October 24, 2012

What the Business Press Won’t Tell Us: Single-Family Home Sales Are Still Below Recession Levels

The Associated Press, Bloomberg and Reuters all eagerly told readers today that the seasonally adjusted annualized level of single-family home sales in September of 389,000 was the highest in 2-1/2 years and really, really good news for the housing market, the economy as a whole, or both. What they all “somehow” failed to mention was the fact that sales are still far below where they were during the 12-month recession in 2008 and 2009 (defining “recession” properly), when the market was screeching to a halt after overbuilding driven by subprime lending frauds by design Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The numbers reported by the Census Bureau since January of 2008, first expressed at seasonally adjusted annual rates, then as raw number of homes sold, follow the jump.

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Positivity: Priests’ group creates Catholic voter guide mobile app

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:32 pm

From San Diego:

Oct 24, 2012 / 02:08 am

The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy has released a non-partisan voting guide for Catholics in the form of a free mobile device app.

“With Election Day soon approaching, it is imperative that the lay faithful take their right to vote seriously,” Fr. John Trigilio, Jr., president of the San Diego-based fraternity, said Oct. 4.

“This Voting Guide is totally non-partisan. It neither favors nor disavows any political party or candidate. What it does is present gospel values and moral principles of the natural moral law to enable the Catholic voter to evaluate any candidate, issue or pending legislation.”

The Catholic Voting Guide app, developed by the Indiana company Little i Apps, is available at no cost for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows smart phones and tablets.

The guide specifically focuses on six issues: right to life, religious liberty, sanctity of marriage, private property, access to necessary goods and war.

“The right to life and religious liberty are the two most sacred inalienable rights human beings possess from their Creator and no state or federal government can take it away,” Fr. Trigilio said. “Voters must take into consideration politicians’ positions on life and liberty and not just presume their own personal stand is sufficient.”

The app includes a reflection on Catholic duties in the voting booth. It draws on the 2011 U.S. bishops’ conference letter “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” and a 2004 letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith written by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger before his election as Pope Benedict XVI.

A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who supports intrinsic evils if the voter intends to support those acts, the app says. Likewise, a conscientious voter may vote for candidates less likely to advance morally flawed positions or to advance other societal goods only when all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil.

Fr. Trigilio said the confraternity hopes that Catholics will use the app for every election and will use it to keep current on pending legislation which “could impact our most cherished values.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

As Others Report WH Knew Nature of Attack Within Hours, AP Still Insists That the Big Benghazi Issue Is ‘Quality of U.S. Intelligence’

At the Associated Press Tuesday evening, the wire service re-posted verbatim Eileen Sullivan’s “Why It Matters” report from October 15. One of that report’s core assertions is that It “injected the issue of diplomatic security into the presidential campaign and renewed questions about the quality of U.S. intelligence.” At my related  NewsBusters post that day, I noted that  President Obama and administration had ”lots of intelligence within 24 hours of the attack, and that there was no reason to doubt its accuracy.”

Reports Tuesday evening from other news sources — notably not picked up by AP as of 6:45 this morning Eastern Time (the better to possibly keep it from appearing on the morning TV News shows which rely heavily on AP for content) — indicate that the White House knew that the Benghazi attack was terrorism within minutes of its beginning. Excerpts from Reuters and CBS News follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (102412)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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