National Debt (Strangely) Unchanged for 70 Days

July 30, 2013 § 1 Comment

The U.S. national debt for the past 70 days has been stuck at exactly $16,699,396,000,000, CNSNews.com reports, citing the Daily Treasury Statement for July 26.“That is approximately $25 million below the legal limit of $16,699,421,095,673.60 that Congress has imposed on the debt,” the report notes.Fed debt subject to the legal limits imposed by Congress first hit the $16.7B mark on May 17. The national debt has for every business day since then been exactly $16,699,396,000,000.00.“If the debt had increased by even $30 million at any time during those 70 days, it would have exceeded the statutory limit,” the report conceded.However, according to the Treasury, the debt hasn’t budged an inch. It has been stuck at exactly $16,699,396,000,000:

via TheBlaze.com.

How bizarre is that?

Can you imagine running your household and determining that you spent EXACTLY what you earned — down to the dollar — for nearly 3 months?

Or is it possible that the G is playing games with the numbers?

More Bankruptcy Coming (to a city near you)

July 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

The top 10 biggest U.S. cities on the brink of pension bankruptcy.

#1 Philadelphia – Unfunded liability of $9 billion, $16,696 per household, only 1 year before the pension accounts are empty

#2 Chicago – Unfunded liability of $44.8 billion, $41.966 per household, money runs out in 4 years

#3 Boston – Unfunded liability of $7.5 billion, $30,901 per household, money runs out in 4 years

#4 Cincinnati – Unfunded liability of $2 billion, $15,681 per household, money runs out in 5 years

#5 St Paul – Unfunded liability of $1.4 billion, $13,686 per household, money runs out in 5 years

#6 Jacksonville – Unfunded liability of $4 billion, $12,944 per household, money runs out in 5 years

#7 New York City – Unfunded liability of $122 billion, $38,866 per household, money runs out in 6 years

#8 Baltimore – Unfunded liability of $3.7 billion, $15, 420 per household, money runs out in 7 years

#9 Detroit – Unfunded liability of $6.4 billion, $18,643 per household, money runs out in 8 years

#10 Fort Worth – Unfunded liability of $2 billion, $7,212 per household, money runs out in 8 years

via Business Insider.

This list was put together using data from 2010-12.  So Detroit is on the list… and not at the top.  So how was Detroit the first to go?  Because the tax base fled in mass.  The constant media attention to Detroit didn’t help either.  But kudos to them for filing early and getting it out of the way.  The longer you wait the worse it is for everybody.

Chicago sadly has the highest debt per capita.  The debt per household is approaching the average annual household income.  Who’s going to pay that off?  How many will participate in paying?  As Obama would say, will be make sure that everyone pays their fair share?

Da Mare’s Private Road to McCormick Place

July 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

A $43 million busway built to whisk conventioneers between downtown hotels and McCormick Place has turned into “the mayor’s road” and should be opened to taxicabs in exchange for a surcharge, Ald. Robert Fioretti, 2nd said Monday.

Fioretti suggested turning the 2.5-mile busway into a money-maker after Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg lifted the veil on a shortcut politicians and contractors enjoy, but everyday Chicagoans know little or nothing about.  …

“I was told by some of the people in Planning that it was a good idea. But then, they came back and said, `No. It’s the mayor’s road.’ That’s what I was hit with,” [Fioretti] said without identifying the city planners by name.

Fioretti said when he argued that Chicago could not afford to maintain a “clout road” for VIP politicians, he was told there were “security reasons” for keeping the road closed to other vehicles. But he was never told precisely what those “security reasons” were.

In Monday’s column, [Chicago Sun-Times columists] Steinberg talked about his ride with County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on the road Mayor Rahm Emanuel calls the “Bat Cave” and Preckwinkle calls the “Magic Road.”

It is accessed only by those fortunate enough to be issued a plastic card that opens a steel gate to the busway that runs along Illinois Central right of way parallel to Michigan Avenue.

Built in 2002 by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, the 2.5-mile roadway was billed as a speedy shortcut for conventioneers staying in downtown hotels and attending McCormick Place conventions.

As Steinberg noted, a trip that takes 25 minutes in traffic up Lake Shore Drive can be completed in just eight minutes.

via Chicago Sun-Times.

I’ve known about this “road” since forever as I used to walk by the entrance regularly.  There are a few “secret” entrances in the South Loop where the gates are almost always up.  I’m surprised folks on bikes are not on this thing all the time.

Regardless, nice to see the mayor serving no one but himself.

Lockheed Martin’s Desalination Graphene Filters

March 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

Lockheed has developed a special material that doesn’t need as much energy to drag water through the filter.

Graphene is a substance made of pure carbon. Carbon atoms are arranged in a regular hexagonal or honeycomb pattern in a one-atom thick sheet.

This special material is a film of a special structure of carbon, a honeycomb lattice called graphene. Because of its structure, the sheet is dotted with holes that are one nanometer or less. These holes between carbon atoms trap the salt and other impurities.

Graphene researchers won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 for developing the wonder-material.

In addition, the film is super thin — just a single atom thick — so that the water simply “pops through the very, very small holes that we make in the graphene and leaves the salt behind,” John Stetson, the chief technologist at Lockheed for this initiative told Business Insider.

via Business Insider.

Very cool.  Good… Great news for developing countries and ocean going vessels.  Hopefully it will lead to cheap, easy to use water filtration products for everyone to use.  Can’t live without drinkable water.

China Economy to Overtake U.S. by 2016

March 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

China’s economy expanded last year at 7.8pc – its slowest pace in more than a decade – and recent data has fuelled concerns that any rebound in the country’s growth is losing steam.

However, the OECD was upbeat, predicting in a new survey of China’s prospects that the country’s economy could expand by 8.5pc this year and by 8.9pc in 2014.

While the OECD noted the slowdown in China’s aggressive expansion, it nonetheless predicted that growth should average 8pc in this decade at current rates of investment and reform.

After allowing for price differences, it forecast that China could become the world’s largest economy, overtaking America, around 2016.

via Telegraph.

High debt is a drag on growth.  You’re using sooo much money for debt service (paying interest) that could have gone to pay for more useful activity… education, roads, technology, etc.

China’s economy grew at nearly 8% last year.  U.S.’s economy grew at less than 1/2 that. (Thanks Obamacare and businesses fearing other Obama policies.)

Also worth noting that this story NOT being carried by any major U.S. news organization save the Washington Post and CNN International.  Not even a single link / page to the regular CNN site despite the story begin pick-up by Reuters news service.  To ABC/NBC/CBS/MSNBC and yes, even Fox this story is not news worthy.

 

Sugary Drinks Kill 25k per Year in the U.S. Alone

March 20, 2013 § 1 Comment

Consumption of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages may contribute to hundreds of thousands of deaths around the world, mainly due to Type 2 diabetes, a new study says.

The results show sugar-sweetened beverage consumption is linked to 180,000 deaths a year worldwide, including 25,000 deaths a year in the United States, the researchers say.

via Business Insider.

Holy Cow!!

These drinks kill almost as many people as firearms.

So… when is Dianne Feinstein going to propose a ban on Coke.

Moody’s Downgrades Chicago’s Motor Fuel Debt

March 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded to A3 from Aa3 the rating on the City of Chicago’s (IL) $181 million of outstanding rated motor fuel tax debt. The outlook has been revised to negative.

via Moody’s.

Surprises no one.  Barely qualifies as news actually.

The City’s broke.  Unemployment (real unemployment, the U6 number) is out of control and people simply don’t have the means to support driving when they don’t have to.  Tie that in with Springfield’s ability and desire to continue to kick-the-can down the road and Chicago may just get screwed on its portion of the fuel tax.

It’s generally dumb anyway that Chicago gets a kick-back on the state’s fuel tax anyway as the city has it’s own fuel tax.  It’s just robbing Peter to pay Paul.  Round and round the money goes.

 

 

 

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