Tuesday, August 31, 2010

@ppppolls, 8/31/10 1:22 PM

PublicPolicyPolling (@ppppolls)
8/31/10 1:22 PM
In Ohio likely voters say they'd take Bush over Obama by a 50-42 margin: http://tinyurl.com/2g7tbun

@JimPethokoukis, 8/31/10 1:21 PM

James Pethokoukis (@JimPethokoukis)
8/31/10 1:21 PM
This is a tangible reason why crony capitalism is a bad thing. It's new companies that create jobs http://www.nber.org/papers/w16300

@Ricochet, 8/31/10 1:19 PM

Ricochet (@Ricochet)
8/31/10 1:19 PM
Imagine if Bush Had Done This, Part 9,623: http://ow.ly/2xtGc

@RichLowry, 8/31/10 11:48 AM

Rich Lowry (@RichLowry)
8/31/10 11:48 AM
When the case for the stimulus becomes totally absurd, release the biden! http://tiny.cc/3t4xv

@Ben_Howe, 8/31/10 10:44 AM

Benjamin Howe (@Ben_Howe)
8/31/10 10:44 AM
It's not socialism! It's just forced redistribution of wealth you racist! http://youtu.be/7tqNByuEyfY #tcot #ocra #sgp

@zerohedge, 8/31/10 9:33 AM

zerohedge (@zerohedge)
8/31/10 9:33 AM
New post: Paul Farrell Expects No Recovery Until The End Of Obama's Second Term... IF He Gets Reelected http://tinyurl.com/2dpofy6

@TheOnion, 8/31/10 9:30 AM

The Onion (@TheOnion)
8/31/10 9:30 AM
New WNBA Promotion Lets First 100 Fans Leave Early http://onion.com/dbVsWj

@Heritage, 8/31/10 9:30 AM

Heritage Foundation (@Heritage)
8/31/10 9:30 AM
What REALLY happened during President Obama's "Recovery Summer" Vacation? Watch our NEW VIDEO to find out. http://herit.ag/2Hn

@Drudge_Report, 8/31/10 8:44 AM

Drudge Report (@Drudge_Report)
8/31/10 8:44 AM
Overwhelmingly White Media Criticize Conservative Rallies as 'Overwhelmingly White'... http://drudge.tw/aft5wW

@KSpainNRCC, 8/31/10 8:40 AM

Ken Spain (@KSpainNRCC)
8/31/10 8:40 AM
Democrats seek separation from Nancy Pelosi http://tinyurl.com/2336xy7

@c0nservative1, 8/31/10 4:39 AM

Michael Haynes (@c0nservative1)
8/31/10 4:39 AM
RT @andilinks @ survivalstation The Stunning Decline of Barack Obama http://bit.ly/cKvhmL #tcot #teaparty #ocra #sgp GREAT ARTICLE FROM UK

Monday, August 30, 2010

@EdMorrissey, 8/30/10 5:04 PM

EdMorrissey (@EdMorrissey)
8/30/10 5:04 PM
RT @collegepolitico: Did you see that the SEIU misspelled 'American' on their official Sharpton protest banner: http://su.pr/1hdDU7 //LOL!

@EdDriscoll, 8/30/10 5:04 PM

Ed Driscoll (@EdDriscoll)
8/30/10 5:04 PM
#tcot #hhrs 'The Most Divisive President since Richard Nixon': Victor Davis Hanson on "The Sources of American Ang... http://bit.ly/ahtZLQ

@BreitbartBigGov, 8/30/10 1:24 PM

Big Government (@BreitbartBigGov)
8/30/10 1:24 PM
SEIU Misspells 'American Dream' at Rally: Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.

http://bit.ly/dtMPkO #tcot #tlot #BigGov

@jimgeraghty, 8/30/10 9:13 AM

jimgeraghty (@jimgeraghty)
8/30/10 9:13 AM
Rasmussen puts Obama's approval/disapproval split at 53/47... in _Illinois._ http://bit.ly/9Ejea1

@VAman49, 8/30/10 7:53 AM

Ted Roberson (@VAman49)
8/30/10 7:53 AM
Obama's Justice Dept. halts prosecution of USS Cole murder suspect...still suing Arizona though.

America to Be Reviewed by Thugs of U.N. Human Rights Council

Barack Hussein Obama now has the United States positioned to come under international review by some of the most brutal and despotic nations in the world.



The simple economics behind the situation in housing is beginning to become more apparent as the weeks go by.  As we've noted for several years now the primary problem in the US housing market remains one of supply and demand.  As the jobs market continues to weaken, deflation takes hold of the US economy and the shadow inventory floods the market the math here remains simple enough for an Econ 101 student to understand.  In order for the housing market to build a firm foundation that does not require government aid we will need to see a reduction in prices.  In a recent research report Merrill Lynch described just how extreme the supply/demand imbalance has become in recent months and years:

"The collapse in housing demand means that it likely will take even longer to clear the inventory of homes for sale. In the new market, builders have continued to slash construction, maintaining incredibly lean inventories, and yet there is still supply of 9.1 months. Even more worrisome, however, is the existing home market where inventory is still on a decisive uptrend. As such, it takes 12.5 months to clear the inventory at the July sales pace. This widening gap between housing demand and supply means that construction likely will remain depressed and prices will dip lower (Chart 5)."


More worrisome is the huge increasing in shadow inventory that Merrill expects:

"The inventory of existing homes for sale is set to increase further as "shadow inventory" moves into the market. According to the latest Mortgage Bankers Association's report, 9.1% of loans outstanding, which translates to 4.8 million, were seriously delinquent at the end of Q2 (capturing 90+ days delinquent or in the process of foreclosure). Unfortunately, this is not the end of the foreclosure pipeline. There were 2.6 million of mortgages either 30 or 60 days delinquent (Chart 6). It is likely that re-defaults from failed modifications – there have been 616,839 failed HAMP modifications – have contributed to early stage delinquencies."


Based on Merrill's estimates the housing market is unlikely to normalize before 2015.  The supply/demand imbalance is simply staggering at the current levels and is likely to deteriorate if the economy weakens further:

"We define a normal housing market to be one in which housing starts are trending at the historical average of 1.5 million homes a year. In our view, we are several years away from this state of normalcy. Housing supply has outpaced housing demand by about 2 million homes over the past few years and is on pace to add another 500,000 excess homes by the end of 2012. For this excess to clear, housing starts must remain at a depressed level, not returning to normal until 2015. This would make it the slowest housing recovery in post-war history.

If we pencil in our baseline forecast for housing starts of 590,000 this year and 690,000 next year, another 500,000 excess homes will be created. Looking ahead, we must be more judgmental. A reasonable scenario is that starts slowly edge higher to 1 mn by 2013 and reach the "normal pace" of 1.5 mn by 2015. At this point, most of the excess supply will have nearly cleared, allowing starts to pick up to match the pace of demand."

Congress is currently discussing creative new ways to prop up this market.  It should be plain as day at this juncture that the government cannot fix the housing market with their incessant fidgeting.  The market needs to correct further before reaching a sustainable bottom.  Lower prices will act as an automatic stabilizer by generating significant demand.  At this point, more government intervention merely kicks the can down the road by pulling demand from the future.  We can continue to deny the simple economics at work here, but at some point the market will prevail and prices will settle at a level that the market can absorb. In my opinion, the sooner this happens the sooner we can get on with the recovery process.  Unfortunately, politicians have elections to win so they will continue to use their law degrees to attempt to change the laws of economics.  It won't work.

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Government Pay: Now For The Really Bad News

High federal pay means less capital formation, lower wages and reduced innovation.

While the country reels economically...

... Obama decides to remodel The White House according to Drudge:SOURCES: While president was in Martha's Vineyard, workers at White House have been busy installing new carpets, drapes, painting, etc....

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Foreclosures: Movin' on up!

This is a something we've been watching for some time ...

From Lauren Beale at the Los Angeles Times: Foreclosures of million-dollar-plus homes on the rise
Although the pace of foreclosures has slowed in the general housing market in Southern California and much of the nation, it's still rising for upper-tier homes.

The number of homes in the $1-million-and-up slice of the market that have become bank owned has tripled in the second quarter compared with the same period three years earlier in Los Angeles County, which has the majority of Southern California's high-priced REO houses. And the trend has shown little sign of slowing, according to data from ForeclosureRadar.
"We believe the high end is ready to fall apart," [Bryan Ochse of Media West Realty in Burbank, which works with 11 lending institutions and specializes in REO sales] said.
Earlier today:
  • Summary for Week ending August 28th (a busy week!)

  • Schedule for Week of August 29th

  • Obama to people: “You don’t matter.”


    Message from his Highness:

    For example, Obama said he did not watch any of Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally Saturday on the National Mall.

    "It's not surprising that somebody like a Mr. Beck is able to stir up a certain portion of the country. That's been true throughout our history," he said. But "I'm making decisions that are not necessarily good for the nightly news and not good for the next election, but for the next generations."

    Translation:  I can't be bothered with you little people.  Why don't you just go and eat some cake.

    Obama also stated in the same interview that he "can't spend all my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead."  This is true.  Perhaps, though, he could give the American people the gift of actually seeing his original birth certificate, you know, the one issued in 1961.  Just because a government official has seen it, and the basic information on it has been published in certified form, clearly isn't enough to allay people's concerns.  And the fact that Obama resolutely refuses to produce the original document, keeping it deeply hidden in Hawaii's government vaults, is not the best way to address those concerns.

    As it is, I have no doubt that he was born in Hawaii.  I suspect only that his parentage isn't quite as it was presented for public consumption, whether the truth is that he is illegitimate or that Obama Sr. was not, in fact, his actual father, but someone else was.  Regardless of what those truths are, my bet is that the American people can handle them a lot better than the not knowing.

    But if you're the King, clearly it's your right to insult people, ignore them, deride them, and hide from them.  Gee, but it's great to be King.

    May I suggest this as today's "Obama video":

    Click here to view the embedded video.

    Charlie Crist’s principles


    One wonders how Charlie Crist can still have a viable candidacy. Last week he told an interviewer that had he been in the Senate at the time, he would've voted for Obamacare. The next day he said he misspoke.

    By the Weekly Standard's count, he's had six different positions on the subject.

    Does anyone doubt that Crist would still be a Republican today had he not faced a primary challenge from Marco Rubio?

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them… well, I have others."

    It was funny when Groucho Marx said it. In the real world, you'd think that such a cynical attitude would doom a politician. But it seems like 1/3 of Floridians like their politicians to be flexible.

    Share This

    @SharronAngle, 8/19/10 7:52 PM

    Sharron Angle (@SharronAngle)
    8/19/10 7:52 PM
    On this proud day in Iraq, let's not forget that Harry Reid still owes Gen. Petraeus an apology. http://bit.ly/b1zHSE #nvsen #tcot

    @CO2HOG, 8/29/10 9:57 AM

    Vince Humphreys (@CO2HOG)
    8/29/10 9:57 AM
    via @GatewayPundit Dallas Corruptocrat Busted… Rep. Johnson Funneled Scholarship Cash to Relatives http://bit.ly/bBjEEO | #tcot

    He Really Doesn’t Want to Be Commander In Chief


    It is not that we didn't know this before, but reading the New York Times surely designed to be as favorable toward Obama as the reporter could possibly manage — one is left slack-jawed. Obama doesn't like being commander in chief, isn't good at it, and has relied one tutor, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who is leaving next year. The report should be read in full. But a few low-lights:

    A year and a half into his presidency, Mr. Obama appears to be a reluctant warrior. Even as he draws down troops in Iraq, he has been abundantly willing to use force to advance national interests, tripling forces in Afghanistan, authorizing secret operations in Yemen and Somalia, and escalating drone strikes in Pakistan. But advisers said he did not see himself as a war president in the way his predecessor did. His speech on Tuesday is notable because he talks in public about the wars only sporadically, determined not to let them define his presidency.

    A former adviser to the president, who like others insisted on anonymity in order to discuss the situation candidly, said that Mr. Obama's relationship with the military was 'troubled' and that he 'doesn't have a handle on it.' …

    Reliant on Mr. Gates, Mr. Obama has made limited efforts to know his service chiefs or top commanders, and has visited the Pentagon only once, not counting a Sept. 11 commemoration. He ended Mr. Bush's practice of weekly videoconferences with commanders, preferring to work through the chain of command and wary, aides said, of being drawn into managing the wars. …

    Last December, the president gave the military 30,000 more troops, but also a ticking clock. … "He didn't understand or grasp the military culture," said Lawrence J. Korb, a former Pentagon official at the liberal Center for American Progress. "He got over that particular quandary and put them back in the box by saying, 'O.K., I'm giving you 18 months.' "

    As we all suspected, he compromised our Afghanistan war strategy for the sake of domestic politics:

    One adviser at the time said Mr. Obama calculated that an open-ended commitment would undermine the rest of his agenda. "Our Afghan policy was focused as much as anything on domestic politics," the adviser said. "He would not risk losing the moderate to centrist Democrats in the middle of health insurance reform and he viewed that legislation as the make-or-break legislation for his administration."

    He simply doesn't want to do the things that are expected of the commander in chief, and the military's ire is profound:

    The schisms among his team, though, are born in part out of uncertainty about his true commitment. His reticence to talk much publicly about the wars may owe to the political costs of alienating his base as well as the demands of other issues. Senior Pentagon and military officials said they understood that he presided over a troubled economy, but noted that he was not losing 30 American soldiers a month on Wall Street. …

    "From an image point of view, he doesn't seem to embrace it, almost like you have to drag him into doing it," said Peter D. Feaver, a Bush adviser with military contacts. "There's deep uncertainty and perhaps doubt in the military about his commitment to see the wars through to a successful conclusion."

    This was a man not only unprepared to be president but disposed to shirk the most important aspect of the job. It is a measure of his hubris and stubbornness that he has refused to, as Feaver succinctly puts it, "embrace" the role, that is, to commit in word and deed his full attention and effort to leading the country in war. He doesn't want to be a wartime president? Well, sorry — he is.

    The only comfort one can draw from this appalling portrait is that perhaps, just perhaps, after November, when his dream of transforming America is crushed by an electoral blow-back, he will belatedly do his job.

    Amanpour Offers Bitter-Clinger Variation To Explain Beck Rally Success

    Christiane Amanpour just sealed her victory as recipient of my Obama Parrot of the Week Award . .  

    That's the dubious prize I give out to on my local TV show to the media member most ardently echoing the Obama party line.  The moderator of This Week sewed up the win with her remarks on GMA this morning, as she sought to explain the big turnout at Glenn Beck's rally yesterday.

    Readers will recall that at that ritzy fund-raiser in San Francisco, candidate Obama explained the attitudes of poor rural Pennsylvanians in terms of "bitter" people who "cling" to their religion and values.  Check out Amanpour's analysis of those attending the Beck rally and other similar events, and see if it doesn't sound eerily similar.
    CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR:  Most of the speeches, which were about religion, about God, about the title of the march, which was Restoring Honor, which meant about the military, and every time that the speakers spoke about members of the military at war in Iraq and Afghanistan there were huge cheers. And it was about—as speaker after speaker kept saying—restoring patriotism and proud-to-be-an-American.  I point that out because I think that it was gets such a big cheer from people. And perhaps when we try to figure out why there's such a huge number of people coming to these rallies, in a period of time when people feel such anxiety, such anger, such sort of worry about what's going on around them—the economy and the rest—they come here and they hear a feel-good message, and that they respond to.
    Sounds like Amanpour sees religion and patriotism as . . . the opiate of the masses.

    Whistling Past the Graveyard


    News coverage of Glenn Beck's Washington rally has generally been inoffensive. Sure, the Associated Press gave almost equal time to Al Sharpton's pathetically small counter-rally, but for the most part liberal news outlets found little to criticize in yesterday's gathering on the Mall. The New York Times was generally respectful and began its account by referring to the "enormous and impassioned crowd" that attended the event.

    I had to laugh, though, at the Democrats' reaction to Beck's rally as reported by the Washington Post:

    Democrats attempted to find political advantage in the rally by launching an offensive designed to link it to the Republican Party, and thereby portray Republicans as extremists beholden to the tea party agenda. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, assailed Republicans for pursuing a "destructive agenda" and called out the tea party movement for pushing the GOP to the "extreme right."

    Please, Democrats, keep it up! Continue associating the Republican Party with the movement that is by far more powerful than anything else on the current political scene. Actually, if I have any reservation about the Tea Party movement it is its nonpartisan nature and consequent potential to work inadvertent electoral mischief. It's good to see the Democrats helping to solve that problem by reminding people that if they want to reverse the disastrous course this nation is on, they need to vote Republican.

    Saturday, August 28, 2010

    @politicalmath, 8/28/10 10:37 AM

    PoliticalMath (@politicalmath)
    8/28/10 10:37 AM
    Dem jokes "Pelosi might die", AP reports 4 times in first 150 words that he is "conservative" http://nyti.ms/djEt0z

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    @FloppingAces, 8/27/10 6:56 PM

    FloppingAces (@FloppingAces)
    8/27/10 6:56 PM
    The Result Of Obama's Socialist Vision Is A Double-Dip Recession http://bit.ly/9V91pN #economy #tcot

    @memeorandumFH, 8/27/10 4:29 PM

    memeorandum Firehose (@memeorandumFH)
    8/27/10 4:29 PM
    Exclusive Video: Gov. Mitch Daniels on Obamacare's Devastating Consequences (Gov. Mitch Daniels... http://bit.ly/ctTEVv http://mrand.us/=yWb

    @johnthune, 8/27/10 4:15 PM

    John Thune (@johnthune)
    8/27/10 4:15 PM
    Top Pelosi advisor admits that raising taxes would hurt the economy. Read the @washingtonpost article: http://bit.ly/c0xZTx

    @EdDriscoll, 8/27/10 4:05 PM

    Ed Driscoll (@EdDriscoll)
    8/27/10 4:05 PM
    #tcot #hhrs Somebody Tell Al Gore, John Edwards and James Cameron: CNBC screams, "The Era of Huge Homes Is Over."
    ... http://bit.ly/9TAlFZ

    @KatMcKinley, 8/27/10 3:50 PM

    Kathleen McKinley (@KatMcKinley)
    8/27/10 3:50 PM
    Reagan-"Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so."

    @freddoso, 8/27/10 3:24 PM

    freddoso (@freddoso)
    8/27/10 3:24 PM
    Obama, Democrats got 88 percent of 2008 contributions by TV network execs, writers, reporters http://bit.ly/cdiykw

    @AndrewCMcCarthy, 8/27/10 2:16 PM

    Andrew C. McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy)
    8/27/10 2:16 PM
    Obama Administration Halts Commission Trial Against Cole Bomber...http://tinyurl.com/2dh74ut

    @memeorandumFH, 8/27/10 11:54 AM

    memeorandum Firehose (@memeorandumFH)
    8/27/10 11:54 AM
    Among Religious Groups, Obama's Ratings Highest with Muslims, Lowest with Mormons (Bruce Drake... http://bit.ly/abrgv4 http://mrand.us/=yVw

    @LiliaEP, 8/27/10 11:37 AM

    Lilia (@LiliaEP)
    8/27/10 11:37 AM
    Krauthammer: The Last Refuge of the Liberal http://t.co/DQUC59g Labeling opponents "bigots" allows the Left to forgo real debates. #tcot

    @willcain, 8/27/10 6:00 AM

    Will Cain (@willcain)
    8/27/10 6:00 AM
    Obama is VERY good at is keeping the economy in a paralyzed state of "Don't know". Health care taxes or not? Cap and trade or not? Stimulus?

    @EdMorrissey, 8/27/10 5:54 AM

    EdMorrissey (@EdMorrissey)
    8/27/10 5:54 AM
    CBS already preparing for bad news: " The economy barely has a pulse." Unexpectedly? #tcot http://is.gd/eGA16

    @EdMorrissey, 8/27/10 5:48 AM

    EdMorrissey (@EdMorrissey)
    8/27/10 5:48 AM
    So the media seems to think that the revised Q2 GDP num today will be 1.3-1.4%. That's a horrid number for Wreckovery Summer, if valid.

    Thursday, August 26, 2010

    @FloppingAces, 8/26/10 5:40 PM

    FloppingAces (@FloppingAces)
    8/26/10 5:40 PM
    Rich Lowry: Media Stopped Covering Iraq When We Started Winning (Video) #iraq #msm #bias #tcot

    @WSJopinion, 8/26/10 5:30 PM

    Opinion Journal (@WSJopinion)
    8/26/10 5:30 PM
    FDR and the Lessons of the Depression: Higher taxes on capital and increased union power led to the 1937 econo... http://on.wsj.com/aStxl6

    @crnc, 8/26/10 5:30 PM

    College Republicans (@crnc)
    8/26/10 5:30 PM
    Which is it? Biden says Americans "don't want to go back, they want to move forward" yet he won't stop talking about Bush http://ht.ly/2vrNV

    @ClimateDepot, 8/26/10 11:09 AM

    @crnc, 8/26/10 11:00 AM

    College Republicans (@crnc)
    8/26/10 11:00 AM
    Dems playing the lowering expectations game. Dem pollster: "The reality is that [the House majority] is probably gone" http://ht.ly/2v7XI

    @MelissaTweets, 8/26/10 10:54 AM

    Melissa Clouthier (@MelissaTweets)
    8/26/10 10:54 AM
    Obama v. NJ (DOE), Obama v. TX (EPA), Obama v. everyone (HCR).

    @ORConservative, 8/26/10 10:18 AM

    Oregon Conservative (@ORConservative)
    8/26/10 10:18 AM
    Rep Carnahan's former staffer firebombed his office, not #teaparty activists as lied about by the local media. http://bit.ly/apTJGp #tcot

    @GOPWhip, 8/26/10 10:18 AM

    Eric Cantor (@GOPWhip)
    8/26/10 10:18 AM
    127 days until the #DemTaxHike strikes taxpayers & small businesses across America http://j.mp/cJX8T0 #tcot #ocra #sgp #teaparty

    @TheAtlanticWire, 8/26/10 8:15 AM

    The Atlantic Wire (@TheAtlanticWire)
    8/26/10 8:15 AM
    When not working, Putin enjoys sushi, long walks on the beach, and slaying all manner of large mammals: http://ow.ly/2v5Ku