Property Grunt

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Breaking news

US home ownership stuck at 11-year low

WASHINGTON — US home ownership remained mired at an 11-year low in the third quarter as the real-estate sector struggles to emerge from a deep slump, official data showed Tuesday.

The rate of home ownership stood at 66.9 percent in July-September, the same percentage as in the second quarter, the Census Bureau said.

It was the lowest number of households that own their home in more than a decade, when the rate hit 66.7 percent in the first quarter of 1999.

Home ownership peaked in 2004, two years after then-president George W. Bush called for expanding the "American dream" of owning a home, especially among minority groups.

Bush's policy has been criticized for spurring loose lending that allowed people with poor credit histories to obtain home mortgages, causing a housing price bubble that collapsed in 2006.

Also rain is wet.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Of Things to Come: Gritting their teeth or smiling?

When Obama was first elected, I posted this entry on what the he would be facing in the next 4 years.

And I was pretty much right on the money.

As this election began to unfold yesterday, I came to a startling conclusion. This is what he expected.

This man isn't an idiot. He knew that he was being handed a s**t sandwich. He also knew that without a common enemy, his party were going to be fighting with each other and lose focus.

During the last Presidential election, Obama was a shining light of hope and everyone followed. But after the election when it became clear that the Democrats were in control of everything, there is no doubt that a lot of them felt they could do what they want with or without Obama.

Not anymore.

Remaining Democrats have no choice but to band around Obama if they want to survive to see another election.

Which brings me to the current Speaker of the House.

Her teeth are clenched so tight, you can practically hear the enamel being scrapped off.

She followed orders and in return the position she fought so hard for has been stripped from her grasp. It would not surprise me if she thinks she got played. In a sense, I think she was.

This is all completely hypothetical, but think about it. One of the most difficult goals of Obama's administration was health care and passing it would only happen if the Democrats were the ones in control. He knows that the economy is completely screwed and the recovery that does happen will probably occur after his presidency. Which is why this volatile issue took precedence over the economy.

After Obama was elected I wrote him off as a one term wonder. Now, it is a completely different ball game. First of all his adversaries now have to share in the blame for any failures. In fact they will be burdened by any clusterf**ks that come their way and there will be a lot of them landing on their heads.

For their sake, the Republicans better remember how they got here. The same forces that put them into power are the same ones that can take them out.

And with Palin's picks entering the field, there is going to be a lot tension between them and the established Republicans. They could start tearing each other apart or the Palin's picks will assimilate themselves as card carrying members of the GOP. Either way works out for Obama.

If they waste their time fighting each other, Obama has more opportunities to do what he wants. If Palin's picks become Boehner's boys, well then Palin will look like sap and her party will look like complete sellouts.

Which brings me to Palin. Initially, I thought this woman was an idiot, but she is smart or at least the people who are around her are smart. And it has gotten to the point that the GOP is running of scared of her.

If she is nominated as the candidate for the GOP, Obama's chances of being re-elected are off the charts.

What does it mean for America?

I'll sum it with this conversation I had on the train with another passenger.

Grunt: Next two years are going to be really interesting.

Passenger: Yeah, good luck to us.