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Friday, December 25, 2009

Media cover-up of Democrat responsibility for the mortgage meltdown changed the course of the nation

Rasmussen's latest tracking poll shows 46% strongly disapprove of Obama's performance as president. That is compared to 43% who strongly disapproved of George W. Bush at the end of his presidency. But how much worse would Obama's numbers be (and how much better Bush's) if not for this Rasmussen finding:
One bright spot in the numbers for the President is that 51% of voters still say former President George W. Bush is more to blame for the nation’s economic woes. Just 41% point the finger of blame at the current President.
In fact, the mortgage meltdown was overwhelmingly a Democrat production, and one in which Barack Hussein Obama played a crucial double role, while George W. strove mightily for 8 years to secure much stronger oversight for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The only media outlet to tell the truth about Bush's efforts to rein in the Democrat's reckless government subsidized lending policies was Fox:

Fox was also the only major media outlet to explain why Obama was the second largest recipient of Fannie and Freddie lobbying money, behind only corrupt Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd. It is because there are two sides to the affirmative-action lending scheme that destroyed the U.S. mortgage market, and Obama was crucial to both of them.

The seeds of the meltdown were planted by the Clinton administration's creative use of lawsuits to force banks to implement affirmative action in the issuing of housing loans. Listen to Clinton Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo announcing a multi-billion dollar settlement under which banks would lower their lending standards for low income and minority borrowers. Cuomo explicitly calls it "affirmative action" (at 2:40), and explicitly acknowledges that the loans will not be economically rational (that they will have higher default rates than normal, profitable loans, at 2:20 and 3:00):

But Democratic administrations bent on establishing affirmative actions loans were only half the equation. Clinton needed boots on the ground: minority activist groups who could push lawsuits through the legal floodgates that the Clinton lawyers were opening up. To create a sea change in lending practices, there needed to be this hounding legal threat, and this is where Obama came in.

The boots on the ground were provided by the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN), which was getting legal advice from Obama. This is the "community organizer" work that constitutes Obama's entire pre-electoral resume. He was helping groups like ACORN use bogus claims of racial victimization to extort, not equal treatment for blacks, but special treatment, on unprofitable terms for the extorted parties. (Obama acknowledges this work at 5:20 above. Background on the Community Reinvestment Act that Obama and ACORN used--signed by President Carter in 1976--begins at 3:50.)

President Clinton signed legislation forcing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to underwrite the unprofitable loans. (Fannie and Freddie are public-private corporations that back private loans with repayment implicitly guaranteed by the federal government. That implicit guarantee has been made explicit through the ongoing bank bailouts). Without this underwriting, the damage from the Obama-ACORN extortion racket would have been limited. The banks that knuckled under would have lost value accordingly, which would have stiffened resistance and probably would have led to the Community Reinvestment Act being declared unconstitutional. But with government underwriting, the financial risk could be passed on to taxpayers, making the banks happy to write as many bad loans as they could find takers for, poisoning the entire financial system, as Obama fully understands.

"Sub-prime lending started off as a good idea," Obama says (at 6:30 above):
...helping Americans buy homes who previously couldn't afford to. Financial institutions created new financial instruments that could securitize these loans [losses?], slice them into finer and finer risk categories, and spread them out amongst investors and around the country, as well as around the world. In theory this should have allowed mortgage lending to be less risky and more diversified.
No, mixing bad loans with good was not a way to make mortgage lending less risky, no matter how it was securitized. The securitization just allowed this insane mixing to proceed on a massive scale.

But while Obama knows how the "sub-prime mortgage fiasco" came about, and his own role in it, he constantly blames the disaster on the one person who did the most to try to stop it. Bush tried and failed to roll back the reckless government foray into the backing of uneconomic loans. After the Democrats regained Congress in 2006 they kept expanding government's exposure to bad loans, a course they are still pursuing today, even after bringing the world economy to the brink of collapse.

If you prefer to read rather than watch, Stanley Kurtz wrote an excellent summary of the ACORN-Fannie-Freddie-Obama ménage for the NY Post in October 2008.

Orson Scott Card wrote a nice pre-election bit on the media's systematic (and ultimately successful) efforts to keep the American electorate ignorant of Democrat and Obama culpability for the financial meltdown.

Ace of Spades was one of many to note many examples of media cover up as they transpired. One instance here.

So this is how Obama got elected. The media systematically fooled the electorate about who was responsible for the mortgage meltdown and the subsequent recession, to the point where people voting first and foremost on the state of the economy voted for the one man most responsible for creating the financial chaos.

The current Rasmussen poll indicates that the people are still duped and it is hard to see what will ever shake them out of it. People who get their information from our Democrat-controlled media will never have any reason to think they are not blaming the right people. However bad the economy gets, their Democrat information sources will never blame the Democrats, and anyone who has imbibed the anti-conservative bigotry of the established media to the point of being invested in it will resist turning to the alternate media--which is the only available source of honest information.

This dire predicament is exactly what we should expect. A society that allows all of its information industries to be taken over by leftist demagogues has gotten itself into a very bad fix, with no easy way out. (That would be our news media, academia, the big charitable foundations, our professional associations and the government.)

Maybe the collapse of the CO2-warming fraud will wake people up to the fact that our information industries are indeed capable of lying systematically and en masse for years on end. Even in the so-called "hard sciences," if the players are Democrats, they are prone to be utterly and constantly dishonest: pure political animals, with many rationalizations, but no principles beyond their grab for power.

If it is our quiet sun that alerts the duped masses to the systematic dishonesty of our Democrat elites it will be one more exhibit for the proponents of a providential history of America, and the country will certainly require a re-awoken rationality and moral consciousness if we are to successfully negotiate any serious downturn in global temperature. There will be no more room to throw away our prosperity on attempted usurpations of our republic a la California's death by public union payoffs or Obama's mimicry of Hugo Chavez. If the sun stays quiet, nature will strip our prosperity for us, unless we are able to compensate by freeing liberty to maximize progress.

The first step to economic recovery is to end the insane Democrat war against energy. They want an excuse to tax this life-blood of the economy as a way to fund their broader war against liberty (the socialization or communization of everything). As I put it in my Copenhagen post:
We ought to be developing energy resources as fast as humanly possible in preparation for the likelihood of global cooling. Energy development would also save the economy, and even allow the United States, which sits atop the world's largest fossil energy resources, to pay off the killing debt that Obama is dropping on us like a rain of battleships.
But we can't do anything until we get rid of the Democrats. According to Rasmussen, that would be accomplished in very short order if we could just wise our fellow countrymen up to one easily verifiable truth: that it is the Democrats who were and are responsible for the financial meltdown, with President Obama being the one figure who worked both sides of this dirty deal, generaling the boots-on-the-ground extortion racket on the one hand, while working as a legislator to bill the whole resulting mountain of bad debt to the American taxpayer.

Being more culpable than anyone else did not stop Obama from saying this:
I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don't mind cleaning up after them, but don't do a lot of talking.
The man is a sociopath.


John Cooper commenting on this post at Flopping Aces relates an interesting anecdote:
I called my former Senator Dole (who sat on the Senate Finance Committee) and asked her staffer why the reform bill was allowed to die in her committee. Shelby [R-AL] was the chair, and the Republicans had the majority in the Senate, but they did nothing to move the bill forward.

The lame excuse I got from the staffer was, “We didn’t have a sixty-vote majority so we didn’t bother to send the bill to the floor.” That kind of defeatist attitude really frosts me.
Other FA commentators are also keen to remember the share of blame due to the Republicans. All quite correct, but the Republicans’ biggest failing was how they knuckled under to the community activist guerilla theater played by ACORN and Obama. Kurtz has the details in the article of his that I linked above:
ACORN’s Democratic friends in Congress moved to force Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to dispense with normal credit standards. Throughout the early ’90s, they imposed ever-increasing subprime-lending quotas on Fannie and Freddie.

But then the Republicans won control of Congress – and Rep. Roukema scheduled her hearing. ACORN went into action to protect its golden goose.

IT struck as Roukema aired her concerns at that hearing. Pro testers, led by ACORN President Maud Hurd, stood up and began chanting, “CRA has got to stay!” and “Banks for greed, not for need!” The protesters then demanded the microphone.

With the hearing interrupted and the demonstrators refusing to leave, Roukema called the Capital Police, who arrested Hurd and four others for “disorderly conduct in a Capital building” – a charge carrying a penalty of a $500 fine, six months in prison or both. As the police arrived, two of the protesters menacingly approached Roukema’s desk, still demanding the hearing microphone.

Requests to the Capital Police to release the activists from Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass,) failed. Then Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) showed up at the jail and refused to leave until the protesters were released; the Capital Police relented.

Meanwhile, instead of repudiating ACORN’s intimidation tactics, Rep. Kennedy berated Roukema for arresting one of his constituents and accused the Republicans of preparing for “an all-out attack on CRA.” He also promised to introduce legislation to expand the CRA’s coverage to mortgage bankers and large credit unions.

THIS little slice of political life from 1995 had a variety of ripple effects. Above all, ACORN’s intimidation tactics, and its alliance with Democrats in Congress, triumphed. Despite their 1994 takeover of Congress, Republicans’ attempts to pare back the CRA were stymied.


Steve Sailer has some reporting on Bush support for affirmative action lending:

2002: Bush’s Speech To the White House Conference on Increasing Minority Homeownership, and

2004: President Bush asks Congress for authority to eliminate down-payment requirement

Sailer ties this diversity perversity with another Bush diversity perversity that I mentioned recently: Bush's support for anti-profiling ideologue Norman Mineta as Transportation Secretary.

Bad as Bush was about making concessions to the racist diversity-mongers, he was not a driving force, but just failed to offer much resistance. Obama was and is a driving force. For instance, where Mineta refused to profile Muslims, Obama has been actively exempting Muslims from scrutiny, even when they are implicated by evidence, enabling all three domestic terror attacks of 2009.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gibbs cites al Qaeda's criticism of Gitmo as a reason to close it

Thirty-two times since 2001 and four times this year alone, senior Al Qaida leadership in recruiting videos have used the prison at Guantanamo Bay as a clarion call to bring extremists from around the world to join their effort.
Is Gibbs aware of what else al Qaeda criticizes? Abu Musab al-Zarqawi:
We have declared a bitter war against democracy and all those who seek to enact it.
Should we get rid of this "recruiting tool" too? What about the World Trade Center, which al Qaeda so hated? Are Gibbs and Obama relieved that this longstanding irritant to the enemy is no longer causing trouble?

These Democrats just don't accept that we are at war. Even with the war long since started, they are still trying to appease. Antebellum, appeasement leads to war. In the midst of war, it equals surrender. Like his master Obama, Gibbs is not looking for victory but for an exit strategy, which in the absence of victory means defeat, and the faster the better apparently.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Did Stacy McCain make a racist statement?

McCain claims it is not racist to be averse to your sibling marrying a black person. Patterico thinks it is racist to say that this isn't racist. I see McCain as making a statement that preferences in personal relationships are simply beyond the kind of judgment of right and wrong that the aspersion of "racism" implies, and in this I think he is pretty much right, but his statement of this position is underqualified.

Here is the comment I left at Patterico's:
Obviously McCain was making a distinction between believing in equal liberty rights and equal opportunity on the one hand, and believing that equal liberty to find love means a right to find it with ME, which McCain extended one step by saying “with my sister.”

We all understand this distinction. It is what liberty means. We have the liberty to find mutually desired positions in life. Employers who want to pay for my productivity should not be barred from hiring me (no Jim Crow), but nobody should FORCE anyone to hire me, or anyone else (no affirmative action).

On the other hand, McCain was treading close to stereotypical racism: “My racist family won’t accept you.” But EVERY ethnic group has historically shown this kind of exlusiveness towards outsiders, and it is not generally called racism. Only with blacks is family preference for one’s own group called racism.

In a technical sense, it certainly has to do with race, and can on that basis be called racist, but is it properly called racist in the pejorative meaning of the word?

Consider an example. I once saw a television segment in which a couple of Vietnamese or Cambodian girls from Detroit called their parents racist for trying to keep them away from the black gang-banger boyfriends they were now attached to. The refugee parents had tried to protect their girls by warning them not to fall in with the degraded black culture that the parents were forced by economic circumstance to live amidst.

That surrounding culture used charges of racism as a lever to pry these girls out of their parents’ grip. The girls believed that their parents were WRONG (racist in some pejorative sense) for trying to keep them from falling in with the blacks they lived amidst. As a result, well you could see that these girls still had some sweetness, but they were living the life of gang trash sluts. They was waggin they heads, talkin about they parents bein all racist n all, cuddlin up to they boyfriends, talking black English, the whole nine yards.

Were their parents racist for trying and failing to keep these girls from throwing their lives away on the culture into whose midst these families were unfortunately dropped? Of course not. They were not motivated by race, but by cultural difference. They were motivated by what they knew from their own culture was required for their girls to grow up to live decent lives. If the blacks of Detroit shared the values and culture of Southeast Asia, the parents would have had nothing to be horrified at. But the fact is, they were surrounded by dangers for them and their girls that they could only be horrified at.

To pretend that their horror was about race, instead of about the culture that actually did ensnare their girls and bring them down to the very lowest level of society ever seen on planet earth, would be foul. Obviously they were motivated by the terrible reality of what they saw themselves plunked into the middle of, not some empty prejudice, as “racism” implies.

Now if their girls had found some black men who DID share the values of Southeast Asia, who strove for education and work and family, carried forth with honesty and generosity and a will to productivity, those parents would obviously be much happier. They would consider that a much more acceptable result. i.e. They are NOT racist, and as people from many different cultures have long done, they would end up accepting their daughters being with these outsiders.

The problem with McCain’s statement is that it is not fully qualified. Not wanting your sister, or your daughter, to be with a black man, is not racism, so long as the way one ENDS UP feeling about that relationship depends on the individual. That is what defines racism in the pejorative sense: failure to give priority to the information one has about a person as an individual, as one has a chance to acquire it.

Rational accounting of information can never be wrong (can never be racist in any pejorative sense). Thus if all you know about someone is that he is black, and you are familiar with the crime statistics that show blacks committing all kinds of crime at 5 to 6 times the rate of whites, it is only rational to be especially wary of this person possibly turning out to be a criminal.

Once you have individual information, that trumps group based information. Once you have learned that this particular black can’t run as fast as your mother, you jettison your group-based prior expectation that he is probably a faster-than-average runner.

Trying to exempt blacks from the normal process of overcoming cultural hurdles with other groups by labeling those hurdles “racism” whenever they involve blacks is just another immoral and counterproductive kind of affirmative action. Everyone understands the desire to try to give blacks a hand up, to make up for the hand holding them down in the past, but it doesn’t work. It’s a cheat, enabling the worst at the expense of the best. It’s like when Mayor Lindsey tried to help blacks by cutting back on enforcement of black crime, leading to the explosion of black crime that utterly destroyed Harlem until Giuliani rebuilt law enforcement thirty years later.

In the Detroit example, the phony racism charge gave a couple of black thugs a couple of beautiful Asian girls to turn into their bitches, where support for cultural judgment would have screened out the trash, allowing these girls to find decent men and decent lives amidst this different population they were dropped into.

Sorry to say it Patterico, but your underqualified judgment of McCain’s statement plays into that. McCain’s statement needs to be properly qualified. WHEN isn’t it racist to not want to see your sister or daughter with a black man? When ultimate judgment gives way to individual information.

The affirmative action wing of our society gets that backwards. Blacks are treated with kid gloves based on group information (which actually calls for treating blacks with suspicion), and this persists in the face of individual information, with systematic efforts to promote individual blacks ahead of individual merit, to the detriment of everyone.

Obama shows how far this mindset has penetrated. Large numbers of people actually voted for him because he is black, allowing a very bad man, a radical, radical leftist, to become president of the United States!

McCain might well want to go further and say that we simply shouldn't try to untangle what is and is not racism when it comes to personal preferences instead of public policy, and that might well be right. My own opinion is that racism per se--judgments that are really about race, instead of about behavioral expectations based on the statistical correlates of race--is a phantasm that rarely if ever actually exists. What DOES exist is failure to properly prioritize individual over group information, and it is especially common in the affirmative action direction.

In the area of public policy, it makes sense to call this racism. Advancing blacks and women and now Muslims ahead of merit is RACIST, and SEXIST and INSANE, respectively. But does it make any sense to call this thinking racist when the subject is personal relationships and personal preferences? If a person of one race wants to spend his own time trying to help people of a different race, or he wants to try to help his own ethnic group, is it society's business either way?

Probably it would be a healthy thing for our society to stop searching personal relationships for signs of racism. Even when people declare themselves racist in a superficial sense--"I don't want my sister in bed with that black trash"--it will almost always be in reference either to the particular black as an individual (that he is trash), or to rational cultural expectations that have yet to be replaced by individual information.

People should be called out for racism when they make overbroad statements based rational race-based expectations. High black crime rates don't make all blacks criminals, and they do not warrant assuming all blacks are criminals, even if they do justify particular wariness until individual character is known. When people fail to give proper priority to individual information as it becomes known, that should also be called out.

But people should also defend themselves against charges of racism when their rational expectations based on race are called racist, and they should defend their more nuanced judgments about individual worth from second guessing by racism police, who indict themselves on this front with their abdication of real judgment as they seek out any manipulative grounds to claim victimization and due.

There is a conflict of interest on the part of racism accusers, who have a long history of searching out leverage. That conflict of interest should cause all such charges to be discounted if they do not clearly have a solid basis. The predominant racism in society today is on the affirmative action side, while 99% of what gets called racism is not.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

"Here are your tools"

That is Al Gore, referring indirectly to Phil Jones, Michael Mann, and the rest of the CO2-warming frauds who are reaching for the brass ring of unaccountable power in Copenhagen this week.



The beginning of Gore's "poem" is even funnier:
One thin September soon
A floating continent disappears
In midnight sun
Sorry Mr. Vice President in Charge of Sciency Stuff. There is no "midnight sun" in September. Doh.

Okay, there is a speck of midnight sun at each pole. The equinox is the point of minimum midnight sun on planet earth.

But don't worry folks. Mr. midnight-sun-in-September assures us that "the science is settled."

Actually it is. We face a grave danger of global cooling and ought to be developing energy resources as fast as humanly possible in preparation for this likelihood. Energy development would also save the economy, and even allow the United States, which sits atop the world's largest fossil energy resources, to pay off the killing debt that Obama is dropping on us like a rain of battleships.

More green religious "art": bowing down to abomination

Just how much do these green leftists hate their own societies, hate economic liberty, hate progress and hate prosperity? Take a look at this foul minded piece of trash, depicting the more productive peoples of the world as a grotesque burden on the less productive:

From AP: "The Survival of the Fattest, a sculpture by Danish artist Jens Galschiot, is seen in the harbour of Copenhagen. The sculpture represents an overweight Lady Justice figurine, symbolising the rich industrialised world, sitting on the back of a thin African man."

Straight from Paul Ehrlich's anti-capitalist brand of neo-Malthusianism: it isn't just human population that is bad, rather the harm done by individuals should be measured by their consumption, or their income. Thus wealthy Westerners are the worst and thin Africans are the best (and presumptively oppressed, in this bilesmith's mind).

Of course the opposite is true. To a first approximation, income is a measure of productivity, and one of the primary products of productivity is technological advance, which increases prosperity for everybody. Wealthier people and nations are not a burden on the less wealthy, but are the engine of the less-wealthy's own advancing prosperity.

Jens Galschiot undoubtedly sees his bile-art as morally pristine, instructing others on how to reach his exalted moral plane. In truth, he demonstrates exactly the foul-minded inversion of morality that a religion of lies can be expected to produce.

Giving themselves the vapors and swooning into the arms of a strong ManBearPig
Vapors rise as
Fever settles on an acid sea
Neptune's bones dissolve
Gore's second stanza is referencing this:
In a document known as the Monaco Declaration, more than 150 leading experts warned that the world's oceans are becoming more acidic as a result of absorbing ever-increasing amounts of CO2.

They believe ocean acidification could make most regions of the ocean inhospitable to coral reefs by 2050 if CO2 levels continue to increase, and commercial fish stocks could also be severely affected, threatening food security for millions of people.
Except the oceans--and the coral reefs--thrived for ages with ten times as much atmospheric CO2 as today.

Also, rising temperatures--which the alarmists predict--cause the oceans to release CO2, largely mitigating any tendency for the oceans to absorb human-released CO2.

And the evidence for alarm? A 1% change in ph over the last 250 years (from 8.2 to 8.1), which must be inside the measurement error. Nonsense on top of nonsense on top of nonsense, which did not stop 150 alarmist "experts" from signing on. It's just so hard for these true believers to go against their religion. Only a beast could fail to lament poor Neptune's bones.

For the religion of lies, piety and facts just do not mix. One has to go, and self-righteous grabs for unaccountable power are just too appealing for some people to pass up, even when the only thing they can do with that power is destroy their own world.

Kudos to Jayspry, for his poetic rebuttal:
The alarums sound And the frightened creatures Run to higher ground Across the skies Silver eagles soar Trailing clouds of smoke In their wake Foregathering in their sacred aerie They make their plans To gather all the sheep together In the valley of the shadow Of pretended death Calling out To the lambs who huddle in every corner of the world They promise the protection of eagles While preparing for the feast

For comparison, here is Gore's full heroic vapor swoon:
One thin September soon
A floating continent disappears
In midnight sun

Vapors rise as
Fever settles on an acid sea
Neptune's bones dissolve

Snow glides from the mountain
Ice fathers floods for a season
A hard rain comes quickly

Then dirt is parched
Kindling is placed in the forest
For the lightning's celebration

Unknown creatures
Take their leave, unmourned
Horsemen ready their stirrups

Passion seeks heroes and friends
The bell of the city
On the hill is rung

The shepherd cries
The hour of choosing has arrived
Here are your tools

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