Double dip predictions going mainstream

From the WSJ:

Housing Market Stumbles

The housing market, whose collapse pulled the economy into recession in late 2007, is stalling again.

In major markets across the country, home sales are deteriorating, inventories of unsold homes are piling up and builders are scaling back construction plans. The expiration of a federal home-buyers tax credit at the end of April is weighing on the market.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Census Bureau said single-family housing starts in June fell by 0.7%, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 454,000. The U.S. started 1.47 million homes in 2006, before the housing bubble popped.

Future construction looks even weaker. Permits for single-family starts fell 3% in June, following big declines in both May and April. “We’re hovering at post-World War II lows,” said Ivy Zelman, president of Zelman & Associates, a research firm.

Economists aren’t singling out one reason for the stalling housing market. A variety of factors have led to flagging confidence, they say, including sluggish labor markets, global economic turmoil and falling stock prices.

While the housing downturn dragged the economy into a recession nearly three years ago, now it is the economy that is pulling down housing, says economist Patrick Newport at IHS Global Insight. Without sustained job growth, the housing market likely won’t improve. That in turn will ricochet across manufacturing, retail and other trades heavily dependent on home building and consumer spending.

Even falling interest rates aren’t enough to whet consumer appetites for housing. Last week, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was quoted at 4.57%, according to Freddie Mac, the lowest since its survey began in 1971. But demand for home-purchase mortgages sits near 14-year lows, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, down 44% over the past two months.

Analysts long expected the withdrawal of a federal tax credit, which had juiced sales, to lead to a slower-than-usual summer.

“It’s the magnitude that’s been the issue,” says Douglas Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The drop-off in activity has surpassed expectations.”

Reports should show that completed transactions of home sales held up through June. But newly signed contracts in May and June have plunged.

Another reason inventory is rising: “Unrealistic sellers have flooded the market” after reports of bidding wars and home-price increases earlier in the year, says Steven Thomas, president of Altera Real Estate, a brokerage in Orange County. The amount of time that homes there have sat on the market there has swelled to 3.78 months, up from 2.35 months in April.

“The sellers think the market’s coming back. They’ve tacked on an extra 5 to 10 to 15%. The buyers aren’t going for it,” says Jim Klinge, a real-estate agent in Carlsbad, Calif. Over the next six months, “it’s going to feel like a double-dip because sellers are going to have to lower their prices.”

This entry was posted in Economics, Foreclosures, Housing Bubble, National Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

108 Responses to Double dip predictions going mainstream

  1. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    More Than 40% Leave Obama Mortgage-Aid Program

    The number of borrowers dropping out of a government program to help struggling homeowners rework their mortgage grew in June at almost twice the pace of those getting a permanent modification, the Treasury Department said on Tuesday.

    The latest figures could signal a rise in foreclosures in the second half of the year at a time when the housing market is still fragile and analysts fear another housing slump could threaten the nascent recovery.

    About 91,000 borrowers dropped out of the program in June, putting the total number of dropouts at 530,000.

    At the same time, about 49,000 borrowers received a permanent modification in June, bringing the number of total active permanent modifications to 389,000.

  2. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Gov. Christie to announce complete overhaul of gaming industry

    More than 30 years ago, casino doors flung open in Atlantic City — a jubilant celebration of the first big gaming destination in the eastern United States.

    Today, Gov. Chris Christie will tell New Jerseyans a special commission he appointed has found that crime, incompetent local government and ferocious competition leave him no choice but to take over the Atlantic City casino and entertainment district in order to save it.

    And he really means takeover.

    Almost all municipal powers, everything from policing to garbage pickup, would be run by the state.

    But first, he will step to the 50-yard line of the New Meadowlands Stadium, where he will say the state will not take the same gamble on its moribund horse racing industry. The same commission that wants to save Atlantic City says the state should privatize horse racing and turn the once formidable New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority into a mere landlord.

  3. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    U.S. Mortgage Brokers Get Criminal Check, Tests Under New Rules

    California mortgage brokers face closer scrutiny as the state adopts a federal law aimed at curbing the fraud and abuse that helped decimate the housing market.

    Brokers in the nation’s most populous state will be required by July 31 to have passed criminal-background and credit checks, as well as licensing exams. California, along with about a third of U.S. states, previously didn’t require mortgage sellers to have individual licenses.

    That’s about to change as all states by Jan. 1 must implement the national rules, which Congress developed after record mortgage defaults and foreclosures were triggered by rampant lending to people who couldn’t afford to repay their loans or never intended to. Brokers will be assigned identification numbers to enable regulators and borrowers to track their lending histories.

    States including Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio and Virginia have already adopted the SAFE Act.

  4. Essex says:

    Interesting…..I thought that the conservative economic thinking would let a place like Atlantic City simply ‘fail’….oops, I forgot….we’re all comrades now. Cept the dang teachers.

  5. grim says:

    More than 30 years ago, casino doors flung open in Atlantic City — a jubilant celebration of the first big gaming destination in the eastern United States.

    Before this, Atlantic City was a slum by the sea.

    And now, it’s a slum by the sea with casinos.

    Now do you understand the benefit?

    Can’t remember who that quote is attributed to.

  6. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Pricing your home to sell in today’s market

    With no federal tax credit to entice buyers, today’s home sellers have to get even more serious about making a deal.

    That means pricing aggressively — low enough to compete with foreclosures in some markets. It’s a conversation that stings, said Summer Greene, a real-estate agent for a Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brokerage office in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

    “It’s like telling them that their children are ugly,” she said.

  7. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:


    No QEII until things get much worse. Its the only bullet they have left.

  8. BeachBum says:

    The disinformation is breathtaking: the economy is not the reason the housing market is stalling: it is stalling because it is still overpriced. The price props have been a futile attempt to keep a dead man walking. So now we’re saying the dead man can’t walk because the economy has stalled. Sorry, the right answer is it’s because he’s dead. As soon as we say the funeral, things will look up, but keeping the dead body around just sets off a stink. And speculating about reasons, especially when it’s so clearly far from the truth is just a waste of time.
    And the rest of the economy can recover without the housing market recovering (ie reverting to bubble because that’s what it was). It’s called bringing back manufacturing.
    The circularity and delusion make me sick.

  9. BeachBum says:

    “That means pricing aggressively — low enough to compete with foreclosures in some markets. ”
    More disinformation, as we noted in various threads in the past, the foreclosure market hasn’t been priced in the reality zone either. And now we know that the banksters are using the foreclosure market to squeeze bribes from unsuspecting buyers. We really do need Eliz Warren. If the blog knows about it, the feds should know about it too – and prosecute the suckers.

  10. 30 year Realtor says:

    Make AC into a family resort destination? Worked out great for Vegas. Don’t hear much about those roller coasters or theme parks at the casinos anymore. Guess that didn’t work out?

    Sure glad we have a conservative Governor! Wouldn’t want another socialist in charge. Damned socialist might want to start taking over entire industries…

  11. Final Doom says:

    grim (4)-

    One big exception: if you are a mortgage broker for a bank, you don’t have to take the test. Only independent brokers have to pass the test.

    In NJ, the fail rate on the test was close to 80%. A lot of the brokers who failed went to work for banks.

  12. Final Doom says:

    Bum (11)-

    I really think the only plan they have in DC is to extend the Ponzi until another world war can be triggered.

  13. Final Doom says:

    We pretty much all suspected Christie was just another fascist. Other than some tough talk…and the giggles we got from making some union thugs squirm…he’s acted just like another shithead politico.

  14. Smathers says:

    beachbum (10)—

    It’s a combination. One, real estate is still overpriced, particularly in any place that has some semblance of hope (e.g. NY city and environs, San Francisco, LA, and a handful of other places). Two, the economy IS dead. They haven’t figured out another bubble to prop it up. You’re right, we need to bring back manufacturing. Sadly, that might be ready to go by the time my toddler is out of high school.

  15. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “While the housing downturn dragged the economy into a recession nearly three years ago, now it is the economy that is pulling down housing”

    Yes, it’s a two-three headed monster. Past recessions have led to housing declines, late 70’s and early 90’s. Never before has a housing bust been the precursor to a recession. That’s why this bust is the granddaddy. Put on your walking shoes; it’s gonna be a long walh home.

    A housing market built on a foundation of toothpicks, securitized by toilet paper, bringing the world economy to its knees. The spread between debt/equity continues to multiply. Bergabe doesn’t have a bazooka large enough to cure this cancer. Granted, it won’t stop him. QE to infinity.

  16. Mr Wantanapolous says:


  17. Yikes says:

    Ben’s gonna drop money soon. Remember this?

    And Democrats do have an ace in the hole when it comes to keeping the economy moving: last year’s stimulus bill was backloaded, which means that close to five hundred billion dollars in stimulus money is still to be spent.

    That backloading of the bill was good economics: with the Federal Reserve doing less to pump up the economy, an extra half-trillion dollars in fiscal stimulus will help pick up the slack. It was also good politics, since much of that money will be flooding into the economy during the key second and third quarters. Republicans in Congress would presumably block any Democratic attempt to pass another major stimulus, both for ideological reasons and because they have no political incentive to see the economy improve.

  18. Final Doom says:

    “China’s property bubble is now on the verge of collapse. Transaction volumes are significantly down and declining volume is how property bubbles always burst. In simple terms, the pool of greater fools eventually runs out.

    In China’s case, the pool of fools is heavily involved in “loan shark” schemes where speculators hope property values rise fast enough to cover the interest.”

  19. Orion says:

    Re: AC & Meadowlands

    In one swoop with a fly swatter CC will annihilate our 30 year old family business by closing the Meadowlands. We are only one example of many other businesses that will be slaughtered into oblivion. I’m deeply disappointed at the slanted decision favoring AC. Guess I’ll be moving soon (and this time out of NJ).

  20. Final Doom says:

    If shutting down the Meadowlands means blowing up Xanadu, I’m all for it.

    Unfortunately, we will continue to try to revive this rotting corpse, like the corrupt fools we are.

  21. Cindy says:

    wtf – 177 – yesterday – agree – His absolute best…..

    Times They are a Changin’, Blowing in the Wind, – Bob Dylan songs performed by Peter, Paul and Mary in the early 60s – are also the songs I remember.

    And this one – Too much of nothin can make a man into a liar…..

    Went to a Concert in the Park here in Portland last night – Mt. Tabor. They do them at different parks throughout the summer. – put on by the Dept. of Parks and Rec. – All for free. You just throw down your blanket, open the wine, and dance along with all the other fools……vacation time. Off to Hood River for the day, then the train to Olympia tomorrow. My friend’s place where I am headed for the weekend in on the Olympic Peninsula – family held corporation – a Nompound of sorts.

    Enjoy all

  22. Juice Box says:

    re: Stimulus Bill – a ONE TIME allocation of $53 Billion for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund to avoid cutbacks and layoffs (82% must be used for education while 18% may be used for public safety and other government services. The latter part may be used for repairs and modernization of K-12 schools and college and university buildings.)

    NJ got over 1.3 Billion on for teachers and 242 million for other government jobs, which they used most of for the corrections dept about 200 million so they would not have to close the jails.

    What happens when it is all spent, which is any day now?

  23. Essex says:

    Cindy, Sounds nice. Enjoy your summer!

  24. All "H-Train" Hype says:


    I was around Xanadu 2 weeks ago. What an eyesore. There are fences all around the building with piles of dirt in the parking lots, overgrown weeds and unfinished parking decks. The place sucks. I will gladly pay $5 bucks in taxes to blow tha place up and be done with it.

  25. Essex says:

    What a mess this State is in.

  26. Essex says:

    26. It’s gotta be Israel’s fault somehow.

  27. freedy says:

    horse racing is finished in this state , so is AC. to much competition

  28. Juice Box says:

    Wanna bet Stimulus III and IV are coming during Obama’s Term? Stimulus II was already passed earlier this year but no one dared call it that.

    If Bernake testifys today that Congress and the Administration to go full on Keynesian, then do the full John Maynard. All this extend and pretend crap is not going to work. No funding street theater. No grants to states, cities or municipalities. Full on WPA, take all of the unemployed and send them around the country building stuff, bridges roads etc and build a couple dozen nuclear power plants. Concrete, steel, wood (for forms), pipes, wiring, etc.

    Build something real, build something big, and have it provide dividends (electrical power). WPA from the 30s paid for stuff that you can still point to today like the Hoover Dam.

    How are we going to charge all those battery powered cars anyway to get off of oil?

  29. Jamal Van Jones says:

    They do them at different parks throughout the summer. – put on by the Dept. of Parks and Rec. – All for free.

    Umm, it is not free. The people who don’t go to the concert are paying your fare.

  30. joyce says:


    You’re absolutely right. Besides an entertaining “battle” with only 1 public union, he has done nothing. Now, he is clearly demonstrating that is fascist in bed with big business.

  31. Juice Box says:

    More extend and pretend.

    H.R. 4213, the unemployment extension bill, passed the Senate early yesterday afternoon, vote was 60-40 votes to counter the previous Republican filibuster.

    Unemployment benefits to be paid back retroactively for people who have seen their payments cut off since the filing deadline expired on June 2.

  32. Mr Hyde says:

    Juice 30

    Bingo! How about we use WPA 2.0 to rebuild the US heavy rail lines? The US has worse heavy rail infrastructure then many 3rd world nations! A modern heavy rail system greatly reduces oil consumption as you move freight to the rail lines. of course the trucking lobby is going to yell and scream, because you will decimate the trucking industry.

    On top of that most US commercial rail service such at Amtrack, NJT, etc run on industrial rail lines and are required to make way for freight. Because of this you are essentially guaranteed that you will never have fast and efficient rail service. WPA 2.0 would be a perfect match for rebuilding the heavy industrial rail lines while building new dedicated commercial lines that are actually capable of handling traffic in a fast and efficient manner.

    Now is actually a great time to do it as you would need to buy up a substantial amount of property to create new rail corridors. of course one catch is if this were done correctly you could very well put a few of the major US airlines out of business.

    if we do it, do it right and dont buy from the chinese! get the tech and know how from the european or japanese rail systems

    This project would be perfect for a few nuke stations as well. Rebuild the system as electrified rail fed by a few strategically placed nuke plants and you have a very efficient and dependable system

  33. Mr Hyde says:


    Panem et Circenses

    They know they have to keep the bread flowing or Rome may start to burn. It really is astounding how far they seem to go in order to take the most unproductive actions possible with the massive amounts being borrowed.

  34. Confused in NJ says:

    Obama is going to outsource Afghanistan to the Chinese Army. Eventually the Taliban will run out of explosive devices and capitualate. One bag of rice per day per soldier.

  35. Juice Box says:

    ree; #34 – Hyde As I stated in the past the unemployed need to be re-branded to something more upbeat like the “Industrial Reserve Army”. There are about 25 million of them that can be put to use.

  36. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:


    You should read this article from Minyanville I posted yesterday:

    The banks are hardly listing anything above $300K because they know it’s all way overvalued.

  37. New in NJ says:

    “I will gladly pay $5 bucks in taxes to blow the place up and be done with it.”

    NJ should start a raffle where the winner gets to push the plunger.

  38. Cindy says:

    25 – Essex – Actually, summer is about over for me. I will start reporting to my room the first week of August.

    31 – Jamal

    There are sponsors and we actually made donations as well.

    35 – Stu

    The rich folk I know have cut back just like me in these uncertain times.

  39. Mr Hyde says:


    Obama is going to outsource Afghanistan to the Chinese Army. Eventually the Taliban will run out of explosive devices and capitualate. One bag of rice per day per soldier.

    Thats BRILLIANT!!!!! The chinese should jump all over such a deal. This is a ready made solution to the chinese problem of an excess # of young males

  40. Shore Guy says:

    Of course horse racing is dead in NJ. The only reason it was popular back in the day is because it was legal, when other forms of gambling were not.

    Go to the track and what do you get? Spend a full day at, what, maybe a dozen chances to win? And, one needs to stand in a long line to place those bets?

    In this, I need an instant fix NOW, society, casinos give people many more chances to feel the rush of almost winning far many more times than at the track. Plus, the shows allow people to pretend they are putting the kid’s college money at risk for an “entertainment experience,” not gambling. Add the possibility of comped rooms — a little nookie never hurt the appeal of anything — and it is far more appealing for people to go to a casino.

    True enough, the track allows one to look at pretty horses. But, compared to a shapley showgirl showing about the same percentage of @ss as the horses, well, the horses come up short after awhile.

  41. Shore Guy says:

    If CC wants to get a handle on AC, he would contrct to bulldoze every property that has been empty for one year or longer and take vast swathes of the city, stretching north to south and east to west and create a system of interconnected plazas and parks aand greenways. Then, divide the spaces between the existing c&sinos and levy a security/,aintenance tax on them for each parcel that is their responsibility. If they choose to use their own staff for upkeep, deduct that from the maintenance tax.

    Unless AC is visually stunning, 2020 may look much like 1960 and 2030 might look even more like 1970.

  42. Cindy says:

    Well – “Game on!” Can you even believe it…
    Tax the stuff already – We Need Money….

  43. Mr Hyde says:

    Shore 44

    Good idea in concept, but who is going to gamble? Last time i was at AC was about 2 years ago and i couldn’t believe the lines of ( disturbingly it was primarily old people) people at the cash advance window. people were heavily gambling off of savings and credit cards. Neither source is readily available anymore.

    people will always gamble and gambling in general does great in bust periods, but i dont see large the large scale resort casino model begin able to pull in enough revenue in lean times to meet their expenses.

  44. Final Doom says:

    I say NJ goes full throttle into dog racing.

    That way, we can burn through money at an absolutely unprecedented rate.

  45. Final Doom says:

    Here comes Rusty…

  46. nj escapee says:

    Gold Coin Sellers Angered by New Tax Law
    Amendment Slipped Into Health Care Legislation Would Track, Tax Coin and Bullion Transactions

  47. Mr Hyde says:


    how much money are we spending on trying to eradicate a weed that people has voluntarily consumed for thousands of years? How much money are we spending on criminalizing people for consuming a substance with no practical ability to overdose on and is less harmful then tobacco or alcohol?

  48. Cindy says:

    50 – Kettle

    Re 45 – Apparently, it is the one thing we do well in EVERY PART of California from the OR border to LA – and only crooks are making money at it. Typical.

    People sure sleep in around this place – Time to get up people! Half the day is gone…..

  49. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    Dealbreaker Yesterday

    “Unfounded Rumor Of The Afternoon: Cuts A-Comin’ At Credit Suisse?”

  50. Final Doom says:

    Bojangles about to sign fraudulent, irrelevant and utterly worthless FinReg bill.

    Nice to see his bitch, Pandit, there.

  51. BeachBum says:

    #39 – yes I read it yesterday and it was the reason behind my rant this morning. This play by the banks, contenanced by the government is keeping many people out of decent houses who just want to live in a place they own without committing financial suicide. I guess from one perspective you can call it “tomorrow’s price today” but it is adding up to a feeling of simmering frustration because there is a such a disconnect from reality.
    I do not understand why the MSM doesn’t really investigate the story and report on it correctly, explaining in simple terms what this all means. The article that Grim posted just again showed me what clowns they are – no wonder the average Joe still doesn’t understand!

  52. Final Doom says:

    beach (54)-

    The media is fully-invested in perpetuating the Ponzi.

    I am a full-time RE agent, and honestly, I have no idea what today’s values are. There are so many distortions being created by shadow inventory that it’s hard to comp things.

    I DO know that for many reasons, banks are also rejecting appraisals left and right. So, at the same time they are fighting to put a floor under prices, they are destroying them in the underwriting process.

  53. BeachBum says:

    So the banks are profiting from a completely disorganized market. That is the answer – no we need the question: what are the banks getting out of this? Delaying their mark to market, security laws claims to past the statute of limitations on the asset backed securities, keeping up an atmosphere of crisis to jack up fees and reel in interest payments…an empty circle.

  54. Mr Hyde says:


    the government and banks have the same interest in all of this. The banks are instantly insolvent if they take even a partial write down on their housing portfolios. The problem is that if the begin to accept even a little less then their “book” value then they start an accelerating process of price declines.
    The government for its part faces a melt down if the corpse that is the housing market is acknowledged to not have a pulse. Our fearless leaders have bet the farm and us on the survival of the banks. They have spent trillion propping up a corpse when that money could have been used in a number of different productive manners which would have actually helped the population through this lovely little depression.

  55. Essex says:

    ” i don’t know just where I’m going, but i’m gonna try for the kingdom if i can.”

    Lou Reed

  56. Mr Hyde says:

    I guess china was jealous of our gulf of mexico stunt. of course, china not being a nation that likes to be shown up, deciding to stage their very own oil spill disaster.

  57. wtf says:

    Wrong coffee order leads to assault charges in Bernards Township

    BERNARDS TWP. — Sonya Almonte wanted milk in her coffee. Dunkin Donuts gave her cream. Angry over the discrepancy, she returned to the store and allegedly threw the cup of hot coffee at the worker behind the counter.

    That’s the account given by Bernards Township police, who have charged Almonte, 33, of Somerset, with simple assault in connection with the Saturday, July 17 incident at the Dunkin Donuts on King George Road.

    According to police, Almonte told the responding officers that she had argued with the worker — whom police did not identify — and the coffee spilled as she pushed it back along the counter. Police said the worker told a different story, one that was backed up by security camera footage, which showed Almonte throwing the cup. The worker was unhurt and refused medical treatment, and Almonte was arrested, charged, and released on her own recognizance.

  58. Commanderbobnj says:

    Re: #38.Juice Box says:
    July 21, 2010 at 9:58 am
    re #34 –”… Hyde ,As I stated in the past the unemployed need to be re-branded to something more upbeat like the “Industrial Reserve Army”. There are about 25 million of them that can be put to use…”

    CommanderBob sez:
    This #38 and your earlier #30 posts sounds like some ancient Soviet or Red Chinese seven-year plan to build some “Peoples Republik” style ‘work army’ or something of that sort… . The worse parts of your ‘grand plans’ has even stirred-up HYDE’s brain (#34) somewhat in believing that this folly is possible,,, This can prove to be dangerous…(only kidding, HYDE)

    With all due respect JUICE, You nor anyone else is going to suddenly “train” millions of Grandpa’s, PHD’s, burned-out teachers, computer geeks, etc. to ‘man’ a bulldozer nor even to pick up a shovel for your “Army” !!
    As far as the so-called ‘ Industrial’–vs–‘Commercial Rail Lines’ being built or re-built; I’d leave the wasteful U.S. Government out of that ! I will instead recommend that private enterprise do that building of new or reconditioned rail lines as THEY FEEL is necessary. The rail companies have done a fine job in turning that once decaying transportation system into a viable and quite profitable national coast-to-coast rail connection over the past forty-or-so years. They may need some stimulas funding however; That would be OK if paid back over a short time….

    Once all these railroad companies finished merging , consolidating , shedding the money-sucking unprofitable long-distance and commuter-city lines from their operations, then slowly, profits built up and funding for rebuilding their COMMERCIAL rail infrastructure began. This was all well underway in the 1970’s.———–Here, in New Jersey, NJ Transit was born to take control of the busses and the ‘discarted’ commuter train lines. Heavy taxpayer funding and subsidies are what keeps it together up to now..

    But don’t let me ‘pop’ your Brain Bubble, JUICE.
    ” The young dream..&..The old correct ”
    Have a good day, Commander BOB

  59. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [11] beachbum

    “And now we know that the banksters are using the foreclosure market to squeeze bribes from unsuspecting buyers. We really do need Eliz Warren. If the blog knows about it, the feds should know about it too – and prosecute the suckers.”

    Not being a housing geek, I’ll admit to being confused by this quote. How exactly are the banks using the foreclosure market to get bribes, and what is the basis for prosecution?

    Anyone can feel free to enlighten me, not just BB.

  60. Juice Box says:

    re: #62 – C0mmanderbob -Modeling a new program FDR’s New Deal WPA can create jobs for the unskilled and skilled alike million of jobs. The teachers can teach (I am sure there are plenty of children that need remedial help), the geeks can program (goverment computer systems are a boondoogle of waste anyway) and those that can handle a shovel can dig holes and fill them up.

    Handing out checks to everyone is simply wasteful and more importantly unsustainable, we cannot paper over the problems. There are now 40 million collecting food stamps and some 25 million on some form of unemployment and one step away from full on welfare. They should be paid to work not sit home idle, even if it is picking weeds from the soy bean fields, or painting over grafitti or picking up garbage off the highway and cleaning up oil in the gulf.

    I have no illusion that the private enterprise won’t object and the Unions won’t scream bloody murder, but the alternative is much worse, like it or not we are headed for a deep dive in the economy, within the NEXT two years we may even have currency crisis because of sovereign debt obligations that will wipe out what is left of the middle class.

  61. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [58] hyde

    Yeah, that would make a pretty good BOV, though it appears to be for military use.

    FWIW, I predicted at least 12 years ago that major auto makers would start to offer things like ballistic protection and other defensive features as options on production cars. This was before On-star, cabin filtering and run-flat technology, all of which are pretty much standard. Also, soft-armored cars can be special ordered as production models; before you had to have cars retrofitted.

  62. Eric A says:

    It’s only a matter of time before the market drops again. If you can’t believe the evidence, just ask your 8 ball.

  63. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [5] sx

    It is definitely NOT a conservative value, but as with some liberal values, they appear to go under the bus when politics is a consideration.

    I am reminded of a pithy observation by the noted s0cialist Norman Thomas (whose son and at least one acolyte are prominent at Newsweek (that should get Jamil excited)). He said that the difference between dems and republicans is that the dems accept s0cialism willingly and the republicans accept it grudgingly.

  64. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [67] hyde

    That is an example of a retrofitting company. Not a new business, though the real volume was in gov. contracting.

    Now HERE is a BOV for getting beyond the satellite city perimeter.

  65. A.West says:

    I never take illicit drugs, but I think all of it, from consumption to production, should be legalized for adults just like alcohol. Prohibition is just creating violence, corruption, and unusually high profits for the criminals. Casual users can keep on doing what they’re doing, at lower cost. Crackheads can kill themselves quicker, benefitting the rest of us. Prostitution might go down, as addicts could support their habit via regular bad jobs. After 30 years of nothing but failure since Reagan’s “war on drugs,” it’s time to give up on the law enforcement side (outside of schools) and focus on communicating the hazards of sacrificing one’s mind and reasoning capability to drugs.

  66. Orion says:

    Eerie similarities:

    The scoundrels responsible for helping to ignite the housing bust (CD&BF) are now advising O how fix the financial system.

    The scoundrels responsible for allowing the Meadowlands to fall into the shitter are now advising CC how to fix the sports authority.

    Why must our leaders take advice from failed policy makers?
    Don’t we have smart people anymore?

  67. Mr Hyde says:

    Orion 71

    He who has the gold makes the rules. As a follow on to that, he who promises the greatest riches hold the king ear.

  68. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [70] A.West

    In Europe, it is essentially legal to ostracize drug users. Thus, they form their own subculture that limits the damage they do to the social fabric.

    In this country, I can easily foresee that they would be able to assert various “rights” owing to their addiction, which would cause a host of horribles in employment, law enforcement, schools, housing, etc. This is in addition to the damage wrought by stoners in all aspects of life, such as driving.

    I’ve no problem with legalization, but we, as individuals, vendors, landlords, and employers, should be permitted to discriminate against drug users, and penalties for bad behavior (e.g., stoned driving) should be severe.

  69. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    Here’s an observation from a fraternity brother (and hard-core liberal) who started two companies:

    “Outsource whatever you can. The nice folks in India will do anything for pocket change. . . .”

  70. nj escapee says:

    Nom, 74, another example of lib hypocrisy. hardcore lib friend of friend a huge Obama and healthcare reform supporter confides she uses a boutique doctor in Beacon Hill. Pays $3k / yr to ensure her access.

  71. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [75] libtard

    My sister made a bumper sticker for my 1972 Cutlass that said “urban assault vehicle.”

    I remember a state trooper laughing about it as he wrote me a ticket on my own street, in my hometown where the local cops would never give me tickets. WTF a statie was doing there, I will never know.

  72. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [75] libtard

    BTW, I never claimed that the idea of an armored BOV was my idea. If anything, I am late to that party.

  73. Mr Hyde says:


    I dont disagree with you and do agree that you should of course be sober to operate a motor vehicle, but smoking some ganja and driving isnt nearly as bad as you would seem to imply. google “marajuana driving”, there are a ton of studies on it. Note that i am not condoning it.

    A bigger issue is if you want to smoke some weed or do a few lines of blow on the weekend but are sober for work then there should not be discrimination allowed. That is no different then the current setup of drinking during work being disallowed but fine on private time.

    It also means that drug testing in its current for is pointless in that environment. You would have to have legalese in employment contracts that allowed blood tests on demand in the case that your work place sobriety were challenged. That would be one of the few ways to get an “instantaneous” reading that would relevant to your sobriety or lack there of in the work place. Urine tests and the like are essentially useless in such an environment.

    Some legislative body would also have to come up with numeric limits for what defines the boundary of “sober” for various “recreational” substances.

  74. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    Matt Simmons Says Gulf Clean Up Will Cost Over $1 Trillion, Sees BP At $1, Says “We Have Now Killed The GoM”

  75. Mr Hyde says:


    Are the spatula and the blond part of the standard package?

  76. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [76] NJescapee

    I don’t see that as necessarily hypocritical, just as it isn’t hypocritical for conservatives to accept government benefits. If you have the cash, and want to spend it that way, then you have that option. My only beef is with the true Komrades who would “democratize” healthcare by insuring that no one got better access or care than anyone else. Now if your friend espouses that, then he/she is truly a hypocrite.

  77. Mr Hyde says:


    I have to say that some of simmons claims are getting quite far fetched. I am sure BP and the gov will understate or omit at every possible opportunity, but i think simmons is more talking up his portfolio then making “conscientious” claims

  78. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [79] hyde

    Decades ago, when I was younger and a bit stupider, I drove stoned on a number of occasions. I was also a professional driver at that time, so I really should have known better, rationalizations notwithstanding.

    There’s no way anyone can tell me that stoned drivers are somehow safer than drunk drivers. Maybe there is some pharmacological argument about which capacities are actually diminished, but I know impairment when I feel it, and I was absolutely impaired and should not have been driving. I’ve also been along with stoned drivers and remembered the terror I felt (and I don’t scare easily in a car).

    And this was in an area where one had to work at causing an accident (western Mass.) If NJ roads were suddenly filled with more stoned drivers than usual, I’d move.


    Off topic: Check your email. I have a question for you.

  79. Final Doom says:

    Hyde (79)-

    People in the private sector should be allowed to get as fcuked up as humanly possible, even at work.

    Because even a completely blotto private sector worker has more sense in that condition than Barney Frank does while stone cold sober.

  80. Final Doom says:

    I am living proof of #85. In fact, I can prove that drinking lots of whiskey makes me smarter by the drink.

  81. Final Doom says:

    I now hope that Matt Simmons is both correct and that he destroys the share price of BP.

  82. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:


    I don’t know if its far fetched or not but I wouldn’t put anything past the government and oil companies. Certainly if he is short the stock he has an incentive to lie but weighing that against BP/USA’s incentives its tough to say who benefits more by lying.

  83. Essex says:

    86. Once thought I have complete and total enlightenment on a Jim Beam bender in college. It was amazing.

  84. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    More Dealbreaker:

    Prop Cuts Going Down Circa Now At JPMorgan?
    By Bess Levin

    ShareThe House of Dimon has allegedly begun “swinging the ax on prop traders, starting with energy group” with “around 40 people gone so far.”

  85. Final Doom says:

    sx (89)-

    It’s been known to happen. A college roommate and I tried (and succeeded) in drinking ourselves sober once.

    It took a few shots of Everclear at the end to get all the way there, though.

  86. cobbler says:

    nom [82]
    Properly run healthcare system would guarantee the free access to everyone legal to a level of benefits the society as a whole could afford, which obviously is rationing. If one wants and can afford to have more, he/she should be free to either pay cash, or purchase a private insurance policy for the extras. Unfortunately, will not happen until it is too late.

  87. Final Doom says:

    All illnesses should be treated with whiskey.

  88. gary says:

    The housing market, whose collapse pulled the economy into recession in late 2007, is stalling again.

    In major markets across the country, home sales are deteriorating, inventories of unsold homes are piling up and builders are scaling back construction plans.

    tick…. tick…. tick…. tick….

  89. yo'me says:

    California Official’s $800,000 Salary in City of 38,000 Triggers Protests

  90. Mr Hyde says:

    Hehe 88

    I don’t disagree

  91. Juice Box says:

    re; #93 – Doom

    Microbes work better than whiskey.

  92. Essex says:

    91. Takes commitment. A rare commodity this age.

  93. Fabius Maximus says:

    #74 Nom,

    That’s not a comment from a hard core liberal capitalist. Here’s one if he needs some inspiration to come back from th dark side.

    “I am still looking for the modern equivalent of those Quakers who ran successful businesses, made money because they offered honest products and treated their people decently . . . This business creed, sadly, seems long forgotten.”

  94. Fabius Maximus says:

    I miss Anita, we lost her too early.

    “It can be easy to forget that most of the real progress in America (and indeed the world) has been fought for by people who would, by today’s definition, would call themselves liberals. Sometime a decade or more ago, “liberal” became a dirty word, and liberals allowed it to happen. It’s time to reclaim the word, and remind people that the progenitors of progress have always been progressives.”

  95. House Whine says:

    Liberals have allowed themselves to be painted in a certain way. They have allowed conservatives to tell the populace who they are. Liberal have to be proud of who they are. If they aren’t how can they expect us to want to be like them?

  96. Essex says:

    101. Most people are simpletons are treated accordingly. Only after bullets fly do leaders take notice. Bullets don’t give a crap what party you voted for do they?

  97. Fabius Maximus says:

    !101 House Whine.

    While that is very true, there is one small silver lining in that the rightwing of the GOP are starting to eat their own. They are staing to paint moderates in their own party with the same brush. When they start throwing John McCain and Charlie Crist under the bus they force themselves out on a limb. IF they don’t mke BIG gains in November, they will consign themselves to the wilderness until 2020. Its bad fo the GOP when their best hope for 2012 will proabably be Newt!

  98. Fabius Maximus says:

    #102 Essex.
    Don’t think so. I think it is more a fact that the county is made up of two extremes and a small independent middle ground that swings the balance either way. McCain/Pal1n was what many thought to be an unelectable ticket, but they still pulled in 46% of the vote.

  99. Yikes says:

    Keith Olbermann? Yeah, you probably hate him. Still, he’s dead-on here about this Brietbart mess. What an embarrassment. No wonder Republicans are distancing themselves from Drudge’s right hand man

  100. Al "Fat Thumbery" Gore says:

    SDR’s backed by carbon credits. What a nightmare. Instead of answering to helicopter Ben our fates will be in the hands of the pedophiles in the UN/IMF/World Bank/ BIS/ EU/ F_ck this sh_t. Someone pull the plug on these mother f_ckers. Its pure insanity.

  101. ford expert says:

    A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.

    Sent from my Android phone

  102. Tim Olson says:

    @106 — No zhit. You nailed that one. Agenda 21, coming to a neighborhood near you. Check your city council. They already have a sustainable development action plan in place that’s being audited by the UN, for compliance — all under the auspices of manmade global warming. Next come the stasi brown shirts and the eventual lookup of all the IP addresses associated with online resistance. Then the bullet to the back of your head.

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