Tuesday, September 30, 2008

WARNING: Political Rant!

Those of you who aren’t interested in politics or our financial crisis need not read further. And if you’re one of my “church lady” readers, there’s going to be some harsh language – you’ve been duly warned.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore! I’m sick of Congress and the Media thinking that we’re stupid myrmidons and we can’t do our own research and that we should just assume that everything they tell us is the gospel truth. Well I’m NOT stupid; in fact, I’m extremely intelligent and my head isn’t so far up my “politics” that I can’t see a line of crap when it’s fed to me.

I’m more than just a little torqued that the Administration thinks that the money I work my ass off for should be taken FROM me at the threat of jail and used to bail out companies that made bad business decisions. No one bailed ME out when, as an ill-principled college grad, I ran up astronomical credit card bills. No one! I worked HARD to pay off those debts and it took me more than 10 years! But, by God, they’re gone – as are my student loans. And no, I didn’t get a consolidation loan; I scrimped and scraped and spent nights and weekends at home until they were paid off. Big surprise – LESSON LEARNED – do you think I’ll EVER get in that shape again. HELL NO!

So, here begins my RANT on this financial crisis and how, why and who caused it. I’ve linked where appropriate so that you can do your own research. You aren’t going to hear this on the CBS News with perky little Katie Couric because it makes certain people and their party look bad and that doesn’t fit the mold of the news they see fit to share.

The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was a bill passed under the Carter administration. The Bill, like most, had good intentions but was manipulated for political gain. Designed to invest dollars in community revitalization, this Act was hijacked under the Clinton administration by groups like ACORN (I’ll get to them later) and used to brow-beat leading institutions into lowering their lending standards to make loans to people who would have not qualified under standard lending practices, hence the onslaught of sub-prime lending. Now for an aside – do you REALLY THINK for one minute that any bank, out of the charity of their heart, is going to loan money to someone they KNOW cannot afford to repay it? Of course not – that’s corporate suicide! They wouldn’t loan it unless, they were forced/coerced by the government to do so. (This is where Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae come in.)

Freddie and Fannie were NEVER government entities - they were Government SPONSORED Entities (GSEs) which means that they looked from the outside to be a true government entity, like the FDIC. The banks and lending institutions were leery of making these kinds of loans until Freddie and Fannie stepped in to say, “Hey, we’ve got your back. Make the loans, bundle them together and we’ll buy them from you.” Now, as a GSE, Freddie and Fannie were not governed by the same rules and oversight that normal corporations are subject to. In fact, Republicans warned against the coming disaster while trying to pass the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, which sought to curtail these kinds of lending practices. The warnings were NOT headed and the legislation was soundly defeated by Democrats in the Congress. In fact, some Congressmen went as far as to say that there was nothing wrong with Freddie and Fannie and the simple act of trying to clean them up amounted to a “political lynching” of Franklin Raines, the then CEO of Fannie Mae (who happens to be black) and now a financial advisor to the Obama campaign.) Under Raines leadership, Fannie is accused of cooking the books to generate fat bonuses for their leadership, including Raines. They were then forced to restate their earnings wiping out almost $9 billion in reported earnings.

Back to ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, ACORN is one of those “community organizing” groups that the Media is so fond of these days. What they don’t tell you is how they operate – or at least how they operated in the time period leading up to this financial meltdown. For example, ACORN representatives jammed the lobbies of banks, confronted bank executives at their homes, blocked the drive-thru teller lanes of banks, and otherwise intimidated banks into making these risky loans. So how is ACORN involved with Barack Obama? Obama was a trainer and an attorney for the organization during his community organizer days in Chicago. His campaign has paid more than half a million dollars to ACORN for “get out the vote” efforts. Speaking of “get out the vote efforts,” there are MANY instances of ACORN being involved in blatant voter registration fraud – some of them are detailed here – you can Google each of them for yourself. (For the sake of space, I didn't include links here.)

So, for the sanctimonious Nancy Pelosi to stand on her "pulpit" in the House of Representatives and preach to me about how it’s “all the Republican’s fault” that this happened is pure crap and a load of unadulterated lies – and she knows it. She also knows that most Americans get their news from ABC, CBS and NBC and they aren’t going to tell the whole story. Her lies are safe - safely perpetuated by the Media. (Which is why I do my OWN research.)

Were the Republicans PARTLY responsible? You betcha! Were they SOLELY responsible – OF COURSE NOT and it's stupid to try to place all the blame there! And for Pelosi, Barney Franks and Harry Reid to continue to pontificate that it’s the Bush Administration’s “failed economic policies” is an affront to the US Constitution. My understanding of that sacred document is that it’s the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES responsibility to initiate EACH AND EVERY spending bill, NOT the President's responsibility (no matter his party affiliation). So, Nancy need look no further than her position as Speaker of the House to find the ultimate blame. Where I work, the buck stops with ME - I don't get to pass blame to others. Buck up, Nancy! 

Rick Warren once said that “you can’t fix the problem if you’re consumed with fixing the blame.” So, shut up Nancy and get about the business of fixing what CAUSED the problem instead of trying to put a $700 billion dollar band-aid over it!

Finally, to use my friend Jodi's words, "Nancy Pelosi, do you wanna piece of me?" Bring. It. On. I’m done and I’m going to uncork a bottle of Chardonnay. Discuss…


Tim Hawkins is a Christian comedian and is hysterical. If you go to a church that does Praise & Worship music, you'll get a BIG kick out of this clip.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm Happy To Report

I'm quite happy to report that today (cue the music...) I am FINALLY GETTING MY ROOTS DONE! (Ta-Da!) So, after 2:30 this afternoon I will no longer look like a country-music-fan-fest-4 wheel truck-driving-Redneck-Princess anymore. Not that there's anything wrong with that...it's just not the "look" I'm going for. It's actually gotten so bad that, thank God I work from home a lot, I've resorted to the college-just-rolled-out-of-bed ball-cap-wearing look. 

For effect, I took this pic just now with Photo Booth on my Mac. Nice. Really nice. So, obviously you can understand my excitement about getting my hair fixed. :)

In the world of crafty endeavors, I'm working on some new projects. (Please, contain your shock...) All better? I've started this cute little cardigan (#22 on the link) using some stashed Lion Brand Microspun in a pretty purplish-blue Lilac. I currently have not one, not two, not three, but FOUR pair of socks on the needles; three on double points and one pair on one LONG circular. (I'm trying to teach myself to knit two at a time using this book.) So far...OK. I'm a "neat knitter" and getting started on this method is so far from neat that it drives me crazy. It's a hot mess!

I was going to enter some of my work, both knit and crochet, in the Gwinnett County Fair - however, I missed the registration deadline. As it turns out, that's good for all the folks who DID enter their "work" in the fair because I would have SO hated to make them look bad. My stuff was WAY better than their stuff. I'm just sayin'. (Bless their hearts.) So I'm going to send a whole bunch of it down to Statesboro so my mom can enter it for me in the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair. Since I'm FROM Statesboro, I see no problem with this plan whatsoever. I'll post pics later of everything I'm entering, 15 projects in all. Who knows, I might actually win enough for a trip to Starbucks - or a gallon of gas! (Ha!) 


Thursday, September 11, 2008

After Which Nothing Was the Same

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was working in sales at BellSouth and had just popped my computer into the docking station at my desk and hit my radio's "on" button to listen to WSB AM 750 (and my boy, Boortz) when I heard the news. 

What? A plane? Like a BIG one, or a little one? Oh, most definitely a big one. 

We all ended up in the Vice President's office watching the news unfold on the TV in her conference room. Numb. Shell-shocked. Speechless. Quiet ... odd, still, deafening quiet. Who could possibly work on a day like today? 

The girls and I went to Jocks 'n Jills for lunch because we knew they'd have on every news network. We sat for 2 hours and ate in near silence - remarkable for our group. How could this happen? In America? This kind of stuff happens somewhere else. Not. Here. All I could think about was my 9-month old at the baby sitter's house and how I wanted, no needed, to get there to hold her. 

A fog. A fog that lasted for days and days and days. You'd blink, thinking that it was a dream and you could just blink, wake up and will it away. But no, it was real. Painfully, heart-wrenchingly real. 

After 09-11-01, nothing was the same. Never will be. To this day I cannot step foot on a commercial airliner - for business or pleasure - without thinking of those people who, on 9-11-01, were going about their business . . . like they did every day before and thought they'd do every day after. But it wasn't an ordinary day. It was a day that profoundly changed us all - affected us to the core of our beings. Forever. 

And I will never, ever, forget.........