Stock Market Tanking

Down about 312 as I write this. Now 320… Now a minute later 333… 349… 345… 362… 383… 396… 405… better just go see for yourself. 443…


Go look at details: ^DJI: Summary for DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE IN

The market is correcting because of uncertainty about how bad the subprime credit problem is going to be. We’re in a period of fear and uncertainty right now, and these things can take a while to sort out,” said Sam Rahman, portfolio manager at Baring Asset Management Inc.

Today’s Housing Bubble Post – New Home Sales Plunge – Prices Update Added

New Home Sales Down Substantially,

Sales of new homes fell in June by the largest amount in five months as the housing industry continued to struggle with its worst downturn in 16 years. The median home price also fell.
… Sales are now 22.3 percent below the level of a year ago.
The median price of a new home sold last month dropped to $237,900, down by 2.2 percent from a year ago.

An important note about that median price – we have a bifurcated economy where the rich are richer. So houses at the top of the market are selling well. This means that the median price reflects that high price point at the top. REGULAR housing prices are falling much more than this indicates.
Prices Update – I want to emphasize what I said about prices. If the only houses selling at all are at the top, this will raise the median price.
Another factor that distorts prices is “incentives.” If a homebuilder is selling a house for $400K but throws in a new $60,000 Mercedes as and “incentive” to buy the house, the sales is reported as a $400K sale. And all across the country homebuilders are offering these incentives.
Prices are falling, it’s just that the reporting methods do not reflect what is happening. We are just coming out of a bubble — just like stocks did. Do not think about the price of a house in relation to where it was priced during the bubble. If you did that with Enron stock, you thought you were getting a bargain. Think about where the price will be, not where it was.
Look at it this way. We have house prices way higher than anyone can afford. We have the highest inventory of unsold houses in a long time – ever? We have the lenders tightening credit so fewer people can buy houses. We know prices are falling. We have a huge number of people falling behind on their payments and huge numbers of houses going into foreclosure. And it is just starting.
Anyone buying a house right now is an idiot. Prices are probably about double where they should be. Like I said earlier, remember Enron stock and think about where the price will be, not where it was.

YK – Breakfast With The Troops

Interesting: CMD’s "Breakfast with the Troops" at Yearly Kos Features Iraq Veterans Against the War ,

The Center for Media and Democracy is sponsoring a “Breakfast with the Troops” in Chicago on Sunday, August 5, 9 a.m. at the Yearly Kos extravaganza in the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.
Join Sheldon Rampton and me for coffee, pastries and a moderated discussion of how online activists can better support our troops in their own resistance to the war in Iraq. We’ll be discussing the war with Garett Reppenhagen, Aaron Hughes and other soldiers who are the backbone of Iraq Veterans Against the War, IVAW.
… August 5th’s “Breakfast with the Troops” is an opportunity for Yearly Kos attendees to converse with a constituency crucial to stopping the war, anti-war soldiers themselves.

Steve Soto Endorses Hillary

Over at The Left Coaster Steve Soto is endorsing Hillary. Steve says Hillary can

·Most capably deal with the biases of the corporate media;
·Most capably fight the right wing smear machine;
·Ruthlessly battle the GOP’s likely 2008 campaign tactics;
·Obtain the nomination and,
·Most importantly, step into the job in January 2009.

This follows the recent endorsement by Ambassador Joe Wilson.
The other day I wrote that I am not endorsing anyone for now. I do not dislike any of the major candidates.

FOX News’ Bill O’Reilly Website Threatens Life of Hillary Clinton

Fox News and Bill O’Reilly have been threatening corporations like JetBlue that sponsor the YearlyKos convention, telling their viewers that DailyKos is a “hate site.” JetBlue caved and wrote a public letter, echoing that DailyKos is a “hate site.”
So AmericaBlog took a look at O’Reilly’s site. Go see Bill O’Reilly’s Web site threatens Hillary’s life – AMERICAblog.

If Hillary wins, I will be respectful of our leader. If you could read my thoughts, I would be on the SS [Secret Service] watch list.

and

As a woman, i would open the door for her…..now, if there was nothing on the other side but empty space and a 50 foot drop into a moat filled leeches and (gulp) rats…well, I can’t be held responsible.

They have the screen shots, too.

Bush Uses Injured Reporter As Prop

Over at All Spin Zone, “Welcome Back Bob. Now, STFU.”
Bush welcomes back Bob Woodruff, a reporter injured by a bob in Iraq. The Woodruff asks a questions, and Bush says,

“Just because I recognized you, Bob, doesn’t mean I’m going to answer your questions here.”

As All Spin Zone puts it:

(Of course, CNN obediently left out that part of the exchange in their report.)
In other words: “Thanks for being here as a prop for me, Bob, now shut the fuck up.”

Today’s Housing Bubble Post – PRIME Loans Failing

Countrywide feels pain of ailing mortgage market,

Countrywide said payments were at least 30 days late at the end of second quarter on 4.56% of prime home-equity loans serviced by the company, up from 1.77% a year earlier.
Payments were late on 23.71% of sub-prime mortgage loans, up from 15.33% at the end of the same period in 2006, the company said.

A huge jump from 1.77% to 4.56% of prime mortgages with late payments, and from 15.33% to 23.71% of sub-prime. And housing prices haven’t even really started falling yet.
But they will.

What The Public ‘Knows’ – Politicization Of Government

Do you remember that Al Gore was accused of improperly making a fundraising call from a government office, and of improper fundraising when he visited a Buddhist temple? The right’s machine was able to turn these insignificant events into major, major scandal stories that are still repeated to this day. A Google search yields more than half a million websites that mention these. They even tried to get another special prosecutor just for this, claiming that the Clinton Justice Department would cover up Gore’s crimes. (Remember, lack of evidence of ANY Clinton or Gore wrongdoing was proof of a massive coverup conspiracy.)
The Republicans even made an accusation that Clinton used his Christmas card list for political purposes into a major story, with a Congressional investigation and days of hearings. They even made a huge scandal out of an accusation that the Clinton White Hose “tracked donors.”
As a result much of the public to this day thinks that the Clinton White House improperly used the government to help them raise funds.
Compare and contrast – does thie public “know” about the Bush corruption of the entire government for political purposes? Is is getting the same coverage in the media? Political Briefings At Agencies Disclosed,

White House officials conducted 20 private briefings on Republican electoral prospects in the last midterm election for senior officials in at least 15 government agencies covered by federal restrictions on partisan political activity, a White House spokesman and other administration officials said yesterday.
The previously undisclosed briefings were part of what now appears to be a regular effort in which the White House sent senior political officials to brief top appointees in government agencies on which seats Republican candidates might win or lose, and how the election outcomes could affect the success of administration policies, the officials said.

This is not about fundraising, this is about use of the power of the government itself to promote the interests of a political party.
And today, not just the Bush Justice Department and the General Services Administration, also the State Department,

Karl Rove … instructed his White House deputies to repeatedly brief State Department officials and U.S. ambassadors in key foreign missions about GOP electoral priorities.
[. . .] raises the question of how U.S. foreign policy, and specific binational relationships, is unfolding right now to serve a partisan agenda rather than the national interest.

While Progressives Talk To Each Other, Conservatives Talk To The Public

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Progressive bloggers talk to each other. Conservatives talk to the public.
For example, Bush and the Republicans recently renewed their claim Iraq attacked us on 9/11 and that is why we invaded that country. Their politicians, pundits, talk-show hosts, bloggers, news anchors, op-ed writers, letter-to-the-editor writers and others all said it, using largely the same “tested” words and phrases, on the radio, in the newspapers, in their blogs and on their TV channels. Progressive bloggers responded with the truth, but who did they reach?
The right talks to the public, and it works. Support for Initial Invasion Has Risen, Poll Shows,

Americans’ support for the initial invasion of Iraq has risen somewhat as the White House has continued to ask the public to reserve judgment about the war until at least the fall.
[. . .] However, the number of people who say the war is going “very badly” has fallen from 45 percent earlier in July to a current reading of 35 percent…
[. . .] The poll’s findings are in line with those of one conducted last week by The New York Times and CBS News.

And other lies continue as well. Just today, for example, from the right-wing Heritage Foundation, The War in Iraq: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions,

While WMD were not found, some may have been moved to Syria in the convoys of hundreds of trucks that crossed the border just before the U.S.-led intervention and during the first few weeks of fighting.
[. . .] If the U.S. pulls out of Iraq before it has a stable government capable of defending itself, the likes of bin Laden will have a safe haven from which to attack the U.S. again.
[. . .] If we stand back and allow al-Qaeda’s terrorists to succeed, they will turn Iraq into a base for attacking us, just as they turned Afghanistan into a base for attacking us. The Clinton Administration decided that the U.S. had no stake in the civil war in Afghanistan in the 1990s. Only after the Taliban allowed al-Qaeda to operate from its territory did we discover—too late—that we did have a stake there.

Right, blame Clinton. But it was Clinton who did something about Iraq’s WMD, and tried to do something about al Qaeda before 9/11, not Bush. Remember the “aspirin factory?”
Progressives need to start reaching the general public with the truth as well as each other. We need to start working together to fund and build the organizational infrastructure to develop and test messaging, then coordinate the use of messaging, train speakers, employ pundits, develop media channels, etc.

Endorsing

Open Left:: Personal Thoughts On Why I Haven’t Have Endorsed In 2008
I haven’t endorsed any candidate for President yet. I probably will before the primaries. I like Edwards a lot but I want him to explain HOW he made the mistake in his war vote and what he has learned from that. I wish Gore would enter the race – but he might be the answer if no one has enough delegates going into the convention and the convention can’t come to a decision. I hadn’t thought Obama has enough experience at a time when the country and the world are in a mess. But seeing him speak a couple of weeks ago – I think he is saying the things I want to public to hear in ways they should hear it, and that is important and part of finding a way through the mess we’re in. I think Hillary would bring a team in that could handle the mess but I don’t like some of the things she has done that seem to dismiss the progressive base, like supporting outlawing flag-burning.
I’m hearing good things about Dodd but don’t know enough. The joke about Biden that he can’t stop talking unfortunately isn’t a joke – I’ve seen it. He’s smart and has a good instinct but he isn’t really in the race, even if he doesn’t know it. Richardson – I don’t know enough.
So I at least don’t dislike any of the Democratic candidates.
Four years ago I didn’t like any of the candidates until Dean came along. So this is a different time.