Monday, December 23, 2013

Congress Aims to Eliminate Home Mortgage Interest Deduction

The first deduction to have been created in the income tax code should be the last one to go, says AHA.

 “They are telling us if we like our deduction, we can keep our deduction…
unless Washington changes its mind


America’s Homeowner Alliance (, is raising the alarm about proposed legislation in Congress that aims to significantly reduce or potentially eliminate the home mortgage interest deduction for millions of homeowners.  Such a move would place a financial burden on the budgets of homeowners across America and experts have predicted that such a change in the tax code could reduce home values.

CALL 516-735-5468 or e-mail Sandy to schedule interviews with Tino Diaz, President & CEO of America's Homeowner Alliance.

“When the tax code was created, the mortgage interest deduction was one of the first benefits made available to homeowners. It is just as important today as it was in 1913 and we don’t believe Congress should reduce or take away this important financial benefit for investing in America,” said Tino Diaz, the President and CEO of America’s Homeowners Alliance.

Diaz noted that despite a time of near record low interest rates and low home prices, homeownership is at its lowest level in 18 years.

“Policymakers should focus their concern on the still recovering U.S. housing market; reducing or potentially eliminating the mortgage interest deduction for millions of homeowners should be the last thing Congress should consider.”

Diaz noted that Congress has already taxed homeowners with fees to offset the expense of programs unrelated to homeownership.  “This is not the first time Washington has imposed hidden fees on homeowners, but this is the first time they are openly considering reducing or potentially eliminating the mortgage interest deduction.  Homeowners and those who aspire to become homeowners need to know what is going on and how that will impact their family’s finances.

“For the overwhelming majority of people, their home is their largest financial investment and policymakers in Washington need to understand how important this investment is to their constituents,” added Diaz.

Diaz also pointed out that the issue doesn’t just affect the 75 million homeowners but also contractors, laborers, plumbers, Realtors, and prospective FUTURE homeowners. He is urging homeowners to join their voice with other members of the AHA in speaking out against this and other policies that impact homeownership in America.

Membership in the AHA is $20 per year and also includes exclusive membership in the AHA Member Rewards Program, offering discounts and rewards when shopping with more than 1,000 merchants offering more than 1 million products and services.


America’s Homeowner Alliance is the first national homeowner alliance dedicated to protecting and promoting sustainable homeownership for all segments of America. Established in September 2013, the Alliance is based in St. Louis, Missouri and serves as the representative public policy voice of existing and aspiring homeowners. The Alliance is a nonpartisan organization, representing homeowners of all ethnic, income and demographic backgrounds. Additional information can be found at

Monday, December 16, 2013

The End of Authority By Doug Schoen

The End of Authority
How a Loss of Legitimacy and Broken Trust
Are Endangering Our Future

"In The End of Authority, Doug sounds the alarm on the rising public distrust of government globally and offers his ideas for rebuilding confidence - not only in America but also around the world."                                                    --Bill Clinton, Forty-second President of the United States

Around the world, citizens have lost faith in their political and economic institutions, leading to unprecedented levels of political instability and economic volatility. From Moscow to Brussels, from Washington to Cairo, the failure of democracies and autocracies to manage the fiscal and political crises facing us has led to a profound disquiet, spawning protest movements of the left, right, and center. "I'm now beginning to feel that my government is not capable of understanding the situation, let alone solving it" - a view that citizens around the world share today.

In The End of Authority, Douglas E. Schoen systematically analyzes the leadership crises facing democracies and autocratic governments alike. He presents a firsthand, detailed assessment for why this collapse in trust happened and offers a comprehensive blueprint for how we can restore public trust in government and economic institutions in a world of division, dissension, and governments clearly lacking in responsiveness to citizen concerns. Schoen outlines bold and clear solutions and offers practical steps to fix our democracy and rebuild international institutions.

The End of Authority educates us about:
  • Why the crisis of authority matters;
  • Documenting and understanding the loss of trust;
  • How trust works in democracies and autocracies;
  • Income inequality and the crisis of capitalism;
  • What's causing income inequality, why it matters and what to do; and
  • Political corruption and crony capitalism.
The End of Authority's purpose is to systematically analyze the crises facing democracies and autocratic governments alike; present a firsthand, detailed assessment of why this has happened; and offer a blueprint for how we can restore public trust in government and economic institutions.

About the Author: Democratic Strategist, Fox News Analyst and Best-selling Author, Doug Schoen has been one of the most influential Democratic campaign consultants for over thirty years. Doug has advised President Bill Clinton, numerous governors and senators as well as NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. [more...]

Monday, December 2, 2013

An American Bride in Kabul

An American Bride in Kabul
By Phyllis Chesler

"A renowned psychotherapist's richly compelling memoir about how her experiences as an Afghan man's wife shaped her as both a feminist and human rights activist... Intelligent, powerful and timely." --Kirkus Reviews

An American Bride in Kabul is a personal memoir by best-selling author and professor of psychology, Phyllis Chesler - a Jewish-American girl from Brooklyn - embarking on a Middle Eastern adventure that has lasted for more than a half century. Her journey chronicles a revealing history of central Muslim Asia and the Jews of Afghanistan, the Islamic Veil, gender and religious apartheid, and how such practices - burqas, polygamy, first-cousin marriage, and honor killing - have invaded the West by those who perpetrated 9/11 - the terrorist attack planned in Afghanistan.

Twenty years old and in love, Phyllis Chesler arrived in Kabul in 1961 with her westernized Afghan-American bridegroom. Immediately upon arrival, authorities took away her U.S. passport. Chesler became the property of her husband's family and had no rights of citizenship. Her husband - a wealthy, westernized foreign college student with dreams of reforming his country - reverted to traditional and tribal customs. Chesler found herself unexpectedly trapped in a posh polygamous family, with no chance of escape. She fought against her seclusion and lack of freedom, her Afghan family's attempts to convert her from Judaism to Islam, and her husband's wish to permanently tie her to the country through childbirth. Chesler nearly died there; but she managed to get out, returned to her studies in America, and became an author and an ardent activist for women's rights throughout the world. 

"Afghanistan and its people seem to have followed me into the future and right into the West. Niqab (face masks) and burqas (both of which I oppose) are here in America, on the streets and in the headlines. Afghanistan has landed in the West and the West is still deployed in Afghanistan.  It is the country where I was once held hostage and the country which sheltered Bin Laden as he hatched his 9/11 plot in a cave. Now, the entire civilian world is being held hostage by Al-Qaeda and other Jihadists. An eerie coincidence." 

In An American Bride in Kabul you will learn:
  • that living in a domestic harem is nothing like living in a Hollywood-inspired brothel;
  • what it's like to live in a polygamous household;
  • about Muslims who are also fighting for women's rights and against Islamism, totalitarianism, terrorism, and gender and religious apartheid;
  • how Afghanistan and Muslim-majority countries are places where anti-infidel hatred, misogyny and violence are indigenous, pandemic, and considered normal; and
  • how 9/11 changed the direction of my book and all I learned about what America and the West are up against in Afghanistan, during a time of radical militant Islam.  
Chesler sees her time in Afghanistan as a great experience that opened her eyes to the plight of women and independent thinkers in restrictive cultures around the world. In the years since her story took place, Chesler has become a bestselling author and an expert on acts of violence perpetrated against women, especially the honor killings so often seen among Muslims in the West and in Muslim-majority countries, and among Hindus in India. She is now a strong advocate for Israel, America, and Western values. Her passion for social, educational and political reform defines the woman she is today, one whose clarity was forged in the fire of Afghanistan.

About the author: Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at City University of New York, the best-selling author of 15 books, and psychotherapist. Chesler has lectured and organized women's rights and human rights campaigns all over the world and has also appeared on numerous national and international media outlets. Her writings have been featured in The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, The Times of London, The Weekly Standard, National Review, Israel National News, The New York Times, and in the Jewish and Israeli media.