Sunday, October 05, 2008

Obama, the Dems and the mortgage mess

Excerpts from Thomas Sowell’s latest column with my comments below the star line

From Sowell - - -

… The current financial bailout crisis has propelled Barack Obama back into a substantial lead over John McCain-- which is astonishing in view of which man and which party has had the most to do with bringing on this crisis.

It raises the question: Do facts matter? Or is Obama's rhetoric and the media's spin enough to make facts irrelevant?

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.

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. Do facts matter?

We also hear that it is the free market that is to blame. But the facts show that it was the government that pressured financial institutions in general to lend to subprime borrowers, with such things as the Community Reinvestment Act and, later, threats of legal action by then Attorney General Janet Reno if the feds did not like the statistics on who was getting loans and who wasn't. …

Then there is the question of being against the "greed" of CEOs and for "the people." Franklin Raines made $90 million while he was head of Fannie Mae and mismanaging that institution into crisis.

Who in Congress defended Franklin Raines? Liberal Democrats, including Maxine Waters and the Congressional Black Caucus, at least one of whom referred to the "lynching" of Raines, as if it was racist to hold him to the same standard as white CEOs.

Even after he was deposed as head of Fannie Mae, Franklin Raines was consulted this year by the Obama campaign for his advice on housing!

The Washington Post criticized the McCain campaign for calling Raines an adviser to Obama, even though that fact was reported in the Washington Post itself on July 16th. The technicality and the spin here is that Raines is not officially listed as an adviser. But someone who advises is an adviser, whether or not his name appears on a letterhead.

The tie between Barack Obama and Franklin Raines is not all one-way. Obama has been the second-largest recipient of Fannie Mae's financial contributions, right after Senator Christopher Dodd.

But ties between Obama and Raines? Not if you read the mainstream media.

Facts don't matter much politically if they are not reported.

The media alone are not alone in keeping the facts from the public. Republicans, for reasons unknown, don't seem to know what it is to counter-attack. They deserve to lose.

But the country does not deserve to be put in the hands of a glib and cocky know-it-all, who has accomplished absolutely nothing beyond the advancement of his own career with rhetoric, and who has for years allied himself with a succession of people who have openly expressed their hatred of America.

Sowell’s entire column’s here.



What Sowell says about Sen. Obama’s and the Dems’ roles in bringing on the current mortgage mess is irrefutable.

If you doubt that, read this post containing a Jeff Jacoby column with numerous links to documents confirming what Sowell’s saying. One of the links is to a set of government guideline telling banks to count welfare payments and food stamps as income.

And take a look at this post which has a 9 minute video of clips of a House committee hearing at which a government oversight official warned of Freddie and Fannie’s many problems, including the very strong likelihood Freddie and Fannie were cooking their books.

Watch how ever Dem responds with attacks not on Freddie and Fannie but on the government official telling them the truth. Listen to the Dems praise Raines and suggest criticisms of his corrupt leadership at Fannie are racially motivated.

What about Sen. McCain’s failure so far to tell the American people often and clearly the facts of the mortgage mess as they are?

He’s hurt himself by not placing before the voters the facts as Sowell presents them and as they’re documented in the two posts I’ve linked to.

As far as how McCain should be responding to the mortgage mess, I just posted here.


Anonymous said...

As the campaigns continue on their merry way, I have not heard McCain say one single thing about the Community Reinvestment Act or the fact that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were staunchly defended by Dodd and Frank when the GOP attempted to rein them in. Now why do you suppose that is? Because McCain wants to run a "positive" campaign? I doubt that. Could it be that the GOP isn't quite as lily white as some would have us believe? That is a distinct possibility made even more believable by McCain's silence. Can someone--anyone--shine some light on this issue because it make my head hurt.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

Too bad to some, Thomas Sowell is just another conservative Uncle Tom. He writes too sensibly and gentlemanly to cut it in the thug world of the leftist loons.

Odd how people choose their role models. Thomas Sowell vs. Jesse Jackson? A professional journalist of integrity, or a professional shakedown artist. Then again, perhaps JJ is a surgeon, removal of nonexistent body parts is his stated specialty.

Anonymous said...

When evaluating his recent loss in popularity one must consider McCain's wildly incongruous statements on the economy, his grandstanding on the bailout, and finally, his vote for the pork enriched bailout.

Flashback: McCain vowed to oppose bailout if it had pork.