“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Obama Foreclosure-Prevention Initiative Failure

Here is what Obama promised:

Here is what Obama delivered:

U.S. reports fewer enrollees, more dropouts in federal mortgage relief program

By Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Obama administration's marquee foreclosure-prevention initiative continues to struggle, as government data released Monday show that fewer homeowners are enrolling in the program and more are losing their federal mortgage aid.

Lenders enrolled homeowners into the mortgage relief effort, known as Making Home Affordable, at a slower pace last month after federal officials tightened the qualification process. Since the program's launch last year, about 340,000 homeowners have received a permanent loan modification that lowers their mortgage payment for five years.

But a growing number of borrowers are failing to move from the program's initial stage into a permanent loan modification. Lenders have said that many homeowners are failing to make the reduced loan payments and others have not been able to prove they qualify for mortgage assistance. The number of borrowers dropped from the program, about 436,000, eclipses those who have been helped, according to Treasury Department data. More than 100,000 borrowers lost their mortgage aid in May.

About half of the those dropped from the federal program received another type of loan modification from their banks, according to the government data. But housing counselors have complained that those alternative loan modifications are typically not as generous as what the government program offers and often come with hefty upfront fees.

"Obviously it's good to know these people haven't gone through foreclosure yet," said Julia Gordon, senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending. But there is no guarantee that lenders are offering modifications that will be sustainable for homeowners, she said.

Obama administration officials stressed Monday that Making Home Affordable is just one of several efforts to stabilize the housing sector. The administration unveiled a new "housing score card" pointing to the millions of home buyers who have taken advantage of tax credits worth up to $8,000, while noting that home prices have stabilized and mortgage rates are near historic lows.

The "housing market is significantly better than anyone predicted a year ago," Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said during a conference call with reporters. "Obviously we're not out of the woods. Our housing market remains fragile."

The latest numbers come as lawmakers prepare to consider on Tuesday a provision to offer up to $3 billion in loans for unemployed homeowners who need help paying their mortgage. The proposal seeks to address an issue that has bedeviled foreclosure- prevention efforts for more than a year: An increasing number of borrowers can't make their loan payments because they have lost their jobs. With little or no income, these borrowers struggle to make even the reduced payments offered under the government foreclosure-prevention program.

The loan-assistance provision, which is being debated as part of financial reform legislation, is modeled after a Pennsylvania program that offers unemployed workers low-interest loans to pay their mortgages. Borrowers are eligible for loans of up to $60,000 that can be repaid with payments as low as $25 a month.

The measure could help 500,000 families who have lost their jobs save their homes, said Rev. Lucy Kolin, a spokesman for PICO, a national network of faith-based community organizations.

"Unemployment is the number one cause of foreclosures, and yet little continues to be done to help these struggling families," he said. "If Congress was willing to bail out the very banks that caused the recession in the first place, they owe it to the American people who are bearing the brunt of the recession's impact to include this provision in the final financial reform legislation."


  1. Do the math:

    Obama promised helping 9,000,000. According to this article 340,000 homeowners have received a permanent loan modification that lowers their mortgage payment for five years.

    That is a little shy of the promised result. He has achieved 3.8% of what he promised or as I prefer to say, he missed by 96.2%.

    The number of borrowers dropped from the program, about 436,000, eclipses those who have been helped, according to Treasury Department data. More than 100,000 borrowers lost their mortgage aid in May.

    Obama sure knows his business. mmm mm mmm

  2. It's just a big motherfuck and we all know it.

  3. It all goes back to the importing of oil, sending a billion dollars a day to the Wahhabi.

    If that was not the case, there'd be full employment, well, under 7% unemployment.

    But having that $365 billion a year leak into the Persian Gulf, it sure takes a big chunk out the US and its' productive economy.

    Add on to that, the trade deficit we have been running with the Chinese, for the past decade, and you'll find another cause of the economic distress.

    The mortgage default rates, they are a symptom of the problem, not the cause.

    Treating the symptom, while ignoring the cause, always a road to ruin.

  4. Oil companies also contend that they clean up much of what is lost. A spokesman for Exxon Mobil in Lagos, Nigel Cookey-Gam, said the company's recent offshore spill leaked only about 8400 gallons and that ''this was effectively cleaned up.''

    But Richard Steiner, a consultant on oil spills, concluded in a 2008 report that historically ''the pipeline failure rate in Nigeria is many times that found elsewhere in the world''.

    And he noted ''almost every year'' a spill can be linked to a corroded pipeline.

    Niger Delta

  5. Only 20 skimmers in use off the coast of FL. Over 2000 available within US, plus the super skimmers owned by the Dutch. Obama says we can't use other skimmers because they might be needed for oil spills in their localities.

    The bastard can't think an honest thought. Not only is everything he says a lie, everything he thinks is a lie to cover previous lies.

    Meanwhile, Mika is working with the White House on its talking points in hopes of rebutting Guliani's highly effective and credible evisceration of Obama's incompetency.

    On a different subject, DR, you don't know your head from your horse's ass. "The mortgage default rates, they are a symptom of the problem (trade deficit with China and Persian Gulf), not the cause." That is utter economic nonsense!

    Your buddy Robert Rubin, Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelick, Barney Frank, Rahm Emanuel, Maxine Waters, and the rest of your beloved radical leftist economic idiots in the Democratic Party have generated far more economic damage to the US via a socialized mortgage market than all the Saudi, Persian, Turk and other Middle Eastern oil sheiks combined. Six plus trillion in residential real estate net worth decimated in less than ten years. Of course, it wasn't real anyway, but the illusion that it was led people to cast all caution to the wind, leaving only one trillion in equity in 51 million homes with mortgages. The good news is that 24 million own their homes outright ($5.25 trillion). The rest of the bad news - it will take nine years to clear current supply of housing inventory, default rates on post-2007 FHA loans exceed 20% and the ultimate kicker - The Roots of the Housing Bubble Remain Unchanged: moral hazard, unregulated risk, extreme leverage, fraud, you name it--nothing's changed.

    Furthermore, it's your same liberal love buddies who keep us from drilling for oil on dry land and in shallow water, where our oil reserves exceed those of Saudi Arabia, which would eliminate the Persian Gulf oil tax.

  6. Another interesting fact in support of my ocean-as-washing machine hypothesis, by way of The Mad Hedge Fund Trader.

    This is not the end of the world. Less than 1% of the spilled oil is ending up on the beaches. Watch TV, and that is not 150,000 barrels on the beach in Pensacola, Florida. Most of the crude is being moved parallel to the coast by the current and will eventually end up in the mid-Atlantic, where it will break down or dissipate.

    Using the high end estimates, and assuming that it takes a year to run out, possibly 36 million barrels will end up in the sea (pressure is declining). This is the same amount of oil that was dumped into the Atlantic during WWII, when 452 tankers were sunk by German U-boats, mostly along the US east coast, and when tar on the beach was a daily occurrence.

    This is on top of the 1.5 million barrels a year that leak into the Gulf through natural seepage, which no one ever notices.

  7. Might as well whack Rufus while I'm cracking economic knuckleheads. Or at least see what kind of nonsense he spews in trying to defend against this attack on his "crack" - ethanol:

  8. We can all dread the affects of Obama's bromide for healthcare, assuming the unintended consequences and results will be similar to his deft handling of the mortgage mess.

    It is quite startling to see Obama in the year old video, primped and prancing, strutting and preaching, scolding, predicting and promising a really good show of returning to common values and common sense.

    You never hear a word from Obama about the results of his mortgage fix. The full video here is an even more interesting view of Obama.

  9. And that was damned well said by j willie...

  10. and of course the Republicans in Congress, owned by the banks, hardly less foolish than the Democrats are railing about strategic defaulters:

    [Republicans argue] that strategic default needs to be legislated away, and its perpetrators punished.

    But strategic defaulters are not committing some felony or crime. They are not even really breaching their contracts. Every mortgage contract spells out what happens if the homeowner does not pay: The bank evicts them and takes the home.

    Furthermore, the Republican letter does not spell out how the government would designate someone as a strategic defaulter anyway. Strategic defaulters are people who could continue to pay their mortgages but choose not to. Defaulters are people who cannot continue to pay their mortgages. But does the government really want to stipulate that homeowners have to hand over, say, up to their last $2,000 of savings to the bank before they can walk away from their home? Up to their last five percent of annual income? What if those people need the money to move, or to pay medical bills, or to buy shoes for their kids? Since when have Republicans advocated telling Americans how they can and cannot spend their money?

    the full article here

  11. If the government or the Republicans want to go after someone to punish for the causes of the foreclosure mess they could start by investigating themselves beginning with the Community Reinvestment Act, up and through the Tarp program that gave the banks hundreds of billions and required them to do nothing with it.

    The strategic defaulters are wisely playing the hand dealt them by the congressional croupiers, our rulers and masters, the collective genius of the American body politic.

    The strategic defaulters are doing what they should to protect themselves, their wealth and their families. That protection will never come from Congress, the President or the government subsidized banks.

    The banks deserve no further protection from the market that will be teaching them another lesson.

  12. Years ago, I worked for three different banks in Philadelphia and New York. They knew their business.

    They knew where to lend and to whom and where to not. They knew that Polish neighborhoods in Bridesburg, Manayunk and Port Richmond, cleaned their own sidewalks, and saved 30% of what they earned.

    The banks sent armored cars to branch banks in the Polish areas to pick up cash. They also knew the neighborhoods where to send cash on "Mother's Day," the day when welfare checks arrived.

    The bankers knew that to lend in the "Red lined" areas was not a risk, it was a sure thing, you were not going to get repaid.

    That offended Congress, the liberals, the press, the Democrats and the dreamers.

    Those politically incorrect bankers were harnessed to a juggernaut of social engineering, threatened with the loss of their banks and positions if the pernicious federal regulators withdrew their support.

    They all got what they bargained for and you, as usual, got screwed.

  13. Just do it Willie. At the EB we seek no quarter and offer none. No icon is too tall to be whacked and no earth so sacred to not be scorched with some degree of regularity.

    Give us you wrinkled, your scarred, your swollen knuckled masses of kicked asses. Always welcomed at the bar that never closes.

  14. Christ talk about banks I can tell you some stories that will pull the hair off your face the mother fuckers screwed me good but I always fought back me and my Jewish lawyer, always fight back!

  15. Banks and banker are not all altruistic nor are they all evil. Some bankers are good decent people and some are not. Same with the Banks. Over the years, I've been able to tell the good from the bad.

    What we have just gone through, the bubble, we all went through pretty much together.

    If there is one single point of fault though, it is the social engineering and interference of the 'do-gooders' in Congress. Not that they were altruistic either. The Democrats used Fannie and Freddie as their own personal Bank to reward their apparachiks. They looted it for themselves and used it to buy votes for their party. By insisting on lax lending standards for minorities, they opened the doors of the treasury for all. Now, some economists are saying that the only way out of the current debacle is a massive reset. That is; debt forgiveness on a nationwide scale. I don't know if that is correct. The thought of having lenders take all the hit is very troubling to me. On the other hand, they, by and large have been the beneficiaries of the Government bailout to date.

    Obama's efforts so far have failed because refinancing is not the answer to a collapsed bubble when so many homeowners owe more on their mortgages than what their homes are worth. The housing industry constituted a huge portion of the US economy and until the problem is resolved, we'll be economically handicapped and bitterly divided over free market economics versus social democracy values.

  16. The last thing we needed in the White House was a bunch of radical, watermelon usurpers led by a political novice. Yes, these are radicals bent on promoting a radical agenda. Unfortunately they are ill-prepared and ill-suited to address the economic problems besetting the country.

    BTW - Let me just remind you of BHO associates. Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn - What have they been up to recently? Stirring up trouble in the Meditarranean. Attorney General Holder, you know, the one who sprung the Puerto Rican terrorists! What a stooge.

    Elena Kagan, Barack's nominee couldn't be any farther away from mainstream America.

    Question: Why would the Obama administration direct the Feds to slow down the oil spill cleanup efforts? If the spill is as bad as is thought, why would BHO allow the EPA and the Coast Guard to be an impediment?

  17. J Willie nails it, but the Housing Bubble actually wsa caused by Big Bubble Inc.

    'Rat convinced me with his faultless argument.

  18. Rolling Stone Mcchrystal Article

    The magazine story shows that McChrystal is also facing criticism from some of his own troops who have grown frustrated with new rules that force commanders be extraordinarily judicious in using lethal force.

    A few weeks ago, according to the magazine, the general traveled to a small outpost in Kandahar Province, in southern Afghanistan, to meet with a unit of soldiers reeling from the loss of a comrade, 23-year-old Cpl. Michael Ingram.

    The corporal was killed in a booby-trapped house that some of the unit's commanders had unsuccessfully sought permission to blow up.

    One soldier at the outpost showed Hastings, who was traveling with the general, a written directive instructing troops to "patrol only in areas that you are reasonably certain that you will not have to defend yourself with lethal force."

    During a tense meeting with Ingram's platoon, one sergeant tells McChrystal: "Sir, some of the guys here, sir, think we're losing, sir."

    McChrystal has championed a counterinsurgency strategy that prioritizes protecting the population as a means to marginalize and ultimately defeat the insurgency. Because new rules sharply restrict the circumstances under which air strikes and other lethal operations that have resulted in civilian casualties can be conducted, some soldiers say the strategy has left them more exposed.

    June is on track to be the deadliest month for NATO troops in Afghanistan since the war began nearly nine years ago.

    Washington Post

  19. A federal judge is to rule today or possible by tomarrow whether the 6 month freeze on drilling imposed by Obama is constitutionally legal.

    It would probably be best for Obama if the judge knocks down the ban. It would put everyone back to work while allowing the Obamamama to claim he did his best for his constituency. (Same rationale applies to the law suit they are launching against the Arizona immigration law.)

    If the ban was allowed to run the full six months, half the rigs there would disappear. The companies would simply move them to other countries. Brazil expects to put up around sixty rigs over the next couple years.


  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. The Pathetic Oil Cleanup Effort is the result of Bush/Cheney Policies.

    ...same source.

  22. The better question, whit, is why would the Coast Guard or EPA be an impediment.

    What would drive Admiral Allen, and his staff of careerist Federals, to do the wrong thing.

    Same at the EPA. What would motivate them to do the "wrong" thing, too?

    Especially if the "right thing" is oh so obvious and easy to do.

  23. General McCrystal is being called on the Oval Office carpet for his Rolling Stone interview where he calls Obama and his war planners a bunch of clowns. If I was McCrystal I'd throw in my resignation and let Obama plug in a party hack with more loyalty, sure, that'll work in Afghanistan.

  24. If the Coast Guard commander thought he was being "used" as an impediment to the clean-up, you figure he'd just go along, to get along?

    Not say a word?
    Not resign in protest?

    Not even give an interview to Rolling Stone Magazine, to make public his disgust and display some insubordination?

  25. Quirk:If the ban was allowed to run the full six months, half the rigs there would disappear.

    Seven dollar gas just in time for the November election, and a double-dip recession. Bring it on, I want the Senate in GOP hands too, not just the House.

  26. Ms. T, Stan the Man seems to be taking the opposite tack:

    "In a statement, General McChrystal apologized for his remarks.

    “I extend my sincerest apology for this profile,” he said. “It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened. Throughout my career, I have lived by the principles of personal honor and professional integrity. What is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard.” "

  27. Anyone that believes that the US can run huge balance of payments trade deficits, with out consequence, for decades upon end...
    Must have skipped Econ 101.

    If the Federals spending a projected $ Trillion USD on "Health Care", in the US over a decade will bankrupt US ... as I have read it will, here.

    How then could the Federals spilling that same amount of borrowed cash, a $ Trillion USD on to the sands of Iraq, be a benefit, economically?

    Well, those "thinkers" must have have skipped Econ 202, too.

    At least the health care spending will be internalized within the US economy, not spent on economic nonsense, like concrete blast barriers and mercenaries from South America operating around the Persian Gulf.

  28. Imported oil will not destroy our magnificent medical care system.

    Obamacare will.

  29. The Proof is in the amount of oil spilled and the capacity to handle it which is in place, 'Rat.

    No rational argument can be made that sufficient capcity is on hand.

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. "Throughout my career, I have lived by the principles of personal honor and professional integrity. What is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard.”

    Not once has he said the quotes in the story were not accurately reported.

    He makes clear, in his apology that he lied to the reporter about the President and his staffers.

    His personal honor would not have been violated, by his telling of the truth.

    But then, he is the same General McChrystal that ran over watch for the cover-up of the Tillman murder, so what else should we have expected?

  32. re:

    Tue Jun 22, 09:28:00 AM EDT

    Your man, the President of the United States,
    Barrack Hussein Obama.

    The "man" at the top.

    Quite obvious, really, to all who are willing to see.

  33. The hospitals are all going to close, doug, as the Federals pump a trillion bucks into the system?

    Not likely.

    Change, for the worse, now that could well come, to the Medical Industry.
    But its' destruction, that's a strawman.

  34. "He makes clear, in his apology that he lied to the reporter about the President and his staffers.

    His personal honor would not have been violated, by his telling of the truth."

    The Alternate Reality Marches on, unfettered by mere mortal's logic!

    Obama Rules!

  35. All facts are strawmen.

    To some.

  36. Sorry, that one was mere nitpickery:

    "Change, for the worse, now that could well come, to the Medical Industry. "

    My bad, and my apologies to BHO for the exageration.

    Go Barry!

  37. Well, doug, when was General McChrystal lying?

    Was it to the Rolling Stone reporter or in his apology to the American people?

    It has to be one or the other.

    General McChrystal, he is certainly no Douglas MacArthur.

  38. Still waiting, doug, for a link to a story with the name of any ship, turned away due to the Jones Act.

    When it comes to "facts" and strawmen.

  39. Washington Examiner

    But they are especially angered by Ingram’s death. His commanders had repeatedly requested permission to tear down the house where Ingram was killed, noting that it was often used as a combat position by the Taliban. But due to McChrystal’s new restrictions to avoid upsetting civilians, the request had been denied. “These were abandoned houses,” fumes Staff Sgt. Kennith Hicks. “Nobody was coming back to live in them.”

    One soldier shows me the list of new regulations the platoon was given. “Patrol only in areas that you are reasonably certain that you will not have to defend yourselves with lethal force,” the laminated card reads. For a soldier who has traveled halfway around the world to fight, that’s like telling a cop he should only patrol in areas where he knows he won’t have to make arrests. “Does that make any f–king sense?” Pfc. Jared Pautsch. “We should just drop a f–king bomb on this place. You sit and ask yourself:

    What are we doing here?”

  40. Seems that President Karzai, of Afghanistan, he backs General McChrystal and will accompany him, to the White House, tomorrow.

    I know you fellas get all warm and tingly, about President Karzai and his management of US assets, there in Afghanistan.

  41. Why Has Barack Obama Refused To Accept International Help To Clean Up The Oil Spill In The Gulf Of Mexico?

    The truth is that 13 different countries have offered to help clean up the oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Barack Obama turned all 13 of them down.

    More links Here in the article:

    An increasing number of Gulf coast residents have become so frustrated that they have decided to take it upon themselves to stop the oil that is headed towards their homes and businesses.

    But BP and the Obama administration have been running around trying to keep anyone else other than themselves from doing anything about this oil spill. In fact, Barack Obama has authorized the deployment of more than 17,000 National Guard members along the Gulf coast to be used "as needed" by state governors, and BP is being allowed to use private security contractors to keep the American people away from the oil cleanup sites.

    If they used as much energy cleaning up the oil as they are in keeping the American people away from the spill they might actually be accomplishing something.

  42. The first link, doug, has factual misrepresentations, in the second paragraph.

    ... Obama let the BP oil spill dump ...

    Obama had no way to stop it, no one does. So the rest of that story is told from a faulty perspective. One that needs factual misrepresentation for its' basis.
    Not worth further reading.

  43. The second link, to the same story, does not name a ship, nor the countries that offered help to US, nor does it accurately quote Obama.

  44. Twenty percent interest was a hell of a lot of interest and it didn't matter they said we only get two per cent it was a bitch I was just workin' for them slaving my back off I've been there....


  45. Gulf coast senators introduce bill to allow foreign ships to help with BP oil spill clean-up

    “With still only 20 skimmers off the coast of Florida, we need to expedite additional assistance,” LeMieux said. “Any vessels ready to help should be allowed into the Gulf.”

    Hutchison said in a radio interview Monday that there was no reason why the U.S. should not be as open as possible to foreign aid.

    “It’s just nonsense to not have every hand on deck,” she said.

  46. This is interesting, and worthy of complaint.

    The oil industry estimates the moratorium will cost rig workers as much as $330 million a month in direct wages. Add to that the financial impact the ban will have on oil industry support workers, and the so-called "multiplier effect" by which wages are said to account for as much as 10 times their actual value on the economy, as the money is passed from hand to hand, and the impact reaches into the billions.
    The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that BP successfully argued behind closed doors last week that it should not be liable for the economic distress the president's moratorium will cause.

    We ought to hold BP liable for all the economic damage done by their negligence.

    You want to get on Obama, there is the case, right there.
    For letting BP off the hook.

  47. If what j willie said is accurate, we have hundreds of other skimmers spread around the country.

    We should utilize those, first.

    But what good skimmers would do, with those under the surface plums, is beyond my nautical knowledge.

  48. Two months later, they are STARTING to correct their flawed policy and decisions!

    ...but still pathetic:
    Why are 1,500 available US oil skimmers not on the scene?

    Jones Act: Maritime politics strain Gulf oil spill cleanup

    Pressure is building for President Obama to lift a 1920 protectionist law so that high-tech foreign oil skimmers can help with the Gulf oil spill. Why are 1,500 available US oil skimmers not on the scene?

    The Coast Guard Friday "redoubled" efforts to keep the Deepwater Horizon oil spill from impacting Gulf states by calling in more skimming boats and equipment from the Netherlands, Norway, France, and Spain after previously telling one Dutch official "Thanks, but no thanks," to an offer of help.

    That revelation comes as Florida lawmakers beg for more skimmers to ward off Gulf spill oil approaching the state's white sand beaches and as the Unified Command – led by Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen – struggles with chain-of-command issues as BP changes its on-scene leadership.

    Everyone cites severe chain of command roadblocks, except 'Rat!

    13 separate agencies have to OK State Plans.

    A Blanket waiver would reduce one source of delay.
    Bush did it, BHO has not.

    ...slowly, they allow more aide.


  49. That Obama and his Team will use the Deepwater Horizon fiasco to their political advantage, not even worthy of discussion.
    Of course they will, and are.

    As I noted they would, weeks ago.

    That the loyal opposition does not use this fiasco to advance a "Growth Energy" solution, well, that is due to their own lack of foresight and leadership.

    As well as their attempt to "use" this crisis, to "get" Obama.

    Entertaining, to be sure but no forward movement towards a viable liquid energy solution.

  50. Christian Science Moniter says Willie is correct.

    Why limit it to US Ships only when superior equipment is overseas, and all 1,500 US Flagged Ships are not available?

    Obama answers to the Unions.

  51. Pure distraction, 'Rat:

    The point is, vast damage is being done.

    A proper response would have prevented much damage.

    Obviously, you'd rather defend BHO.

    I'll leave that up to you to continue.

  52. That Obama is a Union man, doug-o, may be more than accurate.

    But unimportant, as long as the flow from the Deepwater Horizon continues to spew oil into the Gulf.

    Until that flow is staunched, most of the clean-up effort is just eyewash.

    Which is both a shame and a sham.

  53. The "Right" falling into the oil trap.

    Trying to defend BP, while attacking Obama.
    That's a loser, politically.

  54. and Stan brought it on himself. He's not looking so good at the moment...

  55. The Associated Press

    NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge on Tuesday blocked a six-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling projects imposed after the massive Gulf oil spill.

  56. CBS News -

    Washington -- Congress will not pass a budget resolution this year because the issue of the soaring national debt hangs over every policy debate in Washington, House Majority Steny Hoyer said today, and it will be impossible to pass a realistic ...

  57. - ‎

    More than a fourth of households in the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City district use payday lenders, check-cashing services, convenience stores and other options instead of traditional banks for financial services.

  58. “Unbanked and underbanked consumers are finding checking and savings accounts less relevant to their financial lives, but research shows that access to safe and affordable bank services is a key step in achieving personal financial stability,” Thomas Hoenig, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, said in a statement. “We hope this study will provide an understanding of these challenges and assist financial institutions, policymakers and community organizations in improving the outcomes for all involved."

  59. "We ought to hold BP liable for all the economic damage done by their negligence."

    Quite so. But not in the context of charging BP for the ill-advised policies of the Obama administration.

    Heck, charging BP for losses associated with the drilling moratorium sounds like something a guy like Henry Waxman might come up with.

    Oh wait, it was something Waxman came up with.


  60. The moratorium decision will be a clue as to whether Obama is issue driven, constituency driven or just plain stupid.

    Obama instituted the moratorium and justified it by altering a peer reviewed report on the spill. Not very nice.

    However, he has already picked up the benefit of this move with the environmentalists and anti-oil people. With the moratorium being rebuffed in the courts, hopefully, the jobs affected will be quickly restored.

    However, I don't claim to be an expert but it's my understanding that the oil companies involved will still have to reapply for permits before they can start up operations again.

    Obama will be measured by if and when those permits are approved. With the disarray in MMS, this could quickly turn into another avoidable disaster created by the Obama administration.



  61. McCrystal screwed up but it's hard to say in which way.

    The NYT indicates that having looked at the Rolling Stone article, it appears most of the inflammatory language came from McCrystal's aides. However, he evidently took full responsibility since he appologized.

    Was he justified in being pissed. Of course. Eikenberry gave it to him in the ass around the time of the surge decision. Should he have said anything. No. He obeys orders, he doesn't fight them.

    If he was pissed off enough by the White House, he should have just resigned.

    Now with him back peddling it's bad. Even if he isn't fired, his effectiveness going forward is compromised.

    And whether you question is integrity or not, you have to question his judgement.


  62. Yon will no longer be embedded.

    Yet they spill their guts to Rolling Stone!

    A surge in the arse, indeed.

  63. "Until that flow is staunched, most of the clean-up effort is just eyewash.

    Which is both a shame and a sham.


    Supertankers on scene could significantly reduce amount of oil going into gulf.

    The Obama Response has been pathetic, whether you care to admit it or not.

    A competent response FROM DAY ONE would have greatly reduced damage.

  64. Ssd that Yon's been warning of an outcome like this in Afghanistan for over 5 years.
    ...ignored more than responded to.

  65. Whatever, doug.

    The flow was that of a suburban swimming pool, each day, I read here.

    At least in the beginning.

    Was that an untruth or has the flow rate increased?

    I understand that NOAA believed the flow rate was greater than BP said it was. In the beginning.

    Which if true, makes BP all the more culpable for the poor decisions made.

    Regardless though, how was the oil going to get out of the Gulf and into the tanker?

    What could have been, if another route had been taken, another unknowable. But if Obama had nationalized the Deepwater Horizon, we'd be chastising him, for that.

    What is and what could be gained from this disaster, all that matters, now.

  66. Hint:
    Skimmers remove oil from the Gulf.

  67. The oil did not surface, doug-o.

    Even I know that.

    There are huge underwater plumes, not a giant slick on the surface.

    All the skimmers in the whirled will not deal with those plumes.

    Especially if they make their way to the coastline, surfacing there.

    The vast majority of the oil is not skimmable, from what I've read. One of the major reasons, I'd assume, why the flow rates could be so easily misjudged, by all of those that were there, on the surface.

  68. Which is why all the talk of skimmers is just part of the political sham.

    Which, because the flow has not and cannot be staunched, makes it a shame.

  69. Obama's got problems...

  70. The Rolling Stone article paints and ugly story of infighting between Eikenberry, Holbrooke and McChrystal. In fact, it looks like the frontier men are at odds with everyone including the VP and the CiC.

    You have to believe that McChrystal and Company knew where this would go and just didn't give a damn.

  71. In light of the dysfunction on display in US leadership, this should come as no surprise.

    The country has problems...

  72. McChrystal voted for Obama....

  73. jwillie - why do I think you are in the oil bizness? Who else reads the "oil price" website?

    They overlooked that ethanol has an Octane Rating of 114, jwillie. My flexfuel Chevy gets 80% the mileage on E85 as it does on gasoline, and the new 2.0L 220 HP Engine in the Buick Regal will push that midsize luxury car around at 5% the Mileage of Gasoline.

    The next iteration, due out next fall will have the Delphi heated injectors and get the same mileage on E85 as on Gasoline..

    When you consider that E85 is selling for $1.83/gal all over the Midwest those people are going to be driving a hell of a lot cheaper (about $0.06/mile) than those poor suckers driving on gazzoline. They will, also, have more power at their fingertips than those users of "Jihadi Juice."

  74. The average county in the U.S. has about 100,000 people. Those people, man, woman, and child, on average, use about 450 gallons of gasoline, apiece. That means a family of four is using 1,800 gallons of gasoline. That's about $5,400.00 going out of pocket, depending on the month, and year.

    About $1,800.00 goes to the Big Oil Companies on which pretty much no income taxes are paid. About $700.00 goes to the Federal Government, and the Rest goes Overseas.

    Very little of that money (virtually none, actually) stays in my county.

    Here's the future as I see it: The new engines cut it down to 300 gallons apiece. 150 gallons of that is produced, and sold locally. That's $45 Million/Yr that stays In My County. The Rest, $45 Million, stays in the U.S.

    Knucklehead Economics says "Local is Better," or "Once it's in Saudi Arabia it ain't coming back to Tunica." Yeah, I know, it sounds silly; but, that's just the way we roll in Mississip

  75. Rereading the Rolling Stone article, I don't see anything that should get McChrystal fired.

  76. Spilling $350 Billion a year into the Persian Gulf, rufus, that ain't nothin' but a thing.

    Don't mean nothin'

    Not if you love the Wahhabi.

  77. Generals serve at the pleasure of the President, we'll get to see how pleased he is, soon enough.

    The show never stops.

    That's entertainment, sure enough.

  78. I think that's closer to $3.5 Billion, Rat (but the "clean-up" could add a couple of zeros to that.)

    I don't know how many US income taxes BP paid, but Halliburton moved their corporate offices to Dubai, right? I know Exxon paid no US income tax last year (on $39 Billion profit.)

    I want MY fuel produced right here in Tunica County. I'll buy it from the Producer, and maybe my kids can sell HIM something.

    I know damned well when Exxon, or the Wahhabis get their grubby, jihadi supporting hands on it it's Gone.

  79. No Marines dying to "protect" the corn fields; no 7th Fleet patrolling the Mississippi River. No Beaches shut down from a moonshine spill.

    No Saudi Sheiks taking Rufii family money and buying Private Jets with Gold Toilets, and sending terrorists to flight school.

  80. Obama is looking for an excuse to look tough. He can't hurt himself with the Left by firing any general.

    If I were Obama, I would be tempted to fire him, but then what? Obama wants out of Afghanistan. He has no idea as to how this thing will end. Firing the general will send the wrong message to the Taliban and could put Obama in a bigger mess than he is already in.

    No, I would make the general stay till the end and quietly tell him that one more act of insubordination and his career will end with a court-martial.‎

  81. I agree with Whit's reading, but if Obama is foolish enough to fire McChrystal, what does he think the general will say next?

  82. Maybe the general wants to run for something.

  83. The general outsmarted Obama and Obama knows it.

  84. O's gotta fire him. He'll look pretty piss weak if he doesn't.

    Actually, I think McChrystal will resign before he gets the chance.

  85. And despise the United States, wanting to see US on our knees at worse, bowing to their royalty, at best.

    Support the oil companies, at the expense of Growth Energy, and that is where you stand.

    Truly and completely against the best interests of our country.

    Are those that are wanting to maintain the addiction to foreign oil, instead of getting the home grown substitute.

    Supporting the infrastructure that supports radical Islam, with their cash dollars. Fighting to maintain the status que of our transfer of wealth, to the Wahhabi.

  86. The money is spilling into the PERSIAN Gulf, rufus, at the rate of $350 billion per year.

    The leak in the Gulf of Mexico, peanut dough by comparison.

  87. That's where the j willie's of the whirled stand today, with the Wahhabi, shoulder to shoulder.

  88. In the nine years, since 9SEP01, we have paid to the Wahhabi of the Persian Gulf, well over $3 TRILLION USD.

    Now that, amigos, is real tribute.

    Especially when our Army could have just taken those Saudi oil fields.
    They've been in striking distance for what, eight years now.

  89. Plus the $ Trillion USD we have spent, to police the region.

    So, doing the math, that puts US $4 Trillion out of pocket to Muslims, since the Wahhabi attacked NYCity, in 2001.

  90. But to grow switchgrass, and distill it to fuel, that's counter productive.

    Uneconomical, they say.

    That transfer of wealth, the giant sucking sound...
    Nothing to it, please, just move along.
    Everything is normal.

    Well the new normal, anyway.

  91. If we had kept that $4Trillion USD, in the United States, well, they say, it'd have not effected our economy.

    We would not have reinvested that cash flow, here in the US, to the betterment and greater prosperity of our society, oh no.

    Sending that money to the Persian Gulf, it makes no difference to US and our economy.

    Not according to j willie.

  92. A member of good standing in the brotherhood of the Wahhabi.

    By word and deed.

  93. Better that we borrow money from Charlie Chi-com and give it to the Wahhabi.

    That, amigos mio, is truly entertainment.

  94. Anyone that tells you that the US is at "War with Islam" is certifiably insane.

    Just look at the reality of what we are doing and it is clear that the US is not at all at "War with Islam".

    No, we are in league with the Wahhabi leadership, not at war with them.

  95. The Rand Corporation’s Stephen Larrabee, in an interview with Bernard Gwertzman of the Council on Foreign Relations, cautions that US and Turkish interests “only partially coincide” in the Middle East. “It does not mean that Turkey is turning its back on the US or the West.

    It does not mean that its policies are becoming Islamized. The real issue is to manage those differences.”

    US management of such differences will require acute sophistication.

    Moderate Islam

  96. A former North Korean agent -- who claimed she got orders from Kim Jong-Il to bomb a South Korean airliner in 1987 -- says she believes Kim also ordered the sinking of a South Korean warship in March.

    Kim Hyun-Hee, who was sentenced to death but later pardoned for her role in blowing up the plane with the loss of 115 lives, was quoted by the Monthly Chosun, a magazine published by Chosun Ilbo newspaper.


    She married one of her security guards and is now in her late 40s.

    Ship Attack

  97. Deuce/Whit,

    I agree with both of you that bankers aren't bad. Government, acting on Democratic initiative and Republican passivity, passed the CRA, set up credit scoring, outlawed redlining (which made sense and still makes sense) and along with ACORN and Fannie/Freddie more or less forced traditional banks into making loans they wouldn't otherwise have made. Then the I-bankers got into the game, playing like hedge funds with OPM and that's all she wrote.

    You find a banker today that understands how to spell credit, much less how to manage it, and you will have found a rare bird.


    How much switchgrass, corn or sorghum are you growing? My guess is none, cause you are too busy flapping your lips and saying nothing on this website.


    Don't forget, I grew up on a cotton, soybean and rice farm in Tunica. When I see a ethanol plant in Tunica, I'll buy your ethanol BS, but until then, no sale. Tunica County, by the way, has some of the largest and most progressive (technologically and commercially, not politically) farmers in the Mid South. If there's money to be made at it, Tunica farmers will be doing it. Thus far, I haven't heard of any ethanol follies there.

    And, no I'm not in the oil business, but have found that site to be quite interesting.

    If DR would quit flapping his lips long enough to go read that article, he would see that it said, "This is not the end of the world. Less than 1% of the spilled oil is ending up on the beaches. Watch TV, and that is not 150,000 barrels on the beach in Pensacola, Florida. Most of the crude is being moved parallel to the coast by the current and will eventually end up in the mid-Atlantic, where it will break down or dissipate.

    Using the high end estimates, and assuming that it takes a year to run out, possibly 36 million barrels will end up in the sea (pressure is declining). This is the same amount of oil that was dumped into the Atlantic during WWII, when 452 tankers were sunk by German U-boats, mostly along the US east coast, and when tar on the beach was a daily occurrence."

    Nevertheless, those skimmers can save a lot of beaches and wildlife from ruin, and if Obama wasn't so busy playing golf, partying with McCartney and Stevie Wonder and protecting his union buddies come hell or high water or high oil in the water, he would clear out the Jones Act and any other regulatory bullshit that stands in the way of helping the Gulf Coast out. But that aint who he is. He's the ONE.

  98. Sorry, that Anonymous above was me.

  99. desert rat said...

    "The oil did not surface, doug-o.

    Even I know that.

    There are huge underwater plumes, not a giant slick on the surface.

    All the skimmers in the whirled will not deal with those plumes.

    Especially if they make their way to the coastline, surfacing there.

    The vast majority of the oil is not skimmable, from what I've read. One of the major reasons, I'd assume, why the flow rates could be so easily misjudged, by all of those that were there, on the surface."

    Keeps on producing non factual bilge.

    The reason large quantities of oil are not reaching the surface is due to them using dispersents near the seafloor.

    Even so, there is still not sufficient skiming capcity in place to handle the problem, which is why you are (again) FOS.
    And I don't mean sham or shame.

    The reasons for the misjudgement of the flow is that BP wanted to minimise it.
    It could have been accurately measure in week one with equipment from Woods Hole.

    BP said they would just be getting in the way.

    ...let's see a link that the "vast majority is underwater"

    But again, surface slicks vastly exceed skimming capcity in place at this moment.

  100. Ethanol industry creates Top 10 enemies list. Funny how healthy industries never have time or inclination to do same. Can you imagine Google, Microsoft or Intel publishing a Top Ten Enemies list?

    I agree with the enemies - ethanol is a scam. Rufus, that makes you a scammer, in addition to being an economic knucklehead! :)

  101. "The reason large quantities of oil are not reaching the surface is due to them using dispersents near the seafloor."


    Large quantities ARE reaching the surface, but large quantities that would have reached the surface are not because of subsea dispersants.

  102. Mexico is taking Arizona to court?

    What the fuck?

  103. Arizona is bad.

    Illegal immigration is good.

    mmm mm mmm

  104. So the Obama admin and Mexico are in a class action against Arizona?

    What the shit?

    mmm mm mmm

  105. Many homeowners are struggling to avoid losing their homes because of the dreaded foreclosure proceedings. Aside from the worsening economic condition, there are others reasons of having to face foreclosure anywhere in the world. These reasons include failure to conduct extensive research before taking and signing a mortgage contract, the imprudent act of trusting bank representatives too much, and inability to choose the right mortgage company. Thankfully in Fort Mcmurray, mortgage brokers are available to give you an in-depth explanation of the contract you're signing for. I remember a mortgage broker in Calgary who mentioned that choosing the right person or company to handle your mortgage processes is important to avoid problems with the overall mortgage applications.

    Thanks for sharing this informative post, Deuce!