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Stupid Senate Tricks

Both Scorpio at Pacific Views and Chuck Dupree at Bad Attitudes have written about the new Senate mortgage bill as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

For me this is the money quote:

In addition, the Senate passed a package of measures including a tax credit for buyers of foreclosed properties, funds to state and local governments to buy and rehabilitate foreclosed homes, and tax breaks for home builders. The bill’s prospects in the House and the White House are uncertain.

If the state and local governments are going to use the money to provide low cost housing, I can probably go along with this provision, but experience says that isn’t going to happen, because that’s not what they want to do. While some of the McMansions on the chopping block could become group homes, I really doubt that anyone will go along with that program.

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April 14, 2008   2 Comments

Why Is That?

It is one of the things that you can see in the record if you look back, but it doesn’t really make any logical sense. Paul Krugman has been discussing this for some time and his latest installment is Bartels bash.

What is under discussion is the fact that the market does better and the income gap between rich and poor narrows under Democratic Presidents, but there is no real reason why it should. Presidents don’t obviously have a lot of power over the economy in general, but the data says this happens.

I’ve known for a long time that the stock market does better under Democratic Presidents, but that’s counterintuitive. The market insiders support Republicans, which the numbers say is betting against themselves.  The statistics say there has to be a reason, but no one can find the link.

It is of note that the party of Congress doesn’t seem to make any difference, only the party of the President.

April 14, 2008   19 Comments

Guns

I have had this discussion too often and am frankly tired of it. Yes, I understand that guns are a problem for people who live in urban settings, so people who live in urban settings ought to consider doing something about it that doesn’t affect those of us that don’t.

Bears, alligators, 6-foot diamondback rattlesnakes, coyotes, foxes, and raccoons are apt to be in my neighborhood. If I call the sheriff I am told it may be 30 minutes or more before someone can get here, because it’s a big county and there aren’t all that many deputies. If the Hedgemony has sent the local Guard to help with his misadventure in the Middle East, there are even fewer deputies, and an unpaid auxiliary deputy may be the only one available to respond, after an hour or so.

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April 14, 2008   22 Comments