Tuesday, September 30, 2008

PALIN: Palin talks gays, feminism, abortion, and evolution with Couric


Palin talks gays, feminism, abortion, and evolution with Couric; Update: Video addedposted at 8:33 pm on September 30, 2008 by Allahpundit

Send to a Friend printer-friendly I waited an hour for CBS to post the video. No luck. I’m uploading my own cut so stand by for that; when their version goes up, I’ll swap it in. In the meantime, here’s the transcript. Remember, the rap on Palin is that she’s supposedly a “Christianist” nut ready to impose theocracy at the first opportunity. Here we learn that she supports contraception; doesn’t want to punish abortion with jail time; supports teaching evolution as “an accepted principle” and may very well oppose teaching creationism (it’s ambiguous); and reaffirms that she doesn’t judge gays, partly because she’s had a close friend who’s gay for decades.

And yet. Read through it and tell me what the media will lead with tomorrow. Here’s a hint: It has nothing to do with her policy answers.

Update: Here’s the vid.


EXPERIENCE: Palin more qualified than Obama

Palin more qualified than Obama
Thomas J. Lucente Jr.

Liberal Democrats are stumbling over themselves to claim that Republican Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is unqualified to be vice president and they cite, humorously enough, her lack of experience.

Can Democrats really be so blind? Are some liberals so full of hate for everything that does not conform to their skewed worldview in which all citizens are wards of the state that they can't even see the irony of their own words? Are they really accusing Palin of being too inexperienced to be vice president while at the same time claiming U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, who has less experience than Palin, is qualified to be president?

Of the four people occupying the two major-party tickets, U.S. Sen. John McCain, Palin, Obama and U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden, Palin is perhaps the most qualified to be not only vice president, but president.

Palin is the only one of the four who has held an executive position in or out of government similar to that of president, or about as similar as you can get without actually being president.

Let's compare their experiences, shall we?

Obama is a lawyer who was a "community organizer," whatever that means. He was a civil rights attorney, and worked with such noble organizations as the radical Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

In his 12 years as a law school professor, Obama failed to publish a single item, an oddity in the world of academia, especially when you consider that, since 2006, when he decided to run for president, he has published seven times.

Politically, Obama spent eight years in the Illinois Senate and joined the U.S. Senate in 2005.

Palin, on the other hand, served four years on the Wasilla, Alaska, City Council and six years as the mayor/manager. She became the first woman governor of Alaska in 2006. He private-sector management experience includes helping her husband run his commercial fishing business.

Some liberals will claim Obama's time in the Illinois Senate and the U.S. Senate is more substantial experience than Palin's executive experience.

However, much of his time in the U.S. Senate has been spent running for president. His life as an Illinois senator was so busy that he was still able to teach law at the University of Chicago.

Meanwhile, Palin was making actual decisions and forming budgets.

Where Obama accomplished little as a legislator, Palin actually got things done as a mayor and governor. During her tenure as mayor, she reduced property tax levels. How many times has Obama cut taxes? Zero. How many times has he raised taxes? Zero.

Let's face it. Life as a legislator is simple. You have an aide tell you what a bill means and then you cast a vote. You have very little responsibility and the ability to get anything done is very limited. Obama has not crafted a single government budget. He has not made a single executive decision. He has not implemented a single governmental policy. In fact, running his campaign is about the only management experience Obama has ever had.

While Palin clearly has more relevant presidential experience than Obama, in reality, it means very little.

Liberals like to claim Palin has no foreign policy experience. However, neither does Obama. Taking a junket to Russia to watch a missile dismantled does not equate to foreign policy experience.

Again, that means very little. We are not electing a professional diplomat. We are electing an executive to manage the government.

I point this out not to disparage Obama's experience or his lack thereof. I simply point out not only the hypocrisy of the left but also its complete ignorance of what the presidency requires.

Some of our greatest presidents had very little governmental experience while some of our worst presidents were career politicians. Senators, historically, have made poor presidents while governors generally do a much better job.

In fact, this election (unless the Libertarian Party's Bob Barr wins) will only be the third time in U.S. history that a sitting senator has become president. There is probably a good reason for that.

In the end, actual government experience is less desirable than strong character and strong beliefs in limited government. That certainly describes Palin more than it does Obama.


ECONOMY: Video expose


MONEY/OBAMA: Secret, Foreign Money Floods Into Obama Campaign

Secret, Foreign Money Floods Into Obama Campaign

Monday, September 29, 2008 9:23 PM

By: Kenneth R. Timmerman Article Font Size

More than half of the whopping $426.9 million Barack Obama has raised has come from small donors whose names the Obama campaign won't disclose.

And questions have arisen about millions more in foreign donations the Obama campaign has received that apparently have not been vetted as legitimate.

Obama has raised nearly twice that of John McCain's campaign, according to new campaign finance report.

But because of Obama’s high expenses during the hotly contested Democratic primary season and an early decision to forgo public campaign money and the spending limits it imposes, all that cash has not translated into a financial advantage — at least, not yet.

The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee began September with $95 million in cash, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

The McCain camp and the Republican National Committee had $94 million, because of an influx of $84 million in public money.

But Obama easily could outpace McCain by $50 million to $100 million or more in new donations before Election Day, thanks to a legion of small contributors whose names and addresses have been kept secret.

Unlike the McCain campaign, which has made its complete donor database available online, the Obama campaign has not identified donors for nearly half the amount he has raised, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).

Federal law does not require the campaigns to identify donors who give less than $200 during the election cycle. However, it does require that campaigns calculate running totals for each donor and report them once they go beyond the $200 mark.

Surprisingly, the great majority of Obama donors never break the $200 threshold.

“Contributions that come under $200 aggregated per person are not listed,” said Bob Biersack, a spokesman for the FEC. “They don’t appear anywhere, so there’s no way of knowing who they are.”

The FEC breakdown of the Obama campaign has identified a staggering $222.7 million as coming from contributions of $200 or less. Only $39.6 million of that amount comes from donors the Obama campaign has identified.

It is the largest pool of unidentified money that has ever flooded into the U.S. election system, before or after the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms of 2002.

Biersack would not comment on whether the FEC was investigating the huge amount of cash that has come into Obama’s coffers with no public reporting.

But Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for CRP, a campaign-finance watchdog group, dismissed the scale of the unreported money.

“We feel comfortable that it isn’t the $20 donations that are corrupting a campaign,” he told Newsmax.

But those small donations have added up to more than $200 million, all of it from unknown and unreported donors.

Ritsch acknowledges that there is skepticism about all the unreported money, especially in the Obama campaign coffers.

“We and seven other watchdog groups asked both campaigns for more information on small donors,” he said. “The Obama campaign never responded,” whereas the McCain campaign “makes all its donor information, including the small donors, available online.”

The rise of the Internet as a campaign funding tool raises new questions about the adequacy of FEC requirements on disclosure. In pre-Internet fundraising, almost all political donations, even small ones, were made by bank check, leaving a paper trail and limiting the amount of fraud.

But credit cards used to make donations on the Internet have allowed for far more abuse.

“While FEC practice is to do a post-election review of all presidential campaigns, given their sluggish metabolism, results can take three or four years,” said Ken Boehm, the chairman of the conservative National Legal and Policy Center.

Already, the FEC has noted unusual patterns in Obama campaign donations among donors who have been disclosed because they have gone beyond the $200 minimum.

FEC and Mr. Doodad Pro

When FEC auditors have questions about contributions, they send letters to the campaign’s finance committee requesting additional information, such as the complete address or employment status of the donor.

Many of the FEC letters that Newsmax reviewed instructed the Obama campaign to “redesignate” contributions in excess of the finance limits.

Under campaign finance laws, an individual can donate $2,300 to a candidate for federal office in both the primary and general election, for a total of $4,600. If a donor has topped the limit in the primary, the campaign can “redesignate” the contribution to the general election on its books.

In a letter dated June 25, 2008, the FEC asked the Obama campaign to verify a series of $25 donations from a contributor identified as “Will, Good” from Austin, Texas.

Mr. Good Will listed his employer as “Loving” and his profession as “You.”

A Newsmax analysis of the 1.4 million individual contributions in the latest master file for the Obama campaign discovered 1,000 separate entries for Mr. Good Will, most of them for $25.

In total, Mr. Good Will gave $17,375.

Following this and subsequent FEC requests, campaign records show that 330 contributions from Mr. Good Will were credited back to a credit card. But the most recent report, filed on Sept. 20, showed a net cumulative balance of $8,950 — still well over the $4,600 limit.

There can be no doubt that the Obama campaign noticed these contributions, since Obama’s Sept. 20 report specified that Good Will’s cumulative contributions since the beginning of the campaign were $9,375.

In an e-mailed response to a query from Newsmax, Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt pledged that the campaign would return the donations. But given the slowness with which the campaign has responded to earlier FEC queries, there’s no guarantee that the money will be returned before the Nov. 4 election.

Similarly, a donor identified as “Pro, Doodad,” from “Nando, NY,” gave $19,500 in 786 separate donations, most of them for $25. For most of these donations, Mr. Doodad Pro listed his employer as “Loving” and his profession as “You,” just as Good Will had done.

But in some of them, he didn’t even go this far, apparently picking letters at random to fill in the blanks on the credit card donation form. In these cases, he said he was employed by “VCX” and that his profession was “VCVC.”

Following FEC requests, the Obama campaign began refunding money to Doodad Pro in February 2008. In all, about $8,425 was charged back to a credit card. But that still left a net total of $11,165 as of Sept. 20, way over the individual limit of $4,600.

Here again, LaBolt pledged that the contributions would be returned but gave no date.

In February, after just 93 donations, Doodad Pro had already gone over the $2,300 limit for the primary. He was over the $4,600 limit for the general election one month later.

In response to FEC complaints, the Obama campaign began refunding money to Doodad Pro even before he reached these limits. But his credit card was the gift that kept on giving. His most recent un-refunded contributions were on July 7, when he made 14 separate donations, apparently by credit card, of $25 each.

Just as with Mr. Good Will, there can be no doubt that the Obama campaign noticed the contributions, since its Sept. 20 report specified that Doodad’s cumulative contributions since the beginning of the campaign were $10,965.

Foreign Donations

And then there are the overseas donations — at least, the ones that we know about.

The FEC has compiled a separate database of potentially questionable overseas donations that contains more than 11,500 contributions totaling $33.8 million. More than 520 listed their “state” as “IR,” often an abbreviation for Iran. Another 63 listed it as “UK,” the United Kingdom.

More than 1,400 of the overseas entries clearly were U.S. diplomats or military personnel, who gave an APO address overseas. Their total contributions came to just $201,680.

But others came from places as far afield as Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Beijing, Fallujah, Florence, Italy, and a wide selection of towns and cities in France.

Until recently, the Obama Web site allowed a contributor to select the country where he resided from the entire membership of the United Nations, including such friendly places as North Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Unlike McCain’s or Sen. Hillary Clinton’s online donation pages, the Obama site did not ask for proof of citizenship until just recently. Clinton’s presidential campaign required U.S. citizens living abroad to actually fax a copy of their passport before a donation would be accepted.

With such lax vetting of foreign contributions, the Obama campaign may have indirectly contributed to questionable fundraising by foreigners.

In July and August, the head of the Nigeria’s stock market held a series of pro-Obama fundraisers in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city. The events attracted local Nigerian business owners.

At one event, a table for eight at one fundraising dinner went for $16,800. Nigerian press reports claimed sponsors raked in an estimated $900,000.

The sponsors said the fundraisers were held to help Nigerians attend the Democratic convention in Denver. But the Nigerian press expressed skepticism of that claim, and the Nigerian public anti-fraud commission is now investigating the matter.

Concerns about foreign fundraising have been raised by other anecdotal accounts of illegal activities.

In June, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi gave a public speech praising Obama, claiming foreign nationals were donating to his campaign.

“All the people in the Arab and Islamic world and in Africa applauded this man,” the Libyan leader said. “They welcomed him and prayed for him and for his success, and they may have even been involved in legitimate contribution campaigns to enable him to win the American presidency..."

Though Gadhafi asserted that fundraising from Arab and African nations were “legitimate,” the fact is that U.S. federal law bans any foreigner from donating to a U.S. election campaign.

The rise of the Internet and use of credit cards have made it easier for foreign nationals to donate to American campaigns, especially if they claim their donation is less than $200.

Campaign spokesman LaBolt cited several measures that the campaign has adopted to “root out fraud,” including a requirement that anyone attending an Obama fundraising event overseas present a valid U.S. passport, and a new requirement that overseas contributors must provide a passport number when donating online.

One new measure that might not appear obvious at first could be frustrating to foreigners wanting to buy campaign paraphernalia such as T-shirts or bumper stickers through the online store.

In response to an investigation conducted by blogger Pamela Geller, who runs the blog Atlas Shrugs, the Obama campaign has locked down the store.

Geller first revealed on July 31 that donors from the Gaza strip had contributed $33,000 to the Obama campaign through bulk purchases of T-shirts they had shipped to Gaza.

The online campaign store allows buyers to complete their purchases by making an additional donation to the Obama campaign.

A pair of Palestinian brothers named Hosam and Monir Edwan contributed more than $31,300 to the Obama campaign in October and November 2007, FEC records show.

Their largesse attracted the attention of the FEC almost immediately. In an April 15, 2008, report that examined the Obama campaign’s year-end figures for 2007, the FEC asked that some of these contributions be reassigned.

The Obama camp complied sluggishly, prompting a more detailed admonishment form the FEC on July 30.

The Edwan brothers listed their address as “GA,” as in Georgia, although they entered “Gaza” or “Rafah Refugee camp” as their city of residence on most of the online contribution forms.

According to the Obama campaign, they wrongly identified themselves as U.S. citizens, via a voluntary check-off box at the time the donations were made.

Many of the Edwan brothers’ contributions have been purged from the FEC database, but they still can be found in archived versions available for CRP and other watchdog groups.

The latest Obama campaign filing shows that $891.11 still has not been refunded to the Edwan brothers, despite repeated FEC warnings and campaign claims that all the money was refunded in December.

A Newsmax review of the Obama campaign finance filings found that the FEC had asked for the redesignation or refund of 53,828 donations, totaling just under $30 million.

But none involves the donors who never appear in the Obama campaign reports, which the CRP estimates at nearly half the $426.8 million the Obama campaign has raised to date.

Many of the small donors participated in online “matching” programs, which allows them to hook up with other Obama supporters and eventually share e-mail addresses and blogs.

The Obama Web site described the matching contribution program as similar to a public radio fundraising drive.

“Our goal is to bring 50,000 new donors into our movement by Friday at midnight,” campaign manager David Plouffe e-mailed supporters on Sept. 15. “And if you make your first online donation today, your gift will go twice as far. A previous donor has promised to match every dollar you donate.”

FEC spokesman Biersack said he was unfamiliar with the matching donation drive. But he said that if donations from another donor were going to be reassigned to a new donor, as the campaign suggested, “the two people must agree” to do so.

This type of matching drive probably would be legal as long as the matching donor had not exceeded the $2,300 per-election limit, he said.

Obama campaign spokesman LaBolt said, “We have more than 2.5 million donors overall, hundreds of thousands of which have participated in this program.”

Until now, the names of those donors and where they live have remained anonymous — and the federal watchdog agency in charge of ensuring that the presidential campaigns play by the same rules has no tools to find out.


BAILOUT:Democrats Responsible for Financial Crisis

Democrats Responsible for Financial Crisis
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 9:16 AM

By: David Limbaugh

I believe John McCain won the foreign policy debate hands down, but he was unimpressive on economic issues, which, in fairness, were not supposed to be the subject of the first debate. But he can redeem himself in the next debate. Thankfully, Obama is exceedingly vulnerable here, even more so than on foreign policy, which is a mouthful.

McCain must attack Obama's class-warfare assertion that every economic problem we face, including, preposterously, the financial crisis, is a result of the Bush tax cuts.

If McCain's going to be a supply-sider, he must begin talking like one. He must also steer far away from the silly populist line that the free market is somehow to blame for the crisis. Leave such blasphemy to the Obama Democrats.

But McCain's first order of business must be to address the financial crisis head-on, instead of in generalities, as both he and Obama did in round one.

McCain should not consider this a problem but a softball served up by recent history and the comparative behavior of the two political parties and the two presidential candidates that he must knock out of the park. If McCain is willing to hit Obama in the gut with the full truth about the genesis of the crisis, he could emerge from the next debate as the clear favorite.

McCain's opportunity here is even richer when you consider that on this matter, despite his scant political record, Obama has very dirty hands. He cannot be allowed to pretend to have been a bystander when it's incontrovertible that the policies leading to this crisis were vintage Obama.

The people who caused it are Obama's political allies and close friends.

McCain cannot sit idly by as Obama attempts to shift blame onto corporate America, capitalism itself, Republicans, and the Bush administration. He can't allow the mindless mantra of moral equivalence ("each party shares equal responsibility") to stand — not that Obama would even consider that much of a concession.

McCain must take the gloves off, as he did after Obama made the mistake of showing his nasty, haughty and condescending side in the first debate, and place the blame for this mess squarely at the Democrats' and Obama's door.

As you've surely heard by now, much of the ammunition he needs is contained in a well-done YouTube video showing the congressional Republicans' efforts in 2004 to rein in Freddie and Fannie and the Democrats' thwarting of those efforts.

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight determined in 2004 that Fannie Mae's management engaged in a pervasive misapplication of its accounting rules. In 1998, Fannie deferred $200 million of estimated expenses to create the illusion of profit to justify enormous bonuses to management. The regulators cited Fannie's management for smoothing out swings in its earnings, presumably to deceive investors into believing Fannie was a low-risk company. Regulators also condemned "a culture and environment that made these problems possible." Fannie CEO Franklin Raines, a bosom buddy of Obama's whose dirty hands were all over this scandal, was forced to return millions of dollars for his "alleged" responsibility for the improper accounting practices.

Both Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and Treasury Secretary John Snow called for tougher oversight of Fannie and Freddie as early as 2004 because the magnitude of Fannie's operations coupled with their serious financial difficulties could put the nation's financial system at risk.

Republican members of Congress pushed for remedial action based on those warnings, but the very Democrats pointing their fingers today at President Bush, Republicans and capitalism openly, vehemently, and nastily opposed their noble efforts.

The always-sanctimonious Barney Frank said: "These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis. The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."

Watch the YouTube video and see Frank, Maxine Waters, Gregory Meeks, Lacy Clay and Franklin Raines himself denying there was a problem and bludgeoning Republicans and regulators for trying to solve it. In exchange, the Democrats' corrupt gravy train — political contributions in exchange for CEO bonuses — continued unabated.

After highlighting all of this and pinning the financial-crisis tail squarely on the "donkey," McCain must then proceed, unabashedly, to tie Obama to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, Obama's socialist community organization of choice.

McCain must detail ACORN's complicity in creating this crisis when it forced an epidemic of politically correct, but woefully un-creditworthy loans. And he must show how until the very end, unrepentant and unaccountable Democrats tried to funnel 20 percent of the originally proposed $700 billion of "bailout" money to ACORN and its cousins.

Time for some straight talk, senator. And please, don't hold back.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His book "Bankrupt: The Intellectual and Moral Bankruptcy of Today's Democratic Party" was released recently in paperback. To find out more about David Limbaugh, please visit his Web site at www.davidlimbaugh.com.



Notice that yesterday's failed legislation was not entitled the "Wall Street Bailout Act of 2008."

Instead, the legislation was titled, "A Bill To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide earnings assistance and tax relief to members of the uniformed services, volunteer firefighters, and Peace Corps volunteers, and for other purposes."

That's spin for you.

BAILOUT: Simple non-legislative answer

Should we consider a solution that requires no money, or at least a lot less? Here's one. Have the SEC suspend the accounting rule called mark-to-market. By a relatively simple accounting adjustment, troubled banks' assets and capital could be increased and credit kept available.

The Trillion-Dollar Question: Are the Bookkeepers At It Again?
By Jim H. Ainsworth

Why should America attempt an expensive, controversial, and possibly ineffective bailout strategy for the current financial crisis when a virtually costless and simpler change could solve much of the problem?

We accountants don't like publicity. Fortunately, we don't get much. Most of the public remembers Enron, but fewer remember Arthur-Andersen, the big accounting firm that went down with them. Questionable accounting was a big part of the reason for Enron's failure. I think accountants may be behind the scenes again in the current financial crisis. Are there any of us bean counters in those meetings? If there are, my bet is that they are sitting on their hands and keeping their mouths shut even though they might know about a much better (and cheaper) solution. Accountants, after all, don't talk much; and they don't like to admit errors.

Pouring 700 billion of our money into failing financial institutions seems akin to throwing spaghetti against the wall. Keep throwing until something sticks. They tell us that credit will dry up if we don't inject cash. No credit would be disastrous for the economy, but they have not explained well enough why the banks have failed so suddenly and drastically that emergency room surgery is required. Knowing why would help us poor taxpayers feel better about how the problem should be solved. Ever wonder how many other bank failures are out there waiting behind the curtain to take their bows? Are we going to throw even more money at them too?

Should we consider a solution that requires no money, or at least a lot less? Here's one. Have the SEC suspend the accounting rule called mark-to-market. By a relatively simple accounting adjustment, troubled banks' assets and capital could be increased and credit kept available. Accounting purists, cover your ears. Eyes glaze and minds wander when I say balance sheet, so let's use the acronym BS, a more appropriate description. BS's have two sides: assets on the left, liabilities and capital on the right. Banks are required to maintain certain levels of capital (the difference between assets and liabilities) in order to make loans. When assets shrink, capital shrinks. When the ratio of capital to assets drops to a certain level, (think ten-to-one), banks are not allowed to make loans. And if it drops too low, they can be classified as insolvent. This can happen overnight, and it did.

Why? Wall Street is essentially driven by emotion and the news of the day, so when nobody wants a particular security, the price falls fast and hard. Do I believe in efficient markets? Yes, eventually, but markets are often wrong for periods of time ... think years. Therefore, we are marking assets down to near zero based on markets that fluctuate wildly from minute to minute. The media have hammered us with news about drops in home prices and increases in mortgage delinquencies to the point that nobody wants to own these assets. A few rotten apples have spoiled the whole barrel. Sub-prime loans and the securities they are bundled into have plummeted in value, sometimes to zero, because nobody wants to touch that barrel, even if most of the apples are still good. Banks marked them to their current value, billions in capital disappeared with the stroke of a pen (excuse me, stroke of a key.)

So why do we have mark-to-market? Accountants have always had a hard time figuring how best to state asset value on a balance sheet. We depreciated buildings in years when their value was skyrocketing and thus understated asset values and capital. When interest rates shot up in the Seventies, banks owned tax-free bonds yielding two to three percent and had long-term loans at 6%. You could buy identical bonds with yields double or triple that and make loans at 20%. The market value of these banks' loans and bonds dropped by more than half. If they had marked to market, regulations would have prohibited many of them from making future loans. Many would have been declared insolvent and taken over by the FDIC. Yet, these banks were essentially sound. They held their loans and bonds to maturity and only suffered temporary market losses that were never realized or reported.

CPA's continued to struggle with asset valuation. What is fair? What is conservative? Enter Enron. Inside accountants at Enron recognized correctly that valuing assets at cost was often invalid, so they started playing fast and loose with asset values, using something called mark-to-model. A sharp CPA could design a believable computer model that could make the value come out wherever his boss wanted it to be. He could also convince outside auditors and regulators of the soundness of his model. Embarrassed that they had been caught looking the other way, FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) passed rule 157 that requires assets to be marked to market. Asset valuation based on the optimism of its owner was replaced with the skepticism of a risk-averse buyer. Sounds nice and conservative.

Enter the law of unintended consequences.

Suspending the mark-to-market rule would allow banks and accountants to revalue their assets based on more sound criteria than the euphoria or panic that pervades the floor of the New York Stock Exchange minute-by-minute. Sub-prime mortgages will likely have much higher values if considered in a longer-term perspective -- such as hold-to-maturity. I believe that the vast majority of mortgages will perform in the long term.

Presto. Up goes assets; up goes capital; banks can make loans again. Cash infusions may still be required, but this will buy us enough time to seriously examine what steps need to be taken to get runaways like Fannie and Freddie under control, how to renegotiate rates with distressed borrowers who really can handle a mortgage, and how to keep this from happening again. Can this be done? If we can approve 700 billion, surely we can do this and keep our money.

Jim H. Ainsworth-former CPA, CFP, CLU, Registered Investment Advisor, Licensed Securities Principal, was twice named one of the most influential accountants in America by Accounting Today magazine. He welcomes comments at http://www.jimainsworth.com


BAILOUT: Pelosi screwed up royally

The politics of the bill
29 Sep 2008 10:46 pm

There is no glory to go around here. Assume, arguendo, that most people in the House believed both that the bill would be passed, and that anyone who voted for it would suffer politically, except maybe in New York.

Pelosi screwed up royally. She is the Democratic Tom DeLay. Newt Gingrich was an ideologue, but Tom DeLay was simply a partisan, most keenly interested in maximizing his party's political power. Pelosi cut a deal in which, as far as I can tell, every single Republican in a safe seat had to vote yes so that the Democrats could maximize their no votes. Given that the Republican caucus is pretty much in open revolt, this was beyond moronic. She then spent a week openly and repeatedly blaming the Republicans and the Bush administration for the current crisis. The way she set things up, it was "Heads I win, tails you lose": vote for the deal and I'll paint you as heartless reactionaries bailing out your fat cat friends. If you're going to do that, you'd better make sure you have some goddamn margin for error in your own party. She didn't. Then she got up and delivered yet another speech blaming the Republicans for the bailout deal she was about to pass.

Being in power means that you get to give your party special favors on many occasions--but it also means that you, yes you, have the ultimate responsibility for getting things done. She didn't particularly try to bring her party in line, and so of course as soon as a few Republicans defected, hers stampeded. The ultimate blame for this failure has to be laid at her feet.

That doesn't excuse the Republicans; I've already expressed my opinion of their conduct. If they do not understand that there are some things more important than reelection, they do not deserve to be in Congress. I'm not sure they deserve to be let loose in society. But Pelosi is the one who was vested with the ultimate responsibility for shaping the legislative process in the House. She not only dropped the ball; she picked it up and drop kicked it through her own goal.


Monday, September 29, 2008

ISLAMIC TERROR: Young Iraqi girls turned into perfect weapon

Young Iraqi girls turned into perfect weapon
Deborah Haynes in Baquba

The teenage girl, handcuffed to an iron railing, hangs her head as an Iraqi explosives expert cuts the trigger cords on a suicide vest strapped to her body. Gunshots echo in the distance as the white vest, carrying about 30lb (15kg) of explosives, is peeled off the 15-year-old, leaving her standing in the street in a sleeveless, orange frock.

The footage was taken in August, when police said they found Rania Ibrahim Mutlib in a side road in Baquba, north of Baghdad, having failed to detonate her charge.

WhenThe Times met her in a police interrogation cell this week with her mother and grandmother, she claimed that she had been drugged and had no intention of killing herself or of becoming the 16th teenage girl bomber said to have struck in the past year.


Rania cracked her knuckles as she recounted what she said had happened in the run-up to her arrest.

“I came to Baquba on August 23 with my husband, who was looking for money from relatives for a hernia operation,” Rania, who was dressed in a traditional Islamic black robe and head scarf, said. The couple stayed the night at a house with a woman called Um Fatima and another cousin. In the morning, Rania said, she was given a can of peach juice and a sandwich, which made her feel dizzy. She believes that she was drugged.

“I realised it [the vest] was explosive because I saw the wires. [Um Fatima] told me not to touch it and it would not blow up. She said that we were just going to the market and then returning,” she said.

Rania said that Mohammed Hussein Mohammed Sameet, her 24-year-old husband, was not in the room when she was being dressed but that he bade her farewell. “He always used to tell me, ‘If we die, please choose me in heaven as your husband’, and that’s what he said to me before I left the house,” she said. “At the market Um Fatima started shopping. I decided to leave and find my mother’s house. I was afraid of this vest.”

Rania walked around the back-streets before catching the attention of a policeman. Police footage showed Rania with her back to an iron window frame. Her arms were linked through a railing and handcuffed. Visibly distraught, she was standing still as an explosives expert disarmed the vest and removed it.

She has since been paraded in front of media outlets as a propaganda tool to support Iraqi and American allegations that al-Qaeda in Iraq uses teenage girls to carry out suicide attacks. Brigadier-General Abd al-Kareem Khalaf, the spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, said that 15 girls, aged between 14 and 16, had been tricked into wearing explosive vests and blowing themselves up or were detonated remotely in Diyala province since November.

The commander had photographs showing what he said were the remains of a teenage bomber who died in Diyala about a month ago. “The girls are from villages. They’re easy to fool,” he told The Times at the police headquarters in Baquba, once an al-Qaeda stronghold.

Rania’s story is compelling, yet it is denied vehemently by her husband and his supposed cousin, a frail woman named by police as Um Fatima, who were arrested in connection with the alleged attempted attack. Asked whether she had wanted to kill herself, Rania told The Times: “No.” She added: “I did not think that I was going to be blown up.”

The teenager, who enjoys watching cartoons on television, particularly Tom and Jerry, left school aged 12. At about the same time, her father and an older brother were kidnapped, tortured and killed by Shia militants, leaving the family without any source of income.

Her mother, Bassad Selman Mohana, was encouraged to let her daughters marry. Mrs Mohana, 46, is accused of grooming Rania to become a bomber in return for money. She said that this was a lie.

The husband of Rania stood blindfolded and barefooted in a separate interrogation room. Speaking in a quiet voice, Mr Sameet, who worked on a farm, claimed that he had not seen Rania since February. “I swear to God I did not know where she had gone. Her mother took her,” he said.

He and Rania, who married in November, were living with his family in a village. Mr Sameet said that she did not get on with his sisters, which prompted her to leave. Rania said that they stayed together.

Mr Sameet said that the next time he heard about his wife was after her arrest, adding: “I love Rania despite what happened with her accusing me.”

In a third room a shrivelled woman named by police as Um Fatima denied being the wanted person, insisting that her name was Ibtisam Hamid and that she did not know Rania. Rania identified the woman as Um Fatima, whose identity card was found in the house where Rania said that she was given the explosives. General Khalaf is convinced that Um Fatima, Mr Sameet and the mother of Rania are lying. He said, however, that it was up to the judge to decide.

Lieutenant-General Hussein al-Ada-wi, the head of the 41,000-strong Iraqi National Police, said that al-Qaeda coerced uneducated teenage girls such as Rania to carry out bombings. Police have now been given metal detectors to scan women. In the past they would pass through checkpoints without being searched because the culture forbids a man to frisk a woman, which made them the perfect weapon.

MEDIA: In over their heads for Obama

September 29, 2008

A READER AT A MAJOR NEWSROOM EMAILS: "Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working." I asked permission to reprint without attribution and it was granted.

UPDATE: The Anchoress hears similar things. And reader Eric Schubert: "The Edwards debacle was proof enough of where the heart of the MSM lies, and lack of curiousity of the press about Edwards probably cost Hillary the nomination. And that shameful episode offers a warning to the MSM. What if Obama does have a skeleton in his closet (such as a shady deal or outright bribe) that is revealed after he wins the election? While the chance of this scenario is remote, imagine the backlash against the MSM if it could be shown that a reasonable investigation by the MSM would have easily revealed this secret to the public prior to the election?"

ANOTHER UPDATE: Rand Simberg isn't so sure: "Where was the backlash against this about Bill Clinton in 1992? They just seem to continue to get away with it." Well, yes and no. Their reputation and readership/viewership keep falling. And layoffs keep happening. I think they're willing to pull out all the stops because they realize this is the last election where they have a chance at swinging things this way. No point saving your credibility for the future when you don't have a future, I guess . . . .


INTELLIGENCE: CIA Director validates American Thinker analysis

Obama wrong about al Qaeda and the Taliban

CIA Director validates American Thinker analysis

A lot of people are hearing for the first time that we are beating al Qaeda and the Taliban. They are literally baffled by the change in the situation because they have heard the opposite from most major media outlets. The mainstream media barely gave any glimpse of the chaos wrought on al Qaeda since 2006 by US and allied forces. To be fair, government sources weren't exactly pushing the storyline of success after being shell-shocked by the fall out over the “mission accomplished” narrative of the left.1

But if you are a faithful American Thinker reader this news did not shock you. Because we have detailed the evolving environment as best we could from open source material for some time now. Over a year ago we posed the question “Has the Global Islamic Jihad Movement fractured?”

We followed that up with intermittent analysis of new developments from Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan - and elsewhere - that clearly provided indicators that the al Qaeda wave was beginning to break against the military, diplomatic, and most likely covert intelligence operations that make up the US national strategy in the War on Terror. (You can find these articles in the archive section under my name.)

Now CIA Director Michael Hayden has stepped forward to confirm at least the effects of what we have postulated if not necessarily the manner in which we came to this point. Director Hayden has in no uncertain terms declared that although the war against al Qaeda is not ended and the enemy can adapt and overcome, they are at a dead end, for now. Al Qaeda has lost much of its’ effectiveness at sowing dissent in Iraq as the Iraqis have pulled back from the brink of chaos with our help. NATO is growing stronger in Afghanistan and the Taliban elements that support al Qaeda are getting weaker as NATO has detailed in a new report. Even the Pakistani population, long a hot bed for al Qaeda sympathies, has begun to turn against the group according to recent surveys.

Hayden mentions the Predator strikes along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region as an indicator of this success, but he is being circumspect. Those covert strikes rely mostly on the ability to locate and identify targets in remote, rugged terrain. That information usually comes from human sources as Hayden rightly stops short of mentioning. By reason, more targeting indicates more intelligence which implies more cooperation by the people with access to the region. To get that, it follows that al Qaeda is no longer endeared among all the local tribes and that Pakistanis are ratting them out. We predicted that would happen this year.

We predicted that some Taliban tribes would split from al Qaeda and jockey for position to align with the Pakistan government. Subsequently, inter-tribal warfare broke out and some tribal leaders did in fact side with the government. It is likely that the government allied tribes had good intelligence into the locations of al Qaeda leadership. This was probably a main source of the intelligence for increased targeting capabilities. That intelligence led to more dead al Qaeda leaders (amd allied Taliban leaders) in the last year than since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001-2002.

We mentioned just before the assassination of Benazeer Bhutto that conditions were ripe for the region to explode in violence. We also predicted that once the Pakistan public (and her supporters) figured out that she was killed by al Qaeda the assassination would backfire just as al Qaeda tactics did in Iraq. That did happen. A recent survey reported by The Christian Science Monitor shows that support for al Qaeda especially in the North West Frontier Provinces has plummeted from around 70% to single digits. Our analysis was premised on a West Point Combating Terrorism Center study which showed that fractionalization and a heavy hand were al Qaeda's long standing weakness.

We predicted that an alliance between the MMA, which represents the Pakistan Taliban (though not exclusively) and Musharraf would lead to real military action against al Qaeda and allied Taliban. Subsequently, the Pakistan army routed al Qaeda allied Taliban in the Swat Valley as the MMA sat by quietly in unprecedented silence at the government destruction of fellow jihadis. And we explained why that happened as well.

Last year The New York Times reported the ominous appearance of new “foreign Taliban”. The Times failed to make the logical distinction that the Taliban is a tribal and ethnic movement and may work with outsiders like Arabs, but that they are still held separate. There is a certain amount of ethnic tension and racism even among these jihad groups.

These foreigners were not Taliban recruits. So who were they? These outsiders were appearing in Afghanistan and Pakistan just as the surge in Iraq was kicking into full gear and putting al Qaeda fighters on the run or in their graves. It wasn’t real hard to figure out that al Qaeda was bringing fighters back from the failed effort in Iraq for a reason. So we had to figure out the reason. We did and shared it with our readers.

Al Qaeda was facing a loss of Taliban support because al Qaeda had put a hit out on the “father of the Taliban” Maulana Fazlur Rahman, a leader of the MMA. He is an important politician among the jihad movement supporters of Pakistan. This tactical mistake by al Qaeda would rival the assassination of Bhutto as the main reason for its' (political) defeat in Pakistan.

Rahman and his political block know where the bodies are buried, so to speak. His cooperation with the Musharraf government in bringing other Pakistani Taliban and tribal chiefs into the fold will prove to be al Qaeda's undoing. It is remarkably ironic because this man provided al Qaeda's religious justification for its' war on the United States.

To sum up what happened simply, after al Qaeda saw defeat coming in Iraq it tried to take over the same Taliban that it relied on for safe haven in Pakistan. It had to after targeting the Pakistan Taliban leader, Rahman and losing his support. That was an incredibly dumb move. Al Qaeda then, sensing its' influence and operational space shrinking as tribes followed Rahman and turned on them was forced into attempting to take over the Swat Valley to give itself a buffer against Pakistan's military forces. This decision led to an embarrassing defeat for al Qaeda in Pakistan. Coming so soon after its' defeat in Iraq, al Qaeda popularity began to plummet as the Islamic populace begin to see that al Qaeda was not going to establish the Islamic caliphate after all.

As al Qaeda has failed, “Islamic rage boy” (as Christopher Hitchens so deftly characterized the typical anti-American protester in Pakistan) seems to be taking some time off. The marked decrease of frequency and vitriol of these routine street protests means something. These events are usually presented to us by the media as sincere, spontaneous outpourings of anger.

The truth is that many of these demonstrations were organized and instigated by Maulana Fazlur Rahman (as I noted in my book Both In One Trench: Saddam's Secret Terror Documents in a detailed look at his activities). US success against al Qaeda can be sensed by the significant decrease in major anti-American street protests in Pakistan. It means Rahman (and his MMA) is cooperating to some degree.

Director Hayden and his successors might not be able to tell you this, but we can. These are some of the contributing factors for why we now see a flock of predators over the border region. Hayden is not exaggerating, he is, if anything, underplaying the success in this war on terror hard won by our troops.

But as always, we must add the disclaimer that the situation is subject to change by unforeseen events. Even if we get Usama bin Laden tomorrow there will be someone to take his place. In this war, we only take temporary victory on the battlefield. Permanent victory most likely lies through discrediting the ideology that motivated al Qaeda and its' supporters. Changing minds full of such hate might take generations.

1. For the record, President Bush said in that speech that there was tough fighting ahead. He did not say the fighting was over, though we can almost universally agree he had no inkling of just how much tough fighting lay ahead. He did not say that combat had ended. He said it was the end of “Major Combat Operations” (MCO). MCO is a specific type of combat and some military speech writer did the president a disservice (I'm sure not intentionally) by using a term not widely known or understood. Most people took that statement to mean the end of combat. But that is not what the term means as indicated by the fact that he talked of more fighting in the speech. In addition, if “Mission Accomplished” meant “We Won” why didn't the banner just say that? Because the banner was intended to honor the 6,000 people on the carrier who had accomplished their mission.


INTELLIGENCE: New Iraq document linking Saddam - al Qaeda

New Iraq document linking Saddam - al Qaeda surfaces in Kurdish media
I am unable to authenticate this document though if I had to bet, I would go with real. It has been published in a Kurd paper. H/T Christopher Holton.

I have no problem with the content. Our work centered around documents that have now been verified by a Pentagon study that links the Iraqi Intelligence Service to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad in 1993 and even earlier. The IIS wrote of meeting with a high level EIJ leader and I always assumed it was likely Zawahiri since another captured letter from an al Qaeda leader claims Zawahiri went to Iraq (and from the context would seem he was not unwelcome). Sammi has provided a translation:

Republic of Iraq Number Sh S / 5083

Office of the Presidency Date 1433 (Muslim calendar)

Intelligence Service 12/12/2002



Mr. M. M*. Sh. Kh. The respected

To M5, M6, M7

We would like to inform you that the day of 14/12/2002 (Note:14 December 2002)has been designated by the respected secretary to establish the important and top secret meeting with our source number “1000” Ayman Al Zawahiri with the purpose of approving the review of the plan that was established by the respected body of the presidency regarding operation “Revenge” inside the lands of the “Traitor of the Two Holy Mosques”** with our source “Azhar Al Shaykhali” for the purpose of informing him on all the details of the plan as set by the Secretariate of the National Security Council.



*(translator’s note:M. M. stands for Mudeer Mukhabarat:. Director of Intelligence)

**(translator’s note: The title of the Saudi king is “the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques” , the first one is in Mecca and the second in Medina, the two holy cities of Islam. In Arabic “Custodian” is written as “Khadim”(4 letters) while “Traitor” is written as “Kha’in”(also 4 letters, the two words having only the first two letters in common). “Kha’in” was used in the document for a purpose. The aim is to portray the King as one who betrayed his duties by being allied with the Americans, therefore making him and his country as a legitimate target in the eyes of Muslim fundamentalists.

*** There are small hand written notes below the main letter which are not clear.

For comparison purposes here is a page on Saddam Regime document logos from Global Security. My problem with this is that I would be a lot happier if it came from a US government source. It looks right, but this wouldn't be difficult to fake. My general take is that you either get it or you don't. You either know Saddam was a terrorist supporting any jihadi who would do his bidding or you are clueless.


BAILOUT: House rejects Trillion-Dollar-Plus Crap Sandwich

Breaking: It’s official. House rejects Trillion-Dollar-Plus Crap Sandwich By Michelle Malkin •

September 29, 2008 01:49 PM
The votes have been tallied. 228 NAY. 205 YEA.

The Crap Sandwich goes down in flames. Still no official announcement on the House floor. Lots of yelling for “order.” Someone has changed his/her vote. It’s now 227 NAY, 206 YEA, 1 Not Voting. 1:59pm Eastern. The allotted 15 minutes for voting is over, but there is still no official announcement. Arm-twisting is underway, but only one changed vote so far. 2:06pm Eastern. It’s official. The MOAB has failed.

Michelle Malkin


Even Bill Clinton says the Democrats are to blame for the financial meltdown......so, why isn't this a huge, huge Democrat scandal right now? This will hurt Obama and his Democratic coattails for congress and the senate. We know the media will not give this the attention it deserves so it is up to us. Get the word out to everyone you know.


While Obama, largest recipient of millions of dollars from the financial and securities lobbyists (and second largest recipient of lobby bucks from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) is running around the country taking all credit for the new American socialism and putting all blame on the Republicans.

This from the empty suit who could not formulate a policy statement when the crisis broke. He said he wanted to "wait". Yeah for McCain's policy statement so that he could crib it and then accuse McCain of stealing it from him.

Hard to keep up with three card Omonty. Gotta love Clinton on this. The only time the black curtain is lifted on the leftist forces of darkness, is when there is a power grab. Fascinating in a sun tzu kinda way.


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-

Watch The Jim Angle Report http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHj8-HSi5AA&eurl=

Watch The ABC / Clinton Interview On ABC New ---

Hear Barney Frank On Video "There Is No Crisis At Fannie Mae"

The New York Post here --

There are former CEOs of Fannie Mae, Interim and assistant CEOs, Four US Senators and at least two members of the US House of Representatives who should GO TO JAIL for BRIBING members of Congress to block investigations of Fannie Mae Abuses.
UPDATE: "They'll call me if they need me"


PAKISTAN: Top Taliban Leader Baitullah Mehsud May Be Dying

Top Taliban Leader Baitullah Mehsud May Be Dying
Published by AJStrata

Good news is coming out today from the South Waziristan Agency of Pakistan’s FATA region. Baitullah Mehsud, a top Taliban leader and military commander claimed to be behind the assassination of Benazir Bhutto is possibly dying:

Baitullah Mehsud, the head of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), is seriously ill, leading to convergence of the top TTP leadership in the Makeen area of South Waziristan Agency, reported Times of India quoting sources.

“He seems to have gone into a coma,” the newspaper quoted the sources as have said.

“Militant commanders have rushed to Makeen after receiving the information about deteriorating health of their top commander,” sources said.

Hmm, seems we have a gathering of high valued targets at hand. Might be a good time for some Predator missiles.

The news of his illness comes at a time when his forces are fighting a major battle with Pakistan forces in nearby Bajuar Agency:

Pakistan is fighting a battle that it claims will break the back of the Taliban insurgency within a matter of months.

For the past six weeks Pakistani troops, supported by helicopter gunships, tanks and heavy artillery, have begun to drive Taliban militants out of the tribal area of Bajaur.

The army has claimed it has killed more than 1,000 militants in Bajaur, a place described by commanders as a “mega-sanctuary” for militants and the “centre of gravity of the insurgency”.

“The threat from Bajaur radiates in all directions. If we dismantle this here and destroy its leadership, then 65 per cent of militancy will be controlled. If they lose this, they lose everything,” said Major Gen Tariq Khan, the commanding officer of the Frontier Corps, a paramilitary force that is engaged in the bulk of counterinsurgency operations in the tribal areas.

To the east is the restive former tourist region of Swat, and trouble is flaring south, through the Mohmand tribal area and into the major city of Peshawar. On the Afghan side is a border with the Taliban hot spot of Kunar province.

Washington has expressed its approval of the Bajaur operation, but analysts have questioned why Islamabad allowed parts of it to be governed by a Taliban parallel government.

Bajaur was deemed by US intelligence to be the sanctuary of Ayman al Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s deputy, who escaped an air strike in Bajaur in 2006.

Militants in Bajaur joined forces with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan group of Baitullah Mehsud, who is based in South Waziristan.

With Iraq now stabilized and most of the terrorist thugs now hiding in the Pakistan tribal regions, we could be seeing the beginning of the end of Islamist Terrorism on a larger scale (it will never disappear all together). With US and NATO forces, along with the Afghanis, holding the border closed, the Pakistani forces can move in and perform their own variation of The Surge.

BTW, as I have been noting here for a year now, the US DOES operate inside Pakistan (which is why Obama’s comments about invading Pakistan were so dumb):

Former Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri has disclosed that Pakistan had allowed the United States to conduct limited operations in the country against al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked militants. He was giving interview to a private television channel.

This is the first public conformation of permission for the United States to launch operations in Pakistan against the militants.

Kasuri’s statement came days after the US troops entered Pakistan tribal region of Waziristan on September 3, and killed 20 people including women and children.

Former Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif recently demanded disclosure of all secret agreements with the United States by former President Musharraf.

“We could not go to the limits that were demanded by the US,” Kasuri said.

I can’t link to the stories now, but it has been hinted in the news since since before Bhutto’s assassination that we had limited permission to engage key, high valued targets. When Obama blurted out he would attack our enemies on Pakistan soil, and McCain said it was dumb to say something like that openly, McCain was trying to warn America Obama was about to blow the whole agreement out of the water by making it public.

Yeah, that’s ‘change’ all right. And experience is nothing more than ‘the past’.

Update: Looks like my suggestion about a little Predator Power is happening already:

Continuing with their violation of Pakistan’s airspace, US and NATO spy planes and helicopters were seen flying over the skies of South and North Waziristan, Mohmand Agency and Chaman on Sunday.

Spy drones’ flights caused panic among local people, a private TV channel reported. Two NATO helicopters were seen hovering over Chaman along the Pak-Afghan border. Frontier Corps has been put on high alert following flights by NATO helicopters.

Sources in Frontier Corps said that NATO helicopters did not violate Pakistan’s airspace at Chaman but they were seen hovering near the border.

The Pentagon has ordered that raids on suspected terrorist targets within Pakistan be stepped up to pressurise al-Qaeda leaders and distract them from preparing attacks on American targets elsewhere, claimed a British newspaper.

Be vewy, vewy qwiet - we’re hunting tewowists!

ECONOMY: Democrats Defending Fannie/Freddie -Republicans Call for Oversight



That CSPAN video is something else. I advise everyone to watch it. Why isn't McCain running an ad with these clips on them??

What Amy Proctor's blog has to say about this video:

2004 Footage Shows Democrats Defending Fannie/Freddie Illegal Book Keeping While Republicans Call for Oversight

Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 05:59AM

Thanks to Naked Emperor News, this incredibly incriminating footage on C-Span from 2004 shows a Congressional hearing on oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, investigating illegal book keeping of the government backed banking companies.

You’ll notice Democrats like Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, Gregory Meeks and Artur Davis saying Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were doing just fine, didn’t need to be investigated and beating up on regulators trying to keep Fannie and Freddie honest.

Meanwhile, Republicans like Richard Baker, Ed Royce, Christopher Shays and Don Manzullo predict trouble ahead at Frannie and Freddie, call for more oversight and condemn the incredible profits of the CEOs of these government sponsored financial companies.

Amy Proctor: http://amyproctor.squarespace.com/blog/2008/9/28/2004-footage-shows-democrats-defending-fanniefreddie-illegal.html

Sunday, September 28, 2008

IRAN: Bet on Israel bombing Iran

Bet on Israel bombing Iran
By Robert Baer

Saturday, September 27th 2008, 6:45 PM

Are we going to have an October surprise, an attack on Iran by either the Bush administration or by Israel to stop the regime from becoming a nuclear power?

It could happen - and alter the dynamics of the presidential race in the blink of an eye - but only if Israel pulls the trigger. Don't expect the United States to drop bombs anytime soon. The reason: Iran has us over a barrel.

According to Britain's Guardian newspaper, Bush earlier this year nixed an Israeli plan to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. Reportedly, the President said no because we couldn't afford Iranian retaliation against our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan or Iran closing down Persian Gulf shipping. Nonetheless, cynical speculation is now swirling in some quarters that with the financial collapse working against McCain - and Bush's legacy coming into focus - the President might reconsider. Could that tail really wag the dog?

Probably not. The fundamental global power dynamics have not changed. Iran has successfully blackmailed us. Iranian Silkworm missiles could close down Gulf oil exports in a matter of minutes, taking about 17 million barrels a day of oil off world markets. Americans could suddenly be looking at the prospect of $10-$12 for a gallon of gas. If the collapse of Wall Street doesn't push us into a depression, that would. And Bush is right: An angered Iran could punish us with thousands of extra casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, as Iranian-trained, armed and funded fighters flow back into the war zones with a vengeance.

So, giving the go ahead to Israel would just not be worth it.

But none of this changes the fact that Israel - on its own, without U.S. complicity - is moving closer to a decision to attack Iran, almost by the day.

What many Americans miss is that Iran is a threat to Israel's very existence, not an imagined danger used by politicians for political advantage. Every Israeli city is within range of Iranian/Hezbollah rockets. To make matters worse, since the July 2006 34-day war, Hezbollah may have as much as trebled the number of rockets it has targeted on Israel.

Meantime, Hezbollah has become the de facto state in Lebanon. And lest we forget, Israel lost that July 2006 war to Hezbollah, pulling its troops out of Lebanon without having obtained a single objective. In other words, Israel no longer has its deterrence credibility, the fear that it can decisively retaliate against its enemies.

Israel knows that international diplomacy against Iran up until now has been a farce. Iran called Bush's bluff, ignored sanctions and continued its nuclear program with impunity. And if the Israelis needed another psychological kick in the pants, last week North Korea announced that it is back to building a bomb, likewise with impunity.

Finally, Israel has to calculate that American influence around the world is on the wane. Americans are tired of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And now, after the war in Georgia, Russia is opening up its flow of weapons to Iran.

Couple all of this with Israel's suspicion that Iran is within only a few short years of having a nuclear bomb, and Israel knows time is not on its side. It is starting to believe that it has no choice but to change its fortunes with arms.

This much is certain. Whether the President is named Bush, McCain or Obama, he will either have to prepare for war in the Gulf or find a way to bring Iran back into the nation-state system. The day of reckoning is near.

I myself think a deal can be cut with Iran. During the last 30 years, Iran has gone from a terrorist, revolutionary power to far more rational, calculating regional hegemon. Its belligerence today has more to do with a weakened United States and Israel than with any plans to start World War III.

The question is what price Iran would exact for a settlement. Or more to the point: Would we prefer to take our chances with an Israeli surprise?

Baer, a former CIA case officer, is author of the just-released "The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower."


POLITICS: Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis

Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis
By James Simpson

America waits with bated breath while Washington struggles to bring the U.S. economy back from the brink of disaster. But many of those same politicians caused the crisis, and if left to their own devices will do so again.

Despite the mass media news blackout, a series of books, talk radio and the blogosphere have managed to expose Barack Obama's connections to his radical mentors -- Weather Underground bombers William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis and others. David Horowitz and his Discover the Networks.org have also contributed a wealth of information and have noted Obama's radical connections since the beginning.

Yet, no one to my knowledge has yet connected all the dots between Barack Obama and the Radical Left. When seen together, the influences on Obama's life comprise a who's who of the radical leftist movement, and it becomes painfully apparent that not only is Obama a willing participant in that movement, he has spent most of his adult life deeply immersed in it.

But even this doesn't fully describe the extreme nature of this candidate. He can be tied directly to a malevolent overarching strategy that has motivated many, if not all, of the most destructive radical leftist organizations in the United States since the 1960s.

The Cloward-Piven Strategy of Orchestrated Crisis

In an earlier post, I noted the liberal record of unmitigated legislative disasters, the latest of which is now being played out in the financial markets before our eyes. Before the 1994 Republican takeover, Democrats had sixty years of virtually unbroken power in Congress - with substantial majorities most of the time. Can a group of smart people, studying issue after issue for years on end, with virtually unlimited resources at their command, not come up with a single policy that works? Why are they chronically incapable?


One of two things must be true. Either the Democrats are unfathomable idiots, who ignorantly pursue ever more destructive policies despite decades of contrary evidence, or they understand the consequences of their actions and relentlessly carry on anyway because they somehow benefit.

I submit to you they understand the consequences. For many it is simply a practical matter of eliciting votes from a targeted constituency at taxpayer expense; we lose a little, they gain a lot, and the politician keeps his job. But for others, the goal is more malevolent - the failure is deliberate. Don't laugh. This method not only has its proponents, it has a name: the Cloward-Piven Strategy. It describes their agenda, tactics, and long-term strategy.

The Strategy was first elucidated in the May 2, 1966 issue of The Nation magazine by a pair of radical socialist Columbia University professors, Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. David Horowitz summarizes it as:

The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The "Cloward-Piven Strategy" seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

Cloward and Piven were inspired by radical organizer [and Hillary Clinton mentor] Saul Alinsky:

"Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules," Alinsky wrote in his 1989 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system's failure to "live up" to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist "rule book" with a socialist one. (Courtesy Discover the Networks.org)

Newsmax rounds out the picture:

Their strategy to create political, financial, and social chaos that would result in revolution blended Alinsky concepts with their more aggressive efforts at bringing about a change in U.S. government. To achieve their revolutionary change, Cloward and Piven sought to use a cadre of aggressive organizers assisted by friendly news media to force a re-distribution of the nation's wealth.

In their Nation article, Cloward and Piven were specific about the kind of "crisis" they were trying to create:

By crisis, we mean a publicly visible disruption in some institutional sphere. Crisis can occur spontaneously (e.g., riots) or as the intended result of tactics of demonstration and protest which either generate institutional disruption or bring unrecognized disruption to public attention.

No matter where the strategy is implemented, it shares the following features:

The offensive organizes previously unorganized groups eligible for government benefits but not currently receiving all they can.
The offensive seeks to identify new beneficiaries and/or create new benefits.
The overarching aim is always to impose new stresses on target systems, with the ultimate goal of forcing their collapse.

Capitalizing on the racial unrest of the 1960s, Cloward and Piven saw the welfare system as their first target. They enlisted radical black activist George Wiley, who created the National Welfare Reform Organization (NWRO) to implement the strategy. Wiley hired militant foot soldiers to storm welfare offices around the country, violently demanding their "rights." According to a City Journal article by Sol Stern, welfare rolls increased from 4.3 million to 10.8 million by the mid-1970s as a result, and in New York City, where the strategy had been particularly successful, "one person was on the welfare rolls... for every two working in the city's private economy."

According to another City Journal article titled "Compassion Gone Mad":

The movement's impact on New York City was jolting: welfare caseloads, already climbing 12 percent a year in the early sixties, rose by 50 percent during Lindsay's first two years; spending doubled... The city had 150,000 welfare cases in 1960; a decade later it had 1.5 million.

The vast expansion of welfare in New York City that came of the NWRO's Cloward-Piven tactics sent the city into bankruptcy in 1975. Rudy Giuliani cited Cloward and Piven by name as being responsible for "an effort at economic sabotage." He also credited Cloward-Piven with changing the cultural attitude toward welfare from that of a temporary expedient to a lifetime entitlement, an attitude which in-and-of-itself has caused perhaps the greatest damage of all.

Cloward and Piven looked at this strategy as a gold mine of opportunity. Within the newly organized groups, each offensive would find an ample pool of foot soldier recruits willing to advance its radical agenda at little or no pay, and expand its base of reliable voters, legal or otherwise. The radicals' threatening tactics also would accrue an intimidating reputation, providing a wealth of opportunities for extorting monetary and other concessions from the target organizations. In the meantime, successful offensives would create an ever increasing drag on society. As they gleefully observed:

Moreover, this kind of mass influence is cumulative because benefits are continuous. Once eligibility for basic food and rent grants is established, the drain on local resources persists indefinitely.

The next time you drive through one of the many blighted neighborhoods in our cities, or read of the astronomical crime, drug addiction, and out-of-wedlock birth rates, or consider the failed schools, strapped police and fire resources of every major city, remember Cloward and Piven's thrill that "...the drain on local resources persists indefinitely."

ACORN, the new tip of the Cloward-Piven spear

In 1970, one of George Wiley's protégés, Wade Rathke -- like Bill Ayers, a member of the radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) -- was sent to found the Arkansas Community Organizations for Reform Now. While NWRO had made a good start, it alone couldn't accomplish the Cloward-Piven goals. Rathke's group broadened the offensive to include a wide array of low income "rights." Shortly thereafter they changed "Arkansas" to "Association of" and ACORN went nationwide.

Today ACORN is involved in a wide array of activities, including housing, voting rights, illegal immigration and other issues. According to ACORN's website: "ACORN is the nation's largest grassroots community organization of low-and moderate-income people with over 400,000 member families organized into more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in 110 cities across the country," It is perhaps the largest radical group in the U.S. and has been cited for widespread criminal activity on many fronts.


On voting rights, ACORN and its voter mobilization subsidiary, Project Vote, have been involved nationwide in efforts to grant felons the vote and lobbied heavily for the Motor Voter Act of 1993, a law allowing people to register at motor vehicle departments, schools, libraries and other public places. That law had been sought by Cloward and Piven since the early1980s and they were present, standing behind President Clinton at the signing ceremony.

ACORN's voter rights tactics follow the Cloward-Piven Strategy:

1. Register as many Democrat voters as possible, legal or otherwise and help them vote, multiple times if possible.
2. Overwhelm the system with fraudulent registrations using multiple entries of the same name, names of deceased, random names from the phone book, even contrived names.
3. Make the system difficult to police by lobbying for minimal identification standards.

In this effort, ACORN sets up registration sites all over the country and has been frequently cited for turning in fraudulent registrations, as well as destroying republican applications. In the 2004-2006 election cycles alone, ACORN was accused of widespread voter fraud in 12 states. It may have swung the election for one state governor.

ACORN's website brags: "Since 2004, ACORN has helped more than 1.7 million low- and moderate-income and minority citizens apply to register to vote." Project vote boasts 4 million. I wonder how many of them are dead? For the 2008 cycle, ACORN and Project Vote have pulled out all the stops. Given their furious nationwide effort, it is not inconceivable that this presidential race could be decided by fraudulent votes alone.

Barack Obama ran ACORN's Project Vote in Chicago and his highly successful voter registration drive was credited with getting the disgraced former Senator Carol Moseley-Braun elected. Newsmax reiterates Cloward and Piven's aspirations for ACORN's voter registration efforts:

By advocating massive, no-holds-barred voter registration campaigns, they [Cloward & Piven] sought a Democratic administration in Washington, D.C. that would re-distribute the nation's wealth and lead to a totalitarian socialist state.

Illegal Immigration

As I have written elsewhere, the Radical Left's offensive to promote illegal immigration is "Cloward-Piven on steroids." ACORN is at the forefront of this movement as well, and was a leading organization among a broad coalition of radical groups, including Soros' Open Society Institute, the Service Employees International Union (ACORN founder Wade Rathke also runs a SEIU chapter), and others, that became the Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. CCIR fortunately failed to gain passage for the 2007 illegal immigrant amnesty bill, but its goals have not changed.

The burden of illegal immigration on our already overstressed welfare system has been widely documented. Some towns in California have even been taken over by illegal immigrant drug cartels. The disease, crime and overcrowding brought by illegal immigrants places a heavy burden on every segment of society and every level of government, threatening to split this country apart at the seams. In the meantime, radical leftist efforts to grant illegal immigrants citizenship guarantee a huge pool of new democrat voters. With little border control, terrorists can also filter in.

Obama aided ACORN as their lead attorney in a successful suit he brought against the Illinois state government to implement the Motor Voter law there. The law had been resisted by Republican Governor Jim Edgars, who feared the law was an opening to widespread vote fraud.

His fears were warranted as the Motor Voter law has since been cited as a major opportunity for vote fraud, especially for illegal immigrants, even terrorists. According to the Wall Street Journal: "After 9/11, the Justice Department found that eight of the 19 hijackers were registered to vote..."

ACORN's dual offensives on voting and illegal immigration are handy complements. Both swell the voter rolls with reliable democrats while assaulting the country ACORN seeks to destroy with overwhelming new problems.

Mortgage Crisis

And now we have the mortgage crisis, which has sent a shock wave through Wall Street and panicked world financial markets like no other since the stock market crash of 1929. But this is a problem created in Washington long ago. It originated with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), signed into law in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter. The CRA was Carter's answer to a grassroots activist movement started in Chicago, and forced banks to make loans to low income, high risk customers. PhD economist and former Texas Senator Phil Gramm has called it: "a vast extortion scheme against the nation's banks."

ACORN aggressively sought to expand loans to low income groups using the CRA as a whip. Economist Stan Leibowitz wrote in the New York Post:

In the 1980s, groups such as the activists at ACORN began pushing charges of "redlining"-claims that banks discriminated against minorities in mortgage lending. In 1989, sympathetic members of Congress got the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act amended to force banks to collect racial data on mortgage applicants; this allowed various studies to be ginned up that seemed to validate the original accusation.

In fact, minority mortgage applications were rejected more frequently than other applications-but the overwhelming reason wasn't racial discrimination, but simply that minorities tend to have weaker finances.

ACORN showed its colors again in 1991, by taking over the House Banking Committee room for two days to protest efforts to scale back the CRA. Obama represented ACORN in the Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Fed. Sav. Bank, 1994 suit against redlining. Most significant of all, ACORN was the driving force behind a 1995 regulatory revision pushed through by the Clinton Administration that greatly expanded the CRA and laid the groundwork for the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac borne financial crisis we now confront. Barack Obama was the attorney representing ACORN in this effort. With this new authority, ACORN used its subsidiary, ACORN Housing, to promote subprime loans more aggressively.

As a New York Post article describes it:

A 1995 strengthening of the Community Reinvestment Act required banks to find ways to provide mortgages to their poorer communities. It also let community activists intervene at yearly bank reviews, shaking the banks down for large pots of money.

Banks that got poor reviews were punished; some saw their merger plans frustrated; others faced direct legal challenges by the Justice Department.

Flexible lending programs expanded even though they had higher default rates than loans with traditional standards. On the Web, you can still find CRA loans available via ACORN with "100 percent financing . . . no credit scores . . . undocumented income . . . even if you don't report it on your tax returns." Credit counseling is required, of course.

Ironically, an enthusiastic Fannie Mae Foundation report singled out one paragon of nondiscriminatory lending, which worked with community activists and followed "the most flexible underwriting criteria permitted." That lender's $1 billion commitment to low-income loans in 1992 had grown to $80 billion by 1999 and $600 billion by early 2003.

The lender they were speaking of was Countrywide, which specialized in subprime lending and had a working relationship with ACORN.

Investor's Business Daily added:

The revisions also allowed for the first time the securitization of CRA-regulated loans containing subprime mortgages. The changes came as radical "housing rights" groups led by ACORN lobbied for such loans. ACORN at the time was represented by a young public-interest lawyer in Chicago by the name of Barack Obama. (Emphasis, mine.)

Since these loans were to be underwritten by the government sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the implicit government guarantee of those loans absolved lenders, mortgage bundlers and investors of any concern over the obvious risk. As Bloomberg reported: "It is a classic case of socializing the risk while privatizing the profit."

And if you think Washington policy makers cared about ACORN's negative influence, think again. Before this whole mess came down, a Democrat-sponsored bill on the table would have created an "Affordable Housing Trust Fund," granting ACORN access to approximately $500 million in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac revenues with little or no oversight.

Even now, unbelievably -- on the brink of national disaster -- Democrats have insisted ACORN benefit from bailout negotiations! Senator Lindsay Graham reported last night (9/25/08) in an interview with Greta Van Susteren of On the Record that Democrats want 20 percent of the bailout money to go to ACORN!

This entire fiasco represents perhaps the pinnacle of ACORN's efforts to advance the Cloward-Piven Strategy and is a stark demonstration of the power they wield in Washington.

Enter Barack Obama

In attempting to capture the significance of Barack Obama's Radical Left connections and his relation to the Cloward Piven strategy, I constructed following flow chart. It is by no means complete. There are simply too many radical individuals and organizations to include them all here. But these are perhaps the most significant.

The chart puts Barack Obama at the epicenter of an incestuous stew of American radical leftism. Not only are his connections significant, they practically define who he is. Taken together, they constitute a who's who of the American radical left, and guiding all is the Cloward-Piven strategy.

Conspicuous in their absence are any connections at all with any other group, moderate, or even mildly leftist. They are all radicals, firmly bedded in the anti-American, communist, socialist, radical leftist mesh.

Saul Alinsky

Most people are unaware that Barack Obama received his training in "community organizing" from Saul Alinsky's Industrial Areas Foundation. But he did. In and of itself that marks his heritage and training as that of a radical activist. One really needs go no further. But we have.

Bill Ayers

Obama objects to being associated with SDS bomber Bill Ayers, claiming he is being smeared with "guilt by association." But they worked together at the Woods Fund. The Wall Street Journal added substantially to our knowledge by describing in great detail Obama's work over five years with SDS bomber Bill Ayers on the board of a non-profit, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, to push a radical agenda on public school children. As Stanley Kurtz states:

"...the issue here isn't guilt by association; it's guilt by participation. As CAC chairman, Mr. Obama was lending moral and financial support to Mr. Ayers and his radical circle. That is a story even if Mr. Ayers had never planted a single bomb 40 years ago."

Also included in the mix is Theresa Heinz Kerry's favorite charity, the Tides Foundation. A partial list of Tides grants tells you all you need to know: ACLU, ACORN, Center for American Progress, Center for Constitutional Rights (a communist front,) CAIR, Earth Justice, Institute for Policy Studies (KGB spy nest), National Lawyers Guild (oldest communist front in U.S.), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and practically every other radical group there is. ACORN's Wade Rathke runs a Tides subsidiary, the Tides Center.

Carl Davidson and the New Party

We have heard about Bomber Bill, but we hear little about fellow SDS member Carl Davidson. According to Discover the Networks, Davidson was an early supporter of Barack Obama and a prominent member of Chicago's New Party, a synthesis of CPUSA members, Socialists, ACORN veterans and other radicals. Obama sought and received the New Party's endorsement, and they assisted with his campaign. The New Party also developed a strong relationship with ACORN. As an excellent article on the New Party observes: "Barack Obama knew what he was getting into and remains an ideal New Party candidate."

George Soros

The chart also suggests the reason for George Soros' fervent support of Obama. The President of his Open Society Institute is Aryeh Neier, founder of the radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). As mentioned above, three other former SDS members had extensive contact with Obama: Bill Ayers, Carl Davidson and Wade Rathke. Surely Aryeh Neier would have heard from his former colleagues of the promising new politician. More to the point, Neier is firmly committed to supporting the hugely successful radical organization, ACORN, and would be certain back their favored candidate, Barack Obama.


Obama has spent a large portion of his professional life working for ACORN or its subsidiaries, representing ACORN as a lawyer on some of its most critical issues, and training ACORN leaders. Stanley Kurtz's excellent National Review article, "Inside Obama's Acorn." also describes Obama's ACORN connection in detail. But I can't improve on Obama's own words:

I've been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career (emphasis added). Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work. - Barack Obama, Speech to ACORN, November 2007 (Courtesy Newsmax.)

In another excellent article on Obama's ACORN connections, Newsmax asks a nagging question:

It would be telling to know if Obama, during his years at Columbia, had occasion to meet Cloward and study the Cloward-Piven Strategy.

I ask you, is it possible ACORN would train Obama to take leadership positions within ACORN without telling him what he was training for? Is it possible ACORN would put Obama in leadership positions without clueing him into what his purpose was?? Is it possible that this most radical of organizations would put someone in charge of training its trainers, without him knowing what it was he was training them for?

As a community activist for ACORN; as a leadership trainer for ACORN; as a lead organizer for ACORN's Project Vote; as an attorney representing ACORN's successful efforts to impose Motor Voter regulations in Illinois; as ACORN's representative in lobbying for the expansion of high risk housing loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that led to the current crisis; as a recipient of their assistance in his political campaigns -- both with money and campaign workers; it is doubtful that he was unaware of ACORN's true goals. It is doubtful he was unaware of the Cloward-Piven Strategy.

Fast-forward to 2005 when an obsequious, servile and scraping Daniel Mudd, CEO of Fannie Mae spoke at the Congressional Black Caucus swearing in ceremony for newly-elected Illinois Senator, Barack Obama. Mudd called, the Congressional Black Caucus "our family" and "the conscience of Fannie Mae."

In 2005, Republicans sought to rein in Fannie and Freddie. Senator John McCain was at the forefront of that effort. But it failed due to an intense lobbying effort put forward by Fannie and Freddie.

In his few years as a U.S. senator, Obama has received campaign contributions of $126,349, from Fannie and Freddie, second only to the $165,400 received by Senator Chris Dodd, who has been getting donations from them since 1988. What makes Obama so special?

His closest advisers are a dirty laundry list of individuals at the heart of the financial crisis: former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson; Former Fannie Mae CEO and former Clinton Budget Director Frank Raines; and billionaire failed Superior Bank of Chicago Board Chair Penny Pritzker.

Johnson had to step down as adviser on Obama's V.P. search after this gem came out:

An Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) report[1] from September 2004 found that, during Johnson's tenure as CEO, Fannie Mae had improperly deferred $200 million in expenses. This enabled top executives, including Johnson and his successor, Franklin Raines, to receive substantial bonuses in 1998.[2] A 2006 OFHEO report[3] found that Fannie Mae had substantially under-reported Johnson's compensation. Originally reported as $6-7 million, Johnson actually received approximately $21 million.

Obama denies ties to Raines but the Washington Post calls him a member of "Obama's political circle." Raines and Johnson were fined $3 million by the Office of Federal Housing Oversight for their manipulation of Fannie books. The fine is small change however, compared to the $50 million Raines was able to obtain in improper bonuses as a result of juggling the books.

Most significantly, Penny Pritzker, the current Finance Chairperson of Obama's presidential campaign helped develop the complicated investment bundling of subprime securities at the heart of the meltdown. She did so in her position as shareholder and board chair of Superior Bank. The Bank failed in 2001, one of the largest in recent history, wiping out $50 million in uninsured life savings of approximately 1,400 customers. She was named in a RICO class action law suit but doesn't seem to have come out of it too badly.

As a young attorney in the 1990s, Barack Obama represented ACORN in Washington in their successful efforts to expand Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) authority. In addition to making it easier for ACORN groups to force banks into making risky loans, this also paved the way for banks like Superior to package mortgages as investments, and for the Government Sponsored Enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to underwrite them. These changes created the conditions that ultimately lead to the current financial crisis.

Did they not know this would occur? Were these smart people, led by a Harvard graduate, unaware of the Econ 101 concept of moral hazard that would result from the government making implicit guarantees to underwrite private sector financial risk? They should have known that freeing the high-risk mortgage market of risk, calamity was sure to ensue. I think they did.

Barack Obama, the Cloward-Piven candidate, no matter how he describes himself, has been a radical activist for most of his political career. That activism has been in support of organizations and initiatives that at their heart seek to tear the pillars of this nation asunder in order to replace them with their demented socialist vision. Their influence has spread so far and so wide that despite their blatant culpability in the current financial crisis, they are able to manipulate Capital Hill politicians to cut them into $140 billion of the bailout pie!

God grant those few responsible yet remaining in Washington, DC the strength to prevent this massive fraud from occurring. God grant them the courage to stand up in the face of this Marxist tidal wave.

Jim Simpson is a former White House staff economist and budget analyst. His writings have been published in American Thinker, Washington Times, FrontPage Magazine, DefenseWatch, Soldier of Fortune and others. His blog is Truth and Consequences..