Sunday, July 31, 2011

Just great

You have your choice of being screwed, being screwed or being screwed. Some choices huh?

Here's a quick break down between cancer and leprosy the parties are preposing:

A.Reduces deficit by $915 billion over 10 years B.Reduces deficit by $2.2 trillion over 10 years
A.Discretionary funding caps starting at $1.04 trillion and rising to $1.23 trillion/year B.Discretionary funding caps starting at $1.05 trillion and rising to $1.23 trillion/year
A. Establish procedures to consider balanced budget amendment B. More spectrum licenses, agricultural producer payment cuts
A. Pell Grant, student loan program changes B. Pell Grant, student loan program changes
A. Lifts debt ceiling by up to $2.5 trillion in stages B. Lifts debt ceiling by $2.7 trillion
A. Creates joint committee for more deficit reduction B. Creates joint committee for more deficit reduction

Gee why didn't the waitress at the Chinese restaurant think of this menu? Take any pick from column A and any pick from column B or any combination of picks and you land up with nearly the exact same order. Yet in this case those offering this menu get to eat in the VIP lounge while the rest of us must forage for scrapes out of the dumpster in the back.

Budget vote or no budget vote we're screwed.

And exactly why there can be no balanced budget amendment? Because like any individual, organization, family , or group there are emergencies in which case money must be borrowed to cover losses. Just have a major car accident or major car trouble and see what happens. You think you'll get a new car out of the deal? Think the insurance will get you back on the road? If you have a loan on the car they pay the book value of the car minus the deductible and you get stuck paying the balance of the loan (always greater than its' value) plus you'll need money for a down payment on a new (er) car. Don't have a couple of grand lying around for the down? You'll have to borrow that as well.

So by this little glimpse into the budget bills being proposed you can see we now have two parties that are exactly the same. Serving their corporate masters by socking it to the people. And for those of the upper elite on lifes' ladder it doesn't matter what happens because they hold all the cards and soon if things don't change they'll own the whole casino.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

About how I feel on the economy

Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, And Nobody

This is a little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job.

Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done

Friday, July 29, 2011

The obligatory Friday beaver

Seems beavers can get away with anything.

A large beaver broke into a liquor store in Ozersk, Russia last weekend and smashed several bottles of vodka before authorities could apprehend him. The beaver, who was thought to be fleeing nearby forest fires, was taken to a safe area and released.

Was looking for a photo of a broke beaver but I guess they do okay financially. Beavers have no health care, require no police or fire department and sure don't have a retirement plan to worry about. Not so for the rest of us as the clown circus continues in D.C. Oh what the hell it's not like it's their money anyway.

Bank fails later which might be interesting next Friday if there's a meltdown Tuesday.

Update: Six bank fails this week in various states. As I said above should the meltdown happen there may be too many bank fails to track. And these brats in congress think it's a game.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Monkeys with guns

Here we go again
"Violence in north Kosovo draws EU warning"

And like two kids fighting in the back seat on the family vacation we have:
"Filipinos will defend territory" states their president.
So they're going to buy more war ships and helicopters.

Here's an idea why don't they throw Amelda Marcos' old shoe collection at them. Won't run out of amo there.

"Local groups rally aid for Somalia famine victims"
Good luck with that little venture. From my east African co worker what will happen is the food will be stolen and traded for guns. Why do you think they call them "warlords"?

And finally south of the border we have an estimated 40,000 people killed from drug related violence.
"Mexico's drug-related violence"
Sorry Jim but legalizing marijuana isn't going to do it.
The cartels control the trafficking of drugs from South America to the US, a business that is worth an estimated $13bn (£9bn) a year. Their power grew as the US stepped up anti-narcotics operations in the Caribbean and Florida. A US state department report estimated that as much as 90% of all cocaine consumed in the US comes via Mexico.
This is about money, greed and power. The cartels make money. The arms dealers make money. The government agencies make money. Security firms selling countermeasures make money. And we get caught in the crossfire. Anybody know a cocaine addict who's kicked the habit? Not too many. If you made it legal and put a high tax on it then they'd just sell cheaper stuff to compete.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Even more unbalanced

They say there's a thin line between genius and insanity (although insanity is a legal term). I think we're seeing that drop off point with many of the days' news items. The Unibomber, Timothy McVey, and David Karesch (sic) just to name a few took extreme ideologies to the last level. It makes one wonder exactly what pushed them over the edge. We all have our perverted fantasies tucked neatly in the back of our brains. Call it the playground of the absurd but that is where they remain for the majority of us. But a very small percentage of the population for whatever reason must act on these concepts. It makes one wonder why. Is it some chemical imbalance in the brain or maybe some quirk in DNA? Used to be people said, "that boy just isn't right".

And we may wonder about this being a problem of upbringing or perhaps something in the environment. We know what extreme stress can do to a person. We see that in returning Vets from the middle east in the form of PTSD but few civilians have experienced nothing compared to the veterans.

I have briefly known first hand an individual who did a rather heinous act on his immediate family only to be arrested sitting at the kitchen table eating a bowl of cereal. With years of treatment and much medication he is by all accounts a mere shell of a human being yet marginally functional. It seems that medical science can never really bring a person back who's that far gone for the medications seem push to the other extreme.

It's that imbalance that makes us think of that snarky comment that has the room laughing and yet we usually know the boundaries of what's too far. We keep those comments in the far reaches of the gray matter or at least give an apology when it's due.

But all in all we are all unbalanced to some degree. Some more than others.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

We're all unbalanced

This is one of those "ah ha!" moments. One of those fundamental truths that hits you square between the eyes and you ask yourself why you hadn't thought of it sooner. But if you stop for a sec and consider that the motivational factors of life are based on the fact of imbalance. We couldn't even breath if it wasn't for the fact that there is an oxygen imbalance in our respiratory systems. That imbalance causes us to do both valiant and dirty deeds and not always dirt cheap either.
Our country is in a very grand state of imbalance at the moment. And I refer not just to the political climate here but in many aspects. And that makes me wonder just when there'll be a shift in the other direction. Just how much money will it take for the 1% elite in this country to choke on it?
Someone asked me the other day what I'd do if I won one of those multi million dollar lotteries. I said I don't play them because 1. your odds are better being hit by lightening and 2. I really don't want the headaches that would accompany such a win. I want just enough. And for the most part I have that. Having a lot of things does not bring about any more happiness than when you had little. But having little was the imbalance that motivated you to seek more. So by that reasoning maybe this is coming to the end of my life. I don't seek to add more toys to the collection. Have I reached a point of balance? Maybe but at this point I continue to move forward for the sheer fun of the process and not focus as much on the rewards.
A last thing to ponder in the grand scheme of things. People may wonder why others in third world countries seem lazy. It's actually not that they are lazy but they've come to the realization that the pay is so low that it doesn't even provide enough to sustain life. Imagine if a certain political party had their way and eliminated the minimum wage. At $3 an hour nobody could afford to feed themselves. This would become a third world country.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Beaver Friday in random direction

I started out with one concept for the post and strangely moved in a totally different direction. But as we stumble from one thing to another in our journey through cyberspace it's an easy trip.
The word of the day was feign and I had set my mind for a usual political dig on our adversaries but in searching for a fitting image stumbled upon a rather interesting writer / blog. Only had time to read a bit of her postings but bookmarked it for a later in depth read.

In looking for a shot of beaver for today's post came to the above photo tied to yet another momentarily interesting post. Right around our own forth of July celebrations Canada had their own celebration of Canada Day and tied to that idea and as everybody knows there are a lot of beavers in Canada came the beaver quiz. So without further ado and I'll say that I haven't even taken it myself for lack of time:

Canada Day Beaver Quiz

So while you're busy with the quiz I need to get ready for work. Running a bit late fiddling on the net here.

Bank fails later.

Oops almost forgot the hat tip: If you're looking for irreverence here's your gal

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Public workers in Florida are expendable

I guess if you're a public worker in Fla. your screwed if you think the state is going to protect you in the work place.

CSB Declares Florida’s Failure to Adopt CSB Recommendation on Protecting Public Workers “Unacceptable;” Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso asks State to Reconsider Legislation
Washington, DC, July 18, 2011 – The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) today announced it has declared Florida’s inaction and failure to adopt a CSB recommendation to provide federal-level workplace protections for state and municipal public workers an “Unacceptable Response.” It is the first time that a CSB recommendation issued to a state and its legislature has been closed due to an unacceptable response by the recipient. At the same time, CSB Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso called on the state to reconsider legislation that would provide adequate workplace protection for public employees.
The recommendation was originally issued by the CSB presidentially-appointed board in 2007 following an extensive investigation into a January 11, 2006, methanol fire and explosion at the Bethune Wastewater Treatment plant in Daytona Beach that killed two public employees and seriously injured a third.
Sparks from a welding torch used by Daytona Beach city workers above a tank of methanol ignited vapors that exploded. The CSB found that the if the city had implemented hot work and hazardous communication (HAZCOM) programs conforming to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety standards, “the hazards of using a torch in proximity to the methanol tank would likely have been identified and possibly prevented.” In Florida, OSHA safety and health protections apply to private employees, but not public employees, even though many such workers perform potentially hazardous work.

Typical republican thinking. Let the peons die on the job, we can always get some more.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Momento mori

While everybody has hit the frying pan in the rest of the nation we here in the Northwest might see 70.....

By the weekend!

The last ski day was (wait for it) this past weekend. Skiing in July? Where's Santa?

Another dust storm in AZ. What is this?... riders in the sky? Or maybe it's... riders on the storm.

Alright who has the voodoo doll? And quit sticking pins in it. My RA is bad enough.

No skull has been found yet on the 405 so keep digging boys you may uncover that indian burial ground yet. And just what do you do with the bones when you find them? Can only study them for so long. Shall we put them back in the traditional mound or add a headstone? Nope that would cost money. Respect is so dead these days.

Murdoch to get grilled. Will they put him on a sesame bun when he's finished? Hold the mayo please. At his age meat tenderizer would be more fitting.

Ah the advantages of getting a bit of sleep but being to lazy to do a real post. Eat your heart out Randal Graves. I'd bet if I googled 'eat your heart out' there'd be a rock group by that name. Care to bet? I thought not.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Good grief these guys don't even make good janitors

(Editors' note: No good photos to post but if you've seen one BP spill you've pretty much seen them all)

BP that wonderful oil giant who's so concerned about safety and the environment just leaked between 2100 and 4200 gallons of a mixture of methanol and oily water onto the Alaskan tundra. This was a maintenance operation that went wrong. You'd think that after three such incidents and two that involved loss of life that they would be anal about safety. That doesn't seem to be the case.

BP does it again

It's a good thing they don't run a bar. They'd spill your drink on the floor and blame it on you or some other lame reason like the dangerous peanut shells they had to negotiate getting to your table.

Call me stupid but don't they run a robot through the line first to check for bad spots?

Maybe it's time to nationalize their operations here in the U.S. or maybe give the contract to one of the other big boys with a better safety record. Oops I forgot Exxon just polluted a river just a few weeks ago. As the church lady would say "Never mind". I know if a family member of mine smashed the car three times or more they wouldn't be driving anything I owned.

Let's see the "drill baby drill" crowd try to spin this one.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Truth and a little snark

It took a little over two weeks for the radiation to travel from Japan to the west coast of the U.S. The earthquake and tsunami occurred on March 11, 2011 and the radioactive iodine 131 reached our shores on March 28,2011.

From what I'm hearing the EPA scrubbed their website of the initial report but with some digging I found this post buried in their archives. Much like searching the 'Castle' in that Kafka novel one link lead to another which said absolutely nothing.
epa link

Come to think of it I'd better copy and paste it so that it won't disappear later.

Now I need to go back and check my records to see exactly what I was doing that week. I have one advantage in all this. I'm old and from what I know iodine collects in the thyroid until it can't process any more. Therefore the older you are the less likely this will affect you. At least not your where your thyroid is concerned.

In checking my records I see that I was doing mostly indoor work that week. Lucky me with minor exposures I'll only have to worry about skin cancer.

I see the authorities are now doing air monitoring for radiation. Nothing like checking for the horse after he's left the barn? They say their making a baseline in the event of a future radiation disaster. Ah, you think this effort just might skew the numbers guys? A baseline two times the exposure limit just might make it easy to hit us with another major leak and see the numbers won't be that bad. And after all "radiation is good for you" according to that radiation expert Ann Coulter.

Some more truth and I'll leave you. I'm doing some concrete work around the casa here. I know from training that most concrete with the exception of some specialty concretes has a life span of 50 years. Our is a little over 30 years and not in that great of shape. I know that if I repair it now it may last another 10 years or so before needing replaced. Most of our nuclear plants (at least the ones that haven't been decommissioned) were built in the late 60's and early 70's. That's 40 years ago. Nuclear plants are said to have a life span of 25 to 30 years and now these geniuses in charge want to extend the operating permits another 10 years. Nothing like playing Russian roulette with the lives of American citizens. But then I forgot "radiation is good for you".

So iiree get me a rum and coke we have voodoo economics, voodoo science, and voodoo history. What's next? Voodoo math? Two percent plus two percent equals one percent because three percent must go to the top one percent to create jobs. Yeah right!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

We interupt the regularily scheduled Friday beaver/pussy post for this special post. Spend 20 years dealing with toxic shit and now this!

Toxic Rain
And I'm not talking about some heavy metal band either.

I now hear that our rainwater here in the Northwest is somewhere between 40 and 130 times the standard for radiation in water. Jesus Christ on toast what are we guinea pigs? I managed to survive the last 20 years dealing with stuff that would take out entire populations and now this. No warnings no Emergency Broadcasts not even a peep about maybe you might want to stay indoors today. And I've been working outdoors for the last several months. Should I file a Labor and Industries claim now or wait for the class action law suit?

Click image to enbigen

Okay I know it isn't Friday yet but I thought I'd get a jump on the weekend. More later.

What no Beer? !!!

In Minnesota those could be fightin words. First beer then wine and then other liquors but I'm sure when they run out of smokes it'll be a different story. If this goes too long this could be the start of a 21st century prohibition era for the state. I'd bet the bible thumpers are just delighted but they may have forgotten what happened when booze was banned in this country. I'm sure the hooch runners and hoarders are setting up to make a neat profit once store shelves are empty of popular brands. This time around Smokey and the Bandit won't have far to make their Coors run.
And just how stupid is all this fighting over taxes and budget? Slap a tax on any product and the company just passes the cost on to the consumer. A three or five cent a can tax on a can of beer is not going to stop people from drinking and the company does not need to lay off workers because of a tax. The end benefit is services for the state and a bit of help for the disabled and elderly.
But as this drags on I wonder what other products and services this will affect.

I'm sure the folks in surrounding states will all be singing "In Minnesota there is no beer!"

Monday, July 11, 2011

I'd like to slap a few republicons

We've given Pakistan nearly a trillion dollars of "aid" and paid for their military at least two times over but workers over here must suffer for no fault of their own. I haven't check on how much money Afghanistan is sucking out of our system but something's wrong when we can afford to build schools over there while we're closing schools over here. Don't you normally help somebody out when you have discretionary income to do so and not when you're hurting yourself? Hey pal I'd love to help you out but I'm in the same boat. I may look rich on paper but the bank account says otherwise. But I forgot the rethuglicons read Robin Hood backwards so it's steal from the poor and give to the rich. And don't give me this crap about taxes being too high. They're lower than they've been in 50 years at least for the well to do. I'd love to have a peek at those Swiss and Cayman accounts that are flush with cash, trace their U.S. owners and send them a tax bill. But that's what we've come down to in this country. No longer do deals and promises mean anything. Rack up a bunch of debt and when the bill comes due ignore it. If you play your cards right and it costs more to collect then you're off scot free. That is unless you're being hounded by a credit card company in which case bankruptcy won't get you anywhere. But if you're not a bank and are owed money you can kiss it goodbye.

So on a world level we're pumping billions into Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and who knows where else while republicons want to take grandmas' Social Security and Medicare away. Yeah there's 'death panels' alright and you'll be creating them when those 55 and under who paid into the system realize that they couldn't afford to retire until they're 80 or 90 because with lowered salaries and no assistance in their old age they might as well step in front of a train as even think about retirement. We need to turn the tables on these guys and remind them that they are just sucking off the taxpayer tit in a manner that might embarrass a thief. Hold a mirror to their face and ask them what they've done for that 6 figure income. Maybe we could outsource their job to a sharp college grad in India and see how they like it.

Then we have the caver in chief who hasn't seen a republican tax break for the wealthy he hasn't gone along with. Four trillion in cuts to spending? Imagine what that will do for the low income retirees because you know it's all aimed at them. Who else does the bully go after but the kid who can least fight back? But what they fail to realize (or maybe they do) that playing chicken with the economy will bit them in the ass in the long run. Grandma would grab her wooden spoon and smack some knuckles when she found out why her Social Security check didn't come.

As Rodney Dangerfield said "We get no respect".

And that is my rant for the day. Have a good week

Friday, July 8, 2011

Too busy to find a friday beaver...

So here's a Friday pussy instead. I'd recaption it, " Hey where's my side of fish?!!!"

Worked too hard yesterday and woke up with body parts cracking and poping.

Gots to run

Bank fails later.
Bank fail update: Three failed this week 2 in CO and one in IL.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Reality TV

Or should I say Unreality TV. I've watch only a couple of this new genre of TV a real win win for the networks. No real scripts to write. No expensive Prima Donnas to pamper and give 6 figure weekly incomes. People seem to crawl out of the woodwork to have their 15 minutes of fame. And maybe just maybe they'll walk away with some outlandish prize only to be let down later when the tax man comes around to collect his cut. Knew of one guy locally who won a new car only to have to take on a second job to pay the gift tax along with the license and fees that go with a new car. That wonderful 'gift' landed up costing him thousands.

Seems they've tried to turn just about ever profession into an exciting hour long program which would have been better left on the cutting room floor. And don't forget the teases just before the commercial break. Much like coitus interruptus the rug is pulled from under us just as the contestant is about to find his/her fate. And nothing is ever resolved until the very last two minutes of the show. And we wonder why people go berserk or turn to the internet for their entertainment. Pop up blockers are a must have and anyone throwing an ad at the beginning of a video is bound to loose site traffic once word gets out. Mark my words once Twitter and Facebook start squeezing ads into their overall plan it'll be game over. P2P will leave the tech boys scratching their heads.

So what's next on our reality show tour? How about the adventures of Peter the Plumber? Armed with just a snake and plunger Peter sets out for the big city to tackle the most dangerous clogs the world has ever known.(Must be a town with a large peanut butter factory) Will he use his snake or grab for the plunger? Stay tuned after these words from our sponsor.
It should have been an easy job. It was after all an old American Standard, a three gallon flush. Grabbing his mighty plunger Peter sets about to clear the clog. A couple of good pumps should do it but Peter believes this family has been on a low fiber diet with plenty of corn. One pump two pumps and just as he's about to give it one good shove we break for a commercial but not until the camera does wild gyrations, the screen goes dark, and bleeped expletives are heard. And upon return our hero is seen laying on the floor laughing but he quickly stands up and pulls the handle to that flushing sound we all know. A job complete to the tearfully grateful family who have been standing in line at the bathroom door in great anticipation.

Hey it was my turn next Ma cries the youngest to the laughter of the clan.

And tune in next week to find out if Peter can get little Billy's hamster out of the kitchen sink drain.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I need more sleep

A fifth on the fourth
might get you ten
in the state pen

See I'm a poet and didn't know it
My feet are longfellows.

The strange thoughts that go through ones' mind on a Monday morning
Hey this isn't Monday
Boy is this going to be a screwed up week

And now for a little fractured history.
Paul Revere was riding his horse to warn the Germans of the D Day invasion.
Did I say Germans?
I must have meant Hessians
But he was supposed to send the message not to take our guns away.
Because people in Montana wouldn't like that you know.
And John Wayne beat Santa Anna at the Alamo and that's the reason all Americans celebrate
Cinco d Mayo you know.

And now for the bonus question Ms. Palin.
What was the color of George Washington's white horse?
Oh that's easy replies Palin it was multicolor just like the many newspapers I read.

Hey but you're not running for any office Palin.
"Well no I'm not running so the American people don't have to run because who wants to be a lame duck after taking office?"

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A letter of appreciation if you can spot the errors in this photo

Or I could have entitled this who hired these bozos to do this job? This is our national crack oil spill response team?

Click on it for a closer look.

Answers later.

I believe the Blog Fodder has the most correct answers on this.
The answers
Blast Blogger is acting like Exxon so here's a cut and paste:

Neither guy is wearing gloves.
Neither is wearing respirators
Only one is wearing tyvec suit which doesn't protect
against oil. (Normally wear a pvc pants and jacket)
What's with the fall protection? Is he afraid he might
fall in and need rescued? If so why no safety line?
Reflective vest? What's he afraid a barge might hit him?
No need for a hard hat unless his partner goes ape and
intends to hit him with the shovel. But it looks good for the news cameras.
He's shoveling up oil and muck with no drum to put it in.

And not pictured are the supervisors and directors watching
with binoculars from the comfort of their air conditioned SUVs and
helicopters who won't get off their butts to really asses the damage.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hey ya morons! I'm living here!

Exxon leaks 1000 barrels of oil into the Yellowstone river. That's 42,000 gallons in case you're counting. The Yellowstone river is a tributary of the Missouri river so that's where it will land up.

Tim Thennis, a spokesman for the Montana Disaster and Emergency Services division, provided that initial estimate. He added that although no cause of the spill has been determined, it's possible that heavy flooding affecting that part of the U.S. could have played a part. Thennis said that flooding is also interfering with the clean-up effort, meaning the oil could reach the Missouri River, of which the Yellowstone is a tributary, making the task even more difficult for emergency responders. Montana emergency officials have notified officials in North Dakota that the oil could be heading their way, Tennis said.

And now for a little background info from yours truly. Montana is what's called an OSHA state meaning that it is governed under federal laws. States have the right to have their own environmental and workplace laws as long as they are equal to or greater than federal law. Federal laws you might think are very strict, you'd be wrong. Most states with their own laws are far stricter than the feds'. And to boot there is only one federal inspector covering several western states. Ya think they just might be republican? You'd be correct on that. Why follow strict rules meant to protect our water and land when you can get but a mere slap on the wrist for ignoring them? We saw that with BP and the way they operate. A couple of million dollars in fines might seem like a lot but not when you're making a billion or two a day.

I hope you have enjoyed this special Saturday edition of the Friday beaver.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Oops not title today?

These guys continue to amaze me how out of touch they are with reality. See if you can guess about the following statement:

"None of us want to see them go down, but very few of us had anything to do with the dilemma that they have created for themselves," Senator Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, said on Saturday. "We simply cannot ask the American taxpayer to subsidise failure."

This was a statement by McConnell concerning the bail out of General Motors back in 2008. Once again the out of touch Wall Street corporatists are clueless. In their understanding of the necessity of supporting American business that actually supports the American economy they are blind to the realities of actually having to work for a living. Indeed we all know that after the GM 'loan' which has been paid back, the company has come back to post profits and thwarted yet more unemployment. And the very same statement could have been made about the Wall Street bailout but the difference there is that Wall Street produces nothing, no product only promises that as we've seen are worthless.

Care to buy some shares in my widget company? Only thing is that these widgets are only paper promises and that they have great value as long as the speculators keep the price high otherwise they aren't worth the paper their written on. Oh, forgot TP does have great value when there's nothing left but the cardboard tube.

And now that those constitutionalist wannabes who insist that everything is by the book are now faced with refusing to go by the book. But I think our president has a few tricks up his sleeve. And the last one involves an executive order where by he can dismiss congress and pass a budget without their meddling. It's a little known part of our governmental process. I'm sure he'd rather not use this approach for obvious reasons.

Well time is short for me today . Sorry no time for the friday beaver so maybe she'll show her puss tomorrow. And as usual bank fails later. Be safe.

Bank fails: None to speak of this week but for those keeping track I've counted 316 in just the last three years