Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Problem With Obama's Washington

Two years ago, I called for reform of this corruption at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Congress did nothing. The Administration did nothing. Senator Obama did nothing, and actually profited from this system of abuse and scandal. While Fannie and Freddie were working to keep Congress away from their house of cards, Senator Obama was taking their money. He got more, in fact, than any other member of Congress, except for the Democratic chairmen of the committee that oversees them. And while Fannie Mae was betraying the public trust, somehow its former CEO had managed to gain my opponent's trust to the point that Senator Obama actually put him in charge of his vice presidential search.

My friends, this is the problem with Washington. People like Senator Obama have been too busy gaming the system and haven't ever done a thing to actually challenge the system.

A Very Painful Laugh

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Of course, this one misses the Fannie/Freddie nuclear moral hazard that attracted the Wall Street morons like flies, but it's still worth some very painful laughs...


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The only thing that has changed is the packaging.

And we as a society have become so conditioned to examine the packaging —
with even many of the elites, the useful idiots, presuming to take a
disinterested look at things such as height, posture, style of dress, etc — that
we’ve lost sight of what it is that lurks inside the box.

In Obama’s case, it is the political and philosophical desire to have the US
join the world community as an equal — and to do so, given our current position
as a hyperpower, means, necessarily, that we as a country need to be taken down
a few notches, to abase ourselves (as Carter would’ve had us do), or to
surrender military and strategic advantages, while keeping us dependent on
foreign energy and entangled in transnationalist endeavors, so that the rest of
the world doesn’t look upon us as a “bully,” but as an “equal.”

Equality of outcome over equality of opportunity. This is the essence of
socialist thinking.

The Real Thing

One of the more farcical claims that Democrats have leveled against Governor
Sarah Palin is that as mayor, she "banned" books from the Wasilla, Alaska public
library. The claim was a complete fabrication, and anyway, a mayor has no power
to "ban" a book. Suppressing a work of literature in our time requires href="">something
quite different

Scotland Yard's counter-terrorist command yesterday foiled an
alleged plot by Islamic extremists to kill the publisher of a forthcoming novel
featuring sexual encounters between the Prophet Muhammad and his child bride.

It was withdrawn from publication in America last month after its
publisher there, Random House, said it feared a violent reaction by “a small
radical segment” of Muslims. It said “credible and unrelated sources” had warned
that the book could incite violence.

That's how you go about suppressing a book. No one seems to mind much,
though, when the real thing happens.

 blog it

Scenes From A Burning House

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Plenty of Repulicans were at the trough along with the Dems. But show me any Dems except for Bill Clinton who have any claims to trying to fix it. And McCain was one of the co-sponsors of the Republican effort in 2005 to take a run at it. And even Clinton's claims are largely political maneuvering as usual.

Yes, Clinton appears at the end. Watch for it.

Burning Down The House

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Here's the overall summary. Of course, there was a large portion of investors flipping properties as well once the skids were greased by Fannie and Freddie. This is one of the largest moral hazards in history hands down.

And it's O's baby as much as any other Democrat. Mr. Acorn himself.

Of Graft And Power

Much of the blogosphere is up in arms because of the provision in Senator
Dodd’s financial bailout bill that might funnel profits from the bailout plan to
ACORN Housing (related to the disreputable activist group ACORN), and other more
reputable service organizations.

I have read Dodd’s proposed statute and in some respects, it is far worse
than has been reported. Senator Dodd has placed a loophole in the bill that is
explicitly designed to siphon off tens or hundreds of billions of dollars to the
Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund even if there are no net profits
in the $700 billion venture.

You know, it would be easier for me to believe this was a crisis, if the
people in charge were acting like it was a crisis, instead of just an
opportunity for graft. Then again, to some of these people, everything is
just an opportunity for graft.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Missing Recusal Redux

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Mind you, I don’t give Republicans who’ve voted against oversight for Fannie and Freddie a pass, nor do I give greedy Wall Street financiers a pass, or the home equity loan bastards who now feel they’re entitled to a bail-out. But tucked into the Congressional provisions we now find that there are bail-outs for student loans and car debt. While Dem-leaning policy wonks talk about the inherent unfairness of the Feds permitting certain firms to fail and buying others, they seem not to mind that the government has intervened to save some homeowners from foreclosure while letting those who have gone before them sink, or that some people may have paid off their student debt or automotive financing, while they contemplate making us hold the bag for this. Are any of them going to recuse themselves for having accepted discounted loans from CountryWide or any of the other mortgage lenders? [...]


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Here's George W. Bush's speech from six years ago to
the White House Conference on Increasing Minority Homeownership. The precise
programs he was advocating aren't terribly important, they're fairly minor, but
the tone of his speech is important. It puts the Presidential Seal of Approval
on the orgy of dubious mortgage lending (Down payments? We don't need no
steenking down payments!) in the name of increasing minority

This is the bipartisan consensus epitomized.

By the way, this isn't some eloquent oration Michael
Gerson wrote and Bush just read it stolidly off the teleprompter. As you can see
from the garbled syntax, this is Bush winging it, straight from his heart. He
really believes all this stuff.

Of course, O could have made this speech. Just with a more sonorous tone and only slightly more coherently.

Innumeracy Update: The Diversity Depression

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"The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies reports that the rate of
subprime mortgages for Latinos and African Americans is about double the rate
for whites. In 2006, subprimes made up one in four mortgages (26 percent) made
to whites, 47 percent of those to Latinos and 53 percent of mortgages that went
to African Americans."
Without knowing the exact proportion of the races in taking out mortgages, this would seem to suggest that 30+% of mortgages in 2007 were subprime.

And we wonder why there's a problem? Come again?

Mayor Daley Is A Proud Daddy To The OThug

PATTERICO sees href="">a
pattern of intimidation
leading up to the Obama campaign's latest threats:
"In 2006, when ABC ran 'The Path to 9/11,' Harry Reid & Co. wrote a
mafia-style letter threatening ABC’s broadcast license. In 2004, a group of
Democrat lawmakers wrote Rupert Murdoch and threatened Fox News’s broadcast
license over what they believed was skewed reporting. And the DNC threatened
Sinclair Broadcasting’s broadcast license over an anti-Kerry documentary called
'Stolen Honor.' Kerry spokesthug Chad Clanton was quoted as saying: 'I think
they’re going to regret doing this, and they better hope we don’t win.' He
hastened to add that it wasn’t a threat."

Meanwhile, href="">Ted Stevens is
doing the same kind of thing.
An old-fashioned corrupt politician using
lawyers to silence critics? Is that the kind of image Obama wants to foster?

Acorn Under The Radar

Acorn prefers to fly under the national radar, organizing locally in liberal
urban areas — where, Stern observes, local legislators and reporters are often
“slow to grasp how radical Acorn’s positions really are.” Acorn’s new goals are
municipal “living wage” laws targeting “big-box” stores like Wal-Mart, rolling
back welfare reform, and regulating banks — efforts styled as combating
“predatory lending.” Unfortunately, instead of helping workers, Acorn’s
living-wage campaigns drive businesses out of the very neighborhoods where jobs
are needed most. Acorn’s opposition to welfare reform only threatens to worsen
the self-reinforcing cycle of urban poverty and family breakdown. Perhaps most
mischievously, says Stern, Acorn uses banking regulations to pressure financial
institutions into massive “donations” that it uses to finance supposedly
non-partisan voter turn-out drives.
 blog it

Thursday, September 25, 2008


In the public order I recall from my youth, there was still some general understanding of such things. At the hint of serious public (as opposed to personal) scandal, journalistic and political forces were certainly deployed. But I do not recall the withering ack-ack and “gotcha!” that has become the hourly routine in our media. What President Clinton called “the politics of personal destruction” -- and assiduously practised -- has become the norm. It is made worse by the overwhelming left-bias of the mainstream news media, where the targets are selected consistently from one side.

My impression is that the politicians caught the disease from the journalists. By now, from all sides, we have abandoned most discussion of public policy and intention, and all parties indulge in a child’s game, to “gotcha” and “[noun]-gate” one another, interspersed with expressions of hypocritical outrage when each in turn is hit.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


And finally, appalled by the media and chattering heads calling the whole mess a
"crisis of capitalism" when the plain facts show the opposite. The whole
"subprime mortgage" instrument was invented by bankers specifically to assuage
heavy-handed Congressional demands to swell the number of minority and
low-income homeowners, 20 years ago. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were already
bloated quasi-government bureaucracies, dangerously freed from many conventional
market disciplines. And among the chief beneficiaries of the current bailout are
the most extravagant contributors to the Democrat Party.

As one of my
more knowing correspondents put it: "Wall Street loves money but hates free
markets, because free markets distribute economic benefits to those who earn
them, rather than to those best able to seize them."

Can't Run This Way

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A free society cannot run this way. If information is power, those who control the information and its mainstream dissemination are in a position to act as the most important swing vote in any election. That the press has given up, at this late stage (and despite declines in readership and public trust), any serious attempt to report objectively suggests that we are now quite immersed in a battle for the very principles of a democratic republic. Progressives have decided that the ends justify the means — that lies in the service of greater truths (as defined by their own ideology) are both pragmatic and utilitarian measures to be adopted so that “we” can finally get things “right,” and accept government from a permanent political class, a new aristocracy, that will expand the federal government in ways that will protect us from ourselves, in the process, assuring that ever new generations will be reliable upon the good graces of the federal government for their survival.

Carefully Chosen: Barry And Bomb Boy Billy

To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully.
The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos.
The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.
We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we
discussed neocolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy. When we
ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our setereos so loud that
the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society's stifling
constraints. We weren't indifferent or careless or insecure. We were
No, to "avoid being mistaken for a sell-out," to achieve the "distance" he
wanted, to show his "solidarity," he'd find someone who'd thrown more than
metaphorical, verbal bombs.

Reading these two paragraphs, one cannot be
at all surprised to learn that almost immediately after the publication of his
first book, Obama eagerly entwined himself with Bill Ayers.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Not Fooling Anyone There Bill

Given that we would never have had the odious George W. Bush in the White House in the first place if it wasn't for your blow jobs, Bill, it seems obvious that you owe it to the people of this country, and especially to the parents whose kids died in the Iraq War that Gore would never have started, and to all the parents whose kids would be killed in the WarFest that would be a McCain/Palin -- sorry, Palin/McCain administration -- to do everything in your power to get Barack Obama elected.

But that's not what you're doing, Bill, and it's not going unnoticed. We see your rage, Bill, it's too huge to hide. We see that -- as Chris Rock so brilliantly pointed out -- it pains you to even speak Obama's name. We see you petulantly rooting against him even as you go through the motions of doing the barest minimum on his behalf to avoid being blamed if he loses.

You're not fooling anyone, Bill.

Had This Been Palin...

I think in the space of about the last 24 hours, Joe Biden claimed that the AIG bailout was bad, but then said it wasn't bad;

that we did not need to burn coal;

that his apology about the dirty McCain ad was, as they say, inoperative;

that FDR once went on television to address the nation after the stock market crash of '29 (that's a twofer that trumps Obama's Americans liberating Auschwitz);

and all but said that McCain took a $50,000 bribe.

Not a bad day's work — encompassing terrible energy policy, flip-flopping, historical ignorance, and slander. And this comes on top of Palin the "good looking" "Lt. Governor" of Alaska, Hillary as the better VP pick than himself, the patriotism of paying higher taxes, and so on.
Had this been Palin, the election would now be over.

But Then There Might Not Be A Quorum

Very odd to see a Sen. Chris Dodd, of all people, today defiant and outspoken in his regard for the people:

if only he had returned (never too late) lavish contributions from Freddie Mac and Frannie Mae (as Senate banking chairman, he was their #1 targeted recipient and raked in over $160,000);

if only in the midst of a loan crisis, he had not received below-market-rate VIP loans from the now late great, melted-down Countrywide for whose parochial interests he championed;

if only he had not been instrumental in blocking past proposed firewalls that might have prevented the collapse of the two agencies that were the catalyst for this mess;

if only he had a bit of contrition for his own role in this national mess.

Surely in the interest of transparency and conflict of interest, any Senator, Republican or Democrat, who accepted money from Freddie and Frannie, or any of the imperiled investment houses, should recuse themselves from the present hearings—but then there might not be a quorum.


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- The Community Reinvestment Act. This 1977 law compels banks to make loans to poor borrowers who often cannot repay them. Banks that failed to make enough of these loans were often held hostage by activists when they next sought some regulatory approval.

Robert Litan, an economist at the Brookings Institution, told the Washington Post this year that banks “had to show they were making a conscious effort to make loans to subprime borrowers.” The much-maligned Phil Gramm fought to limit these CRA requirements in the 1990s, albeit to little effect and much political jeering.

Our point here isn’t to absolve Wall Street or pretend there weren’t private excesses. But the investment mistakes would surely have been less extreme, and ultimately their damage more containable, if not for the enormous political support and subsidy for mortgage credit. Beware politicians who peddle fables that cast themselves as the heroes.

And Don't Forget The Wet Dream

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Power, after all, is the end game — and many Dems, it seems, may be willing to let the system implode with the hope that they’ll have free reign to rebuild the system anew from amid the rubble. A socialist’s wet dream, really, and one that is beginning to blot the sheets of an increasing number of liberal Dems who, as they look around, see that the press is willing to perpetuate their fables about deregulation and “corporate corruption” — without bothering to acknowledge that congressional corruption, the vast majority of it tied to Democrats, along with politically-charged social engineering policies that created fundamental changes in the way credit was allocated, is what lies at the heart of the current mess, and that, even further, the Democrats blocked reforms that may have prevented the meltdown.

Reduced To Fact

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the vast accumulation of toxic mortgage debt that poisoned the global financial system was driven by the aggressive buying of subprime and Alt-A mortgages, and mortgage-backed securities, by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The poor choices of these two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) — and their sponsors in Washington — are largely to blame for our current mess.

How did we get here? Let’s review: In order to curry congressional support after their accounting scandals in 2003 and 2004, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac committed to increased financing of “affordable housing.” They became the largest buyers of subprime and Alt-A mortgages between 2004 and 2007, with total GSE exposure eventually exceeding $1 trillion. In doing so, they stimulated the growth of the subpar mortgage market and substantially magnified the costs of its collapse.

It is important to understand that, as GSEs, Fannie and Freddie were viewed in the capital markets as government-backed buyers

O's "Remarkable Success"

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All a very fancy way of saying that Ayers, with the help of his front man, Obama, was using grant money to turn schools into propaganda factories for Howard Zinn’s version of American History — without any concern whatever to improvement in test scores or the like, which pedestrian concerns Mr Ayers likely looked at as bourgeois adherence to a failed system that wasn’t addressing the real issues: that of changing the American political system by way of churning out activist soldiers to agitate for change based on racial and class grievances that are, thanks to the failures of the education system Mr Ayers presumed to steer, self-fulfilling.

Still, from another perspective, perhaps the CAC was a remarkable success — training, as it must have, the next generation of “community organizers,” race pimps, class warriors, and apologists for all manner of attacks on the US from within and from abroad.

When Buying And Selling Is Legislated, The First Things To Be Bought And Sold Are The Legislators

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By special request of Ace. Nothing here you haven’t read and/or heard before, but Fox deserves a little publicity for being willing to challenge the narrative. Especially now that we’re about to be told it’s McCain’s campaign manager and his lobbyist pals, not the Democrats they lobbied who actually cast the votes, who are the real culprits in all this.

Fact Check Broken Again

They're too stupid to know that O gets an "F" in constitutional law for this little gem. Anyone sentient knows that Congress can not vote to eliminate the Second Amendment.

Well at least until O takes power anyway...

Finally, concludes:

At a campaign stop in Duryea, Pa., in early September, Obama again
to reassure
gun owners that he doesn't intend to take away their guns, and
couldn't even if he wanted to:

Obama (Sept. 5): The bottom line is this. If you’ve
got a rifle, you’ve got a shotgun, you’ve got a gun in your house, I’m not
taking it away. Alright? So they can keep on talking about it but this is just
not true. And by the way, here’s another thing you’ve got to understand.
Even if I wanted to take it away, I couldn’t get it done. I don’t have the votes
in Congress.

The fact that FactCheck thinks this reinforces the argument that
Obama respects the Second Amendment speak volumes. Pro-Second Amendment
lawmakers just don't talk this way.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

45 Million? Really?

However, Sally Pipes, in her Sunday Examiner column, shows that the 45.7 million uninsured figure is misleading as a barometer of the state of health insurance coverage in the U.S. She identifies four groups within that figure: (1) people who will quickly transfer from one insurance plan to another, (2) illegal immigrants, (3) individuals who make more than $50,000 a year but who elect not to purchase health insurance (usually because they are young and healthy), and (4) individuals who are eligible for government assistance with their health care through programs like Medicaid and SCHIP, but who do not avail themselves of that assistance.

According to Pipes, if one subtracts these people from the 45.7 million figure, the number drops to approximately 8 million. If one adds back in those who make between $50,000 and $75,000 a year, the figure is roughly 16 million.

Of Shame And Oblivion

I concluded our post on the Dems' disgraceful ad by saying, "I guess now we'll find out whether Barack Obama is capable of shame." As best we can tell he isn't, but apparently Joe Biden is. It is deeply ironic that earlier today, the New York Times tried to assert that it has critiqued the two campaigns' ads with equal vigor. In fact, Joe Biden has assessed the Dems' attack ads with more candor than the Times. Just one more milestone in the Times' sad descent into oblivion.

NINJA NYeT Flashback

From the NYT's article:
In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among
minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the
credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15
markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those
banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good
enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to
make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation's
biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from
the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate
income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal
growth in profits.

Change We Can Fake

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Maybe this is Bizarro MS-NBC, or perhaps this is what happens when media outlets stop using partisan hacks as news anchors. David Schuster and James Popkin take a closer look at Joe Biden and his earmarks, which Biden has refused to itemize prior to this year — when he’s requested over $340 million in pork.

POPKIN: You know, I think it may be a legitimate question to ask. I don’t know if — any of these folks should be throwing stones. I will say, however, that Senator McCain has always said that he has never asked for any earmarks, and one of the major nonprofit groups that looks at earmarks took a look at a list that the Obama campaign prepared on some– I’ll call them alleged requests back from the early ’90s and could find kind of no compelling evidence that McCain had ever requested or received any earmarks for his state.

Hammering Joe Biden. Acquitting John McCain. Calling out Obama for hypocrisy. Are we sure we dialed into the right cable news network?

The dog ate today's talking points apparently.

The Speech Hillary Stopped

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Earlier this year, Senator Clinton said that "Iran is seeking nuclear weapons, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps is in the forefront of that" effort. Senator Clinton argued that part of our response must include stronger sanctions, including the designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization. John McCain and I could not agree more.

President Ahmadinejad should be held accountable for inciting genocide, a crime under international law.

Senator McCain has made a solemn commitment that I strongly endorse: Never again will we risk another Holocaust. And this is not a wish, a request, or a plea to Israel's enemies. This is a promise that the United States and Israel will honor, against any enemy who cares to test us. It is John McCain's promise and it is my promise.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Of Astroturf And Ironies

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Quick hypothetical with regard to href="">my previous post about
the "Obama Action Wire." Let's say the official John McCain website targets you.
Something like:

"Blogger X is a lying teller of untruths, and everybody needs to
tell this despicable fibber that he or she shouldn't talk about me anymore.
Here's a list of things to say in his or her comments. Go, now,

You suddenly get thousands of hostile comments, all saying the exact same
thing. And when they're asked to elaborate on the reasoning behind their
opinion, they can't. href="">Because
McCain didn't write that part down for them.

Or wouldn't you see it as a form of spamming, and an attempt to intimidate
you into leaving McCain alone?

Probably not. Never mind.

P.S. Ace href="">Slublog: "One of the great
ironies of this election is that liberals are worshiping a guy who embodies
everything they claim to hate about the Bush administration."

Who's Stupid Now?

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As “rubico” himself so memorably said, “if this sh*t ever got to the FBI I was f***ed.” With today’s news, I think we can safely say that the sh*t has indeed gotten to the FBI.

Needless to say, continue to exercise caution; just because they think he might have evidence doesn’t necessarily means he’s the suspect. But as the Jawas point out, if this is all a coincidence or a case of mistaken identity, it’s a pretty spectacular one. Exit quotation: “David Kernell excelled at chess while at Germantown High School and won the 2004 Tennessee Open Scholastic Chess Championship. Internet searches show someone uses the handle rubico on chess Web sites. In addition, an inactive blog, with one post dated May 2004, included rubico as a username. Its author identified himself as a chess player from Memphis named David.”

Plus the new password he gave to Palin’s account and then posted at /b/ was
“popcorn”. Kernell = popcorn.

And these clowns have the nerve to say Palin is stupid?

So let's see. Palin should have had absolute control of her daughter and the Dems now want her nailed to the wall as a bad mother. Right?

So what kind of place should that put the left wing Democratic legislator that's the father of this criminal scumbag?

Oh, and BTW. Even this snotty scumbag admitted that he found nothing incriminating when he went through Palin's emails. How many Dems would survive that standard of scrutiny?