White House shows support for HARP 3

From the White House Blog:

Infographic: The Plan to Help Homeowners Refinance

Congress is currently considering a plan that would help millions of responsible homeowners save hundreds of dollars each month by refinancing their mortgages.

The plan to expand access to refinancing is simple: make it easier for millions of responsible homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to take advantage of historically low interest rates, even if they are underwater, as long as they are current on their payments. The proposal would establish a quick and hassle-free process—no more tax forms, and no more appraisals—just a lower interest rate, and lower payments each month.

This entry was posted in Housing Recovery, Mortgages, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

119 Responses to White House shows support for HARP 3

  1. grim says:

    And there you have it, game, set, match.

    Now that QE3 is firmly in place with $40 billion in committed MBS purchases monthly, HARP 3 will open up the floodgates for a massive refi boom among those who have been previously denied (estimated at 8 million).

    Obama will skewer Romney for his lack of any definable or actionable housing policy. If Republicans in Congress don’t pass the bill, all of the outrage will be directed squarely at the Romney campaign, and I think he’ll lose any chance he had at swaying the middle class independent vote (and this sure as heck will mobilize many of the 8 million that stand to lose out if it isn’t passed). Either way, Democrats win.

  2. Just McDullard says:

    “Either way, Democrats win.”

    And America loses — not because we wouldn’t have the next Reagan in Romney, but because there wasn’t even a constructive debate on any issue.

    I think both parties are beholden to the same interests, and they are simply playing a good cop, bad cop routine. They’ve managed to phrase the progressive and conservative causes as mutually exclusive, and are able to maintain this drama of “close contests”.

  3. grim says:

    But does American lose (if HARP passes)? Why?

    This essentially solves the problem of the 10 million underwater homeowners. In a year, the words “Shadow Inventory” might be rare as “ARM Reset”. HARP 2 has clearly had an impact on the 1.3 million borrowers that have gone into positive equity since the first of the year (CoreLogic). I’m not sure that I’ve seen the impacts to foreclosures, but I’ve got to assume that there is a good portion of borrowers in the margin that have been given enough lee-way to stay in the black.

    This also serves as a massive stealth stimulus package that enables billions in additional disposable income, raises overall confidence in housing and the economy, etc.

    Dare I say it, but after a few dozen attempts at housing bailouts, they might have actually hit on to something that is effective. I’m talking about HARP program in general here, not the specific variations 1, 2, or the proposed 3. However I will say that if 2 was effective, 3 can only enhance that by increasing the eligibility.

    What do we have “invested” in the Wall Street bailout at this point? Just about $5 trillion? What did the wars and actions in the middle east cost us? $1-2 trillion? How much money in foreign aid do we dole out every year? $50 billion?

    So what’s a few dollars “invested” inwards at this point, maybe giving an American a little bit of a bailout.

  4. grim says:

    Like I said…

    From the Las Vegas Review:

    Texas mayor among surrogates on both sides campaigning in Nevada

    San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro may not be a household name yet, but President Barack Obama’s campaign sent him to Las Vegas on Friday to tout the administration’s housing programs and to criticize GOP White House rival Mitt Romney for not offering a plan to help Nevadans stay in their overmortgaged homes.

    “How long do we have to listen to Governor Romney before we understand it is not his priority to help homeowners stay in their homes?” Castro said at a news conference at the Latin Chamber of Commerce.

    “President Obama is doing the hard work that it takes to protect the middle class, to see to it that homeowners are able to stay in their homes and that banks can no longer take advantage of them,” Castro added. “And Governor Romney is perfectly fine with letting the banks do what they want in that regard.”

    The Romney campaign responded by renewing criticism that Obama didn’t act quickly enough after he took office in 2009 to stem the housing crisis, which hit Nevada the hardest. About 60 percent of homeowners here still owe more on their houses than their homes are worth, and thousands have lost their homes and savings to foreclosure.

  5. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  6. grim says:

    The housing attack against the Republicans in NJ is childs play at this point and will focus squarely on Christie’s mismanagement of not only the $72 million awarded to NJ as part of the robosigning settlement, but the $300 million that was part of TARP. There are some whispers that the robosigning funds may have been redirected to patch butget areas not associated with housing, if this is the case, say bye-bye to Christie, he can take his seat in history right next to Whitman.

  7. yo says:

    Free pony for the responsible

  8. Chuchundra says:

    At this point, five years on from the peak of the housing bubble, I think that most of the “irresponsible” buyers are out of the pipeline. Anyone who bought a house that they had no business buying and clearly couldn’t afford has almost certainly either been forcibly evicted or mailed the to the bank and lit out for parts unknown.

    What we’ve got left now are a lot of people who made poor decisions on when to buy their house. Decisions that were informed by the banksters and realtors and politicians and pundits who assured everyone that there was no bubble and that housing always goes up in price.

    These poor souls have been hanging on, in some cases by their bloody fingernails, making their payments and essentially pouring their money down a financial rathole. A little bit of relief for these people is more than due. The banksters and the unions and everyone else has gotten their piece of the bailout. These guys deserve theirs.

  9. Fast Eddie says:

    Many parties are forming real estate deals only to watch their transactions fall through before the closing date, Paul Diggle, a property economist with Capital Economics, said Thursday.

    You don’t say? One decent house comes on the market for every piece of sh1t within the same price range and it’s gone. One or two days on the market and multiple bids come in like fleas on a dog. It took two weeks for my house to be sold and out of attorney review but it appears as though I will be added to that statistic above. When I have to drop 600K plus and rip out bathrooms and move walls as well, it’s not a good sign. The clock is ticking for that nice young couple who bought my house; I don’t have the heart to tell them they’re dead men walking.

  10. grim says:

    By the way, I found the foreclosure crisis last night.

    Take a ride through the North Ward and Wrigley Park sections of Paterson. It’s like every other house is boarded up.

  11. Fast Eddie says:

    Diggle says rising cancellation rates are likely to keep the housing recovery “relatively muted.” The good news is more buyers are considering sales, but the divergence between initial contracts and closings could suggest falling home prices lie ahead.

    QE unlimited, zero percent interest rates, stimulii to the moon… doesn’t mean a thing without a job. As Joe Jackson once said, “Tonight’s the night when I go to all the parties down my street. I wash my hair and I kid myself I look really smooth.” Lip stick on a hog is still a hog. Ponies for everyone, except you don’t have food to pay for the pony.

  12. Fast Eddie says:

    Chuchundra [8],

    These poor souls have been hanging on, in some cases by their bloody fingernails, making their payments and essentially pouring their money down a financial rathole. A little bit of relief for these people is more than due. The banksters and the unions and everyone else has gotten their piece of the bailout. These guys deserve theirs.

    I see dead people. They’re on their own….

  13. Essex says:

    Good Shabbos. I haven’t even tried to refi. Not once.
    Yeah we are underwater. I just hate speaking to banker under any and all circumstances. It’s worth at least $300 a month not to interact with one. Ever.

    Kind of like never applying for a new job, because of the fact that all HR people are pathetic wastes of flesh and time sucking c*nts.

  14. Essex says:

    ——————————————————————————–

    “Desperation – it’s the world’s worst cologne.” –Debbie Hunt

  15. Fast Eddie says:

    I love the smell of vitriol in the morning!

  16. Jason says:

    The coming soon must have fashion accessory…

    A designer wheel barrow to tote around our devalued paper currency.

  17. Bagholder Brian says:

    Can they remove the Fannie Freddie requirement for Chr1st’s sake?

  18. joyce says:

    (8)
    “These poor souls have been hanging on, in some cases by their bloody fingernails, making their payments and essentially pouring their money down a financial rathole. A little bit of relief for these people is more than due. The banksters and the unions and everyone else has gotten their piece of the bailout. These guys deserve theirs.”

    The banksters … yes
    The unions … yes
    People with mortgages (most) … yes
    Everyone else?!?!?!?! …. F no

    Renters?
    People on the fench looking to buy?

    NO NO NO

  19. joyce says:

    Fast Eddie,

    Why don’t you just stay in your current home?

  20. Juice Box says:

    When are the going to bring back the first time bome buyer tax credit? They should make it 50k instead of 8k this time.

  21. 3b Buying SO what Who Cares says:

    JJ’ BS From Yestrday. Obviously you dont know Bergen Co very well!

    If he is talking household income, nobody in bergan county as an entire household including dividends, interest, cap gains and hidden earnings, 401k, 529, FSA, Trans check, etc. makes under 200k.

  22. Fast Eddie says:

    joyce [19],

    That will be the case if I don’t find something that fits within our price range. I’m not asking for the moon, just something decent. You would think that for close to $600,000, that would be doable.

  23. Ann says:

    Fast Eddie, there is plenty out there that you can get for 600K. You need to get out of that Pascack Valley area and come to the other side of 17.

    How do you know if your mortgage is a Fannie or Freddie?

  24. Bagholder Brian says:

    Ann, go to makinghomeaffordable.gov
    There are links to forms on the fannie and freddie webites where you can enter your address and check.

  25. 3b Buying says:

    gary: We love you man, but there is inventory out there in the Pascack Valley area, and all over Bergen Co in that 500-600K range that is in prett good shape. But every house may need something, or redecorating etc.

  26. Fast Eddie says:

    Ann/3b,

    We’ve been going from Pascack over to Mahwah each and every week. Today, we have a few lined up in the Mahwah/Wyckoff area. Believe me, everything looks great online until you go see it and realize the 55oK to 600K is just the beginning. Then you need another 50k to 75k just to bang a wall out and do the kitchen and/or bath that’s horrible. Or the house is fine but the property is all f*cked up somehow. I’ve been down this road many times.

  27. Just McDullard says:

    grim… #3, point conceded. The “america loses” part was about most of the coverage everywhere appears to be “will the red team win or will the blue team win”… Some form of stimulus IMO is definitely good, so I agree with your #3 post fully.

  28. joyce says:

    Fast Eddie,
    I wasn’t trying to criticize, but I should have clarified my question. Why are you looking to move? Is there something wrong with your current place?

  29. chicagofinance says:

    How is the below description anything different than renting? If you are in an underwater home, but you are within your budget and everything is fine….so what?

    Chuchundra says:
    September 15, 2012 at 7:52 am
    At this point, five years on from the peak of the housing bubble, I think that most of the “irresponsible” buyers are out of the pipeline. Anyone who bought a house that they had no business buying and clearly couldn’t afford has almost certainly either been forcibly evicted or mailed the to the bank and lit out for parts unknown.

    What we’ve got left now are a lot of people who made poor decisions on when to buy their house. Decisions that were informed by the banksters and realtors and politicians and pundits who assured everyone that there was no bubble and that housing always goes up in price.

    These poor souls have been hanging on, in some cases by their bloody fingernails, making their payments and essentially pouring their money down a financial rathole. A little bit of relief for these people is more than due. The banksters and the unions and everyone else has gotten their piece of the bailout. These guys deserve theirs.

  30. Anon E. Moose says:

    Chuchundra [8];

    First: Hi! How’ve you been? Home things in ‘the Village’ are good for you. Nice pics on the site. I’ve decamped to NJ to be closer to work. I still owe you – feel free to reach out if you’d like to collect.

    Second: Current average (average!) time from first missed payment to foreclosure in NY is over 4.5 years. The only people ‘flushed’ out of the pipeline are those with a shred of decency who packed up and left. Deadbeats sticking their thumb in the eye of their lenders, blaming banks, realtors, government, ‘Produce the Note”, etc. — i.e., everybody but themselves — are still hanging tough.

  31. Essex says:

    The first thing I would do once I got a new job. In the first month. Is buy a new house. Yessir. Especially if I worked in the private sector. No doubt about it.

  32. Phoenix says:

    31 essex
    The first thing I would do once I got a new job. In the first month. Is buy a new house. Yessir. Especially if I worked in the private sector. No doubt about it.

    With or without a mortgage?

  33. Essex says:

    32. Hahahaha

  34. Chuchundra says:

    Moose [30]

    Things are good here in “the village”. Sadly, my site has pretty much gone fallow at this point, although Google brings in a bit of traffic still.

    I’m underwater on my mortgage, but probably not by much. I’ve been scheming to try and figure out how to get in on that refi action, but there are no good options. The HARP 3 isn’t going to help me because I have an FHA mortgage.

    If you’re going to be around these parts, drop me an e-mail and I’ll let you buy me lunch.

  35. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Coming to a state near you?

    Washington Post, Financially Troubled Parts of Europe Consider Taxing Church Properties:

    Cash-strapped officials in Europe are looking for a way to ease their financial burden by upending centuries of tradition and seeking to tap one of the last untouched sources of wealth: the Catholic Church.
    Thousands of public officials who have seen the financial crisis hit their budgets are chipping away at the various tax breaks and privileges the church has enjoyed for centuries. …

    Once an untouchable institution in some parts of Europe, the Catholic Church has come under fire for its government subsidies at a time when the continent’s economies are faltering and the population is subject to painful cuts in jobs, benefits and pensions.

    Political groups have seized on the crisis as an opportunity to open up a larger debate about whether it is time to unwind some of the deals struck generations ago between church and state in predominantly Catholic countries in Europe. …

    The issue of church tax payments has been simmering for several years. In 2010, European Union regulators launched an investigation into the Catholic Church and the taxes it pays in various countries. The E.U.’s competition czar, Joaquin Almunia, has said the tax breaks could be considered state aid and illegally distort competition in the market. But the issue wasn’t at the forefront of the debate until earlier this year when Monti, the Italian prime minister, called for assessing taxes on church properties.

  36. Jill says:

    gary: You can live with something that isn’t perfect for a while, god knows I’ve been living with it for 15 years and now job security be damned, I have to start thinking of resale if I’m able to retire outside of NJ. I’m not talking about fancy, I’m talking about redoing a bathroom that was done crappily in 1968 and ripping out carpet and making the kitchen halfway presentable. You can live without moving walls. Geez, man, you sound like a first-time homebuyer on HGTV.

    Yes, for a half-mil you should be able to find something where everything’s been done already. But even if it were, you’d hate the granite and want Silestone, or you’d want heartpine floors and they put down bamboo, or whatever.

  37. Phoenix says:

    33 essex. Sorry, I mixed you up with JJ. May you be as lucky with money and women as JJ is.

  38. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    NYT continues to try to carry Obama’s water by arguing that funny smell-smoke=fire.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/14/business/a-private-equity-tax-tactic-may-not-be-legal-high-low-finance.html?_r=2

    There are two problems I have with this line of attack, and it is a line of attack:

    First, at least for tax years starting in 2012, taxpayers are required to disclose when they take aggressive tax positions. These are called “uncertain tax positions” and reported on Schedule UTP. There are criteria for what is a UTP and it seems pretty clear that this would come under that rubric. Moreover, it may be of no moment because the IRS could, and did, examine uncertain tax positions prior to Announcement 2010-9 (this area was already big news before the new UTP reporting rules and I seem to recall that there was already a requirement to report UTPs).

    What it means is that the IRS knows about the practices because the taxpayers told them.

    Which brings me to my second objection: Even if IRS determines it doesn’t like the practice now, it wasn’t illegal then. And if the IRS says it violates the law, it can only look back three or six years unless there was fraud or a failure to file. And as a certain liberal poster here (who shall remain nameless) argued, it isn’t tax evasion if the IRS doesn’t challenge an aggressive tax position within the statute of limitations.

  39. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [39] errata

    typo. Schedule UTP applied to tax years 2010 and after.

  40. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Does anyone else find the first paragraph oddly appropriate?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/15/opinion/the-long-legacy-of-cheating-at-harvard.html

  41. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    OT That Makes Sense Only To Law School Grads Alert:

    Moose, Morpheus, this email excerpt from a law review staffer at Harvard is for you. Yeah, I know, I’m shocked, shocked. . .

    “In addition, I am a little concerned based upon [Author D]‘s CV. He is incredibly conservative, clerked for [Conservative Justice A], worked in the White House under Bush, questioned [Liberal Justice B] during her confirmation hearings in Congress, and has written critically on [Liberal Justice C] in the wall street journal. Maybe that background isn’t important to all of you and I understand the need to have HHRJ be open-minded buuuuuuut, yeah, doesn’t make me want to take this article.”

  42. Anon E. Moose says:

    Sx [31];

    The first thing I would do once I got a new job. In the first month. Is buy a new house. Yessir. Especially if I worked in the private sector. No doubt about it.

    Since Obama’s gonna be in charge forever and has banished personal responsibility, they why the hell not? If he gets kicked to the curb, he just sticks his thumb in the eye of the lender like everyone else and says “Produce the Note, M-Fer!” Either that or “Omaba’s gonna take care my mortgage!” (truer today than that dolt could have known four years ago). If he can pay, he pays; If he can’t he gets to keep living there anyway! After all it’s “HIS” house.

    Only idiots like me put up with years of living in sub-standard middle-class tenament rentals because we’re aflicted with outdated notios of honor and integrity. What a sucker, huh?

    BTW, tell me again how your party is the only one that cares about the little guy; about decency and all that — you smug, self-righteous a$$.

  43. Essex says:

    43. My party is the one that you were never invited to shit stain. I vote the person not the party. Show me a reason to even show up at the polls this time and I just might.

  44. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nom [42];

    True story: at one school I’m familiar with, if you didn’t grade on to LR, you could compete for spots via a unified write-on competition for all journals. The closed-universe topic one year concerned creditor position for crop mortgagees v. land mortgagees, v. UCC security interests (WTF?).

    So, after reading the materials, a student decides life is too short to waste the next 72 hrs trying to ‘win’ the chance to waste considerably more of her life than that, and punts the cometition — doesn’t submit anything. PS, still got a bid from the newest and most obscure journal. Briefly considered taking the bid just to burnish the resume, but thought better of it (What good could come of being a member of a journal that offered a bid to a competitor that didn’t compete? Obviously they pulled the name from the list of people who picked up a packet – after coordinating with the other journals to be sure she didn’t get a bid elsewhere.) So at the ‘accepted competitor’s reception for all journals, she mingled a bit with the staff of ‘her’ journal, and ended up admitted to the sitting editor in a discrete conversation that she did not submit anything for the competition, and wasn’t comfortable accepting their bid. Editor seemd a bit suprized to learn this, but at any rate she said her goodbyes.

    Over beers a couple years later with an acquaintance who made LR and eventually managed the writing competition, he said that the topic was specifically chosen to be obscure to flush people out. All a big haze, you see. Wise girl, considering she’s not even a Latina.

  45. Essex says:

    43. If you haven’t noticed we all get the life we deserve.

  46. Ann says:

    26 FastEddie, yeah, I hear you. 500-600 is still a rough price range. High enough that you feel like you should get something but not high enough to avoid major defects. Tell you the truth, I think some of the stuff in the lower price range can be better sometimes. We just did a little house hunt in a supposedly-fancy BC town and I liked the stuff at 700K better than the crap at 900K.

  47. Ann says:

    Thanks for that link Brian.

    So it turns out I have a Fannie mortgage but I don’t qualify because of the date they acquired the loan. Blerg.

  48. Ann says:

    Another problem are these ridiculous wide-angle lenses that realtors are using now to photograph the interiors. It’s so ridiculous…you can think something looks decent and you go and it’s a shoebox. Doesn’t help anyone buy anything.

  49. Anon E. Moose says:

    Ann [50];

    Doesn’t help anyone buy anything.

    Sure it does. When you see that listing agent, cross it off your list. Of course, the sellers will never hear that in a sales pitch “I’ve got such a reputation for lying in my listings that savvy buyers or buyers with savvy agents don’t even bother to look.” This is where RE business is sorely lacking – market discipline of its own. The buyer’s agency that can present a real value might just go somewhere.

    Anyway, you can’t possibly look at every house on the market – the game is to eliminate unacceptable candidates before you even get in the car. The mission is attrition. If you can reliably do taht based on the name of the listing agent, sooner or later they’ll get the message.

  50. Anon E. Moose says:

    Sx [47];

    you smug, self-righteous a$$.

    43. If you haven’t noticed we all get the life we deserve.

    Thanks for reinforcing my point.

  51. Essex says:

    Anytime.

  52. Grim says:

    50 – yeah I’ve had one of those lenses on my wish list, they are horribly expensive.

    I agree, they can be used to mislead, however there are some cases that a normal lens just doesn’t do justice. I wouldn’t use it to shoot a livingroom, but a bathroom? Heck yes. Otherwise you end up with a toilet or sink shot, not exactly useful to anyone.

    Overdone HDR is my newest pet peeve. Use it to balance indoor or outdoor lighting, or to capture detail lost in shade. Dont try to make every crapshack look like a Thomas Kinkade painting.

  53. Essex says:

    So all sarcasm aside is it really a great idea to scoop up a new house after a short period of employment. If you are truly “conservative” wouldn’t that dictate some semblance of caution. Oh, I forgot. It’s just lip service right….

  54. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [56] relo

    Apparently not. The shelters were disallowed.

    I had an idea that would have converted residential property losses into deductible investment losses. But the structure was a “heads I win, tails you lose” structure where investors contributed their properties to a master LP or REIT in exchange for units, then rented them back. The entity would purposely have to make almost nothing, so there was no profit motive, and if someone wanted to move, there were two choices: if the house lost money the entity sold the house at a loss and the “sellers” got a corresponding tax loss when their units were redeemed. If the house appreciated, that led to complications but the plan was that they could redeem out and get the house back in a novation, then sell the house, or let the entity sell it and take the gain as LTCG.

    So this structure really only worked well for loss property. It was also collusive as all get out. Never left the outline phase.

  55. reinvestor101 says:

    >>>Just McDullard says:
    September 15, 2012 at 6:16 am

    “Either way, Democrats win.”

    And America loses — not because we wouldn’t have the next Reagan in Romney, but because there wasn’t even a constructive debate on any issue.

    I think both parties are beholden to the same interests, and they are simply playing a good cop, bad cop routine. They’ve managed to phrase the progressive and conservative causes as mutually exclusive, and are able to maintain this drama of “close contests”.<<<

    This is a bunch of bullspit. The damn republican party is beholden to America's ideals while the stinking liberals are beholden to communism and damn Islam. THAT'S THE ONLY DAMN THING THIS DEBATE IS ABOUT and you stinking Ron Paul supporters are doing nothing but trying to CONFUSE matters.

    Here's the damn problem. The stinking RINO's have nominated one of their damn kind and have tried to put a damn muzzle on the T-Party even though we did our damn duty in the mid-terms. The want to treat us like a damn mistress who they had a one night stand with while we want to walk arm and arm with them in broad damn daylight where everyone can see us TOGETHER. Sarah Palin should have been the damn nominee with Michelle Bachman or Rick Santorum as the damn VEEP. Instead, the stinking RINO's IGNORED US. Here's what the hell you get when you pull a damn stunt like that:

    http://nymag.com/news/politics/powergrid/mitt-romney-middle-east-unrest-2012-9/

    HOW IN THE HELL IS OBAMA WINNING IN THE DAMN SWING STATES WHEN THE DAMN ECONOMY IS IN THE SHlTTER? THIS IS BULLSPIT.

    It's only8 weeks before the damn ELECTION. ROMNEY NEEDS QUIT AND PALIN NEEDS TO TAKE HIS DAMN PLACE. Otherwise he will PERMANENTLY DAMAGE our damn party. I CALL ON ROMNEY AND ALL OF THE STINKING RINO'S TO STEP THE HELL DOWN SO THE T-PARTY CAN SAVE THE DAY BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. We need a draft Palin movement IMMEDIATELY!

  56. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I’d love to see this happen, or at least seriously tried.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/12/world/europe/12iht-barcelona12.html?src=recg

    I’d also love to see Quebec try again, but unless they decide to cast themselves as a tax haven and free trade mecca on the US border, there’s no chance because they’re all on the dole on St. Catherine’s and Rue Levesque.

  57. relo says:

    57: Nom,

    Yes, understood. Like illegal drugs are disallowed.

  58. Ernest Money says:

    gary (26)-

    What are you willing to give up? Good market or bad, pauper or millionaire, every buyer gives up something…either on:

    - price
    - location
    - condition/style/amenities of the house itself

    You only get 2 out of above 3. Until you decide which one you will give up, nothing will happen. Nobody gets 3 out of 3.

  59. Ernest Money says:

    plume (41)-

    How else can Harvard churn through all the dumb jocks and chick-drowning Kennedys?

  60. Ernest Money says:

    sx (45)-

    No reason to show up at any poll anymore. The polling booth is the new Skinner Box, where us dumb rats get conditioned to think that the people we vote for aren’t actually trying to bury shanks between our shoulders.

    Voting for anyone- in any election- merely demonstrates you’re complicit with the buttr@pe being inflicted upon you and your neighbor.

    Vote with a bullet.

  61. njescapee says:

    An October Surprise Could Come From Israel And Iran

    Read more: http://www.palisadeshudson.com/2012/09/the-october-surprise/#ixzz26bGuQzAb

    In presidential politics, the October Surprise is supposed to be a curveball you throw at your opposition, something that might sway wavering voters who do not have time before Election Day to recognize that they are being manipulated or hoodwinked.
    Richard Nixon’s “peace is at hand” declaration on Oct. 26, 1972, prematurely announcing the impending end of fighting in Vietnam, gave rise to the term. In 1980, pundits speculated that President Jimmy Carter would order a second attempt to rescue the 53 hostages who had been taken prisoner at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran a year earlier; such a move would have erased both the hostage crisis and the stain of an earlier aborted recovery effort that killed eight servicemen. No second rescue materialized. Carter supporters later accused Ronald Reagan’s backers of encouraging the Iranians to keep the hostages until after the election (which the Iranians did), a sort of October Surprise in reverse.
    Just a few days before the tightly contested 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore, a television station in Portland, Maine, broke the story – eventually traced to a local lawyer who had been a delegate at the Democratic National Convention – that Bush was arrested for driving under the influence in Maine in 1976. Bush immediately acknowledged the facts, and the electorate yawned.
    We might see an October surprise this year, but it promises to be a different kind: a surprise that neither candidate can initiate or control.
    The economy was the planned script for this election. Mitt Romney was going to hammer President Obama on his failure to produce enough of a rebound from the recession to get Americans back to work. Romney would also attack the incumbent’s perceived vulnerability on other issues that make voters anxious, such as the nation’s $1 trillion annual budget gap, its accumulated $16 trillion debt, the approaching implementation of Obamacare and the financial future of Medicare and Social Security.
    Obama was going to respond by attacking Romney’s character and credentials, by playing up his opponent’s wealth and alleged unfamiliarity with middle-class concerns, and by arguing that the economy is actually doing much better than Romney claims. His camp would also demonstrate that Obama’s White House produces some pretty good microbrews, which would probably disappear if the teetotaling Romney moved in.
    Foreign policy was not supposed to be a major factor in this election cycle. The rest of the world, however, seems disinclined to follow the script.
    The death of four Americans, including our ambassador to Libya, in Benghazi this week would ordinarily be bad news for an incumbent president. So would the images of young radicals scaling our embassy walls in Egypt and attempting to do the same in Yemen. It is much too reminiscent of the Carter years for Obama’s political comfort.
    Romney misfired in his first response to the affair, however, by criticizing the administration not for what it did or did not do – fair game when American diplomats are again threatened, captured or harmed by mobs – but for what it said and when it said it. The problem is not, as Romney implied, that our president apologizes when a few misanthropic Americans produce literature that is deliberately and grossly offensive. The problem is that this administration shrinks from drawing a firm line against anything or anyone not named bin Laden or al-Qaida.
    Which is why, to the extent we can try to guess where this year’s surprise might come from, the most obvious and most worrisome candidates are Israel and Iran.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes Iran is committed to obtaining nuclear weapons; that it would not hesitate to use them to kill millions of Israelis in the event of a future conflict; and that before long the Iranian program will be too far advanced and too well-defended for Israel to stop militarily. From Netanyahu’s perspective, the situation demands a pre-emptive strike, even if it might shut down vital oil lanes and plunge the region into a wider war. Israel, at least, would be likely to survive war with a non-nuclear Iran.
    Israel can wait longer before launching a strike if it knows the United States, with more military heft to throw against Iranian defenses, would be certain to join it. So Netanyahu has been pressing the Obama administration to specifically identify the point at which it will resort to force if Iran does not limit its nuclear program.
    But the administration has refused. Most recently, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Bloomberg last week that the United States is “not setting deadlines” for Iran. This triggered a diplomatic spat between Washington and Jerusalem that was not visibly calmed by an hour-long phone call between Obama and Netanyahu this week.
    So there is a chance – not a likelihood, but a chance – of either an Israeli pre-emptive strike or an Iranian pre-pre-emptive strike (most likely through Iran’s proxy, Lebanon-based Hezbollah) before the election. How this might affect voting is anybody’s guess. But it is worth remembering that Jews are a large, though not monolithic, Democratic Party constituency, that Romney has supported Israel unequivocally, and that most American Jews have at least one Israeli relative.
    It is not, and never has been, in America’s national interest to defend Israel right or wrong. It is unreasonable for Israel to expect unconditional U.S. support for an occupation of captured Arab lands that has extended 45 years since the Six-Day War. There is ample blame for both sides, but Israel has missed many opportunities to forge a more workable future with Palestinians and thus deprive Iran, whose support for Palestinian Arabs is mere window-dressing, of its favorite excuse for aggression.
    Obama should have made clear to Israel long ago that the price for an American red line against Iran would be a genuine Israeli effort to restore enough land and autonomy to Palestinians to create lasting peace.
    Israel might have taken such a deal if it had been offered. It might not have. Instead, we are watching Iran and Israel gradually conclude that they are being backed into corners from which they see no way out except through force.
    It should come as no surprise if one of them decides to strike the first blow. Yet if that blow comes in the next few weeks, it will surely be this election’s October Surprise.

    For more articles on financial, business, and other topics, view the Palisades Hudson newsletter, Sentinel, or subscribe to my daily opinion column, Current Commentary.

    Read more: http://www.palisadeshudson.com/2012/09/the-october-surprise/#ixzz26bHJKLss

  62. Ernest Money says:

    These people in the Middle East have been thirsting for centuries to exterminate each other. Why don’t we finally let them?

  63. njescapee says:

    AG, hope you have a good supply of adult diapers handy…

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9545597/Armada-of-British-naval-power-massing-in-the-Gulf-as-Israel-prepares-an-Iran-strike.html

    Armada of British naval power massing in the Gulf as Israel prepares an Iran strike
    An armada of US and British naval power is massing in the Persian Gulf in the belief that Israel is considering a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s covert nuclear weapons programme.

    Battleships, aircraft carriers, minesweepers and submarines from 25 nations are converging on the strategically important Strait of Hormuz in an unprecedented show of force as Israel and Iran move towards the brink of war.
    Western leaders are convinced that Iran will retaliate to any attack by attempting to mine or blockade the shipping lane through which passes around 18 million barrels of oil every day, approximately 35 per cent of the world’s petroleum traded by sea.
    A blockade would have a catastrophic effect on the fragile economies of Britain, Europe the United States and Japan, all of which rely heavily on oil and gas supplies from the Gulf.
    The Strait of Hormuz is one of the world’s most congested international waterways. It is only 21 miles wide at its narrowest point and is bordered by the Iranian coast to the north and the United Arab Emirates to the south.
    In preparation for any pre-emptive or retaliatory action by Iran, warships from more than 25 countries, including the United States, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, will today begin an annual 12-day exercise.

  64. njescapee says:

    Netanyahu Weighs In On U.S. Embassy Attacks: ‘You Want These Fanatics To Have Nuclear Weapons?’

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/netanyahu-iran-nuclear-weapons-us-embassy-riots-2012-9#ixzz26bIwIWJw

  65. njescapee says:

    we’re all dead in the long run
    Ernest Money says:
    September 15, 2012 at 11:39 pm
    These people in the Middle East have been thirsting for centuries to exterminate each other. Why don’t we finally let them?

  66. Mikewaited says:

    Clot 65 get a pack of Kools , a bottle & watch the show. “O” will be doing the same thing.

  67. Essex says:

    68 Yes but what you do in between the birth and death is important.

  68. 30 year realtor says:

    Grim – Just bought a Sigma 10mm to 20mm zoom for my Canon DSLR for $465 including shipping. Puts an entirely different perspective on kitchens and baths.

  69. Phoenix says:

    George Carlin predicted most of what is happening today. That man was almost a prophet.

  70. Fast Eddie says:

    Ernest [61],

    Agree, which is why we made two offers on homes in the last month when we found the 2 of 3 that you mentioned. Actually, one was a lowball because it was 1.75 out of 3; the other was within 10% percent of ask with the consideration of some wiggle room. All we’re asking for is 2 out of 3 that you mentioned. Believe me, we’ll be more than trigger happy when we see it.

  71. Anon E. Moose says:

    Sx [55];

    So all sarcasm aside is it really a great idea to scoop up a new house after a short period of employment. If you are truly “conservative” wouldn’t that dictate some semblance of caution. Oh, I forgot. It’s just lip service right….

    Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals: RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.

  72. Essex says:

    74. Actually it is pretty easy to obey your own set of rules. You can either a) exercise self-discipline. b) change the rule.

  73. Essex says:

    See: Sophism in the modern definition is a specious argument used for deceiving someone. In ancient Greece, sophists were a category of teachers who specialized in using the tools of philosophy and rhetoric for the purpose of teaching arete—excellence, or virtue—predominantly to young statesmen and nobility. The practice of charging money for education and providing wisdom only to those who could pay led to the condemnations made by Socrates, through Plato in his Dialogues, as well as Xenophon’s Memorabilia. Through works such as these, Sophists were portrayed as “specious” or “deceptive”, hence the modern meaning of the term.

  74. Ernest Money says:

    Don’t need no Socratic Method to start bagging Arabs and Persians.

  75. Ernest Money says:

    Almost time for the fruity drink, lawn chair and a pack of Kools.

  76. Confused in NJ says:

    I’ll vote for anyone who promises to Arrest, Try, and Execute Bernanke for Espionage & Economic Treason.

  77. Captain Sunshine says:

    It’s all turning black now. Nothing left but for the crying.

    We are hurling towards doom on the misery express at 140mph.

  78. Captain Sunshine says:

    Just kidding!

  79. Mikewaited says:

    Captain had me for a minute there thought you had turned to the dark side.

  80. chicagofinance says:

    Right there with you…..

    Mikewaited says:
    September 16, 2012 at 11:40 am
    Captain had me for a minute there thought you had turned to the dark side.

  81. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Good one Captain.

  82. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Packing up the wine cellar. Goal was to leave wi 8 cases. Packed 7.5 cases. Oh, well, hope armageddon doesn’t hit b4 I get to 20 cases.

  83. chicagofinance says:

    Q for the board:

    I probably have a dead animal on the back side of the flue. The stink is pretty bad. I tried reaching around and even tried using sticks, but forget it. Any other good do-it-yourself ideas? I will call a chimney sweep tomorrow if I strike out today…….Thanks in advance….

  84. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [74] moose,

    Nom’s Rule for Counterradicals No. 6

    If individual radicals can’t be turned to use as operatives, and if marginalization and set-up techniques prove ineffective, locate the radical opposition and systematically start eliminating them. Start with lower level people in the organizations and sympathetic media first as leaders are ineffective without foot soldiers. Also, it won’t trigger heightened security and presents opportunities for infiltration.

    At first, make it look like accidents or random street crime. Best method is to make the target highly attractive to criminals; results vary but risk to the operative is far lower.

    Always use operations for propaganda value. For example, if a known radical is killed, leave evidence of the target’s threat, such as device-making materials. Additionally, evidence implicating other radical groups can be planted to insure maximum exploitation.

    Under no circumstances should your own organization be implicated. Avoid the temptation to send messages through operations.

    [Just kidding but I am sure SAS would have approved]

  85. Grim says:

    86 – I’m sure a chimney guy would flip on me, but I’d just open the widows and get a fire going for a few hours. A burning animal in the chimney surely can’t be any more dangerous than the roaring fire a foot below it.

  86. chicagofinance says:

    Thanks, I think you are right….I don’t know whether the spouse will be on board with the “wait it out”, but my kids will love the idea of cooking the dead animal in the chimney…..would you want to go to that Crony Capitalism thing on October 10th?

  87. Juice Box says:

    Chi roasted Racoon does not smell to wonderful it might linger for a while, especially since you would be cooking more than just meat. Why not block the airflow back into the house for a few weeks as it decomposes? Some duct tape and plastic garbage bags should do the trick to keep the air from flowing into the house from the chimney.

  88. Fabius maimus says:

    #86 Chi
    Electrical fish tape with a hook made from a wire coat hanger. Feed the tape up and then snag and drag.

  89. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    This is my kind of game. Cruz doing well but Eli struggling.

  90. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    For once I agree with fabius but not grim. Get it hauled out.

  91. Mikewaited says:

    Cook it by the grim method Chi fi.

  92. chicagofinance says:

    I appreciate this approach…..it’s just that the kids are now invested in the idea of cooking it to a cider…..besides, it is good practice for the coming end of days to cook vermin, roadkill, small mammals and the like…..

    Fabius maimus says:
    September 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm
    #86 Chi
    Electrical fish tape with a hook made from a wire coat hanger. Feed the tape up and then snag and drag.

  93. chicagofinance says:

    cider = cinder

  94. chicagofinance says:

    FYI – one of my clients who lives in Chatham and grew up in Pittsburgh has a Steelers flag hanging from his porch. His neighbor toilet papered his house with J-E-T-S on the lawn……

  95. reinvestor101 says:

    DAMMIT. I’m so mad that I can’t see straight. Obama is stealing the damn election in the damn swing states. Our only damn hope is a Sarah Palin draft. Also, we need to make damn sure that ONLY THE ELIGIBLE VOTERS CAN VOTE. ALL DAMN ID NEEDS TO BE CHECKED REAL CLOSE AND REAL SLOW. If you want to vote, you really don’t have a problem with this and you have some documentation showing who the hell you are. Also, you have plenty of time to vote and if you’re serious, you don’t mind for waiting on line for 7 + hours. Finally, we may have to go in the damn voting booth with people who don’t know how to vote so we can show them the right way. We know that liberals like to steal elections like Obama is trying to do now, so we need these measures to make sure the vote is accurate. So getting rid of Romney and the stinking RINO’s, drafting Palin and keeping the liberals from stealing the election are our tickets to victory!

  96. Jill says:

    Uh, re? Last time I looked it wasn’t Democrats who were planning to install thugs outside of voting places in Democratic neighborhoods the way “True (sic) the Vote” is. So…what you’re saying is that it is better to disenfranchise a million then to have even an 0.0001 chance that some person who is here illegally will take the risk of showing up at a polling place.

    Whatever meds you’re on, I suggest you take one. Now.

  97. Outofstater says:

    ChiFi – The stench will only get worse and could linger for weeks and weeks and whatever it is could be rabid. I wouldn’t get anywhere near it. Call a wildlife removal expert and let them handle it.

  98. Ernest Money says:

    chi (86)-

    Flamethrower.

    “I probably have a dead animal on the back side of the flue. The stink is pretty bad. I tried reaching around and even tried using sticks, but forget it. Any other good do-it-yourself ideas? I will call a chimney sweep tomorrow if I strike out today…….Thanks in advance….”

  99. cobbler says:

    If the chimney is the common one with the furnace, just tape everything over for now, and once it gets cool and the furnace begins cycling, the “thing” will get mummified quickly.

  100. Essex says:

    Sophist.

  101. Bagholder Brian says:

    Chi, I know firsthand the burn-em-out method is very effective. I don’t have a fireplace but do have a chimney for the furnace. Both a bird and a squirrel have met their maker in there. You could hear the little birdy chirping. Poor little guy. Sorry buddy, I just don’t have the extra scratch to be paying the HVAC guy for that stuff.

  102. reinvestor101 says:

    >>>Last time I looked it wasn’t Democrats who were planning to install thugs outside of voting places in Democratic neighborhoods the way “True (sic) the Vote” is. So…what you’re saying is that it is better to disenfranchise a million then to have even an 0.0001 chance that some person who is here illegally will take the risk of showing up at a polling place.<<<

    This is a bunch of LIBERAL BULLSPIT. You damn people want to attack and discredit ANYTHING that represents PATRIOTIC ROCK RIBBED AMERICAN ACTION TO PROTECT OUR FREEDOMS AND THE INTEGRITY OF THE DAMN VOTE. Yeah, I'll be part of the group that will be visiting democratic strongholds and making damn sure that the vote is accurate. If someone needs help in learning how to vote, I'll go in the damn voting booth with them and show them what the hell to do and make damn sure they did it. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THAT? This is what True the Vote is all about. That doesn't have a damn thing to do with intimidating people—IT HAS ALL THE WORLD TO DO WITH PROTECTING OUR DAMN FREEDOM. What if only one person out of a million people got on a damn plane and blew it the hell up? You wouldn't give a tinkers damn about millions being inconvenienced because we saved someone's damn life. That's why we have the damn TSA. Guess what? Our damn freedom is just as precious so sometimes someone has got to be inconvenienced so the damn system has INTEGRITY. You stinking liberals don't give a shlt about that. We know that and that's why True the Vote is here. We're like the TSA of the damn voting booth and if you can put up with a little "inconvenience" at the damn airport, surely you can do the same damn thing at the voting booth.

    You're about as bad as Pat. I think I'm gonna put you on my damn list for this stunt.

  103. reinvestor101 says:

    >>Sophist<<

    Sticks and stone can break my damn bones but your stinking name calling can never hurt me.

  104. reinvestor101 says:

    >>>You could hear the little birdy chirping. Poor little guy. Sorry buddy, I just don’t have the extra scratch to be paying the HVAC guy for that stuff.<<<<

    WTF? You heard the damn bird chirping and you burned him alive because your cheapass didn't want to get the damn HVAC guy to get him out? You're as bad as 3B using corncobs because he's thinks toilet paper is too "expensive".

  105. Bagholder Brian says:

    A liberal, RINO loving, environmentalist, Obama supporting NJDEP worker had crawled in to save him so I turned up the thermostat.

    reinvestor101 says:
    September 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm
    WTF? You heard the damn bird chirping and you burned him alive because your cheapass didn’t want to get the damn HVAC guy to get him out? You’re as bad as 3B using corncobs because he’s thinks toilet paper is too “expensive”

  106. reinvestor101 says:

    >>>A liberal, RINO loving, environmentalist, Obama supporting NJDEP worker had crawled in to save him so I turned up the thermostat.<<<<

    WTF???? People like you make me want to cuss. In other words, I PAID FOR THIS SHLT??? This is why the rock ribbed Americans in the damn republican party yell at the top of their damn lungs about SMALL GOVERNMENT and tax cuts so we can starve the damn beast. I want a government so damn small that I can squash it like a damn bug between my two figures and throw down the damn toilet. Guess what you stinking liberal? A government that small doesn't have room for a department of stinking tree huggers and that would mean that you'd have to climb your liberal ass down the damn chimney to remove the damn bird yourself. I can hardly wait until the day that stinking liberals like you are off the government dole fiending for yourself.

  107. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Someone send Jill the video of the black pamthers outside the polling place in Philadelphia. And as one who lived in Philly, I can tell you that was closer to the norm than not. Dems regularly stood just outside polling places, had their posters on the walls of the locations and even put their literature inside polling stations.

    Or are you calling me a liar?

  108. reinvestor101 says:

    Jill,

    I hate you and you sure as hell had better not be calling me a liar or you’re gonna have another damn problem.

    What are you trying to call me?

  109. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [112] re

    Is there anyone you DON’T hate???

  110. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Chimney caps aren’t expensive. And if you have a ladder and are not afraid of heights, installation is easy.

    BTW, I am selling an aluminum 24′ Type II Louisville ladder if anyone is interested.

  111. chicagofinance says:

    Jets suck….Gostkowski sucks more…..

  112. Grim says:

    How much Nom?

  113. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Was asking $100 but for Grim, $50

  114. Jill says:

    Nom #111: All six of them? That sure sounds like a national movement to me.

  115. Useful information. Lucky me I discovered your website unintentionally, and I am shocked why this accident didn’t happened in advance! I bookmarked it.