Here We Go Again – Housing Bubble Round 2

Insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. 

I have been saying “What recovery” for years, yet people keep pointing to “numbers” that say RECOVERY! No. we still haven’t recovered fully from the great recession. We have band-aided and bailed out economic sectors, industries, and companies with greased politicians and great lobbyists, but we have not had market corrections and a real recovery.

Housing was the final straw that led to the collapse in 2007. With the low interest rates and rising home prices, not to mention new homes still being built, you may be saying, yeah, we are recovered… but take another look.

Homeownership rate lowest in 25 years
Home prices are rising, and homeownership is falling. How can that be?

If prices are rising, it must be because there is increasing demand for homes, but if there is increasing demand, then why are there fewer homeowners?

It has to do with this: math. The homeownership rate in the first quarter of this year fell to 63.7 percent, the lowest since 1990, according to the U.S. Census. The homeownership rate is the ratio of households that own to overall households—the remaining being rental households.

As with “the unemployment rate” the numbers politicians and the media hacks like to report is massaged and manipulated to tell you what they want you to know, not what the truth is.

Having said all that, we should also note that there was actually a slight decline in the total, real number of homeowners. It wasn’t enough alone to push the homeownership rate down as far as it did, but it should be noted. As investors continue to buy single-family homes, and first-time buyers remain unable to afford today’s prices, real homeownership takes a hit.

Ah. Investors are buying homes now.

Like investors bought all that land in the early 2000’s and built homes driving up the prices….. and investors bought mortgage portfolios and swapped them back and forth……

We have not recovered. Due to bailouts and continued cheap/free low interest rate and downpayment mortgages, no one involved in the housing bubble learned a lesson.

Investors are now just buying up the homes low to sell high later OR to rent them out rather than buy the mortgages and make interest like they did 10 years ago.

We are headed to another economic recession. Washington has been pumping up the economy and eventually the chickens are going to come home to roost.

Neither Republicans or Democrats can claim they didn’t know. Both parties bailed out those banks – but in truth they did so for different reasons. That’s for another rant.

Point is: Obama has not lead us out of the recession. He prolonged. He kicked the reforms and adjustments down the road. The next few years are going to be very bumpy. We’re heading for another full blown recession again.

Why Is Parenting a 4 Letter Word Nowadays?

Bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase Uncle Sam…..

When I was a boy, they called it parenting. In today’s America, we apparently need the Federal Government to take care of families and more to the point, raise kids. Well, I use families loosely as in far too many cases, there is only one parent. And by raise, its more indoctrinate and warehouse. But you get the point. The “family” is no longer part of the equation.

[Source: MPR] ecoming a Promise Zone doesn’t involve any up-front money, but it will give north Minneapolis a competitive advantage when applying for federal grants.

[…]

Duncan could not guarantee that Minneapolis will qualify for any federal grants, but said it opens the door to dozens of government funding sources.

That could mean more money to fund increased educational opportunities for students, find housing for families, improve job prospects for the unemployed and lower crime rates in the neighborhood, he said.

Its a tragedy that any kid doesn’t have the chance to receive a decent education. A parent is homeless or jobless. Yes we should help them however reasonably possible. But we also can’t sweep any and all bad decisions and choices that got our society in Minnesota to this point.

But don’t be fooled. What Duncan showed up in Minnesota for was not to highlight the Federal grants to the Northside Achievement zone, it was to help bully the Legislature into passing Dayton’s all day Pre-K. That’s just state funded day care by union  dues paying teachers.

Takeaways:

Why is good parenting no longer the solution? Why are we refusing to start by highlighting the things being promised by the Federal Government as what would help kids learn, could/should be part of the nuclear family?

This all day pre-K push is simply to grow unions, make kids dependent on government run day care, and provide more union resources to help elect Democrats.

Who was the only protesters actually afraid of the consequences of rioting in Baltimore? The one whose mom caught him. Folks, America’s kids needs more of this. Role models and learning right from wrong.

Politics Makes For Strange Bedfellows

Nice little piece by Mitch on the Brodkorb pity party and kumbaya with the liberal media. Last line is the key. (emphasis mine)

And I’m thinking his solicitousness toward Brodkorb is going to be a new corollary to Berg’s 11th Law (“The conservative liberals “respect” for their “conservative principles” will the the one that has the least chance of ever getting elected”); perhaps “the Republican that Democrats don’t pelt with rocks and garbage is the one that does their throwing for them”.

Anything that hurts the GOP is encouraged by the liberal media. Republicans are experts at tearing each other apart. Its easy because we know what will turn our own off. That doesn’t make you a good person.

Prairie Home Caliphate

ISIS is waging a religious war to cleanse the world of Christians and they are having luck recruiting people human beings willing to behead, burn, and mass murder Christians right here in Minnesota.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Six people have been arrested in connection with a terrorism investigation in Minnesota, where authorities have been tracking youths who have traveled or tried to travel to Syria to fight with militants, including the Islamic State group, authorities said.

[…]

Authorities say a handful of Minnesota residents have traveled to Syria to fight with militants within the last year. At least one Minnesotan has died while fighting for the Islamic State.

Since 2007, more than 22 young Somali men have also traveled from Minnesota to Somalia to join the militant group al-Shabab.

Four Minnesotans have already been charged in connection with supporting terror groups in Syria, including the Islamic State group.

We have a serious problem brewing here in Minnesota.

 

How You Win The Governor’s Race In MN

Beat the living  crap out of your opponent. Mark Dayton did just that to Jeff Johnson.

2014 Guv race chart

The MN CFB has a great report out. It includes side by sides for each House race as well. Party spending. PACs. Candidates. Major donors. Well worth the download. $34 million was spent on election in Minnesota in 2014. That excludes all Federal elections (US House & Senate)

 

MUST READ! Downey – Setting The Record Straight

Republican Party of Minnesota Chair Keith Downey sent out this email this morning to clear up some distortions and mistruths that are flying fast and furiously in the Chair’s race.

Setting the record straight…

As you may know, there are now two new candidates who have jumped into the race for Party Chair just days before the election.  A full discussion of the issues is important, and I welcome all of it and attended many conventions and district meetings around the state to do just that.  But in the last few days before the election, accurate information will be important, so I am taking the opportunity here to clarify and correct the (mis)information that is now out there.

Party Debt

To be clear, the State Party still carries too much debt.  Fortunately, since January 1st we have reduced our debt by $110,000.

After a once in four years statewide campaign effort in 2014, 2015 is now the year to make progress on the debt, and donors have given me their commitment to help in that cause if I am re-elected Chair.  And after reducing the State Party’s costs and improving our revenue streams, we are in a strong position do so.

Some key figures:

  • Since its high of $2.2 million after the problems of 2011, Party debt is now just over $1.4 million.  It reached a low of just under $1.3 million in early 2014 before the strategic decision was made to give it all we had and put our financial resources into the election, starting with the state convention and then on to the primary campaigns, statewide victory program, early/absentee ballot program, and general election campaigns.
  • Compared to 2013, today our monthly operating costs including principle and interest on structured long term debt from 2011, have been reduced by $50,000 per month.
  • Our donor file has grown from 27,000 two years ago, to 41,000 today, and the average donation has doubled.

Some argue that spending aggressively on behalf of our candidates in 2014 was unwise.  But imagine if our strategy for 2014 was simply to pay down debt.  Would donors have given?  Would we have had a successful convention? Would our endorsed candidates have prevailed in the primaries? Would our races have been as close as they were?  Doubtful.

A political Party’s financial position is lowest right after a hard fought election.  The better time to judge our progress, however, is right before we go into the next one.

Transparency

In the past two years as your Party Chair, I have very intentionally made the position increasingly accountable to the State Party’s Executive Committee and ultimately to you the delegates.

  • I embraced the new policy requiring the Chair to gain approval from the Executive Committee before entering any vendor contract greater than $25,000, and if for a non-budgeted area of spending, greater than $5,000.
  • In addition, I am the first Chair, and the only current elected officer, to be accountable to a job description and an annual review from the Personnel Committee as part of receiving a salary.
  • As Chair, I submit all new hires to the Personnel Committee for approval of the individual, the job description and compensation.
  • We have regularly scheduled State Executive Committee meetings on a monthly basis, increasing to bi-weekly during the last two months of the election cycle.  All strategic matters regarding operations, campaigns and spending are discussed.
  • Thanks to our Treasurer, Bron Scherer, the State Party is now running on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).  This is the standard of Certified Public Accounting firms, and our internal accounting controls and segregation of duties are reviewed annually by an outside party.
  • The Party Chair reviews the financials and approves accounts payable on a weekly basis with the Treasurer, Executive Director, and Finance Director, but has no computer login and no role in the accounting, invoice entry or check writing functions.
  • Monthly Income Statements and Balance Sheets are presented to the State Executive Committee, and all supporting schedules are available to be reviewed with the Treasurer.
  • A 24-month budget is proposed by the Chair and approved by the State Executive Committee, and monthly financial statements now include budget to actual comparisons.
  • The State Party’s FEC and State CFB reporting has been brought in-house to gain cost savings and control, and in the past 24 months we have had only minor amendments to our reports and no fines.

While recent accusations try to claim otherwise, this new era of transparency and accountability is solid, professional, and serving the Party and its donors very well.

Recent proposals in the name of “transparency” to undo these hard fought improvements to the Party’s financial processes are misguided, and ironically come from those with a history of leaking strategic information.

I hope this provides some helpful context as you evaluate the important issues facing our Party.

I remain confident that the turnaround is over, and the comeback has begun.  Let’s stay the course, make the progress on the debt I am committed to as a priority and have the donor support for, and deliver on the plan to win everything in 2016!

Click here to view my website and my plan for the next two years

We have regained momentum, but we also have a lot of work to do, and it would be an honor to serve as your Party Chairman for another term.

Thank you for your service to the people of Minnesota!

 

Regards,

Keith Downey

Dayton Pushes Controversial Bonding Bill

While Legislators are bogged down on the budget impasse, Governor Dayton has thrown gas on the partisan fire by introducing a bonding bill.

Source: Strib

Gov. Mark Dayton will announced his $850-million bonding bill Tuesday, which is expected to fund construction projects and create jobs across the state.

Characterized as a jobs bill, the legislation comes even as leaders in the Republican-led House have said they don’t have plans on proposing a bonding bill this year. Bonding bills have to originate in the House, and as a result, the Senate may follow suit. Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said late last month that he instructed Senate leaders to come up with options in case a bonding bill is produced.

Normally, Legislators spend the entire odd year of a session battling over projects for the bonding bill. Dayton is throwing this in to an already burdened budget year.

Its almost like he is trying to cause a shutdown by preventing a budget agreement from taking place.

April Fools ? – Meet MNGOP Chair Candidate Jungbauer

Sadly, I don’t think this is an April Fools Day joke. Source: Strib

Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey, who had been unopposed in his bid for a second two-year term, as of Tuesday has an opponent in former CD2 GOP chairman BIll Jungbauer.

[…]

Asked to name Republican elected officials he admires, Jungbauer said state Rep. Steve Drazkowski, and state Sens. Dave Thompson and Brandon Petersen. But he withheld similar praise for one of the party’s most prominent new leaders, House Speaker Kurt Daudt, who has faced criticism from some on the party’s right flank.

“No comment,” Jungbauer said when asked his estimation of Daudt.

All 3 of those Legislators that Jungbauer says he admires are backing Keith Downey’s reelection. Sooooo……

For those that don’t know Mr. Jungbauer, here is a glimpse of what to expect if he should win as written by one of his friends from CD2.

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