Archive for September 26th, 2008

165 Economists Rip Bailout Plan

Friday, September 26th, 2008

At least 165 economists have signed a letter to Congress members warning of three pitfalls in the Bush administration’s $700 billion proposal to deal with the Wall Street crisis.

The economists say they are well aware of the current financial situation and agree there’s a need for bold action but ask Congress “not to rush.”

They urge lawmakers to hold appropriate hearings and “to carefully consider the right course of action.”

The three problems with the plan proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the economists say, are its fairness, ambiguity and long-term effects.

President Bush was joined today by presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama at an emergency White House meeting on the plan. Key members of Congress said this morning they had struck a deal in principle, but the outcome of the proposal is unclear. Participants in the White House meeting called it extremely contentious.

The proposal allows the government to buy the faulty mortgage-based assets of severely weakened financial institutions to prevent them from collapsing and setting off a chain of events that would affect citizens, including depletion of retirement accounts, rising home foreclosures, bankrupt businesses and lost jobs.

The economists contend the plan is unfair, because it’s a “subsidy to investors at taxpayers’ expense.”

“Investors who took risks to earn profits must also bear the losses,” the economists say in their letter. “Not every business failure carries systemic risk. The government can ensure a well-functioning financial industry, able to make new loans to creditworthy borrowers, without bailing out particular investors and institutions whose choices proved unwise.”

The plan is ambiguous, they contend, as neither “the mission of the new agency nor its oversight are clear.”

“If taxpayers are to buy illiquid and opaque assets from troubled sellers, the terms, occasions, and methods of such purchases must be crystal clear ahead of time and carefully monitored afterwards,” the letter states.

If the plan is enacted, the economists argue further, “its effects will be with us for a generation.”

“For all their recent troubles, America’s dynamic and innovative private capital markets have brought the nation unparalleled prosperity,” they say. “Fundamentally weakening those markets in order to calm short-run disruptions is desperately short-sighted.”

Original Link.

The Lake of Fire Expected this Year?!

Friday, September 26th, 2008

The author of a unique best-selling book on the year 2012 and the return of biblical Nephilim claims mankind may be on the precipice of an earth-shaking event far beyond the imagination of most people. In “Nephilim Stargates: The Year 2012 and the Return of the Watchers,” Thomas Horn quotes the prophet Enoch concerning the history of powerful angels who descended from heaven onto Mt. Hermon “in the days of Jared” and used women to produce giant offspring.

But the history surrounding these demonic beings may not remain in the past. In fact, things may be about to get very scary, Horn claims.

Enoch was the son of Jared, father of Methuselah and great-grandfather of Noah, whose writings provide the most detailed account of the fall of the “Watchers,” the angels who fathered the infamous Nephilim (the bene Elohim Genesis 6:1-2).

While the book of Enoch is no longer included in most versions of the Bible, Enoch’s writings are quoted in the New Testament in at least two places, and he is mentioned by name in both the Old and New Testaments, including Jude 14-15 where one of his prophecies is cited.

During the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, pre-Maccabean fragments of the Book of Enoch were found, illustrating that the ancients held these texts to be sacred. The finding at Qumran also helped scholars to verify the book’s antiquity.

In addition, many early Church Fathers considered the Book of Enoch to be inspired, including Tertullian, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Origen and Clement of Alexandria.

Horn believes this is important, because if Enoch was truly a prophet, then the world may be in for one “hell” of a surprise, and soon. His concern stems from several specific parts of the book of Enoch.

“In the tenth chapter of the book of Enoch, it says the Watchers who were judged during the flood would be bound beneath ‘the hills of the earth’ for seventy generations, until the day of their final judgment in which they will be released from those confines and thrown into an abyss of fire, ‘to the torment and the prison in which they shall be confined for ever.’

“But in the fifteenth chapter, Enoch writes about the deceased offspring of the Watchers, the giants or Nephilim, and says that they ‘shall be concealed, and shall not rise up against the sons of men… until they come forth during the days of slaughter and destruction.’

“These prophecies of Enoch mirror those of other apocryphal works, which indicate a specific future date in which the Watchers will rise for a judgment that will be ‘for ever and ever’ (Enoch 10:12) and also when the giant offspring of the Watchers will return to wreak havoc upon earth.”

Of immediate concern, Horn warns, is the “seventy generations” that Enoch said would transpire from the time of the flood until the date of these events.

Why is this important?

“Because according to modern research, the roughly estimated date for the biblical flood is between BC 2800 and 2900. When you consider that a prophetic generation is 70 years based on Psalm 90:10 (‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten’), Enoch’s 70 generations times 70 years equals exactly 4900 years forward from the flood, bringing us to the current hour.

“Is mankind therefore standing on the threshold of Watchers being thrown into an abyss of fire, and giants returning? Does Enoch’s dating of ‘the final judgment’ as occurring following 70 generations from the flood also indicate a looming time frame for the Judgment seat of Christ?”

In “Nephilim Stargates: The Year 2012 and the Return of the Watchers,” Horn points to additional prophecies, which he believes could support this timing of Enoch’s 70 generations and a catastrophic soon return of the Watcher’s offspring, which would lead to men’s hearts failing them for fear when seeing what is coming upon the earth. (see Luke 21:26)

As an example, he points to the thirteenth chapter of the book of Isaiah, where it describes the destruction of Babylon (Iraq) at the end of time, something many Christians believe could be imminent given the U.S. military presence and uneasiness there. Yet as soon as the narrative begins, the Lord commands, “Open the gates, ye ruler. I give command and I bring them: Giants are coming to fulfill my wrath” (Isaiah 13:3) Septuagint.

Horn says the word translated here as “Giants” is Gibborim, beings that, according to him, many scholars hold as having been the offspring of the Watchers and Nephilim.

“So perhaps,” he concludes, “the timing of the 70 generations of Enoch coming to an end, and the military buildup in ancient Babylon/Iraq is not coincidental. Perhaps both of these prophets saw the same thing happening at the same time. The ramifications of what this portends may be more than most people can handle, and the return of the Nephilim sooner than we think.”

Original Link.

Bailout Talks Disintegrate

Friday, September 26th, 2008

So after the government takes all of my money, in order to bail out greedy companies with bad management, who is going to bail me out? The answer is “no one”. I’m expected to take care of myself, as it should be. Whatever happened to “fiscal responsibility”? I think that it no longer exist.

John McCain will try to recover ground in Washington, D.C., on Friday after Barack Obama and his Democratic colleagues in Congress accused the Republican candidate of injecting presidential politics into the high-stakes debate on Capitol Hill over economic bailout legislation.

McCain now stands in the unenviable position of fighting off complementary claims — that he barreled into Washington and rallied House conservatives to upend a financial rescue deal on the verge of being sealed, and then stood back and did nothing as negotiations devolved at a White House meeting.

The McCain camp denied both charges.

“Despite today’s news reports, there never existed a ‘deal,’ but merely a proposal offered by a small, select group of Members of Congress. As of right now, there exists only a series of principles … however, these principles do not enjoy a consensus in Congress,” McCain’s campaign said in a Thursday memo.

“At today’s Cabinet meeting, John McCain did not attack any proposal or endorse any plan. John McCain simply urged that for any proposal to enjoy the confidence of the American people, stressing that all sides would have to cooperate and build a bipartisan consensus for a solution that protects taxpayers,” the memo continued.

Supporters also claim that McCain was not disruptive during the White House talks but urged all sides to come together.

But to hear it elsewhere, McCain is largely to blame for the impasse in negotiations on a $700 billion package aimed at saving Wall Street from bad mortgage securities.

“Here’s my observation and I think this may have been confirmed at the meeting today — when you inject presidential politics into delicate negotiations, sometimes it’s not helpful. The cameras change things,” Obama told FOX News after the meeting ended. “It’s not clear to me that having presidential candidates in a high-profile way in the negotiating process is useful.”

Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill were more blunt.

“He’s slowed it down,” Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said of McCain’s impact on the negotiations. “The next thing we know, he’s in a position frankly where he’s making it harder to get things done, rather than help us negotiate differences.”

Obama vice presidential running mate, Joe Biden, suggested that the deal was close to finished until McCain arrived in D.C. on Thursday, one day after he suspended his political campaign to work on negotiations and called for such a high-level meeting of candidates and officials in Washington, D.C.

“We had a deal this morning, it looked like, when I say we -– the leadership of the House, and the Senate, the Democrats — had an agreement on this so-called bailout package and it looked like it was all going to be set and there was a call from the president, would Barack come to the White House with the congressional leadership and sort of sign on the dotted line?” Biden said at a Rhode Island fundraiser Thursday night.

“We were going to all put this behind us and then I’m told that things changed that John McCain landed about 4 o’clock and all of a sudden I don’t know what the reason but some of the House Republicans decided that this, this wasn’t going to go forward, at least not, not right away,” Biden continued.

McCain’s campaign has countered that it was Obama whose presence disrupted the meeting.

“The Democrats allowed Senator Obama to run their side of the meeting,” McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said in a written statement released Thursday night. “That did not work, as the meeting quickly devolved into a contentious shouting match that did not seek to craft a bipartisan solution.”

Original Link.

‘Fireproof’ The Movie Debuts Nationwide Today

Friday, September 26th, 2008

We’ve blogged about this movie before and I believe that it is going to be a “must-see” for my family. If you get a chance to see it, let us know what you thought about it.

Fireproof, which opens nationwide today in 850 theaters, is the latest movie from the same church in Albany, Georgia, that produced Facing the Giants and Flywheel. Fireproof stars Kirk Cameron as a fireman whose marriage is in serious trouble.

Cameron’s on-screen wife, Erin Bethea, says the movie will influence solid marriages as well as struggling ones.

“We not only have…a great message, a great story, some really good acting in this film, [but also] Kirk Cameron — you have never seen him like this before. I mean, he’s incredible. But then to go with it, it is good quality,” Bethea explains. “You’ll laugh and you’ll cry and enjoy the movie and be entertained, while at the same time getting a great message.”

Original Link.

Libraries One-Sided on Topic of Homosexuality

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Parents and Friends of ExGays and Gays is campaigning to put materials on the truth about homosexuality into public libraries.

Parents and Friends of ExGays and Gays (PFOX) says most libraries stock pro-homosexual books, but when it comes to books on the truth about homosexuality and materials on how one can be freed from the homosexual lifestyle, censorship seems to be fair play. PFOX executive director Regina Griggs explains that her organization has sent these types of materials to libraries, only to have them rejected or sent back.

“Consequently, the facts and the messages are not getting to young adults and to teens today that homosexuality is not innate,” Griggs laments. “There has never been a replicated study that says one is born gay and that change is not possible.”

Original Link.

Little Guy Overlooked While Big Boys Get Bailed

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Nancy and Billy bought a new home in Central Florida two years ago for $349,000 paying $35,000 down (their life savings) and financing the balance with an adjustable rate mortgage. Today, the home appraises for a mere $229,000—a 30 percent market drop in two years. These Florida homeowners are upside down and there is no relief sight—sadly, they are typical. Now, Nancy has been laid off from her job and this couple is trying (unsuccessfully) to make ends meet. Like many of their neighbors they have quit paying their mortgage, have been served with foreclosure papers and are preparing to walk away from their home. The rows of “for sale” signs are sad evidence that there are no prospective buyers on the horizon, and even if there were, how does one sell a home in this situation?

Do Republicans fail to see the tragedy in this scenario? Do they believe this is a fine example of how the free market works for good in America? If so, they stand to be severely punished in November.

The Democrats seem to get it and are pushing for legislation to allow Nancy and Billy to seek relief from a bankruptcy judge to “cram down” the mortgage debt to the true value of the property and modify the payment schedule accordingly. In the Democratic scenario Nancy and Billy obtain relief from bankruptcy court reducing the debt on their home to $229,000 and resetting their amortization schedule to reasonable market interest for 30 years fixed rate. Proponents say this will stem the tide of foreclosures and keep Americans in their homes. Opponents say that banks will only pass the loss on as higher loan interest rates and tighter lending guidelines.

Paulson brushed this approach aside and told us to trust him to do the right thing for Nancy and Billy. After he has the power, then he will make concessions to financially stressed homeowners. Republicans in Congress are resisting such relief because they are apparently more sympathetic to the National Bankers Association than the thousands of hard working Nancys and Billys who, unlike the “too large to fail” financial institutions, are the true victims of the economic crisis.

The concept that the Republicans are against mortgage restructuring for the “little guy” verges on the “let them eat cake” mentality. Yes, ACORN and other Democratically-aligned groups are pushing mortgage relief, but for once the Republicans should hold their nose and do something for the people who will be paying for the bailout—Nancy and Billy.

It is a legitimate question to ask President Bush, the Republicans in Congress and, yes, John McCain: Why are homeowners who have no control over the vicissitudes of the real estate market punished, and the Wall St. tycoons who are now being investigated by the FBI are being bailed out? The Democrats and their enablers, like the Chicago Tribune, will continue to loudly ask, “Who Will Bail Out American Families?” The New York Times will proclaim, “Housing Experts Say Bailout Proposal May Do Little for Homeowners.”

Original Link.