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Monthly Archives: October 2005

Another Angry Conservative II & III

October 4th, 2005 - 10:24 am

John Podhoretz also thinks Harriet Miers is a crony selection:

Without the patronage of George W. Bush, Harriet Miers is nothing more than a fairly obscure lawyer from Texas who served as president of a relatively minor law firm and served in state government on a lottery commission for five years.

They are the kind of credentials that might, under other circumstances, get someone a post as assistant secretary of labor, or even (in an administration’s second term after a productive stint in the White House) a minor Cabinet post. These are not credentials for the U.S. Supreme Court, whose nine members essentially preside over the third co-equal branch of the federal government.

The editors of National Review aren’t impressed either, arguing that Miers is little more than “a Bush loyalist and friend.”

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Another Angry Conservative

October 3rd, 2005 - 11:02 pm

Harriet Miers doesn’t pass muster with Randy Barnett – or Alexander Hamilton. Read:

Harriet Miers is not just the close confidante of the president in her capacity as his staff secretary and then as White House counsel. She also was George W. Bush’s personal lawyer. Apart from nominating his brother or former business partner, it is hard to see how the president could have selected someone who fit Hamilton’s description any more closely. Imagine the reaction of Republicans if President Clinton had nominated Deputy White House Counsel Cheryl Mills, who had ably represented him during his impeachment proceedings, to the Supreme Court. How about Bernie Nussbaum?

Hamilton might just be my least favorite Founding Father, but as Barnett quotes him, Hamilton was dead-on about patronage. Read the whole thing.

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As a political blogger, I guess I’m supposed to say something about Harriet Miers. So, here it goes:


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On the Nightstand

October 3rd, 2005 - 10:37 pm

Robert D Kaplan’s Imperial Grunts.

Two chapters in, and it’s damn fine reading. Of course, I’d read Kaplan if he was writing FDA nutritional information pamphlets.

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Times, Deselected

October 3rd, 2005 - 9:26 pm

How am I doing, now having gone two weeks without reading any editorials or op-eds in The New York Times? Have I suffered any withdrawal symptoms, any detox shakes, any sleepless nights? Is it really possible for the news & opinion masochist to go 14 days without Herr Krugman or Madame Dowd? Has “Times Select” put a crimp in my already-crimped blog?

Nope. I’m doing just fine, thank you.

The only thing different after two weeks is that I realize now just how gladly I’d pony up $50 a year for the NYT’s news content.

Oh, wait

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Brace Yourselves

October 3rd, 2005 - 9:14 pm

Here we go:

NYT TUESDAY FRONT PAGE: Real estate slowdown that began in a handful of cities this summer has spread to almost every hot housing market in the country… In Manhattan, the average sales price fell almost 13% in the third quarter… Developing…

That’s the no-link teaser from Drudge. I’ll have more once the NYT Tuesday edition goes up on the web. Meantime, you can read all about it here and here and here and (from Will Collier) here.

I’ve been harping on the housing-market bubble meme for three years now, making me an awful lot like those MSM economists who have correctly predicted six of the last three recessions. (That’s not a typo; it’s an old joke, recycled.)

But just because I got the timing wrong (and might have yet again) doesn’t mean that I’m wrong (or that Will is wrong) about the dangers you’ll find in the many links above.

UPDATE: Here are the numbers:

In Manhattan, the average sales price fell almost 13 percent in the third quarter from the second quarter, according to a widely followed report to be released today by Miller Samuel, an appraisal firm, and Prudential Douglas Elliman, a real estate firm. The amount of time it took to sell a home was also up 30.4 percent over the same period.

In Fairfax County, Va., outside Washington, the number of homes on the market in August rose nearly 50 percent from August 2004.

In the Boston suburb of Brookline, Mass., where many three-bedroom houses cost $1 million or more, the inventory of homes for sale has increased in just the last few weeks, said Chobee Hoy, a broker there.

For-sale listings have also swelled throughout California, according to the California Association of Realtors. In the San Francisco Bay area, they have increased 16 percent in the last year, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage said.

“We are seeing a market in transition,” Leslie Appleton-Young, the association’s chief economist, said.

The samples used are pretty limited, so it’s impossible to tell just how wide-spread the housing decline is. It could just be regional problems – the coasts burn hotter in the up times, and fall farther in the down times. Then again, we might really be in a housing bubble, and we might have suffered a very large prick.

So. Let’s take an informal poll of VodkaPundit readers. If you’re a real estate agent, or you’re in the process of buying or selling a home, click on the Comments and let everyone know what your recent experiences are. I’ll summarize and publish the results at the end of the week.

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October 2nd, 2005 - 10:30 pm

Still working on the monster I started on Friday. 2,500 words and counting.

I’m sure Steven Den Beste is laughing.

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