Friday, January 02, 2009


Random shootin' from the lip

The Senate should seat Roland Burris. The only way the Senate can reject him is to seat him, then see if it has the two-thirds needed to eject him.

Israel has to be able to defend itself. Any nation has that right. But ... I don't know. What's going on in Gaza is not a very Christian thing for Israel to do -- wait ...

"Revolutionary Road" looks like a good story, which means it might be a good movie.

The history books will not list 1907, 1933 and 2008 as the worst years for the financial world. We ain't seen nothin' yet. Maybe 2009. Maybe 2010.

Es todo.


Agreed on the point that every nation has the right to defend itself.

Unfortunately, defending oneself has been interpreted to mean retaliatory violence. Israel would be better served by ending the reason why terrorists continue to attack--the separation walls, checkpoints, harassment and trade blockades. Justice before peace would be the Christian (and logical) thing to do. Straight from the prophetic tradition of Judaism.
Wow, there isn't a single item on the list one which I have an opinion, or frankly can even get interested enough about in order to develop an opinion. :)

But the economy ... I think we have a 50/50 shot of maybe seeing things start to get better by the end of 2009.
The markets opened awfully nice on the first day of business.

Israel is about to go too far if the tanks go in.

I read Revolutionary Road (Great!) but have little hope in the movie (made by a Brit).

The legislature and/or SofS of the State of Illinois should take all possible action to reverse this appointment.

Ilinois needs to show some strong arm ethics and standards.
My reactions:

From what I've been reading, the appointment to the Senate by the Governor has to be certified by the Secretary of State. Failing that, the Illinois State Senate must certify it with a 2/3rds vote. Neither the Secretary of State nor the State Senate has certified the appointment, therefore the new appointee does not have the "credentials" necessary to take the seat.

Israel: U.S.S. Liberty

Economy: 2nd phase of mortgage meltdown March 2009, and third phase meltdown in summer 2010, Fall 2010 Market bottoms at 7,500.
Forth Turning Dude, Forth Turning.
It will 2018 before we are back to where we were as a nation wealth wise but its distribution won't look anything like it did in 2008.

Does the act of the appointmet have to be certified, or only the documentation of the appointment? The governor has made the appointment. Is that enough?

Does the responsibility of the Sec. of State go beyond the minsterial duties of the office? Or does the office holder have any discretion?
The Dow: 5,000, maybe 4,500, maybe 4,200. In March.
Here's the CBS take on it:
The Politico) Roland Burris, embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's choice to replace Barack Obama in the Senate, will unlikely have his certification papers in order by the time the 111th Congress convenes on Tuesday.

Burris filed an emergency lawsuit in the state Supreme Court Wednesday to force Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White to sign certified documents saying he has been appointed to the seat, which he would present to the secretary of the Senate next week.

But the state attorney general's office, which is representing White in the lawsuit, does not have to respond to the lawsuit until next Wednesday, a day after the beginning of the 111th Congress.

Since Senate rules call for certification papers to include the signature of the secretary of state, Democrats could use the unresolved situation to avoid administering the oath of office to Burris when the freshmen class is sworn in on Tuesday. If he shows up Tuesday, he won't be allowed to enter the Senate chambers.

While it's possilbe the state Supreme Court could decide whether or not to take the case before the Wednesday filing, that scenario is unlikely, according to legal experts in the state.

Legal experts expect Burris to win the court challenge, saying the secretary of state does not have veto power over a governor's appointment.

But if he ultimately gets his papers in order, Democrats plan further stall tactics to prevent Burris from being seated. Before he is seated, they plan to vote on a resolution calling for a Rules Committee investigation on the process that led to the former Illinois attorney general's selection. Such a move would allow the state legislature to conclude impeachment proceedings against Blagojevich, giving Lt. Pat Quinn appointment powers for the next senator.

Blagojevich has denied allegations of trying to sell Obama's former Senate seat to the highest bidder, but Democrats say they cannot seat Burris because of the taint of the scandal. White refused to sign the papers because of the scandal.

By the way, Secretary White is black.
So ER, what is your take on these thoughts?

"....Chapman University economist Esmael Adibi predicts that option ARM defaults will extend the housing malaise. Foreclosures add to the glut of bank-owned properties that must be eliminated before prices stop falling and the home construction industry can come back.
"The inventory of unsold homes will not subside anytime soon because these loans are going to go sour. ... That further suggests that home prices are not going to rebound anytime soon," Adibi said.
Option ARM bills give borrowers a selection of payment options. A borrower can choose an amount, that if paid monthly, would pay off the mortgage in 15, 30 or 40 years and reduces the mortgage balance monthly. A smaller "interest only" option that covers that month's interest is also usually an option. The mortgage balance would remain the same when the "interest only" option is paid.
When the mortgage recasts, the jolt on a borrower's finances can be severe.
Borrowers whose option ARM mortgages are scheduled to recast in 2009 and 2010 face an average monthly mortgage payment increase of 63 percent, said FitchRatings, a New York rating service that assesses the risk of mortgage backed securities, in a report that was released earlier this month.
That would add $1,053 to the current average payment of $1,672.
There is a good chance that many option ARMs will default after they recast, say industry experts, either because borrowers can't afford the larger payment or because they don't wish to shoulder..."
I think that's right. The wild card is interest rates. With so much lost value, people with those resetting ARMS -- and there are gozillion of them -- don't have enough equity to refi even if loan rates go to 3, or 2, or 1 percent. It'll take acts of Congress yet unfathomed to fix this. Or, acts of Congress after the fact to try to repair the destruction to the economy and society.
Lot of stuff in a little post and I think you've hit on some of the top things that all of us have on our minds.

1) As an Illinoisan (transplanted from Oklahoma), the Blagojevich thing is embarrassing and Burris is clearly not the most qualified candidate. At the same time, I have yet to hear a convincing legal case for keeping him out. The governor is under a cloud of suspicion to be sure, but he remains the governor and therefore retains the right to make this appointment and no one is saying that Burris attempted to make a "bid" in the auction for the seat. I'd be willing to accept Burris as a senator for two years as long as we can impeach Blago. Then we can dump Burris in 2010.

2) Israel/Palestine. *sigh* Is it just me or does it feel like this episode is a rerun? Sure, a country has a right to defend itself, but it always feel like the lines between aggressor and defender are really blurry in this case. I think we need to move beyond the assumption that Israel is always right. I hope Hillary can patch things up over there. LOL. Clearly, though, the U.S. has little moral high ground when it comes to "Christian" military policy.

3) The preview for Revolutionary Road makes me crazy. A lot of Kate and Leo yelling at each other and I kept thinking, "Hey, if you hate your life so much, why don't you get a different job and leave the suburbs?" Maybe I was missing something.

4) Redneck, I'm troubled by your gloomy economic forecast. But I can't say you're wrong. It's scary. Just hoping Obama pulls an FDR.
Israel's overwhelming for will do it, and us, more harm than good. And it's immoral on its face.
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