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Dear Senator Warren. Some time back (before you became a Senator I believe) I posted a diary here regarding mortgage bankruptcies, but alas it never really gained traction nor had it a potential champion (if the idea is deemed worthwhile, of course) to present the idea to who has a voice that would actually be heard... until you came along. I was going to send the idea through your website, but the email option doesn't seem to be working for me there. I looked at your Facebook page as a place to post it but that didn't seem doable. However, I've seen you post here as a fellow Kossack, so I'm going to take a gamble and hope there's a chance that this may reach your eyes. It's an idea that I've stewed on for a few years now that may be able to fix the mortgage bankruptcy crisis far too many Americans have to face, will strengthen the middle class, lead to far more home ownership for Americans, create jobs, strengthen the economy, reduce the deficit,... yeah, it's that good. (In my mind at least...)

In a nutshell, I want the Federal government to get into the mortgage business. Please accompany me below the orange squiggle of hope for details.

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Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 03:41 AM PST

Virginia Special Election

by SBParrothead

Well, it's not often that a special election in the middle of January can mean so much for a state, but this is one of those occasions as anyone following the change in the ebb and flow of Virginia politics over the past number of years is well aware.

So, a first report to share from the polls in Virginia! Well... not all the polls, just one place in Loudoun County at Forest Grove Elementary School... at the opening of the doors there were about 15 or so people in line. With only the one option on the ballot, it flowed extremely quickly (yes, I chose the paper ballot), there were no issues at all and the first impression (which hopefully doesn't mean crap...) was that it was a all white middle aged plus group. Now, since I was there and fall into that group as well it's hard to put meaning on that, but there you go. As I was leaving the line had dissipated without any more people trickling in at that moment. My wife is out now to cast her vote. So, if you're bothering to read this, first off thanks for doing so, and if you live in Virginia and are covered by the special election today then get out and vote, and do so early before Old Lady Nature decides to cast her white, fluffy influence on things!

No, really... stop reading this. Get up. Go vote. Control of the state senate is on the line.

Go on, git!

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Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 12:19 PM PDT

I need help - Re: Obamacare.

by SBParrothead

OK, here's the skinny. A co-worker of mine made a point to tell me that ObamaCare is biting her father right in the butt. The situation is that apparently, allegedly, her father cannot any longer (as of August 1st) get his injections for Wet Macular Degeneration, and the fault was due to Obamacare and a new government agency that is trying to ration health care. I of course expressed doubt, and received the following email, which I'll place below the squiggle because... well... squiggle.

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The pro-gun crowd often crows about the second amendment to the Constitution as though it gives all Americans the rights to all guns, all the time. However, a brief walk through the Constitution and laws enacted later seem to tell a different tale. Maybe it's just me, but when people talk of the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms a part of me wants to paraphrase the great Inigo Montoya... I do not think it means what they think it means.

Please allow me a brief trip through history:

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Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 04:34 AM PDT

Early voting in Virginia.

by SBParrothead

So, as Sandy was bearing down upon us here in Northern Virginia, this past Saturday my wife and I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and get into the early voting scene, just in case. I look online and find the polling place for "in person absentee voting" and, thinking it's the same thing, head on out to vote. I get there, get in, there's a dozen or so people there (with a constant flow) and get my absentee form thingie. One thing it has on it... codes for why you're voting early. (???) I look through this list of codes... there's nothing that's really covering why I'm there... because I want to.

So I ask.

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This'll be short and sweet... heck, Paul Ryan said it all regarding abortion when he said...

“We don't think that unelected judges should make this decision; that people through their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process should make this determination.”
You see that? I mean, really, really see what he's saying? Think about it. We're talking about unprotected, majority rules healthcare for women. Not even the majority... the majority of people that actually vote being given the power to tell women whether or not they can be allowed an abortion. You give majority opinion control of this issue... what's next? Contraception? More voting restrictions? Who knows. This is scary. It's rare that a majority of riled up voters has everyone's best interest at heart... usually it's their own best interests and everyone else... well, they know what's best for everyone else. After all, more people seem to agree with them.

This is scary. Without the courts in place to stop knee-jerk legislation that infringes the rights of others you're opening the door to ...

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Ah, so this is a diary, eh? Well, sadly, until my diary skills blossom there won't be links, breaks, videos, etc... just the random spillage of thoughts on my first attempt to put them forth to the public. So hello everyone, and here we go...

First an foremost, I'm tired of this myth the Republicans put forth that taxes on the wealthy kill jobs. It's based on this fallacy... taxes reduce profits which reduce hiring. Simple, eh? Almost sounds reasonable. However, there's one basic fact that I never hear mentioned anywhere... businesses don't create jobs.

If you haven't left in disgust already, allow me to explain. Businesses have little to no control over their need to hire employees, believe it or not. It's all based almost exclusively on the consumers, on demand. If you're creating a product and making a profit doing so, taxes reducing your profit won't change the fact that you still need to meet demand and still need your employees to do so. On the other hand, tax cuts for the wealthy won't increase the demand for your product, therefore there's no incentive to hire. Who's going to hire someone they don't need simply because profits are up? The whole idea is silly. But, as stated, jobs are directly tied to consumers. If the demand for a businesses product increases, businesses are required to increase hiring to meet that demand or lose that share of the market to someone else that will. There's no choice in the matter. You hire, or your potential business goes elsewhere. This demonstrates one thing Democrats have known for decades that seems to elude Republicans... the best way to create jobs in this country is to have a strong middle class that creates a high demand for products. The money needs to be in the hands of the most people to have the greatest effect.

This is why the government needs to start buying up bad mortgages. (Heh... didn't see that leap of logic coming, did you?) OK, let's tie it all together.

Let's say that the Federal goverment initially tells the banks "Look, you all have a crapload of mortagages that are in or nearing foreclosure. We're going to take those off your hands for the remaining principle on the loans (or some other negotiated value)." Don't even make this optional. Create a moratorium on foreclosures, have the Federal government instead buy those notes.

Now, here's the governent with this mess o' mortgages needing help. Take them and completely rewrite the loans, based on the principle remaining, at 20% simple interest, with the word "simple" being key to the whole thing. Think about it... just using the defaults we see at this mortgage calculator site we see that a 250,000 mortage over 30 years at 5% costs the consumer a $1,654.55 monthly payment and $595,639.46 over the life of the loan. Compare this to $250,000 at 20% simple interest (or $50,000 total interest, for a total loan of $300,000) and you see that, spread over the same 30 years breaks down to $833.33 per month.

That's over $800 per month back into the pockets of the middle class, especially towards people with the greatest needs. That's one hell of a boost where it's needed most. This will obviously spur an increase in demand which, as we've seen above, is the real way to create jobs.

Now, the whole federal mortgage thing needs to be fleshed out. It pretty much is in my head. For example, instead of payments where the amount is based on the length of the loan, you can have the length of the loan based on the payments someone can afford to pay with a maximum year cap and maximum percentage of income allowed to be used. If you can easily afford $1000 per month, your length of the loan will be reduced. If you can afford $750 per month, it would be increased. But, being fixed interest, you wouldn't wind up paying more. The $300,000 amount above doesn't change. You can also, after the foreclosure mess is cleaned up, open it to everyone on homes valued at, say, $1,000,000 or less, one home per family, primary residence only, yada yada. Let all of America take advantage of this. Allow people the option of 25% simple interest where the additional 5% goes into an interest bearing saving account. The account can be used to make payments in lean times, to pay off the mortgage early when enough accumulates, or even for a nice payout when the loan is paid off. There's a lot of consumer friendly things that could happen. Run with it.

Oh... and lest I forget... the government is collecting this interest. The whole program winds up paying for itself in time and should, if run efficiently, become a positive revenue stream for the government.

But, enough rambling for now. After well over a year of juggling this in my head it's finally on "paper". Be gentle.

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