Evansville Water: The Movie: Part 1

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Wisconsin Wit

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Nostalgia: Video; Evansville School Board: Mr. Pierick speaks: The Observer Salutes the Service of Michael Pierick as Evansville School Board President

Video; Evansville School Board; Monday, March 15, 2010: Mr. Pierick speaks: "Just Say NO"----the math of taking all the Brodhead Open enrollment students does not add up---it causes Evansville Taxpayers to ante up about $4000 per student taken, in a situation where Brodhead taxpayers pay less than Evansville residents, and in addition it exhausts the physical resources of the schools.

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Bloomberg Sues ECB over Greece Hidden Borrowings: UK Telegraph

The bond saga unfolds. Click on the post.

Peace and Best Wishes for the Holidays

 
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mailbag: Bear Trader reflects on a bond panic; on renouncing pensions etc; and holiday wishes

(Ed.note: The Bear Trader is a regular contributor to the Evansville Observer, and his comments are bearish even when giving Holiday Wishes. His bearish views are never to be considered investment advice.)

Notice that Pimco Total Return made a hell of a drop Dec. 8 and has not recovered. Dec.8 took out all the moving averages, including the 400 day SMA, and did so big time. Dec.3 PTTRX was 11.50, Dec. 8 was 10.80, a 6% drop in three trading days. This has never happened before. PTTRX is by far the largest bond fund. Some stability since, see wise crack.

MMT took out the 200 day EMA Dec. 13. Looks to be recovering, maybe. Looks like the FRB (Federal Reserve Board) is buying like a maniac on speed.

10 year Federal bond return was 2.4% Oct. 8, now is 3.346%. This is a 28% drop in price. Some stabilizing the last three days, ditto the "maniac on speed" wise crack.

So. A "real" bond panic? You mean when the lid blows off Japan and Europe Government bonds (sometime in the next two years, sooner rather than later)? Depends on what the USA does in the next weeks. Get Bernanke kenneled, stop monetizing the debt, let USA interest rates rise, (causing a USA bond panic,) run the USA like Cristie does New Jersey, let the Big Boys take their losses in bonds as interest rates return to somewhere more than inflation (say, 4.5% on Fed 90 day notes) and everything will turn out fine in the end. Otherwise the entire world's bonds will crash together simultaneously unless the USD can be the "strong currency of last resort". Otherwise gold and silver will go to the moon. Maybe even a hundred times higher in USD, Yen, and Euros. That would mean gold and silver confiscation, and Weimar - Zimbabwe inflation.

You get your social security check and buy a loaf of bread. Runs on the banks and everyone buying anything at all with it while cash still has some value.

So, "a real bond panic"? One's running now, and the Fed is monetizing like crazy. The dikes are bulging and the Fed is out of fingers.

ON that cheerful note, on to municipalities, states, etc.

The statutes are real hazey, Federaly there is no real way to roll up pension obligations except bankruptcy, Washington DC is talking about some sort of new set of laws to let States, Counties, Municipalities, etc. dump their pension obligations. We shall see.

I don't think that pension law that applies to the private sector applies to government bodies. For sure government entities are not covered by Federal pension reserves requirements applied to the private sector.


The States have sovereign immunity in lawsuits, meaning that if a State does not care to be sued in cannot be forced. Essentially their pension obligations can be terminated by States at will. Then the Feds would probably take it to Federal Court (14th Amendment). California, Illinois, Rhode Island, etc. would plead poverty, and residents of Texas, Wisconsin, and many others would balk at paying amazingly huge out of state government pensions. Also the States can unilaterally de-recognize the public unions, no unions, no contracts, no pensions. The States are not covered by the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, you see. The same is true of the Federal Government - unions are allowed there only because of JFK's Executive Order. A few words on a piece of paper above the President's signature and Federal unions are history.

Have a Merry Christmas!!!

Turning Natural Gas into Diesel: NYT

Click on the post for the latest.

Paul Soglin Campaign Statement: Mayor of Madison--2011

I love the city of Madison and everything about it…its past, its people, its present and its potential.

I have seen this City from many sides: as a student at the UW and as a member of its faculty…as a City Council member, as your Mayor.

I’ve worked in the private sector as an investment advisor and as a project manager for a major Dane County corporation. I’ve worked on area-wide economic development and housing issues for the State.

I’ve seen what works in Madison and what doesn’t. I’ve been a part of moving Madison forward. I’ve never been shy about suggesting new ideas and advocating for change when I thought we could do better.

This is one of those times.

The Edgewater, the downtown library, Overture...snowplowing …taxes that are too high, a budget that is structurally unsound, the exodus of talented city managers, neighborhood groups whose input is ignored and whose participation is devalued. Good ideas that go nowhere and bad ideas that won’t go away.

Madison isn’t moving forward or working together or getting things done as it should…as it has…as it can. The next Mayor of Madison needs to have the know-how and vision to get Madison working and moving forward together during difficult, complex and challenging times.

That’s what I offer. That’s what I’ve done. And that’s why today, I am announcing my candidacy for Mayor.

Some of the news reports about my candidacy have described me as a “politician.” But let me tell you the truth: I am a lousy politician. I am too forthright. Too honest. Too interested in the nuts and bolts of leading a city. I like the exchange of ideas and the good ideas that come from open debate and discussion and collective reasoning. I like to get things done.

I’m not a politician. I am a Mayor. The inability of the current administration to get things done and to address challenges before they become crises threatens the future of our city. It undermines our ability to come together as Madisonians and focus our considerable talents and energy to collectively solve the issues – big and small – that confront us.

We can do better. During my terms as Mayor, we build the Capitol Centre and Monona Terrace, turned State Street into a bus and pedestrian mall. We laid the foundation for Madison Metro. We had a triple A bond rating recognizing our strong fiscal management. We balanced budgets.

We combined civic pride with civic responsibility. We made things happen.

Together, we can do it again. One of the first things I’ll do as Mayor will be to meet with every member of the city council to get their recommendations for their own and citizen appointments to city committees so we create a committee system that is diverse with people and ideas.

I’ll get governmental, labor, business, and educational partners together and get to work to create opportunistic programs that will expand employment, training, and workforce development for all Madisonians.

We’ll collaborate with County Government, environmentalists, urban planners and neighborhood groups to adopt a Madison Plan that comprehensively addresses our land use and transportation goals in order to create a safe and healthy environment for all Madisonians to live work, study, and play.

I’ll organize a broad based city commission, modeled on the Monona Terrace Commission, that will produce a working solution for Overture.

People from all across Madison and from across the political spectrum urged me to run for mayor. The people of this City value the services their City provides while demanding they get value for their dollars. The people of Madison want their mayor to envision and enact initiatives that ensure a positive, common future for this city, its neighborhoods, its people, its downtown, its suburbs and its parks. They want us to get things done now, for this generation without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

With all the serious challenges we face, Madison is still the best City in this country to live, work and raise a family. We are home to a world class university, great public schools, gorgeous lakes, a thriving bio-tech sector. We are situated in a County distinguished by beautiful and productive farms, miles of bike trails, innovative County government programs and hard working, caring residents.

Being Mayor of Madison is the toughest job I’ve ever loved. I am prepared to focus on nothing else but working with every one of you to make Madison work -- for all its citizens -- once again.

Thank you.

- Paul Soglin

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Markets; Taxes: " I Don't Remember:" Solved:

In 2011 when baby boomers fill out their tax return or go to a tax preparer, they no longer can say that they do not remembe their "basis" or cost of the original purchase. Yes...it can be a memory problem if one purchased the stock in the 1960's....Now the IRS is going to make sure you do not forget....

Click on the post for the story.

Minnesota Faces 6.2 Billion Dollar Deficit; Daily Planet

Click on the post for the latest.

Streetcars might be coming to Minneapolis----

Click on the post for the latest.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Evansville Park Board Meets Monday--Civil War Event on the Agenda

Click on the post for the full agenda.

Deal of the Week: Ace Hardware offers free fill of inkjet cartridge thru Dec 19th

Check it out. This offer applies to the 136 cartridges that they can do.. Recycling can save up to 50% of your cost. Tell them the Observer sent you.

The Rise of Cellphone Shopping: These are the "hunters": NYT

Click on the post for the latest.

QE2 as an Opportunity? CapTimes: Unger

Click on the post for a recent article in the CapTimes with a perspective on the recent activity in the bond market.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

School Scoop Expands On Chasin the News: "It's Up to You...It always has been"

Click on the post for a classic from School Scoop.

Home Prices Going Lower: Yahoo: Finance

Click on the post for the latest.

Blogs: Rock Net Roots: Looking for a Self Made Businessman----

Click on the post for the article. Enjoy.

St. Paul Holds the line on Property Tax levy---StarTribune

Click on the post for the latest. One assumption is that the State of Minnesota will not cut state aid to cities further...that is a big if...for Wisconsin cities as well. Stay tuned.

In a Global Economy What Does It Mean to Buy Local: Pioneer Press

Click on the post for the latest.

Land's End Launches Video Chat for Customer Service: WSJ

Click on the post for the latest.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mailbag: Bear Trader Writes; "Some Thoughts on Equitable Taxes"

Warren Buffet has said that he pays taxes at a lower rate than does his secretary. This is so.

The truly rich make almost all of their income from their investments. When the value of an investment goes up, this is called "capital gains", that is, as return on capital, that is, on money.

Interestingly, from my viewpoint as one of the "little people", capital gains are taxed at a much lower rate than "regular" income from wages, salaries, and the savings I have (taxed as "interest" at my regular rate). So it is for all but a very small portion of the population.

I cannot see why "capital gains" should be taxed as other than regular income. There a bogus arguments based on the idea that a low capital gains rate is merely to recompense for any "capital losses" - hey, I have capital losses, and certainly get no "recompense".

So, how about just abolishing "capital gains" from the tax laws? Income is income, right? Tax "capital gains" as regular income, WHICH IT IS.

Now my point.

Politicians are always laying on the B.S. that they are "for the little guy" and always pushing "the rich should pay their fair share". Well, then, why not get rid of this ridiculous "capital gains" tax treatment? Maybe the Big Boys wouldn't like it, eh? Maybe those Senators with net worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars would have to pay taxes on their incomes? Maybe the Billionairs would be pissed?

So, anyway, you can tell if a politician is lying easily. Are his lips moving?

At least the Pubs don't lie as much as the Dems. "I'm for the little guy" is a lie. Maybe someday a Pol will push for getting rid of special tax treatment for "capital gains" and tax the really rich guy's income the same way as "the little guy's". Nobody since Huey Long has tried it and he died in a hail of bullets - from his own bodyguard. Oh, well, maybe Hell will freeze over.

November Retail Sales Top Forecast: NYT

Click on the post for the positive news.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tax Deal Drives Up Rates: Yahoo: Finance

Click on the post for the latest. It really feels like Argentina...maybe it's time to learn the tango....stay tuned.

In a market driven situation, driving rates higher will make municipal financing impossible. Nice way of inducing fiscal restraint huh?

Cuomo Urges Property Tax Cap for New York: New York Times

Click on the post for the latest. Is this what Wisconsin needs too?

Channel 3000: Evansville Schools opening two Hours late This morning

This is per Channel 3000 email.

Rising Property taxes Spark Protests in Minneapolis: StarTrib

Click on the post for the latest.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Governor declares Precautionary State of Emergency:

Click on the post for the latest from the Gazette.

Service of Rememberance For Tonight Cancelled due to weather:

Good Morning,

We are trying to get the word out that the Service of Remembrance scheduled for 7:00 tonight at St. Paul Parish has been canceled due to weather. Please forward this message on to anyone you know who may have been planning to attend. Thanks so much.

Nancy Hurley

Climate Change Conference In the News: Hurley Blogs Details

Click on the post for the detail blog posts from the climate change conference by Jim Hurley.

Roof on the Minnesota Metrodome Collapses: Monday Night Game in Doubt: StarTrib

Click on the post for the latest.

Normal, Mn. School District Moves to Provide New Born Care: Tales From Normal, Mn. : FICTION

Click on the post for the latest.

Blogs: A Note to Mr. Pierick from Chasin:

Click on the post for the latest.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday, December 03, 2010

Don't Forget Food for Fines: Eager Library

Click on the post for the latest.

Energy Independence Team Meets Tuesday

Click on the post for the full agenda.

Has Year End Tax Strategy Changed? Yahoo:: Finance

If one believes that taxes will rise in the upcoming years, what is the logical tax strategy or strategies? Click on the post for an article in Yahoo Finance today.