Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ida's not quite done with us yet

There's a lot of happy talk like "The NHC has issued its final advisory on this system" coming out of the National Hurricane Center. However, if you pay attention, forecaster Gerhardt also says stuff like "THE LOW IS EXPECTED TO REDEVELOP AND STRENGTHEN OFF THE CAROLINA COAST."

Ida's already killed hundreds of people in Central America, and she's coming for us. Have your go-bags close to hand.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Ida done for?

OK, It looks like Ida is going to dissipate in the uninhabited Gulf States of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, and it's remnants will be discarded in the Atlantic, where they will move North before rebuilding serious convection.

At least Georgia's safe.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Called It

Nephos has asked that I point out when I've been right. You may remember this little gem
I expect builders and banks both to start reaching out to management companies to rent all of these condos and houses that are starting to sit around. I don't know if there even are any national players, but that seems like a business that's going to seriously take off.

And today(PDF)?
Fannie Mae is introducing the Deed-for-Lease Program (D4L), a program designed to minimize family displacement, deterioration of neighborhoods caused by vandalism and theft to vacant homes, and the effect these have on families, communities and home price stabilization. D4L allows qualifying borrowers of properties transferred through deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (DIL) to remain in their home and community by executing a lease of up to 12 months in conjunction with a DIL.
Effective Date
Servicers can begin offering D4L immediately.

Servicers are third parties. This is a great business. Short sale to Fannie Mae, then a third party charges enough so the tenant can't save up to buy back his or her house, but not so much that they have to evict.

Update: I should point out that was a 25-month lag

Wednesday, November 04, 2009



ACE in October was only 18 % of normal, but November is looking to be a different story. for current outlook)

Four days from now, we have a 1-5 chance of having a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Ida could then wiggle East and start coming up the coast for us. This will be our first Hurricane Ida, by the way. They had to retire the last 'I' name after Hurricane Isabel attacked the Pentagon and White House simultaneously. Not to suggest Al Qaeda's involved, but you never know.

This season has a fair way to go to meet the last given estimate. So, November may be a little punchy and we could get a number of post-season storms. I suspect the Atlantic is just trying to lull us.

Instant Runoff Voting

Minnesota's mayor was just (re)elected by Instant Runoff Voting, on the same day that spoilers threw the Gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Florida and New York's 25th Congressional District (and actually won in New York.)

So, thanks, Minneapolis, for showing us how it's done. And, rest of the country, aren't you sick of spoilers? If New Jersey voters had been allowed to show their displeasure with Governor Corzine without voting for Chris Christie, wouldn't the world be a better place?

I think the iron is hot, now, and it's time to strike.

Puzzled about Fair Marriage

there's no link
As far as civil rights issues of our time go, Fair Marriage is definitely in the top ten in terms of currency -- there are a lot of worse injustices, but Fair Marriage takes up a lot of attention (for example, yesterday's ballot measure in Maine in our political sphere. And it puzzles me as an issue.

I have kind of two pole view of politics. There are people who believe in human rights, human dignity, human freedom, people who desire the future to be better than the present and for harmony to reign. We'll call such a person a 'Malech' and use the Hebrew pluralization style to call them collectively 'Malechem.' And issues get created when a powerful, entrenched interest sees a way to seek advantage by spreading confusion. Either they feel threatened -- and we get political issues around Climate Change -- see a way to benefit -- and we get private prisons and the Iraq War -- or just want to divert attention -- and we get US Weekly. I want to be super clear here: I don't believe 'values voters' have any values. I think issues generally are thrust on an unsuspecting public by the wealthy and powerful. I know that makes me explicitly a conspiracy theorist, so let's take back the term.

Nobody's pressuring Goldman Sachs to marry anybody, and I don't believe there's a material benefit to keeping homosexuals single (although tax codes always surprise me,) so it has to be a distracting measure. But, it simply doesn't seem to be tied to anything, or get called into service in response to an upswelling of interest in anything in particular, so it's not just a generic 'focus on the irrelevant' issue like abortion. Somebody really wants to keep gays from marrying.

More married couples would probably buy more houses and adopt more children, but there's a surfeit of both. So, one might think the intention is to keep the political activism of LGBT on marriage so they don't move on to the next thing. What would that even be? Whom would it threaten?

I just don't even have a clue here. Feel free to help me out.

Green Party Nearly Wins NYC Mayoral Election

To borrow a line from the Democrats, if a local independent candidate hadn't siphoned off 50.6 % of the electorate, Billy Talen (G) would have gotten 51.4 % of the vote, easily besting second-placer William Thompson (D).

As it was, we beat the Rent is Too Damn High, Libertarian and Socialist Worker Parties, and come in fourth with nearly half the support of the Conservative Party candidate. Go, Team!

Update: You've kind of got to love Jimmy McMillan, of the Rent is Too Damn High party. 23 seconds in to the first entry on his videos page, he claims, "We can run this campaign without any money," definitely marking him as the anti-Bloomberg.