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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lehmanopolis? Greece Bans Short-selling. Panic Spreads.



ECB may have to turn to 'nuclear option' to prevent Southern European debt collapse

The European Central Bank may soon have to invoke emergency powers to prevent the disintegration of southern European bond markets, with ominous signs of investor flight from Spain and Italy.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor Telegraph
Published: 7:09PM BST 27 Apr 2010

Greece’s fortunes were dealt yet another blow as Standard & Poor’s slashed its credit rating to junk status - BB+ - the first time that has happened to a euro member since the single currency was created, pushing yields on 10-year Greek bonds up to a record 9.73pc.

The credit-rating agency also cut Portugal’s sovereign debt ratings by two notches to A-, as the swirling storm hit the country with full-force.

“We have gone past the point of no return,” said Jacques Cailloux, chief Europe economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland.“There is a complete loss of confidence. The bond markets are in disintegration and it is getting worse every day.

“The ECB has been side-lined in the Greek crisis so far but do you allow a bond crash in your region if you are the lender-of-last resort? They may have to act as contagion spreads to larger countries such as Italy. We started to see the first glimpse of that today.”

Mr Cailloux said the ECB should resort to its “nuclear option” of intervening directly in the markets to purchase government bonds.

This is prohibited in normal times under the EU Treaties but the bank can buy a wide range of assets under its “structural operations” mandate in times of systemic crisis, theoretically in unlimited quantities.

Mr Cailloux added: “This feels like the banking crisis in late 2008 post-Lehman, though it has not yet spread to other asset classes. The ECB will have to act it if does.”

Yields on 10-year Portuguese bonds spiked 48 basis points to 5.67pc, replicating the pattern seen as the Greek crisis started.

Portugal’s public debt will be just 84pc of GDP by the end of this year, far lower than that of Greece, at 124pc. However, its private debt is much higher and data from the IMF shows that its external debt position is worse.

Interest payments on foreign debt will be 8pc of GDP this year. Portugal’s net international investment position is minus 100pc of GDP, the worst in the eurozone.

The interest rate on a €9.5bn (£8.2bn) issue of Italian notes jumped to 0.814pc, up from 0.568pc in March. The bid-to-cover ratio was wafer-thin, falling to 1.02. Italy has the world’s third biggest debt in absolute terms.

The issue of the ECB buying bonds is a political minefield. Any such action would inevitably be viewed in Germany as a form of printing money to bail out Club Med debtors, and the start of a slippery slope towards in an “inflation union”.

But the ECB may no longer have any choice. There is a growing view that nothing short of a monetary blitz — or “shock and awe” on the bonds markets — can halt the spiral under way.

The markets are already looking beyond the €40bn to €45bn joint rescue for Greece by the IMF and the EU, questioning whether some form of debt restructuring or managed default can be avoided over the next year or two, or even whether the rescue plan can work at all in a country trapped in debt deflation with no way out through devaluation.

Professor Willem Buiter, a former member of Britain’s Monetary Policy Committee and now global economist for Citigroup, said there may need to be a “voluntary restructuring” of debt.

“It is quite likely that a haircut of, say, 20pc to 25pc will be imposed on creditors as parts of the deal,” he said.
The bond markets are already “pricing in” a default of some kind in Greece, where rates on 2-year debt spiked close to 15pc in panic trading yesterday.

The European Commission and the International Monetary Fund both insist that restructuring is out of the question but investors have become cynical after months of EU rhetoric and foot-dragging by Berlin.

The ECB cannot lightly risk a second sovereign crisis erupting, with dangers of a spillover into Spain.
The exposure of Spanish-based banks to Portuguese debt exceeds $80bn, according to the Bank for International Settlements. There were early signs of strain in the Spanish banking system yesterday.

Banks were forced to pay a premium in the domestic “repo” market on fears of counterparty risk, although the Bank of Spain has so far won plaudits for ensuring that banks have large safety buffers.

It is unclear why the markets are becoming skittish over Italian bonds. Public debt is 115pc of GDP but this is offset by very low household debt.

Italian citizens are among the most frugal savers in the OECD club of rich states. Moreover, the government has weathered the financial crisis with a budget deficit in remarkable good health.



69 comments:

  1. The New Fat Cats

    The indefensible pensions of public-sector employees.

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  2. All is good in the garden:

    Christie cited two tales in February when he declared a state of fiscal emergency in New Jersey. One retiree, 49, paid “a total of $124,000 towards his retirement pension and health benefits. What will we pay him? $3.3 million in pension payments and health benefits.” A retired teacher paid $62,000. She’ll get “$1.4 million in pension benefits and another $215,000 in health care benefit premiums over her lifetime.”

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  3. The government now uses selective service sign up as an inducement for future government benefits.

    If you dont sign up you may not be eligible for student loans, government jobs or college grants.

    When did it happen that the government's job opportunities became mainstream?

    When growing up (aside from those joining the military, firefighters or cops) government workers were seen as the LAST place you went for a job,,

    It was a joke..

    Now it's a CAREER path...

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  4. Government employee unions are organized against who?

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  5. You don't have to be a star:

    Kid took a week off to be in Movie being filmed here starring Adam Sandler, Jeniffer Anniston, and Nicole Kidman.

    Says he about had a heatstroke:
    They wrapped an entire restaurant with black plastic so they are in complete control of the lighting.

    Says they're promising to bring in extra AC units tomorrow.

    Restaurant was completely remodeled 4 months ago, but they came in and remodeled it again.

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  6. :) Greece Air Force calls in "Sick." No shit. NATO Rocks.

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  7. Blogger Deuce said...

    "We go into a country , spend billions blowing shit up, finance it by hocking ourselves to the Chinese, guaranteeing them a future cash stream.

    The Chinese, take the cash flow, invest it..."

    It is interesting reading this kind of stuff in this kind of place given the howling and gnashing of teeth I experienced not so many years ago when I suggested that these military adventures were a bad idea.

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  8. NOBODY can be wrong "All" the time, Ash.

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  9. Interesting? Heck, I thought it was interesting that a major newspaper would take the space to report that a small Detroit suburb was unable to achieve their previously unreported goal of breaking the Guiness World Record for a eucre tournament. Especially, when they didn't even come close but failed miserably.

    However, if by interesting you mean you don't understand it, your clearly not thinking about it enough.

    Afghanistan was a war we were pretty much forced into by events. On the other hand, unlike many here, I was completly against going into Iraq. And while there has been much dispute about the Iraq war. It's a done deal. We are there.

    The Iraq war was poorly conceived, poorly planned, and poorly, no, incompetantly executed. Afghan was allowed to drift for too long.
    Promises were made about both wars and have only been marginally fulfilled. The wars have been going on for a decade. In that time, circumstances have changed dramatically in this country.

    The wars were promised to be quick in and outs. Iraq was supposed to pay for itself. Neither war was ever paid for. The US public is disassociated from the wars because they were never asked to sacrifice to support the wars. At the same time we were spending trillions on the war, Bush increased the size fo government by 50%. Obama is now attempting to quadruple it. There are 8 million jobs lost in the US. Things change. Shit happens.

    Regardless of the justification for the wars, if the promises made going into the war had been fulfilled George Bush would have looked like a genius and we would have been hailing him as a reincarnation of Ceasar. History is written by the winners. It didn't happen.

    "It is interesting reading this kind of stuff in this kind of place..."

    Is it really "interesting" or merely a chance to throw out an "I told you so." by someone on the outside?

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  10. Well, sure there is a bit of 'I told you so' to it but it is also interesting to see how opinions shift over time.

    That's a big IF that bit about hailing Bush as Caesar. All those many folk in favor of invading Iraq thought he'd be the conquering hero. As to the Afghanistan invasion I also thought that a mistake. Forced into it? Only in the sense that 'something had to be done' because of the insult of 911. Can't lose face now can we. Bombing the rubble seemed pretty silly at the time and even more so now that we've decided we own that rubble.

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  11. Being aware of the impending "peak" in oil supplies I supported the Iraqi action. Unfortunately, the most incompetent Military High Command, and State Dept. in American History turned the "After-action" into one of the most depressingly inane, expensive debacles, ever.

    In Afghanistan, we've turned a "Hot War," with tens of thousands of American troops into an afterthought.

    As Q said, "Shit happens."

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  12. Actually Quirk, Iraq was well-planned, but that plan was trashed shortly after implementation by Bremmer.
    Exactly who and how his strings were pulled, I do not know, but between Condi and Powell, any wet dream could become fucked up.

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  13. I wouldn't say the invasion was particularly well-planned. I would say that our troops (not the imbecile generals) were so damned good, and the Iraqi army was so piss-poor that it would have been virtually impossible to fuck up the invasion.

    Our "leadership" (State, and Military) didn't get a chance to really "show off" their breathtaking incompetence until the shooting was over, and the occupation began.

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  14. Spain debt was just downgraded - AA outlook negative.

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  15. I think "Italy" is the word that must go "unmentioned." Italy would bring down the Euro.

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  16. I'm probably being unfair. The Generals, and Diplomats weren't a bit more incompetent than their bosses - Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice.

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  17. "Actually Quirk, Iraq was well-planned, but that plan was trashed shortly after implementation by Bremmer.
    Exactly who and how his strings were pulled, I do not know,.."


    You're right Doug, you don't know.
    You've posted this a number of times.

    Fact, Bremmer reported to Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld approved his appointment.

    True Bremmmer often went around Rumsfeld directly to Bush. But the fact is Rumsfeld really didn't care. Bremmer exercised authority over the Iraqi civil administration. Rumsfeld didn't give a shit about that. All he wanted to do was figure a way of getting out of Iraq on the cheap.

    As for planning, you can only say there was planning because the general plan had been around for a decade. Some of the key neocons involved had tried to sell the Iraqi invasion plan to Israel in the 90's assuring that country that the US would end up backing them. As it turned out, the Israelis were too smart to take the bait.

    The actually plan for our invasion was put together in about six weeks. The first part went fine, typical US kick-ass operation. But when the Iraqi army faded away and was replaced by the militias, there was no back up plan in place.
    Then there were all the great decisions by Bremer. Pure clusterfuck. (However, remember that in 2004 Bremer requested a substantial increase in troops based on the situation on the ground. Rumsfeld turned him down.)

    You complain about Rice and Powell. In fact, Bush's entire team was disfunctional. When he formed his cabinet, everyone on the right and left were impressed. Their intelligence and experiance were unquestioned. The problem was they couldn't operate as a team.

    Rumsfeld said "You have to fight a war with the army you have not the army you want." He should have extended that to "You have to fight the war you have not the war you want." His main concern was in transforming the military into a leaner meaner fighting force not in fighting the war he had. Priorities. Priorities. Priorities.

    As for Rice, as National Security Advisor she had the responsibility for getting all the players to act together as a functional team. She evidently lacked the capacity to herd cats as it were. However, given the personalities involved, it's hard to say who would have been able to do it.

    As for Powell, I've seen him brutalized here but in fact he seems to be one of the only adults in the administration. Was he a Cassandra or was he merely explaining to the neocons what was the inevitable results of their crazy policies.

    I think it was the latter.


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  18. "I think "Italy" is the word that must go "unmentioned." Italy would bring down the Euro."

    I'm not smart enough to know Rufus.

    However, just saw a guy on CNBC who said Italy is different than Greece, Spain, et al.

    His point was that most of Italy's debt is confined to that country. In other words, most of the bondholders are within Italy so the chance for contagion is minimized.

    I don't know.


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  19. "As the European Union and the I.M.F. debate the politics of Greece’s laying off civil servants or persuading its doctors to pay income tax, it is becoming apparent that the international community may need to come up with a much larger sum to backstop not just Greece, but also Portugal and Spain.

    “The number would be huge,” said Piero Ghezzi, an economist at Barclays Capital. “Ninety billion euros for Greece, 40 billion for Portugal and 350 billion for Spain — now we are talking real money.”

    Mr. Rogoff says that the I.M.F. could commit as much as $200 billion to aid Greece, Portugal and Spain, but acknowledges that sum alone would not be enough.

    In fact, analysts at Goldman Sachs suggest that Greece will need 150 billion euros over a three-year period.

    snip

    Predicting where and when the next ripple will be felt is an inexact science. During the Asian crisis in 1997, Russia’s debt default took the world by surprise.

    Some even worry that the next debt crisis may materialize in Britain or even the United States, where budget deficits and debt burdens are growing. Both countries are now issuing debt at reasonable levels of 4 percent. The long run of cheap financing may be coming to an end, though, even for the most creditworthy countries. "

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/29/business/global/29euro.html?pagewanted=2&hp

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  20. The Euro is way above my understnding, also, Q. I do know tht Italy had a bond auction the other day that came within 2% of being "Undersubscribed." That doesn't sound too good.

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  21. The rat won't like this one.

    Australian cleaners destroy famed Banksy graffiti

    "A street-cleaning crew inadvertently painted over a stencil of a rat by world-renowned British graffiti artist Banksy, leaving officials in Australia's second largest city scrambling to explain the goof on Wednesday."

    Rat Snuffed

    Art like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


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  22. Giant Palouse Earthworm Found! On Paradise Ridge. Two scientists from the U of I found a pod during an earthworm density study. The article is too long to quote, but the worms were about 12 inches long, and they got em in the lab now, alive. Doing DNA studies. And they aren't pink, don't spit, and don't smell like lillies. Shan Xu and Karl Umiker made the discovery. Thankfully a Federal judge has refused to put this mostly mythical worm on The Endangered Species List. It was found up by the Wayne Jensen place. Farming continues, as of now.

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  23. China stripped of bronze for using underage gymnast

    IOC takes country’s team medal from 2000 Sydney Olympics


    "The FIG cleared the Beijing Games gymnasts in October 2008 after Chinese officials provided original passports, ID cards and family registers showing all of the gymnasts were old enough to compete. But the FIG said it wasn't satisfied with “the explanations and evidence provided to date” for Dong and a second gymnast, Yang Yun.

    "Dong's accreditation information for the Beijing Olympics, where she worked as a national technical official, listed her birthday as Jan. 23, 1986. That would have made her 14 in Sydney — too young to compete. Her birth date in the FIG database is listed as Jan. 20, 1983..."


    Underaged Gymnast Stripped

    Birthers take heart. The truth shall set you free.

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  24. “Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday the country's budget deficit is on an [UNSUSTAINABLE] path and requires near-term action from policymakers to avoid [DANGEROUS OUTCOMES].”

    “Bernanke said the U.S. economy could [NOT GROW] its way out of the problem.”

    “The U.S. deficit was $1.4 trillion in 2009, nearly 10 percent of the size of the overall economy. It is expected to be that much [AGAIN] this year.”

    Bernanke says [PROMPT] action needed on deficit

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  25. careful Q, you'll get this site in big trouble with headlines like "Underaged Gymnast Stripped" Pedophilia is still a taboo :0

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  26. I never was a big believer in this Giant Palouse Earthworm. If my aunt hadn't seen it, and I never saw it, and the old farmers never saw it, hell it don't exist. What they got is just a big worm, that don't spit, don't smell like lillies, isn't pink and is just a big fella. Thank goodness for that Federal Judge that had a little good sense, and could identify a myth when it hit him in the face. I'm sure the environmentalists are crying today.

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  27. Merely a technique to snag attention Ash.

    Kinda like the wording of headlines in The National Enquirer.

    I bemoan the passing of the Weekly World News, an icon.

    One Cover,

    Garden of Eden Discovered

    Original apple found. US growing Tree from Seeds


    Classic


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  28. "the insult of 911. Can't lose face now can we"

    Touching sentiment, that.

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  29. Didn't I read just the other day that we have found Noah's Ark? This is about the third or fourth time I have read this in my life. Mount Ararat or something. About the Garden of Eden, I think it's down in southeastern Oregon somewhere, near the Troy Resort, where the Wenaha comes in to the Grand Rhonde. But only in summertime. About the Greeks, I can tell the diff between Plato and Aristotle, but their politics is always screwed up, massively. Jackie Kennedy married a rich Greek names Onasis, she always had a real talent for bedding the rich guys, and wore nice sunglasses too.

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  30. "All he wanted to do was figure a way of getting out of Iraq on the cheap."
    ---
    That was part of the (brilliant) plan.
    NOT TO BECOME OCCUPIERS.


    "But when the Iraqi army faded away and was replaced by the militias, there was no back up plan in place. "

    That was Bremmer's doing when he replaced General Garner.
    Garner's man was PAYING the Iraqi Army just as we had promised them prior to the invasion. The Iraqi Army consisted of an integrated force of Sunni's and Shias.
    ...much better situation than exists today.
    Just as many women were treated better than they are today.

    Bremmer came in and cut off those payments, and payments to widows and orphans, leaving hundreds of thousands of Armed men with nothing to do but start the insurgency.

    Pure Brilliance.

    Powell may be an adult, but he is an adult traitor, giving aid and comfort to the enemy by lying about Joe Wilson.

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  31. If your mother is burned to death, chachapoya, Ash will consider you to have been "insulted."

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  32. "That was part of the (brilliant) plan.
    NOT TO BECOME OCCUPIERS."


    Not his call. Bush ultimately made the dicisions on that. Rumsfeld was overruled a number of times. When the boss gives you directions, you do your job whether you like it or not. Rumsfeld's job was to win the war. He didn't do it.

    I have said before that no US war of necessity should last more than 18 months. Go in, kick ass, get out. Don't worry about the niceties of nation building. In that sense I agree with Rumsfeld. But it doesn't matter. Even if you are right and the boss wrong, you do your job as defined by him.

    "That was Bremmer's doing when he replaced General Garner."

    Sure Bremer did some pretty studid things. But Bremer reported to Rumsfeld and had Bush's ear. Any decisions he made were approved by them before implementation. Your comments just won't wash.

    Bremer's mistakes were tied to the civilian administration. Dealing with the militias was Rumsfeld's concern. When Bremer ventured into Rumsfeld's domain and requested a substantial increase in troop strength in '04, Rumsfeld shot him down. He was more concerned about his vision of the military and getting out of Iraq than he was about doing the job he was given which was to win the war and more importantly to protect the lives of his troops.

    Can't comment on the Powell/Wilson issue as I don't recall the details.


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  33. Yep, ALL blame belongs to Rummy.
    Case closed.

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  34. Ask DR will come along to point out, ultimately it's all on The Decider's shoulders, and The Decider was not decisive enough to go with one man's plan or another.

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  35. Your timetable conflicts with Powell's China Shop.

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  36. Study Shows ‘Invisible’ Burden of Family Doctors

    A report shows that family doctors, paid by the visit, perform many hours of uncompensated follow-up work.

    ---
    BHO and Rufus know they more than make up for that weekly by cutting out a few healthy body parts here and there for pure profit.

    ...approved by the Evil Insurance Companies.

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  37. hi Ash - can you define invasion for the bar?

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  38. Rumsfeld's job was to win the war.

    Actually , he did do it. By the time he was out, the war was pretty much over. Saddam was hanged or being hanged,, and the whole thing was kinda finished. There was some fighting around, but the whole thing was over, really, when we marched into Baghdad.What you gonna do, with the American Army all about you? It was over then. Whether we should have gone there in the first place is another argument, that I don't want to get into.

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  39. The political War in Iraq was lost on the 23rd of June, 2003, when the United States used military force to stop local elections.

    Prior to that the US maintained the support of the Iraqi people and non-Baathist leaders, after that the insurgency began.

    Rightfully so.

    As the US military action, in suppressing the elections, gave lie to Mr Bush's claims we were there to spread representative, democratic rule. We would not allow there to be elections until we thought we could control the outcome.

    Mr Bush fully supported Mr Bremmer's actions as he wrote him, in a letter we dissected years ago, in multiple threads.

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  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  41. That Mr Bush did not fully understand the consequences of Mr Bremmer's actions, or even it seemed later, that he had authorized them, just about par for the quality of GW Bush's leadership during his Administration.

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  42. all hat, no cattle -
    what are u babbling about now?

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  43. Elijah,

    Would your delicate sensibilities be less offended if I used the term "military adventure"? Is there some other term you would prefer to use to convey the fact that our military entered the country, overthrew their government, and installed one we deemed acceptable?

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  44. by the way, Elijah, good to see you enter into the fray once again!

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  45. so...ur not an open borders advocate slick?

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  46. rat??? open borders??? that'll be the day!

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  47. the comment was meant for u ember

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  48. Doug, did you even "read" your link?

    The new health care legislation includes Medicare payments for preventive health and programs intended to encourage family doctors to assist patients in improving their overall health. And last year’s economic stimulus package included $19 billion in financial incentives for doctors and hospitals to accelerate the adoption of electronic health records.

    Digital patient records, experts agree, can help coordinate and improve care, though using the technology in doctors’ offices is often difficult and time-consuming.

    The Philadelphia practice made that difficult but worthwhile transition to electronic health records in 2004, said Dr. Richard J. Baron, the author of the journal article. His office is also part of a pilot project that compensates doctors for preventive and disease-management work, not just office visits. That program, begun in 2008, is sponsored by large insurers in the area and some local providers of Medicaid services.

    The program, Dr. Baron said, has increased the revenue for his practice by about 15 percent a year. “It’s been a lifeline that provides us support to do the things we’ve been trying to do to keep our patients healthier and out of the hospital,” he said.

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  49. From Wiki:

    The Unit Procurement Cost was estimated at $177.6 million in 2006 based on a production run of 181 airframes.[17] This unit cost will decrease if total production is higher. This cost includes $3.233 billion already spent on research and development by 2006.[18]

    We've already paid the huge "Sunk Costs" of research, building the production lines, developing the radars, avionics, weapons, etc.

    Now that the "cost per copy" is down to a reasonable amount Obama cancels the program.

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  50. With regards the borders, I'd like to see greater control on those entering the country, while drastically increasing the numbers of immigrants we allow in, legally.

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  51. With regards those immigrants that were allowed into the country during the Bush years, I'd let them stay.

    Establish a course or process that would legalize them.
    Rep Pence had a viable proposal, though there could be other alternatives that would or could be viable.

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  52. Mr Crown, rufus, required his pound of flesh, he got it.

    Don't let it get you down, be happy, always on the sunny side.

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  53. Example of why the US will never be energy independant until we run out of oil and are forced to change.

    Technical issues, right-of-ways, green issues, government regulations, local economics, and NIMBY.

    Big Wind Farm Off Cape Cod Gets Approval

    "BOSTON — After nine years of regulatory review, the federal government gave the green light on Wednesday to the nation’s first offshore wind farm, a fiercely contested project off the coast of Cape Cod...

    "In announcing the much-anticipated decision, Mr. Salazar hastened to add that he was requiring the developer, Cape Wind Associates, to take several steps to mitigate possibly adverse effects on the environment — including views from the Kennedy Compound National Historic Landmark, which overlooks Nantucket Sound. Those steps include adjusting the turbines’ color and configuration...

    "In a nod to the concerns of the Kennedys — and presumably other property owners in the area — Mr. Salazar said he had ordered Cape Wind to limit the number of turbines to 130 instead of the initial 170, to move the farm farther away from Nantucket and to reduce its breadth to make it less visible from the Nantucket Historic District...

    "Mr. Salazar said that the turbines should also be painted off-white to reduce their contrast with the sea and sky while still remaining visible to birds and that their lights should be turned off during the day and dimmed more at night than originally planned...

    "Officials said Mr. Salazar had told them that he planned to call Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the senator’s widow, to discuss his decision.

    The Interior Department also met with resistance from two Wampanoag tribes, who have said the turbines would interfere with their sacred ceremonies and submerged burial grounds.

    "...Audra Parker, president and chief executive of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, said all of the mitigating steps were not enough. “They’re absolutely trivial,” she said. “The only effective mitigation is relocation to alternative site.”

    "She said that nine state and local permits were still being appealed in the courts and several parties had filed notices of intention to sue..."


    Windfarm


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  54. Socialism: The Model

    Oil-rich Venezuela gripped by economic crisis

    "SAN CRISTOBAL, VENEZUELA -- Every day for the past three months, government-programmed blackouts have meant the lights flicker and go dark in a city that once bustled with commerce. And Fifth Street, with its auto parts stores and car repair shops, has ground to a halt.

    "We just stop," said Jesus Yanis, who paints cars. "We don't work."

    "Neither does the rest of Venezuela, where a punishing, months-old energy crisis and years of state interventions in the economy are taking a brutal toll on private business. The result is that the economy is flickering and going dark, too, challenging Venezuela's mercurial leader, Hugo Chávez, and his socialist experiment like never before..."


    Dark Days in Venezuela


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  55. Why would we want any more people in our country at all? We've got LA, San Fran, Seattle, Portland, the whole coast is filled up. Boise and Vegas are splitting at the seems. Why not back off and have no immigration? At all? More people aren't necessarily good. Or am I the only lonely farmer around that can stand to be by himself?

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  56. Yet Mexico chastises the US fr trying to arrest illegal aliens.

    APRIL 28, 2010

    Mexico acknowledges migrant abuse, pledges changes

    "Amnesty International called the abuse of migrants in Mexico a major human rights crisis Wednesday, and accused some officials of turning a blind eye or even participating in the kidnapping, rape and murder of migrants...

    "The group's report comes at a sensitive time for Mexico, which is protesting the passage of a law in Arizona that criminalizes undocumented migrants…

    "Migrants in Mexico are facing a major human rights crisis leaving them with virtually no access to justice, fearing reprisals and deportation if they complain of abuses..."


    Migrant Abuse in Mexico


    Do what I say not what I do.



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  57. Immigrants, bob, doctors, nurses and such, folk that are engineers and scientists.

    Human capital, the thing that really matters, in the whirled.

    Along with day laborers and maids.

    An ever growing pie needs more fillings than the native born citizens of the United States can or are willing to produce, themselves.

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  58. Or did we waste all the effort, refurbishing the Statue of Liberty?

    You'd want to abandon our common heritage of welcoming those that wish to improve their lives, here amongst US?

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  59. ... Her raised right foot is on the move. This symbol of Liberty and Freedom is not standing still or at attention in the harbor, it is moving forward, as her left foot tramples broken shackles at her feet, in symbolism of the United States' wish to be free from oppression and tyranny. ...


    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
    "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
    ' With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


    Immigrants,
    our real National Treasure.

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  60. I'll take the conservative stand, conserving our heritage of welcoming those that wish to come and live amongst US as one of US.

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  61. I do not think that the "change" brought by the Bush Administration, that of ignoring border security and rational immigration policies, was for the better.

    I do not think that the "Amnesty" story line, implemented to maintain the status que, was a benefit to the United States or its' legal residents. It encourages an underground economy and a two tiered society.

    Not a good thing, at all, in so far as expanding liberty and freedom goes.

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  62. That the Federals are not interested in expanding liberty and freedom, exemplified by their actions.

    At home and abroad.

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  63. The Pubs want short-term slaves, the Dems are after long-term votes.

    The first thing any of the new colonies did was establish a system of laws, and property. They welcomed, with open arms, all arrivals; but all new citizens were required to obey the law of the shire.

    12 Million (or 20) of our newest arrivals aren't acknowledging our law. That Has to stop. No Society can survive it its law are ignored.

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  65. The Sound of Silence

    Normally, when Human Rights Watch is criticized, the group retaliates with harsh and aggressive attacks on its accusers. Ken Roth, the head of HRW, is famous for this. When it was disclosed last summer that HRW went to Saudi Arabia to raise money for its “fights with pro-Israel groups,” Roth told Jeffrey Goldberg that Israel’s “supporters fight back with lies and deception.” When HRW’s founder, Bob Bernstein, criticized the group in a New York Times op-ed, HRW fired back by egregiously misrepresenting Bernstein’s argument and then denouncing it in classic straw-man fashion.

    A couple of days ago, a long investigative piece was published in the New Republic, which contained the most damaging revelations yet about the group’s hostility to Israel, the sloppiness of its work, and the opinions of some of the crackpots who work in its offices. I was expecting Roth and his goon squad to go nuclear, as they normally do, with wild accusations of lies and right-wing smears. Strangely, nothing of the sort has happened. HRW’s defense comes in the form of a short, passionless statement of support by a board member who seems to be the go-to person for defenses of HRW’s treatment of Israel, and who incredibly insists that HRW is “actually good for Israel.”

    There is no attempt to refute the carefully documented facts contained in Birnbaum’s TNR piece; there is no smear campaign against the author; there are no fervent letters to the editor insisting on HRW’s invincible moral authority. Instead, there is silence. I think I know why: HRW has been beaten. The case against it has become too strong and too airtight, and HRW’s attempts at self-defense, as the group learned from its attempt to trash its own founder, are so implausible and desperate that they only make the situation worse.

    With the TNR piece, we enter a new phase with Human Rights Watch, in which the group no longer tries to marshal a spirited defense of its conduct and reputation. This is how we know things are going the wrong way for HRW: when self-defense becomes so embarrassing that it’s better to keep quiet and hope everyone’s attention shifts to other subjects.

    The problem is, that’s not going to happen. It’s time to batten down the hatches at Human Rights Watch

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