Too Much Pressure

Submitted by Roanman on Tue, 04/06/2010 - 14:03

 

I couldn't help myself.

Having spent the appropriate amount of time empathizing with poor Hamid ... (OK that'll do it)

I flew straight to days gone by.

This is Pauline Black, Neol Davies and Compton Amenor on guitars, Desmond Brown on organ, Arthur "Gaps" Hendrickson getting beat up on stage (not really) et. al.

From the 1981 movie Dance Craze

The Selector 

Its gonna work out Hamid, you just gotta trust me on this one.

 

Pressure Drop

Submitted by Roanman on Tue, 04/06/2010 - 13:57

 

Now .....

Its getting good to me.

So I start wondering .....

Are there any good performances of Pressure Drop out there?

Imagine my delight.

One last chance to see the great Joe Strummer miss all the notes.

Who cares!!!!!

With Joe Strummer it was never about hitting the notes.

It was about passion.

Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros.

Pressure Drop

(along with Get Down Moses and some other pretty good Clash covers)

 

 

Ten Year Treasury Hits 4%

Submitted by Roanman on Tue, 04/06/2010 - 07:45

 

Four different services hit my mailbox last night with the same headline.

Ten Year Treasury Hits 4%

Putting aside the notion that a 4% yield over the next 10 years lent to anybody (let alone the Federal Government of the United States of America) even approaches a reasonable compensation for risk.

The much referenced "Head and Shoulder" Top is in.

My preference would be for it to go back up and close that gap between about 118.3 and 117.5 and then finish.

As a matter of fact, I believe it will, only because I have come to the conclusion that the notion of randomness in the world is a deception.

I have come to believe that the world is just about as anal and rhythmic as I am (which is pretty damn).

I also believe that the Fed will use every lever to hold rates down.

I'm just not sure it's gonna work.

 

Savers may not be gasping for income that much longer.

Oh yeah, and P.S.

Did you make that refi application yet?

 

The Guidotti-Greenspan Rule

Submitted by Roanman on Mon, 04/05/2010 - 10:09

 

The Guidotti-Greenspan Rule

Named for Pablo Guidotti, former deputy minister of finance for Argentina (that bastion of resposibility in national financing), and Alan Greenspan, increasingly discredited former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of the United States (that other bastion of responsibility in national financing)

States that a countries financial reserves should equal short-term external debt (one-year or less maturity), implying a ratio of reserves-to-short term debt of 1.

The rationale here, is that countries should have enough reserves to resist a massive withdrawal of short term foreign capital.

The U.S. holds gold, oil, and foreign currencies in reserve.

The U.S. has 8,133.5 metric tonnes of gold (supposedly, ain't nobody counted it in generations).

It is the world's largest holder (supposedly, ..... ).

That's 16,267,000 pounds (at the risk of redundancy ....... ).

At about $1,100 per oz. or $17,600 per pound, it's worth just under $300 billion (you know ..... ).

The U.S. strategic petroleum reserve shows a current total position of 725 million barrels of oil.

At about $80 per barrel, that's roughly $58 billion.

And according to the IMF, the U.S. has $136 billion in foreign currency reserves.

So altogether... that's around $500 billion of reserves.

Now, consider this .............

Within the next 12 months, the U.S. Treasury will have to refinance $2 trillion in short-term debt.

That's not counting any additional deficit spending, maybe another $1.5 trillion ..... ish.

Add it up and you get $3.5 trillion ..... or so, a trillion here a trillion there, pretty soon you're talking about real money.

That would be about 30% of our entire GDP.

Where do you think that money is gonna come from?

They're gonna print it.

Or snatch your IRA.

If not both.

 

The above was taken almost in it's entirety (with the exception of the bitter and/or sarcastic comments usually written with type just about this big) from a Porter Stansbury article that was all over the place most of this past fall.

It appears here, here, here  and there, but originated here  (somewhere).

 

 

To quote Frank Barone

Submitted by Roanman on Wed, 03/31/2010 - 06:32

 

 

The text below links to an interactive animation within an outstanding Mother Jones report having to do with U.S. military expansion throughout the world from 1950 until the almost present.

Super duper double way high recommended ... Seriously, it only takes about 45 seconds.  Do it now! .......... Don't make me come over there!

 

According to the Pentagon's 2008 "Base Structure Report," its annual unclassified inventory of the real estate it owns or leases around the world, the United States maintains 761 active military "sites" in foreign countries.

The 2008 total is down from 823 in the Pentagon's 2007 report, but the 2007 number was up from 766 in 2006.

The current total is, however, substantially less than the Cold War peak of 1,014 in 1967.

The US Military has "sites" in 63 countries. Brand new military bases have been built since September 11, 2001 in seven countries.

There are only 192 countries in the United Nations.

Official military reports understate the actual size of the US footprint.

The official figures omit espionage bases, those located in war zones, including Iraq and Afghanistan, and miscellaneous facilities in places considered too sensitive to discuss or which the Pentagon chooses to exclude.

We garrison the globe in ways that really are -- not to put too fine a point on it -- unprecedented, and yet, if you happen to live in the United States, you basically wouldn't know it; or, thought about another way, you wouldn't have to know it.

 

 Below is a similar treatment from United for Peace and Justice, that was first published in 2005.

Not as good as the above Mother Jones piece, but worthwhile.

 

 

I have to admit it, I had no idea this thing had grown so big.

And I'm the guy supposedly paying attention.

 

Still Reading on a Sunday Morning

Submitted by Roanman on Sun, 03/28/2010 - 14:59

Reading on a Sunday Morning

Submitted by Roanman on Sun, 03/28/2010 - 09:19

 

This bit of fun is brought to you by Doctor, Senator Tom Coburn, Republican from Oklahoma.

The idea here being that since Democrats, having boxed themselves in by virtue of the tactics they employed to pass their Obamacare legislation, now were forced to go on the record in the Senate and vote against an unlimited number of Republican amendments.

Then defend that record in the fall. 

Among those amendments Democrats rejected:

  

No Erectile Dysfunction Drugs To Sex Offenders

(Amendment 3556)

This amendment would enact recommendations from the Government Accountability Office to stop fraudulent payments for prescription drugs prescribed by dead providers or, to dead patients. This amendment also prohibits coverage of Viagra and other ED medications to convicted child molesters, rapists, and sex offenders, and prohibits coverage of abortion drugs.

A 2005 survey found that some 800 convicted sex offenders had received Medicaid-funded impotence drugs.

 

Congress Should Not Lecture Americans About Fiscal Responsibility

(Amendment 3563)

This amendment would strike the creation of a new $375 million government program the new health bill (The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) intended to promote personal and financial responsibility. It is ironic that Congress, that amassed a $12 trillion deficit, should lecture Americans about financial responsibility. This government “responsibility” program duplicates existing government programs and adds hundreds of millions of dollars to the tax burden funds. In short, there is nothing responsible about the new responsibility program.

 

If You Like the Health Plan You Have, You Can Keep It

(Amendment 3559) 

President Obama promised that Americans who like their health care plan would be able to keep it. However, the Congressional Budget Office has said that millions of people will lose their current coverage under The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, for many Americans, the reconciliation bill is even worse news, as it made changes to some grandfathering provisions. The changes to grandfathering provisions would mean that individuals with guaranteed renewable plans in the individual market will NOT be able to keep their current coverage at the current price, but would immediately be issued a new policy and charged more. This amendment strikes changes to grandfathered plans, so Americans who like the health care they have actually can keep it.

 

Implement Republican Ideas President Obama Has Endorsed To Crack Down on Waste, Fraud, and Abuse

(Amendment 3560) 

The President’s Proposal for health reform, released on February 22, 2010, highlighted nine Republican ideas to combat waste, fraud, and abuse. This amendment includes each of those policy provisions which have been endorsed by President Obama. Certainly Washington politicians should be serious about stemming the hemorrhaging of taxpayer dollars lost to waste, fraud, and abuse. Senators will have an opportunity to vote on proposals which have received bipartisan support, and which the President has endorsed.

 

Abortion Conscience Amendment

(Amendment 3561) 

This amendment would ensure health care providers are not forced to participate in abortions or discriminated against because they choose not to perform abortions. The federal government should never require health care providers to violate their deeply held moral, ethical or religious beliefs or discriminate against them because they choose to exercise their consciences and not be involved with abortion. This amendment would protect health care providers from being required or coerced to perform abortions.

 

Exempt Class I Medical Devices from New Taxation. 

Taxing latex gloves and band-aids is not health reform and only increases the cost of health care for patients. This amendment would exempt all Class I medical devices – such as band-aids, wheelchairs, hospital beds, and surgical gowns – from new federal taxation.

 

Highly Qualified Bureaucrats in the Department of Education Office of Federal Student Aid

(Amendment 3649) 

As the U.S. Department of Education prepares to become one of the world’s largest banks, this amendment holds government bureaucrats to the same high standards applied to U.S. teachers by requiring each employee within the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid to become “Highly Qualified” in fiscal management.

This amendment requires each employee within the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid to become “Highly Qualified” in fiscal management by earning a bachelor’s degree in finance or business management/administration within six years of the date of enactment.

 

Prohibits Members of Congress from receiving a pay increase until the budget is balanced

(Amendment 3689)

This amendment freezes the pay of Members of Congress until they balance the U.S. government’s budget. Members of Congress are paid an annual salary of $174,000 and, under a law passed by Congress, that amount is automatically increased every year. This amendment would block this automatic congressional pay raise until Congress stops borrowing money to pay for its excessive spending.

 

For the complete list of Senator Coburn's ammendments, click below.

I could not find the complete Senate list published at any one place. 

The complete list of amendments offered and rejected by House Democrats can be found here.

It's long, but worthy of some fast scrolling.

 

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