Saturday, April 30, 2011

A History of the US Debt Ceiling

They've kept raising it.

Politico Reports Boston Globe Reporter Had Obama INS Files Since 2009

So The Boston Globe spiked the story?

Politico doesn't say. So inquisitive are they.

So inquisitive, in fact, that they don't notice that the details in the release contradict Obama's often repeated story about his earliest childhood.

Others have noticed.

Politico's story is simply participating in the administrations's diversion strategy, focusing on the fact that Obama Sr. was prodded out of the country by Harvard.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Gas at Sam's Club Grand Rapids, MI, Now Tops 4 Bucks a Gallon

And I just filled both cars there two days ago at $3.999/gallon:


Patriots Switched to Coffee, Loyalists Stayed with Tea

"The Boston Tea Party is usually mentioned as nothing more than a humorous anecdote but its significance was profound and affected American cultural mores as deeply as the impetus it gave to revolutionary fervor in New England and later throughout the thirteen colonies. Anti-tea literature and boycotts swept the colonies and provided an emotional catharsis which every would-be patriot could share in by switching from tea to coffee."

-- Norman Berdichevsky here

Why Obama Revealed His Certificate of Live Birth This Week

Because he wanted to divert attention from a different, unavoidable, embarrassing revelation.

What revelation is that?

The revelation disclosed here as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request.

Namely, that the narrative Obama has been telling about the first two years of his life is a lie. His mother and father never lived together with Barack Jr. as a family. She went to Washington State. Obama Sr. stayed in Hawaii and left for Harvard before the future president turned one, not when he was two. The marriage itself might be in question.

Everyone is consumed by the release of the Certificate of Live Birth, but not with the truth behind it.

Obama is skillfully playing this out, no doubt on the advice of counsel, to divert, dissemble and distract.

See the discussion here.  

Over a Million Apply for 50 Thousand Burger Flipping Jobs

Some recovery.

Stories here and here.

I'm sure the president is going to think long and hard about the hapless 950,000 or so, between sips at the Wednesday night parties, and between shots on the fairway on the next weekend golf outing.

It's hard work being president. Just ask George Bush

Iitate Japan Radiation Down to 3.29 MicroSieverts Per Hour

As reported here.

Today's Map of Fukushima Prefecture Radiation Monitoring Posts


Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Radiation Conditions

As of 0900 on April 29, Japan time:

438 microSv/h at the south side of the office building;

49 microSv/h at the Main gate;

19 microSv/h at the West gate.

More here.

Concrete Pump with 58 Meter Boom Replenishes Water at Fukushima Unit 4 Pool

Presumably one like this:












Another news report here said a 70 meter version was being dispatched.

The Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 used fuel pool has needed nearly 1300 cubic meters of water over 13 days from April 13-25, according to this update. That number is consistent with, but about 200 cubic meters lower than, the predicted boil-off rate for the period in question:

Unit 4 pond contains a total 1331 used assemblies (783 plus full fuel load of 548), giving it a heat load of about 3 MW thermal, according to France's IRSN, which in that case could lead to 115 cubic metres of water boiling off per day, or about one tenth of its volume. ...

The pond at unit 4 is the main focus of concern now. It needs continual top-up with water, but at the same time there is concern about the structural strength of the building, which has been weakened either by the earthquake or the hydrogen explosion. Some 195 m3 was added to the pond on 13 April, about 20% of its capacity, and another 140 m3 on 15 and also on 17 April, by concrete pump. Another 100 m3 went in on 20 April, then 200 m3 on 22nd, 140 m3 on 23rd, 165 m3 on 24th and 210 m3 on 25th. Temperature has been up to 90°C and water level 5 metres down. It is not clear whether the main water loss is from leakage or boiling. However, Tepco reports that analysis of radionuclides in water from the used fuel pool of unit 4 suggests that some of the fuel assemblies there may have been damaged, but the majority are intact.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I'm Flooring It and I'm Only Going 1.8

Thanks for the inspiration:

1.8 percent GDP growth in the face of massive stimulus is the equivalent of your car sputtering down the highway at 45 miles per hour while you have the gas pedal floored.

Read more from Henry Blodget here.


After Two Years, Bear David Rosenberg Finally Throws in the Towel


“This is not about throwing in the towel; it is an acknowledgement of what the market internals are flashing at the current time from a purely tactical and technical standpoint.”

“The (US dollar) is on a one-way ticket south and so far has been orderly—will that be sustained is anyone’s guess."

“For now it is being viewed as fodder for the global liquidity and risk-on trades.”

"[The tech rally] is a clear sign that the big boys are putting money to work."

“Market internals are too strong to ignore right now—NYSE advancers beat decliners by a 3-to-1 ratio (Tuesday); the Dow transports soared 1.9 percent; and the small caps beat their major benchmarks."

“My overall macro concerns have not gone away, but these market facts on the ground are tough to ignore.”

-- David Rosenberg, quoted here

Q1 2011 Advance Estimate of GDP Slows to 1.8 Percent

From 3.1 percent in Q4 2010. Yikes.

So reports the BEA here.

In 2009 we were down 2.6 percent, in 2010 up 2.9 percent on the federal intravenous drip.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Rush Limbaugh Can't Think Before 1913

"Look, in a classic sense, Trump's not a conservative, folks.  You don't promise to raise tariffs on the ChiComs 25%.  That's not conservative.  (interruption) People understand this, Snerdley.  You remember when George W. Bush threatened to raise tariffs on imported steel, there was an outcry.  No, you don't raise taxes, period.  That's not the way to deal with it.  That's protectionism.  Smoot-Hawley.  It's a death wish.  This is why I'm always worried about populism.  Populism is not conservatism."

-- Rush Limbaugh, 27 April 2011 (here)

"Tariffs were the largest source of federal revenue from the 1790s to the eve of World War I, until it was surpassed by income taxes."

-- "Tariffs in United States History" (here)


"The magnitude of the tariff shock in the Smoot-Hawley legislation . . . was simply not large enough to trigger the kind of economic contraction experienced after 1930."

-- Douglas A. Irwin (quoted here)

The baneful influence of doctrinaire libertarianism on conservatism continues . . . in the voice of Rush Limbaugh.

America's Biggest Pair of Boobs

the left one is bigger
the right one just thinks it is

             



               Notice the wide
               cleavage.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

May We See The Certificate Of Live Birth Number Now On The Certification?





















Ask Snopes.

A Certificate of Live Birth has been released by The White House. Shouldn't the Certification above reference this by its number? Did it match? Let's see it. Let's authenticate it.

61-10641? 

The White House Joins The Proofers

Government Aid Swells to 18.3 Percent of Income in 2010


Dennis Cauchon reports for USA Today, here:

A record 18.3% of the nation's total personal income was a payment from the government for Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, unemployment benefits and other programs in 2010.

Wages accounted for the lowest share of income — 51.0% — since the government began keeping track in 1929. ...

From 1980 to 2000, government aid was roughly constant at 12.5%.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

33 Percent of Voters Have Ties to Tea Party

As of early April, per Rasmussen, here, which also says that percentage hasn't moved since December.

Barack The Builder Thief: Yes We Can





















h/t Blog Dude

Still Waitin' For That Job


Hey! Where Are All the Anti-War Protestors, Huh?!

John Stossel would like to know (here).

Well . . . yeah!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Forget Ritholtz, Here's The Real Dollar Collapse

Ritholtz' so-called big picture since 2001:















Since 1913, the real big picture:


Our Enemy, David Stockman, Wants Higher Taxes on the Middle Class

We already know David Stockman wants to turn home owners into renters.

Now his first words out of the box for The New York Times, here, call for raising taxes on the middle class, as if the middle class had any money:

IT is obvious that the nation’s desperate fiscal condition requires higher taxes on the middle class, not just the richest 2 percent.

Mr. Stockman affects displeasure with class warfare in others while himself engaging in it, on behalf of the speculators who enriched themselves for years at the expense of Americans' primary store of wealth: their homes.

But our world is not shaped by the top 2 percent of earners, and everyone else below them "the middle class." This sort of nonsense plays as well at a White House prayer breakfast as it does at the country club, where everyone is middle class for purposes of public discussion, which is why The Times is happy to put up a former (was he ever one?) conservative to say what it doesn't have the courage to say openly.

Having screwed us out of our housing wealth, they're next target is our declining American paycheck.

And unless the Fed wants to ruin the value of the dollar . . . Mr. Stockman tellingly opines later in the piece, revealing how miserable is his grasp of the utter failure of The Federal Reserve since its inception. What do you mean, "unless?" The 1913 dollar is today worth about 4 cents. I'm sure Americans will be happy to surrender 100 percent of their paychecks to the government when the dollar goes to zero.

No, the middle income quintile in America is just 35 million tax returns strong, with a paltry $1.7 trillion in adjusted gross income. To eliminate our annual budget deficits under the big spending liberals like Obama, Pelosi and Reid, Mr. Stockman would have to confiscate 100 percent of this middle class money. Comrade David Stalin might as well starve us all to death, or line us up against the wall and shoot us.

Is there enough money below them?

Where the two lowest income quintiles dwell there are 70 million tax returns with even less money: $1.1 trillion in AGI.

At the top in America are 35 million tax returns with $5.6 trillion in AGI resting on these 105 million with $2.8 trillion in AGI. The 105 million are getting crushed.

The very top 14 million carry the most weight, with $3.8 trillion in AGI.

Even if we imagined raising taxes on the middle class meant we increased taxes on the 21 million tax returns in the upper middle and lower upper class, the pile of money available there for Mr. Stockman's extraction efforts barely beats that available in the real middle class at $1.8 trillion in AGI.

The big money is concentrated at the top, for a multitude of reasons, despite the on-going lies from The Wall Street Journal, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and now David Stockman. That's why President Obama's rhetoric about increasing taxes on the wealthy plays so well with the American people. It's the secret of his success.

By overwhelming numbers Americans support increasing taxes on "the rich." Despite all the success of the Tea Party in the US House, the American people obviously still haven't made the connection between the president and the Democrats and the massive revenue shortfalls. The shortfalls exist not because taxes aren't high enough. They exist because of massive new overspending.

That Mr. Stockman attempts to exploit the failed connection, perceiving that an opening yet remains, to confuse, obfuscate and lie, tells you all you need to know about him. Like the rest of our elites, he hates the Tea Party.

Right back atcha, David.

  

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Senator Lindsey Graham: Advocate of International Terrorism


(1) the term "international terrorism" means activities that -
(B) appear to be intended -
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass
destruction, assassination, or kidnapping;

Friday, April 22, 2011

Radiation Posts NW of Fukushima Still Registering Above 10 Microsieverts Per Hour

Monitoring posts 31-33, and posts 79 and 83: 10.1, 21.6, 16.5, 12.0, and 43.5 microsieverts per hour, respectively, per the map, today:



















Normal is more like 0.11 microsieverts per hour.

Trotsky Lives! At EmpireStrikesBlack.com

Oh the things you run across out here.

This is by one Barry Grey, a true believer of the Fourth International variety who rather dislikes that Stalinist, Barack Hussein Obama:

In the United Auto Workers union and the AFL-CIO and Change to Win union federations the Obama administration and the corporate elite have accomplices whose only concern is to secure for the union bureaucracy a cut in the spoils of the class war being waged against working people.

The Socialist Equality Party urges workers to carry out a rebellion against these corrupt, right-wing organizations and establish independent and democratic rank-and-file action committees to fight against layoffs, plant closures and wage cuts. These committees should spearhead the struggle to unite all sections of workers and young people and mobilize the power of the working class.

This is a political fight against the Obama administration, both big business parties and the capitalist system which they defend.

Very nice website, though. And clever name!

The International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) is the name of two Trotskyist internationals; one with sections named Socialist Equality Party which publishes the World Socialist Web Site and another linked to the Workers Revolutionary Party in Britain.

So Wikipedia, here.

Barry Grey sits on the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site.

Your Wallet: The Only Place Obama Wants to Drill


Median Home Price, Inflation Adjusted, Since 1970: Forward to the Past!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

One Man's Austerity is Another Man's Tax Increase

When it comes to "austerity," most people with common sense think "frugality," "reduced spending," and generally going on a diet of lower consumption. 

Louis Woodhill reminds us here that what people without economic common sense mean by it is tax increases. Which is why Obama, and some Republicans, want to raise yours.

Woodhill knows we're already in the toilet, and thinks raising taxes now is tantamount to flushing it.

He makes a good case for repatriating capital by lowering corporate income tax rates. In view of the fact that corporations contributed only about $300 billion to federal revenues in 2008, he might very well be right: most of their money is "over there," escaping taxation.

Did Weird Al Choose French To Slam Lady Gaga's Italian?!


"A different lover is not a sin
Believe capital H-I-M
I love my life, I love this record and
Mi amore vole fe yah"

-- LADY GAGA - BORN THIS WAY LYRICS


"I'll wear a porcupine on my head
On a W - H - I - M
And for no reason now I'll sing in French
Excusez-moi, Qui a pete?"


-- Weird Al Yankovic's parody of same

Weird Al Commenter Doesn't Understand "Who Cut The Cheese"

Not only do Americans not speak French, we no longer understand euphemism in our own language:






4000 plus comments and counting, here.




Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Michele Bachmann Blinked

On the 17th she's quoted here talking all tough about the Obama birth certificate, and then here today she's backed off it big time.

Whacky chick. Not my Tea Party.

"Most Americans can't name a GOP presidential candidate"

Here's that headline translated into English: "Most Americans can't find their ass with either hand."

Story here.

CBS News Shills For Obama, Hides Audio of President Calling Americans Slugs
















Story here.

Areva To Build Water Decontamination Capability at Fukushima, Operable By June

Capable of processing 1200 tons of contaminated radioactive water per day, according to the story at NHK World here.

Long live the French!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I Can Even Go Mohawk Just By Thinking About It


Radiation in Iitate is Down to 3.88 Microsieverts Per Hour

As measured April 20th at 9:00 AM Japan time and reported here.

Vermont Wants to Shut Down Yankee Nuke Plant, Lawsuit Filed

The reactor is of the same design as at Fukushima and is already 40 years old. 

Read more about it, here.

Barry Ritholtz: Author of Redundancies


After Standard [and] Poor’s missed the greatest collapse in history – indeed, they helped create it by rating junk mortgage backed securities Triple AAA – they are now over-compensating. As I mentioned on The Big Picture, there is an old Wall Street joke about analysts: “You don’t need them in a Bull Market, and you don’t want them in a Bear Market.” That especially seems apt with regard to S [and] P.

The Middle Class Doesn't Have The Deep Pockets For The Taxes

The bottom half of the country, 70 million tax returns, in 2008 had adjusted gross income totaling $1.1 trillion out of a total of $8.4 trillion, just 13 percent of total AGI. These earners have AGIs less than $33,000 per year.

The top half of the country, 70 million tax returns, in 2008 had the rest: $7.3 trillion in adjusted gross income, 87 percent of the total.

The first 35 million tax returns in this top half more or less represent the middle class in this country, accounting for $1.7 trillion in adjusted gross income, just 20 percent of the total AGI. Middle class earners have AGIs between $33,000 and $67,000 per year.

The next 21 million tax returns more or less represent the upper middle and lower upper classes, accounting for $1.8 trillion in AGI, or 21 percent of total AGI. People in this group have AGIs between $67,000 and $114,000 per year.

The top 14 million tax returns represent the upper class, accounting for $3.8 trillion in AGI, or 45 percent of total AGI in 2008. People in this group have AGIs in excess of $114,000 per year. They are the top 10 percent of the country by income. That's where the deep pockets are for taxes, not in the middle class. Unfortunately for liberal spenders, even these are not deep enough.

So don't piss down our backs and tell us it's raining when you say the middle's got the money. WE DON'T. 

This IRS data is neatly summarized for anyone to look at, even Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and The Wall Street Journal, here.

But facts are stupid things, aren't they?




Tax Cheats: The Guy in the Middle is Footing the Bill For Unreported Income


Talking her book, or telling the truth?:

There's no doubt the issue of how much taxes millionaires should pay is important. But the IRS's Nina Olson says there's an even bigger source of un-tapped revenue that almost no one is talking about:

"Any income that is paid by check, cash, whatever that is not reported to the Internal Revenue Service, the person who mows your lawn that you write a check to, things like that, is the largest area of the tax gap, the largest area of unreporting that we have in our tax system," she said.

"People like folks cleaning a house or mowing a lawn or running a farm stand and not reporting?" Doane asked.

"Restaurants, whatever. That's a bigger dollar loss in our tax gap."

And whether it's people skimming from the bottom, or getting breaks at the top, the guy in the middle is footing the bill.

"If everybody reported their taxes properly, people would pay, per person, $2,200 less," Olson said.

Consider the source, but read the rest here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fukushima Main Gate Radiation is Down to 62 Microsieverts Per Hour

Per the Wall Street Journal link, here, today.

Compared to the 57 millisieverts per hour inside Reactor Building 3, that's a whole world away even though the distance is only one kilometer.

Radiation in Fukushima Reactor Buildings at 57 Millisieverts/Hour

That's like 57 years' worth in an hour.

Story here at KyodoNews.com, which is no longer available in full without subscribing!

Time to move on.

The Wall Street Journal's Deliberately Misleading Middle Class Tax Target Graph





















The graph above is the subject of a deliberately misleading story in The Wall Street Journal, here.

The graph makes it look like there's a pretty healthy middle in America, and that the population falls more or less neatly into a bell curve.

The truth, however, is otherwise: 4/5ths of the households in America have total income below $100K per year. The whole right half of the graph, in other words everyone at $100K-$200K and up, represents only the top 20 percent of the households, otherwise known as the fifth income quintile.

The people in the middle of this graph are in the upper middle class and the lower upper class, not in the middle class as The Journal states. And the single biggest pile of money is in the hands of the lower upper class, which doth protest too much of its modest circumstances.

The true middle in America is the 20 percent of the population making roughly $38K to $62, and this article doesn't speak for them anymore than Obama does, who fancies that rich in America only starts at $250K. It doesn't. It starts at $100K. And that's a shame. We should have done better than that by now.

My Taxes! They're Finished! (If My Calculations Are Correct)









But I was hoping that in the future taxes would be a thing of the past!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Why Your Refund Was Smaller If You Received Unemployment in 2010

The share of people paying no federal income tax has dropped slightly the past two years. It was 47 percent for 2009. The main difference for 2010 was the expiration of a tax break that exempted the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits from taxation . . ..

More here.

Nolan Finley: The Bigger Government Gets, The More it Will Waste

Mr. Finley of The Detroit News wonders here why we recently wrung our hands and wrangled over cutting a mere $38 billion when the GAO had already issued a report, now mouldering on a shelf somewhere, detailing how elimination of reduplicative programs could easily have netted the taxpayers $200 billion in savings.

As our fathers used to say: Only government can screw up a two car funeral.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Radiation Totals For Namie, Iitate and Minamisoma

Per the story here, for the three week period starting March 23 and ending April 15:

Namie: 17 millisieverts;
Iitate: almost 10 millisieverts;
Minamisoma: 0.5 millisievert.

Annual exposures in the range of 1 millisievert are considered normal.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fukushima Prefecture Monitoring Post 32 Registering 22.5 Microsieverts Per Hour

Readings north and northwest of the Fukushima Daiichi plant continue higher than elsewhere in the prefecture, but continue to decline with the passing of time.

Monitoring post 32 on this map is the highest this date at 22.5 microsieverts per hour.

Iitate Radiation is 5.26 Microsieverts Per Hour, Fukushima Main Gate is 70.0

Per the latest information available right now.

Obama is Running for his Life

"If you don't get re-elected, I'm gonna kick your ass."

Radiation Monitoring Posts Inside the Fukushima Daiichi Complex Show Declines

Through 4/13, available at fleep.com/earthquake.

Radiation in Iitate Japan is 5.38 Microsieverts Per Hour

At 9:00 AM on the 15th, Japan time.

Fukushima Daiichi Main Gate Radiation at 71 Microsieverts Per Hour

At about 3PM on the 14th, Japan time.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fukushima Accident Summary From World-Nuclear.org

When the data differ, the on-going summary defers provisionally to the Japanese regulator.

Here is an excerpt dealing with the apparent rupture of the suppression chamber of reactor 2 on March 15 after its cooling power failed on the 14th and its water in the torus boiled.

From the "Fukushima Accident 2011" at World-Nuclear.org, last updated today (here):

After the hydrogen explosion in unit 1, some radioactive caesium and iodine were detected in the vicinity of the plant, indicating fuel damage. This material had been released via the venting.  Further I-131 and Cs-137 and Cs-134 were apparently released during the following two weeks, particularly following the apparent rupture of suppression chamber of unit 2 on 15th. The caesium was at low levels (about two orders of magnitude less than the iodine). The hydrogen explosion in unit 4 involving the spent fuel pond on 15th apparently added to the airborne radionuclide releases.

Reactor 2 Suppression Pool Abnormalities Blamed For Bulk of Radiation Release

Over a two day period beginning the morning of March 15.

This according to the Nuclear Safety Commission in Japan, as reported here.

The leak is ongoing, "rising" in fact, even though volume is down, according to the story.

Radiation in Namie Town at 34 Millisieverts in Just 25 Days

From March 11 to April 5.

As reported here:

34 millisieverts of radiation had accumulated over that period at one location in Namie Town, about 24 kilometers northwest of the plant. This equates to about 314 millisieverts per year, more than 3 times the permissible level of 100 millisieverts.

The figure of 314 must factor in some estimate of radiation degradation over a year. 34 millisieverts in 25 days is a rate of 1.36 mSv/day, or 496 in a year, not 314. 

The 100 mSv level may be permissible under extreme circumstances, perhaps, but the evacuation standard being used is 20 millisieverts or higher.

Normal average radiation exposure from all sources in the US is 6.2 millisieverts annually. A person living to age 78 would get almost 484 millisieverts in an entire lifetime at that rate. In Namie Town one could conceivably get that same whole lifetime's exposure in a single year.

Nuclear power is safe . . . until it isn't. And then it's unsafe it a big, dirty, relentless and inuring kind of way.

Another Voice for a Sensible Idea: Tax-Free Retirement Withdrawals for Real Estate

The only thing preventing many mortgages from being paid off free and clear for many people is the tax hit and withdrawal penalty they'd take to withdraw the funds from their retirement savings.

John Crudele for The New York Post looks at those funds and sees a kind of housing bailout in the waiting, where consumers might even actually use the dough to buy new or existing homes. Call it a housing stimulus spending bill:


Well, maybe it's time to listen to John (that would be me). Change the rules on retirement plans so the American people can rescue the ailing real estate industry, which, by the way, will take a decade to fix if left on its own.

Let people withdraw a relatively small percentage of the $15 trillion in retirement funds to purchase real estate. Give them a tax break -- maybe even a big one.


More at the link.



Monday, April 11, 2011

Namie, Japan, Expected to Radiate 300 Millisieverts Within Next Year

According to Kyodo News, here:

For a part of the town of Namie, the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has estimated that the dose for one year since the quake would exceed 300 millisieverts.

6 millisieverts per year is average in America from all sources.

The story details the announcement of the evacuation of Namie and other similar hot spots beyond the original 20km evacuation ring.

Japan Expands Evacuation Zone Due To Expected Annual Radiation of 20 Millisieverts

A month after the accident at Fukushima, the future is clear: there will be radiation problems 20 to 30 km around the nuclear plant for the foreseeable future.

So NHK World, here:


[A]nnual exposure in the zone is expected to be above 20 millisieverts. The worldwide average exposure from the natural environment is 2.4 millisieverts.

The expanded zone includes Katsurao Village, Namie Town, Iitate Village and some parts of Kawamata Town and Minami Soma City.

Was it worth it, Tokyo?

Namie, Japan, Radiation 14 Millisieverts in 17 Days, In Iitate 8 Millisieverts

The source is believed to be cesium, with a very long half-life (a generation) compared to radioactive iodine (a week).

An American gets on average 6.2 millisieverts in a year from all sources. Japanese set the threshold for natural sources at 1 millisievert.

NHK World has the story here:


Since March 23rd, the ministry has been measuring radiation levels in 15 locations more than 20 kilometers away from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

At one location, in Namie Town about 30 kilometers northwest of the plant, 14,480 microsieverts of radiation had accumulated over the 17-day period to Sunday.

8,440 microsieverts of radiation were observed in Iitate Village.

In another location in Namie, the amount reached 6,430 microsieverts.

People would be exposed to this accumulated amount of radiation if they had stayed outdoors throughout the entire period.

Obama Says Mum Didn't Have Documents To Prove His Dad Was Barack Sr.

From Barack Obama's DREAMS FROM MY FATHER, page 345:


We Miss You Being Anonymous, Too

"I miss being anonymous."

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Date Your Home Became Just Another Commodity: August 5, 1997

When you could begin to sell every two years and avoid the capital gain.

The chart here shows the first stirrings late in the year of what was to become the housing bubble.

August 5, 1997 marked the date when the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 was signed into law by President Clinton.

"When the bill passed in the summer of 1997, it stipulated that married couples would pay no taxes on the first $500,000 in profits from the sale of a house. At the time, this wasn’t seen as an incentive for people to start trading up or flipping houses—although, according to the National Association of Realtors, single-family-home sales jumped 13 percent the year after it passed, and some economists have said it instantly added value to homes, and fueled their rise in prices. But if you drove over that bridge, into the 21st century, and combined this windfall with record-low interest rates and lower down-payment mortgage requirements, the synergy changed the way people bought homes: Instead of looking at how much house they could afford, people started looking at how much mortgage they could carry. (In other words, you could roll the profits into a pricier house, put less down, and still wind up with a lower monthly mortgage payment.) Taken by itself, the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 didn’t cause the economic meltdown. But it was one more piece of kindling on the cord that would eventually become the bonfire of all our vanities."

-- Bruce Feirstein, here

The mortgages behind those houses had started to become mere commodities, too, at about the same time:

Securitization accelerated in the mid-1990s. The total amount of mortgage-backed securities issued almost tripled between 1996 and 2007, to $7.3 trillion.


Hurting us where we live.



Boston Globe Slams Obama's Nuke Waste Irresponsibility

For supporting more nuclear power, which means more unsecured waste, and closing a never-opened $10 billion Yucca Mountain depository at the same time:

The administration’s decision to cancel the depository was a profile in craven political calculation: candidate Obama promised to cancel Yucca Mountain to curry favor in the 2008 Nevada caucuses, and he followed through on the urging of a key political ally, Democratic Senator Harry Reid of Nevada.

Read the whole opinion here.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The New Green Energy!

Spray paint the coal green!








h/t ICM

New Video: Fukushima Daiichi Swamped by 15m Tsunami, Designed for 5.7m

Story and video here:


[T]he tsunami reached up to 15 meters on the ocean side of the reactor and turbine buildings. The figure is far beyond the company's originally estimated height of 5.7 meters.

TEPCO confirmed that the 6 reactors at Fukushima Daiichi power plant had been under as much as 5 meters of water.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Coal Was King Recourse In Last Decade, Followed by Oil and Gas

"Almost half of the increase in primary energy use in the past decade has come from coal. Almost all the rest has come from oil and gas."

-- Peter Foster, here

Pay For Your Own Goddamn Abortion

“What we can’t be doing is using last year’s budget process to have arguments about abortion . . .."

-- President Obama, quoted here, who used the Obamacare process under budget reconciliation to slaughter the Hyde Amendment prohibiting federal funding of abortion.

BankRobberiesRUs

From Jeff Randall for The UK Telegraph:

When asked by a judge why he persisted in robbing banks, the serial offender replied: “Because that’s where the money is.”

For us taxpayers, this observation is now doubly true. The banks have captured our money twice over: as cash in their vaults and investments in their shares. ... We rescued them – and in so doing became their prisoners. ...

The global economy cannot function without big banks, they say: gigantism provides synergies, efficiencies and benefits of scale. What a hoot. Tell that to the shareholders of Citigroup, a banking behemoth, which all but disappeared up its own balance sheet in 2008, having had a wild (losing) punt on sub-prime mortgages. ...

There is a general perception that we don’t want banks to fail, not even bad ones. This is a mistake. We should be perfectly happy to see poorly run businesses disappear.

Read the rest here.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

5 Radiation Monitoring Posts 20-30 Km From Fukushima Daiichi Over 10 MicroSv/Hr

One radiation post, #83 near the 20 km ring northwest of the reactors, continues to register the highest reading of all the monitoring posts: 58.5 microsieverts/hour.

A little farther out, four others, #s 33, 32, 31 and 79 near the 30 km ring, register 19.5, 27.8, 11.4 and 14.8 microsieverts per hour respectively.

The main gate to the reactor complex is about 108 microsieverts per hour, while Iitate is just over 6 microsieverts per hour.

These values would all need to come down to 0.11425 microsievert per hour just to mirror normal, natural conditions under which a person gets 1.0 millisievert per year. Just a handful of locations even come close.

For the following map and values, go here:


Federal Reserve Discount Window Aided Many Banks Which Failed Anyway

So says another in a long line of incriminating stories in The New York Times, highlighting the pervasive involvement of the US government in bailing out failing institutions and implicating it in the spread of moral hazard to the highest levels of American banking:

More than one thousand banks have taken advantage [of the discount window during the financial crisis]. A review of federal data, including records the Fed released last week [by court order], shows that at least 111 of those banks subsequently failed. Eight owed the Fed money on the day they failed, including Washington Mutual, the largest failed bank in American history.

Here's the graphic from the article showcasing some of the worst offenders:


"You Might Want To Think About A Trade-In"


Trade-in value of this clunker = zero


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Tyrant is the Flatterer of the Vilest of Mankind


In "Obama's Close Friend Arrested In Prostitution Sting," here, we learn that Bobby Titcomb is a former classmate who holidays, golfs and picnics with the president, and has hosted him at his home in Hawaii for a barbecue.

Birds of a feather, perhaps?







How To Plan

                                        Think ahea
d.

Everything's a Conspiracy at Washington's Blog: Now He's a Melter, Too

So the meltdown denial from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is a cover-up:

Did Markey misunderstand what the NRC was telling him? Or is the NRC covering up the situation by publicly denying what it told Markey in a private briefing?

If We Want More Home Sales, Subsidize Home Ownership, Don't Tax It

It's an old principle too often forgotten in discussions of economic policy:

"If you want less of something, tax it; if you want more of something, subsidize it."

We've learned in America that when you don't limit welfare in some way, you'll get lots more people on it. And tax people too much like we did in the 1970s, and you'll proliferate money in tax shelters.

What we need more of right now in America is home sales. 18.4 million dwellings sit vacant in the US, and homeowners all across the country who want to sell and scale down or sell and move up can't, because of the housing slump. Properties go unsold season after season, and people are stuck.

Jonathan Swift put it this way a long time ago:

"Money, the lifeblood of the nation,
Corrupts and stagnates in the veins,
Unless a proper circulation
Its motion and its heat maintains."

Logic tells us that we should subsidize housing through tax policy even more than it already is, but the Obama regime, and a bunch of misguided libertarians, want to do the opposite: recover the "tax loss expenditure" created by the mortgage interest deduction.

In other words, they want to tax home ownership, in the name of tax neutrality, handing the advantage to landlords who can still deduct their mortgage interest, along with the maintenance and depreciation which homeowners cannot deduct. It almost sounds like planned crony capitalism.

If Obama and company succeed, we'll have even less home ownership than we have now, and even lower values, but lots of new politically favored slumlords.

The following is an excerpt from John C. Weicher's "Repealing the Mortgage Interest Deduction? Hold the Applause!,"  found here, which touches on some of these issues:

The President’s budget for 2012 proposes to take a small but significant step in the same direction.  The value of the deduction would be reduced for families with incomes above $250,000.  These are the same taxpayers for whom Mr. Obama wanted to raise taxes back in December - “the rich.”   

But the deduction isn’t a particular benefit for rich people. ... they only account for about 20% of all mortgage interest reported on tax returns, according to the IRS.

Most of the benefit of the mortgage interest deduction goes to households who are not “rich,” households with incomes between $75,000 and $200,000.  These are middle-class families, reasonably well off, but working, and working hard. ...

Repealing the mortgage interest deduction will make it harder for young families to become homeowners.  Repealing the capital gains exclusion, another Commission recommendation, will make it harder for older families, when they want to move to a retirement home or move to be near their children and grandchildren. 

Puritanism Lives!


What the Richest 5 Percent Pay

Taxpayers with incomes above $200,000 pay:

over 50 percent of all income taxes;

over 50 percent of state and local income taxes;

almost 50 percent of charitable contributions;

but only 20 percent of mortgage interest.

More here.

Zen and the Art of Economic Cycle Maintenance

In which Louis Woodhill asks the disciples of John Mauldin:

“In a time of famine, would you plant less rice?”

Read it all at Forbes.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dems Pick Hardcore Pro-Abortionist to Head DNC

Story here.

Hutaree Militia Update: Big Talk, No Plot?

All behind the scenes stuff about what is and is not evidence in the case:

Defense lawyers have spent the past year arguing over evidentiary issues and trying to frame the case as a First Amendment fight.

There was no plan and no target identified by the Hutaree members, said lawyer Todd Shanker of the Federal Defender Office, who represents the Hutaree leader's stepson, David Stone Jr.

"A few of the people talked a lot and talked big in front of their friends and fellow militia members," Shanker told The Detroit News.

"But everybody, I think, was there for different reasons."

There's more here at The Detroit News.

Q4 2010 GDP Revised Up to 3.1 Percent from 2.8 Percent in Final Estimate

As reported here.

Q3 2010 GDP was 2.6 percent.

The final number for all of 2010 comes in at 2.9 percent (up), after the historic decline in 2009, when GDP was down 2.6 percent.

Pretty pathetic after all the trillions of dollars in stimulus, bailouts and lending at taxpayer expense.

Radiation in Namie, Japan, Approximately 37.88 Microsieverts Per Hour


As reported here (but you have to do the math of 10 mSv divided by 264 hours times 1000):

On Monday, the [Japanese] government announced that radiation of more than 10 millisieverts had been detected at one location in Namie Town, some 30 kilometers northwest of the plant. The figure is what a person would be exposed to if they stayed outdoors for 11 consecutive days at the location. It is 10 times higher than the 1 millisievert-per-year long-term reference level for humans as recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection.

The prefectural government is measuring from Tuesday more than 1,400 institutions in the prefecture outside the 20-kilometer evacuation zone.

If the recommended limit is 1 mSv per year, however, it is utterly misleading to suggest the problem in Namie is 10 times higher than it should be. It is, but only for eleven days. This is comparing 11 day apples with 365 day oranges. The problem is much worse.

The fact is, people are getting almost a millisievert per 24 hour day, 909 microsieverts to be exact, if the radiation has been properly measured. At the levels indicated, people in Namie would get 332 mSv in a year, 332 TIMES normal for a year, if normal is 1.

The reported radiation level of almost 38 microsieverts per hour, if it is accurate, is much lower than prior reports here and here, which were 161 microsieverts per hour around March 21st and 1,400 microsieverts per hour around March 27th.

Radiation at the main gate to Fukushima Daiichi, one kilometer from the reactors, at the latest reading was 121 microsieverts per hour, over three times worse than in Namie.

Radiation Next to Reactor Buildings 100 Millisieverts Per Hour, Inside Off the Scale

So reports NHK World, here:


A radiation monitor at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says workers there are exposed to immeasurable levels of radiation.

The monitor told NHK that no one can enter the plant's No. 1 through 3 reactor buildings because radiation levels are so high that monitoring devices have been rendered useless. He said even levels outside the buildings exceed 100 millisieverts in some places.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Your Kid Still Can't Read, But His Teacher Retires a Millionaire

From Scott Johnston's The Naked Dollar:

Let's get back to my millionaire claim about teachers, which on the face of it, should seem preposterous. Teachers are by far the biggest public employee category, and their contract terms are illustrative of what goes on elsewhere. In my town, a teacher retiring today gets 70%, give or take, of his or her salary for the rest of his or her life. That's about $84,000 a year (not taxed by the state, incidentally). Plus, they get health benefits for their entire family for life. That's worth another $16,000 a year, for a total of $100,000 a year. Live for 25 years and that's a total of $2.5 million. Discounted at 4%, it's $1.6 million.

To quote our president, "let's be clear": there is zero difference between this and having an IRA with a value of $1.6 million, except the rest of us didn't demand that taxpayers fund our IRAs.

But it's much worse than that.

Read the whole thing here.

Headline Unemployment Drops to 8.8 Percent

The Wall Street Journal has an excellent interactive graphic of unemployment showing every month going back to January 1948 here:



The broader measure known as U-6 is still high at 15.7 percent, and 13.5 million, dropouts not included, continue to look for work.

Employment in America hasn't been really solid since the 1960s, except for a few months in the year 2000.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fleep.com/earthquake Has The Most Comprehensive Fukushima Accident Radiation Data

Here is a sample, graphing the differences between the histories of the radiation levels measured at the two gates to the reactor facility, compared with the main building of the complex itself, from March 24th until April 1st:

Note that the radiation in the main building is still close to a full millisievert per hour (1000 microsieverts). You would absorb there in just 6 hours what the average American absorbs in a year.

Radiation in the most sensitive areas of the reactors themselves, and the turbine buildings, has been reported as high as 1000 millisieverts per hour, even now. Expressed in full sieverts, an hour of such exposure equals 1 sievert. 8 of those will kill you very quickly.


When it comes to radiation, distance away is your friend: first the main building, then the main gate, then anyplace else, even Iitate.

Radiation Level in Iitate, Japan, Down to 6.65 Microsieverts/Hour

As of 2:00 PM, Japan time, April 3, 2011 according to the Main Disaster Office of Fukushima Prefecture (here):


The level is down from 12.1 microsieverts per hour, reported here on March 21.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Radiation Report About Iitate, Japan, Had to Be Wrong

Nothing illustrates the incredibility of some of the radiation reports about Japan in the popular press than the case of Iitate, Japan.

Today The Wall Street Journal is reporting here that the radiation level at the main gate to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant is 144 microsieverts per hour. Inside the grounds of the plant, high level readings have been reported in reactor and/or turbine buildings all the way between 200, 300, and 400 millisieverts per hour on the lower end to as much as 1000 millisieverts per hour or more at the higher end, readings worlds away from microsieverts per hour (1 millisievert per hour is the same as 1000 microsieverts per hour).

The main gate is exactly one kilometer distant from the reactors, while the west gate is just slightly farther out.

This means that despite the catastrophe unfolding at the water's edge, a kilometer away the radiation levels drop dramatically. It doesn't mean they are safe, but the decline is dramatic with distance. 

Compare that observation with the report by Kyodo News (which we detailed here) in which the spokesman for the Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency is quoted as saying radiation levels in Iitate, Japan, 25 to 30 miles away, were at 25 millisieverts per day, or 1.04 millisieverts per hour, if one spent a maximum of eight hours outdoors. In microsieverts per hour, that would have to be 1,040.

The following map (source) of today's conditions shows that that statement must be in error, and wildly so:


All the readings in the affected area displayed here are measured in microsieverts, and very low measurements are reported.

There is only one line of contamination running northwest of the reactors where there are reports of relatively higher readings, the highest of which is around 70 microsieverts per hour, still much lower than at the main gate to Fukushima, and nowhere even remotely in the vicinity of 1,000 microsieverts per hour.