New Credit Card Policies

With all the musical chairs credit card companies are playing today, you may want to check out any change of policy letters they're sending out. For instance, if you're a former WAMU customer and JP Morgan Chase is your new debt master, you may have received a letter that states something like this in 1 point font:

“We may consider you in default if we obtain information that causes us to believe that you may be unwilling or unable to pay your debts to us or others on time.
“If we consider your account to be in default, we may close your account without notice and require you to pay your unpaid balance immediately (emphasis mine).”

Why yes, that means you can default without actually defaulting. They only have to believe that you might not be able to pay them back at some point. It's bad enough that they can raise your rates without cause or lower your credit allotment without notice (this can have a nasty affect on your credit score), but now they can consider you in default for no reason other than it's cloudy and your seasonal defective disorder may make you less likely to pay back the lender.

They receive TARP, they receive TALF. That's our tax money. And then after collectively leaving us with massive debt that our grandchildren's grandchildren will still be paying on, they go after each of us individually.

In better times, those that practiced usury were stoned to death.

Astroturfing - Say it with Me

I learned a new word today - Astroturfing. According to the article below it's "The name for mass corporate marketing disguised as grassroots efforts by individuals..." That's what their calling the "Tea Parties" that have supposedly been spontaneously popping up all over the country lately in protest against the Obama stimulus package. Interestingly enough, these tea parties have websites whose domain names were bought back in September of 2008.

Spontaneous Uprising? Corporate Lobbyists Helping To Orchestrate Radical Anti-Obama Tea Party Protests

I can understand people being frustrated with the economy and how it is being handled. Things are bad and I suspect they're going to get a lot worse as we travel further down this road. These Rovian tactics do not help in a time when conservatives should be acting as real watchdogs on Democratic policies and spending. It also obscures and nullifies actual grassroots groups that are pushing for real bank resistance against things like raising the rates of folks that have always paid their bills on time and ruining the credit ratings of responsible people by dropping their credit allotment without warning and pushing some over into default. Isn't it nice to know that the Republican "insurgency" is more concerned with making Obama look bad than it is with helping American out of this mess?



It's over! It's OVER!!!!!!! The eight year of utter darkness and despair are OVER!

Raise a glass, folks! The long hard battle to oust these jokers has finally paid off. Now we actually have a chance to rebuild the country and clean up this mess.

News from the Stephanie

There are a few things I haven't openly discussed that have transpired over the last few months. The biggest of those is that I quit my job as an academic advisor in August. I'm currently teaching online classes for two schools from the comfort of my own home and I couldn't be happier :) No morning commutes, no late nights and no more corporate insane troll logic! On occasion I have student insane troll logic, but it's not as bad when you control their fate instead of the other way around ;)

I also found out in September through a new kind of blood test that I do not have Celiac or any type of gluten intolerance! Woohoo! When I was young, they only used symptoms to diagnose, and then they developed an expensive biopsy that had a lot of risks associated with it. So the fact that they now have a blood test is totally awesome. I jumped at the chance to take it before I quit my job and lost my benefits. I nearly cried at the results.

The downside is, they're back to the drawing board on what it is I actually have that makes me periodically violently ill. But at least my food budget has gone down as eating gluten free is expensive as all hell.

So I'm rediscovering foods I haven't eaten in years, which has been awesomely fun. In honor of losing one food restriction (still have to keep off sugar and high carbs), I'm taking a food meme I swiped off of damoyre

Behind the cut tag: Collapse )

At least some aspects of life are good right now :)

How's Your Karma?

There was a little blunder at the Wall Street Journal today:

McCain to attend debate, Web ad claims victory already

Before Republican presidential hopeful John McCain announced he would attend the presidential debate on Friday night in Mississippi, apparently an Internet advertisement slipped out onto the Wall Street Journal’s opinion page with it declaring he won the contest.

Oops. After the colossal fuck up with the campaign suspension and trying to postpone the debate, it can't be good to announce the victory of a debate that not only hasn't taken place yet, but the candidate actively fought to kill in the first place. At least it wasn't an obituary.

McCain, welcome to the karmic credit plan. The bill is due.

It's called Toxic for a Reason

The 700 billion bailout plan has a few issues with it, as one might imagine if they have any cognitive abilities at all. Hank Paulson, who in my opinion if the greatest traitor this nation has had the opportunity to continue working with, along with his side kick Ben Bernake, have failed to explain even vaguely how the bailout plan will help save the economy. They just will. If you trust in them, they will save us. Just like trusting in them in the past averted the greatest economic catastrophe the country has ever faced. Oh wait...

So my big question revolves around the term "toxic debt" or "toxic paper". The government needs to buy this from the banks because if they don't, it explodes and the banks fail. So why doesn't it explode if the Government buys it? No one seems to know. The government is hoping they can stabilize the debt and sell it off, or just make money off it once people start paying their mortgages again.

Now remember, the problem the banks had was that they couldn't sell the debt to anyone in their right mind. So if you were wondering on the mental health of your government, I'd like to make an armchair diagnosis.

One of the huge problems with the bailout plan is that it counts on regaining it's losses by people paying off their mortgages that are already in default. Realistically, about 5-10% will pay that off. If there were a good chance people would be able to pay, it wouldn't be called "toxic debt" and the banks wouldn't need to be bailed out.

The only way for this plan to work is if you could guarantee that it would generate jobs. The plan is not designed to generate jobs. What they have said is that the plan would staunch the massive layoff or firings of people currently employed. That doesn't help the people that can't currently pay on their credit bills because they've either already been laid off or are underemployed. And these are the people that must improve their circumstance in order for the plan to work. Otherwise the only thing going on is the government pulling money out of the Federal Reserves' ass to be paid back at interest.

What this bailout will do is increase the national debt, devalue the worth of the dollar, and cause hyperinflation for the consumer while stocks start to deflate. It's really hard to imagine a worse case scenario. But this is what happens when a nation turns over their monetary system to the private Federal Reserve.

We were warned against this long ago, but apparently forgot it:

"I sincerely believe... that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale." --Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816.

I wouldn't support a bailout plan unless it was contingent in the plan that the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 is abolished and Ben Bernake and Hank Paulson are the first against the wall.

Whatever happens there is only one thing we can count on, this is going to hurt.


Taking a break from MSTing Sarah Palin's interview with Charlie Gibson (I keep sliding into angry banter rather than funny commentary), I thought I'd take a gander at something more depressing - the financial news.

I surprisingly came across this report in the mainstream media. CNBC is pretty chock full of point-missing commentary, as they tend to only analyze data on a minute by minute basis, rather than take a long term view of the macro-economic situation. However, they on occasion have a macro economist come on and explain the long term situation, as they did below.

From CNBC's Worldwide Exchange:

Bailouts Will Push US into Depression

The end result of the global economic slowdown may be the U.S. announcing national bankruptcy as the government cannot afford the bailouts that it promised and the market will not bail out the government, Martin Hennecke, senior manager of private clients at Tyche, told CNBC on Thursday. (Read more)

Here's an interesting note about the dropping gold and silver prices mentioned in the article. People that have been trying to buy actual gold and silver coins or bullion are paying 20-70% above the current listed price - if they can find a seller. Many can't. For instance, the current price of silver is around $10/ounce. People are paying $25-$30/ounce for it. So what's $10? You pay $10 an ounce if you're buying the certificates that are backed by silver. What this disparity means is that there is a flood of paper into the markets on precious metals. The certificates are being issued with no backing, which basically makes it a promissory note rather than an assurance that you in fact own the metal. Slick, huh?

So while there is a lot of people out there telling you to invest in precious metals, make sure if you invest that you're getting the actual physical metal in coins or bullion. And if any of my friends have the sort of money were they can invest in coins or bullion, I want you to know you were always my favorite person...

Point is, something is rotten in the state of Denver. The owls are not what they seem. The eagle has landed. The shit has hit the fan. And so on and so forth.

If you have a chance to see it in your area, check out the movie I.O.U.S.A. While I find it about four years too late, it will give you an excellent idea of the extend of the mess we're in right now.

Link: I.O.U.S.A. Movie Trailer