Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Worth repeating and amplifying.....(Oil, John Edwards, and HUD)

Worth amplifying: per Larry Kudlow, the price of oil has dropped $30 per barrel since the proposal to expand drilling in offshore spots (and others) was issued. (2 months ago, I think.)

Worth amplifying: an outstanding economist (Sudhir Venkatesh)- who lived in the Chicago housing projects for more than a year, suggests in an NYT editorial that HUD (the department of housing and urban development) should be closed. Here's a sample of his argument:

"WITH the nation embroiled in a housing crisis, one would expect the Department of Housing and Urban Development to be playing a central role. But HUD is a marginal player. Although its Federal Housing Administration division has agreed to underwrite new mortgages, it is merely following the leadership of the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department.

This is no accident. HUD’s sidelined role is a product of its anachronistic approach to both housing and cities. It might be best to simply close the agency and create a new cabinet-level commitment to urban development."

Good points all around, and a reinforcement of the notion that while many government programs are based on great intentions, a good many should be closed and canceled.

Here's some additional comments on the idea of dismantling HUD from Freakonomics author Steven Leavitt.

Worth repeating: A politician doing something very naughty that is getting very little attention in the press: John Edwards apparently has cheated on his wife and fathered a child with his mistress.

(Another Edwards ditty: I saw Edwards in Dulles airport 3 months ago. I was surprised at how regular he looked, and how short he was (5'9" at best.) I was also stunned at how desperate he was for attention. As I watched, he gravitated to the highest traffic area of the concourse, and proceeded to speak loudly on his Blackberry, until someone came over to shake his hand.)

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With my new friends on the Great Wall of China

With my new friends on the Great Wall of China
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World sun clock

Uncommon Man's Creed

"I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon -- if I can. I seek opportunity -- not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I wish to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole, I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master, nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud, and unafraid, to think and act for myself, to enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, "this I have done." All this is what it means to be an American." -- Anonymous