Friday, March 27, 2009

No Volunteer Left Behind

Text of H.R.1388, Obama's Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education, (GIVE) Act.

The NEA (National Education Association) is pleased as they believe the act will:

* Strengthen existing service programs and create new innovative programs to help improve student achievement and graduation in low-income schools, including expansion of mentoring programs to help disadvantaged youth.
* Provide new incentives for middle and high school students to volunteer in their communities, and allow them to earn a $500 education award to be used for college costs.
* Increase the number of AmeriCorps volunteers and increase the education reward they receive to match the maximum Pell Grant scholarship award.

Yessiree Bubba. Now teens and tweens can volunteer for $500, which, if they utilize that benefit, could someday purchase a couple of college textbooks. Perhaps these teeny tweeny volunteers will go on to serve AmeriCorps and get a matching $4700 a year Pell Grant, if they qualify.

Some day Bubba, we'll be bumping into corps alumni all over the place. Sort of like the 1964 LBJ War on Poverty JobCorps program - which has attempted to help 2 or 3 generations of at-risk 16-24 y/o youth live at government funded facilities to get a GED, a "skill", and find a job - something parents should have could have done, if they were interested in their children.

GIVE will also target senior citizens for volunteering. Something many seniors used to do for free, but volunteering for free is so passe, so last century.

Speaking of JobCorps, their centers are operated for the Department of Labor by private companies through a competitive contracting process, e.g., ITT Industries; BDM International/Vinnell; ResCare, Inc. Privatizing welfare is nothing new of course. But the potential problems of profit motivation to minimize costs is always there. Competitive contracting with ITT, winky wink.

Let's see, we have JFK Peace Corps, LBJ Job Corps, Clinton AmeriCorps, now Obama GIVE corp. The GIVE package will give to so many more dot.orgs though Bubba. AmeriCorps NCCC ((National Civilian Community Corps) will triple its numbers to 275,000 invigorating volunteers. Learn and Serve America , another Giver nursing freely on the public teat will benefit, as will Campuses of Service, Clean Energy Corps, Investment for Quality and Innovation, Healthy Futures Corps (which may or may not address abortion) and a host of other corps and their affiliates, to be extended or created, including ACORN. No corps left behind. All promising to bring the poor out of poverty.

KAB interpretation? For a mere initial GIVE package of $6 billion the government will teach you to caulk windows, pick up park trash, hammer a nail, mow a lawn, plant a tree, ladle soup in a kitchen, empty bedpans, and hopefully do something on the p.c. other than porn and games.

Like all the programs which have come before - GIVE will give excessive amounts of tax dollars to overpaid administrators and contractors who will in turn dole out stipends to the serfs who in turn will engage in useless tasks while being told they are noble because they are performing in the name of national service.

No volunteer left behind Bubba, but you're gonna get a big wedgey with your own bootstraps.


I would like to hear a similar speech in the US congress.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Global Capos

US backing for world currency stuns markets.

US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner shocked global markets by revealing that Washington is "quite open" to Chinese proposals for the gradual development of a global reserve currency run by the International Monetary Fund.

The dollar plunged instantly against the euro, yen, and sterling as the comments flashed across trading screens. David Bloom, currency chief at HSBC, said the apparent policy shift amounts to an earthquake in geo-finance.

"The mere fact that the US Treasury Secretary is even entertaining thoughts that the dollar may cease being the anchor of the global monetary system has caused consternation," he said.

Mr Geithner later qualified his remarks, insisting that the dollar would remain the "world's dominant reserve currency ... for a long period of time" but the seeds of doubt have been sown.

The markets appear baffled by the confused statements emanating from Washington. President Barack Obama told a new conference hours earlier that there was no threat to the reserve status of the dollar.

"I don't believe that there is a need for a global currency. The reason the dollar is strong right now is because investors consider the United States the strongest economy in the world with the most stable political system in the world," he said.

The Chinese proposal, outlined this week by central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan, calls for a "super-sovereign reserve currency" under IMF management, turning the Fund into a sort of world central bank.

----- Get it Bubba? Washington is "quite open" to Chinese proposals for the gradual development of a global reserve currency run by the IMF. Timmy's "quite open" to the idea, but Barry says "don't believe there is a need for a global currency." Liar. And you thought Obama was your new best friend.

The IMF is quite famous for its practice of Lending to Support Dictators - Pinochet, Duvalier, Suharto, Stroessner, Marcos, Barre, Mobutu, S. Africa apartheid, etc etc.

The IMF has done great work around the world, affectionately known as the international "lender of last resort" - sort of like Vinnie "Two Guns" down at the Social Club. Yea yea let's put IMF in charge.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Bright Side


Friday, March 20, 2009

Video Iraq

#2 Son First Video From Kirkuk

Monday, March 16, 2009

Make Mischief

This morning I have news on as background noise as I do laundry, sweep, dust. I catch bits or bytes: "... leftwing groups unite to push White House agenda ..." good grief, it is Karl Rove speaking, the former Bush brain according to leftwing groups.

On the web I read "... rightwingers unite to kill more brown people in Afghanistan, Gaza, Obama frees Gitmo ..."

Here we go - the us/them political mischief as usual, with little truth or importance in any of it, nor do these loud and fake pundits represent the thinking of anyone I know; please note - I said "thinking" people - not people who simply seek out those who reinforce their ideas, ideas which may be based on nothing more than someone told them it was a good idea.

Recently, it seems to me that most folks are under the mistaken impression that the "battle" for our hearts and minds, is the fight between Capitalism and Socialism. Contraire Pierre, I believe we are now watching the fight between Socialism and Communism - yes, the "c" word few want to mention. Sneaky folks are still arguing and politely calling it the push to socialism.

But lets look at the bare bones using the reasonable definitions of O'Sullivan:

Capitalism, defined as a system where most ownership is private, social objective is individual freedom, economic objective is efficiency, a system predominantly democratic and ruled by a few.

Socialism, defined as ownership is both public and private, the social goal is "equality", the economic objective is "fairness," and the system is predominantly bureaucratic, ruled by a few.

Communism, defined as ownership by the public, social objective is equality, economic objective is fairness; the system ruled by dictatorship.

Not much of a choice have we?

Using the above, it would appear the US seriously entered the socialist phase in the 1960s. The ideals of equality and fairness, run by bureaucrats, ruled by a few. Although one could argue serious socialism began under Roosevelt and the New Deal.

Using the above definitions, where do you think the US is at the moment? We have seen individual freedom curtailed - from being forced to alter personal habits - smoking, seat belts, helmet laws, sin taxes, etc. to BigDaddy Gov feeding the kids breakfast under the notion that it is social compassion, pretending that it's not mama won't get her butt out of bed to feed the kids Quakers instant oatmeal.

Individual freedom has been curtailed, socially and legislatively, by both Democrats and Republicans; whether bailing out big business or welfare mammies. Some call it the "nannie state." Good term for a nation of grubby incorrigible adults.

Over the past 40 years we have seen a great deal accomplished in the quest for "equality" and "fairness" - much of it earned by the blood and tears of an honorable generation willing to demand human dignity. But life is never completely equal and fair - and although we can all sit at the front of the bus, attend the same schools, live in any neighborhood we can afford - the ideal of equality and fairness pushes forward - but no longer honorably, for the push now is not to level the playing field - but to level the finish line.

To level the finish line the US powers-that-be give us Obama as step one to Communism or whatever future terminology they tag it: Government ownership, and equality/fairness as defined by a dictatorship. Or, if you prefer your reality wrapped in warm-fuzzies - call it a global village, mankind living as one, even if a few billion have to be forced into the village at gunpoint, the enforcers claim it's for their own social and economic good.

The State/public ownership of production seems viable to many, and so far has been gradual - through the heads of state and corporations rutting in the same bed, to State ownership via controlling shares of important business sectors. Those Joe Averages who are ignorant of reality will believe they "own the means of production" etc. The truth is the State will be the CEO and it will be business as usual - enriching corporate heads and government bureaucrats, with the added assurance and insurance that when greed and corruption intentionally drive businesses into the red, the public (you) will be forced to bail them out, after all, why shouldn't you since it is your company too (remember, you are the State).

Unless there is a catastrophic event (world war, big terrorist attack, extraterrestrial invasion;) the move to communism will likely take 1-2 generations. We already see a generation or two without a healthy "self" - devoid of self-motivation, no self-starting, no self-esteem - such qualities replaced with self-absorption, self-degradation, self-destruction - the result of folks who are convinced that doing what they want, when they want, where they want, is only "fair" because they are "free," with no concern for the social blowback and political fallout, and why should folks be concerned - the State "fair" safety net will take care of everything, and you are "free" to babble someone else is at fault for your failures.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cracking Down Mexico

WASHINGTON, March 13 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama was set on Friday to notify Congress of his first planned overseas arms deal, a Bell helicopter package to help counter drug-runners and other criminals in Mexico.

The Obama administration is proposing to send Mexico five Bell 412 EP twin-engine helicopters, valued at $93 million, as part of an anti-drug plan called the Merida Initiative, said a person with direct knowledge who asked not to be named because of the matter's sensitivity.

Established last year under former U.S. president George W. Bush, the Merida Initiative aims to help Mexico and Central America combat narcotrafficking, transnational crime and terrorism.

Fort Worth, Texas-based Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc unit, would be prime contractor. The notice of such a potential sale is required by law. It does not mean a deal has been concluded.

---- Merida Initiative, a continuation of The Bush in the "war on drugs" or how to throw more money at programs that consistently fail. However, Bell Helicopter says thank you and the Mexican government says thank you, and the drug cartels say thank you because some of the folks flying these choppers will be cartel-ers.

Eight years ago we were in Mazatlan, lying on the beach, only yards from our hotel, when gunfire began - rival drug lords. Everyone hit the ground. I had to cover my 8-year-old granddaughter's eyes when we returned to our rooms as the street and sidewalk were covered in blood and a luxury car with bullet holes sat in front of the hotel with a couple of bodies hanging out; the perps got away. Broad daylight, in the middle of the street, with hundreds of witnesses. Within an hour or two the car and bodies were gone, the street cleaned, margarita time.

My daughter-in-law, a native of Zacatecas, Mexico, can no longer visit family there because a few months ago Mexican drug lords, who have been confiscating land, inquired as to the whereabouts of her father - to make him a deal he can't refuse regarding his ranch. The drug cartels have killed several local farmers who refuse to work with them.

Recently, Obama refused Texas governor Perry's request for troops at the border. Patricio Ahumeda, mayor of Brownsville, Texas, criticized Perry’s plan, calling him out of touch with what is really going on. Ahumeda and Perry both opposed "the wall." Perry stated you can build a 40 foot wall and the next day the number one business in Mexico will be 42 foot ladders.

Ahumeda “I appreciate and support Obama’s decision not to militarize the border because troops aren’t trained for this sort of thing. There was an incident where a national guard killed a shepherd in the El Paso area. It doesn’t work. The training is not the same. We’re not at war, and the violence and incidents that are occurring over there are not daily and are not spilling over here yet.” (Last year in Mexico there were 6290 drug-related murders.)

In 2007, Ahumeda spoke against the border fence, or wall. Mayor Pat also has a webpage.

Mayor Pat has petty problems - A current unresolved case of "thousands of dollars of city money deposited to the mayor's bank account." This was a City check issued to a NY based vendor. We used to call that embezzlement, now days it's usually called a mix-up. Reportedly, there is a video of the mayor making the questionable deposit, and the mayor "doesn't remember making the deposit."

The mayor also has issues with dogs - he picked up a dog he says was a stray, placed it in foster care, and when the dog's owner came forward the issue ended up in court. Another time it's reported he stole a dog from a local shelter because it was not being "properly cared for."

But! dogs aside, Mayor Pat has a solution for the border problem, solved without walls and/or troops. He has ... "... proposed to build a weir damn (lol, original spelling for dam) along the river, which will raise the water level from 123 to 126 feet above sea level, widen the river by 300 feet and back up the river for 42 miles — in essence creating a virtual fence that can easily be patrolled with high-speed boats, sophisticated electronic equipment and boots on the ground to deter any illegal activity along the border. It also offers many different economic opportunities to develop the river for tourism. This proposal is at a cost of $40.0 million, which is less costly and more effective than the border fence being proposed."

Sierra Club opposes any such dam as it would negatively impact the Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. According to Brownsville public utilities the idea is gaining support.

Odd though, one of Mayor Pat's reasons for not wanting a fence is the loss of land to local landowners - but raising the sea level to widen the river for a "virtual fence" requires the same land loss. Hmmm... must be some damn, or dam, contractor buddies in there somewhere.

One problem with a river wall is it will cost much much much more than $40 million - all government projects do. And the creation of a deeper river invites boating cartels rather than deterring them.

Mexico's officials and some in the US declare the problem is the US market (supply and demand). True. And for the past 40 years we've been told to pity the addict as victim and spend billions to educate and cure his affliction. It's a "disease" - not the weakness of character or a sociopath. (Not to mention the legal prescription junkies.) Oh, I must mention too the progressive heart - demanding sanctuary and accommodation for the millions of illegal who are only here to feed their families with no ties to crime or the drug war. (Never mind that last year 40% of all Federal inmates were Hispanic - remember, if you're progressive, you believe it's racism filling the revolving door prisons, not real criminals.)

Also, so I'm told, I should be appalled and ashamed of the incarceration stats of the US - 2.3 million. I am not supposed to be ashamed the US produces so many thugs, thieves, molesters, murderers, abusers, junkies and dealers who end up incarcerated?

I managed to raise 5 children who never had any run-in with the legal system - it's not hard to do people. Whatever happened to "don't do the crime if you can't do the time." I believe it left the building around the same time that progressivism excused criminals as being victims of society - perps are people too (even if they are drugging, raping, killing, molesting, destroying, stealing, doping, dealing ... ).

I'm so old I can remember when the border was not a problem. I can remember when many of today's problems were not problems.

Has anyone yet said what the real border problem is? If not I will - it's social and political corruption. Money and corruption on both sides of the border.

We can build walls and rivers and troops, we can fund rehab for junkies and prisons for drug-related crime - but until the corrupt officials on both sides are nailed to the wall, until folks grow tired of the progressively imposed bullshit disguised as compassion - the "war" will continue on and on and on.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Got Slavery?

Republican SC governor, Mark Sanford, chief resister to Obama's stimulus said this week he'd reject $700 million of his state's $2.8 billion share of stimulus money unless he can spend it to pay down debt, and compared Obama's fiscal policies to those of Zimbabwe, saying the U.S. economy could collapse if it keeps spending money.

Along comes Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., who said Sanford's remark was "beyond the pale" and could have racial implications. Yesterday he said Sanford's request to use stimulus money to pay down debt "flies in the face" of Obama's intent that it be used to create or save jobs.

Sanford reasons that if "... you're buying into the notion of we just print some more money that we don't have, send it to some states, we'll create jobs. If that's the case, then why isn't Zimbabwe a rich place?" Sanford says elsewhere the stimulus package is "predatory lending" by the feds - true, as eventually we and future generations are gonna pay for being stimulated.

(Zimbabwe has been in economic meltdown ever since the South African nation began a chaotic land reform program. Its official inflation rate topped 11 million percent in 2008, with its treasury printing banknotes in the trillion-dollar range a.k.a. spending money you don't have.)

Clyburn comments that Sanford, "... happens to be a millionaire... he may not need help for the plantation his family owns, but the people whose grandparents and great-grandparents worked those plantations need the help" ... in the form of federal money.

Clyburn further says that Sanford is comparing Obama to Zimbabwe's Mugabee, is insulting Blacks, and the usual "progressive" (white) bloggers have rallied around also claiming the Sanford's remarks are racial.

So, who is Jim Clyburn? He's majority whip in the House, first elected in 1992 after South Carolina's 6th district was redrawn as a black-majority district. I searched high and low for House bills by Clyburn in his 17 year career, and found one bill he sponsored to preserve and interpret the Gullah/Geechee culture ($10 million over 10 years), a worthy cause if the money goes for what it says it will.

I did find Clyburn cosponsored 224 bills - nearly all frivolous (most of congress is), such as AIDS awareness, commemorative postage stamps, recognizing the contributions of Black basketball players, a bill to establish a Caribbean heritage month, and a bill recognizing the 100th anniversary of the founding of LasVegas.

Personally, I find Clyburn's "plantation" analogy more insulting than Sanford's Zimbawe reference. I don't believe Sanford was referring to race, but to out of control economic policies. Clyburn, on the other hand, is blatently race-baiting with the usual "you owe us" plantation mentality.

It's the modern plantation mentality because too many Black Americans choose to stay on the plantation - exchanging the master's chitlins for foodstamps, the slave cabin for section 8/projects, and instead of master choosing which slaves will breed, most of whom would not know their daddy, today's black men/women willingly breed for the master's prison industry, many never knowing their daddy, or momma.

Guys like Clyburn are overseers - patting your nappy heads like a Sunday preacher and whipping you with the chains of your own thinking.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Michelle Feels Our Pain

(Subtitle: How to Mimic the Clintons Without Even Trying)

Underscoring her commitment to the plight of America's military families, Mrs. Obama used a trip to Fort Bragg as a stage for her first television interviews since the inauguration. One, with ABC's "Good Morning America," aired Friday morning.

In the interview she said she wanted military families to know they have a friend in the White House.

"It hurts. It hurts," Mrs. Obama said of hearing about military families on food stamps. "These are people who are willing to send their loved ones off to, perhaps, give their lives — the ultimate sacrifice. But yet, they're living back at home on food stamps. It's not right, and it's not where we should be as a nation."

Michelle, Michelle, could you not find some other dire-need "cause" to lend your attention to? Gang violence, deadbeat dads, ghettos, political and corporate corruption? Oh, I forgot, the progressives reamed you guys when Barack made his infamous Father's Day speech last year, some called it the Black Men Are Lazy, Stupid, Violent Junkies Speech or Obama Catering to the White Folks Speech. Wouldn't wanna go there again.

GIs on foodstamps is an old gimmick Mickey. Gore and Bush used that sound byte almost a decade ago, back in 2000. Even at that time the number of troops receiving foodstamps was 0.45% of the 1.4 million, or 6300. The need for foodstamps is usually due to average GI Joe having a large family, one income, a lot of credit card debt, and flawed spending habits.

The average enlisted soldier does not expect to get rich on military life, or even live upper class without several years on duty. The lowly E-3 earns $35,105 per year; that includes housing, medical, the px, etc. Not a fortune but not poverty unless spending fast and frivolous.

Progressives/liberals have convinced two generations of Americans that foodstamps are nothing to be ashamed of - unless you're in uniform and then it's shameful. If the Obamas have their way, that shame will be worth $40/month more in military pay. Whooo hoo.

What's shameful (and "hurts") is not teaching our young people, in and out of uniform, how to make responsible choices, to save and spend wisely. What's shameful is 6000 troops on food stamps is not a real issue, but merely fills the air with pseudo-support the troops rhetoric.

What's shameful is the First Lady using old campaign spin as a platform and photo-op for "change." She made the same promises to Norfolk military wives in August 2008 - stumping for votes.

Michelle, as all polcats do, is simply stumping ahead to the next election.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Nancy Fancy

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said yesterday that the federal government may have to spend even more money to shore up the nation's ailing economy, on top of the more than $1.6 trillion so far approved by Congress.

Pelosi's remarks came after senior House Democrats met behind closed doors with four prominent economists, who praised the actions taken by Washington to ease the effects of a recession that threatens to be the most severe since the 1930s. The $787 billion stimulus package, a $700 billion bailout for the U.S. financial system and President Obama's proposal to stem the tide of residential foreclosures are all sound policies that should begin to make a difference in the coming months, they told lawmakers.

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents from the Department of Defense (DOD) detailing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's multiple requests for military air travel. The documents, obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), include internal DOD email correspondence detailing attempts by DOD staff to accommodate Pelosi's numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft as well as the speaker's last minute cancellations and changes. The following are a few highlights from the documents, which are linked in full below:

* In response to a series of requests for military aircraft, one Defense Department official wrote, "Any chance of politely querying [Pelosi's team] if they really intend to do all of these or are they just picking every weekend?...[T]here's no need to block every weekend 'just in case'..." The email also notes that Pelosi's office had, "a history of canceling many of their past requests."
* One DOD official complained about the "hidden costs" associated with the speaker's last minute changes and cancellations. "We have...folks prepping the jets and crews driving in (not a short drive for some), cooking meals and preflighting the jets etc."
* The documents include a discussion of House Ethics rules and Defense Department policies as they apply to the speaker's requests for staff, spouses and extended family to accompany her on military aircraft. In May 2008, for example, Pelosi requested that her husband join her on a Congressional Delegation (CODEL) into Iraq. The DOD explained to Pelosi that the agency has a written policy prohibiting spouses from joining CODEL's into combat zones.
* Documents obtained from the U.S. Army include correspondence from Speaker Pelosi's office requesting an Army escort and three military planes to transport Pelosi and other members of Congress to Cleveland, Ohio, for the funeral services of the late Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Pelosi noted in her letter of August 22, 2008, that such a request, labeled "Operation Tribute" was an "exception to standard policy."
* The documents also detail correspondence from intermediaries for Speaker Pelosi issuing demands for certain aircraft and expressing outrage when requested military planes were not available. "It is my understanding there are no G5s available for the House during the Memorial Day recess. This is totally unacceptable...The speaker will want to know where the planes are..." wrote Kay King, Director of the House Office of Interparliamentary Affairs. In a separate email, when told a certain type of aircraft would not be available, King writes, "This is not good news, and we will have some very disappointed folks, as well as a very upset [s]peaker."
* During another email exchange DOD staff advised Kay King that one Pelosi military aircraft request could not be met because of "crew rest requirements" and offered to help secure commercial travel. Kay King responded: "We appreciate the efforts to help the codel [sic] fly commercially but you know the problem that creates with spouses. If we can find another way to assist with military assets, we would like to do that."

--- Gulfstream V, designated C-37A in U.S. Air Force service, the Gulfstream V fulfills missions for government and Defense Department officials. The US Navy also operates one C-37A.

The aircraft has a flight management system with a worldwide satellite-based Global Positioning System. The C-37A is capable of cruise at 51,000 feet. Features include enhanced weather radar, autopilot and head-up display for the pilot. Safety features include Enhanced Vision Systems that allows increased visibility in adverse environments. The aircraft is also equipped with commercial and military communications equipment to provide secure voice and data capability. The U.S. Air Force equips the C-37A with a basic crew of two pilots, one flight engineer, one communications systems operator, and one flight attendant.

--- Apparently, the "ailing economy" has absolutely no effect on government perks.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gnarly Charlie

Until today I have never heard of Jason Mattera, the reporter in the video below. Apparently he's a roving reporter out to expose liberals/democrats, etc.

One comment on that page claims not to support this "particular tactic" - you know, the tactic of going up to Rangel like a regular Joe Friendly Fan and then asking embarrassing, although true, political questions.

That's right folks, you must immediately inform pols so they know which class face to put on and which side of their mouth to speak from. Rangel would never have said "mind your own goddamn business" to ... to ... hmmm ... well, he was tricked, that's right Charlie was tricked into exposing his bad side.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Freddie & Fannie

The Obama administration's new mortgage relief plan, launched Wednesday, aims to help up to 9 million borrowers qualify for more affordable mortgages and stay in their homes.

It has two parts: First, it makes refinancing easier for those who are able to make their payments but pay a high interest rate and would otherwise not qualify because they do not have enough equity. Second, it encourages lenders to make loan modifications by providing $75 billion in incentives to alter the terms of loans.

Who qualifies?

For the refinance plan: Borrowers with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — generally, those with loans of less than $417,000 — who are current on their payments and who owe no more than 105 percent of the current value of their home, and no less than 80 percent. (That means a homeowner whose home is worth $400,000 only qualifies if her loan balance is between $420,000 and $360,000.)

For the loan modification program: Borrowers with loans of up to $729,750 who are having difficulty paying their mortgage. Reasons for the difficulty, the government says, can include a drop in income from the loss of a job, a medical hardship, or a spike in the mortgage payment. Applicants will be required to document their income and provide an "affidavit of financial hardship," which the government will verify.

How will loans be modified?

Lenders will change the terms of the loan so payments, including taxes and insurance, amount to no more than 31 percent of a homeowners' income. They may lower the interest rate to 2 percent, extend the term of the loan to as many as 40 years, or forgive some principal, although it must be repaid if the house is sold. The government will subsidize some of the cost and provide cash payments to banks as an incentive to work with borrowers.

Not everyone who has a hardship will qualify. Banks will determine whether it makes financial sense to modify a loan.

---------- Government largess to the little people? No, it's politicians funneling money to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The banks will determine which loans make sense to modify. The same banks who thought it made financial sense to make the loans in the first place. I guess the Bush administration's bailout last year was insufficient. Keep throwing bad money after bad money.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

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