A round up of news items, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.
Thank you, Mr. President:
The Obama administration wants to shrink the government's role in the mortgage system — a proposal that would remake decades of federal policy aimed at getting Americans to buy homes and would probably make home loans more expensive across the board.What a wonderful opportunity to drive a stake through one of the players in the housing collapse. Seize the opportunity, Speaker Boehner!
The Treasury Department rolled out a plan Friday to slowly dissolve Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored programs that bought up mortgages to encourage more lending and required bailouts during the 2008 financial crisis.
Exactly how far the government's role in mortgages would be reduced was left to Congress to decide, but all three options the administration presented would create a housing finance system that relies far more on private money.
Inevitable cultural evolution development:
Tattooing outgrows its renegade image to thrive in the mainstream
... or "You just aren't as cool as you once were".
Exit question: does this mean going "inkless" is the new radical chic?
Terrific... federally-funded (i.e. 'you'-funded) Keynesian gimmickry hits the Golden State.
More than 100,000 struggling homeowners could get help from a $2-billion program that California is launching, including about 25,000 borrowers who owe more than their properties are worth and could see their mortgages shrink.
The Keep Your Home California program, which uses federal funds reserved for the 2008 rescue of the financial system, has the potential to make a sizable dent in California's foreclosure crisis and help the general housing market. State officials hope to fend off foreclosure for about 95,000 borrowers and provide moving assistance to about 6,500 people who do lose their homes.
... band-aids and stop-gaps merely prolonging the crisis rather than unwinding it.
Huffington Post readers not real excited about that AOL buy-out.
Sell Out!, they cried.
Even as Republicans and many states wage a bitter battle in Congress and the courts to block the mandatory insurance requirement in the national health care law, the provision appears to retain broad acceptance in Massachusetts.
Regulators’ flexibility may be part of the reason.
“We aren’t going to make someone pay just to make them pay,’’ said Celia Wcislo, a director of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and a member of the Connector Authority, which oversees Massachusetts’ health care law and grants the exemptions.
"Flexibility".... we suppose that's one way of defining it. "Picking winners and losers" may be another and "patronage" yet another still as you may recall 1199SEIU were themselves the beneficiary of an ObamaCare waiver.
If you care to follow the links, ask yourself, "Are there two 1199 SEIUs?" Frankly, we're confused.
I didn't leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me Pt. II...
For Democrats, Ashley Bell was the kind of comer that a party builds a future on: A young African American lawyer, he served as president of the College Democrats of America, advised presidential candidate John Edwards and spoke at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.Some 40 years after the New Left started driving working class whites, So-Cons and Catholics from the ranks of the Democratic Party it's happening again but with, hopefully, another demographic.
But after his party's midterm beat-down in November, Bell, a commissioner in northern Georgia's Hall County, jumped ship. He joined the Republicans.
Bell, 30, said he had serious issues with the healthcare law and believed that conservative "blue dog" Democrats in Congress who shared his values had been bullied into voting for it.
Bell's defection is one of dozens by state and local Democratic officials in the Deep South in recent months that underscore Republicans' continued consolidation of power in the region — a process that started with presidential politics but increasingly affects government down to the level of dogcatcher.
ESPN March Madness Bracketology update here.
Local flavor: Head coach Steve Fisher's steady, methodical approach to building a "program" is bearing fruit. The San Diego St. Aztecs are ranked #6 in the nation and are currently slotted as a #2 seed in the Southeast region playing their opening round game(s) (a hopeful paranthetical if there ever was one) in 5-hour-desert-dash-away Tucson.
Huge game later on today at Las Vegas taking on the Runnin' Rebels.
Oprah Winfrey on the "new civility": "Shut up!" , she explained.
Stuck inside of Coshocton with the East Village blues again...
“Whenever I see that kind of story, where everybody agrees, I know there’s something wrong,”Atheist, left-wing, jazz fan, award-winning journalist, chronicler of the civil rights movement and pro-life. Take a wild-ass guess as to which of the aforementioned is Nate Hentoff's unforgiveable sin?
And finally, B-Daddy tackles the thorny issue of a new city hall here in America's Finest City.