Thursday, September 5, 2019

Last Call For The Return Of House Of Pain

The Trump regime is about to finish off the economy by starting another housing crisis through turning Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages over to the big mortgage banks, and that will blow a hole in the side of the housing market almost overnight.

The Trump administration released a sweeping plan Thursday that could remake the U.S. housing market, starting with ending more than a decade of government control of two massive companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that back half of the nation’s mortgages. 
The long-awaited plan from the Treasury Department features nearly 50 proposals, including many technical changes to financial regulations, and is aimed at shrinking the government’s role in the housing market. The cornerstone of the plan would resolve the fates of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which 11 years ago this week were put into government conservatorship during the global financial crisis.

The proposals will “protect taxpayers and help Americans who want to buy a home,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “An effective and efficient federal housing finance system will also meaningfully contribute to the continued economic growth under this administration.” 
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play a critical part in the housing market, buying mortgages from lenders, then packaging them into securities to sell to investors. The government seized control of both companies in 2008 as the housing market unraveled and the firms’ losses piled up.

The housing giants back half of the United States’ mortgages, and housing experts have warned that allowing them too much freedom again could lead to higher mortgage costs for consumers while enriching Wall Street investors.

“President Trump’s housing plan will make mortgages more expensive and harder to get. I’m urging the president: Make it easier for working people to buy or rent their homes, not harder,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee.

Eventually the two companies do have to come out of conservatorship.  But if you think the Trump regime is going to correctly unwind Fannie and Freddie without causing another housing crisis, I don't know what to do.

Buckle up, folks.  If this doesn't get stopped, the economy is 100% sunk.

Another Day In Gunmerica, Con't

In a move that will, well, give ammunition to the right for months, San Francisco has declared the NRA to be a domestic terrorist organization.

The city’s board of supervisors passed the resolution on Tuesday, accusing the NRA of inciting gun violence and arming people who commit acts of terror across the U.S.

“All countries have violent and hateful people, but only in America do we give them ready access to assault weapons and large-capacity magazines thanks, in large part, to the National Rifle Association’s influence,” the resolution reads in part. “Now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the City and County of San Francisco intends to declare the National Rifle Association a domestic terrorist organization.”

The board also cited gun violence statistics in its decision.

“The United States is plagued by an epidemic of gun violence, including over 36,000 deaths, and 100,000 injuries each year,” the document notes. “Every day approximately 100 Americans are killed with guns and ... there has been more than one mass shooting per day in the United States in 2019.”

The NRA ― which is facing collapse amid financial mismanagement and legal fees ― dismissed the resolution, calling it “ludicrous.”

“This ludicrous stunt by the Board of Supervisors is an effort to distract from the real problems facing San Francisco, such as rampant homelessness, drug abuse and skyrocketing petty crime,” NRA spokesperson Amy Hunter told KQED.

The resolution calls on other cities and states, as well as the federal government, to join San Francisco in designating the group a domestic terrorist organization.

I'm not exactly sure what this will accomplish other than being a terrible punchline to Ted Cruz or Mike Huckabee tweets, but if there was some sort of banking or city contract sanction on those who partner with the NRA, that would have far more bite.  Maybe the resolution is a step towards this, but if it's not, it's just another talking point on FOX News to go DURR STOOPID LIBRULS.

It's morally right, I just don't how much it will matter.  But hey, if it's the tipping point that puts the NRA out of business, great.

The Blue Wave Returns, Con't

Five Texas Republicans heading for the exits, now Wisconsin Republican Jim Sensenbrenner, who's been in the House since I learned to walk, is leaving Congress.

Wisconsin Republican Jim Sensenbrenner, the second longest-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives, will not run for a 22nd term, he said Wednesday.

Sensenbrenner made his first public announcement Wednesday on The Mark Belling Show on WISN-AM (1130).

In a separate interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he said, “I think the time has come to basically turn over the page in the 5th District.”

The 76-year-old congressman has long represented the GOP’s geographic base in Wisconsin — the suburban, exurban and rural communities north and west of Milwaukee County that historically turn out in droves for Republican candidates and provide a large share of the party’s activists and political leaders.

Sensenbrenner’s departure after 2020 is likely to draw huge interest from within a district packed with aspiring GOP politicians.

It also makes him the latest of several big-name Republicans to leave the Wisconsin stage: former House Speaker Paul Ryan (who retired after 2018), former Gov. Scott Walker (who was defeated in 2018) and current congressman Sean Duffy, who announced he would step down this month to focus on the health problems of the baby he and his wife are expecting.   
Sensenbrenner said he is not retiring for health reasons or because he is worried about a re-election challenge. He is at least the 15th GOP member of the U.S. House to announce retirement this year, a group that includes Duffy.

Sensenbrenner said his decision was also unrelated to serving in the minority, where he has spent virtually half his congressional career, and unrelated to the turbulence of Donald Trump’s presidency.

He plans to serve out his current term and said he will back “the Republican ticket from top to bottom” in 2020.

“I’ve said all along I’d know when the right time came and I’ve come to the conclusion it has,” he said. “There is nobody running against me. Nobody can say they’ve pushed me out. I am doing this on my terms.”

Said Sensenbrenner:

“You can see the end of the line sometime. Being able to do this on my timetable rather than after a redistricting in 2022 will allow me to go out on a high note … This is just me feeling the time would be coming in the next few years, and I think this is the best time for me personally, and for both the Republican Party and for me politically.

Maybe he is actually leaving on his own terms...but he's still leaving.  The most powerful Republican in Wisconsin is calling it quits in a year where more than a dozen other GOP incumbents are throwing in the towel, and I expect a lot more Republicans to join him.

Deep down, they all know the damage Trump has done to the GOP for any Republican not named Trump is lethal.


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