Friday Follies for April 20, 2012

The Friday Follies is a semi-regular feature at the Court—especially when I don’t have a singular topic, or…when I’m a bit rushed.  I skated yesterday with Mrs. Crucis’ post. Yeah, instead of working, I…, well let’s say I didn’t do anything productive. I futzed all day until it was time to leave for my eldest Grandson’s twelfth birthday.

Today’s topics: Free Speech, Freddie Mae/Freddie Mac, and the Constitution.


Ted Nugent’s remarks at the NRA Annual Meeting last weekend has the liberals all in a tizzy.  Outrageous, they proclaim while ignoring remarks from liberal politicians.

After Nugent’s remarks hit the wires, the liberals and their dem surrogates screamed!  He threatened us!  What BS.  The Secret Service called Nugent in for a few questions and found nothing objectionable.  It was just another liberal ploy to limit OUR free speech.

But what is almost as bad, maybe worse, are the remarks of some NRA members.  They feel that Nugent’s remarks are going to offend liberals or independent fence-sitters. Sebastian and Dave Workman asked the question whether NRA members thought Nugent’s remarks was helpful or harmful.  They received comments from both sides, but in my opinion the tilt was decisively favorable to Nugent.

To my opinion, those who had negative views on Nugent are the NRA’s equivalent of RINOs in the Republican party.


The Heritage Foundation’s Morning Bell has an interesting question today, “What would happen if Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac went away?”

So what would happen if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were phased out? Would the absence of their ability to offer lower interest loans and smaller down payments impact the cost of homes in America? Anaraki’s analysis shows that it would not. In fact, interest rates and changes in down payment requirements have little influence on housing prices. Instead, fundamentals–such as household assets, personal income, the S&P Index, and the effective tax rate–play substantial roles in shaping home prices. As such, she advises, it’s time for Washington to get out of the business altogether:

The federal government should avoid offering any subsidy in the form of lower interest rates or lower down payments because it adversely affects both the housing market and the economy over the long term. Although such a policy may boost the demand side in the short term, it risks inflating another housing bubble in the medium or long term.

Eliminating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in fact, will help more Americans afford homeownership. Since these institutions increase demand — thereby increasing home prices — it becomes increasingly difficult for lower-income Americans to afford to purchase homes without subsidized interest rates. If Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are eliminated, interest rates may slightly go up initially, but Anaraki finds that “higher interest rates will lead to lower median home prices, which in turn will increase the ability of low-income groups to purchase a house.” What’s more, competition among housing lenders would increase, leading to lower interest rates in the medium to long term.

The answer would be—nothing too harmful.  Yes, it would be more difficult to buy a home. But those who do would be more able to actually pay for the home instead of having the FedGov subsidize the loan.  When the FedGov gets involved, the buyers lose any incentive to…actively be a homeowner. Instead, the home morphs into just another piece of federal housing.


On the Morning Bell’s side-bar is this item. An on-line analysis of the Constitution—line by line.

How well do you think you know the Constitution? If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about it, now is your chance. Heritage just launched ConstitutionOnline — a comprehensive and authoritative analysis of every single clause in the Constitution. 

Government and the Constitution isn’t taught in most (all?) secondary schools anymore.  When I met Dave Workman at the Second Amendment Foundation booth at the NRA Annual Meeting last week, he was talking to a gentleman about the proposed UN treaty to limit personal ownership of firearms.

This adult man, in his forties I’d guess by his appearance, didn’t know that the Senate was responsible for ratifying international treaties.  Nor did he know that it required a 2/3rds vote of the Senate—a level of difficulty purposely inserted in the Constitution to insure that treaties weren’t approved frivolously. This individual thought Obama could approve the treaty by fiat. Dave Workman and I were both surprised by the ignorance of this apparently well educated man.

It’s time we urged…no, require our educators to return to teaching government and the Constitution.  When I graduated from High School, in Illinois in the 1960s, I was required by the State of Illinois to pass a test on the Illinois and the US Constitutions as a requirement for receiving a diploma.  We now have graduation requirements for public service. Why can we not have a similar requirement to learn and understand our state and federal constitutions?  It seems to me that such a requirement would be more beneficial to the student that working the soup line at the local homeless shelter.                                 

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