Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I wonder if Richard Cohen's gonna put some ice on that?

B just sent this letter to the Editor of the Washington Post (hint: it ain't ever gonna see newsprint).

Mr. Cohen,

I enjoyed your column in today's Washington Post  and was particularly taken by your statement that "[h]ard times are hard on truth."   By this measure, The Washington Post  must be enduring some very hard times indeed.

While the Post treats its readers to articles about an advisor for John McCain lobbying for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the paper makes no mention of the fact that Barack Obama received more money from lobbyists and employees of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than any other member of Congress, except for Christopher Dodd. http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/09/update-fannie-mae-and-freddie.html . And it took Senator Obama only three years to raise more money from these institutions that many of his colleagues were able to raise in ten years.

Similarly, the Post  (and most of its columnists) tell readers that the current financial debacle is the result of deregulation of the financial services market, suggesting that the problems we currently face are properly placed at the doorstep of President Bush and conservative philosophy.  But The Washington Post  fails to mention efforts by the Bush Administration to rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  For example, the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005 (S. 190), of which Senator McCain and three other Republicans were co-sponsors, would have regulated the secondary mortgages market and placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under tighter regulatory oversight.  http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c109:1:./temp/~c1094zZ77z::  The bill went nowhere.  It was reintroduced in 2007 (S. 1100) and referred to the Senate Banking Committee chaired by Senator Dodd. Again, the bill went nowhere.   Despite these and other well-intentioned efforts to address the current crisis before it actually became a crisis, The Washington Post  (and most of its columnists) apparently do not want to burden their readers with such facts.

Instead, readers of the Post are treated to a puff piece about Barney Frank, claiming that he is the "real deal" and that his "sense of urgency" in solving the current financial crisis is "palpable."  Libby Copeland, "Rep. Barney Frank Dives Right in on the Bailout," Washington Post  (Sept. 27, 2008).  Yet, the Post  makes no mention of Rep. Frank's persistent opposition to efforts to tighten regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that would have avoided, or at least lessened the disaster that our economy is currently facing.  In fact, in 2003 during debate on H.R. 2575—THE SECONDARY MORTGAGE MARKET ENTERPRISES REGULATORY IMPROVEMENT ACT, which would have created a "strengthened regulator" for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, this is what Rep. Frank had to say: "I think it is clear that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are sufficiently secure so they are in no great danger... I don't think we face a crisis; I don't think that we have an impending disaster. ...Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do very good work, and they are not endangering the fiscal health of this country."  http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/bank/hba92628.000/hba92628_0f.htm.  Obviously, Mr. Frank was wrong (as were other prominent Democrats leading the "financial recovery" effort, including Senator Dodd), but you wouldn't know that from reading The Washington Post .

People buy newspapers to get the truth, in both good times and bad.  When people can't get the truth, they look to other sources of information, which likely explains the continued decline in subscribership to The Washington Post

Slow-motion live-blogging the Mortgage Meltdown

Those crazy, whacky Internet news archives really have the 'progressives' running wild.

Los Angeles Times: Fannie Mae Moves to Loosen Home Loan Credit Rules; Finance: The agency will encourage lenders to give mortgages to people with blemished records., October 1, 1999:

The nation's largest provider of mortgage funds, moving to increase homeownership among minorities and low-income citizens, unveiled a program Thursday to loosen lending standards for people with "slightly impaired" credit...

It is designed to provide homeownership opportunities for "many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below" qualifying for a loan, said Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive.

US Newswire: Cuomo Announces Action to Provide $2.4 Trillion in Mortgages for Affordable Housing for 28.1 Million Families, July 30, 1999:

[Clinton administration] Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced a policy to require the nation's two largest housing finance companies [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] to buy $2.4 trillion in mortgages over the next 10 years to provide affordable housing for about 28.1 million low- and moderate-income families.

Cuomo said the historic action by HUD raises the required percentage of mortgage loans for low- and moderate-income families that finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must buy from the current 42 percent of their total purchases to a new high of 50 percent -- a 19 percent increase -- in the year 2001.


Concern among securities industry watchdogs is growing as the two largest U.S. stock markets move closer to for-profit status. The fear is they will have difficulty separating their regulatory obligations from their desire to make money.

The Kansas City Star: Behind the boom in minority homeownership, June 12, 1999:

It's one of the hidden success stories of the Clinton era. In the great housing boom of the 1990s, black and Latino homeownership has surged to the highest level ever recorded. The number of blacks owning their own home is now increasing nearly three times as fast as the number of whites; the number of Latino homeowners is growing nearly five times as fast as that of whites. These numbers are dramatic enough to deserve more detail...

PressWire: CUOMO issues higher FHA home mortgage loan limits for communities to increase homeownership, October 20 1998:

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced higher Federal Housing Administration home mortgage loan limits for communities around the nation, implementing a Clinton Administration initiative that will enable thousands more American families to become homeowners each year.

"These higher loan limits will unlock the door to homeownership for hard-working families, transforming homeownership from an impossible dream into a sweet reality," Cuomo said...

New York Times: Homebuyers Who Need Help , January 23, 1998:

The Clinton Administration wants to raise the limit on home mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration from roughly $170,000 to $220,000. By insuring mortgages made by private lenders, the F.H.A. makes the loans risk-free, a bountiful gift to mortgage lenders and real estate agents throughout the country...

James Wolcott and his blinkered apologists could not be reached for comment.

2009 RX-8 with the R3 Sport Package

The Truth About Cars reviews the 2009 Mazda RX-8 (R3 Sport Package):

...here’s the cincher: $32k. For the same price as the aforementioned awful MINI Cooper Clubman S, you can have one of the world’s finest-handling sports cars. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that the RX-8 R3 handles well for a $32k car. I’m saying it handles better than a $320k car. Or, more importantly, whatever you’re driving.

Pretty strong comments.

Instapundit: The MSM fix is in

Not exactly a scoop, but interesting nonetheless. Glenn Reynolds:

A READER AT A MAJOR NEWSROOM EMAILS: "Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working." I asked permission to reprint without attribution and it was granted.

UPDATE: The Anchoress hears similar things. And reader Eric Schubert: "The Edwards debacle was proof enough of where the heart of the MSM lies, and lack of curiousity of the press about Edwards probably cost Hillary the nomination. And that shameful episode offers a warning to the MSM. What if Obama does have a skeleton in his closet (such as a shady deal or outright bribe) that is revealed after he wins the election? While the chance of this scenario is remote, imagine the backlash against the MSM if it could be shown that a reasonable investigation by the MSM would have easily revealed this secret to the public prior to the election?"

ANOTHER UPDATE: Rand Simberg isn't so sure: "Where was the backlash against this about Bill Clinton in 1992? They just seem to continue to get away with it." Well, yes and no. Their reputation and readership/viewership keep falling. And layoffs keep happening. I think they're willing to pull out all the stops because they realize this is the last election where they have a chance at swinging things this way. No point saving your credibility for the future when you don't have a future, I guess . . . .

Yep! It's time for the obligatory New York Times stock chart:

You know, even after a tough day, nothing lifts my spirits like this chart!

Google trading goes nuts at the end o' the day

Checking my portfolio this afternoon, I noticed Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) had dropped 80 points in the last few minutes of trading! MarketWatch reports that NASDAQ is canceling certain bizarre Google trades:

Nasdaq said Tuesday afternoon that it has cancelled certain trades made on shares of Google Inc. (320.50-60.50-15.88% 5:39pm 09/30/2008 minutes before the closing bell Tuesday. In a statement, the exchange said it will cancel all trades on the stock at or above $425.29 and at or below $400.52 that were executed between 3:57 and 4:02 Eastern. The exchange also said it will be adjusting the Nasdaq Official Closing Cross (NOCP) and all trades executed in the cross to $400.52. The decision came after data late in the trading session seemed to indicate that shares of Google - which were trading up about 8% for most of the session - fell between 10-16% in the final minutes before the closing bell. The statement from Nasdaq did not gie [sic] a reason for the other trades.

Only three letters suffice: WTF? Here's the latest chart from Yahoo.

It shows after-hours trading occurring at $411, which seems a bit more like it.

Of course: what the heck really happened?

What McCain needs to do right now

Introducing Secretary of the Treasury:

Governor Mitt Romney, proven turnaround specialist.

Get to steppin' John. Name him.

Then contrast him with Obama's economic advisers: Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson, the crack Fannie Mae management team that left in a cloud of accounting scandals, subprime rot and undeserved bonuses.

Update: Linked by Vanity Fair's James ("Extra Lipitor with those Nachos") Wolcott -- renowned "misogynist and antisemite" who calls the idea "desperate and dumbass." Though not nearly as desperate and dumbass as naming disgraced Fannie Mae executives your economic advisers.

Update II: Wolcott's apologists are still hysterically claiming that Franklin Raines never advised Obama. For the 162nd time:
  • The Washington Post, 7/16/08: “In the four years since he stepped down as Fannie Mae’s chief executive under the shadow of a $6.3 billion accounting scandal, Franklin D. Raines has been quietly constructing a new life for himself. He has shaved eight points off his golf handicap, taken a corner office in Steve Case’s D.C. conglomeration of finance, entertainment and health-care companies and more recently, taken calls from Barack Obama’s presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters.”
  • The Washington Post, 8/28/08: “In the current crisis, their biggest backers have been Democrats such as Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (Conn.) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (Mass.). Two members of Mr. Obama’s political circle, James A. Johnson and Franklin D. Raines, are former chief executives of Fannie Mae.
Remember: these weren't lobbyists, they were running the show at Fannie Mae.

* * *

Of course, real Obama backers may need to report this post to the Missouri Truth Squad.

I've got some board games to play while I wait for the authorities to show up.

Linked by: American Digest. Thanks!

Monday, September 29, 2008

How much damage can an assclown do in one minute?

Note: I think "assclown" is the term Nancy Pelosi prefers. Anyhow, I'm thinking the answer is about $700 billion.

Oh, and I found the following headline in CNN's dumpster: Pelosi's uplifting speech unites Congress behind the Bailout.

The transcript of Pelosi's speech -- which blamed the mortgage meltdown on Bush, Rethuglicans, Cheney, Rove, Reagan, Sarah Palin, radio talk-show hosts, bible-wielding Pennsylvanians and Walker Texas Ranger -- is something for the ages. It was as ill-timed and as dishonest a speech as has ever been given in the halls of Congress.

Pelosi and Reid make Benedict Arnold look like Nathan Hale.

Do you think Barney Frank regrets giving up that one minute of time to Madame Speaker? Because that's all it took for Pelosi to torch a verbal agreement in a manner similar to Genghis Kahn's rampage through the city of Balkh (which was destroyed it in the year 1221 and "has not fully recovered from the damage to this day").

Best. House. Speaker. Ever.

Here's the transcript. You can read between the lines. Literally.

SPEAKER PELOSI: Madam Speaker, when was the last time someone asked you for $700 billion?

Roughly the same time I asked someone to give me $18 grand, which is the amount Pelosi accepted in donations from Fannie and Freddie last year -- more than any other single person.

It is a number that is staggering, but tells us only the costs of the Bush Administration's failed economic policies-policies built on budgetary recklessness, on an anything goes mentality, with no regulation, no supervision, and no discipline in the system.

Correct. We know it didn't have anything to do with Clinton operatives Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelick, Jim Johnson and others instigating an accounting fraud at Fannie Mae while sucking out $200 million in salaries. Or Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Maxine Waters and a host of other Democratic Congressional muckety-mucks who blocked every attempt at reform. Or Democratic front-group ACORN's phony allegations of redlining that forced banks to underwrite ever riskier loans. We know the meltdown had nothing to do with any of those things!

Democrats believe in the free market, which can and does create jobs, wealth, and capital, but left to its own devices it has created chaos.

That chaos is the dismal picture painted by Treasury Secretary Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke a week and a half ago in the Capitol. As they pointed out, we confront a crisis of historic magnitude that has the ability to do serious injury not simply to our economy, but to the American people: not just to Wall Street, but to everyday Americans on Main Street.

It is our responsibility today, to help avert that catastrophic outcome.

Kinda like how "Great Society" helped win the war on poverty. That was a big Democratic responsiblity that worked out swimmingly!

Let us be clear: This is a crisis caused on Wall Street. But it is a crisis that reaches to Main Street in every city and town of the United States.

It is a crisis that freezes credit, causes families to lose their homes, cripples small businesses, and makes it harder to find jobs.

It is a crisis that never had to happen. It is now the duty of every Member of this body to recognize that the failure to act responsibly, with full protections for the American taxpayer, would compound the damage already done to the financial security of millions of American families.

Over the past several days, we have worked with our Republican colleagues to fashion an alternative to the original plan of the Bush Administration.

I must recognize the outstanding leadership provided by Chairman Barney Frank, whose enormous intellectual and strategic abilities have never before been so urgently needed, or so widely admired.

Wait a second! Is that the same Barney Frank who fought off the Bush administration's two dozen attempts at reining in Fannie and Freddie saying "I think it is clear that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are sufficiently secure so they are in no great danger... I don't think we face a crisis; I don't think that we have an impending disaster. ...Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do very good work, and they are not endangering the fiscal health of this country... I don't see any financial crisis.

Why, yes. I think that is the same Barney Frank! Well done, B!

I also want to recognize Rahm Emanuel, who combined his deep knowledge of financial institutions with his pragmatic policy experience, to resolve key disagreements.

Is that the same Rahm Emanuel who "who served on the board of Freddie Mac and... opposed every reform proposed by the Bush Administration"? The same Rahm who reportedly fast-tracked illegal aliens through the voter registration process to promote vote fraud? And has blind trusts valued at between $6.5 million and $28 million (the hallmark of an honest politician)? That's deep knowledge of financial institutions!

Secretary Paulson deserves credit for working day and night to help reach an agreement and for his flexibility in negotiating changes to his original proposal.

Democrats insisted that legislation responding to this crisis must protect the American people and Main Street from the meltdown on Wall Street.

The American people did not decide to dangerously weaken our regulatory and oversight policies. They did not make unwise and risky financial deals. They did not jeopardize the economic security of the nation. And they must not pay the cost of this emergency recovery and stabilization bill.

So we insisted that this bill contain several key provisions:

This legislation must contain independent and ongoing oversight to ensure that the recovery program is managed with full transparency and strict accountability.

Is that kind of like the oversight that Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, David Scott, Gregory Meeks, Franklin Raines and a host of other Democrats fought tooth and nail for the last eight years? That kind of oversight?

The legislation must do everything possible to allow as many people to stay in their homes rather than face foreclosure.

The corporate CEOs whose companies will benefit from the public's participation in this recovery must not benefit by exorbitant salaries and golden parachute retirement bonuses.

Say, CEOs like Franklin Raines ($90 million salary) and Jim Johnson ($21 million) who drove Fannie Mae into the ground while cooking the books to make their bonus numbers? And then took jobs advising Obama on housing? Those kind of CEOs?

Our message to Wall Street is this: the party is over. The era of golden parachutes for high-flying Wall Street operators is over. No longer will the U.S. taxpayer bailout the recklessness of Wall Street.

Great. But when do we get to stop bailing out the criminals and Democrats (but I repeat myself) who raped and pillaged Fannie Mae in the name of "economic fairness"? Like Barney ("I don't see any financial crisis") Frank?

The taxpayers who bear the risk in this recovery must share in the upside as the economy recovers.

Do we get to share in the profits with the crooks at ACORN? Those guys are really good at paying for votes with crack cocaine, making up names of voters, cajoling the dead to vote, and convincing illegal aliens to register.

And should this program not pay for itself, the financial institutions that benefited, not the taxpayers, must bear responsibility for making up the difference.

These were the Democratic demands to safeguard the American taxpayer, to help the economy recover, and to impose tough accountability as a central component of this recovery effort.

Why start now? You could probably get away with a few more years of ripping off taxpayers just like Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelick and Jim Johnson did.

This legislation is not the end of congressional activity on this crisis. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will continue to hold investigative and oversight hearings to find out how the crisis developed, where mistakes were made, and how the recovery must be managed to protect the middle class and the American taxpayer.

Yes. We're all eagerly awaiting the investigation into the root cause of the crisis.

With passage of this legislation today, we can begin the difficult job of turning our economy around, of helping those who depend on a growing economy and stable financial institutions for a secure retirement, for the education of their children, for jobs and small business credit.

I guess we'll have to take a raincheck on the Tang, Mattie. I mean, Nancy.

Today we must act for those Americans, for Main Street, and we must act now, with the bipartisan spirit of cooperation which allowed us to fashion this legislation.

This not enough. We are also working to restore our nation's economic strength by passing a new economic recovery stimulus package- a robust, job creating bill-that will help Americans struggling with high prices, get our economy back on track, and renew the American Dream.

Today, we will act to avert this crisis, but informed by our experience of the past eight years with the failed economic leadership that has left us left capable of meeting the challenges of the future.

We choose a different path. In the new year, with a new Congress and a new president, we will break free with a failed past and take America in a New Direction to a better future.

The only "new direction" you're gonna get, honey, is a AAA TripTik for your ride back to Frisco after your ass gets fired.

Drain. The. Swamp!

Accountability. Back. To. Congress!

Best. Congress. Evah!

This ignorant, hyper-partisan assclown needs to do all Americans a favor and resign. Now.

Related: Swamp Politics: Bailout sunk by Pelosi speech ("Pelosi, the House's top Democrat, outraged Republican members of their conference who might have been on the fence before her speech. By her words , she pushed them to vote against the legislation.")
Linked by: Gateway Pundit, Pax Parabellum and Take our country back!. Thanks!

Only in America: Taste Worth Dying For

Chris sent this one.

Even the pictures are giving me angina.

I like what Al Franken's done with his website!

The man's a consummate comedian!

Of course, some in his own party are calling Franken "toxic". But that won't stop the high-larious high-jinx from a comic genius the likes of which we haven't seen since Jack Benny!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Reason to be worried -- very worried -- about the bailout deal

Here's some testimony from '03 and '04 that relate to the oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that should make you cry. But these people are smiling, laughing even, about $700 billion in taxpayer money they'll use for a bailout of the GSEs they failed to control.

Any questions?

Via: Rick at Brutally Honest.

Official Missouri Truth Squad Incident Report

Cub Reporter Biff Spackle discovered this document that confirms the report of Barack Obama's 'Truth Squad' (the high-ranking Democratic prosecutors who have threatened to "prosecute critics of Barack Obama").

Which incident(s) are you reporting? (Check all that apply)
They mocked, questioned or satirized Obama (with or without styrofoam Greek columns).
They mentioned Obama's questionable citizenship/elibility for the presidency.
They mentioned Obama's questionable religious background.
They mentioned Obama's 20-year affiliation with a racist, anti-semitic Church.
They mentioned Obama's many affiliations with extremists and those tied to terrorists.
They mentioned Obama's career was launched and orchestrated by terrorist Bill Ayers.
They mentioned all of Obama's missing records (medical, collegiate, birth certificate, etc.).
They described Obama's blatant lie about infanticide that was even recanted by his handlers.
They described Obama's many ties to Fannie Mae executives and the mortgage meltdown.
They showed me pictures of Obama's stunning results as a "community organizer" and state senator.

Who are you reporting? (Check all that apply)
My parents
My sibling
My boss or co-worker
A friend or acquaintance
A radio talk-show host
Sean Hannity
Governor Matt Blunt
A wingnut blogger

How did you find about their relationship to these untruths? (Check all that apply)
They sent me a chain email
They sent me a link to a wingnut or Rethuglican website
I happened to notice it on their laptop while sitting behind them on a bus, train or plane
I overheard them whispering
I installed a key-logger on their computer
I read their blog
I installed a network sniffer that monitors all traffic coming into and out of the neighborhood
I went "war-driving" and/or employed wireless monitoring tactics

How long would you recommend that we detain the subject(s)? (Check only one)
Until after the election
Until 2012
Until 2016
Until they graduate from Re-education Camp
Until prisoners start starving in the O'Gulags
Do not set release date

How dangerous is/are the subject(s)? (Check one)
Mildly annoying
All bark, no bite
Typical Pennsylvanian who clings to guns and religion
Other NRA member
NRA member with concealed-carry permit (a CCW)
Lifetime NRA member with three or more firearms, a CCW, and a Class III permit
Typical Texan
Chuck Norris

Email your completed form to Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce or County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCullough (or email him here).

Update: Associates of the Truth Squad have successfully shut down the sacrilegious Macsmind website. An alternative version of this notorious Rethuglican propaganda website has popped up here too, but rest assured our Squad is working diligently to bring it down as well.

Related: BizzyBlog has the transcript. Linked by: Instapundit, Jammie Wearing Fool, Discerning Texan, MyDD, Dad29, Grim's Hall, Infidel Bloggers Alliance, Inoperable Terran, Rantburg, Real Barack Obama and Up to Penrose and back. Thanks!

Question o' the Day: In Large Typeface for Easy Reading

"Where is the Congressional Investigation?"

                                                                        -- Me. Just now.

Could it be because of this? Or this? Or this?

Maybe Jamie Gorelick will be named to the commission that will eventually investigate this mess, just like she was for 9/11.

Larwyn's Link Kerplosion: "I've got a bracelet too!"

Liar: Nancy Pelosi says she was never warned about the financial crisis. I guess she was in the Trinity United Church restroom with Senator Obama during the roughly two dozen efforts by the Bush administration since 2001 to reform Fannie and Freddie. These were blocked repeatedly by Democrats because the GOP did not have a filibuster-proof majority.

Childish and pathetic: "I've got a bracelet too." ...Jim, let me just make a point. I’ve got a bracelet, too, from Sergeant - from the mother of [can’t think of the name, looks down to read name on bracelet] Sergeant Ryan David Jopeck, sure another mother is not going through what I’m going through...

In reality the Jopek family is none-too-pleased with Obama and does not want the senator wearing their son's bracelet. I'll alert the mainstream media, who I'm sure will report this dichotomy instantly.

Liar, Part Deux: Henry Kissinger says Obama was fibbing during the debate when he mentioned the old diplomat. Interviewed by Megyn Kelly, Kissinger said Obama is full of s***. Or words to that effect.

Obama's Brownshirts are at it again: Notwithstanding their efforts to silence Dr. Stanley Kurtz of the National Review (while avoiding debate on his research), Obama's thugs are at it again.

KMOV TV (St. Louis) reports that two prominent government officials have formed a "truth squad" at the behest of the Obama campaign. Obama is asking Missouri law enforcement "to target anyone who lies or runs a misleading TV ad during the presidential campaign." I am not making this up. Governor Matt Blunt of Missouri announced the following on Saturday:

St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer, and Obama and the leader of his Missouri campaign Senator Claire McCaskill have attached the stench of police state tactics to the Obama-Biden campaign... What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words... abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment... Barack Obama needs to grow up."

Mark Steyn's contribution: "Yes, we ban!"

Professor Mitchell Langbert suggests an effective response for bloggers of both political persuasions disgusted by these Gestapo-style tactics. More to come.

The rotten ACORN: The American Thinker's James Simpson lays out a compelling description of the "manufactured crisis."

Before the 1994 Republican takeover, Democrats had sixty years of virtually unbroken power in Congress - with substantial majorities most of the time. Can a group of smart people, studying issue after issue for years on end, with virtually unlimited resources at their command, not come up with a single policy that works? ...One of two things must be true. Either the Democrats are unfathomable idiots, who ignorantly pursue ever more destructive policies despite decades of contrary evidence, or they understand the consequences of their actions and relentlessly carry on anyway because they somehow benefit... I submit to you they understand the consequences. For many it is simply a practical matter of eliciting votes from a targeted constituency at taxpayer expense; we lose a little, they gain a lot, and the politician keeps his job. But for others, the goal is more malevolent - the failure is deliberate.

...The chart puts Barack Obama at the epicenter of an incestuous stew of American radical leftism. Not only are his connections significant, they practically define who he is. Taken together, they constitute a who's who of the American radical left... Conspicuous in their absence are any connections at all with any other group, moderate, or even mildly leftist. They are all radicals, firmly bedded in the anti-American, communist, socialist, radical leftist mesh...

It's important. Read the whole thing. Investors Business Daily has more on the malevolent bands of miscreants who call Obama an ally.

Update: New blog: I've got a bracelet too!.

Email Warning!

Papa B sent this one in.

If you get an e-mail with "Nude Photos of Sarah Palin" in the subject line, do not open it. It might contain a virus.

If you get an e-mail with "Nude Photos of Hillary Clinton," do not open it.

It might contain nude photos of Hillary Clinton.

No one ever said Papa B was politically correct.

Spy photo: Bill Clinton holding hands with mystery woman

This photo was actually taken by TMZ a couple of months ago and then reprinted by the Edmonton Sun. I'm a bit late 'cuz I don't exactly follow the gossip papers.

While leaving a $200 - $500 a ticket speaking engagement in Canada on Friday, the Edmonton Sun caught Bill Clinton holding hands with an unidentified woman.

It's good to be an ex-President for whom the "100-mile rule" is always in effect.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Fannie Mae testimony that will make you scream in anger

In 1997 President Clinton's HUD secretary, a man named Andrew Cuomo, claimed Fannie Mae had exhibited "racial discrimination" and proposed that 50 percent of the GSEs' (Fannie and Freddie) loan portfolio be made up of loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers by 2001.

Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice:

[Clinton appointee] Andrew Cuomo... made a series of decisions between 1997 and 2001 that gave birth to the country's current crisis. He took actions that... helped plunge Fannie and Freddie into the subprime markets without putting in place the means to monitor their increasingly risky investments. He turned the Federal Housing Administration...into a sweetheart lender with sky-high loan ceilings and no money down, and he legalized what a federal judge has branded "kickbacks" to brokers that have fueled the sale of overpriced and unsupportable loans. Three to four million families are now facing foreclosure, and Cuomo is one of the reasons why.

At the time, Democrat Cuomo said "GSE presence in the subprime market could be of significant benefit to lower-income families, minorities, and families living in underserved areas..."

...as Paul Krugman noted in the Times recently, "homeownership isn't for everyone," adding that as many as 10 million of the new buyers are stuck now with negative home equity... So many others have gone through foreclosure that there's been a net loss in home ownership since 1998...

From 2001 to 2008, the Bush administration tried more than 18 times to bring Fannie and Freddie under heel.

For example, consider October 6, 2004. Location: The House of Representatives. Richard Baker -- the Republican Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises -- reads an opening statement as he issues his report on "Allegations of accounting and Management Failure at Fannie Mae."

The Capital Markets Subcommittee meets today for the purpose of receipt of a report from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. It is indeed a very troubling report. But it is a report of extraordinary importance, to those who wish to own a home, as well as the taxpayers of this country who would pay the cost of cleanup.

...The matters detailed in this report are serious and raise concerns regarding the validity of previously reported financial results, the adequacy of regulatory capital, the quality of management supervision, and the overall safety and soundness of the Enterprise...

We all know that the Enterprise is very thinly capitalized, but the potential effect of requiring a responsible capital level would be to adversely affect earnings per share, and consequently make the payment of bonuses [to Fannie executives] much less likely...

I also wish to inform members of the Committee of another troubling incident, which I now choose to make public. About a year ago, I corresponded with the Director’s office making inquiry about the levels of executive compensation at the enterprise for the top twenty executives...

Now I understand why the Enterprise [Fannie Mae] was so anxious not to have public disclosure of compensation of an entity that was created by the Congress, and supported by the taxpayer... As a direct result of abhorrent accounting practices, executives have been able to award themselves bonuses they did not earn and did not deserve...

In 2003, the effort to rein in Fannie began in earnest with a GOP bill ("H.R. 2575—THE SECONDARY MORTGAGE MARKET ENTERPRISES REGULATORY IMPROVEMENT ACT"). The bill would have strengthened an independent regulator that did not have to kowtow to the political establishment. Like most efforts aimed at reformation of Fannie, the committee votes were typically on the straight party line.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): I think it is clear that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are sufficiently secure so they are in no great danger... I don't think we face a crisis; I don't think that we have an impending disaster. ...Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do very good work, and they are not endangering the fiscal health of this country.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA): I have sat through nearly a dozen hearings where, frankly, we were trying to fix something that wasn't broke. [sic] ...These GSEs have more than adequate capital for the business they are in: providing affordable housing. As I mentioned, we should not be making radical or fundamental change... If there is anything to fix or improve, it is the [regulators].

Rep. David Scott (D-GA): ...affordable housing goals for both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae require that 50 percent of units should be built for low-and moderate-income home buyers, and 20 percent for very low-income families... Yet, from 1998 to 2002, African-American home ownership rates only rose from 45.6 percent to 47.3 percent, less than 2 percent compared with the white average increase from 72 percent to 74.5 percent, huge gap remains. Clearly, the mission of Freddie Mac, and especially Fannie Mae, is to close that gap...

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY): ...I have to go to another hearing, I will try to be just real quick... I am just pissed off at [the regulator] because if it wasn't for you I don't think that we would be here in the first place. ...we are faced with is maybe some individuals who wanted to do away with GSEs in the first place, you have given them an excuse to try to have this forum [to change the] mission of what the GSEs had, which they have done a tremendous job... There has been nothing that was indicated is wrong, you know, with Fannie Mae... The question that then presents is the competence that your agency has with reference to deciding and regulating these GSEs.

Franklin Raines, Chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae: ...In 1994, we launched our trillion-dollar commitment, a pledge to provide $1 trillion in financing for 10 million underserved families before the decade was over... In 2000... we launched a redoubled new pledge... to provide $2 trillion for 18 million underserved families before this decade is over. (I guess we didn't quite make it, did we Frank?) ...we are one of the best capitalized financial institutions in the world, when compared to the risk of our business...

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): I don't see any financial crisis.

Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL): A concern that I have... is you are making very specific... broad and categorical judgment about the management of this institution, about the willfulness of practices that may or may not be in controversy. You have imputed various motives to the people running the organization... That sounds to me as if you have gone from being a dispassionate regulator to someone who is very much involved and has a stake in this controversy... And I will follow up on Ms. Waters's point because I think it is very well taken: Her observation is that the political context surrounding your investigation was that serious doubts were being raised about OFHEO... In fact, frankly, doubts were raised about your leadership of OFHEO. And all of a sudden, the response to that is to produce an enormously critical report.

Franklin Raines, Chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae: ...these assets are so riskless that their capital for holding them should be under 2 percent.

This week even ex-President Clinton admitted that the Democrats were guilty of destroying Fannie and Freddie... and responsible for the current crisis that threatens to bring the entire U.S. economy to the brink of recession: I think that the responsibility that the Democrats have may rest more in resisting any efforts by the Republicans and the Congress or by me when I was President to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Who were the top recipients of Fannie Mae's money-dispensing leaf-blower? The top three were Chris Dodd (D-CT), Barack Obama (D-IL) and John Kerry (D-MA).

And where are these Fannie Mae executives now?
  • Franklin Raines ($90 million in compensation): Economic Adviser to Barack Obama
  • Jamie Gorelick ($26 million): Major Democratic Fundraiser
  • James Johnson ($21 million): Adviser to Barack Obama
That's change you can bank on!

As recently as 2007, Gorelick -- who lives in a $1.7 million home -- was still donating money to disgraced Senator Christopher "Nero" Dodd, who fiddled while homes burned.

I have just one question for FBI director Mueller. Why aren't these people in prison?

Updates: Gateway Pundit has some ominous news regarding WaMu... and Dan Riehl parses a critical moment in the debate relating directly to the financial mess.

Hat tips: Naked Emperor News, Ann, Barking Moonbat, Country Store ("Jamie Gorelick: the pinup girl for Democrat foolishness strikes again") and the incredibly prolific, always on-point Gateway Pundit.
Linked by: The Anchoress, Gina Cobb, Liberty Peak Lodge and Madville. Thanks!