Friday, June 26, 2009

Obama wants your...

Not long ago I was talking to someone about wealth, and he had an interesting thought. He said to me that in order to become successful, I was not supposed to covet another person’s money they make. When I asked him why, he said it was just something he learned.

He quoted me thus: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor”. That is one of the 10 Commandments of God. Exodus 20:17.

One of the things that my neighbors who work at AIG have or own is the salary and wages they earn. Now when a man or woman works, his or her wages and or salary are not considered to be a gift to him or her. Nope. They are considered to be an obligation from the employer to the employee. See Romans 4:4.

Obama, the Muslim Marxist Shah of America

Monday, March 16, 2009: Before I talk about the new steps we’re taking to get credit flowing to small businesses across our country, I want to comment on the news about executive bonuses at AIG.

This is a corporation that finds itself in financial distress due to recklessness and greed.

Under these circumstances, it’s hard to understand how derivative traders at AIG warranted any bonuses, much less $165 million in extra pay. How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?

In the last six months, AIG has received substantial sums from the US Treasury. I’ve asked Secretary Geithner to use that leverage and pursue every legal avenue to block these bonuses and make the American taxpayers whole.

Clearly we have a licensed lawyer, who also happens to be the chief law enforcement officer of the United States of America, claim that my neighbors, the AIG employees, they don’t “warrant” their wages in the form of bonuses. In fact, the property they own (the bonuses) is an outrage.

So to fix this outrage, the licensed lawyer from Illinois said that he has ordered the Treasury Secretary to “...pursue every legal avenue to block these bonuses and make the American taxpayers whole”.

Employment and Labor law contracts have to be honored

Unfortunately I do have to state the obvious. Under state and federal law, and the Bible, the employees wages are do to be paid. It doesn’t matter where the employer obtained the money from to pay the employees, the employees must be paid their wages.

Thus, the alleged Christian lawyer, Obama, is clearly inciting the Congress, the Treasury Secretary, and the American people to covet the wages of the AIG employees. And the way we are going to covet what my neighbors own is to become outraged at the payment of their wages based on where the employer made his money.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the 18th and 19th of March, 2009, there were reports that the AIG employees were so in fear of their personal safety that there had to be armed guards stationed at their work place. Then on Thursday, March 19, 2009, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill that would basically target the AIG employees, and tax them so much so that their earned wages in the form of bonuses would be taken away from them.

Even bimbo lawyers, oops...I mean “legal experts” agree this is unlawful. In a Fox News online piece written on Wednesday, March 18, 2009, it stated:

But legal scholars say Congress will have a tough time defending itself in court if it goes down that road.

Not only would Congress be retroactively meddling with contractual agreements, they say, but it would be passing laws that would essentially target a specific group of employees.

The legal short of it is: there are state and federal employment and labor laws involved. Not to mention the United States Constitution prohibitions on bills of attainder and ex post facto laws.

More importantly, what do you think about this?

For as a man thinks, so is he. Proverbs 23:7. “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks”. Matthew 12:34.

When Osama Obama, Congress, and the Treasury Secretary began the hate and covet fest against my neighbors, I asked God what He thought about all this. Without a moment’s hesitation God replied to me “So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against...those who defraud laborers of their wages...”. Malachi 3:5

The way my neighbors at AIG are being defrauded is as follows. At the formation of their contracts they were promised X dollars for Y work based on A,B, and C. Now the company has new owners who are saying, in effect, “Thanks for the work but we won’t pay you as agreed”.

What are the values that the “chosen one” Obama has. What is in his heart and mind? I thought you would never ask!!!

Those values are to consider his neighbors wages as a violation of Obama and company’s “fundamental values”. And the violation of Obama and company’s fundamental values was so disturbing to him that he was “...choked up with anger here”. See Yahoo news dated March 16, 2009, entitled “Obama: Block AIG bonuses”.

Obama, his Congress, and the Treasury Secretary have been amazingly successful in getting the American people to covet their neighbors wages. A Rasmussen poll result released March 19, 2009, says about 76% of Americans covet their neighbors bonuses (read wages).

In other words, we have Obama inciting people to covet other people’s possessions. Obama is shown to be inciting others to sin against God.

Back to successful living

For discussion sake, let’s say that Obama is a Christian. We saw that by him personally coveting his neighbors wages or other possessions was a sin.

We also saw that Obama personally and through his administration has incited 76% of Americans to covet and hate their neighbors because of their wages. Within that 76% of Americans who covet with Obama, a certain percentage are true Christians. Does God have anything to say about one Christian leading others into sin?

Jesus said, “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves”. Luke 17:1-3.

If Obama were a Christian you would see and hear him repent publicly. The Holy Spirit would torment him day and night until he repented and tried to get as many children of God to repent as well. So just keep your eyes and ears out for this. If it happens.

Get ready for bad stuff to happen

Why should you get ready for bad stuff to happen to you and the country? Very simple. God said he would personally come close to us for judgment. See Malachi 3:5 above. He would stand up for the employees whose wages have been taken away from them by fraud. By Obama and company.

And there is nothing that Obama can do to help you. Hope is not on its way. Judgment is.

Obama the muslim

By examining the fruit of Obama, it is clear that he is not a Christian. He is a fallen muslim. He is Satan’s son. The “chosen one”. Choose you this day whom you will serve. Are you going to serve Satan and Obama by coveting and hating your neighbors because of what they make in wages? Or are you going to serve God and his son Jesus Christ by shunning evil. By not coveting and hating your neighbor?


1. Let the Holy Spirit cleanse you from all unrighteousness

2. Protect your wealth and possessions by praying negative prayers over those who are trying to take them from you

3. Improve your prayer and faith life by letting me help you. Let me encourage, teach, and support you through my book and emails. To get your own copy, go to

Collect the Obama Treasures at Obama Store Online

As Barack Obama said on the night of his Presidential election victory:

“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It's the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America. “

To anyone who heard or saw this historic Election Night Victory Speech of Barack Obama in Chicago on November 4th 2008 knows that America has positively changed.

Having witnessed the impact of Barack Obama’s victory and his brilliant ascent to the Presidency in the United States, numerous people are collecting Obama artworks and Obama stuff, which will serve as a reminder of the turning point in American history As a symbol of the peoples’ support, Obama photos are being distributed and displayed not just in homes but as well in t-shirts. Even Obama speeches are considered mementos that will remind people of the hope, the change and the responsibility that we have to ourselves, our children, our Country and indeed the world that we have to be better and make this world a better place for all.

Since the popularity of the president, Obama collectibles are in hot demand, include innovative Obama gifts and Obama artworks. People from all walks of life who wanted to have a priceless Barack Obama merchandise need only to visit You can find the famous Obama art, Obama photos, Obama speeches, Barack Obama prints, Obama buttons, Michelle Obama merchandise, and other Barack Obama memorabilia. All of these can be yours to be kept as remembrance or be given to friends. Supporters can now enjoy their victory more by purchasing these items at such great prices considering its part of the great American history.

Like a bottle of fine wine that gets better with time, everything that you can find at has the potential to definitely become a treasure as the years unfold. History often has a way of providing riches that is kept hidden in simple artworks and posters that are hanged even on colorless walls. If you want to update your collection of Obama stuff, do it easily by visiting Obama store online. You will definitely find all the items available such as the Obama photos framed to your convenience. Make it one of the important portraits in your home and be proud of the first African American President that will make the present events quite significant in the future.

Obama has been warmly welcomed and received by huge crowds of thousands all around the world and has inspired so many. Make Barack Obama’s success your success as well. Let the story of a young boy now President of United States becomes your inspiration. Place these Obama collectibles in your home, office or place of business and let the Obama newspapers become a part of your library treasures. Even the inauguration items will serve remind you of the promises made that will affect the lives of millions. Share your enthusiasm for the President and America and show your support by giving your friends Barack Obama gifts. You can even mark your achievements and schedules in the Obama calendars.

You can never go wrong with the Obama collectibles that are now among the famous treasures marking the history of the United States. Let the Obama speeches inspire you to dream big and help others in your lifetime. Wear the Obama tee shirts or Obama watches as motivation reminding you that America is a place where anything is possible if you are willing to work hard, regardless of your class, race, color, sex or religion.

As the value of your Obama merchandise escalates in time let them be a reminder of the accomplishments made by an ordinary American willing to do extraordinary things that inspired a nation during his Presidential campaign. As President Obama said: His story could not have been possible anywhere else. He said,

“I know you didn't do this just to win an election and I know you didn't do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to - it belongs to you.

This is your victory.

Michelle Obama Fashion--Everything You Need to Know

Michelle Obama has graced the covers of several fashion magazines even before she started residing at the White House. Her fashion sense is said to rival that of Jacqueline Kennedy. She hit the campaign trail in chic and yet smart outfits. The unique Michelle Obama fashion sense has won her a special tribute from The Council of Fashion Designers of America.

She is known to wear Narciso Rodriguez, Jason Wu and Thakoon Panichgul, but she also has an affinity to lesser-known designers. There is nothing extra ordinary about her sense of style, but she has a knack of making a boring outfit elegantly interesting. She can even stand out in a low-budget outfit, just like the gown she wore on the inauguration. The yellow ensemble was made by Cuban-American Isabel Toledo.

Even the First Lady’s fashion sense is not void of controversy. She is often photographed in sleeveless tops and this has caused quite a stir. It raised questions of appropriateness. Conservatives think that it is not appropriate for someone of her stature to wear sleeveless tops in official functions. It even raised the logic of wearing sleeveless during a cold weather.

The smart-looking sleeveless tops she would usually wear sparked a unique Michelle Obama fashion style. It has become more stylish for women to show off their toned arms. In fact, the much anticipated Michelle Obama Female Force comic shows her in a sleeveless top with arms folded highlighting her biceps.

She doesn’t seem to dress up to impress the fashion world. This is understandable, considering her manic lifestyle as a successful lawyer, mother of two and wife of a president. The Michelle Obama fashion sense is almost seems to be that of a utilitarian. It is obvious that she knows how to choose an outfit that flatters her figure.

Michelle Obama has the courage to wear bright jewel tones. She has a penchant of wearing colourful dresses as well. Making them work the way ordinary women wouldn’t. Again, just take for example the gowns she wore during the inauguration. They were unexpectedly elegant considering the shade of yellow that were used.

The Michelle Obama fashion sense is young and sophisticated, very much different from the usual drab that the previous First Ladies wore. She is a lot younger than the other First Ladies and we got used to seeing a President with a woman boringly dressed beside him during inauguration. This is the first time after Jacqueline Kennedy that we saw a First Lady that could make it on the cover of major fashion magazines.

Being the strong independent woman that she is, the brouhaha over her fashion style doesn’t seem to faze her a bit. She is unrepentant of her biceps-showing outfits. Nor is she about to get a stylist to accommodate the conservative’s whim. The unique Michelle Obama fashion is destined to become a classic look that will be transcend time. Years from now, video clips of the inaugural would still be shown and she would still look as stylish as ever.

Bible Insights Into President Obama's Order To Kill The Somalian Pirates, And The Death Penalty

Hey America, President Obama, US Naval Seals, and Captain Phillips:

The Holy Scripture teaches that honor is to be given to whom honor is due, tribute to whom tribute is due. Therefore, in the spirit of that admonition I will speak of aspects of the recent piracy act where an American sea Captain was held as hostage. Captain Phillips, showing both bravery and compassion volunteered himself to be held while begging the release of some of his fellow ship mates. This is commendable. For it is written: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13 KJV) Captain Phillips: you sir, are to be honored for your act of decency and devotion to your ship mates, risking your life for the aide and safety of those in your charge.

This piracy episode was brought to an end when the US navy seals by means of sniper fire killed three of the pirates who were holding the ship captain at gun point. The ship captain was freed and the fourth pirate brought into custody.

Now, in view of the Holy Scriptures let us examine various aspects of this event, and what will be the likely judicial action exercised upon the captive pirate. Why should such an examination be done? For two very basic reasons. Because Yahweh, the creator of the world, who is also the author of the Holy Scripture is wiser then we are. Therefore, we can gain wisdom to live successfully by giving heed to the Holy Scriptures. In conjunction to that reason there is also this reason. All men will one day be held in account as to whether each lived his natural life in acceptance and obedience to Yahweh's Lordship, or in rejection and disobedience to His Lordship (ownership). Therefore, in light of eternity it behooves every man to examine his actions knowing that he will ultimately stand before the Living God to be judged for the deeds of his life.

Point One: A national government, even as is exemplified in the most basic and fundamental of government units, which is, that of a man in his own household, ought to defend and protect it's own. So America, President Obama, and the US Naval Armed Forces you did well to go to the aide and protection of this one who is an American citizen. We can see this truth spoken clearly in these verses from the Holy Scripture: 1 Timothy 5:8 (KJV) speaks of an individual's responsibility to supply provision and protection for those of his own household. But if any provide not for his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Romans 13:3-4 (KJV)speaks of the responsibility of a government to protect and defend it's own. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is a minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

Point Two: To kidnap any person is a capital offense by the law of God. It is written in Exodus 21:16 (KJV), And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death. The conclusion is exceedingly easy and forthright. It is plain for anyone with an honest heart to see, and that is that any man stealer (kidnapper) is to be executed. So in that these pirates would not surrender to due process of law you did 100% right to kill them in defense of the life of the American ship captain.

Point Three: In spite of the fact that by God's law death is to be the judgment for all kidnappers, mercy was offered for a lengthly amount of time, and the pirates were given an opportunity to recant their deeds and release their captive. However, they refused. It is good to show mercy, but mercy scoffed needs always to be turned into judgment shown. President Oboma, Naval Seal Commander: you did well to show mercy, but in that it was not received you followed it by the most proper action, that of slaying the pirates that held the American citizen captive. For the Holy Scripture teaches that mercy is only to be shown to those who show mercy. The pirates refused to show mercy, so in the end no mercy could be granted to them.

Point Four: According to the norm of American justice the fourth kidnapper will never be treated in the manner that what is commanded by the law of God. As we read earlier, any man stealer (kidnapper) is to be executed. Now I realize that this scenario has not yet been played out, but an established norm has been set in the United States of America is recent decades, and that is to forsake the commandment of God in reference to the judgment of those guilty of the death penalty, and to force the American public to feed and house the guilty for years and years, and then in many cases to later set the lawbreakers free so that they can practice their wickedness again to the hurt of other innocents. This is neither wise or godly. However, when one is to be killed in punishment for their crimes, they deserve this one respect, grant that a God fearing minister be supplied to them to give them one last chance at entering the salvation of Jesus before they depart this world. For at death the judgment of whether one belongs to Jesus or not is set, and that for all eternity.

Point Five: I will give this advise in reference to piracy on the high seas. First of all, in accordance with the norm of modern American wisdom and practice, our government will try to answer this situation by throwing volumes of money at it. By trying to guard the whole coast line of Somalia, or some such thing. Such thought process is foolish for two reasons. One: We can not afford that expense, (we already have a national debt of multiple trillions of dollars) and besides that, such action is unnecessary, and it is sincerely doubtful that such as task can reasonably be made to work. Do this, allow the ships that use that shipping lane to arm themselves against those that would attack them. I know this flies in the face of modern American thought that would like to pretend that big government has the answer to every problem. Such a government would like to disarm it's people, and in so doing create a society where the government plays the part of God to its people. (“the ever present supplier and protector, where one need only to swear allegiance to it and all his needs are met”) Know this, it was men that created our American form of government, therefore the government belongs to the people, and not the people to the government. I now suggest to you an answer to the piracy problem that will work, and is in accordance with the wisdom of the scripture as is seen in this verse. (Matthew 12:29 KJV) Or else how can one enter a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? And then he will spoil his house. The wisdom of this verse speaks both in respect to the need for individuals to bear arms to protect themselves, and the need for commercial enterprises to bear arms to protect their own interests. Which any government denying it's citizens this right is proving in that action to be both foolish and ungodly.

I freely and pointedly say that the action of the US Government to protect and deliver Captain Phillips from the Somali pirates was an action worthy of honor. You did good Mr. President. You did good Navy Seals. However, this incident is only one in light of the very many examples in modern times where our American government has not defended it's own.

Why have we not defended the innocents who have been murdered by means of abortion since our own Supreme Court “legalized” this type of murder in 1973? Why Mr. President, does the US government not go to the defense of these? Are these unborn, or newly born Americans any less citizens of the United States of America then Captain Phillips and his crew? With that question I will ask another. Why has civil judgment not been exercised on those that have slaughtered to date, by means of what is called abortion, over 40 million of our nation's citizens? Beyond this question I will ask still another, why are not the many who murder any of our citizens on our streets not brought to execution, and thus the law of God fulfilled, and the land made free of the guilt of the shedding of innocent blood? Why are not the many who deal in drugs and any other vices that continually threaten the well being, and lives of our citizens not brought to justice and executed?

Woe to a nation who will not exercise judgment according to God's laws. Who to the leaders of men who do not seek the praise and reward of God , but rather seek the praise and reward of being the friends of men, and because of this do not do judgment. Woe to these, and woe to such a nation. For Yahweh, the King of the earth will Himself exercise judgment upon such a people. Though this judgment may seem to linger, it will surely come.

Here is my counsel America, President Obama, and to all who will see these words: Repent. Turn from the wickedness of humanistic thought (man centered thought) and action and do both the laws and the promises of God. In them alone is life, and only those that follow Him will He welcome into His eternal kingdom. Also, only those who walk in the light of His promises and laws will be proven in the end to have His blessing in this life. Amen. As it is written: Blessed is the man (nation) that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of the sinner, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight (that nation's delight) is in the law of the Lord; and in his law he mediates day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore, the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor the sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but he way of the ungodly shall perish. (Psalms 1: 1-6 KJV)

A Watchman
Gregory DeHart

Health Informatics Specialists are key to the Obama Health Information Technology Policy

As someone who has been teaching health informatics students for a number of years, it is rewarding to find this discipline finally receiving the attention and interest it demands. Most health experts have agreed for some time that the two academic disciplines of informatics and genomics are the key disciplines that will shape the future of American healthcare by enabling doctors to have access to personalized healthcare information at the point of care.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes specific wording supporting increased funding of health informatics programs around the nation. A recent article in the New York Times has noted that there is a greatly increased demand for "health informatics specialists" who have expertise in medical records, insurance claims, clinical care and computer programming as health care providers look to utilize the $19 billion in stimulus funding directed at implementing and expanding electronic health records.

Health informatics specialists usually start their career or education in computer programming or as health care professionals, and later earn a degree in health informatics and take midlevel or senior jobs at a hospital, doctor's office, insurance company, drug firm or other organization working with health care data. The experience of the UC Davis Health Informatics program, which I direct, is that most of our graduates have found senior positions in health informatics in both public and private sectors, including a number who have become faculty in health informatics programs, and are now teaching future generations of students.

William Hersh MD, Chair of the Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology at Oregon Health and Science University was quoted in the New York Times as saying , "The health IT people run the servers and install software, but the informatics people are the leaders, who interpret and analyze information and work with the clinical staff." It is crucial to have highly trained experts in informatics who are able to work across both the disciplines of health and information technology, and who understand and are expert in both. Without these informatics experts it is hard to see how the Obama Administration policies for Health Information Technology can possibly be implemented.

The American Medical Informatics Association is the main professional body relating to health informatics experts and Don Detmer MD, the Chief Executive Officer, said, "My rough estimate is that we need about 70,000 health informaticists" to meet Electronic Health Record goals laid out in the stimulus bill. Prior to the stimulus bill, most experts agreed that just to keep progressing with Health IT implementation at our current relatively slow rate, it would be necessary to have another 10,000 health informaticists by 2012. All that is now changed, and there is an urgent need for many more highly trained health informatics specialists, and programs such as UC Davis are planning to more than double their current output of students within the next three years, assuming extra stimulus funding.

It is interesting how the public has caught on to the need for increased numbers of health informatics specialists. This is demonstrated by the already dramatically increased numbers of applicants to the UC Davis program, where we are currently working with more than 50 applicants to our Masters program, having recently also enrolled 30 students in the first quarter of our new Certificate program.

It is crucial that the health workforce is retrained for 21st Century medical needs, and with health being one of the relatively few expanding sectors of the workforce, training in disciplines such as health informatics is essential if we are to improve the way health services are delivered to the nation. We have to be realistic about the fact that there will be increased needs in future as the current 46 million uninsured are likely to be covered by some form of universal insurance and offered more comprehensive care than they have been able to receive in the past. This can only happen if we use Health Information Technology intelligently, and universally, and for that to happen we have to dramatically increase the number of health informatics experts around the country.

Obama’s Mortgage Modification Plan - Coming to the Rescue

The housing market has been affected by the economic crisis, property values falling fast. Millions of people are unable to meet their mortgage payments, have lost their jobs or are suffering a reduction of their income. These circumstances are beyond their control but luckily, Obama’s mortgage modification plan has appeared at the right moment.

Lenders are equally interested in joining the loan modification program, especially when they found out that they would be given cash incentives. The requirement for a lender is that he/she manages to successfully complete a loan modification, the homeowner respecting the payment schedule and meeting the new mortgage payments each month. The profits of the lender are sustained by these cash incentives, since a share of their earnings has disappeared due to the low interest rates and reduced payments given to homeowners taking part in the program.

The moment one applies for the loan modification program, the loan will be extended over a period that varies somewhere from five to forty years. Together with the lender, the borrower will negotiate other terms of the agreement as well, obtaining lower mortgage payments and an interest rate that is reduced depending on the borrower’s financial difficulties. The mortgage rate is fixed, which is not the case with refinancing, where there is a high chance of being given an adjustable rate. The borrower does not default on the payments any longer and the lender recovers the debt, each part deriving a benefit.

Financial hardship, the loss of jobs and other negative consequences of the worldwide crisis have had a negative impact on homeowners. Struggling with the cost of living, barely managing to pay the mortgage rates and living with the constant threat of losing their homes, it’s no wonder that so many people are putting all their hopes into this loan modification program. As for lenders, they get a piece of the pie and recover money that would have been lost had the foreclosure action been started.

Instead of losing money due to falling property values, most lenders prefer to take part in Obama’s mortgage modification plan. They agree to lower the interest rate and other similar conditions, provided that the homeowner keeps on paying the mortgage. The deal is sweetened by the promised cash incentives, bonuses of one thousand dollars offered when the homeowner pays on time. It seems that this plan is well-made and that borrowers are finally being given the opportunity to escape their impending debts.

Obama’s Loan Modification Housing Plan and its Definite Advantages!

The main proposal in Obama’s loan modification housing plan is to change the terms of the loans in order to make them more affordable. Although it is not yet certain whether the plan is going to work out on the long term, the Obama administration has clearly pointed out that entering the program will help borrowers get back on track. There are many benefits indeed, starting with the fact that the eligibility requirements differ a lot from those commonly encountered in a refinancing application.

The good news is that the loan modification plan is open to those who have managed to keep their payments up to date. Borrowers are given the opportunity to negotiate better terms for their mortgages and avoid the financial crisis without suffering any of its consequences. Loan modification attorneys help borrowers enter the program, offering debt counselling as well. The government has joined in the effort to combat the housing crisis, working together with various lenders on the modification of different loans. The general hope is that foreclosures will be avoided.

There have been many discussions regarding the benefits of the loan modification plan but most people still don't know what the program entails. The measures taken are supposed to help borrowers recover. These measures include the reduction of the principal balance, among others. Additionally, both homeowners and lenders are attracted with numerous incentives, the plan being 100% supported by the government.

The purpose of the plan is to reduce monthly payments, saving delinquent homeowners from imminent foreclosure. The lenders benefit from the program as well, being rewarded for negotiating with the borrowers so that they can stay in their homes. The loan modification plan has clear and comprehensive eligibility criteria, the application process being fast and without any further complications.

The incredible number of five million homeowners will take full advantage of Obama’s loan modification housing plan. Those who are at risk will save important sums of money on mortgage payments and they won’t have to worry about foreclosure. Cash incentives will be given to eligible modifications, both to the borrowers and the lenders. If the lender agrees to modify the terms of the loan before the borrower actually falls behind on the payments, then there is an additional sum of money to be paid as incentive. The verdict is that this ambitious and encouraging plan, given the recent economic conditions, is a win-win situation, for delinquent homeowners and lenders as well.

Obama’s Loan Modification – The Affordability and Stability Plan

Obama’s loan modification – the Affordability and Stability Plan – has been created with the aim of helping millions of Americans stay in their homes. Homeowners have been informed about this intelligent plan through various methods, with the eligibility criteria being present online, in the newspaper and of course, on television.

We will present to you a few of the eligibility criteria but you should know that there are several others that might make you a suitable candidate for loan modification. In order to qualify for Obama’s plan, you have to live in the house and be able to prove your income, the loan you have taken must be held either by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and the monthly payments should exceed 31% of your income.

Even though people haven’t talked about anything else in the past few weeks, it is true that the President’s plan did come into effect on the 4th of March. Homeowners were advised to complete the required documents and find an experienced lawyer to represent them in the legal process. For many of them, entering the loan modification plan is a sure way to stop foreclosure and keep their homes. By negotiating the terms of the contract, they might be able to obtain a lower interest rate and reduced monthly payments. The lender might decide to forgive payments that were missed and all late fees will be removed. These are all advantages that loan modification brings and it’s no wonder so many homeowners want to join.

We have already mentioned something about the monthly payments exceeding 31% of your income. How is the loan modification plan going to lower your mortgage payments? The truth is that many efforts have been made in that area and that the Obama administration hopes to accomplish this objective through three major changes. First, they want to reduce the interest rate to as low as 2%. The second step is to extend the term of the loan, with a maximum of 40 years. Last but not least, both the government and the lending institutions have agreed that this is the right time to reduce the principal, supporting the loss and aiding homeowners.

These are basically a few ideas about Obama’s loan modification – the Affordability and Stability plan. If you need more information, you can always trust the Internet as a reliable source. Find out how and when to apply, what the other requirements for applicants are and how the plan is going to work for homeowners in distress.

Obama’s Loan Modification Plan - Helping You Escape the Jaws of Foreclosure

Many homeowners tremble at the thought of losing their homes. Not everyone can avoid foreclosure and those who do, sometimes can't help getting in financial difficulties. Obama’s loan modification plan has spread some hope over the entire country, particularly to those who were at risk of foreclosure. The plan is to prevent foreclosure from happening.

The whole purpose of the loan modification plan is to make mortgage payments affordable, regardless of the income of the borrower. The initiative is mainly aimed at those who are at risk of foreclosure, and the specifics are still in development. There is a lot of frustration where one of the eligibility criteria is concerned, meaning the fact that one has to have a loan at Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. This subject has been discussed over and over again, and solutions are being put forward for consideration constantly.

If you find yourself unable to meet mortgage payments and you are scared about a potential foreclosure process, then you should definitely go ahead and find out more details about the loan modification program that President Obama has proposed. One of its greatest benefits is that the interest rate is reduced to as low as 2% but homeowners are also enticed with its many other advantages. Lenders support the loan modification program, and they are prepared to negotiate with borrowers and to agree on a new payment schedule. Faithful payers equal monetary incentives for the lenders, so one can certainly understand where the desire to participate comes from.

It is not only the lenders who receive cash incentives for taking part in the program but also the borrowers, who are given the sum of one thousand dollars per year, for a period of five years. This sum is appreciated by many borrowers, who are thus encouraged to take part in the program.

You too can qualify for Obama’s loan modification plan, but you will have to talk to the lender about the specifics of the program. Don’t jump to the conclusion that you are not a suitable candidate for the loan modification plan and contact your lender. Discuss your options, show that you are determined to pay and, who knows, you might be given a second chance. Don’t hesitate to get into the loan modification program and stay away from speculators who are trying to trick you on false premises. You might be surprised at the number of people who want to take a wrongful advantage of this program.

Obama’s Federal Loan Modification Plan is Finally Here

Obama’s federal loan modification plan is a solution designed to help delinquent homeowners. Thanks to the introduction of this program, lenders will be more inclined to change the terms of a loan and make payments more affordable. Millions of borrowers need help, have defaulted on their existing mortgages and are losing their properties. Today they can qualify for loan modification and start anew.

One of the main eligibility criteria is having taken out the loan before the start of 2009. If you have a loan that originated before that period, then you can definitely consider the loan modification program. You can start considering a reduction of the interest rate, a lower sum to pay each month and also the possibility that the lender could forgive late payments. Reductions are also given for the principal, late fees can be forgiven and borrowers can finally stop dreading the legal actions which revolve around foreclosures.

President Obama introduced the loan modification plan in order to make the housing market stable and to help borrowers regain their stability as well. Borrowers can change the terms of their loans, extending the payment period and benefitting from a genuinely low interest rate. Qualifying for this program means that the monthly payments for the mortgage will only reach 31% of your gross monthly income. No more bad choices, no more debt and certainly no more foreclosures. Loan modification help is available and borrowers are definitely taking advantage of it.

Loan modification was introduced as an alternative to refinancing, as most homeowners' refinancing applications were rejected because there was no equity left on the house. Without taking into consideration the existence of equity nor the credit score of the borrower, the loan modification program imposes a series of eligibility criteria for anyone who wants to qualify. Two of these include the fact that one has to reside in the house and that the loan is guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Barack Obama’s federal loan modification plan is promising, giving millions of borrowers out there a chance. It protects them from foreclosure, allowing them to repay their debt at a more comfortable pace and it is made with the intention of reducing interest rates on home loans. Most lenders have already agreed to take part in the loan modification plan, preferring to negotiate with the borrower rather than foreclose on the property and lose an important part of the amount owed.

Obama and McCain - Does Wall Street Know Who Could Bring Back Market Confidence?

Election campaigns are in high gear right now and everyone has an opinion on just about everything when it comes to which candidate would be better for who and what. I lost faith in the common sense of the average voter, not just in the United States but pretty much across the world. What I am finding very curious, is the possibility that many people haven't realized that that the party platforms aren't the same as they were 20 years ago. Little do they know that the platforms have changed right under their nose. One of the greatest examples of this is the never ending pigeon holing claiming that Republicans are good for business and Wall Street while keeping the government small, and the Democrats are anti-business and will spell doom for Wall Street while expanding the government to goliath proportions. In full disclosure, I usually have views that seem a bit more republican in nature but since I didn't disable the reasoning portion of my cerebrum for the last 8 years, I have views that are based on rational judgment instead of a bias based on a political party.

No matter what you think a party represents, one must ask themselves which presidential candidate would be best suited to carry the United States out of the dilemma we now face. If you breakdown the dire issues within the global economies that have shown themselves like a scene from a doomsday movie, it comes down to one very fundamental issue; who can reestablish confidence? It's so important to understand that government interventions, nationalizations, liquidity injections, and bailouts are all being done to increase confidence. Increasing confidence in the banks leads to lending, which increases confidence in businesses to do more business, which in turn increases the confidence of investors to push more money into these businesses, which then allow these businesses to hire more people who end up feeling confident enough to by products. Rinse and repeat and you now have economies humming along with a healthy amount of confidence. This was the one point that Paulson and Bernanke totally nailed when presenting the bailout package to Congress. Confidence is crushed because there is no faith in the system, and there are no government regulations or controls in place to give investors within the credit markets any confidence that things are going to be any different after the bailout. Not to mention that other countries around the world who so graciously invest in the United States need to have confidence that the U.S. Government is in control of its own markets.

So, follow and indulge me on a line of thinking. If confidence is important and, like school children, the financial world needs to know who is in charge to gain some confidence, wouldn't a little bit of government regulation be a good thing at this time? Wall Street analysts are running around yelling that Obama would be detrimental to the markets because he would enact more regulation. Wouldn't instilling some regulation tell everyone, "Yes, we know where this whole thing went wrong and we are putting measures in place to assure it doesn't happen again?" Not only are the financial institutions, its investors, and the markets as a whole trying to figure out HOW they are going to function after they have clean balance sheets from the bailout, but also WHO is going to tell them what the rules of engagement are. This needs to come from the government and a strong government at that. A word of caution on this one though; I used the word "little" when describing the amount of regulation, because it is important to get it just right or risk causing further damage by taking it too far . Also, any increase in capital gains tax would be a mistake in my opinion. However, I think investors could argue that it's better to have a healthy economy and market that you can profit from compared to what we are experiencing now. Needless to say, capital gains become a moot point when you are losing money on your investments. I think a lot of my republican colleagues are going through mental civil war on this one, but I assure you they are not alone. I am strongly against any type of regulation that interferes with the smooth natural flow of commerce, but I have to pause because the recent lesson is a game changer. The market is like a running animal right now and begging for a clear definition of its boundaries. Who is better suited to create those boundaries? McCain or Obama? At this point, it is one guess after another.

Keep this in mind. If you want to have a healthy bull market, you need to keep the bull around. The only way to do that is to start building fences. Let's just hope whoever builds the fence gets the size just right.

How to Emulate the Oratory Fineness of Barack Obama

Public speaking is one of the most terrifying prospects in the world for many people, ranking right up there with death (higher than death in some cases). This fear is natural and almost universal, even with seasoned public speakers. Regardless of the amount of fear that fills you at the prospect of stepping behind that lectern, you can still be an effective public speaker if you know the key elements. Wouldn’t you like to have the ability to emulate the oratory fineness of Barack Obama. How does he have such a cool and easy going way about him when he is addressing the Nation? These steps are simple and apply to every public speaking situation you could find yourself in and include:

Preparation – One of the most effective ways to banish that overwhelming fear is to prepare for your speech adequately. This implies many things, including knowing your material, knowing your audience, knowing the venue and rehearsing your speech prior to the engagement. With preparation comes familiarity, familiarity with your material, with each point on your outline. President Obama is a master at familiarity. It also helps you understand to whom you will be speaking – this is an invaluable tool to help you tailor your speech to meet the needs of specific audiences. In addition, knowing the venue helps you feel more comfortable during the engagement. Finally, know your topic – obviously, you were chosen for a reason; let your speech reflect that reason. Adequate preparation is incredibly important; however, over-preparing can be detrimental. Only put enough thought and preparation into it as you require. Do not over analyze the situation, which can lead to even more stress.

Presentation – Your presentation of the material is also a key point to address. With the right preparation, your material should be sufficient, but how you present that material is vitally important. The wrong presentation can leave your audience wanting, leave them unengaged and lackadaisical. A lackluster performance moves no one – whether you are motivating your audience, informing them about new products or services, sharing testimonials or anything else, the right presentation is essential. So what is the right presentation method? While it will vary with each setting, open body language is integral to all situations.

Body Language - Open body language conveys confidence, knowledge and expertise – President Obama is a master at open body language. No matter whom he is speaking to, he has a sense of openness and kindness, but can also show firmness in his stance on important subject matter. Presentation can set your audience at ease and tell them subconsciously that you are an expert, that you are comfortable with your knowledge and that you have important things to impart to them.

Voice – Your speaking voice is just as important as your body language. If your voice is pitched too low, or you speak to loudly, you can lose your audience. Once more, while the tone of voice and style of speaking will change a bit with each setting, it is important that you use a conversational tone and hit the right volume level. You should speak loud enough that everyone can hear you, but not so loudly that you thunder in their ears. Your tone should convey confidence and strength, but should also be conversational, casual and effective.

Obviously, your choice of wording will vary with each engagement; your choice of terminology should fit the industry you are addressing. However, your tone of voice and volume should impart the same things as your body language. The perfect example is how conversational and friendly President Obama is during casual television interviews with the First Lady compared to his level of confidence and firmness when presenting his opinion on his stimulus package.

When you combine these three disparate elements into a seamless whole, you'll find yourself much more comfortable with the spectacle of public speaking. Does this mean that those butterflies will dissolve, never to return? No, even the most seasoned public speaker still feels nervous before taking the stage. Even President Obama has a bit of stage fright, we just don’t see it. The fear of the unknown will always lurk deep within your psyche, but with the right preparation, body language and voice control, you will feel much more comfortable. In short, with just a bit of forethought, you can become an effective public speaker and have the ability to emulate the oratory fineness that the President possesses.

To Stop Foreclosure - Obama's Loan Modification Program‘s Will You Get Any Help? Shocking Facts Revealed

President Obama's Affordability and stability plan includes over 70 billion Dollars foreclosure assistance. Unfortunately most of the homeowners in danger of loosing their homes will not benefit from this plan.

Most of these families will not qualify for this program due to the strict scrutiny and number of requirements necessary to get foreclosure assistance under this plan.

The original plan was to help about 10 billion home owners to stop foreclosure and save their homes, bur unfortunately just a fraction of this number will really get any help from this loan modification program.

The Obama's Loan Modification Program is voluntary regarding the banks and Lenders, which means, the Banks and Lenders are not oblique to work with you or to try to help you. They will do so only if this is in their best financial interest. It will be all up to the Banks.

Borrowers in turn will have to fill out certain forms, get certain documents and paperwork, and then the banks will analyze the application in an detailed case by case manner to then determine which cases means sense to them financially.

There are some basic requirements to determine the preliminary eligibility of homeowners for the Obama's Loan Modification Program to to stop foreclosure. They are listed as follow:

• Your house has to be your primary residence

• Second mortgages will not qualify

• You will have to provide proof of income

• Present monthly mortgage payments have to be 31% or more of your basic join monthly income.

• You will qualify even if your mortgage loan is not presently on default.

• There is not any initial fee to apply for this program

To apply for Obama's Loan Modification Program you must first need to get in touch with certain institutions or your own Bank or Lender to acquire the paperwork and forms that you will need to submit with your application.

You, as a homeowner, have to be able to show that your family is having financial difficulties in the first place. Gross monthly income and expenses must be explained, and all the forms must be correctly filled out, just to be able to apply for this program and to stop foreclosure.

Like I said before; this plan is completely voluntary for the Landers, but the Government will offer some incentives to Banks that are willing to participate in the affordability and Stability plan. For this reason, most banks and financial institutions were expected to participate in the program.

However, how we all now know, this is not exactly the case. Many Banks are staying in the sidelines, while others though, are supposedly working with homeowners, the number of homeowners being approve for the program is currently extremely limited.

The number of homeowners being help to stop foreclosure disappointing at this moment; however some amendments are expected in the near future in order to increase the number of homeowners facing the possibility of foreclosure to stay in their homes.

As the numbers of homes being foreclosure continues increasing, regardless this Obama's Loan Modification Program, the primary concern for homeowners is how to stop foreclosure anyway they can for the moment, until they qualify for the plan in the future.

The good news is that there are ways for you to stay in your home for over two years even if you feel that you do not qualify for the Obama's Loan Modification Program or if you already apply for it and were rejected already. But you need to know what to do now before you get foreclosed out of your home.

Let's Talk About America, President Obama, Socialism and Taxes

Hey America. Politicians, and President Obama:

Years ago I figured out a simple truth. Be generous and give, and you’ll earn favor with people, especially if the gift is one that cannot be repaid. The person you give to may then be your friend, perhaps for a life time. I first learned this at the hand of my Great Grandpa who used to give us kids lemon drops when we would visit him. A small thing, but it has been many years and I still vividly remember his thoughtfulness to us. Warren Porter was a family friend who, when I was eleven years old, took me traveling with himself and his aged mother from Minnesota to Alaska, with many interesting points in between. I will never forget these and others who have been generous and kind to me. It would appear to me that our federal, state, county and city governments have learned a similar thing. They make many friends of special interest groups with our tax dollars. We pay for many “gifts”, monies spent to benefit the few not the whole, or even the many.

The thing that the politicians do not seem to understand is that it is not their money. By force of law they steal from the working man, our wives and children, so they can take the money and make friends with it. You might say that by means of armed robbery they steal from the producing element of our American society. They arm themselves with the force of unjust and foolish laws that are forced upon us. In the law of God it is clearly put forth that no one has the right to take from another that which doesn’t belong to him. To extract from an individual his wealth by force of law and not give him a just direct benefit is no less than thievery. God sees it all friends and do not think He doesn’t. You should not take from one in order to give it to another to win the recipient’s favor. Many have departed from honor not realizing, or caring, “that a gift corrupts”. Larry Burkett, a modern financial counselor can add a bit of wisdom from his book THE COMING ECONOMIC EARTHQUAKE. “So fearful were the founders of this country of a strong central government that they went to great lengths to ensure that its powers were severely limited. Basically, the central governments could settle arguments between the states, organize an army to defend the nation's common cause, regulate interstate commerce, and negotiate foreign treaties. The federal government was allowed to raise its operating capital by charging an interstate tariff on goods only -- period!”

I didn’t notice any federal income tax, no welfare, no endowments, grants, nor any other tokens of what is called socialism. My, my, how far we have strayed from the intent of our founding fathers, not to mention the law of God. The Savior says, repent! Now America, since I’m speaking of taxes let me give you some words of advice. First of all scrap any idea of giving monies to anyone or group that would not be spent to the equal benefit of the people who paid the taxes in the first place. If certain groups or individuals want money for private or small concerns that do not benefit the general populace, let them earn their own money. Secondly, scrap all taxes that are levied upon a select group but which proceeds are spent on the general populace. This is practiced with various “sin taxes” such as tobacco and alcohol taxes. How is it that a government has the right to levy taxes on a select group for any reason unless the proceeds are used to directly serve the ones who paid the tax? However, the individual who practices their vice, needs to be held fully and singularly responsible for the outcome of that vice, meaning by example: lung cancer and the such like for the smoker, and automobile accidents, etc. for the drinker. The drinker should not be required to pay taxes that advantage me the non drinker. I, the non-drinker should not in anyway be held responsible for the drinker who, because of his drinking, damages himself or any one else. This is just and fair. Thirdly, since taxes must be raised to pay for services that benefit all, do it in a manner that is in agreement with the law of God. Scrap the income tax. It is exceedingly complex and inequitable. Institute a flat rate sales tax system. This system will equally tax rich and poor alike, according to the money they spend. This system has no need of business deductions because whether it is a multi-million dollar corporation or an average citizen, he will be taxed the same percentage per dollar spent. A very large portion of the IRS could be eliminated because a flat rate sales tax would be far more easily run as well as policed. When you do this, however, do not neglect to compensate the vendors who collects the tax money for you. It is not right that they become tax agents without adequate compensation. Another built in advantage of this system is that the government would not be able to collect money over and above what an individual owes. This is the practice at this time. The government uses our money for up to a year’s time without paying one dime of interest to anyone. America, God the Almighty runs His whole kingdom on earth with such a system. It’s called a tithe Those who are committed to His work in the earth pay a tithe, which is commonly accepted as one tenth of one's income If God’s Kingdom can run on so simple a system, why is yours so extremely complicated and expensive? The answer is simple, your system is based on inequity and wrought with many follies.

Our new President, Mr. Obama seems to be head of the class in regards to the promotion of socialism and the giving away of money. I heard just yesterday that by current projections his administration is scheduled to produce more national debt then all the prior 200 years of federal government combined. I guess you might say he's doing it in style. He's an all out sort of fella isn't he? The single great problem is, who's going to pay the tab? For I assure you America, there will be a tab to pay!

A Watchman
Gregory De Hart

Consider; Pr. 17:23, Pr 22:16, Ps. 62:10, Ex. 22:26-27, Is. 10:1-4, Gen. 28:22, Gen. 14:20, Ex. 30:15

Doctors Already Responding to Obama's Call to Make Offices Paperless

Physicians seek to take advantage of $17.2 billion in stimulus money while switching to digital record-keeping.

Peter Naismith called his physician in his Akron office thirty-seven times during a five-day span to retrieve his medical records. "I needed them to get an MRI," the 53-year-old Naismith asserts. "The receptionist kept putting me off because my doctor still has paper files," he says, "It's my contention that they couldn't find them. I suspect that my records were lost somewhere in their office." Naismith works as a police officer and is familiar with electronic record-keeping. "All of our criminal files are computerized and easy to find. Why couldn't they have done that with my medical records? I told my doctor to get rid of the paper files and he just tried to laugh it off. I wasn't in the mood for laughing as I might have a tumor, and without my records, the hospital won't do the MRI.''

While Naismith's predicament isn't that unusual, fortunately it's becoming less common. A dramatic transition to EMR software packages is already occurring in physician's offices all across America in anticipation of the U.S. Congress spending $17.2 billion in stimulus monies devoted to the now mandated move to paperless.

Naismith's physician still scribbles prescriptions on tiny scrip sheets that can easily get lost and are difficult to read because, according to Naismith, "The guy writes like a first-grader who needs to get his knuckles rapped." Other patients unwilling to be quoted publicly mention forgetting to tell the doctor about past conditions and therefore getting the wrong medication, or filling out medical forms until their fingers ache. But as the ghost of the Christmas future once said pointedly in the pages of A Christmas Carol -- "It doesn't have to be this way, my dear Mr. Scrooge." Indubitably it doesn't. Even a recent survey published in The New England Journal of Medicine reported that doctors who control patient management electronically attest that such record-keeping helps improve the quality and the timeliness of care. Besides improving care, going paperless also reduces errors and is playing an increasing role in cost containment – the very object of Obama's health care reform in the first place. But there's also a financial incentive. According to the mandate now in place, physicians in compliance by January 1, 2011 (well before the 2014 cut-off date) are eligible for reimbursement for purchases of EMR software packages if they purchase a federally certified package, and can establish 80% usage in their practices. Considering that there's a three to six month learning curve in the transition (unless the physician is also a computer whiz) the rush to buy compliant packages is already on. The digital world of record-keeping beckons.

Obama's Stimulus Plan: We Need Mandates to Spur Demand

For those 9 million Americans classified as struggling homeowners the idea that $275 billion is being pumped into the housing sector through President Obama's recently unveiled stimulus plan gives an initial ray of hope. But from where I sit as a long time realtor, business owner and community activist, it looks like the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

Here are the details. Of that $275 billion being pumped into the economy the expectation is that about 5 million homeowners who have little equity or are upside down in their mortgages will be able to refinance through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. $200 billion has been allocated to back these entities. The other $75 billion is supposed to encourage lenders to make loan term modifications for those in foreclosure, or who are at risk of going into foreclosure. So what's missing?

Missing: No Cohesive Plan, No Mandate for Industry

Basically, there are 3 things missing here.

1) It's not enough.

Ok- I understand that some of the money needs to go to drive jobs in other sectors of the economy. But when it's going to bailouts that fund already failing car manufacturers, that just takes money away from where it would be most effective. There are a lot of folks angry at the idea of helping out an individual homeowner who got in over his head. Yet we're bailing out CEOs of major businesses instead of funneling that money to keep the housing economy viable.

2) No mandates for Creditors

What good will any of this do if qualified people still can't get home loans? Every day I see banks and creditors refusing to make loans or modify loans. I see people with high credit scores waiting months for loans. This hurts us all!

What about the whole credit rating system? Why don't we hear anything about how Equifax, Experian, Transunion are impacting this crisis? There should be mandates that require these organizations to report credit accurately. Where do they play in the scheme of things? I've heard that there is a new scoring model coming out for FICO. No one understood the rules on the last one. Is this any different?

Frankly, until there are mandates to make adjustments the banks and creditors and credit raters aren't going to do it. More houses will sit empty and more folks will continue to lose their homes. It's a vicious circle.

3) No Cohesive Plan

I heard HUD secretary Shaun Donovan the other night explaining how the stimulus plan will help bring some "underwater" homeowner payments down to 31% of income, if they are backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. What I didn't hear was how the mortgage insurers play into this whole deal. That's why I feel that this whole plan is so one sided. Incentives are just a drop in the bucket.

From Where I Sit

Here's my unique perspective. I host a real estate talk show at and sponsor a social network for real estate professionals at . Everyday I hear from the people most impacted by this whole situation. The callers to my show and podcast are homeowners, people facing foreclosure, and realtors all trying to make it through this crisis. Some of Obama's stimulus incentives will help some of these folks. What it won't do is enable many who want to buy to do so.

Without a cohesive plan that includes the mortgage insurers, bankers, and creditors, credit scoring organizations and requires some sort of mandate on loan modifications and lending rates it just won't be a long term solution. The housing portion of the economic stimulus plan just doesn't subsidize interest rate reductions for borrowers in a way that will spur demand and recreate a housing economy that will benefit everyone in the long run.

President Obama Made a Moral Mistake by Honoring Confederate Soldiers

This past Memorial Day President Barack Obama - the nation’s first African American head of state - made a serious racial, moral and historical mistake. In an apparent attempt to avoid angering many Southern whites, he perpetuated a fraudulent 95-year-old tradition by sending a wreath of flowers to the Confederate Memorial at Arlington Cemetery near Washington, D.C.

By continuing a practice started by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914, Obama was, in effect, honoring and paying homage to the racists who instigated the Civil War for the sole purpose of keeping Blacks in slavery. These men do not deserve to be honored. They should be despised. As the nation’s first Black president Obama should have broken with this tradition and helped to set the historical record straight.

Instead Obama tried to soften the blow of his action by also sending a wreath of flowers to the African American Civil War Memorial located in the historically Black U Street area of Washington, D.C. (I say “historically Black” because gentrification is beginning to “whiten” that entire area.) Regardless, sending wreaths to both memorial sites was tantamount to honoring the slave and the slave master. It was tantamount to honoring the Nazis who exterminated six million Jews and the Jews who fought against them.

Further, the entire tradition of honoring the fallen Confederate soldiers is based on a gigantic racist fraud. The foundation of the fraud is the completely bogus idea that the eleven Southern states which tried to secede from the Union and form a racist Republic which would have kept Blacks in perpetual slavery were fighting for something other than slavery.

In the early years of the 20th Century, a revisionist historical movement began to portray the Southern whites as fighting for more noble goals such as “states rights” in order to keep the federal government from growing too powerful. This fraudulent distortion of history even began to make its way into our history books. It also helped pave the way for President Wilson in 1914 to actually dedicate a large bronze memorial to the Confederate war dead in a special section of Arlington National Cemetery.

The revisionist historical movement relegated the centrality of slavery to the Civil War and began to portray it as a battle of (white) “brother against brother” or “North against South” in a dispute over how much power would go to the states and how much would go to the federal government. But the only “states’ rights” the Confederacy was seeking was the right to enslave Blacks forever.

As University of Pittsburgh Professor Kirk Savage points out in an excellent Washington Post article (5-23-’09) all one has to do in order to determine what the Confederates were fighting for is read the articles of secession written in 1860-1861. He concludes “The historical evidence [that the South was principally concerned with maintaining slavery] is so overwhelming that, on this point, revisionism should no longer be possible.”

It is time for the fraud to end.

Confederate soldiers were attempting to break up the United States of America, establish a racist republic which would keep Blacks in perpetual servitude and in the process they started a Civil War which led to the deaths of over 600,000 Americans. There is no way historically, racially or morally that these men should be honored in any way, shape of form.

President Obama you have at least three more memorial days to celebrate. Do not honor these racist Confederates again. It is time for the fraud to end.

Tips for Buying Barack Obama Collectibles

Regardless of the reason for collecting Obama collectibles, most collectors are always on the lookout for ways to expand their collections. This often requires the purchase of a figure, puzzle, plush toy, book, comic book, or DVD. If you are looking to start an Obama collection or if you still consider yourself to be a relatively new collector, the tips highlighted below may be of great assistance to you.

Barack Obama collectors are increasing in popularity. Barack Obama collectors collect for different purposes. Lots of collectors are considered pure hobbyists. These are individuals who enjoy collecting Obama stuff, whether it be comic books, plates, glasses, newsprints, photos, et. al. On the other hand, there's collectors who collect Obama collectibles with the sole purpose of later turning a profit.

Speaking of your options, all Obama collectors are encouraged to checkout their local stores which have discounts on anything and everything Obama. While it may be difficult to find a local dealer who specializes in Obama collectibles it is possible. This is mostly due in part to the rise in popularity concerning Obama collectibles such as plates and coins. Also, the internet should be examined. Online auction web sites can be used, but lots of collectors find the best luck when dealing with online hobby shops or Obama dealers who operate their businesses online.

Another important buying tip involves researching values first. Unlike stamp, comic book or coin collecting, lots of Obama collectors find it difficult to examine the values of collectibles. There are approaches that you and other Obama collectors can take. For example, visit the online web sites of Obama dealers, hobby shops, and even online auction web sites. Factors that you will want to take in to consideration, when examining Obama collectibles include average selling price and availability. Generally speaking, those that sell for high prices are considered rare or valuable collectibles. Researching and price comparing can prevent you from overpaying when it comes time to make an Obama purchase.

As previously stated, researching values can help you when looking to expand your Obama collection with purchases. Not only can research prevent you from overpaying for your new collectibles, but it can also help to increase the value of your collection. As previously stated, there's lots of Obama collectors who collect with the sole purpose of later making a profit. Collectors with this objective are encouraged to not purchase any Obama book, coin, plate, comic book or stamp that we have come across. Instead, researching values and availability is likely to result in a rare and valuable collection.

Obama To Close Atlantic And Pacific Oceans?

In an effort to exert total control over all aspects of American life, high ranking far-left liberal members of the Obama administration and Congress are rumored to be holding secret talks among themselves regarding closing the oceans bordering the U.S., i.e. the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

Secret political discussions are reported to be under way, often held on private government jets, as to viable reasons far-left politicians might put forth to convince the American public that closing the oceans would be a good thing for the country and a good thing for U.S. residents, legal and otherwise. Possible political reasons under consideration by the government to close the oceans include …

"Extreme liberal environmental scientists say that closing the oceans will help reduce global warming."

"The oceans bordering America need to be protected from man-made pollution, including peeing in the ocean."

"Oceans cost too much to maintain."

"The oceans are deep and thus pose a potential drowning hazard for every minority who can’t swim."

"The oceans are a playground for the rich, with their fancy, huge, million-dollar yachts, and the rich need to be punished."

"Closing the oceans would protect the taxpayer. There are sharks in those waters, sharks which can eat taxpayers who swim in the ocean, and we need all the taxpayers we can get."

Closing America’s 2 oceans. Ridiculous? Far-fetched? Under the Obama administration and its socialist agenda nothing is too ridiculous or far-fetched!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Message from the First Lady: "Serving together"

From First Lady Michelle Obama:

National and community service has been a cornerstone of my life, as I know it has been for many Americans. And with the daily struggles now confronting so many families, it's especially important for us to reach out to one another and offer a helping hand.

I've just launched United We Serve, a national initiative to tackle our toughest problems by working hand-in-hand in communities across the country. We aim to make a real difference right now and bring more and more Americans into a tradition of life-long service to make an even greater difference down the road.

I'd like to invite you to be a part of it by joining Organizing for America's National Health Care Day of Service this weekend. You can join up with other local OFA supporters to help improve health care services in your community and make a difference as we work to reform America's health care system.

Sign up now to participate in a National Health Care Day of Service event this Saturday, June 27th.

Attend a National Health Care Day of Service event

There's an old Thomas Edison quote I've always liked: "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." It's no secret that our country faces some enormous challenges right now, and meeting them will take a lot of hard work. But in that work lies an equally great opportunity -- a chance to serve. And I do believe the chance to serve is a precious gift indeed.

Service has played a transformative role in my life -- bringing me tremendous joy and helping me find the path that led to where I am today. As a parent, I believe service is a great way to demonstrate values and to teach our children firsthand what it means to commit to a purpose beyond ourselves.

It should be a part of everyone's life. From the moment someone can walk to the day they leave this planet, service should be a part of how we give back, how we say thank you, how we express our gratitude for the lives that we've been given.

So I'm deeply honored for this chance to support our United We Serve initiative and Organizing for America, and I hope you'll be able to participate this weekend.

Please sign up now to volunteer at a local event.

Thank you,

First Lady Michelle Obama

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

President Obama to Sign Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act

President Obama will sign an historic bill into law this afternoon, giving the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco for the first time. The Huffington Post reported:

The law allows the FDA to reduce nicotine in tobacco products, ban candy flavorings and block labels such "low tar" and "light." Tobacco companies also will be required to cover their cartons with large graphic warnings.

The law won't let the FDA ban nicotine or tobacco outright, but the agency will be able to regulate what goes into tobacco products, make public the ingredients and prohibit marketing campaigns, especially those geared toward children.

Anti-smoking advocates looked forward to the bill after years of attempts to control an industry so fundamental to the U.S. that carved tobacco leaves adorn some parts of the Capitol.

You can watch the signing live from the Rose Garden at, starting at 2:00 PM Eastern.

UPDATED: From the President's remarks at the signing:

The legislation I'm signing today represents change that's been decades in the making. Since at least the middle of the last century, we've known about the harmful and often deadly effects of tobacco products. More than 400,000 Americans now die of tobacco-related illnesses each year, making it the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. More than 8 million Americans suffer from at least one serious illness caused by smoking. And these health problems cost us all more than $100 billion a year.

What's even worse are the effects on our children. One out of every five children in our country are now current smokers by the time they leave high school. Think about that statistic: One out of every five children in our country are now current smokers by the time they leave high school. Each day, 1,000 young people under the age of 18 become new, regular, daily smokers. And almost 90 percent of all smokers began at or before their 18th birthday.

I know -- I was one of these teenagers, and so I know how difficult it can be to break this habit when it's been with you for a long time. And I also know that kids today don't just start smoking for no reason. They're aggressively targeted as customers by the tobacco industry. They're exposed to a constant and insidious barrage of advertising where they live, where they learn, and where they play. Most insidiously, they are offered products with flavorings that mask the taste of tobacco and make it even more tempting.

We've known about this for decades, but despite the best efforts and good progress made by so many leaders and advocates with us today, the tobacco industry and its special interest lobbying have generally won the day up on the Hill. When Henry Waxman first brought tobacco CEOs before Congress in 1994, they famously denied that tobacco was deadly, nicotine was addictive, or that their companies marketed to children. And they spent millions upon millions in lobbying and advertising to fight back every attempt to expose these denials as lies.

Fifteen years later, their campaign has finally failed. Today, thanks to the work of Democrats and Republicans, health care and consumer advocates, the decades-long effort to protect our children from the harmful effects of tobacco has emerged victorious.

...When I ran for President, I did so because I believed that despite the power of the status quo and the influence of special interests, it was possible for us to bring change to Washington.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Message from David Plouffe: "100,000"

This morning, David Plouffe sent out an email in response to President Obama's message to supporters:

We've seen a tremendous response to President Obama's email this week and, as of today, an important milestone is within reach -- 100,000 donors to OFA's health care campaign.

Many are new supporters who did not donate to last year's campaign but know how critical it is to end the broken status quo on health care.

Reaching 100,000 donors will send an unmistakable signal to the opponents of reform: the movement you built is prepared to knock on as many doors, call as many neighbors, and sacrifice as much time and energy as necessary to make health care reform a reality.

Will you donate $25 or more today and put us over the top?

Thank you,

David Plouffe

Thursday, June 18, 2009

President Obama Issues Memorandum on Federal Benefits and Non-Discrimination for Same-Sex Parnters: "This is just a start"

President Obama just concluded signing a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of State and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management to extend benefits to the same-sex partners of Federal employees, where doing so can be achieved consistent with Federal law. The President also added:

This Presidential Memorandum is just a start. Unfortunately, my Administration is not authorized by existing Federal law to provide same-sex couples with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples. That's why I stand by my long-standing commitment to work with Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. It's discriminatory, it interferes with States' rights, and it's time we overturned it.

Here's the full text of the President's statement:

In 2007, Michael Guest, the first openly gay Ambassador confirmed by the United States Senate, resigned from the Foreign Service. He loved his career, but he had to leave it in the end -- because he believed that the country he served was failing to implement the principles of equality it espoused abroad. His partner was ineligible for training provided to Ambassadorial spouses; he bore the costs of his partner's transportation to his placements abroad; and his partner did not receive the overseas benefits and allowances given to spouses of Ambassadors.

It is too late to prevent Ambassador Guest from having to make the choice he made, but today I am proud to issue a Presidential Memorandum that will go a long way toward achieving equality for many of the hard-working, dedicated, and patriotic LGBT Americans serving in our Federal Government -- Americans like Ambassador Guest. In consultation with Secretary Clinton, who in her role as Secretary of State oversees our foreign service employees, and Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry, who oversees human resource management for our civil service employees, my Administration has identified a number of areas in which greater equality can be achieved under existing law by extending to the same-sex partners of Federal employees many of the same benefits already available to the spouses of heterosexual Federal employees. I am therefore requesting the Secretary of State and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management to extend the benefits they have identified to the same-sex partners of Federal employees where doing so can be achieved consistent with Federal law. I am also requesting the heads of all other executive departments and agencies to conduct a review of the benefits they administer to determine which may legally be extended to same-sex partners.

But this Presidential Memorandum is just a start. Unfortunately, my Administration is not authorized by existing Federal law to provide same-sex couples with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples. That's why I stand by my long-standing commitment to work with Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. It's discriminatory, it interferes with States' rights, and it's time we overturned it.

I am also proud to announce my support for an important piece of legislation introduced in both Houses of Congress last month -- the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009. This legislation will extend to the same-sex partners of Federal employees the same benefits already enjoyed by the opposite-sex spouses of Federal employees. The legislation has a number of co-sponsors in both Houses of Congress, but among those many sponsors, I want to recognize one in particular -- Representative Tammy Baldwin, who has been a real leader on this issue, and more broadly on the LGBT struggle for equality. Representative Baldwin, I look forward to working with you to achieve the important objectives set out in this bill as it moves through the legislative process. I also look forward to working with the bill's Senate champions, Senators Lieberman and Collins; I know that they will approach this process with the same spirit of cooperation in pursuit of our shared goals that they bring to all of their work in the Senate.

Extending equal benefits to the same-sex partners of Federal employees is the right thing to do. It is also sound economic policy. Many top employers in the private sector already offer benefits to the same-sex partners of their employees; those companies recognize that offering partner benefits helps them compete for and retain the brightest and most talented employees. The Federal Government is at a disadvantage on that score right now, and change is long overdue.

As Americans, we are all affected when our promises of equality go unfulfilled. Through measures like the Presidential Memorandum I am issuing today and the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009, we will advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded and continue to perfect our Union.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Story of Barack Obama's Mother

Each of us lives a life of contradictory truths. We are not one thing or another. Barack Obama's mother was at least a dozen things. S. Ann Soetoro was a teen mother who later got a Ph.D. in anthropology; a white woman from the Midwest who was more comfortable in Indonesia; a natural-born mother obsessed with her work; a romantic pragmatist, if such a thing is possible.

"When I think about my mother," Obama told me recently, "I think that there was a certain combination of being very grounded in who she was, what she believed in. But also a certain recklessness. I think she was always searching for something. She wasn't comfortable seeing her life confined to a certain box."

Obama's mother was a dreamer. She made risky bets that paid off only some of the time, choices that her children had to live with. She fell in love—twice—with fellow students from distant countries she knew nothing about. Both marriages failed, and she leaned on her parents and friends to help raise her two children.

"She cried a lot," says her daughter Maya Soetoro-Ng, "if she saw animals being treated cruelly or children in the news or a sad movie—or if she felt like she wasn't being understood in a conversation." And yet she was fearless, says Soetoro-Ng. "She was very capable. She went out on the back of a motorcycle and did rigorous fieldwork. Her research was responsible and penetrating. She saw the heart of a problem, and she knew whom to hold accountable."

Today Obama is partly a product of what his mother was not. Whereas she swept her children off to unfamiliar lands and even lived apart from her son when he was a teenager, Obama has tried to ground his children in the Midwest. "We've created stability for our kids in a way that my mom didn't do for us," he says. "My choosing to put down roots in Chicago and marry a woman who is very rooted in one place probably indicates a desire for stability that maybe I was missing."

Ironically, the person who mattered most in Obama's life is the one we know the least about—maybe because being partly African in America is still seen as being simply black and color is still a preoccupation above almost all else. There is not enough room in the conversation for the rest of a man's story.

But Obama is his mother's son. In his wide-open rhetoric about what can be instead of what was, you see a hint of his mother's credulity. When Obama gets donations from people who have never believed in politics before, they're responding to his ability—passed down from his mother—to make a powerful argument (that happens to be very liberal) without using a trace of ideology. On a good day, when he figures out how to move a crowd of thousands of people very different from himself, it has something to do with having had a parent who gazed at different cultures the way other people study gems.

It turns out that Obama's nascent career peddling hope is a family business. He inherited it. And while it is true that he has not been profoundly tested, he was raised by someone who was.

In most elections, the deceased mother of a candidate in the primaries is not the subject of a magazine profile. But Ann Soetoro was not like most mothers.

Stanley Ann Dunham

Born in 1942, just five years before Hillary Clinton, Obama's mother came into an America constrained by war, segregation and a distrust of difference. Her parents named her Stanley because her father had wanted a boy. She endured the expected teasing over this indignity, but dutifully lugged the name through high school, apologizing for it each time she introduced herself in a new town.

During her life, she was known by four different names, each representing a distinct chapter. In the course of the Stanley period, her family moved more than five times—from Kansas to California to Texas to Washington—before her 18th birthday. Her father, a furniture salesman, had a restlessness that she inherited.

She spent her high school years on a small island in Washington, taking advanced classes in philosophy and visiting coffee shops in Seattle. "She was a very intelligent, quiet girl, interested in her friendships and current events," remembers Maxine Box, a close high school friend. Both girls assumed they would go to college and pursue careers. "She wasn't particularly interested in children or in getting married," Box says. Although Stanley was accepted early by the University of Chicago, her father wouldn't let her go. She was too young to be off on her own, he said, unaware, as fathers tend to be, of what could happen when she lived in his house.

After she finished high school, her father whisked the family away again—this time to Honolulu, after he heard about a big new furniture store there. Hawaii had just become a state, and it was the new frontier. Stanley grudgingly went along yet again, enrolling in the University of Hawaii as a freshman.

Mrs. Barack H. Obama

Shortly before she moved to Hawaii, Stanley saw her first foreign film. Black Orpheus was an award-winning musical retelling of the myth of Orpheus, a tale of doomed love. The movie was considered exotic because it was filmed in Brazil, but it was written and directed by white Frenchmen. The result was sentimental and, to some modern eyes, patronizing. Years later Obama saw the film with his mother and thought about walking out. But looking at her in the theater, he glimpsed her 16-year-old self. "I suddenly realized," he wrote in his memoir, Dreams from My Father, "that the depiction of childlike blacks I was now seeing on the screen ... was what my mother had carried with her to Hawaii all those years before, a reflection of the simple fantasies that had been forbidden to a white middle-class girl from Kansas, the promise of another life, warm, sensual, exotic, different."

By college, Stanley had started introducing herself as Ann. She met Barack Obama Sr. in a Russian-language class. He was one of the first Africans to attend the University of Hawaii and a focus of great curiosity. He spoke at church groups and was interviewed for several local-newspaper stories. "He had this magnetic personality," remembers Neil Abercrombie, a member of Congress from Hawaii who was friends with Obama Sr. in college. "Everything was oratory from him, even the most commonplace observation."

Obama's father quickly drew a crowd of friends at the university. "We would drink beer, eat pizza and play records," Abercrombie says. They talked about Vietnam and politics. "Everyone had an opinion about everything, and everyone was of the opinion that everyone wanted to hear their opinion—no one more so than Barack."

The exception was Ann, the quiet young woman in the corner who began to hang out with Obama and his friends that fall. "She was scarcely out of high school. She was mostly kind of an observer," says Abercrombie. Obama Sr.'s friends knew he was dating a white woman, but they made a point of treating it as a nonissue. This was Hawaii, after all, a place enamored of its reputation as a melting pot.

But when people called Hawaii a "melting pot" in the early 1960s, they meant a place where white people blended with Asians. At the time, 19% of white women in Hawaii married Chinese men, and that was considered radical by the rest of the nation. Black people made up less than 1% of the state's population. And while interracial marriage was legal there, it was banned in half the other states.

When Ann told her parents about the African student at school, they invited him over for dinner. Her father didn't notice when his daughter reached out to hold the man's hand, according to Obama's book. Her mother thought it best not to cause a scene. As Obama would write, "My mother was that girl with the movie of beautiful black people playing in her head."

On Feb. 2, 1961, several months after they met, Obama's parents got married in Maui, according to divorce records. It was a Thursday. At that point, Ann was three months pregnant with Barack Obama II. Friends did not learn of the wedding until afterward. "Nobody was invited," says Abercrombie. The motivations behind the marriage remain a mystery, even to Obama. "I never probed my mother about the details. Did they decide to get married because she was already pregnant? Or did he propose to her in the traditional, formal way?" Obama wonders. "I suppose, had she not passed away, I would have asked more."

Even by the standards of 1961, she was young to be married. At 18, she dropped out of college after one semester, according to University of Hawaii records. When her friends back in Washington heard the news, "we were very shocked," says Box, her high school friend.

Then, when Obama was almost 1, his father left for Harvard to get a Ph.D. in economics. He had also been accepted to the New School in New York City, with a more generous scholarship that would have allowed his family to join him. But he decided to go to Harvard. "How can I refuse the best education?" he told Ann, according to Obama's book.

Obama's father had an agenda: to return to his home country and help reinvent Kenya. He wanted to take his new family with him. But he also had a wife from a previous marriage there—a marriage that may or may not have been legal. In the end, Ann decided not to follow him. "She was under no illusions," says Abercrombie. "He was a man of his time, from a very patriarchal society." Ann filed for divorce in Honolulu in January 1964, citing "grievous mental suffering"—the reason given in most divorces at the time. Obama Sr. signed for the papers in Cambridge, Mass., and did not contest the divorce.

Ann had already done things most women of her generation had not: she had married an African, had their baby and gotten divorced. At this juncture, her life could have become narrower—a young, marginalized woman focused on paying the rent and raising a child on her own. She could have filled her son's head with well-founded resentment for his absent father. But that is not what happened.

S. Ann Dunham Soetoro

When her son was almost 2, Ann returned to college. Money was tight. She collected food stamps and relied on her parents to help take care of young Barack. She would get her bachelor's degree four years later. In the meantime, she met another foreign student, Lolo Soetoro, at the University of Hawaii. ("It's where I send all my single girlfriends," jokes her daughter Soetoro-Ng, who also married a man she met there.) He was easygoing, happily devoting hours to playing chess with Ann's father and wrestling with her young son. Lolo proposed in 1967.

Mother and son spent months preparing to follow him to Indonesia—getting shots, passports and plane tickets. Until then, neither had left the country. After a long journey, they landed in an unrecognizable place. "Walking off the plane, the tarmac rippling with heat, the sun bright as a furnace," Obama later wrote, "I clutched her hand, determined to protect her."

Lolo's house, on the outskirts of Jakarta, was a long way from the high-rises of Honolulu. There was no electricity, and the streets were not paved. The country was transitioning to the rule of General Suharto. Inflation was running at more than 600%, and everything was scarce. Ann and her son were the first foreigners to live in the neighborhood, according to locals who remember them. Two baby crocodiles, along with chickens and birds of paradise, occupied the backyard. To get to know the kids next door, Obama sat on the wall between their houses and flapped his arms like a great, big bird, making cawing noises, remembers Kay Ikranagara, a friend. "That got the kids laughing, and then they all played together," she says.

Obama attended a Catholic school called Franciscus Assisi Primary School. He attracted attention since he was not only a foreigner but also chubbier than the locals. But he seemed to shrug off the teasing, eating tofu and tempeh like all the other kids, playing soccer and picking guavas from the trees. He didn't seem to mind that the other children called him "Negro," remembers Bambang Sukoco, a former neighbor.

At first, Obama's mother gave money to every beggar who stopped at their door. But the caravan of misery—children without limbs, men with leprosy—churned on forever, and she was forced to be more selective. Her husband mocked her calculations of relative suffering. "Your mother has a soft heart," he told Obama.

As Ann became more intrigued by Indonesia, her husband became more Western. He rose through the ranks of an American oil company and moved the family to a nicer neighborhood. She was bored by the dinner parties he took her to, where men boasted about golf scores and wives complained about their Indonesian servants. The couple fought rarely but had less and less in common. "She wasn't prepared for the loneliness," Obama wrote in Dreams. "It was constant, like a shortness of breath."

Ann took a job teaching English at the U.S. embassy. She woke up well before dawn throughout her life. Now she went into her son's room every day at 4 a.m. to give him English lessons from a U.S. correspondence course. She couldn't afford the élite international school and worried he wasn't challenged enough. After two years at the Catholic school, Obama moved to a state-run elementary school closer to the new house. He was the only foreigner, says Ati Kisjanto, a classmate, but he spoke some Indonesian and made new friends.

Indonesia has the world's largest Muslim population, but Obama's household was not religious. "My mother, whose parents were nonpracticing Baptists and Methodists, was one of the most spiritual souls I ever knew," Obama said in a 2007 speech. "But she had a healthy skepticism of religion as an institution. And as a consequence, so did I."

In her own way, Ann tried to compensate for the absence of black people in her son's life. At night, she came home from work with books on the civil rights movement and recordings of Mahalia Jackson. Her aspirations for racial harmony were simplistic. "She was very much of the early Dr. [Martin Luther] King era," Obama says. "She believed that people were all basically the same under their skin, that bigotry of any sort was wrong and that the goal was then to treat everybody as unique individuals." Ann gave her daughter, who was born in 1970, dolls of every hue: "A pretty black girl with braids, an Inuit, Sacagawea, a little Dutch boy with clogs," says Soetoro-Ng, laughing. "It was like the United Nations."

In 1971, when Obama was 10, Ann sent him back to Hawaii to live with her parents and attend Punahou, an élite prep school that he'd gotten into on a scholarship with his grandparents' help. This wrenching decision seemed to reflect how much she valued education. Ann's friends say it was hard on her, and Obama, in his book, describes an adolescence shadowed by a sense of alienation. "I didn't feel [her absence] as a deprivation," Obama told me. "But when I think about the fact that I was separated from her, I suspect it had more of an impact than I know."

A year later, Ann followed Obama back to Hawaii, as promised, taking her daughter but leaving her husband behind. She enrolled in a master's program at the University of Hawaii to study the anthropology of Indonesia.

Indonesia is an anthropologist's fantasyland. It is made up of 17,500 islands, on which 230 million people speak more than 300 languages. The archipelago's culture is colored by Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Dutch traditions. Indonesia "sucks a lot of us in," says fellow anthropologist and friend Alice Dewey. "It's delightful."

Around this time, Ann began to find her voice. People who knew her before describe her as quiet and smart; those who met her afterward use words like forthright and passionate. The timing of her graduate work was perfect. "The whole face of the earth was changing," Dewey says. "Colonial powers were collapsing, countries needed help, and development work was beginning to interest anthropologists."

Ann's husband visited Hawaii frequently, but they never lived together again. Ann filed for divorce in 1980. As with Obama's father, she kept in regular contact with Lolo and did not pursue alimony or child support, according to divorce records.

"She was no Pollyanna. There have certainly been moments when she complained to us," says her daughter Soetoro-Ng. "But she was not someone who would take the detritus of those divorces and make judgments about men in general or love or allow herself to grow pessimistic." With each failed marriage, Ann gained a child and, in one case, a country as well.

Ann Dunham Sutoro

After three years of living with her children in a small apartment in Honolulu, subsisting on student grants, Ann decided to go back to Indonesia to do fieldwork for her Ph.D. Obama, then about 14, told her he would stay behind. He was tired of being new, and he appreciated the autonomy his grandparents gave him. Ann did not argue with him. "She kept a certain part of herself aloof or removed," says Mary Zurbuchen, a friend from Jakarta. "I think maybe in some way this was how she managed to cross so many boundaries."

In Indonesia, Ann joked to friends that her son seemed interested only in basketball. "She despaired of him ever having a social conscience," remembers Richard Patten, a colleague. After her divorce, Ann started using the more modern spelling of her name, Sutoro. She took a big job as the program officer for women and employment at the Ford Foundation, and she spoke up forcefully at staff meetings. Unlike many other expats, she had spent a lot of time with villagers, learning their priorities and problems, with a special focus on women's work. "She was influenced by hanging out in the Javanese marketplace," Zurbuchen says, "where she would see women with heavy baskets on their backs who got up at 3 in the morning to walk to the market and sell their produce." Ann thought the Ford Foundation should get closer to the people and further from the government, just as she had.

Her home became a gathering spot for the powerful and the marginalized: politicians, filmmakers, musicians and labor organizers. "She had, compared with other foundation colleagues, a much more eclectic circle," Zurbuchen says. "She brought unlikely conversation partners together."

Obama's mother cared deeply about helping poor women, and she had two biracial children. But neither of them remembers her talking about sexism or racism. "She spoke mostly in positive terms: what we are trying to do and what we can do," says Soetoro-Ng, who is now a history teacher at a girls' high school in Honolulu. "She wasn't ideological," notes Obama. "I inherited that, I think, from her. She was suspicious of cant." He remembers her joking that she wanted to get paid as much as a man, but it didn't mean she would stop shaving her legs. In his recent Philadelphia speech on race, in which he acknowledged the grievances of blacks and whites, Obama was consciously channeling his mother. "When I was writing that speech," he told nbc News, "her memory loomed over me. Is this something that she would trust?" When it came to race, Obama told me, "I don't think she was entirely comfortable with the more aggressive or militant approaches to African-American politics."

In the expat community of Asia in the 1980s, single mothers were rare, and Ann stood out. She was by then a rather large woman with frizzy black hair. But Indonesia was an uncommonly tolerant place. "For someone like Ann, who had a big personality and was a big presence," says Zurbuchen, "Indonesia was very accepting. It gave her a sense of fitting in." At home, Ann wore the traditional housecoat, the batik daster. She loved simple, traditional restaurants. Friends remember sharing bakso bola tenis, or noodles with tennis-ball-size meatballs, from a roadside stand.

Today Ann would not be so unusual in the U.S. A single mother of biracial children pursuing a career, she foreshadowed, in some ways, what more of America would look like. But she did so without comment, her friends say. "She wasn't stereotypical at all," says Nancy Peluso, a friend and an environmental sociologist. "But she didn't make a big deal out of it."

Ann's most lasting professional legacy was to help build the microfinance program in Indonesia, which she did from 1988 to '92—before the practice of granting tiny loans to credit-poor entrepreneurs was an established success story. Her anthropological research into how real people worked helped inform the policies set by the Bank Rakyat Indonesia, says Patten, an economist who worked there. "I would say her work had a lot to do with the success of the program," he says. Today Indonesia's microfinance program is No. 1 in the world in terms of savers, with 31 million members, according to Microfinance Information eXchange Inc., a microfinance-tracking outfit.

While his mother was helping poor people in Indonesia, Obama was trying to do something similar 7,000 miles (about 11,300 km) away in Chicago, as a community organizer. Ann's friends say she was delighted by his career move and started every conversation with an update of her children's lives. "All of us knew where Barack was going to school. All of us knew how brilliant he was," remembers Ann's friend Georgia McCauley.

Every so often, Ann would leave Indonesia to live in Hawaii—or New York or even, in the mid-1980s, Pakistan, for a microfinance job. She and her daughter sometimes lived in garage apartments and spare rooms of friends. She collected treasures from her travels—exquisite things with stories she understood. Antique daggers with an odd number of curves, as required by Javanese tradition; unusual batiks; rice-paddy hats. Before returning to Hawaii in 1984, Ann wrote her friend Dewey that she and her daughter would "probably need a camel caravan and an elephant or two to load all our bags on the plane, and I'm sure you don't want to see all those airline agents weeping and rending their garments." At his house in Chicago, Obama says, he has his mother's arrowhead collection from Kansas—along with "trunks full of batiks that we don't really know what to do with."

In 1992, Obama's mother finally finished her Ph.D. dissertation, which she had worked on, between jobs, for almost two decades. The thesis is 1,000 pages, a meticulous analysis of peasant blacksmithing in Indonesia. The glossary, which she describes as "far from complete," is 24 pages. She dedicated the tome to her mother; to Dewey, her adviser; "and to Barack and Maya, who seldom complained when their mother was in the field."

In the fall of 1994, Ann was having dinner at her friend Patten's house in Jakarta when she felt a pain in her stomach. A local doctor diagnosed indigestion. When Ann returned to Hawaii several months later, she learned it was ovarian and uterine cancer. She died on Nov. 7, 1995, at 52.

Before her death, Ann read a draft of her son's memoir, which is almost entirely about his father. Some of her friends were surprised at the focus, but she didn't seem obviously bothered. "She never complained about it," says Peluso. "She just said it was something he had to work out." Neither Ann nor her son knew how little time they had left.

Obama has said his biggest mistake was not being at his mother's side when she died. He went to Hawaii to help the family scatter the ashes over the Pacific. And he carries on her spirit in his campaign. "When Barack smiles," says Peluso, "there's just a certain Ann look. He lights up in a particular way that she did."

After Ann's death, her daughter dug through her artifacts, searching for Ann's story. "She always did want to write a memoir," Soetoro-Ng says. Finally, she discovered the start of a life story, but it was less than two pages. She never found anything more. Maybe Ann had run out of time, or maybe the chemotherapy had worn her out. "I don't know. Maybe she felt overwhelmed," says Soetoro-Ng, "because there was so much to tell."

—With reporting by Zamira Loebis and Jason Tedjasukmana/Jakarta

car shipping | moving companies | charter bus | charter buses | bus charter | Engagement rings | wedding gowns | cheap business class flights to hong kong | Houston Defense Attorney