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eddessaknight's Blog

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Yesterday, 9:05 pmOn the Road Again with FENDER SKIRTS- are you the right age! :-)

FENDER SKIRTS   Oldies but memorable if you’re the right age!


Fender skirts



I know some of you will not understand this message,    but I bet you know someone who might. I came across this phrase yesterday.


A term I haven't heard in a long time, and thinking about 'fender skirts' started me thinking about other words that quietly disappeared from our language -- with hardly a notice ... like 'curb feelers.'


And  'steering knobs.' (AKA) 'suicide knob,'   'neckers knobs.'

Since I'd been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that direction first.  Any kids will probably have to find some older person (over 50)  to explain some of these terms to you.

Remember 'Continental  kits?'

They were rear bumper extenders and spare tire covers  that were supposed to make any car as cool as a Lincoln Continental.



  When did we quit calling it the  'emergency brake'?  At some point 'parking brake' became the proper term.  But I miss the hint of drama that went with  'emergency brake.'

I'm sad, too, that almost all the old folks are gone who would call the accelerator the 'foot feed.'

Many today do not even know what a  clutch  is or that the  dimmer switch  used to be on the floor.   For that matter,  the starter was down there    too.

Didn't you ever wait at the street for your daddy to come  home, so you could ride the 'running  board' up to the  house?

Here's  a phrase I heard all the time in my youth -- but never anymore:  'store-bought.'  Of course, just about everything is 'store-bought' these days.

But once it was bragging material to have a "store-bought" dress or a "store-bought" bag of candy.


'Coast to  coast' is a phrase that once held all sorts of excitement and now means almost nothing. Now we take the term, 'worldwide,'  for granted.This floors me.


On a smaller scale, 'wall-to-wall' was  once a magical term in our homes.  In the '50s, everyone covered his or her hardwood floors with, wow, wall-to-wall carpeting! (Today, everyone replaces their wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood floors.)  Go figure.

When was the last time you heard the quaint phrase, 'in  a family way'  ?   It's hard to imagine that the word 'pregnant' was once considered a little too graphic, a little too clinical for use in polite company, so we had all  that talk about stork visits and 'being in a family way' . .  or simply, 'expecting.'

Apparently  'brassiere' is a word no longer in use.  I said it the other day and my daughter cracked up.  I guess it's just 'bra' now.  'Unmentionables' probably wouldn't be understood at all.

I always loved going to the 'picture show,'  but I considered 'movie' an affectation.



Most of these words go back to the 1950's, but here's a pure 1960's word I came across  the other day:  'rat fink.'    Oh, what a  nasty  put-down!

Here's a word I miss  . .  'percolator.'  That was just a fun word to say. And what was it replaced with? 'Coffee maker.'  How dull. Mr Coffee, I blame you for this.


I miss those made-up marketing words that were meant to sound so modern and now sound so retro . . . words  like: 'Dyna Flow' and 'Electrolux'  and 'Frigidaire.'

Then they  introduced the1963 Admiral TV . . . with  'Spectra  Vision!'


Food for  thought:  Was there a telethon that wiped out  lumbago?   (Nobody complains about that anymore.)

Maybe that's what Castor Oil cured, because I never hear mothers threatening kids with Castor Oil anymore.

Some words aren't gone, but are definitely on the endangered list. The one that grieves me the most is  'supper.'  Now, everybody says, 'dinner.'  (Save a great word.)  Invite someone to supper.  Discuss fender skirts.


I thought some of us of a 'certain age' would remember most of these. Wink


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September 17, 2019, 11:24 pmWhy We Need Alpha Males, Foley & Holmquist - Very Good Read


Why We Need Alpha Males,


Somebody has to fight the wolves.

Devin Foley


My colleague, Annie Holmquist, discovered some statistics about the decline in masculinity that have troubled me since the moment I looked over them. Here’s the key part of her piece:


“In recent years, a mildly trending topic of discussion has been the question, ‘Where have all the men gone?’ While there are a number of theories as to the answer, a British survey just released by YouGov may shed some light on the issue.


Among other things, the survey asked participants about their impressions of the word “masculinity” and found a surprising generational gap:


‘Both young men and young women have a lower opinion of 'masculinity' than older people, but young men are harsher critics of the concept than young women. In contrast, the majority of young men (58%) have a positive impression of 'femininity', as do the majority of young women (55%). Overall 'femininity' has a net positivity score of +56 compared to +44 for 'masculinity'.’”

For those who believe the patriarchy is the root of much evil in the world, these numbers are probably cause for celebration. But perhaps not. While young men are giving up on their manhood, women still seem to want it.


As Annie asked, “Where have all the good men gone?” Well, they’ve been beaten down. Many of them lack a strong father at home, having been raised by a single mother. The education system does little to nothing to help boys grow into good men. On TV, in movies, and in commercials, when do they see a strong, virtuous male? Only two come close to the traditional portrayals of strong, men. One is Captain America. And even he is a super hero, not a real man. Yet we can see just how much things have changed by how his mannerisms and language stand out compared to a Tony Stark or any other male character. He is both refreshing and an anachronism. Chris Kyle of American Sniper  is another. But he, too, strikes the modern senses as a relic of a different age. 


Even fashion is doing everything it can to make young men effeminate with skinny jeans and clothing that purposefully minimizes the male physique. We’ve come to live in Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average."


While it may be clichéd, there’s a lot of truth in the opening monologue of the father in American Sniper.  There is evil, there are wolves, and a society needs strong, virtuous men – masculine men – to keep order and protect the weak. And it, too, seems to be an affront to today's culture. 


While we like to pretend things are different in the 21st century and we’ve progressed, the truth is that we have not. Human nature is still human nature. World War II won’t be the last world war. Hitler, Tojo, Stalin, Mao, ISIS, and the rest won’t be the last bad guys. Just like in the past, as we see in the Middle East and Africa today, the wolves are often quite powerful, raping and pillaging, enslaving and conquering.


But even when we’re not confronted with these great battles of the ages, we are challenged by the wolves in our daily life. There are, of course, the temptations of the heart, but there are also those will always prey upon the weaker. If the good are not stronger than the wolves, what will stop them?


Democracy on its own certainly won’t. If we’re honest, democracy – like all societies – requires alpha males to keep order and to enforce the values of the society against those who would act on their own “wills to power”. Vote all you want, but if no one follows up the laws with force, they are meaningless.


Of course, it’s also important to note that when we talk of needing masculinity and strong men, we not only recognize biological reality, but that we also call for virtuous behavior.

We need strong men who hold to their duties to their families, to support and protect their wives and children, who act with honor to those around them, who pursue truth, beauty, and goodness.

Alas, to have such men, we must get back to thinking about and celebrating such things. Save for a few examples, don’t look to Hollywood, the media, or the education system to do so. If we want strong men, then virtuous men and women will have to take it upon themselves to do the job.



Devin is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Charlemagne Institute, which operates Intellectual Takeout, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture,  and the Alcuin Internship. He is a graduate of Hillsdale College where he studied history and political science. Prior to co-founding Intellectual Takeout/The Charlemagne Institute, he served as the Director of Development at the Center of the American Experiment, a state-based think tank in Minnesota. Devin is a contributor to local and national newspapers, a frequent guest on a variety of talk shows, such as Minneapolis' KTLK and NPR's Talk of the Nation, and regularly shares culture and education insights presenting to civic groups, schools, and other organizations. In 2011, he was named a Young Leader by the American Swiss Foundation. Devin and his wife have been married for eighteen years and have six children. When he's not working, Devin enjoys time with family while also relaxing through reading, horticulture, home projects, and skiing and snowboarding. 


Watch Devin Foley and Christina Hoff Sommers recently discuss the question, "Is there a war against men?"

E-mail Devin



Why We Need Alpha Males

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September 17, 2019, 8:08 pmConstitution Celebration Day

Today is 'Constitution DAY"

On December 17th, 1987, Philadelphia, birth place of the U.S. Constitution, 'We the people....' threw a big party to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the historic document, in a iconic speech at Independence Hall , President Ronald Reagan acclaimed the framing of the Constitution as a milestone, "That would profoundly and forever alter not just these United States but the world!".

Note Bene:

James Madison is called the "Father of the Constitution'.


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Last Edited: September 17, 2019, 8:17 pm

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September 14, 2019, 7:11 pmPOST 9/11 Attack Aftereffects - SURPRISE!

2001: Americans packed packed churches & synagogues, all temples of worship  and clogged public squares on a solemn day of remembrance for the many victims of the September 11th surprise attacks.


Image preview and Never Again!

Last Edited: September 14, 2019, 7:12 pm

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September 12, 2019, 7:25 pmAl-Quaida terrorist chief calls for more attacks America & Europe

Ayman Mohammed Al-Zawahri says Muslims should attack U.S. & Allies all over

orchestrated and carried out attacks in AsiaAfrica, and the Middle East and also some in North America,  Europe. and Russia In 2012, he called on Muslims to kidnap Western tourists in Muslim countries.

Since the September 11 attacks, the U.S. State Department has offered a US$25 million reward for information or intelligence leading to al-Zawahiri's capture.He is under worldwide sanctions by the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee as a member of al-Qaeda

Announce over our U.DS.A  9/11 murderous anniversary

Last Edited: September 12, 2019, 7:35 pm

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September 12, 2019, 5:47 am9/11 Victim's Son Explains the Attack to Ilhan Omar: 'There Is No Uncertainty'


9/11 Victim’s Son Explains the Attack to Ilhan Omar: ‘There Is No Uncertainty’


During a 9/11 memorial service on Tuesday, the son of a woman who died in the World Trade Center castigated Representative Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) for the dismissive way she recently characterized the attacks that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 Americans.

Nicholas Haros Jr., wearing a black shirt emblazoned with the phrase “some people did something?” took the stage during the memorial service at Ground Zero to remind Omar and those assembled of what took place at the site exactly 18 years ago.

“’Some people did something,’ said a freshman congresswoman from Minnesota,” Haros said, referencing Omar’s description of the event. “Today I am here to respond to you exactly who did what to whom. Madam, objectively speaking, we know who and what was done. There is no uncertainty about that. Why your confusion?” Haros asked. “On that day, 19 Islamic terrorist members of al-Qaeda killed over 3,000 people and caused billions of dollars of economic damage. Is that clear?”

Omar offered the flippant description of the 9/11 attacks earlier this year during a speech before the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Her speech focused on the federal government’s encroachment on the civil liberties of Muslims in the wake of the attacks, which, she falsely claimed, served as the impetus for CAIR’s founding.

“CAIR was founded after 9/11, because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties,” Omar said. CAIR was actually founded in 1994.

Haros concluded his remarks by admonishing Omar — and the three fellow freshman progressive lawmakers who together refer to themselves as “the squad” — not to use the events of September 11th to score cheap political points.

“Stop. Stop. Please stop using the bones and ashes of our loved ones as props for your political theater,” Haros said. “Their lives, sacrifices, and death are worth so much more. Let’s not trivialize them or us. It hurts.”

Last Edited: September 12, 2019, 5:51 am

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September 11, 2019, 5:22 pm9/11; U.S. Army Special Forces first respondents Horse Soldiers


9/11, Afghanistan vets recall time as Horse Soldiers 

First group of U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers sent to Afghanistan less than a month ...story of U.S. Army Special Forces sent to Afghanistan immediately after the story of U.S. Army Special Forces sent to Afghanistan immediately after September 11 murderous attacks on the civilian Twin Towers Trade Center in New York.....



the  September 11 attacks12 Strong poster.jpg


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September 10, 2019, 5:49 pmThe Lone Ranger No Longer Rides - in California  (of course)

The Lone Ranger No Longer Rides - in California,


  The Lone Ranger was arrested in Lone Pine, California for the crime of illegally transferring silver bullets.  The famed masked man had just apprehended an armed felon after shooting the gun out of his hand.  As was his practice for the last eighty years, he gave a silver bullet to the outlaw's victim.


She was a kindly old widow who was robbed and held captive by the desperado.  This lady, grateful that her life and property were restored, treasured the silver bullet as a symbol that justice was done.


The trouble started when she showed the bullet to her weekly garden club.  Upon seeing the gleaming memento, one lady fainted.  Another lady gasped that they were all going to die.  A third lady, who was also a member of CHA (California Hysterics Anonymous), warned that where there was a bullet there had to be a gun.  During the shocked silence an attendee desperately summoned the Sheriff on her cell phone.


When the Sheriff heard their story he struggled to stifle a laugh.  He knew the old gentleman on the big white horse.  He also appreciated how many criminals the Lone Ranger had captured over the years.  However, since California voters passed Proposition 63, he had to uphold the law.


Predictably, he found the masked man enjoying a beer at the Dry Gulch Saloon back in town.


"Thanks for helping old widow Smith," he said, "but did you really give her a silver bullet?"


"Yes," replied the Lone Ranger, "after all that's my trademark.  Got a problem with that?"


"Well, yes," hesitated the sheriff.  "Ya see – under Proposition 63, you've got to be a licensed firearms dealer to give anyone a bullet."


"Are you kidding?" asked the Lone Ranger.


"Wish I was," said the embarrassed sheriff, "and to boot whoever receives the bullet has to be registered with the Department of Justice."


"Holy guacamole!" exclaimed the masked man.  "Did I do anything else wrong?"


"Well," said the sheriff, looking even more sheepish now, "there's the little matter of you shooting a gun out of the outlaw's hand."


"What!" said the Lone Ranger.  "If I hadn't done that, the skunk would have plugged me for sure."


"I know that," admitted the Sheriff, "but he'll probably sue you for failing to retreat and using unnecessary force.  If they convict you, they'll take your six-shooters away for good.  Which reminds me, according to California law, your pistols have too large a capacity.  If I were you, I'd convert those six-shooters into five-shooters as quick as you can."


"Jumpin' Junipers!" exclaimed the Lone Ranger.  "I'd better tell this to my faithful Indian companion, Tonto."


"Hold on," said the Sheriff.  "I need to remind you that Indians are now referred to as Native Americans.  We privileged male palefaces have got to remember that."


As the Lone Ranger sat in shocked silence, the sheriff explained his rights and proceeded to take him in.


Postscript: Upon being provided an attorney at state expense, the outlaw successfully sued the Lone Ranger.  He claimed that he could no longer work since he had suffered the permanent loss of his trigger finger.


Governor Gavin Newsom urged imposing the maximum sentence for possession of illegal ammunition and a firearm that exceeds lawful capacity.  He received a huge monetary award, forcing the Lone Ranger to sell the silver mine.


Tonto was deemed innocent, but victimized by virtue of being a member of an oppressed minority.  He was given land by the state and now operates a very profitable casino.


After getting out of jail, the Lone Ranger could not find a job since he was now an ex-con.  Fortunately, Tonto lets him do light janitorial work at the casino and sleep in the basement.


Following the passage of Proposition 63, violent crime in California has steadily increased.  Governor Newsom advises troubled property owners to protect themselves by posting signs that say, "Keep Out—Gun Free Zone".



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September 10, 2019, 2:00 pmSinead O'connor Racist Vitriol saying white people are disgusting:-(

"She ‘doesn’t want to spend time with white people’ after converting to Islam...."


Talking about discovering Islam during her Late Late Show appearance on RTE, Sinead said: "I never thought I'd join another religion.

"I left Islam till last as I had so much prejudice about Islam, you know.

"I read chapter two of the Qu’ran and I realised I'm home, and that I've been a Muslim all my life. There's a way of thinking.


"You can be a Muslim without actually being a Muslim as it's a headset.

"A Muslim is someone who believes nothing should be worshipped except God.


Racist comments blast saying white people are disgusting


"She ‘doesn’t want to spend time with white people’ after converting to Islam

Last Edited: September 10, 2019, 2:03 pm

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September 8, 2019, 8:58 pmAmerican Airlines mechanic, Abdul-Majeed Ahmed Alani, accused of sabotage



american airlines mechanic faces sabotage charge marsh nr vpx_00000225

American Airlines, carrying 150 people,  mechanic accused of sabotage


A mechanic for American Airlines appeared in court Friday after he was accused of trying to sabotage a commercial airliner shortly before it was set to take off from Miami International Airport for the Bahamas with 150 people on board.

Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani has been charged with "willfully damaging, destroying, disabling, or wrecking an aircraft, and attempting to do so," according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.
Alani allegedly tried to damage or disable the aircraft's air data module (ADM) system, which reports aircraft speed, pitch and other critical data, on July 17.
On Thursday, investigators interviewed Alani and he "admitted that he accessed the ADM" and that he "inserted a piece of foam into the ADM's inlet where the line connects and that he applied super glue to the foam so as to prevent the foam from coming off," the complaint says.
"Alani stated that his intention was not to cause harm to the air
craft or its passengers," investigators say in the complaint.
The court documents say Alani told investigators that he was upset over a contract dispute between union workers and the airlines, and the dispute had cost him money.
Alani allegedly explained that he tampered with the aircraft so he could get overtime working on the plane.
As the plane went down the runway and pilots increased power to the engines, there was an error related to the ADM system and the takeoff was aborted.
The aircraft returned to the concourse and no one on board was injured, the complaint says.
American Airlines mechanics immediately inspected the aircraft and "discovered a loosely connected pitot tube, which connects directly to the ADM" and determined "the ADM appeared to have bee
n deliberately obstructed with what appeared to be a dark Styrofoam-type material," according to the complaint.
Authorities used surveillance video to identify Alani, the document says.
No formal plea was entered during Friday's court hearing. A bond hearing was set for Wednesday.
The federal government has until September 20 for a grand jury to return an indictment. Alani's public defender, Anthony Natale, has just been assigned the case. "We won't know until the 20th what the formal charges will be."
American Airlines, in a statement to CNN, said, "At American we have an unwavering commitment to the safety and security of our customers and team members and we are taking this matter very seriously. At the time of the incident, the aircraft was taken out of service, maintenance was performed and after a inspection to ensure it was safe the aircraft was returned to service. American immediately notified federal law enforcement who took over the investigation with our full cooperation."
An airline spokesman said Alani has been suspended.
Alani previously worked for Alaska Airlines.
A spokesman for the airline said Alani "was an avionics technician and line avionics technician for the company. He worked for Alaska from January to August 1990, and then again from June 1998 to July 2008. Alaska does not comment on specific personnel matters of past and present employees."
In a lawsuit Alani filed in 2010, he acknowledged he was fired from Alaska.
According to an American Airlines spokesman, Alani had worked for American since 1988. American acknowledged that he worked for both airlines, which was permitted.

Last Edited: September 8, 2019, 9:35 pm

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September 8, 2019, 8:19 pmOur First U.S.A. Pledge of Allegiance :-)

During September 8th, 1892, an early version of the "Pledge of Allegiance" written By Mr Francis Bellamy appeared in "The Youth's Companion". It went like this:

"I pledge allegiance  to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

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September 7, 2019, 7:32 pmGlobal Warnings





  All the warnings we keep hearing. Guess some clearer thinking is advisable


Here are some of the hilarious, spectacularly wrong predictions made on the occasion of Earth Day 1970 Believe it or not after reading these ridiculous quotes from ""scientists,"" global warming alarmists are undeterred.  It's stunning.


“We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”

• Kenneth Watt, ecologist 

“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”

• George Wald, Harvard Biologist 

“We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.”

• Barry Commoner, Washington University biologist 

“Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” 

New York Times editorial, the day after the first Earth Day

“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. 

The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”

• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist 

By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”  • Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist 

“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.” 

• Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day 

“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”   

• Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University 

“Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”

• Life Magazine, January 1970   

“At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” 

• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist 

“Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” 

• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist 

“We are prospecting for the very last of our resources and using up the nonrenewable things many times faster than we are finding new ones.” 

• Martin Litton, Sierra Club director 

“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’”     

• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist 

“Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”(1970)

• Sen. Gaylord Nelson 


“The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” 

• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist 

Keep these predictions in mind when you hear the same predictions made today. They’ve been making the same predictions for 39 40 years. And they’re going to continue making them until…well forever.  Here we are, 39 40 years later and the economy is great and the ecology’s fine.  In fact this planet is doing a lot better than the planet on which those  “green new deal”  lunatics live. 


And all these IDIOTS who are running for president want to be taken seriously.?????

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September 6, 2019, 10:34 pmA liberal's socialist paradise would be: a place where everybody has:

Best statement of fact in years


The 100% TRUTH !! 

"A liberal's socialist paradise would be:   a place where  everybody  has:


Guaranteed employment, free comprehensive healthcare, free education, free food, free housing, free clothing, free utilities, and only law enforcement has guns.


And, believe it or not, such a place already exists,....  it's called prison."


Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Phoenix, Az

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September 6, 2019, 5:01 amFormer Canadian Prime Minister: I Hope Deadly Hurricane Destroys Trump's Home | Daily Wire



Again, this from politicians, not marginalized white supremacists. Plus her idiocy  - mar e lago, in palm beach county, is where many Canadian expats live.



Cambell's main claim to fame in Canada was taking over leadership of the governing conservatives after the prime minister retired and loosing a large lead in the polls in the coming election by making fun of a physical deformity of her competitor.


"The ad (sometimes referred to as the "face ad") was perceived by many as a focus on Chrétien's facial deformity, caused by Bell's palsy." - Wikipedia


Her support tanked after the ad and the conservatives went from a super majority to only electing 2 members in the house and not even having official party status. She was the biggest laughing stock and is only now coming out of her hole, like 25 years later. Seems she hasn't gotten any smarter :/"

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September 5, 2019, 6:17 pmDid Obama & admin commit biggest accounting fraud in history' w/ student loans?



Did Obama & administration commit 'the biggest accounting fraud in history' with student loans? Experts weigh in agreement

Why severely delinquent student loans have soared since 2012

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board (WSJ) recently suggested that  Obama administration pulled off “the biggest accounting fraud in history” with student loans when eliminating the role of private lenders in the federal student lending market.

Experts who spoke with Yahoo Finance acknowledged the issue with the general policy in hindsight, though they disagreed on who exactly is to blame.

In 2010, Democrats “nationalized the market to help pay for Obama Care,” WSJ asserted. “The Congressional Budget Office at the time forecast that eliminating private lenders would  save  taxpayers $58 billion over 10 years. This estimate was pure fantasy, and now we’re seeing how much.”

The WSJ op-ed also highlighted the rising number of severely delinquent student loans since then and blamed the Obama administration for expanding plans in 2012 for new borrowers “to reduce defaults, buy off millennial voters and disguise the cost of its student-loan takeover.”

The editorial board then added: “This may be the biggest accounting fraud in history.”

Former President of the United States of America Barack Obama discusses democracy with students at Church Congress on May 25, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo: Steffi Loos/Getty Images)Former President of the United States of America Barack Obama discusses democracy with students at Church Congress on May 25, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. 

‘There’s no way around that’

WSJ argued that eliminating private lenders from the student loan market severely hurt Americans and that by using fair-market accounting, it becomes clear that student loans will actually  cost  taxpayers nearly $307 billion over the next 10 years.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) during the George W. Bush administration and currently president of the center-right American Action Forum, agreed that the accounting discrepancy manifested because of the “technique” used by the CBO to evaluate the cost of these loan programs.

“A widely known deficiency of the Federal Credit and Reform Act is that it does not allow the CBO to incorporate [market risk] into assessments," Holtz-Eakin told Yahoo Finance. “So the loans, when they're evaluated are evaluated as safer than they truly are, and thus, the losses are smaller than they may truly be. And there's no way around that — the techniques force you to do that.”

He added that “that's why when you when they switched from the private loans to the government loans, it appeared to save money... that is misleading. I don't disagree, but it's not the CBO's fault — those are the rules.”

Sheila Bair, the chair of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) from 2006 to 2011, agreed that the WSJ was “right to call out the government” on the accounting issue and stressed that it is “a huge problem with federal budgeting and transparency generally.”

(Source: New York Fed)(Source: New York Fed)

Income-based repayment plans were ‘poorly designed’

The WSJ argued that the key catalyst for the student debt crisis today — $1.48 trillion student loans outstanding, with 35% of the consumer loans in the “severely derogatory” category — was a result of the Obama administration’s policies regarding income-driven repayment (IDR) plans.

IDR plans allow borrowers to cap monthly student loan payments based on how much money they are making at a given time. As of September 2018, “almost half of the $898 billion in outstanding federal Direct Loans [were] being repaid by borrowers using IDR plans,” according to the Government Accountability Office.

Holtz-Eakin agreed with WSJ, arguing that the CBO “cannot anticipate a future action of either the Congress or the administration.”

If the government chooses “to move to a whole bunch of loan forgiveness and income-based repayment models, they can't anticipate that and both of those things bring in less money,” he explained. “The money goes out and it doesn't come back and they're bigger losses.”

Holtz-Eakin added that the Obama administration “did that on a regular basis — there was nothing CBO could have done about it.”

Former FDIC Chair Bair, who headed the agency during part of both the Bush and Obama administrations, argued that the issue arose from the poor design of the repayment plan system.

“This has been a couple decades in the making, frankly,” said Bair. “I think that the concept of a payment based on income is a good one — it’s not a bad one. But the way these things have been designed, it’s like the worst of all possible worlds.”

With borrowers often in thousands of dollars in student debt, IDR plans are seen as an alternative for borrowers with high debt and low income. But the current income-based repayment plans is “very poorly designed... [and] confusing,” Bair said.

The WSJ pointed out that borrowers end up owing more than they borrowed even though they’re repaying their loans — called negative amortization — which Bair acknowledged.

U.S. President George W. Bush walks past U.S. President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former first lady Hillary Clinton, former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter as he arrives at the state funeral for his father former U.S. President George H.W. Bush at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, U.S., December 5, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin LamarqueFormer President George W. Bush walks past U.S. President Donald Trump, former President Barack Obama, and others at the state funeral for former U.S. President George H.W. Bush at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, U.S., December 5, 2018. 

“With a true income share, you have higher earners paying more and lower earners paying less, but you let the higher earners pay more to help with the cross-subsidization of the lower earners, and also just to mitigate the budget impact,” said Bair. “But what the government does do now is they cap you out.”

In other words, if a borrower decides that they want to increase their monthly repayment amounts, instead of being able to pay back loans quickly, they’re capped out because the repayment structure is based on their income. Hence, the borrower — despite being able to increase payments — is stuck with a loan that’s accruing interest for possibly 20 or 25 years.

CONCORD, MA - FEBRUARY 27: Arnie Greenfield holds up loan papers in Concord, MA on Feb. 27, 2019. Greenfield is perplexed because the company servicing his son's student loan won't give him credit for paying the loan early on one occasion. Greenfield says he has no complaints about helping his children pay off their college loans. An engineer and high-tech executive, he says hes grateful to be in a position to do so. But he does have a problem with being penalized by a bank for making an early payment.
Arnie Greenfield holds up loan papers in Concord, MA on Feb. 27, 2019. Greenfield is perplexed because the company servicing his son's student loan won't give him credit for paying the loan early on one occasion. 

‘Recreated the worst aspects of the subprime... crisis’

The other issue was underwriting.

Previously, the government guaranteed student loans that borrowers took out from private lenders. Today, it controls more than 90% directly.

When the Obama administration “got rid of the guarantee program with the private sector out of the process and made it a direct federal loan, they got rid of all underwriting,” Holtz-Eakin noted.

“And so they recreated the worst aspects of the subprime mortgage lending crisis,” he stated. “They gave anyone who walked up a loan, without any notion of their capacity to repay.” (taxpayers)

Last Edited: September 5, 2019, 6:24 pm

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