Weekend Open Thread (2011-07-22)

Here is your open thread for the weekend beginning Friday July 22nd, 2011. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here. Also, if you have an idea or a topic you’d like to see covered in an article, please make it known.

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

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

57 comments:

  1. 1
    Scotsman says:

    CHS on how to tell when we’ve hit the bottom in housing. By the way, looks like he thinks prices will halve from where we are now. Some interesting charts, and a few gems in the quotes department:

    “Here we see the first phase shift decline and the Central State engineered “recovery,” which has now rolled over”

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjuly11/housing-bottom-6-11.html

  2. 2
    David Losh says:

    How did Zillow end the week? Did anything good come out of the offering?

  3. 3
    Pegasus says:

    By David Losh @ 2:

    How did Zillow end the week? Did anything good come out of the offering?

    Yes it showed how many lemmings there are still left. The ones that didn’t destroy themselves in the real estate bubble are alive and well in the stock market. The brilliance of buying the opening with market orders on a hot IPO has once again allowed the vultures to pick off the lemmings who bot at $60 and promptly lost about half of their investment. Viva la ignorancia!

  4. 4
    Scotsman says:

    “They’re back!” Mass layoffs, that is:

    “In the past week, Cisco, Lockheed Martin and Borders announced a combined 23,000 in job cuts.

    Those announcements follow 41,432 in planned cuts in June, up 11.6% from May and 5.3% vs. a year earlier, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

    Meanwhile, state and local governments have cut 142,000 jobs this year, The WSJ reports, and Wall Street is braced for another round of cutbacks. This week, Goldman Sachs announced plans to let go 1000 fixed-income traders.

    If these trends continue, we may soon be talking about losses in the monthly employment data — not just disappointing growth, says Howard Davidowitz, CEO of Davidowitz & Associates

    “Everything in business is confidence,” Davidowitz says. “You lose confidence and businesses can’t deal with that [and] who could have confidence with what’s going on in Washington?”

    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/return-mass-layoffs-grim-sign-u-workers-190228219.html

  5. 5

    Borders is bankruptcy related. About half the Cisco losses are due to selling a manufacturing plant, but in any case the company CEO has been making disparaging comments about how badly the company has been managing its affairs. So both situations just involve poorly run companies.

    About the only one that is related to the economy in general is Lockheed Martin, which is apparently trying to prepare for defense spending cuts–an indication of how government spending does affect employment.

  6. 6
    ChrisM says:

    Nice Friday trial balloon: “The Obama administration is examining ways to pull foreclosed properties off the market and rent them to help stabilize the housing market, according to people familiar with the matter.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904233404576458300001332210.html#articleTabs%3Darticle

  7. 7
    Blurtman says:

    RE: ChrisM @ 6 – Way back in time, perhaps even two years ago, Obama argued for principal reductions on mortgage debt for troubled homeowners. His rationale was that while it may seem unfair to folks who are paying their mortgages and who would not benefit from the proposal, that it would help them in the long run by keeping their property values up. That went over like a lead balloon, although the banks are stealthily engaged in principal reductions, it has been reported.

  8. 8

    The worst predictions of the bears have come true. There’s an active listing in Normandy Park for only $412.00. :-D

  9. 9
    softwarengineer says:

    I Was Talking Real Estate With a Maple Valley Resident With a Large Home/Lot

    Who was pink pony about real estate, even 3 years ago…but has told me, she’s eating crow now.

    First I told her how lucky she was…no river flooding to her property and home [it was under water a couple years ago]. She agreed and smiled.

    I told her that when I predicted the housing bubble to come in about 5 years in 1999, everyone thought I was crazy. Even the realtor who sold me my house and most all existing home owners back then, were almost all astonished I didn’t buy a bigger home in 1999, with my qualifying income. I told her, I told them, I’m the investor and their risk was too big for me in future losses, as incomes and jobs run dry with local population density increases causing a slamdunk bubble.

    I told her the data is all in the government’s BLS website over the years, documenting a chronic shrinking total civilian labor force for the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area [my hands came together in a shrinking motion]; simultaneously, we’re insourcing more population density in the local area at the same time [my hands came apart in a increasing motion].

    She told me I was depressing her, but laughed too. We had a very good business meeting later together too.

  10. 10
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 3 – I am no fan of Z but aren’t you indirectly promoting the short term investment strategy? Let’s see where Z is in one year and five years. It is not unusual to hold stocks of growing companies that are out of the money, and that finish substantially in the money. IMHO, you are being a bit hasty in your castigation of an investment strategy whose success or failure is currently indeterminate, unless you are a day trader.

  11. 11
    Blurtman says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 9 – Health and family and friends and good coffee are at the top of the pyramid. The rest is a sideshow that many seem to turn into a fetish.

  12. 12

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5
    Don’t you think ” just poorly run companies ” can take down the whole economy?
    How about all the banks and brokerage houses that needed to be bailed out? Weren’t they ” just poorly run companies?”
    Corporate profits seem to be near their all time highs, but that doesn’t translate into more employment, at least not right now.

  13. 13
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 10 – I was just commenting on the mechanics of IPO’s and not whether Zillow is a good long term investment or not. I find it really stupid to buy things that might drop in value by close to 50 percent a few hours later. It would be like buying a new home for $600,000 from a builder in the morning after saying you are willing to pay whatever price he wants and finding the builder selling the identical home next door for $320,000 in the afternoon. If you end up taking a 40-50 percent haircut on all of your investments on the first day it might take centuries to offset that kind of behavior. My guess is that most of the buyers at $60.00 were not intending to be long-term holders anyway. Now they might be if they did not dump it after it fell as they wait to break even.

  14. 14

    RE: Pegasus @ 13
    A number of years ago I bought some shares in a company called Plug Power, a fuel cell company, a day after the IPO. I paid 19 a share, it had gone off the day before at 17, and I thought they were a cool company and wanted to own it over the long term. For whatever reason, the stock just took off like a banshee right after I bought it. Within a few months, it was trading at 145 a share. But did Einstein here sell it then?
    Of course not. I waited until it dropped to 102 dollars a share. When I did sell it, it was going down as fast as it had gone up. It’s currently $2.38 per share.

  15. 15
    Pegasus says:

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 14:

    RE: Pegasus @ 13
    A number of years ago I bought some shares in a company called Plug Power, a fuel cell company, a day after the IPO. I paid 19 a share, it had gone off the day before at 17, and I thought they were a cool company and wanted to own it over the long term. For whatever reason, the stock just took off like a banshee right after I bought it. Within a few months, it was trading at 145 a share. But did Einstein here sell it then?
    Of course not. I waited until it dropped to 102 dollars a share. When I did sell it, it was going down as fast as it had gone up. It’s currently $2.38 per share.

    Hey, you at least did not pay $60.00 for it the first day and you still made a handsome profit to boot. Based on the shares that you bot and the fact the stock later did a 1 for ten reverse split it is really trading at 23.8 cents. Shareholders sued them for misleading statements in 2000.

  16. 16
    Scotsman says:

    I still don’t understand how Zillow is susposed to make the big revenue. If they can capture the revenue costs could be low, but the revenue plan doesn’t make sense. Nothing but name recognition with some hope and change mixed in. We all know how well that’s worked out. . .

  17. 17
    David Losh says:

    I like Zillow.

    After a long exchange with Ardell on the rain city guide, I realized that the way property changes hands is going to change.

    I think the cost of exchange will remain sonewhat the same, but bigger players will take over, like big banks are taking over mortgages.

    There may still be feet on the ground, but the Multiple Listing Services may go away, or into a national data base, like Zillow.

    I think it’s still going to be a pay to play, but the consumers may be more in charge of how they present the property.

    Actually that’s just one idea, because I still think the big money will be in financing the transaction.

    So I could see a Coldwell Banker, or RE Max stepping into the management once all the dirty work is done.

  18. 18
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 16

    That’s funny, I always thought saying you were going to make it up on volume when you were losing money was called supply side economics. ;-)

  19. 19
    Scotsman says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 18

    Heh. Supply side jokes are soooo 1980. The new deal is slamming Obama’s cred- even Paul Krugman is in on the game. I almost fell out of my chair. pffffffft was so perturbed he choked on his lunch, and still hasn’t recovered- poor guy doesn’t know what to think now:

    “I am among those in a state of suppressed rage and panic over the president’s negotiating strategy.

    I’d like to believe that it’s all 11-dimensional political chess; but at this point — after the midterm debacle, after the big concession on taxes without even getting a raise in the debt limit — what evidence do we have that Obama knows what he’s doing?

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/22/conceder-in-chief/

  20. 20
    S-Crow says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 14 – It’s ok Ira. I still have a note on my door for the delivery guy from Homegrocer.com to just come on in and put the stuff in the fridge…I’m still waiting. Those were the days: Imandi.com, Homegrocer.com, Mylackey.com and on and on. “I have a dot com” please fund me with 6.5 million in VC money. 16 mos. later…..poof.

  21. 21
    David Losh says:

    Obama is doing the right things. He made the concession on the tax cuts, now wants a tax increase on the wealthy.

    You may call me a liberal, but in my college days a Young American for Freedom friend of mine made the point that the extreme right, and extreme left are virtually the same.

    We want to be left alone.

    The problem we have today is that the government has allowed big business to take over the country and cut government programs for the poor in favor of subsidies for useless business endeavors.

    It’s my money, and I want it. There is no second guessing, I want my money.

    Banks can go pound sand, The government, my government, needs to go get my money back from the bankers and fund my Medicare, and Social Security. That’s it, and I want my drugs too. I want all of my drug choices on the table, because I want my freedom to live, or die, as I choose.

    We need to gut the military. We have needed to gut the military since Viet Nam. We sent Insurance sales people to Iraq for Gawd sakes in the form of the National Guard. What the heck happened to our overwhelming shock and awe? We sent insurance sales people, for gawd sakes.

    Let’s stop the farce, and fund my retirement, fully, completely, and permanently.

  22. 22
    David Losh says:

    I just realized that my comment may have been a little too hard to grasp.

    If the Republicans continue with these antics, if they continue to ignore the mandate they chose to embrace by the Tea Party, If Boehner keeps playing politics rather than make some concessions of his own, there will be another back lash.

    Obama hit the hot buttons to an aging population. It was a good move, and the Republicans have nothing but posturing.

  23. 23
    Scotsman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 21

    “Let’s stop the farce, and fund my retirement, fully, completely, and permanently”

    In the voice of Hal, the HAL9000 computer featured in the movie 2001:

    “I’m sorry, Dave- I can’t do that. We spent your money on junk science, welfare cheats, and subsidies for every pet project or constituent under the sun. You should have saved more and spent less. Your retirement is in a filing cabinet in the Social Security Administration headquarters- nothing but government I.O.U.s, from a government that’s already broke. I suggest you enter the escape pod and get out while you still can. . .”

  24. 24
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 23

    There hasn’t been a welfare system since the 1960s. That’s just another conservative talking point.

    Those IOUs have the full backing of the federal government. What that means is they have to pay. The federal government doesn’t have to pay bond holder, or foriegn bond holders. Our government can go bankrupt, but that won’t get rid of the entitlements.

    It’s our money.

    So filing cabinet or not it is our government, and we are entitled to our money, that we gave them.

    You really need to get out more, because these are what will drive policy.

    As far as squandering money, our government gave money to oil companies, banks, car companies, finance, wall street, insurance companies, while cutting taxes to corporations, and the extremely wealthy.

    Our government needs to go get that money back. I don’t really want to hear any more about cuts to social programs. I want to hear taxation on the extremely wealthy, enough to get them the heck out of this great country. They are the face of the welfare state.

    Just look at the spending charts. We give more money to corporations, who don’t pay taxes, than we do to the elderly, who do pay taxes, on retirement income.

    You are absolutely right. A few hundred thousand dollars more in income and I won’t have to pay any more taxes. Maybe that’s a solution.

  25. 25
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 19

    The irony is that Obama’s lack of any specifics as to spending cuts, leadership and plan to actually balance the budget is pretty much matched by the lack of specifics and economic reasonableness by the House Cut, Cap and Balance Plan. I’ve looked, but I can’t find and specifics for Cut, Cap and Balance that say what will be cut and when. It could perhaps be an economically reasonable plan if it contains specifics as to what will be cut, timing restraints on the size of annual spending cuts to avoid throwing the economy into immediate recession, and some exceptions to allow for the flexibiliity to run a deficit for national emergencies. And it should reasonably include a couple of trillion in temporary revenue increases to pay for the war debt.

    I’ve looked for some specifics on what Cut, Cap and Balance means but I can’t find anything more than that spending and taxes will be cut and a balanced budget amendment will be past and sent to the States for approval. Without some specifics, the Dems might as well let the debt ceiling expire and start picking and choosing what they want to pay.

    If they can’t borrow and one assumes that no additional borrowing will be a permanent situation, then future interest rates become irrelevant to Treasury because there won’t be any future Treausies issued.

    Both sides have so far proven to be nothing more than mindless ideologues that lack the ability to reason and to pragmatically create reasonable solutions to deal with crises and do what’s best for the country. Both sides are largely just pandering to their cronies (they don’t deserve to be granted the dignity of being called constituents) and posturing to place blame on the others for the additional damage their lack of reasonable action will cause.

  26. 26
    Scotsman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 24

    “Those IOUs have the full backing of the federal government. What that means is they have to pay. ”

    They’ll pay alright- with newly printed dollars, each month’s frozen benefit check carrying less buying power than the one you got previously. Ten years in they’ll be pocket money.

  27. 27
    Scotsman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 24

    “There hasn’t been a welfare system since the 1960s”

    What do you call food stamps? Medicare/Medicaid? Ethanol subsidies? Tax breaks for corporate jets? Just because you don’t participate doesn’t mean it isn’t out there.

    Here’s a conservative talking point- we’re broke. The government (in relative terms) thinks it makes $100K a year while the truth is it only makes $60K- and owes $400,000. How do you think that ends? Do you know of any homeowners with similar numbers?

    You need to spend less and save more.

  28. 28
    Scotsman says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 25

    Key part:

    “Gradually decreases, or “caps,” spending over the coming decade from 24.1 percent of the economy this year to 19.9 percent in 2021″

    Lets house/senate work out priorities within those limits, meet changing needs, etc. I like it- first set the max budget, then set priorities within that budget. But we have a long way to go before any agreement is reached. Bottom line- spending has to be cut. Deal with it. ;-)

  29. 29

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 12:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5
    Don’t you think ” just poorly run companies ” can take down the whole economy?
    How about all the banks and brokerage houses that needed to be bailed out? Weren’t they ” just poorly run companies?”
    Corporate profits seem to be near their all time highs, but that doesn’t translate into more employment, at least not right now.

    What I’m saying is that those layoffs are related to the companies being poorly run, and are not necessarily evidence of the status of the economy. Borders hasn’t dealt well with competition or e-readers, and Cisco has been a mess for years.

    But no, I don’t think Blockbuster is going to take down the economy! ;-)

    That’s not to say that a number of poorly run big company couldn’t take down the economy. That’s just not what we’re dealing with in the case of the three companies mentioned (Borders, Cisco and Lockheed). All three of those could shut their doors tomorrow and the economy would survive just fine.

  30. 30

    By Pegasus @ 13:

    RE: Blurtman @ 10 – I was just commenting on the mechanics of IPO’s and not whether Zillow is a good long term investment or not. I find it really stupid to buy things that might drop in value by close to 50 percent a few hours later. It would be like buying a new home for $600,000 from a builder in the morning after saying you are willing to pay whatever price he wants and finding the builder selling the identical home next door for $320,000 in the afternoo.

    A better analogy might be to have an escalation clause up to $600,000 back in 2005 on a condo offered by the developer for $300,000.

  31. 31

    By Scotsman @ 16:

    I still don’t understand how Zillow is susposed to make the big revenue. If they can capture the revenue costs could be low, but the revenue plan doesn’t make sense. Nothing but name recognition with some hope and change mixed in. We all know how well that’s worked out. . .

    I’ve been wondering how much of the revenue of some of these companies is questionable revenue. For example, yesterday Groupon was advertising on Pandora. I’m not sure what Pandora could do for Groupon’s revenue in return, but that’s the idea. If you have revenue from one IPO company contributing to another IPO company, is the revenue really all that realistic?

    You could almost have a multi-company check kiting situation, where website X buys $1M of advertising from website Y and website Y buys $1M from website X. Both would be showing $1M of revenue which really didn’t contribute to profit, which wouldn’t matter to them because these companies are not valued on profit as much as expanding revenue.

  32. 32

    By S-Crow @ 20:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 14 – It’s ok Ira. I still have a note on my door for the delivery guy from Homegrocer.com to just come on in and put the stuff in the fridge…I’m still waiting. Those were the days:

    Homegrocer.com is a good example of a bad company taking a good one down. They got suckered by Webvan, not only into expanding too quickly, but also in the sale.

    Amazon Fresh recently started in my zip code, and it’s interesting how it takes a completely different approach than Homegrocer.com. Even with all of Amazon’s resources, the expansion has been very slow, and the selection meager.

  33. 33
    Blurtman says:

    Here is a basic question – who owns the Federal Reserve? And can it become the ultimate bad bank?

  34. 34
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 28

    So is there an implicit agreement to allow tax increases in Cut, Cap and Balance (CCP)? Revenues don’t equal 19.9% of GDP now (2.1trillion/14.5 trillion=15%). So how do you ever reach balance without increasing revenues (mostly tax collections) to 19.9%? Don’t taxes have to go up to reach 19.9% of GDP?

    Vodoo may in theory make the actual revenue increase, but I don’t think that vodoo can bridge that gap in the percentage of GDP permitted to be spent. And the 19.9% doesn’t include the amount necessary to amortize the 14 trillion principal debt over some period either.

    I don’t have a problem with 19.9% if CCP provides some way to make sure that the revenues equal 19.9% plus the flexibility to deal with emergencies, etc.

    Note also that I thought TARP was a reasonable spending measure to deal with a national emergency. It was a form of insurance against potential financial melt down and GD2 so I would consider that a reasonable exception to go over 19.9% spending (along with war). But then again, if the Republicans would have rather allowed the FDIC and the SEC to nationalize the financial industry perhaps they should rethink whether they’re capitalists or socialists.

  35. 35
    David Losh says:

    OK, socialist, or capitalist is the question.

    Capitalism failed on a large scale. Communism worked for a billion people in China.

    That’s a problem.

    Just because we can point to a few people who live in huge estates, being privately chauffered in helicopter, and jets around the globe to collect massive profits by moving money, that doesn’t translate into an economy.

    We need to tax those people and we all know who those people are. Taxation is also a tool.

    If those people take “thier,” our money, the welfare the tax payers have given them, and go away, that’s much better for the American people.

    We are actually the exploited ones. The American people allowed a very few to control our economy for the benefit of a very few. That’s not how it’s supposed to work.

    As one small example of MediCare, and MedicAid, some claim that insurance companies, not doctors, should be in charge of our health care. Well, that’s not working, and our government has several systems in place to take over that industry.

    Big business? or Big government? Hmmm, one isn’t working, the other is under funded. The other is under funded because our government has to pay to maintain that big business. Hmmm, what should we do?

    FDIC, SEC, nationalize, or give money to bankers, and financiers? Well we gave money to the banks, and financiers, they are making massive profits, but we still have unemployment that we blame the government for? Hmmm, maybe we should have nationalized the banking system.

    So show me where capitalism is working, and I’ll show you a direct connection to our tax dollars. Let’s start.

  36. 36
    Blurtman says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 34 – Bush: “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market system.”

    http://www.unitedliberty.org/articles/bush-i-ve-abandoned-free-market-principles-to-save-the-free-market-system

  37. 37
    Cheap South says:

    For those of you that pay for water service (you do not live in a condo where it’s included with the HOA fees); how much do you pay monthly for a family of 4 (around 5000 gallons)? For that matter, how much do you pay for any amount?

    Thank you

  38. 38

    RE: Cheap South @ 37 – My bill makes no sense when you compare it to the water district’s published rate, but the total is about the same, so . ..

    Apparently I pay a base rate of $37.98 and an additional $11.70 for using 1000 cubic feet (per Google about 7,500 gallons). The sewer is close to $100 for that same period/amount.

    As an aside, apparently in some cities they will charge you for sewer if it’s available at the street, even if you’re still on septic and not hooked up.

  39. 39
    Blurtman says:

    Seersucker suit, fronting the requisite book collection, gravitas adding piano, yup, it must be true.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_oWsdttvnw

    Why aren’t these promo bits ever filmed under a freeway overpass, or in a seedy lap dance bar?

  40. 40
    Dirty_Renter says:

    RE: S-Crow @ 20
    My favorite 2 words of that era were ‘burn rate’.

  41. 41
    Cheap South says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 38:

    RE: Cheap South @ 37 – My bill makes no sense when you compare it to the water district’s published rate, but the total is about the same, so . ..

    Apparently I pay a base rate of $37.98 and an additional $11.70 for using 1000 cubic feet (per Google about 7,500 gallons). The sewer is close to $100 for that same period/amount.

    As an aside, apparently in some cities they will charge you for sewer if it’s available at the street, even if you’re still on septic and not hooked up.

    Thank you Kary. So, your monthly bill totals about $140 for water and sewage.

    A side comment; at about 7500 gallons/month, you have one of these scenarios: a) More than 5 adults in the house, b) you water your lawn very generously, c) you do the laundry for the local little league’s team, d) you have a leak, or e) your bill is not monthly.

  42. 42
    Pegasus says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 38:

    RE: Cheap South @ 37 – My bill makes no sense when you compare it to the water district’s published rate, but the total is about the same, so . ..

    Apparently I pay a base rate of $37.98 and an additional $11.70 for using 1000 cubic feet (per Google about 7,500 gallons). The sewer is close to $100 for that same period/amount.

    As an aside, apparently in some cities they will charge you for sewer if it’s available at the street, even if you’re still on septic and not hooked up.

    Not surprised you are putting about the same amount(about 7500 gallons) into your sewer. All that cr%p has to go somewhere. :>)

  43. 43

    RE: Cheap South @ 41 – Sorry, you’re correct on two points. The bill is every other month. I should have mentioned that, and that might explain the difference in the base amount from that published by the water district. I had realized that for the tier I was in (the lowest), but didn’t think about that for the base amount. Second, during normal years I do water the lawn regularly. Not so much this year, but it has been some.

  44. 44
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Cheap South @ 37

    We pay a flat fee of $400 a year, up from $200 – had to pay for a filter system to get some miniscule amount of still legal cyanide out. There is no limit on what you use, In fact while there are meters they only read them once a year- some state requirement. Private system with about 140 home owners on it. No sewer- everyone has septic. Best water I’ve ever had, comparable to or better than Bellevue and Beaux Arts (also private).

    Country living- cheaper in more ways than one.

  45. 45

    RE: Scotsman @ 44 – Septic can really make a difference–as long as it doesn’t need a major overhaul.

    There’s this little neighborhood in Kent where apparently they didn’t vote to put in the sewer lines, and now when their systems fail it requires a rather expensive drainfield system be put in. Still not sure they’re not better off, but the city probably had better financing options. ;-)

  46. 46
    WillyNilly says:

    RE: Cheap South @ 37

    We pay 180 a year for water off of a shared well with exceptional water quality. Septic of course.

  47. 47
    Scotsman says:

    Wow- ten shot in Kent at a LaRaza low-rider car show. Gang wars come to Seattle?

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015710060_shooting24m.html

  48. 48
    Cheap South says:

    Thanks everyone. Kary, now your consumption (about 3700 gallons per month) makes sense for 2 or 3 daily showers plus lawn. During the summer, your lawn could be taking anywhere between 25-50% of your water use. You probably go down to the standard 1000 gallons per person during fall/winter.

    Anyway; I wanted to estimate about how much of the HOA monthly fees would go to water/sewer in the typical multi-family unit.

  49. 49
    Blurtman says:

    Dead horse flogging. again. as there are a few deniers who post here: there is more than enough money to pay UST bondholders if there is no extension of the debt ceiling, and Tim Geithner is a transparent liar. The latter fact is more than obvious.

    To Both Left And Right: STOP LYING (Debt)

    “Bloomberg has nice enough to categorize expected outlays for August. Here we go, assuming we have $150 billion (I’m a pessimist) in revenue to spend.

    First, there’s what we must pay. That’s $29 billion in interest. We have $121 billion left. Everything else is, legally, a choice.

    Social Security ($49.2 billion, Medicare (28.6 billion) and Medicaid (21.4) billion are up next. They’re big. If we pay them all without exception we now have $21.8 billion left.

    We can pay military active duty pay and IRS tax refunds (you’re going to have trouble getting people to send in taxes in the future if you simply steal them) which total $2.9 billion and $3.9 billion, respectively. We can also pay Veterans benefits ($2.9 billion.) We now have $12.1 billion.

    We now have a choice. We can pay a third of the defense vendor payments, or nearly all of unemployment benefits, most of which are not insurance – they’re extended benefits. Those are $31.7 billion and $12.8 billion respectively. We cannot, however, pay both, and whichever we choose we just ran out of money.

    That means we can’t pay TANF ($7.1 billion), federal salaries (awwwwww, that’s $14.2 billion) or the Department of Wasted Minds (otherwise called “education”) at $20.2 billion. HUD gets stiffed ($6.7 billion), energy, highway admin and justice. I suggest, incidentally, that for the Department of Justice we let Mexico have Eric Holder and his pals at BATFE – they’ll take care of that for us.”

    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=190590

  50. 50

    RE: Scotsman @ 47 – There has been gang activity in this area for decades.

  51. 51

    RE: Cheap South @ 48 – With so much of the bill being a base fee based on connection size, you might want to check what that fee is in your locality. I just rechecked my utility (yes my base is exactly 1/2 the number I mentioned yesterday because that was for 2 months) and the base fee for apartments is per unit and less than mine, and the tiers are also per unit and the same as mine except they don’t have the highest tier for some reason. That might not be the case elsewhere.

    http://www.crwsd.com/Docs/Rates/rate01042011.pdf (starts on page 3)

  52. 52
    Dirty_Renter says:

    Just wanted to say I did my fair share for the State budget deficit yesterday via Emerald Downs. What a gorgeous day w/ Mt. Rainer as a backdrop. Also saw a monster horse, had to have stood 19-20 hands, in the 8th race. Also saw some beautiful roans, grays, appaloosa’s, pintos and palaminos – the latter 3 as helper horses.

  53. 53
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 49

    Great facts, and article, until the person who wrote it goes off the deep end with the cost cutting projections.

    Illegal aliens as a cause for health care cost? Come on. Legalize pot? That was easy. And pull out of Iraq, and Afganistan, like now?

    Then we have the Tea Party with the spending cut pipe dreams. Cutting spending also cuts the economy. Sorry, it’s just another fact.

    Here’s what I say, as long as we are on a wild ride: let’s open the borders with Mexico. Let’s let doctors work here in the united states from anywhere in the world, and uplift the medical community, globally. It’s just stupid to have this protectionist attitude about the medical community. We close our borders to doctors so a very few of our doctors can get stinking rich. That would quickly fix the cost of medicaid, and medicare, actually there is a thread for that.

    I agree about unemployment, and that should stop. The burden here should be put on banks, and the banking system we have. We need more laws concerning credit, and probably some legislation looking to recover monies from the banking sector.

    We have to pay social security, but we need a social agenda. We need a plan to deal with the growing number of people who have little to no skill set. OK I said it. Not every one in the world is as smart as the people in charge. We can’t keep beating the “you can do it” drum when we have billions of people.

    Basically, the United States, China, Russia, Europe, and all of South America are going to have to come to terms with a global crisis.

    Open the borders with Mexico and many of our problems are solved. We would be the first of what will have to happen, globally.

  54. 54
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 53 – Yes, I think Karl (the author) does himself a disservice by going nuts after making very valid point’s but I doubt if he gives a hoot what people think.

    And I agree with a lot of bolgsters who say this whole debt ceiling extension is a charade as it is abput pying the bills of already ordered products and services. The discipline has to come at the front, the budgeting process. But I just wanted to point out, once again, using yet another source and analysis, that Tim Geithner is full of chocolote. He is a terrible liar.

    Geithner lied about not knowing about the AIG bonuses. He said in front of Congress that as head of MY Fed, he did not do his job as regulator of Wall Street (which would be telling the truth excpet in the mannber he said it.) Just today he essentially stated that to pay savers more on interest would be a tax on the American public. WTF?

    Regrding Mexico and MD’s – I know there are board exams that docs trained out of the US have to take to practice in the US, but I do not know if the number allowed in to practice that pass is limited or not. Another suggestion to lower costs would be to pay for the education of docs that become GP’s. Apparently everyone is becoming a higher paid speciaiist to make mre to pay off loans.

    Regarding Mexico, let’s just take over the rest of the country, kill the Indians, and harvest the natural resources.

  55. 55

    RE: David Losh @ 53

    Check Out That Movie “Idiocracy”

    Then you’ll get an idea what lower cost/standard medical will do to an America with open borders, sky-rocketing birth rates and uncontrolled population density.

    Nope, I’m still an old fashion Earthday Democrat for depopulation [like John Kennedy, Martin King and even Nixon] and sound environmental planning [Planned Parenthood too, albeit I’m against abortions morally, I’m still for pro-choice legally], the open border Democrats [many open border Republicans too, most of them won’t honestly admit it though] left me in the Mid-90s, I didn’t leave them. BTW, there’s a lot of silent majority environmentally minded Democrats that think just like me, I’m not alone.

  56. 56

    RE: David Losh @ 35
    Where is capitalism working?
    Maybe in the least capitalistic capitalist countries, like Finland, with big social safety nets.
    And it’s working everywhere else too, as long as you’re the one with the capital.

  57. 57
    Haybaler says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 10 – Any purchase of Z is speculatory….NOT investment.

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