Friday, May 20, 2011

Congressman Roe Jokes About Death of President Obama

While speaking to the Johnson City Rotary Club, 1st District Congressman Phil Roe made what the Johnson City Press called a "slip of the tongue'' - saying he was glad that Obama was killed, rather than saying Osama was killed. Then he added "Well, I guess you know who I'll be voting for in November!"

Ha. Ha. It's a joke to him - and shows in his mind he equates the ruthless, brutal killer Osama bin Laden with the president.

Without a doubt, in all the heated reporting on OBL's death, many a newsperson and commentator often made the same error - but I never heard anyone once embrace the error and joke about it like my congressman did.

Rep. Roe also made a loopy prediction that a Federal Government shutdown was ahead in August, blaming the likely option of a vote to increase the Fed's debt limit. The fact is, every time the 1917-era law creating the "debt limit" has been reached, Congress has raised it. It's a pretty meaningless "law".

Still, Rep. Roe had his PowerPoint presentation to show off just how evil Democrats are destroying America by daring to spend money. All the recent cheers of success via Congressional Republicans that they cut $38 billion in the budget are also meaningless. They cut money to programs which weren't active and when all the actual computations were made, the cuts amounted to just over $350 million.

In an effort to aid my congressman, here's one simple graphic to show why the debt is so large and where most of it comes from.

And to go with the above graph, here is a breakdown of the numbers and how the graph was created. Here's a sample of some of the facts Rep. Roe does not want his district to know:

Without the economic downturn and the fiscal policies of the previous Administration, the budget would be roughly in balance over the next decade. That would have put the nation on a much sounder footing to address the demographic challenges and the cost pressures in health care that darken the long-run fiscal outlook."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Sen. Campfield Club Needs Parental Okay

I'll hand it to Knoxville Sen. Stacey Campfield -- he do love to make headlines, even ones that make him look like a high-level chucklehead (see The Daily Show). (And for the record, Stupid does not adhere to state boundaries.)

But now The Senator offers a state-mandated, nanny-government rule which would force public schools to make students get pre-approval from parents for any extra-curricular activities of clubs and organizations. Hopefully, despite the intrusion of the State Overlords, most all parents kinda sorta know what kinds of clubs and groups their children take part in - just ask most any parent and they'll tell you the long list of locations and activities they drive their children to and from.

But Big-Government, You-Need-Help-Parenting The-Sen.-Campfield apparently is utterly unaware of such familial behavior.

And really, should it not be the local school boards which set the standards for student organizations and parental notifications? And don't they do that already??

I'd hate to think students will be forced into top-secret, underground groups and confederations. Who knows, though, maybe Sen. Campfield could start one of his own ...

The Nominee (Not An Actual Photo of Sen. Campy)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Foreclosure Chances 38% Higher In Tennessee

72 Tennessee legislators said YES to shorten the amount of public notices published for home foreclosures this past week - despite information which indicates that such practices have very negative economic reactions - for homeowners and commercial property owners - and for the state's economy in general.

Tennessee is one of only 5 states (Michigan, New Hampshire, Tennessee Utah, and West Virginia) which do not offer a judicial review of foreclosures (25 states offer the option of either having a judge review the process or for a non-judicial review). While it is true such judicial reviews can offer greatly lengthen the foreclosure process, that's a result of offering greater consumer protections.

Since TN does not offer that option, some striking statistics emerge in recent studies:

What we found is not only do these neighborhoods that do not require a judicial process have higher rates of foreclosure but as a result, they have a much steeper decline in housing prices and real outcomes”, says Mian. “It’s possible that the further decline of the broader economy makes people feel less wealthy and so they start becoming more cautious with new investments and buying debt.”

The researchers collected data from, Fiserv Case Shiller Weiss,, and Equifax to study foreclosures, house prices, and delinquency rates by zip code, respectively.

The rate of foreclosure per delinquent home in 2008 and 2009 is twice as high in non-judicial states. A delinquent home has a nineteen percent chance of being foreclosed in a judicial state, but thirty eight percent in a non-judicial state."

As noted in last week's Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on the bill, mortgage attorney Steve Baker, "There is no compelling reason to shorten the time for publication of public notices," and further, "The more notices published for a sale, the more it helps to create a better market" for potential buyers.

Sen. Jack Johnson, sponsor of the bill, noted in his testimony "... it may be considered I have a personal interest in this bill" as he is a board member for a state bank. Other comments, from the Tennessee Bakers Association, said "banks pay the fees for the public notices if a mortgage holder can not." It's safe to say if a mortgage holder cannot pay their bills, then they will be unlikely to pay any publication fees.

Sen. Jerry Jones noted in her opinion piece in The Tennessean:

"We are facing economic challenges not seen for decades. But instead of helping Tennessee residents hold onto their homes and get back on their feet, this legislation will make it easier to foreclose and harder on working families to recover from hard times."

House sponsor of the bill (HB1920) Rep. Jimmy Matlock, also a banker, said in an opposing editorial:

"But it is a complicated issue and at any rate is nothing but a red herring to divert attention away from the real issue — money."