Monday, June 29, 2009

So now we're passing bills that don't exist, yet?

On the process.......

It appears that the encore to passing the $787 billion stimulus package that no one could possibly have had time to read, is passing a similarly costly Cap-and-Trade bill that did not even exist. What?

In the House, after submitting a 300+ page amendment to the 1200+ page bill at 3am on the day of the vote, the House proceeded to vote without any one having been able to read it, much less study it.

During the few hours allotted for debate on the final bill, the House was forced to admit that the entire bill had not yet even been assembled. The clerk was folding in the amendments during the debate. Amendments that were, no doubt, the deals that were required to get the last few votes. (Highly principled deals, I'm sure.) Those who argued for time to read the bill were told the bill was available online. Well good. Except that there is no internet access on the floor of the House..... unless, of course, you want to read 300 pages of legalese on your Blackberry or Palm. Yeah, right.

Would we not prefer that our legislative bodies actually allow time to read a bill and study it before they vote on it? ...especially, bills that will have as large an impact as the authors of this bill intend?

Our national government has run amuck in a legislative frenzy.
They are simply out of control.

On the content......

I've just srarted this blog and have not had time to post my views on anthropogenic global warming(AGW). At this point, suffice it to say that with a degree in engineering and decades of professional work in relevant fields, when I look at the allegedly settled science I find lots of enormous holes.

AGW claims are base on models which prove themselves wrong. More on that front later.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Just Damn It, Mark!

One of the rising lights in the conservative movement, Mark Sanford, just crashed to earth.

Just, Damn It!

If he knows what's good for him and the ones he loves (I hope), he'll regain his sanity and do everything possible to regain the trust of his wife and family. The mistress must cease to exist. Nothing else matters.

Because he's exhibited an astonishing ability to make horrible decisions with great consequence, he should resign. He is no longer useful to the conservative movement or the state of South Carolina.

Barney Frank pours gas on the smouldering Real Estate market

It is widely reported that a major contributor to the current economic mess was the collapse of the US (and other) housing market. A number of factors lead to that collapse including unscrupulous lending, relatively low interest rates at the Federal Reserve, buyers wanting and trying to buy more than they could possibly afford, and the injection of capital into the real estate markets by the two Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac.

The size of each contribution to the problem can be debated and is. However, it is inescapable that FM/FM have played a significant role. Various sources show that FM/FM hold an enormous portion of the US mortgage market, something around 50%. Further, during recent decades, they have explicitly and deliberately sought to buy sub-prime mortgages with targets around 50% of their annual total. The scale of this GSE-created market for sub-prime loans is obvious.

In the wake of a collapsed US real estate market, where it was clear that sub-prime loans (loans made to uncreditworthy borrowers), our wizened leaders in Washington want to immediately start re-inflating the bubble. According to Reuters, Representatives Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee is pressuring the two GSE to relax their lending standards. I wonder who does he know that is having trouble selling their condo?

Absolutely beautiful.
We've obviously learned nothing about what got the real estate markets in this mess to start with.