Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bush Called For Reform of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac 17 Times in 2008 Alone...Dems Ignored Warnings

For many years the President and his Administration have not only warned of the systemic consequences of financial turmoil at a housing government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) but also put forward thoughtful plans to reduce the risk that either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac would encounter such difficulties. President Bush publicly called for GSE reform 17 times in 2008 alone before Congress acted.

Unfortunately, these warnings went unheeded, as the President's repeated attempts to reform the supervision of these entities were thwarted by the legislative maneuvering of those who emphatically denied there were problems.

The White House released this list of attempts by President Bush to reform Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac since he took office in 2001.

Unfortunately, Congress did not act on the president's warnings:

** 2001

April: The Administration's FY02 budget declares that the size of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is "a potential problem," because "financial trouble of a large GSE could cause strong repercussions in financial markets, affecting Federally insured entities and economic activity."

** 2002

May: The President (BUSH) calls for the disclosure and corporate governance principles contained in his 10-point plan for corporate responsibility to apply to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (OMB Prompt Letter to OFHEO, 5/29/02)

** 2003

January: Freddie Mac announces it has to restate financial results for the previous three years.

February: The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) releases a report explaining that "although investors perceive an implicit Federal guarantee of [GSE] obligations," "the government has provided no explicit legal backing for them." As a consequence, unexpected problems at a GSE could immediately spread into financial sectors beyond the housing market. ("Systemic Risk: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Role of OFHEO," OFHEO Report, 2/4/03)

September: Fannie Mae discloses SEC investigation and acknowledges OFHEO's review found earnings manipulations.

September: Treasury Secretary John Snow testifies before the House Financial Services Committee to recommend that Congress enact "legislation to create a new Federal agency to regulate and supervise the financial activities of our housing-related government sponsored enterprises" and set prudent and appropriate minimum capital adequacy requirements.

October: Fannie Mae discloses $1.2 billion accounting error.

November: Council of the Economic Advisers (CEA) Chairman Greg Mankiw explains that any "legislation to reform GSE regulation should empower the new regulator with sufficient strength and credibility to reduce systemic risk." To reduce the potential for systemic instability, the regulator would have "broad authority to set both risk-based and minimum capital standards" and "receivership powers necessary to wind down the affairs of a troubled GSE." (N. Gregory Mankiw, Remarks At The Conference Of State Bank Supervisors State Banking Summit And Leadership, 11/6/03)

** 2004

February: The President's FY05 Budget again highlights the risk posed by the explosive growth of the GSEs and their low levels of required capital, and called for creation of a new, world-class regulator: "The Administration has determined that the safety and soundness regulators of the housing GSEs lack sufficient power and stature to meet their responsibilities, and therefore.should be replaced with a new strengthened regulator." (2005 Budget Analytic Perspectives, pg. 83)

February: CEA Chairman Mankiw cautions Congress to "not take [the financial market's] strength for granted." Again, the call from the Administration was to reduce this risk by "ensuring that the housing GSEs are overseen by an effective regulator." (N. Gregory Mankiw, Op-Ed, "Keeping Fannie And Freddie's House In Order," Financial Times, 2/24/04)

June: Deputy Secretary of Treasury Samuel Bodman spotlights the risk posed by the GSEs and called for reform, saying "We do not have a world-class system of supervision of the housing government sponsored enterprises (GSEs), even though the importance of the housing financial system that the GSEs serve demands the best in supervision to ensure the long-term vitality of that system. Therefore, the Administration has called for a new, first class, regulatory supervisor for the three housing GSEs: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banking System." (Samuel Bodman, House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Testimony, 6/16/04)

** 2005

April: Treasury Secretary John Snow repeats his call for GSE reform, saying "Events that have transpired since I testified before this Committee in 2003 reinforce concerns over the systemic risks posed by the GSEs and further highlight the need for real GSE reform to ensure that our housing finance system remains a strong and vibrant source of funding for expanding homeownership opportunities in America. Half-measures will only exacerbate the risks to our financial system." (Secretary John W. Snow, "Testimony Before The U.S. House Financial Services Committee," 4/13/05)

** 2007

July: Two Bear Stearns hedge funds invested in mortgage securities collapse.

August: President Bush emphatically calls on Congress to pass a reform package for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying "first things first when it comes to those two institutions. Congress needs to get them reformed, get them streamlined, get them focused, and then I will consider other options." (President George W. Bush, Press Conference, The White House, 8/9/07)

September: RealtyTrac announces foreclosure filings up 243,000 in August - up 115 percent from the year before.

September: Single-family existing home sales decreases 7.5 percent from the previous month - the lowest level in nine years. Median sale price of existing homes fell six percent from the year before.

December: President Bush again warns Congress of the need to pass legislation reforming GSEs, saying "These institutions provide liquidity in the mortgage market that benefits millions of homeowners, and it is vital they operate safely and operate soundly. So I've called on Congress to pass legislation that strengthens independent regulation of the GSEs - and ensures they focus on their important housing mission. The GSE reform bill passed by the House earlier this year is a good start. But the Senate has not acted. And the United States Senate needs to pass this legislation soon." (President George W. Bush, Discusses Housing, The White House, 12/6/07)

** 2008

January: Bank of America announces it will buy Countrywide.

January: Citigroup announces mortgage portfolio lost $18.1 billion in value.

February: Assistant Secretary David Nason reiterates the urgency of reforms, says "A new regulatory structure for the housing GSEs is essential if these entities are to continue to perform their public mission successfully." (David Nason, Testimony On Reforming GSE Regulation, Senate Committee On Banking, Housing And Urban Affairs, 2/7/08)

March: Bear Stearns announces it will sell itself to JPMorgan Chase.

March: President Bush calls on Congress to take action and "move forward with reforms on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They need to continue to modernize the FHA, as well as allow State housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to homeowners to refinance their mortgages." (President George W. Bush, Remarks To The Economic Club Of New York, New York, NY, 3/14/08)

April: President Bush urges Congress to pass the much needed legislation and "modernize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. [There are] constructive things Congress can do that will encourage the housing market to correct quickly by . helping people stay in their homes." (President George W. Bush, Meeting With Cabinet, the White House, 4/14/08)

May: President Bush issues several pleas to Congress to pass legislation reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before the situation deteriorates further.

"Americans are concerned about making their mortgage payments and keeping their homes. Yet Congress has failed to pass legislation I have repeatedly requested to modernize the Federal Housing Administration that will help more families stay in their homes, reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure they focus on their housing mission, and allow State housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to refinance sub-prime loans." (President George W. Bush, Radio Address, 5/3/08)

"[T]he government ought to be helping creditworthy people stay in their homes. And one way we can do that - and Congress is making progress on this - is the reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That reform will come with a strong, independent regulator." (President George W. Bush, Meeting With The Secretary Of The Treasury, the White House, 5/19/08)

"Congress needs to pass legislation to modernize the Federal Housing Administration, reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure they focus on their housing mission, and allow State housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to refinance subprime loans." (President George W. Bush, Radio Address, 5/31/08)

June: As foreclosure rates continued to rise in the first quarter, the President once again asks Congress to take the necessary measures to address this challenge, saying "we need to pass legislation to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac." (President George W. Bush, Remarks At Swearing In Ceremony For Secretary Of Housing And Urban Development, Washington, D.C., 6/6/08)

July: Congress heeds the President's call for action and passes reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as it becomes clear that the institutions are failing.
In 2005-- Senator John McCain partnered with three other Senate Republicans to reform the government's involvement in lending.
Democrats blocked this reform, too.

More... Not only did democrats not act on these warnings but Barack Obama put one of the major Sub-Prime Slime players on his campaign as finance chairperson.

UPDATE: The media is not reporting that the failed financial institutions are big Obama donors.

Obama's Nazi-style tactics

If Barack Obama becomes President and takes over command of the Justice Department, it is reasonable to expect an assault on the First Amendment the like of which we haven't seen since the Jefferson administration. Here's the latest: in Missouri, Obama has enlisted his allies in public office, including St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, to threaten criminal prosecution of any Missouri television station that runs ads about Obama that are untrue. Since every politician sincerely believes that all ads run by his opponents are untrue, the field of potential criminal exposure is broad indeed.
Read the whole thing!


President Clinton told ABC News That the blame for the Fannie Mae Meltdown Lies squarely at the feet of Corrupt DEMOCRATS who blocked efforts to regulate and investigate Fannie Mae. You have to admire his honesty, candor, and political courage-
Read the whole thing!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

How did we get into this economic mess?

You really need to see this!

Watch this!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New evidence from Stanley Kurtz on the Obama-Ayers connection

Founding Brothers
What’s behind Obama’s early rise?

By Stanley Kurtz

New evidence strongly suggests that Barack Obama has been less than forthcoming about the role that unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers may have played in choosing him to lead the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC).

Has Capitalism Failed, or Has Government Failed?

Thursday 25 September 2008

Larry Elder makes an excellent case that it is government that has failed. Read Larry Elder's article here!

We have not had more than normal bank failures. Government has not done its job to enforce the current regulations. The promotion by Congress, going back to 1977, to force unsecured issuance of mortgages, just so the "poor" can have a home.

Then you have the massive fraud by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under the leadership of people now advising Obama. Many cities and States passed laws mandating a certain number of low interest "affordable" housing units. These added cost to those who bought at market price.

No, the current crisis is clearly caused by government intervention and lack of enforcement of laws.

Capitalism works, if you let it. The State will fail, always.
Read Larry Elder's article here!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Barney Frank's lover

Media Mum on Barney Frank's Fannie Mae Love Connection

Democratic House Financial Services Committee Chair promoted GSEs while former 'spouse' was Fannie Mae executive.

By Jeff Poor
Business & Media Institute
9/24/2008 4:00:57 PM

Are journalists playing favorites with some of the key political figures involved with regulatory oversight of U.S. financial markets?

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews launched several vitriolic attacks on the Republican Party on his Sept. 17, 2008, show, suggesting blame for Wall Street problems should be focused in a partisan way. However, he and other media have failed to thoroughly examine the Democratic side of the blame game.

Prominent Democrats ran Fannie Mae, the same government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) that donated campaign cash to top Democrats. And one of Fannie Mae’s main defenders in the House – Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., a recipient of more than $40,000 in campaign donations from Fannie since 1989 – was once romantically involved with a Fannie Mae executive.

The media coverage of Frank’s coziness with Fannie Mae and his pro-Fannie Mae stances has been lacking. Of the eight appearances Frank made on the three broadcasts networks between Jan. 1, 2008, and Sept. 21, 2008, none of his comments dealt with the potential conflicts of interest. Only six of the appearances dealt with the economy in general and two of those appearances, including an April 6, 2008 appearance on CBS’s “60 Minutes” were about his opposition to a manned mission to Mars.

Frank has argued that family life “should be fair game for campaign discussion,” wrote the Associated Press on Sept. 2. The comment was in reference to GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and her pregnant daughter. “They’re the ones that made an issue of her family,” the Massachusetts Democrat said to the AP.

The news media have covered the relationship in the past, but there have been no mentions since 2005, according to Nexis and despite the collapse of Fannie Mae. The July 3, 1998, Reliable Source column in The Washington Post reported Frank, who is openly gay, had a relationship with Herb Moses, an executive for the now-government controlled Fannie Mae. The column revealed the two had split up at the time but also said Frank was referring to Moses as his “spouse.” Another Washington Post report said Frank called Moses his “lover” and that the two were “still friends” after the breakup.

Frank was and remains a stalwart defender of Fannie Mae, which is now under FBI investigation along with its sister organization Freddie Mac, American International Group Inc. (NYSE:AIG) and Lehman Brothers (NYSE:LEH) – all recently participants in government bailouts. But Frank has derailed efforts to regulate the institution, as well as denying it posed any financial risk. Frank’s office has been unresponsive to efforts by the Business & Media Institute to comment on these potential conflicts of interest.

While the relationship reportedly ended 10 years ago, Frank was serving on the House Banking Committee the entire 10 years they were together. The committee is the primary House body which along with the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) has jurisdiction over the government-sponsored enterprises.

He has served on the committee since becoming a congressman in 1981 and became the ranking Democrat on the committee in 2003. He became chairman of the committee, now called the House Financial Services Committee, in 2007.

Moses was the assistant director for product initiatives at Fannie Mae and had been at the forefront of relaxing lending restrictions at the company for rural customers, according to the Feb. 23, 1998, issue of National Mortgage News (NMN).

“Herb Moses, who helped develop many of Fannie Mae’s affordable housing and home improvement lending programs, has left the mortgage industry,” Darryl Hicks wrote for NMN. “Mr. Moses - whose last day was Feb. 13 - spent the past seven years at Fannie Mae, most recently as director of housing initiatives. Over the course of time, he played an instrumental role in developing the company’s Title One and 203(k) home improvement lending programs.”

Hicks explained in his story how Moses orchestrated a collaborative effort between Fannie Mae and the Department of Agriculture.

“The Dartmouth grad also played a crucial role in brokering a relationship between Fannie Mae and the Department of Agriculture,” Hicks wrote. “This led to the creation of Fannie Mae’s rural housing program where the secondary marketing agency agreed to purchase small farm loans insured through the department.”

While Moses served at Fannie Mae and was Frank’s partner, Frank was actively working to support GSEs, according to several news outlets.

In 1991, Frank and former Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., lobbied for Fannie to soften rules on multi-family home mortgages although those dwellings showed a default rate twice that of single-family homes, according to the Nov. 22, 1991, Boston Globe.

BusinessWeek reported in its Nov. 14, 1994, issue that Fannie Mae called on Frank to exert his influence against a Housing & Urban Development proposal that would force the GSE to focus on minority and low-income buyers and police bias by lenders regardless of their location. Fannie Mae opposed HUD on the issue because it claimed doing so would “ignore the urban middle class.”

Moses left Fannie in 1998 to start his own pottery business. National Mortgage News called Moses a “mortgage guru” and said he developed “many of Fannie Mae's affordable housing and home improvement lending programs. Moses ended his relationship with Frank just months after he left Fannie.

Even after the relationship ended, however, Frank was a staunch defender of Fannie Mae even as other experts suggested there were serious problems building in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

According to an article by Kathleen Day in the Oct. 8, 2003, Washington Post, Frank opposed giving the Bush administration the right to approve or disapprove business activities that “could pose risk to the taxpayers.” He told the Post he worried the Treasury Department “would sacrifice activities that are good for consumers in the name of lowering the companies’ market risks.”

Just a month before, Frank had aggressively thwarted reform efforts by the Bush administration. He told The New York Times on Sept. 11, 2003, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s problems were “exaggerated,” a gross miscalculation some five years later with costs estimated to be in the hundreds of billions.

“These two entities – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” Frank said to the Times. “The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

Frank has also reaped campaign contribution benefits from Fannie Mae and its counterpart Freddie Mac. According a front page story in the Sept. 19, 2008, Investor’s Business Daily by Terry Jones, Frank has received $40,100 in campaign cash over the past two decades from the GSEs.

Frank is ranked 16th on a list that includes both houses of Congress and fifth among his colleagues in the House. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics’, political action committees financed by both Freddie and Fannie have contributed $3,017,797 to members of Congress since 1989. And according to the July 16 issue of Politico, the two entities have spent a whopping $200 million to buy influence – including not only campaign donations to members of Congress, but also presidential campaigns and lobbying efforts.

In a July 23 op-ed, Wall Street Journal Editorial Page Editor Paul Gigot put the blame for the GSEs’ collapse firmly on the members of the liberal establishment who took money from Freddie and Fannie. “Fan and Fred also couldn't prosper for as long as they have without the support of the political left... This includes Mr. Frank and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) on Capitol Hill, as well as Mr. [Paul] Krugman and the Washington Post's Steven Pearlstein in the press.”

Frank was asked by CNN’s John Roberts on the Sept. 22, 2008 “American Morning” about this and his opposition to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Originally, he claimed he didn’t think the two GSEs were facing any problems when the issue first surfaced in 2003. He instead blamed the Republican-controlled Congress for their ultimate fall, failing to mention his friendly relationship with Fannie Mae and the contributions it had made to his campaign over the years.

“Yes, I did not think we were facing a crisis in 2003, but that didn't mean we didn't have to have reform,” an animated Frank said when confronted with the question. “Here’s the deal, the Republicans controlled Congress from 1995 through 2006. They did zero to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

However, on Sept. 17, 2008, former Bush administration Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove elaborated on the Bush administration’s efforts to curb abuses at the two GSEs in 2003. He told Fox News’ “Hannity & Colmes” that Frank was among the most aggressive opponents of White House attempts to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“All of this bad stuff on Wall Street happened because people got greedy and the greed started at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” Rove said. “And I know this because five years ago, the administration was alerted by the regulator, James Lockhart, that there was insufficient authority and that these institutions – particularly Fannie – were out of control.”

Rove said the Bush administration’s efforts to reform Fannie and Freddie were opposed by congressional Democrats – specifically Frank and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.

“And I got to tell you, for five years, I was part of an effort at the White House to fight this and our biggest opponents on the Hill who blocked this every step of the way were people like Chris Dodd and Barney Frank. And Fannie and Freddie are the $200 billion contagion at the center of this.”

Frank has been quick to blame deregulation for some of the problems in the financial environment, as he did on Bloomberg television’s Sept. 19 “Political Capital with Al Hunt.” However, as earmark crusader Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. pointed out – it’s not deregulation, but it was the structure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that had been guarded by Frank and other members of Congress.

“Some people point at deregulation,” Flake said to the Business & Media Institute on Sept. 23. “It’s not deregulation at all. We have for far too long shielded Fannie and Freddie for example, with the implicit and now explicit guarantee. I just found it humorous.”

Flake specifically named Frank as one of the members behind letting allegations of transgressions at the two GSEs for slipping by without oversight from Congress.

“Just a few minutes ago, a reporter was asking me about this and saying, ‘Barney Frank is saying that’s just – because there were allegations,’ correct ones – ‘that Fannie and Freddie have been the playground for politicians for years and now the other side is saying Fannie and Freddie were just a small part of this and this goes far beyond.’ It does, but these same people a couple of weeks ago said, ‘You got to bail out Fannie and Freddie because they touch everything out there. They touch nearly every mortgage out there.’ And because of that explicit guarantee – that we would come and bail them out, nobody has been subject to market discipline.”

Frank claims differently, according to a letter to the editor published in the Sept. 17, 2008 Wall Street Journal. Frank noted that in 2005 he supported regulating compensation for Fannie and Freddie executives.

“In fact, my reform efforts had begun when we were still in the minority. In 2005, I joined Michael Oxley, then chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, in supporting legislation to increase the regulation of Fannie and Freddie that passed the House by a vote of 330 to 90,” Frank wrote. “When former Congressman Richard Baker proposed to examine the compensation structure of Fannie and Freddie's top executives, and some members of Congress tried to block him, I explicitly spoke out in support of his right to do that and our right, as a Congress, to examine the GSE’s compensation practices.”

The red flags were raised long before the government bailed out the two GSEs in August 2008. The first egregious scandal involving Fannie Mae occurred in 2004. A 2004 Wall Street Journal editorial was first to point out claims in an OFHEO report that showed accounting malpractices by the GSE.

“For years, mortgage giant Fannie Mae has produced smoothly growing earnings. And for years, observers have wondered how Fannie could manage its inherently risky portfolio without a whiff of volatility, the Oct. 4, 2004, editorial, “Fannie Mae Enron?” said. “Now, thanks to Fannie’s regulator, we know the answer. The company was cooking the books. Big time.”

Monday, September 22, 2008

How the Democrats Created the Financial Crisis

Commentary by Kevin Hassett

Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The financial crisis of the past year has provided a number of surprising twists and turns, and from Bear Stearns Cos. to American International Group Inc., ambiguity has been a big part of the story.

Why did Bear Stearns fail, and how does that relate to AIG? It all seems so complex.

But really, it isn't. Enough cards on this table have been turned over that the story is now clear. The economic history books will describe this episode in simple and understandable terms: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exploded, and many bystanders were injured in the blast, some fatally.
Read the whole thing!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

From the mouths of babes

I asked my friend's little girl what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be President some day. Both of her parents, liberal Democrats, were standing there, so I asked her, 'If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?'

She replied, 'I'd give food and houses to all the homeless people.'

'Wow...what a worthy goal.' I told her, 'You don't have to wait until you're President to do that. You can come over to my house and mow, pull weeds, and rake my yard, and I'll pay you $50. Then I'll take you over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house.'

She thought that over for a few seconds while her Mom glared at me, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, 'Why doesn't the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?'

I said, 'Welcome to the Republican Party.'

Her folks still aren't talking to me.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Who is Responsible for the Financial Meltdown?

Barack Obama likes to lay the cause of the current financial meltdown at the feet of the current administration. The facts are very different.

An editorial in Investors Business Daily, titled "The Real Culprits in this Meltdown" says...


Friday, September 19, 2008


The Democrats have been taking PAYOFFS from Fannie and Freddie and have looked the other way FOR DECADES! They've blocked reform several times.

Now this NEW VIDEO of the CEO of Fannie Mae in 2005 shows him explaining the "FAMILY" connection with Democrats and specifically Barack Obama and the Congressional Black Caucus. It looks like Michelle Obama was at the event, too.

This was before Barack Obama started collecting tens of thousands from the failed lender.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

CEO's who made bad loans are Democrats

Wouldn't you think that all the CEOs that made all these bad loans were Republicans? Obama claims they were.

But that liberal is lying again – they weren’t Bushies they were Democrats confused by the algorithms used in the derivatives:

Richard Fuld, CEO Lehman (bankrupt): gave 83% to Democrats
John Mack, CEO Morgan Stanley: 100% to Democrats
Alan Greenberg, former CEO Bear Stearns: 100% to Democrats
Alan Schwartz, former CEO Bear Stearns (current when bought): 67% to Democrats
James Dimon, current JPMorgan Chase CEO: 100% to Democrats
Kerry Killinger, former Washington Mutual CEO (fired 9/9/2008); 100% to Democrats
Stephen Rotella, President Washington Mutual: 100% to Democrats
Robert Rubin, former Citigroup Chairman, and Clinton's Treasury Secretary: 100% to Democrats
BTW, Rubin is now working for Obama!

The Republicans are the smart guys, waiting to pick up Humpty Dumpty and profit from putting him back together again and buying the market when it bottoms. Sound familiar?

This is just proof that fancy Ivy League schools have been breeding socialists and socialists are basically breaking the Ten Commandments by stealing that which isn’t theirs and buying patronage and Manhattan apartments with it.

Now many of them are out on the street looking for real jobs and a way to pay for their 900 sq.ft million-dollar apartments...

Monday, September 15, 2008


by Amir Taheri

Last updated: 4:10 am
September 15, 2008
Posted: 4:02 am
September 15, 2008

WHILE campaigning in public for a speedy withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Sen. Barack Obama has tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence.

According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for delay a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July.

"He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington," Zebari said in an interview.

Obama insisted that Congress should be involved in negotiations on the status of US troops - and that it was in the interests of both sides not to have an agreement negotiated by the Bush administration in its "state of weakness and political confusion."

"However, as an Iraqi, I prefer to have a security agreement that regulates the activities of foreign troops, rather than keeping the matter open." Zebari says.

Though Obama claims the US presence is "illegal," he suddenly remembered that Americans troops were in Iraq within the legal framework of a UN mandate. His advice was that, rather than reach an accord with the "weakened Bush administration," Iraq should seek an extension of the UN mandate.

While in Iraq, Obama also tried to persuade the US commanders, including Gen. David Petraeus, to suggest a "realistic withdrawal date." They declined.

Obama has made many contradictory statements with regard to Iraq. His latest position is that US combat troops should be out by 2010. Yet his effort to delay an agreement would make that withdrawal deadline impossible to meet.

Supposing he wins, Obama's administration wouldn't be fully operational before February - and naming a new ambassador to Baghdad and forming a new negotiation team might take longer still.

By then, Iraq will be in the throes of its own campaign season. Judging by the past two elections, forming a new coalition government may then take three months. So the Iraqi negotiating team might not be in place until next June.

Then, judging by how long the current talks have taken, restarting the process from scratch would leave the two sides needing at least six months to come up with a draft accord. That puts us at May 2010 for when the draft might be submitted to the Iraqi parliament - which might well need another six months to pass it into law.

Thus, the 2010 deadline fixed by Obama is a meaningless concept, thrown in as a sop to his anti-war base.

Read the whole thing!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

How the Clintons killed the release of "The Path to 9/11"

Seven years after 9/11 we live in a state where teaching "global warming" is part of the official curriculum, but the events of 9/11 are not. It is now an anomaly to meet a youngster who has yet to reach their teen years who has any memory or even rudimentary knowledge of 9/11.

If those who do not know their history truly are doomed to repeat it, we are well on our way to disgracing the memories of those who died on 9/11and setting ourselves up for making the same mistakes again. The continuing censorship of "The Path to 9/11″ is both emblematic and symptomatic of that sad truth.
Read the whole thing!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Obama and Biden Voted Against Funding for Rebuilding After Katrina, But Supported Bridge to Nowhere Funding

So Barack Obama and Joe Biden voted twice against funding to rebuild after Katrina, but didn’t vote to stop funding TWO Bridge to Nowhere projects? And Obama/Biden call Palin a hypocrite?
Read more!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Obama's Documented Lies: 114 and remarkably still growing


Read it here NOW!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Election update

Friday, September 05, 2008

Why Obama's "Community Organizer" Days Are a Joke

By Michelle Malkin

Rudy Giuliani had me in stitches during his red-meat keynote address at the GOP convention. I laughed out loud when Giuliani laughed out loud while noting Barack Obama's deep experience as a "community organizer." I laughed again when VP nominee and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin cracked: "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer,' except that you have actual responsibilities."

Team Obama was not amused. (Neither were the snarky left-wingers on cable TV who are now allergic to sarcasm.) They don't get why we snicker when Obama dons his Community Organizer cape. Apparently, the jibes rendered Obama's advisers sleepless. In a crack-of-dawn e-mail to Obama's followers hours after Giuliani and Palin spoke, campaign manager David Plouffe attempted to gin up faux outrage (and, more importantly, donations) by claiming grave offense on the part of community organizers everywhere. Fumed Plouffe:

"Both Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin specifically mocked Barack's experience as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago more than two decades ago, where he worked with people who had lost jobs and been left behind when the local steel plants closed. Let's clarify something for them right now. Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies."

Let me clarify something. Nobody is mocking community organizers in church basements and community centers across the country working to improve their neighbors' lives. What deserves ridicule is the notion that Obama's brief stint as a South Side rabble-rouser for tax-subsidized, partisan nonprofits qualifies as executive experience you can believe in.

What deserves derision is "community organizing" that relies on a community of homeless people and ex-cons to organize for the purpose of registering dead people to vote, shaking down corporations and using the race card as a bludgeon.

As I've reported previously, Obama's community organizing days involved training grievance-mongers from the far-left ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). The ACORN mob is infamous for its bully tactics (which they dub "direct actions"); Obama supporters have recounted his role in organizing an ambush on a government planning meeting about a landfill project opposed by Chicago's minority lobbies.

With benefactors like Obama in office, ACORN has milked nearly four decades of government subsidies to prop up chapters that promote the welfare state and undermine the free market, as well as some that have been implicated in perpetuating illegal immigration and voter fraud. Since I last detailed ACORN's illicit activities in this column in June (see "The ACORN Obama knows," June 19, 2008), the group continues to garner scrutiny from law enforcement:

Last week, Milwaukee's top election official announced plans to seek criminal investigations of 37 ACORN employees accused of offering gifts to sign up voters (including prepaid gas cards and restaurant cards) or falsifying driver's license numbers, Social Security numbers or other information on voter registration cards.

Last month, a New Mexico TV station reported on the child rapists, drug offenders and forgery convicts on ACORN's payroll. In July, Pennsylvania investigators asked the public for help in locating a fugitive named Luis R. Torres-Serrano, who is accused "of submitting more than 100 fraudulent voter registration forms he collected on behalf of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now to county election officials." Also in July, a massive, nearly $1 million embezzlement scheme by top ACORN officials was exposed.

ACORN's political arm endorsed Obama in February and has ramped up efforts to register voters across the country. In the meantime, completely ignored by the mainstream commentariat and clean-election crusaders, the Obama campaign admitted failing to report $800,000 in campaign payments to ACORN. They were disguised as payments to a front group called "Citizen Services, Inc." for "advance work."

Jim Terry, an official from the Consumer Rights League, a watchdog group that monitors ACORN, noted: "ACORN has a long and sordid history of employing convoluted Enron-style accounting to illegally use taxpayer funds for their own political gain. Now it looks like ACORN is using the same type of convoluted accounting scheme for Obama's political gain." With a wave of his magic wand, Obama amended his FEC forms to change the "advance work" to "get-out-the-vote" work.

Now, don't you dare challenge his commitment to following tax and election laws. And don't you even think of entertaining the possibility that The One exploited a nonprofit supposedly focused on helping low-income people for political gain.

He was just "organizing" his "community." Guffaw.

Copyright 2008, Creators Syndicate Inc.
September 05, 2008 - 04:32:05 AM PDT

What is a "Community Organizer?"

"Community Organizer" has a particular meaning. It was created by Saul Alinsky, the Chicago Communist (who was a "community organizer"), in his book, "Rules for Radicals." It was Alinsky's contention that if someone could organize a community by finding what they had in common that was missing in their lives, such as health care, adequate housing, or some other grievance, you could unite them in a cause. The pretense would be that the community would be organized for the purpose of fixing the grievance, the real purpose would be to radicalize the community against the government and toward socialism, or communism. --Gary Aminoff

Monday, September 01, 2008

Obama Should Come Clean


Obama Should Come Clean On Ayers, Rezko And the Iraqi Billionaire
August 30, 2008; Page A11


Even as Barack Obama gave his soaring speech Thursday night, his campaign was playing hardball with its critics.

Team Obama has launched an offensive against WGN, the Chicago Tribune's radio station, for interviewing Stanley Kurtz. Mr. Kurtz is a conservative writer who this week forced the University of Illinois to finally open its records on Sen. Obama's association with William Ayers, the unrepentant 1970s Weather Underground terrorist.

An Obama campaign email to supporters called Mr. Kurtz a "slimy character assassin" whose "divisive, destructive ranting" should be confronted. WGN producer Zack Christenson says the outpouring of negative calls and emails is "unprecedented." He also notes that it is curious -- because "we wanted the Obama campaign's take" on Mr. Kurtz's findings, but the campaign declined to put anyone on air.

Separately, Mr. Obama's lawyers have also demanded that the Justice Department prosecute an organization called the American Issues Project for running an ad about ties between their candidate and Mr. Ayers.

Obama aides believe John Kerry lost in 2004 because he failed to respond to the "Swift Boat" ads attacking him, and they are lashing out. Sometimes the Obama objections have merit, as when they exposed errors in Jerome Corsi's sensationalized Obama biography. But sometimes they are designed to shut down legitimate questions. "They're terrified of people poking around Obama's life," one reporter told Gabriel Sherman at the New Republic. "The whole Obama narrative is built around the narrative that Obama and [campaign strategist] David Axelrod built, and, like all stories, it's not entirely true." The stakes are high. If the full story of Mr. Obama's relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright had been revealed before the Iowa caucus, he wouldn't have won.

Aides claim Mr. Obama "has taken voluntary transparency steps" that allow "his constituents, the media and his political opponents to fully examine him." In reality, anyone questioning the approved story line is liable to be ignored, misled or even bullied. This isn't what reporters expected when Mr. Obama began campaigning for a "new politics" that would bring honesty and openness to government.

Walking the rows of media outlets at the Denver convention, I had no trouble finding reporters who complained the campaign was secretive and evasive. Ben Smith of has written about Team Obama's "pattern of rarely volunteering information or documents, even when relatively innocuous." Politico asked months ago if Mr. Obama had ever written anything for the Harvard Law Review as a student. The Obama campaign responded narrowly, with a Clintonesque statement that "as the president of the Law Review, Obama didn't write articles, he edited and reviewed them." This month it turned out Mr. Obama had written an article -- but it was published a month before he became president.

Chasing the rest of Mr. Obama's paper trail is often an exercise in frustration. Mr. Obama says his state senate records "could have been thrown out" and he didn't keep a schedule in office. No one appears to have kept a copy of his application for the Illinois Bar. He has released only a single page of medical records, versus 1,000 pages for John McCain.

Then there's the house that Mr. Obama bought in 2005 in cooperation with Tony Rezko, his friend and campaign fund-raiser -- a move the candidate concedes was "boneheaded." Rezko was convicted in June of 16 counts of corruption. (Mr. Obama was not implicated in Rezko's crimes.)

Rezko's trial raised a host of questions. Was Mr. Obama able to save $300,000 on the asking price of his house because Rezko's wife paid full price for the adjoining lot? How did Mrs. Rezko make a $125,000 down payment and obtain a $500,000 mortgage when financial records shown at the Rezko trial indicate she had a salary of only $37,000 and assets of $35,000? Records show her husband also had few assets at the time.

Last April, the London Times revealed that Nadhmi Auchi, an Iraqi-born billionaire living in London, had loaned Mr. Rezko $3.5 million three weeks before the day the sale of the house and lot closed in June 2005. Mr. Auchi's office notes he was a business partner of Rezko but says he had "no involvement in or knowledge of" the property sale. But in April 2004 he did attend a dinner party in his honor at Rezko's Chicago home. Mr. Obama also attended, and according to one guest, toasted Mr. Auchi. Later that year, Mr. Auchi came under criminal investigation as part of a U.S. probe of the corrupt issuance of cell-phone licenses in Iraq.

In May 2004, the Pentagon's inspector general's office cited "significant and credible evidence" of involvement by Mr. Auchi's companies in the Oil for Food scandal, and in illicit smuggling of weapons to Saddam Hussein's regime. Because of the criminal probe, Mr. Auchi's travel visa to the U.S. was revoked in August 2004, even as Mr. Auchi denied all the allegations. According to prosecutors, in November 2005 Rezko was able to get two government officials from Illinois to appeal to the State Department to get the visa restored. Asked if anyone in his office was involved in such an appeal, Mr. Obama told the Chicago Sun-Times last March, "not that I know of." FOIA requests to the State Department for any documents haven't been responded to for months.

After long delays, Mr. Obama sat with the editorial boards of the Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune in March to answer their questions about his connection to Rezko. He had no recollection of ever meeting Mr. Auchi. He also said he didn't understand a lot about house buying, and gave vague answers to other questions. Since then, he has avoided any further discussion of the Rezko matter.

Some inquiries could be cleared up if the Obama campaign were forthcoming with key documents. Mr. Obama claims that in buying his house in 2005 he got a low mortgage rate from Northern Trust bank because another bank made a competitive bid for his business, but his campaign won't reveal from which bank. While he has released 94 pages of documents relating to the Rezko sale, they don't include the single most important one -- the settlement statement that shows the complete flow of funds that were part of the house sale. When asked why that last key document isn't being released, the Obama campaign issued a boilerplate statement saying, "we have released documents that reflect every one of the final terms of the senator's purchase of the home." But key data are still being withheld.

The Obama campaign didn't hesitate to criticize Hillary Clinton for not revealing the names of donors to the Clinton Library, or John McCain for releasing only two years of tax returns as opposed to Mr. Obama's 10 years. Those were proper questions. But so too are requests for information from Mr. Obama, a man whose sudden rise and incompletely reported past makes him among the least-vetted of presidential nominees.

Reporters who decline to press Mr. Obama for more information now, whether it be on William Ayers or the Rezko-Auchi partnership, may be repeating an old mistake. Most reporters failed to dig deep enough into the Nixon White House's handling of Watergate before the 1972 election. The country was soon consumed with that scandal. Most reporters pooh-poohed questionable Whitewater real-estate dealings of the Clintons before Bill Clinton's 1992 election. Within months of his inauguration a tangled controversy led to the appointment of a special prosecutor and an endless source of distraction for the Clinton White House.

All presidential candidates resist full examination of their records. But it should be the job of reporters not to accept noncooperation, stonewalling or intimidation when it comes to questions about fitness for the nation's highest office.

Mr. Fund is a columnist for