Archive for October 8th, 2008

October 8, 2008

Jules Crittenden, optimist

If you want something beside Stygian gloom, but can’t handle the undiluted Hugh Hewitt trip, try Jules, who entertains the possibility that undecided voters will break 2-to-1 against Obama.

October 8, 2008

Mortgages: Who’s screwed?

The Wall Street Journal has a map showing where the worst “upside down” mortgage problems are: California and Florida, which were the biggest boom markets during the housing bubble.

Ordinary Americans in other areas, as well as renters and those who didn’t leverage their equity during the bubble, are being asked to bail out the 1-in-6 who are “upside down.”

What part of “HELL, NO!” don’t they understand?

UPDATE: Perhaps I should clarify the grounds of my opposition to any scheme to bail out homeowners who leveraged up during the housing bubble.

Either you believe in the market economy or you don’t. You can’t be pro-market when times are good and then advocate statism when times are bad. Nor can you be pro-market when it benefits you personally, then turn against the market as soon as you face a personal loss.

During the bubble, we heard a lot of whining from “affordable housing” advocates: Oh, the working class is being priced out of the market! And I said, “Tough noogies.”

Now that the bubble has popped, we’re hearing a different kind of whining: Oh, the middle class has lost their equity and might lose their homes! Once more I say: “Tough noogies.”

The market is right. Supply is supply and demand is demand, and if you’re on the wrong side of that equation, it’s not my fault. Hey, you want to try being a journalist when the newspaper business is in a death spiral? My lousy career choices are not your fault, and your lousy real estate investments are not my fault.

“Creative destruction” means that the collapse of the newspaper industry frees up my talents for some endeavor for which there is an actual market demand. And the wipeout of 1/6th of U.S. homeowners frees up those resources for people who didn’t wager their fortunes on the housing bubble. “Affordable housing” is what I call it when a foreclosed McMansion is sold for back taxes at the sheriff’s auction.

The market is right. Tough noogies. God bless America!

October 8, 2008


From U.S. Department of Justice:

WASHINGTON – David C. Kernell, 20, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Knoxville, Tenn., for intentionally accessing without authorization the e-mail account of Alaska governor Sarah Palin, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney James R. Dedrick for the Eastern District of Tennessee announced today. Kernell turned himself into federal authorities for arrest and will be arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley.
The single count indictment, returned on Oct. 7, 2008, and unsealed today, alleges that on approximately Sept. 16, 2008, Kernell, a resident of Knoxville, obtained unauthorized access to Gov. Palin’s personal e-mail account by allegedly resetting the account password. According to the indictment, after answering a series of security questions that allowed him to reset the password and gain access to the e-mail account, Kernell allegedly read the contents of the account and made screenshots of the e-mail directory, e-mail content and other personal information. According to the indictment, Kernell posted screenshots of the e-mails and other personal information to a public Web site. Kernell also allegedly posted the new e-mail account password that he had created, thus providing access to the account by others.
If convicted of the charge, the defendant faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a three year term of supervised release. A trial date has not been set.
The case is being prosecuted by Section Chief Michael DuBose and Trial Attorney Mark Krotoski of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Weddle of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Anchorage and Knoxville field offices.
An indictment is merely an allegation. Defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

The indicment in PDF format.

UPDATE: Knoxville News Sentinel and WBIR-TV are also reporting. (Via Instapundit.)

UPDATE II: Michelle Malkin and Allah are blogging it.

UPDATE III: More blogging at Spin Cycle, JammieWearingFool and Gateway Pundit.


October 8, 2008

Only one man can save America

And I think we all know who that man is!


October 8, 2008

The Great GOP Freakout of ’08

For some Republicans, last night was the shocking revelation that it’s over. But some are still in denial, as Andy McCarthy accuses his NRO colleagues:

With due respect, I think tonight was a disaster for our side. I’m dumbfounded that no one else seems to think so. Obama did everything he needed to do, McCain did nothing he needed to do. What am I missing

This morning at the Corner, Ed Whelan writes: “McCain’s performance was a dismal failure.”

I could, and perhaps should, write an entire blog post on the fundamental folly of John McCain’s proposal to buy up bad mortgages. (If you leveraged your home equity in 2005, why is that my fault in 2008?) Instead, I’ll just collect a few reactions from a couple of other conservatives. Here’s Dr. Melissa Clouthier’s liveblogging reaction:

McCain says that Americans are angry, upset and a little frightened. McCain has the answers. Energy independence and home values — buy up bad home loans in America. Isn’t that socialism? SHIZEN! The problem in America today is that “we don’t have trust in our institutions”. Ugh: First impression — McCain is sounding like a bumbling Senator. Why didn’t he go over the regulation deal that Obama said? Does he want to lose?

And at the end, Dr. Melissa adds:

My feeling is that Obama will pull away after this, but time will tell. If I had to say, though, I say Obama wins.

Michelle Malkin is furious:

I can’t underscore enough what a rotten idea John McCain’s ACORN-like government mortgage buy-up is. . . .
This was his supposed “game-changer.” This was the very first thing out of his mouth during the debate tonight — his big pitch right off the bat.
If Obama had proposed this, the Right would be screaming bloody murder about this socialist grab to have the Treasury Department renegotiate individual home loans and become chief principal write-down agents for the nation.

Tough to resist the urge to go on a full-blown rant about why Maverick’s idea is so lousy, but let me give you the short version:

You bought a $100,000 house in 1990. By 2005, homes in your neighborhood were selling for $250,000 and up. So you got an appraisal and took out a home equity loan, spruced the place up a bit for resale — and also paid off your kid’s college tuition, took a vacation to Key West, got your teeth capped and a few other little things.
But you didn’t get any good offers on your house — you rejected a guy’s low-ball bid of $215,000 in 2006 — then six months later, the housing market cratered and you couldn’t even get $175,000, which is what you now owe.

This is not my fault. It’s not the fault of U.S. taxpayers. And since you’re the one with capped teeth and souvenirs from Key West, you’re the one who ought to deal with the consequences. What part of caveat emptor don’t you understand?

October 8, 2008

Debate night live!

UPDATE 10:45 p.m. — I don’t think there’s anybody out there who saw this as such a hands-down win for Maverick as to put Obama on the defensive. The MSM are putting their final touches on the “triumph of Hope” ledes they’ve been working on since February. The features department at the Washington Post probably just green-lighted the special 16-page “Obama’s journey” section they’ll publish Nov. 5. For the first time in eight years, Democrats won’t be biting their nails and sweating exit-poll results on Election Day.

UPDATE 10:33 p.m. — Maverick’s wrapping it up. “I’ve spent my whole life serving this country.” Trying to win on biography.

UPDATE 10:31 p.m. — “The last 8 years,” again!

UPDATE 10:23 p.m. — Obama again references “the last 8 years.” Cheers!

UPDATE 10:22 p.m. — Russia. Zzzzz.

UPDATE 10:20 p.m. — My American Spectator colleagues are live blogging and not impressed with Maverick’s performance. John Tabin: “Obama gives the wrong answer to the question, McCain gives an answer to the wrong question. We are so screwed.”

UPDATE 10:16 p.m. — Maverick: “I’ll get bin Ladin. I know how to get him.” Hey, John, how about you go ahead and share that with the Pentagon now?

UPDATE 10:14 p.m. — Obama’s making a big thing of saying, “Pockystahn” instead of Pakistan.

UPDATE 10:04 p.m. — Obama has avoided saying “Senator McCain is right” over and over, as he did in the first debate.

UPDATE 9:59 p.m. — Obama really has that Clintonian touch. He lies boldly, confidently, emphatically. He promises you the sun, the moon and the stars, and then insinuates that Republicans, in proposing to trim out a constellation or two, are cheating you out of what is rightly yours, and will leave you destitute and helpless.

UPDATE 9:54 p.m. — Maverick’s in the tall grass again. Details, details, details. Damn it, just call Obama a Marxist and be done with it!

UPDATE 9:51 p.m. — Question from an “undecided” voter for socialized medicine. Plant! Plant!

UPDATE 9:46 p.m.: Maverick’s going for the Al Gore global-warming vote. Jules Crittenden is liveblogging without apparent aid of alcohol. Obama’s making ample use of the patented Clinton “investment” as a euphemism for “spend taxpayer money.”

UPDATE 9:38 p.m.: In responding to Brokaw’s “America got drunk” question, Obama wants to go into a class-warfare spiel, talking about tax cuts for Fortune 500 CEOs, but has to choose his words very carefully

UPDATE: Obama says deregulation caused the crisis. Sebastian Mallaby, Washington Post says:

The claim that the financial crisis reflects Bush-McCain deregulation is not only nonsense. It is the sort of nonsense that could matter.

But John McCain’s idea that the federal government’s going to buy up all the bad mortgages in America is a non-starter. Better idea: Buy up all the good mortgages. (A better idea, but still a very bad idea.)

PREVIOUSLY: Even though I’ve already called the election, tonight John McCain and Barack Obama have a chance to make a liar out of me. The town-hall debate at Belmont University in Nashville affords Obama a chance to blunder away a sure thing. Maybe Maverick will actually be awake for the start of this debate, as opposed to Sept. 26, where he sleep-walked through the first 45 minutes, then woke up all grumpy.

Jimmie at Sundries Shack will liveblog it, as will Ace, Michelle Malkin and the Hot Air gang. (Michelle predicts lots of insipid questions. Ace expects liberal house plants.) Cassy Fiano also has a liveblog.

Of course, VodkaPundit has already knocked down three martinis as a warm-up for drunkblogging the debate. Having watched Stephen Green during the drunkblogging experience for the Democratic convention, I can testify that he’s not exaggerating about his martini intake. He handles his liquor very well. Constant practice is the secret, he says.

I’ll be back with periodic updates.

October 8, 2008

Ayers: A Republican scandal?

Silly season is underway:

Barack Obama’s campaign is citing the University of South Carolina’s speaking invitations to William Ayers and Republican Gov. Mark Sanford’s role as school trustee to counter GOP efforts to link the presidential candidate to the 1960s radical. . . .
In an e-mail to reporters, the Obama campaign said Ayers is a “distinguished scholar” at the University of South Carolina, where Sanford serves as the ex-officio trustee while governor.
“By Governor Palin’s standards, that means Governor Sanford shares Ayers’ views,” the e-mail read.
Sanford rejected the argument.
“This is a totally bogus story. I’ve never even heard of the guy” until this weekend, Sanford said Tuesday. “This is a guy I don’t know, I’ve never met.”

Team Obama’s insistence on responding quickly to every accusation, lest their guy be “swift-boated,” is beginning to look like thin-skinned defensiveness. Which means the GOP should be making more accusations.