Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Weekend Links

My new job requires me to work weekends now so getting these done on the weeked is tough.


1. Still more bad news for local Real Estate. When the real estate market collapsed back in 2008, it looked like the state of Washington was going to miss out on the worst of it. Our unemployment didn’t rise like many other large cities. We weren’t without some issues but our major employers, Microsoft, Boeing, the US Military and state and local governments didn’t experience the same downturn like so many other regions did. Well, that is no longer the case. As far as real estate goes, we are still seeing bad numbers and we are catching up with the rest of the nation and it doesn’t seem to want to slow down.

Most recently the three biggest counties, population-wise, saw nearly one-third of home sellers lose money on selling their homes.  The national rate is 37% but we really aren’t that far behind any longer.

2. Microsoft buying Skype. I know this is probably old news to most, but I must give you my take. Microsoft never does anything without their eye on profits. No, I am not saying this is a bad thing. Microsoft is a huge employer in my region and Bill and Belinda Gates spend their profits as they see fit which is mostly to fund charter schools and health program across the world.

But as a former military man, this deal gives me a moment’s pause. While deployed, many of my fellow service members used Skype to keep in touch with their family.  Video chat was a great thing. Coordinate your link up time with the folks back home, log on, and suddenly you get to see little Johnny and Jane. The best thing was the service was free. Guys and gals could remain in touch from 8,000 miles away as often as time allowed. My roommate during my last deployment used Skype five times a week.  Will Microsoft turn off this free feature once they have full control of Skype? Only time will tell.

3. Bill Gates using his money for green research. Bill Gates has never really been accused of throwing away his money on frivolous things, except maybe his house. But I think this is about to change. Gates is now investing a good bit of his money in green technology and ways to stop climate change. Gates is doing a good thing to invest money in these forms of alternative sources of energy. But to focus on the issue as a way to stop climate change is throwing good money after bad ideas. Bill, as a meteorologist, we used to call climate change just the changing climate. It happens and there is nothing we can do about it. It is the natural changes and we as humans are powerless to do anything about it.  Beside, has anyone come up with what is the perfect temperature?

4. Some decent economic news for our area. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer prices rose less in Seattle than the rest of the nation.  We did get hammered by rising gas prices.

5. Obama no, Solis yes. For several months the small central Washington town of Bridgeport was trying to court President Obama to be the commencement speaker at this year’s graduation. At times, it even looked like it might happen. They were one of the three finalists in a contest to have him speak.  But alas, it just wasn’t to be. Instead, Obama is going to send in a pinch hitter, Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis. While not getting the President might be a bit of let down, getting someone this high up the food chain, and actually in the line of succession, is still quite the coup. Whatever your politics, getting a President to be your commencement speaker would be a big deal.


1. Obama to Issue Executive Order regarding bidding and political donations. In what could really damped political donations, especially to conservative causes, President Obama is going to issue an Executive Order (EO) that would require businesses that want to bid on government contract to disclose political spending. This EO is in response to the campaign finance laws that were overturned by the SCOTUS last year. Since then, political contributions by businesses have increased, mostly through non-profits. Ever since then Obama and his democrat henchmen in Congress tried to pass laws that would mute the SCOTUS decision but were rebuffed by Republicans. Now he has decided to once again wipe his butt with the Constitution and basically over rule the SCOTUS with this EO.

You know the unions are going to be pleased as punch by this EO.  Plus, progressive activists will have another source of information in which they can gather personal information on folks they do not like and wish to hassle and implement scare tactics against.  2012 cannot come soon enough. Just another example of the corrupt way Obama and his cabal run things in Washington DC.

2. Something not right about this. A former FCC official, who recently approved the merger of Comcast and NBC, is now joining Comcast as a DC lobbyist. This stinks to high-heaven. O government official, charged with keeping an eye out for the little guy (that would be us, John Q. Public), has decided the grass is a little greener on the other side of the fence. I thought there were rules set in place against this very thing.

1. 600 die on immigrant ship. 600 Africans heading towards Europe have dies when their ship broke apart off the Libyan coast.  This is a must-read story on a situation that has gotten very little press.

No comments:

Post a Comment