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I diaried here way back in June about my financial and credit card meltdown as a result of loss or work and medical bills. In that post I described how a young man named Mohammed at a Capital One call center overseas expressed compassion and how touched I was by this spark of humanity. Apparently that was a fluke.  You know those barbarian thugs that used to be in the Capital One commercials?  The ones that smash things and harass people. They haven’t been on tv lately. Turns out Capital One is using them to train their collections phone people.

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I was skeptical about the cash for clunkers program. Not because I’m a negative right-wing wacko, but because it seemed to be some hasty, knee-jerk response with little regard to long term consequences.  There have been a lot of numbers tossed around about how much fuel the program will save and the beneficial environmental impact...except...what about the environmental impact of making new cars and scrapping the old ones?  Not to mention the all the dependable, decent cars wasted so people who could probably afford a new one without the program can get one with a government subsidy.

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I have a 30 year credit history of on-time payments. Except for a serious glitch that was mistake (a $179.00 medical bill that got listed as going to collection even though it had been paid, that I wrote about here http://www.dailykos.com/...everything was ALWAYS paid on time. Now, suffering from a convergence of no work, medical and dental problems, I am forced into the humiliating position of economic triage, paying only my mortgage and whatever else I can pay .

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So, the Federal Reserve and other federal regulators announce credit card reform intended to level the playing field for consumers. Of course that won’t be until JULY 2010 giving credit card companies plenty of time to go on an economic rampage.

I, like hundreds of thousands of other Americans got this letter in the mail last week from Capital One—recipient of $365 billion in bailout money that it admitted in SEC filings it didn’t really need.

“Due to extraordinary changes in the economic environment, we’re reviewing our existing credit card accounts. Having considered these economic conditions, your account’s current purchase rate, and the length of time you’ve had this rate and account, we will be increasing your Purchase Rate. We are also raising your Cash Advance and Default Rates.”

Poll

Has Capital One raised your interest rate?

80%110 votes
7%10 votes
11%16 votes

| 136 votes | Vote | Results

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The three credit reporting agencies in essence control the economic destiny of every American with their holy FICO score.  And it’s quite a scam they have going. Take what happened to me as an example of why, even with stimulus money pumped into the economy, banks still won’t lend.

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Sun Oct 19, 2008 at 10:16 AM PDT

Joe the Plumber: The Music Video

by Athena Sword

This video is great satire on the whole fabricated Joe the Plumber story.  Like the rest of the McCain/Palin communications debacles “Joe” simply created great fodder for satirists and this is one of the best I’ve seen.  I've been out of the Kos loop for several days due to business travel so my apologies if this has been diaried before.  Even so, it's so good it should come around again.

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I thought a friend might be wearing a tin foil hat when he predicted  a terrorist attack in October that will somehow create a situation where Bush will declare martial law and suspend the election.  Or maybe Bush will use the Great Depression Bank Run panic.  Whatever the reason, this is a chilling little news item from Democracy  Now that I think is getting buried by all the bail-out/debate hype. Stationing an active unit inside the U.S. deserves a lot more attention. Follow after the fold for the details.---Oh, and please recommend to bring it to the top--

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A friend just forwarded an email with a clever tactic I felt I had to share it here on Kos in hopes of getting it more exposure, (so, recommend) particularly in light of yesterday's diaries about the Alaska rape kit debacle.

Make a donation to Planned Parenthood in Sarah Palin's name.  A Planned Parenthood donation is tax deductible, while a political donation isn't.

And here's the good part:  when you make a donation to PP in  her name, they'll send her a card telling her that the donation has been made in her honor.

Here's the link to the Planned Parenthood website:
            http://plannedparenthood.org

Select donate, then honorary gifts.

You'll need to fill in the address to let PP know where to send the "in Sarah Palin's honor" card.  I suggest you use the address for the McCain campaign headquarters:
             
McCain for President
1235 S. Clark Street
1st Floor
Arlington ,  VA  22202

Discuss

A dear friend  passed this on to me with the request to pass it on where it will get the most exposure. Where else but Daily Kos?  Please recommend, Digg, whatever  to keep this on top and in the spot light.

Police Seize Permabus
At approximately 6:25 pm on August 30, 2008 Minneapolis Police, Minnesota State Troopers, Ramsey County Sheriffs, Saint Paul Police, and University of Minnesota Police pulled over the Earth Activist Training Permaculture Demonstration Bus (Permibus) by exit 237 on Interstate 94. Initially the police told the people on the bus to exit. When the people on the bus asked if they were being detained they were told that they were but police wereunable to provide justification.

Follow me after the fold to read a bizarre tale. Are the chickens suspected of terrorism?

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I’ll bet I’m not the only writer out there who would gladly be a scab.  First, let me say I support old union ideals but I think modern unions have become disconnected from the reality of everyday working life.  I mean it's not like the striking writers are picketing to get safer working conditions or health insurance. As I understand it—and please correct me if I’m wrong because I have yet to see a formal list of writer’s demands—the writers are striking because they want a bigger piece of the action in terms of royalties from the web and other kinds of media distribution. But wait. Don’t they get a salary?  Probably a pretty nice salary--with benefits even.  Doesn’t that make them just work for hire like many of us writers who freelance writing corporate video scripts, ad copy, and other commercial writing?  Believe me, lots of us toiling out here in the very unglamorous commercial field would be thrilled to work in a more creative environment writing for television shows.

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There is a mammoth scam afoot: It’s called credit reporting and it can devastate your economic well-being, particularly if you have the double misfortune of dealing with corporate medicine.  While Americans can now access that semi-holy document, the credit report, it is only available for free once a year from one of the three credit reporting agencies.  However, as I recently discovered,  annual access to  this consumer dossier determining a borrower’s economic fate is really just extortion foreplay for the various credit “protection” products credit reporting agencies offer.
Follow me after the fold to see how tripping over a dog toy and injuring my knee had the effect of turning me from a financially respectable individual into a deadbeat.

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Wiretapping is so 20th century.   In the Internet age of IMing, email  and blogs, why bother with such cumbersome things as wiretaps? Want to know what the dissidents and troublemakers are really up to? Route email through Carnivore and set bots to monitor the goings on at "suspicious" web sites. You just never know if you might catch a suspected Al Qaida operative posting on say, the LANL blog  set up by Los Alamos National Laboratories employees upset over the multi million dollar boondoggles and wasteful use of taxpayer monies---set up because their letters to the Laboratory official publication just never seemed to get published
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