Monthly Archives: December 2010

Happy New Year! 1-1-11

Any predictions for the New Year?

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Pete the Banker: Predictions for 2011. Hint: You’ll Need a Cup.

Pete the Banker Sends along these predictions from the Business Insider Here. 
Despite the dire predictions, however, I believe that in the Residential Real Estate and Real Estate Lending markets are within a few months of the bottom although the correction will likely be at least another ~10%+ on prices, obviously varying by local market. See some of the predictions after the jump.

My suspicion is that the Residential markets will begin to improve next Spring or early/mid Summer which likely won’t save the 2011 volume numbers on either Real Estate sales or mortgage financing volume for the year, but probably suggests a recovery in either late 2011 or 2012. 

Most of the big moves will be down moves. Bonds will not be spared the volatility.

The US will have a full year deficit of 1.4 trillion dollars. This depressing reality will hang on the US economy/markets. Congress will talk about the problem endlessly, but little will be accomplished. By the end of the year the problem will be so acute that belt tightening is put in place for 2013-15. But it will be too late by then.

-QE2 will be the last QE we see. The program will end (on schedule) on 6/30. Perversely, long-term interest rates will rise as long as QE continues. When the program is finished rates will begin a rapid decline. This will not go unnoticed by academia. The result will be that QE will be a disgraced policy that will not be used again for at least five years.


-Brazil will continue to shine as a resource rich country that runs a trade surplus and has low budget deficits. The surprise of the year will be Argentina. Food will be the reason. Argentina’s fortunes will improve with rising wheat and soy prices.


-Obama’s popularity will continue to fall. The legislative “successes” at the end of 2010 will convert to a series of failures. There will be no new stimulus. Portions of the health care legislation will be dialed back. The mandatory participation feature will be found unconstitutional.

-Obama will propose a means test for Social Security in his State of the Union Address. Retirees who are living the high-life (Warren Buffet types) are going to have their SS checks cut to the bone. Any senior with income of $200k will be impacted. The great socialization of Social Security will have begun. The popularity of this program will fall of a cliff.

-Unemployment will not go down. The average for the year will be above 10%. The number of workers who leave the system will rise to 20mm. These workers will find part-time jobs that pay cash. The new day-workers will compete will illegals for employment. Social tensions will be the result.

-Mortgage Gate will die as a headline story. In fact it will go the other way during the year. Increasingly, the problems in real estate will be focused on the fact that there has been too few foreclosures. Contrary to expectation, residential real estate for average priced homes will not decline much further. However, prices for high-end homes will continue to fall. Anything with a price tag of greater than $1mm will be worth 20% less by the end of the year.

-Social unrest will become visible in America in 2011. There will be demonstrations in many major cities. Some will turn violent. Economics will be at the heart of the anger. The frustration that was evident in France in recent years will come to the US.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Bow-Tie Blumenauer Now ‘Regrets’ Language in Memo He Never Saw

Typical for a Dem once exposed, Oregon Congressman, Earl ‘Bow-Tie’ Blumenauer, is trying to distance himself from the memo first reported in the New York Times where it was asked of supporters of his “end of life” provision to “celebrate quietly.”

Previously mentioned here, here and here.

As reported in today’s the Hill here, Blumenauer now says he regrets the letter’s secretive language saying, “If I had seen the memo, I would have suggested it be worded differently.”

The memo stated in part,

“Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.

Seeing that the provision that was stripped from the original health care reform bill was quietly snuck back in, by regulation, not legislation, Blumenauer is quoted as saying, “This was a reasonable thing for the administration to do.”

Left unexplained, if it is so “reasonable,” why sneak it in and urge quiet?

 Democrat strategist Bill Galston, agreeing the memo hurt Democrats position on the provision said, “It was stupid.”

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Bow-Tie Blumenauer Now ‘Regrets’ Language in Memo He Never Saw

Typical for a Dem once exposed, Oregon Congressman, Earl ‘Bow-Tie’ Blumenauer, is trying to distance himself from the memo first reported in the New York Times where it was asked of supporters of his “end of life” provision to “celebrate quietly.”

Previously mentioned here, here and here.

As reported in today’s the Hill here, Blumenauer now says he regrets the letter’s secretive language saying, “If I had seen the memo, I would have suggested it be worded differently.”

The memo stated in part,

“Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.

Seeing that the provision that was stripped from the original health care reform bill was quietly snuck back in, by regulation, not legislation, Blumenauer is quoted as saying, “This was a reasonable thing for the administration to do.”

Left unexplained, if it is so “reasonable,” why sneak it in and urge quiet?

 Democrat strategist Bill Galston, agreeing the memo hurt Democrats position on the provision said, “It was stupid.”

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Mr. Why: Gavel Down II. They Rigged the Game in Clackamas County. Here’s How to Fight Back.

E-mail the board no matter where you live   bcc@co.clackamas.or.us. It’s one thing to have the smearing coming from random people but the press and politicians are assisting.
Although the press has received this Nov 22 poll they have refused to publish it.

Clackamas County residents.

Pay for part of Sellwood Bridge    76% NO
New car registration tax                 84% NO
Milwaukie Light Rail                       71% NO


But they have no problem reporting anything cooked up by the County Commissioners.

After 185 opponents show up at one hearing, 175 at a second and the county wide poll County Chair Lynn Peterson rigged the public input and the press reports is over and over again without any evidence at all. 

“We definitely have a feeling from the public on what they think about this. Not only from the testimony, but also from the written testimony that we got under public comment, and it was two-to-one in favor.”
How did Peterson rig it?
She recruited her Metro/TriMet/Bike pals to stack the deck with emails (see it here).

Portlander Jonathan Nicholas (who came and testified) chairs a Metro bike committee Peterson is on along with Scott Bricker, Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Jay Graves, CEO of The Bike Gallery and Rex Burkholder Councilor Metro Council. They put out a call to action for members to email the Board in support of the fee (see it here)

“The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is urging their members to speak up in support of the new fee. Email your comments on the issue by December 8th to bcc@co.clackamas.or.us.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

‘Gunny’ Unloads on Obama

R. Lee Ermey, Former USMC Drill Instructor and Honorary ‘Gunny’ took the opportunity, when appearing at a Roe & Roeper’s Miracle on Indianapolis Blvd. Holiday Extravaganza broadcast inside the Horseshoe Casino December 10, to express his feelings towards the current administration.

Big Hollywood

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

The MoveOn.Commies Choose Abortionists As One of Top 3 Charities

“It’s tough out there this holiday season?” So you urge people to kill their babies? Habitat for Humanity is understandable, feeding the hungry makes sense, but abortions? 
Dear MoveOn member,
It’s tough out there this holiday season. We all see the signs: a family member out of work, a neighbor who still can’t afford health care, or a child not getting enough to eat.

So as a community, MoveOn and its members have chosen a few extraordinary nonprofits to support together. From thousands of nominations, we’ve voted to support Habitat for Humanity, Feeding America, and Planned Parenthood with our combined dollars.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Rivkin: Avastin Decision Gives Us Insight on [Earl Bow Tie Kevorkian Blumenauer’s] ObamaCare Death Panels

We’ve already begun to see how the ‘death panel/rationing’ will be used against us. Bureaucrats are already making decisions on cost and it will only grow worse and intensify under Congressman Blumenauer’s ‘end of life’ discussion language he’s put back into the ObamaCare. The fact he tried to keep it on the QT reveals he knows how unpopular this is AND that there’s something to hide. 
In his piece today in the WSJ (here), Attorney David Rivkin and a co author discuss how the rationing of health care will take place. 

They look no further than the rationing of the anti cancer drug Avastin:

Ponder the FDA’s justification—there wasn’t “sufficient” benefit in relation to Avastin’s risks. Sufficient according to whom? For your wife, mother or daughter with terminal breast cancer, how much is an additional month of good-quality life worth? And what costs should be weighed? Like all drugs, Avastin has side effects including bleeding and high blood pressure. But isn’t the real cost to these women a swifter, less dignified death? The FDA made a crude cost calculation; as everyone in Washington knows, it wouldn’t have banned Avastin if the drug cost only $1,000 a year, instead of $90,000.
The Avastin story is emblematic of the government’s broader agenda to ration care based on cost and politics. Once ObamaCare comes into full force, such rationing will be pervasive. When the government sees insufficient benefit, all but the wealthiest and most politically connected will have to go without.
Think it can’t happen here? Think again. The 2009 stimulus bill spent $1.1 billion to research “comparative effectiveness.” That’s the same approach used by Britain’s National Health Service to ration care, weighing cost against factors such as the ever-elusive concept of quality of life.

Rivkin, who’s been a guest on the program several times, is arguing against ObamaCare on behalf of 20+ states in Florida. While those lawsuits invoke undue burden on states, costs and the individual mandate, Rivkin has another theory which he explores again in this piece. It goes something like this: You have individual liberty and the liberty to be secure in your person with (according to Roe v Wade) an implicit right to bodily privacy. Is your right less because the government wants to save money (on an insurance policy it forced you to buy)?

This whole scheme doesn’t stand up to legal scrutiny. Government-imposed cost-benefit rationing raises serious constitutional concerns. Individual bodily autonomy is one of the oldest recognized rights. Its constitutional significance is reflected in Supreme Court decisions acknowledging the rights to refuse unwanted treatment and to access treatments such as contraception and abortion. Freedom to make medical decisions is central to the autonomy and dignity encapsulated by the majestic word “liberty” in the Constitution’s due process clauses.

And finally on ‘death panels’ making a comeback because of  Earl Kevorkian Blumenauer getting them reinserted into the regulations:

The administration has resurrected that provision through regulations, and Medicare will now pay for such counseling as part of elderly “wellness assessments.” Yes, the “death panels” charge is somewhat crude, but combine cost-based rationing with end-of-life counseling and, well, here we are.

Well, here we are, indeed.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Mr. Why: Gavel Down II. They Rigged the Game in Clackamas County. Here’s How to Fight Back.

E-mail the board no matter where you live   bcc@co.clackamas.or.us. It’s one thing to have the smearing coming from random people but the press and politicians are assisting.
Although the press has received this Nov 22 poll they have refused to publish it.

Clackamas County residents.

Pay for part of Sellwood Bridge    76% NO
New car registration tax                 84% NO
Milwaukie Light Rail                       71% NO


But they have no problem reporting anything cooked up by the County Commissioners.

After 185 opponents show up at one hearing, 175 at a second and the county wide poll County Chair Lynn Peterson rigged the public input and the press reports is over and over again without any evidence at all. 

“We definitely have a feeling from the public on what they think about this. Not only from the testimony, but also from the written testimony that we got under public comment, and it was two-to-one in favor.”
How did Peterson rig it?
She recruited her Metro/TriMet/Bike pals to stack the deck with emails (see it here).

Portlander Jonathan Nicholas (who came and testified) chairs a Metro bike committee Peterson is on along with Scott Bricker, Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Jay Graves, CEO of The Bike Gallery and Rex Burkholder Councilor Metro Council. They put out a call to action for members to email the Board in support of the fee (see it here)

“The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is urging their members to speak up in support of the new fee. Email your comments on the issue by December 8th to bcc@co.clackamas.or.us.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Dr. Tim Ball on Latest AGW Claim: It’s Cold Because It’s Warm!

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2010/12/bundle_up_its_global_warming.html

The earth continues to get warmer, yet it’s feeling a lot colder outside. Over the past few weeks, subzero temperatures in Poland claimed 66 lives; snow arrived in Seattle well before the winter solstice, and fell heavily enough in Minneapolis to make the roof of the Metrodome collapse; and last week blizzards closed Europe’s busiest airports in London and Frankfurt for days, stranding holiday travelers. The snow and record cold have invaded the Eastern United States, with more bad weather predicted.

As global temperatures have warmed and as Arctic sea ice has melted over the past two and a half decades, more moisture has become available to fall as snow over the continents. So the snow cover across Siberia in the fall has steadily increased.

The sun’s energy reflects off the bright white snow and escapes back out to space. As a result, the temperature cools. When snow cover is more abundant in Siberia, it creates an unusually large dome of cold air next to the mountains, and this amplifies the standing waves in the atmosphere, just as a bigger rock in a stream increases the size of the waves of water flowing by.

The increased wave energy in the air spreads both horizontally, around the Northern Hemisphere, and vertically, up into the stratosphere and down toward the earth’s surface. In response, the jet stream, instead of flowing predominantly west to east as usual, meanders more north and south. In winter, this change in flow sends warm air north from the subtropical oceans into Alaska and Greenland, but it also pushes cold air south from the Arctic on the east side of the Rockies. Meanwhile, across Eurasia, cold air from Siberia spills south into East Asia and even southwestward into Europe.

It’s all a snow job by nature. The reality is, we’re freezing not in spite of climate change but because of it. 

 When scrambling to explain all the cold weather people only expose their ignorance of climate science. They also, fortunately, produce statements that, even those who don’t understand the science, see as illogical. Notice Dorling says “climate change” as he tries to suggest the current cold is just an anomaly in an overall warming trend. Others point to storms and flooding as further evidence of changes due to warming.

Andrew Revkin former New York Times reporter who quit after it was disclosed he was sharing information and basically being used by the people at the Climatic research unit from which the e-mails were leaked, is trying to rehabilitate himself and the NY TImes. He sent a group of us a copy of Cohen’s paper. Here was my response:

None of what Cohen presents is new. If he knew anything about climatology and the history of climate research he would know that existence of the Circumpolar Vortex and its pattern of Rossby waves has been in the literature since the Jet Stream was discovered in WWII and then the identification of the Waves by Carl Rossby in 1946. The concept of the Waves were linked with the concepts of Air Masses and their movement in determining patterns of weather in the Middle and High latitudes. Marcel Leroux claimed to have rediscovered these and named cold Polar outbreaks, formerly called continental Arctic (cA) or maritime Arctic (mA) air masses, as Mobile Polar Highs. What is not explained is the sinuosity in the Vortex and changing patterns over time that create differing weather patterns that drive these outbreaks of cold air south. There’s evide