Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it sure helps with the down-payment.
Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it sure helps with the down-payment.
I don’t like Howard Stern. But the audio clip he aired of Sal Governale interviewing voters in Harlem is just sickening. In the last two elections, there were people jumping up and down screaming about disenfranchising voters for one reason or another. What about my vote? It’s going to be diluted by a bunch of idiots who don’t even know who they’re voting for or why. And these same idiots are going to call me a racist if I don’t vote for Obama.
Don’t get me wrong. If anyone — black, white or green — says “I’m voting for Obama because he’s black”, more power to you. At least you’re being honest. Same goes for anyone who says “I’m not voting for Obama because he’s black”. But to stand there and pretend you have political convictions when you don’t have a clue is just downright irresponsible.[video:youtube:b5p3OB6roAg]
The more I think about it, the more ticked off I get!
The New York Times reports:
The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.1
And John McCain addressed the Senate on May 25, 2006:
Mr. President, this week Fannie Mae’s regulator reported that the company’s quarterly reports of profit growth over the past few years were “illusions deliberately and systematically created” by the company’s senior management, which resulted in a $10.6 billion accounting scandal.
The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight’s report goes on to say that Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets in order to trigger bonuses for senior executives. In the case of Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae’s former chief executive officer, OFHEO’s report shows that over half of Mr. Raines’ compensation for the 6 years through 2003 was directly tied to meeting earnings targets. The report of financial misconduct at Fannie Mae echoes the deeply troubling $5 billion profit restatement at Freddie Mac.
For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–known as Government-sponsored entities or GSEs–and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. OFHEO’s report this week does nothing to ease these concerns. In fact, the report does quite the contrary. OFHEO’s report solidifies my view that the GSEs need to be reformed without delay.2
1 The New York Times http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E06E3D6123BF932A2575AC0A9659C8B63 (accessed Oct 26, 2008)
2 GovTrack.us. S. 190–109th Congress (2005): Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, GovTrack.us (database of federal legislation) http://www.govtrack.us/congress/record.xpd?id=109-s20060525-16&bill=s109-190 (accessed Oct 27, 2008)
3 GovTrack.us. S. 190–109th Congress (2005): Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, GovTrack.us (database of federal legislation) http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-190 (accessed Oct 26, 2008)
My Dad was among the oldest of 12 children. After getting through sixth grade, he had to get a job to help support the family.
He was pretty good at laying bricks, so someone came to him looking to build a chimney. Now, Dad knew that this guy had a habit of hiring someone to do a job and skipping out when it came time to pay the bill… but he needed the money so he built the chimney anyway.
As he expected, the guy wouldn’t pay up. So my Dad waited for the weather to turn cold. Once again, as he expected, along comes the payment-dodger complaining that the chimney won’t draw. Dad says “if you pay the bill, it’ll start working”. Finally the guy pays up.
Dad goes over to the guy’s house, climbs up on the roof and drops a big rock down the chimney. Turns out Dad had inserted a sheet of glass about one-third of the way down the chimney.
Just goes to show that street smarts are just as important as book smarts.
Way to go, Dad. I miss you.
… for telling the truth.
Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights? 2 presents a clear and concise account of the events leading up to the 700 billion dollar bailout.
Will it have any effect? Doubtful. Everyone’s so caught up in blaming George Bush for even breathing, there’s no time left for seeking out the truth about anything.
So Tom had to run out to the local grocery this afternoon. Right where we exit off Route 9, there have been a bunch of signs for a specific candidate. Today, someone from the opponent’s campaign staff was putting up new signs and strategically placing them so the original signs couldn’t be seen.
My take is that if you have to hide the opposing candidate, you probably don’t have much of a platform to begin with.
If you haven’t yet done so, you should read Joanna Ossinger’s piece titled “Does the Downturn Make You Sick? An Ode to My Dad”1. It was so familiar, I was wondering if I had written it myself.
My Dad was a pipefitter at Norfolk Shipbuilding & Drydock, never made more than $19,000 a year and built the house I grew up in. It took him three years, working as long as six or seven hours every weekday evening after he was done with his day job and all day Saturday. My Mom was a seamstress — a damn fine one, I might add.
We had one of those families where Dad came home every Friday and traded Mom his paycheck for some cash. Mom paid all the bills and balanced the checkbook. She went to great lengths to save a penny wherever she could. When she felt she had accumulated an extra $50 we didn’t need, she went to the bank and bought a CD. My dad would often tease her because what she was doing seemed so miniscule in the grand schema of things. She was in her 70’s before she ever knew what it felt like to own a brand new car.
When my Dad passed away in 2001, he left my Mom with no debt and somewhere in the neighborhood of $240,000 in assets. As we saw her expenses increase due to dementia and a stroke that left her unable to walk without assistance, I couldn’t help but think of all the times she carted that $50 to the bank and said “this is so you and your brothers won’t have to take care of us when we get old”.
My Mom died last year at the young age of 92 and still had something left over to leave to her kids. Just goes to show that if you live smart, spend smart and save smart… things have a way of working out.
Oh my gosh… there’s a journalist who actually has a clue. According to Sebastian Mallaby1:
The claim that the financial crisis reflects Bush-McCain deregulation is not only nonsense. It is the sort of nonsense that could matter.
First, deregulation occurred in 19993 during the Clinton administration. Second, deregulation should have been a good thing. Third, deregulation and lack of oversight are not the same thing — legalizing hand guns does not give anyone the right to go out and murder someone. Fourth, every effort to exercise oversight over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failed to gain traction in Congress.
There are a few people who should be charged with committing fraud: they knowingly lied when they said “there is no problem”. There are a few others who at least deserve to be fired because of their stupidity and greed. And there is a whole host of politicians who should be terribly ashamed for not having the guts to go against their party and scream and yell until somebody listened.
One of my favorite movies is “The American President”. When I think about this economic mess we’re in and the impact it’s having on the election, I can’t help but recall what Rothschild (Michael J. Fox) says to Shepherd (Michael Douglas) in light of Shepherd’s waning popularity:
People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they’ll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They’re so thirsty for it they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand.2
My biggest fear is that November 4 is going to leave most of us with an unexpected thirst.
They lived in the same neighborhood. Who cares?
They met at a luncheon meeting. Who cares?
They were both members of a couple of note-worthy organizations. Who cares?
What I want to know is how in the #$%&! did a founding member of the Weather Underground Organization1 weasel his way into the position of Distinguished Professor at the University of Chicago where he has an enormous opportunity to shape the minds of young adults? We’re talking about a guy who as late as 2001 refused to believe he was a terrorist:
The reason we weren’t terrorists is because we did not commit random acts of terror against people. Terrorism was what was being practiced in the countryside of Vietnam by the United States.2
Granted there are 100’s of definitions for the word terrorism, but I can’t find a single one that doesn’t apply to William Ayers:
Exactly what part of “terrorism” does William Ayers not understand?
To make matters worse, this madman has published several books dealing with what I deem to be some pretty radical methods of teaching and influencing young people. He wraps it up, slaps a bow on it and calls it educational and social reform.
Note to self: Do not allow my nieces and nephews send any of their kids to college in Illinois. They don’t grow them too smart in that part of the country.
3 Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/terrorism (accessed: October 06, 2008)
4 The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/terrorism (accessed: October 06, 2008)
5 WordNet® 3.0. Princeton University. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/terrorism (accessed: October 06, 2008)
6 Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam-Webster, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/terrorism (accessed: October 06, 2008)