Tuesday, June 17, 2008

$4.00 a Gallon Who's To Blame?

China and Cuba are actively exploring oil fields 50 miles from Key West, Florida while U.S. companies are barred from working in this area because of U.S. policy ... So, instead of allowing the most environmentally responsible companies to operate there and increase our domestic supply, China, who has a dismal environmental record, is preparing to suck our close, lucrative oil reserves dry.

Unbelievable.

CRISIS: Foreclosure Threatens .2 Percent of Homeowners.

2008-06-13) — The U.S. housing crisis reached fever pitch this month, with potential foreclosures up 48 percent compared with May 2007.

The devastation of receiving foreclosure notices has now swept through a full 2/10ths of one percent of American homes. About 1/10th of one percent of owners may lose their homes. For some of those people, it’s actually their primary residence in jeopardy, rather than a second home, rental property or vacation condo.

To add insult to misery, mortgage rates skyrocketed this month to 6.32 percent, a shocking figure a full third of what it was during the Carter administration.

As a result of the flood of homes on the market, real estate agent commissions have dipped precariously, and home buyers increasingly wrestle with the guilt of paying bargain prices for excellent properties.

Market analysts say home prices could plummet as much as another 10 percent by the end of 2009, leaving first-time home buyers to face the specter of owning a more spacious residence. The additional square footage inequitably boosts the burden of cleaning, heating and air conditioning.

Remember Those Iraqi Benchmarks? Well, Guess What…

Way back in the dark days of 2007, when the only popular question about the Iraq war concerned the degree of tragedy, Congress’s Iraq “benchmarks” were all the rage among Democrats. Every argument against a continued U.S. presence in Iraq was constructed around the Maliki administration’s apparent inability to meet the political and security-based milestones as outlined by America’s Democratic-majority Congress.

Then something happened. The gains of the troop surge allowed the Iraqi government and citizenry to implement the security measures and legislative acts called for by the U.S. The benchmark line of argument quietly died. Here, then, is the brief life and glorious death of the great benchmark trope.