Showing posts from April, 2013

GM Volt - It's No Tesla

ZH comments that GM announced that it lost money on every Volt and in order to fix that they will be charging less for each unit. Brilliant!

The reason for comment though isn't the Volt, it's my car crush on Tesla. I don't buy into any of the environmental terror that we hear all the time about carbon dioxide causing global destruction, and I'd never purchase an electric or hybrid ahead of a Golf TDI, but I love this car and the ongoing story of Tesla. I see at least 1 every single day. Often I see 2 or 3 on my commute and I think that's awesome. I'm a huge fan of technology and Elon Musk is apparently doing something right because this thing is being purchased by many folks. Also it's sharp looking. It's got great lines. The Volt on the other hand might be one of the ugliest cars ever produced. But what do you expect from a communist enterprise where failure is rewarded.

Just a little entrepreneurial shout out to Musk and Tesla. I know they a…

Victory lap

It's been a good month for predictions here at the WCV.

We were the first (only?) to instantly call BS on the FBI arrest of an Elvis impersonator in the ricin mailing:
I wouldn't be surprised if the ricin thing turns out to be a mistaken lab test, and this guy was just sending ordinary conspiracy theory letters to Obama and Senator Wicker. How stupid would you have to be to sign your Elvis impersonator stage name to letters containing ricin?Whether or not there actually was ricin that maybe somebody else sent, Kevin Curtis has been released as he was indeed not that stupid.  Not that it's a difficult call to say the FBI always fingers the wrong guy first (Richard Jewell, Dr. Steven Hatfill...).

We had similar success early in the gold plunge:
This could get a lot uglier [It did.] as leveraged futures holders get margin calls and are forced to sell. Those with physical gold and a long-term view? Buying opportunity [It was.].We missed one opportunity for a layup as the…

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a hate group

In the distant past, the Southern Poverty Law Center was once a legitimate civil rights organization.

Sadly, it is now a complete farce and a left-wing political machine, labeling everyone to the right of David Brooks a "hate group."

Well, by its own standards, the SPLC is clearly a hate group, as domestic terrorist Floyd Lee Corkins admitted in a videotaped interview that he was inspired to shoot up the Family Research Council's headquarters by the SPLC's hate rhetoric.

You didn't build that Boston Marathon bomb

#YouDidntBuildThat#BostonMarathon bomb. Some government paid for it with welfare checks…
— W.C. Varones (@wcvarones) April 24, 2013

To be fair, though, who's not on welfare, food stamps, or disability these days?

Charles Schwab web site down

That's not good.  Hope you didn't have to get any trades in before the close.

Mobile app not working either and I wouldn't even bother trying to get someone on the phone right now.  Hopefully Schwab will make you whole if your day trades go offsides overnight.

Georgetown University drops Arianna Pattek down the memory hole

A racist, sexist blogger writing as "feministconservative" told of her employment in a university admissions office where she boasted of throwing applications from white males in the trash:
For instance I can’t tell you how many applications I saw that were just dripping with white male privelege. Any of those that I saw basically went straight to the garbage can regardless of how good their qualifactions were. If I saw an application from a white male that basically was just good test scores, and activities like chess club or math club or what not then it shows me this person is not interested in a diverse environment. Obviously he made no effort in integrating with minorities or to sympathize with them and is counting on male privelege to get in. So that kind of application should get ignored. In their place I admitted a female student. This goes double especially for math/science majors.


I’m happy to say that I approved nearly 90% of all female minority and 80%…

Happy 4/20!

... to all of our cannabis-consuming friends.

Related: 25 people more evolved than Obama on pot.

Terrorists for gun control

UPDATE: This appears to be a clever hoax. It was actually on Twitter, but now removed. The time stamp is from 2012 and the user name is "Dzhokhar_". Someone figured out a way to hack twitter. The guy was reportedly tweeting while the boat standoff was going on, though I didn't get to see it. Nice work.

UPDATE: Dzhokhar tweets from the hospital:

WTF? I was supposed to get 72 virgins but I got a fat Jamaican nurse and a colostomy bag.— Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (@Dzh0khar) April 20, 2013

Obama has a new ally:

Boston Marathon bombers are from Chechnya; surviving terrorist is Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev

Washington Post:
Surviving Boston bomb suspect identified as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Mass.RAPSI:
The suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing were Chechen and had been living in the US for approximately one year, the AP reported Friday citing sources.

The surviving suspect has been identified by the AP’s source as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Mass, according to a Tweet by the news agency.

A second suspect was reported dead earlier Friday. Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis confirmed the death of one of the suspects implicated in Monday's Boston Marathon bombing which left three dead and upwards of 176 via his Twitter account Friday, stating simply: "One suspect dead. One at large. Armed and dangerous. White hat suspect at large"Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is listed in this 2011 news story as having won a scholarship for Cambridge-area high school students.

Chechnya is known for both separatist terrorism and its Muslim religion. You may recall the Besl…

Cui bono

Strange how Obama is rushing to be all over the scene in Boston, rather than the scene of the much deadlier explosion in Texas.

These people sure have a nose for opportunity.

Here we go again?

The U.S. doesn't really know what to do when the subjects of a brutally oppressive puppet government decide to attack Americans.  You can't really punish the puppet, so to look busy, you have to invade a different country and maybe take away some freedoms while you're at it.

Looks like Boston may be more of the same. (UPDATE: link to picture of innocent kid removed. We're back to honkies with backpacks.)

Not that there's anything wrong with that

The decade ahead

"White guys with backpacks are about to learn what life is like for brown guys with turbans."
-Charlie McDanger

KC from Tupelo is Elvis impersonator, sent paranoid tweet to Radley Balko in 2011

This sounds like the Kevin Curtis arrested for mailing ricin:

Hunka burnin' love:
Why hire Tribute to the Stars with Kevin Curtis?

Master of Impressions, KC pays tribute to 70 of the biggest names in music history!

Performing a musical Extravaganza, KC walks his audience through 5 decades of hits from legends like:
Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, Marty Robbins, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Kenny Chesney, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Prince, Bon Jovi, Billy Idol & Many More!

KC's 3 octave vocal range, authentic costumes & props make "Tribute to the Stars" a MUST SEE!

KC is a 7 time World Finalist in "Images of the King" contest in Memphis, Tn. & Guiness World Record recipient for creating the 1st brother Duo Tribute to Elvis Act in 2002. You've seen the rest, Now book the Best!
And this tweet:
@radleybalko please help me..I am in fear for my life after blowing whistle at largest rural healthcare org in the U.S. (Mississippi)
— Ke…

Security camera photos of Boston Marathon bombing suspect


Multiple layers of fact-checking update

CNN boasts:
News of the arrest was first reported by CNN.Not so fast, quick draw.

Boston Herald:
Boston police are reporting there has been no arrest in the Marathon bombing case, saying in a Twitter message: "Despite reports to the contrary there has not been an arrest in the Marathon attack."

Massachusetts State Police also say no arrest has been made. The U.S. Attorney's Office refused to answer questions about any suspects being questioned or in custody.

"All I can say is there is no one that has been arrested," a spokeswoman for Boston U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz.

Boston Marathon bombed

Two explosions have been reported near the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street, and there are reports of injuries.

Crews were sent to 617 Boylston St. at about 2:30 p.m. Witnesses said several victims lost limbs, and the area was being evacuated.

Many of the injured appeared to be spectators who gathered for the 117th running of the race.

NewsCenter 5's Sean Kelly said the blasts happened across the street from the Lenox Hotel.
These pictures from Deadspin don't look too good.

CBO morons predict three consecutive years of phenomenal growth bigger than the housing bubble, no recession for a decade

Veronique de Rugy of George Mason University compiled this handy chart (HT: Mauldin Economics):

The CBO is a bunch of myopic clueless geeks with models that have absolutely no relation to the real world -- and they are likely under political pressure to be optimistic too.

In 2010, the CBO estimated that the 2013 deficit would be less than 3% of GDP in its "baseline" (aka "current law") scenario which assumed the expiration of all of the Bush tax cuts, the AMT fix, the payroll tax holiday, and the Medicare doc fix.

Now you don't have to be a Keynesian psychopath to understand that large tax increase on the middle class in addition to cutting off people's unemployment checks would have a significant impact on GDP. That is accepted by all economists across the political spectrum. Except, apparently, the model monkeys at the CBO.

In fact, the deficit is running around 6% of GDP this year [UPDATE: It came in at 4.1% thanks to a booming stock market, low intere…

Gold slaughter underway

Gold is down $70, below $1500 for the first time in years. Silver whacked and oil down too as market worries about Zimbabwe Ben pulling out later this year.

This could get a lot uglier as leveraged futures holders get margin calls and are forced to sell. Those with physical gold and a long-term view? Buying opportunity. As Carmen Reinhart just said, the crisis isn't over and inflation (devaluation) is the only way out.

A crony capitalist riddle

Q: What do you call it when some rich a-hole spends $100,000 on a government-subsidized toy and then finds it really hard to get parts or service when the company goes bankrupt?

A: Karma.

He's dead, Jim.

S&P 500 divided by Federal Reserve balance sheet.

Stocks catch up to gold

This is a chart of the price of gold and the S&P 500 since 1994.   Until 2008, the price of the S&P was consistently higher than gold.  In 2008-09, stocks crashed below the price of gold, and the two prices rose together from there until 2010-11 when they decoupled as gold outpaced stocks.  Since late 2011, gold has declined and stocks have continued rising.  Last week, stocks caught up to gold in the high 1500s, though at Friday's close, gold had regained a slight lead.

The point here is that the two asset classes have similar long-term returns, though wildly different short-term returns.  That makes them excellent diversifiers for each other.  Gold's price return over the period is 302%, or 7.6% annualized.  The S&P's price return is 247%, or 6.8% annualized.  Add in the S&P's dividend yield which has averaged around 2%, and stocks have outperformed gold.  But gold has equity-like returns with significant risk diversification.  And the real winner is…

Finance advice columnist Bruce Williams rips off own column

The Dear Abby of money advice, Bruce Williams, appears to be cheating his readers and the community newspapers that pay for his column by recycling old material.

Reader R.M., November 2008:
DEAR BRUCE: I left my 401(k) with my former employer, as it seemed to be performing well. However, I am 54 years old and, examining it more closely, I saw a couple of $800 losses (quarterly) in a three-year period. I haven't called the company, thinking it might say anything just to keep my money invested. The 401(k) had almost reached $80,000. My wife says to sit tight, the economy is tough, and may get worse before it gets better. But she withdrew her $60,000 for her 401(k) a few years ago, and has no retirement money, plus we got hit hard with the penalties from the IRS. Should I contact my banker and roll the money into a no-penalty CD to gather interest? It's better than a loss. -- R.M., via e-mail

DEAR R.M.: My mailbox is full of letters similar to yours. Your 401(k), self-directed IRA…

Here comes the wealth tax

Obama plans to raid IRAs of "the rich." And now that the seal is broken, it's only a matter of time before inflation or legislation bring the wealth tax down to the few remaining middle class folks who have bothered to save for their retirement.

Click on over to Zero Hedge and read the whole thing. It's the post I was planning to write, but Tyler beat me to it. And did a better job anyway.

Obama's asset confiscation scheme is described in The Hill:
Under the plan, a taxpayer’s tax-preferred retirement account, like an IRA, could not finance more than $205,000 per year of retirement – or right around $3 million this year.Leftists have never been good at math. You try to take out $205,000 a year out of a $3 million dollar account and you are quite likely to outlive your savings... which would make these leftists quite happy, I suppose, to see a bourgeois traitor to the revolution starving in his old age. Whether the limit is inflation-indexed isn't explaine…

Zerohedge Quiz Response

Yesterday Zerohedge hit the big time by being mentioned in a question from Scott Solano to ECB and European Supreme Leader Mario Draghi. It's documented and well worth the read and video watch because Draghi illustrates that the ruling class doesn't give a damn about what anyone thinks. They are all-powerful oligarchs and what they say goes without question.

As ZH documents, Draghi stated "If the Euro breaks down, and if a country leaves the Euro, it's not like a sliding door. It's a very important thing. It's a project in the European Union. That's why you have a very hard time asking people like me "what would happened if."
ZH responds with a followup question:"If the Euro is not like a "sliding door", is there a more apt analogy of what the Euro is?"
We'll take a shot.....

You can check-out any time you like, But you can never leave!

Greenspan's Body Count: Parag Patel and Niha Patel, 970 Hedgegate Lane, York, PA

Back from a brief speaking engagement in Ireland, serial killer Alan Greenspan fell upon the Harrisburg suburb of York, Pennsylvania yesterday.

Police in York County released the names and additional details regarding a murder-suicide in Manchester Township earlier Tuesday in which a husband shot and killed his wife, then turned the gun on himself.

Parag Patel, 43, and his wife, Niha Patel, 41, were found dead when officers arrived at their home at 970 Hedgegate Lane just before 2 p.m. Tuesday, according to Northern York County Regional Police.The home at 970 Hedgegate was purchased at the height of the bubble in 2008 for $411,224. Zillow now values it at $341,772, though a similar-sized house nearby sold recently for $190,700 and a much larger house immediately across the street sold for $250,000.

Greenspan's Body Count stands at 244.

Mac Daddy Propaganda

Or is it? Franky Nothaft, Chief Propagandist Economist for Freddie Mac shares a message of hope and cheer regarding the home buying landscape. Some claim it's propaganda but I disagree. All you need to hear is around 0:38: "...we expect this spring home buying season to be the best since 2007." And what happened to housing prices and the economy in general after 2007 Franky?

Fortunately Franky answers in the same video. He offers that in 2012 alone, according to the graph below presented in video, real estate added 1.5 trillion to net worth. And how much did it take away from net worth after 2007 Frank? Are we net positive or negative, or am I not smart enough to understand because I don't have an economics degree from an Ivy League school? Because according to your graph, if it's 2007 all over again, then this is probably not a great time to buy a house I can't afford anyway.

Watch for propoganda and humor purposes only.

Greenspan's Body Count goes to Ireland

The Independent (Ireland):
A support group has staged a demonstration at a suicide blackspot to highlight its claims that three people a day are taking their own lives due to "unforgivable" pressures over debt.

Support group Let's Get Together (LGT) staged a controversial city centre protest where life-size mannequins were hung from a busy bridge to highlight the suicide crisis now gripping Ireland.


But suicide support groups say that they must raise awareness and that official CSO figures indicating up to 700 people take their own lives each year are an underestimate.

"The true figure, from what we have been able to garner from suicide support groups around the country, is somewhere between 900 and 1,100. And the problem is that it is rising all the time," said Pat Buckley of LGT.

But Mr Buckley, who lost two of his brothers to suicide, said that there has been a clear shift from younger to older males opting to take their own lives.

"Young men aged …

Ode to gold

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways
The Bernank can printeth thee not, hard as he may try
Thou hireth not overpaid asshats like Meg Whitman to manage thy business
Thou diluteth me not with employee stock options
Thy expense ratio is a sock drawer and a .44 magnum