Friday, October 31, 2008

Reading Ta-Nehisi Coates...

I am even more convinced that mccain made a stupid move by selecting palin. he should have selected this person for VP.

My Gal.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dog and Pony Show by CBCP bishops

This is too little, too late. A pretty meaningless call at this point.

Some bishops (not Oscar Cruz) are trying to rehab their own image as Arroyo nears the end of her term.

(Yes, I believe Arroyo will step down in 2010 to avoid Marcos' fate. Which means she will get away with everything.)

Sarkozy: Obama's Iran Policy "Arrogant" and "Utterly Immature"

From the respected Israeli Newspaper Ha'artez:

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is very critical of U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama's positions on Iran, according to reports that have reached Israel's government.

Sarkozy has made his criticisms only in closed forums in France. But according to a senior Israeli government source, the reports reaching Israel indicate that Sarkozy views the Democratic candidate's stance on Iran as "utterly immature" and comprised of "formulations empty of all content."

Obama visited Paris in July, and the Iranian issue was at the heart of his meeting with Sarkozy. At a joint press conference afterward, Obama urged Iran to accept the West's proposal on its nuclear program, saying that Iran was creating a serious situation that endangered both Israel and the West.

According to the reports reaching Israel, Sarkozy told Obama at that meeting that if the new American president elected in November changed his country's policy toward Iran, that would be "very problematic."

I do believe that it will be the tougher and more experienced Sarkozy, not Obama (if he wins), who will take a leadership role in how the international community deals with nations like Iran, Pakistan and Russia.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A look at financial developments around the world

From Forbes:

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine stocks plummeted with steep losses triggering a circuit-breaker that automatically halted trading for 15 minutes. The Stock Exchange index plunged 239.66 points, or 12.3 percent, to 1,713.83 points, the lowest close since September 2004 and the biggest one-day drop since February 2007. Decliners outnumbers gainers 123 to five, with 13 stocks unchanged.

"We are about to elect as president of the United States a man who is essentially a cipher."

"...who has left almost no paper trail, seems to have few friends (that at least will talk) and has entire years missing out of his biography."

The closest friends he has are all in Chicago, and Obama would rather them not talk.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Republicans who decide to stay home on election day

because they think John McCain doesn't have a chance will also hurt the GOP from top to bottom--by that I mean the re-election chances of those republicans who are also running in competitive races in the Senate and the House. A depressed turnout for the Republican because of the weak showing of McCain-Palin will probably mean 60 seats in the Senate for Dems.

(bump up)

UPDATE: David Frum (10/26/08) : "There are many ways to lose a presidential election. John McCain is losing in a way that threatens to take the entire Republican Party down with him."

Read this too from K-Lo.

The 10 Worst Political ads of the season

The List. Cmon, "Big, Bad John" can't be that bad.


Government computers used illegally to find information on "Joe the Plumber"?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blogroll updated

I added a few more links on political blogs that I currently read.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Christian Monsod's fears

Sabi ni MLQ3:

Christian Monsod (skeptics will say perhaps having had a “conversion experience” of his own due to Meralco’s recent bruising battle with the government) issues an appeal not to give up on impeachment, and I must say I’m glad he said what he did.

His point of view is motivated by a desire to avoid People Power, speaking to, and for, a constituency that has begrudgingly tolerated the President not out of support for her, but fear over the institutional damage People Power might cause

Too late.

As for Monsod having "a conversion", I don't recall him ever calling for Arroyo's resignation. And he never supported impeaching Arroyo. What he said in MLQ3's post was that those who are against arroyo should rely only on Constitutional means to remove her.

UPDATE: Watching this video with children still in school uniforms, i remember catholic schools back then suspending their classes to encourage students join Edsa Dos.

Can Americans keep their jobs during a recession if Obama raise taxes on those who provide jobs?

Barack Obama says that he will give a "tax cut" (or some exemptions) for small businesses and companies who create jobs (after raising their taxes).

The problem with Obama's plan is that the US is headed towards a deep recession, and businesses will have a harder time keeping their employees on their payroll, much less creating jobs.

So if these small businesses and evil corporations can't create jobs, they will be punished with additional tax burdens that will make them likely to cut jobs.

In short, Obama's tax plan is a jobs killer, especially during a recession.

David Letterman accuses McCain of "pallin around with terrorists"

David Letterman brings up G. Gordon Liddy's association with G. Gordon Libby of the Watergate fame

Stuart Taylor: When Fannie And Freddie Opened The Floodgates

President Bush, his Securities and Exchange Commission appointees, other free-enterprise dogmatists who have stood in the way of regulating risky and opaque financial manipulations, and greedy Wall Streeters deserve the blame heaped on them for the financial meltdown that has so severely shaken America.

But the pretense of many Democrats that this crisis is altogether a Republican creation is simplistic and dangerous.

It is simplistic because Democrats have been a big part of the problem, in part by supporting governmental distortions of the marketplace through mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose reckless lending practices necessitated a $200 billion government rescue last month. It is dangerous because misdiagnosing the causes of the crisis could lead both to regulatory overkill and to more reckless risk taking by Fannie, Freddie, or newly created government-sponsored enterprises.

Friday, October 17, 2008

McCain to Letterman: "I Screwed Up."

Torrent link to the Letterman-McCain episode.

Obama has to explain his support for "Card Check"

From Mickey Kaus:

USA Today editorializes against "card check." The more attention this issue gets, the less chance it has of passing, you'd think. It's hard to publicly defend getting rid of the secret ballot. ... I'd like to see Obama try it. (Since he's for "card check," shouldn't he be asked to explain his position?) ... P.S.: No wonder Democrats would want to rush "card check" through, in the early days of his presidency, before too many people notice--and when press reports are likely to be buried under a crush of other news. ... 5:10 P.M.

Democrats attack Joe the Plumber

calling him a racist and such.

and here's a video of biden taking a shot at Joe the Plumber's credibility.

Good News: Toledo moves to shut down Joe the Plumber

Thursday, October 16, 2008

McCain should not focus on Ayer's terrorist history

but his present radical views on education, where he and Obama have worked together in the past.

"My Friend Bill Ayers"

Not a boring debate

great job by Bob Schieffer moderating. and kudos to mccain for making this interesting.

John McCain doesn't feel contempt for Obama anymore

He makes eye contact with Obama in this last debate. I guess Obama's finally earned McCain's respect.

John McCain best debate performance yet

he's kickin ass this time--and it's on the economic issues.

Joe the Plumber becomes the Mang Pandoy of the US Campaign

he's been the symbol of an American that will get hurt if the dems raise their taxes.

UPDATE: Democrats and MSM go after Joe the Plumber.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"One of the most dangerous things about her views is that she doesn't even know what she doesn't know."

I agree with Colbert and Kathleen Parker about Sarah Palin. If Palin was smart enough, she should have turned down the VP offer--because clearly, she's unqualified to be president or vice president.

But ignorance is bliss.

She's a cocky but unqualified candidate. A scary combination.

Ann Althouse moves to the left

it is jarring because it is done so suddenly. I blame McCain's second debate performance and his recent disastrous moves for the Althouse shift to Obama.

(Or maybe this guy should get much of the credit too for making fun of Althouse's "cruel neutrality"?)

ACORN registers Mickey Mouse

(link) aside from dead people, or real people multiple times.

They "over-registrate" so they can cry voter suppression later on.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

John McCain will guest on David Letterman's show this Thursday

On Thursday October 16. Wow. This is must see tv if you like awkward moments.

McCain Letter Demanded 2006 Action on Fannie and Freddie

Signed by him and 19 other Senators-- all Republicans. Obama and his fellow dems did not sign on to this.

Free Image Hosting at

Monday, October 13, 2008

Obama hammered Hillary in the Primaries for supporting the Iraq War

kept repeating that slogan and succeeded. An anti-war speech Obama gave in 2002 was the basis for his largely successful primary campaign.

But McCain is not without any assets on his sleeve.

1) McCain was right on the Surge, and the democrats were wrong to accept defeat in iraq. (foreign policy)

2) McCain and republicans were right to push for reforms and regulation on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to preempt the financial crisis in 2003-2005, and the democrats were wrong to oppose it. (Economic and financial).

As of right now, the voters are angrier at the republicans than democrats for the financial crisis. But democrats should get more of the blame for sitting on their hands on Fannie and Freddie. It should have never come to this. A 9/11 type financial catastrophe could have been avoided if only the democrats took the looming crisis ahead of them more seriously.

Too MUCH government intervention in the market, not too little, caused this financial crisis

From Conn Carroll:

The left is slowly beginning to wrap their heads around the fact that it was too mush government intervention in the market, not too little, that caused the current financial crisis. In an article at Slate defending government subsidization of subprime loans, Daniel Gross writes:

Let’s be honest. Fannie and Freddie, which didn’t make subprime loans but did buy subprime loans made by others, were part of the problem. … There was a culture of stupid, reckless lending, of which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the subprime lenders were an integral part. But the dumb-lending virus originated in Greenwich, Conn., midtown Manhattan, and Southern California, not Eastchester, Brownsville, and Washington, D.C. Investment banks created a demand for subprime loans because they saw it as a new asset class that they could dominate. They made subprime loans for the same reason they made other loans: They could get paid for making the loans, for turning them into securities, and for trading them—frequently using borrowed capital.

So Gross is finally willing to admit that Fannie and Freddie were part of the problem, but still wants to lay the lion’s share of the blame on Wall Street greed. As if greed was invented yesterday. As John Steele Gordon documents in today’s Wall Street Journal, our country has a long history of financial break downs, do mostly to bad government regulations enacted to combat greedy bankers. Turning to today’s crisis he writes:

In the 1990s interstate banking was finally allowed, creating nationwide banks of unprecedented size. But Congress’s attempt to force banks to make home loans to people who had limited creditworthiness, while encouraging Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to take these dubious loans off their hands so that the banks could make still more of them, created another crisis in the banking system that is now playing out.

Even George Soros, prolific funder of left-wing causes, writes: “There are four fundamental problems with our current system of mortgage financing. First, the business model of Government Sponsored Entities (GSEs) in which profits accrue to the private sector but risks are underwritten by the public has proven unworkable. … It would be a grave mistake to preserve the GSEs in anything resembling their current form.”

As they like to say, read the whole thing.

More here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

If only McCain were this articulate and coherent...

he might still have a chance at winning the hearts and minds of voters on the issues that are bugging the voters lately. Here's Glenn Loury, no right winger he, talking about the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in starting the fire (ie Global Financial Crisis).

McCain Letter demanded 2006 Action on Fannie and Freddie

No Democrats signed the letter, including Obama.

How can you trust the MSM with this kind of crap?

is ana marie cox in the tank for barack obama or is she just corrupt?

Glenn Reynolds:

NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE? So we've had nearly 8 years of lefty assassination fantasies about George W. Bush, and Bill Ayers' bombing campaign is explained away as a consequence of him having just felt so strongly about social justice, but a few people yell things at McCain rallies and suddenly it's a sign that anger is out of control in American politics? It's nice of McCain to try to tamp that down, and James Taranto sounds a proper cautionary note -- but, please, can we also note the staggering level of hypocrisy here? (And that's before we get to the Obama campaign's thuggish tactics aimed at silencing critics.)

The Angry Left has gotten away with all sorts of beyond-the-pale behavior throughout the Bush Administration. The double standards involved -- particularly on the part of the press -- are what are feeding this anger. (Indeed, as Ann Althouse and John Leo have noted, the reporting on this very issue is dubious). So while asking for McCain supporters to chill a bit, can we also ask the press to start doing its job rather than openly shilling for a Democratic victory? Self-control is for everybody, if it's for anybody. . . .

Saturday, October 11, 2008

"Neither party has clean hands. Or rather, both parties have dirty hands."

From Peggy Noonan on the financial crisis:

As to what they will do about the crisis, Mr. Obama will raise taxes on the rich and help us weatherize our homes, while Mr. McCain favors "energy independence" and buying up mortgages. On the causes of the crisis they spoke of insufficient regulation, or high spending.

But these were not the great causes. Neither party has clean hands. Or rather, both parties have dirty hands. Here is the truth, spoken by the increasingly impressive Sen. Tom Coburn: "The root of the problem is political greed in Congress. Members . . . from both parties wanted short-term political credit for promoting homeownership even though they were putting our entire economy at risk by encouraging people to buy homes they couldn't afford. Then, instead of conducting thorough oversight and correcting obvious problems with unstable entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, members of Congress chose to . . . distract themselves with unprecedented amounts of pork-barrel spending." That is the truth.

McCain's Hail Mary

or his last stunt?

Friday, October 10, 2008

SC chief Puno orders probe on RTC judge Winlove Dumayas for giving unfair judgment

From News Balita:
MANILA, Oct. 5 — Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Reynato Puno ordered the Office of the Court Administrator to look into the administrative complaint filed against Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 59 Judge Winlove Dumayas for allegedly rendering an unjust judgment after the latter reversed his earlier decision.

In a one-page order, Puno ordered Court Administrator Jose Perez to look into the case filed against Dumayas, saying that the judge has “knowingly rendered an unjust judgment and failed to exercise the required judicial diligence to ascertain the facts and applicable laws in connection with the orders he issued in Civil Case No. 00-1122 pending before his court.”

btw, this is the same judge who sentenced Ninez Cacho Olivares to a three year jail term.

Diana West: Social Engineering Derailed Our Economy

The conventional wisdom is that the economic crisis is the reason Sen. Barack Obama is up in the polls.

The conventional wisdom is wrong. Not about Obama being up in the polls, of course, but about why that is so. Obama is up in the polls not because of the economic crisis, but because the reason for the economic crisis, the festering root of it all that has twisted the U.S. financial system beyond recognition, is being ignored in our narrative-creating centers, from the mainstream media to Congress to the White House to the presidential candidates themselves.

Since Obama can only stay up in the polls as long as this all-important reason remains an unspoken, murky kind of secret, I can well understand his obvious inclination to change the subject.

The fact is, if American citizens become too widely acquainted with the fact that race-based social engineering virtually created the sub-prime mortgage industry that has transformed the U.S. economy into The Titanic, Obama will sink in the polls. That's because race-based social engineering is what Obama both advanced as a so-called community organizer, and later funded as an official of Chicago's Woods Fund, where he served alongside unrepentant terrorist and political ally William Ayers -- another phantom political fact citizens now pondering their presidential votes are not supposed to consider.

But I digress. The question is, how exactly did the government overlay of race-based goals onto the real estate marketplace help create the sub-prime mortgage industry, which, having imploded, triggered the current economic crisis, and what did Obama have to do with it?

The answer goes back to one of those totalitarian drawing boards where social engineers draft their human havoc. Not "enough" minorities owned homes, the social engineers decided, because not "enough" minorities were eligible for mortgages, the social engineers concluded. Therefore, in the bean-counting name of what "should" be, the social engineers effectively junked all bottom-line, non-racial markers of mortgage eligibility, from steady employment and clean credit to the all-important down payment, that banks have traditionally relied on to determine the difference between a good and a bad credit risk. This paved the way for increasingly unconventional "sub prime" loans for all (including rubber-check-writing deadbeats, speculators and novices-in-over-their-heads of all races). The social engineers claimed victory for what they called "affordable housing" -- which also paradoxically created a vast market of extremely unaffordable housing -- but it was just a house of card!

s. The real estate bubble popped, the bad loans came crashing down, and the world markets came tumbling after.

Back in the early 1990s, however, it was all still coming together. Writing in the New York Post, Stanley Kurtz described some of the techniques community organizers use to intimidate banks into making bad loans: "In the name of fairness to minorities, community organizers occupy private offices, chant inside bank lobbies, and confront executives at their homes -- and thereby force financial institutions to direct hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgages to low-credit customers."

He continued: "In other words, community organizers help to undermine the U.S. economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans. And Obama has spent years training and funding the organizers who do it."

Kurtz went on to detail the nature of that training and funding in concert with ACORN (the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now), an essential component in the drive to force banks "kicking and screaming" as Madeline Talbott, one of Obama's close ACORN associates put it, into the risky loan business. At one point, Kurtz reported, "Obama was training the army of ACORN organizers who participated in Madeline Talbott's drive against Chicago's banks."

Will America elect someone this far left wing to take charge of the Federal Reserve Bank? Terrifying thought. To be sure, it wasn't just community shakedown artists who brought our current crisis about. They had massive help along the way, as "affirmative action lending" practices were foisted on the banking industry at the national level, particularly during the presidencies of Carter, Clinton and, yes, George W. Bush. These lending practices were further institutionalized once government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, under the astronomically well-paid leadership of Fannie CEO James A. Johnson, began snapping up high-risk loans and repackaging them for sale on the world market. Johnson, whom Obama, of course, chose to lead his vice-presidential selection committee (until financial shenanigans over a sweetheart housing loan forced him out) even set a goal for Fannie Mae to buy up $1 trillion in low-income loans to ensure that, as quoted him as saying, "every American who wants to get a mortgage will have their loan approved."

Well, they did. And it didn't work out so well, did it? Such is the human cost of social engineering, whether on Wall Street, Main Street or Red Square. No wonder Obama doesn't seem to want to discuss the pesky details. "The main thing is to just move away from this hyper-political environment and recognize the house is on fire," he recently said.

That's the main thing? "Let's put out the fire first," he added, "and we can figure out what caused it."

Later, he means. A lot later. Like after Election Day when it's too late to vote for the other guy. Because what voters in their right minds would expect the man who likes to set the fires to put them out?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Palin's Imaginary Washington

Washington, however stuffy it may once have been, is no longer in need of "a little bit of reality from Wasilla Main Street." Washington is in need of expertise, management experience, long-term thinking and more political courage -- from wherever in the country it happens to come. More to the point, Washington needs people who think like national politicians and not like spokesmen for the local business executives who fill their reelection coffers and the local party hacks who plan their campaigns. Let's be frank: The "bailout" bill was passed last week not because members of Congress decided it would work but because it was stuffed with the pork, perks and tax breaks without which no piece of legislation, however important to the nation as a whole, can now pass. Maybe it's unfair to call that "small-town" thinking, but it sure is small-minded. And small-mindedness, not snobbery, is the dominant mind-set of 21st-century Washington.

Don't get me wrong; populism can be a fine thing: It's healthy for a democracy to renew itself. It's also absolutely true that many of our greatest leaders have had obscure origins, and many of our worst have had Ivy League educations. But Sarah Palin, though she may be an arresting and compelling cultural phenomenon, seems to rail against a nonexistent "Washington" because it's easier than making any actual arguments. Her phony, made-for-TV populism is a terrible distraction in a time of genuine crisis.

Anne Applebaum. Read the whole thing.

PCIJ: Was Jun Lozada Kidnapped?

Straight from the Horses' mouth.

Disagree with Ross Douthat

He offers this suggestion for McCain:

Okay, smart guy, you might say: If the Ayers-related attacks on Obama have limited utility, and attacking bad guys in Washington and Wall Street isn't much help either, then what should John McCain be doing?

Six words: Aggressive pandering to the middle class.

Actually, McCain should do the opposite. He should offer a responsible, non-pandering economic proposal to this serious financial crisis, as if he's already President McCain instead of Candidate McCain who wants your votes--even if the proposal may be less popular than Obama's.

Tell the voters what they need to hear. Don't tell them what they want to hear just to buy/collect their votes.

The Surge in Iraq wasn't popular when first implemented in 2007, but McCain disregarded the polls and the pressure from Democrats to abandon Iraq.

Now he needs to apply a similar approach on the Economy. "I'd rather lose a campaign than offer popular vote-getting "economic solutions" that I will never implement once i'm in office."

Show some political courage and responsibility.

More on Fannie and Freddie

From smrstrauss:

"And the Republicans were in charge of Congress during the time when the Democrats were said in this article to have blocked legislation. How did the minority party block legislation without the support of members of the majority party?"

Easy. By peeling away enough Republicans like Sen. Bennett (with the help of Fannie money) to switch to their side and form a majority coalition to block reforms for Fannie and Freddie. The democrats were solidly against Fannie's oversight then, all they needed were a few repubs to jump ship.

And Daniel Gross:

"The right blames the credit crisis on poor minority homeowners. This is not merely offensive, but entirely wrong."

The Republican aren't blaming blacks and poor people. They're blaming the people who ran fannie mae to the ground (the ground zero for this financial crisis) and it's Democrat enablers. I myself think the idea of expanding home-ownership to poor black communities is a wonderful idea, BUT only if it's done right and without recklessly overdoing it for profit. Everything should be done in moderation.

See, the problem with democrats is that we can't have an honest discussion of how we got into this mess without somebody playing the race card.

THAT'S the problem.

Fannie Mae = Democrats' Enron

except for the fact that it's 1000 times worse.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

McCain's only chance

He needs to talk about the ECONOMY and the FINANCIAL crisis, and the major role Fannie Democrats played in it--NOT Ayers and Wright.

TIME is running out.

Did McCain refer to Obama as "That One"?

or am i mishearing things?

UPDATE: Or maybe he called him "The One".

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Keating 5 scandal an old issue

It's already been discussed to death in the past. Here's the part about Sen. John Glenn and John McCain:

The Senate Ethics Committee ruled that the involvement of Glenn in the scheme was minimal, and the charges against him were dropped. He was only criticized by the Committee for "poor judgment."

The Ethics Committee ruled that the involvement of McCain in the scheme was also minimal, and he too was cleared of all charges against him. McCain was criticized by the Committee for exercising "poor judgment" when he met with the federal regulators on Keating's behalf. The report also said that McCain's "actions were not improper nor attended with gross negligence and did not reach the level of requiring institutional action against him....Senator McCain has violated no law of the United States or specific Rule of the United States Senate."

People already knew about it and have voted to re-elect McCain in 1992, 1998 and 2004.

As for Obama though, he hasn't come clean yet about his shady associations in Chicago, unlike McCain.

Glenn Reynolds: McCain's role in Keating 5 a bit overstated.

UDPATE: Megan mcardle:

The problem Obama's critics have is not that he once spent some time talking to Bill Ayers; it's that he refuses to apologize for it now. That refusal to apologize is why the charge has proven hard to counter. You can argue that it isn't a big deal, but you can't argue it isn't true, and unfortunately for Obama, some voters think it is a really big deal.

If I were the McCain campaign, I would be throwing a hell of a lot of resources into making my own video. They have an actual factually accurate and coherent narrative about how McCain has spent the last 20 years atoning for the Keating 5; I would tell that story. I would ask why Obama is choosing to bring up this 20 year old scandal without mentioning that McCain has repeatedly regretted it. And then I would throw in Ayers and Rezko and ask when Obama's going to apologize for his lapses in judgement.

UPDATE: McCain should mention SNL bailout sketch during the debate

to get more people to watch it. (ala Hillary with another SNL sketch parodying the pro-obama media). The bailout skit is funny, pretty much accurate, and an easy way for the public to understand what caused the Financial crisis.

SNL bailout sketch (Oct 4. 2008) starring George W. Bush, Nancy Pelosi, and Barney Frank--played by Jason Sudeikis, Kirsten Wiig, and Fred Armisen respectively.

UPDATE: since the youtube video was deleted, here's the controversial and unedited SNL bailout sketch video for downloading.

UPDATE: How the Democrats screwed it up on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

From Todd Lowe:

Every time I turn on my TV, I hear Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reed shrilly complain that this “mortgage mess” and the meltdown of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the result of “failed Bush policies” and lack of regulation, when, in fact, it was the Democrats who resisted the additional controls and oversight Republicans wanted. By providing lucrative positions for Democrat officials and by funding supportive community organizations, Fannie and Freddie became the Democrat Party’s piggy bank.

In 1977 under the Carter administration, Congress approved the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to encourage banks to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they are chartered. A bank’s performance was measured on its efforts to comply with the act. The Carter administration also contributed funding to “community organizations” such as ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) to help enforce the act. Under the act, these community organizations could file petitions to delay or stop a proposed merger, acquisition or new bank branch. One way these delays could be avoided was for the bank to donate to the community group or to give the community group the ability to originate mortgages and collect a fee. In 1999, Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, included a provision in bank legislation to prevent such “CRA extortion” by requiring reporting of such payments.

In 1995, the Clinton administration expanded subprime authorizations to lenders under CRA. Loans substantially increased, and home prices accelerated. From 1990 to 1995, home prices tracked with inflation. However, from 1995 to 2007, home prices increased at almost twice the rate of inflation. Too much money was chasing too few homes, and price increases encouraged excessive borrowing. Buyers, anticipating that their homes that would rise in value, bought now rather than later, believing they could refinance later at rates they could afford.

1997 saw the first securitization of CRA loans when First Union Capital Markets Corp. and Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. had a $384.6 million offering of securities backed by the CRA. On Sept. 30, 1999, The New York Times reported that Fannie Mae, under pressure from the Clinton administration, was easing credit requirements to increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-

income consumers. This pressure became the snowball rolling down the hill that grew and grew. On Sept. 6, 2008, The Wall Street Journal stated “Freddie and Fannie own or guarantee more than $5 trillion of mortgages.” About $780 billion of these mortgages are subprime.

In September 2003, the New York Times reported a Bush administration proposal to create a new agency to oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Congressional Democrats denounced the bill. According to The New York Times, “These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. “The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

In December 2004, Fannie Mae fired CFO J. Timothy Howard and CEO Franklin Raines. As CEO for five years, Raines received $91 million in bonuses. Fannie Mae’s profits had to be restated for the previous four years, and Fannie Mae recognized $9 billion of losses on interest-rate risk hedging derivatives.

Earlier in 2004, the House of Representatives held a hearing on a report from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight suggesting regulation for Fannie and Freddie. Ed Royce of OFHEO suggested, “Congress must create a new regulator with powers at least equal to those of other financial regulators, such as the Office of the Controller of the Currency or Federal Reserve.” While the Republicans begged for more regulation, the Democrats condemned Royce and praised Fannie and Freddie. Barney Frank, D-Mass., currently chairman of the Financial Services Committee, said, “But I have seen nothing in here that suggests that the safety and soundness are at issue ... ”

In 2005, S.190 [109th]: Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005 was introduced by Charles Hagel, R-Neb., and co-sponsored by John McCain, R-Ariz. During debate on the bill, John McCain stated, “If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.” The bill was blocked by Democrats.

In 2007, the cracks in the foundation of the housing boom became visible. Prices started to decline. Mortgage defaults increased. Subprime lenders started going under. Values of securitized mortgage loans substantially decreased; balance sheets assets of banks and other financial institutions were reduced; credit was drying up.

Recently on “Good Morning America,” President Clinton said, “the responsibility the Democrats have may rests more in resisting any efforts by Republicans in Congress or by me when I was president to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

But why would Democrats resist efforts to “tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac”? Follow the money. Former Fannie CEO, Franklin Raines, Clinton Director OMB, got $91 million, while vice chairman, Jamie Gorelick, Clinton deputy attorney general, got $26 million, and the list goes on.

Community organizations such as ACORN can extort money from banks, receive grants from government, and it even received $800,000 this year from the Obama campaign. ACORN supports the Democratic Party through its PAC and targeted voter registration and get out the vote drives. Between 2004 and 2006, ACORN employees were accused of submitting fraudulent voter registration cards and forging signatures on ballot initiatives in 12 states. Yet, ACORN is one of the community organizations benefitting under CRA.

Fannie and Freddie have provided lucrative employment for high-ranking Democrats and an army of workers through the community organizations supported under CRA. Yet the Democrats cry that this is another example of failed Republican policies of deregulation. It was their regulation, CRA, that coerced banks to make questionable loans. It was their obstruction that prevented financial regulation of Fannie and Freddie. It was their friends who were minding the store.

The outcomes of these failed Democrat policies are to be expected, but I am astounded by the audacity of hype to blame the Republicans.

I agree with everything here.

And from Thomas Sowell:

Fact Number One: It was liberal Democrats, led by Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, who for years– including the present year– denied that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taking big risks that could lead to a financial crisis.

It was Senator Dodd, Congressman Frank and other liberal Democrats who for years refused requests from the Bush administration to set up an agency to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

It was liberal Democrats, again led by Dodd and Frank, who for years pushed for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to go even further in promoting subprime mortgage loans, which are at the heart of today’s financial crisis.

Alan Greenspan warned them four years ago. So did the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the President. So did Bush’s Secretary of the Treasury, five years ago. [Don't believe it? Read this.]

Yet, today, what are we hearing? That it was the Bush administration “right-wing ideology” of “de-regulation” that set the stage for the financial crisis.

UPDATE: From Peggy Noonan:

As to what they will do about the crisis, Mr. Obama will raise taxes on the rich and help us weatherize our homes, while Mr. McCain favors "energy independence" and buying up mortgages. On the causes of the crisis they spoke of insufficient regulation, or high spending.

But these were not the great causes. Neither party has clean hands. Or rather, both parties have dirty hands. Here is the truth, spoken by the increasingly impressive Sen. Tom Coburn: "The root of the problem is political greed in Congress. Members . . . from both parties wanted short-term political credit for promoting homeownership even though they were putting our entire economy at risk by encouraging people to buy homes they couldn't afford. Then, instead of conducting thorough oversight and correcting obvious problems with unstable entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, members of Congress chose to . . . distract themselves with unprecedented amounts of pork-barrel spending." That is the truth.

UPDATE: Debunking Paul Krugman and the Center for American Progress.

Monday, October 06, 2008

"I don't think violent resistance is NECESSARILY the answer."

Bill Ayers, explaining his "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough. " statement via a comic strip.

Debate Tips for McCain

Explain how we got into the Financial Crisis. How the housing bubble was the root of all this. Explain Fannie and Freddie's role in this. Explain how some people tried to correct the Fannie problem in 2005 but was blocked by Fannie's friends. And how you are going to deal with this when you become president. That's all the public wants to hear right now.

There's no need to point out the democrats and Obama's obvious ties to Fannie, to avoid the appearance of politicizing this thing. But if Obama brings up Rick Davis, then you respond by bringing up Raines, Johnson, and the Fannie contributions they used to buy Obama.

But if Mccain wants to avoid even talking about this issue, then it's a landslide victory for Obama in 2008.

Little or No Reviews for "An American Carol"

Look at this. Not good for the Right-Wing comedy.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

"What did Ayers see in him? How did such a young man come into Ayers circle and why was he embraced?"

From Instapundit reader John Vecchione:

I think you do your readers a disservice by quoting the idea that Obama is hiding the Ayers relationship is the real problem. He’s running for President, I’d down play it too! I’d also apologize. Here is the thing that eats at me. What did Ayers see in him? How did such a young man come into Ayers circle and why was he embraced? Dorhn, Ayers, Wright all saw something in Obama that made them want to be with him and promote him? These are not people who like promoting pro-America candidates.

What do they know about Obama that we don’t?

UPDATE: What this all means:

It's not that surprising that he wouldn't find Ayers and Wright objectionable company--in the very liberal, Hyde Park/Ivy League circles that he's traveled in since attending Columbia, people with such views are more mainstream than, say, the average conservative evangelical Christian. That itself makes Obama far more liberal than the image his campaign attempts to portray. But what is interesting to me is that not only did Obama not personally find anything especially obnoxious about Wright's radicalism, anti-Americanism, ties to Farrakahn, and so on, or Ayers' lack of regret for his terrorist past, he apparently didn't expect that much of anyone else would care, either. How else do you explain why he didn't jettison these individuals from his life before they could damage his presidential ambitions? How else do you explain how his campaign seemed to be caught flatfooted when Obama's ties to Wright and then Ayers became campaign issues? . . .

In short, Obama's ties to Ayers and Wright suggest to me NOT that Obama agrees with their views, but that he is the product of a particular intellectual culture that finds the likes of Wright and Ayers to be no more objectionable, and likely less so, than the likes of Tom Coburn, or, perhaps, a Rush Limbaugh. Not only that, but he has been in his particular intellectual bubble so long that he was unable to recognize just how offensive the views of a Wright are to mainstream America, or how his ties to Ayers would play with the public, especially post-9/11.

King Kong vs Gojira: The VP Debates

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Our version of the Fairness Doctrine?

Inquirer Editorial: "The bill is, in fact, a poisoned chalice that cannot even pass the practicality test."

Ano kaya masasabi dito ni Manong DJB? Deal or no Deal?

Energy, Palin's signature issue did not come up in the debates

Why? I though Ifill was gonna ask Sarah Palin about Energy (Oil, Nuclear, Solar, Wind) and Gas prices, but instead, the moderator asked about Climate Change??? WTF?

Friday, October 03, 2008

European Banks Expose the Left’s Deregulation Myth

From Conn Carroll:

As the current financial crisis unfolds, the left has consistently tried to pin the blame on “deregulation” amorphously and President Bush specifically. So, for example, on the campaign trail Barack Obama blames the financial crisis on “ the Bush administration, Republican party and John McCain for pushing a culture of deregulation.

But as powerful as President Bush is, he is not the ‘President of the World’. Europe’s banks, for example, are much more heavily regulated than their U.S. counterparts and they are often even state owned. So how are things fairing over in heavy-regulation paradise? The Washington Post reports:

In Italy, officials suspended trading in Unicredit — the country’s biggest bank, with more than $1.4 trillion in assets — after its stock price lost almost a quarter of its value. In Germany, officials fretted over the health of a subsidiary of Commerzbank as well as several state-owned regional banks that have posted heavy losses. … [In France] President Nicolas Sarkozy … was forced to negotiate a $9.2 billion emergency bailout Monday for Dexia, the troubled Franco-Belgian bank.

So what happened? Why did the awesome European regulators fail?

As European taxpayers absorbed the rapidly escalating expense of bank bailouts, lawmakers on the continent toned down their criticism of Wall Street as the origin of the problem and started to blame their own lenders for gorging on subprime loans and other risky investments.

Seems the root cause of this problem is not banking regulation at all, but bad housing loans. And we know who caused that crisis.

Palin a big failure in the debates

What i wrote a few days ago applies.

UPDATE: Althouse asks at the end: "Did Biden ever attack her?"

I don't think so Ann. It was all directed at McCain and Bush.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Metropolitan (1990) Trailer

One of my favorite films, from Whit Stillman:

"We helped bankrupt the banks. Now we're doing the same thing for health care!"

From Mickey Kaus:

What does mental health "parity" legislation, which has now been incorporated into the big "rescue" bill passed by the Dem-controlled Senate,, have to do with the nation's financial crisis? .. . P.S.: Actually, the thinking behind the push for "parity" and the now-questionable decades-long push to extend mortgages to "underserved" groups seems eerily parallel: 1) Stodgy/greedy old bankers say they can't afford to lend to minorities who don't meet traditional mortgage criteria. But we have a noble social goal to fulfill and we know they're wrong! ... 2) Stodgy/greedy old health plan administratiors say they can't afford to cover hard-to-diagnose mental problems (anxiety) and substance abuse to the same extent as they cover easy-to-diagnose physical problems. But we have a noble social goal

That's their plan to socialize everything.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

How should McCain debate Obama in the future

talk about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and how the financial crisis started with them. Talk about how Democrats in the Senate and House blocked efforts from Republicans to reform and regulate both Fannie And Freddie.

This issue is tailor-made for a reformer like John McCain. I'd rather hear more from him about the Democrats who were responsible for running Fannie Mae to the ground, and triggering the Economic crisis, than your cause against earmarks. And oh yeah, don't forget to mention Countrywide too.

Sure Obama will try to make Rick Davis an issue during the debate, to make it look like Fannie bought access to John McCain too, even though it is not true. But there's no harm for Obama in trying to muddle the issue.

Sarah Palin's Weakness--she's incapable of defending McCain's policies from Biden

Look for Biden to attack McCain, Bush and the Republicans during the VP debate--but she won't be able to respond adequately (other than motherhood statements) because she doesn't know enough about the issues (iraq, economy) to give out an informed answer.

Joe Biden doesn't have to attack directly Palin--but he will be on offense most of the time. Gov. Palin, OTOH, will be on a defensive crouch, hoping to endure the longest one and a half hour debate of her life.

the best she can do is meet the very low expectations--but it won't be enough.

Children sing for our Dear Leader Obama

Roger Simon finds it disturbing.

Here's more happy children singing.

What we want from Obama and McCain

Leadership. The negative ads won't work anymore. John McCain and Barack Obama should do everything in their power to persuade a few Republicans and Democrats to change their vote on the rescue bill.

Let their VPs (Palin and Biden) do the campaigning for them for a while until this thing gets passed.

Surf back in time... all the way back to 2001

via google.

back when john mccain was a media darling, and when barack j obama was still a state senator. And nobody knew who Sarah Palin was. Correction: Sarah Palin Alaska

wala pa ako noon dati. here's some old stuff from MLQ3. Our guy sir Dean Jorge Bocobo. Ellen Tordesillas. Edsa Dos. Chavit Singson.