Friday, February 28, 2014


     One-Percent Jokes and Plutocrats in Drag: What I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret

Recently, our nation’s financial chieftains have been feeling a little unloved. Venture capitalists are comparing the persecution of the rich to the plight of Jews at Kristallnacht, Wall Street titans are saying that they’re sick of being beaten up, and this week, a billionaire investor, Wilbur Ross, proclaimed that “the 1 percent is being picked on for political reasons.”
Ross's statement seemed particularly odd, because two years ago, I met Ross at an event that might single-handedly explain why the rest of the country still hates financial tycoons – the annual black-tie induction ceremony of a secret Wall Street fraternity called Kappa Beta Phi...It was January 2012, and Ross, wearing a tuxedo and purple velvet moccasins embroidered with the fraternity’s Greek letters, was standing at the dais of the St. Regis Hotel ballroom, welcoming a crowd of two hundred wealthy and famous Wall Street figures to the Kappa Beta Phi dinner. Ross, the leader (or “Grand Swipe”) of the fraternity, was preparing to invite 21 new members — “neophytes,” as the group called them — to join its exclusive ranks...All told, enough wealth and power was concentrated in the St. Regis that night that if you had dropped a bomb on the roof, global finance as we know it might have ceased to exist.

 Some of these people really need to go to jail.

You Are What You Eat

Slaughterhouse accused of selling meat from cows with cancer

Updated 10:45 am, Wednesday, February 26, 2014

In this January 13, 2014 photo, cows wait to be butchered at Rancho Veal Slaughterhouse in Petaluma, Calif. Rancho Feeding Corp. has voluntarily halted operations, as it tries to track down all of its beef shipments over the past year, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. (AP Photo/The Press Democrat, Conner Jay) Photo: Conner Jay, Associated Press

From "(02-26) 10:44 PST SAN FRANCISCO --Rancho Feeding Corp., the Petaluma slaughterhouse that recently recalled 8.7 million pounds of beef, is under criminal investigation by the federal government for killing and selling meat from dairy cows with cancer, according to sources who would speak only on the condition of anonymity.Rancho was allegedly buying up cows with eye cancer, chopping off their heads so inspectors couldn't detect the disease and illegally selling the meat, the sources said."

I'll take this: 

From Then til Now

Ferdinand Porsche's vision, the 'Egger-Lohner C.2 electric vehicle,' rolled onto the streets of Vienna for the first time on June 26, 1898
The P1, now known as the "first Porsche."
"...the recently rediscovered "first Porsche in the world" — dubbed the P1 — was a technological marvel for its time. It "included a compact electric drive weighing 286 pounds,"
2014 porsche 911


Image: A farmer shovels in a field near electric pylons in heavy haze on a severely polluted day in Shijiazhuang, in northern China's Hebei province, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014.
       A farmer shovels in a field near electric pylons in heavy haze on a severely polluted day in Shijiazhuang, in northern China's Hebei province, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014.Credit: AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan

Hard to see how this will abate. This is not exactly a horse shit crisis. Demand for technology and energy have fueled this problem. "Keeping up with the Jones" has it's own cost.

Rich, Blond and Stoned? Not Guilty...

Kerry Kennedy acquitted in drug-driving case-BBC

Kerry Kennedy appeared in White Plains, New York, on 26 February 2014

Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of late Senator Robert Kennedy, has been acquitted of drug-driving in New York.

If she looked like Trayvon Martin, she would not have the silly toothy grin.

Not rich and not blond.

Heroes or Hypesters?

Matthew O'Brien has an article out in The Atlantic that deals with the confusion and misdirection at the Fed in 2008.

How the Fed Let the World Blow Up in 2008

The moral of this story is, beware of a two headed monster...

Another Man Done Gone

Tim Wilson is gone, to a better place we hope.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Not Zohydro

Read more here:
MM is on the Florida ballot in November...

"It’s better to be downwind from Willie Nelson’s bus than to get run over by it.'- Carl Hiaasen

Read more here:

It's Here...

Zohydro: 5x as strong as hydrocodone...

Millions of people turn to over-the-counter drugs for relief when they have a headache or minor aches and pains. Others are prescribed pain medication or even (in some states) have turned to medical marijuana for pain relief. Every medication, however, can carry risks. Here's a guide to some of the most commonly used pain relief medications:
Let's see, 
" According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,prescription opioid deaths more than quadrupled since 1999 -- there were 4,030 deaths involving the drugs in 1999, compared with 16,651 in 2010."

So can we expect a slight rise in OD deaths? 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Jerk of the Year

It's early yet, but:


A study in stupidity.

h/t: Andy Borowitz.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Want To Save 300-400 Billion Dollars Over 10 Years?

Reign in prescription drug abuse. Too many "legitimate" business people are getting rich selling poison. Doctors, BigPharma and hospitals are all complicit in this problem.

From the CDC:

Drug Overdose in the United States: Fact Sheet


Drug: Any chemical compound used for the diagnosis or treatment of disease or injury, for the relief of pain, or for the feeling it causes. A drug is either a pharmaceutical (including both prescription and over-the-counter products) or illicit.
Overdose: When a drug is eaten, inhaled, injected, or absorbed through the skin in excessive amounts and injures the body. Overdoses are either intentional or unintentional. If the person taking or giving a substance did not mean to cause harm, then it is unintentional.
Misuse or abuse: The use of illicit or prescription or over-the-counter drugs in a manner other than as directed.

Deaths from drug overdose have been rising steadily over the past two decades and have become the leading cause of injury death in the United States.1   Every day in the United States, 105 people die as a result of drug overdose, and another 6,748 are treated in emergency departments (ED) for the misuse or abuse of drugs. Nearly 9 out of 10 poisoning deaths are caused by drugs.

The Problem

  • Drug overdose was the leading cause of injury death in 2010. Among people 25 to 64 years old, drug overdose caused more deaths than motor vehicle traffic crashes.
  • Drug overdose death rates have been rising steadily since 1992 with a 102% increase from 1999 to 2010 alone.
  • In 2010, 30,006 (78%) of the 38,329 drug overdose deaths in the United States were unintentional, 5,298 (14%) of suicidal intent, and 2,963 (8%) were of undetermined intent.
  • In 2011, drug misuse and abuse caused about 2.5 million emergency department (ED) visits. Of these, more than 1.4 million ED visits were related to pharmaceuticals.
  • Between 2004 and 2005, an estimated 71,000 children (18 or younger) were seen in EDs each year because of medication overdose (excluding self-harm, abuse and recreational drug use).
  • Among children under age 6, pharmaceuticals account for about 40% of all exposures reported to poison centers.

Most Common Drugs involved in Overdoses

  • In 2010, of the 38,329 drug overdose deaths in the United States, 22,134 (60%) were related to pharmaceuticals.
  • Of the 22,134 deaths relating to prescription drug overdose in 2010, 16,651 (75%) involved opioid analgesics (also called opioid pain relievers or prescription painkillers), and 6,497 (30%) involved benzodiazepines.
  • In 2011, about 1.4 million ED visits involved the nonmedical use of pharmaceuticals. Among those ED visits, 501,207 visits were related to anti-anxiety and insomnia medications, and 420,040 visits were related to opioid analgesics.
  • Benzodiazepines are frequently found among people treated in EDs for misusing or abusing drugs. People who died of drug overdoses often had a combination of benzodiazepines and opioid analgesics in their bodies.


  • In the United States, prescription opioid abuse costs were about $55.7 billion in 2007. Of this amount, 46% was attributable to workplace costs (e.g., lost productivity), 45% to healthcare costs (e.g., abuse treatment), and 9% to criminal justice costs.
  • Between 1998-2002, people who abused opioid analgesics cost insurers $14,054 more than the average patient.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Enough, Already!

We’re ducking serious: April Texas NASCAR race is the Duck Commander 500

Feb 6, 2014, 11:23 AM EST

Last year, the spring NASCAR weekend at Texas Motor Speedway was known as the NRA 500, and all that that entailed only four months after the Newtown tragedy at Sandy Hook.
In 2014, that controversial title sponsor is now gone.
So naturally, the replacement is Duck Commander, the brand of the best-selling duck calls and name of the thriving family-owned company led by the Robertson clan of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” fame.

View image on Twitter

All this fool needs is a rubber ducky.

Thanks to NBC Sports (I think).

Do You See What I See?

FRED Graph

Somebody got away, somebody got rich...

If you don't get it:

FRED Graph

No Go Joe - today

Vice President Joe Biden Not High On Marijuana Legalization

In an exclusive interview with TIME, the Vice President also defends his record on criminal justice reform

The Obama Administration is not pushing marijuana legalization on the federal level, Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday in an exclusive interview with TIME.Just weeks after President Barack Obama told the New Yorker that the drug is no more dangerous than alcohol, Biden said the administration supports smarter enforcement, but not outright legalization. “I think the idea of focusing significant resources on interdicting or convicting people for smoking marijuana is a waste of our resources,” Biden told TIME in an interview aboard an Amtrak train on the way to an event in Philadelphia. “That’s different than [legalization.] Our policy for our administration is still not legalization, and that is [and] continues to be our policy.”

No Comment (that is printable)

Teen in 'Affluenza' Case Gets Rehab, Not Jail, for DUI that Killed Four

NO, Not Good AT ALL

No, the Economy Has Not Reached “Escape Velocity”

By  | February 6, 2014, 8:06 am
It’s starting to look like real GDP in the first quarter of 2014 will–seasonally adjusted–be 2.0%/4 above real GDP in the fourth quarter of 2013. -0.5%-point per year of that will be weather-related, but even without the weather factor the economy looks to be starting the year still growing at or below potential.
No “gap closing”.
No “escape velocity”.

Thanks to: Washington Center for Equitable Growth

Not Good, Not Good At All

Disturbing Graphs

FRED Graph

Over leveraged again?  Earnings growth from 2006-2008 approximates earnings growth from 2009-2014. PCE was equal to earnings growth in the last quarter 2013, with a decidedly negative trend since Q2 2011. This doesn't look like a healthy economy to me.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I Just Don't Get It

So we return to potential GDP by ~2016, yet here is Eric Cantor with the Big Lie:

"House Majority Leader Eric Cantor falsely claims that a new report confirms the long-held Republican belief that “millions of hardworking Americans will lose their jobs,” because of the Affordable Care Act. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report says more than 2 million people will decide not to work, or will decide to work less, due to the law – not that they will “lose their jobs.”

 "In fact, the CBO report says in the short term (2014 to 2016) the law will increase employment while the economy is still weak."

CBO, Feb. 4: [T]he ACA’s subsidies for health insurance will both stimulate demand for health care services and allow low-income households to redirect some of the funds that they would have spent on that care toward the purchase of other goods and services — thereby increasing overall demand. That increase in overall demand while the economy remains somewhat weak will induce some employers to hire more workers or to increase the hours of current employees during that period.
We can only hope that Eric Cantor is one of those "hardworking Americans" who will lose their job.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Moving Target At the CBO

The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024

Changes From CBO’s Previous Projections
Since May 2013, when CBO issued its previous baseline budget projections, the agency has reduced its estimate of this year’s deficit by $46 billion and raised its estimate of the cumulative deficit between 2014 and 2023 by $1.0 trillion. (That 10-year period was the one covered by the previous baseline.) Those changes result from revisions to CBO’s economic forecast; newly enacted legislation; and other, so-called technical factors, such as new information about recent spending and tax collections.

So who ya gonna believe, US or your jobless ass?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

February 2 Is Finally Here


The second most important event of the least important month. Ground Hog Day obviously out shines most football.

Phil predicts six More Weeks of Winter!

Thanks to

Saturday, February 1, 2014

And TSA is losing the Body Scanners

Yusuf enters the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

It is official Yusuf / Cat Stevens is inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum in 2014.
“It will certainly bring happiness to a lot of my loyal fans, and fulfilment to all those who have long-campaigned for it – not to mention how kinda embarrassingly good it makes me feel too. The sleepy Peace Train is beginning to chug its way slowly uphill, again.”

Lest anyone misunderstand, this is a good thing that was long overdue.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

From Andy Borowitz at The New Yorker:

Obama Says Americans Can Keep Their Damn Insurance

 WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Faced with a barrage of new questions about the Affordable Care Act, President Obama cut short a White House press conference today, telling the stunned press corps, “You know what? Everybody can keep their damn insurance.”
Glaring at the reporters, the President continued, “You heard me. If your insurance is crappy, then you just go ahead and keep it—the crappier, the better. Let’s pretend this whole thing never happened.”
A vein in his forehead visibly throbbing, the President added, “You know, I really wish I hadn’t spent the last three years of my life on this thing. I should’ve just gone around invading countries for no reason. That would’ve made everybody happy. Well, live and learn.”
As the reporters averted their eyes from the President, many of them looking awkwardly at their shoes, he concluded his remarks: “All those people out there who want to repeal Obamacare? Well, guess what: I’ll make their day and repeal it myself. Really, it’s my pleasure. But I swear that this is the last time I try to do something nice for anybody.”

I just visited It is working fine and the prices I checked for health insurance were spectacular.

My Man, Barry, has really and truly done IT.