I am a regular viewer of the 'Morning Joe' program, and was pleased to see a few jaws dropping when you simply said, 'We're running the wrong people...' Absolutely! As usual, you are ahead of the curve as regards political awareness. I would like to help, if possible, by making the following suggestion. Develop and work out a business relationship with ActBlue, whereby, the up and coming best prospects in all circles of Democrats nationwide could easily disseminate information about themselves, and by using all the communication tools already developed by this group, can absolutely help solidify the Message. Its all about communication. The framework is already built in with ActBlue. It is an incredibly efficient machine, and could be used to develop viable candidates, as well. What better portal is there? All candidates would be 'required' to submit and maintain an online presence, allowing for correspondence with the general public. This move results in way better candidate accountability, and a method to rapidly distribute information. Sure, ActBlue is quite successful as it stands, but what they have developed as a system, and used in a creative way, will bring the party into today's world of speed and efficiency. Thanks for all you do.
Well, wonder of wonders. Just another amazing event in the most insane political theatre ever seen, it would appear that dear old Dick Nixon has traversed the labyrinth from conservatism into liberal, perhaps even Socialist thinking. Just look at what he said in 1971 to Nancy Dickerson, former news analyst with PBS:
“If we can get this country thinking not of how to fight a war, but how to win a peace–if we can get this country thinking of clean air, clean water, open spaces, of a welfare reform program that will provide a floor under the income of every family with children in America, a new form–a new approach to government, reform of education, reform of health–if those things begin to happen, people can think of these positive things, and then we will have the lift of a driving dream.”
And just think of all the progressives who used to hate you! But that was then, and this is now---so, hell, let's just bury the hatchet, dig you up, dust you off, and give the fine folks in Tampa something to really think about come Convention time.
One thing, though. Not a word about Hunter Thompson. He is, in fact, still watching you and wishes to speak about the doomed.
Iceland Forgives Household Debt and Now leads the Way to Economic Recovery Posted on April 16, 2012 by Neil Garfield
“Since the end of 2008, the island’s banks have forgiven loans equivalent to 13 percent of gross domestic product, easing the debt burdens of more than a quarter of the population, according to a report published this month by the Icelandic Financial Services Association.“
It’s Not a Theory When it was Wrong from the Beginning, The Highest Form of Economic Stimulus is to Correct Debt Balances
Editor’s Comment: Iceland has taken the obvious common sense approach — fueled by an outraged population — and ended up creating the largest fiscal stimulus of any developed country without spending one cent of taxpayer money and without printing any “quantitative easing” currency debasing their currency. By the way more than 90 bankers there are headed for jail.
Sounds like magic?
That is what U.S. Banks would have you believe. But it is true as you can see from the Bloomberg article below. The problem has been that the populations cannot pay the interest or the principal on debts that were so exotic in their construction that Alan Greenspan confesses he never understood them, let alone the borrowers. Borrowers were forced to rely on misrepresentations by the Banks and their agents as to the value of the loan, the value of the collateral and the viability of the transaction. People in Iceland rioted in the streets throwing rocks at politicians and government buildings — not because they owed the money but because they knew that (a) they were victims of bank fraud and (b) the banks owed them money, not the other way around. Under pressure from the government, the banks have decreased household debt by around 25% so far.
The banks have not collapsed, financial system is in good shape and Iceland leads the developed world in economic recovery. The risk fell back on the Banks, the perpetrators of this mess. The relief was and is being shared by two victims — the households tricked into buying these debt packages and the investors who pooled their money to fund the exotic debt structures. The claims of bank losses have been ignored as being not (and never were) economically real. That’s what happens when the populations rises up and says “NO!” Similar programs here even on a small scale have corroborated the Iceland experience.
And yet we continue to support the banks whom we believe are too big to fail. Following the Iceland example — now in its 3rd year — would provide many trillions of dollars in fiscal stimulus to our economy, launch the economy into a full recovery and clear up the budget deficits of local, state and federal government agencies. It’s a choice.
What do you choose?
Since August was the deadliest month so far of the Afghani 'war,' the sixty-six U.S. soldiers killed, mostly from an alleged Taliban attack on a Chinook helicopter that killed 30 Navy SEALs, will likely suffice for reason enough that we put a halt to the current policy of withdrawing troops from this obviously Taliban overrun country.
Sixty six killed. Wonder how that compares with Anzio?
Well, no matter in any case. NATO is there to stay. Now, there will be a full accounting of just how many US troops remain as part of this NATO effort, and what other resources are being directed toward the protection of Afghanistan. But those numbers will not be made available until well into the 2020's, when the complexion has changed, with memories faded.
But now, it seems, we are already being pro-active in this regard. The game is on.
This week it was announced that US Training Center Inc, a subsidiary of Blackwater International, has just been awarded a defense contract by the Pentagon for “counter-narcoterrorism" activities in Afghanistan.
Remember those guys? They are the clever folks who changed their corporate name to XE.
Far too many reasons have been suggested as to why the occupation of Afghanistan is important to the west, from its geo-political importance to its myriad mineral wealth, but one of the most compelling is the fact that the country now produces as much as ninety two percent of the world's opium.
The Afghan poppy crop brings in about one billion for the opium farmers themselves, or about $5000 per family annually. Three billion go to Afghan government officials, insurgents, warlords and traffickers. The street value of the drugs produced from the opium, however, is estimated to be as much as two hundred billion a year. One wonders where the money goes to be sufficiently laundered and distributed.
Maybe the local banks can handle that much cash.
Historical reporting reveal in Afghanistan that the opium crop was almost entirely eliminated by the Taliban during the year that they banned opium cultivation, with the chart spiking to record highs during the years of NATO occupation. Take comfort that those charts will keep spiking, with our boys from XE protecting the crops.
Bless those boys.
It is fortunate, indeed, to have access to the truth through non-partisan sources. Please see the following.
Somehow, this must fit in nicely with your long tern vision for the future of our aging population. To my mind, your position simply flaunts your utter disregard for the well being of our citizens who have lived and worked here the longest, and who are a great resource for cultural and social development.
It might be expedient to take these words to heart.
My guess that every one of your 60Plus.org members also knows a hard working American family who has been a victim of these economic machinations----maybe your neighbor you have lived next to for years has been foreclosed upon---or had to declare bankruptcy. These are disparaging realities in disparaging times.
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
hen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.....'
Continuing its thought, this document (often confused as text from the U.S Constitution by prominent Republican political leaders ) allows for the full redress of grievances held by the citizenry against perceived tyrannical rules enacted through Congressional Law, including:
'That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.'
The 'ends', of course, refer to the words recently uttered by Speaker Boehner......'Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.'
One wonders what noble deeds might be accomplished if these words functioned as the blueprint of said deeds---Congressional Law and Congressional behavior coming directly under the auspices of our rather magnificent Declaration of Independence. It is difficult to conceive of these days.
In his troubling speech, Speaker Boehner encourages people to believe it is a pursuit of life liberty, etc. to join him in his noble fight against President Obama's Health Care plan. Do everything your Republican Party can to make Obama a one-term President--that's the ticket.
This infantile screaming about 'the government takeover of healthcare' simply is not sound, representative behavior when Boehner's Republican Party front runner for President in 2012 enacted a similar plan in his home state of Massachusetts. It had some initial bumps, but still regarded by many as a success and possible model for the Nation. So, what is the problem?
Approximately 300,000 more Massachusetts residents are insured today than were covered in 2006 because of presidential candidate Romney. In addition to the state plans, some are insured through federal programs like Medicare. Businesses haven't balked at the fees or left the state, as some critics had warned. And insurance companies say that while they're not raking in significant profits, their bottom lines are edging upward. Apparently, a good foundation from which to chisel a comparable, fair national system.
So, why would our good Speaker and his Republican followers followers wish to deprive the United States citizenry of an already designed, inclusive health plan? After all, a healthy nation is a productive nation. And proactive health care saves millions of employer down-time dollars.
These people who are advocating for the destruction of such a system, the very same people who promote the evisceration of Medicare, need to be careful the next time one of them waves the Declaration of Independence around in such a cavalier manner---the public may act accordingly as they wake up to the realization of this egregious abridgment of their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Already there are groups emerging calling for a Constitutional Convention, and others who have a much more promising and well organized approach. Something to think about.
From our friends at pennlive, written by James Miller. I would have written it myself, but James has done a superlative job.
If you ever wanted to see the federal government at its most efficient, look no further than May 26
After a two-day filibuster by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, the U.S. Senate voted 72 to 23 for a four-year extension to the USA Patriot Act.
The Patriot Act, which passed immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attack and dramatically increased the government’s authority to search through private records without a warrant, holds an ironic name for a country founded on the principles of limited government.
Immediately after Senate approval, the House of Representatives went to work and passed the bill by a vote of 250-153. President Obama, who was visiting Europe at the time, gave the order to sign the act by what is known as the “autopen.”
So much for gridlock and a broken Congress.
And like that, a legitimate debate on civil liberties in this country is once again undermined in the name of the perpetual war on terror. While Republicans by and large support the Patriot Act, Democrats played a large part in getting the extension through Congress. That should not be surprising; the notion that Democrats are the anti-war party has always been laughable.
After all, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and much of the Vietnam War were fought when Democrats were in the White House. Now, after nearly a decade of scathing criticism thrown at the Bush administration from the left, Democratic majority leader Sen. Harry Reid used several parliamentary maneuvers to circumvent a filibuster. Perhaps he does not remember back in 2005 when he triumphantly declared the Patriot Act “dead.”
With all the talk of debt reduction in Congress, the extension of the Patriot Act signifies neither party’s interest in winding down the largest military budget in this country’s history. Yet Obama’s supporters in the media have barely batted an eye.
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution that guards against unreasonable search and seizure is irrelevant when it comes to scoring political points. Actually, you might as well add the whole of the Constitution to that generalization.
The lack of outrage from the public toward the Patriot Act comes down to lack of knowledge of what it allows for. The law doesn’t magically give intelligence bureaucrats the foresight to track the dealings of terrorists. It is much more personal.
Imagine yourself on the phone paying for a VISA bill that totals more than $5,000. Because payments over the phone are technically wire transfers and the payment amounts to more than $5,000, you can bet that someone in the federal government is observing and recording the transaction.
This isn’t conspiracy theory run amok; it is a literal provision in the Patriot Act that is enforced.
From your VISA bill, the federal government can derive what type of medication you take, what kind of firearms you purchase and what types of books you read. Even phone companies such as Verizon and AT&T are prohibited from informing you that your conversations are being monitored. These provisions might seem insignificant, but angels will not always be in charge of monitoring your private activities.
Rather than have a legitimate debate on the role of privacy in the war on terror, Congress did what it does best and waited until the midnight hour to pass the extension without substantial discussion.
The Patriot Act has become symbolic of the frightening notion that as citizens we are no longer innocent until proven guilty, but rather we are assumed guilty and must prove our innocence.
It is a mockery of the principles this country was founded on.
Benjamin Franklin famously opined that “they who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty or safety.”
Liberties are never lost all at once and complacency and apathy are the perfect mixture to dissolve them further.
It is well past time to have a meaningful debate on the role of civil liberties in this country and how much we are willing to give up in the name of “safety.”
JAMES MILLER of Middletown is a Koch Summer Fellow at George Mason University.
Rarely is there salient action which encourages a citizen that our members of Congress have the best interests of the majority in mind. However, there are exceptions. Most notably, a recent letter to Fannie Mae, the quasi-government mortgage behemoth, from Representatives Alan Grayson, Barney Frank, and Corrine Brown provides us with such a moment.
There has been little recent reporting via mainstream media about this matter---much as said media outlets routinely abandon vital issues in favor of reporting on, say, whether Lindsay Lohan will be forced into a drug rehab problem, the critically important issue of home foreclosures continues to haunt and tear apart US families, as well as represent the quintessential economic underpinning needing resolution before any claim of 'the recession is over' can be valid.
Kudos to these Congress members who show courage in the face of systemic obfuscation. Encourage others to re-publish their inquiry.
Here is the letter sent to Fannie Mae:
September 24, 2010
Michael J. Williams
President and Chief Executive Officer
3900 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20016
'Dear Mr. Williams,
We are disturbed by the increasing reports of predatory ‘foreclosure mills’ in Florida working for Fannie Mae servicers. Foreclosure mills are law firms representing lenders that specialize in speeding up the foreclosure process, often without regard to process, substance, or legal propriety. According to the New York Times, four of these mills are both among the busiest of the firms and are under investigation by the Attorney General of Florida for fraud. The firms have been accused of fabricating or backdating documents, as well as lying to conceal the true owner of a note.
Several of the busiest of these mills show up as members of Fannie Mae’s Retained Attorney Network, a set of legal contractors on whom Fannie relies to represent its interests as a note-holder. The network also serves as a pool of legal talent that represents Fannie in its pre-filing mediation program, a program designed to facilitate communication between borrowers and servicers prior to foreclosure. In other words, Fannie Mae seems to specifically delegate its foreclosure avoidance obligations out to lawyers who specialize in kicking people out of their homes.
The legal pressure to foreclose at all costs is leading to a situation where servicers are foreclosing on properties on which they do not even own the note. This practice is blessed by a legal system overwhelmed with foreclosure cases and unable to sort out murky legal details, and a set of law firms who mass produce filings to move foreclosures as quickly as possible. At the very least, we would encourage you to remove foreclosure mills under investigation for document fraud from the Fannie Mae’s Retained Attorney Network. We also believe that Fannie should have guidelines allowing servicers to proceed on a foreclosure only when its legal entitlement to foreclose is clearly documented. In addition, these charges raise a number of questions for us about the foreclosure process as it pertains to Fannie Mae’s holdings.
Why is Fannie Mae using lawyers that are accused of regularly engaging in fraud to kick people out of their homes? Given that Fannie Mae is at this point a government entity, and it is the policy of the government that foreclosures are a costly situation best avoided if there are any lower cost alternatives, what steps is Fannie Mae taking to avoid the use of foreclosure mills? What additional steps is Fannie Mae going to take to ensure that foreclosures are done only when necessary and only in accordance with recognized law? How do your servicer guidelines take into account the incentives for fraud in the fee structure of foreclosure attorneys and others engage in the foreclosure process? What mechanisms do you employ to monitor legal outsourcing?
We look forward to your responses and to understanding more about these disturbing dynamics in future hearings.'
Member of Congress
Member of Congress
Member of Congress
Well, the mortgage modification situation is apparently getting worse, if the increased number of desperate emails and letters which continue to pour in are any measure----and we truly have no answers for them. As long as the lenders are compelled to drag out the process, and clog the courts with individual and class action lawsuits, the entire process is slowed---just what the lenders want. But why? Common sense would dictate that a 'clearing of the books' and developing a framework of keeping neighborhoods together, and ensuring the best possible economic results for all involved might be a process to embrace.
The scary part is that we can project the current lender response as unsustainable, and will be only a matter of time before the approach will have to be re-evaluated----likely developing into a huge problem for the average person caught in the mortgage backed swindle of the last decade. Eventual eviction.
Quite frankly, this is not a fair fight, and any homeowner who has a legitimate mortgage issue which should be solved by modification is going to be fortunate, indeed, to obtain any measure of success. Certainly not without legal representation. One can hope that the judges get to a point that their encouragement toward a fair settlement with the homeowner becomes serious enough that those firms representing lenders would begin to measure the long term ramification of their continued efforts to ask for dismissal, then attempt to elude paying attorney fees, and other contrarian behavior, such as chain of title issues, and the creation of the entity MERS, a firm assembled by financial and insurance companies whose main charge is to expedite the paperwork associated with repeated sales of real estate contracts, many times not paying county recording fees, operating in an arena without much legal precedent.
So, how should the judges handle the glut of cases headed directly at them in waves?
A few re-conveyances of title might do the trick. And continued public information prominently displayed and widely distributed. Having a negative image in the public's eye must be avoided, as is evidenced by the overwhelming and shameless commercial advertising by financial firms, determined to convince you that all is well----come on in, the water's fine. And, hey, we might even give you a 1.3% savings account.
The following email, describes one example of loan predicaments rampant today. It was written in response to an article about House Resolution 4173, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
The Act states as its purpose: To provide for financial regulatory reform, to protect consumers and investors, to enhance Federal understanding of insurance issues, to regulate the over-the-counter derivatives markets, and for other purposes.
'We are a couple who are embroiled in a mortgage scheme initiated by Countrywide (various TILA violations) then carried on by BofA, who were temporarily thwarted from foreclosure (through the assignee MERS) by the actions of a non-profit legal firm. We were very fortunate to receive this help, and wish everyone to know that we are law abiding citizens, who pay their bills, and are socially and environmentally considerate people, who wish only to remain in their home, with a binding loan reflecting 31% of gross income as the mortgage payment amount.
Yet, what is to happen to us? We are in the Trial
Modification program, and will be making the 7th payment of this established 3
month soon. As you know, the language from Treasury regarding the Making
Homes Affordable act, and utilizing HAMP indicates--- after a successful three month time
period, a permanent modification will be offered. Well, the figures simply do
not bear out this edict.
More homeowners who are in extended phases of the Trial program (such as myself) and who have made every payment are being denied a HAMP permanent modification, the main reason being the failure of the elusive and questionable NPV test to assess the choice to either foreclose or modify. A much better assessment tool can be found here: https://https://mandelman.ml-implode.com/2010/05/how-why-to-use-the-rest-report-when-applying-for-a-loan-modification/
As a permanently disabled couple, the stress
associated with this nightmare is serious and cumulative. I have a disabling
neurological condition, and have been experiencing psycogenic seizures as a
result of stress, and my partner's PTSD is being challenged by the same stress.
Each day goes by, and we do not know for sure what is going to happen to us.
Our main source of income is disability payments. Would anyone out there like
to exchange their condition with mine? Or my partner's? Think about your home
being auctioned off from the steps of the courthouse. Ours was scheduled (the
first time) for last December 23, 2009. Merry Christmas! Now get out of your
And it goes on today, as they delay and delay-----who the hell is in charge of this situation? We cannot live this way much longer.