The View From The Golden Dome

Views on the week's events plus some of mine.

Les Berman Weekly 11-3 Lucky! TV Ads. Gangs. Cagney. Detroit and much more

We are so lucky. Of course, we escaped the wrath of Sandy, and hopefully, all of your friends and family did too. But that is not the cause for our minor celebration. The amount of election rhetoric, and I would say that it’s 99% negative or hateful, or both, that we get here in California is ugly. Can you imagine what would happen if we were living in Ohio?? And all of this is over 18 electoral college votes! In some ways, I’m glad I’m living here in lalaland. Everyone, including the candidates, knows the state is voting democrat, so they don’t even bother to come here. And isn’t that a victory for us?!


As I was driving home today, I was thinking how I would react if I lived in Ohio. I would not answer my phone. I would record every TV show so I could skip past the political stuff. I would have a trash can by my mailbox with instructions to deposit all political stuff in it. If a phone call did get through, I would tell the caller that I’m voting for the other party just because you called me too many times. I would have warning signs at my door bell saying that the door knocker or ringer may be subject to water cannon or water balloon attacks, regardless of the party they represent. And of course, I would have the “Don’t tread on me” photo right beside it.

In Wisconsin, a woman voted by mail and did not vote for either Senate candidate because of the negative advertising against each other. An independent polling company found that there were 25,647 TV adsin the 30 days prior to October 26, and 99 percent were negative. I have yet to hear a positive ad here in Los Angeles, and that could be because I tune them out or turn them off.


Did you hear the sighs of relief in the last week? Every one was preceded by – “I’m so sorry about the loss of life and devastation on the east coast, but I have really enjoyed the days without the ads and the candidates faces showing up everywhere. How said is it that it takes a catastrophic event to shut those people up. I wonder if the political advisors are hearing the push back from the people. And I wonder how they will handle the next campaigns, which are coming, of course in less than two years. Did the US Supreme Court make an error when they allowed the super-PACS and the corporate contributions? I think that the people think so.

Is our election system so broken that it can’t be repaired? or won’t be? This negative stuff cannot have been in the minds of the country’s founders. But who can and will cure this disease? Certainly not the politicians. A committee of five people from the can likely come up with workable solutions within a week.


Meanwhile, off the coast, people have found that gang formation is not limited to the two legged types who shoot on sight if your colors are wrong, or if you make the wrong signs with your hands etc. Here we have smaller hermit crabs, always on the lookout for a newer bigger home. So what do they do – they form gangs to kick their larger cousins out of the big comfy shells that they are living in. And then each of the crabs in the gang moves into a bigger home, and everyone lives happily ever after… well except for the big guy who got evicted. The reason for the need for bigger shells… basically for the same reason that humans want a bigger house … It’s easier to raise more kids when you have more room. Sadly, or not, the biggest crab that just got evicted, will likely serve as a meal for something that is running around on the beach where this conga line eviction just happened. So next time you’re on a tropical beach where hermit crabs play, consider leaving some shell like potential homes for those little guys !


Still on the animal track, I wonder how many rats were drowned in New York and the tri-county area. I mean the four legged ones. I understand that they are pretty good swimmers. And after this apocalypse, we will lose this phrase for a while “you dirty rat!” (with apologies to James Cagney fans who think he said that line – he didn’t, but apologies anyway). A bad line in a good place 🙂


Meanwhile, back in Detroit, one family is about to lose their control over international traffic. The Ambassador Bridge between Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario is owned by one family, and has been for several generations. It carries $120 Billion in trade annually, and that is fully one quarter of all US-Canada annual trade. So the governments of Michigan and Canada made a deal. Get this – the entire cost, including overruns will be paid by Canada. All costs will be recouped by bridge tolls. The bridge will be built using Canadian and US steel, requiring and getting a waiver from Buy America. Steel from other countries cannot be used. The New International Trade Crossing has the support of Governor Snyder, the Governments of Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, the Chambers of Commerce of Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, as well as automobile manufacturers, building trades and steel workers unions and farm organizations. In fact, the only real opposition comes from one company trying to protect its current monopoly on the Ambassador Bridge. I am sure that the families whose homes are on the congested routes to the old bridge will see home values increase substantially as the new bridge, which is away from homes, nears completion.

So there is great agreement on that. Now if only the NHL would get back on the ice !


I had a call a couple of weeks ago on a referral from a CPA. The gentlemen was very anxious because his significant other was in failing mental health and he needed to refinance her clear title home to get enough money to pay for her care. He thought he had a power of attorney (POA). Most of my lenders declined because of loan amount or their concern about the type of POA or both. One of our lenders evaluated the reason for the cash out loan and the loan to value, and told us they would likely make the loan. The paperwork is in progress.

The lesson here is simple. Ask the question. I’m sure you were told, and you have told your kids, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get!” So please pick up the phone and call me at 818.305.4695. Or email .Ask your question. And yes, I answer the phone on the weekends.

And to everyone, with special emphasis in the tri-state area, have a better week !!



Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Q:  Do you know why sailors reply Aye Aye when given an order?

I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.

What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.

England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool

A. The first Aye is to say that the order has been received and understood.
The second Aye says that it will be carried out. (Every sailor and Marine
knows this apparently, but being neither, I didn’t !)



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 Les Berman CMC
Real Estate Loan Specialist
NMLS ID 227675
Voice: 818.305.4695



November 3, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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