Saturday, December 5, 2009
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC 450 AM EST SAT DEC 5 2009.
LOW PRESSURE IN THE NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO WILL MOVE UP THE MID ATLANTIC COAST TODAY AND THEN EAST OF THE DELMARVA TOWARD THE GULF OF
MAINE TONIGHT. THIS WILL BRING SNOW TO THE MID ATLANTIC STATES.
WASHINGTON-EXTREME WESTERN ALLEGANY-CENTRAL AND EASTERN ALLEGANY-FREDERICK VA-CLARKE-HAMPSHIRE-MORGAN-BERKELEY-JEFFERSON-WESTERN MINERAL-EASTERN MINERAL-INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...HAGERSTOWN...FROSTBURG...CUMBERLAND...WINCHESTER...MARTINSBURG...CHARLES TOWN...EMORYVILLE...HARTMANSVILLE...KEYSER...FORT ASHBY 450 AM EST SAT DEC 5 2009
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM THIS
MORNING TO 9 PM EST THIS EVENING
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM THIS
MORNING TO 9 PM EST THIS EVENING. PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ACROSS THE NORTHERN PANHANDLE OF WEST VIRGINIA...NORTH CENTRAL MARYLAND AND EXTREME NORTHERN VIRGINIA AROUND SUNRISE. TO START...A MIX OF RAIN AND SNOW WILL OCCUR. HOWEVER...AS COLDER AIR FILTERS IN...PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED TO CHANGE TO ALL SNOW DURING THE MID MORNING.
SNOW WILL BECOME MODERATE DURING THE AFTERNOON WHICH MAY REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO ONE QUARTER MILE OR LESS. SNOW WILL TAPER OFF DURING THE EVENING.
SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 5 INCHES CAN BE EXPECTED...WITH THE HIGHEST AMOUNTS ACROSS THE HIGHLANDS OF HAMPSHIRE COUNTY. TEMPERATURES BELOW FREEZING WILL LEAD TO SLIPPERY CONDITIONS. A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
“Mister Chairman, thank you for holding this important hearing this afternoon on the financial health of the Federal Housing Administration. Last month, Ranking Member Bachus and I wrote you about the importance of having this hearing at the full committee level and I thank you for accommodating our request.
On November 6, 2009, we received the annual independent actuarial review of the Federal Housing Administration’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. The Congress had been warned by Housing Commissioner Stevens that this report would find that FHA’s Capital Reserve Account had fallen below the congressionally mandated reserve ratio of 2 percent. Unfortunately, the report found that it had fallen well below this level and now stands at .53 percent.
As we are all well aware, FHA has re-emerged as a major market participant insuring almost 30 percent of home purchases and 20 percent of refinances. FHA has a role to play in our housing market and if it is going to maintain this level of participation we must work together to ensure that the program remains self sustaining and returns to solid financial health.
I am encouraged by many of the steps Secretary Donovan and Commissioner Stevens have taken so far to shore up FHA and there is more to be done. I look forward to a vibrant discussion of whether or not FHA has the resources to upgrade technology and compete for experienced personnel to streamline their operations and improve efficiencies.
Secretary Donovan mentions in his testimony that FHA may be exploring raising premiums for new borrowers. In late 2007, FHA issued regulations to implement a risk-based pricing program. Yet, Congress implemented a moratorium through the HERA legislation which essentially preventing HUD from implementing any risk based pricing through October 31, 2009. Does HUD intend to implement a risk based pricing program once the moratorium expires? If the need to raise premiums on all borrowers is clear, why should we not have FHA price their premiums based on risk?
I would also like to hear more from the Secretary on stories that FHA borrowers are not able to make the first payment. It would be helpful to know the statistics on first-payment default rates. I know that the Secretary has indicated that he will be seeking greater recourse with lenders and I look forward to hearing more details on this proposal.
I want to welcome Secretary Donovan back to our Committee today. The FHA program is an important component of the housing finance market and Congress and HUD must do whatever is necessary to make sure that this program is run in a manner that does not expose the taxpayer to yet another bailout. I look forward to hearing from all our witnesses today on how best to ensure the future viability of the FHA program. Thank you Chairman Frank for holding this hearing and I look forward to hearing from our panels.”
“First and foremost, our men and women in uniform must know that we stand fully behind them and their mission. They‘ve made a commitment to prevent the spread of terrorism and work towards a stable Afghanistan, and it is critical that our government match their level of dedication.
“While any decision to send our service members into harm’s way is a difficult one, it has become increasingly clear that success in Afghanistan demands that our forces have further resources and manpower.
“As this process unfolds, however, it is critical that General McChrystal and his team of commanders have an appropriate opportunity to succeed. We must not be so quick to judge success or failure based on an arbitrary timeline that we draw premature conclusions about the effectiveness of this new strategy.
“As I have said before, our military efforts should be driven by the expertise of our generals on the ground who know the day to day demands of the mission, and not by the political winds of Washington.
“Put simply, I am encouraged by the President’s decision, but I urge him to let the facts on the ground – rather than a politically-driven timetable – guide our policy moving forward.”
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Hat tip to Pastor William Linhart, Calvary United Methodist Church. This shows the mindset of our Founding Fathers in the Continental Congress in the time of their most desperate fears. As our country enters increasingly troubled times, we ought to be mindful of these words.
O Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech Thee, on these our American States, who have fled to Thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee. To Thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support, which Thou alone canst give. Take them, therefore, Heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care; give them wisdom in Council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness of their Cause and if they persist in their sanguinary purposes, of own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved hands in the day of battle!
Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst the people. Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds; shower down on them and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come. All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior.
Reverend Jacob Duché
Rector of Christ Church of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
September 7, 1774, 9 o’clock a.m.