|2008-10-09 Columns |
|under the hammer|
Under the Hammer - 10/9/08
|October 09, 2008|
The media has always been liberal and supported liberal candidates, but the media is so over the top in favor of Sen. Barack Obama for president, it is skewing the coverage of other matters, such as the recent financial crisis.
Certainly the folks on Wall Street were greedy. Wall Street runs on greed. But to use the term that evidently must be used by the candidates in the presidential race at least once every three minutes, we've got greedy folks on Main Street also.
One division of AIG, the division that brought that company down, was reportedly making an 85 percent profit on its transactions before it went bust. There is something wrong if a division is making an 85 percent profit. Most of the time it is just illegal. This time it caused thousands of people to lose millions of dollars because the company was too greedy to admit that an 85 percent profit is not sustainable.
What's hard to figure is why it is the Republicans' fault that folks on Wall Street were greedy.
, , ,
I don't understand why, when Obama or Biden talks about how bad the last eight years have been, McCain and Palin just sit there. First of all, Bush is not nearly as responsible for the past eight years as al Qaeda is. Bush had been in office less than nine months when the country suffered the most devastating attack on the continental United States since the British burned Washington in 1814. It is true that the debt has greatly increased under Bush, but it is also true that the nation has been at war on two fronts.
It is also true that for almost two years the Democrats have controlled both houses of Congress. Bush is in the White House, but budgets, which include spending and taxes, have to be approved by Congress, which is controlled by Democrats. So when Obama talks about the past eight years, somebody should point out that for almost half his time in the Senate he has been in the majority party and should have had a big impact on the decisions being made.
In fact, they could even point out that perhaps Obama hasn't had the impact he could have had because he has been out campaigning for president instead of spending his time back in the Senate working.
What has he done in the Senate? According to Obama, the Democrats in Washington haven't done anything in the past two years because everything has gone wrong and everything is Bush's fault. If Obama were a Republican the press would be pointing out that Bush actually hasn't been in office for eight years and you can hardly blame him for anything that was going on during his first couple of months in office because he hadn't done anything to affect the economy and Congress was still operating under the Clinton budget. So if Obama really thinks the last eight years have been horrible, he has to give most of one of those years to Clinton and then take two years for the Democrats. So what he really means is that the five years during the middle of Bush's term were bad. Most people would agree that they were. During that time we were attacked by al Qaeda and went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq. I think we can all agree that is not how we wanted those years to go, but even Obama says that we were right to go into Afghanistan.
Obama said the surge wouldn't work in Iraq, and instead of sending more troops into Iraq, what Bush should have done was pull more troops out and pull them out on a set timetable. The problem with a set timetable is that our enemies in Iraq would know when we would be weak enough to attack successfully.
Bush fortunately didn't listen to Obama, but oddly enough what Obama is now saying is that we need a surge in Afghanistan. He refuses to admit that the surge worked in Iraq but says that a surge will work in Afghanistan. Of course he doesn't use the word surge, but he says that the US and its allies need to send more troops to Afghanistan. The surge is a term that was used to mean sending more troops to Iraq. It would be interesting to hear Obama explain why, since he didn't think the surge would work in Iraq, he thinks the surge would work in Afghanistan.
, , ,
The media and the Democrats are doing a great job of blaming the entire worldwide financial disaster on the Republicans. It is popular but it does ignore history. McCain fought for more oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Democrats were against it.
This financial disaster did not happen overnight, but in 2003, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said, "I think it is clear that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are sufficiently secure so they are in no great danger."
But he did say to investors that if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went bad that he and his colleagues would not bail them out. Frank couldn't have been more wrong. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were not sound because they had backed billions of dollars worth of bad mortgages. When that finally went sour, Frank and his colleagues did bail them out.
The problem was that the liberals in Congress put tremendous pressure on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make more home mortgages available to minority and low-income families. It doesn't appear the liberals in Congress considered that the reason for the regulations on mortgages was not to discriminate against anyone because of race or ethnicity, but to make certain that the people borrowing the money could pay it back.
While many of us were still being made to jump through hoop after hoop to get a mortgage (I put my foot down at getting a letter of recommendation from my first grade teacher Sister Antonio, and calculating my weekly income from cutting lawns when I was 12 years old.), others were walking in without any visible means of support and getting no-down payment mortgages.
This insanity was allowed to continue because Fannie and Freddie were meeting their goals. Under this program, pushed primarily by liberal Democrats, loans to blacks increased 219 percent and loans to Hispanics increased 244 percent. During the same period, loans to non-minorities increased 62 percent.
People who had no hope of being able to pay their mortgages were being put in new homes all across the country, and those involved were congratulating each other on the great work they were doing.
But look what has happened. Many of those who were given the mortgages for which they didn't qualify have lost their homes because they could not, in fact, make the payments. The huge number of these mortgages that have gone bad is a large part of the worldwide financial crisis.
Mortgages are hard to come by these days and some banks are requiring a 20 percent down payment. Compare that to the no-down payment loans that were being made before the financial crisis. If a family hasn't saved enough to make a serious down payment, it is a good indication that they won't be able to make the monthly payments.
, , ,
If unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers were just a neighbor of Obama's, that would not be a matter of concern. But he is much more. He appears to be a friend, mentor and confidant.
, , ,
It is amazing how much has been written about the lack of experience that Gov. Sarah Palin has, when she has far more experience as an executive than Obama. Palin has been running a huge state. Obama got elected to the US Senate in 2004 and started running for the presidency. He does have experience in Washington, but it is mainly experience flying in for a vote or a meeting and flying back out to campaign.