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Maxedoutmama on dangers to Seniors!

Maxedoutmama has a follow-up and further research on the new Medicare Drug Plan and the risks to your health coverage that I posted about here.

Medicare News and Politics

The Portland Archdiocese Is Nuts

Hat Tip to Amy Welborn:

(Marvel) Kunkle, a self-described “cradle Catholic,” has attended St. Peter Catholic Church in west Eugene (Oregon) for 40 years. Because she’s among the 390,000 Catholics who live in Western Oregon, she’s also a defendant in the Archdiocese of Portland’s bankruptcy case.

In a legal maneuver, the archdiocese in July listed all 390,000 parishioners as class-action defendants in the bankruptcy filing, made last year as the church struggled to respond to more than 200 claims of sexual abuse by priests.

Kunkle and every other local Catholic has until Monday to formally “opt out” of the class action. But few have, in part because of a Catch-22: Attorneys for alleged abuse victims have said they probably will name any parishioner who opts out as an individual defendant.

It seems that abuse victims have sued the archdiocese, and it has been argued that assets of parishes are excludable.

…the Diocese of Spokane, which also has filed for bankruptcy, argued that about $40 million worth of disputed property belonged to parishes, not the diocese, and thus is immune from creditors. The judge disagreed.

Why woould you deliberately involve your parishioners in a class action lawsuit?

Catholics bankruptcy News and Politics

Is Judith Miller Nuts?

Something is not right, From the SacBee, Judith Miller, reporter for the NYT, is released from jail after 85 days. She refused to give up her source in the Valerie Plame investigation.

In a prepared statement Miller said that her source – identified by the Times as Libby – had released her from her promise of confidentiality.

But Libby’s lawyer said Friday he and his client had released Miller long ago to testify, and were surprised when Miller’s lawyers again asked for a release in the last few weeks.

“We had signed a waiver more than a year ago,” Attorney Joseph Tate said.

You would think Miller would have known she was given a waiver to testify before serving 85 days in jail. Who else is she protecting?

Judith Miller Valerie Plame News and Politics


According to Breitbart.com, Although Miller declined to identify her source, The New York Times identified him as Lewis “Scooter” Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.

The World Is Nuts!

First Russia is selling arms to Iran, now from the Guardian

Tony Blair and John Reid, the defence secretary, have been holding secret talks with Saudi Arabia in pursuit of a huge arms deal worth up to £40bn, according to diplomatic sources.

Not only is the CPI nuts, but so is the world!

Saudi Arabia News and Politics

The CPI Is Nuts!

When the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is announced ewach month, we are told the total increase for the month, then food and energy are stripped out to give us a “core” rate of inflation. I have argued that we are experiencing a general rise in prices that is not reflected in the price of gold. The price of gold has risen in four years from $250 per ounce to $475, but based on the historical price relationship to oil, should be selling at least twice its current price. (According to the “rule of 72”, if something doubles in four years, its compound rate of return is approximately 18% pwe year! Have your investments compounded at that rate for the last four years?

Now to support my thesis that the core rate is misleading, FURNITUREToday has an article China factories hardly immune to higher costs.

“Right now, we’re more concerned about the cost of oil than anything,” said Steven Lee, president of dining and occasional furniture manufacturer Winny Overseas Ltd., with a factory in Zhongshan, in Guangdong Province. “The cost of oil affects the cost of everything.”
That includes anything from his power bill to shipping and related transportation costs. Since 1997, he said, gasoline costs have risen 400%.

The cost of Asian woods have increased 20%, so manufacturers are importing more US hardwoods. Shipments are up expected to be up 45% in the next six months.

Metal and steel costs, however, always seem to go up, not down, he said. He estimated that metal prices today are double what they were just two years ago.

Much of the furniture sold in the US is Chinese made and that could ultimately raise the price of Chinese-made furniture.

In a related article Shipping costs rising again, On Oct. 1, furniture importers will pay increased fuel surcharges, commonly known as the emergency bunker adjustment factor (EBAF).

The EBAF will rise from $410 to $455 for a 40-foot container, a 10.9% increase, and from $460 to $510 for a 40-foot high-cube container, a 10.8% increase. The rate for a 20-foot container will rise from $310 to $345, up 11.3%.

This is the second time since July the rates have risen and those increases don’t include inland transportation costs that have also risen.

To exclude food and energy from your CPI calculations is nuts. We are being affected by a variety of price increases that start with our rising cost of energy. Soon the price of gold will also reflect what we all know is true. Prices generally are rising at a much higher rate than our government is telling us.

gold inflation News and Politics

Who is 990N?

H5N1 – Bird Flu

Check out Maxedoutmama! She has a rundown of the latest news about H5N1 – Bird Flu. She points to Recombinomics. In one of his latest news updates he says:

The clustering of cases is cause for concern.
These growing clusters, and clusters of clusters, signal a pandemic phase 5, which is getting close to the final phase 6.

What are the last three phases of a pandemic?

Phase 3. Human infection(s) with a new subtype, but no human-to-human spread, or at most rare instances of spread to a close contact. Goal of health organizations: Ensure rapid characterization of the new virus subtype and early detection, notification, and response to additional cases.

Phase 4. Small cluster(s) with limited human-to-human transmission but spread is highly localized, suggesting that the virus is not well adapted to humans. Goal of health organizations: Contain the new virus within limited foci or delay spread to gain time to implement preparedness measures, including vaccine development.

Phase 5. Larger cluster(s) but human-tohuman spread still localized, suggesting that the virus is becoming increasingly better adapted to humans, but may not yet be fully transmissible (substantial pandemic risk). Goal of health organizations:Maximize efforts to contain or delay spread, to possibly avert a pandemic and to gain time to implement pandemic response measures.

Phase 6. Pandemic: increased and sustained transmission in the general population. Goal of health organizations: Minimize the impact of the pandemic!

H5N1 Bird Flu News and Politics

Russia Arming Iran!

Regime Change Iran has some disturbing news:

Russia is intensifying efforts to sell weapons to Iran while such sales remain legal.

Russia’s goal is to sell as many weapons as possible to Iran before an embargo.
Russia wants Iran to be well-armed to bog the US down.
The US is making preparations to resolve the conflict by force.

Iran Russia News and Politics

New drug benefit sign-up has a risk!

New drug benefit sign-up has a risk says SacBee.

Marketing campaigns for Medicare’s new prescription drug benefit plans are set to start Saturday. Advocates for seniors are worried that the benefits will be attractive enough to get seniors to sign up without first calling their HMOs.


Seniors who are members of managed care health plans and then enroll in a drug plan offered by another organization could be dropped from their health plan, according to health plan and Medicare officials.

Before signing up for Medicare’s new prescription drug plan, check with your current plan! You could end up with no health coverage, except for drugs.

Medicare News and Politics


BIG News from Ibbotson About Precious Metals!

Gold traded today at an 18 year high! As I posted here, big money is moving into gold and precious metals. Now Rob Kirby tells us that Ibbotson Associates

generally accepted as and referred to in the investment industry as the quintessential authority on what optimal asset allocation is or should be – period!

did a study of including precious metals investments in portfolios and found

“that precious metals performed best when they were needed the most by providing positive returns during the years that traditional asset classes had negative returns. Ibbotson determined that investors can potentially improve the risk-to-reward ratio in conservative, moderate and aggressive portfolios by including precious metals bullion with allocations of 7.1%, 12.5% and 15.7% respectively.”


No one in the investment community should underestimate the importance and potential effect of this study.(emphasis added)

gold Ibbotson

Who is 990N


Fannie Mae, Down 11%

From the WSJ,

Investigators combing through Fannie Mae’s finances have found new accounting violations, including evidence that the company may have overvalued assets, underreported credit losses and misused tax credits, according to people close to or previously involved in the inquiries.


the people indicated that the alleged new accounting violations were designed to embellish the company’s earnings and are in addition to the violations that the company and its regulator have already disclosed.


News that investigators may have found new accounting irregularities triggered a selloff in Fannie Mae stock, which dropped 11%, the largest percentage decline since the stock-market crash of 1987. The stock was off $4.99 to $41.71

Fannie Mae

Who is 990N?

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