowned upon, but I make a point of using very little heat.

I’ve suffered for living the no-heat lifestyle.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 07:26:16

Infinite growth in a finite ecosystem is not possible

70F degree’s here today thanks to Al Gore’s global warming

And George Soros paid off all those thermometers to be so hot


Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 07:30:33

Infinite growth in a finite ecosystem is not possible

But steady growth with new technologies is very much possible.

And FYI - world population will peak in 2070 - then it is a very slow drift downwards for centuries…

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 07:40:25

“very much possible”

I like the scene in Soylent Green where the cops respond to street protests by scooping up all the people in bulldozers and carting them away

The Free Sh*t Army will never stop breeding

And they vote

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Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-26 08:12:00

And don’t worry if the Americanos stop breeding. Uncle Sam can just issue millions of new Green Cards to keep the country’s population growing.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-26 08:06:18

And FYI - world population will peak in 2070 - then it is a very slow drift downwards for centuries…

I seem to recall reading that forecast has changed, with population growth growing well past the year 2100 and with Africa alone quadrupling its population to 4 billion.

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Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 08:32:21

World population to peak by 2055: report
Monday, 9 Sep 2013 | CNBC.com

The world population will peak at 8.7 billion people in 2055 and then decline to 8 billion by 2100, according to new research by Deutsche Bank. Its projections contrast drastically with previous forecasts by the United Nations (UN), which sees world population continuing to rise until 2100.

“The world is approaching a major turning point in its demographic trajectory and we think that the shift is likely to be sooner and sharper than mainstream projections suggest,” said Deutsche’s global strategist, Sanjeev Sanyal.

“Given the above trends, we feel that the world’s overall fertility rate will fall to replacement rate by 2025. In other words, reproductively speaking, our species will no longer be expanding – a major turning point in history,” he said.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 08:48:19

It’s already begun.

Remember…. US population growth is the lowest in history per most recent Census.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 09:08:32

There’s still alot of breeding happening, it just isn’t by people with education or money

When I go to Wal-Mart to buy ammo I see America’s future

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2015-01-26 09:41:13

Not sure Africa can make it.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-26 10:28:55



“Research carried out by Dr Rafferty from Washington University says the world’s population will increase more than thought
This latest number is around two billion higher than previous estimates”

LIke I said, the forecast has been revised upward.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 11:33:23

Raindrops in the desert when comes to this mess we’re in.

Comment by oxide
2015-01-26 08:41:12


What’s stopping this guy from doing this right now? He could buy a cheap van, park it in the northern woods and live out of it for the winter. Heck I’ll even let him shower at the Y and drive the van to Wal-Mart for his smoked fish, and write his Salon pieces on his laptop at Sbux. Might actually get some good essays out of it.

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 09:31:14

What’s stopping this guy from doing this right now?

2banana’s Rule on Politics:

Conservatives are more than happy to live under the same laws and taxes they want for everyone else.

Liberals/Progressives expect to be exempted from the same laws and taxes they want for everyone else.

Comment by Cactus
2015-01-26 11:23:31

In a move that critics may cite as his own inconvenient truth, former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, have added a house in secluded Montecito to their real estate holdings.

The couple spent $8,875,000 on a gated ocean-view villa on 1 1/2 acres with a swimming pool, spa and fountains, according to real estate sources familiar with the deal. The Italian-style house has high ceilings with beams in the public rooms, a family room, a wine cellar, terraces, six fireplaces, five bedrooms and nine bathrooms in more than 6,500 square feet of living space.

Montecito has long been a haven for Southern California’s rich and famous, a spot where celebrity faces can blend into the crowd. Among the community’s notable residents have been talk show giant Oprah Winfrey, actors Michael Douglas and Christopher Lloyd, and golfer Fred Couples. The 93108 ZIP Code, which includes the coastal hamlet, was ranked as America’s seventh most expensive area last year by Forbes.

Word of the purchase was reported in late April in the Montecito Journal. Gore, 62, did not respond to The Times’ requests for comment.

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Comment by rj chicago
2015-01-26 13:04:11

Used to live in 93105 way back in the day when in Univ at UCSB before it became a haven for the wealthy kids with decent grades. 105 was a very far cry from 108 - we did not even go into 108 for fear the cops would do a check and go to see who was ‘casing’ the hood.
Now ya got good ol Al and Tipper (remember she had the parent warning on record albums?) - oops - there goes the hood. LOL!!! What charlatans and philistines these creeps are.

Comment by Homeless1
2015-01-26 18:33:02

If I just won $100 mill, I would move to the 93108 in a heart beat! I would get a nice boat for trip to the Islands and Holister. I cant think of a better place to live int he world!!

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 06:57:01

The end game when you run out of other people’s money.


Greek Deposit Outflows Soar In Run-Up To Syriza Victory
Zero Hedge | 01/25/2015 | Tyler Durden

Greek deposit outflows rise sharply this week

The monthly Bank of Greece balance sheet data for the month of December revealed a significant increase in Greek bank ECB borrowing which rose by €11bn in December to €57bn (including €1bn of Emergency Liquidity Assistance). This is more than the €3bn deposit outflow reported for December. It is thus likely that Greek banks had to borrow even more in December to offset not only their lost deposits but likely reduced access to private repo markets, as it happened before during Greek crisis.

What do Greeks do with the funds they withdraw from banks? It appears they keep it under the “mattress”.

The quantity of banknotes placed into circulation by the Bank of Greece has increased significantly, by €2.2bn in December, suggesting that more than 70% of withdrawn Greek deposits went under the mattress. Figure 2 above also shows that of the €27bn of cash that went under the “mattress” between end of 2009 and mid 2012, only half has re-entered the Greek banking system.

Comment by Shillow
2015-01-26 07:48:26

I will gladly pay you Tuesday, for a gyro today.

Comment by rms
2015-01-26 08:26:35


Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-01-26 11:05:07


Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 07:20:35

So what is the difference between these suburban grifters and Jon Corzine?

They were not the largest money bundlers to obama.

Three fires in five years at the same house with $2 million in window treatments? And then accuse the volunteer fireman (who risk their lives) of stealing jewelery while fighting the fire?

There is a special place in hell for these folks. Along with 90% of bankers.


Bucks County family charged in $20M insurance fraud scheme
WPVI - January 22, 2015 - NEW HOPE, Pa.

Five members of a Bucks County family are accused of conspiring to defraud insurance companies in excess of $20 million to live an “excessively extravagant lifestyle,” Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced Thursday.

The investigation resulted in the seizure of approximately $7 million in assets, which the Attorney General called “fruits of the crimes” that could be used for restitution upon conviction. The assets included approximately $3 million in seized bank accounts, $1.2 million in jewelry, and six Ferraris, two Rolls Royces, one Cobra, and four other vehicles worth $2.8 million.

According to the Grand Jury presentment, the investigation began after an October 2013 fire at Claire Risoldi’s home in New Hope, Bucks County, or “Clairemont,” as she referred to it.

Officials say this was the third fire to occur at Clairemont in the past five years, including one in June 2009 and another in August 2010.

Risoldi lived in the home with her husband, son, and daughter-in-law.

Following each of the fires, the Risoldis filed insurance claims with their insurance carrier, which to date has paid out in excess of $20 million in claims for the three fires.

The Risoldis are also seeking $20 million more in insurance claims for the fire, including $10 million for jewelry that the Grand Jury found Claire Risoldi falsely accused the volunteer firefighters, who extinguished the blaze, of stealing.

Authorities say the Grand Jury reviewed evidence that established the Risoldi family had a 20-to 30-year history of filing questionable insurance claims. In one case, officials say, it was discovered in August 2014 that Claire Risoldi still possessed jewelry she claimed was stolen in 1993.

Officials say the Risoldis increased the value of jewelry covered by their insurance policy from $100,000 to nearly $11 million. The final increase in coverage reportedly occurred a mere 25 days before the 2013 fire.

It says the Risoldis, with assistance and false testimony from Holston, attempted to obtain $2 million for damaged window treatments at Clairemont.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 07:54:10

Region VIII news

High school graduation rates in Region VIII:

American Indian - 60.7%
Asian - 84.7%
Black - 69%
Hispanic - 66.7%
White - 83.2%

Limited English proficiency - 58.7%
Free/reduced-price lunch eligible - 64.2%


Permanent Democrat Supermajority

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 08:08:06

How asians become white…

Comment by butters
2015-01-26 10:13:43


Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 08:01:04

Drudge link for 2brony


But I thought those goons were gonna take over the world any day now!

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 08:14:05

1. There is nothing wrong with private unions working with private companies (except when they get unlawful obama bailouts)

2. There is everything wrong with public unions that are bankrupting nearly every city/county/state they infest.

I know this is hard for you to understand with your public school education/brainwashing (by public union goons) but do try to keep up.

And FYI:


Economic News Release

Union Members Summary - January 23, 2015 - http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm

Highlights from the 2014 data:

–Public-sector workers had a union membership rate (35.7 percent), more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers (6.6 percent).

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 08:16:49

The NEXT housing bubble is on the way and, like before, it is government’s fault
Absolute Rights | 01/26/2015 | Jon E. Dougherty

A former member of a panel created to examine the causes of the financial crisis of 2007 says government policies that were really at the core of the crash are being quietly resurrected by the Obama administration, and that they are creating another housing bubble similar to the one that burst more than eight years ago.

Appearing Friday on The Mark Levin Show, Peter Wallison, author of the new book “Hidden in Plain Sight,” and the Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Financial Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, said that the federal government “was the central player” in the crash, which was caused primarily by lax housing policies enacted during the Clinton administration – and not the big banks that are routinely blamed by Democrats and many in the media.

Comment by rj chicago
2015-01-26 09:47:42

Gotta listen to his speech at the Amer. Enterprise Institute of a couple weeks back - This particular panel had Mark Zandi on it - just hard to listen to what Zandi still expounds and believes in the face of other evidence.

Comment by rj chicago
2015-01-26 10:18:08

Here is the Wallison link from AEI……with Zandi’s opines.


Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 08:09:54

Bobby Jindal gets all uppity about Sky Wizard and says “our God wins”


Fortunately, there is no shortage of poor blacks or poor browns or poor teabillies who will enlist to go fight and die for Sky Wizard

If it takes another trillion dollar war to make the Rapture happen five minutes sooner, it will all be worth it


Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 08:25:32

One third of Louisiana Republicans blame Obama (in office since 2009) for the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina (2005)



Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2015-01-26 09:49:51

1/3 of Louisiana Republicans is what, like 100 people?

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 08:36:13

Wait a second - Bobby Jindal has brown skin.

Are we allowed to question him without being called a racist?

After all, obama went to a black racist church for 20 years and we could not question that…

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 08:50:52

“our God wins”

American taxpayers and voters should always remember the bravery and sacrifice of the Israeli Defense Forces for putting their “boots on the ground” in the first Iraq, Afghanistan, and second Iraq wars

We couldn’t have done it without you

Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-26 10:42:04

Fortunately, there is no shortage of poor blacks or poor browns or poor teabillies who will enlist to go fight and die for Sky Wizard

They’re gonna die anyway, at least now they’ll die happy, and if they’re lucky someone will make a movie about them.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 08:32:56

Hope and Change

“you have a cadre of kids who aren’t vaccinated and someone comes in from a foreign country that does have endemic measles, and you get outbreaks”



Comment by real journalists
Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-01-26 09:38:27

Carbohydrate junkies do spend a lot of money on their habits. Sometimes, when I’m in my car, I’ll see a huge obese person at a fast food joint at 3pm. Makes me wonder: late lunch? early dinner? … or is that 1000 calories a 4th meal consumed between lunch and dinner?

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2015-01-26 09:53:01

Carbohydrates do not make you fat. They are just one type of biomolecule, and the fundamental source of energy for your brain and muscles.

Comment by oxide
2015-01-26 10:18:43

Carbohydrates are NOT the “fundamental” energy source. Yes, our muscles and brains needs a small amount of carbohyrates to function properly, but it’s used in other capacities then straight energy. And Americans are eating 3-4 times the carbs that are needed anyway.

Marketwatch: Six real culprits that are making kids fat. I clicked so you don’t have to:

1. Sugar. Kid diets are 16% added sugar, much in the form of addictive corn syrup.
2. Processed and fast foods, which are also addictive.
3. TV. Eight hours of TV per day.
4. Being driven to school, bus or mom. (I think this is a crock. Kids have been riding buses since the 50’s, and walking was a short distance).
5. Portion control. Some eyepopper numbers which I don’t quite believe:

7 oz Soda
3.9 oz Hamburger
2.4 oz French Fry
42 ounce soda
12 oz Hamburger
6.7 oz French Fry

6. Fast food advertising. They use a chart showing an increase from 2009 to 2012. I think that’s a crock too. Ads increased from 2009 to 2012 to capture the crowd that can’t afford Applebee’s anymore. More likely, the increase in fast food is due entirely to Mom cheauffering the kids all over creation for soccer/dance/etc and grabbing dinner on the way home.

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Comment by Ben Jones
2015-01-26 10:27:41

When I’m traveling sometimes I have to eat fast food. Recently I went to Del Taco. I always get three bean tacos and bring my own water: $1.94. The lady in front of me spent $13 just for herself.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 10:57:41

“Kids have been riding buses since the 50’s, and walking was a short distance…”

Well sure, just after horses went out of style!

We had busses, but you only got to ride if you lived more than 3 miles from the school (as the crow flies). My best attempt at as the crow flies went through a lot of back yards.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 11:09:17

A side benefit of this massive excess capacity/deflation thing is the bargains I’m getting at McDonalds. I get buy one get one free coupons for quarter pounders with cheese. Because I’m such a good customer, they let me stack the free fries with large drink coupons with it. Add two pies for a dollar and it’s a nice snack for $6.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 11:29:34

My favorite and frequent source of complex carbs.


Comment by Cactus
2015-01-26 11:29:35

Its cheaper for my kids to take the city bus to school than the school bus. Most kids on the school bus ride free but the nominal charge is quite high ~300 a year IIRC if you can’t hide your income.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 11:29:37

What, no Cheetos?

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2015-01-26 12:31:06

“Americans are eating 3-4 times the (fill in the blank) than they need.”

There used to be stay-at-home moms who grew, preserved, and cooked food. Kids used to play outside, which was more work for mom because she had to keep an eye out. Nowadays, kids get fed and controlled at school, preschool, and day care. That’s why people are so fat. The teachers aren’t going to spend a lot of effort to make sure the kids don’t get fat. They are there to teach.

Comment by oxide
2015-01-26 20:59:08

No, the the picture does have Cheetos in the back and Cheetos Puffs on the right. I’ve never heard of Cheetos Puffs.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 21:15:57

They’re duplicate bags. Mega bags, 2 for $5 at Costco. Cheetos Heaven.

Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-01-26 10:23:52

How about “overconsumption of simple carbs” make you fat? I apologize to all you complex carbs out there for lumping you in with your less healthful simpleton cousins.

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Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-26 08:46:55

Isn’t it a bit weird how 2brony unleashes a rant fest the same day AlbqDan is oddly silent. Do their Retardican tsskmasters run them as a HBB poster tag team?

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 09:00:20

Isn’t it a bit weird how many times Professor Bear changes his/her user name?

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 09:02:31

Says the California LIEberal who voted for Dianne Feinstein six times :)

The alleged “conservatives” who post here have almost as many exceptions to “shrinking the size of government to where you can drown it in the bathtub” as King Obama has granted exceptions to Obamacare

F***ing hypocrites, all of them

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-26 21:03:23

“Says the California LIEberal who voted for Dianne Feinstein six times”

Uh…not quite. J

ust because I don’t trumpet my political views here and I happen to live in CA doesn’t make me a LIEberal. I honestly don’t fit into anyone’s political box, which makes me a man without a party affiliation — a bonafide swing voter, exactly the way I like it!

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 09:27:30

dipstick is banana?

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 11:07:42

Not. 2brony’s parents taught him some manners. Dannyboy not so much…

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2015-01-26 12:35:31

No, but they work for the same people.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-26 08:56:16

Daddy issues: Are Ron Paul’s hard-core stands a problem for son’s presidential bid?

By David A. Fahrenthold January 25 at 7:59 PM

Asked by a reporter whether he was worried about making trouble for his son’s presidential campaign by talking about secession here, Ron Paul deflected the blame to the press: “If we had decent reporters, there would never be any problems. You think you could ever meet one? Have a heart, buddy.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/…/01/25/e23b1cdc-a4a9-11e4-a7c2-03d37af98440_story.html -

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 09:15:04

Because you’ll never clinch a GOP nomination without fluffing some Koch


And speaking of reasons to overturn Citizens United, see also


Sigh, forward

Comment by mathguy
2015-01-26 13:22:31

Are you about to clinch a GOP nomination?

Comment by rj chicago
2015-01-26 09:11:34

Meanwhile in the sh*t hole called Sh*tcago!!!!
The best part of this advert for mayor rahmmy - “This is Barack Obama. . . . Chicago is my home.” And here it is - wait for it……
“It’s the place that made me who I am.”

That is the only moment of truth this shyster has spoken in his entire f…ing life!!!

You gotta live here to know what this is all about.

Sneed exclusive: Obama cuts radio ad for Rahm’s re-election
Chicago Sun-Times – Breaking News (blog)
The ad comes on the heels of a recent Emanuel campaign poll that shows him with a lead among African-American voters. The one-minute ad begins: “This is Barack Obama. . . . Chicago is my home. It’s the place that made me who I am. That’s why I care so …

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 09:21:05

The free sh*t army votes.

Early and often!

Comment by 2banana
2015-01-26 09:23:07

The needle to the the Texas housing bubble.

I still say it will also pop the Denver housing bubble but others at the HBB are not so sure…


Things Are Bad In Texas: Crash in oil prices is weighing on economy.
Business Insider | 01/26/2015 | Myles Udland

The crash in oil prices is weighing on Texas’ economy.

The January Texas manufacturing survey from the Dallas Fed was a huge miss, with the general business activity reading coming in at -4.4.

Expectations were for the composite index to come in at 3.0, down from 4.1 in December. Factory activity in the region was flat in January.

The big takeaway, however, is that as with last month, numerous business executives expressed concerns over how the crash in crude oil prices would affect results.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 09:31:42

The 23 year old intern and his wife are buying in the $350,000 range

Comment by rj chicago
2015-01-26 09:50:46

Agree on Denver - Hearing what Mr. Builder said to me a couple weeks ago has me on the side saying that it is gonna be hard and fast the crash there.

Comment by X-GSfixr
2015-01-26 10:05:31

And now we will see if the “Texas Economic Miracle” was about oil, or if it was about upstanding Texun folks boot-strapping their way to prosperity.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2015-01-26 12:42:09

Don’t you remember the big story about the Texas judge who was abusing his disabled daughter? She released (one of the) tapes, and all the Texans stuck up for the judge. By the look on his face on the video, most of us were wondering how far the abuse went (not just physical?), but everyone in Texas thought that a man should have the right to do whatever he wants to his own daughter.

That’s called “bootstrapping”. You give carte-blanche rights to those with power, and blame everyone else for not having it.

Comment by sleepless_near_seattle
2015-01-26 14:52:20

I once worked with a guy who went to the same church as Ken Lay. He’d get uncomfortably defensive when anyone would dare demonize the honorable Mr. Lay. Don’t mess with Tejas!

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Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-26 10:34:28

I still say it will also pop the Denver housing bubble but others at the HBB are not so sure…

I think the Denver bubble will pop, but not just because of oil. Colorado’s oil production is a small fraction of Texas. It will have an effect, but there are other forces at play, like an anemic local job market with below average wages.

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 11:14:14

Do *NOT* move here. You will be very very disappointed if you do. Quality of life is vastly overrated here. Spend all of your tourist dollars here and then GO HOME!

Comment by rj chicago
2015-01-26 11:18:06

So….why do you live there?

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Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-26 12:02:00

That question is not allowed.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 12:24:11

Why would anyone visit?

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 12:50:11

Legal WEED

Comment by rj chicago
2015-01-26 13:08:04

You guys all make me laugh - thanks I need that from time to time!!!

Comment by Homeless1
2015-01-26 18:37:50

I just go to Durango for the weed and the drift boats near by. Denver is nasty.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 09:27:02

Mr. Banker is out to get me.

I probably have not been on Mr. Banker’s radar much for the last decade. I don’t have a mortgage, so the banks assume I have no assets (irony). I pay cash for almost everything via a bank card. I do some internet transactions on a credit card but don’t carry a balance. I have a line of credit at my bank but since I never used it I doubt it shows up on my credit report.

A month ago I was shopping at the warehouse discount store and had to renew my membership. The lady says; Mr. Skye, I see you are preapproved for a store credit card…I’m not interested, but she tells me it will mean a discount on my membership, 2% cash back on my purchases instore, plus an extra 10c per gallon off on gas, and no yearly fee for the card, $25 bucks store credit just for fun. So I did the sin and signed up. Bang, over $12,000 credit limit just like that.

In my mailbox came another offer, now that I am on the sucker’s list. VISA Black Card. Stainless steel! Luxury everything! Implies there is no credit limit. Only $495 per year fee!

Oh my. It’s like Three Sisters Island on the Niagara River just above the falls. There is no fence to keep you from falling irretrievably into the rushing water. Death is only one step away.

I’m not a debtor, but now I look like one.

Comment by rj chicago
2015-01-26 10:41:38

Skye - check your credit score - I have learned that everytime you sign up - Mr. Banker does a credit check and you get dinged - not only coming but going as well.
Short story - went to the big bad bank to cancel a credit card I very rarely use and Mr. Banker told me - if you are really worried about your credit score - then you might not want to cancel the card because it will ‘negatively affect your credit score’.
What the f…k!!! I want less exposure and Mr. Banker says basically we got ya coming and going.
Car dealers too are notorious for shopping rates on auto loans - avoid them like the plague!!!

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 11:06:42

Well, I’ve paid cash for every car since 1974 so no worries there. I opened a checking account last year at a walkable bank and they ran my credit. I had a ding on there from a “closed account” that was really just a rebranding of my old credit card when one bank sold it to another.

So, do you get more offers for credit cards when your credit score goes up or down?

Comment by rj chicago
2015-01-26 11:17:02

Mr. Banker how do you read this? And please more than bahahahahahahaha!!!

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Comment by oxide
2015-01-26 13:08:06

Mr. Banker is not a real banker. He once used the word “goys,” which proves that he’s not a real banker.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 13:16:32

To the contrary; the use of the word proves he’s a bonafide money changer.

Comment by Puggs
2015-01-26 13:32:40

Two words: Manual Underwriting.

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Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-01-26 09:31:52

For all you stock chart readers: is that a diamond top on the Dow?


69% probability the diamond ends with a sharp move downward.


Bets now being accepted at the $2 window.

Comment by rj chicago
Comment by X-GSfixr
2015-01-26 10:01:21

Back from my two week business trip to Colorado, getting caught up on my reading.

Interesting op-ed/column in my model railroad magazine, complaining about the crazy price increases and lack of new products.

Why, do you ask?

Because the model railroad manufacturing industry has been almost 100% exported to China.

Because (because of “suggestions/recommendations” of the Commie, centrally directed, market-inefficient Chinese government), Chinese sub-contractors are jacking up prices on electronics and plastic injection molded items…….seems that the same skill set required to build model trains also applies to IPhones and similar devices. The thinking is that you either generate profit margins as good as smart phones, or you convert your plant to building smartphones.

No problem, you say? Move the manufacturing to Vietnam or (God-forbid) back to the Big PX? Not gonna happen.

Seems that the Chinese have laws against exporting manufacturing tooling that was made/paid for in China. Including tooling for fabricating circuit boards, and molds for plastic injection molding.

Of course you will never hear any of our capitalist, free-market cheerleaders admit this, or that maybe they might have screwed up by handing over or selling manufacturing know-how gained over 100 years for 10 cents on the dollar.

Like OPEC, they will keep prices just below the threshold that which generates real, competitive, “free market” competition.

Another item for the “Capitalists/Free-Marketers will sell you the rope you use to hang them with” file.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-01-26 10:35:43

Seems that the Chinese have laws against exporting manufacturing tooling that was made/paid for in China. Including tooling for fabricating circuit boards, and molds for plastic injection molding.

Funny how it’s OK for them to be “protectionist”.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 11:08:05

Funny how it’s OK for them to steal designs from other peoples.

Comment by HBB_Rocks
2015-01-26 13:06:56

We gonna send in the army to stop them?

Sorry, but the orginal US designers were just doing bubble jobs that don’t need to exist anymore.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 13:15:32

That’s very true about bubble jobs.

The real problem with them is that they existed in the first place.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 13:48:05

Gosh, I always thought toy trains were rather a necessity. I guess I underestimated the scope of our bubbles.

Comment by Cactus
2015-01-26 11:45:59

Including tooling for fabricating circuit boards,”

They are still behind in this. Can’t stack micro vias yet.

Comment by Puggs
2015-01-26 12:33:41

“Start getting out of debt today!”

That IS solid advice.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2015-01-26 12:49:32

I need a cheap house that is within walking distance of Rubio’s. Can you guys make that happen for me?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 13:27:10

Make it even cheaper and rent one.

Comment by Bluto
2015-01-26 14:35:03

Here ya go, only two blocks from my local Rubio’s, another fabulous job by one of our local flippers, and access to transportation is excellent (the U.S. 101 freeway is literally a stones throw away)…for some reason it has been on the market for over 100 days ;-)


FWIW that particular Rubio’s is not bad at all and they stock several beers from Mexico including my favorite, Negra Modelo…I live a mile away and do walk there occasionaly.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 15:30:05

Strange that is considering that same structure is easily built for $60,000.

Any idea why it’s priced 4x construction costs?

Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 13:16:56

Barack Obama was born in Africa

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-01-26 16:53:47

How is this going to help you?

Comment by Homeless1
2015-01-26 18:02:06

I always wondered the same thing.

Comment by Homeless1
2015-01-26 16:08:53

Stawm coming, wicked hard.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by real journalists
2015-01-26 19:58:01

Barack Hussein Obama

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2015-01-26 20:36:58

(Put this in yesterday’s Bits by mistake. I’ll try again…)
Mark Hanson just put up a new post.

Bottom line: Housing demand and price dislocations can occur and last for longer than anybody expects.

Bottom line: There was no “end-user” housing demand “recovery”. Rather, a speculator-driven “house price” super-inflation, which is abnormal and unsustainable in the absence of underlying strong demand driven by end-user wage or credit expansion. Existing sales demand – although anemic – bounced much harder than builder demand, which are still in depression, a feature unique to this speculative bubble in which single-family houses were purchased by institutional investors as bond and dividend stock replacements. The last time house prices were so diverged was in 2007.

Looking forward, the housing market will continue to seek out demand and will find it one way or another. It’s what it does. Stimulus and lower rates are not doing the trick any longer. As such, like in 2006, it’s my belief that the simplest path to increased demand is through lower prices, which will be the theme in 2015.

My only question is “When?”; there’s no answer to it. I want a cheap house, don’t want to deal with rental inspections or LLs anymore. However, if I settle for my rental, considerable dollars will be necessary to get it up to par.

I’m a renter at heart, growing up in a lower class (formerly middle class) neighborhood in Manhattan. Like Bill, as a yout I had my neighborhood go sour around me (a few times) and I like an easy escape hatch.

As for buying again, I’d hate to be killed (buy) in the last days of the war (bubble) especially after waiting so long. I know people they say don’t try to pick a bottom, but I refuse to overpay. Despite the fact that my Vegas rent is considerably higher than a mortgage payment, I’m keeping my options open.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-26 21:13:34

Too much to say but it’s not like I and a few others haven’t already said it. I will say I believe Hanson has always been on the money but a little late to the party. He also stated this;

‘To be sure, “end-user” housing demand is absolutely, relatively, and historically weak with 2014 house sales lower than 2013. In fact, demand in 2014 was between 15% and 30% weaker than year and two ago sell-side forecasts. No analysts were predicting that (expect me!).’

I don’t think he reads this blog too much as this analyst forecasted it then and it materialized into reality.

Most importantly, this is no longer about housing or me or you anymore. Some time from now we’ll look back and it will be crystal clear that we’re watching the death of a religion called housing. Don’t let yourself get buried with it.

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2015-01-27 00:02:07

Some time from now we’ll look back and it will be crystal clear that we’re watching the death of a religion called housing. Don’t let yourself get buried with it.

Agreed. However, in my circumstances, if my LL decides to sell tomorrow (and he should), my life will immediately become more stressful. There’s rentals a plenty out there; we’ll get another overpriced one or try to buy a place that’s reasonable.

As you mention, the religion of housing should die or at least go back to what it was, though the jobs situation has made that difficult. GD it, I hate our so-called leaders - sociopathic, depraved, delusional, greedy “grand chessboard” types - who are playing with our lives. When I was a kid people would say “what goes around comes around” and “they’ll get theirs”. As it turns out, only the second saying is true and not in the way we hoped.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-01-27 17:56:20

Karma is alive and well.

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Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2015-01-27 18:10:02

I hope so.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-01-26 21:11:24

Obamacare program costs $50,000 in taxpayer money for every American who gets health insurance, says bombshell budget report

By David Martosko, Us Political Editor For Dailymail.com

Published: 16:38 EST, 26 January 2015

It will cost the federal government – taxpayers, that is – $50,000 for every person who gets health insurance under the Obamacare law, the Congressional Budget Office revealed on Monday.

The number comes from figures buried in a 15-page section of the nonpartisan organization’s new ten-year budget outlook.

The best-case scenario described by the CBO would result in ‘between 24 million and 27 million’ fewer Americans being uninsured in 2025, compared to the year before the Affordable Care Act took effect.

Pulling that off will cost Uncle Sam about $1.35 trillion – or $50,000 per head.


The numbers are daunting: It will take $1.993 trillion, a number that looks like $1,993,000,000,000, to provide insurance subsidies to poor and middle-class Americans, and to pay for a massive expansion of Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) costs.

Offsetting that massive outlay will be $643 billion in new taxes, penalties and fees related to the Obamacare law.

That revenue includes quickly escalating penalties – or ‘taxes,’ as the U.S. Supreme Court described them – on people who resist Washington’s command to buy medical insurance.

It also includes income from a controversial medical device tax, which some Republicans predict will be eliminated in the next two years.

If they’re right, Obamacare’s per-person cost would be even higher.

President Barack Obama pledged to members of Congress in 2009, as his signature insurance overhaul law was being hotly debated, that ‘the plan I’m proposing will cost around $900 billion over 10 years.’

It would be a significant discount if the White House could return to that number today.

In that same speech, Obama claimed that there were ‘more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage.’

$900 billion spent on those people would equate to no more than $30,000 each – less than two-thirds of what the CBO now says the program will cost when the dust settles.

The CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation, a group of members from both houses of Congress, prepared Monday’s report on the overall direction of the federal budget.

They estimated that ‘the net costs of the coverage provisions of the ACA [Affordable Care Act] will rise sharply as the effects of the act phase in from 2015 through 2017.’

Those costs will ‘rise steadily through 2022′ before leveling off for three years, the groups’ economists determined. But even at that point, the Obamacare program will cost the governemnt ‘about $145 billion’ each year.

That number doesn’t include the insurance premiums and out-of-pocket health care costs paid by Americans – only the government’s role in implementing the law and paying for its guarantees.

And the law will still leave ‘between 29 million and 31 million’ nonelderly Americans without medical insurance, says the CBO.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2927348/Obamacare-program-costs-50-000-American-gets-health-insurance-says-bombshell-budget-report.html#ixzz3Pz8VB8cW
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-26 22:27:27

Have you noticed homes in your area selling for more than 50% below asking?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-26 22:29:00

Phil Mickelson sells compound in Rancho Santa Fe for $5.7 million
Phil Mickelson, winner of five major golf championships, had asked as much as $12 million for the 9,200-square-foot home in Rancho Santa Fe. (Austin Ashline | Inset: Getty Images)
By Neal J. Leitereg contact the reporter

Five-time major champion golfer Phil Mickelson and his wife, Amy, have sold their compound in Rancho Santa Fe for $5.725 million.

The Tuscan-style estate returned to the market in November at about $6 million with Jordan Cohen of RE/MAX Olson and Associates Estate Brokerage and Linda Sansone of Linda Sansone & Associates attached to the listing. Mickelson, who owns other property in the area, had previously asked as much as $12 million for the home.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-27 00:31:50

Is oil under $45 to stay yet?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-27 00:40:18

Goldman Sachs’s Cohn Says Oil Prices May Hit $30 in Extended Slump
By Elizabeth Dexheimer
Jan 26, 2015 2:13 PM PT

Oil prices will probably continue to decline and could reach as low as $30 a barrel, according to Gary Cohn, president of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

“We’re probably in the lower, longer view,” Cohn, a former oil trader, said Monday in an interview with CNBC.

West Texas Intermediate for March delivery fell 44 cents to close at $45.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since March 11, 2009.

Crude oil has slumped almost 60 percent since June as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries resisted calls to cut output and the U.S. pumped at the fastest pace in more than three decades. Drillers in the U.S. have begun to idle rigs as falling prices make wells aiming to tap shale reserves unprofitable.

Cohn, 54, said the commodity business is “very, very strong” because consumers and oil-producing nations are in different positions than they have been in the past few years.

“If you’re a consumer today and you can lock in these prices, you’re a lot more aggressive in the markets in hedging than you ever have been,” Cohn said. “The flip side is if you’re an oil-exporting country today and you’re looking at these oil prices and you see a fairly steep forward curve and you see 10 or 15 dollars of price higher a year forward then you do in the spot market, you have to consider trying to lock into that forward price.”

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-01-27 00:54:11

Oil prices are still crashing, my wife bought gas today in CA for under $2/gal for the first time in years, yet the Vanguard energy mutual fund balance I parked last month is up 7.1% already.

It’s nice when the luck swings your way on occasion!

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