Monday, September 27, 2010


I'm stepping in today (probably overstepping my bounds) to share a few thoughts after reading several of Pam's blogs over the past year or so as she deals with this phase of her life.

Pam, how you have managed to walk this lonely walk with your mom is a testament to your strength and your faith. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "When it is dark enough,you can see the stars."

I know that all of us who have followed you through the years in your writing miss you terribly and miss your wit, your intellect and your point of view. But we can only try to understand the road that you are travelling (especially those of us who have not had the responsibility for the care of an aging parent) and tell you that you really aren't alone.  We're here with you.  While we may not get a chance to tell you every day, every day we miss you and we think about you and we share our love with and for you.

I leave you, and all of your readers who are experiencing unpleasantness at the moment, with the following from Psalm 91:

"He will cover you with his feathers,  and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."


Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's Not JUST "The Economy Stupid", It's Security

As my regular readers already know, I have been in a long blogging drought. And as I'm sure most caregivers can understand, I simply haven't had enough hours in the day to keep up with my house much less the White House. However, after reading this morning's news about the housing / mortgage market, I had to make time to write a little political commentary.

In an article published this morning, Associated Press, Real Estate Writer, Alex Vega reported on the current state of the housing industry. As expected, the news was not encouraging. He reports, "Lenders took back more homes in August than in any month since the start of the U.S. mortgage crisis."

You might shrug that off as just a bad month until you read further and come to this section of the story.

Vega reports:

"More than 2.3 million homes have been repossessed by lenders since the recession began in December 2007, according to RealtyTrac. The firm estimates more than 1 million American households are likely to lose their homes to foreclosure this year.

In all, 338,836 properties received a foreclosure-related warning in August, up 4 percent from July, but down 5 percent from the same month last year, RealtyTrac said. That translates to one in 381 U.S. homes. The firm tracks notices for defaults, scheduled home auctions and home repossessions — warnings that can lead up to a home eventually being lost to foreclosure.

Among states, Nevada posted the highest foreclosure rate last month, with one in every 84 households receiving a foreclosure notice. That's 4.5 times the national average.

Rounding out the top 10 states with the highest foreclosure rate in August were: Florida, Arizona, California, Idaho, Utah, Georgia, Michigan, Illinois and Hawaii.

Economic woes, such as unemployment or reduced income, are now the main catalysts for foreclosures.

Lenders are offering a variety of programs to help homeowners modify their loans, but their success rates vary. Hundreds of thousands of homeowners can't qualify or fall back into default.

The Obama administration has rolled out numerous attempts to tackle the foreclosure crisis but has made only a small dent in the problem. Nearly half of the 1.3 million homeowners who enrolled in the Obama administration's flagship mortgage-relief program have fallen out."
The numbers are staggering and this leads to my political commentary.

As Carl Cannon states in his article The Economy and the Elections: What You Need to Know:

"Economic conditions have always been relevant on Election Day. It is a truism recognized long before 1992, when irreverent Bill Clinton adviser James Carville summarized these concerns in a four-word slogan, "It's the economy, stupid." The wrath of this adage is often felt by incumbents of either party, but it's necessarily a bigger problem for the party in power. In 2010, Democrats control the House, the Senate, and the White House. Despite efforts to remind voters that President Obama inherited a nasty recession, this economy is now the Democrats' burden."

Yes, "it's the economy, stupid" may be a great way to describe the political view of the trees, but the forest ( the bigger picture) that is being overlooked by both the Democrats and the Republicans is that it's not JUST "the economy stupid", it's security.

No, I'm not just talking about keeping the world safe from terrorists and every other thing that goes bump in the night. I'm referring to personal, financial security. The security that fewer and fewer Americans feel in the run-up to the 2010 elections.

  • The security that comes from knowing that you will go to work tomorrow and still have a job.
  • The security that comes from knowing that if you, or a family gets sick, that a doctor will care for them and that their insurance will pay the bill.
  • The security that comes from knowing that if you borrow thousands in student loans that when you graduate there will be a job for you.
  • The security that comes from knowing that if you work hard all of your life and finally retire that your pension fund will not go belly up.
  • The security that comes from knowing that if you live long enough to grow old that your won't lose everything just because you get sick.
  • And finally, the security in knowing that if you do lose your job or your health that you will still have a roof over your head.

These are the things that make most
Americans, and most people for that matter, truly feel secure.

It's not JUST "the economy stupid", it's security. And, after all that this nation has been through over the past decade, Americans simply do not feel secure. So, as much as I deplore some of their divisive rhetoric, I have to admit the Tea Party gets it. The Democrats and Republicans were simply clueless for too long.

When Washington was busy trying to push through a bail-out for the banks and Wall Street firms which caused so much of this nation's pain, (which for the record was under the Bush administration ), many Americans felt that this was adding insult to injury to every person who was struggling to stave off bankruptcy and/or foreclosure. And when it was revealed that many of those same banks and Wall Street firms were using the bail-out money to pay employee bonuses ( which occurred during the Obama administration ) many Americans felt that they had been bamboozled and that Washington simply had no control.

So while it may be true that the Obama administration has made great strides in health care, banking reform and the war in Iraq, those political gains mean little to the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs, their homes and ... their personal security.

On the other side of the aisle the GOP should not feel too confident about the 2010 election. Americans may well remember them as the party of NO, who ran up an astronomical budget deficit under the Bush years and who repeatedly blocked unemployment benefit extensions. For all of their attempts to discredit the Obama presidency, Republicans are viewed as no better than the Democrats by most Americans.

If a large part of the vote in 2008 was an anti-Bush vote, a large part of the 2010 vote will be cast for anyone that the public thinks has really learned the lesson.

Related posts:

Why Americans Want Wall Street & the Banking Industry to Suffer ,
Sept. 2008

Saying "No One Saw This Coming", Just Doesn't Ring True Part I,
March, 2009

Saying "No One Saw This Coming", Just Doesn't Ring True Part II,
March 2009