Happy Saturday!

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What’s It Going to Take, World War 3?

A revised version of our GDP was released this morning and it was much weaker than it had been predicted. The actual growth was 1.3%. This is an unacceptable number; at this rate it would probably take 20 years to get back to full employment. 1.3% is so close to zero and so close to negative territory its very scary. The question is why. Why is our growth so low? Is it because of Obama’s policies, world economics, fear of the fiscal cliff, the elections? Every day that goes by with this bad economy someone else loses their job, someone else stops looking for work because they are too discouraged. I was sending out resumes yesterday and I noticed so many of the job listings had be on the websites for over 30 days. When a job is listed that long either companies arent really looking to hire or they are so picky applying to them is a waste of time. I also received my weekly email from Linked In with jobs I might be interested in. Each week they are the same jobs; and I have applied for all of them. On twitter many people have told me about the same experiences. Its extremely frustrating for a job seeker and I can see why many just stop looking. Which brings me back to my question of why are we in this place? I have said in the past on these pages that the jobs crisis is just as devastating as 9/11 yet nothing is being done about it. No commissions, no studies, no endless meetings. Can dysfunction in Washington really be causing all of this?

I see no solution offered from Obama;  I dont think he has lifted a finger to help the long term unemployed since September 2011. Thats outrageous since we are talking about the lives of millions and millions of families. The only reason I am supporting Obama is because Mitt Romney would be worse in my opinion. Back to the slow growth, the high unemployment rate and the people dropping out of the workforce in record numbers. Whats going to happen to these people. What happens when they run out of money, when they cant borrow from friends or relatives. Is the United States of America going to become a war zone where people get robbed for food? Supermarkets getting held up at gun point so people can feed their families?

And the news gets worse. The fiscal cliff coming Jan 1, 2013 is so dangerous that Tim Geithner has said it would be more calamitous than the 1920s/30s. And what are our elected official doing about it? Nothing. I would like to take a lot of the ideas I have discussed on here to fruition. Its frustrating seeing all of this go on around me and not be able to fix it. There is so much wrong in the world and in the US its a shame we cant come together for a solution. Maybe we will get out of this depression the same way we got out of the last one. Another World War; Israel bombing Iran, US getting involved, Russia.

We Need More Facts I Can Provide Them

Like everyone else I am getting sick of the constant coverage of the presidential election. The gaffes, the zingers the car elevators. If Obama wins what would make the next four years better than the last 4? Would the GOP all of a sudden start cooperating with him? Would he be more of a  leader that takes charge? The situation could be even worse if the GOP goes back to their strategy of obstructing everything Obama does so Obama wont look good. If Romney wins? Who knows what to expect; he has changed his position on so many issues its hard to tell what he would do. The GOP is making it pretty clear they dont like him. Would he become a hostage of the tea party, no negotiating. His way or let nothing happen, keep people unemployed, let the credit rating go down again, default on our debt? The reason we were downgraded was because of the dysfunction in Washington, not because there was any thought the US didnt have the money to pay any bills.

There are so many crisis’s going on right now in this Country and not one of them is being discussed, addressed or even acknowledged. Barack Obama has been a terrible leader and a huge disappointment. Why isnt he out there talking about whats wrong and offering suggestions to fix the problems? Take the devastating unemployment situation as an example; he proposed a jobs bill in September  of 2011. At the time he was pretty sure it would not pass. Now he uses this as a talking point on the campaign trail. He has not offered one other solution, plan or lifted a finger for the long term unemployed. Nothing. It is true the GOP has obstructed everything he has tried to do, but thats not a good enough excuse for the 25 million people who are unemployed or underemployed. What amazes me is how little people think about things like this, many Dems think, well he tried. The fiscal cliff is another example of Obama and Congresses incompetence. According to Tim Geithner if we go over this cliff we are looking at a downturn worse than the one we saw in the 1920s and 1930s. And yet not a word from anyone about it.

What I would like to do is be given a platform to discuss major issues, ask challenging questions and get answers from our elected officials. I’d like to gather non partisan experts in their fields to ask them the basics, so everyone is educated on the implications of kicking the can down the road yet again. I would like to have a basic understanding for the public to understand exactly what the 2009 stimulus did for our economy. What would unemployment look like now if we hadnt had it. What if we had had a larger one, how would that have impacted the economy. What other solutions were available? I want facts on the table. I’d like these so called experts to discuss the debt ceiling debate; what that did to our economy, job growth. And if the people who wouldnt come to any agreement were really committing treason against the United States by allowing it to default. I’d like to ask members of the GOP about their obstructionism and how much they are responsible for the lackluster economy and unprecedented unemployment rate. I’d also like to hear the expert point of view on that.

Our news media is beyond pathetic; they are more interested in getting a scoop than a real story. Why has Romney and Obama not been forced to layout what they would do as president for the next 4 years? We need another outlet for getting better information. Our media asks the wrong questions then doesnt follow up when their questions arent answered.

I want to be that change. I would like to have a non partisan tv/radio/internet show that can have a full research team to explain facts; I have a different point of view and would be able to ask better questions get more information. The FNC and MSNBC’s of the world can exist but there should be a place where every can go to get reliable non slanted news. I have no agenda other than to find out the truth and let other people know the truth. Ask the hard questions. Even humiliate the Congress and the president to actually do something. People always tell me I see things in a different way, I have a different voice. I’d like to put that to use in educating our fellow Americans so we can spend more time fixing than fighting.

So, if you know of anyone that can help back me in this venture please contact me. Our country needs to get back on track. We are caught in a soundbite culture I want to change that. The more you know, the better off you are.

Buying the Perfect Brownstone

With all that was going on last week I neglected to write a posting on here about last week being the 7 year anniversary of our buying the limestone home we live in. Limestone and Brownstone are terms that are used depending on when the house was built and what the outer layer is; ours happens to be mostly limestone, but its easier to refer to it as a brownstone since most people know what brownstones are. So, seven years over owner ship has been really really fun and enjoyable. I will never forget the day of the closing, I was such a mess. For some background I am from Boston and moved to Manhattan after graduating college. I lived there about 17 years, much of the time with Michael, my partner then, husband now. When we first decided to buy a place we were looking in Manhattan for a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apt. Those are in high demand in Manhattan. We saw a few we liked but nothing blew us away.  One day Michael said to me would I ever consider living in Brooklyn in a house; I had only been to Brooklyn once but I said sure I’d look. That first day of looking was horrible; we saw a beautiful limestone home built in the mid to late 1800s with fabulous original details; but it need an entire new kitchen and bathrooms which we werent willing to do at that time. Also the neighborhood wasnt that safe. Then we walked to another open house and saw a Victorian home, it had nice original details also, but was 3 floors, 6 bedrooms. A little more than we needed or wanted. We spent about 2 years looking for just the right home. One that had original details like stained glass, pocket doors, unpainted wood. Then one day we walked into this house; we had seen a few houses on this block but they all had been duds. This house spoke to us. It had an original gas lamp outside, it had all the details in perfect condition. Stained glass skylights, windows, unpainted wood, pocket doors, a fantastic white oak dining room, 12 foot ceilings. We loved it at first sight. The day of the open house was my fathers birthday, I thought that was a good sign. We made a bid, got the house. Lots of back and forth with the sellers. They postponed the closing date; I was kind of freaked out since our mortgage rate was guaranteed for 60 days. Btw, I knew at the time what we could afford, I knew the only kind of mortgage was a fixed 30 year mortgage, no ARMS. We finally set a date for the closing.

We went to an attorney’s office on Park Avenue and I remember being completely freaked out, what if they postponed again, we had a great mortgage rate, what would happen then. We had given notice at our apartment so we only had a few weeks left. Anyway the closing went fine, signed tons of papers and there we were sitting on a bench on Park Avenue with a bunch of keys and a title to this home. After living in small spaces in Manhattan this was more than a dream come true. So many things I learned on the fly. We had to redo the electricity in the  house since it hadnt been properly done ever. We had saved a lot of money since we had been looking for 2 years so we were able to furnish the house beautifully without waiting. The first weekend we were there the water heater broke. I had never heard of a water heater. Michael’s father called and said to get a nice one and send him the bill. We’ve done so many fun projects, landscaping the front garden and backyard, installing new wood windows, buying all new appliances; choosing paint colors, having the floors redone, redoing the upstairs bath. And not fun projects like new roof, furnace, skylights.

Overall I love it here, this has been a great 7 years and I look forward to many more here. You never know what the future will bring but I am very happy here, we have the City life, short subway ride to Manhattan and our neighborhood is lovely. Lots of nice restaurants, our neighbors are great. Its been a really fun ride and I am looking forward to our future here.

The Mishandling and Deconstruction of Current Events

There is so much going on in the world its hard to know where to start; between a US Ambassador being killed, violence against the US all over the Muslim and Arab worlds, our economy slowing, presidential candidates acting like kindergartners with no actionable ideas; to Mitt Romney making a fool of himself world wide by coming out with a statement before he knew any facts.

With all of the protests going on around US and Western embassies, maybe over a film maybe not, its seems unfathomable to me as an American that there is this much protest going on when there are mass slaughterings going on in Syria and there are no demonstrations about this. The same could be said about Libya before that. It seems the United States is the first to be blamed for everything when in fact al Qaeda has killed far more Muslims than Americans have. Romney and the GOP have said that these protests show America’s weakness in the world and how if Romney was president none of this would be going on. They went on to repeat the same tired line that Obama went on his apology tour which set the stage for a weaker  America. Let me get some facts in here. If America is perceived as weaker than it had been there are 2 reasons I can think of for that, maybe 3. First and most important is the US invasion and overthrowing of Saddam Hussein. The fact we did it unitarily was bad enough. The fact that we didnt go in with enough force to, overwhelming military power, to take down Saddam and then keep the peace in post war Iraq. Five long years went by that were complete chaos that the United States was unable to stabilize. This makes us look extremely weak and certainly the fear of American Military Might is not a concern of Iran’s. They know how to game the system, to bog us down, to make us leave. That was George W. Bush and the neocons doing, they made America look weak and incompetent. Thats an outrageous outcome for the strongest military in the world. The other reasons we look weak have to do with a political system that has broken down into complete failure; we are no longer the example of what democracy is, we have made a mockery of it. Also our extremely weak economy doesnt help in our quest to be the most powerful nation on earth.

When a crisis happens on foreign soil its always been an unwritten rule that the Country stands behind the president and doesnt criticize him. In the 1980 presidential campaign President Carter tried to free the hostages in Iran; the mission was a failure. When candidate Ronald Reagan was asked for a comment he said now is not the time to comment on these tragic events. Mitt Romney on the other hand came out criticizing the president for his handling of the situation without knowing what was going on. Mitt Romney was holding a press conference while President Obama was on the phone with the president of Egypt. Romney’s actions were disgraceful and show he is not ready to be POTUS.

The one thing that has not changed in the midst of all this turmoil is the pain and suffering of the American people. Unemployment is at a staggering 25 million plus people and around 17%. The number of unemployed people has not gone down in over a year. Still, nothing is being done by either side. No one is making an effort to get more people employed; this is unacceptable.