McCotter Iran Floor Speech: “Her Name was Neda”

June 23, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . Obama Administration, Politics. Comments off.

Twofer Tuesday: Night Ranger

June 23, 2009. Tags: , , , . Entertainment, Glam Metal, Hair Bands, Music, Popular Culture. Comments off.

Update: David Brooks and le wrath di khan…Health Insurance Update: Kent Conrad on his Compromise Plan…

Update: David Brooks agrees with MiM on Wyden Bennett option, oh noes! Someone check my brain for those bore worm things from Wrath of Khan!

If I am agreeing with Brooks something must be very very wrong….

Now you might think that in these circumstances someone might take a second look at the ideas incorporated in the Wyden-Bennett plan, which already has a good C.B.O. score, bipartisan support and a recipe for fundamental reform.

If you did think that, you are mistaking the Senate for a rational organism. For while there are brewing efforts to incorporate a few Wyden-Bennett ideas, there is stiff resistance to the aspects that fundamentally change incentives.

From the presser, more Trek talk as Jake Tapper nailed TOTUS down on the misleading claim that Americans could keep their coverage, not likely with employers dumping it to pay a govt fine instead:

TAPPER: Is the public plan non-negotiable? And, while I appreciate your Spock-like language** about the logic of the health care plan and the public plan, it does seem logical to a lot of people that if the government is offering a cheaper health care plan, then lots of employers will want to have their employees covered by that cheaper plan, which will not have to be for-profit, unlike private plans, and may, possibly, benefit from some government subsidies, who knows.  And then their employees would be signed up for this public plan, which would violate what you’re promising the American people, that they will not have to change health care plans if they like the plan they have. So…

OBAMA:  OK.  You’re pitching; I’m catching.

TAPPER:  OK.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA:  I got the question. First of all, was the reference to Spock, is that a crack on my ears?

(LAUGHTER)

TAPPER:  No.

OBAMA:  All right.  I just wanted to make sure.  No?

TAPPER:  I would never make fun of your ears, sir.

-snip-

TAPPER:  I’m sorry, but what about keeping your promise to the American people that they won’t have to change plans even if employers…

(CROSSTALK)

OBAMA:  Well, all right — when I say if you have your plan and you like it, and your doctor has a plan — or you have a doctor and you like your doctor, that you don’t have to change plans, what I’m saying is the government is not going to make you change plans under health reform. Now, are there going to be employers right now, assuming we don’t do anything — let’s say that we take the advice of some folks who are out there and say, “Oh, this is not the time to do health care.  We can’t afford it.  It’s too complicated.  Let’s take our time,” et cetera.

So let’s assume that nothing happened.  I can guarantee you that there’s the possibility for a whole lot of Americans out there that they’re not going to end up having the same health care they have. Because what’s going to happen is, as costs keep on going up, employers are going to start making decisions.  We’ve got to raise premiums on our employees.  In some cases, we can’t provide health insurance at all. And so there are going to be a whole set of changes out there. That’s exactly why health reform is so important.

REPOST: Call your Critters on the health care plan!!!! That CBS poll was designed to make them feel like tey had cover to vote for a public option, let them know how you feel before the votes go down….MiM is supporting the Wyden-Bennett plan…

Conrad has a lot to do with the purse strings so he is worth watching as health care debate unfolds:

Courtesy of Bloomberg

June 23, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Entertainment, Finance, Healthcare, Popular Culture, Star Trek. 2 comments.

TOTUS Time: Didn’t he promise us a Rose Garden? The media certainly did…

(more…)

June 23, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Housing, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture. Comments off.

Housing Update: Median Home Price drops 16.8% y/y….MBA makes 700B downward revision to ’09 originations forecast…

Ouch: National Median Home Price at $173,000 for May, a drop of 16.8% year over year….May existing home sales up 2.4%, same as April….much lower than needed for this inventory, especially since roughly 45% of the sales are foreclosure sales to investors….dollar is extending its losses and markets are down, DOW off 40 now to 8298….10 yr yield 3.63%….Gold 918….Oil down to 67…

So taking a closer look at the incredible revisions by MBA yesterday, it appears as though the Making Home Affordable Program has been a failure to date. Not the EPIC FAIL of Hank Paulson’s original plan, but a FAIL nonetheless….

MBA dropped the hammer on the outlook yesterday:

…The Mortgage Bankers Association cut its forecast of home-mortgage lending this year by 27% amid deflating hopes for a boom in refinancing. The trade group said Monday that it now expects $2.034 trillion of originations of mortgages for one- to four-family homes in 2009, down from a forecast of $2.780 trillion in March, when falling interest rates spurred expectations for huge volumes of refinancing….

Here are the numbers, of the millions of homeowners facing foreclosure, a grand total of 13,000 loans have been modified/refi’d. Yep.

WSJ:

…Meanwhile, the MBA said, the volume of refinancing under the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Refinance Program so far has been “very low.” This program is designed to help borrowers whose loans are backed by government-owned investors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the biggest providers of funding for U.S. mortgages.

“While the number of loans completed under this program is likely to increase, it is difficult to craft a scenario under which origination volumes would come anywhere close to reaching the numbers originally envisioned for the program, particularly under our higher rate environment,” the trade group said.

So how low is it? Let’s check in on the housing beat with Diana Olick of CNBC who has the real scoop:

…Today the Mortgage Bankers Association put out a revision in its 2009 originations forecast. A big revision. A $700 billion revision. “$84 billion of the drop is due to lower purchase originations and the rest is due to lower rate/term refinances and very low volumes in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).”

…The MBA had raised its forecast by over $800 billion in March following the drop in interest rates associated with the Fed’s announcement on the Treasury bond and mortgage-backed securities purchases programs as well as the implementation of the HARP….

……The refi’s dropped off for two reasons, one being the interest rate rise, and the second being the poor results on the HARP….While generally accepted estimates were that around 1.5 to 2 million borrowers might avail themselves of this program, with many more potentially eligible, to date only about 13,000 loans have been completed, notes the MBA’s chief economist, Jay Brinkmann.

Did anyone else catch Larry Kudlow get curt and rather harsh with Diana on The Call last week? Diana makes it clear in this blog report her position and reporting on the housing market is based on the facts, not the ‘Goldilocks wannabe green shoots’ scenario we all know Larry wants to find…..the harsh  reality of our housing market, and it is pretty damned harsh here in AZ lemme tell ya:

A lot of folks out there contend that I am overly bearish on the beat I cover. Some go so far as to call me “miserable,” while others claim I choose to see the glass half empty. I am and do neither. I’m not a bear; I’m a realist. It’s your right to have an opinion, but it’s not my job. My job is to gather for you and funnel to you the facts: The numbers, the trends, the industry forecasts and the experts’ analyses. I have no agenda and frankly gain nothing from being either a bull or a bear. If anything, I’d be better off personally as a housing bull. CNBC doesn’t allow me to own stock, but I can own a house, and I do. If you think housing has bottomed, that’s your opinion, but that’s just what it is: Opinion.

June 23, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Foreclosures, Housing, Music. Comments off.

Johnny Depp on Public Enemy and POTC 4….

On Public Enemy, courtesy of laudepp126x:

And SciFi has the scoop on POTC4:

…Depp says there’s no such thing as perfect cinema, but he considers another sequel just another chance at bat. “Call me a glutton,” he joked. While he’d like the screenplay to be right, he feels Pirates 4 could be just about anything at this point.

“I’m trying to turn it into a Beckett play,” Depp said, adding that perhaps Captain Jack could show up in a geisha costume. He’s joking. We think.

…Now Depp says filmmakers are free to explore a lot of possible storylines, unhindered by the pesky need to tie up plot points. Pirates of the Caribbean 4 is in development with Jerry Bruckheimer films, aiming for a 2012 release.

POTC Video by meee41

June 23, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Entertainment, Fantasy, Film, Music, Popular Culture. 2 comments.

Market Mover Tuesday: Housing Data and the Treasury Auctions begin….

The Mortgage Bankers Association slashed their estimates yesterday, more on that later….for the next two days, we are also waiting for language after the Fed meeting wraps up to see the exit strategy….

This morning we get sales data:

WSJ:

…At 10 a.m., the National Association of Realtors will report on May sales of existing homes and the Federal Housing Finance Agency will release home-price data for April.

The Treasury Department will auction $60 billion in two-year notes Tuesday. Ahead of the sale, Treasurys were falling, with the two-year note sliding 3/32 to yield 1.174%, and the 10-year note sliding 10/32 to yield 3.722%….

June 23, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Housing, Music, Wall St. Comments off.

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