Commerce as compared to Regulation

In one of the recent diaries William McDonough was incorporated into the conversation as an "excellent" example of why environmentalists are not strong advocates of state regulation but rather prefer incorporating "sustainable design" as the key driver in the pursuit of commerce. William is rather well spoken and has been true in his pursuit of design to faciliate sustainable processes.

How does William differ from the likes of Rudolph Diessel whose engine was first designed to run on peanut oil or Henry Ford and his romantic notions about beans? What constrained Diessel's and Ford's efforts at innovation?

Guess the author of this quote - OBAMA UPDATE

Dates certain, Mr. President, are not the criteria here. What is the criteria and what should be the criteria is our immediate, orderly withdrawal from XXXXXXX. And if we do not do that and other Americans die, other Americans are wounded, other Americans are captured because we stay too long--longer than necessary--then I would say that the responsibilities for that lie with the Congress of the United States who did not exercise their authority under the Constitution of the United States and mandate that they be brought home quickly and safely as possible. . . .

Who said this and when?

More to come.

The Housing Bubble -- Deflation and Popping.

Well, it looks like the housing bubble is deflating for real. I live in New York, out on Long Island and I've been checking my local MLS listings and the same houses are there week after week with the occasional drop in price. As I drive around my neighborhood, I see more and more signs in the front yards and those aren't moving either. Real estate agents are telling everyone that things will bounce back in the spring when more people traditionally start looking for homes. But more people look to sell their homes in the spring too and the market is already stuffed.

Foreclosures are up state wide and in my county of Suffolk. From what I've read, there's been a lot of pretty questionable sub-prime loans written in the past few years. No doc, no money down, interest only and/or negative amortization loans that have poured money into the real estate market. Now the chickens are coming home to roost.

Time For Libby To Cut A Deal?

Today was the most damaging day of testimony in the trial against Scooter Libby. Since Fitzgerald indicted Libby, many pundits were quick to point out how difficult this case would be to prove, how little evidence Fitzgerald would have and how his prosecution had to be politically motivated. Well, today went a long way to ensuring the conviction of Libby (a result that brings me no joy as apparently Ari and Scooter are both long-suffering Miami Dolphin fans as am I). According to Michael Iskikoff:

The Forvm's Alternative Energy Forum

In a recent John Kerry rant-fest, a thread emerged that deserves wider exposure and discussion. BlaiseP and I (with contributions from many others) started down the path of global climate change, and what should be done about it. (To review the discussion, start with BP's Comment No.#25456 here.) Ever the polymath, BP redirected the discussion toward alternative energy, so I felt a new thread on that topic might be useful.

I am very passionate on this subject. There is nothing more important to this country's security, and to its political and economic future, than complete energy independence. Our current relationships with countries like Venezuela, and fair weather friends like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Mexico, are almost entirely the result of our bottomless thirst for fossil fuels. As I've said here before, we owe it to the next generation to free and preserve them from the effects of the energy gluttony of our and previous generations, and the hypocritical dependence on rogue states and mega-corporations to which that has led.

Universal Healthcare Madness

The pursuit of universal healthcare coverage once more seems to be all the rage on the left. The administrative inefficiencies of the private system, we are told, massively drive up our costs, while leaving vast numbers of Americans uninsured. If only we could have universal coverage administered by the federal government, they say, we could save money while at the same time getting better results for all.

To listen to people talk, one might almost think that - due to the machinations of stingy right-wingers and greedy corporations - public healthcare in America is starved for funds, compared to our Canadian neigbor and to the enlightened welfare states of Europe. But is this true?

CBO prediction failure

In the course of a discussion on a previous diary on budget deficits, I mentioned a specific CBO failure to predict increased revenues as a result of a tax reduction. The CBO has generally low-balled its revenue forecasts for the last four years. I thought this specific case of prediction failure may shed light on what is going on with these things, and as a warning to take all such predictions with a sack or two of salt.

This particular case is interesting as it can be traced to a specific provision in a specific piece of legislation, the reduction in the Long-Term Capital Gains tax rate to 15% (down from 20%), which is, interestingly, set to expire in 2008, part of the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief and Reconciliation Act (JGTRRA) of 2003. I think there will be some argument about this soon enough.

Open thread (28 January 2007)

Governor Huckabee's campaign slogan:

"Give Hope one more chance"

Pretty good, IMHO, because both he and Bill Clinton were both born in Hope, Arkansas.

Huckabee is my dark horse pick to win the GOP nomination. The general election? Not a prayer, especially after his prior comments about "Winning America for Christ" become widely known.

Best Films of the Decade (so far)

Why? Because it’s never too early to make a pointless list of some of your favorite movies.

Benny Morris and The Second Holocaust

Lord knows I would love to be able to identify some significant flaw in the reasoning of controversial Israeli historian Benny Morris’ recent essay in The Jerusalem Post, but I cannot. Yes, it’s a bit overwrought – but then, perhaps not so much, given the subject matter, which is Morris’ apparent conviction that Israel will soon be the target of an Iranian nuclear attack. Yes, it concludes with what seems, at first read, to be a needlessly repulsive anecdote about the brutalization of a pregnant Jewish woman by German and Ukrainian troops (and onlookers) during the “first” Holocaust. But perhaps the woman’s plight exemplifies one of Morris’ points – that, like the woman, the Jews have always stood alone in history, the bloodied pariah, with few defenders and little choice but to board the train to oblivion.

Syndicate content