Archive for December 14, 2010

Edwin Curley – From Augustine to Spinoza and Locke: Answering the Christian Case against Religious Liberty

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Keith Olbermann – Tax Cut Woes Increase

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Mosaic News 12/14/10: World News From The Middle East

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Tim Duy’s Fed Watch – Will the Fed Scale Up QE2?

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From Tim Duy’s Fed Watch:

Will the Fed Scale Up QE2?

I often feel caught between two complementary yet seemingly contradictory narratives regarding the US economy, one that sounds very optimistic while the other, in my opinion, pessimistic.  Nevertheless, I think both narratives can be embraced, at least to a certain extent.  And which narrative the Federal Reserve embraces will determine the dominate monetary policy question:  Will the Fed scale up quantitative easing, or scale down?

It is reasonable to conclude that the US economy possess the basis for sustained growth in the quarters ahead.  Indeed, the signs of a cyclical upturn are all over the data – manufacturing, investment, retail sales, inventories, take your pick, they are generally moving in the right direction.  And my take on the recent spate of data is that economic conditions firmed somewhat as we entered the fourth quarter.  The ISM reports, both manufacturing and service sectors, were looking much more solid than the previous months.  Initial unemployment claims have drifted downward, possibly even poised to make a sustained break below the 450k mark.  And the all important employment report did surprise on the upside.

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Peter Dale Scott – Afghanistan: Opium, the CIA and the Karzai Administration

December 14, 2010 Leave a comment

From Voltairenet:

Afghanistan: Opium, the CIA and the Karzai Administration

Is US Triumph in Drug-Addicted War possible?
Afghanistan: Opium, the CIA and the Karzai Administration

by Peter Dale Scott | Focus | According to Peter Dale Scott, there is no point in deploring the expansion of drug production in Afghanistan and the heroin epidemic gripping great parts of the world. Conclusions must be drawn from the established facts: the Taliban eradicated poppy cultivation; NATO promoted it; drug money corrupted the Karzai government but it is especially inside U.S. institutions that drug corruption is rife. Therefore, the solution does not lie with Kabul but with Washington.

Pat Garofalo – Coburn: Medicaid Recipients Should Pay More For Health Care To Help Lower The Deficit

December 14, 2010 1 comment

From the Wonk Room:

Coburn: Medicaid Recipients Should Pay More For Health Care To Help Lower The Deficit

Right Panics As START To Start Tomorrow – Get Ready For Process Whining

Reid Pledges To Hold Senate In Session Until January 4th To Finish DADT, Other Priorities

Daily Caller’s Amanda Carey Argues Coal Pollution Keeps Poor People Warm

White House Refuses To Condemn Marine Commandant’s Comments On Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Marine Commandant Suggests Presence Of Gays Would Endanger The Lives Of Straight Marines

Kyl Says Tax Cut Benefiting The Country’s Richest 6,400 Estates Is ‘Not About Giveaways To The Wealthy’

Should The Administration Expedite The Health Care Lawsuit To The Supreme Court?

Is The Individual Mandate Penalty A Tax?

Deficit Fraud Romney: Jobless Benefits Are Too Expensive, But The Bush Tax Cuts Increase Revenue

Hoyer And Murphy Introduce DADT Measure In The House

Incoming Education Chairman On Regulating Higher Education Profiteers: ‘I Don’t Think So’

Socialist Evo Morales Finds Common Cause With Right Wing To Bury Cancun Accords

Congressional GOP Seeks To Kill Successful Stimulus Program, As GOP Governors Take Majority Of Its Funds

HAMP’s Flop Continues As 21 Percent Of ‘Permanent’ Mortgage Modifications Fail

By Pat Garofalo

When last we visited the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) — which is the Obama administration’s signature foreclosure prevention program — it was badly sputtering, spending little of the money allocated to it. More borrowers were being booted from the program mid-stream than were receiving permanent mortgage modifications.

The Congressional Oversight Panel released a report today that doesn’t make the picture any prettier. To date, HAMP has processed about 500,000 permanent loan modifications, out of 1.4 million trial modifications that have been initiated. And the redefault rate (meaning the number of borrowers who again fall behind on their mortgages, post-modification) is an ugly 21 percent:

Figure 19 shows that although only around 1 percent of permanent modifications are 90+ days delinquent within their first three months, the number jumps to 5.5 percent by month six and 11 percent by month nine; within a year, 21 percent of HAMP permanent modifications are 90 or more days delinquent, at which point they are disqualified from the program.

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Two Teabaggers Reject High-Speed Rail Opportunity

December 14, 2010 Leave a comment