Links and Minifeatures 07 18 Tuesday

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Isn't this rich? Carter blames 1980 loss on Walter Cronkite

"Updated opinion polls right before the election took place showed that we had slipped," Carter told Shirley. "And it was primarily because Walter Cronkite and everybody else was talking about it being the anniversary of the hostage taking."

Gee, Jimmy, you don't think it had anything to do with the fact that you allowed it to go on for 444 days, 365 at that particular moment that you are griping about, and that it was still going on at the time? Seems at least as newsworthy as the anniversaries of the Iraqi invasion to me. How about the fact that you were the worst excuse for an economic leader we've had since Herbert Hoover? That you gave away the Panama Canal despite it not being in our domestic interest and the fact that a decision wasn't due for thirty more years? That you allowed the Soviet Union to invade Afghanistan essentially unopposed? How long do you want me to go on? The fact is that we were suffering from a national disease, and you were the symptom in chief. Ronald Reagan helped most of us to recover, but there still is that portion of the populace led by yourself among others that is evidently beyond help.


US News (2d item) reports that Senator Tom Coburn Of Oklahoma has introduced a bipartisan bill to create an online searchable database of all federal spending. I think this is a fantastic idea, and it apparently has an excellent chance of passing. When the average citizen now has the means to tell how much is being spent and for what, this is certainly a powerful tool for those who contend too much is being spent.


Finally, US News has a fascinating article on the "eyewitnesses to history" project, with some particularly interesting accounts:

One of Lincoln's doctors

The genesis of the Interstate highways? Eisenhower's report on highways from 1919

Letter from a concentration camp liberator, and one from a survivor

A letter home from an escaped slave who had joined the Union Army

Thomas Jefferson on the storming of the Bastille

National Treasures, all of them. Most of them are worldwide treasures.


Indonesia didn't relay tsunami warnings. So much for their griping after the previous tsunami about the United States didn't care enough to establish a warning system for the Indian Ocean, didn't care enough to warn them. We did, and they didn't pass it on.


It was only a matter of time, and I wonder if this is the first time it's happened: Endangered Flower Illegally Planted for purposes of killing a twenty acre development.

I'm a pretty solid envionmentalist, but people have to live somewhere. See The Economics of Housing Development for an in-depth discussion of this phenomenon.


Browsing YouTube:

MATURE CONTENT ADVISORY Lord of The Rings Parody: The Council of Elrond Nothing shown on camera, but language and That Which Is Implied may not be for everyone. END MATURE CONTENT ADVISORY

Chad Vader, Dayshift Manager


First official confirmation of what I've been saying for months: San Diego home prices dip as condo fever cools.

I still think they're living in fairy tale land, though. Por ejemplo:

"The conditions aren't there for a big rebound in prices or for a big drop," he said. "We would need a big drop in interest rates to get any significant movement on prices on the upside. We would need to see some significant job losses, a recession at the national level, to get a big drop in prices."

Sky-high inventory. Rising rates leading to prices people cannot afford. Forty percent of all purchase money in the last two years was negative amortization, another forty short term interest only.

There are fantastic deals out there, a fact which I go into on my other site. Prices have fallen, and it's only manipulation of how they have been reported that has kept it from being reported before this. I think they will drop further, as inventory keeps piling up, but I don't know. What I do know is that it's a terrific time to be looking for a long term real estate investment, especially if you've got some cash. As I keep telling folks, the only time the value is important is when you go to sell or when you go to refinance. The bargains that are out there are there now. There may be more or better bargains later, if the price drops more, and people get more desperate, but there are bargains now, where there just weren't any two years ago. Find a good Buyer's Agent (*grin*), and you'll be very happy. Here's a link to an article I did a while back on my other site: Clients Who Can Still Make Money in San Diego Real Estate


Via Dean, Top 10 things likely to be overheard from a Klingon Programmer


The Anchoress has a story of an Afghani man who took a year to create a magnificent rug for President Bush.


Carol Platt Liebau on the issues of the stem cell debate.


Coyote Blog has a good post about estate tax and the stepped-up basis that is currently in place, and how repealing estate tax would also repeal stepped-up basis.

I would add one more thing: Do the people concerned have any idea how tough it can be to establish tax basis for investments bought by parents or grandparents twenty, forty, or eighty years ago? Stocks are tough enough, but things like real estate? Can you imagine documenting to the IRS satisfaction how much was spent to maintain or upgrade it?

I am by no means a defender of estate tax. I want it gone, as taxing assets that have already been taxed is vile. But it is important to do it in a considered manner, and there are things higher up my hit list.


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This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on July 18, 2006 4:51 PM.

What is Loan Amortization? was the previous entry in this blog.

Loan Documents - Contracts of Adhesion is the next entry in this blog.

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