Weekly Open Thread (2014-07-14)

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Here is your open thread for the week of July 14th, 2014. 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.

Note: The comment limit in open threads is 25 comments per person.

NOTICE: If you have comments to make about politics or economics that do not somehow directly relate to Seattle-area real estate, they may be posted in the current Politics & Economics Open Thread.  If you post such comments here, they will be moved 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.

76 comments:

  1. 1

    Hey I Got Back from Kansas City Last Week

    My Report:

    1. It was cooler than Seattle with no rain, 70-80s [air conditioned everywhere anyway though].
    2. There’s MORE TREES there than Seattle. The Kansas/Missouri Rivers and ample rain in June made everything green and beautiful WITH LOTS OF WATER. Even the cheap housing areas look like spacious parks with big shaded oak tree forrests.
    3. You can get anywhere in a wink at 70 mph on TOTALLY UNCLOGGED freeways that are basically [even on rush hour] empty. It reminds me of Seattle in the 60s and the 70s.
    4. There’s less restaurants, but the Mexican food is much better than Seattle’s, the prices are lower and the booths are full of people too.
    5. Cheap 1200 SF Rambler Style $40K homes come with 1/2 acre lots with large forrested green belts in back of them for even more privacy. They look nice too.

    The downside, jobs are scarce….in that issue Kansas City and Seattle are similar.

  2. 2
    rz says:

    There are many speculations about Microsoft laying off people in the press. What do you think the impact for the King County would be? I was thinking about buying in Redmond, but not sure if this is a good idea right now.

  3. 3

    RE: softwarengineer @ 1

    Update

    I’m really jealous over Kansas City now….I got stuck in that Friday all lanes closed N I-405 closure…..it took me 3 hours to drive to Marysville from Kent…

    I’d retire in KC, but I have family case management and volunteer boardwork I need to do in Seattle….otherwise I’d get thye hades out of this treeless clogged overpopulated Seattle area in about 5-10 years…its WAY OVER-RATED. I got its best years when I was younger.

  4. 4

    RE: rz @ 2
    Remember When Gates Went to Congress to Get More Cheap Green Card Labor a Few Years Ago?

    That’s about the time he simultaneously laid off 1000s of American workers.

  5. 5
    Blake says:

    By softwarengineer @ 4:

    RE: rz @ 2
    Remember When Gates Went to Congress to Get More Cheap Green Card Labor a Few Years Ago?

    That’s about the time he simultaneously laid off 1000s of American workers.

    The shortage of STEM trained US workers is the biggest crock of BS put forward by the Corp CEOs! They are pathological… will do anything to make more $$$.
    http://spectrum.ieee.org/at-work/education/the-stem-crisis-is-a-myth

    Have you seen these figures SWE?
    -snip- “The government issues up to 85,000 H-1B visas to businesses every year, and recipients can stay up to six years. Although no one tracks exactly how many H-1B holders are in the U.S., experts estimate there are at least 600,000 at any one time. Skilled guest workers can also come in on other types of visas. An immigration bill passed in the U.S. Senate last year would have increased the number of annually available H-1B visas to 180,000 while raising fees and increasing oversight, although language was removed that would have required all companies to consider qualified U.S. workers before foreign workers are hired.”

    From: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/backlash-stirs-us-against-foreign-135210328.html

  6. 6
    Blake says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 3

    SWE… having lived in the midwest for 25 years – and after almost 10 years here – I’d urge you to consider the weather… the summers are unbearably hot and HUMID! You were there during a mini-polar vortex that brought unusually cool temps. The winters are sunnier, but bitter cold with wind that makes walking outside for any length of time a bad idea. So 5-6 months of the year you do not want to be outside for very long.

    Trees…? Where do you live? I’ve lived in Columbia City, Mapleleaf, Wallingford and Vashon Island… LOTS of trees!?? :-)

    ps- Yes… the Mexican food is outstanding in the midwest due to the influx of migrant workers. In rural Iowa several towns that were basically abandoned in the 70s and 80s have been repopulated by Mexicans. In West Liberty, Iowa the turkey processing plant was being shut down but a community coalition of mostly Mexican immigrants got together and bought it. Last I saw the town was doing great – – and had terrific restaurants!

  7. 7
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Blake @ 6 – Two words – Sam Brownback.

  8. 8
    Blurtman says:

    Chitigroup pays $7 billion fine.

    At best, Chitigroup, BAC, Wells Farto, Goldman Suks, and the rest of the investment banks have demonstrated incredible incompetence, and criminal behavior at worst. They were all insolvent, requiring a massive bailout. Considering how badly run these institutions are, and the future risk of insolvency, should not their borrowing costs be much, much higher than those of individuals with excellent credit ratings? How can recently insolvent companies be allowed to borrow at 0.25 – 0.75%? Why can’t it be legal to publicly execute bankers?

  9. 9

    RE: Blake @ 6

    I Wish I Was Exagerating

    Even if it was hotter than Seattle, the mass oak trees there shade and cool it 20 degrees at home. I wish I were exagerating. Yes, I lived in Wichita for a year and a half after my dad’s Boeing employment went down the drain before the 1971 lay offs….it was hot there and the winters were a bit cooler than Seattle…..but snow/ice in flat lands is totally “drivable”. In Seattle it shuts the whole hilly city down.

    Kansas City is much different than Wichita…..the rivers twist and turn throughout giving the area much more water and trees [that weren’t all butcher axed down like Seattle]. I was in Minneasota in the harsh winter and if your car could start at 10 below zero, the flat lands on ice and snow were 50 mph freeways.

    Besides, the $8000 central air conditioner comes with the KC $40K home anyway….

  10. 10

    RE: Blake @ 6

    Actually, There Were Very Few Latino in KC That I Saw

    The restaurant owner I met wanted to move to Seattle BTW. We have far more Latino population density in Seattle than KC [from my parascope]. Seattle has way too many restaurants and not enough customers. All his customers were mostly white Caucasions.

    Almost all the cars in KC are American engineered Fords, Chevy and Dodge….almost no Japanese/European engineered ones too. Latinos prefer Japanese engineered cars in Seattle BTW [I’ve noticed].

  11. 11
    pfft says:

    This is awesome.

    Watch Steve Liesman demolish Rick Santelli’s inflation fearmongering live on CNBC
    http://www.vox.com/2014/7/14/5898783/watch-steve-liesman-demolish-rick-santellis-inflation-fearmongering

  12. 12

    RE: pfft @ 11 – Wow, wrong advice on CNBC. I’m shocked. /sarc

    Jon Stewart ripping into Cramer (four days in a row if I recall correctly) was much better. Hell, Richard Sherman ripping into that sportscaster (I can’t remember the name) was better than that link.

    (Wow, “hell” now gets through the bad word filter without being converted into something worse? Better than what happens with the word sex.)

  13. 13

    Realtors expressing concern about the long term impact of low rates.

    http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/07/14/why-low-rates-arent-always-good-for-housing?om_rid=AADdSv&om_mid=_BTxCGtB87N9-7C&om_ntype=RMODaily

    I suggested repealing the Garn Act (which makes due on sale clauses enforceable) way back in 2008. These concerns would be additional reasons.

    2008 piece: http://blog.seattlepi.com/realestate/2008/09/12/is-it-time-to-repeal-the-garn-act-due-on-sale-clauses/

  14. 14
    Blake says:

    RE: pfft @ 11

    Hah… we need some inflation! It is deflation we all should be worried about… except the bond holders! “Debt burden rising faster than nominal GDP”… a trap!
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/10740593/ECBs-deflation-paralysis-drives-Italy-France-and-Spain-into-debt-traps.html
    -snip- The effect is deeply corrosive even if the region never crosses the line into technical deflation. “Lowflation” near 0.5pc can play havoc with debt trajectories if it goes on for long, ultimately throwing Europe back into a debt crisis. “The biggest threat to public debt dynamics is weaker-than-expected inflation. Merely lower than expected inflation, not even deflation, would lead to a significant deterioration in countries’ public finances,” they said.

    The bank said lingering “lowflation” would cause debt ratios to surge by 2018, rising 10 percentage points in France to 105pc of GDP, 15 points in Italy to 148pc and 24 points to 118pc in Spain.

    These countries face a Sisyphean Task. Whatever they achieve through austerity is overwhelmed by the greater power of debt-deflation. The same “denominator effect” – a debt burden rising faster than nominal GDP – would engulf the private sector as well, still the Achilles Heel for Spain, Portugal and Ireland.
    (end quote)

  15. 15
    rz says:

    RE: Blake @ 5 – I know there could be different opinions on immigration, but I more curious about impact of potential Microsoft layoffs on local market (Redmond specifically).

    I was not following the market during last Microsoft layoff (back in 2009). Did it have noticeable effect?

  16. 16
    rz says:

    RE: rz @ 15 – This article is an example of speculations in the press on this topic: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-15/microsoft-said-to-announce-job-cuts-as-soon-as-this-week.html

  17. 17
    ChrisM says:

    Article on the impact of the nonexistent phantom foreclosure properties in Portland, OR:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2014/07/post_474.html#incart_m-rpt-2

    ” Finding a vacant house is easy. Breaking in isn’t much harder.”

    I’ve long thought a no-brainer would be stiff penalty and fine for code-violating properties, but of course in our oligopoly that is a total non-starter.

  18. 18

    RE: rz @ 15

    Its Probably Really Simple

    Assuming experienced higher paid are laid off and replaced with lower paid workers [bring ’em in from Neptune, what’s the difference], high priced Redmond real estate is an extinct dinosaur, just like the American worker.

    I’m sure some of the folks from Neptune see nothing wrong with 70-80% of net pay going for mortgages….the trouble is, the banks do.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Macro Investor says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 10

    The KC wiki settle the question of migrants —

    “The racial makeup of the city was 52.2% White, 26.8% African American, 0.8% Native American, 2.7% Asian (Hmong 32%, Burmese 13%, Laotian 11%, Asian Indian 9%, Chinese 7%, Filipino 6%, Vietnamese 6% accounted for the majority of the total Asian Population), 0.1% Pacific Islander, 13.6% from other races, and 3.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 27.8% of the population. Non-Hispanic Whites were 40.2% of the population in 2010,[16] down from 76.3% in 1970.”

    Also, you can look up on weather.com, average high temp today is 90 — about 15 degrees higher than Seattle.

    I will be leaving Seattle soon, due the the hordes of obnoxious people who have moved in. KC won’t be my choice, as midwest summers and winters are unpleasant. But I’ll be doing a lot of road tripping and it may be a place I visit frequently during the spring and fall.

  21. 21
    Dirty Renter in Banjo Country says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 1
    SWE – As Blurt alluded to several years ago, the best part of the Midwest is having long conversations with complete strangers in the ‘fresh vegetables’ department of the grocery store.
    I used to appreciate the 5lb sauna loss each summer too…problem was you put 10 on each winter trying to survive.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    pfft says:

    If the parties are exactly the same why does Obama have to beg for an infrastructure bill.

    Obama begs Congress to “just do something” on infrastructure
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/obama-begs-congress-to-just-do-something-on-infrastructure/

    His bill would create 1 million jobs.

  24. 24
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 53:

    By pfft @ 51:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 41:

    RE: pfft @ 36 – Wow, you are seriously arguing that an economy based on indefinite and unending artificial job creation (i.e. Obama’s economic plan) is self-sustaining?.

    you are setting up a pretty good strawman there. could you post a link to this proposed “indefinite and unending artificial job creation” plan? I’ve never heard of it.

    “You need conditions for private job growth for an economy to thrive.”

    like demand?

    So then you would support the $50 minimum wage then as being a viable policy because it would create demand? I thought so since you’re still supporting increased deficit spending over 5 years after an economic event. And you want a cite for it being never ending? Now that’s funny.

    Ironic you mention demand since you repeatedly mock me for mentioning Obama’s really really stupid criticism of companies spending money in Vegas. He killed demand with his comments about Vegas because he’s the only president in US history with zero understanding of secondary effects. He finally figured that one out and apologized for the comment, but you still don’t understand demand. That doesn’t keep you from bringing it up though.

    “So then you would support the $50 minimum wage then as being a viable policy because it would create demand?”

    gosh, another strawman. you have an indefinite and unending supply of them.

    “I thought so since you’re still supporting increased deficit spending over 5 years after an economic event. And you want a cite for it being never ending? Now that’s funny.”

    unemployment is still a problem and our infrastructure needs investment no matter what. you solve two problems at once. the bush depression still lives on. there is still a big output gap, that is the difference between what the economy could do and what it is doing.

    Obama report: U.S. lags on infrastructure
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/theoval/2014/07/14/obama-infrastructure-report-anthony-goxx/12633129/

    “He killed demand with his comments about Vegas because he’s the only president in US history with zero understanding of secondary effects.”

    that is laughable. absolutely laughable. any money not spent in vegas would be spent elsewhere.

    kary, should a bailed out bank be spending taxpayer money in vegas? the answer is NO! spend it elsewhere.

    “you still don’t understand demand.”

    right right. you are a supply sider. it’s very clear. how’d that work out for Bush? this is a demand problem.

  25. 25

    By pfft @ 23:

    If the parties are exactly the same why does Obama have to beg for an infrastructure bill..

    You apparently think that Obama is the first executive that has had to deal with a hostile legislature. Effective leaders can deal with that. Lousy leaders can’t. Guess which one Obama is.

  26. 26
    pfft says:

    The output gap is

    $800 billion. It is more than $2,500 for every American, more than $10,000 for every family of four….

    http://www.offthechartsblog.org/summers-lack-of-demand-creates-lack-of-supply/

    So yes we need stimulus until we don’t. if that is unending that’s your problem.

  27. 27
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 25:

    By pfft @ 23:

    If the parties are exactly the same why does Obama have to beg for an infrastructure bill..

    You apparently think that Obama is the first executive that has had to deal with a hostile legislature. Effective leaders can deal with that. Lousy leaders can’t. Guess which one Obama is.

    they vowed to block him from day one. they don’t support things that in the past they’ve supported simply because Obama is for it. that’s obama’s fault?

    By your logic Obamacare is the fault of Republicans. they couldn’t get Obama to repeal so they are terrible leaders.

    hard data shows that Congress is the most polarized it’s been in decades. that is supposed to be Obama’s fault? Obama has done a lot that in the past Republicans have supported. For some reason they don’t support that stuff when obama does it.

  28. 28

    RE: pfft @ 27 – They vowed to block him after the Democrats said they wouldn’t accept any Republican input. Act like and A-hole and get treated like an A-hole.

    Have to laugh at your comment that money would have been spent elsewhere than Vegas. Do you even know what we’re talking about? We’re talking about Obama being critical of corporate spending. So you think they would have just cancelled conventions in Vegas and held them somewhere else, hoping no one noticed? That’s absurd.

    And no it’s not a strawman argument on the $50 an hour argument. If you think government can create demand indefinitely through deficit spending, why not create demand by increasing the minimum wage. That’s actually an argument made by people who support the $15 minimum wage increases!

  29. 29
    Blake says:

    RE: Macro Investor @ 20
    Re: midwest and KC…
    I also forgot to mention MOSQUITOES!!!!
    bzzzz… bzzzzzzzzz.. slap!… slap! bzzzz…. SLAP! SLAP!!!
    Arrrggghhh!!!!!

    But yes… I do miss the very friendly people in the midwest. Lovely… I used to dedicate at least two hours to the farmer’s market every Saturday in the Spring/Summer. I got to know many of the Mennonites and Amish and enjoyed driving out to their farms near Stringtown south of Iowa City. …and the TOMATOES!! Mmmmmmm… Every August I would hold my BLT, gaspacho, and sangria party!

  30. 30
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 28:

    RE: pfft @ 27 – They vowed to block him after the Democrats said they wouldn’t accept any Republican input.

    what? Republicans met the night of his inauguration and vowed to block everything he did. that’s obama’s fault? obama worked with republicans on every one of his major bills. Obamacare is a heritage idea, was proposed by republicans as an alternative to hillarycare and then passed by mitt romney and then PRAISED by many republicans. mitt romney called it a model for the nation.

  31. 31
  32. 32
    Blurtman says:

    But as Obama has continually claimed, nobody did anything wrong.

    “S&P open to paying up to $1 billion to settle DOJ lawsuit: WSJ

    (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services decided to settle a pending lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and is open to paying about $1 billion to settle it, the Wall Street Journal reported citing people familiar with the matter.

    The DOJ filed a $5 billion lawsuit against S&P, a unit of McGraw Hill Financial Inc, in February 2013 accusing the agency of inflating ratings for mortgage bonds to boost fees from issuers.

    While a settlement of $1 billion would fall short of the $5 billion sought by the Justice Department, the ratings agency does not want to admit wrongdoing, the Journal said citing the people. (on.wsj.com/1jNVRww)

    S&P had earlier called the lawsuit “meritless” and said the DOJ was wrong in its claim that the ratings were “motivated by commercial considerations.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/16/us-mcgrawhill-sandp-lawsuit-idUSKBN0FL03720140716

  33. 33
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 32:

    But as Obama has continually claimed, nobody did anything wrong.

    not really but don’t let the facts get in the way…

  34. 34
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 33 – You are once again, a horribly incorrect pumper.

    Obama on the Leno show, March 2009.

    Obama: “Here’s the dirty little secret, though. Most of the stuff that got us into trouble was perfectly legal.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/20/us/politics/20obama.text.html?pagewanted=all

    Obama lying again on 60 Minutes, and being called out on it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUBUw3e2Gk4

    And yes, his biggest campaign contributor in 2008 was Goldman Sachs.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/04/20/obama.goldman.donations/

  35. 35

    RE: Blurtman @ 34 – Facts aren’t pfft’s strong suit.

    I’m going to take something back I said. The lack of a comprehensive transportation bill isn’t Obama’s fault. While he isn’t smart enough to understand secondary effects, other politicians are, and not even Democrats really want to make changes right now. Even if they claim otherwise, they don’t want to be voting for tax increases just months before an election. That would reduce their chances of being re-elected.

  36. 36
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 34:

    RE: pfft @ 33 – You are once again, a horribly incorrect pumper.

    Obama on the Leno show, March 2009.

    Obama: “Here’s the dirty little secret, though. Most of the stuff that got us into trouble was perfectly legal.”

    ok my bad.

  37. 37
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 35:

    RE: Blurtman @ 34 – Facts aren’t pfft’s strong suit.

    I’m going to take something back I said. The lack of a comprehensive transportation bill isn’t Obama’s fault. While he isn’t smart enough to understand secondary effects, other politicians are

    right like with the vegas comments!

    kary did you post yet your link about obama supporting indefinite and unending stimulus?

  38. 38
    Blake says:

    By pfft @ 36:

    By Blurtman @ 34:

    RE: pfft @ 33 – You are once again, a horribly incorrect pumper.

    Obama on the Leno show, March 2009.

    Obama: “Here’s the dirty little secret, though. Most of the stuff that got us into trouble was perfectly legal.”

    ok my bad.

    This was an especially egregious off-the-cuff comment by Obama coming so early in his term while DOJ lawyers were reviewing all the fraud and clearly illegal things that happened during the housing and credit bubble. Millions of Americans (potential jurors) saw the show and millions more read about it, while many DOJ lawyers were exasperated… He has a tendency to make sweeping, grandiose statements… one of his biggest faults.

    David Bromwich ‘s latest analysis of Obama was recently posted to the LRB. It is devastating… If you love Obama you probably should not read it. If you hate him you will enjoy it immensely… Those in the middle should consider what Dr. Bromwich writes:
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n13/david-bromwich/the-worlds-most-important-spectator
    -snip- “A common feature in all these events was that Obama himself seemed far from the scene. He was looking on, we were made to think, with concern and understanding. But in matters like these, one could easily feel that a conspicuous sign of a ‘hands-on’ president was needed.”

    btw: Kary… I think one of the weaknesses of your line of argument that the reason the economy is not picking up is “Obama!!!” is the fact that he is a particularly weak and ineffectual President. How is it that the Corp CEOs have so much uncertainlty and are afraid that OBAMA! might enact some detrimental legislation… He can’t, he won’t… he just talks!
    (And yes pfft, much of the blame lays in the lap of the worst Congress in US history and a seriously disfunctional Republican party… Boehner is a terrible leader, but his “team” is unmanageable and fairly irrational as well!)

  39. 39
    pfft says:

    I love this article from BI. It just shows that you should question everyone and everything(something one of the BI commentators doesn’t do). Druckenmiller is one of the most successful investors ever. I am pretty sure he is a billionaire who was taught by Soros. However he can’t see why Yellen is still on the course she is. Druckenmiller is perplexed by the Fed and yet the Fed has said exactly why it is still pursuing the course she is. The labor market hasn’t fully healed. There are labor force participation rate problems and there are too many long-term unemployed. Mr greatest investor ever doesn’t see that though.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/druckenmiller-cnbc-delivering-alpha-2014-7

    “Too many Americans remain unemployed, inflation remains below our longer-run objective and not all of the necessary financial reform initiatives have been completed,” Ms. Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/16/business/yellen-tells-congress-that-fed-will-continue-to-help-economy.html?_r=0

  40. 40
    pfft says:

    RE: Blake @ 38Boehner is at the same time the best and worst House Speaker ever.

  41. 41
    Blake says:

    By pfft @ 40:

    RE: Blake @ 38Boehner is at the same time the best and worst House Speaker ever.

    How is he the best? … because he is so bad?

    See this how billionaire Sean Parker’s political advisors have talked him into giving money to far right Republicans to help end political gridlock in Congress!!? Yes… Thad Cochan and Mike Simpson are just the types to help lead us to compromise! Idiot…
    http://www.salon.com/2014/07/15/billionaires_political_disaster_untangling_sean_parkers_centrism_fiasco/
    “Simpson has voted with his party 95 percent of the time.

    It’s fairly clear what’s happening here. The youthful billionaire decided that he needed to talk to the “experts” about what to do with his money. And all those experts, knowing a rich sucker when they see one, persuaded him that the biggest problem in Washington was the lack of bipartisanship, which they attributed to the Tea Party. They told him that the only way to get anything done is to give money to incumbent Republicans.

    These are the same Republicans, by the way, who believe that the government should be drowned in the bathtub and to that end they have pledged to never raise taxes for any reason. How’s that for ”middle of the road”? That’s right. Grover Norquist started strong-arming GOP official into signing his Taxpayer Fairness Pledge back in 1986 when Parker was still in diapers and long before the Tea Party was even a gleam in Rick Santelli’s wild eyes. By 2012 he had 95 percent of the Republican Party officeholders signed on to it. If Parker wants to know what is the strongest underlying barrier to making Washington work he should read up on the history of the conservative movement and then ask his experts if any of these Republicans they want him to save signed on to Norquist’s pledge. (Hint: all of them)

    But that would require Parker to have the slightest clue, which he clearly doesn’t. You almost can’t blame the political sharks for going after a fool who’s sitting there bobbing around mindlessly, bleeding money all over the place.
    (end quote)
    I’d laugh but it is so sad… there are no longer any moderate Republicans.

  42. 42

    By pfft @ 37:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 35:

    RE: Blurtman @ 34 – Facts aren’t pfft’s strong suit.

    I’m going to take something back I said. The lack of a comprehensive transportation bill isn’t Obama’s fault. While he isn’t smart enough to understand secondary effects, other politicians are

    right like with the vegas comments!

    kary did you post yet your link about obama supporting indefinite and unending stimulus?

    Yes, right like the Vegas comment. Obama was too stupid to realize his criticism of corporate spending would lead to job losses. He apologized for his remarks after those effects were pointed out to him.

    As to the rest, we’re five years past an economic event and you and he are still supporting deficit spending to create jobs. Here’s an example of Obama supporting deficit spending for an additional four years. That’s just in one area.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/02/26/fact-sheet-president-obama-lays-out-vision-21st-century-transportation-i

  43. 43
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Blake @ 38 – Unfortunately, Obama had made the same Wall Street No Crime assertions in several public speeches shortly after the Leno appearance. No, I am afraid he was a message boy for the financial industry. And then there was the appointment of failed NY Fed President Geithner, and lets not forget Larry Summers, and the continual revolving door from the Obama administration to Wall Street.

  44. 44
    Blurtman says:

    Yellen – more bad news for America.

    “But a look at Yellen’s record shows she’s consistently advocated bank and corporate-friendly policies. As Zach Carter wrote in Huffington Post last September:

    Yellen supported a host of economic policies during the Clinton era that have since become broadly unpopular. She backed the repeal of the landmark Glass-Steagall bank reform and she supported the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement…..Yellen endorsed establishing a new statistical metric that would allow the federal government to reduce Social Security payments over time, by revising the consumer price index, or CPI, the government’s standard measurement for inflation.

    And this isn’t all she stood for. Contrary to her pious claims of empathizing with the downtrodden, if you read her testimony during the 1990s, she was regularly described by Senators during her tenure at the Council for Economic Advisers as one of the most hawkish members of the Administration. She advocated cutting veterans’ benefits. She pointedly refused to cite increased concentration in banking as an antitrust risk and approved of communications industry mergers. She supported cap and trade. She favored austerity for Mexico during its 1994-5 crisis. She also stood with Gene Ludwig complained about deadbeat borrowers declaring bankruptcy in 1997, which was tantamount to throwing her support behind the bankruptcy reform bill that eventually passed in 2005. Reversing that bill has been widely cited as one of the most powerful single steps the government could have taken to stem foreclosures, since the threat of bankruptcy would have forced more servicers to restructure mortgages.”

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/07/yellen-tells-whoppers.html

  45. 45
    Blake says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 44
    Blurtman… I was just going to post that naked cap link about Yellen, but you beat me to it!

    I liked this quote: “She’s simultaneously Mother Teresa (spent her whole life caring about the poor without actually meeting any poor people) and Forrest Gump (present when all bad deregulatory polcies were made, but miraculously untainted by them).

    Puh-lease! She’s Bernanke in a granny package, without the history lessons.”

  46. 46
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 42:

    By pfft @ 37:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 35:

    RE: Blurtman @ 34 – Facts aren’t pfft’s strong suit.

    I’m going to take something back I said. The lack of a comprehensive transportation bill isn’t Obama’s fault. While he isn’t smart enough to understand secondary effects, other politicians are

    right like with the vegas comments!

    kary did you post yet your link about obama supporting indefinite and unending stimulus?

    Yes, right like the Vegas comment. Obama was too stupid to realize his criticism of corporate spending would lead to job losses. He apologized for his remarks after those effects were pointed out to him.

    As to the rest, we’re five years past an economic event and you and he are still supporting deficit spending to create jobs. Here’s an example of Obama supporting deficit spending for an additional four years. That’s just in one area.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/02/26/fact-sheet-president-obama-lays-out-vision-21st-century-transportation-i

    kary you just don’t have a clue. Our infrastructure is in bad repair and we will be building far after recovery whether we need stimulus or not. right now we need stimulus and infrastructure spending is the best way to do it. that wasn’t good enough for you. you needed to set up a strawman.

    “Yes, right like the Vegas comment. Obama was too stupid to realize his criticism of corporate spending would lead to job losses. He apologized for his remarks after those effects were pointed out to him.”

    link.

    kary, should bailed out banks be going to Vegas? NO!

    also Obama has done more to reign in deficit spending than any president in decades. first of all he cut the deficit in half. Obamacare was the first deficit reduction plan in decades.

    “Here’s an example of Obama supporting deficit spending for an additional four years. That’s just in one area.”

    no kary that is just called an infrastructure bill. plenty of presidents have had them and they are bipartisan. it’s only controversial when Obama offers it.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/8894520/ns/politics/t/bush-signs-billion-highway-bill/#.U8b0dyiFXC4

    President Bush, saying it will help economic growth, on Wednesday signed a whopping $286.4 billion transportation bill that lawmakers lined with plenty of cash for some 6,000 pet projects back home.

  47. 47
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 44:

    Yellen – more bad news for America.

    sorry but you are wrong. maybe in the past she has supported bad position but so far she has been very good. everyone says she will favor workers over inflation. while she probably shouldn’t cut back on bond buying nothing she has done as Fed Chair has been a bad decision with respect to workers. did you read my link? she just testified that she isn’t raising rates because the labor market hasn’t healed. aren’t you guys always inventing new unemployment rates? Yellen is your Fed Chair.

    I repost my link.

    Yellen acknowledged that broader measures of labor market health have registered “notable improvements.” She has frequently argued that the traditional measure of unemployment does not capture the true strain in the job market. Many workers may be in part-time jobs when they would rather have full-time positions, or they may have given up looking for work because they are discouraged by their prospects.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/07/15/yellen-labor-market-healing-but-economy-still-needs-fed-support/

    sounds like SB commentators!

    She also notes that inflation is below target which is also bad for the economy. yes, Yellen is for workers.

  48. 48
    pfft says:

    By Blake @ 45:

    RE: Blurtman @ 44
    Blurtman… I was just going to post that naked cap link about Yellen, but you beat me to it!

    I liked this quote: “She’s simultaneously Mother Teresa (spent her whole life caring about the poor without actually meeting any poor people) and Forrest Gump (present when all bad deregulatory polcies were made, but miraculously untainted by them).

    Puh-lease! She’s Bernanke in a granny package, without the history lessons.”

    wrong! all of her actions so far have been in favor of the unemployed.

  49. 49
    Blake says:

    RE: pfft @ 47
    from the previous naked cap article…
    -snip- But a look at Yellen’s record shows she’s consistently advocated bank and corporate-friendly policies. As Zach Carter wrote in Huffington Post last September:
    “Yellen supported a host of economic policies during the Clinton era that have since become broadly unpopular. She backed the repeal of the landmark Glass-Steagall bank reform and she supported the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement…..Yellen endorsed establishing a new statistical metric that would allow the federal government to reduce Social Security payments over time, by revising the consumer price index, or CPI, the government’s standard measurement for inflation.”

    And this isn’t all she stood for. Contrary to her pious claims of empathizing with the downtrodden, if you read her testimony during the 1990s, she was regularly described by Senators during her tenure at the Council for Economic Advisers as one of the most hawkish members of the Administration. She advocated cutting veterans’ benefits. She pointedly refused to cite increased concentration in banking as an antitrust risk and approved of communications industry mergers. She supported cap and trade. She favored austerity for Mexico during its 1994-5 crisis. She also stood with Gene Ludwig complained about deadbeat borrowers declaring bankruptcy in 1997, which was tantamount to throwing her support behind the bankruptcy reform bill that eventually passed in 2005. Reversing that bill has been widely cited as one of the most powerful single steps the government could have taken to stem foreclosures, since the threat of bankruptcy would have forced more servicers to restructure mortgages.”

  50. 50
    pfft says:

    RE: Blake @ 49are you going to address anything I wrote or the quotes or are you going to repost something I’ve already read?

  51. 51
    pfft says:

    Here is Obama’s ” indefinite and unending artificial job creation” plan that is actually kind of small.

    Note than under Bush this was a job creating plan…

    this comes to about 1.8 percent of projected federal spending over the next four years or about $240 per person per year.

    Oh gawd that sounds like sssssssoooooooo much money.

    http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/beat-the-press/president-obama-wants-to-spend-302-billion-on-transportation-over-the-next-four-years

    A crappy infrastructure actually harms families. it costs them thousands of dollars a year.

  52. 52

    Obama really doesn’t understand ANY secondary effects. He’s coming to Seattle to raise money at the same time the East Channel bridge is going to be shut down.

    http://www.king5.com/news/cities/seattle/Obama-to-visit-Seattle-next-week-267410361.html

    The stupidity out of the White House knows no limits.

  53. 53
    redmondjp says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 52:

    Obama really doesn’t understand ANY secondary effects. He’s coming to Seattle to raise money at the same time the East Channel bridge is going to be shut down.

    http://www.king5.com/news/cities/seattle/Obama-to-visit-Seattle-next-week-267410361.html

    The stupidity out of the White House knows no limits.

    We’re all supposed to be taking public transit anyways Kary, such as the mythical light rail line over I-90.

    Have they found an engineering firm yet that is willing to professionally stamp design drawings showing how the light rail tracks are going to work over the floating bridge connecting joints yet?

  54. 54
    cbd says:

    Tree-less? Seriously? Kansas City is one of the cooler midwestern cities but it’s hotter and muggier than blazes in much of the summer months (i.e. you got lucky), has nothing on PNW geography / topography, etc. If you prefer it, that’s great, but your depiction of Seattle is kind of a joke. The one point you got right is the difference in home costs, KC is full of bargains.RE: softwarengineer @ 3

  55. 55
    Blake says:

    By pfft @ 50:

    RE: Blake @ 49are you going to address anything I wrote or the quotes or are you going to repost something I’ve already read?

    Sorry… I thought that you had a reading and comprehension problem, but now I see that you do recognize that previously Yellen supported policies that put banks ahead of workers:
    pfft: “maybe in the past she has supported bad position but so far she has been very good.”

    Now she has obviously has seen the light!! (…not that she has made any mea culpa) and feels that providing money at near zero rates to banks and speculators to keep the asset bubbles inflating is the best way to help the common people! Maybe she will reverse her stance on bankruptcies when the asset bubbles burst…? (sarc)

  56. 56
    Blake says:

    By redmondjp @ 53:We’re all supposed to be taking public transit anyways Kary, such as the mythical light rail line over I-90.

    Sometimes I try to imagine what Seattle would be like today if they had the foresight years ago to build light rail circling Lake Washington with spurs to outlying regions… hmmmm?
    Urban planning… too socialistic I guess. When I lived in the midwest I thought it was funny when Paul Weyrich’s Free Congress Foundation and some other rightwing groups in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin suddenly came out in favor of mass transit in the late 1980s… They and their corporate sponsors began to realize that their workers and families were spending too much time in traffic jams!

  57. 57
    pfft says:

    By Blake @ 54:

    By pfft @ 50:

    RE: Blake @ 49are you going to address anything I wrote or the quotes or are you going to repost something I’ve already read?

    Sorry… I thought that you had a reading and comprehension problem, but now I see that you do recognize that previously Yellen supported policies that put banks ahead of workers:
    pfft: “maybe in the past she has supported bad position but so far she has been very good.”

    Now she has obviously has seen the light!! (…not that she has made any mea culpa) and feels that providing money at near zero rates to banks and speculators to keep the asset bubbles inflating is the best way to help the common people! Maybe she will reverse her stance on bankruptcies when the asset bubbles burst…? (sarc)

    so your position is that higher interest rates helps workers? right. the Fed has studies QE and it has had a positive impact.

    “providing money at near zero rates to banks and speculators to keep the asset bubbles inflating is the best way to help the common people!”

    when people can get loans for a little cheaper that helps the economy. Also by keeping home prices a little higher that helps people. most people have most of their money tied up in their home. you are probably one of those people who points out that all those underwater homes is hampering the economy and then argue that keeping home prices higher is supporting bubble. can’t have it both ways. you probably do it for stocks too. can’t have it both ways. there is also a well-documented wealth effect for stocks and bonds even if you don’t own either. remember all those links I posted?

    you also need to prove that stocks and homes are in a bubble. I know it’s fashionable to cry bubble bubble these days but I need evidence. perhaps you think the economy will do better if stocks sink and home prices plunge? worked great a few years ago…

  58. 58
    pfft says:

    Blake what exactly do you want the Fed to do? Raise rates? stop buying bonds? Raising rates worked so well the two times in Europe they did it then had to pull a quick 180.

  59. 59

    RE: Blake @ 55 – Seattle has always been more about planning transportation than actually building anything. And then when we do build it the project is often already out of date. I remember when they straightened the I-405 S-turns in Renton about 15 years ago. I was shocked when that project was finished that it was still only three lanes, with seemingly no room for easy expansion.

  60. 60

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 59

    The Biggest Problem With Seattle Area’s Main Freeway Roads

    Is clogged congestion. They weren’t designed for 1/3rd the cars. So we expect 1960s systems to work in 2014 anyway? The answer, get us all out of cars? LOL….that would really help manufacturing take a nosedive.

    I laughed when they made diamond lanes that ended and caused more merging congestion before they were installed [N bound I-5 in Everett is a great example of merging lanes added that end in more conjestion than before, many go as far as the exit only lane will take ’em, then left merge in to create a worse than before parking lot anyway]…..another failure is the Kitsap bridges, now the new one tries to empty into one I-5 lane anyway….that’s no better than one bridge.

    Its like Alaska’s bridge to nowhere.

  61. 61
    wreckingbull says:

    I am writing to get some advice from our resident ACA expert, Pfft.

    Pfft, On June 4 I signed up for a Bronze plan. Sent in all the needed paperwork. On June 4, they charged my credit card and noted my family was enrolled for a July 1 start date. One would think that June 4 -> July 1 gives the exchange enough time to process my application, right? Oh, and they billed me again for the month August on July 10th, which I paid.

    Pfft, it is now July 18th and the plan administrator has still not gotten the enrollment packet from the WA health exchange. No one can tell me what is wrong. No one will take any responsibility. I was supposed to get health plan cards in the mail well before July 1.

    I now have my state senator working on the problem, but since you are the expert, I am asking you for your advice as to how to get this fixed. I am out thousands of dollars so far but still have no health insurance.

    Pfft, please advise.

  62. 62

    RE: wreckingbull @ 61 – The problem is somewhat obvious. They are obviously overwhelmed by demand during the period where you need to have special circumstances to even apply! ;-)

    Just be thankful you aren’t applying during the open enrollment period.

    BTW, if you aren’t getting subsidized you would have been better off just going to a company directly to avoid the issues you’re having now.

  63. 63
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 62 – Indeed.

    I am the chump for trying to use the marketplace. I could not find an acceptable plan anywhere else where both my wife’s doctor and my doctor were in-network.

    In hindsight, I probably would have dumped my doctor of 20 years just to not deal with those flunkies at the WA healthcare exchange.

  64. 64
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 58 – Your question is illegitimate. If you asked Al Capone to cure cancer, his answer would be more gambling and booze. But Capone couldn’t have cured cancer, but he would have made sure his crime syndicate grew and benefitted in the ongoing and never ending attempt to do so.

    The US financial system is a fraud. How can you have banks that have recently (still?) been insolvent, and that have been ordered to draft plans on how they will be unwound when they go bankrupt again, and that have committed massive financial fraud, borrow at rates less than 1% rate of interest? Of course in a legitimate financial system, this would not at all be possible.

    So why ask what the head of a private bank that is owned by these incompetent and criminal banks what she can do to help the unemployed and middle class? Why, more gambling and booze will always be the answer, but it is an incredibly illegitimate question.

  65. 65
    pfft says:

    By wreckingbull @ 61:

    I am writing to get some advice from our resident ACA expert, Pfft.

    Pfft, On June 4 I signed up for a Bronze plan. Sent in all the needed paperwork. On June 4, they charged my credit card and noted my family was enrolled for a July 1 start date. One would think that June 4 -> July 1 gives the exchange enough time to process my application, right? Oh, and they billed me again for the month August on July 10th, which I paid.

    Pfft, it is now July 18th and the plan administrator has still not gotten the enrollment packet from the WA health exchange. No one can tell me what is wrong. No one will take any responsibility. I was supposed to get health plan cards in the mail well before July 1.

    I now have my state senator working on the problem, but since you are the expert, I am asking you for your advice as to how to get this fixed. I am out thousands of dollars so far but still have no health insurance.

    Pfft, please advise.

    not really that funny. keep trying.

  66. 66
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 64:

    RE: pfft @ 58
    So why ask what the head of a private bank that is owned by these incompetent and criminal banks what she can do to help the unemployed and middle class? Why, more gambling and booze will always be the answer, but it is an incredibly illegitimate question.

    “Why, more gambling and booze will always be the answer”

    really really really lame. you are mixing up political and moral considerations. the Fed should do what economics and decades of central banking says we should do- lower interest rates. you have a better solution? You want us to raise rates? you have a solution that isn’t more gambling and booze? my guess is you don’t.

    I am sorry that you don’t understand monetary policy in a depression but that is much different than the moral questions of should the banks have been bailed out or should they have been taken over by the government. I respect you higher rates and higher unemployment stance though. how is that type of thinking going for Europe?

  67. 67
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 66 – I do hate analogies, but you are asking why a physician who has committed malpractice should not engage in a particular course of rescue of the patient he has nearly killed. The answer, of course, is to bar the physician from any further practice and revoke his license. Just returned from France, BTW, and can report they they are living better than the average American.

  68. 68
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 66 – And it is not really a question of politics, or morality, but one of basic sound financial principals. You cannot misprice risk and expect to get away with it. Disaster always results. And so banks that have recenltly been insolvent, and may yet be insolvent, and have engaged in fraud, and have been ordered to draft plans for their dissolution, must borrow at very high rates of interest to truly reflect risk. Nothing to do with politics or morals. As they are not doing so, risk is being grossly mispriced, and negative consequences must result.

  69. 69
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 67:

    RE: pfft @ 66 – I do hate analogies, but you are asking why a physician who has committed malpractice should not engage in a particular course of rescue of the patient he has nearly killed. The answer, of course, is to bar the physician from any further practice and revoke his license. Just returned from France, BTW, and can report they they are living better than the average American.

    sorry but that is going to happen and doesn’t address- what should the Fed be doing? Are rates too low? Do we have too much of too little QE?

  70. 70
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 68:

    RE: pfft @ 66 – And it is not really a question of politics, or morality, but one of basic sound financial principals. You cannot misprice risk and expect to get away with it. Disaster always results. And so banks that have recenltly been insolvent, and may yet be insolvent, and have engaged in fraud, and have been ordered to draft plans for their dissolution, must borrow at very high rates of interest to truly reflect risk. Nothing to do with politics or morals. As they are not doing so, risk is being grossly mispriced, and negative consequences must result.

    the banks got clobbered during the recession. remember most banks and AIG got hit with huge layoffs and massive stock declines.

    “must borrow at very high rates of interest to truly reflect risk.”

    you are making a mistake though. you assume not only that the same banks will make the same mistakes again but also that the market isn’t already discounting that in the stock market.

    don’t forget dodd-frank ups capital requirements.

  71. 71

    On a totally different topic, I thought a local up near Monroe might know the answer to this. On the road up to Lake Rossinger (sp?) there’s a chain link fence next to the road which is maybe 25-30 feet long and 8 or 10 feet high. It looks like it might be designed to block cars from a road, but there’s no road apparent on the other side (maybe overgrown, but the fence looks fairly new). But what’s really strange is has the overhanging barb wire at the top, to keep people from climbing over it. But they could easily just walk to either end and get around it.

    Any idea what whoever put it up was thinking?

  72. 72
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 69 – The Fed should undergo a complete audit and be replaced. The physician must lose his medical license.

  73. 73
    Dirty Renter in Banjo Country says:

    Things are back to normal.
    Blurt & Blake sound like RT presenters…as the Bumble Bees keep buzzing… as Pfft just keeps getting out-lefted.

  74. 74

    By wreckingbull @ 63:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 62 In hindsight, I probably would have dumped my doctor of 20 years just to not deal with those flunkies at the WA healthcare exchange.

    After dealing with incompetent doctor after incompetent doctor at the Mason Clinic, I started using a family clinic thing down at Valley Medical. You are seen by an intern who then discusses your situation with a doctor. You usually see the same one for three years, and if you see them early they can be very green. Sort of adds some fun and excitement to the experience of going to the doctor!

  75. 75
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Dirty Renter in Banjo Country @ 73 – Pfft isn’t a leftist, comrade, but a Democrat party pumper. As for me, I am a strict law and order anarchist, actually.

  76. 76
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 72:

    RE: pfft @ 69 – The Fed should undergo a complete audit and be replaced. The physician must lose his medical license.

    NO way ron paul! what would you replace it with?

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