TPP The Next Big International Trade Deal And MORE!

Greetings to family, friends, ladies, gentlemen, boys, girls, and all citizens. Some of you may remember The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that was negotiated by President H.W. Bush in 1992 and enacted by President Clinton in 1994. If you’ve lived through the NAFTA implementation you’ve witnessed the blooming corporatocracy, income disparity, the bubble economy, plutocracy, wall street bailouts, unemployment, currency manipulation, unmanaged immigration, ignoring climate change, for profit healthcare, water scarcity, and the list goes on. One question: where are the benefits of NAFTA?

There is now a new international trade deal that president Obama has been very quietly negotiating for the past three years called the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPP). It appears to me to be a big step toward a global corporatocracy run by Trans-National Corporations which will have legal ruling over Nation-States. Think about that. Is that the world you want?

I intend to learn about this. You?

Presidents Trade Representative TPP

US Trade Agreements TPP blog


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Think Progress is a News Blog that I read. Perhaps you may like it too. Here are some of the current headlines:

Slow Down Fixed

Surprise, surprise. The replacement Verizon wireless router/modem came and did not fix the slow speed internet problem. It turns out that Verizon had the answer all the time. It was their network configuration causing the slow speed internet problem. After the Verizon employee fixed the Verizon network configuration I am finally now getting the speed for which I’ve been paying. Oh yes, one other thing, Verizon has granted me an $11 rebate off next months billing.

Popular ‘Zero Down’ Mortgage Program Makes Comeback

The Wall Street Journal
Erick Moore used a no-money-down USDA-backed loan to buy his four-bedroom house outside Raleigh, N.C.

One of the nation’s last sources of no money down financing for home loans appears to be making a comeback: Legislation that restores a Department of Agriculture home-buying program is headed to President Barack Obama’s desk for signature.

The legislation makes the USDA’s Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program self-sufficient, the National Association of Realtors reports. Borrowers will have to pay a higher “guarantee fee” of 3.5%–essentially upfront mortgage insurance–but the fee can be folded into the mortgage.

Buyers won’t mind paying a bit more in fees, says Sue Botelho, a senior mortgage advisor with Waterstone Mortgage Corp. in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla. “It’s great news,” she said. “It’s a huge part of my business. I am thrilled.”

Also happy is LGI Homes, a Texas builder that caters to USDA buyers. Chief Executive Eric Lipar estimates he’s lost 100 sales in the last few months.

“Once funding’s officially in place, we’ve got customers waiting,” he said.

The USDA wasn’t immediately available for comment.

As we’ve reported, the program offering no-money-down loans in certain parts of the country for low- and middle-income borrowers, exhausted its $13.1 billion funding earlier this year, leaving some would-be buyers fearful their financing would fall through. USDA loans were particularly popular this year as first-time buyers tapped the government’s federal home buyer tax credit. They have until Sept. 30 to close.

Despite the last-minute save for USDA borrowers, industry watchers haven’t stopped criticizing zero-down deals-given the role they played in the housing crash. The USDA program is considered safer because up to 90% of the purchase amount is guaranteed, meaning the agency will pay should the borrower default.

The USDA has previously said that last fiscal year’s foreclosure rate was 1.72%, well below the Federal Housing Administration’s 3.32%. Borrowers also can’t make more than 115% of a county’s median income, preventing McMansion-sized loans: The average USDA loan is $112,000.

The strong guidelines weed out potentially troublesome borrowers, Ms. Botelho said. “When they approve a loan, it’s a very, very good loan,” she said.

Congratulations to Don

Best Ice Cream in MA.jpg

Don is the owner of Meletharb Ice Cream. His ice cream was voted 2010 Best Ice Cream by Yankee Magazine

Dozens of flavors, made on the premises in small batches, attract a steady stream of ice-cream lovers, in weather both fair and foul. The shop’s creativity is best displayed in the honey-accented flavor with chunks of baked baklava blended in. Delicious! 393 Lowell St. 781-245-4946;