You’ve got to admit, the Obama administration has brought the Washington social scene to a whole new level. Things which used to be dull and boring events have turned into the newest fodder for the society pages. Am I referring to the latest State Dinner? No. Am I referring to the latest entertainer to give a private performance for the Obama family? No. I am of course referring to the State of the Union Address.
In 2001, the Bush administration began to warn Congress about the dangers posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. which under the Clinton administration had lowered its mortgage lending standards to include no verification of assets, no down payment and determination that the borrower would actually be able to pay the loan.
In 2003, the Bush White House was warning about what would become the subprime mortgage meltdown, and imploring Congress to overhaul the system which posed significant systemic risk to our financial markets.
By 2005 Republicans appeared to awaken to the risk and led by John McCain proposed reform legislation which was killed by Chris Dodd who along with 43 of his closest friends was getting preferred treatment from Countrywide Mortgage at the time. Countrywide had an expansive relationship with Fannie and Freddie which was dependent on the regulation not being enacted.
According to Congressman Darryl Issa (R-CA):
“Under the guise of providing sweetheart loans to Fannie and Freddie executives, Countrywide was able to game the system at the expense of the American people and our nation’s fiscal solvency,” Issa said.
“Countrywide was very cognizant, calculating and ultimately effective at furthering their bottom line by co-opting the very people who should have been acting as stewards of the mortgage market and instead swapped their responsibilities for VIP loans,”
Dodd was not alone in his maneuvering to make sure Fannie and Freddie were not regulated. While President Bush warned repeatedly of the risks to the economy posed by an unfettered Fannie and Freddie, the democrats pushed back. One of the primary pushers was Barney Frank who in 2007 when the democrats took Congress, became Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services. It was this committee that was charged with the House oversight of Fannie and Freddie. Frank has consistently slithered out of any blame for the sub-prime mortgage meltdown that caused “the biggest recession since the great depression”. Yet as early as 2005 Frank was assuring us that there was absolutely no risk from Fannie and Freddie’s lending practices.
Barney can slither no more.
Those were the days – remember the hue and cry from the left when they learned that the Bush administration was wiretapping suspicious overseas calls in an attempt to track down terrorists? The Obama administration wants to give the FBI access to any US citizen’s electronic communications, without a warrant, or a judge’s approval. The lawyers say this order won’t include content. (wink wink) The silence on the left is deafening even to journoLister Kevin Drum, I suspect.
Charlie Rangel is in trouble – well maybe. You and I would be in big trouble if we forgot to pay taxes, report income, took bribes and stuff, but Charlie Rangel is a jovial congressman who up until recently made the tax laws the rest of us have to obey. They are good enough for us, but definitely not good enough for him. Maxine Waters is in trouble too. Back when the government was handing out money to its buddies, Ms. Waters (along with her pal Barney give-me-my-dollar-discount Frank) asked that funds be given to Boston-based OneUnited Bank where her husband had a $250,000 investment and had served on the board. Congresswoman Waters forgot to mention that her family stood to profit from the bail-out which did not fit the administration’s set guidelines. I’m sure it’s just a misunderstanding promulgated by racists.
The love may be gone for Scott Brown. I was hanging around with a bunch of MA republicans the other night, and every one was disgusted, not just with his Financial services vote, but with other votes as well. Apparently republican fund raising in MA has taken a nose dive as a result. No one was in a particularly forgiving mood. We still haven’t heard Scott’s reasons for the vote, which is even more troubling.
I’ve never been a particular fan of Phyllis Schafly. People on both extremes of social issues really put me off. But I have to agree with her latest, and Stacy McCain’s take on it. From Schafly:
One of the things Obama’s been doing is deliberately trying to increase the percentage of our population that is dependent on government for their living. For example, do you know what was the second-biggest demographic group that voted for Obama? . . . Unmarried women. Seventy percent of unmarried women voted for Obama. And this is because, when you kick your husband out, you’ve got to have Big Brother government to be your provider. . . .”
Did you see Anthony Weiner’s tantrum? He was trying to demonize republicans and only succeeded in looking like a whining first grader. Perhaps that appeals to his base.
An IBD ieditorial today is finally saying what so many of us are thinking.:
The Internet is a large-scale version of the “Committees of Correspondence” that led to the first American Revolution — and with Washington’s failings now so obvious and awful, it may lead to another.
People are asking, “Is the government doing us more harm than good? Should we change what it does and the way it does it?”
I’m ready. Are you? Meanwhile, after 2 weeks of unbearable heat the temperature today is just perfect. I woke up to rabbits frolicking in the back yard. I’m about to join them to do some weeding. Enjoy!
I laughed when I read about Barney Frank’s petulant meltdown last weekend at the ticket booth of the Fire Island Ferry. Barney, sans appropriate ID demanded a $1.00 old age discount on his ticket. The discount only applies to residents of Suffolk County (NY) but that didn’t stop him from making a scene. The architect of the financial meltdown, and now the architect of the Financial Services Bill which more than likely will set up the next financial meltdown, is a very important guy – at least in his mind. Plus he is gay, and in Massachusetts that’s reason enough to re-elect you regardless of your accomplishments. (Hint to my fellow Bay Staters: You will get to the point of accepting gays (blacks, latinos, women or any other minorities, when you know longer feel the need to give them stuff they don’t deserve.)
Of course the “Don’t you know who I am?” quote is owned by John (“I will pay all taxes owed”) Kerry. I can count on both hands the stories I’ve heard of him cutting in front of children at the ice cream stand because of his “importance”. Barney is only a close second on the “I’m more important than you” scale.
Still he deserves an ode of his own. Daddy starts us off:
A gross politician named Frank
On a ferryboat tried to pull rank
He went ape shit ballistic
For a discounted ticket
And then blamed George Bush and the Republicans.
Today we started with state politics, particularly Dick’s prediction that Paul Kirk would be named interim successor to Senator Kennedy. I noted that everyone else was predicting Michael Dukakis to the seat. If I’m reading my tweets correctly, as of 2:30 on 9-24-09, Dick had it right.
Next week tackled ACORN with the emphasis on the President’s attempt to disassociate himself with a group he has been associated with for 20 years. We talked about how all of the MA delegation voted to NOT defund ACORN after the recent scandals, except for John Tierney and Barney Frank, who abstained.
Finally we talked about my very favorite part of the scandal which is how it has shown the media to be shilling for the President, as most of the mainstream media declined to mention the scandal until the vote took place.
The fact that the vote took place at all tells me that regardless of the attempts to downplay the Tea Party last week, Congress heard us.
We went on to the latest scandal where the White House coordinated with the National Endowment for the Arts in what certainly looks like an attempt to get the arts community to push the president’s agenda in exchange for grant money. Dick had not heard of the scandal once again highlighting the negligence of the media.
In the discussion the media, special mention was given to Andrew Breitbart’s new website, Big Government, which is leading the charge on exposing both the administration and the media.
There was a lot in between but we ended talking how the administration is back pedaling on what it always called “the good war”, and how reports from Iran are very encouraging.
There is more but you will have to listen.