April 29, 2009

Get ready for "Whats behind the Red Door"

And let's give a big hand to Carol and Vanna...

Obama's minion's drop the other shoe on mortgages, seconds.

How F*****g stupid does he think we are. I am sorry but this is going too far. For over twenty years I have originated mortgages, and never, repeat, never did I do a second combined with a first to save someone from having to pay private mortgage insurance, or to avoid having to come up with a down payment. Or to borrow for a new boat or a new truck or for any reason. Now obiviously there were many who did.

Diana Olick predicted this almost two months ago, but hardly anyone paid attention.

Now the Obama administration has made it official by including seconds in their mortgage bailout plan. Instead of paying just to keep people in their homes, now we get to pay for their home improvements, too:

The Obama administration unveiled an expansion of its $75 billion foreclosure prevention plan yesterday, providing new subsidies to mortgage lenders and investors.
Under the expanded plan, some homeowners could see their payments fall significantly and the interest rate on their second mortgage pushed down to 1 percent. The announcement comes nearly two months after the administration launched the housing program, called Making Home Affordable. While officials said some borrowers have already received help, the foreclosure rate is rising and it could be months before the program begins to have an impact.
The new efforts address, in part, criticisms from consumer advocates that the administration’s housing plan did not go far enough and that borrowers still face too many barriers to receiving help.
“Ensuring that responsible homeowners can afford to stay in their homes is critical to stabilizing the housing market, which is in turn critical to stabilizing our financial system overall. Every step we take forward is done with that imperative in mind,” Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said in a statement.

Responsible homeowners? Responsible homeowners wouldn’t have taken out a second on their home equity if they couldn’t afford it. Seconds get used for lots of purposes, including debt consolidation and home improvements, but all of these purposes are entirely voluntary. No one held anyone at gunpoint and forced them to take a second mortgage.
Let’s revisit Olick’s rant from early March, when she scooped the media on this effort:

It’s not that I don’t get the reasoning. Sure, do all you can to help people pay their mortgage, like get rid of other debt. By why stop there? What about car loans? Student loans?? The second liens, in general, were used by borrowers to either buy more home than they could really afford or to use their homes as ATM machines. Yes, some people use home equity lines of credit to pay college tuition.
But I can’t tell you how many homeowners I’ve interviewed (and just take a look at David Faber’s documentary House of Cards to see more) who took out home equity lines to put in a pool or buy a fancy car or put an addition on the house that includes a fancy new kitchen with a Viking six-burner. And I’m supposed to pay for all that?
It’s one thing to suck up the bitter pill in order to save the greater housing market and keep families in their homes, but using taxpayer dollars to give homeowners a free ride on second liens is preposterous.

In truth, the government shouldn’t act as guarantor to first mortgages, either. But the effort to force lenders to write down seconds is entirely absurd, for the reasons Olick stated.

By the way, guess how many homeowners took advantage of Obama’s Hope for Homeowners program, the one that promised to get lenders to write down first mortgages? One. It turns out that lenders resent losing money and didn’t want to cooperate with Obama’s H4H program. This modification allocates up to $5500 over three years to lenders who adjust the principal on the loans. Guess who’s paying for those writedowns now? You and me.

(Oh, man. When Obama hears about this, he’s going to be “furious”.)

Question of the day....

Since torture doesn't work but waterboarding did work on KSM, doesn't that prove that water boarding is not torture?

April 28, 2009

April 25, 2009

Surprise surprise, history repeats it's self, again...

Fool us once shame on you, fool us twice or three or four times shame on us. We should have known that when an agreement is reached that involves the cottage, David Meyer, David Symons, and Phil Sturtz, nothing is as it seems.

Arrived in camp this morning to gather up the items that mother and Katy wanted, expecting to see David Meyer and Rick Symons and who do we see, but David Meyer, David Symons and Phil Sturtz. The three musketeers, all laden down with their inventory list's and clip boards in hand. Now in some degree of fairness we showed up eight strong, and perhaps our numbers were overwhelming to them, hard to monitor the activities of all of us to make sure we didn't take an extra glass, or an ashtray, or a plate. And to top that off, Phil tried to inform us that David Meyer had allocated an hour and if we didn't have our stuff out when he left, the doors would be locked and we would be out of luck.

What really pissed us off was we had spent considerable time detailing everything that was ours, room by room, and had a plan laid out that would have had us in and out in a reasonable amount of time. But what did we find upon our arrival, they had piled everything in the kitchen and back room and from the moment we walked in they were on us to get this stuff out of here and get it out now. And for the record, it was pouring rain out side, but that made no difference to them. We had no way of knowing if the items we were going to take were there or not, and our every move to seek items in other parts of the cottage were met with looks of distrust, and we were followed at our every move, we felt like accused shoplifters. So much for that trusting feeling that David Meyer assured us of.

At one point, someone in our group asked if it was possible to use the bathroom, that request was denied. Classy, you expect anything less from "your" association president?

In light of the on going monsoon, we were able to keep our great sense of humor, and we got everything we wanted loaded up. Before bidding adu we gathered one last time on the front porch and toasted to all the great times we had in Lakeside over the past 40, 50, and 80 years respectively, knowing that we always took the high road throughout this ordeal and we can walk among our many friends with our heads held high. I can't say the same for them.

We will be back, probably the day of the pig roast since there were items that we could not get out, and this will allow us to enjoy the camaraderie of all our great friends from Lakeside, Cottage Grove and Pinewoods, one more time. Hope to see most everyone then.

I promised a while ago that I would be recapping the events of the past 3 years because of the many requests from you loyal readers. There is much that has not been written about, and I owe it to those who have stuck by us and will do so in three installments, beginning in May, and finishing in July. Please stay tuned.

Rumor has it that another cook book might be in the works, if you have an interest please let me know, if have a recipe to share, sent it to me, you'll be properly recognized.

April 15, 2009

Tax Day Tea Party's

I really had planned on attending one of these, first in Lansing, then in Midland, but at the end of day this I what I wanted to say, but someone far more attractive than I beat me to the line.Very well said....

April 6, 2009

From "Red Door" to "Red House"

Welcome Katy and Larry Jenkins to the neighborhood. Your adorable Red home is the perfect spot to land back in Michigan. And how fitting is that. This blog started because you and Joey saw the positive enhancement a RED door added to the cottage, as did many other fellow Lakesiders.

Welcome home!

April 3, 2009

Economic's 101

This would be funny if it were not so frightning. I said this back last year during the campagin and it deserves re-stating, "be afraid, be very afraid" this man is scarry, he and his cabinet have absloutly no private business experience, non, zip, nada, and it's evident. They simply do not have a clue as to what they are doing, the congress and the senate are lock step in unison and collectivly they are driving us over the cliff towards a socialistc economy.

April 2, 2009

Remember: They're one of the prime lib organizations...

Is Obama skidding or crashing?

Commentary: Story Highlights
Penn Jillette: If you're on ice, turning into a skid can help avoid a crash

Jillette says such counterintuitive actions sometimes work

Jillette: Other times, we're better off following our intuition

He asks whether we can get out of a debt-driven crisis by taking on lots more debt

By Penn Jillette
Special to CNN
Editor's note: Penn Jillette -- the larger, louder half of Penn & Teller -- is a magician, comedian, actor, author and producer.

(CNN) -- Counterintuitive action makes a fellow feel smart. When I first got my driver's license, I took my old Ford Falcon into the Greenfield Public High School parking lot when it was freshly covered with fresh powder on top of wet slippery Western Massachusetts snow and ice. I turned fast, gunned it and lost control of the car in a skid.

I turned into the skid and instantly gained control of my car. Telling someone to turn into a skid, that's crazy talk. It seems so wrong, but my Dad knew it worked. Dad suggested I do it over and over in the parking lot, so I would conquer my intuition to be ready when a real emergency arose on a real road. Counterintuitive actions prove we can trust real knowledge and do the opposite of what we feel makes sense.

I'm a fire-eater. There is some technique to fire-eating, but most of the practice goes into learning that one's mouth is wet enough, most of the heat goes up enough, and cutting the oxygen leg off the fire triangle (it's now a fire tetrahedron, but I learned fire-eating a long time ago) with one's mouth really does put the fire out.

It took watching a professional whom I trusted do it -- a lot of trust and a lot of practice -- before my first reaction, when my mouth started to burn from the lit torch in my mouth, was to put the torch deeper in my mouth, close my mouth around the torch and put it out.

Handling fire seems like a superpower. There are whole seminars and self-help jive centered on fire-walking, which is hustled as "mind over matter," or "empowerment" but is really just counterintuitive physics. As long as the fire walk is set up right and you keep moving, you can even hope and pray to be burned, while yelling counter-self-help slogans such as "I do not have any power to do this" and "universe, please burn my little piggies," and you'll be fine.

Whether it's fire walking or knowing that the Earth is round, everyone seems to dig counterintuitive thinking. Many dig it when our president explains we're going to spend our way out of debt. That's way against all the intuition we've developed in our adult lives. Spending our way out of debt doesn't work often, does it? It's crazy talk. Didn't a lot of people try that spending out of debt thing?

I live in Vegas, and I see people by the side of the road with cardboard signs who seem like they might have tried that spending their way out of debt thing. Or maybe they tried the all too intuitive "crack will make me feel healthy again" thing. I don't know.

Didn't lots of people try piling up debt on credit cards and buying houses they couldn't afford in hopes of solving all their financial problems? I've tried spending more than I was going to earn (remember, I was carny trash, that's why I know how to eat fire), and it way didn't work. Spending more money than I had to spend put me more in debt, just like my silly intuition warned me.

President Obama is so damn smart. He just drips smart. He clearly understands stuff that we could never understand. He's trustworthy. If Obama were teaching fire-eating, we would all learn fast. If he told you that the burns would be minor and the fire would go out when you closed your mouth, you'd believe him. If I weren't twice his weight, I'd fall back with my eyes closed into his caring arms in one of those cheesy '70s church trust exercises. He could talk me into anything.

Obama tells us that we can spend our way out of debt. He tells us that even though the government had control over the banks and did nothing to stop the bad that's going on, if we give them more control over more other bank-like things, then they can make sure bad stuff doesn't happen ever again. He says we can get out of all those big wars President Bush caused by sending more troops into Afghanistan. And I don't know. I really don't know.

I trusted my Dad that turning into a skid would work. I trusted my carny mentor, Doc Swan, that closing my mouth around a burning torch would put it out. They were right. Maybe the United States borrowing more money than I could imagine in a billion years with a billion computers and a billion monkeys typing on them, will get us out of financial trouble. I really don't know. It's certainly true that many counterintuitive things are true, and when you have the guts to do something counterintuitive that works, it's really cool. It's a superpower under our yellow sun.

But there are some things that are just intuitive. Did you know, that if you're going 100 mph, directly at a very, very thick, reinforced concrete wall, and you speed up, so you're accelerating right when you hit the wall that the accident you have is going to be much worse than if you'd jammed on the brakes as soon as you saw the wall at the end of the street? Did you know that? It's exactly what everything you know and feel would tell you, and it's exactly true. Most times when you're driving, or playing with fire, or handling money, the thing that makes sense to you is also true.

I way hope we're turning into a skid and not accelerating into a concrete wall.

Note: Reading this article does not give you the information you need to really eat fire, fire walk or even turn into a skid. Do not try any of it. You really need a trained professional to teach you, and most important you need to sign something that says Penn Jillette and CNN are not in any way responsible for your inevitable injuries.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Penn Jillette.