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Friday, October 24, 2008

New One Dollar Bill

Given what has happened to the economy lately the US Treasury has issued a new dollar bill.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rush hit the nail on the head!

Rush Limbaugh said Colin Powell's decision to get behind Barack Obama appeared to be very much tied to Obama's status as the first African-American with a chance to become president.

"Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race, OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I'll let you know what I come up with."


Thursday, October 16, 2008

A rising tide lifts all boats

The aphorism "a rising tide lifts all boats" is associated with the idea that improvements in the general economy will benefit all participants in that economy, and that economic policy, particularly government economic policy, should therefore focus on the general macroeconomic environment first and foremost. The phrase is said to have been coined by Seán Lemass, the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) in 1959–1966 Lemass himself attributed the phrase to John F. Kennedy. Kennedy employed the expression to combat criticisms that his tax cuts would benefit mostly wealthy individuals.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson scoffed at this idea of general economic prosperity, as his speech to the Democratic National Convention on July 18, 1984 shows:

"Rising tides don't lift all boats, particularly those stuck at the bottom. For the boats stuck at the bottom there's a misery index."

[ Hey Jesse... if the boat has a hole in it as large as the one in your head it ain't going to float.]


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cartoon not found in the NYT's


Monday, October 13, 2008

The Little Red Hen

Sometimes children's stories are better at seeing the light.
Once  upon a time, on a farm in Virginia, there was a little  red hen
who scratched about the barnyard until she uncovered quite a few grains
of wheat.

She called all of her Democrat neighbors together and said, 'If we
plant this wheat, we shall have bread to eat. Who will help me plant

'Not I,' said the cow.

'Not I,' said the duck.

'Not I,' said the pig.

'Not I,' said the goose.

'Then I will do it by myself,' said the little red hen, and so she

The wheat grew very tall and ripened into golden grain.

'Who will help me reap my wheat?' asked the little red hen.

'Not I,' said the duck.

'Above my pay grade,' said the pig.

'I'd lose my
 seniority,'  said the cow.

'I'd lose my unemployment compensation,' said the goose.

'Then I will do it by myself,' said the little red hen, and so she

At last it came time to bake the bread.

'Who will help me bake the bread?' asked the little red hen.

'That would be overtime for me,' said the cow.

'I'd lose my welfare benefits,' said the duck.

'I'm a dropout and never learned how,' said the pig.

'If I'm to be the only helper, that's discrimination,' said
the goose.

'Then I will do it by myself,' said the little red hen.

She baked five loaves and held them up for all of her neighbors to

They wanted some and, in fact, demanded a share. But the little red
hen said, 'No, I shall eat all five loaves.'

'Excess profits!' cried the cow. (Nancy Pelosi)

'Capitalist leech!' screamed the duck. (Barbara Boxer)

'I demand
 equal rights!' yelled the goose. (Jesse Jackson).

The pig just grunted in disdain. (Ted Kennedy)

And they all painted 'Unfair!' picket signs and marched around and
around the little red hen, shouting obscenities.

Then the Farmer Obama came. He said to the little red hen, 'You must
not be so greedy.'

'But I earned the bread,' said the little red hen.

'Exactly,' said Barack the farmer. 'That is what makes our free
enterprise system so wonderful. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as
much as he wants. But under our modern government regulations, the
productive workers must divide the fruits of their labor with those who
are lazy and idle.'

And they all lived happily ever after, including the little red hen,
who smiled and clucked, 'I am grateful, for now I truly understand.'
But her neighbors became quite disappointed in her. She never again
baked bread again because she joined the 'party' and got her bread


And all the Democrats cried out,"We all demanded 'Change'and now
'Fairness' has been established."
Individual initiative had died, yet nobody noticed; perhaps no one
cared -- so long as there was free bread that 'The Rich' were paying


Bill Clinton is getting $12 million for his memoirs.

Hillary got $8 million for hers.

That's $20 million for the memories from two people, who for eight
years, repeatedly testified, under oath, that they couldn't remember

And Obama and CHANGE is coming.


Monday, October 6, 2008

The reason for the bail out

NYT's article published 9-30-1999

Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending

Published: September 30, 1999

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.

''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.''

Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market.

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.

''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''

Under Fannie Mae's pilot program, consumers who qualify can secure a mortgage with an interest rate one percentage point above that of a conventional, 30-year fixed rate mortgage of less than $240,000 -- a rate that currently averages about 7.76 per cent. If the borrower makes his or her monthly payments on time for two years, the one percentage point premium is dropped.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings.

Fannie Mae officials stress that the new mortgages will be extended to all potential borrowers who can qualify for a mortgage. But they add that the move is intended in part to increase the number of minority and low income home owners who tend to have worse credit ratings than non-Hispanic whites.

Home ownership has, in fact, exploded among minorities during the economic boom of the 1990's. The number of mortgages extended to Hispanic applicants jumped by 87.2 per cent from 1993 to 1998, according to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. During that same period the number of African Americans who got mortgages to buy a home increased by 71.9 per cent and the number of Asian Americans by 46.3 per cent.

In contrast, the number of non-Hispanic whites who received loans for homes increased by 31.2 per cent.

Despite these gains, home ownership rates for minorities continue to lag behind non-Hispanic whites, in part because blacks and Hispanics in particular tend to have on average worse credit ratings.

In July, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed that by the year 2001, 50 percent of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's portfolio be made up of loans to low and moderate-income borrowers. Last year, 44 percent of the loans Fannie Mae purchased were from these groups.

The change in policy also comes at the same time that HUD is investigating allegations of racial discrimination in the automated underwriting systems used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to determine the credit-worthiness of credit applicants.