Second Look at "Healthy, Weathy and Wise"
UPDATE: The original link to the book is dead. Here is some background on the book and here is more.
Manny Mota...Mota...Mota (OK, not a helpful title...this blog is mostly about Economics, the Markets, Politics...and during the football season also about the New York Giants)
A federal program to buy and renovate foreclosed homes on Westchester County’s worst blocks was supposed to breathe life into dying neighborhoods, but officials are now struggling to sell some of the new housing.
Westchester County received $7.3 million in federal recovery funds to buy 12 foreclosed or abandoned properties in Mount Vernon, Peekskill and Yonkers. In one case the county allocated up to $942,000 in federal and state funds to fix up and market a three-family home in Yonkers surrounded by conditions that would scare most potential homebuyers. “It’s extremely difficult for us to resell those properties, particularly in Yonkers. There’s just no interest whatsoever,” Norma Drummond, county deputy planning commissioner, told the Board of Legislators’ Government Operations Committee last month. “In some cases it’s the neighborhood. Even though we’ve invested in this one property, the rest of the neighborhood hasn’t improved enough.”
There are so many things wrong with this. First, the neighborhood is a shithole, so nobody in the government has heard of the saying "location, location, location." Second, they pumped close to $1 million into a structure that probably wasn't worth more than $100,000.
Drummond told legislators the toughest sell is 31 Oak St. in Yonkers, a three-family home in which the county invested up to $862,000 to buy and renovate, plus $80,000 in state funds to make it more affordable to a buyer who then would rent the other two units. Oak Street’s undesirability was underscored April 21 when Mayor Mike Spano came to the intersection of Oak and Elm streets to announce enhanced police patrols in the area after a series of shootings and stabbings.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 06/07/12 -- Fortress Paper Ltd. ("Fortress Paper" or the "Corporation") (TSX: FTP), announces that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Landqart AG, a leading manufacturer of banknote and security papers, has had a material banknote order reinstated. This order was unexpectedly suspended in the fourth quarter of 2011 which negatively impacted the financial results of Landqart's operations in the first half of 2012.So, who precisely needs a crapload of banknote paper...
Meanwhile Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio (and North Carolina soon) are establishing early footholds in the fracking-reliant natural gas exploration industry while New York declares themselves out of the game. Pennsylvania is already garnering the jobs and tax revenue that naturally flows from openness to energy development.Now we have this:
Here is my prediction, several years from now, New York will cease this silliness and declare that it is open to fracking...
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration is considering a plan that would allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing near the Pennsylvania border, according to a report in The New York Times.After offering up two of the worst economic development ideas recently, might this be a bow to reality and a turn for Cuomo toward good sense? We shall see.
This is from January of 2011 mind you. Much of this is now showing up in the polling and is the emerging conventional wisdom of the punditry. But I heed the Good Professor's warning...don't get cocky kid.
I'm Here to Cold Shower the CW on 2012We are going to start seeing a ton of this kind of article, about how Obama is going to win in 2012 (here is another). I think these are reasonable analyses and I don't dispute the power of incumbency; I surely don't dispute that the slobbering love affair of the MSM/EJM with Dear Leader is going to kick into overdrive; and I don't dispute the idea that Republicans can screw up their chances. And of course, we never know what things will look like two years down the road. However, let me posit a few items that I've mentioned before but that are worth revisiting and combining.
- Obama will run with unemployment at/near 10% and gas over $4. While not a lock, these are highly probable. The economy is recovering but not fast enough to add the number of jobs needed to help Obama politically. Jobs creators are justifiably cautious and the only shift has been in Obama's rhetoric; the nasty, job-killing stuff he has foisted on the economy is still fully operational down in the inner workings of the economy. Even if unemployment moderates a bit, it is a virtual certainty that it will be higher than when he took office. Not good. Gas will be over $4 and food prices will be higher and rising (either explicitly so or stealthily so). These are core pocketbook problems that Americans have historically taken out on incumbent Presidents.
- Many Americans are still spitting mad at the MSM/EJM for their despicable performance in the 2008 campaign, a performance which continues today, and the thicker they lay it on, the more they slobber over Obama, the more grossed out it will make regular Americans and the more it will galvanize an anti-Obama coalition. The media will conduct Act II of its slobbering love affair from a vastly diminshed position in American society, with vastly reduced influence, this time around.
- The stakes are so high. If we re-elect Obama, we live with ObamaCare forever and we get more "wise Latina" entho-racial progressive victimology crap placed onto the High Court. Americans like continuity, but they have their limits.
- The world will look a mess, further revealing what a non-entity at best, a provocateur through his weakness at worst, Obama is on the world stage.
- His coalition is gone. And, Dear Leader may excite his base, but you can bet your keister that the other side's base will be damned excited too.
- ObamaCare will continue to backfire. Premiums will rise, doctors will refuse Medicare, drug prices will go up, among many other adverse developments. And we may even see the SCOTUS declare major portions of it unconstitutional. Under that scenario are we really going to re-elect the guy whose signature achievement proves to be a legally out-of-bounds, economic flop?
One of the structural flaws that he had coming in to his Presidency was a shallow political base. As a newby, he didn't have the deep networks and connections to draw the top talent to his side; he only had the ability to draw party loyalists who do what they do for the party, not for him. As he proves damaging to the party, these folks will not sign up to resurrect the great Obama experiment, which is a major problem for him. He is going to need top class talent to resurrect his presidency. Where is he going to find these people? Where are the All-stars going to come from? Answer: He's not gonna get them. Is he really going to turn things around dramatically in 20 months with a bunch of B-teamers? Doubtful.Take this for example, this woman is a sure-fire D-Teamer. Obama's biggest weakness is the economy and yet he can't find anybody who can come within miles of qualified to be Commerce Secretary while Bryson recuperates?
"We estimate this new complex, which is located entirely within the Offshore Area 1 block, holds 10 to 30-plus trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of incremental recoverable natural gas resources," said Daniels.This is an absolute shitload of gas. Couple finds like this with the fracking revolution going on here in the U.S. and the world is looking more and more awash in clean-burning natural gas.
So, Romney's fundraising is kicking in as I told you it would. I predict that next month's report on fundraising will show continued improvement.It showed continued improvement alright...
According to a news release from the Mitt Romney campaign, the Romney/RNC partnership outraised Obama by nearly $17 million in its first full month of operation
Prolonged austerity is making it harder, not easier, for governments like Greece to become self-reliant again.This is unadulterated poppycock. Austerity is a million miles from Greece. It is an utterly discredited model and bankrupt system that has made Greece unable to become self-reliant. Greece's continuing relative profligacy is just hastening the implosion of the country. Greece is a voracious, all-devouring sinkhole, no amount of continued assistance will stabilize it or set it on any type of reasonably stable course. Austerity, which has yet to be seen, is coming...not by virtue of any political choice, but by physics - cold, hard, reality.
"Unlike Cory Booker, Harold Ford, and other lesser Democrats, you can’t leash the Big Dog. Even though he hasn’t been on the hustings for several years and arguably flopped in South Carolina in 2008 on behalf of Hillary, Big Dog Clinton doesn’t make many political mistakes. Even his B-game is impressive."Yet, despite his accurate insight, Heyward attributes small ball motivations to Bubba's sabotage of the Lightworker.
"First, perhaps this is merely payback for besting Hillary in 2008 ...Second, a variation of the first theory is that the Big Dog wants to kill off any chance of Hillary replacing Biden on the ticket, thinking this would also tarnish her chances in 2016 if she agreed to this desperation measure. ...I think this gives Big Dog Bubba too little credit. This isn't about Hillary and influencing Obama's policy stance. As I have stated, Barack Obama is only renting the Democratic Party and Bubba & Co intend to do nothing less than full scale reclamation by evicting the tenant, cancelling the lease, and seizing control of the asset anew. Throw in massive ego with an eye to a place in history and you have the Big Dog playing the Big Game.
Third, and my favorite theory, is that Clinton knows that Obama’s class warfare strategy is a loser, and is making his comments deliberately to force Obama to change course while he still has time."
A new study examining the effect of prevailing-wage laws, which set a minimum salary for construction workers on public projects, concludes that they drive up the cost of taxpayer-funded projects in New York state by as much as 30%.
The report from Columbia University's Center for Urban Real Estate, to be released on Tuesday, wades into a thorny debate over the laws, which in New York mandate that trade workers on public projects be paid on par with existing labor agreements.The study is inconvenient as unions are salivating over a gusher of money set to flow from Andy Cuomo.
The study comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed to spend $16 billion a year on infrastructure through his New York Works program. The use of prevailing wages would tack $3 billion annually onto that plan, the study says.It's not like the Empire State couldn't use $3 billion for this and that while still building what it wants to build (like an unneeded convention center in Queens, b/c visitors come to NYC to go to Queens...)
Critics of the study said Ms. Vitullo-Martin erred by simply comparing union and nonunion workers and ignoring the benefits they say trade unions offer, including better-trained workers and managersYeah, all those extra benefits like no-show jobs, over-billing, and general all-round corruption.
P.S.: As far as I can tell–and I watched it twice–the CBS Evening News did not bury it’s story on tomorrow’s crucial election. They didn’t run it at all. Nothing. Zip. And they say the liberal MSM is downplaying the recall in anticipation of a likely Walker victory. It’s as if Dan Rather were still alive. … Scott Pelley did find time to report that there were no people killed by tornadoes–which I guess couldn’t have been held for a day. You never know when someone will be killed by a tornado, and then CBS would lose the story. … Pelley also featured a longish piece on the emergence of a “core of young cool royals” in the U.K. . But not uncool elected geeks in the Heartland. …
P.P.S.: Obama has now decisively intervened in the race, with a tweet. … He didn’t even use all 140 characters. … It’s an effort so self-protective and wussy it may come to stand for the President’s ineffectuality. Next he’ll tweet his opposition to Assad. …
...going the full Galt may not be justified. But going the full Milton ain't justified either, after all we are still living with the spectre of the regulatory blobs of ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank, Obama's EPA is in overdrive trying to raise our energy costs, and the rule of law is still being flouted from on high. So how does one make a halting, tentative commitment to the prospect of better times? Hire temps. If Obamacare survives judicial muster (or if Kath Sebelius is ordered to just implement it anyway) or if the economy shows signs of weakness or if another regulatory push seems like it's making traction, as a business operator you'll want to have the flexibility to ratchet back your commitment in a hurry. With temp workers, you just say "bye-bye", no difficult firing procedures, no wrongful termination lawsuits, no pension obligations, no union goons protesting layoffs. Easy peasy Japanesey. Thus, we are now Going Robert Half.UPDATE: Also from Mark Perry, severe price differences for certain medical procedures based on method of payment. What did I say about "cash-on-the-barrel healthcare"?
Docs Have Their Own "Doc Fix"
It's called "Cash, Visa, Mastercard or American Express." The warnings were there. It was basic logic and common sense. I was just one among many who said it would happen - and it is happening, doctors are bolting Medicare in massive numbers. Stay tuned because soon we'll be hearing the same thing about any insurance coverage that comes out of the exchanges tied to Obamacare. Doctors will not provide life saving care for plumbers' wages.
I know there must be a scene in some movie somewhere in which the protagonist is running through some gauntlet, like a jungle or something, and getting pelted with darts that, as they accumulate, sap his strength. Ultimately our hero emerges into a clearing only to collapse from the multiple wounds at which point a large dark figure, the mastermind, emerges from just off-stage to finish off our protagonist with a final knife plunge, ensuring and taking credit for the finality of the protagonist's demise. The doomed, dart-ridden hero here is the Lightworker himself and the dark figure is Bubba sticking the knife in once and for all. Cut to black.UPDATE: Even Fineman gets it.