maa8722

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  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for January 30th, 2015

    2015-01-30 19:29:46View | Delete

    Errol Garner!

    When I was a kid 1950-60s I wore out a lot of vinyl listening. Even after they were replaced by CDs I couldn’t throw away the old records. Lots on YouTube.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=P_tAU3GM9XI

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb-VAC3PNFY

    Bio:

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erroll_Garner

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post Mitt Romney Not Running For President

    2015-01-30 13:18:25View | Delete

    Wasn’t there also a lyft for a Caddy or two, too, too?

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for January 29th, 2015

    2015-01-30 13:09:09View | Delete

    Yes.

    Going forward what is the plan? What should the outcome be? What is likely to be the outcome?

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for January 29th, 2015

    2015-01-30 06:12:50View | Delete

    Regarding Financial Matters / Greece, euro, Truthdig link. . .

    Oddly there is some overlap between TruthDig and Holman Jenkins WSJ piece from Tuesday. They both concur that Greeks have been collectively screwed all along. Jenkins:

    “. . . What a surprise, you can’t treat a democratic people the way the European Union treated Greece and expect voters not to revolt.

    “. . . Voter sovereignty was always the Achilles’ heel of the elitist eurozone project. It’s why the eurozone now faces its umpty-third Greek crisis, thanks to the election of a Greek anti-austerity party in Sunday’s election. But one thing has changed. After five years of stringing the Greeks along, European politicians now are telling the Greeks: Go ahead, make our day, walk out of the eurozone. We’ve got our own derrières covered, so see ya. . .”

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/holman-jenkins-want-a-friend-greeks-buy-a-dog-1422402601

    The two pieces diverge, though, in expectations going forward. Truthdig sees justice prevailing. Jenkins sees facts on the ground inevitably merging against Greece’s favor.

    All the “possible” outcomes, good or bad, seem vanishingly improbable to me. Remaining in the EZ does not seem compatible at all with Tsipiras’ demands, although he says he intends for Greece to remain there.

    That is, there is no roadmap at all, just concepts. And there are problems with the treaties and agreements which, nowadays, seem even more insurmountable than in 2010-2012. New changes would require corralling all of EU members.

    So, how about fiat from outside? For leverage, I think perversely it would be better if Greece’s problems were happening at that same magnitude in Spain instead of Greece. Spain has a much bigger stick; however, it is not as beleaguered as Greece at the moment. Jenkins says Spain is not currently close enough to tipping as some would hope, and anyhow, new Spanish claims would undercut Greece by the numbers. The prospect becomes a show stopper before it happens.

    So I wonder if Tsipiras might try something counterintuitive to cleverly derail the bad guys (the baddies dug in deeper yesterday).

    That is, suppose Tsipiras again says he intends to stay in the euro zone and solve things there; however, “just in case” the vultures don’t relent shortly, he has decided to announce a contest among Greek artists to design a series of New Drachma notes. The contest “BEGINS TODAY!” Within a month a few of them will be selected by Parliament for the voters to view and choose at a an advisory referendum a month afterward.

    The danger might be in proposed images of ~trillion drachma denominations showing up from the snarkiest of the artists. Make no mistake, Der Spiegel will get its hands on those images first, before anyone in Syriza sees them. (An embarrassment).

    Then, Tsipiras could loudly shop around for printers to produce some Drachma samples of reasonable denominations plus a draft of a contract. BTW Greece, itself, does not have the capacity to print currency containing today’s safety features. (A not so minor complication).

    In short, a collision is coming which no one seems able to stop.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post Mexico Believes It Can Replace Venezuelan Oil

    2015-01-29 16:41:51View | Delete

    I don’t know the numbers now but think Mexico’s production has fallen quite a bit in recent years anyway.

    What a hellacious mess. Last I heard Venezuela needed to sell at around $117 a barrel just to balance its budget, not including payment on its debt..

    All the oil dependent countries must be getting desperate. Dunno how well Maduro can swim upstream. Good luck, though.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post Mexico Believes It Can Replace Venezuelan Oil

    2015-01-29 16:28:24View | Delete

    Does Mexico have eminent domain laws? If so, is it by Federal, State, local, or all? In the US we have such laws at each governmental level, they vary somewhat state by state.

    These laws allow, in some circumstances, for a government entity to take land involuntarily from a private owner and provide the owner some compensation. The seized land may be needed for a public school building, highway, some other public use.

    However, the controversy in recent years has involved property seized by the gov’t and then sold or assigned to a private developer for supposedly economic benefit, eg., sports stadium, corporate factory, or some such. It’s a very gray area nowadays with very indirect benefits. Some of it may not be a legitimate public need. One wonders.

    So is this similar in Mexico?

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post Mexico Believes It Can Replace Venezuelan Oil

    2015-01-29 16:06:53View | Delete

    Not wholly dependent though. Nonetheless, I still say it’s a global problem. The more dependent, the worse it is.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post Mexico Believes It Can Replace Venezuelan Oil

    2015-01-29 15:30:00View | Delete

    We can’t assume Venezuela’s and Mexico’s interests necessarily always overlap simply because they’re both Latin American countries. That is, why an assumption the two ought not to compete simply because. . .?

    OTOH the over dependence on oil for revenue is a huge global problem, and an opiate. Quick wealth from a dirty, economically volatile, high maintenance industry crowds out other efforts most needed.

    That’s certainly the case in Venezuela. It seems no one is interested in agriculture, manufacturing, hi tech, etc. If they are, why don’t they speak up? The U.S. seems hell bent they don’t succeed that way as well.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for January 28th, 2015

    2015-01-28 20:05:23View | Delete

    Regarding the poll on ACA subsidies if SCOTUS rules against. . .

    This is a tricky link to read. I think the link has a non-sequitur, citing the public’s broad opposition to ACA, but then wanting Congress to “fix” ACA. Does that imply fix intact as it was intended?

    So the reality is a lot of people do not like this law, period. Only a few know about the case being considered by SCOTUS. So a poll about it doesn’t mean much.

    I understand there’s another complication in that case. That is, wherever the subsidies are stopped, the penalties also stop. Which means the mandates are unenforceable there. Dunno how that domino actually tips, if it’s correct.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for January 27th, 2015

    2015-01-28 16:25:47View | Delete

    Hmmm. . . Well, back in 2009 it was the Saudis who really had a handle on the oil, after all.

    The bowing isn’t necessary nowadays.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post The Roundup for January 27th, 2015

    2015-01-28 07:27:47View | Delete

    Regarding O in Saudi Arabia. .

    Well no, O is not leader of the free world. No WH occupant would be such nowadays. It’s more about keeping up costly appearances.

    Drudge has it’s usual inflammatory, inaccurate headline to titillate this morning. . . “Defiant Michelle Refuses to Wrap” regarding a reception among Saudi PTB (all men of course). But there is nothing defiant/refusing about this. The rule does not apply to foreign women there, so it’s a benign choice.

    To make a genuine point, though, she could drive a car from the U.S. Embassy out the gate and around the block, and conspicuously wave at folks. A convertible maybe. It would happen so fast no one would have time to react ’till it was over. That would be a genuine statement. It’s odd that the universal ban remains on women drivers there; however, there is a female Saudi fighter pilot in the Saudi Air Force. Go figure.

    Will the 21st century ever catch up?

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post As GOP Targets Social Security Arguments Raised To Expand It

    2015-01-27 17:39:09View | Delete

    I’d add. . . No, RomneyCare is not single payer, but heavily subsidized by the state nonetheless.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post As GOP Targets Social Security Arguments Raised To Expand It

    2015-01-27 17:25:59View | Delete

    I think the lesson learned with VT is that single payer isn’t feasible when confined in a single gov’t entity which cannot also print money. Only the Feds can do this.

    Then the deficit gets papered over to some extent, but a more progressive taxation system makes up part of that. It might not be inflationary, or a debasement of the currency, at all. The Fed spending on single payer healthcare would not necessarily compete with consumer spending for other services and goods.

    Mass is in real fiscal trouble now largely due to RomneyCare, even with massive Fed subsidies to set up the so called “test bed” in this already wealthy, but unrepresentative state. Turns out, the deficit is now well over $700 million rather than the $300+ million claimed by Deval Patrick. To be sure, the intent was right, but we can’t print money either.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post As GOP Targets Social Security Arguments Raised To Expand It

    2015-01-27 17:09:48View | Delete

    That angle I’d complete with agree with.

  • I have a circa 1906 plate from PA hanging in my garage. It had belonged to my grandfather, who died in 1934.

    Would it help?

  • Systems including a transponder would be marginally more reliable (eg., EZ Pass) assuming a rogue driver is stupid enough to drive through one of those.

    I suspect this plate surveillance thing has been an interim cost effective DEA “patch” all along, until all vehicles get chipped with a GPS tracker instead. I’d bet that’s what’s really coming. Maybe we Garmin and TomTom users are already in a “system” that way.

    Maybe the big drug dealers have clued in on plate trackers w/ photog and are evading. That is, attaching phony plates, avoiding heavily used highways where they’d be most likely tracked, disguises, etc.

    If that’s so, maybe the DEA has figured out the returns are dwindling that way, and so decided to coyly help out the news media with this story, so that what remains of the program, now publicly known, is at least a minor deterrent.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post As GOP Targets Social Security Arguments Raised To Expand It

    2015-01-27 11:22:13View | Delete

    About a mixed message, a contradiction in terms.

    I would agree that Hollywood types are rich and hedonistic, and therefore respond to conservative urges.

    They are, however, actors. The images and sounds are part of a business plan, I think, usually masquerading as “art.”

    There would be an exception, occasionally, but at the moment I can’t think of one who’s alive today.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post As GOP Targets Social Security Arguments Raised To Expand It

    2015-01-27 11:15:04View | Delete

    “. . .Households making over $100,000 per year probably get by just fine on their own. Cut them out of the equation, and you would end up with a $20,000 basic income check for the remaining households, while still netting the government some nice savings. . .”

    The gist makes some sense, but with a couple of serious flaws, and it’s not about morality per se.

    First of all, with a $100k hard point, a lot of people a bit above that figure will try urgently to make just $99,999 instead, no? My hunch is in reality the formula would be softened or winnowed a bit into a curve rather than a hard ceiling.

    Second, with any elimination of SS recipients you’d be poisoning the well for SS at the voting booth. Most of the voters above $100k, rightly or wrongly, will feel they’re getting screwed. Maybe that’s the idea. Then they’ll support candidates who advocate getting rid of SS entirely.

    Are my suppositions off base here?

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post SYRIZA Achieves Victory in Greek Elections

    2015-01-26 15:08:27View | Delete

    Perplexed, that Greece is spending this way, even via NATO.

  • maa8722 commented on the blog post SYRIZA Achieves Victory in Greek Elections

    2015-01-26 14:49:17View | Delete

    The current debt is all fungible IMO, whether it is owed to IMF, ECB, Mickey Mouse, or whatever. For that matter all “money” is fungible.

    Yes, a premium might get applied here and there. Still, I suggest growing something edible instead. Corn, or some such. I worry about my own garlic crop more than about dollar given to the IMF.

    I think Syriza staked out a reasonable position, which might work, or might blow up. We’ll see.

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