July 2009 archive

Jim Cramer- Media Shill or Housing Whore?

On December 17th, 2008 Jim Cramer pronounced that the housing bottom will be in by June 30, 2009.


Cramer article

The housing market, and by extension, the economy, is trying to heal itself despite the self serving efforts of Washington and various state moratoria.









Mr Mortgage


Foreclosure Mod Sham



The real story, the one the headline conveniently hides, is that homes sales are down 3.6% from a year ago, and that prices in the same period fell 16.8%. And those are numbers from the NAR, an organization known for and set on bending both reality and the numbers that come with it until they will bend no more.



Paper Avalanche


Fannie Mae reported a steep increase in the percentage of home mortgages with overdue payments.

The government-backed mortgage investor said in a monthly summary released Monday that 3.42% of the single-family mortgages it owns or guarantees were 90 days or more delinquent in April, up from 3.15% a month before.

Fannie’s main rival, Freddie Mac, reported last week that its single-family delinquency rate for May was 2.62%, up from 2.44% in April.

Jay Brinkmann, chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association, said  delinquencies probably won’t start to decline before the second half of next year. Prime loans now are the biggest source of growth in foreclosure starts.


Good news! The rate of the price decline in the housing crash has finally begun to ease.

Bad news! Prices are still falling 18% year over year.

As of April 2009, average home prices across the United States are at similar levels to where they were in the middle of 2003. From the peak in the second quarter of 2006, the 10-City Composite is down 33.6% and the 20- City Composite is down 32.6%.


good graph


Delinquencies Double on Least-Risky Loans

In Country – Wild Wild Left Radio # 29

I remember when I was young, hearing guys coming home from VietNam always referring to it as being “In Country.”

“In Country” explained everything I didn’t understand, and nothing. You see, there are different rules In Country and almost anything goes. Spying, assassinations, special ops, whole villages with kids and grandparents. It explained the constant alert too, always feeling like you had to look over your shoulder, cuz “In Country” the boogie man behind you was fucking real, man, and would kill you as soon as look at you. “In Country” you could die of a simple infection, there were no doctors, and people were starving, and no one could drink the dirty ass water. Not to mention the poison clouds that made “In Country” leave lingering deaths at home. No jobs, no future, nothing but death on the horizon, our GI’s as hopeless as the “gooks” they were fighting. It was through the looking glass, and I saw the eyes of the men who lived through it. Empty, and Aware.

Welcome. You no longer need to leave your couch, dudes.

You ARE “In Country” here and now.

We have ramped up to a Police State, where they can come right in your homes and drag you away. We have NORTHCOM for a while now, meaning our own troops are deployed against US “In Country.” We had Cheney trying to deploy them in Buffalo, and now Obama trumping them up for the Swine Flu. NSPD51 has not been repealed, and our military, not just our spooks are now spying on us, on Peace Activists. We have no Health Care, we have no choice. There is poison in everything around us, and they are using as a Guinea Pigs for untested shots so the Playah’s can make their money, money that is our taxes, shots that may maim or kill us… but of course they have immunity. Kind of like the Pigs in Washington who sent them to VietNam.

You may not be fully aware, little froggies, but the boil is on, the mass graves are at the ready, and you are…

In Country.

More tonight:

Join Gottlieb, Ed Encho and I tonight at 6pm EDT on Wild Wild Left Radio, via BlogtalkRadio, for an interesting hour of Political Reporting and Commentary.

If you aren’t convinced yet, this hour will convince you.

The call in number is 646-929-1264

Listen to The Wild Wild Left on internet talk radio

The live chat link will go live around 5:15.



Scholars Urge Holder to Uphold Law

For those of you who don’t get David Swanson’s e-mails….

Nationally Renowned Scholars, Writers, Artists, and Advocates Urge Attorney General Holder to Uphold the Rule of Law and Appoint Prosecutor to Investigate Allegations of Torture and Other Serious Crimes

SALT LAKE CITY – Several prominent Americans, including authors, artists, legal experts, and renowned voices of conscience, today transmitted a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder urging the appointment of a prosecutor to investigate allegations of torture and other violations of human rights and civil liberties committed by former government officials and others. The signatories to the letter are:

   *    Daniel Ellsberg (former Marine commander, former assistant to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, defense specialist, responsible for disclosure of the Pentagon Papers)

   *    Bruce Fein (specialist in constitutional and international law, former Associate Deputy US Attorney General (during Reagan administration))

   *    Andy Jacobs (represented Indiana’s 10th and 11th Congressional Districts, 1965-1973 and 1975-1997, Korean War veteran)

   *    Paul Rogat Loeb (author Soul of a Citizen – Living With Conviction in a Cynical Time)

   *    Graham Nash (singer-songwriter (The Hollies; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young))

   *    Terry Tempest Williams (naturalist, author of several books, including Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place; An Unspoken Hunger; The Open Space of Democracy)

   *    Bill McKibben (environmentalist, international organizer, founder of Step It Up, author of several books, including The End of Nature; Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future)

   *    John Nichols (Washington correspondent for The Nation, author of The Genius of Impeachment: The Founder’s Cure for Royalism)

   *    Robert Feuer (attorney, 2008 candidate for Massachusetts First Congressional District)

   *    Jeremy Pikser (screenwriter, co-wrote Bulworth; wrote The Lemon Sisters and War, Inc.)

   *    Rocky Anderson (lawyer, civil and human rights specialist, former Salt Lake City Mayor; Founder and Executive Director, High Road for Human Rights)

   *    Mimi Kennedy (author, activist, and television and screen actress, co-star, “Dharma & Greg,” recently starring in In the Loop)

   *    Naomi Wolf (author of seven books, including The Beauty Myth, The End of America, and Give Me Liberty)

   *    Robert C. Fellmeth (Price Professor of Public Interest Law, University of San Diego Law School)

   *    David Swanson (activist, author, Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union)  

   *    Ralph Nader (lawyer, consumer advocate, author of several books, including Unsafe at Any Speed, The Menace of Atomic Energy, Who’s Poisoning America?, Good Works, No Contest, The Good Fight)

High Road for Human Rights Education Project (www.highroadforhumanrights.org) is leading this effort to persuade the Attorney General to uphold the rule of law and longstanding traditions of human dignity and adherence to the values underlying our Constitution. According to Gallup and ABC News/Washington Post polls conducted in April, a majority of Americans favor a federal investigation into the treatment of detainees by government personnel.


From Reuters today we read that bonuses paid out by banks exceeded total revenue.

What?! you say?.

Bonuses paid to executives at nine banks that received U.S. government bailout money in 2008 were greater than net income at some of the banks, the office of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday.

First Amendment Friday 13 – Nebraska Press Assoc. V Stuart

Happy Friday and welcome to the 13th in the Dog’s First Amendment Friday series. This series is following the syllabus for the class called The First Amendment and taught at Yale Law School by Professor Jack M. Balkin. As with the Friday Constitutional series this is a layman’s look at the Law, specifically the Supreme Court opinions which have shaped the boundaries of our 1st Amendment Protections. If you are interested in the previous installments you can find them at the links below:

Originally posted at Squarestate.net

Tell Us All Why

For far too long, I’ve heard progressives say we have to be polite when we contact the politicians who keep betraying us.  For years, I’ve heard them say we can’t be “rude”, we have to be civil, we have to be respectful. Although they’ve acknowledged that war criminals and their enablers in Congress don’t deserve any respect, they insist that we have to be respectful anyway.  That’s what we’ve been told, that’s what we’re still being told.  

I’ve had my fill of that.  This isn’t complicated.  We can either be progressives, or we can be hypocrites.  From what I’ve seen, being respectful hypocrites hasn’t accomplished a whole lot.  Except for Kos, he has a Newsweek column now, and respectful hypocrite traffic at that Democratic Fan Club of his is at an all time high.  This has been presented as an encouraging development, and who can possibly disagree, for as the graph below clearly demonstrates, there’s a direct correlation between higher Daily Kos traffic and spectacular Democratic triumphs in Washington . . .  

Spanning Subtree Graph Pictures, Images and Photos

Yet somehow, many Democrats still feel an extremely compelling urge to betray us.  Bush and Cheney went on a crime rampage for 8 years, but Democrats won’t hold them accountable.  They won’t prosecute Wall Street criminals for gutting our economy, they’re rewarding them for it.  Our health care system is a travesty, the corporate media is a propaganda shithole, the Fed is a Machiavellian nightmare, rightwing madness is escalating, the fuse of economic collapse is still burning, and Congress is still a snakepit of corruption.              

That’s how it is, that’s what we’ve got,

Whether the President wants to admit it or not,

You can see it in the paper, read it on the wall,

Hear it on the wind, if you’re listening at all.

The CIA is an Embarrassment to the United States

Simulposted at Daily Kos


U.S. Rep. Holt heads campaign to probe CIA practices

Over the years the CIA has overthrown legitimate governments, performed assassinations and used torture.

It has spied on US citizens which is explicitly illegal.

It has lied to Congress and has engaged in coverups.

And it has itself published a record of all of this here: The CIA’s Family Jewels

And that is just what the CIA has ADMITTED. Those are just the facts about an organization that that is among the most secretive in the world.

Those are just what is on the surface of an organization whose stock in trade, whose raison d’etre is lying and deception and…..misinformation and disinformation.

They are (supposedly) the best SPY agency in the world. if you want rock solid triple sourced verifiable information about the CIA’s clandestine program and activities….I have something for you …


ROFLMAO!!! Get popcorn before clicking

Crossposted at Daily Kos

Are you sitting down? Do you have your popcorn ready?

    I thought after a rough week of BaucuCrats, Blue Dogs and Wingnut Obstruction, some of us could use a good laugh.

    A reality based laugh!!!

    Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com

    As for myself, I have been laughing at this so hard my sides hurt.

    About a third of Americans think the best job for Palin is homemaker (32 percent), while nearly one in five see her as a television talk show host (17 percent). Vice president of the United States comes in third (14 percent), followed closely by college professor (10 percent), with president coming last (6 percent).

    Republicans think the best job for Palin is vice president (27 percent), followed by homemaker (18 percent), talk show host (14 percent), president (12 percent) and professor (7 percent).


    When Fox News throws you under the bus, you are either a Democrat, or your FINISHED.

    Housekeeper? You mean the Sarahnator’s chances of being President one day are dead?

    Dead as the moose stew in Sarah’s freezer.

I’ll give you a moment to get your self ready before we go below the fold for more of the live comedy show known as the future of the Republican party.

Melanie Says: It’ll All Be Ok

Melanie – Brand New Key

Another ‘Nam Vet Dies Alone, This One Homeless…….

This is the second ‘Nam Vet found to have died alone and remains found way too late. The first, to make any news, was only a few days ago having died in his apartment in NYC, lying there for a couple of months with no one checking in on him even after a foul odor was noticed!

When Bodies Go Unnoticed { NYC Vet }

Docudharma Times Friday July 31

Friday’s Headlines:

‘Clunkers’ Auto Rebate Plan So Popular That It’s Broke

Industry Is Generous To Influential Bloc

Can we befriend Pakistan?

Burma court delays Suu Kyi verdict

Mourners met with force as they flock to Neda’s grave

Islamist sect leader shot dead after 600 killed in Nigeria siege

Zimbabwe gems classed as ‘blood diamonds’

Silvio Berlusconi ignores protesters on visit to quake town L’Aquila

Fears of ETA terror campaign targeting Spanish resorts

Venezuela home builders face new hurdles

Big Banks Paid Billions in Bonuses Amid Wall St. Crisis


Published: July 30, 2009

Thousands of top traders and bankers on Wall Street were awarded huge bonuses and pay packages last year, even as their employers were battered by the financial crisis.

Nine of the financial firms that were among the largest recipients of federal bailout money paid about 5,000 of their traders and bankers bonuses of more than $1 million apiece for 2008, according to a report released Thursday by Andrew M. Cuomo, the New York attorney general.

At Goldman Sachs, for example, bonuses of more than $1 million went to 953 traders and bankers, and Morgan Stanley awarded seven-figure bonuses to 428 employees. Even at weaker banks like Citigroup and Bank of America, million-dollar awards were distributed to hundreds of workers.

Japan jobless at six-year record

Japan saw unemployment levels reach a six-year high last month, with job availability at a new low, official figures have shown.

The BBC  Friday, 31 July 2009

The jobless number increased by 830,000 in June, or 31.3% from a year before, to 3.48 million. The unemployment rate was 5.5% up from May’s figure of 5.2%.

For every 100 people seeking work, there were 43 jobs.

Separate data showed core consumer prices, excluding food costs, fell 1.7% in July year-on-year, a new record.

“The core Consumer Prices Index data was largely within expectation and is expected to stay [negative] until mid 2011 as domestic demand is weak with this severe jobs market and income situation,” said Kyohei Morita, chief economist at Barclays Capital.

A fall in household demand, as consumers seek to tighten their belts, has compounded the problem of falling prices.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

2009 Poems



We twist and turn

in the winds

of a reality

not of our choosing

lepidopterans mounted

on twin boards

of sex

rather than free

to explore

the multiplicity

of gender

In denying

our freedom

you put limits

on your own

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–June 12, 2009

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