Tailwind for housing? Or too optimistic?

From the NYT:

Housing Offers Hope of Strength in the Economy

A funny thing is happening to the United States housing market. It is getting better at an accelerating rate.

And therein could lie hope for a surprisingly strong economy this year.

It has been a long time, as the economy worked off the excesses of the boom and cleared out the inventory of homes that should never have been built or were “sold” to people who could not hope to afford the payments. But now the inventory of houses for sale — both new and used — is as low as it has been in decades. Home prices are rising in most markets. Sales have picked up, though they are still low by historical standards.

“We had 48 months of depression in the housing industry,” said Karl E. Case, an emeritus professor of economics at Wellesley College and the co-developer of the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller house price index. “Housing has brought us out of every recession in the past, and it was not available.”

But now, he said in an interview, “there is no question that we have turned what seemed to be a headwind into a tail wind.”

The National Association of Realtors, which reports each month on sales of existing, or used, homes, tries to calculate how many sales are distressed and how much that distress lowers the prices received. Lately, the proportion of distressed sales has been declining slowly and so has the discount. In December, 12 percent of sales were said to be of foreclosed homes, and an equal number were short sales, in which the home is sold for less than the amount owed on the mortgage.

There is reason to hope that those figures will continue to decline. Moody’s reports that the “shadow inventory” of homes with foreclosures pending and homes already owned by banks but not on the market is declining. It voices hope that banks “are finally putting behind them the operational and regulatory issues that plagued them in the past and are taking the steps necessary to address their backlogged foreclosure inventory.”

At some point, the declining proportion of distress sales could well mean that house price indexes will begin to rise faster than the underlying market might really justify, as those sales stop holding down the averages.

If that came as the economy began to strengthen enough that the Federal Reserve decided to let interest rates start to creep up, could that create a rush to buy among those who fear rising prices and mortgage interest rates?

Perhaps, but nothing like during the old days. People do know now that prices can fall, demographics will limit the number of new families that need housing, and banks are far less willing to make loans than they were. (That is true even though nearly all mortgages are sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Banks fear they will have to repurchase any bad loans they sell, and seem to be erring on the side of caution.)

None of this is meant to suggest that the housing market is in good shape. But it is improving.

During the years running up to the collapse of the housing bubble, Professor Case was among those warning that prices had risen to unsupportable highs. But now he has a different view.

When I called him this week, he apologized for having to end the interview because of a prior appointment. “I’m going to look at a property that I may buy as an investment,” he said.

This entry was posted in Employment, Housing Recovery, National Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

91 Responses to Tailwind for housing? Or too optimistic?

  1. grim says:

    Shiller thinks maybe too optimistic, from Bloomberg:

    Shiller Says U.S. Housing Market May Drop Further: Tom Keene

    A U.S. housing-market revival may prove illusory and the threat of further weakness remains, said Robert Shiller, a professor at Yale University and co-creator of the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values.

    “The housing market has been declining for something like six years now, it could go on, that’s my worry,” Shiller told Tom Keene in a Bloomberg Television interview today in Davos, Switzerland. “The short-term indicators are up now, it definitely looks better, but we saw that in 2009.”

    The property market has shown signs of recovery and homebuilding has rebounded as low borrowing costs spur buyer demand, bolster prices. Values rose 7.4 percent in November from a year earlier, the ninth straight increase and the biggest gain since May 2006, Irvine, California-based data provider CoreLogic said last week.

    “It’s a good housing market in the sense that mortgage rates are very low and prices have come down to normal levels, so yes, it’s a good time to buy if nothing bad happens,” Shiller said. “But it’s also a very bad housing market in that most of the mortgages are being supported by the government, and we have the Fed and this buying program. It’s a very abnormal market. There’s a lot of uncertainty going forward.”

  2. funnelcloud says:

    Good Morning Mike Good morning NJ Grim your up early

  3. grim says:

    It’s really only a recession if you are poor … From CNBC:

    Leading Indicator: In Hamptons, ‘Deals Are Gone’

    The Hamptons real-estate market has not only recovered. It’s soaring past its pre-crisis peaks.

    Sales of homes priced at $2.5 million or more jumped 98 percent in the fourth quarter on Long Island’s East End, according to the luxury realty agency Brown Harris Stevens.

    Prices in some Hamptons communities have doubled, with the average home price passing $2.1 million in the South Fork. More than 90 homes sold for more than $2.5 million in the Hamptons East End in the quarter.

    “A lot of the deals and bargains are gone,” said Christopher Burnside, senior director of Brown Harris in the Hamptons. “It’s been very sudden.”

    Brokers say some sellers were willing to shave hundreds of thousands of dollars off the price of their multi-million-dollar listings in order to get a quick deal.

    While those deals are gone, sales continue. Burnside said that he has 15 listings now and “I’m showing constantly.” He’s about to hire another assistant to help with all the showings and deals.

    “The market is insane, I’ve never really seen anything like it.”

    Brokers say the big problem now is a lack of inventory, including land, for sale on the East End. Burnside said prices have gone up so much, so fast, that they are sometimes passing their all-time highs of 2006 and 2007.

    “I’m trying to buy something myself now, and I’m starting to panic,” Burnside said. “Good luck trying to find a deal or tear down. “

  4. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  5. Essex says:

    Yale professor Robert Shiller is one of the pre-eminent experts in house prices.
    Shiller created the “Case-Shiller Index,” which tracks changes in house prices on a monthly basis and is the most closely followed house-price index in the country.
    We sat down with Professor Shiller in Davos to get his take on the future of the housing market.
    * * *
    Henry Blodget: Everybody in the U.S. seems convinced that the housing market is going to come roaring back, it’s going to save the economy, house prices are going to rise, houses are a great investment again. Are they right?
    Professor Shiller: First of all, I challenge your statement a little bit. The Pulsenomics survey of experts – they had 105 experts in their December survey – and not one of them predicted a return to the boom that we had. The most optimistic had a real return for the next 4/5 years of something like 6 percent.
    Blodget: But that’s way better than zero.
    Shiller: I’m taking the most optimistic out of 105. We also had – what’s that perma-bear guy, anyway, we had someone at minus 10 percent. I think that we may be recovering, but I also think that we may have further real price declines in the coming years. People are overly – we tend to focus on the latest starts and permits and other indicators, but I think that there might have – and this isn’t a confident forecast – but there might have been a decline in our appreciation of this American Dream: detached, dispersed single family homes – you have to drive for 45 minutes to get there from your job. And the idea has gone, well it’s not gone, but it’s diminished – that this would be a good investment. So the latest data, ever since the crisis, almost all new housing has been rental. New household units want rentals. If that’s a trend, it means that home prices of single-family detached homes should probably go down, because it’s hard to maintain those as rental units. If people demand that kind of – I think they’ll sell at a discount. Co-ops and condos could have a different trend at the same time.
    Blodget: So what is your sense of the next five years? Do you think we’ve hit bottom in the housing market or do you have to stratify it that way?
    Shiller: I think that we might have [hit bottom], but my biggest sense is that probably nothing dramatic happens either way. If the Pulsenomics survey is right, and it’s up between 1 and 2 percent real, that’s plausible to me. But also down 1 or 2 percent real, that’s plausible. I’m sorry I don’t have a more precise forecast.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/shiller-housie-prices-2013-1#ixzz2Iz8RK4CA

  6. grim says:

    Sorry, but it’s hard to take anything that Blodget is involved in seriously. And the fact that one of the most prominent dot com bubble blowers (and that’s probably the kindest description) is the CEO of “Business Insider”, well, yeah.

  7. Essex says:

    Blodget was a real force in the dot com daze for certain. He’s still pretty insightful and has a handle on business. FWIW no one in the dotcom days really had anything figured out. Most, like me, were either along for the ride, or were coming from some area of technology and were just expanding our footprint into the executive suite.

  8. grim says:

    Oh I agree, he was incredibly insightful, but it would have been more useful to have actually shared his insights instead of lying. I suppose the moral of the story is that most of the time, if given the choice between doing the right thing and f*cking someone over, you are better off being the one doing the f*cking.


    Public – 6/3/00: Merrill Lynch published rating: 2 (accumulate) -1 (buy)
    7/20/00: “We do not see much more downside to the shares.” Research report – Short-term rating: Accumulate

    Private – 6/3/00: “ATHM is such a piece of crap!” -Henry Blodget E-mail


    Public – 12/4/00: Merrill Lynch published rating: 2 (accumulate) – 1 (buy)
    12/21/00: “We think LFMN presents an attractive investment.” Research report

    Private – 12/4/00: “I can’t believe what a POS [piece of sh-t] that thing is.” Merrill Analyst Henry Blodget e-mail.

    Internet Capital Group

    Public – 10/5/00: Merrill Lynch’s published rating: 2 (accumulate) – 1 (buy)
    Placed on Merrill Lynch’s list of the top ten technology stocks (“Top Ten Tech” list), as late as September 12, 2000

    Private – 10/5/00: “Going to 5” (closed at $12.38)
    10/06/00: “No helpful news to relate [regarding ICGE], I’m afraid. This has been a disaster·there really is no floor to the stock.”


    Public – 7/11/00: Report says, “InfoSpace continues to be one of the best ways to play the wireless Internet.” Rating: 1 (buy) – 1 (buy), the highest possible rating

    Private – 7/13/00: Analyst Henry Blodget had acknowledged as early as June 2000 that the stock was a “powder keg” and that “many institutions” had raised “bad smell comments” about it and in October had referred to it as a “piece of junk.”

  9. Essex says:

    That does seem to be the way of the world.

  10. Essex says:

    Ever wonder how the ski resorts in Northern New Jersey survive?



    Newly Formed Mega-Resort Now Offers 15,000 Acres of 4-Season Recreation

    Hardyston, NJ —May 27, 2010 – Crystal Springs Resort announced today the purchase of Mountain Creek, the New York Metro area’s closest and best-known winter resort. This acquisition creates the region’s largest and most comprehensive four-season resort destination. Spanning five miles through four townships (Vernon, Hardyston, Hamburg, Franklin), the combined resorts fill the historic Vernon Valley region with 15,000 acres of world-class, year-round amenities including award-winning golf courses, spas, hotels, a globally-renowned 80,000 bottle wine cellar, ski and snowboard venues, a waterpark, and mountain bike park.

    Mountain Creek has been under the ownership of Canadian-based, Intrawest ULC for the past 12 years, during which time the resort invested significant capital installing five new lifts and ongoing snowmaking upgrades including at the time, the largest single installation in North America. In the non-winter seasons, the resort is home to the Mountain Creek Waterpark and the world-renowned Diablo Freeride Mountain Bike Park. The principal owners of Crystal Springs were the original builders of the existing waterpark.

    Crystal Springs President Andrew Mulvihill enthused “This newly formed mega-resort is unparalleled given the breadth, uniqueness and quality of its combined offerings to residents, day visitors and overnight guests. From this platform, we have major expansion plans to create a first-class tourist destination on par with New England and the Carolinas, but with convenient proximity to the New York Metro area.”

    Mulvihill continued “This transaction represents the acquisition of a financially healthy and vibrant resort entity, which together, vaults us to the lead position of Northeast travel destinations. Understand that there has been a joint half billion-dollar investment undertaken by both resorts in the past few years. While other resorts are seeing declining revenues, we have enjoyed strong increases in attendance and occupancy. Furthermore, on the residential side, the majority of Resort residential developments have slowed or shut down, yet Crystal Springs Builders is currently constructing a 300 home neighborhood. The beginning of the month saw a 1,000 guest grand opening of its new single family model home.”

  11. grim says:

    Christie isn’t making friends with this one. From the Record:

    Christie tells flood-prone areas: Raise your homes or face higher insurance costs

    Residents in flood-prone areas throughout New Jersey will have to elevate their homes or face substantial increases in their insurance premiums under new rebuilding standards ordered by Governor Christie on Thursday in the wake of superstorm Sandy’s devastation.

    The new building standards from FEMA require elevation for new structures in coastal zones and those being rebuilt after major damage. The street levels of homes may be enclosed, but they must have breakaway walls so the force of a storm surge doesn’t radiate through the rest of the house. And the street levels may not house essential living quarters.

    Christie said buildings that sustained at least 51 percent damage by Sandy will not get building permits unless they comply with the new standards.

    Property owners with less damage have a choice, he said. They can rebuild to the new standards, or they can rebuild to the old standards and face as much as a $31,000 increase in their flood insurance premiums. The dozen or so residents at the news conference gasped when Christie announced the steep increase. He said residents who build two feet above the new flood-zone levels would see an increase of only about $3,500.

    Kasimos is also facing an increase in his flood insurance, which has cost about $1,000 a year. Even before he decides how to rebuild, his rate is going up to $3,500 because the plan is no longer being subsidized by FEMA as of Jan. 1, he said.

    Kasimos said he can afford the increase, but not if he’s forced to pay $31,000 more because he didn’t rebuild to the property standards. He also doesn’t think his neighbors will be able to.

    “It’s going to be a ghost town. I live there, so I’m going to get a little more aid. The majority of people won’t get aid,” he explained, referring to owners of vacation homes.

    “You think the 2007 housing bubble killed New Jersey real estate,” he said, “this is going to be significantly worse.”

  12. Ernest Money says:

    grim (8)-

    Pump and dump. An important part of how to achieve the Amerikan Dream.

  13. Ernest Money says:

    sx (10)-

    Thanks, I missed that at the time. I knew a few people in their wine and F&B departments, and they told me the restaurants were a ghost town for several years.

    All their original F&B people were some of the best, and they all got canned early on when the slump hit. The people there now all seem like they were Marriott busboys.

  14. grim says:

    I can’t help but think of Hot Tub Time Machine when anyone mentions Vernon Valley/Great Gorge.

  15. Ernest Money says:

    grim (14)-

    That’s an insult to Hot Tub Time Machine.

  16. Painhrtz - So Long and Thanks for all the Fish says:

    I wish i could go back to 1987 in a hot tub time machine. i’d kick myself in the nuts repeatedly. It would be a good primer for the next 20 years.

  17. chicagofinance says:

    You know why that happened right? End 2012 Bush Era tax cuts for rich…..it is taken out of context….

    grim says:
    January 25, 2013 at 5:51 am
    It’s really only a recession if you are poor …

  18. chicagofinance says:

    Same thing with Blodget….taken out of context…..he’s more patsy than anything else…plenty of other people deserved much worse, but he was easy to tar, feather and cast away…..with few if any consequences to those in power….

  19. yome says:

    Is that not always the case? Its a depression when the rich are having a hard life

  20. Essex says:

    It’s evolution baby.

  21. joyce says:


    Yes. The super-rich, I mean the people who are truely well connected, the ones with ‘power’ … they never have a hard time.

  22. Anon E. Moose says:

    It really is shameful how uncivil politics has become. Let’s play “Who said it?” Bonus points if you can name the person about whom it was said.

    “It’s sinful that this man is president of the United States.”
    “The evil is in the White House at the present time. And that evil is a man who has no care and no concern for the working class of America and the future generations of America… He’s cold. He’s mean. He’s got ice water for blood.”

  23. Juice Box says:

    Re: Hot Tub Time Machine.

    I lived it one winter at Hunter mountain, the party scene up there was pretty strong on the weekends in the early 90s. We had a 6 bedroom winter rental at the end of the lake, with a large hot tub on the deck, facing the lake and Hunter mountain. There was usually a party every weekend at one of those winter homes up there, lots of easy pickings at a party or one of the clubs like Slopes in Tannersville. We dumped allot more than a nuclear energy drink in our hottub. After the winter the landlord had to call in a clean up crew to scrub the entire place from top to bottom, since we never cleaned the place or even took the garbage to the dump.

  24. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    New-home sales 8.8% higher vs one year ago
    Median sales price of homes up 1.3% to $248,900
    Nov. sales revised up to 398,000 rate vs 377,000
    New-home sales decline to 369,000 annual rate
    New U.S. home sales fall 7.3% in December

  25. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Sales of New U.S. Homes Decline to End First Year of Rebound

    Purchases of new U.S. homes unexpectedly dropped in December, indicating the U.S. housing rebound will take time to develop after the industry completed its first year of recovery.

    Sales declined 7.3 percent to a 369,000 annual pace following a 398,000 rate in November that was higher than previously estimated and the strongest in more than two years, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 77 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for sales to reach 385,000 last month.

    Even with December’s slip, 367,000 new homes were purchased for all of 2012, the most since 2009 and the first annual gain in seven years, showing the housing market is on the road to recovery. A dearth of previously-owned properties in the U.S., mortgage rates near record lows, healthier job prospects and a rising number of households should stoke demand for newly- constructed homes this year.

    “2012 was the first year we’ve seen a sustained recovery in housing,” Celia Chen, a housing economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said before the report. “This year will be even better. On the supply side, inventories are pretty tight. On the demand side, things are definitely improving, and that’s because job growth is in place.”

  26. grim says:

    In December, purchases decreased in three of four regions, led by a 29.4 percent slump in the Northeast. Sales also fell 11.1 percent in the West and 8.4 percent in the South. They rose 21.3 percent in the Midwest.


  27. Lighten up Pain says:

    Menendez will score points for that. Remember he’s divorce. He’s well known for cruising certain places in the Hudson waterfront for picking up women.

    He’s Hudson County Hetero – Not some Southern GOP H0m0 or Catholic Ped0.

  28. Apparently Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Next time you insult someone for living under a rock . . . .


  29. Anon E. Moose says:

    Pain [25];

    Too bad we don’t have a free press to unearth such discoveries before the election, huh?

  30. Juice Box says:

    I spent some time in the DR the place is crawling with teenage prostitutes, and middle aged usually divorced American men at the resorts. Prostitution is not legal there but the Gov’t generally looks the other way since they want the tourist dollars. Rush Limbaugh used to brag about going down there before he got busted at MIA airport.

    Unless there are pics or a video I doubt Menendez is going down like Anthony Weiner over this one. If anything he will come out with both guns firing or it will just die down
    or Menendez will catch HIV if he is depraved enough to sleep with children.

  31. Anon E. Moose says:

    Juice [32];

    Non-issue now. He just ignores it. They’ve got 6 years to rehab his reputation, and presuming he runs again if it comes up it gets mau-maued as ‘digging up old and long-dismissed baseless accusations’.

  32. funnelcloud says:

    Grim 26
    Saw that article also
    So which is it??? Are we up again and all is grand on a happy home front
    or are we down and should put on the unhappy face…

  33. sh1tting skittles says:

    No tailwind, no pessimism. Just a long slow slog.

  34. Brian says:

    Grim, this is similar to the Bloomberg story from yesterday.

    Why Americans still feel poor
    Stocks are up again, but home prices are the real barometer of personal wealth


  35. Apparently Comrade Nom Deplume says:
  36. Juice Box says:

    Super Booker to the rescue. Any reason why he can’t wear a hat? Do his powers derive from the sun or something?


  37. Painhrtz - So Long and Thanks for all the Fish says:

    moose wouldn’t matter anyway when you have hudson and union counties pretty much in the bag he could have been on film murdering puppies and would have gotten elected.

    Also read somewhere that fossil Lautenberg has been smacking Booker down with the get off my lawn sonny sh!t

    NJ should be held as a case study for the repeal of the 17th amendment.

  38. Brian says:

    Juice somebody needs to get down to times square and rescue this puppy.


  39. Brian says:

    Maybe we can send Menendez?

  40. Libtard in Union says:

    Ahhh, Menendez. The only time I even realize he exists is at election time.

  41. Mike says:

    might be an old one but I thought it was funny > IN CASE YOU DIDN’T ALREADY KNOW THIS LITTLE TIDBIT OF TRIVIA….
    > Gorsky TO ARMSTRONG.
    > GORSKY,
    > MOON!”
    > It broke the place up.

  42. joyce says:

    I assume that when Obama appeals the force and effects of the ruling will be put on hold. So if, and it’s a big if, the Supreme Court hears the case… I’d bet my bottom dollar that it’s after a long time making any reversal they order moot.

    37.Apparently Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    January 25, 2013 at 11:36 am
    The One takes one on the chin . . .


  43. xolepa says:

    (43) I heard that many years ago. What I did hear was reference to oral sex, though. And the person who told me that story was named Gorsky. No relation. Then, after Neil Armstrong died, it was stated that the incident was not true.

  44. NJGator says:

    Grim 11 – Lib’s sister found out she needs to elevate her house in Brigantine by 12 feet. Lots of unhappy people in her neighborhood since they “only” took in about a foot of water in their homes during Sandy. They have estimates for 100k to fix the damage…no idea yet what flood insurance is going to pay out.

  45. Comrade Nom Deplume. Apparently. says:

    [44] joyce,

    Only if the CADC or SCOTUS stay the decision pending appeal. And SCOTUS isn’t likely to do that.

  46. Comrade Nom Deplume. Apparently. says:

    [44] joyce

    interestingly, when MSNBC covered this story, they referred to the court’s decision as “further evidence of disfunction in Washington.”

  47. Comrade Nom Deplume. Apparently. says:

    [48] redux

    dysfunction, even.

    Thought it didn’t look right.

  48. cobbler says:

    nom [48]
    Well, would you entertain the thought that if the court panel had 3 Dem appointees instead of the 3 Rep ones, the decision would’ve been different?

  49. joyce says:

    The Supreme Court does whatever it wants to do, just like the other branches & levels of govt. The law does not apply to them.

  50. Painhrtz - So Long and Thanks for all the Fish says:

    joyce we have a TV in our atrium that is on CNN 24/7.

    One of the Morning News Bimbos was interviewing one of the Sheriff’s who are going to refuse to enforce any gun bans. She starts lecturing him that it is not his right to interpret the constitution but enforce the laws. Dude shut her up with one sentence we swear to uphold the constitution first when sworn into office, laws second.

    the look on her smarmy face was priceless, even though his logic is flawed since I’m sure there are more than a few amendments his department does not follow for a multitude of security and drug offenses.

    figure SCOTUS will pobably hear the case nom correct me if I’m wrong but only four justices have to be in agreement to hear arguments regarding any petition to the court.

  51. joyce says:

    I recall watching a youtube video with some youngster saying something similar. The host was so dumbfounded so didn’t know how to respond. And regarding the recent sheriffs coming speaking out, I do not believe them at all. Exactly for the reason you just brought up, how many of them are violating the law on a daily basis due to the unconstitutional war on drugs? or how about aiding federal LEO’s carryout objectives resulting from the patriot act? etc etc

  52. Painhrtz - So Long and Thanks for all the Fish says:

    Bears fan well that was f*cking cheery sounds like a whole lot of our musings here starting from 2006 onward

  53. Statler Waldorf says:

    The Mr Gorsky quote is a hoax.


  54. Comrade Nom Deplume. Apparently. says:

    [51] cobbler,

    Only if you accept the proposition that the judges make decisions based on political considerations. I have researched this area (and my findings are published), and have clerked for two federal judges (Art. 1 and Art. 3 courts), and I know that there is bias at the edges, but I reject the idea that judges make decisions based on purely political decisions.

    [52] joyce,

    I respectfully disagree.

    [54] pain,

    Sounds right. Would have to look back at the rules to be sure. I don’t practice there so I cannot say off the top of my head.

  55. Comrade Nom Deplume. Apparently. says:


    Read it for yourself and decide. The operative analysis is on pages 16-29. And, interestingly, the Court decided the statutory claims for the NLRB. The only reason Petitioner prevailed was because NLRB decisions were void ab initio.


    And can you imagine a democratic judge going along with the OLC memo if a Republican president could later rely on it?

    “The fourth and final possible interpretation of “the Recess,”
    advocated by the Office of Legal Counsel, is a variation of the
    functional interpretation in which the President has discretion to
    determine that the Senate is in recess. See 2012 OLC Memo,
    supra, at 23 (“[T]he President therefore has discretion to
    conclude that the Senate is unavailable to perform its advise and-consent function and to exercise his power to make recess
    appointments.”). This will not do. Allowing the President to
    define the scope of his own appointments power would
    eviscerate the Constitution’s separation of powers . . .”

  56. Brian says:

    Joyce, why is the war on drugs unconstitutional?

  57. joyce says:

    I should say the Federal War on Drugs. What gives the Feds the authority to do so?
    (I’m fully aware that 90% of what the Fed gov does now and has done for some time is unconstitutional and yet that doesn’t seem to stop them)

  58. joyce says:

    How so?

    58.Comrade Nom Deplume. Apparently. says:
    January 25, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    [52] joyce,

    I respectfully disagree.

  59. Mike says:

    57 oh well still thought it was funny

  60. Painhrtz - So Long and Thanks for all the Fish says:
  61. Anon E. Moose says:

    Joyce [61];

    Art I, Sec. 8, Clause 3:

    The Congress shall have Power …
    To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

    So if you have to import it from out of country or out of state, Congress can regulate it. I’m not saying they must, only that they can. Here’s where I differ from most weak-minded leftist robots — I don’t equate “unconstitutional” with “stuff I don’t like” (not accusing you of that either).

    As for the wisdom of drug prohibition, A) I’m not willing to pledge my support and credibility to bolster someone’s ability to toke up; B) It depends on how other areas of the law are affected — would an employer be free to drug test without being sued for discrimination? I don’t know if I would want the first car off the line Monday morning or after lunch on Friday if not.

  62. Painhrtz - So Long and Thanks for all the Fish says:

    Moose while I fall on the anti prohibitionist side, i also feel that an employer has the right to make it a condition of employment if they so choose. the poor employer would still be sued but if contract law was actually enforcable in this country and it was a contingent upon the signed employment agreement they should be sh!tcanned for using while working.

    what they do on their own time for that matter is entirely up to them.

  63. xolepa says:

    (57) That Snopes article is utter junk, too. The story may be true, however, the author starts rambling upon a Jewish association. The name Gorsky is nowhere near Jewish as the name’s closest derivation is from the Slavic word for ‘bitter’. But the G letter indicates a Russian translation. That does not mean the name natively was pronounced that way.
    I can’t stand idiots who see themselves as experts.

  64. Bklynhawk says:


    After reading about Mickelson’s comments and now this article about Tina Turner becoming a Swiss citizen, thought of you Comrade…

    Tina Turner may become a Swiss citizen, give back U.S. passport
    By Nardine Saad
    12:50 PM PST, January 25, 2013
    Tina Turner wants to become a Swiss citizen, and love has everything to do with it.


  65. freedy says:

    This may become very trendy. One wonder when one of the Senate or House members decides to give it up. And they stay anyway . Only in America

  66. yome says:

    Turner has lived in zurich since 1999. About time she became swiss citizen

  67. cobbler says:

    nom [58]
    Thanks a lot for the link, interesting reading. Looks like there is enough difference vs. prior decisions to take the case to SCOTUS. Some portions though (e.g. discussion of the Senate adjournment in 2007 v. the one discussed, p.42) look like gotcha justice to the lay person like me.

  68. Essex says:

    ….and then there’s this….

    Fannie Mae
    You hear it all the time from ads and realtors. But this time it’s actually true: there has literally never been a better time to buy a home.
    According to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors, the home affordability index has now entered its third year of record highs.

    The measure tracks median income against median priced homes (assuming a down payment of 20 percent of the home price and it assumes a qualifying ratio of 25 percent).

    A value of 100 means that a family at median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home. When it’s above 100, the family has more than enough income to qualify.

    And the current reading is just under 200.

    But we wanted to dig in to why housing conditions in America are so ripe for buying.

  69. BearsFan says:

    56 – Pain – I know, right :) But numbers are numbers, and we should all be wary in the near future.

  70. Comrade Nom DePlume in a Starbucks in DelCo says:

    [69] hawk

    I saw that but the story I read said nothing of renunciation. At this point, her only meaningful tax dodge is estate taxes anyway.

  71. Comrade Nom DePlume in a Starbucks in DelCo says:

    [62] Joyce,

    I disagree with the statement and the premise. The Court and its judges are not free to ignore the law. We disagree with the interpretation at times but that is why we have a congress. And if we don’t want idiots in DC we have to stop voting for them.

  72. Comrade Nom DePlume in a Starbucks in DelCo says:


    Classic. I love it. Maybe we should have a drinking game: every time Dope hits 50 in a thread, everyone drinks.

  73. Comrade Nom DePlume in a Starbucks in DelCo says:

    [73] cobbler,

    Comes down to who gets to say whether senate is in session, the senate or the president.

  74. Essex says:

    So uh. How’s it goin’ NJ?

  75. Painhrtz - So long and thanks for all the fish says:

    Nom if we went by those rules those of us.who aren’t friends of Bill W would be after after the first couple of times we played

  76. Ernest Money says:

    plume (77)-

    If this is true, why do GM and Chrysler still exist?

    “The Court and its judges are not free to ignore the law.”

  77. Ernest Money says:

    AA is for losers. Increasingly, drinking myself to death seems like a very reasonable way to go.

  78. Ernest Money says:

    ..except for the possible cirrhosis thingy.

  79. Comrade Nom Deplume, apparently. says:

    [81] Ernest,

    Because the president put a gun to the bondholders heads. If no interested party sues, there is nothing to enforce.

  80. Comrade Nom Deplume, apparently. says:


    Gulf emirates are the new havens.

  81. chicagofinance says:

    Ernest Money says:
    January 25, 2013 at 11:16 pm
    AA is for losers. Increasingly, drinking myself to death seems like a very reasonable way to go.

    clot: I found a home movie of you…..

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