Posted by: 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.

102 responses to “Weekend Open Thread (2012-03-16)”

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  1. Kary L. Krismer

    Apparently a MERS case in front of our Supreme Court.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017761869_court16.html

    A really poorly written article, but the issue seems to be whether MERS can foreclose in Washington. I wasn’t aware that they did, nor do I see how they could. It would be the beneficiary and the successor trustee doing the foreclosure, not some nominee for the beneficiary.

    I’d like to see the briefing on that one.

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  2. softwarengineer

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1

    Interesting Article Kary

    I see our Wash St Attorney General is spear heading the effort too. My problem with law cases like this are the basic contract for FCing are still a default and kicking the can down the road is not only a waste of tax payer money over the anomalous Robo-signing excuse, IMO it is just that, a lamebrain excuse to delay FCs, especially if the SC goes against our state’s AG. You already know I’m no fan of McKenna after he ignored TOTAL warranty omissions for “unknown lame brain excuses” on a laptop manufacturer I reported to him a couple years ago.

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  3. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: softwarengineer @ 2 – His activity is purely political. If it was an appointed position for 6 years (longer than the term of the governor) his position would likely be entirely different and opposite on many issues.

    I’m trying to find the case and having difficulty. I think it might be an issue sent up by the Federal District Court.

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  4. Pegasus

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1 – Hmmmmmm “But the Washington Bankers Association and MERS say borrowers don’t need to know who owns their note for MERS to foreclose. If borrowers have issues, they can raise them with their mortgage servicer, who collects the payments.

    MERS attorney Robert Pratte told the court that the plaintiffs’ cases are designed to stop foreclosures on borrowers who are indisputably in default.

    “It’s a fallacy to think the borrowers need to know who the note holder is.”

    How would anyone be able to negotiate a mortgage modification without knowing who owns the note? I think there is a Federal law that requires the homeowner be notified whenever a change in ownership occurs. The MERS moron is using the line that its OK to rape someone if they are wearing a short skirt. They “deserve” it.

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  5. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Pegasus @ 4 – I think there are also claims made on the other side which make little sense too. I said it was a poorly written article, and the quotes are part of it. For example:

    By some estimates, MERS holds title to more than half the home mortgages in the United States.

    And:

    “For the first time in the nation’s history, there is no longer an authoritative, public record of who owns land in each county,” wrote University of Utah law professor Christopher Peterson in a law review article last year.

    And:

    For example, a lender may sell a note to an investor but conceal the transfer and tell the borrower to keep paying him, McKenna said. The investor doesn’t get paid, and the borrower doesn’t get credit for payments.

    BTW, I think Judge Overstreet hit on the best reason for having the proper beneficiary foreclose in our state. Arguably a foreclosure by the wrong beneficiary wouldn’t eliminate the deficiency claim.

    BTW, it is up from the District Court. It’s referenced in footnote 5 of Judge Overstreet’s Reinke decision.

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  6. Pegasus

    Foreclosure Whistleblower Wins $18 Million in Bank Accord

    Attorney Lynn Szymoniak had spent a career investigating insurance fraud when a bank moved to foreclose on her Florida home in 2008. Almost four years later, the fraud she said she uncovered by combing through mortgage documents earned her $18 million.
    Szymoniak, 63, is among six whistle-blowers who will pocket $46.5 million as part of a $25 billion national foreclosure settlement that state and federal officials reached in February with five banks, including Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), according to the U.S. Justice Department.

    Szymoniak said she was first alerted to problems in the paperwork on her foreclosure when Deutsche Bank said it acquired her mortgage note in October 2008, three months after the bank sued her over the loan.
    “So I began doing what I’ve done for years — go out and investigate,” she said. “It was pretty obvious to me that the paperwork was fraudulent.”
    Her work quickly uncovered widespread document fraud in the mortgage industry, she said, and eventually led to the filing of her whistle-blower cases in 2010.
    The whistle-blower claims resolved in the national settlement include a case filed in Atlanta in 2006 in which banks are accused of defrauding military veterans and the U.S. government.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-16/bank-whistle-blower-wins-18-million-payday-in-foreclosure-deal.html

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  7. Kary L. Krismer

    If I found the right NTS, it says MERS “as nominee for its successors and assigns, as beneficiary, . . .” Very odd language. How can you be a nominee for your own successors and assigns?

    I’ll need to pull the District Court pleadings at some time.

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  8. Kary L. Krismer

    BTW, looking for that MERS case I came across a decision an attorney recently told me about. Condos get priority over existing mortgages for 6 months dues. One condo judicially foreclosed, serving MERS, which passed it on to the note owning bank, but the bank never responded and was foreclosed out. The bank then tried to redeem from the sale, but the appellate court held they couldn’t because the redemption statutes allow those subsequent in time to redeem, and their deed of trust was recorded prior to the dues foreclosed.

    I don’t know what was bid at the sale, but someone possibly picked up a condo for six months of dues!

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  9. softwarengineer

    RE: Pegasus @ 6

    I May Be a Technical Pegasus

    But I’ve also been trained in contract law. A contract is a contract. Its in default if the buyer stops making payments, right? Rather than worry about whether or not the form letter default was signed properly by a computer [BTW, do you use computer signatures at work?]how about protecting the majority of America’s tax assets from rape and blunder dragging this hogwash on and on.

    Perhaps it seems important to you [maybe you're a Gen X homeowner on the short end of the underwater stick?], but to the rest of us “Gen Y and a lot of Baby Boomers too”, we’re sick of paying the MASSIVE legal costs to delay FCs to keep your Gen X home’s price from collapsing. Enough is enough.

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  10. softwarengineer

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8

    Yes Kary

    I’ve seen ‘em cheap too….the problem with a Seattle condo purchase today though is simple, if the HOA can’t keep them full it bankrupts and turns into an apartment bulding; they give you peanuts then to force buy you out too, BTW.

    This will help lower rents though.

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  11. pnwman

    America Underwater:
    http://america-underwater.tumblr.com/

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  12. Pegasus

    RE: softwarengineer @ 9 – I understand that delaying foreclosures is costly but that doesn’t make it OK to circumvent rules and laws to do it. The bankers just delayed foreclosures for 18 months because the public outcry finally after many years of abuse grew loud enough to get someone in power to put a stop to it. The bankers and not the homeowners did that by producing fraudulent paperwork. It wasn’t the homeowners that did that was it? The banks have also delayed many foreclosures because they could not afford to take the loss. They also have many cases where they are not receiving mortgage payments for years and they are not producing default notices and foreclosing. The public did not create this mess, the banksters did. If you want to cry foul go scream about the bankster settlement that is nothing but a joke and lets the banksters off easy after causing 100’s of billions of damage. You need to learn to recognize who the real enemy is. It ain’t Mom and Pop that created this problem. Stop blaming the wrong people for the problem. Its the banksters that are making the taxpayers pay for their bankster deviant behavior.

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  13. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: softwarengineer @ 10 – There are actually some condos which are well run and healthy. Probably mainly ones which didn’t have a lot of sales between 2005 and 2009. I didn’t even look at which condo it was in that decision.

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  14. softwarengineer

    RE: Pegasus @ 12

    I Blame Anyone Expecting a Government Handout/Bailout for Their Contract They Signed

    Its called a free country. Last I heard America still was.

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  15. softwarengineer

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 13

    My Friend Was Going to Buy a $300K Condo in Everret for $116K

    He changed his mind and preaches the same condo fears I do. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

    Cash in the bank can’t be manipulated/decreased by a deceased HOA gone rental.

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  16. One Eyed Man

    RE: Pegasus @ 12

    Clearly Szymoniak is just one case out of the millions, but according to the article:

    “. . . Szymoniak said she was surprised by the subprime mortgage crisis and its effect on the U.S. real- estate market. She stopped making mortgage payments in 2008 after a battle with cancer wiped out her savings and she cut back on work to care for her mother, who was sick, she said in an interview. ”

    Of course the banks caused all of this. They practically made her buy a house worth over a million at the peak and take out a risky loan by offering easy credit and low rates. It’s not her responsibility as the borrower to be fiscally prudent and avoid taking fiancial risks that might cause her financial ruin. It’s probably even the banks fault that she got cancer and decided to take care of her mom rather than work to pay the mortgage.

    Obviously many of the loan assingments and much of the foreclosure payper work has been filled with perjury. But all MBS’s weren’t fraud, just like all borrowers on no doc loans weren’t lying. Of course the banks shoulder a great deal of responsibility for the financial crisis. But to say the banks were the only ones responsible for the financial crisis absolves individuals from taking responsibility for their own financial stupidity. Its every bit as much a moral hazard to say that they shouldn’t be responsible for taking out huge loans as it is moral hazard to say bail outs are necessary because banks are “too big to fail.”

    Most borrowers like Szymoniak made their own bad decisions. Their loses weren’t caused by robo-signing. The vast majority of the bad foreclosure paper work involves people like Szymoniak who were actually in default.

    A grifter is a grifter no matter which side of the teller’s window they stand on. Irresponsible bankers and borrowers needed each other (along with certain Fed and government policies) to create the financial crisis just like a dealer needs a user. Unless they held you down and shot you up, nobody made anyone a crack whore and nobody made anyone borrow money to buy overpriced Ballard cat boxes.

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  17. Pegasus

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 16 – Lets not forget who financed that house knowing that it was a huge risk and that they also controlled the transaction. They were the sophisticated ones in the making those transactions unlike most homeowners who believed the hype and the banksters had the control. Those transactions were made knowing that most homeowners would default and so the mortgage was quickly sold to some unsuspecting investor who unfortunately believed what the bankers told him. The banks then, knowing that these loans would fail, also made huge downside bets that enabled them to profit once again. They profited when they made the loans, they profited when they sold the loans and they profited again when the loans failed. They controlled the transaction, not the homeowner. The woman who’s loan you criticize was found to have FRAUDULENT documents from the banksters. She did not create those documents, the banksters did. I posted info from this particular individual about two years ago here and heard that there was no fraud, she was a wacko, etc. What say you now since you have continued to defend the kleptocracy and you have been proven wrong all along and yet you still keep doing the same trying to place the blame on the innocent or ignorant individuals that had little to do with this great fraud? You are intentionally trying to twist this into the individuals’ fault that the whole global economy has failed when you know perfectly well the bankster created it.

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  18. Pegasus

    Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail

    At least Bank of America got its name right. The ultimate Too Big to Fail bank really is America, a hypergluttonous ward of the state whose limitless fraud and criminal conspiracies we’ll all be paying for until the end of time. Did you hear about the plot to rig global interest rates? The $137 million fine for bilking needy schools and cities? The ingenious plan to suck multiple fees out of the unemployment checks of jobless workers? Take your eyes off them for 10 seconds and guaranteed, they’ll be into some chocolate again.

    It’s been four years since the government, in the name of preventing a depression, saved this megabank from ruin by pumping $45 billion of taxpayer money into its arm. Since then, the Obama administration has looked the other way as the bank committed an astonishing variety of crimes – some elaborate and brilliant in their conception, some so crude that they’d be beneath your average street thug. Bank of America has systematically ripped off almost everyone with whom it has a significant business relationship, cheating investors, insurers, depositors, homeowners, shareholders, pensioners and taxpayers. It brought tens of thousands of Americans to foreclosure court using bogus, “robo-signed” evidence – a type of mass perjury that it helped pioneer. It hawked worthless mortgages to dozens of unions and state pension funds, draining them of hundreds of millions in value. And when it wasn’t ripping off workers and pensioners, it was helping to push insurance giants like AMBAC into bankruptcy by fraudulently inducing them to spend hundreds of millions insuring those same worthless mortgages.

    Much more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/bank-of-america-too-crooked-to-fail-20120314#ixzz1pJCNWhfn

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  19. David Losh

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 16

    Oh, please, what a complete load of crock.

    Banks created a market place of ever escalating pricing. They based that on false data that they created, and followed.

    Foreclosure means a property will sell at auction for a fair cash price. How, and why isn’t that happening?

    I’ll tell you that banks created a false sense of global economy by selling worthless Notes to a secondary market. They didn’t care about the price, or value of the property, they didn’t care about the ability to pay, they only cared about quick profits.

    We are all paying for this, while banks today are having record profits. How is that possible?

    Do you really think the borrower created this? Banks made huge, obscenely huge, profits then crashed the system to hide the theft.

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  20. Kary L. Krismer

    By David Losh @ 19:

    Foreclosure means a property will sell at auction for a fair cash price.

    Not really. Too little information about the property, and bad terms of sale typically means too low of a price.

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  21. Howard

    So what would you have done?

    I really, really don’t like my boss. Matter of fact I filed a whistelblower complaint that got him disciplined pretty hard for public employee ethics violations. Note to self, don’t let vendors take you gambling or you wife out for her birthday etc….

    Here is situation:
    Was employed by a podunk county in outside of Austin, Texas. County population 75,000 spread over 800 sq miles. His salary was $42,000, and his wife made in the low $20s as a jail employee.

    In 2003 they bought a trailer home on 5 acres for $87,000. In 2009 he sees this wonderful job posting in Bellevue for “kinda sorta” what he does in Texas $100k a year. He stretched the truth a bit and BSed his way through the interview and ended up with the job. Way under skilled, but irrelevant at this point to the story.

    Loads the family up (wife and 3 kids) and rents a house in Woodinville for $2500 a month. Turns the lights out and stops paying on his trailer (owes $59k at this point). Foreclosure happened about 14 months after moving out. 30 year note payments about $600 month.

    Ignoring that he sucks at his job. Did he do the right thing? For Him and his family? Was it a business decision just like a bank would make? He more than doubled his salary, probably tripled his health insurance benefit quality (no dental, vision in Texas as well as huge deductibles etc)

    With his salary and his wife’s income potential, I think they should have made payments till it sold….

    It sold two months after the foreclosure as REO for $63k

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  22. Pegasus

    RE: Howard @ 21 – What difference does it make to YOU? Seriously this is a problem between the bank and your boss. Butt out. It appears you are trying to sabotage and smear your boss. Don’t care for him? Get a new job. Your boss, whether you like it or not, exercised his right to stop making payments and the bank exercised their right to foreclose. It appears from the REO selling price that they did not get burned too badly if at all. In hindsight your boss probably would have been smarter to sell the place himself. Worry about what you do morally and not your boss. Doing the opposite is making you appear as a despicable psychotic busybody who has an ax to grind.

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  23. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Howard @ 21 – Does this pertain to a prior post, or is it something new?

    I’m a bit surprised that Texas is an anti-deficiency state.

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  24. Howard

    By Pegasus @ 22:

    RE: Howard @ 21 – What difference does it make to YOU? Seriously this is a problem between the bank and your boss. Butt out. It appears you are trying to sabotage and smear your boss. Don’t care for him? Get a new job. Your boss, whether you like it or not, exercised his right to stop making payments and the bank exercised their right to foreclose. It appears from the REO selling price that they did not get burned too badly if at all. In hindsight your boss probably would have been smarter to sell the place himself. Worry about what you do morally and not your boss. Doing the opposite is making you appear as a despicable psychotic busybody who has an ax to grind.

    It is new. Why is it relevant? Is it strategic default if you just walk away to a much better paying job with much better schools for your kids?

    Do I have an axe to grind. Probably.

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  25. Scotsman

    More FSA! Pay my student loans, suckers!

    “This month Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-Mich.) introduced the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012. It holds that an educated populace benefits all of society, not just the individual student. My military experience has taught me the value of diverse backgrounds and educations among my fellow airmen.

    Clarke’s bill proposes forgiving as much as $45,520 of eligible student-loan debt after new borrowers have made 120 payments — equivalent to 10 percent of their discretionary income for 10 years — or would forgive any outstanding debt for those whose loans predate enactment if the borrower has already made 120 payments in the past 10 years. Even better, the forgiven amount will not count as income, so debtors need not fear paying higher income taxes for 2012. ”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/saddled-with-college-debt-a-decade-later/2012/03/16/gIQAm3kHHS_story.html?wprss=rss_opinions

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  26. Pegasus

    RE: Scotsman @ 25 – You had to know this was coming as the amount of student loans has exploded. The good thing is that it appears they will also get free birth control too if they are female while attending college. Another advantage is that those highly paid college administrators that have enjoyed the ride will not be under pressure to have their salaries and benefits cut. What voter wouldn’t like that?

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  27. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 25

    It’s really simple that we, all of us, globally, will have to encourage debt forgiveness, like in Greece. If we hold the line on the almighty college education debt we might as well pack it in for this next generation of Volvo drivers.

    Debt forgiveness, with no more debt to come, should be an option. Bankruptcy should become much more expansive, kind of like foreclosure is today.

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  28. Kary L. Krismer

    By Pegasus @ 26:

    You had to know this was coming as the amount of student loans has exploded. The good thing is that it appears they will also get free birth control too if they are female while attending college.

    Are you now siding with Rush?

    BTW I heard yesterday that he has lost over 140 advertisers and that the company producing the show is not selling any ads (but their own) for two weeks. I don’t agree with Rush much, but I at least thought he was smarter than what he has demonstrated in dealing with this issue. He played right into President Obama’s hand.

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  29. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Scotsman @ 25 – A better solution would be to make the bankruptcy discharge less restrictive. Let the judge decide whether the debt should be discharged under reasonable standards, not absurd ones like some of the older case law. I remember one case where the government tried to stipulate that the debt was burdensome and dischargeable, and the court wrote an opinion explaining why it wasn’t. That included facts like there was no evidence that the debtor wouldn’t be able to continue to live with her parents.

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  30. pfft

    By Pegasus @ 26:

    RE: Scotsman @ 25 – You had to know this was coming as the amount of student loans has exploded. The good thing is that it appears they will also get free birth control too if they are female while attending college. Another advantage is that those highly paid college administrators that have enjoyed the ride will not be under pressure to have their salaries and benefits cut. What voter wouldn’t like that?

    hey if we can bailout wall street and not regulate their bonus we sure aren’t going to do it for college professors who actually add value to society. beside how do you know that their salaries and benefits should be cut? because we had a recession? aren’t you all about markets? how does interfering with professor pay square with that?

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  31. pfft

    Summary for Week ending March 16th
    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/03/summary-for-week-ending-march-16th.html

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  32. pfft

    Summary for Week ending March 16th
    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/03/summary-for-week-ending-march-16th.html

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  33. pfft

    By Scotsman @ 25:

    More FSA! Pay my student loans, suckers!

    “This month Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-Mich.) introduced the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012. It holds that an educated populace benefits all of society, not just the individual student. My military experience has taught me the value of diverse backgrounds and educations among my fellow airmen.

    Clarkeâ��s bill proposes forgiving as much as $45,520 of eligible student-loan debt after new borrowers have made 120 payments â�� equivalent to 10 percent of their discretionary income for 10 years â�� or would forgive any outstanding debt for those whose loans predate enactment if the borrower has already made 120 payments in the past 10 years. Even better, the forgiven amount will not count as income, so debtors need not fear paying higher income taxes for 2012. ”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/saddled-with-college-debt-a-decade-later/2012/03/16/gIQAm3kHHS_story.html?wprss=rss_opinions

    all education in the US should be free up through Phd.

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  34. pfft

    they can’t even take a little bit of criticism.

    Gorman Says He Told Staff Not to Circulate Op-Ed on Goldman
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-16/gorman-says-he-told-employees-not-to-circulate-op-ed-on-goldman.html

    These are the people who run our economy?

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  35. Pegasus

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 28 – I should have labeled that /sarc for those with limited vision. I dislike Rush mainly because of his tactics. There some who have analyzed the same material and have done a credible job doing the same thing that Rush set out to do before he blew himself up.

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  36. Pegasus

    RE: pfft @ 33 – Libya tried that before we put a stop to that!

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  37. Scotsman

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 28

    There’s a difference between Rush and the local stations. Rush has replaced all his advertisers and even refused one who wanted back in. Still raking in something on the order of $20M.yr. Local stations have had it a bit tougher, but the 140 number is way overstated and includes those who were on a “don’t buy” list for any controversial programming, so not really related to the last Rush incident.

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  38. Scotsman

    RE: pfft @ 33

    “all education in the US should be free up through Phd”

    Nothing is “free.’ What you really mean is that you are part of the FSA and think others should pay for your and your friends’ education.

    How about you pay for my gas? Shouldn’t gas be free too? Unfortunately my Car doesn’t get great milage but does require premium. Dig deep, brotha.

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  39. Tatiana Kalashnikov

    RE: pfft @ 33

    “..all education in the US should be free up through Phd.”

    When I was at Sacramento State so many of the kids did not really belong in school. They ditched classes that their parents paid for and then they complained about getting C’s. And so many were taking Psychology! What good is that?!

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  40. pfft

    By Pegasus @ 36:

    RE: pfft @ 33 – Libya tried that before we put a stop to that!

    so? many european nations have free college.

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  41. pfft

    By Scotsman @ 38:

    RE: pfft @ 33

    “all education in the US should be free up through Phd”

    Nothing is “free.’ What you really mean is that you are part of the FSA and think others should pay for your and your friends’ education.

    How about you pay for my gas? Shouldn’t gas be free too? Unfortunately my Car doesn’t get great milage but does require premium. Dig deep, brotha.

    no it works like this. I go to college for free. well somewhat free if I have a job or pay for stuff I still pay taxes. I go to college for free and then pay taxes for the rest of my life helping everyone after me. they in turn will do the same for the generations that come after them. see how that works? an educated nation is a win.

    I don’t know if I really want to know but what is the FSA?

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  42. pfft

    By Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 39:

    RE: pfft @ 33

    “..all education in the US should be free up through Phd.”

    When I was at Sacramento State so many of the kids did not really belong in school. They ditched classes that their parents paid for and then they complained about getting C’s. And so many were taking Psychology! What good is that?!

    hey that’s college!

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  43. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 38

    I think you picked a bad example of who pays for what. In some countries, like in Peru, if you want to become a doctor, and have the ability to become a doctor, your student debt can be worked off by working in village clinics.

    Now here is the rub with that. Many people, who have the ability, will choose this option, so there are a lot of doctors. Doctors get paid well, but the guy with the trucks that bring the potatoes into the market makes much more money.

    Funny huh?

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  44. Pegasus

    RE: pfft @ 40 – Ya. Europe is just fine financially, eh? No unemployment there, no need for massive borrowings that will never be repaid?

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  45. Pegasus

    RE: pfft @ 41 – I think the way it really works is….you go to college for free, afterwards you are only able to find work flipping burgers at minimum wage. You pay no taxes, you get sick, you get “free healthcare”. Your gurlfriend gets free birth control. She gets preggy anyhow because she is a “slut” and “prostitute” according to Rush and you and she have a baby paid for with “free health care”. You are hungry so you get “free” food stamps as all good Americans get. You lose your job and collect “free unemployment” benefits. Baby needs to live in a residence instead of a tent so you get “free” welfare and taxpayer subsidized housing. Baby is also a “crack baby” and gets extra-special “free healthcare” Your former gurlfriend, now wife, gets tired of you hanging around and breaks your leg. You get “free healthcare” and “free” disability payments. You completely lose it and you are institutionalized for years for “free” since you have no job or assets. You get out and decide to educate everyone with your philosophy on economics. Unfortunately you try to “educate” the wrong person and he shoots you. You get a “free” ambulance ride, and “free” emergency room treatment. Unfortunately they fail and you get a “free” cremation. Your wife and child now collect “free” social security payments, food stamps, health care, etc.

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  46. Kary L. Krismer

    By Scotsman @ 37:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 28

    There’s a difference between Rush and the local stations. Rush has replaced all his advertisers and even refused one who wanted back in. Still raking in something on the order of $20M.yr. Local stations have had it a bit tougher, but the 140 number is way overstated and includes those who were on a “don’t buy” list for any controversial programming, so not really related to the last Rush incident.

    The story I heard was that on a national level all the advertisers are gone. The replacement is the company that is his producer. So yes, I guess he could spin that as refusing them back in after they went away.

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  47. pfft

    By Pegasus @ 44:

    RE: pfft @ 40 – Ya. Europe is just fine financially, eh? No unemployment there, no need for massive borrowings that will never be repaid?

    europe’s problem is the Euro and self-defeating austerity not social spending. Some of the largest welfare states in Europe are also doing the best like Norway and Sweden. Greece doesn’t even rank anywhere near the top in social spending…

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  48. pfft

    By Pegasus @ 45:

    RE: pfft @ 41 – I think the way it really works is….you go to college for free, afterwards you are only able to find work flipping burgers at minimum wage. You pay no taxes

    Actually I will stop this nonsense here. You pay taxes whether you have a a job or not. Whether you make money or not. Minimum wage people do pay some taxes. They pay SS taxes. They pay all the local taxes like sales tax. Some states have income taxes. Taxes at the Federal level are very progressive but local and state taxes are regressive. Of course you don’t stay at a minimum wage job forever…

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  49. Macro Investor

    By Scotsman @ 38:

    RE: pfft @ 33

    “all education in the US should be free up through Phd”

    Nothing is “free.’ What you really mean is that you are part of the FSA and think others should pay for your and your friends’ education.

    How about you pay for my gas? Shouldn’t gas be free too? Unfortunately my Car doesn’t get great milage but does require premium. Dig deep, brotha.

    Good idea!

    Hey, after I get my free Phd, my free gas, food stamps, disability payment (just a white lie, no fraud there) and section 8 housing… I really like vacationing in the Bahamas. How about free airline tickets and a tax credit for hotel expenses? A well rested population is just as important as an educated one.

    Oh, and I’d like a hot fudge sundae delivered to my house every Wednesday — free naturally.

    It’s an election year. Bid on my vote you politicians.

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  50. pfft

    By Macro Investor @ 49:

    By Scotsman @ 38:
    RE: pfft @ 33

    “all education in the US should be free up through Phd”

    Nothing is “free.’ What you really mean is that you are part of the FSA and think others should pay for your and your friends’ education.

    How about you pay for my gas? Shouldn’t gas be free too? Unfortunately my Car doesn’t get great milage but does require premium. Dig deep, brotha.

    Good idea!

    Hey, after I get my free Phd, my free gas, food stamps, disability payment (just a white lie, no fraud there) and section 8 housing… I really like vacationing in the Bahamas. How about free airline tickets and a tax credit for hotel expenses? A well rested population is just as important as an educated one.

    Oh, and I’d like a hot fudge sundae delivered to my house every Wednesday — free naturally.

    It’s an election year. Bid on my vote you politicians.

    why would you need free stuff from the government? you have a Phd!

    k-12 is free and yet your disaster scenario hasn’t paned out…

    the unemployment rate among those with a college degree or more is 4%…

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-50SqalYK5FM/T1v0kxCS7oI/AAAAAAAAMY8/QZb0KmFv2rM/s1600/UnemployEdFeb2012.jpg

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  51. Pegasus

    RE: pfft @ 48 – Yes yes the poor pay taxes. Not very much though. With the scenario I envisioned for your life I felt you probably contributed 10 to 15 thousand dollars and the taxpayers expended close to two million dollars for you and your family. That doesn’t count the interest on the two million dollars over a lifetime. What a great plan you have! Winning!

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  52. pfft

    By Pegasus @ 51:

    RE: pfft @ 48 – Yes yes the poor pay taxes. Not very much though. With the scenario I envisioned for your life I felt you probably contributed 10 to 15 thousand dollars and the taxpayers expended close to two million dollars for you and your family. That doesn’t count the interest on the two million dollars over a lifetime. What a great plan you have!

    your scenario is really really stupid.

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  53. pfft

    There are some pretty successful countries on this list…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_education#List_of_countries_with_free_post-secondary_education

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  54. Pegasus

    RE: pfft @ 51 – and probably more realistic than anything that you can conjur up for yourself!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  55. Scotsman

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 46

    You heard wrong. Kary, you are so misinformed I don’t know where to start- or care.

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  56. Pegasus

    RE: pfft @ 52 – That’s a mighty small list and many of those countries are in financial trouble. Hey…I don’t see Libya….oh wait…..we took care of that….

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  57. Scotsman

    RE: pfft @ 47

    Wow. Got some links?

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  58. Scotsman

    “Ben is no genius nor is he a hero. He is simply doing what he has to because he has no other choice. What would happen if Ben didn’t funnel hundreds of billions of dollars into the financial tapeworm? It would die, and the “too big to fail” banks–for all intents and purposes, the Fed’s partners, and the generous funders of political toadies–would cease to exist. Extremely wealthy and powerful people– the top 1/100 of the top 1%–would lose great wealth and the power it buys.

    In a system that has become dependent on crony-capitalism and fraud for its very survival, then that is obviously not even a choice.”

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogmar12/no-choice3-12.html

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  59. pfft

    By Pegasus @ 54:

    RE: pfft @ 51 – and probably more realistic than anything that you can conjur up for yourself!

    my scenario means everyone has a shot at the american dream. you start off life with no debt. you can buy a house or start a family and not be in much debt. you get a good job and pay taxes for the rest of your life and the generations after you do the same. if we graduated from high school loaded up with debt people would be shocked. why do we accept it for college?

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  60. Scotsman

    “What’s possible is what we perceive, and what’s impossible is what happens later whether we thought it possible or not. The “impossible” systemic collapse will happen because we’ve left no other option open. We will get “wake-up calls” along the way, but these will be ignored because to change anything in the Status Quo will cause pain to someone somewhere, i.e. it is inconvenient.

    Could we choose another future other than collapse? At this point, the answer is no, because we have no other choice.”

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogmar12/no-choice3-12.html

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  61. pfft

    By Pegasus @ 56:

    RE: pfft @ 52 – That’s a mighty small list and many of those countries are in financial trouble. Hey…I don’t see Libya….oh wait…..we took care of that….

    we’ve already established that Greece is doing bad because of the euro, according to this one Phd I read…

    You do realize that half of those countries top all the living standard lists you can think of, correct?

    Brazil
    Denmark
    Finland
    Norway
    Scotland
    Sweden

    All are solid countries and Brazil is booming.

    can you name a country that is in dire straits because they have a free college system? neither can i!

    I propose a financial transactions tax and we can have the best education system and healthcare system. it will almost pay for itself!

    college is heavily subsidized these days anyways.

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  62. pfft
  63. pfft

    By Scotsman @ 60:

    “What’s possible is what we perceive, and what’s impossible is what happens later whether we thought it possible or not. The “impossible” systemic collapse will happen because we’ve left no other option open. We will get “wake-up calls” along the way, but these will be ignored because to change anything in the Status Quo will cause pain to someone somewhere, i.e. it is inconvenient.

    Could we choose another future other than collapse? At this point, the answer is no, because we have no other choice.”

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogmar12/no-choice3-12.html

    the bond market disagrees.

    why? because our interest payments as a % of GDP is at levels that haven’t been seen since the 70s.

    why else would the 2 year be at 0.35%.

    yes, the 2-year is trading BELOW 1%.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/USGG2YR:IND

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  64. Scotsman

    RE: pfft @ 61

    “we’ve already established that Greece is doing bad because of the euro”

    Complete bull sh*t. Greece is doing poorly because it spent more money than it had. And now it continues to try and spend more money than it has. It really isn’t very complicated.

    The U.S. is doing poorly because it has consistently spent more than it has, about 8% a year, for decades. Now it faces currency devaluation, inflation, and eventually some form of collapse.

    Have you learned how to weld or repair machinery yet? Gonna find those skills more useful than typing on a keyboard for the sake of the revolution. Obummer’s checks are going to eventually bounce.

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  65. Scotsman

    RE: pfft @ 63

    “the bond market disagrees.”

    There is no bond market. The Fed buys 90% of new U.S. treasuries, at the rate they determine. Other externalities currently work to support this condition. You’re full of hope, but won’t like the change.

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  66. Scotsman

    RE: pfft @ 62

    Sorry, Krugman is a joke, and doesn’t count for anything. I guess you didn’t get the memo about reality vrs. Krugman.

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  67. pfft

    By Scotsman @ 64:

    RE: pfft @ 61

    “weâ��ve already established that Greece is doing bad because of the euro”

    Complete bull sh*t. Greece is doing poorly because it spent more money than it had. And now it continues to try and spend more money than it has. It really isn’t very complicated.

    The U.S. is doing poorly because it has consistently spent more than it has, about 8% a year, for decades. Now it faces currency devaluation, inflation, and eventually some form of collapse.

    Have you learned how to weld or repair machinery yet? Gonna find those skills more useful than typing on a keyboard for the sake of the revolution. Obummer’s checks are going to eventually bounce.

    1. no, greece is doing bad because they need massive internal devaluation(deflation) to get their economy back competitive. this means massive unemployment. the unemployed can’t pay taxes and help pay off debt.

    “The U.S. is doing poorly because it has consistently spent more than it has, about 8% a year, for decades.”

    uh that 8% is bogus.

    the US is doing bad because of the financial crisis.

    you don’t care about debt because you are for the extension of the $3 trillion dollar bush tax cuts for the rich.

    when obama lets the bush tax cuts for those over $250,000 expire our debt/gdp will stabilize.

    Here is what I would do to pay for my free college, healthcare and stablize the deficit.

    1. eliminate the bush tax cuts for those over $250,000. this saves about $3trillion over the next 10 years.

    2. enact a financial transactions tax. this will help pay for medicare for all and free college.

    3. enact a surcharge on the wealthy. this will help pay for my college and medicare program for whatever the FTT doesn’t cover.

    4. pollution tax. this will go straight towards paying down the deficit and we’ll refund part of this tax to the poor who are affected by it.

    5. utopia!

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  68. Scotsman

    RE: pfft @ 67

    What has the FED done?

    “1.Set itself up for a collapse: at $2.8 trillion, the Fed’s balance sheet is now larger that the economies of Brazil, the UK, or France. And with capital of only $54 billion, the Fed is leveraged at 51 to 1 (Lehman was at 30 to 1 when it failed).

    2.Called the risk profile of US sovereign debt into question: foreign investors, now fully aware that the US’s balance sheet is suspect (the US has lost its AAA credit rating), are dumping Treasuries (see China and Russia). This has resulted in the Fed now being responsible for the purchase of up to 91% of all new long-term (20+ years) US debt issuance.

    3.Put the entire Financial System (not just the private banks) at risk.

    The Financial System requires trust to operate. Having changed the risk profile of US sovereign debt, the Fed has undermined the very basis of the US banking system (remember Treasuries are the senior most asset against which all banks lend).”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-11-17/what-end-result-fed%E2%80%99s-cancerous-policies-will-be-and-when-it-will-hit

    Get ready to bend over pfffft and kiss your ass good-bye.

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  69. pfft

    By Scotsman @ 65:

    RE: pfft @ 63

    “the bond market disagrees.”

    There is no bond market. The Fed buys 90% of new U.S. treasuries, at the rate they determine. Other externalities currently work to support this condition. You’re full of hope, but won’t like the change.

    link!

    we are deleveraging. people are not only not borrowing they are putting their money into banks and into government bonds.

    the Fed isn’t buying 2-years…

    ” You’re full of hope, but won’t like the change”

    where did you get that zinger?

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  70. pfft

    By Scotsman @ 66:

    RE: pfft @ 62

    Sorry, Krugman is a joke, and doesn’t count for anything. I guess you didn’t get the memo about reality vrs. Krugman.

    didn’t krugman say in 2010 that austerity wouldn’t work and was counterproductive Greece went on to have one of the largest austerity programs in history and defaulted. Greece is hopeless. in order for wages to be competitive with germany they need to fall 30%. not possible unless you have a floating currency.

    krugman was right.

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  71. pfft

    By Scotsman @ 68:

    RE: pfft @ 67

    What has the FED done?

    “1.Set itself up for a collapse: at $2.8 trillion, the Fedâ��s balance sheet is now larger that the economies of Brazil, the UK, or France. And with capital of only $54 billion, the Fed is leveraged at 51 to 1 (Lehman was at 30 to 1 when it failed).

    2.Called the risk profile of US sovereign debt into question: foreign investors, now fully aware that the US�s balance sheet is suspect (the US has lost its AAA credit rating), are dumping Treasuries (see China and Russia). This has resulted in the Fed now being responsible for the purchase of up to 91% of all new long-term (20+ years) US debt issuance.

    3.Put the entire Financial System (not just the private banks) at risk.

    The Financial System requires trust to operate. Having changed the risk profile of US sovereign debt, the Fed has undermined the very basis of the US banking system (remember Treasuries are the senior most asset against which all banks lend).”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-11-17/what-end-result-fed%E2%80%99s-cancerous-policies-will-be-and-when-it-will-hit

    Get ready to bend over pfffft and kiss your ass good-bye.

    didn’t you predict financial disaster almost a year ago? yeah I remember.

    “2.Called the risk profile of US sovereign debt into question: foreign investors, now fully aware that the USâ��s balance sheet is suspect (the US has lost its AAA credit rating), are dumping Treasuries (see China and Russia). This has resulted in the Fed now being responsible for the purchase of up to 91% of all new long-term (20+ years) US debt issuance.”

    1. please provide a link that isn’t crazy zerohedge please.

    2. you are wrong on your facts. the Fed is purchasing long-term bonds to help the economy grow.

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  72. Scotsman

    RE: pfft @ 71

    “2. you are wrong on your facts. the Fed is purchasing long-term bonds to help the economy grow. ”

    The Fed is purchasing bonds because no one else will at the rates the .gov and Fed want to see in the market.

    You have the cart before the horse. But if you’re just looking backwards I guess everything seems OK. Good luck. Learn a skill besides trying to be too cute.

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  73. Kary L. Krismer

    By Scotsman @ 55:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 46

    You heard wrong. Kary, you are so misinformed I don’t know where to start- or care.

    Well, since you have so much proof of that, I’m just going to have to accept it. /sarc

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/goldie-taylor-on-limbaugh-advertisers-could-cnn-afford-to-lose-140-advertisers-no/

    I think we now know who the big Rush Limbaugh fan is here though.

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  74. Blurtman

    So how about stating the obvious – the TBTF’s are a quasi federal/private institution. They work with the government to keep the debt machine rolling, as it is the only way that GDP can be seen to grow.

    This is why bankers can commit fraud with impunity. They are doing the bidding of the USG.

    How do the TBTF’s keep the debt machine going? They knowingly package and sell toxic securities composed of toxic mortgages, and other toxic debt that will not be repaid by the borrower. When the TBTF’s and other institutions become poisoned with this toxic debt, the Fed buys it from them at face value.

    The standard of living of Americans is falling, and the over-leveraged consumer cannot fuel GDP growth. No problem. Issue dodgy debt to folks who cannot possibly pay, they continue to consume with borrowed money that will not be paid back, the TBTF’s roll this toxic debt into securities as they are commanded to do by the USG. The toxic securities are sold to pensions and widows and orphans funds. And when the TBTF’s become poisoned with this debt, the Fed takes it off their hands at face value.

    Is there a limit to the debt that the Fed can assume in its “quantitative easing” operations? How long can this printing continue? Is this a new economic model, where folks don’t really need to work and can be given unlimited credit in order to continue to consume? Stay tuned.

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  75. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 72

    Actually pfft has made some good arguments here. I share your concerns, but realize that you can’t out smart the government.

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  76. Tatiana Kalashnikov

    Larry Walker Jr. wrote: “Obama’s three-point plan for deficit reduction can be summed up in three words, “Spend Baby Spend.” In fact, Obama will have borrowed more than $6.3 trillion during his four-year term, which is more than the first 42 and 1/4 presidents combined.”

    He goes on to say, “Obama prematurely increased spending to Def-Con 4 levels, yet World War III isn’t here yet.”

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  77. Scotsman

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 73

    CNN has about 800K viewers. Ruch Limbaugh has about 20,000,000. How do you think that affects the cost to advertise, and the dollar value of each advertiser? Next let’s factor in the overhead costs of producing each show. My guess is that CNN spends more in a day than Rush does in a month. So, Cnn operates at 30 times the cost with 1/25 the value per minute of advertising. You bet they can’t afford to lose one, while Rush really doesn’t need to care.

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/03/07/clearing_up_misinformation_on_our_sponsors

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/03/07/carbonite-stock-plummets-after-decision-to-abandon-limbaugh/

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  78. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Scotsman @ 77 – Ignoring the fact that you’re counting on Rush to be honest about the disaster he created, your link to his post is from March 7. Stuff has happened since then, like the loss of many more advertisers and the lack of any national advertising for two weeks.

    Your second link starts out by noting that correlation isn’t causation. There are other reasons Carbonite isn’t a good investment, including the fact that Microsoft and Amazon are involved in a price war for cloud storage. Here are some other reasons discussed:

    http://articles.marketwatch.com/2012-03-09/investing/31138659_1_share-market-small-firms

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  79. whatsmyname

    RE: Scotsman @ 77 – Dittohead counter-boycott. Looks like JC Penny and Sears are about to lose a lot of apparel business. Big drop in sales of wife-beaters and brown shirts.

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  80. Scotsman

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 78

    I guess you have trouble reading- or don’t. Rush hasn’t lost any advertising revenue. All his slots are full. He turns down many potential advertisers, like GM, because he doesn’t want the hypocrisy on his show. His number of listeners has actually increased thanks to the political season and this recent flap.

    Local stations have lost some revenue. That’s not his problem. They pay him to carry his show- they don’t share revenues.

    It’s pretty obvious you don’t listen to the show, and you don’t know what the he!! you’re talking about, but keep it up and never back down. We expect nothing less.

    By the way- here’s the real war on women:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/03/18/rnc-video-you-wanna-talk-about-the-war-on-women-lets-talk-about-it/

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  81. whatsmyname

    RE: Scotsman @ 80
    50 seconds on Bill Maher, 20 seconds on claims from Suskind’s book that women in the Obama administration felt overlooked in the early days, and back to veiled references to Maher. Not one word on policy and not one claim on Obama himself. This is “Obama’s War on Women”?

    You really have to be drinking the kool aide, because one couldn’t slip this one past an average second grader. It did surface one new issue though. For consistency’s sake, will the GOP sponsors of this be refusing Rush’s help and money as they suggested Obama should do with Maher?

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  82. Scotsman

    RE: whatsmyname @ 81

    Oops, looks like you didn’t click the included links. Let me help you. Is this a direct enough indictment?

    http://swampland.time.com/2011/09/21/the-white-house-boys-club-president-obama-has-a-woman-problem/

    And see all these happy women? See those smiles? I don’t think they’re talking about cookie receipes. See Obama’s body language- think he’s comfortable?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/4186340039/

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  83. Scotsman

    RE: whatsmyname @ 81

    “will the GOP sponsors of this be refusing Rush’s help and money as they suggested Obama should do with Maher”

    So you equate the GOP pointing out that Obama’s office environment isn’t friendly to women to Bill Maher calling women cun+s, making fun of special needs kids, etc?

    Who’s drinking the kool-aid?

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  84. Tatiana Kalashnikov

    RE: Scotsman @ 83RE: Scotsman @ 83

    Bill Maher’s reference to Sarah Palin was said in a malicious, cutting way. My women friends believe Maher is just an angry little man. He can’t stand it that Palin can shoot a gun and he can’t. I believe he must somehow feel inadequate. Rush was just being facetious (a new word!). While Maher was being small and mean.

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  85. whatsmyname

    RE: Scotsman @ 82 – I could only click on the one you provided: the GOP campaign piece. But thanks for the additional links. The swampland is an opinion piece, especially replete with interpretations of Suskind’s interpretations of what other people thought. There are 2 clearly factual elements, however:

    1. Obama keeps playing basketball with boys even while there are veterans of women’s college basketball available.

    2. “there were only 58 women in the 142 highest senior staff positions at the Obama White House. But those 58 were still a huge leap over the 32 highly-paid women in George W. Bush’s White House in 2007″

    Your photo is quite funny. It does look pretty uncomfortable, but I would say if anyone is endangered here, it is O.

    By the way, I am not a big O fan. But this equates to a “War on Women”?

    Only in your fevered dreams.

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  86. whatsmyname

    RE: Scotsman @ 83
    No, I equate Maher’s calling Palin a “C” with Rush’s three day tirade against an ordinary citizen which included calling her a slut and a prostitute, but also had much worse commentary and speculation about her sexual life.

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  87. whatsmyname

    RE: whatsmyname @ 86 – Come to think of it, those really aren’t very equal. But not in a way that favors Rush.

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  88. One Eyed Man

    RE: Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 84

    I generally see Maher and Limbaugh as opposite sides of the same coin. Both sensationalize things to entertain (pander to?) their core viewers so they remain loved by their fans and profitable to their sponsors.

    But, there is possibly a difference between debasing Palin and Fluke in that Palin is clearly a public figure who makes here living in the public eye. I’m not sure if Fluke would be considered a public figure. While Fluke has put herself in the public eye by providing some committee testimony, I don’t know enough about her to say if she is a public figure or makes a living being in the public eye. And I’m not necessarily talking about a true “legal” distinction in the sense that “malice” might be required to defame a true “public figure.” I’m talking more about the respect for basic human dignity that non-public figures arguable deserve but which many feel public figures have forfeited in exchange for speaking rights at the bully pulpit.

    I don’t know much about Rush, but if one credits his on-line apology as sincere, then I believe his motive was probably in part a recognition that he believes in basic human decency and acknowledges that its probably appropriate to treat Fluke with a little more respect than a true public figure. I doubt that he would have made the same apology to certain left wing female politicians.

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  89. Scotsman

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 88RE: whatsmyname @ 86

    Sorry guys, Fluke is as much a public figure as Palin- she has quite a history of public activism starting well be fore this contrived and staged event.

    “Sandra Fluke is a public figure

    When you purposely inject yourself into public debate, you lose your status as a “just minding my own business” private citizen

    Fluke was testifying before Congress, on national TV, in a debate that she willingly ran toward. She purposely dove into the spotlight, and if the spotlight burned her, that’s her problem”

    http://www.citmedialaw.org/blog/2012/no-sandra-fluke-does-not-have-valid-defamation-claim-against-rush-limbaugh

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  90. Scotsman

    RE: Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 76

    Timothy Gietner has admitted the administration doesn’t have a plan for deficit reductions, only that they don’t like Ryan’s plan. That passes for leadership these days.

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  91. whatsmyname

    RE: Scotsman @ 89
    I think it’s kind of a stretch to say that a former governor and candidate for US vice president is the same as a “public figure” I never heard of before, but I’ll give that to you because I know you have problems with symmetry, and it’s not the point anyway.

    Maher is to Obama as Rush is to the GOP.
    The GOP doesn’t think Obama should accept money from Maher.
    Should the GOP accept money from Rush?

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  92. One Eyed Man

    RE: Scotsman @ 89

    As I said in my comment, I wasn’t necessarily talking about the legal standard for defamation. People have their own ethical standards for treatment of others that may be above or below what the law may require.

    I’m still not sure if Rush would have apologized if he called Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton a whore. But I have to admit, I just did a search and although he makes fun of them he seems to generally stay away from using sexually charged epithets that I think Maher probably employs all the time with no sign of remorse.

    I have some exposure to Maher because my wife’s family watches it. I have friends who listen to Limbaugh, but I’ve never heard more than a few minutes of his show.

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  93. Kary L. Krismer

    By Scotsman @ 80:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 78

    I guess you have trouble reading- or don’t. Rush hasn’t lost any advertising revenue. All his slots are full. He turns down many potential advertisers, like GM, because he doesn’t want the hypocrisy on his show. His number of listeners has actually increased thanks to the political season and this recent flap.

    I guess you have trouble reading, so I’ll type slowly. Y o u r—l i n k—i s—-o l d.

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  94. Kary L. Krismer

    By Scotsman @ 83:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 81

    “will the GOP sponsors of this be refusing Rushâ��s help and money as they suggested Obama should do with Maher”

    So you equate the GOP pointing out that Obama’s office environment isn’t friendly to women to Bill Maher calling women cun+s, making fun of special needs kids, etc?

    Who’s drinking the kool-aid?

    I love how far this controversy has gotten away from being about freedom of religion. Score a big win for President Obama, thanks in no small part to Rush Limbaugh (although in fairness, he was just stupid enough to follow a diversion already started by others).

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  95. Kary L. Krismer

    By whatsmyname @ 87:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 86 – Come to think of it, those really aren’t very equal. But not in a way that favors Rush.

    I was wondering about that earlier statement. I wouldn’t view those two things as being at all equal.

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  96. Blurtman

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 94 – Although it didn’t go this way, it could have turned into a debate on what employers can decide their company health care plan will cover. Maybe an employer doesn’t want to cover cardiac care because of the cost. Maybe he/she decides to offer really great breast enhancement coverage. And let’s bring in the libertarians to debate why employers should pay for any employee health insurance plans at all.

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  97. Blurtman

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 93 – Rush’s audience is primarily a bunch of hormone depleted >65 year old listeners of Caucasus mountain region ethnicity. (Turks, Tartars, Russians, Georgians.) Grumpy olde lickes. The marijuana legalization strategy is the next phase to soften up this calcified mass. And then Obama installs the caliphate in the USA.

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  98. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Blurtman @ 96 – Cardiac care probably isn’t the best example, but there are a lot of other smaller things which an employer might not want to cover because of cost, but that they are required to cover if they get coverage because of state law. For example, I think it’s practically impossible to buy coverage in Washington that doesn’t cover acupuncture and mental health treatments.

    What’s stupid about this current contraception issue is that people would probably be better off if pill versions of contraception weren’t covered. The prices of the prescriptions would almost certainly drop, and the cost of insurance would drop. But with employers paying the bill, almost no one wants that. IUD and diaphragms would be different though, because they are a medical service, not a pill. I doubt there would be significant savings there because other services would remain covered.

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  99. Blurtman

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 98 – That’s true for the cost of all pharmaceuticals. Do employers cover Viagra?

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  100. Kary L. Krismer

    By Blurtman @ 99:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 98 – That’s true for the cost of all pharmaceuticals. Do employers cover Viagra?

    Yes, to some extent that is true of all pharmaceuticals. But most birth control pills would be relatively cheap because I think the patent has run out on most of them.

    I think most medical insurance will cover Viagra. Another reason why insurance rates have been skyrocketing.

    My favorite example from the health care thread is Prilosec. Right now you can buy 30 20mg tablets of the prescription stuff for $195.99 at Drugstore.com. You can get 42 tablets of the Prilosec OTC (same stuff) for only $24.99. So you can buy almost 50% more for almost 1/8th the price if insurance is not involved with the pricing.

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