Daily Archives: October 16, 2010

Lengthy explanation of the mortgage mess and the continuing sub-prime mortgage debacle

Well worth reading if you’re interested in what’s going on. The frightening part, I think, is that author thinks that the mortgage mess is the lesser of the two problems. If things cut the wrong way, we could see the collapse of the entire home mortgage lending system, and wouldn’t that be a bummer.

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Scusie sightings

John Malkovich and Mets owner Fred Wilpon were seen at Valbella’s discussing John’s position as the Mets next general manager. Bobby Valentine served.

Yankee star Johnny Damon at CVS on the Avenue, bought peanuts coated with cyanide from Cub Scout Troop 39  to fool the squirrels and pigeons in the park.

Geralissimo Franco is still dead.

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Merkel: Multicultural society in Germany is an “utter failure”

Learn German or leave. Except in the United States, people are awakening to the fact that they don’t have to stand by idly and watch their country implode. Interesting.

In August, Thilo Sarrazin, a senior official at Germany’s central bank, said that “no immigrant group other than Muslims is so strongly connected with claims on the welfare state and crime”. Mr Sarrazin has since resigned.

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Pete Seeger: Old commie nitwit

 

Sorry about all that

 

WFUV just broadcast a new song from the Helen Thomas of the folk world, Pete Seeger, our old crazy aunt in the attic. It’s a lovely song, decrying the BP oil spill, and calling on God to use us to correct the wrongs of the world. Very touching, including a sweet children’s chorus, and it’s all completely bogus.

Pete Seeger is a raging communist and has been since at least the thirties, when, abandoning his privileged, boarding school/Harvard upbringing, he set out to side with some of the biggest mass murderers of the Twentieth Century. Since then, he has supported Stalin (50 million dead?) Mao (60 million), Castro (10 million) the Viet Cong, Palestinian terrorists, Al Qaeda and on and on and on.

Yes, at 91, he’s a charming old doddering fool, but to hear an atheist ratfuck working over and exploiting yet another generation of school kids is disgusting. He’s a filthy man with blood on his hands, that nice sailing boat of his notwithstanding.

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Well, dang it!

 

Barbara Billingsley

 

EOS has alerted me that the Beaver’s mom has died. She was 94 – not a bad run.

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Bigger than the Chilean mine rescue!

Okay, maybe not, but a Florida grower has introduced red celery, bred from regular old celery and some “heritage”celeriac root stock from eastern Europe. Right up there alongside worrying about paying the kids’ college debts and the Iranian nuclear threat has always been, for me, the obsession to add a little color to my tuna salad. Red celery will solve that problem and, according to the producer, tastes just the same. Neato.

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Home Depot founder to Obummer: just get out of our way

Why do I suppose that our president never read Atlas Shrugged?

Although I was glad that you answered a question of mine at the Sept. 20 town-hall meeting you hosted in Washington, D.C., Mr. President, I must say that the event seemed more like a lecture than a dialogue. For more than two years the country has listened to your sharp rhetoric about how American businesses are short-changing workers, fleecing customers, cheating borrowers, and generally “driving the economy into a ditch,” to borrow your oft-repeated phrase.

My question to you was why, during a time when investment and dynamism are so critical to our country, was it necessary to vilify the very people who deliver that growth? Instead of offering a straight answer, you informed me that I was part of a “reckless” group that had made “bad decisions” and now required your guidance, if only I’d stop “resisting” it.

I’m sure that kind of argument draws cheers from the partisan faithful. But to my ears it sounded patronizing. Of course, one of the chief conceits of centralized economic planning is that the planners know better than everybody else.

A little more than 30 years ago, Bernie Marcus, Arthur Blank, Pat Farrah and I got together and founded The Home Depot. Our dream was to create (memo to DNC activists: that’s build, not take or coerce) a new kind of home-improvement center catering to do-it-yourselfers. The concept was to have a wide assortment, a high level of service, and the lowest pricing possible.

We opened the front door in 1979, also a time of severe economic slowdown. Yet today, Home Depot is staffed by more than 325,000 dedicated, well-trained, and highly motivated people offering outstanding service and knowledge to millions of consumers.

If we tried to start Home Depot today, under the kind of onerous regulatory controls that you have advocated, it’s a stone cold certainty that our business would never get off the ground, much less thrive. Rules against providing stock options would have prevented us from incentivizing worthy employees in the start-up phase—never mind the incredibly high cost of regulatory compliance overall and mandatory health insurance. Still worse are the ever-rapacious trial lawyers.

Funny, but true story about those stock options the writer mentions: When I was still in law school – 1978? 1979? – I visited a friend and his lawyer/girlfriend out in the Hamptons. The girlfriend was complaining because she had spent huge amounts of time helping a company go public and just the day before, as things were being wrapped up, she’d been told “sorry, there’s no cash to pay you, but here: have a bunch of stock options.” Ooh, she was madder than a wet hen that weekend.

Of course, the company was Home Depot. Twenty years later, I asked my friend how Christine the lawyer had made out with her stock. Turns out, she sold half of it ten years on and took early, luxurious retirement.


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Unanswered (and unanswerable) questions from the candidates forum

This is why we should have debates, not toothless forums, where candidates aren’t forced to respond to hard questions.

Floren, who became a state representative in 2000, bemoaned the trajectory of the state budget, which she said since 1990 has grown from $6 billion to $18 billion [in inflation=adjusted dollars! Ed] even though the state population has remained “flat” during that period.

Mahoney said he wants to understand how in the past 20 years the number of state employees went from 30,000 to 55,000 — making the state the No. 1 employer in Connecticut.

Several of my Demmerkrat friends, including Fudrucker, claim that the way to control the budget is to elect more Demmerkrtas from Greenwich, who will bring fiscal responsibility to Hartford. That not only sounds counterintuitive, I think it’s nuts.

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I sympathize

Riverside, Old Greenwich residents complain about speeders on Sound Beach Avenue. It’s true that the Lockwood Road (Riverside) and Center Drive (Old Greenwich) intersection at Sound Beach is a busy place. I’m not sure if there’s an answer, though. I thought it a huge improvement when Greenwich posted signs at all our crosswalks reminding drivers that state law requires them to stop for pedestrians. Before then, it often seemed as though I was the only driver in town who knew that, judging from the furious honking I’d receive when honoring the law. The signs have cut down those angry protests quite a bit.

But the folks interviewed in this Greenwich Time article are quite correct: a lot of motorists still scream through crosswalks, oblivious, so teach your children what I taught mine when they were learning to drive: assume that everyone else on the road is a homicidal maniac, and act accordingly.

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