Posted by: Timothy Ellis (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.

80 responses to “Weekly Open Thread (2014-05-19)”

  1. Kary L. Krismer

    From Sleezy Kirkland Brokerage thread:

    Also the Calling on expired listings is a long honored main stay of ALL agents. Also the DNC list does not really apply to this. You had a listing and that contact info is available to all NWMLS agents. You GAVE the info to them. You can not go back and say DNC latter.

    This is incorrect. The DNC list does apply, at least once the listing is expired. Clearly it doesn’t apply though if you’re just wanting to view or show the listing and it has a PTS number.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  2. Kary L. Krismer

    Zerohedge gets called out as being the major BSer that it is. They’re only a year behind Bloomberg, which ran a similar story a year ago.

    http://www.snopes.com/photos/automobiles/unsoldcars.asp

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  3. softwarengineer

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2

    Bloomberg’s News

    Is always stretching “cooked books” statistics IMO; as though its scientific facts. The best financial news sources are Money, Fortune and Times…..and even these sources have to be filtered for NWO exagerations.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  4. Blurtman

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2 – That’s why I stick with CNN. /snark/

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  5. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Blurtman @ 4 – LOL.

    At the Correspondent’s Dinner Obama joked that to get attention from CNN he had to travel to Malaysia. He also joked that their correspondents were still looking for their table.

    (Maybe you had to be there.)

    Anyway, amazing how a network can become a laughingstock just by their coverage.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  6. Kary L. Krismer

    Maybe I should quit being so critical of Bloomberg. This story at least points out how absurd, hypocritical and ineffective this Obama Administration action is. Seriously, they’re prosecuting the Chinese for spying!

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-05-19/u-dot-s-dot-charges-five-chinese-military-hackers-with-online-spying

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  7. Blake

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 6:

    Maybe I should quit being so critical of Bloomberg. This story at least points out how absurd, hypocritical and ineffective this Obama Administration action is. Seriously, they’re prosecuting the Chinese for spying!

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-05-19/u-dot-s-dot-charges-five-chinese-military-hackers-with-online-spying

    Why now? “Hey! Look over there (not here)!!”
    http://www.cnet.com/news/nsa-reportedly-installing-spyware-on-us-made-hardware/
    (May 12) … The National Security Agency has been allegedly accessing routers, servers, and other computer network devices to plant backdoors and other spyware before they’re shipped overseas…

    http://www.businessinsider.com/nsa-tao-intercepting-packages-2014-5
    (May 15) … The NSA’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) unit hijacked routers, servers, and other network gear before they were delivered to customers. TAO specifically targeted packages that were headed toward organizations that were marked for surveillance, although the names of these companies haven’t been revealed.

    and… March 26th
    http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/computing/hardware/us-suspicions-of-chinas-huawei-based-partly-on-nsas-own-spy-tricks
    … NSA documents leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden show how the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations unit had succeeded in infiltrating computer servers in Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China by 2010. The success allowed the agency to spy on email communications for Huawei employees, including Ren Zhengfei, founder of Huawei, as well as steal the source code for specific Huawei products that could be used to exploit those products for espionage or cyberwarfare purposes.

    The New York Times withheld technical details on exactly how the NSA had compromised Huawei’s servers in response to national security reasons cited by the Obama administration. But a leaked NSA “spy catalog” made available on Cryptome, a website that publishes government and corporate documents, does show how the agency had already succeeded in installing software back doors in certain Huawei hardware, such as firewalls and routers, as early as 2008. The NSA catalog also reveals exploits for computer hardware belonging to U.S. companies such as Dell.

    “The exploits in the NSA catalog actually mirror what the U.S. has been accusing Huawei of potentially doing to their products,” Bumgarner says.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  8. Blurtman

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5 – Newsreader as celebrity is always (unintentionally) amusing, especially when the local news stations try it. Fox is hilarious, although I suppose it could be brilliant satire.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  9. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 5:

    RE: Blurtman @ 4 – LOL.

    At the Correspondent’s Dinner Obama joked that to get attention from CNN he had to travel to Malaysia. He also joked that their correspondents were still looking for their table.

    (Maybe you had to be there.)

    Anyway, amazing how a network can become a laughingstock just by their coverage.

    you know who is doing the criticizing for the most part? other networks who were losing big to CNN. CNN got criticized for covering one of those sick cruises too but they got big ratings. they were just covering what people wanted. the ratings show that. also remember that the only time people turn to CNN these days is for coverage of events like that.

    “Anyway, amazing how a network can become a laughingstock just by their coverage.”

    you would be thinking of fox and #benghazi

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  10. wreckingbull

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5 – I recall seeing something on CNN like “THE COUNTDOWN UNTIL THE BLACK BOX GOES DEAD” with some sort of running timer on the screen.

    For some reason, they thought that at EXACTLY n days, the pings would stop. The battery chemistry must have been designed to last EXACTLY n days. They give Jim Foreman’s snow reporting a serious run for its money.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  11. gxar

    John Talton has a column in today’s Seattle Times titled “Blowing a Seattle bubble?” http://blogs.seattletimes.com/jontalton/2014/05/19/blowing-a-seattle-bubble

    Here are a couple of quotes:
    After the Seattle Arts & Lectures event with former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Friday night, people talking to me at the edge of the stage were less interested in Too Big To Fail banks and the too-cozy Washington-Wall Street connection than the potential for a real estate bubble and crash in Seattle.

    and:
    I haven’t seen this question taken up by the always interesting Seattle Bubble blog, which has a wide lens on real estate, too. So here’s my best guess …

    I have been too busy the last few months to be able to follow Seattle Bubble as closely as I would like, so I don’t know if John’s comment is accurate. In any case, I am interested in what you all think about our current “bubble” status.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  12. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: gxar @ 11 – I agree with the comment to that piece: something to the effect of asking what the point of it was and it seems stream of consciousness. I usually like Talton, but not that piece.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  13. Kary L. Krismer

    By Blake @ 7:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 6:
    Maybe I should quit being so critical of Bloomberg. This story at least points out how absurd, hypocritical and ineffective this Obama Administration action is. Seriously, they’re prosecuting the Chinese for spying!

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-05-19/u-dot-s-dot-charges-five-chinese-military-hackers-with-online-spying

    Why now? “Hey! Look over there (not here)!!”

    After watching the evening news and seeing the dog and pony show they did for the press on this, it really does seem like it was intended to be a bright shiny object.

    Given the fact they could have done this at any time within the next year, or not at all, I wonder what news story they were trying to push off the table. Maybe something about the failing talks with Iran over their nuclear program, or maybe the guy who wrote the quid pro quo drone piece was having a Congressional hearing? Or maybe Obama was just sick of so much focus on Hillary?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  14. Blurtman

    RE: gxar @ 11 – The market only goes up in the long term. The Fed has the economy under control. The printing press is oiled and running.

    Everyone likes a free ride and the feeling of increased and unceasing wealth. That’s one reason William Jefferson Clinton was well liked.

    Plus, rising values keeps buyers out, enabling a sense of bourgeois superiority for the mortgaged class.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  15. Kary L. Krismer

    By Blurtman @ 14:

    Everyone likes a free ride and the feeling of increased and unceasing wealth. That’s one reason William Jefferson Clinton was well liked.

    The other being his legendary honesty.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  16. Blurtman

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 15 – And his taste in women.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gu9fESAlGc4

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  17. pfft

    By Blurtman @ 14:

    RE: gxar @ 11 – The market only goes up in the long term. The Fed has the economy under control.

    that’s actually true.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  18. pfft

    no ssshh.

    No, Taking Away Unemployment Benefits Doesn’t Make People Get Jobs
    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/05/20/3439561/long-term-unemployment-jobs-illinois/

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  19. softwarengineer

    RE: pfft @ 18

    What Jobs Pfffft?

    The ones in your overly optimistic Democrat Mother Goose Book?

    “..Additionally, 46 percent of the unemployed respondents reported not having had any job interviews in the prior month and 23 percent report their last interview was in 2012. The poll also shows that a significant percentage of the unemployed are not currently receiving jobless benefits. Only 20 percent said they were currently receiving unemployment compensation. But among those receiving government assistance, the poll suggests the aid may be diminishing their incentive to find employment:…”

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/poll-47-unemployed-have-completely-given-looking-job_793422.html

    It makes the cooked books U3 unemployment rate look good too, after 6 months not finding a job, you’re no longer counted unemployed. I’d add, why waste limited unemployment benefits on useless searches for jobs, eating up $4/gal gas and food/rent money?
    .

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  20. Blake

    … gotta insure profits for the industry. Why not just give the private insurers more taxpayer money that they can distribute to their shareholders. Corporate socialism!
    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-insurance-bailout-20140521-story.html#page=1
    The Obama administration has quietly adjusted key provisions of its signature healthcare law to potentially make billions of additional taxpayer dollars available to the insurance industry if companies providing coverage through the Affordable Care Act lose money..

    The move was buried in hundreds of pages of new regulations issued late last week. It comes as part of an intensive administration effort to hold down premium increases for next year, a top priority for the White House as the rates will be announced ahead of this fall’s congressional elections.

    Administration officials for months have denied charges by opponents that they plan a “bailout” for insurance companies providing coverage under the healthcare law.

    They continue to argue that most insurers shouldn’t need to substantially increase premiums because safeguards in the healthcare law will protect them over the next several years.

    But the change in regulations essentially provides insurers with another backup: If they keep rate increases modest over the next couple of years but lose money, the administration will tap federal funds as needed to cover shortfalls.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  21. pfft

    By softwarengineer @ 19:

    RE: pfft @ 18
    It makes the cooked books U3 unemployment rate look good too, after 6 months not finding a job, you’re no longer counted unemployed. I’d add, why waste limited unemployment benefits on useless searches for jobs, eating up $4/gal gas and food/rent money?
    .

    dude I’ve been correcting your U3 conspiracy theories forever. U3 has ALWAYS been counted like that. it’s not a conspiracy.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  22. Blake

    RE: pfft @ 21
    They’ve been cooking the books for many years… Dems and Reps.
    http://harpers.org/archive/2008/05/numbers-racket/
    ….since the 1960s, Washington has been forced to gull its citizens and creditors by debasing official statistics: the vital instruments with which the vigor and muscle of the American economy are measured. The effect, over the past twenty-five years, has been to create a false sense of economic achievement and rectitude, allowing us to maintain artificially low interest rates, massive government borrowing, and a dangerous reliance on mortgage and financial debt even as real economic growth has been slower than claimed.
    …. the deception arose gradually, at no stage stemming from any concerted or cynical scheme. There was no grand conspiracy, just accumulating opportunisms. As we will see, the political blame for the slow, piecemeal distortion is bipartisan—both Democratic and Republican administrations had a hand in the abetting of political dishonesty, reckless debt, and a casino-like financial sector. To see how, we must revisit forty years of economic and statistical dissembling.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  23. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Blake @ 22 – You forgot to mention the role of the press covering for the politician(s).

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  24. pfft

    By Blake @ 22:

    RE: pfft @ 21
    They’ve been cooking the books for many years… Dems and Reps.
    http://harpers.org/archive/2008/05/numbers-racket/
    ….since the 1960s, Washington has been forced to gull its citizens and creditors by debasing official statistics: the vital instruments with which the vigor and muscle of the American economy are measured. The effect, over the past twenty-five years, has been to create a false sense of economic achievement and rectitude, allowing us to maintain artificially low interest rates, massive government borrowing, and a dangerous reliance on mortgage and financial debt even as real economic growth has been slower than claimed.
    …. the deception arose gradually, at no stage stemming from any concerted or cynical scheme. There was no grand conspiracy, just accumulating opportunisms. As we will see, the political blame for the slow, piecemeal distortion is bipartisan—both Democratic and Republican administrations had a hand in the abetting of political dishonesty, reckless debt, and a casino-like financial sector. To see how, we must revisit forty years of economic and statistical dissembling.

    lol. shadow stats. all the same conspiracy theories are there. core inflation and etc.

    “.since the 1960s, Washington has been forced to gull its citizens and creditors by debasing official statistics”

    yeah and nobody figured it out. here is a clue. investors(the good ones) uncover stuff like this. it’s already baked into the caked so to speak.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  25. Blake

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 23:

    RE: Blake @ 22 – You forgot to mention the role of the press covering for the politician(s).

    It should be obvious to all by now that the Washington-New York beltway connects the corporate media heads, the politicians, and the corporate CEOs… they attend the same dinner parties and clubs, send their children to the same elite schools, have the same attachment to maintaining the status quo, and share the same enemy – - us… the US public. That’s why we must be spied on and not allowed to know what our government is doing. They think we’re conspiring to throw them out of power (and into jail) … and they are right. We are out to get them, but they’ll do anything to hold onto power.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  26. Blake

    By pfft @ 24:

    By <a href='#comment-223338' yeah and nobody figured it out. here is a clue. investors(the good ones) uncover stuff like this. it's already baked into the caked so to speak.

    No, some people never figure it out and write things like:
    “U3 has ALWAYS been counted like that.”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  27. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Blake @ 25 – Yep, David Gregory’s kids go to the same school as the Obama’s kids.

    It also explains why the press is so anti-Citizen’s United. But for that ruling Congress could pass legislation affecting them too, but they aren’t worried about that because they’re currently on the same team as the politicians. Very short sighted, IMHO, but the press isn’t filled with people who are high on the IQ scale.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  28. pfft

    By Blake @ 26:

    By pfft @ 24:
    By <a href='#comment-223338' yeah and nobody figured it out. here is a clue. investors(the good ones) uncover stuff like this. it's already baked into the caked so to speak.

    No, some people never figure it out and write things like:
    “U3 has ALWAYS been counted like that.”

    so educate me. please.

    if you want a fuller unemployment picture you can just look at the labor force participation rate or the employment population ratio published by…the government.

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/categories/32449

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

    let me be frank. if people on a message board in seattle know about it the big boys on wall street new about it a long time ago. a long time ago.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  29. Blake

    By pfft @ 28:

    let me be frank. if people on a message board in seattle know about it the big boys on wall street new about it a long time ago. a long time ago.

    Pfft, the point of Kevin Phillips’ 2008 Harper’s piece – as stated in the first paragraph – is that the the government cooks the official statistics to “gull its citizens.” Yes, the boys on Wall Street (and most of the people on this message board) know the real deal: Today we have now equalled the number of full-time workers that we had before the Great Recession began, yet the working age population has increased 13 million!!!! But the unemployment “rate” is 6.3%…

    Yet, “unwitting citizens” will cite the official unemployment stats to argue that times are good again and the economy has recovered! But the divergence between the real economy and the official stats is becoming untenable… this is one of the major drags on Obama’s popularity and if he and his supporters keep citing official stats then it shows that they are truly clueless.

    http://robertreich.org/post/81685592406
    -snip- More than five years after Wall Street’s near meltdown the number of full-time workers is still less than it was in December 2007, yet the working-age population of the U.S. has increased by 13 million since then. This explains why so many people are still getting nowhere. Unemployment among those 18 to 29 is 11.4 percent, nearly double the national rate. Most companies continue to shed workers, cut wages, and horde their cash because they don’t have enough customers to warrant expansion. Why? The vast middle class and poor don’t have enough purchasing power, as 95 percent of the economy’s gains go to the top 1 percent.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  30. pfft

    By Blake @ 29:

    By pfft @ 28:
    let me be frank. if people on a message board in seattle know about it the big boys on wall street new about it a long time ago. a long time ago.

    Pfft, the point of Kevin Phillips’ 2008 Harper’s piece – as stated in the first paragraph – is that the the government cooks the official statistics to “gull its citizens.” Yes, the boys on Wall Street (and most of the people on this message board) know the real deal: Today we have now equalled the number of full-time workers that we had before the Great Recession began, yet the working age population has increased 13 million!!!! But the unemployment “rate” is 6.3%…

    Yet, “unwitting citizens” will cite the official unemployment stats to argue that times are good again and the economy has recovered! But the divergence between the real economy and the official stats is becoming untenable… this is one of the major drags on Obama’s popularity and if he and his supporters keep citing official stats then it shows that they are truly clueless.

    http://robertreich.org/post/81685592406
    -snip- More than five years after Wall Street’s near meltdown the number of full-time workers is still less than it was in December 2007, yet the working-age population of the U.S. has increased by 13 million since then. This explains why so many people are still getting nowhere. Unemployment among those 18 to 29 is 11.4 percent, nearly double the national rate. Most companies continue to shed workers, cut wages, and horde their cash because they don’t have enough customers to warrant expansion. Why? The vast middle class and poor don’t have enough purchasing power, as 95 percent of the economy’s gains go to the top 1 percent.

    there have been plenty of stories about the long term participation rate. we know it’s bad. the headline unemployment number is what it is. you don’t just not report it.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  31. Saulac

    The home-improvement pimping is getting crowded, or should I say, into a bubble.
    First of, on the Tims’ employer, Porch.
    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/brierdudley/2014/03/03/16501/
    “A breakthrough was a deal with Lowe’s announced in January. It put Porch.com in stores and on the devices carried by Lowe’s employees, who direct customers to the site when they’re looking for professional help with home-improvement projects.”
    Hmmm…getting a deal with brick and mortar stores was considered to be a breakthrough…
    “…employees chipped in to paint and decorate the space.” Hmmm…anyone know any good home-improvement contractor? Hello? Anyone?
    Then the new player.
    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/brierdudley/2014/05/13/16734/
    “A chunk of the funding was spent acquiring the Pro.com domain from a Belgian tech company that reserved the name awhile ago but hadn’t been using it, Williams said.”
    Hmmm…have to admit “pro” is a pretty good name…not sure how big the chunk of money was…but how about having a bit of creativity? I don’t know…how about “Deck”?
    Look like the dot.com has been “recovered” pretty well, just like the housing market…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  32. wreckingbull

    RE: pfft @ 30 – Wrong (again). Reporting a misleading metric is far worse than not reporting it all. U3 is ‘the unemployment rate’ to almost everyone, and it is a joke of a metric.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  33. Blurtman

    RE: Saulac @ 31 – All is well. La, la, la, la, la,…. All is well!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  34. Blurtman

    Meanwhile, in the United Banana Republic of America, a commoner is facing life in prison for selling pot brownies, while the upper class launderers of drug cartel money go unpunished.

    Yes, justice for all, but not the same justice for all.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/texas-man-faces-life-prison-pot-brownies/story?id=23807681

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  35. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Blurtman @ 34 – Maybe the brownies were dry and crunchy.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  36. pfft

    By wreckingbull @ 32:

    RE: pfft @ 30 – Wrong (again). Reporting a misleading metric is far worse than not reporting it all. U3 is ‘the unemployment rate’ to almost everyone, and it is a joke of a metric.

    no it isn’t. it’s almost always been reported that way. what exactly is your problem with it?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  37. Blake

    Meanwhile on the Permanent War front: President 0 (“Mr. Blah Blah Blah”) has yet to push forward any changes to the AUMF that he spoke so eloquently about one year ago. Funny how many people still do not realize that all Obama likes to do is talk talk talk… He’s our national scold…

    http://news.yahoo.com/white-house-hosts-senators-for–bizarre–secret-foreign-policy-meeting-211842750.html
    … In a speech almost exactly one year ago, President Obama declared that it was time to overhaul the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), and “determine how we can continue to fight terrorism without keeping America on a perpetual wartime footing.”

    “I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF’s mandate. And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further,” Obama said at the time. “Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. That’s what our democracy demands.”

    But one year later, the administration has yet to provide Congress with suggested specific changes to the law, much less with legislative language for rewriting it.
    (end quote)

    Wow… “our Democracy demands it!” But someone is not listening…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  38. pfft

    By Blake @ 37:

    Meanwhile on the Permanent War front: President 0 (“Mr. Blah Blah Blah”) has yet to push forward any changes to the AUMF that he spoke so eloquently about one year ago. Funny how many people still do not realize that all Obama likes to do is talk talk talk..

    I look forward to engaging Congress

    But one year later, the administration has yet to provide Congress with suggested specific changes to the law, much less with legislative language for rewriting it.

    in my edits are hints…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  39. Blake

    RE: pfft @ 38
    Oh, I forgot… He is “leading from behind” again!
    A great leader… The Big 0

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  40. pfft

    By Blake @ 39:

    RE: pfft @ 38
    Oh, I forgot… He is “leading from behind” again!
    A great leader… The Big 0

    leading from behind is republican spin. nobody cares about it accept Republicans. Bush lead from the front(as President not when he was in the National Guard dodging service. Same for Cheney) and how did that go?

    The thing is it doesn’t matter what he puts out, it’s not passing Congress. If Obama is behind it they are against it. Leading from behind indeed.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  41. Blake

    By Blake @ 37:

    Meanwhile on the Permanent War front…

    George Washington U Law Professor Jonathon Turley, from the June issue of the American Legion Magazine: “A Question of Power: The Imperial Presidency”
    http://www.legion.org/magazine/222394/question-power-imperial-presidency

    – snip – What is fascinating is that Nixon was largely unsuccessful in accomplishing this dream of a presidency with robust and largely unlimited powers. Indeed, many of the unchecked powers claimed by Nixon became the basis for articles in his impeachment and led to his resignation on Aug. 9, 1974.

    Four decades ago, Nixon was halted in his determined effort to create an imperial presidency with unilateral powers and privileges. But in 2013, Obama wields those very same powers openly and without serious opposition.

    -Surveillance. Nixon’s use of warrantless surveillance was cited as one of his greatest abuses and led to the creation of the special Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Obama, however, has expanded warrantless surveillance programs to a degree that dwarfs anything Nixon imagined, including initiating a program that captured communications of virtually every U.S. citizen.

    -War. Nixon’s impeachment included the charge that he evaded Congress’ sole authority to declare war by invading Cambodia. Obama went even further in the Libyan war, declaring that he alone defines what is a “war” for the purposes of triggering the constitutional provisions on declarations of Congress. That position effectively converts the entire provision in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution (“Congress shall have power to … declare War”) into a discretionary power of the president.

    -Kill lists. Nixon ordered a burglary to find evidence to use against Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, and was accused of a secret plot to have the White House “plumbers” “incapacitate” him in a physical attack. People were outraged. Yet Obama has asserted the right to kill any U.S. citizen without a charge, let alone conviction, based on his sole authority. Internal documents state that he has a right to kill a citizen even when he lacks “clear evidence (of) a specific attack” being planned.

    -Reporters/whistle-blowers. Nixon was known for his attacks on whistleblowers, using the Espionage Act of 1917 to bring a rare criminal case against Ellsberg. He was vilified for this abuse of the law, but Obama has brought twice as many such prosecutions as all prior presidents combined. Nixon was accused of putting a few reporters under surveillance. The Obama administration has admitted to putting Associated Press reporters, as well as a Fox reporter, under surveillance.

    -Obstruction of Congress. Nixon was cited for various efforts to obstruct or mislead congressional investigators. The Obama administration has repeatedly refused to give evidence sought by oversight committees in a variety of scandals. In one case, Congress voted to move forward with criminal contempt charges against Attorney General Eric Holder, which Holder’s own Justice Department blocked. In another case, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied before Congress on the surveillance programs, and later said that he offered the least untruthful statement he could think of. The Obama administration, however, refuses to investigate Clapper for perjury, let alone fire him. Recently, the administration was accused of searching Senate computers in an investigation of the CIA and trying to intimidate congressional investigators.”
    etc…

    Blake sez: Truly shameful how enthusiastically “Constitutional scholar” Obama and his advisors have embraced these powers! This is something that the left and right should unite on… except that with a Dem in office, the Obamabots give him a pass… and in a few years, if a Rep gets into office, the right will cheer on the Imperial Presidency!

    Turley concludes:
    “It may be that it is not the presidency that has changed. We have changed. As a nation, we seem to have grown almost bored with rights like privacy and due process. We have been passive and pedestrian in watching the rise of an uber-presidency. We no longer view ourselves as directing our government, but as merely bystanders watching matters outside our control.

    …“Democracy … soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself,” John Adams once said. “There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

    What is truly sad is that if one of the greatest republics in history did die, it is not clear if anyone would even notice its passing.”
    (end quote)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  42. Blake

    By pfft @ 40:leading from behind is republican spin. nobody cares about it accept Republicans.

    No pfft… it’s from the New Yorker, citing an Admin source:
    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/04/leading-from-behind-obama-clinton.html
    And Lizza points out that the phrase is consistent with the Administration’s “bait and switch” deception:
    …”Frankly, what Obama did was a massive bait and switch. He used the Arab League’s support for a no-fly zone to win United Nations support for a far larger military intervention. The debate about the merits of this style of leadership should also take into account what was accomplished.”

    Lizza wrote that in 2011… as Libya has decended into utter chaos and now civil war, should Obama, Hillary Clinton and company take a victory lap now?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  43. Blurtman

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 35 – Used GMO derived ingredients. And inappropriate product labeling.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  44. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Blake @ 41 – Just the drone strikes by themselves should result in impeachment, but you never hear that mentioned. That lack of noise is part of the evidence that the Democrats and Republicans are really part of the same team. If the Republicans hated Obama as much as the rhetoric, there he would have already been impeached by the heavily leaning Republican House.

    Maybe they’re waiting to take over the Senate so they can win the trial too?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  45. pfft

    By Blake @ 42:

    By pfft @ 40:

    leading from behind is republican spin. nobody cares about it accept Republicans.
    Lizza wrote that in 2011… as Libya has decended into utter chaos and now civil war, should Obama, Hillary Clinton and company take a victory lap now?yes. I am sure if you were in Benghazi when the LIbyan army was going to smash it to pieces you are gracious. Libya has problems but it is better than when the US intervened. to say otherwise is nonsense.

    ” as Libya has decended into utter chaos and now civil war”

    what? like it wasn’t before? Libya is not a civil war right now.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  46. Blurtman

    RE: Blake @ 41 – Yes, but he is erudite and means well. Doesn’t he?

    American exceptionalism means we can murder people and its OK. Hello.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  47. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 43:

    RE: Blake @ 41 – Just the drone strikes by themselves should result in impeachment

    why?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  48. pfft

    By Blurtman @ 45:

    RE: Blake @ 41 – Yes, but he is erudite and means well. Doesn’t he?

    American exceptionalism means we can murder people and its OK. Hello.

    what?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  49. Kary L. Krismer

    By pfft @ 46:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 43:
    RE: Blake @ 41 – Just the drone strikes by themselves should result in impeachment

    why?

    Good God! Do you really not understand that the President of the United States doesn’t have the power to unilaterally order the killing of an American citizen? How much of an Obamabot are you?

    But hey I guess the President does suddenly have this power if he gets some sap lawyer to write a legal opinion, promising that lawyer a federal judgeship if he reaches the “right” conclusion.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  50. Blurtman
  51. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 48:

    By pfft @ 46:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 43:
    RE: Blake @ 41 – Just the drone strikes by themselves should result in impeachment

    why?

    Good God! Do you really not understand that the President of the United States doesn’t have the power to unilaterally order the killing of an American citizen? How much of an Obamabot are you?

    Prove using court cases and the like what you just said. Also I am not an obamabot.

    Please answer two questions.

    1. “an American citizen”

    tell us about this person. I am very curious and to why you have never elaborate on who this person is. is there a reason? to be fair virtually nobody has provided background on here or in the media.

    2. what would you have done.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  52. pfft

    We shall see.

    Dems want Holder to lower boom on big banks
    http://thehill.com/policy/finance/206893-dems-want-holder-to-lower-the-boom-on-biggest-banks

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  53. Blurtman

    RE: pfft @ 52 – Must be election time. My advice – ditch both parties and vote for individuals. William K. Black for President.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  54. Kary L. Krismer

    By pfft @ 51:

    Please answer two questions.

    1. “an American citizen”

    tell us about this person. I am very curious and to why you have never elaborate on who this person is. is there a reason? to be fair virtually nobody has provided background on here or in the media.

    2. what would you have done.

    1. He was an accused terrorist. At the very least he was an extremist. Clearly he should have had zero rights because of what he was accused of. /sarc

    2. If you cannot kidnap them in a raid, you can always try them in abstentia. Then you have an actual criminal conviction. Presumably Obama with his extensive understanding of the Constitution would have known that. /sarc

    But why do you ask me for case law? The Obama administration has been blocking court access to the document which purports to give an analysis which purportedly gives him the power. Presumably it’s because that document is likely the funniest document in the world, and will cause anyone who reads it to die laughing at its stupidity.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  55. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Blurtman @ 50 – I was focusing on the killing of US citizens, but the use of drones outside of a theater of other US military activity is also problematic. Rather ironic that we have the anti-war candidate for President committing acts of war as President in multiple countries. But the one thing Obamacare has taught us is that Obama will lie to get what he wants, he’s admitted that.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  56. Blake

    By pfft @ 52:

    We shall see.

    Dems want Holder to lower boom on big banks
    http://thehill.com/policy/finance/206893-dems-want-holder-to-lower-the-boom-on-biggest-banks

    Ha hah hah ha Ha hah hah ha Ha hah hah ha Ha hah hah ha Ha hah hah ha Ha hah hah ha Ha hah hah ha Ha hah hah ha Ha hah hah ha !!!!!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  57. Blake

    By pfft @ 51:

    Please answer two questions.

    1. “an American citizen”

    tell us about this person. I am very curious and to why you have never elaborate on who this person is. is there a reason? to be fair virtually nobody has provided background on here or in the media.

    2. what would you have done.

    Anwar al-Awlaki who was born in New Mexico. His father, Nasser al-Awlaki, was a Fulbright Scholar who earned a master’s degree in agricultural economics at New Mexico State University and a doctorate at the University of Nebraska, and worked at the University of Minnesota from 1975 to 1977…
    Two weeks after killing Anwar, Obama ordered the killing of his 16 year old son Abdulrahman, who was born in Denver.
    BHO: Judge, jury, executioner.

    Yes, Anwar was speaking out against US policies and rallying others to fight and overthrow US backed regimes. But by the “standard” the US is applying, Libyans, Syrians and others could execute pfft and other Americans for advocating violent revolution against their countries!? No?

    As for question #2. what would you have done?
    Not killed them… it is clear now that US drone strikes in Yemen and elsewhere helped the jihadis rally and organize, gathering recruits from all over the region – - especially Libya and Syria where the jihadis have found fertile ground and lots of US weapons at their disposal.
    “Nice work Barack!”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  58. Blurtman

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 54 – Push the button. Children get their heads blown off. Not covered by USA media. Sheeple graze. Terror! Terror! Bad jobs climate! Bad jobs climate! Baaaaaaaaa….. Hi tech murder from the skies continues. Hillary, Jeb or the fat man won’t change things.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  59. Blurtman

    RE: Blake @ 55 – Must be getting close to election time. More hollow rhetoric for the masses. “Your winnings, sir.”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  60. Blake

    By pfft @ 45:

    Libya has problems but it is better than when the US intervened. to say otherwise is nonsense.

    You are an ignorant American. Here we witness the bi-partisan logic of ongoing, permanent war. The Republicans and pro-war Democrats have no remorse for destroying Iraq, and now the Obamabots line up to tell the Libyans to suck it up… “You’ve never had it so good!”
    Pig-ignorant American… Fours years ago in Libyan girls could go to school, people could feed their families, they had a functioning central government. There were protests and unrisings, but it was not civil war. You can excuse your ignorance because the patriotic, US corporate media has hardly written a word about the Libyan disaster the last three years… but use the internet and try to educate yourself a bit!
    http://m.washingtonexaminer.com/three-years-after-u.s.-intervention-libyas-an-even-bigger-disaster/article/2545820#

    This is by Paul Pillar, an ex-senior CIA Analyst who is now a Prof at Georgetown U:
    http://consortiumnews.com/2014/05/21/libyan-regime-change-worsened-chaos/

    With the latest revolt – lead by a “rogue” general who spent 20 years living in McLean, Virginia (hint hint…) – the US media is suddenly writing about Libya again…
    http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/21/world/africa/libya-six-questions-explainer/?hpt=hp_t2
    … “There is effectively no rule of law in Libya — no national police force, no working judiciary, no coherent government — but there are as many as 200,000 men with guns.”

    But pfft says things are “better.”

    btw: I just read this excellent book… really amazing research and revelations. Read it in two days: http://www.amazon.com/The-Brothers-Foster-Dulles-Secret/dp/0805094970
    … terrific history about the 1950s and how the US “helped” six countries: Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cuba, and the Congo…. THAT worked out well in retrospect, eh?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  61. Blake

    By Blurtman @ 58:

    RE: – Push the button. Children get their heads blown off. Not covered by USA media. Sheeple graze. Terror! Terror! Bad jobs climate! Bad jobs climate! Baaaaaaaaa….. Hi tech murder from the skies continues. Hillary, Jeb or the fat man won’t change things.
    … Must be getting close to election time. More hollow rhetoric for the masses.

    Yes and Hillary is positioning herself to the RIGHT of Obama on foreign policy and national security! She’s always been a hawk, but now she can smell the Presidency and wants to be sure that no Republican will outflank her on the war front!
    http://antiwar.com/blog/2014/04/29/hillary-clinton-the-democratic-partys-pro-war-anti-civil-liberties-front-runner/
    … US elections are always depressing spectacles, but if Hillary wins the nomination this one could be the worst! She has all the money in the world, but I think she’ll have a hard time in the primaries… she is abrasive and has a thin skin. And something like 46% of Americans already have a negative opinion of her. Let’s hope Warren or another candidate emerges on the left. But if the economy tanks in 2015/2016 the Reps will waltz into office!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  62. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 54:

    By pfft @ 51:
    Please answer two questions.

    1. “an American citizen”

    tell us about this person. I am very curious and to why you have never elaborate on who this person is. is there a reason? to be fair virtually nobody has provided background on here or in the media.

    2. what would you have done.

    1. He was an accused terrorist. At the very least he was an extremist. Clearly he should have had zero rights because of what he was accused of. /sarc

    2. If you cannot kidnap them in a raid, you can always try them in abstentia. Then you have an actual criminal conviction. Presumably Obama with his extensive understanding of the Constitution would have known that. /sarc

    But why do you ask me for case law? The Obama administration has been blocking court access to the document which purports to give an analysis which purportedly gives him the power. Presumably it’s because that document is likely the funniest document in the world, and will cause anyone who reads it to die laughing at its stupidity.

    why did it take so many months for someone to finally give background?

    “But why do you ask me for case law?”

    I don’t know maybe because you are so sure of your views?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  63. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 55:

    RE: Blurtman @ 50 – I was focusing on the killing of US citizens, but the use of drones outside of a theater of other US military activity is also problematic. Rather ironic that we have the anti-war candidate for President committing acts of war as President in multiple countries.

    not at all. didn’t you read his Nobel Prize speech when you were researching how it was a joke that he got a Nobel Prize? He was the anti-Iraq war candidate and ran on finishing the war in Afghanistan. Don’t you remember him campaigning on that?

    the biggest mistake of Obama’s presidency has been Syria.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  64. pfft

    By Blake @ 60:

    By pfft @ 45:
    Fours years ago in Libyan girls could go to school, people could feed their families, they had a functioning central government. There were protests and unrisings, but it was not civil war.

    are you joking?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libyan_Civil_War#Uprising_and_civil_war

    Do you know that Libyans have the best attitudes towards Americans in the entire middle east?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  65. pfft

    By Blurtman @ 58:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 54 – Push the button. Children get their heads blown off. Not covered by USA media.

    if they don’t cover it how do you know about it? drones have been covered extensively. remember rand paul “filibuster.” remember rachel maddow’s great covering of drones? Btw if you want real criticize of the president watch MSNBC. People like Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews have far better criticisms of the president than you find on fox. fox just makes stuff up. CNN is bland he said/she said journalism.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  66. softwarengineer

    RE: Blake @ 61

    LOL….You Bloggers May Be a Bit Depressing [like SWE]

    But what the heck, its the Memorial Day Weekend! We didn’t cause this mess [and there's little we can do to fix it either]….so smile as much as possible without this NWO poisoning affecting our demure. If you can’t change city hall, join it….I’m not saying agree with the lies, just protect yourselves and family economically [what else can we do?].

    Buy some $4-5/lb overpriced fat burgers, fry them babies on the grill and Saturday [it stops raining then] lift up a favorite brew and salute all us bubbleheads for a wonderful journey. Overall, life is great you know and here’s wishing the best to us all ;-)

    I’m so greatful for my life in America [I know I got it's best years], I traded in my 2011 Charger for a 2014 Special Edition upgrade [$8k extra marked down to $2K] this month after it got bashed at the work parking lot. I gave the fellow employee who bashed it a “high five” for getting me to trade it in after I lost its “factory paint” collector car value….I paid $22.6K for it, got $20K trade-in for a zeroed out odometer and new free warranty on my new red Charger. Think a completely new paradigm everyday, it may not always make you rich, but it sure puts a smile on your face.

    Happy Memorial Day, remember the brave souls that fought for our freedoms, without them, none of us lucky devils with good jobs would be here eatin’ burgers and using our country’s freedom of speech.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  67. Blake

    By pfft @ 64:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libyan_Civil_War#Uprising_and_civil_war

    Do you know that Libyans have the best attitudes towards Americans in the entire middle east?

    Wow… that’s the most “professional” wikipedia page I’ve ever seen! Over 350 references, lots of pictures… Very impressive piece of work. Must have taken a lot of time and money. Great info like this: “The rebels were composed primarily of civilians, such as teachers, students, lawyers, and oil workers…”

    And here I thought they were jihadis… people that might perhaps kill the US Ambassador and terrorize the countryside…

    And I am curious… you wrote “the biggest mistake of Obama’s presidency has been Syria?”
    You think not enough bombs and weapons for Syria, I assume? I think over the last 3 years we’ve provided about $1 billion in weapons (including tons that we transferred from Libya) and training for forces based in Turkey and Jordan. Not quite enough civil war for your tastes?

    Yes.. it is Memorial Day weekend. A time for us to reflect on how we’ve managed to remain such a peace-loving nation in a world filled with so much violence and weaponry.
    http://economy.money.cnn.com/2013/06/27/weapons-exports/
    … The United States is by far the world’s biggest arms exporter.
    http://www.propublica.org/article/in-big-win-for-defense-industry-obama-rolls-back-limits-on-arms-export
    http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2009/press.html
    (I’m sorry for the snark… I work with wounded Vets every day and I am (quite obviously) anti-war… sickened by war. I would hope that the US would learn from the past, but the US public doesn’t seem to care… it doesn’t really affect them and it is just “business.”)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  68. pfft

    By Blake @ 67:

    By pfft @ 64:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libyan_Civil_War#Uprising_and_civil_war

    Do you know that Libyans have the best attitudes towards Americans in the entire middle east?

    And I am curious… you wrote “the biggest mistake of Obama’s presidency has been Syria?”
    You think not enough bombs and weapons for Syria, I assume? I think over the last 3 years we’ve provided about $1 billion in weapons (including tons that we transferred from Libya) and training for forces based in Turkey and Jordan. Not quite enough civil war for your tastes?/blockquote>do you know almost 200,000 people have died in Syria. We could have stopped it. Your comments about how Syria wasn’t a civil war is a joke and if I were a serious person I’d stop debating you based on that alone. you are so naive.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  69. Blake

    By pfft @ 68:

    do you know almost 200,000 people have died in Syria. We could have stopped it. Your comments about how Syria wasn’t a civil war is a joke and if I were a serious person I’d stop debating you based on that alone. you are so naive.

    Yeah, I never said Syria was not in a civil war… I challenge you to find that anywhere in this forum.

    You really think if the US had attacked Syria that fewer people would have died?

    btw: Take 30 seconds to look at this… from US-based the Council on Foreign Relations:
    http://blogs.cfr.org/zenko/2014/04/01/syria-civil-war-total-fatalities/
    …. “Estimates released today by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) portray a different picture of the civil war in Syria than U.S. policymakers and media convey. SOHR’s estimated death toll reinforces the point made in an article published on ForeignPolicy.com in September 2013, when they last released updated data: most of the reported deaths in Syria have not been committed by forces under Bashar al-Assad’s command.”

    If the US attacked last year it could easily be a million by now…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  70. Kary L. Krismer

    By pfft @ 62:

    “But why do you ask me for case law?”

    I don’t know maybe because you are so sure of your views?

    Read the Fifth Amendment: “No person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

    So, unless these citizens were somehow not “persons” they were deprived of their life without any process other than presumably a signature from Obama ordering them to be killed.

    Obama has been trampling the Bill of Rights left and right, but his killing of American citizens is by far the most extreme action he’s taken because of the dire consequences to those Americans he has killed.

    BTW, it hasn’t taken months to explain who he’s killed. Your memory just sucks.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  71. Kary L. Krismer
  72. Blurtman

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 71 – Death from the sky. We decide. It’d like a horrible science fiction movie. One moment you are talking to friends. The next moment pieces of you decorate the smoldering ground.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  73. Kary L. Krismer

    So many Americans being like pfft make me sick. They are the proverbial frog in the pot of water. Look how many people thought Snowden was a traitor, totally ignoring the outrageous things the government is doing.

    On the topic of Snowden, NBC will be airing an hour long interview sometime this week. I thought it was supposed to be Wednesday at 10:00, but Windows Media Center tells me otherwise.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  74. Dirty Renter in Banjo Country

    I thought I was on Seattle Bubble…not tryouts for a slot on RTTV.
    My mistake.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  75. Kary L. Krismer

    By Dirty Renter in Banjo Country @ 74:

    I thought I was on Seattle Bubble…not tryouts for a slot on RTTV.
    My mistake.

    Funny, I was just thinking this morning about how the counter-culture of the 60s really sold out. You went from having John Kerry complaining about what was going on in the country to his helping run it in ways that were never imagined back then even in peoples’ worst nightmares.

    Nice to cap that off with some nonsense claim that by actually wanting to follow the Constitution and Bill of Rights you’re un-American. Makes me very nostalgic and missing Archie Bunker.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  76. Ardell DellaLoggia

    RE: Dirty Renter in Banjo Country @ 74

    When I see lots of political talk and virtually no real estate talk that says something. Almost no one talking about real estate on “a real estate blog” is a signal of a weakening market. :)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  77. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Ardell DellaLoggia @ 76 – So no one was talking about RE here in 2007/2008? ;-)

    I would attribute the lack of talk to not much in the way of meaningful statistics the past year or even two years.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  78. Ira Sacharoff

    By Blurtman @ 58:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 54 – Push the button. Children get their heads blown off. Not covered by USA media. Sheeple graze. Terror! Terror! Bad jobs climate! Bad jobs climate! Baaaaaaaaa….. Hi tech murder from the skies continues. Hillary, Jeb or the fat man won’t change things.

    The “Fat Man”? Chris Christie? He’s got as much chance of getting elected President as I have winning a beauty contest.
    With Bill Clinton, W, and now Obama, I’ve always had the feeling that they were doing the bidding of parties more powerful than themselves. Puppets.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  79. Kary L. Krismer

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 78:

    With Bill Clinton, W, and now Obama, I’ve always had the feeling that they were doing the bidding of parties more powerful than themselves. Puppets.

    I like what is presumably the intentional omission of W. With him we always knew that was true. ;-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  80. Blurtman

Leave a Reply

Do you want a nifty avatar picture next to your name, instead of a photograph of Tim's dog? Just sign up with Gravatar, and make sure to use the same email address in the form below. It's that easy!

Please read the rules before posting a comment.

You have 25 comments remaining on this post.

Archives

Find us on Google+