Archive for June 11, 2009

The Letterman Debacle

What do I think would be the proper response to 62-year-old Dave Letterman making sexually inappropriate comments about Sarah Palin’s 14-year-old daughter?

The appropriate response would be for Mr. Palin to kick his pedophilic-inciting ass up one street and down the other. Meeting him at his home with a shotgun would be VERY appropriate.

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Meeting Place for GCP Members

To those Gulf Coast Punditers recently bereft when GCP shut down without any warning, there’s a meetup at Conservative Talk.

Personally, I like Conservative Talk and think we should consider staying but we are an abrasive, foul-mouthed bunch, many ex-military, that are intolerant of stupidity in its many forms such that we may hurt the delicate feelings of those raised in a more genteel environment.

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It’s An Official Pandemic

Details at

From Reuters:

Based on the U.S. experience, what can the rest of the world expect?

The new H1N1 disproportionately makes younger people sick. Schuchat said 57 percent of U.S. cases were among people aged 5 to 24, and 41 percent of those hospitalized were in this younger age group.

“The highest rates of hospitalization are actually in children under 5,” Schuchat said. Pregnant women, people with asthma or other chronic respiratory disease and diabetics needed to take special care and call a doctor if they had symptoms.

H1N1 is active in all 50 states and there are so many cases now that in some areas, patients with specific flu-like symptoms — a fever above 104 degrees F, cough or other respiratory symptoms — are presumed to have the new virus.

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Florida Foreclosures Jump 50% in May; National Foreclosures Jumped 18%

Florida foreclosures jump 50%.

This should not be a huge surprise to Floridians. There are a lot of second homes/vacation houses in Florida and, in an economic downturn, those are going to be shed. There has been a huge influx of people moving into the state. As the jobs disappear, they’re moving out and leaving their upside-down mortgages behind.

When I separated from the Army and moved into NE Florida in the late 70s, I had to drive a 4WD truck in order to get in and out of my road during the rainy season. Most rural roads were unpaved. Many small towns similarly had unpaved roads. As the area grew (and then went through a building frenzy), tax revenues increased and our roads were paved. Neither of us have a 4WD truck any longer.

As tax revenues continue to fall and services are going to continue to fall by the wayside, I wonder if I should start looking for a 4WD truck again? I imagine I could get one cheap. If I had a job and could afford one (grin), that is.

The Market Ticker goes more in depth about the even larger amounts of foreclosures looming.

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News Reports on Economy and Reality Collide

California’s revenues are plummeting even with (or maybe because of) higher taxes:

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – California’s government risks a financial “meltdown” within 50 days in light of its weakening May revenues unless Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and lawmakers quickly plug a $24.3 billion budget gap, the state’s controller said on Wednesday.

Underscoring the severity of California’s cash crisis, Controller John Chiang, who has previously warned the state’s government risks running out of cash without a budget deal, said revenues in May fell by $1.14 billon, or 17.7 percent, from a year earlier.

Additionally, the revenues of the government of the most populous U.S. state fell short of estimates in Schwarzenegger’s budget plan by $827 million, Chiang said.

He warned California’s state government is speeding toward a financial disaster unless officials act urgently to balance its books.

“Without immediate solutions from the governor and legislature, we are less than 50 days away from a meltdown of state government,” Chiang said in a statement.

California’s revenues have been on a dramatic slide as a result of recession, rising unemployment and its lengthy housing downturn.

The state’s revenues from personal income taxes tumbled by 39.3 percent in May from a year earlier while revenues from corporate taxes fell by 52.1 percent and revenues from sales taxes sagged by 7.6 percent, according to a report released by Chiang’s office.

“A truly balanced budget is the only responsible way out of the worst cash crisis since the Great Depression,” Chiang, a Democrat, said.

Hunh. Those California-is-falling-off-the-cliff tax revenues are AFTER taxes (and sales taxes) have been raised from a year previously, so they’re even worse than it sounds. As gas prices go up, I’m sure consumers that are still working are going to be spending even less.

There is an excellent rant about the media lying to us about the economy at The Market Ticker:

I’m getting VERY TIRED of the misleading presentation in the media:

June 10 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve said the U.S. downturn may be slowing in almost half of its regions, with the outlook at some companies improving while “stringent” loan conditions and a “weak” labor market persist.

Yes, but what was the headline?

Fed Says Downturn May Be Moderating Amid Weakness

No they didn’t.

5 out of 12 is less half of the districts that reported a slower deterioration, while the majority reported either faster or equivalent deterioration.
There is no evidence presented that the downturn “may be moderating.”

As one of the commentors on The Market Ticker Forum pointed out, descending less rapidly is still descending. And that’s in the portions of the country that are considered the economic good news.

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