Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another video

I suggest turning the sound OFF... it's a reading task.

I have questions about this "rescue" bailout thing...

These are honest and sincere questions as I'm trying to understand this whole bailout, or rescue, package deal. If you have an answer, thought, comment, suggestion or something to read which might answer my questions or help me, please do let me know... that said, please bare with my slightly incoherent ramblings for a minute.

Suppose that the federal government bails out Wall St because of all of the bad loans that these Wall St corporations have and/or securities linked to said bad loans are dragging down the value of these corporations.  

Now the way I understand things, I (entity A) own a house (entity B).  My house is financed through a bank (entity C) which then somehow through magic paper sells my loan (entity D) to other banks/investment banks (entity E) such that the bank (C) will collect interest (entity F) on my loan (D) at the risk of profiting or losing money to another bank (E).  

If I have this much correct, then I must be understanding at least part of what I've read. If I have this much wrong, then it's back to the drawing board for me; I'm hopeless and should be selling hot dogs from a cart in Times Square.

Assuming I have setup the situation correctly, then if the Federal Gov't then gives bank (C) $X for my loan (D), then doesn't the Fed Gov't own my house (B) at that point? But as far as I understand it, I'll still be paying the bank (B) for my loan (D) right? So doesn't the bank then get paid/collect twice for my loan(D)?

And with that said, how exactly does this help me (or anyone else) to pay their loans? If the problem is that I can't afford my loan, then isn't the loan still a bad loan and doesn't bank B still have investors (E) that it owes money? So the bailout goes into the pockets of some bank (E) but bank B is still on the hook for the bad loan right? Aside from giving money to investors, who invested poorly, how am I (A) "rescued" or the bank (C) "rescued"?

So it seems like, again, if I understand correctly, the goal here is for the Fed Gov't to give $X to bank B to pay off it's bad debt so that bank B can then sell the houses it is left with at say 50% of what it paid for the house and still break even, ie, if the bank loaned me $100,000, gov't give them $60,000 for my bad loan, I might have already paid in $10,000 and they'll then sell my house for $50,000 (fire sale!) meaning the bank made $60G (gov't part) + $10G (what I've already paid) + $50G (sale price) = $120G on their $100,000?  This not to include any money they make selling my loan to investors.

Now again, if I still have ANY of this right, which I'm sure I DON'T then how can *I* buy a few mortgages (namely my own) for say 1/2 price? IE, can the gov't pay about $60,000 to MY bank on MY behalf... because I can pay the loan (it wont be a "bad loan") if someone just helps me out with 1/2 of it.... OR, can *I* buy my neighbor's mortgage/house for say 1/2 price??? If my neighbor has a bad loan, can the gov't pickup half and I'll pickup the other half so that I own that property? For that matter, aside from not defaulting on my loan, how can I stop *MY* neighbor from buying *MY* property at 1/2 price?

And as a final thought - can I take out say a $50,000 loan, buy the whole State of New Jersey at this fire sale (cause the state doesn't seem to be worth much thanks to Corzine, how big of a hole are we in now?), then I'll sell off parts of the state to surrounding states for a small profit and when my first payment is due on my $50,000 loan, I'll default on my first payment of the $50,000 and cry poor, while waiting for another bailout?

I honestly just don't think I have a good understanding of the situation and/or how/why this bailout, I mean rescue, is supposed to help We the People. If anyone who reads this non-sense has a clue and could explain in terms an Average No One would understand, and/or point me to a resource that does explain the situation in rational terms, please do pass it along, I want to learn and understand, but just don't seem to get it right now and MSM isn't explaining and our government representatives aren't shedding any light on the situation either.

And Savings & Loans scandals don't seem to be something new.... so why/how should I trust the same old people to handle the current economic situation well this time around? I suppose if there is any good news, it's that the price of oil in under $100 so we should be paying about $2.60/gallon for gas right??? hrm... why is it still closer to $3.60?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Another clip

I'll have to admit, I don't quite fully understand all of the details at this point in time, BUT what I do know is that my "investment" known as my 401K has taken a BEATING. IF I were looking to retire anytime soon, it would be impossible and I suspect many older Americans are now having to work a few extra years rather than take a bath on their investment.  It sure would be nice if the federal government put $700B into beatup 401Ks.... some older Americans could retire and thus create new jobs for younger Americans... but what do I know..... I'm just an average no one, I just don't see how giving my tax money to some banks that have a lot more money than I'll ever have is good for me, and I'm selfish so It's All About Me.

I like this guy

I've been very busy with work and some hobbies and haven't had time to post. I did see this clip and thought it was worth sharing with anyone who didn't see it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Barr trying to pull an Obama?

Fox news is reporting that Bob Barr is trying to get both John McCain and Barack Hussein Obama kicked off of the ballot in TX. Barr alleges that the Republican and Democratic parties were late in filing their candidate's paperwork and should not be on the ballot.  

While I have to note that from the facts presented, Bob Barr is technically correct, and it would be fitting for Obama to get kicked off the ballot just as he was able to kick his opponents off the ballot to start his own political career, I must say that if McCain and Obama are left off of the ballot, it will be a disservice to the people of TX who do have a voice in the election and shouldn't be expected to write in a vote for McCain/Obama... then again, it would be interesting to see if the L or C party candidates can win an election without the Rs and Ds on the ballot.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pallone and Radanovich seek Congressional support for aid to Javakhk

As reported here, it seems our good Congressman, FROM NEW JERSEY... In the United States of America .... is working hard again for the people of Armenia (see previous entry), this time with "bipartisan support"! 

Pallone and Radanovich seek Congressional support for aid to Javakhk
13.09.2008 13:21 GMT+04:00      
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ In a bipartisan appeal, Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and George Radanovich (R-CA) reached out to their Congressional colleagues to support targeting portions of the proposed $1 billion post Georgia-Russia conflict aid package for the Samtskhe-Javakheti region of Georgia and to help offset the economic impact of the recent crisis on Armenia, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

I guess there is no need to find some of that tax money New Jersey is paying into Federal taxes to offset the economic impact of the recent crisis in America?  I mean, it's not just the Wall St companies closing down, it's the people of New Jersey D6 who work for these companies and will join the unemployment line and/or fail to make their next mortgage payment, just making the situation worse. Anyhow...

In a September 12th Dear Colleague letter, the two legislators explained to their fellow Representatives that Armenia, which continues to be materially harmed by the fighting to its north, has remained "a constructive partner to Georgia through ensuring safe transit for humanitarian needs, reconstruction assistance, and diplomatic measures." They also stressed the urgency of providing funds specifically for Samtskhe-Javakheti, a chronically underdeveloped region in Georgia, heavily populated by Armenians.

Did I mention that New Jersey D6 is almost like a constructive partner to NYC, housing many workers who commute to NYC each and every day and NJ is in need of a few dollars for a new transit tunnel for human needs, construction assistance and tax-relief efforts? Our overdeveloped region in New Jersey, heavily populated by Americans, sure can use a few (of our own) dollars to aid our needs.

"The Armenian government provided safe transit for U.S Embassy and other international diplomatic officials, for hundreds of non-governmental organization representatives, and for thousands of Georgian nationals," Reps. Frank Pallone and George Radanovich said. 

The NJ government provides water and roads and schools and parks and courts and many other wonderful things for more than hundreds of non-governmental organizations and representatives and for more than thousands of Americans in New Jersey, does the New Jersey government win any money from Frank? Seems like NJ sure could use it, but yet, stop taking the money to begin with would be best....

"We thank Representatives Pallone and Radanovich for their vision and compassion in addressing the pressing humanitarian and developmental needs, both in Georgia and in Armenia, created by the recent fighting," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "We are hopeful that their colleagues will join with them in ensuring that the United States lends a helping hand to the people of Samtskhe-Javakheti and Armenia during this difficult time."

I get it now... the problem is that our Govenor, Mr. Corzine, probably doesn't know how to use "please" and "thank you", now I understand why I pay a lot of money into Federal taxes and then get nothing back, it's not Pallone's fault, it's Corzine's fault. Who knew!

Or maybe Pallone is just confused and Armenia and America sound a little to alike for him and no one has explained that he is elected to represent the people of NJ-6 in America, not the people of
Javakhk, Armenia.

Or maybe I just don't get it and I'm supposed to be sending my tax money to other countries as this is somehow good for me and the other people of NJ? Maybe the Armenian government is going to come build a train tunnel and clean up the Branchport Creek?

Monday, September 15, 2008

10 years of messages, interviews from Osama bin Laden translated by CIA

Click the headline to head off to wikileaks.

They claim to have obtained a 300 some page "official use only" document from the CIA with English transcriptions of messages from bin laden. I obviously haven't read all 300 pages, in fact, I've only read the summary which seems to focus on 9/11 related statements.  It'll be interesting to see if any new information comes from this document (doubtful) and/or to see how the conspiracy theory groups run with this information.

As I have free time over the next week or so I'll try to skim/read through.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pallone is fighting for the people......of Armenia!

Who pays this guy? Or should I ask, who elected this guy? NJ or Armenia? ... or India?

The story is at:

Frank Pallone calls on Turkey to end its denial of the Armenian Genocide
12.09.2008 18:21 GMT+04:00    
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) welcomed Armenia’s diplomatic outreach to Turkey and called on Turkey to reciprocate this gesture of good will with concrete steps toward an enduring peace based on truth and justice, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

The New Jersey legislator’s House floor statement comes in the wake of the recent Armenia-Turkey World Cup soccer qualifying match in Yerevan that Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul attended at the invitation of his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sargsyan. In his remarks, the Congressman specifically calls upon Turkey to end its denial of the Armenian Genocide, to remove Article 301 and other free speech restrictions on the discussion of this crime, and to lift its illegal 15-year old blockade of Armenia.

In the days prior to the soccer match, the ANCA circulated a letter explaining to every Member of Congress that, “for this initiative to succeed, Turkey’s leaders need to view this as a true opportunity for enduring peace, not simply as a photo opportunity to help alleviate the growing international pressure it is under to recognize the Armenian Genocide.”

Rep. Pallone said in his address:

“Madam Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Armenia and its president, Serge Sargsyan, on the historic soccer match between Armenia and Turkey this past weekend.

On July 9th, President Sargsyan, in the Wall Street Journal Europe Addition, took a surprising and historic step, by inviting President Abdullah Gul of Turkey to sit with him and watch the two nations play a World Cup qualifier match in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

In an effort to warm relations between the two countries, President Sargisian wrote, ‘...just as the people of China and the United States shared enthusiasm for ping pong before their governments fully normalized relations, the people of Armenia and Turkey are united in their love for football.’

President Gul accepted the offer, and on Saturday, September 6th, he became the first Turkish leader to visit Armenia.

Armenia initiated soccer diplomacy with Turkey despite nearly a century of Turkish genocide denial and 15 years of an economic blockade. For years, Armenia has been ready to establish relations with Turkey without preconditions and President Sargsyan’s recent efforts reinforced this commitment. President Gul must also be commended for his efforts to see past the opposition of some in his country to attend the match.

With the recent violence between Russia and Georgia, further steps to promote stability in the Caucasus must be taken. Strengthening Armenian and Turkish relations is essential to these efforts.

Turkey can strengthen its relationship with Armenia by ending its policy of genocide denial; policy that is imposed both globally and domestically. The Turkish government lobbies heavily against the international community’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Domestically, Turkey should lift all restrictions imposed by Section 301 of the Turkish penal code on individuals who study, discuss, or recognize the Armenian Genocide. Silencing academics and writers limits freedom of speech and makes any serious discussion of the Armenian Genocide within Turkey taboo.

To improve relations, Turkey must also lift its stifling economic blockade on Armenia. The State Department estimates that the blockade inflates Armenia by 30 to 35 percent. Removing the blockade will enable the development of needed infrastructure projects and regional communications, energy, and transportation in the Caucasus. The removal of the blockade would also do much to catalyze global investment in Turkey and Armenia.

With the recent conflict between Russia and Georgia, Armenia proved itself to be a constructive partner to Georgia. The Armenian government provided safe transit for U.S and international officials and thousands of Georgian nationals, and non-governmental organization representatives.

But Armenia experienced significant economic distress due to the conflict. The country lost an estimated 650 million dollars and shortages in fuel and wheat were rampant. With renewed volatility in the Caucasus, Armenia can no longer afford to suffer from duel blockades.

President Sargsyan’s initiation of soccer diplomacy and President Gul’s reciprocal invitation to watch a game next year in Turkey is a positive breakthrough in a region of historic violence and tense emotions.

As President Sargisian wrote, ‘A more prosperous, mutually beneficial future for Armenia and Turkey, and the opening up of a historic East-West corridor for Europe, the Caspian region and the rest of the world, are goals that we can and must achieve.’ As a Congress, we must do all we can to support these efforts. Thank you.”
... say any idea if we can have that tunnel from NJ to NYC funded fully with Federal dollars Frank? I mean, NJ sure does pay enough into federal taxes?  If you have a minute in between representing the good people of Armenia and Turkey, maybe you can work on this little issue for the people of NJ D6 who have to commute to NYC for work every day?  Thanks!

Hogan concerned about politicking by US Congressman

From Newsday! Seriously!  Here is a cut.....

LONG BRANCH, N.J. - AverageNoOne James P. Hogan wants to know how far U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone can go in doing nothing for New Jersey while remaining in his current job. 

Hogan, an average no one from Long Branch, sent a letter Friday to U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone seeking clarification on what *if any* progress the sitting U.S. Congressman has made on the polluted Brankport Creek, Fort Monmouth, FEMA flood maps in the Bayshore, NJ property taxes, the cost of healthcare (despite the millions in donations made to Pallone by healthcare corporations), the proposed toll-hikes, the cost of gasoline, the cost of food, and the ongoing wars. 

"I am extremely troubled by a series of reports of political activity by our U.S. Congressman from New Jersey," Hogan wrote. "Mr. Pallone and/or his political lieutenants have traveled around the nation promoting his agenda since 1988. I find it wholly inappropriate that a sitting U.S. Congressman be allowed to so publicly use his office for Franking privileges alone without demonstrating any effectivness in twenty years." 

In his letter, Hogan highlighted Pallone's string of more than 100 political failures as U.S. Congressman. He also said Pallone's public appearances "appear to cross the line into self-promotion and abuse of the immense authority he wields as the district's chief federal representative." 

"If the U.S. Congressman is going around and talking about what he is doing as U.S. Congressman, failing to address the polluted Branchport Creek, discussing the cost of oil and his opposition to US production, I think it's perfectly fine, I would even encourage it," Hogan said. "That's different from political activity." 

Go ahead Frank.... keep doing nothing in office other than running your mouth about a US Attorney that is actually doing his job. *IF* Mr. Pallone is correct and *IF* Mr. Christie is going around promoting a NJ Govenor's race, then maybe Mr. Pallone should instead be asking Mr. Christie how the US Attorney is managing to do *TWO* jobs very effectively - prosecuting Pallone's corrupt friends AND promoting his potential run for office.  Mr. Pallone can't even do his one job as US Congressman well and then there is Christie getting two jobs done, prosecuting corrupt politicians AND running for office, go figure.

Frank Pallone is a do-nothing. I am a no-one. The only difference is that Pallone gets to use my money to send me letters in the mail telling me about the things Pallone will do for me in the future. Too bad there is nothing he can say he has already done for me.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Palin Panics Pandering Pallone

In a recent message published by Congressman Frank Pallone, the congressman from New Jersey's 6th Congressional District, he took aim at Sarah Palin, the Republican Vice Presidential candidate, citing both her personal family matters, which he then claims "do not matter to me" (then why mention it?) as well as her association with the Alaskan Independence Party, which advocates secession of Alaska from the Union.  The State of Alaska has only been part of the Union for a short fifty years and many believe the Union has been detrimental to the people of Alaska.  Alaska has nearly 20 times the land area of the United Arab Emirates (Alaska: 656,424 sq mi vs UAE: 32,278 sq mi ) and far more natural resources (Estimated Alaskan recoverable oil reserves are 13 billion barrels in Prudhoe Bay, in addition to about 10 billion more barrels in area 1002, these two areas represent a very small portion of Alaskan terratory vs proven recoverable oil reserves in all of the UAE are currently put at 98.2 billion barrels) but Alaska has no where near the wealth of the UAE (Alaska: $39.9 billion in 2005 vs UAE: $130 billion in 2005 ) because of US regulations which prevent the Alaskan people from benefiting from their own work.

What the congressman also fails to note in his attack is that Sarah Palin has been involved in politics for just a few short years, only about twelve years, but she has a proven and effective record of cutting taxes, attacking corrupt politicians including those in her own party, and fighting to represent the average Alaskan rather than the lobbyists who own most politicians.  This is in contrast to Mr. Pallone who has built the largest campaign war chest in Congress, over $3 million, on the backs of corporate lobbyists.

Mr. Pallone has spent twenty years in Congress and year after year, Mr. Pallone tells We the People what he will do for us in his next term. Unfortunately, Mr. Pallone has failed to come through on his promises year after year and his track record is abysmal. Mr. Pallone consistently blames the Republican president for all of the problems we have today and why nothing has been done, but he fails to note that while we had a Democrat, Mr. Clinton, in the oval office for eight years, Mr Pallone was equally ineffective. While we had a Democratic Congress for the past two years, he was also ineffective. On his watch, New Jersey has all but lost Fort Monmouth; Our beaches and rivers are more polluted than ever, including recent beach closings and pollution scares Labor Day weekend; Oil is more expensive than ever and the cost of all other products, including food, is also at record highs; Our Bayshore area residents are being hit with additional FEMA flood insurance requirements and our preserved "open space" is being threatened with development from the Democrats in Trenton through COAH requirements.  The best that our congressman can tell us is that he has voted against the Republicans, he can't tell us what he has done, because he has done nothing.  Sadly, voting for or voting against some piece of legislation is far from getting the job done and if the congressman spent as much time lobbying for the people of New Jersey as he does lobbying for donations from the healthcare industry, the same industry that offers insurance that is unaffordable for the average American, perhaps We the People would be better off.

On the other hand, Mrs. Palin has not just voted to get the job done; she has acted to get the job done. Mrs. Palin has accomplished more in her short political career, rising through the ranks by representing the people above the party, than Mr. Pallone has accomplished in his long twenty year career of walking the party line. The possibility that a fresh face like Sarah Palin may go to D.C. and accomplish more than the twenty year congressman, Frank Pallone, or the thirty year Senator, Joe Biden, have accomplished, would not only prove that these career politicians are ineffective, but prove that We the People, PTA moms and high school basketball coaches, real members of the middle-class, can indeed be elected to office and can indeed make a difference in the world. Mrs. Palin can not only get the job done, she has proven that she can get the job done without costing the tax-payers money.

For every working class, average American who has ever said "We need one of us in office!", I can only note that Sarah Palin is as close to "one of us" as we have ever seen on the national level. Sarah Palin is a working-class Mom, an Average We the People, and whether you agree with her policies or not, you can be sure that her policies are formed with the best intentions for We the People, not the best intentions for the corporate lobbyists that politicians like Mr. Pallone or Mr. Biden have represented for decades.  The party system has failed average middle-class Americans. Mrs. Palin is the candidate who presents a significant "Change" to the status-quo, and if she is placed a heart-beat away from the presidency, then We the People will be placed a heart-beat away from taking the power away from career politicians and restoring the power back to the We the People of America.