Weekend Open Thread (2012-03-09)

Here is your open thread for the weekend beginning Friday March 9th, 2012. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here. Also, if you have an idea or a topic you’d like to see covered in an article, please make it known.

Be sure to also check out the forums, and get your word in the user-driven discussions there!


About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

67 comments:

  1. 1
    Pegasus says:

    Will home prices fall 20% more?

    Despite some encouraging signs, there’s ample reason to believe the housing market will take another hit as banks resume foreclosures.

    The truth is, a combination of factors is set to push national home prices down an additional 10% or so before a hard bottom is found. And if Europe’s debt mess and fiscal bickering in Washington result in another recession, the drop could be double that.

    With the five largest banks and the government reaching a settlement in February, all those postponed foreclosure filings are about to move forward — unleashing a wave of distressed properties into a weak market. Gluskin Sheff chief economist David Rosenberg notes that when this complete “shadow inventory” of homes is properly accounted for, that number for months of supply on sale in the housing market will jump from 6.2 into the double digits.

    http://money.msn.com/investing/will-home-prices-fall-20-percent-more-mirhaydari.aspx

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  2. 2
    Blurtman says:

    Pink Slime in the Burger! Actually, it is prety gross that we eat animal muscle.

    WASHINGTON — When McDonald’s and other fast-food chains said last month that “pink slime” was no longer being used in their burgers, some believed the product, beef trimmings partially treated with ammonium hydroxide, had disappeared from the nation’s food supply once and for all.

    But a new report in the Daily tablet newspaper suggests the slime will appear in school lunches this spring, 7 million pounds of it.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), schools and school districts plan to buy the treated meat from Beef Products Inc. (BPI) for the national school-lunch program in coming months.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/foodwine/2017703057_pinkslime09.html

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  3. 3
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 2 – Soylent Green is PEOPLE!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  4. 4

    RE: Pegasus @ 1

    The Friday 8.3% Unemployment 200K+ Jobs Created Report Out Today, Unemployment the same as Last Month

    Same old, same old news without the details [like what kind of jobs are we working today, vs 5-10 years ago]….let’s do some Friday digging and get the real news with the salient details for Washington State:

    1. Firstly, wages went up, yeah, Minimum Wage went up to $9.04/hr beginning January 2012. It was $8.67/hr.

    2. Health and Social Assistance jobs are replacing Manufacturing, with lower than average wages in Health replacing higher than average Manufacturing wages.

    3. Low paid food service jobs flat, but higher paid construction jobs plummetted in hole with little or no recovery.

    In other words growth in low wage jobs out pacing overall job growth, i.e., a 4.8% increase in food service jobs, [i.e., hamburger flipping].

    Average per capita wage is $18.32 now with the Minimum Wage increase the driver. Retail annual wages are averaging $14,000/yr [lots of P/T work averaged in]. The avg tenure is only 4 yrs at the job. BTW, Wash St is the only state in America with a Minimum wage above $9/hr.

    http://www.eoionline.org/minimum_wage/reports/WAsMinWageStandard-Dec11.pdf

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  5. 5

    RE: softwarengineer @ 4 – To MSNBC’s credit they did point out that the employment market is worse now than it was five years ago. What they didn’t say, even though they were discussing the political implications, is that 5 years takes us back to pre-President Obama.

    President Obama would say he was left with a sinking ship and/or a very deep hole to climb out of. That’s clearly true. But it’s also true that the speed of the recovery has been particularly slow. That could be because of the size of the hole or because of President Obama’s policies. Personally I think it’s both.

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  6. 6
    Blurtman says:

    One toke over the line, sweet Jesus,…

    Pat Robertson: Marijuana should be legal

    (AP) RICHMOND, Va. – Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson says marijuana should be legalized and treated like alcohol because the government’s war on drugs has failed.

    The outspoken evangelical Christian and host of “The 700 Club” on the Virginia Beach-based Christian Broadcasting Network he founded said the war on drugs is costing taxpayers billions of dollars. He said people should not be sent to prison for marijuana possession.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57393466/pat-robertson-marijuana-should-be-legal/

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  7. 7

    RE: softwarengineer @ 4

    McDonald’s Stock Up for Year

    http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/mcd

    A good stock buying opportunitry.

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  8. 8

    RE: Blurtman @ 6

    Now We Can All Listen to the “Doobie” Brothers Sing

    “Jesus is just all right with me!”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  9. 9

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5

    I’d Throw Obama Some Slack

    Hades, even JFK or Nixon couldn’t untangle this overpopulation deficit gordian knot we’re in….

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  10. 10
    ChrisM says:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/09/us-usa-housing-churches-idUSBRE82803120120309

    “(Reuters) – Banks are foreclosing on America’s churches in record numbers as lenders increasingly lose patience with religious facilities that have defaulted on their mortgages, according to new data.”

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  11. 11

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5
    The Big Problem With Both the BLS Government Data and MSM Unemployment Reporting

    They both miss the boat. Not only are the numbers way too low compared to the more reliable U3 9.1% Gallup findings, they omit the other approx 7% that should be added in that are U6 severely underemployed….let alone the uncountable giveups army [probably another approx 7%], that IMO haven’t given up looking for a job, they’ve decided Minimum Wage P/T is a joke too. Many are unpaid housecleaners or baby sitters in a family basement, etc…

    Don’t get me wrong Kary, the RE pundits love psychological denial of the facts to keep us from fear….but its way too lopsided in misinformation for that lamebrain excuse. It caused the Bubble too, IMO.

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  12. 12
    Haybaler says:

    This mornings news included a piece about new anti discrimination legislation in housing.
    Those owners and managers who rent subsidized housing are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.

    “Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are about four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, according to the CDC. And one in three is thrown out by their parents, according to data collected from youth across the country by the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University.”

    I’m wondering why they don’t just pass a law making it illegal for parents to throw out their lesbian or gay kids? Isn’t that discrimination based on sexual orientation. Or is it different when a parent finds ones own kids’ behavior abhorrent as opposed to a property owners feelings?

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  13. 13

    RE: ChrisM @ 10

    Yep

    The only church I attend is one that agrees with my population control politics [many do BTW] and has no building fund. My church added a million dollar building fund recently, but I do not support it and make sure my contributions don’t either by ear-marking them.

    Same with restaurants, a lion’s share of the ones with mortgages or leases are going bankrupt, the ones that have paid off their building are not going bankrupt, in general. Good advertising techniques also keeps many reastaurants afloat, like Applebees and Olive Garden…

    That’s two occupations I’d never pick today, restaurant owner or a landlord. A church pastor has a much better chance.

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  14. 14
    Haybaler says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 2
    Watch the video Food Inc.

    The product is called Protein Product. Its use is on a huge growth curve in the food preparation industries.

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  15. 15

    By softwarengineer @ 9:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5 – I’d Throw Obama Some Slack

    So would I. That’s why I said it was both what he was left with and his policies.

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  16. 16

    By Haybaler @ 12:

    I’m wondering why they don’t just pass a law making it illegal for parents to throw out their lesbian or gay kids? Isn’t that discrimination based on sexual orientation. Or is it different when a parent finds ones own kids’ behavior abhorrent as opposed to a property owners feelings?

    That sounds like it would be just about as effective for the children as it would be for marital relations if they made divorce illegal.

    Seriously, it probably is illegal regardless of the reason if the child is below a certain age, probably either 16 or 18 in most states. Not sure though (not my area of the law), but I’m pretty sure you can’t just throw a 4 year old out of the house because she didn’t clean her room.

    Finally, judging by how many states have passed laws allowing grandparents to see their grandchildren over their parents’ objections, it apparently isn’t the state being hesitant to interfere in family matters.

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  17. 17

    By softwarengineer @ 13:

    Good advertising techniques also keeps many reastaurants afloat, like Applebees and Olive Garden…

    I knew it wasn’t the food! ;-)

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  18. 18

    RE: Haybaler @ 12

    Gay Marriages Should Impact Health Insurance Profits

    As the new same violent love couples share one family plan. This could further impact more increases in healthcare insurance costs for the rest of us?

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  19. 19
    Blurtman says:

    Yahoo! We’ll all be getting $100K reductions in our mortgage principal! Renters and those owning their homes will get a $100K tax credit. Free money for everyone!

    BofA to slash mortgage balances by $100,000 or more

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Bank of America will significantly slash mortgage balances for as many as 200,000 borrowers.

    Part of the $26 billion settlement reached between the five major mortgage servicers, the federal government and the attorneys general of 49 states and District of Columbia last month, Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) customers who qualify could see their mortgages reduced by an average of $100,000 or more, according bank spokesman Rick Simon.

    http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/09/real_estate/mortgage-settlement/

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  20. 20
    Blurtman says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 18 – Careful SWE. You of all people do not want to back a policy that rewards only procreators, do you?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  21. 21

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 17

    You Got That Right

    Waiting in line at Olive Garden for a watered down pasta with hardly no meat. If Applebees made their steaks any smaller it could be eaten in one bite instead of two.

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  22. 22
    Pegasus says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 21 – They both make up for the lack of meat by increasing the sodium!

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  23. 23

    RE: Blurtman @ 20

    Don’t Get Me Wrong

    I’m liberal in that area, but pragmatic when it comes to costs, especially the 9.5% increases in healthcare costs we see each year from our dinky paychecks, in comparison. They reduced my Social Security retirement plan by 2% contribution, and Blue Cross took it all, with reduced benefits too.

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  24. 24

    RE: Pegasus @ 22
    Or Like Fast Food

    Give you half a sandwich with fifteen [you can count ‘em now] salted down fies, but a gallon sized cup of diabetes causing pop.

    I don’t believe fast food makes you fat anymore, they’ve made the portions so small now; its the massive cheap empty calorie carbs they give you that fattens you up….like Pizza Huts’ almost all white flour, grease and salt meals. Where’s the beef???

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  25. 25
    Blurtman says:

    “Satisfaction came in a chain reaction.”
    I couldn’t get enough, so I had to self-destruct.”

    Doesn’t get any better than that.

    R.I.P. Jimmy Ellis of the Trammps.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_sY2rjxq6M&feature=player_embedded

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  26. 26
    Haybaler says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 16

    First, I recognize that the new housing rule only applies to folks accepting federal housing subsidy rent money…Don’t take the money, don’t have to abide by the rules….just state that the prospective tenant doesn’t meet my qualifications….

    Regarding the family statistics. It seems odd to me that when a family pushes a kid out of the house that a stranger is there with money and shelter and support for that kid. Kids are kicked out for lots of reasons. Generally related to behavior issues, drugs, lifestyle stuff. When a parent kicks a kid out I think the idea is that the kid goes out into the world, gets a dose of “reality” and then comes home more mature and amenable to being a good citizen….abiding by the rules.

    But when institutions collect those kids and care for them then there is no need for the kid to modify behavior.

    I’m working through my own life here. I have an early 20’s daughter who was living at home, had a good job, a nice car, and all the benefits provided here. She couldn’t abide by some simple rules. Became a drug addict. Lost her job and car. Stole from us. We sent her on her way. After a year of couch surfing, Today she is living in a home provided by a do gooder organization, gets food stamps, free counseling, an allowance, drug testing…

    I know that her mother is grateful for the organization and the care her daughter is receiving (By the way, she’s not lesbian). But I find myself thinking that what we need is less expensive coddling and care-giving and more suffering. More starvation. More freezing under the overpasses. We don’t have anybody to point to when trying to reason with our strong-willed kids. There are no bad consequences for foolish behavior. And the kids don’t come home.

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  27. 27

    By Pegasus @ 22:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 21 – They both make up for the lack of meat by increasing the sodium!

    That’s what I was going to mention, at least with Applebees.

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  28. 28

    RE: Haybaler @ 26

    Its Called Tough Love

    And yes, if you coddle and protect ‘em and they still go sour….its like giving a homeless folk with little wits $20 to keep his heater going in a car with a broken transmission, the $20 is sucked dry in a few hours of heat and they’re back for more money, etc, etc…

    Eventually they find out the P/T hamburger flipping job is better than starving….

    I hope your daughter learns, sounds like you have no fatherless supported grandkids from her on top of the mess, count your blessings…they likely move back then….

    My daughter is about the same age, I have a home company and kept her in a fulltime job the last 5 years and got her through a couple college years too….the job experience from my home company is more useful for future work than the college BTW. She turned out good too [no drugs, unplanned grandkids, etc….], albeit she’s a scrooge and saves money like crazy….I wonder who she learned that from, LOL.

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  29. 29
    Haybaler says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 28
    Ahh, Tough Love, Appreciate the reminder…

    To the rest of you guys, I didn’t mean to kill the thread. Carry on.

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  30. 30
    pfft says:

    By softwarengineer @ 4:

    RE: Pegasus @ 1

    The Friday 8.3% Unemployment 200K+ Jobs Created Report Out Today, Unemployment the same as Last Month

    Same old, same old news without the details [like what kind of jobs are we working today, vs 5-10 years ago]….let’s do some Friday digging and get the real news with the salient details for Washington State:

    1. Firstly, wages went up, yeah, Minimum Wage went up to $9.04/hr beginning January 2012. It was $8.67/hr.

    2. Health and Social Assistance jobs are replacing Manufacturing, with lower than average wages in Health replacing higher than average Manufacturing wages.

    3. Low paid food service jobs flat, but higher paid construction jobs plummetted in hole with little or no recovery.

    In other words growth in low wage jobs out pacing overall job growth, i.e., a 4.8% increase in food service jobs, [i.e., hamburger flipping].

    Average per capita wage is $18.32 now with the Minimum Wage increase the driver. Retail annual wages are averaging $14,000/yr [lots of P/T work averaged in]. The avg tenure is only 4 yrs at the job. BTW, Wash St is the only state in America with a Minimum wage above $9/hr.

    http://www.eoionline.org/minimum_wage/reports/WAsMinWageStandard-Dec11.pdf

    4 million private sector jobs added in the last 24 months. the economy is clearly improving.

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  31. 31
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 5:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 4 – To MSNBC’s credit they did point out that the employment market is worse now than it was five years ago. What they didn’t say, even though they were discussing the political implications, is that 5 years takes us back to pre-President Obama.

    President Obama would say he was left with a sinking ship and/or a very deep hole to climb out of. That’s clearly true. But it’s also true that the speed of the recovery has been particularly slow. That could be because of the size of the hole or because of President Obama’s policies. Personally I think it’s both.

    obama saved the economy. the president’s policies, like the jobs act, are not passing through congress. His hands are tied.

    it’s not his fault republicans want him and the economy to fail.

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  32. 32
    StillRenting says:

    I have a question about real estate commissions and open houses. My husband and I are thinking of buying in a year or two and have started visiting open houses in different neighborhoods as part of our market research. We are not at a point where we want to hire a buyer’s agent; we simply want to visit open houses when we have the time. I have read conflicting stories about whether or not visiting an open house satisfies “procuring cause” for the open house agent (who may or may not be the listing agent) when the visitor is unrepresented. Is this something that we need to worry about? If so, is there anything we can do when we visit an open house to protect ourselves from claims by the open house agent to the buyer’s agent commission? We are considering using a fee/rebate broker (WaLaw or Redfin) when we buy, and I have read that traditional brokers are more aggressive on pursuing extra commission under this “procuring cause” rule when buyers use this type of broker. I realize this probably won’t be a problem until we are closer to being ready to buy, but I want to avoid it if we can. Thanks for your advice!

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  33. 33
    pfft says:

    By softwarengineer @ 11:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5
    The Big Problem With Both the BLS Government Data and MSM Unemployment Reporting

    They both miss the boat. Not only are the numbers way too low compared to the more reliable U3 9.1% Gallup findings, they omit the other approx 7% that should be added in that are U6 severely underemployed….let alone the uncountable giveups army [probably another approx 7%], that IMO haven’t given up looking for a job, they’ve decided Minimum Wage P/T is a joke too. Many are unpaid housecleaners or baby sitters in a family basement, etc…

    Don’t get me wrong Kary, the RE pundits love psychological denial of the facts to keep us from fear….but its way too lopsided in misinformation for that lamebrain excuse. It caused the Bubble too, IMO.

    good god.

    1. the gallup survey isn’t seasonally adjusted

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/125639/gallup-daily-workforce.aspx

    2. the government reports many measure of unemployment.

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/U6RATE

    3. the give ups army is counted. the employment population ratio

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/EMRATIO

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  34. 34
    Scotsman says:

    Religion of peace and love.

    “Iraqi activists sounded the bell over the killing of dozens of teenagers by religious police for having “emo” haircuts. Activists told the Cairo-based al-Akhbar daily that at least 90 Iraqi teenagers with “emo” appearances have been stoned to death by the Moral Police in the country in the past month. The violent crackdown against “emo” Iraqi teenagers came after the Iraqi interior ministry declared them as “devil worshippers.” “The ‘Emo phenomenon’ or devil worshiping is being probed by the Moral Police who have the approval to eliminate it as soon as possible since it’s detrimentally affecting the society and becoming… ”

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2857084/posts

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  35. 35

    RE: pfft @ 30RE: pfft @ 31 – No one is saying the economy isn’t improving. The question is whether President Obama’s policies are holding it back.

    For example, how many more millions of jobs would there be right now but for Obamacare?

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  36. 36
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 35:

    RE: pfft @ 30RE: pfft @ 31 – No one is saying the economy isn’t improving. The question is whether President Obama’s policies are holding it back.

    For example, how many more millions of jobs would there be right now but for Obamacare?

    it hasn’t been totally enacted yet.

    the real question is how many people have health insurance now because of obamacare.
    it’s over 2 million.

    obama drastically slowed spending and hasn’t been able to get a jobs bill through so he’s held back the economy but not in the way most people think.

    without the stimulus bill millions more would be unemployed. same with the auto bailout.

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  37. 37
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 34:

    Religion of peace and love.

    oh wow, you’re not only a birther but one of those people too?

    Have you ever read Leviticus?

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  38. 38
    Tatiana Kalashnikov says:

    RE: pfft @ 37

    Throughout the 20th century my family lived through so much change. In the end they fled a severe form of socialism that collapsed under its own weight. Frankly, I am suspicious of all forms of government. It seems that no matter what you have in place, corruption will finally take it down.

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  39. 39
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 34

    “Activists told the Cairo-based al-Akhbar daily that at least 90 Iraqi teenagers with “emo” appearances have been stoned to death by the Moral Police in the country in the past month. The violent crackdown against “emo” Iraqi teenagers came after the Iraqi interior ministry declared them as “devil worshippers.” “The ‘Emo phenomenon’ or devil worshiping is being probed by the Moral Police who have the approval to eliminate it as soon as possible…”

    Thank goodness we were able to replace Saddam with this bunch. I see a model for the Santorum administration.

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  40. 40

    By pfft @ 36:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 35:
    RE: pfft @ 30RE: pfft @ 31 – No one is saying the economy isn’t improving. The question is whether President Obama’s policies are holding it back.

    For example, how many more millions of jobs would there be right now but for Obamacare?

    it hasn’t been totally enacted yet.

    Unlike the Administration, businesses look ahead. Higher costs mean fewer projects started, fewer people employed. That’s pretty basic.

    Typically I would also say unlike the Administration, they understand the future, but Obamacare is too complicated and constantly changing, Businesses like certainty.

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  41. 41
    pnwman says:

    Matt Taibbi: Banks selling oregano as weed

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1vxvzRmHOM

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  42. 42
    David Losh says:

    RE: StillRenting @ 32

    Procuring cause is a beef between agents that takes place after closing. You don’t really need to be concerned.

    What’s fair is for you to declare your intention to use redfin or WaLaw. I personally would use WaLaw as the name to use when viewing an Open House. Mention them by name of Craig Blackmon, or Marc Holmes. They are attorneys, and agents would be less inclined to want to follow you around.

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  43. 43
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 34

    This is nothing new. When Saddam was “in power” there was nothing he could do to stop the moral police.

    It is important to note that there is no place for vigilantism in Islam — one must be properly convicted in an Islamic court of law before the punishment can be meted out. The severity of the punishment requires that very strict evidence standards must be met before a conviction is found.

    It is true that homosexuality is among the things that comes under the heading of “spreading mischief in the land.” The problem is proving that a look of homosexuality is in fact actionable.

    In other words I would view this news story as more right wing hype than truth.

    What’s interesting to me is that our right wing nuts would probably support this kind of activity. It certainly seems that way from the comment section of the link you posted.

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  44. 44
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: StillRenting @ 32 – My advice? Be polite, but don’t engage the agent in conversation. That only makes things more complicated. Making up stories about who represents you is not good advice in my opinion.

    You are there to look at the home and give it an accurate evaluation. The sellers agent is almost always orthogonal to that goal. Plead the fifth, kick some tires, and be on your merry way.

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  45. 45
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 40:

    By pfft @ 36:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 35:
    RE: pfft @ 30RE: pfft @ 31 – No one is saying the economy isn’t improving. The question is whether President Obama’s policies are holding it back.

    For example, how many more millions of jobs would there be right now but for Obamacare?

    it hasn’t been totally enacted yet.

    so they see ahead and see that a lot of the “costs” of healthcare are also balanced out by healthier customers and workers no doubt?

    all surveys say that businesses aren’t worried about healthcare. they are worried first and foremost about demand. anything else is republican/frank luntz poll-tested talking points and buzzwords.

    Unlike the Administration, businesses look ahead. Higher costs mean fewer projects started, fewer people employed. That’s pretty basic.

    Typically I would also say unlike the Administration, they understand the future, but Obamacare is too complicated and constantly changing, Businesses like certainty.

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  46. 46
    pfft says:

    By wreckingbull @ 44:

    RE: StillRenting @ 32 – My advice? Be polite, but don’t engage the agent in conversation. That only makes things more complicated. Making up stories about who represents you is not good advice in my opinion.

    You are there to look at the home and give it an accurate evaluation. The sellers agent is almost always orthogonal to that goal. Plead the fifth, kick some tires, and be on your merry way.

    plead the pfft!

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  47. 47
    StillRenting says:

    RE: David Losh @ 42
    It becomes an issue for us if we use a fee-based agent, because any reduction in the buyer’s agent commission comes out of our rebate. I want to avoid any claim of that sort.

    RE: wreckingbull @ 44
    What if they want us to sign in and list our agent? We have only been to one open house so far. That agent left us alone and did not ask our names but I know some agents are more aggressive. My thought is to say up front that we aren’t buying for another year or two and are just getting ideas for houses (which is the truth), but I want to make sure I’m not giving up any rights if I say that. It’s possible one of the houses we look at could still be on the market when we are ready to buy and we might want to make an offer on it.

    I know I’m probably being a bit paranoid, but we had a bad experience with realtors when we sold our house back east a year ago, before we moved here. Not only were we underwhelmed with our own realtor’s performance in our selling experience, but the first offer we accepted on our house fell through after some shady dealings from that buyer’s realtor. At this point I’m pretty distrustful of realtors in general.

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  48. 48
    pfft says:

    all you clowns touting all the job losses we had last in Jan if we didn’t have seasonal adjustments are pretty quiet this month…

    Could it be because if you don’t seasonally adjust we created 879,000 jobs last month?

    the silence is understandable.

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  49. 49
    Scotsman says:

    “No taxation without rubberization” Gotta love Mark Steyn.

    I’m writing this from Australia, so, if I’m not quite up to speed on recent events in the United States, bear with me — the telegraph updates are a bit slow here in the bush. As I understand it, Sandra Fluke is a young coed who attends Georgetown Law, and recently testified before Congress.

    Oh, wait, no. Update: It wasn’t a congressional hearing; the Democrats just got it up to look like one, like summer stock, with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid doing the show right here in the barn, and providing a cardboard set for the world premiere of Miss Fluke Goes to Washington, with full supporting cast led by Chuck Schumer strolling in through the French windows in tennis whites and drawling, “Anyone for bull****?”

    Oh, and the “young coed” turns out to be 30, which is what less evolved cultures refer to as early middle age. She’s a couple of years younger than Mozart was at the time he croaked, but, if the Dems are to be believed, the plucky little Grade 24 schoolgirl has already made an even greater contribution to humanity. She’s had the courage to stand up in public and demand that someone else (and this is where one is obliged to tiptoe cautiously, lest offense is given to gallant defenders of the good name of American maidenhood such as the many prestigious soon-to-be-former sponsors of this column who’ve booked Bill Maher for their corporate retreat with his amusing “Sarah Palin is a c***” routine . . . )

    Where was I? Oh, yes. The brave middle-aged schoolgirl had the courage to stand up in public and demand that someone else pay for her violent love life.

    Well, as noted above, she’s attending Georgetown, a nominally Catholic seat of learning, so how expensive can that be? Alas, Georgetown is so nominally Catholic that the cost of her violent love life runs to three grand — and, according to the star witness, 40 percent of female students “struggle financially” because of the heavy burden of maintaining a respectable level of premarital violent love at a Jesuit institution.

    As I said, I’m on the other side of the planet, so maybe I’m not getting this. But I’d say the core issue here is not religious liberty — which in these Godless times the careless swing voter now understands as a code phrase meaning that uptight Republicans who can’t get any action want to stop you getting any, too.

    Nor is the core issue liberty in its more basic sense — although it would certainly surprise America’s founders that their republic of limited government is now the first nation in the developed world to compel private employers to fully fund the violent love lives of their employees.

    Nor is it even the distinctively American wrinkle the Republic of Paperwork has given to governmentalized health care, under which the “right to privacy” the Supreme Court claimed to have discovered in Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade will now lead to thousands and thousands of self-insuring employers keeping computer records of the morning-after pills and herpes medication racked up by Miss Jones on reception.

    Nor is the issue that America has 30-year-old schoolkids — or even 30-year-old schoolkids who expect someone else to pick up the tab for their extracurricular activities, rather than doing a paper route and a bit of yard work to save up for their first IUD, as we did back in my day. After all, the human right to government-mandated free contraception is as American as apple pie and far healthier for you. In my most recent book, I quote one of Sandra Fluke’s fellow geriatrics gamboling in the groves of academe and complaining to the Washington Post about the quality of free condoms therein:

    “If people get what they don’t want, they are just going to trash them,” said T Squalls, 30, who attends the University of the District of Columbia. “So why not spend a few extra dollars and get what people want?”

    All of us are born with the unalienable right to life, liberty, and a lifetime supply of premium ribbed silky-smooth ultrasensitive spermicidal lubricant condoms. No taxation without rubberization, as the Minutemen said. The shot heard round the world, and all that.

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  50. 50

    RE: StillRenting @ 32
    I wouldn’t worry about it. If you’re at an open house and they ask, just tell them you have an agent( even if you don’t.) Tell ‘em that I’m your agent, tell ‘em that you’re working with WaLaw or Redfin, or make up a name. ” I’m represented by Joe Schmalookey at Windermere.” That should shut them up.

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  51. 51

    Assuming it’s a publicly advertised open house, say your agent told you about it. That should deal with any procuring cause issue better than simply saying you have an agent. Being represented by an agent doesn’t mean some other agent wasn’t the procuring cause.

    In reality though I don’t think procuring cause is that much of a concern. For one thing, you don’t have to give the listing agent your name.

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  52. 52
    Chris says:

    RE: Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 38
    Tatiana, I’d be interested to get your insight on the dependency socialism causes in your former country. My cousin lives in a former Communist country and he said the older folks who worked most of their lives in the previous economic system are almost unemployable unless they worked in the black market before the collapse. If they don’t have children to support them they are in very bad shape. It seems working in a free market is something like language you have to learn at a critical stage. Ironic how the system of the future caused a regression to the third world system of children-as-retirement-plan. I wonder what’s going to happen to all the government workers in Greece (and France).

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  53. 53
    Pegasus says:

    Oh oh Kary….Tsunami risk in Northwest may be far worse than imagined

    Scientists and planners are reconsidering the region’s tsunami risk in light of the massive walls of water that swept nearly 20,000 people to their deaths on the day the Japanese simply call 3-11. The tsunami reached 130 feet high in some places, taking everyone by surprise.

    Levels that extreme are unlikely in the Pacific Northwest, but experts say it’s possible some parts of our coast could be hit by waves of up to 100 feet the next time the offshore fault called the Cascadia subduction zone snaps.

    “That is definitely something we need to be prepared for,” said Vasily Titov, head of tsunami modeling at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Seattle. “Underestimating kills people … and the Japan event emphasized that in a very vivid way.”

    “What we have found out is that we do not really understand this Earth,” he said.

    ((((((((PANIC)))))))))

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017719884_tsunami11m.html

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  54. 54
    Pegasus says:

    Congressman Norm Dicks makes the news…..and not in a good way.

    “Rewarding your favorites in return for campaign cash is bribery. Allowing people like Dicks to take money from those who earned it and give it to those who didn’t has ruined our economy. If Congress picks the winners and losers in our economy, we all lose.”

    In September, 2011, Cloud filed suit against the Department of Justice, seeking to force release of the agency’s FBI investigation files pertaining to Dicks’ involvement in the huge PMA lobbying and influence buying scandal. Cloud knew that the Department of Justice position, that the files were not a matter of overriding public interest, was indefensible. The only possible way Dicks could keep the files sealed was to return to private life. On March 2, 2012 Dicks made the only decision he could. His career was done. Cloud explained as follows:

    “Dicks was no doubt informed by the Department of Justice that they could not keep the files secret while he was the ranking minority member of the Appropriations Committee. He had two choices, stay in Congress and wait for the files to be released, or leave Congress and claim there was no longer a public interest in the investigation reports. He choose the later.”

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2012/03/congressman-norm-dicks-ranking-member.html

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  55. 55
    The Tim says:

    Since we’ve talked about tsunamis on these pages before I thought this article in today’s Seattle Times seemed relevant: On NW coast, potential for tsunami waves up to 100 feet now seems possible

    The specter of 30-foot waves slamming into the Northwest coast used to be about the worst thing emergency managers in Washington and Oregon could imagine. Now, a year after Japan’s megaquake and tsunami, they’re wondering whether their nightmares were bad enough.

    Scientists and planners are reconsidering the region’s tsunami risk in light of the massive walls of water that swept nearly 20,000 people to their deaths on the day the Japanese simply call 3-11. The tsunami reached 130 feet high in some places, taking everyone by surprise.

    Levels that extreme are unlikely in the Pacific Northwest, but experts say it’s possible some parts of our coast could be hit by waves of up to 100 feet the next time the offshore fault called the Cascadia subduction zone snaps.

    Walsh, of Washington’s DNR, hopes to revise the state’s tsunami hazard maps and expand mapping to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the San Juan Islands. A coastal tsunami isn’t expected to cause serious flooding in Puget Sound. But a quake on the Seattle Fault, which run.

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  56. 56
    Pegasus says:

    RE: The Tim @ 55 – Ah…read post 53. It is already linked.

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  57. 57
    The Tim says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 56 – Hah, doh. I wasn’t fast enough.

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  58. 58
    Tatiana Kalashnikov says:

    RE: Chris @ 52

    “I’d be interested to get your insight on the dependency socialism causes in your former country.”

    I am about ready to leave on a trip Chris, so a long answer (which is really necessary to thoroughly answer your question) is not possible now. Perhaps we can communicate “off-line” (I just learned that phrase!) when I return. An early death (due to tobacco and alcohol) is quickly taking the oldsters who lived their whole lives under communism. But yes, for the survivors who still work, many are perplexed and bitter that job performance, not seniority gets them a promotion and a bigger paycheck. There are some older workers who see the new system as an opportunity however. For them, finally, they have a chance to see their dreams come true. Tatiana

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  59. 59
    Pegasus says:

    RE: pfft @ 48RE: pfft @ 30 – Instead of just swallowing Ministry of Propaganda swill, let’s examine actual data. If we do that, we find job growth is mostly smoke and mirrors.

    The Ministry of Propaganda and its media minions are announcing that “job growth is on a tear” and the “best growth since 2006.” How about we look under the hood of the employment euphoria?

    How do you add 33 million people to the workforce while the number of full-time jobs hasn’t budged in 12 years and claim “job growth is on a tear”? First you arbitrarily subtract 20 million people from the workforce. call them “discouraged” or “marginally attached,” whatever, just don’t call them what they really are which is jobless.

    Another way to view reality rather than spin is to look at the civilian-population employment ratio, a measure of what percentage of the populace has a job of some sort: Here we see that it is back to the recessionary levels of the early 1980s. For 64.5% of the populace to have some sort of job as in 2000, we would need an additional 14.5 million jobs. That’s about 6 years of 200,000 jobs added a month, but then the workforce will rise by between 12 and 17 million in those years so you better add 400,000 jobs a month if you want the participation rate back to 2000 levels.

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogmar12/pretend-jobs3-12.html

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  60. 60
    Chris says:

    RE: Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 58

    Sounds good Tatiana. Have a good trip. I went away from the main tourist areas when I was in Eastern Europe and seeing some of the hopelessness among the older people was worse than I had imagined. It seemed many older people had given up hope and just started drinking. I wonder what will happen here and in Western Europe when the money spigot stops flowing. I think it’s only just starting around the Mediterranean.

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  61. 61
    ARDELL says:

    RE: StillRenting @ 32

    Open Houses are generally exempt. The problems occur when you call an agent to meet you at the house to see it. Talk to WA Law as they have had some issues, but from what I have heard none of them were about their clients seeing the home at an Open House.

    If you do want your agent to write an offer after you see the house at an Open House, most would go over and see the house before writing the offer to “register” themselves via the blue keybox prior to offer. But as Ira says, if the Open House agent asks if you are working with an agent, say yes, as that is your intention. If they ask who, just name one of the companies you intend to hire.

    If you want to see a house that is not having an Open House, then it would be time to make a decision as to whom to hire vs calling the listing agent or company to come and meet you at the property. Some Listing Agents will give you the Buyer Agent fee if you do not have an agent and you call them direct, some won’t. But if it is your intention to have a buyer’s agent vs taking that money in full, then best to call the agent you intend to hire if there is no Open House.

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  62. 62
    pfft says:

    By Pegasus @ 59:

    RE: pfft @ 48RE: pfft @ 30 – Instead of just swallowing Ministry of Propaganda swill, let’s examine actual data. If we do that, we find job growth is mostly smoke and mirrors.

    The Ministry of Propaganda and its media minions are announcing that “job growth is on a tear” and the “best growth since 2006.” How about we look under the hood of the employment euphoria?

    How do you add 33 million people to the workforce while the number of full-time jobs hasn’t budged in 12 years and claim “job growth is on a tear”? First you arbitrarily subtract 20 million people from the workforce. call them “discouraged” or “marginally attached,” whatever, just don’t call them what they really are which is jobless.

    Another way to view reality rather than spin is to look at the civilian-population employment ratio, a measure of what percentage of the populace has a job of some sort: Here we see that it is back to the recessionary levels of the early 1980s. For 64.5% of the populace to have some sort of job as in 2000, we would need an additional 14.5 million jobs. That’s about 6 years of 200,000 jobs added a month, but then the workforce will rise by between 12 and 17 million in those years so you better add 400,000 jobs a month if you want the participation rate back to 2000 levels.

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogmar12/pretend-jobs3-12.html

    the participation rate among workers 25-55 is going up. mr oftwominds should stick to writing fiction. most of his little “article” is terrible. jobs are being added. it is as simple as that.

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  63. 63
    pfft says:

    the tim you left out the best part of the story.

    Researchers are still unraveling the disaster and digesting its lessons. At the same time, the Obama administration proposes to cut $4.6 million from NOAA’s tsunami programs as part of a push to reduce government spending and the deficit.

    enjoy the austerity morons!

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  64. 64
    Pegasus says:

    RE: pfft @ 62 – Why do think we saw an article like this? Because it is all true or…..they are trying to rouse the masses so they can get more funding? The guy admits they don’t have a clue about what is real….”What we have found out is that we do not really understand this Earth,” he said. Cut their funding….next budget item……

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  65. 65
    pfft says:

    By Pegasus @ 63:

    RE: pfft @ 62 – Why do think we saw an article like this? Because it is all true or…..they are trying to rouse the masses so they can get more funding? The guy admits they don’t have a clue about what is real….”What we have found out is that we do not really understand this Earth,â�� he said. Cut their funding….next budget item……

    yes because when something happens that we didn’t understand we clearly need LESS understanding.

    aren’t you the one who always makes snarky comments about printing money? figures…

    how is Greece going by the way? they had massive austerity which you Austrians/austerians loves. how’d that work out? Greece enacted some of the largest cuts ever…

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  66. 66
    pfft says:

    my advice…RUN!

    State officials fear the cuts could undermine the safety of seaside communities.

    “There will be serious consequences for our continued ability to maintain the level of preparedness on the coast today,” said John Schelling, earthquake and tsunami program manager for Washington’s Emergency Management Division.

    NOAA officials say the cuts will mostly affect funding for state programs, like tsunami education and evacuation signs, and won’t affect the national tsunami detection and warning system.

    remember when Jindal made fun of “something called volcanos monitoring” and we had a volcano erupt shortly thereafter? yeah.

    We’ll be less prepared for an event we now know could be worse than expected…

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  67. 67

    By Pegasus @ 53:

    Oh oh Kary….Tsunami risk in Northwest may be far worse than imagined

    Scientists and planners are reconsidering the region’s tsunami risk in light of the massive walls of water that swept nearly 20,000 people to their deaths on the day the Japanese simply call 3-11. The tsunami reached 130 feet high in some places, taking everyone by surprise.l

    You need to understand risk. Risk isn’t just the percentage chance that something will happen. Risk is also the extent of harm if something does happen. If the latter is death and former during a given year is only .05%, it’s still worth avoiding if that is easy to do.

    That’s what my original comment on tsunamis pertained to. I said I would not want to live on parts of the Long Beach peninsula, because if there is a tsunami warning about all you could do it kiss your ass goodbye while waiting 30 minutes for the wave to hit. I can easily avoid that risk by not living there.

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