Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Last Call For Prime Time For Subprime Again

Guess what's back in a big way, kids?  Our old friend, The Subprime Loan is running rampant, and thanks to Republicans, it's even easier for big banks to rack up the green with ridiculous interest rates. Being poor in America is very, very expensive.

Lenders have come under fire in Washington in recent years. Yet one corner of the financial industry — lending to people with poor credit scores — has found sympathetic audiences in many state capitals. 
Over the last two years, lawmakers in at least eight states have voted to increase the fees or the interest rates that lenders can charge on certain personal loans used by millions of borrowers with subpar credit. 
The overhaul of the state lending laws comes after a lobbying push by the consumer loan industry and a wave of campaign donations to state lawmakers. In North Carolina, for example, lenders and their lobbyists overcame unusually dogged opposition from military commanders, who two years earlier had warned that raising rates on loans could harm their troops. 
The lenders argued that interest rate caps had not kept pace with the increased costs of doing business, including running branches and hiring employees. Unless they can make an acceptable profit, the industry says, lenders will not be able to offer loans allowing people with damaged credit to pay for car repairs or medical bills. 
But a recent regulatory filing by one of the nation’s largest subprime consumer lenders, Citigroup’s OneMain Financial unit, shows that making personal loans to people on the financial margins can be a highly profitable business — even before state lending laws were changed. Last year, OneMain’s profit increased 31 percent from 2012
“There was simply no need to change the law,” said Rick Glazier, a North Carolina lawmaker, who opposed the industry’s effort to change the rate structure in his state. “It was one of the most brazen efforts by a special interest group to increase its own profits that I have ever seen.”

It's nice being able to charge 40% interest on a $4,000 loan, huh?  Most people would call that legalized loan sharking.  Let's keep in mind Republicans have done everything in their power to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and at the state level, allow lenders free reign to gouge people.

Need that two grand to fix you car so you can still get to work and keep your job?  Be ready to fork over hundreds in interest payments, so much so that as with subprime and rent-to-own, you'll need to take out another loan to pay off the first one.

Blessed are the moneylenders, right?

Sure, He's A Turtle, But He's Our Turtle!

It's saying something that in Kentucky, where African-Americans make up only about 8% of the population (well under the national average of 13% and waaaaaay under other Southern states like Mississippi, Alabama, or Georgia) that the Senate race here is close enough for Mitch McConnell to even care about the black vote.

As such, Mitch McConnell's pitch to black voters like myself here in Kentucky is really simple:  As Senate majority leader, I'll get you the green.

As the latest Bluegrass Poll poll shows, the Kentucky Senate race remains tight between GOP leader Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes and the campaigns are battling for every last vote in the home stretch. 
McConnell goes on the radio Tuesday in an ad targeting African-American voters following a negative ad aired on Louisville-area radio last week that criticized the minority leader on voting rights. In his response ad, McConnell again leans on Noelle Hunter, an African-American woman and community college professor, to make the case for his re-election. 
Alison Grimes won’t say she voted for President Obama, but I will. I voted for President Obama — twice. So you might be surprised to hear that I’m also voting for Mitch McConnell,” Hunter says in the ad.. “As an African American I know from personal experience that Mitch fights for our community and cares about us.”

Vote for Mitch.  He has black friends, unlike that mean ol' white girl who hates President Obama.

Of course the reason Mitch is deigning to admit the black vote exists in the first place is because Alison Grimes knows damn well what Republicans really mean for the black vote.

The Grimes campaign is seeking to motivate black voters with a radio ad suggesting their voting rights are at risk if McConnell is re-elected. “Worst of all, Mitch McConnell has been leading the Republican effort to take away our voting rights,” the man says in the Grimes ad. “Just like he blocked everything from getting done in Washington, he’s blocking the ballot box and trying to silence our voices.”

Still, Grimes attacking Obama has hurt her among black voters.

The latest Bluegrass Poll gives Grimes a 38-point lead, 60%-22%, among black voters, with 17% undecided two weeks from Election Day.

You'd be hard pressed to find any other Republicans running this year who's getting 22% of the black vote.  In a state like Alabama, that would be a landslide GOP win.  In Kentucky, well, that's more like 2% of the total vote, but in a race that will probably be decided by a couple of points, the margin may be enough.

We'll see.

BREAKING: O(h No), Canada

Our friends to the north have suffered what appears to be an attack by multiple shooters in at least two locations in the capital of Ottawa, Parliament Hill and a nearby hotel.

Parliament Hill came under attack today after a man with a rifle shot a soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa,before seizing a car and driving to the doors of Parliament Hill's Centre Block nearby. 
MPs and other witnesses reported several shots fired inside Parliament, and a gunman has been confirmed dead inside the building, shot by the House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms, according to MPs' eyewitness accounts. 
The soldier's condition has not been confirmed. 
MP John Williamson tweeted that the Conservative caucus has been told "one CAF soldier was killed," adding "a moment of silence followed." CBC News has confirmed the soldier is a reservist from Hamilton.

One shooter is dead, as the story says, but another appears to be on the loose in downtown Ottawa. Not a good day at all.

Here's hoping that the RCMP and Ottawa Police can get this under control without any more casualties.

Weather Or Not We Do Anything About It, Well...

No big deal, the 12 month period from October 2013 through September 2014 was only the hottest 12 months in recorded history.

2014 is turning into a superlative year for global temperature. September was the warmest such month on record, according to the monthly climate report by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. This follows the warmest August on record, and the warmest summer on record, as well. And year to date, 2014 ties with 1998 and 2010 — two of the warmest years in recorded history — with a temperature departure of 1.22 degrees above average. 
If 2014 maintains this temperature departure from average for the remainder of the year, it will be the warmest year on record,” says the report
While we still have three months to see whether the calendar year will set a record, the past 12 months — October 2013 through September 2014 — was the warmest 12-month period on record, at 1.24 degrees above the 20th century average temperature. 
September’s average global temperature was 1.3 degrees above the 20th century average, according to NOAA. And global sea surface temperature was an astonishing 1.19 degrees above average — making September 2014 the warmest on record for any month over the oceans.

But there's nothing to worry about because the science isn't settled and there's nothing we can do about it anyway, why bother.  Meanwhile, one case of Ebola is the end of America!

Well I take that back.  We should probably cut taxes on energy companies so they do more drilling and fracking.

Because science.


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