It’s President’s Day – Lets Impeach One, Please!!!

I really don’t understand why we haven’t impeached the fascists running this country. I know those are strong words but when you go look them up in the dictionary it’s hard to see it any other way. Now that the democrat candidates seem so close to the White House maybe the rest of them will grow some spine and do the right thing. I personally hold the lot of them responsible for collusion except for the few standing together with Wexler and Kucinich.

Connect the dots… China… USA… Darfur… and why we’re not helping

I’m not a big fan of conspiracy theories because they tend to be based on suspicion, conjecture, and play on our fears. They can help us understand how an event or situation could have come to be, if you take most of it with a grain of salt.

When you look at the genocide occurring in Darfur, China’s role, the lack of US involvement, and the amount of business the United States does with China, and it’s hard to not jump to conclusions and connect dots.

But jumping to conclusions like this aren’t really necessary because the truth, the real truth, is clearly evident. People are dieing in Darfur and the world could and should do something about it. China could stop supporting it. The US could move some of our vast military sources from the middle east and send them, along with UN forces, to Darfur.

But if we leave it up to the politicians it will take months or years to make any positive impact. We should all immediately take action (write letters, send emails, etc) through the SaveDarfur.org website, but we can also choose to stop doing business with China.

The world, for better or worse, runs on money. Each of us has a wallet and the freedom to choose. I’m not anti-China in any way because China is a big place with a lot of people who probably, like many of us, don’t like the policies of our government, but buy choosing to boycott Chinese products for a short time to send a message to the Chinese government. Shoot, maybe we should apply the same kind of pressure on the US side too.

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Holy Hammers & Nails BankMan – Build a Bedroom!?

WTF! Yep… Right now is the perfect time to build a bedroom onto your house. You see several things are coming together you might want to pay attention to if you own a home.

  1. The economy is in the crapper.
  2. The president just signed the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008.
  3. Home prices have plummeted.
  4. Bigger homes are worth more than smaller homes.

The economy is in the crapper

You might have noticed I work for a bank… a really big bank… I’m not an economist but I can read and today while putting together an email newsletter I actually stopped to read the publicly available report mentioned in the newsletter. Basically it says what we all know or suspect, the economy is definitely in the crapper and its not going to get better for a while.

Economic Stimulus Act of 2008

The economic crisis is definitely the reason Bush signed the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 which includes a temporary conforming loan limit increase. I believe means that jumbo loan definitions will be changed for a short time in many people’s favor (read this). It also means some of us will get more money back from the IRS on our taxes.

Home values have plummeted

The problem is that if you want to take advantage of the changes and refinance you’ll need to look at your equity. You might find yourself upside down in your loan (owe more than your house is worth). Who know how many people are in this situation, most people don’t want to talk about it, but if you want to refinance the more equity you have the lower your interest rate is… ususally. If you are upside down you probably can’t refinance at a lower rate.

Bigger homes are worth more

I was looking at my mortgage balance and home’s value today on Zillow and Trulia. I was mostly just curious but I noticed this little chart on my neighborhood’s page on Trulia. Today, In my neighborhood the average three bedroom house is selling for $370,000. The average four bedroom house is selling for $510,000! Check it out for yourself.
I also realize that these are averages and there are many other factors in play, but a $140,000 difference in price seems like a pretty good indicator that if I added a fourth bedroom to my three bedroom house I’d bump myself into a better loan to value situation. Ask your friendly neighborhood appraiser but I think they’ll tell you that square footage, more bed and baths, and quality kitchens and baths, add up to more value.

The Short Version

So… theoretically if I added on a bedroom, did most of the work myself to keep the cost low, increase my equity, and then refinance under the new jumbo loan deal, I might actually end up with lower payments. I’ll definitely crunch some numbers this weekend and draw up some plans. This is definitely something worth considering. If I move forward I’ll post my progress here.

Progress!!!

Congressman Wexler and others have succeeded in pushing congress to take real action against the Bush Administration today. I’m on Wexler’s mailing list, here is a quote from an email that just hit my inbox:

“In a vote on the House floor, we acted to enforce the law and our Constitution, and hold former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten in Contempt of Congress.”

I can’t wait to hear what Kieth Olberman has to say tonight about this one. Who knows maybe we will get an impeached president for Christmas this year after all. One can only hope. Watch Wexler’s call for contempt on the house floor.

Watch This!

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You have to watch this video. It’s about what’s really wrong with America and how we can each fix it. My wife spotted it on Rosie’s website. It is so inspiring to see stuff (no pun intended) like this. I’ve been stewing over this very topic for over a year now, even trying to write a book on it. In this video Annie Leonard does a much better job telling the story of how we got to where we are, and where that is.

saveDarfur.org

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Generally speaking I’m often not in favor of sending our troops into harms way. In fact I think our armed forces should be used almost exclusively to defend America and rarely go overseas. In the case of Darfur we’ve needed to do a lot more than send troops. Please visit savedarfur.org and at least sign the petition. There is a lot you and I can do right from our desks and every little bit makes a difference. Too bad there are no natural resources energy companies could pilfer in Darfur… you’d think our government would have been there a long time ago.