Archive for February, 2009

Mo’ Bigger Loans

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Made too many bad loans? Make bigger, badder, loans.

“loan limits will return to their late-2008 levels, which were up to $729,750 for one-unit properties”


When the Levee Breaks

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

“Cryin’ won’t help you, prayin’ won’t do you no good. When the levee breaks, mama, you got to move” — Led Zep

We learn today that “The 114 levees received unacceptable maintenance ratings in corps inspections, meaning their deficiencies are so severe that it can be “reasonably foreseen” that they will not perform properly in a major flood”
Now, the addition of 114 levees to that list leaves a total of 177 nationwide that are so poorly maintained that they don’t qualify for federal rehabilitation.”


EPA Invests $2 Million To Secure Philadelphia’s Drinking Water Supply

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

PHILADELPHIA (Feb. 23, 2009) - - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented a $2 million grant to Philadelphia to help the City address the risk of intentional contamination of its drinking water. The total funding available to the City for this project could be as high as $9.5 million, contingent upon EPA’s budget over the next three years.

The grant will fund the Philadelphia Water Department to pilot monitoring and surveillance components of an early warning system.

“Philadelphia was selected for this pilot because of its existing water quality protection programs and its commitment to put in place the complex systems needed to increase water security,” said William T. Wisniewski, the U.S. EPA’s acting administrator for the mid-Atlantic region.

The project, called the Water Security Initiative, is expected to serve as a model for the nation’s drinking water utilities. Similar water security pilot grants were awarded by EPA to New York City, San Francisco, and Dallas.

The contamination warning system to be developed and evaluated by Philadelphia involves online real-time drinking water monitoring, public health surveillance, laboratory analysis capabilities, enhanced security monitoring and consumer complaint surveillance. The warning system will be designed for long-term operation.

Coordination is critical to effectively detect or respond to contamination incidents. To ensure effective communication and response, Philadelphia’s Water Department will collaborate with many city and governmental agencies in this pilot including the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the Office of Emergency Management and Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection.

The 2,000 men and women who work for the Philadelphia Water Department deliver reliable, high-quality drinking water to more than 1.6 million consumers who live or work in the City of Philadelphia.

For more information about the EPA’s Water Security Initiative, visit:

NASA: Launch Mishap Ends OCO Mission

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

from NASA

Lift Off

Lift Off

Several minutes into the flight of the Taurus rocket carrying NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory spacecraft, launch managers declared a contingency after the payload fairing failed to separate.

Peppermint Patty Leaves Reading

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Goin’ down that Mexico way.

“After 23 years in Reading, the chocolate maker is closing the plant Friday and moving production to a new factory it has built in Monterey, Mexico.”


On Transparency of the Fed

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Texas Straight Talk
Congressman Ron Paul (R) - TX 14

This week the Federal Reserve responded to the American people’s increased concerns over our monetary policy by presenting new initiatives aimed at enhancing the Fed’s transparency and accountability. As someone who has called for more openness from the Fed for over 30 years, I was pleased to see the Fed acknowledge the legitimacy of this need.

The Federal Reserve controls the flow of money and credit in our economy because Congress has abdicated its responsibility over the nation’s currency. This process therefore occurs centrally, and almost completely outside the system of checks and balances. Because of legal tender laws, people are left with no real choice, except to build their lives and futures around this monopoly currency, vulnerable to powerful central bankers. The Founding Fathers intended only gold and silver to be used as currency, however, inch by inch over the decades, this country has backed away from this important restraint. Our money today has no link whatsoever to gold or silver. For many reasons, this is extremely dangerous, and has a lot to do with the boom and bust cycles that have resulted in the crisis in which we find ourselves today.

The Fed is now pledging to reveal to the public more about its economic predictions, and calls this greater transparency. This is little more than window-dressing, at best, utterly useless at worst. Many analysts, especially those familiar with the Austrian school of economics, saw the current economic crisis coming years ago when the Federal Reserve was still telling the American people their policies were as good as gold. So while it might be nice to know what fantasy-infused outlook the Fed has on the economy, I am much more interested in what they are doing as a result of their faulty, haphazard interpretation of data. For instance, what arrangements do they have with other foreign central banks? What the Fed does on that front could very well affect or undermine foreign policy, or even contribute to starting a war.

We also need to know the source and destination of funds provided through the Fed’s emergency funding facilities. Information such as this will provide a more accurate and complete picture of the true cost of these endless bailouts and spending packages, and could very likely affect the decisions being made in Congress. But with so much of the Fed’s business cloaked in secrecy, these latest initiatives will not even scratch the surface of the Fed’s opaque operations. People are demanding answers and explanations for our economic malaise, and we should settle for nothing less than the whole truth on monetary policy.

The first step is to pass legislation I will soon introduce requiring an audit of the Federal Reserve so we can at least get an accurate picture of what is happening with our money. If this audit reveals what I suspect, and Congress has finally had enough, they can also pass my legislation to abolish the Federal Reserve and put control of the economy’s lifeblood, the currency, back where it Constitutionally belongs. If Congress refuses to do these two things, the very least they could do is repeal legal tender laws and allow people to choose a different currency in which to operate. If the Fed refuses to open its books to an audit, and Congress refuses to demand this, the people should not be subject to the whims of this secretive and incompetent organization.

Philly Inky Bankrupt

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

There’s only one newspaper in this town. Wait, scratch that.

“The publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News said on Sunday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in an attempt to deal with falling advertising revenue.”

followed by a statement from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

The company’s operations are “sound and profitable,” it said in a statement.

Lil bitta cognitive dissonance ?


Local Christian couple reaches out to help families who need hope

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Chalfont, PA - 2/22/09 - John and Patricia Gallagher, founders of the non-profit Team of Angels Program, will host “Speaking About Depression” presentations for the faith-filled community. John and Patricia and their family are the co-authors of “No More Secrets - A Family Speaks about Depression, Anxiety and Attempted Suicide.” John, who holds a MBA in Finance, is a sales manager at Joseph A. Bank and former employee of IBM and Bristol Myers Squibb. Patricia Gallagher is the creator of the “Team of Angels Project” and the author of seven books. She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show, Financial News Network, the 700 Club, EWTN, CNN, CNBC, the CBS Early Show, Sally Jessy Raphael, Maury Povich, and other television programs.

Full Story

Health and Wellness Network

Implicit Guarantees Not Good Enough

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Overseas investors lack appetite for Fannie and Freddie debt, selling US$38billion of the GSE paper in December. “Looking at the risk, [GSE bonds are] not so attractive,” he told the news service. “We need a guarantee before we’ll buy.”

But they still are buying US Treasuries…


Localize Your Food

Friday, February 20th, 2009

More and more are choosing to eat locally grown food. People like to know what they eat. People like to know the farmer that grows their food and raises their cattle. Wouldn’t you ?