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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Obama, Biden, Dodd and Frank? Disaster at the local bank!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that every time that bad news comes in from Iraq, Democrats cheer. If there is a hurricane, Democrats blame President Bush. If there are economic woes, they clap their hands and blame the Republicans. Having a Democrat in the White House is more important to the lefty side of the party, anyway, than the well-being of their own country!

When good news is reported on the terrorism front, on the economic front, in almost any circumstance then it is bad news for Democrats and they try to explain how that good news is really bad news (While scrambling to try to keep crooked politician Charles Rangel out of jail and in his seat).

"Senator Dodd has neglected his duties under his chairmanship and it is time that Democratic Leadership accepts responsibility and removes his chairmanship.

Meanwhile, Representative Rangel (D-NY) who has come under investigation for ethics abuses finally stepped up to the plate yesterday and paid $10,800 in back taxes, not including penalties, that he owed the federal government. First, let me state that there is something extremely disturbing that we would allow a Representative to remain in Federal Office when he has clearly worked to avoid paying taxes. The taxes were the results of unclaimed rental income on a beach house in the Dominican Republic extending back to 2004. In addition, Rangel has come under fire for use of three rent-controlled apartments in Harlem (one was used as a campaign office) and more importantly his use of Congressional stationary to raise private funds.

Rangel is currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee, but in three months, Democratic Leadership has done little to progress with the investigation. In addition, Rangel is the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee which is charged with writing tax law. That’s right; a man, who has purposely avoided paying taxes, is in charge of the primary committee for writing tax law. Democratic leadership, including the party leader Senator Obama, needs to remove Rangel's chairmanship. It is disgusting that once again political power has trumped common sense."

But this latest banking mess is primarily the fault of Democrats no matter how much they want to find a way to make it John McCain's fault. Well, (Barney F)rankly both parties have fault here. But since it is an election year and the Obama campaign is making so many ridiculous claims I am going to assert that the primary blame falls squarely on Democratic shoulders and I have the facts to prove it!

It is Democrats who were receiving the bulk of contributions from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Follow the money!

Top Recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Campaign Contributions, 1989-2008

1. Dodd, Christopher J S D-CT $133,900 (chairman of the Senate Banking Committee)

2. Kerry, John S D-MA $111,000

3. Obama, Barack S D-IL $105,849

4. Clinton, Hillary S D-NY $75,550

5. Kanjorski, Paul E H D-PA $65,500

19 of the top 25 recipients of the money were Democrats, including Barney Frank (chairman of the House Financial Services Committee) and Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the House).

Lehman Brothers and other sub-prime lenders have primarily primed the Democratic pump, and example one is Barack Obama.

I personally have to laugh when I listen to politicians excoriate Wall Street Financial executives for their mismanagement in recent years and policies which have endangered their institutions. After all, a federal government whose very policies have demoted competition and created fewer and more powerful financial institutions should share the blame. Moreover, the hypocrisy of these politicians is beyond belief as most Americans fail to recognize that even as their elected officials demonize these executives, they are accepting millions of dollars from them in the form of campaign contributions.

For instance, it is no secret that Senator Dodd who chairs the the powerful Senate Banking Committee has accepted millions in the past years from financial institutions. In his Presidential campaign more than a 1/3 (over $5.5 million) of the contributions Dodd received came from Finance and Banking related industries. Since 2003, Dodd has received more than $9.5 million in contributions from this sector, with an overwhelming majority of those contributions flowing in since the end of 2006.

But in the presidential campaign there is no candidate who shown a greater level of hypocrisy than Senator Obama. Obama has received over $395,000 in contributions from Lehman Brothers executives, not including the additional funds that Lehman Brothers employed bundlers have raised on his behalf.

The article goes on to assert and support the fact that "...Obama has received over $20 million during his presidential campaign directly from executive of Financial Services companies."

Even a columnist who is anti-Bush sees the truth behind this banking and mortgage industry disaster: Biden and Dodd play hooky while D. C. burns

Excerpt: "Worse, Reid allowed two important committee chairmen to play hooky for a year while their issues wallowed. One, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Joe Biden, D-Del., is running as vice president in order to lend supposed strength to the Barack Obama ticket on overseas issues.

In the chairman’s saddle 19 months, the eternally grinning Biden has called his very first hearing on Russia for Wednesday. Pathetic. Dictator Vladimir Putin has been signaling for more than two years that he intended to menace former Soviet satellites like Poland and Ukraine.

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., has behaved even more outrageously. He’s the fast-talking chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, which has been looking the other way while the government has bailed out one slimy securities operation after another.

The best-known effect of his seniority on that panel is his getting favorable mortgage terms from a troubled bank.

The recipient of massive campaign gifts from the securities industry, Dodd stayed with his delusional campaign for president while the mortgage market and the banking industry tanked.

Thanks in large part to Dodd, the government has been blind-sided by the troubles of two huge government-sponsored entities, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. These are backstops for bankers who profited handsomely on mortgages they sold to borrowers who could not pay them back.

Estimates of the cost to taxpayers of the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae bailouts range from zero to $300 billion.

Little is said about two former high-ranking Clinton administration officials, Franklin
D. Raines and Jamie Gorelick, who got paid $52 million and $26 million, respectively, at Fannie Mae while the agency cooked its books.

The Joint Economic Committee, chaired by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N. Y., sounded the alarm about the two big agencies a full year ago. But the committee’s findings are advisory.

Dodd himself ran a hearing on Freddie and Fannie last March. There, a spokesman for the Mortgage Bankers Association urged passage of laws mandating a complete overhaul and stringent oversight of the two agencies. But Dodd walked off to the hustings and the talk shows.

This marks the second time in a generation that a Democratic Congress looked aside while banks were bailed out at taxpayer expense. The 1980s savings-and-loan bailout cost taxpayers more than $130 billion.

The explanation is easy. Since 1990, the financial industry has spent at least $900 million on campaign gifts to federal candidates of both parties. Since 1998, the banks, insurance and securities industry has spent $3.2 billion lobbying the victors.

And they got what they paid for: Your tax money! "

Obama Adviser And Former Fannie Mae CEO Was Warned Of Problems

"Not that the Associated Press mentions that Franklin Raines, who fled Fannie Mae in the shadow of a $6.3 billion accounting scandal, is now a housing policy adviser to Barack Obama.
WASHINGTON - The former Fannie Mae accountant who raised questions about the mortgage giant’s bookkeeping said Wednesday that he took his concerns directly to chief executive Franklin Raines in 2002 and asked him to investigate.

The disclosure by Roger Barnes, who left Fannie Mae last November, came as Raines and chief financial officer Timothy Howard defended the company’s accounting and told Congress that regulators’ allegations of earnings manipulation represent an interpretation of complex rules.
The regulators have said that information provided by Barnes was important to their investigation of the government-sponsored company’s accounting.

Obama is busy blustering about how “Washington DC” failed Americans on housing/finance policy, and castigating McCain for adhering to “an economic philosophy that has completely failed,” but I wonder how seriously we can take Barack Obama on this issue when he’s taking advice from a man who is at the very heart of what went wrong at Fannie Mae?

Also, what economic philosophy is Obama accusing of having failed? Free market capitalism? If he really believes that the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac debacle is the result of the failures of capitalism (and it isn’t), what economic philosophy would he see replace it?

Socialism? When has that economic philosophy ever worked?

Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac failed because they were quasi-government agencies that, because their play has always been backed by the government, had no incentive to engage in good business practices. To blame this mess on anything else is to be dishonest. "


McCain and the Crisis


"For a decade reformers have tried to persuade Congress that they were allowing a serious risk to the government’s credit to develop in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but few lawmakers would take action.

One of the reasons for this was the extraordinary power of Fannie and Freddie. They not only spent close to $150 million in lobbying over the last decade, but they also got their constituents—the securities industry, the homebuilders and the realtors—all powerful industries that depend on Fannie and Freddie’s largesse—to support their sole legislative objective: the defeat of any attempt to control their growth. Congress, as usual knuckled under to the special interest.

However, a very small number of lawmakers saw this problem for what it was, and were willing to stand up to the power of Fannie and Freddie—and I am proud to say that John McCain was one of them. In 2005, he joined a small group of Republican Senators to cosponsor the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act, the strongest legislation introduced up to that time to control Fannie and Freddie. In a statement, he noted that “For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac…and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market…If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie and Freddie pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.”

These were prophetic words, given what we know now, but they did not spring from a sudden conversion in that year. Three years earlier, McCain had introduced legislation—co-sponsored with the House Democratic leader Dick Gephardt—to create a Corporate Subsidy Reform Commission. The purpose of this group was to eliminate what McCain called “corporate welfare.” In a statement at the time, he noted that “There are more than 100 corporate subsidy programs in the federal budget today, requiring the federal government to spend approximately $65 billion a year...These programs provide special benefits or advantages to specific companies or industries at the expense of hard-working taxpayers. In years past, Congress has insisted that it would eliminate the existence of this corporate welfare, but virtually no such program has been eliminated…This bill aims to remove the special treatment given to politically powerful industries…”

In other words, as far back as 2002, John McCain realized that underlying what would ultimately become the Fannie and Freddie crisis was the willingness of Congress to provide financial support to private corporations. And he was willing to take on powerful interests to stop this process. If his bill had resulted in action at that time, the unprecedented steps that the Secretary of the Treasury and Congress had to take in the last two weeks would not have been necessary. "


Follow the money. The top two recipients of lobbyist monies from the failed institutions are Chris Dodd and Barack Obama. Both Democrats, of course. Quoting John Gibson:

"Lehman Brothers' collapse is traced back to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two big mortgage banks that got a federal bailout a few weeks ago. Freddie and Fannie used huge lobbying budgets and political contributions to keep regulators off their backs. A group called the Center for Responsive Politics keeps track of which politicians get Fannie and Freddie political contributions. The top three U.S. Senators getting big Fannie and Freddie political bucks were Democrats and number two is Senator Barack Obama. Now, remember, he has only been in the Senate four years but still managed to grab the number two spot ahead of John Kerry, decades in the senate, and Chris Dodd who is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Fannie and Freddie have been creations of the Congressional Democrats and the Clinton White House, designed to make mortgages available to more people, and as it turned out, some people who couldn't afford them. Fannie and Freddie have also been places for big Washington democrats to go to work in the semi-private sector and pocket millions. The Clinton administration's White House budget director Franklin Raines ran Fannie and collected 50 million dollars. Jamie Gurilli, Clinton Justice Apartment Official, worked for Fannie and took home 26 million dollars. Big Democrat Jim Johnson, recently on Obama's VP search committee has hauled in millions from his Fannie Mae C.E.O. job. Now remember, Obama's ads and stump speeches attack McCain and Republican policies for the current financial turmoil. It is demonstrably not Republican policy and worse, it appears the man attacking McCain, Senator Obama, was at the head of the line when the piggy's lined up at the Fannie and Freddie trough for campaign bucks. Senator Barack Obama, number two on the Fannie/Freddie list of favored politicians after just four short years in the senate. Next time you see that ad, you might notice he fails to mention that part of the Fannie and Freddie problem."

The Obama campaign just blithely lies about this financial crisis and his link to the people and institutions behind the problems and just about everything else. Follow the money. Go ahead and check out Barney Frank, Democrat, who should have been overseeing this situation rather than getting fat on lobbyist monies from them. Go ahead and research how this could have happened and you will find that it was Bill Clinton's administration that decided to allow banks and mortgage brokers to intermingle funds and "bet" funds on Wall Street with the repeal of the Glass-Steagall bill.

The 1999 bill was perhaps well-meant, but within three years of its passage John McCain realized that it had unintended consequences and could lead to economic disaster. Unfortunately his cries for reform were ignored by a group of Democrats who were making so much money from the aforementioned financial institutions that they couldn't see the smackdown coming.

Both parties bear some blame for passing laws like Gramm-Leach Bliley and Sarbannes-Oxley that were well-intended but have had unintended consequences that have hurt American businesses and the economy. Both parties need to stand up and take strong action in the current mortgage-banking crisis by:

1) Taking control of assets in exchange for bailouts, then selling the assets later for the profit of the American people. People forget that when the Chrysler bailout happened, the government later sold off assets at a profit. We don't want to "nationalize" any corporations as some Democrats have asked for, but, if we have to help them out we the people get a stake in the company that we can later sell off once things settle down.

2) Calling for personal responsibility. Top executives of these corporations should be prosecuted to recover massive bonuses and "golden parachutes" received while the disaster was brewing.

3) Calling for responsibility for politicians. All monies received from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and Lehman Brothers and AIG and any other corporation needing a bailout should be returned by Dodd and Kerry and Obama and the rest, returned to the American people directly back to the government coffers that are being tapped to do the bailouts.

4) Admitting that GLB and SOX have been mostly bad bills. This is a bipartisan problem and requires a bipartisan solution.


No wonder 77% of Obama ads are negative attacks on McCain and no wonder Obama tries to tie McCain to Bush. Obama has gone so far as to call John McCain, an American hero, "dishonorable" and just today in a stump speech he said that McCain had "abandoned every principle" all the while lying about his own record at every turn.

Barack Obama, liar, a man who associates with felons, terrorists, American-haters and race-baiters. Yes, I now believe this is the most important election of my lifetime, for Barack Obama represents the worst of partisan politics, the most extreme of leftist socialistic policies and especially represents the fast-food, prepackaged sizzle in place of real steak. Barack Obama would make Jimmy Carter look like a good President! God help us all if he and his political handlers got control of the White House!

Hat tips to:

PS - Philadelphia Enquirer points out that McCain is no Bush, despite Obama's desire to run against a third Bush term.

McCain a Bush clone? These numbers dispute that

John R. Lott Jr.
is a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland

Does John McCain represent a third Bush term? The Obama campaign claims the two are almost indistinguishable. It was the mantra during the Democratic convention, and it is the theme of new ads Barack Obama is running. The ads claim that McCain is "no maverick when he votes with Bush 90 percent of the time."

This week Obama has begun a constant refrain that there is "not a dime worth of difference" between Bush's and McCain's views. It is a consistent theme of Democratic pundits on talk shows.

Is this the same McCain who drove Republicans nuts on campaign finance, the environment, taxes, torture, immigration and more? Where has McCain not crossed swords with his own party?

As it's being used, the 90 percent figure, from Congressional Quarterly, is nonsensical. As Washington Post congressional reporter Jonathan Weisman explained, "The vast majority of those votes are procedural, and virtually every member of Congress votes with his or her leadership on procedural motions."

Obama might want to be a little careful with these attacks, as the same measure has him voting with Democrats 97 percent of the time.

Fortunately, a number of organizations on the left and right provide useful evaluations on how congressmen and senators vote each year. These conservative and liberal groups pick the votes they care about most and figure out how often lawmakers match up with their positions.

Well-known organizations that rank congressional voting include the American Conservative Union on the right, Americans for Democratic Action on the left, and the nonpartisan National Journal in the middle. The League of Conservation Voters also ranks politicians from an environmentalist position.

These groups' rankings from 2001 to 2007 paint fairly similar pictures, putting McCain to the left of most Republican senators and to the right of most Democratic senators - though usually much closer to the average Republican.

The American Conservative Union finds that the average Republican senator voted conservatively 85 percent of the time, and that the average Democrat voted conservatively 13 percent of the time. McCain voted conservatively 74 percent of the time.

Although it's at the opposite end of the political spectrum, Americans for Democratic Action essentially agreed. It found that the average Republican senator voted liberally just over 12 percent of the time, and the average Democrat voted liberally 89 percent of the time. McCain voted liberally 24 percent of the time - twice as frequently as the average Republican.

McCain missed too many votes campaigning in 2007 to be included in the National Journal ranking for that year, but it found that he voted conservatively 59.4 percent of the time from 2001 to 2006.

According to the League of Conservation Voters, John McCain is the ultimate centrist. While the average Republican supported liberal environmentalist positions 13 percent of the time, and the average Democrat supported them 76 percent of the time, McCain's 44 percent put him in the middle.

Another way to look at these numbers is to see how many of the 99 other senators voted more conservatively than McCain. In 2006, these four groups ranked McCain as the 47th, 46th, 44th and 51st most conservative member of the Senate, respectively. Surely, McCain is not nearly as liberal as the typical Democratic senator, but rankings from the left, middle and right find he is more liberal than the vast majority of Republicans in the Senate.

What issues put McCain well to the left of the average Senate Republican? The American Conservative Union lists a number of specific votes on which he differed from most other Republicans, including:

Taxes. He opposed reducing capital-gains tax rates, eliminating the inheritance tax and lowering income-tax rates.

Environment. He opposed drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, supported compliance with the Kyoto global-warming treaty, supported requiring businesses to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, favored stricter mercury-emission rules for power plants, and supported stricter fuel-efficiency standards.

Other regulations. McCain consistently supported stricter campaign-finance regulations and voted to mandate that handguns be sold only with locks.

A number of these votes were closely contested. Some of McCain's votes led to a 50-50 deadlock in the Senate, requiring Vice President Cheney to break the tie.

In contrast to the very liberal ratings given to Obama, the interest groups find that there are about as many senators to McCain's right as there are to his left. This might not endear him to many conservatives or liberals. But it is a real distortion to claim he is a Bush clone.


Anonymous said...

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that every time that bad news comes in from Iraq, Democrats cheer. If there is a hurricane, Democrats blame President Bush. If there are economic woes, they clap their hands and blame the Republicans. Having a Democrat in the White House is more important to the lefty side of the party, anyway, than the well-being of their own country!" - Radar

You are wrong.

Anonymous said...

Not only are you wrong but I think you should probably seek help.

radar said...

*hahahahahahaha* Thanks, anonymous! Fantastic post laying out all my errors.

I could use some help, yes. Obama's associations and shady finances could use more investigators, the sheer amount of the negative evidences are overwhelming.

Perhaps you could help us by toting up all those "present" votes in the Illinois chamber and sort them according to subject? I am a bit busy.

Anonymous said...

Radar, there is something wrong with you. It boggles the mind to think that you seriously believe the stuff you write. Not everyone that disagrees with you is bad/evil. You realize your side is putting up McCain and Palin right? Even if 1% of the accusations you post about Obama are true, those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, no? Oh I forgot because McCain fought for America he's a unassailable saint and because Palin is an evangelical she too gets a pass. Talk to someone Radar, a therapist. Your mental health is affecting your physical well being. Carrying so much negativity will eventually kill you. Seriously, man seek MENTAL help.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, please back up your trash you talk. Someone here lays out a case and you say get mental help. You say negativity but instead why don't you back up the claims that you contest are false. When it comes to mental care, it seems your treatment did not work out quite well because just like every Obama supporter you can not answer a single damn thing. Name one bill that Obama has put into law with his name attached to it. Answer with reason instead of this "smear you" because I think Obama is better than your candidate. Show some substance instead of your lame childish statements.