Sunday, September 28, 2008
There is an overwhelmingly clear majority in both the House and the Senate in Congress. If the Dems really wanted to pass a bill, they could do it on their own. I don’t buy their bullshit that they want to pass a partisan bill. They could care less about anything else, so why this? Could it be the fact that they are trying to siphon off 20% from the $700 Billion + to go to ACORN (the organization that Obama worked with) and other housing organizations? That 20% which is supposed to be going to pay down debt - they want to put it back in to the same kind of freakin’ organizations that caused this problem in the first place. They want to bail out stupid and/or unqualified homeowners on our dollar. They want to give money to an organization that is currently under investigation for voter fraud. Is it any wonder the Republicans won’t sign off on it?
From Shaving Leviathan:
Thanks to the creation and favored treatment of Fannie and Freddie, the CRA, the Tax Act Reform of 1986, and a host of other legislation, the mortgage lending market was severely distorted. Self-limiting free-market mechanisms that constrain bad investment decisions was thus removed. The Fed greased the wheels, and put the whole train on a roller coaster, through a years-long policy of artificial manipulation of interest rates.
(This is not to mention the ample funds Obama himself received from Fannie and Freddie. However, even at #2 on the list of recipients, $135,000 over three years isn't enough to make the case that he was bought, as is common currency on conservative blogs. It's chump change and a tiny percentage of the $150 million those two paid to politicians over the years.)
Saturday, September 27, 2008
The mob is agitated, but hardly blameless. While the punch bowl -- Alan Greenspan's extremely low post-9/11 interest rates -- was being held out, few complained about cheap loans and doubling home values. Now all of the sudden everything is the fault of Wall Street malfeasance.
I have little doubt that some, if not many, cases of malfeasance will emerge. But what we conveniently neglect is the fact that much of this crisis was brought upon us by the good intentions of good people.
For decades, starting with Jimmy Carter's Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, there has been bipartisan agreement to use government power to expand homeownership to people who had been shut out for economic reasons or, sometimes, because of racial and ethnic discrimination. What could be a more worthy cause? But it led to tremendous pressure on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- who in turn pressured banks and other lenders -- to extend mortgages to people who were borrowing over their heads. That's called subprime lending. It lies at the root of our current calamity.
One of the most frequently asked questions about the subprime market meltdown and housing crisis is: How did the government get so deeply involved in the housing market?
The answer is: President Clinton wanted it that way. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, even into the early 1990s, weren't the juggernauts they'd later be. While President Carter in 1977 signed the Community Reinvestment Act, which pushed Fannie and Freddie to aggressively lend to minority communities, it was Clinton who supercharged the process.
After entering office in 1993, he extensively rewrote Fannie's and Freddie's rules.In so doing, he turned the two quasi-private, mortgage-funding firms into a semi-nationalized monopoly that dispensed cash to markets, made loans to large Democratic voting blocs and handed favors, jobs and money to political allies. This potent mix led inevitably to corruption and the Fannie-Freddie collapse.
Despite warnings of trouble at Fannie and Freddie, in 1994 Clinton unveiled his National Homeownership Strategy, which broadened the CRA in ways Congress never intended. Addressing the National Association of Realtors that year, bluntly told the group that "more Americans should own their own homes." He meant it. He saw homeownership as a way to open the door for blacks and other minorities to enter the middle class.
Though well-intended, the problem was that Congress was about to change hands, from the Democrats to the Republicans. Rather than submit legislation that the GOP-led Congress was almost sure to reject, he ordered Robert Rubin's Treasury Department to rewrite the rules in 1995. Read More
From Terry Jones at Investor Business Daily
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I NEED TO ASK YOU TO SUPPORT AN URGENT SECRET BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH A TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF GREAT MAGNITUDE.
I AM MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY OF THE
I AM WORKING WITH MR. PHIL GRAM, LOBBYIST FOR UBS, WHO WILL BE MY REPLACEMENT AS MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY IN JANUARY. AS A SENATOR, YOU MAY KNOW HIM AS THE LEADER OF THE AMERICAN BANKING DEREGULATION MOVEMENT IN THE 1990S. THIS TRANSACTIN IS 100% SAFE.
THIS IS A MATTER OF GREAT URGENCY. WE NEED A BLANK CHECK. WE NEED THE FUNDS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. WE CANNOT DIRECTLY TRANSFER THESE FUNDS IN THE NAMES OF OUR CLOSE FRIENDS BECAUSE WE ARE CONSTANTLY UNDER SURVEILLANCE. MY FAMILY LAWYER ADVISED ME THAT I SHOULD LOOK FOR A RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY PERSON WHO WILL ACT AS A NEXT OF KIN SO THE FUNDS CAN BE TRANSFERRED.
PLEASE REPLY WITH ALL OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, IRA AND COLLEGE FUND ACCOUNT NUMBERS AND THOSE OF YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN TO WALLSTREETBAILOUT@TREASURY.GOV
YOURS FAITHFULLY MINISTER OF TREASURY PAULSON
(HT: The Volokh Conspiracy)
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
offshore drilling ban expire
. Hmmm, we’ll see.
Despite the bipartisan touchy feely-ness of the last couple of days, it looks like there is going to be a lot more ideological tugging and pushing rearing its ugly head. Does anyone want to doubt that our political class will screw this entire episode up?
Friday, September 19, 2008
From Political Disgust
. Click over there for more.
The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a CHANGE! The chicken wanted CHANGE!
My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.
When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure — right from Day One! — that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn’t about me…….
The problem we have here is that this chicken won’t realize that he must first deal with the problem on ‘THIS’ side of the road before it goes after the problem on the ‘OTHER SIDE’ of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he’s acting by not taking on his ‘CURRENT’ problems before adding ‘NEW’ problems.
Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I’m going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.
GEORGE W. BUSH:
We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.
Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road…
We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.
Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken’s intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.
HT: Carpe Diem
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Jeff Perren at Shaving Leviathan
; He rightly notes that in this
current crisis on Wall Street
, government will always be overly zealous and heavy handed when it comes time to regulate an industry that is currently unpopular or deemed too “greedy.” Politicians will push for regulations not because they are sure that it will help all parties involved but to seem to their constituents that they are “doing something:”
Hundreds of economists from Adam Smith to Thomas Sowell have pointed out the obvious for generations. Beneath all the complex talk of derivatives, leverage, and the like they all say pretty much the same thing: Politicians, get out of the way. Let the market deal with it.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
George Will has addressed
the issue along with a review of economists Russell Robert’s book, “The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity." I just received the book myself and I intend to review it once I’m done.
HT: Liberty Pen
Monday, September 15, 2008
interesting post over at Liberty Pen
regarding price gouging at gas stations. I would add the following to his great comment: We understand the benefits of low prices but we have a harder time understanding the advantages of high prices. During a crisis, people will tend to panic and overstock on all essential items like gasoline. Higher prices tend discourage a mad dash to grab every drop of gasoline when there is not enough to go around. Ask yourself this regarding “price gouging,” would you rather have a gas station that decided not to raise prices to match demand and that ran out of gas or would you rather have a gas station that raised its prices to match scarcity and therefore never run out of gasoline during a crisis? Before you have an emotional response, think about it.
auctioning seats on its EBay store
; Prices for seats start at five cents. It’s possible to get a great bargain with Ebay auctions. Wouldn’t it be nice if football and baseball teams did the same thing for season tickets?
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The lessons of the Fannie and Freddie bailout are going to be very expensive for Americans. When a corporation is singled out by government for special favors and incentives in the name of the public good, in the case of Fannie and Freddie it was housing for the masses, the situation quickly becomes prey to crony-capitalism. Here is a clip from Milton Friedman on this very subject.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Camille Paglia writes glowingly
on Sarah Palin:
Conservative though she may be, I felt that Palin represented an explosion of a brand new style of muscular American feminism. At her startling debut on that day, she was combining male and female qualities in ways that I have never seen before. And she was somehow able to seem simultaneously reassuringly traditional and gung-ho futurist. In terms of redefining the persona for female authority and leadership, Palin has made the biggest step forward in feminism since Madonna channeled the dominatrix persona of high-glam Marlene Dietrich and rammed pro-sex, pro-beauty feminism down the throats of the prissy, victim-mongering, philistine feminist establishment.
As a dissident feminist, I have been arguing since my arrival on the scene nearly 20 years ago that young American women aspiring to political power should be studying military history rather than taking women's studies courses, with their rote agenda of never-ending grievances.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Fannie and Freddie Mac have been taken over by the federal government
—the largest bailout EVER! That means, dear reader, that you and I are stuck with a massive tax bill. Ka-Ching! Congratulations to us…the suckers.
For decades, libertarian think tanks like the
, have sounded the alarm on the potential hazard of having giant government sponsored enterprises (Fannie and Freddie) continue to operate too cozily to the federal government. Of course, calls to completely sever the two GSE’s from any Federal protection and advantage were always met with resistance from the left side of the political spectrum. No surprise there. Fannie and Freddie were therefore encouraged to reckless expansion as they took on more and more risky bundles of mortgages from lenders in order to swap them for mortgage-backed securities. But so what right? They’re doing it for the public good and people need housing even if they can barely afford them. Besides, the federal government has their back.
The hapless figure in all of this is Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson who a while back had
offered the beleaguered GSEs and their patrons in Congress a blank check
signed by the taxpayers promising potentially unlimited funds to backstop the lenders. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd thought that this was a wonderful idea. Mr. Paulson has obviously acquiesced to the Democrats and the mindset that exists in
All of this is the latest example of the waste, crony-capitalism, political trading, and bureaucracy that has gripped
John McCain has moved ahead of Barack Obama in the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking, 48% to 45%, following last week’s Republican convention. This is McCain’s best showing since May.
Yes, I know, this poll is basically meaningless but I still think that the elections are going to be a lot closer than many believe it will.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
I am the proud recipient of The Kick Ass Blogger Award. It was given to me by Bobo over at The Bobo Files. The Bobo Files is one of my favorite sites and I go there as much as possible to soak up no-holds barred conservative commentary.
I am now responsible for passing this award to five other worthy blogs. Here are my five picks:
The Real World: The Historian writes sharp and concise posts on conservative thought; always worth a visit.
A Disgruntled Republican: Rod Williams gives his readers his take on politics from a, well, disgruntled Republican. Always an interesting read.
Shaving Leviathan: One of the best written blogs advocating limited government. You must visit this site.
Brazoscowgirl: I just love reading Kathy’s posts. Great stuff.
Freaky Fugalite: The blog is aesthetically pleasing and the posts are fun.
Congrats to all!
The rules for passing this award on:
--Choose 5 other bloggers that you feel are “Kick Ass Bloggers”
--Let ‘em know via : - your post. b) an email c) Twitter d) blog comments. e) e-card
--Link back to both the person who awarded you and also Mamma Dawg
--Visit the Award HQ , to get codes and sign Mr. Linky then pass it on!
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
He claims that the Republican political philosophy of privatization
. He claims that the Republican political philosophy of privatization
has led to FEMA’s weakening as a public safety organization:
…when the government is run by a political party committed to the belief that government is always the problem, never the solution, that belief tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Key priorities are neglected; key functions are privatized; and key people, the competent public servants who make government work, either leave or are driven out.
Except Krugman fails to grasp that the Bush administration is hardly a small government proponent. With massive federal programs like No Child Left Behind and Medicare expansion it is puzzling that liberals like Krugman actually believe that this administration is anything but about big government. If there had been a Democrat in the Whitehouse these last eight years, these same programs would have been lauded as masterful strokes of good governance. FEMA is a perfect example of the problems of a large leviathan attempting to solve problems best left to more nimble organizations—and some of those are private entities. It seemed to me that the more that government (FEMA) tried to act after Katrina, the more it underutilized or prevented resources from being effectively applied.
The tragedy of Katrina wasn’t privatization. It was poor local, state, and federal governance during an emergency combined with decades of punting the obvious problems of weak levees to someone else when it was politically feasible. FEMA was probably never the great organization that many believed because it had never been really tested. Katrina exposed FEMA as the lame government entity that it had always been and, I suspect, still is.
Monday, September 1, 2008
This is true. If we wish to compare political resumes, Sen. Obama's is
Personally, I tend to look upon those with life-long political resumes with suspicion. Have they done nothing else with their lives besides eat rubber chicken and kiss babies (and chase earmarks)? If anything, political experience is often the last characteristic we should look for in a president. Some of the best had very little at all --