Daily Archives: October 27, 2009

Throw Down: Dr. Tim Ball (PhD Climate Science) v David Appell (Science Writer)

Dr. Ball says he’d be glad to spar with you on the air. We could do on Friday, Monday, or Tuesday.

What day will work for you? It would probably be in the 7pm hour.

If he’s such a has been as you suggest this should be a piece of cake for you.

—–Original Message—–

From: David Appell [mailto:appell@nasw.org]

Sent: Friday, October 23, 2009 1:12 PM

To: Victoria Taft

Subject: Re: talk suggestion: hockey stick

victoria@kpam.com wrote:

> Because he’s my expert and he’s awesome.

But why is he “your expert?”

Is it independent of his views? Is there something about the way he does science? Does it matter to you that he doesn’t do real research anymore, never did much of anything impressive when he was a practicing scientist, is no longer a practicing scientist, doesn’t attend the field’s major conferences, no longer publishes papers, and is hardly in the inside loop of the climate science profession?

David

> —–Original Message—–

> From: David Appell [mailto:appell@nasw.org]

> Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2009 4:50 PM

> To: Victoria Taft

> Subject: Re: talk suggestion: hockey stick

>

> victoria@kpam.com wrote:

>> Congratulations! Scientific American? That’s awesome. Come on and

>> debate it

> > with Tim Ball. Then at least it will be a fair fight.

>

> Sure — call or email me, and I’ll be on your show. I’ll even come

> into Portland to do it in person.

>

> But why would you (1) have me, a journalist, when there are plenty of

> climate scientists in Oregon deeply involved in the subject, and (2)

> why would you have Tim Ball, who is not an active researcher in the

> field and who has not published any papers since 1995 (that I’m aware of).

>

> David

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Outrage. Another Sliming of a Great Conservative.

This story was ballyhooed by Congressional Quarterly via Twitter this afternoon. It claimed (erroneously) that Scalia said he wouldn’t have voted in favor of Brown v Board of Education. CQ and the newspaper reporting this were wrong according to video (here —ee it around 23:45).
And it was wrong as you can see here on the video.
CQ has NOT changed its incorrect headline on the story.
American Spectator and the Weekly Standard have pounced OUT LOUD so this fabricated “quote” by Scalia quote doesn’t end up in his phony wiki page ala Rush Limbaugh.
Here’s the guy who helped set the record straight.
Back in the day I got Plessey v Ferguson and Brown v Board of Ed decisions confused on a constitutional law midterm undertaken with a minimum of sleep. Boy did I feel stupid. I actually went to my professor and told him I was embarrassed by the mistake and that I would take my medicine (it obviously brought down my score), but needed him to know I knew I messed it up. I aced the next final.
l

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Zero Columnist Shocked When Car Drivers Speak of Discrimination. Car Owners are Asked to Come to Big Meeting in PDX Tonight on Future Car Planning

MEETING AT 6PM, TONIGHT ROOM 2500a AT 1900 sw 4T AVENUE.

  • The Sellwood Bridge replacement will be financed with a Car Tax but most of the room on the bridge will be for pedestrians and street cars.
  • Car drivers are expected to be tolled for the Columbia River Crossing bridge, but not pedestrians and bicyclists while the Portland Professional Planner Class ponders how to keep cars from “actually driving on” the bridge and committing acts of “car abuse.”
  • Car Free Zones as part of a world wide car hating group keep expanding in Portland.
  • Commissioner Randy Leonard rhapsodizes over the time when Portland’s downtown can become a car free zone.

And the columnist for the Zero is surprised when car drivers feel discriminated against? We’re like the guy who paid for dinner and drinks whose girlfriend went home with some other guy. We pay the bills and pay for infrastructure and upkeep on light rail, street cars and bike paths. No wonder we’re peeved about this. Tonight there’s a meeting about future transportation needs for the bike plan 2030. I would go and be heard.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

One Nation, Under Water, Indivisible…

H/T orbusmax
Or how about One Nation, Under Mountain, Indivisible? Dear Earthly Tree Water Father?
Who knows. But it looks like Oregon’s Governor has gone all pantheistic on us now.
US Today has the story (here).
Naturally it would never occur to anyone in print journalism around here that having a pantheistic world view is a little, er, wiccanish. In Oregon, where we spend a great deal of time and treasure worshiping salmon, this is probably of little concern.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

"Somebody, quick, call the government! The predatory lenders are back!"

By Pete the Banker
“The New York Times reports that a schoolteacher in recently got talked into buying a $134,000 fixer-upper with only 3.5 percent down. To afford that smidgen of equity, she liquidated her retirement savings. The bank rolled closing costs into the loan in return for a higher interest rate. Her monthly cost is 50 percent of her take-home pay.”
The loan in question was an Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured loan sanctioned under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The FHA’s capital reserve level is now below the statutory minimum of 2 percent of its portfolio.
According to a recent article, “Subprime Uncle Sam” in the Sept 29 Wall Street Journal,

“At a 50 to 1 leverage ratio, the FHA will soon have a smaller capital cushion than did investment bank Bear Stearns on the eve of its crash. (See nearby table.) Its loan delinquency rate (more than 30 days late in payments) is now above 14%, or from two to three times higher than on conventional mortgages. Its cash reserve ratio has fallen by more than two-thirds in three years.

Today nearly one in four new mortgages carries an FHA guarantee, up from one in 50 in 2006. Through FHA, the Veterans Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, taxpayers now guarantee repayment on more than 80% of all U.S. mortgages. Sources familiar with a new draft HUD report on FHA’s worsening balance sheet tell us that the default rates have risen most rapidly on the most recent loans

The reason for this financial deterioration is that FHA is underwriting record numbers of high-risk mortgages. Between 2006 and the end of next year, FHA’s insurance portfolio will have expanded to $1 trillion from $410 billion.

The FHA’s main lending problem is that it requires neither lenders nor borrowers to have a sufficient financial stake in mortgage repayment. Borrowers with little down payment and few if any closing costs have no equity in the home nor financial incentive to save their property if their financial condition deteriorates. Lenders protected by government guarantees bear little risk and simply extend or modify troubled mortgages or take back the secured home. Why did Congress authorize the FHA under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 to implement a loan program so similar to those of the failed CRA era? Given the massive delinquency levels displayed by sub prime loans, why is FHA underwriting low down payment, low cost mortgages so similar to earlier subprime loans. Why is the FHA pushing these loans despite it’s own accelerating portfolio delinquencies and the decline of it’s capital reserve? Will this program simply result in future mortgage market setbacks prompting additional federal government bailouts?

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Throw Down: Dr. Tim Ball (PhD Climate Science) v David Appell (Science Writer)

Dr. Ball says he’d be glad to spar with you on the air. We could do on Friday, Monday, or Tuesday.

What day will work for you? It would probably be in the 7pm hour.

If he’s such a has been as you suggest this should be a piece of cake for you.

—–Original Message—–

From: David Appell [mailto:appell@nasw.org]

Sent: Friday, October 23, 2009 1:12 PM

To: Victoria Taft

Subject: Re: talk suggestion: hockey stick

victoria@kpam.com wrote:

> Because he’s my expert and he’s awesome.

But why is he “your expert?”

Is it independent of his views? Is there something about the way he does science? Does it matter to you that he doesn’t do real research anymore, never did much of anything impressive when he was a practicing scientist, is no longer a practicing scientist, doesn’t attend the field’s major conferences, no longer publishes papers, and is hardly in the inside loop of the climate science profession?

David

> —–Original Message—–

> From: David Appell [mailto:appell@nasw.org]

> Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2009 4:50 PM

> To: Victoria Taft

> Subject: Re: talk suggestion: hockey stick

>

> victoria@kpam.com wrote:

>> Congratulations! Scientific American? That’s awesome. Come on and

>> debate it

> > with Tim Ball. Then at least it will be a fair fight.

>

> Sure — call or email me, and I’ll be on your show. I’ll even come

> into Portland to do it in person.

>

> But why would you (1) have me, a journalist, when there are plenty of

> climate scientists in Oregon deeply involved in the subject, and (2)

> why would you have Tim Ball, who is not an active researcher in the

> field and who has not published any papers since 1995 (that I’m aware of).

>

> David

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Outrage. Another Sliming of a Great Conservative.

This story was ballyhooed by Congressional Quarterly via Twitter this afternoon. It claimed (erroneously) that Scalia said he wouldn’t have voted in favor of Brown v Board of Education. CQ and the newspaper reporting this were wrong according to video (here —ee it around 23:45).
And it was wrong as you can see here on the video.
CQ has NOT changed its incorrect headline on the story.
American Spectator and the Weekly Standard have pounced OUT LOUD so this fabricated “quote” by Scalia quote doesn’t end up in his phony wiki page ala Rush Limbaugh.
Here’s the guy who helped set the record straight.
Back in the day I got Plessey v Ferguson and Brown v Board of Ed decisions confused on a constitutional law midterm undertaken with a minimum of sleep. Boy did I feel stupid. I actually went to my professor and told him I was embarrassed by the mistake and that I would take my medicine (it obviously brought down my score), but needed him to know I knew I messed it up. I aced the next final.
l

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

IfBushHadDoneThat.com

Media lapdogs curled at the feet of Obama. Politico actually does a piece about the Bush v Obama media coverage. Telling the inside story of the stories about Obama which, if Bush had done them, would have gained him headlines and raspberries. Here.
More golf, guys-only basketball, political advisors in meetings about national security, freezing out Fox news, dithering while Afghanistan crumbles, snubbing the Dalai Lama, secret meetings, executive mission creep, dissing New Orleans, big shot fund raisers, more golf. If the G-4-3 had been the guy doing them there would have been hell to pay in the press. Instead: crickets.
Politico saying (without saying it) that reporters don’t let facts get in the way of a good storyline:

…others say there’s a larger phenomenon at work — in the story line the media wrote about Obama’s presidency. For Bush, the theme was that of a Big Business Republican who rode the family name to the White House, so stories about secret energy meetings and a certain laziness, intellectual and otherwise, fit neatly into the theme, to be replayed over and over again.

Obama’s story line was more positive from the start: historic newcomer coming to shake up Washington. So the negatives that sprung up around Obama — like a sense that he was more flash than substance — track what negative coverage he’s received, captured in a recent “Saturday Night Live” skit that made fun of his lack of accomplishments in office.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

"Somebody, quick, call the government! The predatory lenders are back!"


(Don’t act like we never told ya)
By Pete the Banker

“The New York Times reports that a schoolteacher in Colorado recently got talk into buying a $134,000 fixer-upper with only 3.35 percent down. To afford that Smidgen of equity, she liquidated her retirement savings. The bank rolled closing costs into the loan in return for a higher interest rate. Her monthly cost is 50 perce of her take home pay. “ Here.
The loan in question was a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured loan sanctioned under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The FHA’s capital reserve level is
now below the statutory minimum of two percent of its portfolio. According to a recent article, “Subprime Uncle Sam” in the September 29th Wall Street Journal, here

At a 50 to 1 leverage ration, the FHA will soon have a smaller capital cushion than did investment bank Bear Stearns on the eve of its crash. It’s loan delinquency rate (more than 30 days in late payments) is now above 14%, or two or three times higher than on conventional mortgages. Its cash reserve ratio has fallen by more than two-thirds in three years.
The reason for this financial deterioration is that the FHA is underwriting record numbers of high risk mortgages. Between 2006 and the end of this year, FHA’s insurance portfolio would have expanded to $1 trillion from $410 billion.
Today nearly one in four mortgages carries an FHA guarantee, up from one in 50 in 2006. Through FHA, the Veterans Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, taxpayers now guaranty more than 80% of all U.S. mortgages. Sources familiar with the new HUD report on FHA’s worsening balance sheet tell us the default rates have risen most rapidly on the most recent loans, i.e. those initiated or refinanced in 2008 and 2009.

The FHA’s main lending problem is that it requires neither lenders nor borrowers to have a sufficient financial statke in mortgage repayment. Borrowers with little down payment and few if any clsoings costs have no equity in the home nor financial incentive to save their property to if their financial condition deteriorates. Lenders protected by government guarantees bear little risk and simply extend or modify troubled mortgages or take back the secured hom. Why did Congress authorize the FHA under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 to implement a loan program so similar to those of the failed CRA era? Given the massive delinquency levels displayed by sub prime loans, why is FHA pushing these loans despite its own accelerating portfolio delinquencies and the decline of its capital reserve? Will this program simply result in future mortgage market setbacks prompting additional federal government bailouts?

Zero Columnist Shocked When Car Drivers Speak of Discrimination. Car Owners are Asked to Come to Big Meeting in PDX Tonight on Future Car Planning

MEETING AT 6PM, TONIGHT ROOM 2500a AT 1900 sw 4T AVENUE.

  • The Sellwood Bridge replacement will be financed with a Car Tax but most of the room on the bridge will be for pedestrians and street cars.
  • Car drivers are expected to be tolled for the Columbia River Crossing bridge, but not pedestrians and bicyclists while the Portland Professional Planner Class ponders how to keep cars from “actually driving on” the bridge and committing acts of “car abuse.”
  • Car Free Zones as part of a world wide car hating group keep expanding in Portland.
  • Commissioner Randy Leonard rhapsodizes over the time when Portland’s downtown can become a car free zone.

And the columnist for the Zero is surprised when car drivers feel discriminated against? We’re like the guy who paid for dinner and drinks whose girlfriend went home with some other guy. We pay the bills and pay for infrastructure and upkeep on light rail, street cars and bike paths. No wonder we’re peeved about this. Tonight there’s a meeting about future transportation needs for the bike plan 2030. I would go and be heard.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

One Nation, Under Water, Indivisible…

H/T orbusmax
Or how about One Nation, Under Mountain, Indivisible? Dear Earthly Tree Water Father?
Who knows. But it looks like Oregon’s Governor has gone all pantheistic on us now.
US Today has the story (here).
Naturally it would never occur to anyone in print journalism around here that having a pantheistic world view is a little, er, wiccanish. In Oregon, where we spend a great deal of time and treasure worshiping salmon, this is probably of little concern.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com