April 3, 2013

Rebuilding the housing bubble?

I occasionally comment on Twitter that I'm concerned that rather than really addressing underlying problems in the American economy, leaders are sweeping them under the carpet and are inadvertently rebuilding the housing bubble because it's simply easier than the alternative.

I know this sounds tinfoil hat-ish to some folks. But I can't help but immediately feel again that there is some of this going on, intentionally or not, when I read things like this, from the Washington Post:

The Obama administration is engaged in a broad push to make more home loans available to people with weaker credit, an effort that officials say will help power the economic recovery but that skeptics say could open the door to the risky lending that caused the housing crash in the first place....

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March 13, 2013

Rand Paul on same-sex marriage

From NRO:

“I’m an old-fashioned traditionalist. I believe in the historic and religious definition of marriage,” he says. “That being said, I’m not for eliminating contracts between adults. I think there are ways to make the tax code more neutral, so it doesn’t mention marriage. Then we don’t have to redefine what marriage is; we just don’t have marriage in the tax code.”

My translation: 

"Personally, when I hear the term 'married,' I think of a man and a woman. That's what the term has meant historically and as a matter of religious definition. However, states need to recognize contracts whether they're between gay couples or straight couples, which many states do not currently do on 'public policy' grounds. We also need to reform the federal tax code so that it doesn't treat married people differently from single people. If we do both of those things, then you achieve equal rights without having a discussion about what 'marriage' is or is not and who is entitled to what from government and who is not."

He's basically right here. The big problem, on my read, is that this isn't something that would be politically popular enough to get it done. (Additional side issue: This doesn't deal with immigration questions). But it is important insofar as it indicates his thinking....

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March 8, 2013

Pat Brady, ILGOP Chairman, faces ouster tomorrow

I previously covered the effort by certain same-sex marriage opponents in Illinois to oust the pro-same sex marriage Chairman of the Illinois GOP, Pat Brady, here.

That effort will culminate tomorrow, with the meeting of the state central committee.

But on the eve of the vote, it appears that those behind the effort have attracted some fresh opposition, in the form of two former Republican governors of the Land of Lincoln:

Former Republican Govs. Jim Thompson and Jim Edgar urged the GOP State Central Committee to adopt a “big tent” approach as they head into a special meeting Saturday, when the panel could vote to oust Party Chairman Pat Brady.

“If they fire Pat Brady, it will further submerge the Republican Party in Illinois, which is at a pretty low point, anyway,” Thompson said Thursday in an interview with WBEZ.

[...]

Given the timing, Edgar said it would be unwise to fire Brady for his public support of same-sex marriage, as public sentiment is headed in the same direction.

“I think it’d be a mistake to use that as a reason to – to remove somebody who I think’s done a credible job,” Edgar said in an interview Thursday. “And it’s the wrong political decision as well as, I don’t think it’s the smartest thing to do.”

[...]

“If they vote Pat Brady out, they better have a damn fine candidate to replace him, rather than leave the party leaderless or rudderless or in the hands of somebody who can’t do the same good job that Pat does,” Thompson said. “That would be outrageous.”...

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