Thursday, July 17, 2014

MARKETING.......

Came across this one on Twitter.... kudos to M RANIERI HUSEMAN @momoishere


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

SUB-PRIME STUDENT LOANS.... OOPS?

For over a hundred years, banks had a procedure for individuals securing a home loan.  It included lots of paperwork, but mostly it included an investigation in the potential borrower's ability to repay the loan.  Near the end of the last century, banks started seeing an increase in default on mortgages.  Part, but not all, of the reason was people had bought homes in areas there neighborhoods were on the decline, which caused the value of the home to fall.  When property owners were unable to sell their homes, they simply walked away and defaulted on the mortgage.

Banks, who happen to be in business to make money for their shareholders, set up parameters for mortgages, and they 'redlined' these failing neighborhoods and ceased lending, or at least, gave mortgages at a higher interest rate because of the risk to the bank.

Enter Congress in general and Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd in particular.  While banks were basing their lending practices on geography, Dodd-Frank claimed it was discrimination based on demographics.  In part this was the case, as poor neighborhoods have historically been more ethnic.  But the law was the law and the sub-prime mortgage was created.  Suddenly banks were required to lend money to applicants whose credentials showed they were not a good risk, and likely couldn't repay the loan.

The 'housing crash' was the end result of these less secure loans, and soon,  because of the stagnant economy, many of those who HAD loans were defaulting and no one could get a new mortgage.  The housing market died and it's still trying to recover.

Enter college loans.  For years, college students applied for assistance (loans or grants) through the student aid office of their college.  There were background checks on the student and family, verifying ability to repay the loan.  Upon graduation, a repayment plan was in place...... and the system seemed to be working well enough.

Then suddenly the cost of higher education went rapidly higher.  Enter the federal government and the takeover of the student loan program.

Fast forward to Johnston County Community College.... this was in today's paper... JCCC is having to completely opt out of the federal college loan program because of the high default rate for student loans.

Like the sub-prime mortgages, the government got involved in the student loan program and changed the rules for 'qualifying' student loan eligibility.  As with home mortgages, the government reduced the school's ability to verify who was getting how much, and could they pay it back.  Then the government set the parameters for student loan defaults, AND THEN PUNISHED THE SCHOOL WHEN THE STUDENTS DEFAULTED.  Sort of a catch 22..... and this is just one little community college.... and JCCC is being forced to opt out of the student loan program.

Why opt out? 
At JCCC, the student default rate on federal loans has climbed rapidly in recent years. In 2008, the rate was just 2.9 percent. It jumped to 7.8 percent the next year before nearly doubling to 15.2 percent in 2010. The 23-percent estimated rate for 2011 is the latest available figure.
Until five years ago, [the president of JCCC said] “community colleges could run credit checks on students seeking federal loans.  But in 2010, the federal government banned that practice, citing the potential for discrimination in lending. Now, colleges have to give loans to everyone who applies or opt out of the program entirely; there is no middle ground…”
FREE MONEY and UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES
After the federal government banned credit checks, more students started applying for loans, said Pam Harrell, vice president of student services at JCCC. In 2009, she noted, 9 percent of students took out a federal loan. In 2012, 22 percent did so…. Last year, JCC students borrowed about $7.5 million from the federal government. But loans are not the only federal help students receive.  About 60 percent of students receive Pell Grants, which top out at $5,700 a year.  Last year, JCCC students received about $9.2 million in Pell Grants and work-study dollars.
If JCCC’s default rate exceeds 30 percent for three years in a row, or 40 percent in one year, that $9.2 million in other aid disappears. [Said Harrell]

Read the full article here.

http://www.claytonnewsstar.com/2014/07/14/4005177/jcc-students-can-no-longer-borrow.html




BIG BROTHER AND YOUR MEDICAL CARE

Once again, Obama knows best...and the Democrats, who passed Obamacare without a single Republican vote, can take credit for another assault on your health care.

It seems there is a provision within the ACA (Affordable Care Act) to PENALIZE hospitals for their infection rate.

The government cannot (yet) reduce payments for services paid by private insurance companies, but since Big Brother runs Medicare, they can pay whatever they choose for services rendered. One facet of Obamacare stipulates that ANY HOSPITAL IN THE BOTTOM 25% INFECTION RATE FACES A 1% REDUCTION IN MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENTS.

Your first thought might be - hospitals NEED to be punished if they have a high infection rate.  But which hospitals HAVE this problem?  THE LARGE TEACHING HOSPITALS!!!  Why?  Because they traditionally are the ones who take more Medicare patients, and historically these patients are the unhealthiest when they arrive.  Two of the top hospitals in North Carolina are under the gun, and a third one barely missed the bottom 25%.
Two of the Triangle’s biggest hospitals, WakeMed in Raleigh and UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, face several million dollars in Affordable Care Act penalties because they have allowed too many infections and serious health complications in Medicare patients.
 They are among 16 hospitals in North Carolina and 761 nationwide that Medicare authorities have tentatively flagged as the “worst performing hospitals” with regard to infections and complications. These hospitals nationwide could face a combined $330 million in penalties, unless they are able to reduce the problems this year.
 The penalties represent the federal government’s toughest attempt to date to push down health care costs and improve medical care at U.S. facilities. 
Rather than setting a maximum infection:patient ratio that's acceptable for a medical facility to achieve to not be penalized, the ACA sets a minimum percentile that will be 'fined'.  Think of this as a high school history class with 100 students.  Rather than saying a student must score a grade of 80 or higher on the final exam to be advanced to the next grade (which theoretically could be met by all 100 students), the rule says the lowest 25% have to repeat the class.  If 75 students score 99 on the final, and the remaining 25 score above 90.... those 25 'fail' and are penalized.  In this situation, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SOMEONE IN THE BOTTOM 25%.
Rather than setting a minimum passing score, the penalty system will cut Medicare reimbursements by 1 percent to all hospitals with performance scores that fall in the bottom 25 percent, which means it will be impossible for hundreds of hospitals to avoid penalties.
The hospitals most likely to face the 1 percent Medicare cut are academic teaching hospitals, large hospitals with more than 400 beds, and hospitals that disproportionately treat low-income patients, according to an analysis of the data by Kaiser Health News, a national health policy news service.
 According to data issued by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, the two Triangle hospitals facing potential federal penalties have higher infection rates than the statewide average in intensive care units, largely because they treat sicker patients. 
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/07/14/4006375/two-triangle-hospitals-face-medicare.html?sp=/99/102/114/#storylink=cpy

What's the solution?  Many physicians no longer take Medicare patients because of the low reimbursements.  Hospitals may be next.



Sunday, July 6, 2014

DO WE NEED ANOTHER UNQUALIFIED LIAR-IN-CHIEF?

Hillary Clinton…. Ladies and Gentlemen – the next president of the United States??????  OH HELL NO!  Hillary Clinton is a lying demagogue and should not even be allowed on the White House grounds!

Hillary Rodham was a staffer on the Watergate committee that went after Richard Nixon for a LIE….. A LIE!  REMEMBER THAT……..moving right along
Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat, supervised the work of 27-year-old Hillary Rodham on the [Watergate] committee. Hillary got a job working on the investigation at the behest of her former law professor, Burke Marshall, who was also Sen. Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel in the Chappaquiddick affair. When the investigation was over, Zeifman fired Hillary from the committee staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation – one of only three people who earned that dubious distinction in Zeifman’s 17-year career.
Why?
“Because she was a liar,” Zeifman said in an interview last week. “She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.”

http://nation.foxnews.com/2014/02/25/hillary-fired-lies-unethical-behavior-congressional-job-former-boss


CBS News Reporter Sharyl Attkisson Exposes Hillary Clinton’s Lies about 1996 Bosnia Trip during 2008 Presidential Campaign Against Obama. 


http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2013/05/09/flashback-hillary-clintons-bogus-bosnia-sniper-fire-story-exposed-by-sharyl-attkisson-n1592048

It’s taken two years to nail Hillary on the Benghazi lies…. The big lie about the ‘video’ sparking the attack that killed four Americans, including an ambassador.  In an upcoming book, Edward Klein says THE BIG LIE started in the White House and Hillary echoed it (so as not to ‘out’ Obama and have the Democrats turn on HER, thereby causing her to lose in another presidential run in 2016).  See my post:

A recent article on Hillary from the National Review…..The Ben Rhodes memo revealing the duplicity of this administration on the subject of Benghazi reminds us about the character of those involved. That President Obama could lie so evenly and so passionately (remember the second presidential debate?) is perhaps not surprising at this stage. But let’s not forget what it took for Mrs. Clinton to lie to the grieving father of an American hero.
At 10:32 on the night of the attack, Secretary Clinton issued a statement deploring violence in response to “inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”…….. Most politicians are capable of stretching the truth on occasion. But this question, this setting, and this egregious a lie suggest that Mrs. Clinton’s conscience — if she ever had one — is growing flaccid from disuse.


Headline for Hillary Clinton on Hobby Lobby - " Deeply Disturbing SCOTUS Decision – LIES ABOUT DECISION"
Responding to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision on Monday, Hillary Clinton told the Aspen Institute’s Walter Isaacson: “It’s very troubling that a sales clerk at Hobby Lobby who needs contraception, which is pretty expensive, is not going to get that service through her employer’s health-care plan because her employer doesn’t think she should be using contraception.”
Clinton did not daintily spin, dissemble, or mislead. She told a big, fat, shining lie.

IN FACT - Hobby Lobby’s health plan includes 16 different categories of birth control.  They are available on a non-co-pay basis, so employees get them at no out-of-pocket cost. The Food and Drug Administration’s official list of approved contraceptives includes small drawings for each of 20 types of birth control.

Hobby Lobby’s female/male employees have FREE coverage for:
·   Male condoms
·   Female condoms
·   Diaphragms with spermicide
·   Sponges with spermicide
·   Cervical caps with spermicide
·   Spermicide alone
·   Birth-control pills with estrogen and progestin (“Combined Pill”)
·   Birth-control pills with progestin alone (“the Mini Pill”)
·   Birth-control pills (extended/continuous use)
·   Contraceptive patches
·   Contraceptive rings
·   Progestin injections
·   Implantable rods
·   Vasectomies
·   Female sterilization surgeries
·   Female sterilization implants

The owners of Hobby Lobby, like the MAJORITY of Americans, are pro-life.  Some people oppose abortion on religious grounds; others simply call it murder. [http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2013/05/10/gallup-58-percent-of-americans-oppose-all-or-most-abortions-n1592505 ]

Hobby Lobby, FOR RELIGIOUS REASONS, does not provide FOUR ABORTION INDUCING DRUGS (known as ‘abortifacients’).  If you work for Hobby Lobby and want an abortion, you can have one – you just have to pay for it yourself.      

These four abortion-inducing drugs are:
   Plan B (“the Morning After Pill”)
   Ella (a similar type of “emergency contraception”)
   Copper intra-uterine device
   IUD with progestin

The SCOTUS ruling in June, 2014, on the Hobby Lobby case WAS ABOUT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM – AND WAS NOT ABOUT DENYING ANYONE CONTRACEPTION.

Read that again - it WAS NOT ABOUT DENYING ANYONE CONTRACEPTION.

The Hobby Lobby case was based on the RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION ACT (RFRA).  For anyone interested in the facts about the Hobby Lobby Decision, the RFRA was passed in the House of Representatives 535-0.  It passed in the Senate 97-3.

Are you sitting down, Hillary?  IT WAS SIGNED INTO LAW ON NOVEMBER 16, 1993 BY YOUR HUSBAND, WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON – the 42nd President of the United States.

The left is pounding their chests and blaming the Republicans for the ‘war on women’, which is total horseshit.   They are desperate for an issue in November that is NOT Benghazi, that is NOT the Veterans Administration scandal, that is NOT the IRS criminal acts against American citizens…..

It is sad that there ARE women out there who will buy off on this krapola.  And who will support this lying housefrau when she says SCOTUS declared war on women.  GTF over yourselves!  Hillary Clinton is a liar.  She even claimed that she and Bill were ‘flat broke’ when they left The White House!  That was right after she signed an $8,000,000 BOOK DEAL!  I would love to be that flat broke.

And to the left, I say….. if you want to talk WAR ON WOMEN….. look no further than William Jefferson Blythe Clinton - the impeached, lying darling of the Democrat Party..... and Billy Clinton is the best they have done since Kennedy..... how sad is THAT!

Another Clinton in the White House????  NOT EVEN ON THE WHITE HOUSE STAFF!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

HURRICANE ARTHUR SURVIVOR!!!!!

I'm the hummingbird queen in our area - this summer I probably have 40-50 Rubythroats emptying three 32 oz feeders 2-3 times a day.  They are having babies right about now.... and along comes Hurricane Arthur Thursday night/Friday morning. 

Hurricane Arthur hit the Outer Banks during the night as a Cat 2.... we had decided to stay and ride out the storm only because it was hauling ass NORTH, which SHOULD (and fortunately for us DID) mean it wouldn't dump a bunch of water or cause the water to rise abnormally high.  What it DID mean is we had really high winds.... not something hummingbirds like!

The first thing I did Friday morning was re-hang my hummingbird feeders - the birds were hovering and ready for a shot of sugar at daybreak, which meant that they hadn't been blown away in the night. 

Then the cleanup began (we were blessed that only limbs and pinecones had to be cleaned up) and by late in the day all the local property owners were out working in their yards.

My neighbors were picking up pine cones and limbs in their yard and found a baby hummingbird on the bulkhead chirping like crazy for his mother. He was only inches from falling in the water.  My neighbor's son Max had on a bright blue shirt and this little baby bird flew up and landed on his shoulder and was clinging for dear life.  Max came over to see what he should do so.... I got some of my hummer nectar and tried feeding the baby with a medicine dropper - he was thirsty but that was not mama feeding him.  If you touched him he would flap his tiny wings but he wouldn't let go of Max's shirt.  

Ended up getting a very shallow cardboard box and lining it with tissue paper.... I added a length of bougainvillea vine with a couple of blooms on it, and Max put some nectar in a bottle cap for the baby to drink.  Then he put the box on their deck.... and before long Max and his mother noticed a female hummingbird buzzing all around the box....Mom had found her baby - but what to do?  She wouldn't go to the box so Max took the baby and put him on the deck rail, along with his pink flowers....

And next thing you know - the mom is feeding the baby - and Max was able to take this video of them with his iPad..... before the baby flew away with his mom!

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANYTHING MORE INCREDIBLE? (Start the video and then click the box in the bottom right corner to enlarge)


video

The baby is on the pink flower.... looking up at mom!

p.s. - thanks to Jackie and Max for letting me share this amazing video and picture!