Various & Sundry for the Weekend
Please consider this an open thread.
The City of Billings is now publishing its city council’s emails.
Was the housing market stabilized or is it being propped up? That’s the gist of this NYTimes article:
“The choice we appear to be making is trying to modify our way out of this, which has the effect of lengthening the crisis,” said Kevin Katari, managing member of Watershed Asset Management, a San Francisco-based hedge fund. “We have simply slowed the foreclosure pipeline, with people staying in houses they are ultimately not going to be able to afford anyway.”
Mr. Katari contends that banks have been using temporary loan modifications under the Obama plan as justification to avoid an honest accounting of the mortgage losses still on their books. Only after banks are forced to acknowledge losses and the real estate market absorbs a now pent-up surge of foreclosed properties will housing prices drop to levels at which enough Americans can afford to buy, he argues.
The Missoulian’s Native people and news blog, The Buffalo Post puts out an amazing amount of information on issues that never make mainstream news. Recent snowstorms have caused tremendous strains on the poorest region in the United States – the Pine Ridge Reservation. People there live in abject poverty (I’ve been there). Housing conditions are horrible. With blown-in roads, there is great concern over meeting the basic necessities of heat and food. If you want to help, there are a variety of posts there with links to organizations coordinating relief efforts.
At some point this past week I got interested in just, exactly, what the penalties were in Montana for DUI. This site explained the difference in potential penalties for first offense, second, third…and so on. Repeat offenses really aren’t that harsh – factor in ysuspended sentences, pleas that allow work release, allowances during license suspensions for work – I mean, for many it’s probably not much more than a major inconvenience for a chunk of time. And that’s if they stick to the conditions.
There are currently 15 people in the Missoula County Detention Center on felony charges of 4th time DUI offense.
Your dog’s carbon footprint is that of two Toyota Land Cruisers. The cat? A small Volkswagen. Even a goldfish has one – equivalent to that of two cell phones.
On the other hand…
Button Valley directs us to this story in truthout, that expounds on the green sustainable hypocrisy that is Governor Schweitzer along with AG Steve Bullock, SoS Linda McCulloch and Auditor Monica Lindeen.
2.6 billions tons of CO2 in the Otter Creek coal, and, come to think of it, the Gov’s got two dogs, doesn’t he? Boy – that’s gonna take a lot of carbon credits.
And speaking of carbon footprints….
Rehberg kicked off the 2010 election season with a nice booklet mailing recently telling Montanans that he doesn’t work for big oil – that he works for us. Whatever. Just because he says it doesn’t make it true – between his top 20 industries that donated to his 2008 re-election, along with the PAC $$ he got, Montanans are keenly aware of just who Denny’s working for.