Obama Urges Spending Curbs for Somebody, But Not Him

Associated Press headline, “Obama urges spending curbs, hands out $15 billion.”

After not quite a month in office, I’ve begun to change my opinion on the President. I thought at first he was a useful idiot, a tool of the powerful Democrat Spending Machine.

I no longer think he’s useful, and “idiot” may be too high a compliment.

“If we confront this crisis without also confronting the deficits that helped cause it we risk sinking into another crisis down the road,” the president warned. “We cannot simply spend as we please and defer the consequences to the next budget, the next administration or the next generation.”

It’s barely a week since Obama disregarded calls to trim the so-called Stimulus Package, the Porkulus Bill. Billions of dollars of non-stimulus spending items went into that bill, then Obama followed up with another $250 billion or so for the mortgage industry.

Obama has spent more money in 30 days than any President in history. I would not be surprised to find he spent more than all previous Presidents combined.

And he has the gall to say we have to get spending under control? Does he even have a clue what he’s doing? First he says we must spend for the good of our economy, then he says we need to stop spending for the good of the economy.

What the heck is he doing? He’s not just saying an doing two different things – he’s actually saying to different things at the same time.

I see today he’s also pledged $900 million to rebuild Gaza. Didn’t we also sell Israel the weaponry to destroy Gaza to halt terrorist attacks? When the Palestinians re-attack Israel, will we also help rebuild Jewish settlements? Where did Obama suddenly get this $900 million?

Next up, nationalized banks, nationalized healthcare, a few more trillion dollars in spending, followed by another call for fiscal responsibility?

What got us into this mess was government intervention pressuring banks into lending to people who couldn’t pay their loans back and individual and corporate greed and a attitude of immediate gratification and a complete disregard for the debt our grandchildren will inherit. And somehow, the fix for this mess is to pressure banks into lending to people who can’t pay their loans back and individual and corporate greed and a attitude of immediate gratification and a complete disregard for the debt our grandchildren will inherit. Are these people nuts?

No wonder there’s a movement afoot for a Chicago Tea Party. We’re taking money away from the grandchildren in red states and giving it to inept governments in blue states. And now Obama says those same grandchildren better get their spending under control. It’s worse than Orweillian. It’s obtuse and deranged. It’s destructive.

Please stop helping, Mr. President, before we become a third world country.

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Mortgage Meltdown

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I had been thinking this, but hadn’t seen anybody writing about it.

Sub-prime mortgages have led to a financial crisis. The blame for sub-prime mortgages generally get laid on the greed of the mortgage bankers, but is that all there is to it?

Twenty years ago I remember the push to get banks and lending into low-income minority neighborhoods. There was a push at the time to make mortgages easier for those who could least afford them because it was good for the neighborhood.

Stan Liebowitz’s book, Housing America: Building out of a Crisis, puts the blame back on the federal government. I agree – without the government pushing banks to lend to risky people, there would have been less risk. Simple, no?

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Update from A Mortgage Fable

– The Community Reinvestment Act. This 1977 law compels banks to make loans to poor borrowers who often cannot repay them. Banks that failed to make enough of these loans were often held hostage by activists when they next sought some regulatory approval.

Robert Litan, an economist at the Brookings Institution, told the Washington Post this year that banks “had to show they were making a conscious effort to make loans to subprime borrowers.” The much-maligned Phil Gramm fought to limit these CRA requirements in the 1990s, albeit to little effect and much political jeering.

Prayer for Patience

I received this via email, original author unknown, but it’s a powerful prayer:

Heavenly Father, Help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.

Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can’t make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.

Where Oh Where Has My Firefly Gone?

I am not a brownshirt, although it’s certainly starting to look like it.

After buying the Firefly DVD series last August, I watched an episode with Sean. Well… ok, more than one. After the first episode, he said he could stay for another. And then another. I think we watched 5 in a row before deciding to finish the series on another day. Alex and I watched the rest of the series 2 and 3 at a time for the rest of the week.

Next time I called Sean, he confessed he had bought the series and was watching it with his family. No need to apologize; I wanted to loan it to my sister anyway.

So last October I visited my sister and brought the DVDs with me. We were just going to watch one episode, then 3, then 5… around 1:00 a.m. we sort of hung it up for the night. She watched it with her family.

Her son got hooked on the series when he came to visit. So much so that he asked for his own copy for Christmas, which I happily bought for him. My sister promised to bring the Firefly disks back for the family Christmas party.

The Christmas party never came together due to family illness, but she did get to visit my Mom. Apparently Mom got hooked on the series, so she’s kept them the last several week so she could watch them.

When I called to check on Irv this afternoon, Mom was sitting with Monique, Irv’s daughter, and asked if she could loan the DVDs to Monique. See, she just thought Monique would enjoy them, too…

Of course I said yes, but I’m starting to think I may never see those DVDs again. 😛

And yes, the Firefly series is that good.

Aeros Hockey

Tonight I’ll be seeing the Houston Aeros at the Toyota Center, even if I do drive a Nissan. I haven’t seen them (the Aeros) on the ice in years. Diane is bringing Maritza and the kids, I’m sure we’ll have a grand time.

Here are the rules for hockey as I understand them:

  1. There is a penalty called “icing.” It can happen anywhere on the ice. That’s why it’s called “icing.”
  2. The score is less important than the number of times your team slugs the other team.
  3. Even though that’s why you watch hockey, players get penalized if they slug somebody.
  4. Don’t give a large softdrink to the kids, or you will spend a large quantity of time in the restroom with them.
  5. Some people take out home equity loans if they think they’ll be buying a hot dog.
  6. Even in the summer, sitting next to the rink is cold, so bring a jacket.
  7. I think watching my dog walk on ice would be funny.
  8. That’s not really a hockey rule though.
  9. “Riding a bicycle on the ice” would be funny, too, but it’s not a hockey rule either.
  10. Not that you’d ever come to this site looking for hockey rules.
  11. Of course, people come here looking for “packrat psychology,” so maybe you *would* come here looking for hockey rules.
  12. You won’t find any hockey rules, though. I don’t know what they are.
  13. Like that would stop me from posting made-up ones though. Ha.