Off to Pal Nancy’s for Christmas doings – Of the three kids, only Sarah made it home but John’s in Teluride and Kat’s in Hawaii, so it’s not them I’m feeling sorry for, but their parents. New commenters will find themselves in a que awaiting moderation, but I’ll get you up later in the day. By the way, a couple of weeks ago a reader wondered if a previous post on Cos Cob set a record for this blog with its 90 comments. I never looked – it probably did, or came close, but this business of the Journal-News publisher and her ill-advised attack on gun owners is up to something like 170 comments and still going. Ha.
Back up in a while, Merry Christmas, and thank you to everyone who contributes to this blog.
Sidwell Friends crossing guards
Sidwell Friends School (“Friends” being the pacifist “Quakers”, ironically enough) keeps eleven armed security guards on hand at all times, plus a Secret Service contingent when O’Bama’s kids are visiting from Hawaii. These guards, you understand, weren’t placed there after the First Family selected the school as the perfect place for Mushnut and Whatshername, they were there before and they’ll be there after – it’s standard operating procedure.
Who attends Sidwell? The children of our elected politicians – there’s not a child of this privileged class who attends Washington’s public schools – and those of the very media types who call the NRA a bunch of lunatics for suggesting we place armed guards in our schools. In this case, “little people” does not refer to size of the students but to us, the bitter clingers.
Mortgage rates have hit a wall and probably aren’t going lower. So will they go higher next year? As is said, when something can’t continue, it won’t.
So we’ll see.
There are numerous, and complex, reasons for the difference. More volume, for example, is moving through an industry that has shrunk significantly. At the same time, banks today are scrutinizing property appraisals and loan files more closely—requiring reams of documentation of borrowers’ assets, to guard against the cost that they will be forced to buy back any defaulted mortgages from Fannie and Freddie. That means fewer underwriters are spending more time on every loan.
As a result, at a time when there are fewer people processing loans—mortgage banking employment has fallen by more than 50% from its peak in 2006—the amount of time it takes to process loans has gone up. Loan underwriters processed around 60 retail applications per month last year, compared to 190 applications per month in 2002, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
“The Federal Reserve is sitting there opening up the spigot as much as they can, and then you have someone at the other end of the hose squeezing it tighter and tighter, and a trickle gets through,” said Christopher Mayer, a Columbia Business School economist.
No, I’m not talking about O’Bama frolicking on the sands of Hawaii, or Bill Clinton relaxing at the 19th Hole up on the Vineyard, I’m noting that Henry Blodgett’s up in Litchfield County this Christmas. Have you priced second homes up there? I have, which is why I’m stuck here in Greenwich. It’s expensive up there!
Respite from the Little People
Or leave for Mexico
The twisted, evil man who ambushed and shot the four firemen up near Rochester yesterday was a felon (not allowed to own firearms of any sort, assault or otherwise):
Spengler was convicted of manslaughter in 1981 for beating his 92-year-old grandmother to death with a hammer, according to New York State Department of Corrections records. After prison [16 years] he spent eight years on parole.
The 19-year-old who shot and killed one man and wounded another in a Seattle nightclub last night on Christmas Eve was also a known entity:
Jones was convicted in 2009 of the high-profile, brutal beating death of ‘the Tuba Man,’ a beloved Seattle street musician. Because he was 16 at the time, he served less than 36 weeks in juvenile detention.
We can pass all the laws we like restricting guns (although I still think we should just pass a law prohibiting murder and assault and make our world safe from all harm) but we’ll not spare ourselves tragedy. So here’s a suggestion: if we can’t lock up the mentally ill, and civil rights considerations suggest that we shouldn’t, couldn’t we at least keep convicted murderers behind bars? It’d be a start.
Give the people what they want and they’ll turn out every time. Nice work, Janet and your crowd, you got the publicity you wanted for your rag. This post isn’t very Christmasy, I realize, and I wish no ill towards any man or woman this day, so I’ll lay off now.
UPDATED: Still being viewed