Keep clapping your hands: We're in what some people call "pretend-and-extend" economy, which
means that banks that have commercial loans are often extending those
loans and pretending that the property is worth something. That’s
because they don't face reality.
I thought redefaulting was what got Serena so mad at the U.S. Open, but it has an even more ominous meaning.
Just because you see something coming doesn't mean it won't hurt.
UPDATE: George Hartzman asks what the implications of falling home prices are for local government. Even if prices have bottomed, what is the relationship of market prices now (and as Shiller predicts, for the next five years) to assessed value?
Not saying he wants a military coup, just, y'know, sayin'... UPDATE: Newsmax seems to have disappeared the article by John Perry. UPDATE: But as Roch says in the comments below, there is no disappearing on the internet; here's a cached version.
Scott Card tells us that Obama has shown himself to be "a radical leftist at heart and all his promises – every one of them – were lies." He fears that Obama is "the leader of the fanatical left, a
group with no regard whatsoever for fairness, consistency, honesty,
promise-keeping or the rule of law.
"If the left actually succeeds in achieving their agenda, we can kiss freedom in America good-bye."
The only domestic issue OSC troubles himself to mention is healthcare, on which Obama campaigned heavily in the race he won by a sold majority, but boy that stuff about kissing our freedom goodbye sure sounds scary.
Friedman thinks this kind of stuff is actually dangerous.
David Letterman was funny, long ago. Conan O'Brien was funny, not that long ago. Jay Leno was kinda funny for a while somewhere in between. Now, none of them are funny. SNL was funny long ago, then not at all, then funny again, now not again, at least on purpose.
Insurance industry pwns public option: "Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus joined with four other Democrats to defeat a
proposal from their own party to create a government-run
insurance program, a measure opposed by private insurers."
An article on the disarray among European socialists describes the right-wing agenda against which they compete -- an agenda that would fulfill the dreams of American liberals, and haunt the nightmares of U.S. conservatives:
Europe's center-right parties have embraced many ideas of the left: generous welfare benefits, nationalized health care, sharp restrictions on carbon emissions, the ceding of some sovereignty to the European Union. But they have won votes by promising to deliver more efficiently than the left, while working to lower taxes, improve financial regulation, and grapple with aging populations.
Brooks is right that part of our economic problem is a cultural problem, a point I tried to make in this column on the death of thrift, "that once-great American value."
But he succumbs to the golden age fallacy when he argues that the old plutocracy was not decadent. Sure, there was a spartan ethic to WASP culture (and the WASP-wannabe German-Jewish culture in which I was raised), but Veblen coined the term "conspicous consumption" before the turn of the last century, and we've got a lovely example of Gilded Age excess just up I-40 in Asheville.
We do need to rethink our economic culture. It helps to remember that history may not repeat itself, but it rhymes.
Some combination of hope and confidence has people wondering if Obama's seeming fail on healthcare has not been instead a Jedi trick, or a tortoise-and-hare thing, or, in my preferred metaphor, the old rope-a-dope.
Here's an idea of how such a strategy might work -- and how it would be perpetrated not just upon the GOP but members of his own party.
Hey, I haven't written about this kind of stuff since yesterday: "McCaughey's writing was influenced by Philip Morris, the world's
largest tobacco company, as part of a secret campaign to scuttle
Clinton's health care reform."
A good web presence does not make a good candidate, but no web presence whatsoever is a bit off-putting. You have to wonder why anyone would pass up such a cheap and effective means of publicity and interaction, and wonder further how such archaic thinking would manifest itself in office.
Anyway, Gary Nixon looks like an interesting candidate for City Council, based on this tiny glimpse, but his apparent lack of any online effort gives me pause.
Now, after a generation in which the clout of big
business has grown enormously, and respect for the useful machinery of
the marketplace has mutated in some quarters into something close to
idolatry, we need to rethink the common belief that says government is
always the problem.
My newspaper column is about healthcare, big business, and threats to liberty. You can read the whole thing after the jump.
actual households facing foreclosure and declining assets--haven't
gotten much help...
than pouring it into the top layers--the banks--a people's bailout would
have cost less and been more humane. And it likely would have prevented
the ongoing increase in defaults, foreclosures and general economic
The banks would have hated that, of course. Even in their degraded state
they have a lot of friends in Washington...Banks are lobbying Congress very hard to maintain their
setup. Just one year after the crisis, boasting record profits and on
track for record bonuses, they are darkly warning that any new
regulation could hamper growth.
Given the banks' newfound publicly sponsored financial health,
Washington has little incentive to rock the boat by proposing serious
"Without a public health insurance option to control costs, the Baucus
bill gives private insurers license to raise their rates as much as
they want. Families and taxpayers will have to keep up. Given the way
private insurers raise their rates, this isn't right or sustainable." A NYT/CBS poll of insurance execs might see things differently.
In contrast to the poll of health insurers being used by the Senate:
57. Would you favor or oppose the government offering everyone a government administered health insurance plan — something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get — that would compete with private health insurance plans?
New plans for NW corner of Elm and Cornwallis, to be discussed at a neighborhood meeting this afternoon. I'm hearing from neighbors who are not at all happy with the latest proposal, at least as they understand it so far.
Obit of the day: "For the last 64 years, Mr. Osman — formally His Imperial Highness
Prince Ertugrul Osman — and his wife, a niece of a former Afghan king,
lived in a rent-controlled apartment in a four-story building on
Lexington Avenue in the East 70s."
Glenwood's commercial strip on Grove Street should be a huge asset to the neighborhood, and a draw for people who want to live in a walkable community. Just look at the similar infrastructure nearby on Walker Ave for the possibilities. Why isn't more happening there?
Another New Irving Park break-in reported, yesterday, on Meredith. This time neighbors are told to look out for a gray Maxima. Cops said to have responded very quickly to silent alarm, but robbers were gone when they arrived.
The sad truth is social media isn’t affecting this race, whether it
is wielded by a peripatetic political newbie or a wizened blogger.
Greensboro, much as we try politically, is not part of this century.
Apathy and ignorance yet reign. Political contests continue to be won
and lost the old ways.
Yes and no. The web is having some impact, but change comes slowly, and established candidates will move cautiously until forced to do otherwise. Imagine what Robbie Perkins could do online if he wanted to, or what Milton Kern could have done last time around.
The best uses of the web, from the start, have been those integrated into a larger, real-world strategy. Certainly the web has been important in creating a public persona for D1 challenger Ben Holder, and it's a sounding board and laboratory for some campaigns.
For the moment, it's largely left to the outsiders. When an outsider wins, that will change. And given the tiny number of voters in a typical GSO primary, that could happen sooner than we think.
Google just sent me to a document from a highly-regarded area institution that's clearly marked for internal use only. It's not super-sensitive stuff, but it's not something you would want made available to the public.
I wonder how often that kind of thing happens, and how many organizations test to make sure that it doesn't.
It's all about controlling the means of reproduction: "Same sex marriage is part of a socialist agenda to undermine 'the foundations of individual rights and liberties,' Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said Wednesday."
George Hartzman recounts his interview with the Simkins PAC: "At one point, I asked what they thought was a way to fix the budget pressures I saw coming relative to White Street, but the question was lost in the conversation."
Ryan Shell disrespects rival Sandra Anderson-Groat: "[S]he seems to be very nice, but being nice doesn’t always make you the
best person for the job."
It's reasonable to point out that some advocates have a business interest in net neutrality, but Jenkins is wrong to dismiss it as merely a weapon used by a few big companies against a few huge companies -- it's also a much broader technological and philosophical issue, as expressed by Sir TBL, that should promote innovation and safeguard the fundamental nature of the internetworks.
TypePad says this is the 15,000th post on this blog. There are worse ways to mark the occasion than wishing a happy 60th birthday to Bruce Springsteen. I first saw him live at the Spectrum in Philly (almost Jersey!) in 1981 1980, when we were both a little younger.
Unemployment is high, consumers are cautious, and the New Normal -- whenever ever it arrives -- seems like a dreary place...but this has to cheer you up: "[A]nyone in the market for a home listed for $2 million or more will find
deeply discounted asking prices—and may be able to command even lower
The unveiling and dedication of Guardian II, the first project of Greensboro's new Public Art Endowment, will take place tomorrow morning at 9:00 at the corner of West Market and Eugene Streets, on the grounds shared by the old and new court houses.
Lots of interesting ideas in this article, despite the faux-populist headline. Corn-syrup tax is a more accurate name than fat tax. Maybe we should quit subsidizing King Corn before we start taxing it.
I was wondering what the earth-moving underway at the corner of South Elm and Lee is about, since nothing, famously, is yet planned for Greensboro's most important urban redevelopment site.
So I went across the street and asked, and one of the guys operating the heavy machinery said they are cleaning out the dirty old dirt and replacing it with cleaner dirt. He works for a local contractor, the sign on the lot is from ECS Carolinas, and I'm guessing the City of GSO is paying for it.
"The route changes reflect a strategy evolving among large airlines to
eliminate some less profitable routes and consolidate more flying at
big airports where the potential for extra revenue from business travel
is greatest." Flights are being cut at RDU, among other places.
"Obama could be using the internet medium in innovative ways, but so
far, whatever understanding of online media the Obama team once
demonstrated during the presidential campaign appears to have been
subsumed by more cautious and traditional media thinking now." Lots more here. Meanwhile, the anti-Obamites seem to be using the net pretty effectively.