We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, September 4. 2012
Chart via Pirate
Why do people have fewer children as they get richer?
Gloria Romero: The Trials of a Democratic Reformer - In California's capital, union officials 'walk around like they're God.' This pro-labor former legislator wants to bring them back to earth.
Derbyshire: Eat the rich
GM goes from bad to worse despite Obama bailout
Kimball: Feeling Sorry for Maureen Dowd
Related: The Haters
Pro-Abortion Democrats Scream at 11-Year-Old Pro-Life Girl at Convention
EDITORIAL: Obama’s Internet tax
President Obama Slams the ‘Greatest Generation’
Driving Ms. Jarrett - Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett enjoys full-time Secret Service detail, NYT reports
Rahe again predicts Romney landslide
The White House Press Office announced today that President Obama will soon be inducted into the Special Forces Association and receive an honorary Green Beret.
Graph below via Mankiw:
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Unemployment, Then 7.8%, Now 8.3%
When Obama took office, the U.S. was shedding jobs at an alarming rate. Here is the trend:
You might complain that the growth is insufficient, but comparing unemployment from January 2008 to now is obvious cherry-picking.
When the Democrats took over Congress in 2006, unemployment was under 5%. That is when the rot really set in. And Bush deserves some of the blame because he signed virtually every irresponsible spending bill they sent him.
NJSoldier: When the Democrats took over Congress in 2006, unemployment was under 5%. That is when the rot really set in.
The housing bubble predates 2006.
The time to have caught the bubble was in the early 2000s.
So the job of the federal government is to "catch bubbles"?
It certainly would have been handy, though the heart of the bubble was the unregulated shadow market in mortgage-backed securities.
Partially made necessary by their need to get rid of worthless loans the gommint made them write.
You're quite right that the shadow banking system was partially to blame - but not so much because it was unregulated, but because it was opaque. The MBSs and CDOs were not sold on an exchange which would have required more disclosure. Of course, the idiot Dod-Frank legislation doesn't even address that just as it doesn't address any of the ills that inflicted the banking system. Thankfully, they're retiring.
The seeds were planted during Clinton's presidency. Is this another half-truth from the Z-borg?
It’s an absurd distortion of reality that the Bush-era tax cuts or spending on Iraq were even remotely responsible for the 2008 banking collapse and the Great Recession
They didn't cause the problem, merely overheated the economy, so as to stoke the fire.
Through rigorous enforcement of housing mandates such as theCommunity Reinvestment Act, and by prodding mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make loans to people with lower credit scores (and to buy loans that had been made by banks and, later, “innovators” like Countrywide).
The toxic securities originated on Wall Street, and GSEs were latecomers. GSEs threw fuel on the fire, but were not the root cause, which was a bubble in demand for mortgage-backed securities.
Percentage of Americans living in a household receiving government benefits
If your mother lives with you and is receiving Social Security, your household is included in that number. If your child has a disability and is receiving government help with that disability, your household is included in that number. If your spouse lost his job, and is receiving a benefit for retraining, then your household is included in that number. If your are unemployed and receiving unemployment benefits, your household is included in that number. If you served in the military and are receiving a pension, your household is included in that number.
Some of these payments are due to the downturn. Some due to the recent wars. Most are to the elderly.
Is any of that supposed to be a surprise? I think we all understand what government benefits look like. Did you intend to make a point that, considering all these kinds of benefits, it was neither surprising nor alarming to hear that the percentage of American households receiving government benefits had increased from 30% to 50% in recent years?
Texan99: I think we all understand what government benefits look like.
Well, in many cases, such a household might be an old couple living out their years after a lifetime of work, or a middle class home with the parents paying taxes, but mom living in the spare bedroom.
A more revealing number might be means-tested benefits, which include about ⅓ of American households, but a lot of those are elderly persons too.
Why did Clint Eastwood use an empty chair as a prop at the RNC?
Because he couldn't find enough starch to make an empty suit stand up by itself.
Bird Dog, in reference to your last link about Obama's green beret, you need to clearly identify links to the Duffelblog as sarcasm...too many folks are taking those stories as real.
Fair enuf. I often mix the satire with the real. Who can tell the difference anyway?
Obama was a contributor to the subprime meltdown. In 1995 he filed a mortgage discrimination lawsuit against Citibank on behalf of 186 black clients. Half of those have gone bankrupt or received foreclosure notices. Many of his ex-clients now complain against the policy of lending to people who can't afford to repay the loan. “If you see some people don’t make enough money to afford the mortgage, why would you give them a loan?” asked Obama client John Buchanan. “There should be some type of regulation against giving people loans they can’t afford.”
Bad enough. But since taking office, Obama has steadily forced lenders to make, or refinance, loans to the same people who couldn't afford their homes in the first place. This is my main complaint against Obama's economic policies. Even though the policies and practices that caused the economic meltdown were clear when he took office (and against which he campaigned,) his administration has continued or exacerbated them. That's either incompetence or intentional destruction.
I suspect history will decide it's incompetent intentional destruction. He's not even very good at tearing down things. Too ham-handed.