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2010 October 13 — Why Now?
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Not A National Problem?

In an article at MSNBC titled Foreclosure probe launched in 49 states there is this interesting paragraph:

The Obama administration has rebuffed calls for a national halt to foreclosures despite pressure from consumer advocates and some Democratic lawmakers. Officials argue that halting sales of foreclosed homes could prevent the housing market from recovering. The administration says a freeze also would distract many lenders from their efforts to help borrowers in danger of foreclosure.

The Obama administration needs to talk to a real estate agent … immediately. If you can’t prove you own the property, you can’t sell it, and there is no real estate market. Ownership is sort of central to the entire system. Real estate agents aren’t going to try to sell stolen homes; you could go to prison for doing that.

Unless the banks are going to unload these houses through pawn shops, the housing market is “pining for the fjords”.

Since that report, Troy King, who plays the role of attorney general of Alabama, figured out that maybe he should look at the problem, Alabama attorney general joins other states in investigation of foreclosure practices, despite saying that no Alabama laws were broken. Since he hasn’t bothered to look at the problem, I have no idea how he knows that no laws have been broken. I pretty sure that changes in deeds have to be recorded in Alabama, just like the rest of the country, and Wall Street hasn’t been doing that.

October 13, 2010   4 Comments

How Republicans Handle Money

The whole RPOF credit card mess should have been a clue, but if you still think Republicans care about tax dollars, maybe this Lucy Morgan article in the St. Petersburg Times will wake you up: E-mail names ‘heroes’ who got legislative funding for ‘Taj Mahal’ courthouse

Sometimes being a “hero” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Take Marco Rubio. Since the story first broke about the palatial new courthouse being built in Tallahassee, the former House speaker has said it was a Senate priority, and he couldn’t even remember the money being appropriated to build it.

But now the St. Petersburg Times has obtained an e-mail circulated among the judges on the courthouse building committee that identifies the “heroes” in delivering the money to build it.

Among them, the e-mail identifies a select few who were “especially helpful,” including Rubio.

Rubio was the Speaker of Florida House at the time, and he was the only person who could have slipped the funding into the transportation bill at the last minute. If he didn’t support it, it died. It was tens of millions of dollars that “he couldn’t even remember”.

How do you forget paying for mahogany paneling and granite bathrooms? This is another example of “Republican fiscal conservatism” – pack kids into classrooms so appeals court judges can have mahogany paneling in their offices.

October 13, 2010   Comments Off on How Republicans Handle Money

Hurricane Paula – Day 3

Hurricane PaulaPosition: 21.9N 85.4W [10 PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: Northeast [035°] near 3 mph [ 6 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 80 mph [130 kph].
Wind Gusts: 95 mph [155 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 50 miles [ 80 km].
Hurricane Wind Radius: 10 miles [ 16 km].
Minimum central pressure: 993 mb ↑.

Currently about 30 miles [50 km] West of the western tip of Cuba.

It is in the Yucatan Channel and has begun to weaken and turn to the East.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the province of Pinar del Rio, Cuba.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the provinces of la Habana and cuidad de la Habana.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Florida Keys from Craig Key westward, including the Dry Tortugas.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

October 13, 2010   Comments Off on Hurricane Paula – Day 3

Chilean Mine Rescue

Flag of Chile

From the CBC because they still know how to report up North: Chilean miners reach surface

The painstaking but time-consuming process of bringing of 33 Chilean miners to the surface after 69 days underground began late Tuesday with the first being rescued at 11:11 p.m. ET.

Florencio Avalos, 31, stepped out of the metal rescue capsule moments later as the crowd cheered and horns blew. He was greeted by his wife, two sons and father. His son, Bairon, 7, sobbed.

Avalos hugged his rescuers and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera before being escorted into a medical triage centre set up on site.

Avalos was raised more than 600 metres through a rescue shaft while strapped into a 190-by-54-centimetre capsule. His journey began at 10:55 p.m. ET and took just 16 minutes.

Before his rescue, crews ran tests by lowering an empty capsule down the shaft and raising it before sending it back down with a rescue worker inside to help prepare the miners for their trip to the surface.

An impressive, well planned, well executed operation by Chile. They have back-ups for all of the necessary equipment, consulted with people around the world, and covered all of the possibilities they could imagine. It will take time to get everyone up, but they are ready to do it.

Update: 14 of 33 up so far at 10AM CDT 10/13. The CBC is updating their story at the link.

Update 2: Chile mine rescue: all 33 raised to safety at 7:55PM CDT.

October 13, 2010   9 Comments